All entries for Monday 01 August 2005

August 01, 2005

Beans beans good for the heart

Yesterday we ate our first crop of runner beans from the garden. They tasted very nice, but the satisfaction of having grown them ourselves was the real pleasure. We have a lot of beans on the way – I will probably be cropping twice a week for the next few weeks, and then once a week for a while after.

I know that sounds a bit lame, but it's been years since I had a garden where we could grow stuff. Watching the courgettes and tomatoes coming along is a real joy.

The pear and apple trees are also looking good. Since we cleared a lot of shade causing trees in the garden they have really flourished. I now can't wait for the gooseberries to kick in next year.

Next up is sorting out the winter cabbages and planning fruits for next year. Unfortunately our squashes were, well, squashed in the winds when the propagator fell over. Oh well, next year maybe…

The only downer is the demise of my vine – i've had it for a few years now, but I think the move and frosts have finished it off. I will have to start a new one.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory last night. Pretty good stab at it I thought, with a few annoying elements.

First the annoying stuff:

1. I couldn't work out what was going on with the British/American thing – Charlie and some of the locals were British, others were American. Charlie picks up a dollar at one point but you always feel you are in the UK. It's never clear where we actually are. Worse was the constant references to 'Candy' – a horrible American phrase that just grated in the mouths of the British actors. Ugh.

2. The end is just sooo tacked on it really feels disconnected from the rest of the film. I liked the back story stuff within the film but the incessant need for 'closure' ruined what should have been the end.

3. The songs – the mix on the songs was weird. I struggled to make out the words through the blaring soundtrack. Or maybe my ears are just failing.

Anyway – there's a lot of good stuff to balance this out. The film is a closer interpretation of the book than the 1970s version, and the mood swings from childlike joy to quite disturbing moments of dark humour. The transition of Wonka from genius to quite evil fiend is nicely handled, with its climax probably the way wonka condemns Mr Salt to his fate. Depp is fantastic and the disco oompah loompahs are worth the entrance fee alone. The 2001: A Space Odyssey jokes were pretty good too.

BTW - I note a regular theme in the works of Mr Burton – Edward Scissorhands, Big Fish, CATCF - a lot of musings on the relationship between father and son and the reconciliation of one to the other after loss and betrayal. I wonder if all was well in chez Burton?

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