Barnabas Collins – Dark Shadows 1967

This is when Barnabas Collins played by Jonathan Frid was introduced to the series. In 1967 Willie Loomis finds a chained up coffin in the Collins Family Mausoleum at the Eagle Hill Cemetery where he believes that their family jewels are hidden. He is unaware however, that the coffin is that of vampire Barnabas Collins who has been chained up and imprisoned there since 1795. Willie unwittingly releases him from his coffin, and subsequently Barnabas proceeds to return to the Collins family mansion posing as a distant cousin from England and a direct descendant from the original Barnabas Collins from the eighteenth century; whom in truth of course is he himself. A far contrast from the Johnny Depp version of this character.

Note: I was an avid watcher of this series when it began, and if I am not mistaken, it was broadcast live (excuse the pun) at the beginning.

 

 

 

The Reform of John Thornton – Part Six

TheReformofJohnThorntonThis lovely art work is not mine. I found it somewhere on the internet. Would the artist please contact me so that I can acknowledge his/her work?

 

Chapter Six

 

How grateful I was to have my mill so that I could throw myself onto my work and forget the events of that upsetting tea party.

The mill required my full attention at that time, for trouble was most definitively brewing.

It was of such great concern that I called on my fellow mill masters to convene and discuss the situation.

Our assembly hall was next to the Lyceum Hall, and I was standing near the open window. I was watching the comings and goings from above, and to my chagrin, I had recognized several of my workers entering the hall to attend a meeting. Since I had also seen Higgins going in some time before, I presumed he was to be the ringleader for a possible strike.

Nicholas Higgins was one of Hamper’s, and a troublemaker. A union member with far too much influence amongst the workers. Why the workers would have need to unite themselves against their masters, I could understand. Many masters were greedy and ruthless enough to deny their workers some semblance of dignity. Even poor people deserved to have a roof above their heads and bread on their tables.

I shoved away all thoughts of workers and masters, when I saw a slight woman clad in drab brown mounting the steps at a leisurely pace.

Margaret! What was she doing here? What was her business attending a workers’ meeting? Was there no end to my torture, then? Would she aggrieve me over and over again with her inappropriate behaviour?

“Ah …put him down. He’s one of ours isn’t he?” Hamper’s voice nearly made me jump. He was standing next to me, a tankard of ale in his hand.

“Boucher … he’s Thornton’s,” Henderson said. He too had come to join us without my noticing it.

Hamper then challenged me. “Aren’t you interested, Thornton?  All mills together if you please. We need to show ‘em.  We know what they’re up to and who they are.”

I did not take the bait. “Let them meet, if that’s how they want to spend their leisure time.”

Then it was Henderson again. “We’re all trying to work together Thornton.”

I turned to the room, letting my scepticism show. “Are we?”

“What does that mean?” Henderson asked, sounding surprised, yet I knew better.

“I overheard some of my men talking.  It seems you are planning to give in to them.  We agreed …. we would all be in line … so that the men would know we meant business and know that we kept our word.”

“Well … I …” Henderson sputtered, then looked at Watson. They were playing their own game behind my back, I knew it well. No matter, I would know what to do if the need should arise.

 

Later that night – it must have been near eleven o’ clock – I went to close Marlborough Mills’ main gate. God, I was exhausted. And very concerned about the coming days.

Just when I was at the gate, a figure stepped forward from the shadows. I had failed to see him, because a fog was whirling through the deserted streets. Stephens!

“Master, …”

“What are you doing here?”

“ Master, I beg you to take me back …”

Sudden red-hot fury engulfed me at the little bastard’s nerve. “Get out!” I growled, but the miscreant chose not to heed my command. He bowed awkwardly and ventured, “I were at meeting this evening … “

I took a step closer, as understanding dawned. The coward continued, “I could tell you what they’re planning … what’s in their thoughts …   Please sir… I beg you.”

I grasped him by the collar and shouted, ”Get out and do not come near this mill again!”

I shoved him from me in disgust, but then approaching footsteps caught my attention. “Who’s there?” I challenged.

