Friday, 25 April 2014

Snippets and Jamaica Inn

Today I'm thinking Viking Magic  might be a good title, but I haven't checked to see how many books - if any - have already used it. I thought of it just before I fell asleep and it has stayed with me overnight. Most good ideas disappear into thin air while you sleep. Viking Magic can refer to so many things in the story, not least the plain old magic practiced by Karli Olafsson.

Today is a good day for getting on with some work as the clouds are so  low they're just about sitting on the lawn and Tim and I made trails in the dew as we walked across the field. We met Dan the lurcher this morning, and he seems to accept us now. Initially he chased poor Tim and wouldn't come to me in greeting. He was a rescue dog and no one knew his history, but he was scared of other dogs. We first met him at puppy school last year when no other dog could get near him. So, great strides are being made there.

DH is busy making sourdough bread. Paul told us about it when he came at Christmas, and since then we have been eating it instead of "ordinary" bread. The big Kilner starter jar stands on the bench above the radiator, and every couple of days dh takes some of the yeastless dough and makes bread with it. Then he feeds the dough left in the jar and it grows and expands until there's enough to make another loaf. Suits us perfectly. Tastes good, and is so much more filling than bought bread. He's also promised to make some Florentines. We both adore those. Yum.

I am one of those people who sat down ready to watch Jamaica Inn, episode 1, and gave up 3/4 of the way through. I'm not surprised it attracted 2,182 complaints about mumbled dialogue by the end of the third episode. I'm amazed that 4.1 million people tuned in to watch the third and final episode.Two million decided they had something better to do.

The sound engineers came in for some stick, but really, there was nothing wrong with the sound levels. I could even hear the wind blowing around the house. Perhaps they relied on microphones within cameras? Perhaps actors think that turning aside and speaking into someone's pocket is real life - it may be so, but in real life we get the chance to  say What Did you Say?? In drama, actors should speak to be heard. The actors mumbled - that was the problem. Especially the vile uncle Joss.

Ben Stephenson of the BBC, later said the problem was partly down to the actors.
"Actors not being clear is obviously one part of it but my understanding about the complaints about Jamaica Inn was more complex than that," he said. "I think it's probably not right to just single out that, but clearly we want actors to speak clearly. Of course we want them to give brilliant performances and you've got to respect that but if no-one can understand what they're saying then there is a problem."

The pic? The Hebridean Princess turning up outside the Crinan Hotel. Possibly the ship the Queen hired for her 80th birthday trip.

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