Where In The Tree Is Vivien?

My favourite actress would have been 105 years old today.

City Jackdaw

I recently finished reading a biography about possibly my country’s greatest actress: Vivien Leigh. Triumphant and tragic, always lovely, ever fragile, her most difficult part was that of her own life.

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My post on an old movies site on Facebook provoked a conversation about her being England’s greatest actress. I was asked what it was about her that made me of this opinion, and how she faired in comparison to the likes of Dame Judi Dench and Dame Helen Mirren. (The question was asked in all innocence, purely out of curiosity, as it was posed by a fan of Vivien’s who was curious as to why I hold her in such similar esteem.)

I replied that both Judi Dench and Helen Mirren are fine actresses, (Elizabeth Taylor too), but to me there seems a certain gravitas in both Leigh’s performances and in her attitude towards her craft. Most of her…

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Wolf River Blues*

The great Jeff Buckley would have been fifty today. He left before he hardly got going.

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*Wolf River Blues is the title of a poem about Jeff’s death, included in  my book Heading North.

Blow Down The Chimney And Make A Wish

I was recently going to do a post, but it seems the WordPress Gods are working against me.

I sat at my pc the other morning, as the much heralded first storm of Winter hit, and began with the line:

I love windy days

I never even got to apply the full stop when I heard a low, rumbling noise that turned into a loud crash. At first I thought it was the furniture blowing across the decking, then realised that we haven’t got any. Dur!

I looked out of the back window to see two young gardeners who were working in a neighbour’s garden peering over my fence. On seeing me they beckoned me to go outside, and told me that a chimney had just been blown off one of the roofs. Whose? My mum’s next door.

It had collapsed and fallen down on both sides of the house, along with the tv aerial, taking many roof tiles with it. I went in my mum’s-she hadn’t even heard it!

I had to go in once at 4.00am to switch her burglar alarm off as she slept through it. She has one good ear, and if she is lay on it neither megaphone   nor medium can contact her. I just re-set it and came out, with all the bedroom lights on in the flats opposite as my mum slept on in darkness.

“Mam, you know that little run of bad luck you are going through at the moment, with your boiler and your washing machine? Well your chimney has just come down.” 

She heard that one alright. It could have been worse, there could have been someone coming up the path at the time and been hurt, and she is insured. After preventing anybody coming to the door, above which many loose bricks were precariously balanced on the edge of the roof, and dealing with the over-stretched insurers, I returned back to my house. That last sentence was still there, hanging unfinished on the screen:

I love windy days

Irony is cool isn’t it?

I deleted it and then typed

I love lottery wins

I will keep you posted. No pun intended.

So I abandoned my post for that day. And today?

Well it’s my birthday, so I will take the day off. I will see you again soon though.

Weather and WordPress Gods allowing.