Have you ever…

Started to write a post, get so far, and another theme or idea slips in, and demands to be written first?

I’m on this nostalgia kick, simply because when I turned on the TV to catch up with the latest COVID news, it was on a channel that shows old movies.

In case you don’t realize it, I love old movies, not just those from Hollywood, but also from Britain.

What was on?

An American in Paris.

Well, it had to be one of my favourites, even though I’m not a great fan of Gene Kelly, the sheer majesty of the music more than makes up for the story in between.

Could it be said, then, this was from the golden years of Hollywood? Such bright and cheerful movies such as Singing in the Rain, and An American in Paris, perhaps exemplify the Hollywood musical.

Years before, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were the quintessential musical stars, followed by the likes of Judy Garland and Deanna Durbin, and later Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. A couple of musicals, in particular, comes to mind, firstly the Wizard of Oz and then High Society.

Moving forward to more modern times, several stand out in the1960s, My Fair Lady and Sound of Music. By this time theatregoers were dining on the superb talents of Rogers and Hammerstein, and Learner and Lowe. Of the former, musicals such as Carousel, South Pacific, and The King and I were on my list of favourites.

Even later still in the 1970s, there is Funny Girl, and Hello Dolly, which have a connection to the past with its director, none other than, yes, Gene Kelly.

But it seems once the 60s had passed the notion of the Hollywood blockbuster musical had gone, and we were left with clip shows like That’s Entertainment, put together while Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire were still alive. We still had the film versions of the stage plays, but the lustre had, somehow, gone.

Perhaps it will return, who knows, after all, everything old is usually new again, it just takes time to go full circle.

Have you ever…

Started to write a post, get so far, and another theme or idea slips in, and demands to be written first?

I’m on this nostalgia kick, simply because when I turned on the TV to catch up with the latest COVID news, it was on a channel that shows old movies.

In case you don’t realize it, I love old movies, not just those from Hollywood, but also from Britain.

What was on?

An American in Paris.

Well, it had to be one of my favourites, even though I’m not a great fan of Gene Kelly, the sheer majesty of the music more than makes up for the story in between.

Could it be said, then, this was from the golden years of Hollywood? Such bright and cheerful movies such as Singing in the Rain, and An American in Paris, perhaps exemplify the Hollywood musical.

Years before, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were the quintessential musical stars, followed by the likes of Judy Garland and Deanna Durbin, and later Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. A couple of musicals, in particular, comes to mind, firstly the Wizard of Oz and then High Society.

Moving forward to more modern times, several stand out in the1960s, My Fair Lady and Sound of Music. By this time theatregoers were dining on the superb talents of Rogers and Hammerstein, and Learner and Lowe. Of the former, musicals such as Carousel, South Pacific, and The King and I were on my list of favourites.

Even later still in the 1970s, there is Funny Girl, and Hello Dolly, which have a connection to the past with its director, none other than, yes, Gene Kelly.

But it seems once the 60s had passed the notion of the Hollywood blockbuster musical had gone, and we were left with clip shows like That’s Entertainment, put together while Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire were still alive. We still had the film versions of the stage plays, but the lustre had, somehow, gone.

Perhaps it will return, who knows, after all, everything old is usually new again, it just takes time to go full circle.

The cinema of my dreams – Was it just another surveillance job – Episode 17

As we all know, writing by the seat of your pants is almost the same as flying by the seat of your pants, a hazardous occupation.

As it happens, I like writing this way because like the reader, I don’t know what to expect next.

And equally, at times, you can write your self into a corner, much like painting, and then have to go back, make a few changes and//or repairs and then move forward.

It’s part of the writing process, only in this case, the changes occur before you’ve finished the novel, if you finish.  Quite often a lot of writers get only so far, then the manuscript hits the bottom drawer, to be brought out on a distant rainy day.

Or your cat has mocked your writing ability one too many times.

Therefore, we’re winding back to Episode 16, and moving forward once again, from there.

Why didn’t it surprise me that Nobbin was playing all ends against the middle if that was the expression?  What really bothered was that he wasn’t prepared to tell me the truth or trust me to help find the missing information.  But he had known I might become interested and do some investigating of my own.

Perhaps Nobbin feared Severin might track me down, as he had, and if I had found the USB, run the list of losing it to his foe.

