Sunday, 27 May 2012

Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen



Ridiculous titles – excellent very British films;

Two great fun films ... both very, very British!  Cast with some really well known actors and actresses – such fun to see them all working together – I bet they laughed all the way through the takes. 

Then some views of the West Country lanes I passed through on my brief journey to Cornwall, via Somerset and Devon ....


What a great idea taking a group of ageing “beautiful and elderly” retirees, writing a comedy-drama around them and having it set in India ... to a hotel called “Marigold” ... I just cannot get washing up gloves – marigold variety – out of my mind!


These characters still full of dreams, full of life, perhaps not quite so stable on their pins – but spring chickens in their own minds – the strangers meet up in Jaipur ... and their journey of adventure begins.


Hart's Tongue Fern in Cornish Lane
The British character is at work here ... lotharios, cricket fans, antithesis to foreigners – and they’re in India – hidden talents ... the relationship between the Indian personalities and their expectations of life ...


Checkout this great movie – it’s fun, light, thought-provoking too, seductive in nature as India weaves its spell ... the people are intelligent, funny, curious – the stellar cast give us lots of laugh out loud moments.  Just delightful ... it is charming in unexpected ways.



Another cracked title – but the book has the same name – while the words certainly entrap you ... a very typical British romantic comedy-drama built around a very odd premise ... bringing fly fishing to the Yemen.


But anything is possible with some $$$ ... beautiful film sets, British characterisation excellently portrayed once again – British names ... Chetwode-Talbot ... 

...the reserve of the Brits, the pompousness of British politicians and civil servants, handsome Sheikh ... there are twists and surprising ones at that ...


But – oh I do enjoy good old British humour, sense of hope, ridiculousness of situations we get ourselves out of ... a good looking cast (that’s rather good at its craft too!!) ... some excellent locational shots ...


A Linseed Field in full flower
I love that we get to see parts of our country that we might miss otherwise – and highlight countries we might never get to see – perhaps through a gauzy haze of cinematographic delight ... think Slumdog Millionaire ...


Castles – well this is a Scottish baronial house ... Wikipedia gives their locations – I’m pleased to say ... and then using Morocco for the locations set in the Yemen – but in the film there is a Google earth image showing the deep valleys in the Yemeni mountains.

Ardverikie House - also used as the Monarch of the Glen
tv programme base
I don’t usually go to other main stream films, preferring the more subtle ones that tend not to go on general release ... I rely on our film society to bring us a stimulating range of films from around the world, some sub-titled ... some they bring in to satisfy the overseas visitors in the town – particularly the French: so we get quite a few French films ...

Somerset view

I have just had a quick journey to Cornwall in the West Country to celebrate someone’s life after 95 years – she was able to live her life to the full and died peacefully at home in her sleep.  

I spoke to her 9 days before she died ... she didn't like unpacking the shopping, which she was doing and the ants had returned ... normality of life.


May is a wonderful time to travel in England ... this year some plants are ahead after our very early pre-Spring, some are now making a bold start after our cold and wet Easter, finally Spring is morphing into Summer at a fast rate .... leaves have unburgeoned, flowers are mixing up with their woodland settings.

Bluebells and Wood Anemones

The first part of my journey is the ‘fast’ stretch, then I wended my way overland into the Somerset villages to see a good friend, whom I met in South Africa, and catch up after being tied up with my mother.


Not a long stop – but at least we touched sides again ... and her brother lives here in Eastbourne ... so I’ll see her later in the year.   The next morning I set off for The Eden Project where I could have a walk, a pit stop, and a wander ... before the 2.00pm funeral.


Cornish Lane
A tiny Cornish church, a retired Bishop taking the service, connections with Oxford, said Bishop was confirmed by one of my schoolgirl classmate’s father, who at that stage was a vicar in Oxford, but who also went on to become a Bishop.   Small world of connections ...


A very simple tea afterwards at her cottage, down a tiny lane, with ferns, bluebells, primroses, glimpses of the sea through five bar fences, the cool shelter of the bent Cornish trees in the valley ...
Red Campion and Bluebells

We could only walk there – just about inaccessible by car – beautiful cottage with a folly gate, they had just seen and had to buy!, tiny garden, but flanked with their folly leading into a meadow that they were able to garden as a backdrop to the white cottage.


Brilliant sunny day – lots of tea in the garden – sandwiches thickly filled with cucumber, egg and cress, or smoked salmon – followed by scones, jam and Cornish cream ... I ate too much!


