23/01/10

Who loves short blogs? We love short blogs.

It’s Mr. Perfunctory tonight, partly because I’m getting up early tomorrow to head out for an actual walk in the actual countryside with actual people, but mostly because the only thing of note that happened today is something I am not allowed to write about.

I did a bunch of work. I played some Little Big Planet. There was some exciting F.A. Cup football involving Leeds (who scraped a draw with a fifty-fifty penalty in the dying seconds of added time – I was very calm and dignified in my reaction). And apart from that… the other thing.

I will tell you this much. It was a visit from my friend Joolz, or Jock as she came to be known some time ago after an incident with a former colleague’s bad hand writing and a staff rota compiled early in the morning.

Joolz brought jam. Jam of her own devising, no less. She was on her way back from getting her eyes checked and delivered it with the words “Sorry I took your jam to the opticians.” And you have to admit that that’s a better opening line than everything ever apart from “Ah, Mr. Bond. I’ve been expecting you.”

The thing is that Joolz made it very clear that I wasn’t to write about her at all, and the jam’s presence seemed to be attached to this in what I can only describe as a quasi-legal way. I think the laws governing preserves and pickles may be different in Scotland from their English counterparts, but I’m still worried that if I type one word about her I may have to forfeit the jam, and it does look very nice.

Marrow Jam it says on the label, though Joolz did explain that it was in fact made from very large courgettes. Marrows. Courgettes. I don’t know vegetables. Just tell me it’s Plant Jam and I am very happy to spread it on my toast.

It’s a shame I can’t write about Joolz though because she is amazingly wonderful in every way and certainly provides a very compelling argument that all will work out OK with Homo sapiens in the end.

Still a promise is a promise, so no more about Joolz. I shall not tell you that she is like a cross between Magnus Pyke, Rosamund Pike and an actual pike (the best bits of all three). Nor shall I tell you about the sky-clad ancient rituals she and her partner (Hello Roddy!) get up to round their remote country home, luring luckless drivers down the twisty track with ghosty lights only to sacrifice them by burning them in a giant wicker puffin to appease the gods of the Beauly Firth.

It’s a shame though. You might have been interested in that.

Wow. I am in so much trouble now.

***

In a good week for DVD releases one of the overlooked highlights has been the 1968 Hammer movie The Lost Continent. I saw this film back in the seventies on a black and white portable TV as part of a Hammer season the Beeb were running (I think) and I had long since resigned myself to the fact that I was never going to see it again. But no, here it inexplicably is available in the shops for money. I feel almost personally catered to, like that time I found they’d released Richard Stanley’s Hardware on Blu-ray. “Flipping heck,” I thought at the time. “They are only ever going to sell one of these, and it’s to me, now!”

The print isn’t great, but it’s serviceable, and The Lost Continent was pretty low on aesthetic accomplishment anyway. Perhaps the slightly scruffy presentation is the best way to see it. It’s not a cineaste’s film is what I saying. However if you want English B-movie actors fighting giant molluscs, carnivorous weeds and the descendants of the Spanish inquisition in a massive ship’s graveyard in the Sargasso Sea then this movie has much to offer you.

It’s demented and cheap, but it’s fun and unusual and certainly light years away from the processed screen cheese that passes for entertainment a lot of the time today.

It’s based on a novel called Uncharted Seas by Dennis Wheatley, and fans of metafiction will be delighted to see that one of the film’s characters is reading that very book in the early scenes. If only he’d finished it he’d have found out when he was going to die.

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