I love it when a plan comes together…

I bet you knew that quote…

I bet you know who says it and can even picture the scene…

Yep! It’s good ol’ Hannibal Smith of The A Team, smoking his cigar and smiling after another victory against the ‘bad guys’!

This weekend I found a re-run of this TV series and thought to myself ‘ah I’ve a few minutes go while away I’ll watch an episode’…yep, you guessed it…I’m totally hooked again!

I love it! Lots of “crash, bang, wallops”, car chases, shoot outs and explosions but there’s no gore, no one gets killed and the good guys always win!

Yes it’s cheesy, yes it’s simplistic, yes it’s not always the best acted and oh boy it’s dated! BUT I love it’s innocence, it’s glee at poking fun at itself and most of all I love it’s pure joy at celebrating the love that we call friendship.

The basis of The A-Team is the absolute rock solid friendship formed between four very different characters but for whom honour, loyalty and trust are fundamental truths at their core. A most simple and obvious example is the way Howling Mad Murdock (I mean come on…who isn’t gonna like a show with a main character called that??!!) drives B.A. Baracus crazy – irritates the pants off him most of the time, they’re always at loggerheads; but their friendship is akin to that of a sibling relationship where actually when push comes to shove they’d lay down themselves for each other without hesitation.

The heroes have their flaws as all people do: Smith is all too often smug, Face can be a bit smarmy, B.A. is cantankerous and Murdock…ahh Murdock is looney tunes! But it’s these imperfections which make us identify with and warm to the A Team all just that little bit more, it makes them more real.

There’s no attempt to place hidden meanings in their interactions, the only misdirection is sometimes to keep us guessing about what action will come next, it’s never to make us worry about their friendship; there’s no hidden agenda in the writing, at least not one that I can see (although I’ve been known to be a bit naively oblivious to undertones in movies and shows in the past according to others, so forgive me if I missed something!) To me, its all about the underdogs winning with the help of wronged heroes who fight for the good whilst cracking jokes, having fun and in spite of everything remaining positive – in other words it’s fun!

The ultimate reason for loving this show though has got to be that opening monologue and the theme tune…genius!!

This takes me back to my childhood and the days of innocent fun…I hope maybe it will bring you small cheer too – enjoy xx

https://youtu.be/_MVonyVSQoM

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Reading challenge Blog 2…

I confess, I failed at the first hurdle! I couldn’t get to grips with The Silkworm – it just didn’t grab me and I found myself not reading at all rather than read it…not good! So I’ve popped it back on the shelf and will try it again another day.

BUT I will not be defeated!! I’ve got up, dusted off my bruised knees and came up with a cunning plan (…luckily of my own design and not one of Baldricks)

To get myself back in the reading mood I found a book I’ve read before but couldn’t remember – ‘Confessional‘ by Jack Higgins.

Hmmm, I have mixed feelings. It was easy to read, a simple storyline that whizzed along and which had just enough element of a cat and mouse chase to keep me interested. However, it didn’t set my world alight, I didn’t really like many of the characters and it didn’t really increase my pulse or leave me wanting to learn more. It’s not a book I’ll read again – but it did give me the push I needed to get reading again and I appreciate that!

So, being on a roll I headed over to leap a second hurdle and picked a new author and a book that had been sat on my bookshelf for several years without being opened (I know, terrible isn’t it? Worse still there’s more just like it…oh the shame!)

The book I chose was Gatekeeper by Philip Shelby. Described on the jacket as: “An international assassin is brought out of retirement for one last lethal commission…his name is the Handyman”

I had reasonable expectations that this would be a page turner for me as I love a good thriller and I was pleased to discover it was ‘not half bad’ as my nan would say. Admittedly I guessed several of the plot twists and the outcome was kinda obvious but actually I didn’t mind; It wasn’t a challenging read and to be honest I wasn’t in the mood for one of those so this was good! And I found myself becoming intrigued as to how the characters would be developed, even the slightly more minor ones, and it is often this aspect of a book that will get me hooked on a story…take Harry Potter for example; obviously the main characters are interesting etc etc but I found myself time and again coming back to the more minor characters and hoping they’d develop (and they did – hurrah!) so I could understand them better and work out what made them tick: Luna’s perceptiveness, Umbridge’s dastardly vindictive evilness (can you tell I REALLY dislike her?because I do…intensely), Neville’s honesty and bravery – they all intrigued me and hooked me into the storylines (to be honest Neville was always my favourite character from HP & The Philosophers Stone onwards and many of my favourite moments throughout the whole series are where he’s making his gentle but significant contribution).

ANYWAYS back to THIS book…this story is left wide open for a sequel or two – which I usually groan at, but in this instance I quite liked that the author didn’t just try to tie everything up neatly in a bow in one book…instead I’m left wondering what will happen next?how the ‘good guys’ will end up working together again? what will bring them to face the Handyman once more?…yeah I quite liked this book 😉

All in all I’m happy to have read a new author that’s easy to read and I’ve found another one of his books to pop on my reading list which is great!

I’m now off to read a new book but by favourite author, “Jack Reacher: The Complete Collected Short Stories…No Middle Name” by Lee Child.

Happy Reading everyone xx

Looking out my kitchen window…

Looking out my kitchen window as I wash up; cursing myself for forgetting I’d bought concentrated washing up liquid and having used too much so I’m up to my elbows in soap suds and sneezing at the overpowering scent of artificial lemon stinging my nasal passages!!

I notice a young boy, 14 maybe 15, sitting on my front wall; he’s swinging his legs, heels slamming into the bricks with a rhythmic thud-thud-thud. In one hand he clutches a can, I can’t tell what but he’s swigging away like it’s a favourite nectar. In the other hand he holds the inevitable phone that no one seems to be able to live without. Headphones protrude and I realise he’s swinging his legs to a tune; just as Gloria Estefan predicted, the rhythm has got him and he’s away in his own happy musical world.

The light is fading, dusk is falling and the temperature is too; the boy’s breath steams like hot dragons puffs in the chilly air. The street lamp has gently pinged on and is creating a warm glow overhead, shining on the tree by the edge of my driveway. In the Spring this tree blossoms the most magnificent white blooms but now in autumn it has leaves which turn deep red before scattering themselves in the winter wind. They glint in the lamplight and gently flutter in the evening breeze.

A car pulls up, not fast but the brakes still squeal indignantly as the driver halts beside the boy. Out jumps another young man, baseball hat on backwards, baggy jacket and trousers barely hanging on in there around his bottom.

The boy jumps off the wall and a complicated handshake takes place; lots of slapping, punching, side swipes and eventually a brief one arm half embrace – stiff but familiar.

The car moves off and honks it’s horn ‘Barp-b-b-Barp!’ With a slow casual about turn the boys slink off down the road together, laid-back, chilled and not a care in the world.