The Saboteurs – Kampen om tungtvannet

It’s OK, this new Norwegian television drama about heavy water. So far it’s not as earth-shattering as I was led to believe it’d be, but still fine. The thing is, it’s hard to beat an old Hollywood movie that manages to be fantastic entertainment while still being a bit OTT and not entirely true to reality. But at least this one does not star an unlikely Kirk Douglas.

I don’t know how many people in Britain knew about this incident from WWII before the More4 screening of this big hit from Norway. In fact, I wonder how many Norwegians knew about it. If you’re older you will know, if only because you will have seen The Heroes of Telemark with Mr Douglas. I learned about it at school. It was a school radio programme, complete with leaflet to read, and interviews with the real people involved, who were still quite young, and perfectly alive, in the 1960s. I gather at least one of them still is. You live longer in Norway. Must be all that skiing.

Kampen om tungtvannet

What I like about The Saboteurs, which is a shared production between Norway, Denmark and Britain, is that it covers everyone. The Germans are not merely the bad guys who are going to have that heavy water, no matter what. We see the – slightly mad – scientists, who live for their science. The bosses of Norsk Hydro are quite German-friendly, which comes as a bit of a shock.

There is the slightly unnatural way everyone can chat to each other when they meet, in perfect English or German, but at least we see them ‘at home’ so to speak. It’s obvious that the settings described as London or Scotland are neither, but they try. Rjukan is Rjukan, however, and that snow looks geniune enough.

Two episodes in, I look forward to the rest. If the ending to the second episode had been fiction, you’d have accused the scriptwriters of being over-fanciful.

Indian Kitchen

We enjoyed a pre-graduation lunch the other day. Between us our family never seem to be in one place at the same time very often, so Son said he’d buy his sister a graduation meal some other time, and then they ran out of time for that too. Hence the scramble to get together when Son and Dodo arrived in Sweden and the rest of us hadn’t yet left. And then GP Cousin and Swiss Lady ‘gatecrashed’ the event to celebrate my birthday (well, sort of) which they had missed.

Daughter said she felt like Indian food, and whereas it’s been years since we’ve tried Swedish Indian food, Halmstad does have several restaurants now. We went to Indian Kitchen in Nygatan, and we can recommend it. GP Cousin even found food that wasn’t too hot for him…

We took a while to sort out one group of meat eaters and one of veggies, and Swiss Lady only changed seat three times, and then we went to town with the ordering, and I was very grateful Son was paying.

They have a whole page of the menu featuring paneer dishes, so I simply closed my eyes and picked one. It turned out to be the one where you don’t get a plate to eat off! Everyone else got a plate, and food, and there I was, with nothing. But I ate three vegetable pakoras while I waited and they were good. And once my food arrived, on a much fancier plate, and very nicely arranged, I was glad I ‘picked’ it.

All the others liked their food too, and the nan bread was nicer than what I’m used to. In the end we only needed one doggy bag for the chickpeas Daughter optimistically ordered as well as her paneer madras…

Mamma Mia! for mother

I’m continuing my trend of jumping into the middle of films. This evening Swedish television very suitably screened Mamma Mia! which was a good end to Mother’s Day. Not that I celebrate it, but any excuse will do.

Came in about halfway, which is good enough for me. Even the Resident IT Consultant seemed to enjoy it for a few minutes. What’s not to like about James Bond getting down on one knee and singing ABBA?

That’s the thing, really. We had Mrs Kramer singing with Dr Hofstadter on one side and Mrs Weasley on the other. Agent 007 has to share a third of a daughter with Mr Darcy and Bombi Bitt. And their offspring is in love with a History Boy.

My own Daughter/Offspring was so keen to see the film the first time that we were in the cinema hours after her returning from her Swiss school trip. And Switzerland continues to be on the agenda.

Anyway, nice treat for all mammas.

