Monday, 16 September 2013

Autumn and the young Montalbano

Many people seem to be leaving Yahoo and setting up groups on Facebook. I've had a look at the FB page for one of my groups and no doubt I'll get used to it as I once got used to Yahoo, though at the moment I don't see how to upload anything to anyone. It will be interesting to see what Yahoo does in response to the general voting with feet that is taking place.

Autumn is setting in here. There's no doubt about it. Our central heating has tripped in for a couple of mornings now, and the leaves are starting to turn. Acknowledging the seasonal change, I've booked our usual autumn short break away on the west coast of Scotland late in October. We've been to Crinan before and the hotel is right on the edge of the sea with wonderful views and a great seafood restaurant. It will be Tim's first trip away, but I'm sure he'll cope. Dogs are allowed everywhere in the hotel but the dining room.
Meal times might well be the only problem, as I'm not sure how he'll react to being left while we eat.

Autumn tv is good at the moment. There are plenty of good things to look forward to, and one of the best is The Young Montalbano. This is a spin off of the first series with Lucca Zingaretti as the charismatic Inspector Montalbano. It is a real joy - slow-paced but with intriguing stories
and enjoyable excursions into the comedy and tragedy of Scicilian life. There
are many aged actors playing smaller parts with  gusto and integrity. For those who speak Italian the series must be a joy, and even for those of us who rely on sub-titles, the voices and the rhythm and speed of the dialogue is great fun.

The scenery makes me want to go to Scicily, particularly Ragusa, where the cathedral  perches on its hill like a wedding cake on its stand. There's great attention to food, since Montalbano, in both incarnations, is a foodie, and he visits people who live in ancient farmhouses, pig pens and crumbling mansions with wonderful courtyards behind blank facades. Above all, the allure is the slowly unfolding of characters and the minor happenings of everyday life add moments of pathos and comedy.

The younger Montalbano is Michele Riondino, and he has captured many of Zingaretti's mannerisms - including his thoughtful grunt on being given information. He's taken up swimming in the Med, which always opened the programme, and he has found his beautiful house on the beach. Fazio has appeared, so now we have to meet Livia, his long time girlfriend. All the actors have changed, but the characters are the same and it is delightful to see how the friendships were formed in the years before the Zingaretti series. I'll be watching, and hoping for more than a series of six.

The same cannot be said for What Remains, which aired it final episode on Sunday. The programme descended into stupidity with almost every occupant of the house having murdered someone. If you haven't watched it, don't bother catching up on it.

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