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Movies to self-isolate by

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I saw yesterday that the Guardian had compiled a list of movies that people self-isolating from the Coronavirus could watch to while away some of the time.
That list was strange, very strange — to say the least of it.
I’d not heard of at least half of them, and they were supposed to be ‘comfort films’.
Even those that I had heard of, wouldn’t have brought any comfort to me.

So instead of the utter trash that the Guardian suggested, here’s my suggested list of films.
Airplane (you can't beat a spoof) Airplane II (you really can't beat a spoof) The Big Bus (spoofs are the best, you know) North Sea Hijack (also knows as ffolkes) Jurassic Park, I, II, and III (my wife’s suggestions, seconded by me) The Core (it’s surprisingly watchable) The Mummy, I, II, and III (or whatever their correct titles are) Die Hard (I, II, and, at a push, III) Airport (the 1970 original) Airport 1975 (in some ways better than the original - watch out for the singing nun that inspired the corresponding scene in Airpl…

The world is falling down around us

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I just can’t COPE with this Coronavirus business. It feels like the world as we know it is disappearing in front of us, and it’s far from clear whether it will ever be the same again.

Schools are closed in Ireland.
Tom Hanks has been bitten by the bug and is mopping his fevered brow as I type.
McLaren have withdrawn from the Australian grand prix.
My work meeting next week has been cancelled and replaced with a call, but I’ve already bought an advance train ticket in the GWR sale to travel to London. Bum! Do I go into the office and do the call from there, or write off the cost of the ticket (it was cheap, stupidly cheap, compared with the standard price), or do I try to exchange it for £10 and use the ticket at a later date. I like to show my face in the office occasionally, as it helps to underline the fact to my colleagues that I’m still alive and I still do work.
My wife and I want to stick our fricking house on the mother fricking market, having been focusing for the past 8-9 mo…

Smallbone Deceased

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Back in late 2015 I discovered the range of classic crime books that are being re-published by the British Library.
Aptly titled ‘British Library Crime Classics’, these books are a mixture of whodunits and other formats of the crime genre written during what it recognised as the ‘golden era’ of crime fiction — that is, the period between the two World Wars. The books published include those written by a number of eminent authors of detective fiction, including E.C.R Lorac, John Bude, J. Jefferson Farjeon, Freeman Wills Crofts and George Bellairs.
The list of BLCC titles has grown to nearly 80 now — and I’ve read about three quarters of them. Most are good to very good, a few are sensational, with just the odd let down (‘Somebody at the Door’ by Raymond Postgate immediately springs to mind for the latter category). I eventually had to cast that aside, not fully read.
Aside from the BLCC range, I’ve also become an avid fan of George Bellairs’ Inspector Littlejohn mysteries — and Bell…