A stab at design

Benny is no more. Don’t worry. He’s not dead (at least I hope not), but the place that was named after this man whose name was not actually Benny, has now changed. Not beyond all recognition, but enough.

It doesn’t do pizzas. Even though the post-Benny pizzas were never as good, nor the place as nice to visit, they were pizzas. Now it is tea and coffee, sandwiches, cake and savoury pies. The place has been spruced up (but they are still intending to close for the next four weeks to decorate…), and it is selling souvenirs. Seasidey things, and hoodies and t-shirts with the [now] correct latitude/longitude printed on them.

Stabbe Design hoodie in Atlanta

We had been forbidden by Daughter to visit without her, but when I saw on Facebook this morning that it was today or not at all, we were given reluctant permission to go. So we had a tea and a coffee where we used to have pizza.

This closing your business is clearly a Swedish thing. 17 years ago we noticed Benny’s was being done up, but with an opening date just after we’d gone home. And when we returned at the end of the summer, he’d gone on holiday and it was already closed. I think we are doomed as far as this geographical spot is concerned. If and when we come again this year, they are bound to have closed. Again.

But they accepted my old, almost extinct, 50 kronor note as payment, which was generous of them.

And we’ll be back. Next summer, or perhaps the year after, depending on how our dates coincide. We weren’t hungry enough to eat anything, which is why there is no report on how good anything tasted. It looked nice and tasty.

(Stabbe Design)

(And a wee bit of googling had me back on my own blog, as it seems I have already – very briefly – blogged about the owner of this new café. I still haven’t had time to read the book… Sorry.)

Encounters

Over a meal out the other week we got talking about what famous people we had come across in the wild. Apparently meeting them through ‘work’ like blogging, did not qualify. You had to just happen upon them.

Various semi-famous people were mentioned, but the discussion felt a bit lacklustre. What’s a Jeremy Paxman in Blackwell’s or an Alistair Darling at airport security? I mean, really? The best Son came up with was flying with Gordon Brown. Daughter didn’t even think to mention her own flying with Pilou Asbæk.

I felt I had something to add, but it took me a while to remember Agnetha Fältskog at Heathrow (as we have a flying theme). Jan Malmsjö in the post office might not count, as I worked there. But Daughter found someone from one of those shows I never watch at our former post office. Or was it the greengrocer’s?

We came to the conclusion that the winner was the Resident IT Consultant’s cousin who volunteered the fact that she had danced with John Travolta.

(The niggling feeling that I was forgetting someone, finally matured when I remembered my Cliff Richard and Cilla Black encounter at the theatre. But they don’t beat Travolta, since I didn’t dance with either of them.)

NCIS – Family First

Nature – i.e. the rain outside – cried with us as we watched the end of DiNozzo. As expected, a little bit bad and sad, and a little bit good. They can’t kill everyone off, but at least this way some characters won’t be coming back other than as ghosts. (I honestly didn’t think they’d do what they did.)

Abby, McGee, Bishop, Palmer and DiNozzo

I’ll miss Trent Kort. Why did they have to make him all right for a while? Think of the time he called on Gibbs as his only friend and ally, in Dead Reckoning. That was fun.

Fornell isn’t dead. He’s merely got beautiful toenails. Let’s see if they let him back again or not. I’m wondering if this Tess is intended to become the new Fornell? Though I believe the character is meant to have to prove herself in order to remain.

I quite like MI6, Clayton Reeves, who is going to be our next DiNozzo. Similar and different at the same time. They could – probably – not go for another female agent (except the loan of Tess from FBI), so they went black, and foreign.

Wonder if we’ll see DiNozzo Sr again? It’s odd when one actor’s decision to leave affects another actor’s possibilities.

DiNozzos Jr and Sr

The shrink is slowly growing on me, but I hope Dr Taft will return some time too.

As I said, it ‘rained’ a little in the house as we watched. Halfway, when we found out that … and met .., even I felt I might blub a little. It’s tough saying goodbye.

Ducky, DiNozzo and Palmer

So no summer cliffhanger, and it’s only through news articles we know about Clayton. Here’s to a peaceful summer break, with a few sniffles over Tony, but otherwise just looking ahead to what season 14 will bring.

Season 14! Doesn’t that sound impossibly advanced?

NCIS – Homefront

‘The scriptwiters are crazy,’ Daughter said after watching NCIS – Homefront, and after watching it myself, I have to agree.

Who?

Did they really kill..? OK, having looked at next week’s episode description, maybe not. Or at least not yet. But how very dare they?

No DiNozzo at all, which I suppose was meant to break us in for the time when there will be no DiNozzo. Thought I’d never say this, but it was actually a bit boring without him.

They upset a lot of fans by having the First Lady as herself (well, probably even more so had she acted some other part…), which I had no problem with at all. I’d been sort of looking forward to it after I heard, although I would have liked it better still if she had been sprung on us without warning. There is nothing quite like surprise. After all, the President himself had already been on the other end of a phone line, so the next logical step was to have someone in front of the camera. First the real Director of NCIS. Then the real SecNav. Twice.

