Sunday, 10 June 2012

As I popped out to the shops to pick up a Father's Day card & present, various birthday gifts and something nice for lunch, I listened to Poirot's Early Cases through my comfy over-the-ear headphones.  And a surprising fact came to light.  Apparently Inspector Japp is an ardent botanist.

Yes, really!

Who'd have thunk it?  No I, that's for sure.  Not even if I had an unlimited number of monkeys with an unlimited number of typewriters.  And that includes if they'd managed to get the spools put in correctly.
Which isn't easy, especially for monkeys.

It was like finding out that your favourite teacher was a secret morris dancer.  Or a cross dresser.  Not sure which would be worse.  Anyway, it goes on to say he enthusiastically quotes lengthy Latin names with a dubious accent.  Gawd love 'im.

Anemone Japonica, says I

Just watching a MSW I've only seen once before.  Shocker!  Set in the offices of the San Francisco Union newspaper, owned by an overbearing Australian publishing millionaire.  Towards the end of the episode he mentions that he's just bought a satellite TV station.  Ring any bells?  It reminded me of the one based at a TV studio where they were filming 'Buds' - a sitcom about a group of friends living in New York who hang out at a coffee shop.  I wonder where they get their inspiration from...?


Anyways back to 'Dear Deadly' in San Fran.  Love the fact that someone faxes - FAXES - hate mail!  It was only the nineties, but it seems like a million years ago... *sighs*  The scary boot camp lady from Private Benjamin, Eileen Brennan, is the unfortunate victim in this episode.  There's a suitably confusing plot involving a hearing aid, a homeless man and a diamond ring.  There's also a carbon paper clue.  Not from them pesky monkeys, you'll be pleased to hear.

Six degrees of Angela Lansbury fact: Ms Brennan also appears in the almost-good Murder by Death, a ridiculous spoof of detective fiction.  Its star studded cast does the best it can with a creaky, plodding script, but ultimately it's all a bit of an unfunny mess.  Even the darling David Niven can't save it.

Ooh, that's weird.  The bloke from the co-op ads that loves his wife so much has turned up pretending to be disturbed cousin Jim on an episode of Rosemary & Thyme.  Pity I won't find out what it's all about as I can't stand R&T and their preference for dreary-coloured baggy linen outfits.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Oh deary me.

Am feeling a bit worse for wear today after meeting up with a friend for dinner last night.  We somehow managed to work our way through a bottle of white wine before we'd even ordered our food.  It was a really fun evening though, talking about her recent wedding (such a brilliant day), their honeymoon (including a menu of pillows and their own butler!) and whether you need to convince your parents you're grown-up enough to look after a dog when you're in your mid thirties!

I woke up this morning at 6am after a shockingly bad night's kip but couldn't get back to sleep.  So I put the audiobook version of Paul Temple and the Sullivan Mystery on, downed a couple of paracetamol and lay there with a cold wet flannel on my forehead.

There's nothing quite so soothing as Crawford Logan and Gerda Stevenson's dulcet tones, and some of the stuff they come out with is hilarious.  They asked Mr Schreider 'would you join us in a cocktail' like they're doing a turn as Dita von Teese.

'Would you join me in a cocktail?'

Actually, I can't look at that picture.  I really don't feel like drinking ever again...

Thursday, 7 June 2012

I love the fact that Poirot really likes dogs.  Jolly good show, what?

I've just watched David Suchet in The Mystery of Hunter's Lodge in which the murderer is uncovered by a lovely little ginger & white spaniel.  It reminded me of his unlikely friendship with Bob in Dumb Witness. Unlikely, but extremely endearing!

Detective? Moi?

I'd love to have a little dog to look after, it's so frustrating living in a flat and not having the space. Maybe I ought to move to the countryside and have a garden... hmm.

Mind you, I'm usually reminded of Sherlock Holmes commenting on the fact that the countryside is often a more dangerous place than the city -

"... look at these lonely houses, each in its own fields, filled for the most part with poor ignorant folk who know little of the law. Think of the deeds of hellish cruelty, the hidden wickedness which may go on, year in, year out, in such places, and none the wiser..."

Wise words Sherlock!  Happen I'll tough it out in the big smoke a little while longer.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

I spent the day getting the flat ready for my folks' arrival tomorrow.  We're off into town to soak up the atmosphere of the Queen's Jubilee.  Gawd bless 'er!  It's bleeshing with rain out there right now, hope it eases off.  Better pack a pac a mac!

While I was dusting, hoovering and sorting out paperwork (where does it all come from?!?) I caught an episode of The Inspector Alleyn Mysteries on Alibi - with the lovely Patrick Malahide.  I don't know why he makes such a good Alleyn.  He's not tall enough, his teeth are pretty weird and his hairline starts a bit too far back.  And yet despite all this, he's right on the money.  Authoritative.  Compassionate.  Intellectual. And with a wry sense of humour.  The interplay between Alleyn and Troy is delightful.  They're both packed full of pent up emotions, old fashioned correctness and dry wit.  Brilliant!

And now I'm watching Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles.  Funnily enough, I've noticed after watching quite a few of his Sherlock Holmes films that they appear to use the same actors again and again.  Like a repertory company, I suppose.  In this version the evil Stapleton is played by someone called Morton Lowry.  I noticed him in 'Pursuit to Algiers' where he was Sanford, the ship steward *  Mr Lowry was an impressive proponent of Action Man eye acting.  Look left - look right.  That's it, you've got it!

Also, he reminded me of a young Paul Newman.

'Cat on a hot tin roof?  What are you on about?'
courtesy of

Strangely, he seems to have fallen off the radar after 1960 - he apparently moved to the States but didn't appear in any more films or TV after that.  Well, not that I can find anyway.  Curious.  I hope he was ok.

As I was looking for that picture I happened to find a brilliant website full to the brim with amazing photos of Basil Rathbone -  This was the best of the bunch, for obvious reasons...

'pass the ketchup, Basil'
courtesy of

* spoiler alert: he also happens to be the king of some fictional country going undercover