As any regular reader knows, round here we take our pleasures where and when we can. These opportunities may not be sophisticated affairs but they are the glue that binds a community of disparate souls - who knows - tomorrow may bring only the chance to gaze at a windswept hillside or backside of a sodden sheep.
So whatever, we foregather. Last evening it was on rows of chairs beneath the primitive electric bars that heat Marton's ailing Village Hall. (They're on - you fry. They're off - you freeze.) In front of us The Big Screen - for last night the cinema came to us. The lights dimmed and with only the slightest rustle and munch the audience settled down to watch 'The Queen'.
Last week Los Angeles, today south Shropshire courtesy of 'The pioneering Flicks in the Sticks project (which) uses the latest in digital technology to take films to local venues throughout Shropshire and Herefordshire. By working with local promoters, using existing venues and using low cost technology, Flicks in the Sticks is able to bring BIG screen films, classics and blockbusters, to those who live in rural area and do not normally get the opportunity to see such films. And that's about it. Our promoter, Maureen, booked the film and instead of the 20+ mile drive to the 'local' multi-plex we got to see in in our own surroundings. And there was fizzy pop. And crisps and pop corn too.
And the film was a good choice - not very challenging and with a familiar storyline. The anachronistic House of Windsor and Mr Blair's brave new modernising world collide in those strange days following the death of Diana when the public came over all touchy-feelie and grown men wept in the streets. 'Twas all beautifully observed with both poignancy and wit.
And was Helen Mirren's Oscar deserved? Probably - I'm no expert. But with quiet authority she brought to life that familiar figurehead whom we all assume we know - but in fact know not at all.