Nor was it a surprise that someone else, namely Severin, was after the information, and he would have access to everything Nobbin did, and he was equally disadvantaged.  It was either Severin or one of his agents, that was caught in O’Connell’s flat and found ‘Josephine’ there.

I didn’t believe her name was Josephine, or that she lived in the flat next door.  And I didn’t think Severin had found anything going by the way the flat had been turned over, and the fact it looked like no one had lived there.

Having now dealt with both men, I was still on the fence about who was on the right side and who was on the wrong side, or whether they were both of questionable character.  What made it difficult to understand was how Severin could run an operation inside the organisation.  Surely someone knew about it, or from a high level, sanctioned it?

Knowing I would not be interrupted this time, I went back up to the third floor, and into O’Connell’s flat, a simple job since the front door was still unlocked.  The girl had assumed it was no value to them which told me she had already searched the place before being attacked.

Just in case anyone was likely to return, or there was another party interested in O’Connell, I locked the door from the inside.  At least no one had yet crashed through the door, smashing the lock and timber.

I stood in the middle of the main room, and did a slow 360-degree turn, looking at everything intently.  The thing with searches like this, it was more likely the object of any search was hidden in plain sight.  The usual places, such as the freezer, sections of fridges, stashed in bottles or packets in the pantry, under beds, inside mattresses, pillows, or under blankets, or with a form of glue on the inside of televisions or computers would prove fruitless.

We were taught to hide things such as USB sticks where they would be least expected to be found, such as a toy on a keyring, tossed in a bowl of pens, pins, clips, or other small insignificant items that all looked uninteresting.

My first thought was in the pocket of a coat in the closet, but all his clothes were strewn over the floor in the bedroom showing signs of being turned out.  Perhaps the searcher or searchers had thought like me.

There was no keyring in the kitchen or the bedroom, no was there any sort of stand inside the door, a place to put mail, and other items such as keys.  If there were any, they would have been on him when Severin had him killed.  I had not found, not felt, any in his pockets, not unusual for an agent in the field.  If you were captured or killed, you wanted nothing on you that could identify you or what you were doing.

Next I thought, a hidden compartment.  I was not going to predict he had a safe in the flat, but just in case, I did search thoroughly where one might be located.  The cheap watercolour on the wall hid nothing but some discoloured wallpaper.

I checked all the skirting boards, and inside walls of the robes, but there was nothing.  I also checked the robes thoroughly for false backs, or sides, or compartments hidden in the roof.  The floor was made from wood, so I checked to see if there were any loose boards, but in the end, considered that was a ruse used only in the movies and on television.

An hour later, I was no wiser as to where it could be, if at all, in the flat, but, looking around, it was certainly now a little more organised because in checking everything in case the previous searchers had missed anything, I’d put everything neatly in stacks.

And, no, there was nothing under the bed.  The previous searchers had thought of that too.

But, in one corner of the main room, there was a desk that had been completely turned out, papers were strewn everywhere.  There had been a computer, now missing, because there was a cable running from the printer, and a power cable in the wall, both running into thin air.

The papers yielded nothing of interest, other than he was researching a holiday to Russia and Poland. 

For two.

A break.  There was a significant other.  I made a more serious search of the papers that I’d gathered up off the floor and found a shred of a quickly torn up piece of paper, of which only this piece remained.  A name:  Jan, scribbled on it, with half another word ‘ord’.

Did this Jan also live in this block?  Did she work at the same place?  There were a hundred variations of that theme, but it was a start.  He might have trusted the USB to her safekeeping without telling her what it was, and it was possible she didn’t know he was dead.

I’d noticed that O’Connell’s death had been reported as a John Doe on the wrong end of an alleged mugging, the small dismissive paragraph on page seven reported the body was missing when police went to investigate a pool of blood in an alley, along with several other crimes of which police were seeking further information.  That alley hadn’t any CCTV cameras, so Severin knew he could easily shoot O’Connell without anyone knowing it was him.

There was nothing else of interest in the documents, other than the holiday, if it was a holiday, was to be in a month’s time.

My work was done.  I had a lead.  It was time to leave.

Except for one small problem.  Someone was knocking on the door.

© Charles Heath 2019-2022

The cinema of my dreams – Was it just another surveillance job – Episode 17

As we all know, writing by the seat of your pants is almost the same as flying by the seat of your pants, a hazardous occupation.

As it happens, I like writing this way because like the reader, I don’t know what to expect next.

