Monday, August 13, 2007

So, anyway...

...I'd gone for my chemo and a touch of the infection on my leg had reappeared. They sent me home with an antibiotic but that made me throw up so I had to come back in for IV treatment and, while I was there, the pain treatment seemed to run into trouble so it was changed to a combination of drugs called Oxycontin/Oxynorm and these seem to have inproved things. While in hospital I read Patrick McGillgan's biography of Hitchcock and I'd really recommend it.Favourite reading is still not the deeply profound; I'm continuing to enjoy biogs and good, well-crafted entertainment.
Is it just me or is Hitch slipping off the old critical radar a bit? When I was a school kid, he movies were still recent enough to show in the main film slot on Sunday nights on the BBC. None of your fancy 1 year of release and it's on TV back then. I remember a Monday morning after The Birds had been shown and not being able to wait to get into school and talk to my mates about it...
Then there were Alfred Hitchcock's 3 Investigator books and short story collections in the school library. I've since picked up a couple of second-hand copies of these although I've failed in my mission to get the 'Monster Museum.' It has the original 'Blob' story, the one that was made into a movie with Stevie McQueen and some very scary jelly. Ummm...scary jelly...
So, Hitch was a big deal for me and that was probably why I got such a nostalgic thrill when my first serious crime short story sold to the Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.
But it's all part of another world, now. See, I am relatively young for this ilness but, let's face, I am middle-aged and it feels great to have gotten here.
I was bought a portable DVD player for my birthday and it's fantastic - it'll help tie in with my let's-see-how-much-good-stuff-I-can-still-watch-in-whatever-time-I-have-left. Fabulous with the earphones on. Means I can watch my Peckinpah's and Leone's and check out the audio commentaries.
So, that's the update.
Keep in touch. I can't tell you how good it is to know that, as well as the people I have here, that you're out there, too.


Blogger Valerie said...

Late Happy Birthday Captain.

Came to your blog via the comment you posted on Mick Farren's Doc40. You promptly disappeared which was a trifle worrying, so glad your back and home.

Did you see any of the shooting stars last night?
On my balcony in Barcelona at 4 in the morning, after wild thunder storms and torrential rain cleared and left the sky wide open. I saw about 8 in spite of city lights and would have stayed up till daybreak but had to sleep a little.

Brief flashes of magic. Like all of us.

Love to you and your family.


August 13, 2007 at 4:53 AM  
Blogger kathy said...

A belated Happy Birthday Mr Richmond.

August 13, 2007 at 5:16 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

Oh God...the shooting stars in Barcelona...I'm so jealous. We've only been to the city twice but really love it. Matthew knows his Gaudi and one of my favourite pictures is of me holding him in one of the towers of the Sagruda...

August 13, 2007 at 9:39 AM  
Blogger Valerie said...


How wonderful that you know Barcelona.

Any time you want to come back you can all squash into my very small flat....7th floor. No lift.

But a threshold to the sky.

(They say the shooting stars will be visible again tonight.)

And over the park, they like to call a mountain, of Montjuic.

Where some Catalan magic was conjured in '92 for the Olympics.

In spite of the business interests.


Ireland I think, I´ve heard, though I´ve never been, is beautiful. Has given me songs (especially the Pogues) to help on this journey.

Many years ago my mother was told by an indifferent GP to go away and accept the aches and pains of age.

Too late then, one November, when the diagnosis was cancer of the pancreas to say goodbye. So in one sense you´re lucky.

You have time.




August 13, 2007 at 2:11 PM  
Blogger stephani said...

I have watched more movies, tv in the past 4 months than my entire life! It is such a great escape.

We saw no shooting stars here in south carolina, usa. I think the clouds were too dense. I envy, but can envision, everything you saw!

Have always wanted to travel outside the US, but with the kids, kind of out of our expense. Yet, my oldest now travels everywhere! Envious. Now I am afraid I may never be able to.

So glad your pain in under control-makes life so much more bearable.

A friend looked me in the eye yesterday and told me there were no answers to my hereditary pancreatitis. It is a mystery, and the healing (if it comes) will be also. I am headed out on my own spiritual/emotional journey. The friend gave me a saying, which says so much:
"One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time".-Andre Gide
I think of you daily, and your wife and little lad.

August 14, 2007 at 9:50 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

I've really enjoyed both Stephani and Valerie's contributions to the site.
Ireland, the USA, Catalonia, all joined together but our experiences and the tragic impact of ill-heath. But out of suffering has come communication and sharing. There was something about Valerie's image of looking up at the stars that seemed to cement that for me.
And, who knows, Stephanie, Barcelona might not always be beyond your grasp...
In the meantime, the right movie can be a great substitute. As I'm on a Hitchcock phase at the moment, what about 'North-by-Northwest?' None of it makes any sense but it's like a a glorious, glamorous dream of a world there never was.

August 15, 2007 at 12:58 AM  
Blogger Tim Footman said...

I started learning about films (beyond just watching and enjoying them) from the late-night double bills they used to show on BBC2 on Saturday nights. Very often there would be themed pairings, so you'd get a 1930s Universal horror movie (Karloff, Lugosi, etc) teamed with a 1960s Hammer version. Or a classic Hitchcock and something by a Hitch fan (de Palma, Chabrol, etc). Depressing to think that the horizons of terrestrial TV have shrunk so much.

Glad you're doing OK, Brian. This is what blogging's about, or should be.

August 15, 2007 at 8:38 AM  
Blogger Nowhere Girl said...

Belated Happy Birthday!

I read one of those Alfred Hitchcock Investigator books when I was a kid. It was the one with a haunted amusement park, with a ghost that rode the carousel. Needless to say, I think it ended like every Scooby Doo episode, which means that the owner was really the ghost, and he would have gotten away with it if it weren't for those meddling kids.

August 15, 2007 at 7:34 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Hi Brian, good to hear an update from you. Can you email me your postal address?

August 17, 2007 at 2:15 AM  
Blogger MattM76 said...

Hitchcock is more relevant than ever.

Hollywood is full of Hithcockian remakes (Disturbia aka 'Rear Window') and the Psycho format has become the boilerplate for most modern thrillers / horrors.

August 20, 2007 at 1:42 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

Good to hear that Hitchcok is still popular amongst today's young people.You're right, Matt, of course, Psycho will always be an influence as long as their are shower curtains and lonely looking young men with fond relationships with their moms Anthony Perkins really wrote he book on that kind of performance.

August 22, 2007 at 9:15 PM  
Blogger Kathryn said...

I'm not sure how I arrived at your blog, - forgot I'd even bookmarked it till this morning...My father had undiagnosed pacreatic cancer and lost his fight when I was just 18. It's nearly 30 years ago now, but I still miss him, of course.
Oh...and I remember when The Birds was on over a weekend in my teens - going into the kitchen afterwards and finding myself unable to even consider feeding the budgie! And cheering with a cinema full of Cambridge students at a certain line in The Lady Vanishes...
Belated birthday greetings from here too - and prayers for you and for your family as you fight this together.

August 23, 2007 at 5:15 AM  
Blogger eda said...



February 1, 2010 at 12:43 AM  

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