The Family Tie that Binds – “The Closer We Get”

Today the Screen Machine offered a free add- on  to LaLa Land and Trainspotting 2, a film  which took place a bit closer to home in Largs,  just up the Ayrshire coast and in Ethiopia.

Local filmmaker Karen Guthrie set her camera in the midst of her family and portrayed an amazing dynamic that came about when her mother had a stroke a few years ago,  bringing the family together to work out her care, including her father who returned home post-divorce to help keep her mother at home.

Karen answered questions from the audience after the showing of the film and it was clear that the openness of the film, the warts and all portrayal of a typical West of Scotland family in crisis spoke to those present. It certainly did to me, the  similarity between her father and mine was astonishing in their ability not to show emotion and place the blame elsewhere when questioned. This made me realise that while I always thought my family was singularly dysfunctional, here that was protrayed in such a way as to make it clear that this similarity was cultural. The friend I was with could relate to it as well, West of Scotland lassie that she is.

I won’t tell the story or the twist in the tale, because it is possible to watch the film on or purchase the DVD and I highly recommend either.

We are so fortunate to have access to the award-winning musical and this very real Scottish film in the same weekend just up the road, not to mention the Auchrannie Spa nearby for apres-film cappucinos and fresh-baked scones.

The Closer We Get


On Swimming Pools and Opera

The best of Brodick featured in my life yesterday.

First of all, I arranged MyBus to take me to the Auchrannie Spa so that I could go swimming by myself for the first time since I got ill six years ago. Definitely one step at a time as I combined walking in water with breaststroke. FANTASTIC feeling of achievement after half an hour of ‘swimming’ well rewarded with a cappucino upstairs in Cruise. That I can walk up those stairs is a miracle in itself these days.

In the evening I went to Brodick Hall for a treat which was four singers and a pianist on tour with Scottish Opera – wonderful music and no swimming necessary. We are so unbelievably lucky on Arran to have such first class performances at very reasonable cost and I shall look forward to the next time. Have to say, Mozart is still my favourite and the lovely duet from the Magic Flute “the man who feels love’s sweet emotion” sung in English by Pamina and the Bird Catcher Papageno made it all worthwhile.

Directed by Jim Manganello the singers were Adam Gilbert, Baritone, Emma Kerr, Mezzo-soprano, Elgan Llyr Thomas, Tenor and Roisin Walsh as the amazingly beautiful soprano. They were accompanied seamlessly on the piano by Jonathon Swinard.

The two together made a wonderfully ‘normal’ day for me with not much thought to what I cannot yet do in my recovery.

Tonight I am heading for the Screen Machine, our own articulated lorry which opens into a cinema. We are going to see “LaLa Land” and I shall enjoy the opportunity to hang out with Simon and appreciate that he is living nearby for the moment.

I feel blessed and grateful for my recovering health and opportunities we have on the island to keep up to date with film and concerts.


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