Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Broadchurch's last episode: a very Bridport affair

There were gasps as the verdict was announced.

Surely not? And then the programme went on, with twists and turns, including the unexpected and the entirely predictable.

Anyone would think the popular television drama, Broadchurch, was for real. Well, for those of us who live here, where the show was made, it does feel a part of everyday life.

The writer lives in Bridport and the actors are now frequent visitors to the town and its harbour, West Bay. The series' backdrop is as familiar to us as the backs of our hands, although the magic of television splices the geographical areas of North Somerset and West Dorset with surgical precision, so that the dramatic East Cliff of West Bay on the south coast suddenly looms on the distant skyline beyond Clevedon and the Bristol Channel.
In Bridport last night, the charming Electric Palace Theatre played host to the haunting, atmospheric music of ├ôlafur Arnalds, the composer for the series. He and his band filled the quirky venue with loops and refrains, seemingly simple piano and ethereal violins.
And after ninety minutes and a standing ovation, the curtains were drawn, the roadies moved in and the stage was set for the finale of the second series of this show, as the audience, which included writer Chris Chibnall and actor Jodie Whittaker, who plays Beth Latimer, settled down to watch the big screen and find out what really happened.

It was the sort of thing Bridport does very well.

As the end credits rolled, there were cheers when it was announced Broadchurch would be back for a third series.
Jodie, Chris and Ólafur signed autographs and the audience went home happy.

It is such great publicity for this part of Dorset.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

Friday, 13 February 2015

Pictures of Maddie

We've just had a photo session, Mr Grigg and me, here in the kitchen.

It's usually me behind the camera - I've never been much of a one for inflicting my fisog on the world. Invariably, pictures of me on the web are of tea cups, tiki masks and Fra Newbery's painting The Spirit of Bridport.
I also use this one a lot.  I like it. I took it. But I'm not in it. 
'Smile girls,' I yelled from afar. 'Jump up and down a bit.'

So they did. 

It's one of my favourite pictures.

But, over the last few months, it's me who's had to be the subject of the photographs. 

'Can you send me a nice photo of you by the sea?' the feature writer at Good Housekeeping said to me last summer.

'Do you really need it?' I said. 'Can't you use a picture of the Greek village we lived in, or a back view of me?'

'Well, not really,' she said. 'It's a two page feature and it's all about you and how you felt living on a Greek island.'

It happened again this week.

'We'd like a head and shoulders picture of you,' said the nice lady from The People's Friend magazine.

'Can't you use a picture of my new dog?' I asked.

Well, she is rather beautiful.
'Of course not,' the nice lady said. 'Not unless the dog's writing your column.'

So there, in a roundabout way, is the announcement I had to make. On the strength of this blog, I've been asked to be a columnist for the oldest women's weekly magazine in the world.

It's a huge honour, a wonderful opportunity and I can't stop pinching myself at my good luck. So I've had to jettison the reluctance to having my photo taken because, basically, the dog is rubbish at writing.
And as my first column is due to be featured on or around April 1st, I reckon photo number four.

What do you think?

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

Monday, 2 February 2015

A dog's day out in Broadchurch

It's Broadchurch tonight.
It's funny to see our Dorset coastline in all its glory. Week after week after week.
Those cliffs at West Bay are a towering presence in this popular television series, which is gripping the nation with all its twists and turns.
Through the magic of television, we even saw East Cliff looming up on the skyline in a shot filmed at Clevedon, on the other side of the south west peninsula.

The whole series, whether you like it or not, is a great advert for this part of the world.

In real life, though, you have to keep away from the foot of the cliffs. They're unstable and pieces could - and do - fall at any time.

So we kept to the shore when we introduced Artemis, a ten-month-old Korthals Griffon, to the ocean for the very first time yesterday.
The verdict? She says she likes it.

She'll be back.
That's about it.

Love Maddie x

A horror film for Halloween

On Halloween, I head out under the cover of darkness, a tub of sweets by the front door for young trick or treaters on the prowl with their ...