Black Head cove, St Austell
Thankfully I shall be able to visit quite often in the future as Jane her niece has inherited ... I shall enjoy that ... since I came back from South Africa my uncle had very bad diabetes, which eventually took his life, after going blind ... while my aunt I was able to briefly visit in recent years ... she did enjoy life and always revelled in the fullness of things (post here).


Well that is the start of 2012 – it is going to be a mammoth year ... so much is happening – and even I may post short and sweet during the next few months?!

Enjoy the films – they’re very British and just plain enjoyable ...

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

47 comments:

  1. I want to see both of these films. Thanks for the reviews.

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  2. The Marigold Hotel movie did not get good reviews in the US. I figured it was too British for the critics to "get" and enjoy. I definitely want to see it now. I love the bluebell and Cornish lane pictures. Wish they were larger.....
    I am sorry for the loss of your friend.

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  3. I had already planned to see the Marigold Hotel as you know, I had seen Salmon Fishing in the Yemen advertised but had no idea what it was, now you have piqued my interest.

    Sad about your friend but at that age, she had certainly lasted a very long time.

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  4. Hilary, anyplace in England and Scotland is beautiful in my opinion. Would like to be traveling there now.
    And incredible cast for Marigold Hotel.

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  5. Thank you for the movie reviews!

    I'm sorry to hear about your friend.

    And beautiful pictures to go with your post, as always. :)

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  6. Hi Hilary! Thank you for sharing your review of these two movies. I'll have to check them out.
    : )

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  7. I love British films, I feel like I'm contributing to keeping the industry alive by going to see them at the cinema. But I failed with both of these - very bad timing. I'll definitely be looking them up soon though.

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  8. @ Clarissa .. excellent - enjoy the films ..

    @ Inger - think that's right - they weren't that well received here - too highbrow and insufficiently box office - so very glad you're going to see both films.

    Sorry about the size of the photos - straight from Wiki or Google ..

    @ Jo - good that you're going to see Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and now I've given you an insight into Salmon Fishing in the Yemen .. they're both great fun films.

    @ Alex - I see I have a fan for the British way of life in you .. I hope you get to see both films .... well worth the viewing ..

    @ Golden Eagle - hope you enjoy the films, as someone who is young - you'll see them from a different point of view. Thanks for your thought re my 'aunt' .. glad you enjoy the photos ..

    @ Susanne - excellent news .. enjoy them! .. you will I'm sure ..

    @ Annalisa - they've only just come out in France, the States and Canada - so plenty of time to catch them .. glad you support us Brits and our films!!

    Thanks everyone - delighted to see you .. cheers and enjoy the week ahead ... Hilary

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  9. Two films I really want to see!

    And I had to laugh at the marigold reference. I only learned YESTERDAY about that term for rubber gloves after watching a British television show in which they mentioned it. :) Had never heard them called that before.

    Lovely pictures too.

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  10. A lovely post Hilary, fantastic pictures. I have the book 'Salmon fishing in the Yemen.' It's great. Must see those films as well.

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  11. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your wonderful friend. 95 years! And yes, the ants are back with a vengeance.

    Oh but great too that you got to visit other friends in such a gorgeous part of England.

    Hooorah for these wonderful films - so on my dvd list! Take care
    x

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  12. I LOVE British films! "Old" British humor is the best.

    I'm not really blogging anymore, but I have to keep in touch with you!!

    (((hugs))) from me and Jen

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  13. I just read about the Marigold movie in a magazine last week and thought the cast was really going to make the movie. The Yemen movie has had some trailers showing here and it is one my wife wants to see. Sorry about your friend but it does sound like a full long life. The pictures are wonderful as always. Enjoy the rest of 2012!

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  14. I enjoyed reading this post. It is very well written with great pictures.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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  15. I love any film with Judi Dench in it, and already have the Marigold film on my list. I hadn't heard about the second film you mention. I'll check it out too.

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  16. Hilary, you've sold me on Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. I love British comedies and films.

    Sorry to hear of the passing of your friend, though -- 95 years -- a long life! It sounds like you had a nice journey, despite the circumstances. Nice to hear that your weather is behaving :) and that the flowers are blooming plenty.

    Cornish Lane is enticing. I find myself imagining taking a stroll there.

    I hope you enjoy your summer. Your blog will be waiting for you, should you decided to post "short and sweet." :)

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  17. @ Luanne - glad you're tuned in to seeing them. It's funny how we have different connotations for things isn't it .. glad I put the glove up!

