the state of things

 

Can You Hear The Drums?

by Douglas Lindsay - 08:13 on 11 November 2008

More time off school. How we all cheered when we realised.

Today is Poland’s national day, dating from when the country became an independent nation again at the end of the Great War. So everything is shut, including the schools. Why was the school shut yesterday? Not sure. Think that was just a day off, because that’s what happens in schools for the kids of diplomats, ex-pats and rich Poles. Why have one day off when you can have two? It’s like it’s part of the school’s selling point, as if it’s the kids who are paying the fees. Come to our school and get a year-round two-for-the-price-of-one holiday offer.

Yesterday I took One of Two and her friend to see Mama Mia. It was the friend’s first time, my second, One of Two’s fourth. The movie has been open for months an it was still packed. It’s a phenomenon.

I used to buy Abba in the 70’s. Just a few singles, but somewhere in a loft in Scotland lurk SOS and Fernando and a few others. At the time I probably didn’t admit it to anyone. If someone had raised the issue of Abba, I would have been like one of those disciples pretending that they thought Jesus was the guy who made the doughnuts. By the time I was a fully-fledged teenager, listening to Genesis with my mates, I would have been in outraged denial. Me? Abba? The pop equivalent of show tunes? Don’t be absurd.

Now I recognise that I was a visionary. Those original singles are probably worth upwards of 50p each. And it seems just as embarrassing to own up to having listened to Genesis.

Mama Mia is pretty much a does-what-it-says-on-the-tin kind of a film. For some reason it makes me want to take the kids out of school for a year and go off on a trip round the world to get in adventures. (In terms of holidays it wouldn’t be that different from what they have now.) If I was Julie Walters of Pierce Brosnan, I think I might be a little embarrassed, and I think I might have been quicker to say, Can I just try that line again until I hit the right note, but then, how can you argue with something this popular?

And then there’s this great line

Donna : We just have to work out what we’re going to do with three men.
Tanya  : Now that takes me back.

After four times at the film, I wonder if One of Two has worked it out yet. I'll probably defer that conversation forever.


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