I thought Mrs Obama did really well, considering she was up against real actors.

Michelle Obama

And I can understand why they did it. It’s a worthy enough charity and they obviously want to be seen to support it, which I agree with. But I would rather they had written a fun plot to support the support, so to speak. This was at most a rather pedestrian episode, with a weird child and not much else.

McGee

I can see how Gibbs’s house can’t be a ‘safe house’ much longer. Every villain in town must have heard they take people to his house by now. I recommend blinds. Possibly locks on the door. Caution, even.

Abby was too flaky, even for Abby, with her #LivingRocks. And nothing quite beats a setting in ‘good old England,’ pubs and all. Hard to distingush between England and Ireland, really. Sheep. Shotguns. Green valleys. That kind of thing.

Fornell and Vance

(Photos © CBS)

Bedrag – Follow the Money

Herr Christensen and Alexander

Not all baddies got their just desserts, which I suppose is realistic. The bigger the baddie you are, the likelier it is that you will get away with it. And I’m not sure if it’s a compliment or not, that Swedes make for such good baddies on Danish television shows. Also, at what point does the English speaking viewer find out? Here Daughter took her time to realise our mysterious and violent man spoke Swedish (in that unrealistic way on-screen Danes and Swedes from all walks of life understand and communicate properly with each other).

The Resident IT Consultant found himself a nice quote – ‘Småland får vänta’ – which no doubt will pop up every now and then.

Well, I enjoyed it, despite there not being very many likeable characters in Follow the Money. That too, is realistic. Crooks may be handsome, but they are not nice. Greedy people have to learn there are consequences. The police are only human, so can be as ordinary as they need to be. I’m probably not alone in liking Alf, but found Mads a bit too thick for comfort.

Mads and Alf

If the top lawyer in episode 1 hadn’t been such a misogynist, he’d have fared better, and the fraud department might have got somewhere a lot sooner. Let that be a lesson.

One thing I wondered about afterwards, was what happened to the mini-plots at the beginning. Not much resolution there. And the characters who were temporarily quite important, simply did a vanishing act and we heard no more.

Some tying up of lose ends would have been welcome, unless that’s what we get in Bedrag 2.

I really didn’t want there to be a sequel. It can be good to allow something to be the end, without raking up more action later on, for some of the characters. I felt it pretty much let some of them walk off into the ‘sunset’ and that is often for the best. But the Resident IT Consultant went and found proof there is more coming. It will be this autumn, in Denmark at least.

Nicky and Bimse

But basically, financial crime is probably bigger and ‘more successful’ than ordinary violence and death, although there was some of that here too. And the police have no teeth. They don’t appear to be allowed to, which in itself says a lot.

Dogs are a man’s best friend.

Brooklyn

What with lack of time to actually get to the cinema in recent months, I decided to splash out and treat us to some home cinema over Easter, so bought two DVDs. (Yes, real splash, that.) And then we ran out of time, and barely managed one of the films after all.

As Daughter preferred to watch Brooklyn, that’s the one we saw, and I’m glad we did. I’d come across some less than enthusiastic comments when it was available on the big screens, but here at CultureWitch Towers we enjoyed it, and personally I could easily watch it soon again. If I had time, I mean.

Brooklyn

I suppose it was unrealistically romanticised, but I reckon you can see past that, and imagine what it was like to leave Ireland in 1951 and move to New York, all alone. And having vomited my way into England many years ago, I fully sympathise with looking green as you try and enter the US.

Brooklyn

Some things would be easier today, and others not. I quite liked the old Brooklyn, and thank god they made the landlady sympathetic, while no pushover. Julie Walters is always good. And I expect it’s modern media we have to thank for feeling suspicious of Irish priests, which wasn’t necessary here, with Jim Broadbent as your dream religious father figure.

Having seen trailers – in the actual cinema – I was afraid Eilis would opt to stay in Ireland when she returned. What I felt made the story true was the fact that you can love both places and want to be in the new place as well as the old one. You just need something that helps you decide. That feeling when you realise how much you belong where you grew up. Or the feeling when you can see that the new place is good and you want to stay.

Brooklyn

Because that old priest had a one very good comment to make on homesickness; how most people have it and it’s bad, but eventually it stops and someone else catches the bug instead. It does, most of the time, and often you don’t even notice that it’s stopped hurting so much.

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And then it’s your turn to help someone newer – not to mention greener – than yourself. It’s how it works.

There’s nothing wrong with feelgood films, and besides, there was plenty to cry over too.

Pauley is 47

Can Abby really be 47? Or is it only Pauley Perrette who is?

Time flies.

This week PP seemed to enjoy this video of some of Abby’s greatest moment, so why don’t we watch it one more time?

Happy Birthday to the girl most of us would like to be!