Moonlight and Magnolias

A film producer of a book adaptation might not always know the book; the screenwriter fetched in hasn’t read the book and the director is supposed to be finishing “Wizard of Oz” – the play is a bit too convincing that “Gone with the Wind” is not going to be made cos the screenplay won’t be written. 
But it’s a screwball comedy – 10 re-writes already and they have 5 days to reduce over 1000 pages to 4 hours of film – it’s fast and stressed out.

From Stage Agent

And suddenly, it’s serious – celebrating the Confederates in the nation’s civil war which the Union won? how are black slaves to be portrayed – can they ever be seen to argue back? how is violence against them to be portrayed? 2 American Jews arguably the best at what they do, but can they ever be accepted as Americans? should the movie take an opportunity to reflect the refugee crisis in Europe? and how to say whether you give a damn?
“Gone with the Wind” is to be a massive commercial and critical success, and a black actor is to be one of the Oscar winners. Yet the criticism of the film is that it was still too long and not critical enough of the Confederacy, of slavery, of marital rape and is racist. Oh, and I haven’t seen the film.

Showing at Nottingham Playhouse. See the trailer.

Green Meadows

The Meadows has the opportunity to do even more to be environmentally friendly. The new Meadows Climate Change Consortium and Towards a Greener Meadows are the latest initiatives to do just that.
There is quite a lot in place already.

Energy & home comfort: Nottingham Energy Partnership are based at the Queens Walk Community Centre. We have our own energy services Company MOzES (Meadows Ozone Energy Services), which has supplied solar panels and insulation schemes. MOzES also hosts research such as the use of batteries in the home and the sharing of energy across very local networks. District heating reaches into the north of the neighbourhood. New housing built in the south of The Meadows (known as the Eco Meadows) is built to ecological standards.

Nature: With so many trees, the New Meadows looks like a wood from Nottingham castle. Arkwright Meadows Community Gardens are exemplars in what they do, including growing local food. Meadows in Bloom have transformed a number of local streets. Our primary schools offer a bug hotel, a pond for wildlife and a week of action. Both our main parks host a wide selection of trees (each with guides available). Residents in the community look after the Memorial Gardens. The Green hosts hedgehog boxes. The Queens Drive is a wide avenue lined with 170 tear old lime trees. The Embankment meets the river, with again lines of trees and plenty of birds. Our symbol is the crocus!

Transport: The midi-buses of the most successful bus company in the country are based in The Meadows and run on natural gas, supplied from the break down of tree material. The most successful bus priority scheme (in the country) starts in the east of The Meadows. The Meadows hosts 2 tram lines with 3 stops and neighbours the Nottingham railway station. There are 2 locations that provide electric car recharging, and a 3rd is planned. A new car club is starting, with an electric vehicle based at it on-street bay. A number of the Hackney Carriage drivers, whose vehicles are converting to electricity or Level 6, and their leaders, are based in The Meadows.

Waste: The City Council collects waste for recycling separately and other waste is burnt for energy and for collection of metals.

Community action: the ability to reach to people is well in place through community groups- Old Meadows TRA, New Meadows TRA, Queens Walk Community Association & its sister The Sheriffs Social Club, and the Meadows Muslim Centre. There is a Meadows Youth Centre and a there Portland Leisure Centre. A shop providing mobility scooters and services to the whole of the County is based in Bridgeway Shopping Centre. The Bridges Community Trust both organises community events and provides employment services. The Meadows Action Group is well established, helping residents with housing and social security. “Towards a Greener Meadows” was started last year and demonstrated how forward looking our community activists are.

Looking Forward: there is the potential to support –
– Net zero retrofit teams;
– Providing climate education;
– Undertaking local energy audits;
– Delivering more food growing and tree planting;
– providing more local sustainable transport;
and more.

The City Council reviews its ward action plan every December at a meeting of 30 or so community activists and last year a green theme was added to the event.

Nottingham City Council’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder and the local ward Councillors are keen to do more to make The Meadows greener. And our locally resident Member of Parliament will join in too.


