Hidden Figures – Facts and Fiction

We watched the movie ‘Hidden Figures’ on TV the other night, and we really enjoyed it, in an uncomfortable sort of way.

The movie tells the story of three black women who worked for NASA in the early 1960s, whose work effectively helped US astronaut John Glenn orbit the earth and return safely. It may or may not have represented an exact representation of reality, and of course the script was sanitised and smoothed over and given the usual glitzy movie-glamour treatment, but for me overall it represented an awkward, embarrassing time in history in a positively entertaining way. The storyline was based on a true story, but it was also a movie, not a docu-drama, and to my mind it did the job reasonably well.

Because the point is, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson were real people – that is an undisputable fact. And they were clearly top class mathematicians and scientists who did indeed work for NASA – another indisputable fact. That they would have met with the inherent societal prejudice of Jim Crow at that time is also a matter of historical record. But had it not been for the movie, I might never have heard of them, and that would have been my loss. So whatever people’s opinions on the narrative accuracy of the movie, I’ve learned something factually important from it and surely that has to be a good thing?

So who won the week for me this week (albeit retrospectively by about half a century) is without doubt, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson. Pioneers of their time. Thank you ladies, and I raise a toast to you 🙂

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Century

Don’t Stop Me Now…

Fandango’s One Word Challenge today is ‘ecstatic’ – hmmm, not much ecstatic feeling about my life right now, but yet… a fragment of an old song lyric comes immediately to mind – ‘floating around in ecstasy…’

The day before I came home from Scotland, myself and my eldest daughter (and youngest granddaughter, aged 12 weeks!) watched the 2018 movie ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ about the rise and demise of Freddie Mercury of Queen fame, and oh, I absolutely loved it!

The movie soundtrack, of course, is excellent – plenty of old favourites to sing along to – and the main characters are wonderfully cast. It’s quite tastefully done, considering the rather gritty sex, drugs and rock’n’roll narrative portrayed throughout, and to my mind Rami Malek inhabited Mercury’s over-the-top mannerisms perfectly.

So on to my fragment of song lyric, from ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ – I don’t necessarily have one favourite Queen track, whichever track I’m listening to at any moment feels like my favourite. And there’s something about all Queen tracks that makes them the perfect accompaniment to driving – so as my daughter drove me to the station to catch my train home we had a Queen CD playing, and we both sang along at the top of our voices.

The particular track that was playing as we reached the station was ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ so inevitably this is the song that stuck firmly in my head all the way home… goodbyes are always difficult and tearful occasions, so to have a fun vibrant memory of saying goodbye rather than a sad one was very special… ❤

"Tonight I'm gonna have myself a real good time
I feel alive
And the world - I'll turn it inside out, yeah!
I'm floating around in ecstasy..."

Crocodile Dundee and Me

I’m sitting here alone on my sofa on a Sunday evening watching TV, and Crocodile Dundee is on. I remember watching it at the cinema when it first came out way back when, and I just loved it! The humour is great, even if the styles and the themes are more than a little corny and outdated, but yet still it makes me cry. And inevitably it’s making me think about difficult stuff from my past.

It’s also making me think of other old movies I love, and why I still love them so much. Pulp Fiction and True Lies, Working Girl and Mona Lisa Smile. Going back even further, there’s Grease, and Dirty Dancing, and Strictly Ballroom. And never forgetting Saturday Night Fever. They all touched something in me in their own way; a hurt to be salved, a need to be fulfilled, a desire for something more in life.

Perhaps I’m more of a romantic than I think, yearning to be loved and taken care of. And perhaps I’m more of an extrovert in my imaginitive spiritual soul than I am in my fearful introvert heart, dreaming deep down of daring to be brave, be wild, be so much more than I am or ever can be in real life. These movies were my fantasy, my alternative future, my escape from unhappiness.

Thankfully I no longer feel that same agonising need for change, but somehow watching these old movies today still touches that little kernel of magical memories that grew into a precious germ of hope all those years ago, and for that I shall always be eternally grateful… ❤

If you got it, flaunt it…

Somebody up there has a seriously wierd sense of humour giving an introverted depressive like me blonde hair, blue eyes and a well-endowed chest. (Oh, and to cap it all, I have B+ blood – be positive, ha bloody ha, very funny I’m sure.) If you got it, flaunt it, they all say. But however my outside form may present to the world, my inside always remains far more fragile than flamboyant.

When people tell me to ‘be myself’ they usually mean ‘live up to our blondes-have-more-fun party-girl expectation’ rather than my preferred ‘curl up quietly on the sofa in your pyjamas with only a cup of tea and a good book for company’ way of being. The amount of times over my lifetime that various people in varying situations have labelled me ‘reserved’, and have complained disappointingly to my face ‘Awww… you’re no fun…’

The thing is, I don’t want to have to wear deliberately frumpy clothes to hide my somewhat voluptuous figure, and I really don’t like the restrictive feeling of things being buttoned up tight to my neck. So if a glimpse of my cleavage is on show, if my jeans sit comfortably snug across my curvaceous bum, if my skirt hemline sometimes sits above my knee, don’t necessarily assume I’m nothing more than a dumb blonde.

Sometimes I feel a little bit like Jesssica Rabbit in ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’, who reminds Eddie Valiant that she’s not bad, she was just drawn that way. Not because I’ve ever looked in any way as gorgeously drop-dead sexy as Jessica, but because the outward perception of her inward character due simply to visual expectation resonates deeply with me. I guess underneath it all I’m just not a flaunting it kind of girl… 🙂

Daily Prompt: Flaunt

More Haste, Less Speed

One of the benefits of having grandchildren is that I get to watch a lot of kids’ movies!

My blog friend Fandango posted today about waiting at the Department of Motor Vehicles to renew his driver’s licence, and it reminded me of the scene in ‘Zootropolis’ where Officer Judy Hops has to run a licence plate in a hurry – unfortunately for her, the DMV is run by sloths, and the not-so-aptly named Flash diligently carries out his duties at a sloth-like pace – enjoy! 🙂

Daily Prompt: Rush