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December 26th 2011

One of my favourite book titles was “Dont Stress the Small Stuff and it’s all Small Stuff”. Never a truer word, for all of us, whether you’re trying to decide which of Elizabeth Taylor’s fabulous jewels to bid for or you’re facing a battle for the best deals in the sales (and in the UK, how to get to them!) In certain African countries, life is simpler........ ‘when should I start my long many mile walk to get fresh water?’ Thank you Matt Damon for lending your name and support to ....... we may all, in the West, be desperate for something so available to us now, in the future, the precious commodity water.

In the US I may be called a “tree hugger”, I love that expression, but really I am not. I like to think I am just a person weighing in with some basic common sense. Why oh why is this the one characteristic, which we human beings seem to lack or ignore so completely, it is so simple and yet so obvious, but short sighted greed, seems always to obscure it.

Had a lovely Christmas Day with the family, with too many presents, too much to eat, but a lot of good feelings and laughter, so all was well. Hope you all did too, whichever way you spent it, with loved ones or alone with peace and quiet. And I wish you all a New Year better than the last and above all the good health and humour to deal with all that Life throws at us.

Been seeing films again, it’s that time of the year, Awards season and as I have already said, it’s a diverse and very good year for terrific films, well worth seeing. Two years ago a friend of mine was raving about a trio of books he had been reading, starting with “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”. I dutifully followed suit and read all three, agreeing that they were brilliant and enthralling. Then saw the Swedish version of the first book and came away thinking how daft it was for Hollywood to make the film again in English, just because so many people would not bother to see a film with subtitles. Well, how wrong was I and how right were they, the new one is stunning and thoroughly gripping, with another amazing performance by the actress with the Dragon Tattoo, Mara Rooney. It really is one of the best films of the year, beautifully directed and acted. I have always been a fan of the Director David Fincher since I saw his movie “The Fight Club”. Rent it, buy it if you can it’s worth it, he is a fine Director and I am glad he’s hit his stride again after directing “The Social Network”.

I tried very hard with a film called “Extremely Loud, Incredibly Close” and nearly gave up on it, until Max von Sydow came on and then I persevered. This actor has not one word in the film, but his presence creates such a powerful feeling, that you cannot take your eyes off him. The young boy Thomas Horn is very, very good and compelling, but I couldn’t feel moved by the film or the story, I dont know why. Some critics are calling the best film of the year. However I think there are better. Maybe my taste is just not sophisticated enough, maybe it’s too old fashioned, (my taste I mean), but there we are. I tried, but it was not for me. Good job we’re all different. Meryl Streep is amazing - again- as Margaret Thatcher, she’s like a chameleon, inhabiting the skin of her character, the film “WE”.... least said soonest mended, but still in love with the film “Albert Nobbs”.

I have been having some work done here on my little old house here in Idaho. The electrician was amazingly handsome - a real Western hero, I was looking for his horse. If only I had been a few years younger and he had not been married...... but we can all dream from time to time, it’s the stuff of stories. The painter is not quite as good looking, but he takes such pride in his work, I am delighted. I know there are people everywhere like these men, but our cynical age has taken the gleam off a bit now. Goodness I sound old and jaded sometimes wish I could write with a bit more humour and find some good hilarious stories for you, but that well is dry at the moment folks.

We’re still working on the website ‘ and just now going through the normal glitches that come with this sort of venture. If any of you do go there and purchase the one film available at the moment, I promise to refund your money, if it doesn’t work yet!!! It’s all been written in a brilliant programme called WordPress, which means I can go on and edit the editorials and write and put up blogs myself...wonderful.

I miss my little London flat and its river view, it’s currently rented out, but my good friend the Manager of the building says he’s had not a peep out of the tenants, so that’s good news (I guess)!! However I am having a large window cut into the back of my house here, so I can gaze at the large, currently very brown garden and all the squirrels when I am working and writing. They are a busy little lot, I thought they hibernated in the winter, or is that the bears? Bears I think. I must now find another Chilling Tale, we have “The Body Snatcher” ready to go, but it will be more expensive than the other two, so if any of you have any suggestions let me know!

That’s all for now friends

All content copyright Jane Merrow