Sunday, November 30, 2014

Gotta photograph, picture of ....

This photograph is not one I took. But, possibly, I will take one from the same location someday in the not too distant future. Winter was too long last year; it still was winter in May in this neck of the woods. Winter began too soon this year. It has seemed like January here in recent days. Frankly, I am beginning to think I will never find a satisfactory location at which I wish to live and which could serve as a "base camp" for a few years while I wander about, so, instead, I have been thinking about a site in which to "hang out" for a few months. I like the looks of the place in the photo. Read on, if you care to learn more about this location and about the musical selection today.

Another "hilltop" with a view

I have decided on the type of place, if not the actual place, where I would like to set up shop for a while. Have you seen the James Bond film, "Quantum of Solace," from 2008? I watched it again a few days ago and replayed a particular segment a number of times.

During the film, the ageless Bond (played by Daniel Craig) enlists an old friend and associate, Rene Mathis (portrayed by Giancarlo Giannini), to assist him accomplish a "small task" in Bolivia. Mathis is "retired" and living with his companion in a magnificent house on a magnificent promontory with a magnificent view of an endless, blue sea. (Tell me, is it the Ligurian or the Tyrrhenian?) Mathis idles away his days drinking wine while his companion sunbathes. As the story goes, this dwelling was a gift to Mathis from the British government for imprisoning and torturing him when he was mistakenly thought to be a turncoat and one of the bad guys.

I wonder if I can find someone to torture me and then to pay me off.

Well, if not, the house in the film and in the photograph accompanying this post is the Villa Le Torre near Talamone in southern Tuscany in Italy, about one hundred miles south of Florence. And, it is available to rent from time to time. I have not learned any details yet, but, if one cannot live like a king, one can at least vacation like a king now and again.

After drinking wine for a few weeks at the villa while looking out over the endless, blue sea, possibly going north to Florence ?? Then, possibly, detouring a short distance out of the way for a day or two at Lajatico and the Teatro del Silenzio for a concert ?? There, probably, you already know who would be performing ?? In case you do not, a musical hint is provided forthwith ....

Ordinarily, I consider myself a realist and not an optimist, but I am trying to envision a couple of personal situations resolving themselves soon and .... maybe .... once again .... finally .... becoming a free bird in every sense .... once again .... anyway .... something to think about ....

Ending with a side note: Do you remember my Sanctuary/Refuge? It was high atop a hill and, from there, I could see for miles and miles and miles .... I am not a city boy; I very much miss not living in a house with a view ....
Goodbye, November .... Greetings, December
November -- the first month of five-month-long FramWinter -- ends today. November was a very cold/cold/cold month and a very expensive/expensive/expensive month for me. It had begun as a month in which I thought a view into my future would be revealed. It did not happen. So now I wait, expecting December to open this visual tunnel into the months ahead. Decisions made and actions taken in the distant past often come back, if not to actually haunt, to in their own way control today and influence tomorrow.

Here are some words, none of them mine

He: "You go around looking for something until you find it. Then you go around worrying about losing it."

She: "Nothing lasts forever, and some things are worth having even if it's just for a little while."


A Cuban In London said...

Nice one, mate. The final quote got me somehow. It's true that we worry about find something and when we do, we then worry abotu losing. Humans, huh? :-)

Greetings from London.

ANITA said...

Yes i remember very well the hilltop where you had a house Fram.A beautiful place!!sorry you had to sell it..

about Tuscany Florence Italy!1tell me when you are to go!!!!I want that place!!!!!!
i think i hear the sirisses mourning in the dry climate and wonderful just wonderful!!did you say you are goig on a another site??Blog ??Tell me all about it!!

Tell me your dreams!!

Quotes.Iam not so into that is a quote!!!

I sit here on a snowy sunday(Yes i wanted it but now when igot it its wet wet wet)

Chicken in the ovnen..Made a cake too!

Hope all is well and good Fram!

Want to see more from the Tuscaney valley.about the movie.Have not seen that one.i prefer James Bond the old ones:)
But tonight i will look at something beautiful .see you soon Fram!I wish you could come to dinner:))Just kidding..

Your friend always Anita

Fram Actual said...

