It’s not everyday that a picture of mine graces the cover of a book. Check out my study of the Varna liberation monument, in Bulgaria, has made it to the cover of a, as yet, unpublished book by Ian Kenneth: Trust is not an option. Expect the book to be reviewed here within a week or so.
The weekend we spent at Hartbeespoortdam, celebrating 20 years of hashing in Pretoria. Needless to say, perfect, well bloody hot, weather, lots of drinks, some would say too many, and good food.
On the first night, I had to do a bit of education, explaining such interesting terms as ‘teabagging’, ‘docking’, ‘felching’ and ‘snowballing’.
Sunday evening, we headed out to see the excellent The Last King of Scotland, which was on at a preview showing at the nearby Montecasino. The showing turned out to be part of some movie club, led by one of South Africa’s most prominent movie critics (if not the only one), Barry Ronge (702 Talk Radio calls him South Africa’s most acclaimed and well-read entertainment critic). Several months ago, I signed up to be notified of events, related to his movie club, at Montecasino, but never heard anything. Now we’d stumbled into one of his ‘shows’. Both before and after the film, Barry extensively reviewed the flick, but also gave away a few prizes.
In what he claimed was a random draw, he paired the letters of the movie we were going to watch (The Last King of Scotland) with their position in the title of the movie (so, T1, H2, E3), to obtain seat numbers, handing out the prizes to the people in those seats. And if, by chance, no one would be sitting in the winning chair, the prize would go to a person nearby.
We were sitting in row E, which was fully occupied, in a very busy theatre. After 10 prizes were given away, I thought the fun was over, until he started handing out even more prizes, after a short speech, according to the same principle, although he made several mistakes, which no one really seemed to notice. Still, I quickly made my way to row A, which was empty. Barry first looked at me as if thinking “Who is this guy? Am I supposed to know him? What does he want?”
“I’m moving to row A.”
Barry apparently hadn’t thought of that possibility, the audience laughed, “One for the gentleman, for ingenuity!”
So I had my prize. A double ticket to attend the nightly live broadcast, in what might be the most exclusive movie theatre in South Africa, at Montecasino, of the Oscars. It’s supposed to be a red carpet thing and it’s followed by a breakfast.
After the film, there was something of a Q&A with Barry. Barry talks regularly to a particular correspondent in Hollywood. That correspondent, last week, had had dinner with Forest Whitaker. That’s three degrees to The Last King of Socotland.