Weathering with you

A popular Anime movie in Japan

Britain had Thunderbirds; Japan had Marine Boy; we have Wallace & Gromit – with tiny moves of plasticine models; they have Anime and hthis latest feature film length movie based on mid-teens with powers over the weather.
The Anime can at times before very compelling – the stuttering moves of a wide public transport bus slowing making its way through a congested street.
The story is what compels authenticity, and you do have to buy quite a few assumptions beyond the ability of a 15 year old to control the rain. Including how flood water behaves and knowing it ain’t pure and clear. There’s no political message in a time of debate about climate change.
Wiki. Guardian.


Greed: the movie has now been dedicated to Caroline Flack

Condemning of asset-stripping billionaires, exploitation of textile workers and fashion consumers, celebrity culture and reality TV, off-shore tax havens and clones to refugees.
Yet despite a declared intention to make the Philip Green style lead human, I just couldn’t see past the cruelty with staff and see past the cheating of people. And I only laughed at the scenes involving the lion.
Political, this should have been my kind of movie and I imagine it will be funny watching it second time around. See it as an education (especially in a ending montage) but not necessarily an entertainment.
Wiki. Guardian.
And a bit of poignancy walking home through Hockley (with its second-hand clothing charity shops) and the Lace Market (rich with its former textiles heritage).

Personal statements of poor practice, publicly made, need following up

‘In the National Health Service, everything is written in different languages – how much is that costing?
‘How much is it costing for the interpreters?
I was in hospital last week, the interpreter never turned up for the people who couldn’t speak English.
“She was paid, they all had to go on and all the radiologists stood around. What sort of country is allowing this?’

Just what to do if a public allegation about poor public service is made, using personal testimony?
Cos to doubt it its to infer the complainant is lying.
Just our bad luck I suppose that the witness making a statement on BBC Question Time happened to be a “Free Tommy Robinson” campaigner.

Perhaps less than bad luck is that the Chair of Question Time didn’t treat the statement as an allegation of bad practice that needed following up. Perhaps advising the complainant that the BBC will follow up the complaint and advise the audience of the next broadcast on what they had found.

Something similar has happened on Twitter earlier today. A man with a pen name (and the flags of England and Poland attached) has asserted poor service by one of the local GP practices and made an allegation against a named GP, claiming the support of 2 others (who’ve also written with pen names).
Local political representatives do actually feel the need to check allegations of poor service. We can talk to patient reps, we can talk to practice managers, and perhaps even the GP themselves.
But we like a name and address first, so that we can reply to complainants, and hold them to account if they have misrepresented the truth.

Ivon Hitchens and Space through Colour

Nice to live in Nottingham and have places like the Lakeside Arts to visit.
They have an exhibition of Ivon Hitchens paintings (“Space through Colour“), finishing on Sunday.
Ivon Hitchens is widely regarded as the outstanding English landscape painter of the 20th century and is considered to be one of the most important British painters of his generation” and is “well known for panoramic landscape paintings created from blocks of colour“.
Ah, yes, but is he any good?
I have no idea.

“Lanercost Bridge”

So I’m reduced to the age old tests – 
1) what talks about my life and 
2) would it go in the home?
2) The yellow and purple “Lanercost Bridge” goes very well with our rug and living room;

“A Shropshire Landscape”

1) “A Shropshire Landscape” is from near Bridgenorth – who would have guessed? – but has a hallmark ring of trees on top of a hill – very Shropshire (tho’ I might have said more West Shropshire).

If there are any reliable art critics out there, please let me know the correct answer.


Flight: Inside the container, part of an economy class airliner, with black out facility and the ability to move the seats to simulate taxing across rough concrete runways and other events. Then videos and lighting shows; and headphones for compiling sound effects.
One great joke – “the pilot requests that all babies stop crying now”.

Some emphasis on existence, told through the thought experiment of “Schrödinger’s cat“. I did a physics degree and was never keen on the notion – a quantum mechanical effect described by a classical universe.
Seems to me the concepts of we are known to exist are better explored by drawing from the world of Philosophers – indeed, part of this being what philosophy is about.