And equally, at times, you can write your self into a corner, much like painting, and then have to go back, make a few changes and//or repairs and then move forward.

It’s part of the writing process, only in this case, the changes occur before you’ve finished the novel, if you finish.  Quite often a lot of writers get only so far, then the manuscript hits the bottom drawer, to be brought out on a distant rainy day.

Or your cat has mocked your writing ability one too many times.

Therefore, we’re winding back to Episode 16, and moving forward once again, from there.

Why didn’t it surprise me that Nobbin was playing all ends against the middle if that was the expression?  What really bothered was that he wasn’t prepared to tell me the truth or trust me to help find the missing information.  But he had known I might become interested and do some investigating of my own.

Perhaps Nobbin feared Severin might track me down, as he had, and if I had found the USB, run the list of losing it to his foe.

Nor was it a surprise that someone else, namely Severin, was after the information, and he would have access to everything Nobbin did, and he was equally disadvantaged.  It was either Severin or one of his agents, that was caught in O’Connell’s flat and found ‘Josephine’ there.

I didn’t believe her name was Josephine, or that she lived in the flat next door.  And I didn’t think Severin had found anything going by the way the flat had been turned over, and the fact it looked like no one had lived there.

Having now dealt with both men, I was still on the fence about who was on the right side and who was on the wrong side, or whether they were both of questionable character.  What made it difficult to understand was how Severin could run an operation inside the organisation.  Surely someone knew about it, or from a high level, sanctioned it?

Knowing I would not be interrupted this time, I went back up to the third floor, and into O’Connell’s flat, a simple job since the front door was still unlocked.  The girl had assumed it was no value to them which told me she had already searched the place before being attacked.

Just in case anyone was likely to return, or there was another party interested in O’Connell, I locked the door from the inside.  At least no one had yet crashed through the door, smashing the lock and timber.

I stood in the middle of the main room, and did a slow 360-degree turn, looking at everything intently.  The thing with searches like this, it was more likely the object of any search was hidden in plain sight.  The usual places, such as the freezer, sections of fridges, stashed in bottles or packets in the pantry, under beds, inside mattresses, pillows, or under blankets, or with a form of glue on the inside of televisions or computers would prove fruitless.

We were taught to hide things such as USB sticks where they would be least expected to be found, such as a toy on a keyring, tossed in a bowl of pens, pins, clips, or other small insignificant items that all looked uninteresting.

My first thought was in the pocket of a coat in the closet, but all his clothes were strewn over the floor in the bedroom showing signs of being turned out.  Perhaps the searcher or searchers had thought like me.

There was no keyring in the kitchen or the bedroom, no was there any sort of stand inside the door, a place to put mail, and other items such as keys.  If there were any, they would have been on him when Severin had him killed.  I had not found, not felt, any in his pockets, not unusual for an agent in the field.  If you were captured or killed, you wanted nothing on you that could identify you or what you were doing.

Next I thought, a hidden compartment.  I was not going to predict he had a safe in the flat, but just in case, I did search thoroughly where one might be located.  The cheap watercolour on the wall hid nothing but some discoloured wallpaper.

I checked all the skirting boards, and inside walls of the robes, but there was nothing.  I also checked the robes thoroughly for false backs, or sides, or compartments hidden in the roof.  The floor was made from wood, so I checked to see if there were any loose boards, but in the end, considered that was a ruse used only in the movies and on television.

An hour later, I was no wiser as to where it could be, if at all, in the flat, but, looking around, it was certainly now a little more organised because in checking everything in case the previous searchers had missed anything, I’d put everything neatly in stacks.

And, no, there was nothing under the bed.  The previous searchers had thought of that too.

But, in one corner of the main room, there was a desk that had been completely turned out, papers were strewn everywhere.  There had been a computer, now missing, because there was a cable running from the printer, and a power cable in the wall, both running into thin air.

The papers yielded nothing of interest, other than he was researching a holiday to Russia and Poland. 

For two.

A break.  There was a significant other.  I made a more serious search of the papers that I’d gathered up off the floor and found a shred of a quickly torn up piece of paper, of which only this piece remained.  A name:  Jan, scribbled on it, with half another word ‘ord’.

Did this Jan also live in this block?  Did she work at the same place?  There were a hundred variations of that theme, but it was a start.  He might have trusted the USB to her safekeeping without telling her what it was, and it was possible she didn’t know he was dead.

