Goodbye Christopher Robin (2017)
A film about ambition, relationships and celebrity between a handful of people. The idea for the Winnie the Pooh books began innocently enough when the father (a WW1 veteran suffering from PTSD) and his son were forced to spend days together by circumstance. The cruelly self indulgent mother abandoned them both for London Society high life and the nanny was called away to tend her dying mother. It was an idyllic time for them both, never again repeated. Once the books were published they found immediate fame which spread around the world making the child an instant celebrity. Christopher Robin hated it. Matters became worse when he was sent away to school as the boys bullied and harassed him and even in army training this continued. Ironically A. A. Milne sincerely wished to bring joy to the war torn community but in doing so he condemned his son to a lifelong haunting misery. There were three short films before the interval. the first was from Countryfile on the importance of beautiful Ashdown Forest and its flora and fauna. The second dealt with shell shock, as it was known then, in WW1, and showed harrowing scenes of treatment. Then we were back to war with present day soldiers and their treatment for PTSD. Another difficult one to watch. We were fortunate at the discussion group to have present one of our regular attendees, an historian who had worked as an archivist for Punch. Punch hold much correspondence concerning A. A. Milne, and she had read it in assisting with a Milne biography. Disappointingly for her, the film did not match her research on many points. The discussion then moved to whether we should judge the film on its truthful historic allegiance, or on its own merit as just telling a story. We reached no definite agreement. Some people were not as moved by the film as others, saying it was contrived, trivial and lacked continuity whereas others found it beautiful and joyful. Sonia
Honey Cake Contains: eggs, gluten (wheat), milk The film was shown a few days before Winnie the Pooh Day on 18 January, the date of AA Milne’s birthday. The cake on offer was made by Rachel Bain who thought Winnie the Pooh would probably approve of a cake made with honey. The recipe is adapted from a BBC Good Food recipe for Devonshire honey cake. The original recipe uses muscovado sugar rather than molasses sugar. If you have a jar of clear, runny honey that has crystallised then this cake is a good use for it. Ingredients 250g clear honey, plus at least 2 tbsp extra to glaze 225g unsalted butter, cubed100g molasses sugar 3 large eggs, beaten 300g self-raising flour Method 1. Preheat the oven to 320°F / 160°C / 140°C fan. 2. Butter and line a 20cm round loose-bottomed cake tin. 3. Melt the butter, honey and molasses sugar in a pan over a low heat. 4. When the mixture looks quite liquid, increase the heat and boil for about one minute. 5. Leave to cool for at least 20 minutes, to prevent the eggs cooking when they are mixed in. 6. When cool, beat the eggs into the melted honey mixture using a wooden spoon. 7. Sift the flour into a large bowl and pour in the egg and honey mixture. 8. Beat the mixture until it is a smooth, quite runny batter. 9. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 50-60 minutes, until the cake is well-risen, golden brown and springs back when pressed; a skewer pushed into the centre of the cake should come out clean. 10. Turn the cake out on a cooling rack. 11. Warm at least 2 tbsp honey in a small pan and brush over the top of the cake to give a sticky glaze, then leave to cool.