Monday, July 17, 2017

Bedknobs & Broomsticks Revisited

Welcome Angela, it's been so long, apart from Murder She Wrote of course.
Last night DD and I watched Bedknobs And Broomsticks on dvd. She's very funny in that we saw a film we liked on Saturday night and she only wanted to watch the same film again. She has a hard time believing that anything could be better than or as enjoyable as what she already knows. I, on the other hand, know of a few more films than she does and I refused to sit through the same film again.

We are on a movie quest to find something DD loves as much as The Last Mimzy. We have the dvd of this but it doesn't work. We lent it to a friend and it came back 'wiped clean', or so it seems. Probably the FBI destroying the evidence. 

Last Monday night we watched Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Wednesday night we watched The Lion. The Witch, and The wardrobe and on Saturday night we watched Mrs Peregrine's Children. I wanted to watch Escape to Witch Mountain last night but I couldn't get it. Then I hit upon Bedknobs and Broomsticks, which we did manage to get on dvd. 

B&B came out in 1971. I first saw it in Edinburgh in the summer of 1972, or 3, or 4, 5. I seem to remember that I was 12 which would have been 1975, but maybe I was only 9 in 1972? The film was released in the UK in October 1971 and I also remember it being quite a new film so maybe it was in 1972. 

We were on holiday in our caravan. We'd seen the Edinburgh Tattoo and the parade for the start of the Edinburgh Festival. We'd been to dinner with a cousin who was living in Edinburgh at the time. I remember the pink and white drop-waist dress I wore and that I read my cousin's three year old son a bedtime story. Then she asked if we didn't mind that we kids, (my sister, brother and I) sat on a separate children's table for dinner while the four grown-ups sat at the dining room table. I minded very much but of course I said I didn't. That feels like being 12. 

We toured Scotland a bit. I remember going to Oban and possibly the Isle of Skye - or maybe we didn't go over to Sky but just sang the song as we motored across country. I remember talk of getting to the Highlands where there are tropical gardens. I was eager for this as I'd never been anywhere where there were palm trees. I was thinking in terms of Brazilian rainforests and Hawaian beaches, LOL. Anyway we didn't make it that far north and I've always wondered about those tropics in Scotland. FYI, I googled it and it's call Inverewe

I feel cheated that I missed that whole evacuation thing. 
So back to Edinburgh and it was pouring with rain. My parents decided to kill the afternoon by taking us to see Bedknobs and Broomsticks. This was a huge concession - we never went to the cinema while on holiday, only at Christmas. It must have been the second or third or fourth.... day of rain. I remember my Dad queuing up for tickets while we sat in a cafe across the road and drank hot chocolate. The queue went around the corner - every tourist family in Edinburgh for the festival must have had the same idea. 

I don't think I've watched the whole film through from beginning to end since that rainy day in Edinburgh 42 (or 45) years ago. I certainly didn't remember all of it. DD loved it. "You see? I know some good films, you have to trust me."

I'd love to show her The Railway Children but we need to read the book first. So, on that premis, we can watch Heidi. I'm trying to think of other films from my childhood that I loved. When the heat is in the mid-30s (that's high 90s in old money) every night is movie night. 


  1. I was born n Edinburgh so I can sympathize with you about the rain! But I've been to the Tattoo & Fringe events a couple of times and always enjoyed myself.
    The first film "event" that I remember lining up for was "Mary Poppins" - I was about 9 or 10 and my brother would have been about 6 or 7 - my dad took us and we had to stand in line for about 1 and a 1/2 showings before we got in! I remember hot chocolate as it was in the Fall and we were cold - but determined! Has DD seen "Mary Poppins"?
    Of course there is "The Wizard of Oz", "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" - although that is a tear jerker - "Thomasina" - set in Edinburgh I believe, or "The Never Ending Story".
    Have you ever had Drive-In movies in Israel? There are only a few left here but when we were kids we loved going as we got to wear our PJ's even to go to he playground before the film! The first movie was always the one for the kiddies - then we'd fall asleep in the back seat while mom & dad got to watch their movie!

    1. We have watched Mary Poppins but not the others yo mention. I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn when I was a child. It has always stuck with me that they were allowed to waste their one cup of coffee even though they were really poor, and that the girl had to give up school even though she didn't want to and her brother did. And her mother was wrong - she never did go back to school.
      I didn't know you were born in Edinburgh. How old were you when you emigrated to Canada?
      We don't have a tradition of drive-in movies in Israel because there isn't the space for them and this is only the first generation where most people have cars. 40 years ago a 'private' car was unusual - everyone used buses.

  2. I was almost 4 when we arrived in Canada and my brother was 18 months. My dad had come ahead so my poor mom had to fly with both us - throwing up all the way on propellor planes from Edinburgh to Shannon - then we should have landed in Gander, NFLD to refuel but there was some sort of problem so we were diverted to NY. I remember a mass of women & children and the airlines people trying to provide food etc. I choked on an apple, my mom panicked and an airlines stewardess turned me upside down and thumped me on the back to get me to spit it up! By the time we go to Toronto my mom was exhausted. They expected all the women to manage the kids and all they had brought with them but eventually all the men who were waiting jumped the barricades to come and help - and that was my introduction to Toronto!
    My grandparents used to take turns coming to visit every few years and we all started going back more often once I hit my teens (but by then there were 5 kids so it was cheaper to fly the grandparents over here). Haven't been back since my Nana died but I'm hoping for another visit in the next few years. I've travelled all through Scotland, except for the islands and they are definitely on my list for next time as I study Scottish Gaelic and that is where it is still spoken the most.

    1. Wow, what a fascinating story. Do you still have cousins in Scotland? I'm particularly interested in migrations stories and where people consider to be home, as I'm an expat myself. Thanks for sharing that with us Margie.

  3. All my mother's family are still in Scotland - my dad's 2 brothers ended up in Canada and their sister in the US - but lots of the old aunts and their families are still there.
    Most of my friends are immigrants or first generation - not uncommon here. Many arrived in the late 50's early 60's like I did - some because things didn't improve after the war and they were financial immigrants - some because of new conflicts - i.e. Hungarian Revolution

    1. So you have cousins in Scotland and the UK - a good excuse to go visit every so often. Look for Andrew Ditton on You Tube. He has posted wonderful videos of traveling through the Highlands and Islands (mainly Lewis) in his Airstream. It's called Scotvlog 2017. Much of it is just driving through spectacular countryside with lovely music in the background.

    2. Found Andrew Ditton and bookmarked his videos - thank you for the tip.