Friday, 17 March 2017

B-movie Madness: The Blob 1958

Today's b-movie is 1958's The Blob, maybe one of the most famous of the 1950's b features.


An alien lifeform consumes everything in its path as it grows and grows.



Over one night in a small Pennsylvania town in July '57, teenager Steve (Steve McQueen) and his girlfriend, Jane (Aneta Corsaut), are kissing on lovers' lane when they see a meteor crash beyond the next hill.

Steve decides to look for it but a local man finds it first. Poking it with a stick, it breaks open and a jelly like blob attaches itself to his hand. In pain and unable to remove it, he heads for the road where he is almost hit by Steve's car. Steve and Jane then take him to Doctor Hallen.


Doctor Hallen who is about to leave the surgery, anesthetises the man and sends Steve and Jane back to the where they found the man to see if anyone knows what happened. Meanwhile he decides he must amputate the man's arm since it is being consumed by the ever increasing Blob.

Before he has a chance, the Blob consumes the man, then Hallen's nurse, and finally the doctor himself, all the while increasing in size.


As Steve and Jane return to the office, they are in time to witness the doctor's death. Heading to the police station, they return to the house with Lieutenant Dave and Sergeant Bert who dismiss the story as a prank when there is no evidence to back up their story.

At the Colonial cinema, which is showing a midnight screening, Steve ropes in some of his friends to warn people about the Blob.



When Steve notices that his father's grocery store is unlocked, he and Jane go inside. They are cornered in a walk in freezer by the Blob which oozes in but then retreats. The townspeople and police still refuse to believe Steve's story.

Meanwhile, the Blob enters the Colonial and consumes the projectionist before oozing into the auditorium and doing the same to a number of the audience ... ... ...

***

I really like this film and think Steve, or should I say Steven McQueen is really great in this, despite being twenty seven and playing a teen!

I saw this for the first time years ago and the bit that always stuck in my head was Jane, aka Janie Girl and her never-ending talk about The Little Dog. Though to be fair, I would have worried about it too. And I, unlike Jane, who had some wonderful outfits by the way, would have had no problem with Steve calling me Janie Girl. Except Jane's not my name, so maybe I would 😉



Did you know ... The actual Blob, a mixture of red dye and silicone, has never dried out and is still kept in the original five-gallon pail in which it was shipped to the production company in 1958 from Union Carbide.

*

Have you seen The Blob?

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Pink Velvet



Hanging on the wardrobe in a garment bag is my prized pink velvet 1950's coat.
It cost me £10.
I don't often wear it as bright cherry brandy pink is quite the statement and you need perfect weather to wear it:
Cold, as it's a coat
But not cold enough that you need to button it
A perfect day with no threat of rain to ruin the velvet.



Tuesday of last week dawned bright and sunny, it was the perfect day for my coat. I wore my butterfly skirt, a twinset and pearls, both nan me downs, aurora borealis vintage earrings, a vintage chiffon hair scarf and my new to me black patent heels which I got recently from a charity shop in town for £7.25.

Andy wanted to go and see a man about fixing his guitar, or some such musician nonsense. I went along for the ride but consequently ended up sat in the car for half an hour. It was a beautiful day and how much nicer I thought it would be to be sat waiting in Meirionwen than our every day car. We had already seen a classic Saab sat outside a pub, so it was evidently the perfect day for taking a classic car for a spin. But I wasn't sat in Meirionwen, so I had to make do with watching a family of buzzards high in the sky, calling to each other as they caught the thermals.

So, when Andy finally emerged from seeing the man, the actual man, not the man that upset so many people in the past, It's the fault of The Man, man! The Man! Nor was it The Man who Lou Reed was waiting for in that famous Velvet Underground song.

Anyway. Once he was out, we set off at my request and collected Meirionwen. Her first proper run since September. We headed into Surrey as I wanted to go to a bespoke jewellers. Last year at out first classic car show I won a £50 gift voucher for said jewellers but couldn't actually afford any premade pieces he offered, so I returned with a labradorite cabochon and asked if he could do something with it so I could wear it as a pendant. He's going to sketch some ideas for me, so that's exciting.

It was fun walking back to Meirionwen in the sunshine as my coat looked vivid!
Oh the stares!

This done and dusted, we went for a little drive and ended up back near here at a pub we like. It's perfect for taking a classic car to, you often see them there in the summer. We had a drink there and then emerged into a cloudy overcast carpark and I hadn't even got a picture of my beautiful coat! And crikey O'Reilley, it was COLD! I was actually shivering.

Can you tell I was absolutely freezing?
Thankfully, as Meirionwen's engine is so far back under the bonnet,
she's actually toasty warm inside.

Shame it was such a gloomy point in the day as the pink just isn't popping here.


Andy, who is desperately in need of a haircut, claims date night this week is him taking me along to the barber so he can have his hair cut the way I like it ... aren't I spoiled?


Sunday, 12 March 2017

Family Fashion Parade!

I thought I would share some family snaps!