    @ Susy - glad to know you've read the book and found it interesting .. I'm sure the film doesn't quite portray it - but they're both very well acted, good quality comedy-romantic British films .. enjoy.

    @ Old Kitty - many thanks re my 'aunt' .. she was special. Ants are a pain aren't they -they really do rule the world!! Yes it was lovely calling in and seeing Clare. Glad both films are on your DVD list ...

    @ Ann - how lovely to see you - I'm sure you and Jen will love these films ... captivating cinematography, apart from the subtle British aspects .. hugs to you both too ...

    @ Lynn - many thanks .. I hope you get to see the films ..

    @ Chuck - enjoy both the movies - excellent casts and just light-hearted fun - well acted though ..

    Yes - my 'aunt' had a lovely fun fulfilled life .. glad you enjoyed the pics ..

    @ Gina - thanks for visiting and glad you enjoyed the photos ..

    @ Patricia - glad to know Best Exotic is on your list, and I'm sure you'll enjoy Salmon Fishing too!

    @ Davina - you'll enjoy both films .. they're such fun - light relief, but with lovely touching stories.

    Yes she had a good long life .. and I always loved visiting her on my way up and down to see my mother or more recently just very briefly visiting.

    You'd love a good walk along the rugged Cornish coast, with its tiny fields enclosed with dry stone walls, or ancient hedges ..

    I know the blog will be here .. and summer is here too .. so take advantage while the sun shines - too true.

    Thanks so much everyone for your thoughts .. but when you get to see the films .. just linger and enjoy them. Cheers Hilary

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  18. Both films sound wonderful, I'm a big fan of British humor! And thank you for the lovely pictures, if I had a little bit of money I'd cross the Channel and visit the UK more often. (:

    So sorry to hear about your friends passing, it is difficult but it sounds like she had a full life, I hope to be as lucky.

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  19. I finally got to see Slumdog Millionaire this weekend (yes I know everyone else saw it years ago!)

    I found it quite hard going. I hadn't realised it was so violent. Marigold and Fly Fishing look a bit more gentle. I'll look out for them.

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  20. These two are on my list, Hillary! Thanks for sharing :)

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  21. I want to see both these films. I've seen lots of clips of Marigold Hotel and it looks wonderful. Thanks for the reviews!

    So sorry to hear about your friend, Hilary. Having reached 95 though, I'm sure you found a lot to celebrate.

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  22. Hi Hilary have just read your post.
    I enjoyed reading your interesting blog. I'm new to blogging and your blog is the first that I've visited.

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  23. I do like British movies. I love the dry humor and I absolutely love Judi Dench! I hope it will be available here. I've watched some good foreign films with subs but I've gotten away from them--partly because of availability.

    Sorry to hear about your friend but you know, I bet she loved the idea of her life being celebrated in her garden.

    I just had to pop by and say hi even tho I'm on holiday. Hugs!

    Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

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  24. What an interesting post. I have not seen either film yet, but just reading the titles made me laugh. I must give it a go.

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  25. So fun to see the first topic of your post yesterday, as we were off that day to see the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (which, for all the reasons you note, we thoroughly enjoyed, apart from the Mahler 9th moment of someone's cell phone going off in the middle of Maggie Smith's wonderful soliloquy!). I have marked the Yemen film also--I've not see that come anywhere near us as yet. Like you, I tend to stay away from the more mainstream films, but Marigold had all the best on offer of British humor and acting.

    And thank you, too, for taking us on your country sojourn--sad occasion, yet a good long life well-lived, it seems, and that is what must be celebrated, as you do.

    Enjoy your "mammoth year," and I do hope, even if less frequently, you will report in from time to time to tell us about that.

    Speaking of mammoth years, I was reminded of another event in England this year: The Queen's Garden Party is tomorrow, I gather. John and Dolly Metcalf will be there, as John M. is receiving his MBE. I'm not particularly a fan of the Royals, but I love to see a fine person who has contributed so much be honored in any way.

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  26. Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is playing here. Wifey and I will go see it. Its hard to find a good light hearted film so thanks for the review.

    I have heard of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.

    And I like that good ol' British humor too. The riciculousness of the situations is their trademark.

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  27. @ Elise - glad the films sound enticing .. and if I had some extra cash - I'd be over visiting you! One day perhaps we'll meet.

    Thank you re my 'aunt' .. she was certainly very special ..

    @ Anne - it's a fun movie .. though it is India and thugs through and through .. I'd forgotten that - I think I got caught up in the Millionaire story line. Glad you'll see these two .. enjoy them.

