Going to a matinee on a Friday afternoon felt deliciously decadent as I abandoned my PC, locked the dogs to sleep in the cool house and treated myself to a viewing of 'Brideshead revisited'. All on my own - no neighbourly comments to distract, no popcorn to crunch, not even a chocolate bar to unwrap soundlessly - I feasted on the latest movie version of one of modern novels I most admire: 'Brideshead revisited' by Evelyn Waugh.
Emma Thompson made a stately, stern yet human Lady Marchmain, Michael Gambon was there as a crusty and repentent Lord Marchmain (just for you, Willow), Ben Wishaw as the tortured Sebastian, Hayley Atwell as a robust Julia and Matthew Goode as a cool yet not unaffected Charles Ryder. Castle Howard provided a magnificent Brideshead.
I enjoyed the movie but, of course, it cannot supplant Waugh's magnificent prose. Some may think the story a criticism of stern religion; others about illicit love in between-wars Britain. Personally, I think the main theme is about men and women's futile attempts to escape the Hound of Heaven.
"I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter." (Francis Thompson)