Out-of-town shopping centres? (malls to our North American cousins) - I am not fond of them. There's a huge one on the outskirts of Sheffield. It is called Meadowhall. On the few occasions I have been there, I have had the strong sense that there are weird people in this world whose Meadowhall visits are of core importance to their sense of being. They have embraced the leisure shopping cult like Mormon converts - grazing at the food court, ambling along those marble corridors to purchase designer label clothing before driving home for pizza and ready meals.
Today we were there for two reasons. One - so that Shirley could buy some new winter boots and Two - to visit the cinema to watch "Sunshine on Leith".
This engaging film has grown out of a moderately successful British musical that cleverly incorporated a handful of songs by Craig and Charlie Reid - The Proclaimers. It is a feelgood movie that weaves together three love stories and occasionally bursts into song. It is set in Edinburgh and Leith which is the Scottish capital's less well-known working class port area.
Hope and resolution are found in the final scene when the entire cast and hundreds of extras bring the gardens off Prince's Street alive with a rousing rendition of "I'm Gonna Be" (Five Hundred Miles).
Soppy sod that I am - there were several moments during today's cinema visit when tears welled up in my eyes - and not just over the outrageous popcorn prices! "Sunshine on Leith" isn't about the gritty reality of the struggle to survive on the wrong side of the Scottish tracks but it is a stirring musical film that has a lightness about it which oddly reminded me of "Slumdog Millionaire" - positive and ultimately happy. Surely that can't be bad.