Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier. Part 1: The audio book and prelude to watching the film (No spoilers)

I have just finished the audiobook in time to watch the film. The audiobook lasts about 12 hours; I would have thought I could fit reading the book, into less 12 hours. I could probably read for longer sessions, than I could listen therefore as well as taking less total time, I could have compressed into less time.

After listening to the audiobook I’m  curious to see the film. I think the book has an interesting plot albeit not action packed therefore think, it would be possible to fit into two hours. I think, the characters could be brought more to life than in the book. I’m not a big fan of reading or watching costume dramas. However, I found the language in the audiobook very accessible albeit a little wordy for example; not sure it was really necessary to always state Cousin Rachel rather than just Rachel. I hope the film is not too stuffy and overly focused on creating period atmosphere; I ideally want the characters and storyline to shine through. From stills I have seen they? have perhaps literally decide to sex film up.

For me ending was marred by barely last syllable being uttered and a message thanking for listening to audio talked over. In book although would have known was reading last sentence, would literally have had blank space to reflect.

Book Scavanger: What I did not have on my shelf….


If you like knights fighting, go see Arther’s tale, if you like Alien 👽 films,  watch next instalment of that. If you want to be put off holidaying in exotic locations watch Snatched; which shows you how holidays go wrong and you end up taken hostage. If you or someone else you are going with,  really want to go to cinema and really do not fancy anything else or have seen everything else; watch Snatched. Go with low expections; I did. Upon viewing it was watchable and not absolutely terrible. Starts with the dilemma of being dumped, just before a paid for holiday to Ecuador and having not got anyone else to go with persuading her Mum. Then there appears to be some holiday romance …before they are kidnapped.


 One of those slightly annoying plots where they keep getting caught and escaping; partly due to lack of support from authorities …hence making exotic holidays, less appealing; on top of the kidnappings themselves.It also has some female bonding and shows of female strength, so in some ways a lot in it but; somehow does not quite work. May have worked better if done as a drama due to subject master of kidnapping a and deaths rather than being a comedy.

Zookeeper’s Wife Film

The film did a good job at bringing the book to life. The film and book and good companions, the film can be watched before, after or during reading the book. 

Not sure the zookeeper’s wife would have been worn, such a pale dress to work on the zoo or the heels. At least it did show her kicking off the shoes when working like resuscitating new born elephant. But when pitchforking hay not sure barefoot or heels were appropriate.

Worth watching, although not many cinemas seem to be showing it.

Animated Life : Autism and Disney film discussion. 

This film was the true story of how a boy with Asperger learned to talk by watching Disney films.  I was able to listen to some discussion after but not stay long enough to hear it all or contribute myself.

It was voiced that,  it may be problematic for an adult to be, so attached to Disney films. However, seeing people’s excitement about the recent  release of Beuaty and the Beast, it seems that plenty of adults are very into Disney. Animated Life film showed that Disney films deal with a variety of themes for example, losing parents and growing up in Lion King, caring for others and right from wrong. The films formed a spring board for learning. However, learning from Disney films has it’s downsides. Firstly, Disney films endings are very standardised fairy tale endings, which, are not typical in real life as the subject of Animated Life discovers. Secondarily Disney films do not offer a starting point to discussing sex with your autistic brother; as the subject’s brother realises. In this case the subject has gained independence; the Disney films can be seen as a tool along the way, but also the subject was lucky with the other support they received. Therefore, an obsession with Disney films seems better than not being able to communicate and have any independence.

There was criticism of the film for giving false hope to parents; that watching Disney films was a magic cure and the film made it look too easy. I think, it did not take much reading amongst the lines to know it was not just as simple as watching a film, there was a lot of extra effort involved. I think any parent regardless of whether their child had autism, would realise there were tough times. What might be harder for parents of autistic children, to come to terms with, is not that some children may be destined to always have limited communication; no matter how much effort is put in. 

An audience member, gave some bleaker facts about autism and talked about autism increasing  sucide risk ( to illustrate that it is not the same for everyone. Considering, I believe that some people can be within autism spectrum, but not diagnosed then statistics are based upon those worse affected skewing the findings. 

