The Oldies

6657921115_30b83fdd36_bRidley: Old movies. I love them. I have done since I was quite young. In particular, the old black and white, or barely just colour, love stories. To me, they’re infused with barely restrained passion. They adhere to the notion of, less is more. There was no bed hopping or clothes ripping in these films, just fiery declarations of love and desperate kisses, which made your heart swell as you looked on with a box of tissues, clutching a cushion to your chest and hoping everything would all work out for them.

I don’t quite know why this fascination with old films originally started, but I do know where it all began, with one my very favourite black and white films; The Ghost and Mrs Muir. Now Latimer has heard me mention this maybe a time or two…dozen…down through the years, I’ve seen it around four times. Not that many times for a favourite something of mine,( usually it gets worn out) but for some reason I’ve refused to buy a copy, I’ll only watch it when they show it on television, which is something that rarely happens now.

It is one of the most unconventional love stories- well when it first came out anyway, possibly not now, in a world where vampires and werewolves and fairies and what not are potential love interests. Though I would argue it’s still pretty unique!

It’s a 1947 film, (based on a novel, all the good ones are-teehee…) where a young widow, Lucy Muir, played by Gene Tierney, moves to an English seaside town and rents Gull Cottage, a house haunted by the ghost of it’s former owner, a roguish, irascible, surly (and down right smexy) sea captain, Daniel Gregg (Rex Harrison, who I again love in another movie, My Fair Lady, as the Professor!).

They have a rocky, tit-for-tat relationship, she’s the first woman who hasn’t run out of the house screaming at the sight of an apparition appearing in the darkness beside her and who is able to give as good as she gets. (Booyaa for strong female characters everywhere! 😀 )

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After her refusal to leave the cottage, they settle into an uneasy living arrangement, slowly beginning to enjoy each other’s company. However, it soon becomes clear to Captain Gregg that Lucy’s finances are drying up and she may have to leave the house anyway, so he decides that he will dictate his memoirs to her, entitled Blood and Swash, and then sell them.

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As they write the book together, their friendship deepens into something neither of them ever name as they both begin to realise just how hopeless their situation is.

Lucy Muir: It’s no crime to be alive!
Captain Gregg: No, my dear, sometimes it’s a great inconvenience. The living can be hurt.

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It is the Captain who begins to insist that Lucy should find a man who can be with her, in all senses of the word, so she doesn’t spend her life alone. (I am at this point shouting at the TV going, ‘Nooo, Captain Gregg, she wants you!! Don’t be a fool! Who cares if you’re a ghost, it could still work….somehow!’)

When they finish writing the book, after some trials and tribulations, it is published and with Captain Gregg’s racy recollections, the novel becomes a bestseller.

Captain Gregg: I’ve lived the life of a man and I’m not ashamed to admit it!

This of course, gives Lucy the money to allow her to stay in the house, with him. (Ridley: *cheesy grin*)

It is on a visit to her publisher in London, though, that Lucy meets and becomes attracted to suave Miles Fairley (George Sanders). (Ridley: ‘Run away from nasty hobbities man, Lucy! Me no trust him!’)

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Captain Gregg is jealous of their relationship (swoon!).

Lucy Muir: You, yourself, said I should mix with people, that I should see… men.
Captain Gregg: I said men, not perfumed parlour snakes!

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Captain Gregg: And the way he was smirking at you, like a cat in the fishmonger’s! You should have slapped his face!
Lucy Muir: Why? I found him… rather charming!
Captain Gregg: “Rather charming!” Now you’re starting to talk like him!
Lucy Muir: How in blazes do you want me to talk?
Captain Gregg: That’s better!

Captain Gregg soon begins to realise, though, that he is the main obstacle to her happiness. While he’s around, she won’t truly allow herself to find someone else, and so, while Lucy is asleep, the Captain convinces her that he was nothing but a dream…(cue Ridley’s heart shattering into millions of tiny pieces)

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“Oh, Lucia, you are so little and so lovely. How I would have liked to have taken you to Norway and shown you the fiords in the midnight sun, and to China- what you’ve missed, Lucia, by being born too late to travel the Seven Seas with me! And what I’ve missed, too.” 

