Dot writes: it’s sunny! OK, the forecast for tomorrow is for 13 degrees centigrade and drizzle, but today and yesterday it actually felt as though we might have something resembling a summer. This morning I let it go to my head completely and put on a yellow floral skirt. Yesterday I lay in the garden and attempted to read, for part of the time even removing my cardigan. (“Attempted” because the boys view a mother with a book as a mother who clearly wants to be climbed on, enlisted in a game about monsters, and sent on errands to fetch milk and biscuits – in short, as a mother who lacks gainful employment and needs to be put to good use. No good pointing out the book is a serious tome on the historical study of emotion and I’m reading it for work.) Once more I am extremely happy we chose this house, for in addition to its many other advantages (shops and playschool in the same road, five minutes from the DART, near to St Anne’s Park, and larger than a shoebox) it has a sheltered west-facing back garden. And thanks to the belated spring and Ken’s labours, the garden is currently full of flowers and the little apple trees Ken planted are carrying blossom. Even the magnolia tree is coming into flower.
Yesterday Hugh was absolutely determined that we should go to see Epic. Looking at the sunshine I was determined we should go to the park and spend time basking in the healthy outdoors while we could do so without down clothing. Curiously, we went to see Epic (I took the two boys, letting Ken recover in peace from an enormous run he had just completed). I was glad we did, however; I wouldn’t say it was the best film ever, but it was extremely pretty, being full of flowers and leaves and birds and so forth, and the plot was sufficiently stirring and heroic to entertain Hugh while being at the same time quite romantic, not to say sentimental – incipient teenage love, reconciliation of estranged parents and children, that sort of thing. The voice casting was a bit disconcerting, however. For one thing, they had Steven Tyler (of Aerosmith) voicing a plump, genial singing caterpillar. The combination of Steven Tyler and avuncular wholesomeness was a bit startling, to say the least, though he did get to sing at one point and sounded fantastic; he has the kind of bluesy voice that if anything gets better with age. The other aspect of the casting that I found disorientating was that two major characters were played by Irish actors. One – encountered first – was the commander of the Leaf Men. We were being introduced to a strange and magical world of miniature heroes in the forest, most of whom had the American accents of movie-land, but this one sounded…normal. He sounded like an ordinary middle class Irish person. He was, in fact, Colin Farrell. Probably they cast an Irishman because of the character’s Irish name, Ronin (it’s normally spelt Ronan but never mind); and perhaps for US audiences the accent would be pleasingly exotic. But to me he just sounded like one of the neighbours, and that was rather odd.* Chris O’Dowd also turned up as a comic snail. That was less surprising, but it must be admitted the lines were much less funny than in The IT Crowd. However, a good time was had by all, and even Frank didn’t spend too much time wandering up and down, though he did ask to be taken to the loo at a crucial juncture in the plot.
I finally got my family trip to the park today. But first
– I went for a 9.34km run, despite having the tail-end of a cough and cold; I had to walk a couple of times but, assuming my nose and chest are all better by next Monday, I feel pretty optimistic for the 10km mini-marathon
– and then I went to church and virtuously sang in the choir
– and then Julie and I went out for brunch with Joan, who is the mother of one of Hugh’s classmates, and her sister Marie who lives down the road from us, and her colleague Henrietta who also lives down the road from us, and we had a lovely gossipy time free of husbands and children, which we spent talking about our husbands and children.
It has been a lovely, lovely day, and I am in a very good mood. Did I mention it’s sunny?
*It’s not that one can’t associate Irish accents with heroism; but somehow I expect heroism in a realist mode, rather than two-inch high warriors riding hummingbirds.