Two familiar figures appeared from the fog. Mr Hale and … Margaret!

“It’s only us,” Mr Hale said jovially. So Margaret had gone to meet her father. I now belatedly recalled that Mr Hale taught at the Lyceum Hall in the evenings. Joy began to blossom in my heart, because she had not gone to attend a union meeting, yet it seemed I was still to be harassed by that bloody bastard Stephens. He moved forward, yet again. “Master, I promise you …”

My patience was tried too much, now. “Get away from here!” I bellowed, and raised my fist.

That frightened Stephens enough and he disappeared into the darkness.

“Couldn’t you show a little mercy?” Mr Hale’s reproachful voice sounded.

Blast. I had forgotten about them and was now ashamed of my rudeness, yet it seemed important to me that they understood my meaning.

“Mr Hale! Please … do not try to tell me my business!” I pleaded, but then Margaret’s sarcastic little voice cut me off.

“Remember, they do things differently here! Come, Father.”

So much for understanding. I stood there like a bloody fool, watching them walk away. A sigh escaped my lungs, realising that I was yet the only one to understand it all. It was a lonely place I found myself in.

I stepped through the gate, giving the pair one last look before closing it.

 

Thank God for Mother, I thought, as I watched her walking calmly through the sorting room, her hands on her very erect back, and her face displaying imperious authority. Some of the workers were whispering amongst each other, and if their facial expressions were anything to go by, they were having a joke at her expense. Ah, let them be, I mused. Nothing could shake Mother. It was a comforting thought, indeed, to know she at least would always be at my side, and in all circumstances.

The noises in the room were also comforting. I heard someone shout for more supplies, and was glad I had had the foresight to order the cotton in bulk.

“You there!  Is the machine mended?” Mother challenged a female weaver.

“Yes,” the woman replied shyly.

“Then use it, for there’s many to take your place.”

Next, I saw her striding towards a woman who was holding her coughing child. Ah, the fluff would be disastrous for some of the weaker workers.

“The child is ill. Send her home,” Mother said in a stern voice.”

“I can’t afford to,” replied the woman, on the verge of weeping.

Mother sighed with annoyance but offered, “The child cannot work.  Is there another child at home?”  The woman nodded, so mother continued, “If you can get her here within the hour you can keep the place”

The woman’s face alighted with relief. “Thank you.”

“In the hour, mind, or lose it,” Mother ordered.

She had by now reached the place where I was standing, and looking into my face as if to guess my thoughts, I was compelled to give her my approval. “Whatever you think best, Mother.  You know how this mill works almost better than I do.”

Her grateful smile was a balm to my soul.

 

Later, I was accosted by Slickson. He had dared come to my mill in the middle of the day, to whine that he had been forced to decline a raise of pay to his workers. I very well could see through the slimy eel’s meaning, though.

“I don’t know why you’re blaming me,” he ventured, trying to keep up with me as I strode down the courtyard.

“You can play your tricks out to Ashley. That’s your decision.  But if you get it wrong, we all suffer,” I replied angrily. I had no patience with the man. It was not the first time he had played us for a fool.

“They wanted five percent.  Would you have given it them?” he continued with faint surprise.

I turned to him in suppressed rage. “No, but I would’ve told ’em straight.  I wouldn’t pretend I were thinking about it and tell them to come back on payday, so that I could turn them down flat and provoke them.”

He was even more surprised, the fool. “Are you accusing me of trying to encourage a strike?”

“You’re telling’ me that it wouldn’t have suited you?  It’s their lives and our livelihood you’re playing with.” I set him straight and left him standing there. I had no more patience for him.

 

Some days later, I saw Margaret again. There had not passed a minute in those days when I had not been thinking of her. It was strange, and it was something I was not used to.

I was thirty-one, and a bachelor of means. Of course, I had had my share of female attention, and the assiduous attempts of eager mothers to catch my eye were downright exasperating, at times. Any social gatherings where the ladies were attending, were a torture to me, because I would be assaulted by matrons shoving their daughters into my path. Needless to say that none of these simpering, eye-battering young chits would make me a decent enough wife.

