Wednesday, May 11, 2022

In the Secret Garden

Slept in and finished re-reading The Secret Garden, which I do every spring. It was so late when I finally rolled out of bed, Match Game '77 was on by the time I had my fried egg with broccoli. Greg Morris of Mission Impossible and Roz Kelly of Happy Days join the crew and Joyce Bulifant for a few racy jokes about what what Sir Lancelot's bride says he does in bed during their honeymoon. I'm surprised Roz wasn't called on for "__ On It" in the first episode. The second had Richard recalling how his Hogan's Heroes co-star Werner Klemper brought his own uniform to the show for "Werner __." 

Headed out after the second episode ended. Despite the cloudy and blah day, I had a lot of errands to run, starting with finally dropping that Mother's Day car in the mail box. Since I was two blocks from the post office, went there next to buy pretty floral stamps. 

Cut through Newton Lake Park next. It was so busy with people enjoying the weather before the rain starts up again, I ended up riding on the street.  The ground that isn't flooded from our recent storms is greener than emeralds. The leaves on the trees grow fatter and wider every day. Soft purple and yellow irises and starry white clover perfume gardens and yards with their spicy and sweet scents. 

The Haddon Township Library, on the other hand, wasn't busy. Grabbed the next mystery in Laura Childs' Tea Shop series, Lavender Blue Murder. Also picked up two from series I hadn't read before, Scone Cold Dead and Bewitched, Bothered, and Biscotti. East of the Sun and West of the Moon is one of my favorite fairy tales; found a young adult version of the story called East that looked intriguing (and long). 

Made a fast stop at Target next. I can't find my headbands, so I just bought new ones. Picked up more of the Good & Gather lemon date bars, too. Target wasn't busy, either. I had no problems hitting self-checkout to get out fast.

Went straight home and took the laundry downstairs. Got organized and had a quick lunch while watching Buzzr. William Shatner and his then-wife Marcy and snarky Conny Van Dyne and her hubby Larry Coates beat Dick Gautier, his ego, and his then-wife Barbara Stuart on Tattletales. It came down to the ladies on Press Your Luck after the one guy Whammied out. One of the ladies should have passed at least twice while she was ahead. She got hit with Whammies, and the winner finished with $1,000 and one Whammy.

Worked on writing for a while after that and switched out laundry loads. Sir Richard, Brett, and his sons are all horrified when the Red King destroys Richard's sword. Brett's even more upset when she realizes how much control the Red King has over Jack when he obeys him and tries to shove Richard out the window! 

Broke for dinner and Match Game '74. Richard Deacon made his first appearance on the show this week, joining Gunilla Hutton of Petticoat Junction and comedienne Mitzi McCall. While Mitzi jokingly explained how one can tell if one needs undergarments, the others tried to figure out "Boot __" on the Audience Match. 

Had dessert and got the laundry out of the dryer while Match Game PM was on. Richard did his best to help a dapper out-of-work engineer from Liverpool (with the accent to match), while Gene made jokes about a stewardess-to-be squirming in her seat. Later, Richartd has a couple of then-topical answers for "__ Boone" on the Head-to-Head.

Finished the night after a shower with the 2020 version of The Secret Garden on Hulu. Mary Lennox (Dixie Everrickx) is still a sour child sent to live with her uncle Archibald Craven (Colin Firth) after her parents die, but they've upped the period from the early 1910's to 1947. This time, a dog leads Mary to the garden (though a robin still helps too), and the garden is in the woods rather than on the grounds of Misslewaithe Manor. Her cousin Colin (Eden Hayhurst) is far less receptive to her getting him outside. She and Dicken (Amir Wilson) practically have to kidnap him to get him to see it. Colin and Mary knew each other as young children; their mothers were dear friends. The old gardener Ben Weatherstaff was cut entirely, and the Magic that the kids talk about in later chapters is real Magic, rather than just the seasons doing their work. Colin's father is so stubborn about not sending Mary to boarding school, it takes a huge fire in the Manor for him to see the light.

For all that, there were moments that really worked, like when Mary first discovers the garden, or when she shows Colin the things that once belonged to their mothers. The kids all do splendidly, and Julie Walters isn't bad as the cold housekeeper Mrs. Medlock who can't see the magic that's changing her charges the way the kids can.

Not for purists who prefer their movies to be exactly like the books, but if you're willing to give it a chance, you might find a little bit of magic in this haunting retelling as well. 

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