Thursday 11 June 2015

This and That

Well, this retirement lark is great fun, but the sheer busyness so far has been such that I've had remarkably little time to myself. With so much family in the vicinity for the summer, it's been one mad social whirl - but, since all this busyness is in the service of familial love and happy conviviality, it was been a joy, and the tiredness that follows in its wake is of a quite different quality from the tiredness of Work. I wish I had a little more time to attend to the blog, but there will be quieter days...
 Meanwhile, I note that the most predictable poll result since Stalin's last election has been announced - indeed I was watching at the time (it was on Springwatch Unsprung). The Robin is Britain's National Bird. Of course.
 And today comes news that the actor Christopher Lee has died, at the suitably grand age of 93. I saw him in the flesh around ten years ago and he cut a quite magnificent figure, like some scion of immemorial central European aristocracy. His first role for Hammer Films - with whom he was to become the definitive Count Dracula - was in The Curse of Frankenstein, playing the Creature. This was a role for which Carry On stalwart Bernard Bresslaw was also considered, he and Lee being the two tallest actors on Equity's books at the time (BB 6ft 7in, CL 6ft 5in). As it was, Lee walked into the part, and into a life-long friendship with Peter Cushing, who was playing Victor Frankenstein. The story is that Lee stormed into Cushing's dressing room complaining 'I've got no lines!' Cushing looked up benignly and remarked, 'You're lucky. I've read the script.'

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