Up until now, I had had high standards for my future spouse. She must be strong and steadfast, and prepared to be the companion of a man whose first love would always be his mill. She must bear him a couple of sturdy sons, who could become her husband’s business partners, in time. A few daughters would also not go amiss, since there would be ample possibility to combine my own wealth with that of another mill master. Modesty and integrity, and elegance without spendthrift, and also sweet, balanced disposition were required. But most of all, the woman destined to become Mrs John Thornton would have to be approved by Mother in all things she deems should be present in her daughter-in-law. My mother would always be master in my household, but she might be prepared to relinquish control to my wife in time, should her health require it.

It was not surprising at all, then, when I saw Margaret strolling through my courtyard, that I tried to fit her into my ideal image of a wife. Before I could take stock, however, she was talking to some piecer girls sitting on a bench during their lunch time. The conversation seemed to be very jolly, because all three of them were laughing.

I edged nearby, puzzled as to why Margaret, an accomplished young lady from the South, would want an acquaintance with some low-born working girls from the North.

“What would you like to spend it on?” Margaret asked eagerly.

“Food, and then more food.  I’d pile it up, great big plates,” the piecer girl answered, even more eagerly

I inwardly frowned. Why would that girl waste her money on food? The fact that she earned a living surely was enough not to have her go hungry? Yet Margaret’s next question struck me right in the gut. “So, would you join a strike?  Well, I’m not saying there will be one; just if there was.”

How did she know about an upcoming strike? And why was she even interested? Dear Lord, she was interested, then?

But by now, the girls had spotted me and fell silent, their heads bowed. Margaret turned around and saw me, and understood. In her eyes, I had been spying on my workers to see what they were up to. She nevertheless talked to me in a gracious way.

“Your mother has kindly given me the name of a doctor.”

I was instantly alarmed. “You are ill?”

“No. No, it is just a precaution.”

The girls were avidly listening, so I gave them a stare that should dismiss them. They scampered away, and I started walking into the direction of my office, and to my joy, Margaret followed me.

“Your mother is always accusing me of knowing nothing about Milton and the people who live here,” she said in a voice laced with mirth.

I answered in kind. “Doubt she meant you should hang on to the tittle-tattle of young piecers and spinners.”

A smile spread about her lovely face, setting my heart to beat erratically. “Well,” she said, “they weren’t telling me any secrets.”

Thrilled by the notion that she was actually wishing to converse with me, I explained, “There was a man with a survey here a few weeks ago. It is quite the new thing.  They become practiced at telling others their wages and their working conditions.”

“Do you mind that?  If they tell the truth?”

“Course not.  I do not apologize to anyone about the wages I pay or how I run Marlborough Mills. It is no secret.  It’s in plain sight for all to see.”

Suddenly, she stopped to face me. “And what about how they spend their money?”

She had surprised me there. “Well, that would be none of my business.  My duty is to the efficient running of the mill.  If I neglect that, all the workers will cease to have an income.”

“But what about your moral duty?”

My, my, she would persevere! I kept up my patience and said, “If she keeps to her hours and does nothing to disrupt the honest and efficient working of the mill, what she does in her own time is not my concern.  Here in the North, we value our independence.”

“But surely you must take an interest?” Margaret pressed on.

I was beginning to wonder why she was so determined to know my opinion on all this, but I could not stop myself from explaining further. “I am her employer.  I am not her father or her brother that I can command her to do as I please.  Sorry to disappoint you, Miss Hale.  I would like to play the overbearing master, but I will answer your questions as honestly as I am sure you ask them.”

A look of semi-understanding ran over her face. I smiled, wanting to encourage her further, but then she looked over my shoulder, and dismay appeared. I turned my head. Ah. She had seen Mother standing at the parlour window. Mother is always overlooking the courtyard when she has the time for it. This, however, was the first time that it displeased me that she should want to know what I was doing. Time to end the conversation. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve urgent business,” I said brusquely and left Margaret standing on her own.

