I don’t tend to watch lots of TV but there are some programmes that I make an exception for. One of my favourite BBC comedies is Detectorists with the brilliant Mackenzie Crook and Toby Jones. The filming is exquisite and I love the opening music by Johnny Flynn who also appears in one of the episodes. It’s funny and heart-warming. Can’t wait for the 3rd series to come out.
There are many films that I love, but my all-time favourite is “The last of the Mohicans”. The music and the filming is beautifully evocative. I am not sure how close it is to the book as I’m ashamed to say I have not read it. But the film has a raw sensuality about it that appeals to me.
And as for Black Sails! Well where do I start –this is as raunchy as it can get! There are 4 series – I’ve managed to watch them all…. back to back! I am in ecstasies over Zach McGowan as Captain Vane. Talk about eye-candy – I’m in love – it’s all those tight black leather trousers, open-shirt to the naval and long-dread locked hair. The scene when he emerges from being buried alive, buck naked was a scene to re-wind again ……and again….and again. Ok he looks like he could do with a good wash but he has totally mastered the bad boy look and every good girl loves a bad boy! In fact every bad girl would like Zach!
Then I discovered “Vikings”. I thought I had died and gone to “Valhalla”. Wow! With an ex-Calvin Klein model as Ragnar what is there not to love about this programme. I admit that again they all look like they could do with a good wash but….. I’m not fussy, not at my age!
I’m not sure what it is with me, but I’m the type of person who even found Rowan Atkinson as Blackadder (the Elizabethan one that is) attractive. It was the earring and the little beard that did it for me! But then again, I also liked Darth Vader. It was all the black clothing and the heavy breathing…………………
I have lost count of the times I have read Jane Austen back to back. My personal favourite is Emma although P&P I think is more rounded. But, I studied “Emma” for A level so I am afraid that I am biased. I am a classics girl at heart. For me modern literature does not come close. Each to their own but for me the classics win hands down. Plus, the fact you can usually download them for free! From time to time I do deviate but I always come back to the old favourites. Top of my leader board is obviously Jane Austen (no contest) closely followed by Thomas Hardy, Wilkie Collins, the occasional Dickens and Bram Stoker with his classic gothic horror. I also enjoy the Bronte’s, particularly Anne Bronte and “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall”.
Last summer I re-read “Wuthering Heights”, a book I had not touched since a teenager. Then I found the Yorkshire dialect quite difficult to understand and “hear in my head” as I was reading. I enjoyed it more the second-time round. The ending was a little odd and I can’t quite understand why Heathcliff is seen as such a romantic hero. Not my cup of tea in the “romantic department”. I would go for either Gabriel Oak – steadfast, but not a walkover or Mr Knightly in “Emma “– he gets my vote every time even over Mr. Darcy.
Modern classics for me include Elizabeth Jane Howard particularly the series following the Cazalet family. I also like George Orwell’s “1984” and “A Clergyman’s Daughter”.
From time to time I dabble with Terry Pratchett especially the ones with the witches. My personal favourite is “Wyrd Sisters” because of its references to Macbeth. Hilarious!
I remember being totally bewitched by Philip Pullman’s trilogy. I read it before e-books had taken off. One Thursday night I finished reading the first book and then went rushing into town to buy the second as it was late night shopping. I was too late and returned home rather frustrated.
My other major favourites are the Flashman books by George MacDonald Fraser. I love them. Flashman is such a “cad, a bounder, a womanizer and a coward”. They make a terrific read especially if you like a bit of skulduggery with your history!
I also regularly read children’s books. I love Noel Streatfield’s “A Vicarage Family”. I remember reading this at school and then asking for it for Christmas. I am really delighted that I can now get it on my Kindle. Another book that I will read again is Moonfleet – I discovered this 3 years ago and was totally gripped. It is a fine, traditional rip-roaring adventure. The character who captivated me the most was Elzevir Block, the damaged inn-keeper, grieving for his lost son, whose own life has lost its value and who sacrifices himself for the love of his young friend. I cried. Does anyone remember the “Five Find Outer’s and Dog” by Enid Blyton? I used to love those books. I preferred them to “The Famous Five” and “The Secret Seven”. And who can forget the “Naughtiest Girl” in the school – all those liberty bodices and vests! I found the complete collection in a local bookshop and snapped them up for my daughter. I’m planning to read them later….after lights out….. with a torch…..and a snack…………