Friday, October 31, 2014

Mysteries & Music – Georges Simenon

The next PBS Mystery series I’ll talk about is Maigret. Based on books by Georges Simenon, this series was a great favorite of both Marv’s and mine. And while this was very French, not Brit, I loved the whole flavor of it. Simenon was another very prolific writer and thankfully, his books were readily available. Also, thankfully, they were translated into English. I really stocked up at the used bookstore in Chico. I don’t know why this particular book series grabbed me the way it did, but I truly reveled in them.

As for the TV series, Michael Gambon played the role of Inspector Jules Maigret, and I thought he mastered it. This particular series is hard to find on DVD and is very pricey. There was a French version done with a different actor that is available on DVD, but I’m not interested. I have enjoyed everything that Mr. Gambon has done, and for me, HE is Maigret. It looks like there are full episodes available on youtube, and I will definitely check those out.

I LOVED the theme music!! It was so French, so poignant; it just wafted into my soul. I desperately wanted to be sitting at a little cafĂ© table in ‘20s France, sipping wine and smoking a cigarette. The composer is listed as Nigel Hess. You can hear the full 3 minute theme here on youtube:

Friday, October 24, 2014

Mysteries & Music – Ellis Peters

When I saw the blurbs for the Cadfael Mysteries on PBS years ago, I was greatly interested. I enjoy reading and learning about times in 12th century Britain. I am also a great fan of Derek Jacobi. I had never read any of the books before watching the series. I have since read a few of the books, and they are very well written and researched.

However, I just loved WATCHING things take place. You can really “feel” the atmosphere of that long ago time and the very harsh way of life. And Jacobi is such a wonderful actor. He really nailed the character of Brother Cadfael. I have found that sometimes when I’ve seen a movie or TV adaptation of a book, I can enjoy the book(s) more when I have specific people to “see” as they go about the book.

Colin Towns wrote the theme. LOVED IT!! I enjoy Gregorian style chant and medieval music anyway, and this is just so lovely.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Mysteries & Music – Jonathan Gash

Lovejoy was not a PBS show, but was shown on a cable station as a Brit import. I don’t remember which station it was on, or how I came to know of it, but I became a fan immediately. I had not read any of the books before, but after seeing a few episodes I started looking for the books in the library. I was a bit surprised that the Lovejoy of the books was different from the TV one. Actually, it was the TV one that was different from the original. Gash’s Lovejoy wasn’t quite as nice and a bit sleazy.

I don’t know if this was a conscious decision of the writers, or just the interpretation of the wonderful and handsome Ian McShane. His Lovejoy was so full of mischief and fun and was truly a joy to watch. Even though I read many of the books, I still preferred McShane’s Lovejoy. I even got Sarah to become a fan of the show. I would really like to eventually get this series on DVD. It’s available and not outrageous in price.

The theme was written by Denis King, and played while the opening title and credits were shown, along with scenes from the show. McShane had such a twinkle in his eye! You just knew Lovejoy was going to get into mischief, but it was in good fun. Cute little tune, too.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Next Friday will be my dear mother-in-law’s birthday, the first one since her passing in June. I intend to be somewhat of a basket case that day, so I will write this tribute now, even though it’s with tears in my eyes that I do this. The picture here was taken about a year before she died, and is one of my favorites of her and Marv.

I have so much love and admiration for this woman who I was lucky enough to call “Mom” and who treated me like a true daughter.

Lillian Elsie Euler Binder Michels was a devout Christian and never passed up a chance to witness. She never wavered in her faith and was strong to the very end. Her faith was an inspiration to those who knew her.

I really meant to write more, but I can’t. Maybe at a future time.

I still miss her.

Friday, October 3, 2014

No Claustrophobics Need Apply

Right now the Tiny House movement is really BIG! (See what I did there?)

There’s even a reality show on DIY showing them. We don’t get that channel, or I would probably watch it. I think the movement started about 10 years ago, which is about the time I became aware of these structures.

It was probably an article on MSN featuring the houses that Tumbleweed Tiny House makes. I went to their website and thought those little houses were adorable! Since then, you can find many others who sell blueprints so you can make your own.

There are many, many blogs where people go into great detail about the planning and building of their little house. And they are all just as cute as can be. It would be wonderful to be able to pare your life down to the absolute essentials and be content in a very small space. I think I might have been able to do it when I was young. At this point though, I have so much STUFF that I know I could pare down, but there would still be too much to fit into such a small space. And certainly not with another person thrown in the mix as well. And even though I could probably part with more than I think, I absolutely will not get rid of Marvin!

The Tumbleweed site lists the square footage of their plans as ranging from 117 to 874. Having a second floor is what makes the difference. And that second floor is where the bed goes, and it takes up the entire space, pretty much. Not a lot of head room, either. (Marv is 6’2”) You basically climb up a ladder and crawl into bed. Again, at my age, not so possible anymore. When you don’t have working knees, you can’t crawl very well.

So it would have to be a single level dwelling. Fold up bed, Murphy-style. Tiny stove and fridge. I’m giving myself the creeps just thinking about it. Where would I put my stamps? WHERE WOULD I PUT MY BOOKS???

Nope. Not gonna happen.

They are cute, though…