The quote came from the script of a 1963 television production in a Western series, CiL. From my point of view, it offers a simple illustration of the deterioration (in a general sense) of television fiction during the past fifty years. Today's television largely is "garbage in, garbage out" in the form of phony gun fights, phony sex and phony exchanges of one-liner dialogue. I ran across the script while looking back for John Kennedy assassination material.

Thank you, for your visit, CiL.

Fram Actual said...

It was not so much a matter of having to sell my house on a hilltop as it was simply feeling uncomfortable living there by myself -- especially during a long, cold, snowy winter. The view from there was really something, though .... a dozen miles south and west on crystal clear days and a few miles north and east .... anyway ....

No other site, Anita. No other blog. In the James Bond "Quantum of Solace" film, he approaches the villa from the sea and it was my initial impression the house was located on an island. When I did a bit of research, I learned it was on the Italian mainland. The primary scenes of the house in the film are on the patio, which reveals the view.

I still would prefer an island, but when I learned how close this villa (and, I assume other houses which can be rented) is to the Teatro del Silenzio, my first thought was how great it would be to spend a few weeks there and also to see Andrea Bocelli at home in concert. So, we shall see where this idea leads ....

Yes, a chicken dinner would be nice, and cake for dessert would be perfect. In my life, if the microwave oven did not exist, my menu would largely consist of sandwiches and pizza arriving by delivery.

I hope you will be able to watch the film during your evening and have a glimpse of this villa in that manner. And, I am glad you came to visit me and to leave a comment for me today, Anita. Thank you ....

Smareis said...

A imagem é fantástica, O visual da foto é de encher os olhos de curiosidade, lugar que qualquer uma pessoa gostaria de passar uma temporada, umas longas férias, ou fixar morada. Villa La Torre, Talamone no sul da Toscana na Itália, já viu imagem lindíssima desse lugar, deve ser um lugar de Rei e Rainhas. Fantástico lugar. Não vi a imagem do Sanctuary / Refuge.

Sabe Fram, eu já gostei dos filmes de 007, e já assisti a maioria deles, sempre gostei de todos os tipos de filme: aventura, romance, ficção, drama, terror. Mais tem dias que rodo todos os canais de tv e nunca encontro nada que me apetece a ver. Embora o canal de assinatura tenha excelente filme diário. Gosto muito de ver documentário no Discovery Brasil. Ontem assisti dois filmes que gosto muito, e já havia assistido algumas vezes, O Escorpião Rei, dirigido por Chuck Russell e estrelado por Dwayne Johnson e Michael Clarke Duncan. Excelente filme. Lágrima de sol. Dirigido por Antoine Fuqua e estrelado por Bruce Willis e Monica Bellucci. Excelente filme que me fez chorar em algumas cenas do filme.
Em minha opinião o 007 mais lembrados embora o ator tivesse feito apenas quatro filmes foi o ator Pierce Brosnan, ele tinha todo requisito para ser o agente 007. Muito bom esse ator. Também achei um ator excelente foi o Roger Moore.

Daniel Craig, embora for um ator de alto valor, com qualidades excelentes, elegante bonitão de olhos azuis, não me chamou muita atenção. Embora tiver atuado maravilhosamente no filme 007 - Quantum of Solace . Foi seu maior sucesso no papel merecido. Já li muitas críticas sobre esse filme, mais creio que todos os atores interpretam de uma forma o seu papel que lhe é destinado. O enredo no geral não é assim surpreendente, mas consegue prender na medida certa, por mais clichê que seja isso de golpe de estado. O filme é tecnicamente impecável também, com boa direção de câmeras e uma boa fotografia, visto que o filme se passa em mais de quatro países (pelo menos), destacando-se bastante a diferença entre eles, especialmente as regiões da Bolívia, onde o filme se passa majoritariamente; o trabalho dos atores também não deixa a desejar, apesar de ter achado as atuações de Cassino Royale ligeiramente mais expressivas e impactantes. E se a história não é lá tão interessante, há bastante coisa para se ver no filme: perseguições, fugas, tiroteios, explosões, combates corpo-a-corpo… é tudo o que um bom amante de filmes de ação pode esperar. Além de bons diálogos e tiradas engraçadas que James Bond dispara a torto e a direito. É um filme divertido, por assim dizer, não é cansativo de forma alguma. A trilha sonora é boa, mas não é marcante como a do primeiro filme – a começar pela música introdutória, que não chega nem perto de You know my name, de Chris Cornell. Mesmo assim, se faz presente nas cenas de ação, principalmente em uma que é muito, mas muito boa, onde os sons ambientes são abafados e ouve-se ao fundo apenas uma sinfonia vinda de uma ópera. Pode soar clichê até, mas não se pode negar que tem muita classe nisso. Já passaram tantos atores pelos 007, cada um com suas histórias e seus sucessos, e seus valores.