This is my maternal grandmother Sarah.


Aged sixteen.
I believe I have the necklace she's wearing.



Holding my mother

  
 No idea who that girl is.

  


 

She's second from the right here.


Second from the left here and apparently my family knew Grandpa Munster! Who knew 😉


On the right here 


On the left holding my mother with three on her sister in laws. Guess this explains my curls!



My granddad is in the middle and that's his sister, June I think, on the left and that's my nan again on the right.
Seriously, how cool is my granddad? I rarely use that word but he looks like a rockabilly here! I'd love for Andy to have a sleeveless cardigan like he's wearing here but alas, I don't knit.


My granddad again, in Germany.


My granddad's brother Ray marrying wife June



My mother



and her again, aged fourteen



and again, marrying my step dad aged twenty three I think.
Fabulous wedding photo isn't it.


My biological father at the Isle of White festival.


My Scandinavian, paternal great grandparents


Great uncle Bert, my nan's brother.



And I saved the best for last.
The In Crowd.
My nan's brothers and sisters plus girlfriend.
That's Bert again second from the right.



Friday, 10 March 2017

Film Friday: Psycho 1960

Film Friday: a little meander through my DVD collection.
Today I am featuring the classic that is 1960's Psycho.
Also home to my favourite screen house, The Bates Mansion.

Psycho is a 1960 American psychological thriller-horror film directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock, and written by Joseph Stefano, starring Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, John Gavin, Vera Miles and Martin Balsam. It was based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Robert Bloch.








The film centres on the encounter between a secretary, Marion Crane (Leigh), who ends up at a secluded motel after stealing money from her employer, and the motel's disturbed owner-manager, Norman Bates (Perkins), and its aftermath.







When originally made, the film was seen as a departure from Hitchcock's previous film North by Northwest, having been filmed on a low budget, with a television crew and in black and white.








The film initially received mixed reviews, but outstanding box office returns prompted reconsideration which led to overwhelming critical acclaim and four Academy Award nominations, including Best Supporting Actress for Leigh and Best Director for Hitchcock.






Psycho is now considered one of Hitchcock's best films and praised as a work of cinematic art by international film critics and film scholars. Ranked among the greatest films of all time, it set a new level of acceptability for violence, deviant behaviour and sexuality in American films, and is widely considered to be the earliest example of the slasher film genre.



Director Alfred Hitchcock was so pleased with the score written by Bernard Herrmann that he doubled the composer's salary to $34,501. Hitchcock later said, "33% of the effect of Psycho was due to the music."



Did you know ... Walt Disney refused to allow Alfred Hitchcock to film at Disneyland in the early 1960s because Hitchcock had made "that disgusting movie, 'Psycho.'"

***

Do you like this film?

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

National Treasures: Polesden Lacey


Our fourth National Trust jaunt took us one very foggy and atmospheric day to Surrey and the beautiful Polesden Lacey.
So far this has been my favourite and it isn't hard to see why this is in the National Trust's top four most popular places. It is also the place that the future George VI and Queen Elizabeth spent part of their honeymoon at, in 1923.
I believe it's so popular because it looks like the sort of place you could comfortably live in.

Please ignore the little blue vehicle in the above photo. It was cold out and I couldn't wait for it to move, so snapped this and hurried inside to the toasty warm.

The staff were lovely and the man on reception said how glamourous I looked and that I could be lady of the house. Yes please! When can I move in????

The house was shown as it would have been over winter, with much covered up or in the process of being cleaned, but this just added to the charm.



Polesden Lacey is an Edwardian house (expanded from an earlier building) and estate.









This Regency house was extensively remodelled in 1906 by Margaret 'Maggie' Greville, a well-known Edwardian hostess. Her collection of fine paintings, furniture, porcelain and silver is displayed in the reception rooms and galleries, as it was at the time of her celebrated house parties.
Many of her jewels are in the care of our present Queen.



The grounds consist of 1,400 acres including a walled rose garden, lawns, ancient woodland and landscape walks.







Architects Charles Mewès and Arthur Davis, who were responsible for the Ritz Hotel in London, remodelled the house for Ronald and Margaret Greville. The couple filled the house with collections of fine furniture, porcelain, silver and art.

This was the first room we stepped in to, the entry way. Isn't it just stunning!
It was also wonderfully warm.





The dining room, where Andy spotted a bunny!


Bunny! It looks like Bob!


The room where they kept food warm. I loved this sink area.



Super gramophone player and radio.





I just love bits and bobs such as these.







  



Linen cupboard. How neat!
Ours looks like the Woodstock of bedding and towels in comparison!









This corridor is just stunning.



I was awestruck when I walked in to the Gold Salon, I simply couldn't speak it was so beautiful!

When I move in *cough* this room, the one designed to entertain Maharajahs,
this will be the bunnies room.









  

Look! I'm part of the furniture! It was meant to be!


And this is me, moving in.
New Lady of Polesden Manor and I have to carry my own bags?


Maggie's final resting place.