WHEAT AND BAKE YOUR OWN BREAD|
16TH AUGUST 2010
Have you ever baked your own bread, well it’s easy, it’s fun and tastes great not to mention the wonderful smell. It seems we have a wheat shortage, unsurprisingly and bread will cost more. The world population is rising and rising, where will all the food and water come from?
What I dont understand is that there are so many fields standing empty and unplanted in England, why cant we grow more of our own? Oh I know it’s to do with the farmers being paid not to plant, our agreements with the EU etc, etc. It just seems idiotic to me. England has always been traditionally an agricultural country, until we became industrial. Eventually the country got tied up in our minds as: land equals privilege, equals posh and country folk, as opposed to the underprivileged poor city folk, so country started to get a bad name, especially as eventually so many middle class people ran away to the country to get away from those bad city people. What a load of drivel. This country is everlastingly wedded to its history and idea of class and it has never done us any good and never will. Anyway I say plant the fields, grow more of our own food. I remember as a kid eating the most wonderful English apples, small and crisp and sweet. Well now we have to buy more apples from France and with all due respect, the French dont grow good apples, so I would like to be able to buy the good old English apples. So there we are, I have got that off my chest, but let’s grow more food here in this agricultural country for us and other people all over the world.
After all we’re not much of a manufacturing country any more, more’s the pity.
Times are quiet in my life at the moment, not that I am complaining, I’m having a good time and if one gets bored of doing the crossword puzzle and watching TV, there are always friends and new and interesting people to have over for a meal and a glass of wine. I like a good challenge and the full length script I started writing for myself, has now morphed into something else, about someone else, who is more interesting. Well it will either end up in the wastepaper basket, or seeing the light of day somewhere I imagine.
I saw “Danton’s Death” Friday at the National Theatre. It’s interesting and worth a visit, although the play is rather old fashioned now, the characters are really fascinating and of a breed I cant begin to imagine. I suppose you had to be really poor, hungry and living in seventeeth century France to really understand them. Toby Stephens as Danton was very good, although physically too small and good looking for the part. The other performances were okay, but seemed to lack the passion and intensity of the real people, except maybe St Just. The actor playing Robespierre garnered many of the notices, but he did not chill me and I suspect the real man would have.
I was going to watch the Swedish “Wallander”, yesterday, which is an excellent series, with terrific acting, but I got caught up again in “Good Will Hunting” for the umpteenth time. It’s one of my favourite films, dont know why, but it really strikes a chord with me and I never fail to be moved by it and the performances. The writing is fresh and original and the acting first rate.
I am planning to go back to the US again very soon and see the family and meet all the people we have roped into the proposed film of “The Tell-Tale Heart”. Do hope we get the money.
I was heartened to read Julian Fellowes’ (an old chum) article in the paper about the closing of the British Film Council and a different perspective on it. I agreed with what he said, we do need all the help we can get in this industry, but the amount of money going to the administrative side was just alarming. We do get a bit precious and over protective of our organizations sometimes. I wish we could be a more less obviously political and more apolotical in the Arts. Can you imagine Van Gogh going to bat to protect his “art”, he just got on with it and look where it got him in his own lifetime. Isn’t that what it’s about, though, creativity really should be free of right wing/ left wing, just be apolitical and allowed to go free. The best will always rise to the top, like cream in coffee and the worst stay where it belongs, not artificially encouraged to be “seen”, whatever the cost. Oh dear I do waffle on a bit about some things.
We lost one of our great actresses last week, Patricia Neal. I am sorry, she really was a great actress and a courageous human being. I was in the production of “The Patricia Neal Story”, which was largely about her stroke and fight back to recovery. I enjoyed doing it, not the least because it gave the chance to work with Dirk Bogarde, an interesting and very private man and outstanding screen actor. I had already worked with Glenda Jackson at the Royal Court Theatre in Arnold Wesker’s original and fascinating play “The Kitchen”.
All sorts of luminaries were in that, many of us in early stages of our careers, Robert Stephens, James Bolam, Glenda, Rita Tushingham, me - to name but a few!
Bye for now!
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