This morning Spring seems to have arrived. It is nine degrees, the sun in shining, the snowdrops are fully out and the bird table is inundated with cock blackbirds strutting their stuff while the hens sit on the privet hedge. Dangerous talk I know - snow next week I expect. Still we are hastening through January and that can't be bad.
I have been occupied trying to find hotels in Northumberland. It is a county neither of us know well and we rather fancy a week there in May. We have finally found one in Embleton which looks OK so have booked that. It will give the farmer a chance to see the Chillingham herd of wild cattle we hope.
Last night we went to see War Horse. I had read a lot about the making of the film - about the way the horses were treated and about the fact that all the props (barbed wire etc.) were made of soft rubber. Apparently the horses and their handlers had weeks together before the film started in the making, so that a trust built up.
What did I think of it? Well, I certainly did not need the tissues I took as everyone said it is a tear-jerker. Maybe that was because I had read about the film's making. For young people it would be a marvellous introduction to that absolutely awful First World War. I think Speilberg got it absolutely right - the mud, the rats, the inhumanity, the way the men were treated by the officers on the whole, the little touches of sanity in a world gone mad.
The farmer loved the pre-war part on the farms of the day - the auctions, the ploughing etc. The whole film was very watchable - slightly improbable but then so are most films and it did make for a lovely story. The boy and his horse riding home in the sunset after the end of the war was just a bit too sentimental for my taste but I did read that of the whole film, getting the horse, Joey, to hold his head still at the end and to look as though he was looking into the past, was the most difficulty part to shoot.
I can recommend it - not sure it is Oscar material but it was gripping and the time passed so quickly that we were amazed when the end came.