Tag Archives: The Lost Prince

Rev-ved up on BBC2

Aahhh – the beautiful Tom Hollander.

Last night, the much anticipated second series of ‘Rev’ was shown on BBC2.  Hollander plays a young vicar, Adam Smallbone, who has relocated from a rural parish to Hackney in the East End of London.  Rev. Smallbone is an ordinary person, an ordinary man.  Not a comedy vicar like Dawn French, Ardal O’Hanlon or Derek Nimmo, but a kind and humorous man who is riddled with self doubt, who makes mistakes, and who truly cares about his parishioners and believes he can make a difference, however ill-judged some of his endeavours turn out to be.

I won’t tell you the plot of the first episode because I really, really want you to watch it on iPlayer/Catch Up etc and then continue to watch the rest of the series avidly. I will tell you though, that there is a striking cameo by Ralph Fiennes as the Bishop of London, and Hugh Bonneville appears as a white suited, ambitious and worldy colleague.

His wife Alex (Olivia Colman) has her own career as a solicitor and she really struggles with the 24-hour nature of his vocation.  She loves him so much but desperately wants to spend time with him alone and is keen to start a family but, as she points out to him, ”You don’t shag me enough.”

Some of Smallbone’s finest moments are when he is sitting on the bench outside the church, fag in hand, discussing his problems with the local drunk, who frequently offers a weird kind of sanity.  He is out of his depth, burdened with a shrinking congregation, a crumbling building and a dysfunctional but devoted support team.  And yet, as in all his roles, there is a beauty and stillness to the character which takes your breath away.

I have never seen Hollander in a duff role.  Everything he does has depth and conviction whether he’s George V in ‘The Lost Prince’, the cold and calculating Beckett in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ or the flamboyant Darren in ‘Bedrooms and Hallways’.

And he’s really, really gorgeous. Which is nice.

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Filed under Poetry, Literature, Music and Art, Reviews, The Gallery

Excuses Excuses

Forgive my slight tardiness in writing articles so far this year but I do have good reasons. Honest Govs.

Excuse Number 1:
As you know, I have been involved in a battle with the insurance companies regarding the car accident I had on 27th October.  The girl who hit me who, at the time of the accident admitted liability, later claimed that we were both at fault, and is now claiming that it was not her fault at all, that she was stationary and I hit her.  This has involved many ‘phone calls and a lot of paperwork.

My courtesy car has been withdrawn because the insurance company are not certain that they’ll recoup their money (3rd Party you see) and I was left without a vehicle.  I have therefore been obliged to pay for the repairs myself while the insurance companies fight it out and decide whether or not to take it to court.  I am very fortunate that I have the best mechanics in the world (GA Autocare in Desborough) who have done a fantastic job at a very reasonable price.  However, it’s still money I didn’t have sitting around idle, so please all keep your fingers crossed for a speedy resolution.

Excuse Number 2:
Boy the Elder took the entrance exam for the second Grammar School, passed (hurrah) and was immediately  recalled for interview.  We were both very anxious about it and trying not to let it show.  The first part of the interview was the “Are you a decent sort of chap?” sort which wasn’t a problem.  The second part was completely unexpected as they started asking him difficult maths questions and asking in depth questions about ‘Macbeth’.  BTE realised there was a problem when they kept calling him ‘Tom’ and it transpired that they had been scrutinising him based on someone else’s paper.

Regarding Macbeth, he hadn’t covered any of the stuff they asked him and he was too embarrassed to explain to them that this was because his English classes are so frequently disrupted that no-one can keep track of what they’ve done.  He came out of the interview in tears because he felt he had done so badly, although he is a bit of an emotional sort and felt much better about it by the evening.

We are now waiting.  My friend told me that there are only three places available for Year 9 so I can’t imagine that they’d give one of those places to a non-fee payer but you never know.  Please keep another set of fingers crossed for this one too.

Excuse Number 3:
Due to changing circumstances, I have had to make a very big decision about whether to declare myself self employed.  This has involved a lot of soul-searching, lots of meetings with the appropriate organisations, many phone calls to the Inland Revenue and associated bodies etc and an enormous amount of help and support from my friend and mentor at Freelance Unbound.   

This is all extremely exciting and you will be the first to know when the change happens but it also feels as though I’m doing a parachute jump in the dark on the edge of a large city.  I might hit the ground running in a fragrant meadow with only a moderate amount of cow pats.  I might equally break both legs and sustain internal injuries on a trunk road at rush hour.  In Birmingham.  I would be grateful if you would start plaiting your toes.

This has all happened this week.  However, the good news is that today I bought myself a lovely wing-backed fireside chair to replace the oversized and urine-soaked sofa bed which Jeremiah ruined.  I spent the afternoon curled up in it, with chocolate and large mugs of tea, watching Stephen Poliakoff’s wonderful film ‘The Lost Prince’.

I also discovered a bottle of one of my favourite beers, The Langton Brewery’s Inclined Plane’ lurking in the back of the larder and I am enjoying it whilst writing this blog.  Feel much better now.

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Filed under Education, Life in general