Sunday, March 18, 2018


This is one of those movies, that I had only seen bits of over the years, and those viewings mostly took place over 20 years ago.  So when I say they were screening the movie at the cinema 10 minutes away from my house, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to watch.

I knew the gist of the story.  Rick has escaped the Nazis who had invaded Paris by opening an American bar in Casablanca where ex pats, crooks, police and refugees gather, seeking a way out and safe passage to Lisbon, and onto America.  When the Germans arrive, the pressure increases as people become more and more desperate to escape. 

One evening in walks a renowned fugitive and his beautiful wife Ilse, Ricks lover who he last saw before he fled Paris.  Can she use their history to secure herself and her husband a ticket out of Casablanca?  Will they be trapped by the Germans?  Will she get back together with Rick?  So many questions.

I enjoyed the movie very much - it was nice to watch the entire thing and it was a marvel in  that I kept thinking it was quite the time capsule.  The fashions, the music, everyone smoking, the drinks and cocktails,  how they walked was different, the way they spoke seemed  so old fashioned too.  Yet it is only one lifetime since the movie was made.  Still a good story still is able to hold it's own and even though attitudes to affairs may have changed I wonder if it was quite a scandalous story for wartime viewing?  It is interesting to google actors from the time period, many of which have been married and divorced several times .  We like to think of divorce as a modern thing, but actors seem to have been participating for decades.

The next classic movie being shown is Gone With The Wind -  I'm not sure if I want to sit through a few hours of that, unless it is a rainy afternoon and I need a bit of an escape from sitting at home.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Eddie the Eagle

It was a quiet Friday night at home, so time to catch up on the $1 dollar movies from itunes.  I had never seen Eddie the Eagle and I must admit to quite enjoying this classic story of the underdog doing good.  Eddie is just a young boy with difficulty walking when he sets his sights on getting an Olympic medal. 

So he ends up being a Olympic ski jumper - a pretty scary sport, especially when he was mostly self trained.  You can't help but cheer for him and it made me want to read more of his real life story.  4/5

Friday, March 16, 2018

Everything Happens For a Reason - Kate Bowler

Kate Bowler is just 35 when weight loss and stabbing stomach pains lead to a stage 4 cancer diagnosis.  A professor and a young wife and mother to a young son, she has to face the horrible prognosis, and in this small book teaches us about what it is to live one day at a time, and treasure the time with our loved ones.

I did enjoy her insights into living and love, but felt a lot of the book was about her studies looking at different religions, and mainly those who used their religious teaching for monetary gain to live in big houses and drive flash cars.  3/5

Thursday, March 15, 2018

How To Stop Time - Matt Haig

Tom Hazard has a secret, although he looks 41 he has actually been alive for over four centauries, and in this book he tells us his story, shifting through different time periods to explain what he is living through now and the stories about his past.  I enjoyed all the different periods he lived though and the interesting people he had met over the years.

I did wonder how you could afford to live for so long - and how you might get a bit of tired of having to have a job for 300+ years.  4/5

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Laws of Medicine - Siddhartha Mukherjee

Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee is a renowned Oncologist and cancer researcher who has won a Pulitzer Prize for his book The Cancer of All Maladies.  In this small book, he considers the evidence asking if Medicine is a Science?

I have a fondness for books about medicine, and I liked the personal aspects about the book, the authors own experiences.  Maybe the principals and philosophy got a bit over my head and I ended up skipping through the second half of the book.  3/5

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Sometimes Amazing Things Happen - Elizabeth Ford

Elizabeth Ford brings us some stories about her long history working at the Bellevue Hospital Psychaitric Prison Ward in New York.  From walking in as a junior doctor with little experience to effectively running the unit, she lets us hear about the challenges of dealing with the mentally ill patients in the prison system.  Patients who are suicidal or too unwell to be in prison will be transferred to the hospital for treatment, and then taken back into the prison when they are more settled or the threats subside.

I felt touched by many of the stories about her patients - it was hard not to feel sorry for them, and how they came  to be in prison and you wonder about the level of care that they receive while incarcerated.  I do admire her perseverance in staying in the same field for so many decades - it must be at times exhausting  and scary to care for so many disturbed individuals.  3/5

Monday, March 12, 2018

Music Monday - Don't Dream It's Over - Neil Finn

An oldie but a goodie for this music Monday.  I love Neil Finn, and have been lucky enough to see him play live 6 times.  Sometimes you realize that you haven't listened to the songs for years and hear them on the radio or in the supermarket and it reminds you of the love you have for them and how it swings you back into a different time in your life.  This one always reminds me of living in London in the mid 90s and a couple of fun years living in Hamilton. 

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

The Tattooist of Auschwitz - Heather Morris

Lale is just a young man, who steps forward to volunteer to go to what he believes is a labor camp in order for his family to be protected during the second world war.  This of course is a lie, and he is taken to Auschwitz where every day and every hour he struggles to survive.

While he tells the stories about the horrors that he witnesses around him, the essence of this story is a love affair, how he meets his true love Gita as he tattoos her number on her arm.  Based on a true story told to the author this is quite the tale - I see a movie in the future.  Haunting and unforgettable. 5/5

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

We Are Here - Fiona Harari

The years have gone on and now we are 70+ years since the end of the Second World War, and many of the survivors are 90+ years old.  The author talks to a group of holocaust survivors who emigrated to Australia after the war, about their experiences during the war and the new life they made in their new homes.

Each story is pretty harrowing, it is hard to imagine enduring so much loss, and yet their is hope as they make new families of their own and beat the odds by surviving. 4/5

Monday, March 05, 2018

Music Monday - Hurt Somebody - Noah Kahan

I saw this on the television and liked the simplicity of the song.  A new one for my Music Monday.  Noah Kahan with Hurt Somebody.