Limitless Cinema

What have I missed most during lockdown? Breakfasts on Sunday at Cafe Rouge. The steam room and sauna at my club, which remained shut even after the gym and pool reopened. Museums and galleries. And the recliner seats at my local cinema. Odeon are reopening on 17th May, and are flogging a special deal. Their Limitless all-you-can-watch tickets are £9.99 per month for three months. I’m a little bit tempted, but I suspect the recliner seats are excluded. Which is a deal killer for me.

True, there’ll not be a great many new blockbusters to fill the screens. But there are still a bunch of old blockbusters that would make a trip to the cinema worthwhile. Movies I either missed on the big screen or, as is more often the case, movies that were before my time. Which ones? Ok, as you asked, here’s ten.

I’ve got a few classics at home ready to watch on my television which I’d prefer to see at the cinema. Lawrence of Arabia, Silence of the Lambs, Terminator, Apocalypse Now and Alien. Some of these have new directors cuts to show. I’ve never watched a western, but have been told if I only ever watch one it should be The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. I could probably convince Mrs P to go see Forrest Gump.

And both the Exotic Marigold Hotel, the Painted Veil and the Beach would help quench my thirst for travel, for a few hours at least. I’ve long loved the Beach for reasons which remain a mystery even to myself. Perhaps I have an attachment to it as it came out just as I was embarking on my backpacking adventures.

That’s my ten. If my options are as limitless as Odeon thinks they should be, what movie should be my number eleven? I’m open to suggestions.



Hurrah, I have a well deserved week off from the toils and tribulation of the railway. I’ve been looking forward to this break for months and I have a comprehensive plan to make the most of it. It goes like this…

  • Six nights in Malta.

Which made it look suspiciously similar to almost every plan I made in 2020. Which was jolly rubbish. Everything cancelled, shut down or bankrupt. Leisure travel is forbidden. No planes, no trains and I’m only allowed to drive my automobile so far. That’s to say, not very far. Stay Local something or other. Frankly, I’m quite fed up with this pandemic thing and sometimes, in my more evil moments, I wish they’d use the thousands of dead bodies that Boris helped to kill to fill in the English Channel. Then I can at least walk to France. I’m sure there’s enough of them by now. It’s what they’d have wanted. Probably. It’s certainly what Boris wanted. He’s very big on ridiculous bridges. A Bridge of Cadavers would be right up his alley. Anyway, what’s the point in simply ‘piling them high’? A mountain of bodies? This is one international event where being a big show off is a bit of a bad look, if we’re going to be honest.

I guess I’d best get on with the ironing and fix the broken door hinge.


Rule Number One

Some of the coronavirus debates have become more than a little tiresome, haven’t they? My sense of frustration rises when discussion starts to defy what few facts we do possess. The most basic of which is Rule Number One: the coronavirus is transmitted by direct and/or indirect person to person contact, most commonly through respiration, far less commonly through fomites. Arguments that lockdowns/restrictions don’t work are defeated by Rule Number One.

But Sweden, but the Dakotas, but California. If you’ve used them to argue against lockdowns, you’ve gone wrong from the word go. If you don’t understand why, I refer you to Rule Number One. We can chat about differing levels of effectiveness. We can discuss the cost/benefit effect of restrictions on the economy. I’m well aware that there are potential scenarios, likely to be had with a future pandemic, where we are forced to carry on and accept a billion or three will die. But Lockdowns Don’t Work is an argument that belongs to the death cults and conspiracy theorists.

Face masks are contentious. Some people get weirdly irate or contemptuous at people who wear masks outdoors. Or when driving alone. I don’t doubt that there are a few people who wear them in their living rooms in the evening while doing a spot of knitting. Perhaps they’re knitting more masks. Just in case. In case of what, I’m not sure. Covid infected burglars, maybe. But I just don’t care. Is face mask sex a thing? To be fair, this could be the breakthrough than teetotal ugly people have been waiting for.

They’re not hurting anyone. If I got all upset every time someone did something weird but inconsequential, I’d be permanently upset. I don’t want to be permanently upset. But I do get a little bit irked at the few attention seeking ‘anti-maskers’ who are just getting all a bit precious. Especially the ones who wear exemption lanyards without good reason.

I’m reasonably satisfied that wearing a face mask is effective in some situations. For example, if several people have to spend a short period of time in a poorly ventilated room. I’m equally satisfied that they are largely pointless in other situations. At worst, face masks can reasonably be considered as ‘worth a go’ given the circumstances. I’m also absolutely certain that face masks have to go when restrictions are removed. At the point when most people are vaccinated, everything is open, social distancing is abandoned and levels of infection are so low that there is no infection for all practicable purposes. Face masks are very much a supplementary device to aid other restrictions in preventing transmission during outbreaks.

I’ve been generally happy to wear a face mask when required over the last year. It’s really not terribly oppressive. But I suspect that this will be the last restriction to go. I suspect that many companies and organisations are going to try and drag this out, as a visible demonstration that they are ‘doing something’. Theatre, in other words. I’ve already turned down the chance to buy tickets to a horse racing festival in August, because the conditions include wearing a face mask at all times when not eating and drinking. This sort of nonsense will irk me. Hugely. Not because I will have to pointlessly wear a mask. Because at some point, I’ll decide that this is just ridiculous, so I won’t. But the stupidity of it all will make me wear an exemption lanyard, and then I’ll be on the same side as the ‘anti-mask’ idiots. Sort of.