Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Year-End Thoughts

I’ve been re-watching my collection of four seasons of “Jeeves and Wooster.” I certainly am not the only dedicated fan of P.G. Wodehouse – I even know his name is pronounced “”Woodhouse” – and I enjoy laughing together with other fans when I come across them. I can’t remember when I first read one of Wodehouse’s wonderful novels about the dim gentleman and his clever valet, but it was love at first reading. And this series, with its stars Hugh Laurie (yes, he of “House” fame) and Stephen Fry, is very nearly perfect, down to the period details of stately country homes and twenties costume, manners, dinners, music, and even plumbing. Marvelous!

I love novels written in a time well before my own. They give me a glimpse of life and attitudes sometimes very like and other times very different from today’s. I find that to be true of novels from an earlier time in my own life, which can yank me back to my own youth in a way a history book can’t. John D. MacDonald’s thrillers, for example, put me back into the 1960s very vividly.

I also like old movies and for the same reason; they give me a glimpse of a time long past. In some the humor or attitude only puzzles me, but I laugh out loud at Laurel and Hardy. And I adore little Shirley Temple. And I love watching Edward G. Robinson’s implacable integrity in “Double Indemnity.”

I am in the very early stages of plotting out “And Then You Dye.” I’m feeling twinges of excitement about this story, I think it will be a good one. Sometimes you can tell ahead of time when you have a good story to tell.

I had a lovely quiet Christmas and am looking forward to a not-too-raucous New Year’s Eve playing penny-ante poker with a few friends. We’ve been holding the poker party on New Year’s Eve for a great many years. I remember one time when we gave it up to attend a party at a friend’s house. After an hour or two, one of us found a deck of cards and fairly soon several of us were to be found in an upstairs bedroom playing poker. In the words of an old filk (yes, filk, not folk) song, “Love it is strong, but a habit is stronger . . .” And when you’re playing for pennies it doesn’t matter so much if you’ve got a weakness for drawing to an inside straight.

How do you intend to see the old year out and the new year in?

However you do, may 2011 be happy, healthy and prosperous!


signlady217 said...

I really like the recurring character Stephen Fry plays on "Bones" (former rocker turned retired psychiatrist turned chef), and of course, Hugh Laurie is awesome in any role (remember 101 Dalmatians; think live-action, not animated).

We're just having a quiet night at home on New Year's Eve, hanging out and watching TV or playing around on the computers. Nothing too extreme.

On a side note: Today is our 25th wedding anniversary. Yeah us, for making it this far! :)

Betty Hechtman said...

I like watching old movies, too. The clothes and hairstyles are always interesting.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

We're having a psychic party here. My sister invited a friend, who is a psychic, to give readings. We've also been saving bottles so people can put messages inside and throw them out to sea.

Monica Ferris said...

Sign Lady, I have watched very little of "Bones," and so haven't caught Stephen Fry's character. Too bad, I'd like to see that. Congratulations on your 25th wedding anniversary!

Betty, aren't Myrna Loy's hats to die for? And she wears them with such panache!

Joanna, I'd love to come to that party! I especially like the part where you put messages into bottles.