28 June 2010

The Waves

Marie Prevost

“The cure for anything is salt water — sweat, tears, or the sea.” 
— Isak Dinesen

Whenever I’m asked where I’d like to be, my mind immediately conjures up images of the sea. Right now, with the unbearable temperatures in New York (it was bloody 92 degrees today), I'm fantasizing about hanging out with Marie Prevost and the other Sennett bathing beauties. A girl can dream, can’t she? 

12 June 2010

A Jolly Good Murder

Michael Kitchen and Honeysuckle Weeks in Foyle's War.

Among the many things that summer brings (humidity, bare legs, gin cocktails) is the return of PBS’ Masterpiece Mystery. And this year one of my favourite detectives is back—Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle—in Foyle’s War.

Set in the English seaside town of Hastings during World War II, the series focuses on Foyle, played by the incomparable Michael Kitchen, who is frustrated to be stuck solving local crimes instead of helping with the war effort. But as we soon discover, there’s plenty of work for Foyle to do. Accompanied by his driver, the ever cheerful Samantha “Sam” Stewart (Honeysuckle Weeks), and Detective Sergeant Paul Milner (Anthony Howell), who lost a leg in the early days of the war, the steadfast and methodical Foyle fights the enemies at home.

Foyle is the epitome of the reserved Englishman. Even while having a gun pointed at his head, he exhibits grace under pressure. He rarely raises his voice; with Foyle, a slight twitch of his mouth can speak volumes. He takes his time observing the people and events around him while allowing us to enjoy his intelligence and dry wit.

Brigadier: What was it? A heart attack?

Foyle: Well, you might say that. He was shot in the chest.

His dogged determination and strong sense of right and wrong lets us know that in the end, justice will prevail. And he drinks scotch. What’s not to love?

After the show was cancelled (bad ITV) someone there with a brain decided to renew it and three new episodes just aired (oh how I miss the old Mystery with its wonderful Edward Gorey opening but that is for another discussion). The new episodes take place right after the war has ended but they are just as good as the prior ones. They will most likely be shown again during the summer but if you don't want to wait (and who does?) they are available now on Netflix. I know I shall be spending more time with Foyle before the summer is over.

07 June 2010

Chapter One

Louise Brooks in Pandora's Box.

“Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairheads, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.” Oh, wait a minute. That's the beginning of Ulysses, not the beginning of my first post. Actually, I'm not sure where to begin. 

In fact, I'm not quite sure where this blog is headed. I’d like to write about some of my interests—the 1920s and 30s, playing detective, screwball comedies, British mysteries, historic gardens, and traveling (to name a few)—as well as share stories of my adventures living in New York. And hopefully, along the way, some of you might drop me a comment or two and let me know what you think.

So here's a toast to beginnings and stay tuned for more tales to come.


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