Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Groundhog Day

I am a huge fan of the film Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray as the journalist with attitude Phil Connors and the apple of his eye Andie MacDowell. I'm sure many of you will have seen the comedy which centres around the repetition of one day in Phil Connors life, that particular day being Groundhog Day. He is in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to cover the event from the town's square, Gobblers Knob, but little does he know that he will be covering the event over and over and over again, repeating that same day for a very long time. If you haven't seen it then it is a must see.

In the film Phil Connors uses the fact he is repeating every day and that no one else can remember what happened in a previous repeat, to his advantage and tries to persuade Andie McDowell's character Rita, to be attracted to him. He goes to toe-curling lengths to try and win her over. At one point he quotes a French poem to her in a cafe, and it's English translation fits his feelings for her well and the nature of his dilemma:
The girl I will love
Is like a fine wine
That gets a little better
Every morning

There are many memorable quotes from the film. One of my favourites is when Phil comes down to breakfast on the morning of the second Groundhog Day and speaks to Mrs Lancaster, the B&B owner:
"Do you ever have déjà vu Mrs Lancaster?"
"I don't think so but I could check with the kitchen."

It just so happens that the groundhog in the film bears Bill Murray's characters first name, Phil, and indeed is the actual name of the real groundhog in Punxsutawney. Today, 2 February, is Groundhog Day. Legend has it that if it is cloudy when the groundhog emerges from it's burrow then it will leave the burrow signifying winter is about to end. If however it is sunny and it can see it's shadow then winter will continue for another 6 weeks.

Well, Punxsutawney Phil has made his prediction for 2011: At dawn this morning he emerged from his burrow and did not see his shadow, so he predicts winter will soon end and there will be an early spring.

In celebration, and a tip-of-the-hat to the movie, I went out today to do number of things I have done many times before:

My first exploit was out on my bicycle for a run into the city centre and back. My favourite route takes me along a disused railway track called the Innocent Railway, which I have written about before, and then around a large hill in the centre of the city called Arthur's Seat. On the way home I ventured into my local coffee shop, The Beach House, on the promenade, for a cappuccino and scone. As you will know from previous blogs I used to own a coffee shop myself and I am delighted that the Beach House emerged a couple of years back, now becoming my local haunt. Later in the afternoon I threw together some disparate ingredients into a pot with homemade stock and made a large batch of homemade soup for the freezer.

This evening, coming up with the last thing to do in recognition of poor Phil Connors repetitive life is easy: I'm going to settle down with a pizza to watch, you guessed it, Groundhog Day. I've seen it many times before but I'm guessing it's still going to make me laugh.

Then I'll probably say a prayer for World peace!

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