A Place of Greater Safety

I’m sure I’ve written about this before. Do you re-read books? More than once? I have a handful of books that I return to. All the Barbara Pyms, Cold Comfort Farm, Fever Pitch, The Screwtape Letters, Gaudy Night, Remember Me, Jane Eyre. (Best forget the word “Handful”)

I have just read A Place of Greater Safety by Hillary Mantel for the third time. (It’s a big ‘un) Nowadays she is up to her eyes in Booker Prizes because of The Wolf Hall series (which I like very much) but this is her great achievement as far as I am concerned. It’s a novel about the French Revolution, which was one of my subjects for History A Level and has been an abiding interest ever since. I think you need a certain amount of knowledge about The Terror etc. (You can only flick through to the Index so many times before you lose the will to live) but for a Revolution nerd like me it is top notch. Spoiler! French Revolution – not a happy ending for most people – sorry.

We have been out to the flicks to see “The Aeronauts.”. We saw it on our new IMAX screen, which is massive. I’ll be honest I’m not sure how much difference a huge screen made. The film is about an Edwardian scientist and a wealthy, widowed balloon pilot trying to break the record for going high in a balloon or something. There are some good bits when they are in peril and people have to hang off the balloon from a great height by their fingernails and tie ropes together using their teeth. However I found the rest is a bit boring – sorry. There is more deep soul searching than I feel would be helpful when you are high enough to have icicles on your eyebrows and the balloon is refusing point blank to come down. Apparently it is loosely based on fact (probably very loosely). Also I do struggle a bit with Eddie Redmayne who seems to act a lot with his teeth. I’m sure it’s just me. Why should he care?

Also we went to see the cinema version of Fleabag – the stand up. Now I would think that very few of the readers of this blog have seen Fleabag and quite right. It is very, very rude. I wouldn’t take my Maiden Aunt to see it. Actually, I wouldn’t take my Aunt to see it if she wasn’t a maiden. In fact, I wouldn’t take my Aunt to see it if she was the type of woman who could open beer bottles with her bellybutton.

It’s very well written – she is obviously very clever but a bit too fearless for me. Under all the bravado, I think the writer, Phoebe Waller-Bridge is trying to paint a portrait of a lonely, frightened girl who sleeps with anyone with a pulse because of how scared of being alone she is. It’s a laudable aim (if a bit clichéd) but why she has to do it using jokes about body parts that would make a docker blush is a bit outside my field of expertise. Is this how the young people are? No wonder people like Prince Andrew are allowed to wander around unchecked. Young people – stop taking pictures of your bits and pieces and get involved with good worthwhile things! While you are young and energetic with all your own teeth!

By the way, did anyone catch War of the Worlds? Not sure what I think yet. I liked the Edwardian setting with lots of posh people on Town Hall steps spluttering “This is nothing to be concerned about” to the masses while big spidery Martian spaceships blasted everyone to smithereens. Not so sure about the feisty woman in a scorched landscape seemingly auditioning for Terminator or something. Still, too early to judge probably. Doesn’t usually stop me though.



  1. November 22, 2019 / 7:56 am

    I don’t know that Hilary Mantel book. Must check it out. Cold Comfort Farm is definitely on my re-read list, along with Jane Eyre & Screw tape & Sayers. I discovered Pym in my 30s and binge-read them all from the library. Must try again with her. Thanks for the film review. I saw the trailer when I went to the cinema for “Downton”. IMHO too many good British actors are following our cousins across the pond and having excessive cosmetic dentistry. Their mouths are so full of gleaming veneers they cannot help bug keep revealing them. I feel as if I am watching rows of tombstones in the moonlight. Watched Wof theW on catchup. I’d seen previous film versions/listened to radio ones (Inc a repeat of the Orson Welles one) I confess I’d not read the book, and didn’t remember it was set in Woking–even though my daughter worked there for years, and I’ve seen the Martian statue in the town centre. I enjoyed the first episode of the BBC s new one. Not much else of interest on TV at the minute now Spirals has finished

    • lesleyps91
      November 24, 2019 / 9:17 pm

      Are you a Spiral person? My husband is obsessed and very unhappy that it has finished.

  2. Kirsten
    November 22, 2019 / 4:07 pm

    I haven’t been to the fillums for ages and ages, but yesterday I spotted them filming scenes in the village hall for a Roald Dahl film due out next July about Roald Dahl with Hugh Bonneville. Not that I saw ‘anybody’, just riggers and scaffolders with and without teeth or pony tails striding around looking preoccupied about scaffolding and rigging. I might get round to seeing this one just for the local locations…
    I’m about to start binge reading and re-reading Anthony Trollope.

    PS I spoke too soon about setting my Godmother into a Nursing/Care Home near us. She took a scunner to everything about it within 30 seconds; ‘I can’t live in a cupboard,’ and ‘It won’t take me long to die here,’ were her opening opinions and it hasn’t improved. We are taking her back to her bungalow 50 long miles away and organising carers.
    I wonder what I will be like if and when I reach the grand old age of 91?

    • lesleyps91
      November 24, 2019 / 9:15 pm

      I, I am ashamed to say have never read a Trollope. I would like to try. Is there a good place to start? So sorry about your Godmother. I hesitate to say ths but – and I can only speak for my mum – I would like to think that I will have learnt to be a little more thoughtful. Am I a bad person? Sorry.

  3. Kathleen Yankee
    November 23, 2019 / 8:35 pm

    Hello Lesley – I have followed you from afar by way of Kindred of the Quiet Way and now I am thrilled to be connected to you more directly. I have always eagerly watched for your latest post at Kindred…. and then something got jammed up somewhere and a September post kept reappearing. So now I have spent a sunny afternoon in west Michigan catching up on your news, both sad and glad. I just wanted to let you know that this ‘sister’ who has lurked in the corners of your life (!) is now no longer a blog-stalker, but a, hmmmm……..fellow seeker of the light? Speaking of light…..the sunshine I mentioned earlier is not taken for granted. Winter in west Michigan is not exactly sunny, but our beautiful Spring, Summer, and Autumn make up for it.
    Blessings on your search for a new faith community – Kathleen

    • lesleyps91
      November 24, 2019 / 9:12 pm

      Hello. How lovely of you to get in touch. I have to apologise because I don’t know what happened this week but all my comments disappeared then popped up at once. I am not usually this slow to reply!

    • lesleyps91
      November 24, 2019 / 9:08 pm

      Yes! I saw that. Definitely on my list

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