Yesterday we put up our tree. A beautiful 7 foot Nordman fir. It’s smell is wonderful and it’s the first time I’ve had a real tree in over 15 years. MrS has a real tree every year but even he underestimated it’s size. Ah well, who needs to sit and watch TV at Christmas anyway? The dog was most disgusted, the tree is now standing where her bed was.
She put on her most disgruntled face which said “what the f**k is that monstrosity?” and the cat just looked on in disdain. Thankfully neither have previous for
Christmas tree attacking. Although pretty sure Smudge would have a go at any chocolates if there were any on there.
After the Messiah on Saturday, Sunday was all about “It’s a Wonderful Life”. MrS has never seen it and when I discovered this I was determined to make a thing of it. I have watched this film every Christmas since I was about 15 but never on the big screen. When I started to look around however, all the screenings were for next weekend, which we couldn’t do. I was ready to give up hope and just watch the DVD, but we often say we will watch one then something comes up, and I really wanted to do this. Fortunately as fate would have it a follower tweeted about the Firmdale Film Club. This actually runs all year round, showing new releases as well as old classics, and their Christmas screenings included IAWL. Even better there was a choice of dates, depending on which of the hotels you went to.
So, yesterday saw us at the Charlotte Street Hotel. Like the other hotels in the group it has a buzzy feeling about it, full of Bright Young Things (aka Hipsters) and Michael Kitchen was drinking in the bar (as spotted by MrS). We went to the 5pm screening with dinner booked afterwards but you can have afternoon tea or dinner before, which ever you like. Afternoon tea and a movie with a girlfriend would be a fabulous day out, plus free popcorn in the screening :)
It was great to see a film on the big screen that I’ve only ever seen on DVD. I noticed much more than I usually do, normally I’m wrapping presents or such when I’m
watching this. Giving it my full attention again was like watching it for the first time. I love James Stewart and some of the one liners in the first half of the film really lift what is essentially a sad story of unfulfilled ambition.
I was quite worried about discovering what MrS thought of it afterwards, after all it’s a film I hold very dear. What I wasn’t expecting him to say was that he’d found the film very upsetting. Didn’t he find it uplifting though, I asked him. He said he thought there was a lot of sad to get through to get to the final 3 uplifting minutes! I don’t think I’d ever thought of it like that. It’s really interesting when someone challenges your view of something. He thought it was an excellent film, very clever, but simply found it upsetting. (MrS has told me I’m not to tell anyone else about this soft chink in his armour, so don’t tell anyone please). Of course, it IS sad. But the underlying message – that no man can live a life without touching the lives of others – is so important and one we forget often, looking at the smaller picture as we all do (or maybe not looking at the smaller picture enough?). Wouldn’t it be great if we could all have our very own George Bailey moment? And, at Christmas, to remember Clarence’s final message to George.
Dinner afterwards was amazing and the service was fantastic (although the wine waiter was a little over zealous!). When we first went to sit down, it was really busy in the restaurant but the member of staff said if we had a drink in the bar for 20 minutes the restaurant would be emptying as diners went off to their 7:30 screening. It was great advice as 20 minutes later we got a much nicer table than we would otherwise have had. I had scallops with celeriac followed by chicken with a mustard sauce and MrS had souffle followed by partridge. We both, unusually, had dessert too. I can highly recommend Oskars at the Charlotte Street Hotel. A weekend of culinary extremes after Saturday night’s schnitzel and bratwurst!
MrS and I both agreed that it was a full-on-full-steam-ahead-for-Christmas weekend and we do indeed have a pretty wonderful life. Now he only needs to finish his Christmas shopping…