I managed to miss a crucial event...well not crucial, just an important milestone for The Boy last month. He led the biennial review of the School's CCF. As with all things military, it was full of pomp and circumstance. I'm very proud of his achievement - he won two awards for his leadership and that shows a strength which will see him through life I hope. On the other hand, I retain the fear he may end up with a military career...it would break my heart and those of his family too. Difficult.
It is an enormous risk to step into the discussions about Margaret Thatcher...so I won't. In the last 24 hours I have seen a torrent of uneducated, ignorant comment - both for and against her. But I will say that to see people dancing and celebrating her death is unseemly. They should be ashamed. Death is a terrible thing, particularly for those close to the person who has died. We have all experienced the death of someone close at some stage in our lives, and I am sure would be distressed if we thought that people had cracked open the champagne to celebrate their passing...what if it happened to us...I'm sure we've all offended and upset people as we travel through life. For me, the best thing I've read so far was from the BBC "It is astonishing to think that when Margaret Thatcher first joined the Cabinet in 1970, the Wimpy hamburger chain still banned women from coming in late on their own on the bizarre grounds that only prostitutes would be out at that time of night."
Talking of uninformed comment, we went to see 'Oz, the great and powerful' at the weekend. I'm glad we could see a children's film without the children in tow. It's dangerous, as the makers knew, to go anywhere near the sacred Wizard of Oz, so they must have known the claws would be out. Surprisingly, the cinema was pretty full on a Saturday evening - not bad for a children's film.
We enjoyed it...in fact, the opening scenes, in black and white, are fabulous, capturing the essence of the original perfectly...beautifully filmed and produced, the acting is pretty good too. Of course, as we moved into Oz, the screen erupted into the bright colours of the fantastical land. It tells a good tale, the vivid colours serve the film well and the plot is pretty good...not bad considering you know the ending from the outset. Or at least you should. On the downside, I think today's over-produced films can feel a tad sterile and unemotional, and that was the case here, and it would have been well served by some judicious editing. But huge fun, worth a visit...and an encouragement to see 'Wicked' on stage if you haven't done so already.
And the bad reviews? The worst one was from The Guardian:
"It does have flying monkeys and the Munchkins, but crucially it lacks Dorothy and Toto; the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow; songs by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg; and Margaret Hamilton either on a bike or a broomstick."
In other words, it's not the Wizard of Oz...no, it was never meant to be!