    @ Len - that's great - you will love them ...

    @ Shirley - these two films will be tv features in coming years .. so I shall look forward to seeing them again.

    She certainly had a very full life in Oxford - they were very clever both of them .. more than clever!!

    @ Ana - lovely to meet you .. and thanks for following and coming by. I'm delighted you enjoyed this post - and good luck with lots of fun in the blogging world.

    @ Sia - many thanks for coming out from holiday to pop in - delighted to see you!!

    We're just extraordinarily lucky here in Eastbourne - we have an exceptionally knowledgeable chap who is a member of the Film Council - so we get to see the exceptional films that don't make the circuit .. and they recommend others .. such as these two - fashionable by popular demand, rather than critics' choice!

    Thank you re my 'aunt' she was lucky being able to go the way she wanted ..

    @ JJ - glad you'll give the films a go, I'm sure you'll come out with the feel good factor!

    @ Susan - it's just opened in the States .. so I seem to have timed my post inadvertently rather well. Mobile phones are a pain - I get irritated when they're turned on to check something .. so they light up. I'm not very tolerant at times!

    Delighted you approved of my 'take on the film' .. it was fun too wasn't it. You'll enjoy the Salmon Fishing in the Yemen ..

    Yes Aunty Joan and Uncle Harold had a brilliant life together .. and all things being equal they were both happy to the end and made the most of their lives.

    The Queen usually has 4 Garden Parties I think .. but if he's receiving his MBE .. it's a different ceremony - I'll keep my eye out though. They usually only highlight the celebs?!

    What excellent news re John Metcalf - congratulations to him. They'll enjoy the pageantry of the day.

    I'm afraid our summer is going to be full of royals, tennis, Olympics, Jubilee et al and my short posts - reflecting their history - with some quirky bits from me.

    I'm afraid I'd hate to be away from the Pageantry of our history ..

    @ Stephen - glad you and your wife will get to see Marigold, and then I hope too Salmon Fishing ...

    Enjoy the films everyone - I'm sure you will .. cheers for now and thanks so much for your thoughts re my 'aunt' ... Hilary

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  28. Oh I definitely want to see the Marigold hotel film - have heard such good things about it! And Bill Nighy, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith are all amongst my favourite British actors.

    Salmon Fishing doesn't appeal - I still have the book on my shelf and haven't read it yet, so I probably won't get to the movie.

    Beric & I tend to avoid block buster movies as well - we watch a lot of Independent Art films from all over the world (Bhutan, Nepal, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Bulgaria, to name a few) - most well worth watching, although we've watched a few ghastly ones at times!

    Judy, South Africa

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  29. Wow great minds think a like! Thanks for commenting on my Marigold Hotel review...I have ordered the book for that one.

    Salmon fishing has not arrived here, but wow I loved the book and of course British Style and humor.


    I am working on short and sweet summer too...which is hard when I have just lost 2/3rds of my readers and can't get up and running on my other two blogs...I am not sure what Google did but I have lost all from my reader page and have to start over...but I am just not being picked up and promoted which makes me a wee bit panicky for my 4 years of work and effort. I still can't pay any one and I am not getting anywhere near the comments I need to move forward.

    A bit of a woe is I, but then I have the movie and book to fall back to for a smile ...and your lovely post
    So sorry for the loss of your friend...I have been thinking it is 4 years since my trip to UK and 5 years this June since my mum passed...Life moves on

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  30. @ Judy .. you'll enjoy the 'relaxed' genteel film .. and in fact Salmon Fishing is quite fun too ..

    I guess you go down to Rosebank unless there's another cinema now showing those sorts of films, or get them in via DVD .. some are amazing - but I too am not keen on a few shown by the film society.

    Enjoy Marigold ..

    @ Patricia .. I saw you'd been to see the film .. and you're a great book reader. Glad to hear you enjoyed the book Salmon Fishing .. I expect I'll get a chance to read it sometime .. enjoy the film though.

    Yes - long time since you were here .. having that wonderful holiday ..

    Cheers Judy and Patricia .. so good to see you both .. Hilary

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  31. Sad about your friend. 95 is a very good innings though. I'm glad that you got to enjoy the countryside while we're having this amazing weather and could bring us such great pics! Hmm, I fancy a cream tea now...

    I would like to see those films. Thanks for the reviews, I didn't know much about either of them.

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  32. Hi Hilary - What a wonderfully delicious post...so full of great entertainment and adventures.