Novembro por aqui foi quente, muito quente. Não foi um mês agradável pra mim por várias circunstâncias, mais foi um mês como qualquer outro ano, vai ficar no passado.
Dezembro já chegou e muito rápido, mês que me alegra, e ao mesmo tempo me deprime, me deixa ansiosa, esperançosa, outras vezes triste. 2015 já estas batendo na porta. Desejo que ele venha cheio de expetativa, paz, saúde, alegrias e muitas vitórias, com a paz do criador de todas as coisas.

O Vídeo é excelente canção lindíssima, ótima escolha... Com certeza nada dura pra sempre... Mas quando se vive profundamente e verdadeiramente, mesmo que seja por pouco tempo, sempre vale muito a pena...
Ótima semana Fram!
Excelente postagem!

Fram Actual said...

It seems to me a season or a long vacation at a place like Villa La Torre would be exactly what I need to revitalize my spirit and to renew my strength, Smareis. I think I will try to learn more about this house on a promontory -- its history and its ownership.

As for my former Sanctuary/Refuge, it is not such a grand place in itself. In fact, it is a rather ordinary house, but one I partially constructed myself. And, its location was grand in that it rested atop a hill, had enough land surrounding it to ensure privacy, and offered a view of woodlands in two directions and of the Missouri River and miles and miles and miles of Nebraska and South Dakota prairie in the other two directions.

You should be a film critic, Smareis. I did that for a while in another "incarnation" -- reviewed films, books, plays, music and put together an arts section for a newspaper. I enjoyed such work for a couple of years, but then it was time for me to move on to another town and another newspaper and other type of work within that newspaper. I never have been able to understand why anyone would want to live in the same place and do the same manner of work for a lifetime.

James Bond films are in a class of their own, I think, because they have lasted so long and involved so many actors and directors. I have seen them all multiple times (except the last, "Skyfall," which I have watched only once), and do not know if I have a favorite among them or a favorite among the actors who have portrayed Bond:

I think the original, Sean Connery, probably fits the profile of the character best as envisioned by Ian Fleming in his novels.

I think Pierce Brosnan comes in second in this regard, other than for the fact he has a rather feminine look to him when he runs. That criticism aside, I think Brosnan is a fine actor, and I want to see his latest film, "The November Man." I would add that I rarely like remakes of movies, but I do like his work in the remake of "The Thomas Crown Affair."

I think Daniel Craig, without a doubt, is the most physical and athletic among the Bond players, and I appreciate that ability in several ways and for a few reasons. At the risk of offending the English, I think Craig gives Bond a more American look and persona, whereas actors like Connery or Brosnan or Roger Moore kept Bond in the original British mold.

End of Part 1 .... continued in a bit ....

Fram Actual said...

Part 2 .... this was so long I had to break it into two parts ....

It would be necessary for me to sit down and watch all the Bond films again to determine which I thought to be the best, especially if weighing technical aspects as well as acting. My favorite, though, has to be Craig's version of "Casino Royale." Everything does seem just right about the production other than the demise of Vesper Lynd; I prefer happy endings .... I love happy endings !!

Incidentally, my favorite Bond story in book form is the short story, "For Your Eyes Only." The description in it of Bond's journey from Canada to New England and the archery element stirs old memories of my own experiences. By coincidence, this story was published in the same volume as "Quantum of Solace."

As for music, I am a fan of Shirley Bassey and her Bond theme songs, but, yes, Chris Cornell's, "You Know My Name," fits in so well with "Casino Royale" that I do not think any other Bond music can match it.

So, Smareis, you and I can watch December enter and wait to see what it offers and what it takes. It is a difficult month for me in many ways, and the final week usually brings surprises -- sometimes good, sometimes bad. After that, life in my neck of the woods is waiting for winter to continue its slow march to springtime.

