Watch…Cheers (DVD and ITV4)…at this time of the year we all need cheering up and this does it for me! Made in the 1980s this American series showed how class and feminism can be made interesting and relevant to big TV audiences. Based in a Boston bar the two main characters, Diane (Shelley Long), an upper class graduate and Sam (Ted Danson), an ex-alcoholic and baseball player, are thrown together as waitress and bar owner. Central to the early episodes is the sexual chemistry and witty banter between Diane and Sam. There are other entertaining characters including Carla, the foul mouthed waitress and mother of four children; Norm, the alcoholic accountant; and Cliff, the lonely postman. The series lasted 11 years and was popular because of the time spent developing the plots and characters. The theme tune “where everyone knows your name” sums up the series, a bar where you can go and someone will listen to you and help you out with your problems. Today it is hard to find any series that addressed so many issues in a positive and progressive way. Highly recommended.
Read…Holloway by Robert McFarlane, Stanley Donwoods and Dan Richards. Holloways are ” A route that centuries of foot-fall, hoof-hit, wheel-roll & rain-run have harrowed deep down into bedrock”. This is the story of the three men exploring South Dorset’s sandstone and it reads like the journey into the past and to another world. It really makes you want to follow in their footsteps, although parts of it do read like “three boys go exploring”. The text is enriched by the wonderful illustrations by Donwoods. A slim book of 38 pages, it is quite pricey at £12.99 so order it from your local library.
Find out about... fracking in your area. Its not just happening at Barton Moss in Salford, there are plans for fracking across the northwest. Speakers from the Northern Gas Gala are holding film shows and discussions at venues across the Greater Manchester area and on 26 January join campaigners at Barton Moss Camp to show your solidarity with them and against fracking.More info at
Go to… Taking Sides: Artists and Writers in the Spanish Civil War on Saturday March 1 2014 in Manchester. How did Spanish cinema depict the International Brigades and what was the role of foreign correspondents during the conflict? This one day conference organised by the IBMT will answer some of these questions as well as providing information on their future events and projects. Further info see
Celebrate….the workers at Curzon cinema in London have got union recognition after a campaign by them and their union BECTU. Many people across the country sent emails to Curzon calling on them to recognise Bectu and give their workers a living wage. They have succeeded in the first part of their campaign so it is now time for the management to increase their wages. The campaign showed how many people feel ie that employers should not be making profits whilst treating their workers like slaves and, although there are many similar campaigns across the country, its great to see people winning!!