    I went to see "...Marigold Hotel" with my mother...it was truly the best movie I've seen in a long while. Mind you...I did take in The Avengers and loved, loved, loved it.

    But...back to the first...I will be buying a copy of "...Marigold Hotel" because one view is definitely not enough.

    Thanks for sharing your journey to Cornwall...the flowers are beautiful.

    Cheers, Jenny

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  33. Appreciate your film reviews. You remind us that everything we think we want is because we think we will feel better as the result of the experience. Humour uplifts the soul and energizes the spirit.

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  34. I love the Marigold Hotel movie - it gave me a good laugh and was also very heart-warming. I'll look out for the other one if it's more of the same. While languishing with a cold I've been watching the DVDs of Brideshead Revisited, enjoying the castles and thinking of your posts as I did so, and also the sheer quality of British productions. Thanks for another varied post - the trip to Cornwall sounds very special, and an important farewell to a loved elder.
    PS the linseed field is beautiful!

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  35. @ Nick - the tea was very good and just what was required ..

    I hope you get a chance to see the films and just chill out letting your mind wander away - a good relief

    @ Jenny - that's great news and you report it was the best movie you've seen in a while. I might check The Avengers out .. but probably not - a lot going on.

    Yes - I feel like that - but it'll pop up on tv fairly soon - so I'll watch it as it comes along.

    Glad you enjoyed the journey with me ..

    @ Liara - humour, light relief .. taking us away from our 'toils and troubles' - certainly uplifts the soul .. and I feel energised just thinking about the films.

    @ Juliet - delighted you've seen Marigold Hotel .. and was as you describe it .. a good laugh and heart warming.

    Sorry about your cold - comes of winter time! It's interesting what we take on board and remember isn't it - the castle posts must have lodged quite well in your brain .. I'm delighted to read.

    There are now quite a few out-house production studios/houses that produce some amazing works for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 .. as well as the in-house broadcasts of the BBC, relative to public tv at large - the Queen's trips, pageants etc ..

    So pleased you picked up on the linseed field - I so rarely see them now .. it always gives me great pleasure seeing the reaches of that rather pretty forget-me-not blue colour ..

    Thanks Nick, Jenny, Liara and Juliet .. enjoy the rest of the week ..cheers Hilary

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  36. I saw the Marigold Hotel with my mom, and we both enjoyed it. Two of the leading ladies are from Downton Abbey, so it was nice to see them in different roles. Sorry for the loss of your friend, and the sad news about your uncle. Julie

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  37. Both these films are on my list! And you're right - May is a fantastic time to come to England. The countryside is beautiful.

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  38. @ Julie - everyone seems to be going with their mothers and enjoying the film .. I didn't watch Downton Abbey - I know I'll get to see it sometime .. excellent actresses though.

    Thanks re my 'aunt and uncle' .. it was a fitting farewell ...

    @ Talli - great - you and Mr TR will enjoy them ..

    It is just wonderful in the sunny countryside - so picturesque ..

    Cheers Julie and Talli - thanks for visiting .. Hilary

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  39. The films look interesting, and are on my list of must sees. Your trip was blessed with some lovely weather, I really enjoyed the Eden project when I visited Devon a while back. Making the most of the sunny days and topping up my vitamin d levels! Blessings, Amanda

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  40. I visited England in June 1997 - I loved the flowers - such a beautiful place.

    And I will definitely see those films.

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  41. I've seen trailers for the Marigold movie. Although not much of a movie goer, this one looks like fun.

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  42. @ Amanda - the films are fun and I do hope you can get time out to see them. The Eden Project is amazing isn't it - always love stopping off for a quick visit.

    Isn't having the sun out just wonderful .. enjoy it ..

    @ Lynn - there's just something about the little fields of England, the hedges, gardens and their flowers ... excellent you had a visit over. Enjoy the films when you get to see them.

    @ Susan - they're both very good if you can steel yourself to watch both films!!

    Cheers Amanda, Lynn and Susan .. thanks for visiting - Hilary

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  43. Ooh, yes, both these movies are on my Must Watch list!

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  44. Hi Deniz - good .. you'll love them I'm sure .. cheers Hilary

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  45. Honestly, this makes me want to watch 'Salmon Fishing' even more. I've got all kinds of proper anticipation built up, now!

    Thanks, Hil!

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  46. Hi Suze .. both are so British - you'll enjoy them .. not terribly deep - but just good old fashioned entertainment with some added interest from the Brits ..

    Enjoy when you get to watch them .. cheers Hils

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