 

Field of Lost Shoes 2014 (released Sept 14, 2014)

Young cadets at the Virginia Military Institute are forced to fight in the Civil War when President Lincoln gives orders to invade the Shenandoah Valley. With the nation divided in two, Lincoln realizes that his only hope for getting reelected is to turn the tides in favor of the Union. His solution: Command the General in Chief of Union Forces to seize the Shenandoah Valley. Under direct orders from General. Grant, German native General Hans Sigel prepares to lead his troops down the western side of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Down below, spring is in full bloom, and the young cadets at VMI have yet to experience the war firsthand. With the Union army rapidly advancing and Confederate troops unable to rally their forces in time, the VMI superintendent volunteers the Corps of Cadets to defend the valley. Thus, the stage was set for the Battle of New Market, a defining fight in the Civil War, and one that would haunt the surviving cadets to their dying days. David Arquette, Lauren Holly, and Jason Isaacs star.

 

 

I don’t know how this one got past me. My family home and relatives are in Virginia, near Thomas Jefferson Home, and the Shannendoah Valley was just across the Mountains. I am a (UDC) United Daughter of the Confederacy and am interested in all the history of that time and area.  I’m also a “Daughter of the American Revolution” I had 3 patrons that came from Great Britain, but the only one certifiable traced came from Belfast, Ireland. He was a sail maker.  I have not seen this film yet.

 

Field of shooes 2014-1

 

 

Field of shooes 2014-2

 

Bridge of Spies – Releases Oct 16th (Cold War era)

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Hands and Mark Rylance, by Steven Spielberg

In theaters 10/16/2015

 

  • Philippines Oct 14, 2015
  • Chile Oct 15, 2015
  • Israel Oct 15, 2015
  • Singapore Oct 15, 2015
  • Canada Oct 16, 2015
  • Pakistan Oct 16, 2015
  • Taiwan Oct 16, 2015
  • United States Oct 16, 2015
  • Portugal Oct 21, 2015
  • Australia Oct 22, 2015
  • Brazil Oct 22, 2015
  • Vietnam Oct 23, 2015
  • Argentina Oct 29, 2015
  • Spain Oct 30, 2015
  • Belgium Nov 4, 2015
  • South Africa Nov 6, 2015
  • Azerbaijan Nov 26, 2015
  • Germany Nov 26, 2015
  • Denmark Nov 26, 2015
  • Greece Nov 26, 2015
  • Kazakhstan Nov 26, 2015
  • Netherlands Nov 26, 2015
  • Russia Nov 26, 2015
  • Ukraine Nov 26, 2015
  • Austria Nov 27, 2015
  • Finland Nov 27, 2015
  • United Kingdom Nov 27, 2015
  • Lithuania Nov 27, 2015
  • Poland Nov 27, 2015
  • Sweden Nov 27, 2015
  • France Dec 2, 2015
  • Czech Republic Dec 3, 2015
  • Slovakia Dec 3, 2015
  • Italy Dec 17, 2015
  • Japan Jan 8, 2016

 

No more! Poldark bosses to cut topless scenes of Aidan Turner

No more! Poldark bosses to cut topless scenes of Aidan Turner

 

BBC Fans of Aidan Turner shouldn’t get excited as Poldark show bosses have revealed they’re not “duty-bound” to more topless scenes of the actor. Despite the stir it caused in season one, Debbie Horsfield, the script writer for the BBC One drama, admitted she’s in no rush to feature the Dubliner’s bare chest in the second series.“I don’t feel duty bound at all. I feel duty bound to the story – that’s the duty I see,” she said.

aidan-turner-2-620x434

“I don’t feel that, to be honest. It’s the thing that’s attracted a lot of attention but in the grand scheme of things, it probably covers, what, 30 seconds, a minute, out of eight hours of television.“I think the huge majority are watching because they think the stories are good, the acting’s good and Aidan with his shirt on is also good,” she added.Speaking at a panel event at Cheltenham Literature Festival, Karen Thrussell, the shows executive producer, admitted their had to be purpose to his shirtless scenes

aidan-turner-620x434“We can’t have him strutting around with his top off for no reason,” she revealed to Radio Times.Meanwhile, actress Beatie Edney, who plays Poldark’s servant Prudie, chimed in on the conversation – praising the heartthrob for his dedication to the role.“If the script demands it I’m sure he will oblige. He worked really hard to get those muscles, he is really dedicated,” she laughed.