(Ridley: *clasping hands together with a giant sigh*)

Of course, i’m not going to continue to spoil the whole film for you. GO and watch it. Get a nice cup of tea, a good squishy cushion and soft tissues. Sometimes the oldies really are the best!

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Of course, it’s not hard to see how my younger self ended up devouring other old films in search of more epic romances such as that one, and down through the years I’ve found many, such as Sabrina (with Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart), The Philadelphia Story (Cary Grant), Casablanca (Humphrey again), My Fair Lady (Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison), Gone with the Wind (Clark Gable), Gigi (Latimer put me wise to this about nine years ago!), and quite a few Fred Astaire films, but to name a few! 

If you’ve any similar old movie suggestions for me, let me have them, I can set myself up for a long overdue film marathon!! 😀

Legend Unleashed Free!

FREE

We’re celebrating Saint Valentine’s Day by having our ebook, Legend Unleashed, free this weekend! Anyone who is interested can pop on over to Amazon and grab a copy. We truly hope you enjoy the read!

Spread the love this weekend and let everyone know 🙂

Amazon US

Amazon UK

a37cfc0897b8b118f9071c7bef3e1428When an infamous criminal is unleashed from his prison, it has consequences for everyone in Carwick. Temperance Levinthal in particular…

Temperance is satisfied with her ordinary life. Dealing with her eccentric, childlike parents is all the excitement she needs. That changes when Alastair Byron returns home.
After a failed matchmaking attempt by her father, sparks fly between her and Alastair-just not the good kind.
They are forced together though, when they are implicated in a grisly murder. Their search for the truth leads them to a secret world beneath Carwick, filled with werewolves, wizards and other magical faey.
However, uncovering the truth is far more dangerous than they’d ever imagined.
There are secrets within secrets.
Even Alastair may be more than he seems…

Tumbling over Kid’s TV

Latimer: I have this ritual at the weekends. For maybe an hour I watch Jamie Oliver cookery programs, while relaxing with a cup of tea. I sit on the lovely comfortable couch and blissfully salivate over Jamie’s lovely food, thinking; “yes, I could make that… oh that’s yummy!”

But lately, my nieces (who might be over in the house visiting) will pop into the room and the following will happen (in this case it was my two-year-old niece E)….

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As per usual, I was happily watching Jamie Oliver (with my tea) and E’s small figure appeared in front of me. She stood staring at me a moment, then looked at Jamie… then squealed…second

‘cbeebies’- that’s the BBC baby’s channel and it’s one of the first words any of my nieces seem to have learned. You know after ‘mammy’ and ‘daddy’ it’s ‘cbeebies’!

My first reaction…

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“No….!”

Then I’m arguing with a two-year-old, trying to convince her of the merits of watching food being cooked. Her only response is to repeat herself more adamantly. 

There’s nothing else I can do in the face of her continuous repeating of the word. I give in and we start watching one of her favourite programs, ‘Mr Tumble’.

This is what I learned about the show – Mr Tumble dresses in polka-dots, lives in a house filled with polka-dots (and my thought was, ‘I wonder do they rent that house just for that one shot? Or does BBC own the house… do they have to stick the polka-dots on everyday?’), he uses sign language (which I tried to learn) and has a magic bag.

Well E was very happy, me not so much.

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I have been happily detached from baby TV for, well, since I was a baby. But now, with baby nieces and nephews, I think I could tell you what’s popular among the 1-4 year olds!

I sat there watching Mr Tumble, thinking; “this is actually painful!”

Mr Tumble has a friend on the show called Justin.

And actually, Justin IS Mr Tumble (same actor). I got to the point where I was trying to convince my niece that Justin was Mr Tumble (it was the only enjoyment I could get out of having to watch the show), but she was having none of it! She basically thought I was a fool to think they were the same person (bested by a two-year-old who stopped listening!).

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She’s probably learning a lot from the show. I’m sure baby TV taught me a lot too. Like I actually remember watching Bosco (an old Irish show that was from the 70s but re-run in the 80s and 90s so weirdly it feels like everyone in Ireland remembers Bosco).

(It still makes me smile)

I also remember one of my sisters accusing me later in life that; “Oh yes, when Bosco was on we had to change the channel so Latimer could watch it.”

Okay, so I was grateful that people let me watch Bosco, so I guess I have to do the same and let the kids watch cbeebies.

