Boxing Day and TV

I don’t know about you, but I was so glad to have a lovely lazy day at home today – just eating leftovers and watching TV. I was quite disappointed that the Agatha Christie this year is an updated ABC Murders. John Malkovich as Poirot is very different from David Suchet’s version, very much rougher, but I did enjoy seeing the wonderful De La Warr Pavillion in Bexhill again, always a joy – especially in reality but I haven’t been to Bexhill for years. The ABC Murders is set in 1933 and the De La Warr didn’t exist then as it wasn’t built until 1935. Just a bit of nit-picking on my part!

The contrast between the immaculate art deco building and the sleazy poorer quarters featured is stark. You can almost smell the damp. Whoever has the job of designing such settings triumphed – peeling wallpaper and all. On the whole though I found this new version to be painfully slow, but I’ll no doubt be watching the second part tomorrow night.

Before the ABC Murders I enjoyed watching The Midnight Gang. I haven’t read any of David Walliams’ books but this TV adaptation was definitely worth watching, for kids of all ages.

I didn’t have any time for looking at anything on TV before today really and I see that on the 23rd I missed something called Agatha and the Truth of Murder. I’m wondering if it’s worth watching it on the iPlayer. Let me know what you thought of it if you watched it please.

I have to say that on Christmas Eve I chose to watch entirely the wrong thing. I’m not at all religious nowadays but I do love all the old familiar carols. Unfortunately I tuned in to the BBC service – big mistake as it came from Buckfast Abbey, there were no carols at all. Everything was chanted and a lot of it was in Latin! Sometimes it’s difficult to figure out whether things are RC or very high Church of England, but Buckfast must be RC, however I thought they had given up on the Latin in the 1960s so I don’t know what that was all about. Nothing resembling a good old carol was sung, in fact nothing was really sung – just chanted. I can’t imagine why the ‘high heid-yins’ in the BBC would think that it would be appreciated by many viewers. Yes the setting of the abbey is very grand, the costumes (chasubles and such) worn are sumptuous. But it missed the festive mark by miles. Clearly I should have been on ITV but I gave up and went to bed.

Have I missed anything worth watching?

The Age of Glamour

Last night I watched a programme on BBC4 called Glamour’s Golden Age which seems to be part of a new series. If you missed it and you are into 1920-30s design, I recommend that you catch it on the i-player.

I love everything about that era, well – obviously not the T.B., Diphtheria and Rickets sort of stuff, but you know what I mean.

The first building which I can remember seeing and thinking ‘art deco’ was The Midland Hotel in Morecambe. It was about 1969 and as I recall the hotel looked pretty sad and delapidated at that time. However it’s fab now – must have cost a fortune to refurbish it.

I saw the De La Warr Pavilion at Bexhill-on-Sea about 1979. Similar story there and I think it has been refurbished twice since then. That is the down side to art deco (modernist) buildings, if you don’t keep them looking really buffed, they quickly begin to look horrific.

The fashions looked wonderful too but definitely not for the heftier figure.

The posters were fantastic as well.

The 1938 Empire Exhibition was held in Glasgow. It is a city full of fashion conscious artistic people and by the look of things they really pulled out all the stops for it. It’s just a pity that the weather let them down – as usual.

But it didn’t stop the visitors, well after all, we aren’t made of sugar. Unfortunately most of the buildings were just temporary structures, so there isn’t much evidence of the exhibition now. I think it would be great if they would rebuild Tait’s Tower. Tait is more famous for having designed Sydney Harbour Bridge.

However, I think my favourite building would have been The Atlantic Restaurant. Taking tea there must have been a wonderful experience, especially when you consider that most of the visitors would have been living in cramped tenements with outside toilets and gas-lights. It must have seemed like a glimpse of heaven to them.

There are fantastic colour pictures on flickr.

There are black and white pictures in this You Tube clip.