Sunday, 9 November 2008

Brand, Bond and Blankets

So Manuelgate rumbles on, with Andrew Sachs losing my sympathy after complaining that the apology broadcast on Radio 2 yesterday wasn't up to scratch and didn't mention the suffering of his wife, daughter, postman and everyone in Barcelona. How many apologies does the man needs, for goodness sake? He had (I thought) accepted the apologies of Brand and Ross with grace and dignity, but now he's being all precious about the wording of the apology broadcast yesterday at the time that would usually be Ross' radio show. And a bit later. And again, a bit later. At one point, at the start of this press tornado, I was glad there was something on the news instead of doom and gloom about house prices and the cost of bread, amazed though I was by the attention that was being lavished on Brand and Ross. Now, even the Bank of England has had to slash interest rates by a shocking 1.5% just to shove Russell Brand off the front pages and get a bit of attention for itself. I suppose one of the disadvantages of being a person who likes to hibernate as soon as October drizzles in is that one tends to spend more time reading the papers and the internet than is advisable if one wishes to avoid becoming intensely irritated by excessive press coverage of a particular story. But as disadvantages go, it's more than made up for by the positives.

I think I may be the kind of person who has been an OAP since birth. Thanks to the credit crunch, I can now blame the cost of...well, everything as an excuse to stay in. All the time. If I could, I literally wouldn't leave the house at all until at least May. I'd make an exception for November 5th, as I could go out and still sit by a fire, but other than that if I could get away with it I'd sit wrapped in a blanket by the fireside reading books and drinking tea all day. I'd even like to learn to knit, if I had the patience. I would bake mince pies to live on, and to be fair I would be prepared to pop out for a bracing stroll through the fields on bright, frosty mornings before returning to my cosy nest.

In seriousness, when the days shorten and the dark, windy, wet nights draw in, there is nothing more tempting than a cosy night in by the fire. Once I'm home at the start of the evening, nothing is more appealing than to draw the curtains and shut out the winter weather, light the fire, and curl up on the sofa. I love the trappings of autumn and winter; snuggly blankets, warm jumpers, roaring fires, hot chocolate, hearty stews and soups, period dramas on telly. I associate fantasy, magical films with winter too. The Chronicles of Narnia, for example. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is a perfect film to watch on a wintry Sunday afternoon. Perhaps it's because I am the sort of person who still hopes to find a magical land hidden in my wardrobe, or a secret platform at King's Cross station, and have really never quite grown up. The comforts of winter make childhood more accessible over the decades since it was a reality.

So why would anyone want to go out? Are they insane? What's the point? I must confess that one thing did move me out of my metaphorical rocking chair this weekend, and that was the delectable Daniel Craig. Not in person, sadly. I didn't meet him in my garden during the 4 seconds I periodically spend outside to go and put something in the bin. He was of course appearing at a cinema near me as 007 in Quantum of Solace. I could give a detailed review of the film and his performance, but suffice to say, I didn't miss my fireside the whole time I was away from it. Well, not until I had to drive home in the dark and cold, anyway.

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