This is a three-in-one post, plus an appeal for more contributions to our blovel; so far, there are only 2 contributions, which is not very exciting and makes me want to think about ending the experiment.
Back to business: A film, a "book" and a walk. What first? The "book", I suppose. Why do I keep putting the word in speech marks? Because "1980 - 1982 Memories of an '80s Kid" by Louise Gilpin hardly qualifies as a book. It is very short (Amazon gives an estimated 31 pages on the kindle shop product page), and, as the title says, not a novel but a succession of memories of the author herself.
Louise Gilpin was 8 years old in 1980 and loved pop music. She remembers the entire decade mainly for its songs, or rather, any event she can think of is somehow tied to a particular song. I suppose we all have such memory-triggers that work like tiny time-machines, instantly taking us back to certain places and events from our past when we hear a certain song. It was interesting to read what a lot of those well-known songs from the early 1980s mean to the author. She writes about her home life, about school and her first time at a youth disco, how she longed for a particular type of haircut, the roller-skating with her best friend, and most fondly of all, about her grandparents. We see what Christmas was like with this family, how the relationship with her older brother worked, and can relate to how upset the little girl was when the family dog had to be put to sleep.
It is, all in all, not an unpleasant read, but more often than not, the author digresses a lot, not having much of a chronological order. If I were to advise Louise Gilpin (who, by her own words, means to publish her memories of the rest of the '80s), I'd say:
Dear Louise, why don't you start blogging? You could write a seperate post about each of the events or people you remember so well. You could easily incorporate your favourite '80s songs by embedding youtube videos in each post. And you could digress as much as you like - nobody would expect any order to your posts. I am sure you'd soon have many followers, who'd love to reminisce with you.
Now for the film: I was in the mood for the telly last night instead of playing my Sims, reading or writing, and found that "Night at the Museum" was on. Now, I knew about this film but had never watched it; plus I have to admit I am neither particularly keen on Ben Stiller nor on Robin Williams. But the mere idea caught my attention: Who has not, at some stage or other in their childhood, imagined being on their own at night in a place where usually you were supposed to be only during the day and under constant supervision? Who has not wondered what it would be like, what discoveries were waiting in the nightly place, so different in the dark and without people? Well, I know I have often imagined this about the palace here in Ludwigsburg, which has featured several times on my blog (for instance here.) When I was little, I used to imagine how I would get up at night, taking the exact amount of the bus fare from my pocket money, and walk to the bus stop not far from our house. I knew which bus to take and where to get off. I never thought about how I'd actually get inside the palace; somehow I simply assumed some door would be open. I imagined myself walking along the silent corridors, entering the beautifully furnished and decorated rooms I'd seen so many times on guided tours. I would look at everything but touch very little; I knew everything was old and rather fragile. Ghosts? That idea did not scare me; I didn't really think there were any ghosts at the palace, but I would not have been surprised if a few statues came alive and roamed the moonlit place.
Now, that is exactly what happens in "Night at the Museum": The exhibits come alive! At first, the new night guard (Stiller) does not want to spend another night there and quits his job. But circumstances make it necessary for him to go back, and this time, he rises to the challenge and prepares himself. He gets help from Theodore Roosevelt (Williams), but after initial success in dealing with the exhibits and their tendency to create havoc, things take a turn for the worse, and the guard is fired the next morning. Of course, the movie would end there if the guard had not pleaded with the museum's director for one last chance, and he finds himself back on the job for a third night.
The classic story-telling loves "threes", and so of course the third night is the night that decides it all, and where mysteries are solved.
The film is fast-paced, the living exhibits are well done in my opinion, and there is not too much cheesiness. It is a fun, feel-good film which I enjoyed watching, but I will certainly not buy the DVD (or the computer game).
And the walk: Ever since the famous summer of 2003 (the hottest and driest in my memory, as well as statistically, I think), whenever possible, I have made my way home from work not only by train, but included an hour-long walk. To do that, I simply get off one stop before my hometown, and walk the rest. In winter, I can't do that, because it is dark by the time I leave work, and stumbling across pitch black fields (in my business clothes) is not my idea of after-work fun.
But the hours of daylight are already considerably longer than what they were a few weeks ago, and yesterday was a beautiful sunny day which promised even longer-lasting daylight.
So I spontaneiously got off at the small town bordering my hometown and walked, the setting sun to my left. It took me 50 minutes to get home, and a pleasant walk it was: blackbirds were singing their beautiful melancholy songs, a buzzard sat on a grassy field so close I was tempted to take a picture with my mobile phone but was afraid he'd fly away if I stopped; few people were walking or cycling along the same path, and the church bells rang in the evening at 6.00, twenty minutes into my walk.
I took this picture (with my mobile phone, which explains the bad quality) on the tree-lined avenue that connects the two towns. It is a road I very much like and have walked often. There are mistletoes in nearly every one of those trees, but this one has the most.
That was my three-in-one post for today. And now, back to work (home office today).