My Movie Alphabet! An A-Z Of My Favorite – And Most Offbeat Films!

My good blogging friend, John, compiled his own favourite A-Z top picks. Enjoy his unusual taste, and his own ‘insider’ thoughts on the film industry.


My Movie Alphabet!

Yes, the poster art says “Vol. 2” – because I missed the first “go-round” on this fun exercise in cinema! A movie for every letter of the alphabet – who can refuse?

For many of us, this is our great escape – a movie auditorium where magic happens – I have seen so many incredible films in my life…oh, outside too!

I love this idea – thanks to “MettelRaySe7en” for doing this, here is the link to see how you can participate:

Let’s get started with a film that, while fictional, captured one of the most exciting and influential pop culture changes in our nation’s history!

A – A Hard Day’s Night

Hard to imagine how culturally significant “Beatlemania” was in today’s social media world, but this film captures the pop culture impact of The Fab Four through a hilariously droll, fictional film the band starred…

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Car repairs, and some photos

The Dereham Town sign, spanning the narrow High Street. It features the hunting of deer, once popular here, and shows the date when the town was founded, 654 A.D.

All photos can be enlarged for detail.

I had to take my car in today. It was to have its annual compulsory inspection, as well as a full service. Add the need for a new water pump and cam-belt, and I was facing a hefty bill. I got more bad news. The back axle needed attention in order to pass the inspection. The estimate was beginning to come close to the resale value of the car, which is now ten years old. As a new replacement would cost in the region of £26,000, I told them to go ahead with the work, at close to £900.

After that shock, I decided to do something more cheerful, and took a few photos in the oldest part of the town of Dereham, before clearing my head with a walk home of almost four miles.
Staying positive, in 2017. Just about…

The oldest church in town, St Nicholas. This church was founded in 654, and has remained unaltered since the 16th century. It is distinctive in having a separate bell-tower.

The bell tower, or ‘Campanile’

Next to the church is Dereham’s oldest remaining house. Built in 1502, (Roman numerals on the outside show the date) Bishop Bonner’s Cottage was named after that man, and is now used as the small town museum. It was once three separate cottages.

A brief look at the more interesting parts of our local market town.

Celebrate The Day

Do you remember back when we only had a few ‘Days’? There was Christmas Day of course, followed by Boxing Day, all after the sombre mood of Armistice Day, in November. My own Birthday, always a cause for celebration, then Mother’s Day, followed by Father’s Day. Good Friday qualified as a Day, as did Easter Monday, and Bank Holiday Monday, in August. That was about it at the time.

Then I noticed that they were trying to sneak in ‘Grandparents’ Day’, from America. I avoided that one, as after all, enough was enough. But it was only the start of an avalanche of ‘Days’. As I got older, I read about International Women’s Day, and May Day, to celebrate workers around the world. I thought, ‘OK, that’s enough.’ I was wrong. The Internet arrived.

There was an explosion of ‘Days’, accelerated by the world-wide web. Most of these were actually good ideas, and raised money for charity. Aids Awareness Day, Mental Health Day, Alzheimer’s Day, and so on. You get the idea. Support Our Troops Day, (once we started to become involved in foreign conflicts once again) was one of many more that were instigated to embrace good causes.

But then it got out of hand. Circulated via social media, we soon had such things as ‘Stroke Your Pet Day’, (who doesn’t stroke their pet?) ‘Adopt A Hedgehog Day’, ‘Throw a Sickie Day’, ‘Cuddle A Vagrant Day’, and many more too numerous to mention. Once I started blogging, I noticed a trend towards sub-division of days. ‘Mental Health Awareness Day’ was no longer enough. That had to be split into ‘Bipolar Day’, ‘ADHD Day’, ‘Manic Depression Day’, and on and on. Animal days followed suit, with ‘Save A Tiger Day’, ‘Adopt A Panda Day’, and as many as you can possibly imagine.

Then came Climate Change, and Recycling. Soon, I was inundated with yet more days. ‘Save The Icecaps Day’, ‘Polar Bear Day’, ‘Conserve Your Local Wetland Day’ and possibly hundreds more. ‘Ride Your Bike To Work Day’, ‘Do Fifty Press-ups Day’, my head was spinning. If I thought that was it, I was sadly mistaken. Think of a day, any day you like, and it is taken by something. It will be ‘—–Day’, be certain of that. ‘Poetry Day’, ‘Literature Day’, ‘Singing Day’, and ‘Feed Someone Day’. They have all been thought of. Believe me, there is nothing left. Days have had to be claimed by more than one of those ‘—– Day’, and they are now competing for attention like pups in a box. (Oh, ‘Adopt A Puppy Day’, I almost forgot.)

