July 28th, 2004

little review

Poem for Wednesday

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We were watching the Hornblower episode The Wrong War last night and noticed there was a documentary on the disc hosted by Edward Windsor. Somehow this did not ring a bell and make me say "Oh, Prince Edward" until he showed up onscreen. The documentary was quite good -- a history of British naval warships, with interviews with the historians on the HMS Victory and officers on the current HMS Manchester -- but Edward himself was really quite a revelation, sounding like a cross between Eric Idle and Ian McKellen and having a good sense of humor about atrocious aristocratic behavior, naughty sailors, naval tradition and toasting the Queen. He seems unsnobbish and fairly intelligent. Why is he not the most popular member of the Royal Family?

Anyway, The Wrong War was probably my least favorite Hornblower thus far, despite better visuals than some of the earlier ones and more homoerotic potential than I knew what to do with (I know I'm supposed to be slashing Horatio/Archie at this point in the series but I'm all about Captain Pellew, I can't help it). I appreciated Archie's "I don't want to die in someone else's bloody war" sentiments, but I felt like the actor was a bit over the top in several scenes and the guy playing the Marquis seemed to have gone to the John Cleese School For Playing Outrageous Foreign Aristocrats. Maybe it was the director, as even Hornblower had a few moments where I wanted to tell Ioan that we got it, he didn't have to keep making SUCH an agonized face.

But speaking of Hornblower, yesterday I got the remaining books in the series so now I can actually read them when I finish O'Brian. And in the mail I got a package that made me SO happy. When we were in Stratford-upon-Avon a year ago last April, I bought a little tin of tiny round mints made by the Chambers Candy Company with Shakespeare on the front. The mints lasted until about four days after we got home from England, then I started using the tin as a pillbox and became frantic for more mints. But I discovered that Chambers Candy didn't export directly, while their US distributor Christopher Brookes only sold in huge quantities for retail and none of the stores around me seemed to carry them.

Last week while researching the colors of Smarties for a Snape/Lupin story -- never say that fan fiction is not educational -- I discovered British Traditionals, which not only has my Shakespeare mints but aniseed comfits, and Williamson & Magor tea in elephant tins as well! And Smarties too. And my order arrived with a free tin of mints with angels on it. I am blissful.

It rained so hard this morning that our sump pump has been running every few minutes for the past two hours, even though the downpour stopped by 8:30. I had to Drano my tub drain and have not even braved the shower yet. Lazy day.