Sunday, 27 January 2008

I Just Love An Unhappy Ending

A quiet relaxing Sunday. A lie-in, juice, coffee, frivolity and even the Sunday paper delivered by one of our resident delivery persons. All of this then spoilt by a (near) death experience in an exceptionally muddy field at the hands of the fun they call orienteering. Well, at least, Doggo loved it. L and I both came back scratched to hell by the brambles. You could hear the maniacal laughter of the course planner as you crossed the finish line. Not funny mate. Problem is someone will exact revenge on you by plotting an equally evil course next time but of course we'll all have to put ourselves through it too.

Doggo was actually very well behaved on the course or perhaps he just stuck with me in case he got stuck in a bramble bush somewhere and needed rescuing.

Reviving soup. Well its celeriac and something and looks a bit like wallpaper paste but it's ok.

We get home, where I service and clean my bike. Then I get carried away and start cleaning the hall and the bedroom. Most of the mud in the hall, surprise surprise, comes courtesy of the dog.

I knock up a positively excellent curry, even if I do say so myself and then we watch a bit of culture. A bit of Dickens. The 'Old Curiosity Shop' that we taped at Christmas.

It is the story of a girl called Nell and her grandfather, who owns a shop of 'curiosities'. Unfortunately her grandfather has an unhealthy appetite for a game of cards and he's also not very good at it. He borrows heavily from a loan shark called Daniel Quilp, in order to finance his losses. In the end, Quilp makes him sign over the shop if he fails to meet the repayments, which he duly fails to do and Quilp seizes the shop. Nell and her grandfather run away and in their travels they meet a number of characters, some good, some bad.

Quilp however pursues them. He teams up with Nell's brother Frederick who doesn't believe they are broke and hatches a plan with his friend Richard. Whereby Richard will marry Nell and the two of them carve up her inheritance.

A mysterious 'gentleman' appears looking for Nell and her grandfather. A boy, who is a friend of Nell's from the Curiosity Shop, is framed as a thief by Quilp and his cronies but he is then saved by of all people, Richard. Quilp is now on the run himself but as he tries to escape, he falls through the ice on the frozen lake and dies.

The mysterious 'gentleman', who is in fact the younger brother of Nell's grandfather, eventually finds them but Nell dies as a result of presumably catching something from being out in the rain. Which is a common ailment among these period dramas! All the same, I just love an unhappy ending.

All good stuff but it's not quite Bleak House.

26 units, a good week.

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