Nov 252011

Thanksgiving has passed as Thanksgiving usually does with football, films, or should I say movies, and turkey with all the trimmings slotted somewhere in between.

With an American wife born in Texas, the turkey takes on a Southern style with a peach glaze and an accompaniment of corn dressing, spicy green beans, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce made with fresh cranberries. The addition of a dash of port to the latter is an English modification.

The centrepiece of the desserts was homemade pumpkin turtle pie, topped with Cool Whip to gain Weightwatchers approval and a drizzle of caramel, pronounced “carmel” in America for some strange reason.

We watched most of the Green Bay Packers win, which saw off the challenge of the rejuvenated Detroit Lions. The turkey dinner was served before the game ended and finished in time for the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins. Not the best of games but it ended with the right result as far as our household was concerned, a 20-19 victory for the Cowboys.

The choice of film was provided by my stepdaughter – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. The film concluded the Harry Potter journey. Some of the films were seen at the cinema, of late the concluding episodes have been watched on Blue-Ray.

I have enjoyed the Harry Potter films. For a start, I like the idea of witches and wizards; goblins and pixies. I also enjoyed seeing favourite British actors of mine taking the leading roles in a British production, as well as the British locations. You can take the boy out of Britain but you cannot take Britain out of the boy. The use of “boy” is of course poetic license.

But mostly, it is English being spoken with English/British accents that endears the film to me. I have a thing about voices. For some unknown reason they stick in my memory. When I lived in the UK, my ability to recognize the actors doing voiceovers in British television adverts was uncanny. If I was unable to give the actor’s name, I could always give the TV drama or comedy they regularly appeared in.

The Harry Potter films have featured one of my favourite English voices, namely the one belonging to Alan Rickman. His diction and cadence is such that his voice immediately commands respect; the mellow tone exudes authority. His voice is the epitome of an Englishman, ranking alongside the voices of Jack Hawkins and James Mason in that respect.

I would love to have a voice similar to any one of those three actors. Unfortunately, my voice has the register of Tony Hancock and the accent of Les Dawson. The fact that they were both comedians probably signifies an awful lot. My voice does not play easy on the ear and I wince every time I hear a recorded version of it. I feel sorry for those who have to listen to me. It may account for why very few people do.

I wonder if other people have favourite voices. Feel free to comment,

I will close with a shot taken on South College Street, Charlotte, North Carolina.

Canon 40D and Zeiss Planar T* ZE 1,4/50. ©Calvin Palmer 2011. All Rights Reserved.

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