strange_complex: (Lee as M.R. James)
So, dusk has fallen on Christmas Eve, and here I am, up in Brum with my family. It's somehow taken me a while to 'slot in' to the Christmas spirit this year. Too distracted with book stuff and the unpleasant prospect of term starting again on January 4th, I guess. But it's falling into place now that we're all together here, the tree's been decorated and I've made my usual spray of winter greenery to go over the fireplace. Later on, we'll be going off to sing carols on Bournville Village Green, just as we did last year, so I'm sure that'll do the trick.

Last night, we attended "Christmas by Candlelight", an annual choral concert given by Ex Cathedra in St. Paul's Church, Birmingham. It was OK, but while Ex Cathedra usually tend to gravitate towards early / Baroque music, the repertoire last night was for some reason about 80% modern, and hence not entirely to my tastes. I knew we were in trouble when I scanned down the list of pieces, and noticed how many of the composers had birth-dates after their names, but not death-dates. Bully for them, but I like my composers dead, thanks. I couldn't help but sit there thinking of the concert of bawdy 17th-century Christmas music performed by the Oxford Waits which I was missing in order to be there...

And the night before, I went to see The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe with [livejournal.com profile] redkitty23. I enjoyed it, but wasn't as bowled over as I'd expected to be. The special effects were great, obviously, and certainly much better than the poor old BBC could manage back in 1988. I also very much liked the handling of the battle sequences, and both the home of the White Witch and the castle at Cair Paravel, while I felt that all four children were well-characterised, well-cast and well-acted. But, while Disney have made stellar leaps forward in recent years in terms of recognising that sometimes preserving the inherent Britishness in a story can actually be a good thing (compare their shabby treatment of Winnie the Pooh, which sadly is still ongoing), all the same there was a little more 'Disneyfication' going on than I'd really have liked. I just don't need wise-cracking animals. Ever. Thanks. In that respect, the old BBC series scores more highly. What a pity they just never had the budget or the slick production values of the new film.

Well, Fleur WINOLJ has just rung to say she and her mother will be meeting us on the Green at Bournville. I'm pretty excited now! Time to go off and make sure we have a decent lantern to take with us.

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