Source: No more! Poldark bosses to cut topless scenes of Aidan Turner | Goss.ie | First for Irish celebrity news

The Yellow Wallpaper 2012 Thriller

https://youtu.be/K77kW2W5xEw

In the tradition of Woman in Black and The Others, this adaptation of one of the most famous gothic stories of all time, depicts a riveting horror tale from stars of the genre. In 1892, after the death of their daughter, a husband and wife move to a remote house where ghostly events begin to occur. Something lurks upstairs in the attic behind the strange yellow wallpaper, but what?

The Yellow Wallpaper 2012 - Thriller

The Reform of John Thornton – Part Five

TheReformofJohnThornton

This lovely art work is not mine. I found it somewhere on the internet. Would the artist please contact me so that I can acknowledge his/her work?

 

 

Chapter Five

 

After the day’s work, I ascended the stairs to prepare myself for my visit to the Hales.

Mother was sitting at the table, absorbed in her needlework. How she managed to be so diligent, with Fanny’s dreadful attempts in doing piano scales upstairs, I do not know.

Once in a while, my sister even sang, and it sounded horrible. I donned my coat and rolled my eyes, saying, “Mother, remember I go to the Hales this evening. I will be home to dress, but then out till late.”

She laid down her needlework and remarked in some surprise, “Dress?  Why should you dress up to take tea with an old parson? Ex-parson!”

Dear Mother, she truly did not like the Hales. “Mr. Hale is a gentleman and his daughter is an accomplished young lady,” I smiled.

Mother raised her eyebrows in a way only she can do. It leaves a fellow positively shaken up.

“Don’t worry, Mother. I’m in no danger from Miss Hale.  She’s very unlikely to consider me a catch. She’s from the South.  She doesn’t care for our Northern ways.”

She scoffed in a most unladylike manner, but then Mother had never claimed to be a lady in her life.

“Huh!  Airs and graces!”  She stood up and started adjusting my cravat. “What business has she?  A renegade clergyman’s daughter, who’s now only fit to play at giving useless lectures to those who do not wish to hear them!  What right has she to turn up her nose at you?”

I did not comment and would not be drawn into discussing Margaret’s faults, but said it warmly, “Board up the windows. There’ll be a storm later.” I kissed her soft cheek and left.

 

My good mood was still in place when I reached Canute Street. I felt a noticeable spring in my step as I walked along Milton’s busy streets. I knocked briskly on the Hales’ door.

Their servant – I believe her name was Dixon – showed me up the stairs to the first floor sitting room. It was a tolerably pretty chamber done up in a creamy wall paper sprinkled with green leaves. I found only Mr Hale there, who began apologizing to me. His wife, it seemed, was not feeling well, but she had promised to come down later.

I was sorry about Mrs Hale, so I wondered if Margaret was sitting with her mother, that evening. Would she not come down, then? Would I suffer disappointment and not see her? How I longed to ask, but of course, this was not done. I had to swallow down my ardent questions and be civil to my host.

It turned out that my teacher was very interested in the working of my mill, so I obliged and answered his questions about the various procedures involving the making of cotton. I became so enthused that I barely noticed when Margaret came in, carrying the tea tray. I stood to greet her, and she nodded in response before pouring out the tea.

I carried on with relish about Arkwright’s invention of a mechanical loom, “…All motion and energy but truly a thing of beauty.  Classics will have to be re-written to include it.”

I was distractedly sipping my tea, when I became aware of Margaret’s silence. I looked at her. She was asleep, and the sight of her beautiful features, relaxed in sleep, raised my heart rate. I swallowed, put down my cup, and remarked, “Ah… I’m afraid we’re boring Miss Hale with our enthusiasm for Arkwright’s invention.”

Margaret was startled and sat up. “No…indeed I’m sure it’s fascinating. I’m a little tired that’s all.”

