Day 20

Lesley gives me a lift to the bookmakers and I collect my winnings. What a feeling of satisfaction! I have triumphed

Some good friends call and there are difficult conversations. Difficult in an emotional sense. Personal circumstances and life histories are related so that I can learn from them.  I am truly honoured and privileged by this. I only hope that I can help them in the future. A small but tight knit group of family and close friends providing a kind of net – a safety net for the times I will stumble.

I email my boss and agree a plan of action for me working from home.

Later I start watching The Children of the Stones. How I watch is important.  The series was a children’s series made 40 years ago. This means that the production values of the series can in no way be compared with current production values and to watch it from the perspective of an adult living in 2018 completely misses the point. So to the best of my ability I view it from the perspective of its era. this works well. But in some ways the series stands up better than today’s efforts. For a start the music is imaginative and creative and the writers do not condescend to the young audience, presenting challenging images and concepts.

The whole production reminds me of the 50s b-move Night of the Demon which similarly scared the shit out of me when I was 11 and also contained similarly imaginative music, which for much of the movies was the aural representation of demonic forces. Sounds good, but Night of the Demon was a gigantic missed opportunity  which still interests me as a wizened old afult . Based on an M.R. James ghost story (love M.R. James!), under the directorship of Hitchcok collaborator Tournier NoD was heading to be a great psychological thriller/shocker with all the ambiguity that entails. BUT. The studio insisted on Hal B. Chester as producer who in an act of eternal stupidity insists on a physically manifested monster in the closing sequences. 50s special effects were not up to it and Chester goes down as the true monster of the movie. Arse – feel sorry for the wrecking of Tournier’s work. Hopefully Children of the Stones have not employed a Chester – at the moment it is highly enjoyable – coloured of course by nostalgia.

Enough of the amateur Mark Kermode, I go to bed feeling stronger than I have in quite a while.