Thomas tank engine has also been found to help those with autism. Perhaps because both Thomas tank and Disney films are animated that means facial expressions (the trains have large faces) are clearer defined than they may be in real life people.

Some felt uncomfortable with autistic children being closely observed by parents looking for their child’s Disney film / Thomas tank equivalent , I think it is good for all parents, not just parents of autistic children, to expose children to a range of different narratives be that films, tv programmed or books then see whst their child takes an interest in and use that as a basis of learning. For example, can watch or read proactively and use it as a basis for learning colours or numbers. 

In summary it was a fascinating film but I’m treating it as one example and not a model for all autistic people.

Beauty and the Beast review from someone indifferent to Disney. 

The committed Disney fans who, have been waiting for the film for months seemed to have loved it. I feel I’m beyond simplistic Disney stories. I probably would not have gone, if it had been an animation. To be fair, Bella (certainly in this film, if not in all versions of Beauty and the Beast); was slightly more plucky than in other Disney princess types. However, I still struggled to get into it. As I find for many musicals, the songs interrupted the flow of the plot. Also I did not enjoy the songs; I found them too high pitched. Additionally the songs padded the film to a lengthy 2 hours 10minutes.

In conclusion if you love Disney films you will love it. Then how much you like it will, on a sliding scale  correspond with how much you like Disney films. If you are not keen on Disney and a friend is wanting you to go I recommend getting them to pay the difference between 2D and 3D as I think it could be quite dramatic in 3D and therefore easier to engage with. Or go to the cinema prepared to have a nap. I wonder whether the wine strategy I by default employed for Hidden figures would have help for this film?

Hidden Figures Film and food at Showroom Sheffield

History has many largely unknown aka ‘hidden figures’ that have played their part in history and some have battled against the odds to achieve. This film is about 3 women and Africain Americian women at that and their part in John Glen’s orbit of the Earth, a which was a battle due to it being 1961 and NASA in America at the time was dominated by white males. Although based on real women, the film mixes up the facts however without adding Hollywood glamour. There is many scenes if calculations being performed. Therefore if you want captivating entertainment you many find better ways to spend 2 hours 7minutes of your life. If you want accurate facts about these women their names can be googled: Katherine Goble, Mary Jackson, Dorothy Vaughan.

I would recommend to those who are interested in space rather than those interested in the feminist/ race aspect. Also I would recommend to anyone that are big fans of Kevin Costner or Jim Parsons. Or anyone who just wants to see Jim Parson playing a different role to Sheldon in the Big Bang. I found it fairly easy viewing, but that may have been aided by my half a bottle of red before hand.

The bottle of red was part of the two mains, film for two and a bottle of wine option at the Showroom. The option is £40 to members and £35 for non members. With cinema tickets costing £8.50, mains costing £12 the wine is basically free for non members and of course deal for members is even better. I had delicious salmon on a bed of tasty squid ink risotto with a few Hilo hoop sized calamaries scattering the plate.

Love Actually Take 2

I have good memories of watching Love Actually the first time. I watched it in Wimbledon. I had a real feel good feeling, walking through London’s Christmas lights after watching a film about London at Christmas time. My only Christmas, living in London; exciting!

I do not watch many films, so it is rare I see one twice. I chose to watch Love Actually for a second time because of my memories of the first time and because on 24th Mar for Red Nose Day there is a ten minute sequelae.

Red Noses

 I was not blown away with it the second time but, it was pleasant to watch. As I watched it pre Gavin and Stacey, I had not realised both Joanna Paige who plays Stacey and Julia Davis who plays Gavin’s parent’s friend Dawn, are in Love Actually.


I did wonder why there was a new prime minister in November / December not May when elections usually take place. The attraction between Natalie and the prime minster David seems quite weak and it is not really convincing why he feels the need to go and visit her home. Also how in it’s post nine eleven setting was the boy allowed to run through all the airport security? Maybe it is best to watch films once in the cinema and just go with the flow?