I’ve been looking forward to Mr. Holmes since I first saw a trailer for it. Just from that it appeared to be lush, charming, and intriguing. I just finished watching it at last and it was all of that, and more.

It got off to a slow start to the point that I was a little disappointed at first. Over the course of the movie I learned a little screenwriting lesson. There is a subtle, but great, difference between a slow start and a slow build. Under the brilliant acting mantle of the great Sir Ian McKellen, Mr. Holmes builds a foundation, then layer upon layer of…everything that makes an unforgettable movie.

The case becomes cases, nestled together like a Russian nested doll. They interweave, though at first they seem unconnected. They seem at odds, they almost war with each other, until they become clearly woven threads that hold together the very fabric of Sherlock Holmes’ later life.

Holmes himself is as complex and fascinating as any of his cases. Old, fading, and frail, he seeks to remember the events that were his undoing. In doing so he unravels himself and those around him, until at last he is able to right wrongs and emerge stronger and more able to be the man he carried always inside himself. As part of his last case, he makes the lives of others profoundly better. He accomplishes what we all might wish for in our old age. He leaves his world and those who have fallen into its orbit better than if he’d done nothing.

Ian McKellen is one of the finest actors of our time, and with seamless ease embodies an elderly Sherlock Holmes with dignity and grace and a twinkly measure of humor. He moves through the gorgeous scenery and takes us with a latter day Sherlock on a tour of the English coastal countryside and period London, as he guides us into the inner workings of the most formidable detective’s mind.

A movie of unexpected depths, heartbreak and joy, Mr. Holmes leaves the viewer with thoughts and images, ideas and characters, rights and wrongs enough to keep the thought process going for some time to come.

Mr. Holmes Official US Trailer #1

If you’re interested in art, the Guggenheim has made a staggering number of digitized  images available. I’ve book marked this article, for info on that and a number of links at the bottom of the article to look at over time. Though my internet access has improved greatly, I’m afraid it will still only handle this much image overload in bits. Seems like a great thing just to know is there, though

Cornwall was a place I particularly wanted to see in the UK. In part because I’d long heard how beautiful it is. My thing for seeing places books I love had been set was my main reason, however. I went with a mission. I loved The Shell Seekers, by Rosamund Pilcher, and desperately wanted to see the place that had instilled a perfect image in my head.


I’m not sure I got solid information, but two sources (a bed and breakfast lady and the owner of a gardening shop who sold me a beautiful small artist’s print of a very Shell Seekery scene from among the trowels and Wellies) sent me to the above beach. I was told it was called Porthkerris and that it had been  Ms. Pilcher’s inspiration. It was beautiful and awesome and I felt I’d come as close to a Rosamund Pilcher pilgrimage as I was likely to accomplish. I left that beach happy.

Another author’s work lured me to Cornwall as well. I had recently discovered E. V. Thompson and his historical tals of the Cornish Coast were so captivating that I wanted so very much to at least get a flavor of the area.


I’m terrible about remembering exactly where my travel photos were taken. I think this coastal gem is Penzance, of Gilbert andSullivan fame, but I can’t swear to it. All I’m certain of is that this harbor scene was gorgeous and some of the boats and one larger sailing vessel in particular gave me the feel I was looking for.


This image, framed to look as if the click of my shutter had traversed centuries to transport me briefly to a time of fierce love, fierce people…and pirates, was as close as I got to satisfying my E. V. Thompson inspired dreams of dreamy coastal villages, where adventure and romance lay just beyond my viewfinder.

Cornwall seemed a place just slightly set apart from reality. Perhaps it is. Tintagel, said to be the birthplace of King Arthur, lies there after all. What could be more tantalizing than the chance to stand in a land and imagine it as Camelot?

Hearing X Ambassadors’ song Renegades on the radio is one thing…enjoying a great song. Seeing the official video is another thing entirely…being inspired. The extremely challenged athletes featured are absolutely incredible. Their physical strength alone is remarkable. Their grace, humility, and courage serve as an unspoken challenge to those of us who do not face the realities of their daily lives. I know I’m now much more aware of the need for gratitude and grace when faced with adversity.

X Ambassadors Renegades Official Video

If you’re a fan of The X-Files, the series’ best show runners, or both, you saw the headline of this New York Times article and the episode “Home” popped into your head. In a series full of stories ranging from creepy to scary to outright terrifying, Ma Peacock and her boys stand out as unforgettably horrifying. In a good way, as well as the stuff of nightmares residue watching it leaves on the back of your brain. The good way part is the storytelling that lies behind the masterful creepout.

Glen Morgan and James Wong intentionally wrote a scary story and unintentionally created a TV episode that became so notorious that it was banned. In this insightful, fascinating article/interview they tell their story behind that story. Filled with behind the scenes recollections and information, it’s a must read for X-Files fans.


This is the truest definition of a random image. The German landscape is peppered with ancient nameless castles, in various states of being. Some are gorgeously intact and look almost as they must have centuries before. Others are little more than time worn piles of rubble. This one is somewhere in between. What is visible of it looks like intact towers that could have stood by its rural roadside as they are, since it was built. I like to imagine it was once part of a bigger, more elaborate structure that fell away in a manner known only to the imagination. There is some small possibility that this structure was never part of a castle, or even fortification, at all. It could have been built for some purpose long lost to time. This kind of stumbled across history is one of the joys of driving around Europe. It pricks the imagination, leaving visitors to tell its stories as they will.

This article is the most comprehensive I’ve seen about one of my favorite actors, Ben Whishaw. His place in global pop culture is firmly set with another turn as Q in the upcoming Bond outing, Spectre, but here people who only know him as Q can learn about the many roles he’s seemingly effortlessly made his own. There are bits about the private person Whishaw prefers to be as well. Every new piece of the intriguing puzzle that is perhaps the finest actor of his generation makes him more accessible, and ever more admirable.



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