She got up and began refilling my empty cup. I could not help gazing at her intensely. She was of a rare beauty, and graceful of manner. I was enthralled by every move she made and struck by how she affected me. She was not the first woman to hand me a cup of tea, of course. Nevertheless, I was so fascinated by her slender arm, adorned with a simple gold bracelet, and by her tiny hand and porcelain skin, that I almost forgot to take the cup. Our fingers brushed. I was surprised at my reaction to such an innocent act, but it became a sensual feeling to me.

Mr Hale abruptly stood, and I did the same, for Mrs Hale had entered the room. Her smile was positively reluctant, and I gathered I had encountered another member of the family who was not pleased with me.

Mr Hale jovially remarked, “Er…Mr Thornton has been admiring our newly redecorated rooms, Maria.”

I smiled at her, while she answered, “Oh yes, Mr. Thornton. Hmm …well, there…there wasn’t a great deal of choice but these papers are of a similar shade to our drawing room in Helstone.  But not quite.”

My smile broadened when I proffered, “Well…. On behalf of Milton taste, I’m glad we’ve almost passed muster.”

The smile was still on my face when I caught Margaret’s gaze, but she abruptly turned away, crushing all my joy in doing so. Margaret was becoming an expert in crushing me, it seemed.

I forced myself to listen to Mrs Hale again. “Yes..yes well… clearly you’re very proud of Milton.  My husband admires its energy and its …..its. people.. are very busy making their businesses successful.”

That only required an easy reply, and I promptly gave it. “I won’t deny it – I’d rather be toiling here with success or failure than leading a dull prosperous life in the south ….with their slow careless days of ease.”

All of a sudden, Margaret burst out indignantly. “You are mistaken. You don’t know anything about the South.  It may be a little less energetic in its pursuit of competitive trade but then there is less suffering than I have seen in your mills….and all for what?”

I reminded myself that she had no understanding about Milton trade and how it worked. So I patiently spelled it out for her. “We make cotton.”

She was not to be persuaded, however. Petulantly, she continued, “Which no one wants to wear!”

By now, my patience had grown very thin. I straightened my shoulders and attempted to reason with her, glad for the chance to do so.

“I think that I might say that you do not know the North.  We masters are not all the same whatever your prejudice against Milton men and their ways.”

She actually scoffed! “I’ve seen the way you treat your men.  You treat them as you wish because they are beneath you.”

That was far over the limit! I said in a patient voice, “No, I do not.”

She cut me off again. “You’ve been blessed with good luck and fortune, but others have not.”

She was determined to crush me, to blame me for the misery in all the world, it seemed. Fighting for composure, I resumed, “I do know something of hardship …”

She did seem to collect herself somewhat, now, so I was encouraged to proceed.

“Sixteen years ago my father died… in very miserable circumstances.  I became the head of the family very quickly.  I was taken out of school.  I think that I might say that my only good luck was to have a mother of such strong will and integrity.  I went to work in a draper’s shop and my mother managed so that I could put three shillings aside a week.  That taught me self-denial.  Now I’m able to keep my mother in such comfort as her age requires and I thank her, every day for that early training …  so,  Miss Hale, I do not think that I was especially blessed with good fortune or luck …”

I looked at her, pleading for her approval, but she lowered her eyes, as if she could not bear the mere sight of me. I was dimly aware of her mother, shifting in her seat as if in great discomfort. I could not, for the life of me, understand what I had done wrong now.

It was time to go. “I have outstayed my welcome.”

I stood while Mr Hale was muttering a protest. I needed to try one more attempt to befriend Margaret, so I extended my hand and said in a soothing tone, “Come Miss Hale, let us part friends despite our differences.  If we become more familiar with each other’s traditions, we may learn to be more tolerant, I think.”

That was when she hurt me in a most violent way. She shrunk back and left me standing there with my hand raised. I clenched my fist in deep offense. Never in my life had I encountered a human being who so blatantly refused to take my hand.

I turned to Mr Hale, saying in what I hoped was a normal voice, “I’ll see myself out.”

Mr Hale, seemingly embarrassed, uttered that I should come again. I hastened to leave this dreadful house.