Aye oop


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James Gandolfini is not the world’s most famous chanteur but why should that stop him being the star of a musical love story based on a man dying of lung cancer?  Romance and Cigarettes is such a concept and features a remarkable (notice I didn’t say good) performance by Kate Winslett as a happy hooker in NYC, but hailing from Wigan or somewhere equally unexplicable.  Think Jane Leeves with the regional accent turned up and you’ll be half way there.

This directorial debut by John Turturro with The Coen Bros lurking in the background is one of the more unusaul features we’ve viewed this year and despite a prepostrous plot, some dreadful acting (see above) and no real point we enjoyed this immensely. 

To recommend it would be an act of generosity, if not folly, but if you want to coorie in to a Saturday night movie with a difference you never know you might enjoy it as much as we did.  The image of Kate Winslett literally bouncing about during congress with Gandolfino is worth the hire price alone.

Another highlight is Bruce Springsteen’s revelation that it “Takes a red-headed woman to get a dirty job done.”  Jeana is permanently assigned to bog cleaning duties after this excellent insight.

Bad bridge day


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I was watching an odd movie last night, Romance and Cigarretes (more on this later perhaps) in which, at times, James Gandolfini sits on the Brooklyn Bridge making repairs.  It got me thinking about our own iconic structure situated less than 500m from my front door.  The Forth Road Bridge.  We sometimes think of it as a miracle of construction but, when placed in context, it’s less of a deal.

These are the biggest suspension bridges in the world right now.  Note the absence of the FRB.

  1. Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge (Japan) 1991 m – 1998
  2. Great Belt Bridge (Denmark) 1624 m – 1998
  3. Runyang Bridge (China) 1490 m – 2005
  4. Humber Bridge (England) 1410 m – 1981 (The largest from 1981 until 1998.)
  5. Jiangyin Suspension Bridge (China) 1385 m – 1997
  6. Tsing Ma Bridge (Hong Kong) 1377 m – 1997 (with road and metro)
  7. Verrazano Narrows Bridge (USA) 1298 m – 1964 (The largest from 1964 until 1981.)
  8. Golden Gate Bridge (USA) 1280 m – 1937 (The largest from 1937 until 1964.)
  9. Höga Kusten Bridge (Sweden) – 1210 m – 1997
  10. Mackinac Bridge (USA) 1158 m – 1958
  11. Minami Bisan-Seto Bridge (Great Seto Bridge) (Japan) 1118 m – 1988
  12. Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge (Turkey) 1090 m – 1988
  13. Bosphorus Bridge (Turkey) 1074 m – 1973
  14. George Washington Bridge (USA) 1067 m – 1931 (The largest from 1931 until 1937.)

But what strikes me more than their size is their age  The Golden Gate Bridge was built in 1937, The George Washington Bridge in 1931 (For the record the aforementioned Brooklyn Bridge was built in 1883!).

This makes our own favourite suspension bridge, which is becoming unfit for purpose after only 40 years, a laughing stock.  Let’s hope the Executive get the new one right  And that we get something designed in such a way that it becomes not just a functional infrastructure boon, but a world class icon too.