Saturday, 11 December 2010

Weather, Writers, Country Singers, and Going Postal

Hi. Pleased to report that the rain has started - showers forecast for much of the day - ruling out the gardening chores I'd lightly penciled in for this morning. Sigh of relief.

Of course the rains have been a pain locally for farmers harvesting. Not  to mention massive flooding in the eastern states as river systems burst their banks and peaks have reached 8, 9, 10 metres above normal levels. Our area has been lucky.

This week I was invited along to a friendly celebratory function to mark 20 years of the active Writers' Group meeting in Minlaton. My role was to help eat the food. Thanks Gwenda. I enjoyed hearing about the achievements of the group; also meeting new faces and country singer David Croser who performed a couple of numbers from his recent CD (he's done three albums); plus well-known bush poet and singer Jeff Cook who lives in the town - telling me and others of his recovery from surgery this year, and a "classic" NDE (near-death experience). Amazing stuff.

Also caught up with thespian Neil Longbottom whose role in the British farce Not Now Darling - not too long ago - was a wow. Jenny Oldland from the local press YP Country Times orchestrated with aplomb and efficiency a group photo of ... how many? ...25 individuals, not merely capturing the happy snap but grabbing all names in due order. THAT impressed me. Power of the press indeed.

Discovery of the day in my house is that the UKTV channel on Austar satellite pay-TV will feature on Christmas Eve the first in the 2-part production of Going Postal, from the Terry Pratchett novel. The blurb says that the book has sold 65 million copies. Big number, but I am not surprised. I own both the hardback and the audiobook which, if I recall, lasts for the whole 6-hour Adelaide return trip. The name of the main character, Moist von Lipwig, must rate as one of literature's excellent inventions, as opposed to the appearance of the name's owner, a  con-man character said to be so ordinary that nobody remembers what he looks like. A hoot of a book, vintage Pratchett. Read a synopsis of the plot in the Wikipedia article.
The cast list has a few names which are a blast from the past, including Timothy West, David Suchet (Hercule Poirot) as Reacher Gilt, and Andrew Sachs (Manuel from Fawlty Towers) as Mr Groat, and from a younger generation the fine comedienne Tamsin Greig (Black Books) as Miss Cripslock. Yes, even Terry Pratchett in a cameo role. The filmshoot began in Budapest last year. The lead role of Lipwig is played by Richard Coyle.

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