Sunday, 2 September 2012

M is for Movie Night

My husband and I have good reason for wanting to crack on with our Alphabet Dates - not simply because we enjoy the excuse to make time for each other but because we have another project in the pipeline that is going to keep us busy.

We thought about climbing a mountain together for our M date but then settled on a less adventurous cosy night in with a Movie. In keeping with the M theme, we planned to make a Mushroom curry to get things started.

Our town has a thriving street market every Wednesday. I am not a great lover of markets but I do have one or two favourite stalls that I sometimes frequent. One stall sells fruit and veg and often has large boxes of mushrooms for a couple of pounds. My plan was to buy one of these for my curry.

Unfortunately, as is often the case on Wednesdays for some unfathomable reason, the God of Market Traders was not smiling. It poured with rain. Not just ordinary rain but great big hailstones. By the time I got into town to hunt down my primary dinner ingredient, the boxes of mushrooms were reduced to a soggy, slimy mess. Tragic.

I had a rich mushroom sauce in the freezer, leftover from the last box of mushrooms I'd purchased. My husband used it to knock up a never to be repeated, mushroom and chickpea spicy concoction which if we'd been blessed with imagination, we could have named something beginning with M!

Choosing a movie that we both wanted to watch wasn't that easy. I like horror films - he doesn't. He likes espionage and political thrillers. I don't. Then we had a brainwave.

I have an early childhood memory of staying up past my bedtime and seeing a snippet of a film that my parents were watching. I clearly remember a circus ring, a woman dressed in black leather riding a white horse and a ring master with a whip. The ring master whipped the woman, slicing into her leather    clothes until she was naked.

Although the imagery stayed with me into adulthood, I had no idea what film it was from until a chance facebook conversation some time ago. A friend of mine (also from my childhood) supplied me with the title of the film and the leading lady of the black leather fame.

My husband bought me a German import of the film but I was in no hurry to actually watch it in case it did not live up to my memory. It sat gathering dust on my DVD shelf. The film (from 1968) was Girl on a Motorcycle and the leading lady was Marianne Faithfull.

There would really be no better time to confront my childhood memory than on our M date!

We were late starting the film so we went to bed to watch it. We had a few false starts because we couldn't find the remote control and then we couldn't work out how to change the audio from German dubbing back to original English but we eventually got there. The iconic scene, etched in my memory was very early on in the film and I had no memory of anything that followed. (I am guessing that  at that point, my parents must have realised I was watching, deemed it unsuitable viewing for a child and sent me off to bed!)

I'm sure that it in its day, the film would have been spectacularly ground breaking and risque but I'm afraid it was just a bit too slow and dated to keep me awake all the way through. I did, however, love being snuggled under duvet and in my husband's arms, snoozing! As for the circus scene that made such a dramatic impact on me all those years ago before I could have had any comprehension of the significance of it all - it will remain one of my favourite film sequences of all time.

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