Monday, February 9, 2009

Theme Week?

I seem to have inadvertently picked themes on this, my vacation away from the work desk. Supposedly I took a break just to get away from being organized. It's a curse, I'm telling ya.

After "Soap and Water Saturday", Sunday turned into"Adventures across the pond". It began with a lazy Sunday afternoon movie choice. Not mine actually, hubby's. He'd never seen this oldie and to be honest, I hadn't seen it since college when a professor "made" me watch it. The movie was "The Quiet Man", starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara, made in 1952. Even though I'd already seen it, it's hard to see John Wayne on anything other than a horse while wearing a cowboy hat. Oh there was a two minute scene featuring a horse race, but seeing him in a cap was almost...odd. Then again, five minutes later he's stomping down the road on a walk, looking like a guy who....has been riding a horse too long.

The first time I saw this movie, I was shocked by Wayne's chauvinistic streak as he literally man handled the woman he professed to love. This time I saw past social convention of the day to focus on the beauty of Ireland and something I missed when I was 20; the importance of understanding the customs of others whether you agree or not. To tell you the truth, I was somewhat aghast when Wayne refused to return to his brother-in-law and rightfully claim the gold coins which were part of his wife's dowry which had been left behind in a fit of rage and yes, you can imagine who's rage. I understood Wayne's point of view that money wasn't important. At least to him. But to tell the truth I wanted to knock him upside the head with a shillelagh for being so pigheaded in his refusual to see how important the principle of the thing was to O'Hara. He relented. Eventually. And O' Hara learned the art of compromise. There was something refreshing about old plot devices where characters set one another up in order to ensure events went their way. Yes by today's standards it's naive, even childish. To me it was just silly fun.

This was followed last night by a program with the tag line, "Join us to discover the reason there are fewer sighting of Nessie mean the Loch Ness Monster is dead?" I actually tuned in to get a glimpse of Scotland. Sadly, after ten minutes I was watching the inside of my eyelids, fast asleep. I do know some man with a charming accent was using sonar to scan the bottom of the loch in search of Nessie but I have no idea what he found. His lilting voice turned into my lullaby but I suspect like most of the "searches" on this program, they found the usual...NOTHING. Recalls that 1980s program "In Search Of" with Leonard "Spock" Nimoy, in which they had all sorts of ideasm but never an answer.

This morning I sat at my desk, where Shug's map from his latest book hangs on the wall . Nestled beside it is a shadow box with "bits of Scotland" from Rachel, along with a poem about the actual location of those pieces. While my computer did it's own housekeeping chores, I read Shug's book "Postcards from the Hedge". The first poem, "Romantic Break in the Rainy Season" put me in the right frame of mind. As usual, Shug can paint the clearest picture with much less vocabulary than it takes me to describe the same thing. "Lochinver" made me often do "aliens" and "pineal glands" end up in a poem? And although it may hurt his poetic soul, my favorite was "My Feet". I've always thought of feet as a necessary evil, hardly the loveliest of our parts. The last line of the poem reminded me how important those two appendages are to us.

So tomorrow it appears all this talk, sights and sounds of Ireland and Scotland will send me scurrying down the cyber highway to do some more family tree research. I've never really mapped out where the Irish/Scottish relatives came from in relation to you whose blogs I read across the pond. It may break my mother's heart if I find genes other than Irish, but I'm thinking her father's people may have been Welsh. And she will say that's close enough. Relatively speaking.

The nice thing about a vacation is having time to spend how I please. Today my car's in the shop for it's own little check up, meaning I have no reason at all to leave the house.


And now I leave you to go, in search of...


Radge said...

Leaving the house is overrated. Five more days here, then the grind again.

Susan said...

Searching's the fun! I spent the day in the library, searching for local stories. Looking is always better than finding for some reason.

God I hate the Quiet Man. My husband likes watching the fight scenes, "the only believable part of it".

hope said...

Radge, I actually liked having an excuse not to go and run mundane errands. :)

Susan, you're right...I love finding out why!

As for the "Quiet Man"... as an adult I found the "characters" way over the top, along with some of the acting skills or lack thereof. I did however, wish I had hair like Maureen O'Hara. ;)

shug said...

My mother looked like Maureen O Hara. I suppose Holywood's interpretation of Ireland was embarassing at times. Wee bit like Brigadoon with Scotland or Braveheart for that matter. Why was William Wallace wearing plaid and a blue face for God's sake?

hope said...

Shug, I don't think Hollyweird knows how to portray life without skewing it somehow. I always wondered about that blue face too. Your Mom must've been a beauty. :)

So for all my friends across the pond I offer this heartfelt disclaimer: no I don't think any of you are stingy, raging alcoholics who only eat potatoes and perform river dance in your spare time. I turn a blind eye to the overkill aspect and concentrate on your beautiful countries and lovely accents which I consider ear candy. :)

the broken down barman said...

hope, you obviously have never heard a stranraer accent.
imagine a bag of kittens drowning in a vat of acid. your half way there.
it is the most repugnant and rancid accent imaginable.

shug said...

Don't go too far the other way, now. Some of my best friends are stingy, raging alcoholics.

Nothing wrong with the Galloway Irish accent, BDB. The worst Scottish accent is Neddish. You know the one I mean.

the broken down barman said...

i am fluent in neddish, as i am down with the homies, bro.
two bottles of buckfast no 53 and a hoodie and i can talk to any hip young dude, right on, respeck.

am i still with the times????