ONE of a retired life’s mysteries is how our outdoor hot tub, which is currently unused, can fill with rainwater when it is protected by a heavy duty cover, resulting in the need to bail it out on a weekly basis.
This can be done in the main by leaning into the tub from the deck; to empty the central well, however, I have to climb into the tub itself. That means removing shoes and socks, and rolling up my trouser legs.
Job done, I was halfway through restoring appearances when the doorbell rang. Knowing that The Current Mrs Feeney was expecting an important parcel in the mail, I hurried to the door.
Thus it was that the postman was confronted by a man of mature years, with one foot socked and shod, and one foot naked; one trouser leg rolled above the knee; and wearing yellow Marigold gloves. It is a moot point which of us was the more alarmed.
I am not sure he was convinced by my assurances that he had not stumbled upon some Masonic ritual.
I have finished reading Metropolis, the final novel in the Bernie Gunther series of thrillers by Philip Kerr, who died last year tragically young. I shall miss Bernie, who is one of the great anti-heroes of fiction, but I sincerely hope that he does not fall victim to the literary trend of resuscitation by another writer’s pen.
It’s been done with Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, James Bond and Bertie Wooster; none of them have lived up to their original incarnations. Leave deceased characters to rest in peace.
When it comes to the challenge of carrying on another author’s work, it doesn’t come bigger than Shakespeare.
Netflix’s new film The King is based on Shakespeare’s ‘Henriad’ sequence of historical plays, just without Shakespeare’s dialogue. No pressure.
It was ok, with an interesting new take on the character of Falstaff, who is recreated as genuinely heroic. The film is stolen by Robert Pattinson’s performance as The Dauphin; sadly for the wrong reasons. His ludicrous French accent is pure ‘Allo ‘Allo. No wonder the French have been apoplectic about it.
I’d have loved to know what Sir Jonathan Miller made of it. His death at the age of 85 has been marked by newspaper obituaries to the theatre director, broadcaster and satirist.
I met him once. I was an Eng.Lit. undergraduate, and he was the guest of honour at a summer school held in a country house set in the mid-Wales countryside.
I don’t remember anything Sir Jonathan said, but I have a vivid recollection of the late night conversation I had with a lorry driver who had broken into the house in search of booze. Failing to find any, I was requested to accompany him to the kitchens, where he showed me how to strain brass polish through a handkerchief in order to obtain a small amount of pure alcohol.
It’s not a skill I’ve made use of to date.
Today’s emails include offers to remove skin tags, belly fat, and nail fungus. Is somebody trying to tell me something?