Monthly Archives: October 2013

Abby Halloween, everyone!

McGee and Abby

That was some necklace Abby wore for Halloween. It looked suspiciously as if she’d had another spider web tattoo done.


Someone was playing tricks on people. No treats, though. Poor Ducky, having to ask the corpse if he could hear anything.

McGee's desk

McGee’s woes were not too serious, unless you count his encounter with the fire in the lab.


Abby had decorated her workplace with her usual finesse (how does the woman find the time?), and herself as well.

McGee and Abby

DiNozzo got his just deserts. If it was him. Maybe it was Gibbs?



(Photos © CBS)

Let’s go down to the garden centre

How come garden centres have become such mainstays of eating out? We have one near us, and if I think the words ‘home made scone’ I think of this garden centre. Why can’t there be a traditional café supplying me with a reliable scone? Good scones come with tourism, and garden centres are almost that. It’s where we dream ourselves away to sunny gardens with lovely outdoor furniture, or think that some more Christmas decorations will guarantee happiness come December.

We were driving between Stirling and St Andrews the other day, and felt the journey would benefit from a break, and that we could benefit from elevenses of some kind. But where? The Grandmother mentioned a garden centre near Kinross that she’d seen from the bus. I looked online, and found that she was right, and that it had some favourable reviews. So at Dobbies in Kinross we ran from car to Le Jardin Café in the pouring rain.

It was worth it. When I saw cream meringues on the menu I just had to have one. It was enormous, and it was good. The meringue was soft enough that I could cut into it without the rest of it flying across the room. The cream was lightly whipped and neither too much nor too little. The Resident IT Consultant enjoyed his warmed fruit slice, and the Grandmother said her hot chocolate was better than many.

Suitably revived, we drove on to St Andrews and a delayed 21st birthday. The party was at the local cinema, where 20+ students carefully avoided eating more than a handful of Kettle crisps or M&S cupcakes before whatever the film was they were watching.

Maybe they had been as well fed as we had, and I’m not still thinking of that meringue. Us oldies had gathered at The Rule for an early dinner. I know I’ve blogged about this watering hole before, but it’s worth repeating. It’s good value, and a home from home (well, almost). With their various offers we fed eight people for £100.

It seems to appeal more to locals than to tourists, which is presumably why you can avoid the tedious queueing you get in many other bars and restaurants. As far as I’m concerned I see no reason to consider eating anywhere else.

NCIS: Los Angeles – starting season five

When I realised yesterday that we’d forgotten to watch the third episode of NCIS: Los Angeles, I had to face the fact that it’s not been tempting so far.

The torture and the cliff-hanging from back in May seem to have been almost forgotten. Mrs Hannah who performed so valiantly and did what I think no one expected, has been relegated to wifedom and making sure the child gets on with homework. What century is this? Either we have two spouses being federal agents, or we don’t.

Deeks and Kensi

And Deeks, who didn’t do what Sam suspected him of, gets told by the ever un-charming Callen that he’s not wanted. It would appear that he might be better off going back to LAPD after all. Except I suppose he can’t, seeing as we are bound to lose Kensi, what with Daniela Ruah being pregnant (by Eric Christian Olsen’s brother, no less). I was wondering if we could already see signs of them trying to hide her shape a little by going for less body hugging clothes.

But being a federal agent must be good. No matter how much you suffer physically, because within hours you’ll be up there, fighting fit and moving as though nothing happened to you.


It’s entertaining – still – in some ways. It was nice to see Nate return briefly for a bit of shrinking. I can almost not believe it’s been over four years now. By season five big brother NCIS had a lot more going for it (setting aside the unfortunate strike that year). The best scenes so far have been Kensi boring Deeks to sleep, and Hetty stroking her sports car.


There’s time, I suppose.

(Photos © CBS)

How I Live Now

How I Have Longed to be able to write that on here! Finally! My favourite book by my favourite author hits the big screen. And what a film! As I can’t be someone who has both read the book and not, I have no means of knowing if the bare and slightly changed bones of How I Live Now will be likely to confuse anyone coming fresh to the film.

I don’t think it should be a problem. People will simply see a really good film. A frightening film, and considerably darker than the book, Meg Rosoff was right to warn people not to take their under 14s to see it.

How I Live Now - film

Having already come to the conclusion that Saoirse Ronan looks just like Daisy should (which in itself is amazing), I was further gratified to see that the house looks exactly as I had imagined it, and the country lanes were the very lanes I’d walked along in the book. This hardly ever happens in films. Gradually you might get used to actors and settings, but for them to be right from the start is almost unheard of.

The cynical and jaded American teenager Daisy comes to England to visit her unknown cousins, but before you know how it happened, their countryside idyll has been ruined by war breaking out. Daisy and her young cousin Piper are separated from the two boys, Isaac and Edmond, and taken somewhere to help with the war effort. Daisy’s only thought is to escape and get back to the house where she fell in love with Edmond.

She and Piper make the agonisingly long walk back (but a lot easier looking in the film) to what appears to be hell. Without the novel’s New York style smart background commentary from Daisy, this is a lot bleaker.

Beautifully shot and surprisingly well adapted, How I Live Now is a great film, which hopefully will bring many new fans to Meg Rosoff’s books. Daisy with all her imperfections is a marvellous role model.

NCIS – Past, Present, Future

DiNozzo and Ziva

So she lived. That makes a difference in a series where few women are written out alive. Ziva could come back, if only to visit.

And we have a new woman on board, the SecNav. (Stereotype, women are secretaries…) Unless they start something weird between her and Gibbs, she’ll be fine. There is no reason why they should. I’m guessing the looks were there anyway?


The second part of the start to season eleven wasn’t too bad in the end. Not being a Tiva fan, I didn’t cry. Except possibly over Tony’s beard which made him look startlingly like Borgen’s Kasper.

Who’d have thought Ziva wanted to be a ballerina? Although, most girls want that at some point or other. I hope she gets an opportunity to try something from that list of hers.

Ziva's will

And yes, I’m sure Ari had some good points, and in a way it was ‘nice’ that he was allowed in, if only for a moment.

Abby mentioned Captain Kirk. Gibbs asked ‘Captain Who?’ (That should be Doctor Who…)


Fornell needs banana pancakes in a crisis. I’d say he should have eaten many more of those, and not even the extra extra bacon helped. But of course Gibbs didn’t shoot him. At least, not most of him. Poor Tobias.

Fornell and Gibbs

I had been warned I’d find Gibbs’s vampire eye disturbing. Strangely, I didn’t. I suspect because it wasn’t real.


Right now it looks like the new season could be OK. But it will depend on the writing. And on who replaces Ziva. She will be a hard act to follow.

Vampires for NCIS?

This scares even me. I’m so not ready for Gibbs the vampire.


Just saying.