The end of Apollo

Not all films are good enough to tempt you away from emptying the dishwasher. Last night I had a kitchen to prepare for workmen coming today, and I was already late for bed (i.e. dead tired), and I had lots to do.

But I discovered that Daughter was watching Apollo 13 again. Not all of it, as she was simply channel surfing. And when I stuck my head in, there was perhaps ten minutes left.

I sat down to watch. Obviously. You can’t ignore a film like Apollo 13.

I just wished I hadn’t put the serviceable ‘napkins’ we’d used for the Indian takeaway in the laundry. Could have used something to mop tears with.

Eurovision 2015

Eurovision was strange this year. It was quite clear from the start that three songs were the absolute favourites, and they remained the top three throughout, and I happened to agree that they were the best ones. I don’t think that’s ever happened before.

Was it just me, or did the Russian girl cheer up and calm down when she knew she wasn’t winning? She looked worse than anyone I’ve seen; ready to fall apart at the mere thought of things going well.

The Italian boys were both cute and had a good song. And the less said about some of the other countries the better. It was mostly mainstream Eurovision stuff, but those who stood out really stood out.

Måns Zelmerlöw

I hope Sweden can afford to host another contest so soon again. Usually we hope that Sweden will win – for obvious reasons – but this year it was more than a little weird. Daughter’s favourite, Måns Zelmerlöw, didn’t just sing for Sweden, but he won. I don’t believe that’s ever happened to me. I’ve liked singers, and I’ve liked songs. But not like this.

Thought I’d fall asleep around song no. 13 but got up and walked about a little and consumed caffeine to wake me up. I was puzzled by all the warnings that there would be fishing images, but eventually there really was some fishing. So it all was good.

NCIS: Los Angeles – Chernoff, K

Am I alone in being underwhelmed by Callen’s disproportionately childish search for his unknown father? It is not that big a deal. The man is an adult, and finding this long lost father will not take away any hurt he suffered as a child. And why are the people around him keeping back the information? If they know something, or can find out (and why can’t Callen?), why not tell him?

I’m grateful that we didn’t leave season six on a massive cliffhanger. It is quite possible to have a good summer and return to a new season without them. Although if Callen could have seen what we did at the end, he’d really have something to brood about.

Hope they will deal with this sensibly and swiftly when we meet again.

Tried to understand what the big deal was with the missing oil. No, we don’t want known terrorists to have access to money or weapons of any sort, but they will and they do.

Those forests were decidedly un-Russian, but was obviously the best California had to offer. Good to see they asked a friend to shoot some real Moscow street scenes for them. And Arkady is always a delight. Glad that he’s not enough of a baddie to die when shot.

The last few episodes of the season were a bit weaker than the beginning and middle, but there is hope.

NCIS – Neverland

Really? Is it bullet proof vests again, or not? As the Resident IT Consultant said the other day, it gets tiresome – if lifesaving – to have people go down and then get up with the aid of kevlar.

I have not been following speculation on what will happen in NCIS season thirteen. I suppose it is the unlucky number, but you wouldn’t kill off your leading man just like that. Would you? We are meant to spend summer in a state of nerves, worrying about Gibbs. I don’t think I can do that. I mean, I won’t. I don’t see the point.

Who was the American girl they followed at the end? Sometimes I reckon it’s not me being slow, but script writers forgetting we need thread to tie bits of episode together with. And Morse code. Honestly? You need to know it for it to work on the subconscious.

I do quite like Officer Teague. She’s a proper NCIS kind of character, with none of this over-romantic young and beautiful/handsome actor pretending badly. They don’t get them right very often. Is she bound to die? I don’t think so, but you never know.

One question is whether they already know what will happen at the start of the next season. Sometimes it seems they write a cliffhanger and then go away and brainstorm a solution two months later.

And did they ever stop to think about having yet one more baddie with a British accent? If this continues, I suppose we’ll soon find that Ducky has been an enemy spy all these years. Very deep cover.