Thank you, Smareis, for your presence and your marvelous comment. It has been like having a discussion, and I do not think we would find much to disagree about when we critique the Bond films. By the way, have you read the books? I have read the original Fleming stories two or three times each, but only "Colonel Sun" by Kingsley Amis among the "wannabe" gold digger novels which followed. When authors die, their characters should die with them, to my way of thinking.

Yes, books and music .... and films .... see you at the movies, Smareis ....

Smareis said...

Então Fram, às vezes me empolgo e falo mais que necessário. Risos. Acho que foi a chuva fina que chegou pra refrescar meus bons ânimos nesse final de domingo. As vezes sou bem detalhista quando assisto filmes. Com certeza James Bond se não fosse filmes tão bons não teria durado tanto tempo, foram 23 filmes, com o último: 007 – Operação Skyfall... Eu não assisti aos filmes todos, principalmente o último Skyfall mais pretendo assisti ainda. Gosto muito dos atores vivido James Bond, sempre são criativos e misteriosos. Deixaram um legado fortíssimo em frases de efeito, veículos possantes e inúmeros Gadgets fantásticos. Os seis James Bond do cinema cumpriram seus papeis com muita eficiência, mais ainda acho o Roger Moore foi o que deu mais vida ao James Bond mesmo sendo ator britânico. Eu não li os livros ainda não Fram, quem sabe eu ainda possa ler. Também penso da mesma forma quando os autores morrer, seus personagens devem morrer com eles.
Então, que venha dezembro e traga coisas boas pra finalizar mais um ano.

Obrigada Fram gostei da nossa discursão foi de grande proveito. Desculpa pelo comentário gigante, nem sempre sou assim... Tem dias que falo um pouco mais, tem dias que nada falo. Gostei das suas respostas.
Uma ótima semana com desejos de dias bons!

Fram Actual said...

Yes, no less than a good book or a good film or a good song can brighten the day, so, too, can a change in the weather send a spirit soaring. When the sun appeared and the temperature rose on Saturday, my mood was lifted; now the rain comes to you on Sunday and the temperature falls, and your mood is lifted. We will both hope for more weather-luck as we enter December.

"Skyfall" is like three films in one, and requires much patience to watch. That is why I have watched it only once. I need to restore a greater level of patience within me. I have been reading quite a bit in recent months, though, and, perhaps, that is where all my patience is being used up.

In fact, I recently finished reading thirteen books which center around a sniper named Bob Lee Swagger, his father, Earl, and his son, Ray Cruz, and which are much like James Bond novels in terms of action. Add to that group, I have been reading a number of books revolving around a character named Mitch Rapp, a CIA "gunman," written by Saint Paul novelist Vince Flynn. The author, Flynn, died last summer, but his character, Rapp, will live on. Another writer has been hired to complete an unfinished novel and to produce two more books after that. I do not plan to read those three.

Frankly, it seems to me there are too many writers turning out this type of story with this type of central character, and none of them, I would wager, will have the life-span or the lasting impact of the James Bond novels and films. But, if nothing else, these copycat tales are good for winter and travel reading.

I am glad you were in the mood to write/talk/speak today. I have appreciated our "conversation," Smareis, and I hope we will have more of them. When you have the opportunity, I hope you will watch "Skyfall" and tell me how you think it compares to other Bond films. By the way, I did mention that "Casino Royale," with Daniel Craig as Bond, is my favorite. I would also mention now that my second favorite among them all is "From Russia With Love." Besides Sean Connery, I liked the work of Robert Shaw (as Donald Grant) and Pedro Armendariz (as Kerim Bey) in that film. This was the best of the Connery performances as Bond, in my eyes.

Thank you, once more, Smareis. We both were "windy" today, it would seem, and I very much enjoyed it. I hope the coming week will be good to you and for you.

Smareis said...

Fram você sempre tem boas respostas, daria um bom jornalista.
Quem agradece sou eu!
Fiz uma atualização por lá, nada importante.Apenas um texto.

Ótima semana!

Fram Actual said...

Thank you, Smareis. I enjoy reading your thoughts and opinions in the comments you write here, and I do appreciate you and your presence here.

