Sunday Bookends: Joan Hickson was how old when she played Miss Marple?!

My week was fairly low key since I was recovering from a UTI (or a possible different condition. I’m not sure yet). I used to get them all the time as a kid, teenager and even my early adult years, but this is the first one I’ve had in probably 12 years and this time there wasn’t any pain, just using the bathroom all night long and totally messing up my sleep pattern. We spent a lot of time in the backyard running through the sprinkler to beat the heat and I spent a lot of time drinking water and wishing I could sleep normally again. I’ve been waking up every 90-minutes for about two weeks (maybe even a month) so, yeah, I’m a little out of it these days.

What I’ve Been Watching

Since my husband has been suggesting I watch old shows like Perry Mason and The Rockford Files with him, I talked him into a Miss Marple movie this week. We both agreed that the movie was complicated and a bit confusing, but still intriguing.

The movies are based on Agatha Christie’s books about Miss Marple. There are a number of different portrayals of Miss Marple, but my favorite is Joan Hickson, who to me is just a perfect Miss Marple even though (shhhhh) I’ve never read any of the books. *And yes, I am sure I’ve mentioned Joan Hickson as Miss Marple before on my Sunday Bookends.

When Joan came on my husband said: “I don’t mean to be rude but she looks ancient! How did she even remember her lines at her age?”

So then I started Googling and it turned out she started — I emphasize started — filming 8 years of movies as Miss Marple at the age of 78.

Yes, 78.

She was 86 when she retired and they stopped making movies. Never say you’re too old for anything.

My favorite part of her portrayal is the way she acts so sweet almost the entire movie, all the while knowing she knows what is going on when no one else does. And then at the end of the movie when she lays it out for the dolt police detectives and she says things like “Well, obviously” or “of course it was…” implying she, an elderly woman, could figure it out, since it was as plain as the nose on her face, then why couldn’t they? Those endings where she wraps it all up in a neat little bow are like the ultimate mic drop. Plus it helps me because I’ve usually lost the plot somewhere in the middle since the movies are so complex.

This week we also watched The Magnificent Seven, the modern version with Chris Pratt and Denzel Washington. I missed most of it because I was outside on the back porch playing unicorns with my daughter. I’ve seen the original and from what I did see of the modern version it was pretty close. Denzel was a good choice to play Yule Brenner’s part. Neither movie is really one of my favorites since I think the story is pretty dark and depressing. For those who don’t know it is is a western and the main plot is that a bad man is running the town and a widow hires a gunmen and others to take out the bad man and set the town free. Pretty simple explanation of it.

I also rewatched the movie Risen which is about a Roman tribune who witnesses the crucifixion of Christ and then is put in charge of making sure his followers don’t remove his body from the tomb to make it took like he has risen from the dead. When the body turns up missing, Clauvius (played by Joseph Feines), begins the search for Yeshua (Jesus in English) and a search for what he has been missing in his own life after years of slaughtering people in the name of Rome. It stars Feines, Tom Felton, and Peter Firth, so it is a Hollywood driven retelling (in a way) of the Gospels, but it is well done, despite some glaring inaccuracies, which Amazon’s trivia feature pointed out to me and some which I noticed on my own. It is also much more violent and graphic in the early part of the movie.

Despite what the words say up there, this is not in the theaters.


What I’m Reading

I’m deep into By Book or By Crook by Eva Gates and enjoying it so far.

Here is the description on Goodreads:

For ten years Lucy has enjoyed her job poring over rare tomes of literature for the Harvard Library, but she has not enjoyed the demands of her family’s social whorl or her sort-of-engagement to the staid son of her father’s law partner. But when her ten-year relationship implodes, Lucy realizes that the plot of her life is in need of a serious rewrite.

Calling on her aunt Ellen, Lucy hopes that a little fun in the Outer Banks sun—and some confections from her cousin Josie’s bakery—will help clear her head. But her retreat quickly turns into an unexpected opportunity when Aunt Ellen gets her involved in the lighthouse library tucked away on Bodie Island.

Lucy is thrilled to land a librarian job in her favorite place in the world. But when a priceless first edition Jane Austen novel is stolen and the chair of the library board is murdered, Lucy suddenly finds herself ensnared in a real-life mystery—and she’s not so sure there’s going to be a happy ending….


In the next couple of weeks I hope to start A Long Time Comin‘ by Robin Pearson; The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner; Death by the Seaside by T.E. Kirney; and Top of the Heap by Earle Stanley Gardner.

What I am Writing:

I have been working on The Farmer’s Daughter this past week in between running to the bathroom and also put in a few hundred words of Fully Alive. I’ll have a new chapter of The Farmer’s Daughter on Friday and maybe a new part to Fully Alive on Thursdy.