One day I’ll be accusing E of denying me Jamie Oliver and I’ll still be insisting that Justin was Mr Tumble, maybe she’ll finally agree with me!

Couch Potato Daydreams

couch potRidley: There are often things that don’t live up to your imagination, one in particular down through the years (for me) happens to be exercise. I’ve never been sporty, I was the book type, the girl who when given money for her birthday spent it on numerous books, much to the exasperation of my mother who always insisted I needed clothes rather than more books. It’s not that I don’t love the idea of doing a sport, but the theory has always been so much easier than the practice.

Running, in particular, is one I’ve tried and would love to master. Particularly on a beach somewhere hot, I bet that would probably be nice. For two seconds, then I’d like to return to my yellow parasol with a cool iced drink.

I have attempted that ‘couch to 5K’, which was good for the first few weeks, I gradually built up my running time and decreased my walking minutes. ID-10041999As I did it, I  pictured myself as one of those stylish runners, dressed in sleek black three quarter length trousers, a tank top and swishy blonde ponytail, with The Black Eyed Peas, ‘Push It’ urging me on to success. Then I passed a shop window, where my delusions shattered into thousands of sharp shiny shards, and I saw Bridget Jones, well her uglier sister; Ms Tomato-Head herself puffing as she limped by in a baggy t-shirt and tracksuit bottoms that should have been burned centuries ago. Rather than a small perfect droplet of sweat on my graceful neck and the imagined artful swig of an energy drink, the reality is really more flaying arms and claw-like hands grasping for both my tap water in an old coca cola bottle and my iPod as it randomly shuffles onto classical music-can anyone exercise to that?ID-10087963

I really do have an active imagination. Even being on a bike or horse, I have very similar rampant images, where I’ve picture myself as a majestic Tour de France type or dressage rider, in all the flashy gear, where really I just look like a miserable sack of spuds someone’s abandoned on the seat by accident.

sackNow everyone knows that at the moment, it’s too cold (well here in Ireland) to be exercising outside-though I have seen a few mad people attempting it in the cold driving rain *shudder* It may be spring, but it seems Mother Nature hasn’t gotten the memo yet. In my mind, going to the gym is the only option. I’m a serial gym membership buyer, not goer. I never seem to learn my lesson, despite sometimes having some horrific upfront steep membership fees, I always seem to find a gym to join and then never go. The reasons I use to persuade myself that this time will be different always change. It could be a gym which is closer to where I work than the last one, or it could have no pool, or a larger pool, have lots of classes, or better machines or all male instructors. It doesn’t matter, my record has only been ten visits and then the excuses begin-I’m not a morning person I’ll go in the afternoon, I’m so tired after work I’ll go tomorrow, it’s been a few days I need to work up the nerve to go back. Weeks go by and I become convinced that they’ll laugh at me if I return. Then like a bad embarrassing smell, the guilt and the gym membership fee linger on for a bit, as I try to convince myself that I’ll definitely go on Saturday, or Sunday, or next Wednesday, so I don’t cancel it yet! But soon, I realise I need to plug this particular drain on my finances (my book fund is getting low after all). So I trek down to the gym with downcast eyes and with inaudible mumbling I cancel the membership. They give me the once over and just nod with little resistance, I imagine in the back office somewhere there are a few buff gym types passing fiver notes around as they chuckle over their bets of me not lasting longer than a week.ID-10088597

For now, I’ll continue to try to be as healthy as I can be, it’s in my interest after all and I’ll feel better for it, or at least this is what I’ll continue to mutter to the bright orange carrot sticks sitting in my fridge. I’ll leave the gym memberships alone for a bit and one day I will transform into a graceful lyrca-covered princess, or so the little voice in my head reassures me, though perhaps it’s as crazy as I am!

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Young Adult Blog Hop Winner!

We just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who entered our Rafflecopter Giveaway!! Also, thank you to ‘I Am A Reader, Not A Writer’ and ‘BookLove101’ for holding the hop in the first place and letting us take part, I hope everyone got a chance to visit the different blogs!

Now drum roll please….

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Congratulations to our winner of the Young Adult Blog Hop:

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Casi will be receiving a signed paperback version of Legend Unleashed! 😀