Saturday, 27 September 2014

Camel Valley/Edibles Blues: Saturday, September 27th!

Sunset in Maui!
Hi Pat, I am reading a book by James Holland on the true story of The Dambusters and recalled that Annie's brother was a member - what was her maiden name as he has included a list of all flight crew at the beginning of the book?

Tina and I climbed up to the ruins of the Chateau in Valhain this morning - fantastic view over the village and lake. Also climbed up to the statue of the Virgin Mary on the adjacent crag - not sure if you saw them when you were here. 

Wailea golf course was beautiful!
Had lunch the other day at the L'Auberge Du Presbytere in Valhain - fabulous food, venue and view. Regards, A somewhat more relaxed Trevor

Hi TNT: Perhaps you shouldn't be reading such an "incendiary" book, Trev, given your "explosive" state! However, pleased to learn that you are not on high alert anymore, just relaxing with wonderful walks in and around Vailhan. Must admit that i didn't even know about Chateau or statue of Virgin Mary. I'm sure the panorama was wonderful, as you mentioned. Delighted you enjoyed your meal at L'Auberge. We certainly did! I gather your stay will be drawing to a close in but a few days. Home then or somewhere else?

My Uncle's name was Walter Daniel, (from Danilevitch, changed by my Grandfather, Adam!), but he came to 617 Squadron after the raids on the dams. Most certainly why he survived war. He was, however, credited with dropping one of the bombs that finally sank the Tirpitz:

"On 12 November 1944, British Lancaster bombers equipped with 12,000-pound "Tallboy" bombs scored two direct hits and a near miss which caused the ship to capsize rapidly. A deck fire spread to the ammunition magazine for one of the main battery turrets, which caused a large explosion. Figures for the number of men killed in the attack range from 950 to 1,204. Between 1948 and 1957 the wreck was broken up by a joint Norwegian and German salvage operation."
 Walter met one of the survivors at a "reunion" organized by various 617 alumni in Norway, in the late '80's, if I recall correctly. His pilot, Willy Tait, was then Wing Commander, and we visited with him and his family, in Cyprus, during the '50's, as he had stayed in the RAF and was posted there for a number of years. Subsequently, Mom and I visited with them in London, in 2003.  

I can remember my cousins and I, listening, raptly, to Uncle Walter telling us about those years, at our grandparent's home in Rivers, Manitoba. Walter knew George Durston, Dusty's brother, before he was shot down over Germany. Again, he was older and had joined up earlier. As I'm sure you know, the losses were simply appalling at the outset of the conflict.

Much appreciated sleep-in until almost 9:00 am and then up to scribe for a bit before putting away last night's dishes and tidying up place. Had a delicious brunch of overlefts. Cora Lee was going downtown to shop at Costco so she dropped me off, en route. Absolutley gorgeous day after the wet weather of past little while. Slightly annoying as perfect riding weather, of course, and yet I would be inside for better part of day! My VIFF shift was from 1:30 pm until 6:15 pm, so that was that!

[Marvin is getting old so thought I would ensure he had a good party before its too late!!!! We are going to be in Hawaii for his actually birthday so we will do it the day after we get back.]

Nevertheless I saw two more wonderful films. First, Journey to the West:
"A small miracle of a movie, Tsai Ming-liang’s insanely slow, fantastically gorgeous mid-length film is one of his most beautiful. For 56 non-action-packed minutes we watch Tsai’s acteur fetiche Lee Kang-sheng, head shaved and dressed in red crimson monk-like robes, walk as slowly as possible through various urban spaces in and near Marseilles, France. This film is the fifth in a series of Tsai’s "slow walking" films, pitting Lee’s otherworldly near-still movement against various (until now mostly Asian) environments.

Here in France, Tsai has for the first time given Lee a near-companion: the spectacular French dancer/actor Denis Lavant (Les Amants du Pont Neuf, Holy Motors), who is introduced in a confrontationally monumental close-up, and whose solipsistic world gradually meshes with Lee’s quasi-monk, until finally, the two seem joined in an unearthly space and time of their own creating.
If this sounds daunting, don’t worry. Journey to the West is by far Tsai’s most playful film in years, as we, the viewers, are challenged to play games with the screen. Sometimes we wait for Lee’s monk to inevitably creep into the scene, at other times we start scanning the vast public spaces, playing a Where’s Waldo game to spot the monk. And sometimes one might even find oneself transported by the ecstatic play of light and space: cinema at its purest." Absolutely fascinating to see passersby, going about their daily activities, pay little or no attention, to the monk, or else comment derisively, often, about him.  Certainly a remarkable exploration of the nature of reality and our particular, ego-centric, biased understanding of it!

Next was La Sapienza: "Cinema is the place where the materiality of the world and the sacred, the visible and the invisible meet." So says French-American auteur Eugène Green (Le pont des Arts), a master of baroque mannerism, who indeed explores this very act of "meeting" in his latest triumph, La Sapienza. The protagonist, Alexandre Schmidt, is a revered architect questioning the value of his work. He sets off with his equally disillusioned wife on a trip to Italy to get their groove back. 

Along the way, they strike up an unlikely relationship with a teenaged brother and sister. At first reluctant, Alexandre eventually settles into a mentor-like role for the brother, who turns out to be an aspiring architect himself. At the heart of the film is an exploration of the architecture of Francesco Borromini, whose crowning achievements in Turin and Rome are Alexandre’s destinations on this existential excursion. The title translates as "sapience," an ancient concept of wisdom, and the film is a tribute to the quest for knowledge in a complicated world. As the film reaches its epiphanic conclusion, Green movingly reconciles the visible with the invisible, articulating that intangible exchange between the old and the new, between art and our lives.

"A work that’s both weighted with scholarly inquiry and an undercurrent of poignancy unlike anything else… By searching for ‘what lies beyond beauty,’ Alexandre unearths the compassion that has been dormant in his life for so long. The movie illustrates his evolving thought process through equally vivid words and images.”—Eric Kohn, Indiewire

I was completely mesmerized by the film. The fact that it was so slow-paced and in both French and Italian, meant that I could actually follow much, with my smattering of both languages, of the dialogue without having to rely on subtitles. A very, very moving exploration of love and life, both in a marriage and between student and teacher, siblings and complete strangers.  
Since we have reservations for Edibles, on GI, for 8:00 pm, I left a tad early, (15 minutes), as I'd stayed later last two shifts. Not a big deal, either way, but we planned to have a drink at The Islay Inn before strolling over to restaurant. G/D brought a bottle of 2013 Camel Valley, (winery we visited last August, when in Cornwall.), Bacchus, [A white wine grape that was created by viticulturalist Peter Morio at the Geilweilerhof Institute for Grape Breeding in the Palatinate in 1933. He crossed a Silvaner x Riesling cross with Müller-Thurgau.], 12%, a lovely dry wine we'd enjoyed many times over the course of our stay. 

Cora Lee was working away on a report when I arrived home. I did a bit more tidying up and then had a quick shower. Changed for dinner, I spoke to Derek, through patio window at Annexe to let them know we were ready to have them cove over. Bacchus was a delicious, a citrus-soaked beauty with a distinctive, fruit-filled bouquet and a lingering, tart finish. We savoured our glasses and chatted about the coming week. Just before 8:00 pm we strolled over to GI. Lovely evening but their is a noticeable coolness in the air so Summer is definitely over, Fall is now here!

Meal at Edibles was a delicious affair and since place wasn't overly busy it was relatively quiet, quiet enough for us to be able to talk to each other!

 Fondestos and Cheers, Patrizzio!

Last evening with some of Clan Sutherland and their relatives from Scotland/Cornwall and Canada!

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