Tag Archives: Neil Gaiman

I’m a bad mother

‘I’m not going near the bloody book!’, said Daughter as we left the cinema after watching Coraline. Excuse her language, but I am A Very Bad Mother. Now, I thought it wasn’t going to get much worse than this, but it seems I underestimated the scariness level of Coraline, the film. So if the film was bad, then she will do well to steer clear of the book. I found the book scarier. Or rather, at least the novel was a little scary. The film was just boring, I thought.

So one person’s nightmare is another person’s yawn.

Lucky we went to a crummy cinema that doesn’t run to 3D, as presumably the film would have felt even worse if things were jumping out at us.

Who is the film aimed at, I wonder? I was the only parent in the audience with a teenager. All the others were parents with really young children. Were they thinking ‘Disney’? Or were they themselves Neil Gaiman fans? All the other teenagers in the foyer were there to watch other films. I do subscribe to Neil’s belief that children need to be scared sometimes, but these were too young to ‘get’ the film, I’d say. And for the British cinema going public, weren’t those bare breasts a little on the bare side? For a PG film?

After months of waiting for the film, this was an anticlimax.


Coincidence. That’s all it is. But funny anyway. With all those items on Daughter’s birthday wish list with the big online shop, which I didn’t buy any of, she went off to Germany and came back home with a DVD. Not just any film, either. Last week being filled with all things Neil Gaiman, the film turned out to be Stardust, which she didn’t even know before noticing his name on the box.


Convenient, too. We watched it this evening, and what a perfect film it is. I’ve already been enthusing over Neil’s books, which have taken me straight back to my childhood stories. So did Stardust. It’s really, really beautiful and enjoyable. And funny.

Full of big names, and not so big names, but still very good. If I mention somebody as having been my favourite, I’ll immediately realise that many of the others were also favourites. But I did like Robert De Niro dancing. The inept princes were quite amusing,and it was my second axe in one day. The witches were wonderful, but then I would think so, wouldn’t I?

Simply a great fairy tale.

Two castles and a restaurant or two

Culture has been thin on the ground for the last week. Yesterday we had the rock star style event of cult author Neil Gaiman wowing his Edinburgh fans. I’m sure that if he gave up writing books, he could just tour anyway, chatting to his fans.

On the way to the Neil Gaiman venue, the witch passed Edinburgh Castle, fully floodlit and looking magnificent, rising up out of the dark. And before this, Julie Bertagna and I had dined at Centotre, which is an Italian restaurant housed in a former bank. So far I’ve escaped old banks, but I can see now that they make for a really impressive setting for a meal out. The food was good, and so was the service. And it’s the first restaurant I’ve been to with Italian language lessons in the toilet.

Tonight it was the turn of Stirling Castle, and while it wasn’t quite so brightly lit up, it’s a rather nicer castle. It, too, floated about somewhere high up in the dark, on my way out to dinner, again. It’s tough with all this eating out, but I can handle it. My Glaswegian author dinner companion was replaced by nine family members and at long last I was taken to the Sheriffmuir Inn, up in the wilds above Dunblane. I’d heard of it before, but had never been. Lots of tartan, but nicely done, and very good food and service. And their toilets offered individual towelling hand towels.

It’ll be back to tins of baked beans tomorrow. And no castles.