I’d noticed that O’Connell’s death had been reported as a John Doe on the wrong end of an alleged mugging, the small dismissive paragraph on page seven reported the body was missing when police went to investigate a pool of blood in an alley, along with several other crimes of which police were seeking further information.  That alley hadn’t any CCTV cameras, so Severin knew he could easily shoot O’Connell without anyone knowing it was him.

There was nothing else of interest in the documents, other than the holiday, if it was a holiday, was to be in a month’s time.

My work was done.  I had a lead.  It was time to leave.

Except for one small problem.  Someone was knocking on the door.

© Charles Heath 2019-2022

Another night of stargazing…

And this is what I found:

Neptune.

It got me thinking.

Why did we name the planets after mythological gods?

I did a little digging and found that the Romans named the five closest planets to the sun after their most important gods, this one, named after the god of the sea, which to the Romans was Poseidon, but in translation, Neptune, and matbe because it was ‘blue’.

Of course, we all know about King Neptune.

We also know about Poseidon, which was the fictional ship that got hit by a tidal wave, and was turned into a blockbuster movie.

But in terms of science fiction, which is not what I write, but I seem to spend a lot of time watching, it strikes me that seeing the moon, we could assume that the moon could be a stopping off point on a trip to the pouter planets.

I’m always surprised at the ingenuity of ‘Sci Fi’ writers in how they can turn what is scientifically impossible to live on but not necessarily impossible to get there (after a long sleep), into a place where we can destroy with equal rapaciousness as our own planet.

If I was going to write something, perhaps it would be about turning the planet into a holiday resort, staffed by robots…

Uh oh, that’s reminiscent of another ‘Sci Fi’ series. I’ll let you guess what it is.

Another night of stargazing…

And this is what I found:

Neptune.

It got me thinking.

Why did we name the planets after mythological gods?

I did a little digging and found that the Romans named the five closest planets to the sun after their most important gods, this one, named after the god of the sea, which to the Romans was Poseidon, but in translation, Neptune, and matbe because it was ‘blue’.

Of course, we all know about King Neptune.

We also know about Poseidon, which was the fictional ship that got hit by a tidal wave, and was turned into a blockbuster movie.

But in terms of science fiction, which is not what I write, but I seem to spend a lot of time watching, it strikes me that seeing the moon, we could assume that the moon could be a stopping off point on a trip to the pouter planets.

I’m always surprised at the ingenuity of ‘Sci Fi’ writers in how they can turn what is scientifically impossible to live on but not necessarily impossible to get there (after a long sleep), into a place where we can destroy with equal rapaciousness as our own planet.

If I was going to write something, perhaps it would be about turning the planet into a holiday resort, staffed by robots…

Uh oh, that’s reminiscent of another ‘Sci Fi’ series. I’ll let you guess what it is.

After the anger, the serenity

I wanted to write a bit about how my day was going, and then I got angry.  It was a slow fuse because most of what I was angry about I’d been reading this morning.

And, yes, it’s about political leaders, those in power and those in opposition, and how inept they are in a crisis.

Listening to our opposition leader, briefly before I turned him off to watch a rerun of McHale’s Navy, it annoyed me that he had no answers to offer, only criticism.

Unfortunately, he’s not alone in the world.

Political leaders tended to blame everyone else for problems of their own making, whether it was when they were once in power, which happens a lot, or once they’re in opposition, conveniently forgetting they, too, hoped that by ignoring the problem, it might go away.

Or that the long-suffering public will have forgotten.  That’s why we have pugnacious journalists who remember for us.

The incompetence of the people who are supposedly in charge beggars belief.

Oh, God, I’m back on my soapbox.

Forgive me.

I’ll shut up about it now.

I’m trying to imagine what it’s like in the cold because it’s the height of summer here.  It’s not helping my imagination,  so let’s try…

It’s cold today, about 14 degrees Celsius, when it’s usually 27 degrees Celsius.  The sun is letting us down, and I suppose I should be grateful that we are not suffering from an ice age.

To be honest, I was seriously considering lighting the log fire.  Instead, we have reverse cycle air-conditioning, which is probably, in the long run, cheaper.

Have you seen how much it costs to buy wood?

But…

That could have made it difficult to write.

Not to come up with inspiration, but literally write, because my office is colder than a chiller room.  My beer in storage out here is colder than it is in the fridge.  Well, that sounded better in my head than on paper, but you get what I mean.

