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Archive for May, 2012

In sixteen novels I have come to regard Lee Child‘s Jack Reacher as my heroic alter ego.

Reacher is described as 6′ 5″ tall with a 50″ chest, weighing in at 220-250lbs and with dirty blonde hair. His size is a significant part of his character and affects how he feels about himself and how he is seen by others. I’ve often thought a movie would be great and always wondered who the heck they’d get to play him. I was a bit miffed when they announced that the first film would be One Shot, which is actually the ninth book and by no means the best. Still, I reasoned, they had to start somewhere and there’s enough of a debate as to whether or not you should read the books in order that it didn’t really matter.

So the question was who would play Reacher? I realise 6′ 5″ is a big ask, but you could at least go tall.

I always thought Christopher Meloni, Elliot Stabler in Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, would be quite good. He’s got height, at 6′ 0″ and a good jaw for it.  Similarly, Canadian Ryan Reynolds, at 6′ 2″, would make a passable Reacher.

So who did they choose?

Tom Cruise. All 5’ 7″ of him.

One Shot is out on 26th December in the UK. I will never think of Jack Reacher the same way.

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Life has its way of providing food for thought – sometimes more than it is reasonable to expect a person to digest. And much as a good walk can provide suitable repair after a heavy dinner, so a walk is often the best way to get one’s head around the various challenges that life throws up. Between national and local politics, happenings to friends, and other personal events, a long walk was long overdue.

I have a favoured route.

I walk along Nethermayne and past the hospital, turning into Dry Street. I head past the farm where I spent so much of my childhood, past my church and on to One Tree Hill Country Park. From there I walk through Northlands Woods, around Sutton Woods and in to Coombe Woods. Finally, I arrive back on to Dry Street, before ending up at Hillcroft for coffee.

On the way you can’t help but be moved by the beauty and serenity of the countryside. I think I have reflected previously that you could never imagine that you are just twenty-five miles from London. The sounds of traffic on the A13 is blocked out by trees and hills and fields. The sun was glorious this morning, and the sky blue. The rape fields were bright with their yellow crop. The bluebells are at their height, though they seem fewer in number than in previous years. A lack of sun, perhaps, or sustenance for the elusive muntjac deer that live in the woods?

Between Northlands and Sutton lie ancient administrative boundaries with interesting purposes and delineations. Thankfully, there are still a few people about the hills who know the stories of the past. Local social histories are fragile things and there seems less and less time for them in this increasingly busy and technologically-demanding world. With so much emphasis on the future, we often forget that there is a rich seam of learning to be had in investigating the history of the places about us.

Anyway, I thought I would share this morning’s walk in pictures.

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