Archive for October 29th, 2007

Idle Weekend: Scary Cows and Movies

Well, just as the title suggests, I’ve been pretty idle this weekend.  Yesterday we visited one of the country’s loveliest of lovely beauty spots – Bolton Abbey.  My kids love this place. They especially look forward to seeing the money trees.  You can see my two leaning over one of them in the photo there.  My little boy cheekily tried to pull a few coins out but middlie soon stopped him by telling him that . . . “those are people’s wishes and you shouldn’t steal peoples wishes.” (I think she got the line from that wonderful film, The Goonies – the part where the kids find themselves inside a wishing well and one of the boys proceeds to fill his pockets with the coins until the girl tells him about the wishes).

The only thing that spoils this walk for me is when the cows are out grazing and we have to walk through them.  I like cows.  I really do.  I can cope with them in fields that have hedges around them.  I can cope when I’m driving past them in the safety of my car.  But when I have to walk right through their territory – exposed and hedgeless – they scare me.  I know I shouldn’t be scared.  I know they’re just dumb innocent animals that mean me no harm but they stare.  Intimidatingly so with their big bovine eyes.  They certainly don’t look like they’re thrilled to have you walking through their fields.

Anyway, I survived the cows only to be stung badly at the Pavillion cafe at the end of the walk.  And not by a bee I can tell you.  I bought two bottles of water and four bars of chocolate and it cost me £5.40!  Ye great gods of daylight robbery!  £5.40!  I’m glad we weren’t planning to dine there.  I’d already paid a whopping £5.50 charge for parking the car there for the afternoon! I don’t begrudge the parking fees though.  It really is a stunning part of the countryside which will take some substantial upkeeping and maintaining.  With it’s riverside walks and its moorland and woodland paths, it makes for great afternoon activity.

And continuing our idle weekend theme, we also watched a couple of great and thoroughly enchanting movies. We rented a film called Bridge to Terabithia.  I was surprised at this film because the advertising is quite misleading in that it tries to lure viewers by using the Narnia movie (made by the same people) in its previews but it’s nothing like Narnia and cannot be compared to it.  In my view it’s better.  It’s quietly enchanting but in a simplistic kind of way and that’s what makes it so warm and sweet.  It’s about a very human journey of magical imagination despite the down-to-earth hardships of life.  It’s about kids and their minds when they’re allowed to run free.  It doesn’t rely on special effects – it relies on the beauty of the message itself. The child actors are refreshingly uncheesy and very good.  Kids will love it. Mine did.  As for adult suitability – it will touch that long-forgotten inner child. It will touch your heart.

And we went to see the new movie Stardust which was magical, exhilarating and utterly wonderful. We loved it.  Some big name actors in the film – Robert De Niro plays a great part.  He steals every scene he occupies and is just brilliant.  And it felt so refreshingly sweet to see Michelle Pfeiffer looking NOT so gorgeous.  Anyway, great film.  No social message.  No heavy suspense.  Just pure magical escapism.  We loved it. 

And my ironing pile is still growing.  Sigh.