5 Things (Twilight Zone, wine, Frankenweenie, naps, an octopus chandelier)

I’ve been looking for a way to ease myself back into blogging after the summer hiatus and then Sapphire Street gave me the idea of posting a weekly list of 5 things that have interested me, so here we go:

The Twilight Zone (1959)


Andy bought us the first season of Rod Serling’s original Twilight Zone on DVD and I finally understand why this magnificent series has become such a cultural touchstone.  Each episode is like a mini-movie, beautifully produced, acted and directed. We’re on episode 9 and so far themes of isolation, alienation and war have dominated, which is not too surprising for a show that emerged from the 1950s. I absolutely loved ‘The Lonely’, in which a man convicted to serve out his sentence alone on an asteroid gains possession of a robot woman companion only to find himself faced with a terrible choice. ‘The Sixteen Millemetre Shrine’ introduced to me the work of the rather awesome Ida Lupino who both directed and starred in the episode. The best episode I’ve seen so far is one of the most famous: ‘Time Enough at Last’.  In this haunting story, a harassed man finally finds himself alone with plenty of time to read his beloved books, but of course nothing ever goes according to plan in “The Twilight Zone”.  The ending is unforgettable. We’ve also been watching 1980s reboot, The New Twilight Zone, on The Horror Channel and it isn’t bad, though no patch on the original.

Chateuneuf du Pape wine
A few years ago I visited Avignon and remember the Chateuneuf du Pape wines on sale at the Palais des Papes. I’ve never been able to afford a bottle, but having just finished a three-year job contract I decided that now would be a good time to treat myself a really nice bottle of wine (by my standards anyway, as a person who knows nothing about wine).  It cost £22 which is the most I’ve ever spent on wine. I was wondering if it really would taste all that different and, well, yes I’m fairly sure it did.

Frankenweenie (2012)
We received this from Lovefilm a couple of weeks ago, but I put off watching it because I was little worried about the theme. I’ve been getting quite avoidant of anything that might trigger feelings of grief and loss.  In the end I made myself watch it and, while I did cry all the way through, I also really enjoyed it. Frankenweenie is a charming, sweet homage to the horror films of the 1930s and 40s and the stop motion animation is gorgeous. I do wish Tim Burton wasn’t so fatphobic, but otherwise it’s a lovely film.

Octopus chandelier
It’s an octopus AND a chandelier. What’s not to love? OK, it might dominate the room a little, but I think it would be worth it.  In my fantasy future –  in which I live in a cobb house and own a herd of goats – I like to imagine people driving up to visit us, thinking that it all looks nice and benign, and then walking in the front door and having their assumptions shattered by the gigantic glass octopus chandelier hanging from the ceiling. This one has sold, but the artist is making another one, so now I just need to find $18,000.

The Perfect Nap 
I love taking naps – afternoon naps on the couch with my feet on my girlfriend’s lap, naps in a cool darkened room to recover from time spent with too many people, naps after … well, you know.  So I was pleased to find this scientific advice on how to get the best out of your napping experience. It’s interesting to see that a 30 minute nap can make you groggy because that’s usually my nap length of choice and I do get groggy.  I will try to keep my naps to 20 minutes or go all the while way to an hour.