Fly Away Home


Until You Spread Your Wings

You’ll Have No Idea How Far You Can Fly….

I took my son to the airport last night. He took off for England for the summer with family.  This is the first time he will be away for more than 2 weeks. Great opportunity for him and I am really happy for him. For me, not so much. Momma is having to learn to let go. As a rising senior, this is surely a foretaste of what is to come.  If what I am feeling now is anything to go by, its leaving a bitter taste and one I do not see  becoming quick to acquire anytime soon.

The term, “Fly Away Home” came to mind. It seemed such a  appropriate statement. After all, we raise kids to be self sufficient and ready for the inevitable. Flying away.  Of course as this is me talking,  it had to have a movie attached to it.

Fly Away Home

Based on a true story of William Lishman, (also one of the writers) who in 1988 made aviation history by leading a flock of geese on flights around his home. The movie version stars Anna Paquin and Jeff Daniels. I watched it again recently. A great PG movie you can watch with your kids. They will be thrilled and even inspired by the story. I, and maybe you as a parent, may see it through different eyes. As the young Anna nurses abandoned goose eggs, she cares for her hatched little ones and watches them grow.  The reality is though, migration is inevitable. It’s time for them to fly.

You can read about the true story  here: http://www.operationmigration.org/work_story.html

Enjoy the movie, maybe even shed a tear and always remember, the days with our little ones may be long, but the years go quickly.  I will take comfort in the fact that migrating birds return….  a little sweet to go with that bitter taste.

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International Women’s Day


I didn’t know there was a international women’s day. Did you? How many years have we had one? I had no idea!  As the only female in our household (even the dog is male, and I wouldn’t be surprised if my husband’s fish were too) you would be forgiven if you felt a little sorry for me.  Hold the sympathy’s though. Even though my life is enveloped in testosterone,  I have a super husband and 2 teenage boys who still give their mom a hug and kiss, not in public mind.   I would say its  women’s day every day.

Now then, I am sure, like me, you can think of many women  who have forged new trails, changed history etc. I am sure you can think of actresses, or movies about women that would be appropriate too. Well, I fancy celebrating women by watching a movie. I have an actress that I admire greatly, in a super  movie based on a true story. Three cheers for women power!

Calendar Girls

A group of friends support one of their own when her husband dies. As member’s of the local chapter of the Women’s Institute, they want to raise money for  a sofa for the local hospital in memory of him. Their idea on how to do that however, draws controversy.

Starring the great Helen Mirren, with support from a whole slew of fantastic English actress’s. Some of whom you should recognise.

Also check out Educating Rita and Shirley Valentine  Two movies about women, who are in a rut and don’t know how strong they are, until they change the course of their lives. 

Happy Women’s Day!

Made In Dagenham


…0r Made In England, as the lady in front of me said as she was trying to buy her ticket. My 15 year old American son asked me, “Did you like Made in Day-gen-ham”?

You say tomato and I say tomahto…

If you’re struggling with the pronunciation as well, it goes like this: “Dag-‘n-‘m”. Well, that’s what I would say but I’m from the north of England. Maybe those from the south would say Daag-en-um. Anyway, struggling or not, wherever your from, pluck up the courage and buy your ticket because you really must see this film. You may have to drive to a independent cinema because shamefully, the multi’s might not show it, but I can promise you that your efforts will be handsomely rewarded.  And besides, this will give you plenty of time to practice your pronunciation  in the car.

Brits At Their Best

Wonderfully bright-eyed Sally Hawkins, always solid Bob Hoskins and a plethora of other great British actors bring to life a true tale from 60’s England.  It is tagged as historical, drama, comedy.  Although there was nothing funny about the subject matter, the comedy comes from the wonderful working class characters. Don’t be put off if you are getting fed up of the old British charming wit thing. It is as much a part of the fabric of the culture as the London Underground is.

Miranda Richardson, another national treasure, does a grand turn as the legendary Barbara Castle. Mrs Castle was a force to be reckoned with and was never far from controversy. A woman with a clear sense of purpose who didn’t mince her words and broke the glass ceiling to become Secretary of State for Employment in 1968. Richardson does her proud. Rosamund Pike, as a educated wife of a Ford executive,  makes a great impact of her brief but supportive role  which reminds us the norms of the day was no respector of social standing or education.

Once in Trafford Park, Stretford (near Manchester), the Ford auto plant moved to Dagenham, a large town of east London.  In 1968 a workforce of  just over  150 women make the decision to strike because their pay grade is classified as unskilled yet their male counterparts got 15% more pay for “skilled” work.

Rita O’Grady (Sally Hawkins) is shepherded into representing the women, culminating in her unlikely leadership of the strike. A little unsure of herself and her ability, she is definitely sure about the pay imbalance which gives her the confidence to keep going. At first, the union doesn’t take these group of women seriously, until Rita finds a voice for all the women and shakes the pillars of not only the male dominated union, but the male dominated Ford executives.

It’s More Than You Think

Some people have shrugged off this movie because of it’s feminist and socialist overtones. The reality is, this film is more about being treated as a human being, rather than a rally call for feminism. It’s more about being accepted as equal, rather than plugging the socialist agenda. Not even the all-male union leadership thought the cause was worthy. The film captures these truths wonderfully.

Bottomline

This is a fun, entertaining, thoughtful and moving film. You’ll be glad you saw it… even if you can’t say DAG-‘N-‘M.

The King’s Speech


I am seriously hoping that after the Christmas rush to luke warm movie offerings is over,  the superb The King’s Speech will be the one that gains momentum, buzz and  box office bucks.

I remember when I was little, my gran telling me about the abdication of  Edward (David, as he was called). How stunning a decision and fall from grace that was. She told of how Bertie was not groomed to be King and how his wife Elizabeth never forgave Edward or Mrs Simpson.

What was never talked about too much, was Bertie’s stammer. Probably too painful to listen to and dreaded every time he spoke in public. 

The King’s Speech has given a back seat to the sensational story of the man who should have been king, and has given us a glimpse of  the man who did.

 Grounded with as much information from writings, letters etc as possible, it tells the story of  Bertie and his struggle with stammering compounded especially in the advent of the new fangled “radio” and  the relationship that he bonds with his speech therapist Lionel Logue. An Australian with unconventional methods,  Lionel begins to break down more than the barrier of speech and Bertie begins to find a voice. 

Great performances by Colin Firth, Helena Bonham-Carter and Geoffrey Rush.  Together with the writing and direction, a sensitive, bold, brave and compelling tale is told that would match Bertie’s character.

Oh yes, another comment my grandma made later in her life; the right man did become King. During WWII and throughout his short life he, and Elizabeth, will never be forgotten for the selflessness and support they gave to the British. A great man indeed.

A footnote:

  1. Watch out for Colin Firth’s leading lady from Pride and Prejudice in a supporting role.
  2. A reminder that this movie is rated “R”. This is because of one scene where the air turns blue! Don’t let it put you off.
  3. The original King’s speech to the nation at the start of the war can be heard in the recording below. A bit grainy, but if you listen after you have seen the movie, it brings Bertie’s ability to overcome his struggle to life.