Julie Christie is blogging

If you are "of a certain age", as I am, and are English (or British), the chances are that Julie Christie is your favourite actress. As a young person (too young, but I was good at sneaking) , I watched her uncomprehendingly in movies such as Darling and Farenheit 451. I didn’t understand them, but knew I wanted to be there. Later, I adored her in The Go-Between, Dr Zhivago and Far from the Madding Crowd. Then there was Don’t Look Now, and "that" scene in addition to her usual brilliant, empathetic performance. In her Warren Beatty phase I saw awful movies like Shampoo, or "flawed masterpieces" like McCabe and Mrs Miller, just for her. And in later years, it was great to catch a glimpse of her in gems like The Railway Station Man (BBC Screen 2), as she came out of "retirement" the odd time to make the occasional film that appealed to her. Wonderfully, she revealed herself recently as a Harry Potter person, even though the role she took was the relatively uninspiring one of Madame Rosmerta in "Goblet of Fire". (Wonder if she will reprise the role for "Half Blood Prince"?) But even more wonderfully, she’s a blogger! See Guardian Unlimited: Arts blog – theatre: Cries from the heart: the role I just couldn’t refuse.

Marvellous. There are many film actresses I’ve admired since: Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Pfeiffer, Francesca Annis, Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Keira Knightley and more, but who can hold a candle to the peerless Julie Christie? Nobody.

Borderlands is shortlisted

According to the Grumpy Old Bookman: Further to the former, "Brian McGilloway’s Borderlands has been shortlisted for the UK Crime Writers Association New Blood Fiction Dagger. It is a Macmillan New Writing publication."

And so it should have been. It is a wonderful novel, in my opinion. My review is here, on Euro Crime. If you’ve never read any crime fiction before, this would be an excellent introduction to the genre. It’s short, and epitomises many of the reasons why people find it a strangely compelling area in which to delve, or dabble.

Minutia part one

So how do you spend your day? Someone asked Scott Adams that question, and here is the answer: The Dilbert Blog: Minutia. This post starts at 0500 and gets to 1030. Busy guy. It is a fascinating glimpse of a day [sorry, first part of morning] in the life of the world’s most famous [?] cartoonist.

More to follow later, he says. So, how do you spend your day? I could write a post along the lines of Scott, but for one thing, nobody would read it, and for another, I’d need two parallel days to do it.

On Inspiration, and Tolkien

My friend Henry Gee has a couple of typically well-written and imaginative posts on his blog End of the Pier Show: in On Inspiration, he describes inspiration as being nonlinear, multiply connected and highly recursive.

To be specific, what inspired the creation of the Ents? At first glance, the venerable Shepherds of the Trees that figure so memorably in The Lord of the Rings must count among Tolkien’s more original creations. But how original is ‘original’? Can we trace the things that influenced Tolkien’s seemingly unique fusion of people and trees?

Henry goes on to say that "Ent" is the old English for "giant", and that it is clear from Tolkien’s drafts that the author wanted to write about a giant called Treebeard, but it was only when he actually put pen to paper that the character became a tree. Do read Henry’s post, it is brilliant.

Earlier in his post, Henry hints that he’d not be averse to a copy of The Children of Hurin for his upcoming birthday. Well, the right fairies were reading his blog, because he was given the book. Here’s his review.