As you know, I am re-visiting my past right now -- in a manner of speaking. The day was cold, but not bitter, and the sun came from behind the clouds now and then. It was a pleasant drive. Tomorrow is the day of waiting for me, and while I am waiting I will be reading a novel about Ernest Hemingway written from the point-of-view of his first wife, Hadley, during their Paris years. I am curious.

I will visit your blog and read your new post in a while. Thank you, once more ....

A Cuban In London said...

Totally agree with you on television. Thank God for Sky Arts. Even the much-lauded BBC recycles rubbish after rubbish.

Greetings from London.

Fram Actual said...

Home is the hunter, after a four-day journey.

I wish someone would organize a strike against cable television programming .... maybe, declare a "no-television day" every Wednesday for a while and see if anything positive happens.

My taste in music seldom strays into country western or jazz and never strays into a number of other contemporary brands of music, so I decided not to comment at your latest post, CiL. On the positive side, now you can say you know one man who does not care for jazz .... long live classic rock 'n' roll ....

Thank you, for coming around again ....

Bitch said...

I love to read most of all about your huge sarcasm whatever is coming into your mind..
television, movies etc.,etc.
Have a fantastic December Fram!

Fram Actual said...

Thank you, Monika. I am a skeptic by nature and sarcasm is an element of skepticism. I have a tendency to believe what I know from my own experience, and to be a skeptic and sarcastic about the world beyond that experience.

I also am a devotee of Ambrose Bierce, the prince of satirists, who is primarily remembered for having written "The Devil's Dictionary." I think that pretty much explains my concept of the world in which we live.

By coincidence, I have another post going up in a while in which I use the word sarcasm to describe the segment I was writing. You see right through me.

Thank you, for coming to visit me and for leaving a comment, Monika. I appreciate it.

Peggy said...

Happy Sunday Fram - nice to see when I ventured back into the blogsphere you had posted a nice meaty blog to devour - and the topic and music was perfect! Your discussion of the Tuscany villa and the video of Bocelli Live in Tuscany brought about a wonderful flashback to nearly 3 years ago when I did my big Europe trip.

Yes, Tuscany (or Umbria or Cinque Terre or Amalfi or any number of Italian - or come to think of it even a few places in Spain) high on a a rocky promenary overlookng the sea would be a perfect place to spend some time. Particularly if there were hiking nearby. :) I too am getting itchy feet and thinking of another long trip - even though I just got back from 2 weeks trucking around Cuba.

I shall have to watch for the next time Quantum of Solace comes on the TV - it would be nice to see that scene again and know that it is Villa Le Torre.

Looking forward now to having a bit more time to keep up with your posts and maybe even getting back to mine.

I will stay tuned for your next blog.

Peggy from Toronto

Fram Actual said...

Your appearance -- or, rather, your re-appearance -- was quite a surprise, Peggy, and a very pleasant one. You disappeared so abruptly and so completely that it seemed as though aliens had gathered you up and taken you off to the other side of the galaxy. Welcome back.

It would seem a sure thing there are many places along the Mediterranean Sea which would serve a traveler well as the location to escape the world for a while. My experience in the Mediterranean region is limited in many ways. In Spain, for instance, I landed at an airport in one city, was bused to another city and there boarded a ship. The next stop was Tangier. It is very possible that later on the same cruise I passed by the Villa Le Torre in Italy and had no idea what it was or its future significance.

I take it your Cuban adventures now number two. So do my own, but in quite a different manner than your trips. I still want to go there again, to see the "Hemingway Homestead" and associated saloons, if for no other reason.

I am not certain if it is itchy feet or a curious spirit which drives me on at this time. There have been a number of good reasons why I have done nothing major since 2010, but I am angry with myself for waiting for better conditions/situations to come along. There have been work-related tasks which now and then have taken me here and there out of the country, but I had personal reasons for not extending my time away to pursue my own interests. What I want is something like I had in Poland, several months of being an actual resident in another country and getting to know the people who live there. I enjoyed that and learned a great deal.

Well, I am glad you are safe and sound and still a traveler, Peggy. It would be nice to see you posting again, too. In the meanwhile, thank you, for visiting me here and for leaving your words here. I am glad you are back and hope you will stay ....

Something special ....