Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Holiday Happiness


I'm just back from Spain, with that extra self confidence I only get on holiday. It's hard to describe - a feeling that your life can be more than the humdrum existence at home, and that you're a brighter and more attractive person than you normally feel. It didn't work for me in last year's UK holiday, but I think Spain has a special magic. We spent ten days in Andalucia - flying to Málaga and then going to Granada (as advised, by bus) the next day, spending three nights there and then getting the train to exotic Sevilla, finally taking the train back to Málaga to fly home the next day. (Quick quiz: how many nights did we spend in Seville? ;-)) In part, of course, that feeling of well-being and optimism is down to the heat and the sun and, as this week so far has been nice and warm (if not always sunny) on Tyneside, I think that's prolonged the holiday effect.

If anyone is interested, I took more than 1,400 photos (!) while I was there, and will be posting a small (I promise) selection of these on my Flickr pages as soon as I've winkled out the best ones.

The temporary holiday "glow" has also boosted my libido no end but, as I've resolved to keep this blog clean, I'll say no more about that.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Sir Peter that never was

I was pleased to see in the Saturday papers that Christopher Lee is now Sir Christopher. I've resisted the temptation to go for a tabloid style title for this observation (Fangs for the Honour, Arise Sir (Count) Christopher)...I'm sure they were all trotted out yesterday when it was first announced, and it would only annoy Sir Christopher anyway if he were to read this. It was nice to see an underrated talent recognised. He is now 87, and probably more successful in terms of international recognition than he's ever been. While he would probably admit that he isn't the world's most versatile performer, he is a great personality with a sense of humour and ability to move an audience (Curse of Frankenstein, The Mummy etc.). He has also (it has to be said) been the only convincing actor in the role of Dracula.

Sadly, Peter Cushing was never honoured in the same way. An even greater actor, capable of projecting a completely cool and callous persona (as in his Frankenstein films) or a strangely pitiful one (Grimsdyke in Tales from the Crypt), he was also renowned as a complete gentleman. No-one in the business ever seems to have had a bad word for him - something that can't quite be said of Mr Lee (sorry, Sir Christopher) who, on occasions, has been described as egotistical and bad-tempered. After the death of his beloved wife Helen in 1971, Mr Cushing lived only for his work. He gave some of his greatest performances in the 1970s but then became increasingly frail and went into semi-retirement in the 1980s. He never complained about being typecast as a "horror star". Peter Cushing died in 1994.