Monday, 30 November 2009

Telephone Land Line Now Fixed!

Just to let all concerned know that my telephone land line has now been repaired. My apologies to anyone who was inconvenienced over the weekend.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Landline Problems

Our telephone land line is not working properly and our service provider states it could be next week before an engineer will be available to repair it. The delay is understandable, considering the amount of engineers that must be busy reparing the damage that the storms caused in the UK recently.

So if anyone has been trying to reach Jill or myself by our land line telephone number and not getting through, then please phone my mobile number instead.

Friday, 13 November 2009

3D Magic Spectacular on Television

Next Monday, the 16th of November, at 10pm, Channel 4 will be broadcasting Derren Brown Presents The 3D Magic Spectacular. One of the guests will be Pete Firman. To obtain the necessary 3D glasses, you will find that they are being given away free in Sainsburys. For more details, including on other 3D television programs next week, go to Channel 4. I am hoping that the program will be as spectacular as the title claims. If you cannot see the program on Monday then you have a second opportunity on Sunday the 22nd of November at 10pm.

[The above image is copyright by Channel 4.]

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Bright Star

I took Jill to see the film Bright Star yesterday. I generally have concerns about biopics due to how sometimes writers feel the need to pointlessly beef up the plot. One example of that is the BBC drama about the Pre-Raphaelites which for some reason was misnamed as Desperate Romantics (as Germaine Greer pointed out The Romantics, such as Keats, had been dead for some time before the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood evolved).

I need not have worried. Jane Campion’s film about John Keats and his relationship with Fanny Brawne is told in a subtle, gentle way that gets under your skin and pulls at your heart strings. The photography is beautiful and creates a variety of moods throughout the film. The leading actors, Ben Whishaw and Abbie Cornish, have a fair physical resemblance to John Keats and Fanny Brawne (pictures of whom can be found in Andrew Motion’s excellent biography of Keats) and their portrayal of the young lovers, the uneasy beginning of their relationship and how it was frustrated by the cruelty of circumstance, is believable and deeply moving.

The house where the story is set (although it was not filmed there) is now a museum dedicated to Keats. Keats House in Hampstead is still open during the winter and costumes from the film are, for the moment, on display there.

If you have seen the film and have been inspired to find out more about Keats and Brawne then a good place to start is Motion’s biography of Keats, any edition of the published letters of Keats (they include his letters to Fanny Brawne) and any of the paperback editions of Keats’ poetry – where you will find the sonnet Bright Star! which he wrote especially for Brawne.

[The image above is from the website for the film, is copyright by them and is one of their free wallpapers.]

Monday, 9 November 2009

Mystery Magazine

Today I received a copy of the first issue of a new British magic magazine, Mystery Magazine. The editor is Walt Lees - magician, author and editor of well earned renown - and it is published by Magic Books By Post.

There are a number of things that I like about Mystery Magazine. I guess each of us will discover our own individual reasons for liking it. Mine include its quality of not clashing with or competing with other non-magic club periodicals. It is different enough from Magicseen and The LaBaL to justify my subscription to all three and not once have an overlap of articles, views or magic tricks. I am not going to go into depth about this issue's contents; you will just have to buy a copy and at a price of £2.50 that will hardly break the bank.

The magazine is monthly. It's full colour throughout and contains tricks, articles, reviews and news. Its format and contents is the result of Walt talking to people in the magic community and listening to what they would like. Walt's editorial clearly justifies the final result and so does reading the magazine.