Christmases have been fairly lean for us the last few years and tend to be celebrated quietly but so long as the family is together at some point that's all that truly matters. My sisters have both come up trumps again this year, though, with a calendar from each of them - one scenic, one Steampunk! I shall have to alternate between them, I think(!).
Another sororal present, the silent 1928 film The Wrecker has featured on this blog before and now (finally) makes it into my DVD collection. I've watched it already and it's a cracking bit of 1920s fun & action. The villain can be spotted from a mile off, the plot is both quaint yet serious, there are many long smouldering looks to camera and just in case there was any doubt about the hero's bona fides he turns out to be an ex-Lancashire cricket captain and therefore beyond reproach. Plus, of course, plenty of trains (including that crash!) and buses too. The feature, as previously mentioned, has been lovingly restored and given a new accompaniment by noted silent film music writer/composer Neil Brand. He's even done the same for the abridged 14-minute home movie version (above) and there are plenty of other extras on the DVD to do with the film as well as other staged locomotive crashes and the old railway line on which parts of The Wrecker were filmed.
I've occasionally considered submitting myself to the critical eye of The Chap magazine's editor Mr Gustav Temple in the Am I Chap? feature but always fear what would surely be his withering opprobrium at my effort. It's the tweed within rather than without that really counts as the Chaps also say and I am in agreement with that. Still, maybe one day...
I was thus able to obtain four new albums this way - Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer's latest, Can't Stop, Shan't Stop; Caro Emerald's new The Shocking Miss Emerald and two splendid compilations - Hits of 1930 and Vintage Charleston. There's nothing like starting the New Year with some new music and these tunes will certainly keep me entertained for a long while.
I'm sure you all received some perfectly wonderful gifts too and I look forward to hearing about them as well. In the meantime I'm off to do a bit of Charlestoning. Toodle-pip!