So, instead of writing, I sat down and binge-watched Sweet Magnolias, a light-hearted series from Netflix, which is of the same vein as Chesapeake Shores, etc, and more the sort of program I’d expect from Hallmark.

It was good.  It hooked me.

Three sets of lives intertwined in a large town in middle America perhaps.  I heard Charleston mentioned so perhaps it was in South Carolina.

The good thing about it?  Not one mention of political stupidity.

Just good old-fashioned heartache and trials and tribulations of trying to live your life, bumping up against the obstacles life throws up at you.

The town was called Serenity, so there’s a pun in there somewhere.

Maybe I’ll get some writing done tomorrow.

After the anger, the serenity

I wanted to write a bit about how my day was going, and then I got angry.  It was a slow fuse because most of what I was angry about I’d been reading this morning.

And, yes, it’s about political leaders, those in power and those in opposition, and how inept they are in a crisis.

Listening to our opposition leader, briefly before I turned him off to watch a rerun of McHale’s Navy, it annoyed me that he had no answers to offer, only criticism.

Unfortunately, he’s not alone in the world.

Political leaders tended to blame everyone else for problems of their own making, whether it was when they were once in power, which happens a lot, or once they’re in opposition, conveniently forgetting they, too, hoped that by ignoring the problem, it might go away.

Or that the long-suffering public will have forgotten.  That’s why we have pugnacious journalists who remember for us.

The incompetence of the people who are supposedly in charge beggars belief.

Oh, God, I’m back on my soapbox.

Forgive me.

I’ll shut up about it now.

I’m trying to imagine what it’s like in the cold because it’s the height of summer here.  It’s not helping my imagination,  so let’s try…

It’s cold today, about 14 degrees Celsius, when it’s usually 27 degrees Celsius.  The sun is letting us down, and I suppose I should be grateful that we are not suffering from an ice age.

To be honest, I was seriously considering lighting the log fire.  Instead, we have reverse cycle air-conditioning, which is probably, in the long run, cheaper.

Have you seen how much it costs to buy wood?

But…

That could have made it difficult to write.

Not to come up with inspiration, but literally write, because my office is colder than a chiller room.  My beer in storage out here is colder than it is in the fridge.  Well, that sounded better in my head than on paper, but you get what I mean.

So, instead of writing, I sat down and binge-watched Sweet Magnolias, a light-hearted series from Netflix, which is of the same vein as Chesapeake Shores, etc, and more the sort of program I’d expect from Hallmark.

It was good.  It hooked me.

Three sets of lives intertwined in a large town in middle America perhaps.  I heard Charleston mentioned so perhaps it was in South Carolina.

The good thing about it?  Not one mention of political stupidity.

Just good old-fashioned heartache and trials and tribulations of trying to live your life, bumping up against the obstacles life throws up at you.

The town was called Serenity, so there’s a pun in there somewhere.

Maybe I’ll get some writing done tomorrow.

There’s more time for TV

Being confined to home because of COVID not only gives me, and a lot of others more time to write, it also enables us to explore a few more leisure options to fill in the time.

After all, we can hardly just keep writing endlessly.

Well, perhaps some of us could.

At first I decided I would do some virtual travelling, you know, go to places I would never go in person, like South Africa, Kenya, Egypt, South America, you know the sort of places I mean, the ones where you can’t get travel insurance cover, or not without mortgaging your home.

That lasted about a day. Seeing the pyramids online was not the same as being there, getting the sand blown in your face, or the tour bus being hijacked, and you spend the next three months in a dark, hot, hell hole while the kidnappers negotiate with governments that refuse to negotiate with terrorists.

So far, I’m not filling in my time very well.

There are weeds to be pulled, lawns to be cut, shrubs and trees to be pruned, painting to be done, you know, all of those chores that you put off until tomorrow, knowing tomorrow will never come.

Don’t ask me to explain that.

So, we’re left with television.

Firstly there was a series called Yellowstone, a western in a modern setting, three series worth. Yes, we watched all of them, no, didn’t like the swearing, or Beth Dutton, Rip was channelling the Duke, and Kevin Kostner, well, his stint in Dances with Wolves stood him in good stead.

Geez though, how much trouble can one ranch attract? Indians, speculators, developers, and an international airport? To be honest, at times it spiralled out of control, but for sheer entertainment value, it was slightly better than I thought it might be. As for Jamie, how could one person be so complicated?

