Jaqui's Daily Blog

Blacking out the Windows and Somebody's Girl

Film Club Tony really does have a lot on his hands.

His name isn't really Film Club Tony, that's just the name I have given him to differentiate him from other Tonys I Have Known. These include Big Brother Tony and Orchestra Tony. You have to admit, I have great Powers of Description.

Orchestra Tony has established the U3A orchestra. Sadly, I do not belong to this august body on account of the fact that the only instrument I have ever been able to play is the triangle. Moreover, that was over sixty years ago, back in Rush Green Infants School, so it is perfectly possible that I may have lost my touch. Or my Ting A Ling Ling. Or both.

Which is completely Beside The Point. Today's Daily Blog has nothing to do with orchestras and triangles and everything to do with Film Club. Let me explain (it is a Tortuous Tale but hang on in there. Unless you have something better to do, of course ....)

The first two meetings of the U3A Film Club were held in the Lecture Theatre at our local library. The Lecture Theatre has ranked seating, a large screen and a built-in projector. Unfortunately it doesn't have an Entertainment Licence or a Film Licence, both of which are Sine Qua Non (did you know I was a Latin student?) for future Film Club meetings.

Now anyone else (me included) would have accepted defeat and regretfully wound up the Film Club. But Film Club Tony is made of Sterner Stuff. He finds another venue, in the bar of a local theatre. The necessary licences are in place - all that is required are (i) a screen; (ii) a projector and (iii) some way of blacking out all the windows in the bar. Can anyone help? he asks, a certain note of desperation seeping through in his email. Well, who could say no?

Quite a lot of people, it turns out. Mr B and I are the first of just four volunteers to arrive to help with the set-up. My first job is to head off to Scrummies, a local sandwich bar, to buy cheese and tomato sandwiches for Film Club Tony and Mr B. I do not mind this, as I realise that an Army Marches On Its Stomach. Plus, as One Who Is Always Thinking About My Own Stomach, I fancy a chicken salad sandwich myself.


Once we have eaten our sandwiches, we turn our attention to the issue of blacking out the windows, through which a treacherous sunlight is glaring. Film Club Tony asks if I am any good with scissors to which I reply in the affirmative. Mr B looks at me, scandalised at such a falsification of the truth but I am unrepentant. At this stage in the Setting Up Process, the last thing Film Club Tony needs is a Faint Heart.

Besides, all I have to do is to cut the black out material in half and fix each half to the entrance doors with masking tape. Even I can do that. Sort of. It is fortunate, indeed, that reinforcements arrive to help with blacking out the remaining windows.


Catherine has brought along a shopping trolley full of old curtains which we manage to fix to each window. Catherine is rather more agile than I am, clambering up onto the window sills to fix the curtains in place. I marvel at the number of curtains she owns but Catherine explains that she moves about quite a bit and, curtains being very expensive, she likes to take them with her. Just in case.


Film Club Tony then confides that today's film, "Georgy Girl", starring Lynn Redgrave and Alan Bates, is a bit of a mistake. He thought he had booked "Gregory's Girl." An easy mistake, I reassure him - I who would not know my Georgy from my Gregory if you paid me.

At 2 p.m. Film Club members begins to arrive. They are all impressed with the black-out and nobody seems too put out by the arrangement of chairs. At the end of the film, everybody applauds politely. Film Club Tony tells the assembled audience that we will be meeting here again on the first Tuesday in June. He doesn't say what film we will be watching. Which is probably A Good Idea, all things considering. Let's face it, next time he might advertise Top Gun and we will find ourselves watching Top Hat.

Mr B and I walk to the bus stop. Did he enjoy the film? I ask.

"I thought we were going to watch Gregory's Girl," he complains. "An easy mistake," I respond easily.


After all his hard work I reckon Film Club Tony deserves The Benefit of the Doubt.


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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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