22nd December 2020
So finally ventured out to do shopping, and it seemed pretty normal. No mosh pit grannies or flying loaves, or obese people filming each other screaming. Although certain chains such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose are now rationing things like rice, flour, bog roll and eggs (and for Waitrose likely its cheapo Essentials range in edible flowers and prosecco flavoured crisps) Lidl wasn’t one of them; maybe the Germans really are just better organised. The streets were still populated and I’d arranged to meet up with D who’s been lonesome and working home alone all week.
We met up in Northcote Road which has until recently been doubling as the local Soho, ripe with shoulder rubbing and vector for transmission via loitering and street drinking -well until this new strain put a dampener on the parade. It rained, the streets were wet and people were scurrying to and fro with their shopping or dogs. We found a dry seat outside an empty pub, the kind built under the awning. About two minutes later a portly policeman politely moved us on; he did tend to lecture but apologised and we apologised back as we Brits are wont to do; though increasingly less so these days. I think we were perhaps representing a grey area -allowed to meet up with our support bubble outside, yet not allowed to stop?
Passed the new Wetherspoons on the corner (having taken over from the vodka bar, Revolution, literally up n running within 48 hrs of its demise), now shuttered up and proclaiming massive posters in its windows, about Daily
MFail reports that the virus is a lie and that it’s all a conspiracy to stop their business. Haha, what a bag of wankers, notably fat cat boss Tim Martin, fresh from his ongoing campaign for Brexit (which cost him £600m as Remainers left in droves).
In the end we bought a few bevies from Co-op and retired to the grounds of the estate; I lost a bottle of cider to the fountain and had to fish it out again, lest it sozzle the koi. Am so off sweet cider these days, and switching back to beer.
Last night’s hammy hammer horror – the 1959 rendition of the Hound of the Baskervilles -was as camp as Christmas. Valiantly acted with Peter Cushing superb as Sherlock Holmes, and opposite another great icon of the macabre, a young Christopher Lee (as Sir Henry Baskerville), who’d go on to take over the role of the famous inspector a decade or two later. A leetle bending of the original tale sees a few characters combined to introduce a brazen Spanish harridan, luring her target to the jaws of death, and liable to run away whenever a man talks to her (thus starting an automatic chase, as I think that’s how flirting was constituted in those days). When caught she may or may not force a kiss on him/ herself as he shakes that feminine mystique outta her. Why young woman? Why… did you run away!? Before the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s came along, courting pretty much meant stalking the woman till she caved, or in this case sprinting after her across bubbling bog and quicksand.
Yes, very camp -the blood as shiny and vivid as the thinly disguised enamel slopped onto the tors, the ‘mire’ a pool with sawdust and sand on top, and the moors a mix of the genuinely shot and the creaky, Dry Ice-laden set of cardboard and houseplants. Night time is that blatantly sunny scene shot with a heavy filter. But it all added to the premise; there is a certain je ne sais quoi to these strangely shadowed film sets of yesteryear. Despite coming from the infamous house of Hammer, any horror was very subdued, with action verging on farce and over in seconds -early days for the seminal producer.
Although utterly unscary, it has been a welcome escape, that artfully balance between so-bad-it’s-good and so good-it’s-bad, plus a healthy dose of bittersweet every time. Positively refreshing -I should do this more often. I mean, how exactly has my soul so been saved by a dose of B-movie, high British schlock? Fuck Netflix, fuck Hollywood, that’s how. Stop fucking gurning and clapping and thinking everything’s so fab and worn on your glitter-laden sleeve ye damned cartoons of characterisation. Every time. Get a damn life, and perspective, and some mystery; I mean do we HAVE to promote the American Dream in EVERY move, sentence and facial reaction? Priorities in a pandemic now, -wtf am I gonna watch for the Xmas movie?
The Eyebrow of America
691 people died of C-19 today in the country, 30,000 truck drivers are stranded at Dover, shitting in the bushes as Hard Brexit looms, and a second new strain just landed from South Africa, that’s even more infectious. #Plagueisland has been trending all day on the world’s social media. Ho fucking hum, let’s move on shall we? Bah humbug.
I’ll need to buy the Xmas food soon, and when I say food, I mean booze. Can’t believe it’s Christmas; for the first time I actually feel a bit grown up, now that I’m the one organising it rather than going to the folks. I will try very hard for the next two days to be merry and bright, regardless of the shitshow. No pissing on people’s bonfires n all that – I may even watch my nemesis, Elsa at it (Elsa‘s a homicidal maniac, but that was just a phase -it’s more important to remember she was empowered doing it, and above all, she’s pretty). I may also watch The Road, for a touch of festive 2020ism, no one should mind aTALL if I stick that on after lunch. Ho. Ho. Ho.