Then there was another series, Away. OK, this was about as far fetched as a premise could get, and the characters, as diverse, and sometimes as obtuse as any I’ve seen thrown together for over eight months. Thank god we didn’t have to suffer eight months of it.

It was good, I guess, with people being the way they are, and I’d expected in the confines of that small space for so long, they might have killed each other off one at a time, like in Lord of the Flies, but no such luck.

My favourite? The Russian. He might have been blind but he was interesting. Just would have liked a few subtitles for us non-Ghana, Chinese, Russian, Indian people.

As for White House Farm, I’m still trying to work out who killed them all, because it definitely wasn’t the daughter. It had to be the indifferent son, or at his behest. Full marks to the dogged detective, who, the last time I saw him, he was a rather improbable Hercules. Funny how your impression of a performance goes back to one you’ve seen him before.

Which is another of our viewing interests, watching a show and trying to work out where we’ve seen the actors before. Some are familiar and seem to be in everything, others rarely seen, or remembered. I hope this is not a sign of their acting talent, or more to the point, lack of it.

At the moment we are in the middle of Young Wallender. Those who may have seen Branagh in the Wallender series would remember this as being the most stultifying of series, filmed bleakly in a bleak country with bleak characters, and bleak crimes.

Fortunately, the Young Wallender series is not as bleak, but it has dark undertones. Some might call this gritty. There are four more to go so it can only get better.

Like jumping off a ten storey building, it’s so far so good…

There’s more time for TV

Being confined to home because of COVID not only gives me, and a lot of others more time to write, it also enables us to explore a few more leisure options to fill in the time.

After all, we can hardly just keep writing endlessly.

Well, perhaps some of us could.

At first I decided I would do some virtual travelling, you know, go to places I would never go in person, like South Africa, Kenya, Egypt, South America, you know the sort of places I mean, the ones where you can’t get travel insurance cover, or not without mortgaging your home.

That lasted about a day. Seeing the pyramids online was not the same as being there, getting the sand blown in your face, or the tour bus being hijacked, and you spend the next three months in a dark, hot, hell hole while the kidnappers negotiate with governments that refuse to negotiate with terrorists.

So far, I’m not filling in my time very well.

There are weeds to be pulled, lawns to be cut, shrubs and trees to be pruned, painting to be done, you know, all of those chores that you put off until tomorrow, knowing tomorrow will never come.

Don’t ask me to explain that.

So, we’re left with television.

Firstly there was a series called Yellowstone, a western in a modern setting, three series worth. Yes, we watched all of them, no, didn’t like the swearing, or Beth Dutton, Rip was channelling the Duke, and Kevin Kostner, well, his stint in Dances with Wolves stood him in good stead.

Geez though, how much trouble can one ranch attract? Indians, speculators, developers, and an international airport? To be honest, at times it spiralled out of control, but for sheer entertainment value, it was slightly better than I thought it might be. As for Jamie, how could one person be so complicated?

Then there was another series, Away. OK, this was about as far fetched as a premise could get, and the characters, as diverse, and sometimes as obtuse as any I’ve seen thrown together for over eight months. Thank god we didn’t have to suffer eight months of it.

It was good, I guess, with people being the way they are, and I’d expected in the confines of that small space for so long, they might have killed each other off one at a time, like in Lord of the Flies, but no such luck.

My favourite? The Russian. He might have been blind but he was interesting. Just would have liked a few subtitles for us non-Ghana, Chinese, Russian, Indian people.

As for White House Farm, I’m still trying to work out who killed them all, because it definitely wasn’t the daughter. It had to be the indifferent son, or at his behest. Full marks to the dogged detective, who, the last time I saw him, he was a rather improbable Hercules. Funny how your impression of a performance goes back to one you’ve seen him before.

Which is another of our viewing interests, watching a show and trying to work out where we’ve seen the actors before. Some are familiar and seem to be in everything, others rarely seen, or remembered. I hope this is not a sign of their acting talent, or more to the point, lack of it.

At the moment we are in the middle of Young Wallender. Those who may have seen Branagh in the Wallender series would remember this as being the most stultifying of series, filmed bleakly in a bleak country with bleak characters, and bleak crimes.

Fortunately, the Young Wallender series is not as bleak, but it has dark undertones. Some might call this gritty. There are four more to go so it can only get better.

Like jumping off a ten storey building, it’s so far so good…