Here is a sneak peek of what I’m working on for Fully Alive:

Atticus wiped the back of his hand across his forehead, wiping away the sweat gathering there and watched the people walking, wondering about the devotion they had to this one God they followed, this Yahweh. He’d never understood it. He was raised to believe there were many gods and it took offering them sacrifices and performing well in life to appease them. Perform well, live well. Make a mistake and suffer for it. It was all he’d ever known. But these Jews. They had been defeated time and time again, taken over by Rome, killed in the thousands, their bodies rotting in the desert, yet they still held on to the belief they were chosen by this one god who supposedly cared about them more than anyone.

A few of them were wealthy, yes; the priests, their religious leaders, tax collectors or anyone who tied their allegiance to Rome. But for the most part most of these Jews were poor, living in squalor, many begging for food. Year after year, though, they journeyed here, feasting, gathering, worshipping their “one true God.”

Atticus scoffed as a beggar held up his hand, asking him for money.

Oh, yes. Of course, the one “true God” who couldn’t even pull his people out of the depths of depravity and starvation. Atticus walked past the man, barely looking at him, sick of the beggars and the crows and the long days and even longer nights. Dreams, nightmares, had been waking him from sleep for week. Visions of his time in battle, of the men he killed filled his mind nightly and he woken more than once in a cold sweat. Long soaks in the baths hadn’t helped. Prayers to Mars, the god of war, hadn’t helped. His past mocked him and it made him angry, sickness gnawing at his gut every day.

On the blog last week:

Sunday Bookends: What I’m reading, the week in photos, and mysteries seem to be a theme for me this week

Our cat has no consideration for my mental health

Short Fiction: Rekindle Part 5

Friday Fiction: The Farmer’s Daughter Chapter 15

Planned for this week:

A review of Wooing Cadie McCaffery; a post about our trip to the Nicholson Viaduct; more fiction

How about all of you? What are you reading, watching, doing, writing? Let me know in the comments.

The Week in Photos (missing a few, including some of The Boy. He does exist, but as a teenager he is often camera shy these days.)

Written by Lisa R. Howeler

I'm a mom, a wife, a writer, a photographer and a former journalist. I write a little bit about a lot of things on my blog Boondock Ramblings. In September of 2019 I self-published my first novel, A Story to Tell and published another one in May of 2020. I enjoy John Wayne and Cary Grant movies, Jan Karon's books, and I have an electic taste in music. Welcome to my blog and feel free to poke around. Fridays are Fiction Fridays, where I share a piece of fiction I'm working on.

10 comments

  1. I hope you start feeling better soon! And get some answers so you’ll know what’s going on. I’ll keep you in my prayers!
    I love your photos. I know what you mean about those shy teen years. I have a million pictures of my daughter when she was little and all of a sudden they just stop. I have to snap a few when she’s not looking now but if she finds out then she has to see it and if she doesn’t like it it gets deleted. haha! I always tell her I’m not going to share it. They’re just for my memory and for us to look back on to see how much she’s changed. She’s still not having it, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such beautiful photos of your new place! And, yes, I loved that version of Miss Marple also. I need to find some episodes of that again. I’m praying for you tonight, to find relief and rest!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. This problem has been going on for a long time and I think it might be something other than a UTI. Something like overactive bladder. Interstitial Cystitis. Next step is probaby a urologist if this antibiotic doesn’t work.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “The Magnificent Seven” of (1960) was a remake, too: the original was “Seven Samurai,” directed by Akira Kurosawa (1954). The old cowboy version with its star-studded cast is good, but the Japanese epic is the best. All of the acting is excellent, but Toshiro Mifune steals the show.

    Like

  4. I love how pretty your home is. I am going to try and post some black and white photos later, when I can find some time. Your posts gave me that cool idea, so I will be linking back to this post.
    This is probably too much TMI, but sometimes in humid condition and during swimming season, little girls and women get yeast infections…I know, gross but that could be the issue. Just saying. It is no fun that is for sure. I would suggest looking it all up online but when you do that it takes you all over the place like a twisted medical maze and at the end of it, it will say you have some sort of weird cancer…that only males get and then when you click onto your computer or Streaming channels all your commercials now will be on that medical problem…creepy, but a little funny.
    So what ever you have I hope it clears up soon. UTI’s are also no fun and can lead to kidney infections. My Nana used to give me lots of cranberry juice when I had them as a little girl. Just drink lots of water and see a nice doctor, better then playing one online.
    Okay, I am off now. I have a lot to do today. I am slowly getting my craft hoard of beads, buttons and paints organized. What a job. Have a beautiful Sunday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you had a great day. I’ve had bladder issues for years and I think this might be something other than an infection but not the “c” word since I have had this specific issue off and on for about three years — I’m trying some natural options right now until I can get to a urologist, but nothing too crazy.

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