This has been the longest winter since records began and weathermen say its going to get worse. Badenoch Strathspey has been under four feet of snow since a week before Christmas, and as Brian Glover says, enuffsenuff. This year the only walking I have got in, was the Lost in Affric jaunt that was completed on Burns’s Day 2010. But its March 1st and the clocks change in a month, so hang on in there.
I was hoping to do part of the Santiago De Compostela in May with friends, but it looks as if they have all got cold feet, well nae wunner, have ye seen the snow, anyway I am looking into doing the whole walk myself, 500 miles over four weeks in May. So I am needing to get in some training but can’t get near the jaggy mountains or waymarked walks for the bastard snow. If there is anyone out there who has got experience of the Way of the Pilgrim or Camino Frances, please share your experience with me.
Two weeks ago I was at The Vatican, where the Pope lives, with my girlfriend. It was amazing to be standing in Saint Peters Square, just as Hannibal Lecter had done in 1999. We also went to the Colosseum and it was shut…. There are what looks like large gouges indented into the stone facade of the Colosseum, which generated a little discussion, and my theory was that they were the result of displacement of spalling as a result of imposed weight of a one time roof . I am not doing the Wikipedia thing , so does anyone know the answer to that? Also, we went to the Spanish Steps , and we made a wish at the Trevi Fountain, which so far, mine has not came true and right now looks less likely.
In Glasgow , there used to be the Coliseum Cinerama CInema, where I seen How The West Was Won back in the sixties, with my father. Cinerama was a method of wide screen where three strips were spliced together also known as Super Panavision and it was the Imax of its day. The Gaumont in Sauchiehall Street, was another cinema my father took me to, and I saw The Longest Day there, and remember looking up at him as he cried at the scene when Red Buttons got his parachute tangled up on the church steeple, as he tried to cut himself free with a wee knife, which he dropped, resulting in the gerries spotting him and firing their machine-guns at him. I realise now that it was not Mr Buttons predicament that upset ma Da, but probably the more obscene scenes that he had witnessed in that war. My father fought in the Battle of Monte Cassino, and one day, soon, I will make a pilgrimage to that place in his memory.
The Gaumont showed dead long films, as they were technically known then and the same film was screened over months which was kind of unique, films like Lawrence of Arabia, Khartoum, The L Shaped Room, The Bridge on the River Kwai. There was also the La Scala and the ABC. I think the La Scala become The Tatler which showed films were you actually seen the lot!
Cinema was weird in those days, as you could smoke and get cartons of Kiaora.
Later in life, I frequented The Hall Cinema, in a wee toon called Bonhill, my sister was an usherette there, and was duly entitled to let a family member in for free. The Hall Cinema specialised in films that were, at the time not well known or up to twenty years older than what was contemporary at the time.
So twice a week I would go, which meant that that was four films a week I would watch, two pictures, an A and a B on the Mon, Tues, Wed and a different two on the Thurs , Fri, Sat. There wer great films like , To Trap a Spy, The Spy with The Green Hat, The Karate Killers, and old X rated horrors like Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein. I watched those two films on DVD last Friday night, Big Boris, how scary was he and Elsa Lanchester, what a crazy bitch she was!
Then there was the Saturday midnight movie, which was a great place for a winch, if you were lucky or unlucky depending what your lumber was like.
One of the most memorable films that I saw in that cinema was Monkey on My Back starring Cameron Mitchell, yes, he of Uncle Buck from the High Chaparral.
In fact I am going onto Amazon to get that for watching during the next whiteout which is due just shortly.