When the days were overrun, they migrated into months. ‘World Literacy Month’, ‘World Water Aid Month’, ‘Bake A Cake Month’, and ‘Learn A New Skill Month’. Think of anything, and it has a month, believe me. There are even years of this stuff. ‘City of Culture for —-‘ (year). Good luck with trying to think up 365 things to give the impression that your city is remotely cultural. Not only that, you will be competing with 365 (or 366 in a leap year) other things that the ‘world’ is celebrating, alongside many months of ‘this and that’ going on all around your cultural ‘hub’.

When will enough ever be enough, I wonder?

My own non-scientific research has discovered that each year is already ‘full’. There are no days left, and these ‘events’ are now sharing days, marching on relentlessly, driven by Facebook, Twitter, and Bloggers. Not only are there far too many, some of them trite in the extreme, but there is just no space left for ‘National Cut Your Pet’s Toenails Day’, or ‘National Stroke A Rabbit Day’. I am worn out, ‘Dayed’ out, and bewildered by the choices on offer.

Something’s got to give, or we are going to need a lot more days.

My trip to Madison

I have written before about some strange dreams I have had over the years. They often fascinate me, at least when I wake up remembering them in such detail. Sometimes, the reasons behind them are obvious, but on occasion, they are completely baffling.

When I woke up this morning, I was aware that I had been dreaming. It was probably one of those ‘just before you wake’ dreams, because the details were fixed in my mind, and seemed very real to me. Not like a dream at all, more like being in another place, then transported back to my bed in Beetley, awakened by the yapping of a neighbour’s dog. This one is worth examining.

I was walking by a huge lake. There was a well-constructed path, affording scenic views over what might have been a coastal area, with a large modern city behind me. I was walking with another man, and I can still see his features clearly, though I have no idea who he was or is. We were heading for a kind of food stall, perhaps a van converted to sell food. The man and I discussed what we might buy to eat, and he recommended the German Sausage, in a roll. He told me that it was the “Best in Madison”. I was speaking in my normal voice, and looked just as I do now, at the same age. He was undoubtedly American, and though around the same age as me, was much fitter-looking, with a full head of hair. When we got to the vendor, I ordered the sausage in the roll, and he handed me the food, declaring “You won’t get better anywhere in Wisconsin, my English friend.”
Then the dog started yapping, and I woke up.

I have never been to America. I have heard of Wisconsin, but only in the context of Schlitz Beer, the brand that ‘made Milwaukee famous’. I am also aware that it is close to the Great Lakes, and the Canadian border, but that’s about it. So, I looked up Madison, and this is what I found.

“Madison, the capital city of Wisconsin, lies west of Milwaukee. It’s known for the domed Wisconsin State Capitol, which sits on an isthmus between lakes Mendota and Monona. The Wisconsin Historical Museum documents the state’s immigrant and farming history. The city’s paved Capital City State Trail runs past Monona Terrace, a lakefront convention center designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.”

That have me a few chills up the spine. It has a lakeside path that runs along a waterfront, and the large city behind boasts a population of around 250,000. More research tells me that the area is famous for the production of German food, especially sausage, and that there are a lot of German restaurants in the area too.

I have no explanation for this dream. No idea why I should have been in that city that I had never heard of, walking with a man I don’t recognise, alongside a lake that I can still see in my mind. But I was surely there, as it felt as real as sitting here now, typing this. And how else would I have been aware of the small details?

Another of those wonderful mysteries of the mind.

Holiday at ours in Cley, Norfolk

A wonderful place to stay, in one of the nicest parts of Norfolk, and the East of England. A blogging offer from Klausbernd and Dina that I wholeheartedly recommend. Check out the lovely photos too.

The World according to Dina

I woke up this morning to a voice next to me saying, “I’m not blogging any longer!!
Eyes still closed, I thought, ok, that’s a possibility. And all the things that I could do – if I were not spending so much time on blogging – came to my mind. Not bad at all … So I said, “that’s fine with me, let’s quit blogging“.
After breakfast and some grounding work in the garden, Klausbernd, Siri and Selma and myself went for a walk and discussed the reasons for and against blogging. On one hand, we love blogging for many reasons, but on the other hand, blogging is so ungrounded. All the time and dedicated work invested doesn’t bring a penny. That’s the point.

Eine Stimme weckte mich heute: “Ich blogge nie mehr!” Mit noch geschlossenen Augen dachte ich, naja, hören wir eben auf…

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