Marlowe in Motion

Marlowe in Motion – Marlowe en Mouvement  (FR sous-titres)

Vlad and Marlowe walk out into the countryside around the sleepy medieval town of Cormery. Because he always seems to need a “topic”, Vlad talks about “Marlowe in Motion”, the locomotion of the canine species. This leads him onto the subject of Edweard Muybridge, the Victorian photographer who used early stop-motion animation to observe how animals and humans move. Muybridge proved through photography that horses and dogs “fly” momentarily – when running fast, all four feet periodically leave the ground – something no-one could be certain of before. But curiously, as Vlad explains, photography also seems to have proved Muybridge dramatically wrong on another point that was much closer to home. Their constituitional ends in Cormery with views of this attractive, ancient town. Throughout, Marlowe remains blithely oblivious of his master’s intellectual digressions and, nose to the ground, nonchalantly continues his own olfactory digressions unimpeded…

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Marlowe’s Tongue

Marlowe’s Tongue – La Langue de Marlowe  (FR sous-titres)

A rainy Easter Sunday. Vlad and Marlowe go for a walk near Dolus-le-Sec in southern Touraine. Following posts about Marlowe’s nose and Marlowe’s ears, Vlad now turns his attention to Marlowe’s tongue and mysterious matters such as dog licking, grooming and panting. In the course of the walk, they hear the first cuckoo of spring – which, by an uncanny coincidence, is the very title of the accompanying music by Frederick Delius. Thus life imitates art…

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Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace – Ne Laisser Aucune Trace  (FR sous-titres)

Vlad and Marlowe walk out from the village of Cussay. This video has something for everyone – including quotations from Keith Richards and D. H. Lawrence and a fascinating itemised list of the trash Vlad chances upon along the way – a brand new feature on Vlad’s Vlog! While all around, the peeps of famished birds and whiffs of death-dealing glyphosates are most indubitably in the air… Ah, the ravishments of early spring! In the words of Stanley Unwin, “Oh follock! Deep joy!”

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Marlowe’s Ears

Marlowe’s Ears – Les Oreilles de Marlowe  (FR sous-titres)

The last Vlad’s Vlog video was about Marlowe’s nose – his sense of smell – and this one is about his sense of hearing, which is no less acute. The starting-point for our walk is near Dolus le Sec in Southern Touraine. A new feature of Vlad’s Vlog videos is that a map of the route is included at the end. Once again in this video, we realise how far superior our dogs are to us in sensory terms. One wonders why they even want to be with us humdrum limited beings! Are we just human can-openers? But no! The dog-human relationship is as old as the hills and one of the great symbiotic stories of all time. The fact is, we love each other. But when Marlowe and I hear about how badly dogs are treated in China or elsewhere, even right here on our doorstep – and we know of a terrible example – we get angry, our shackles rise and our hearts break. How long will it take man to realise that he shares this planet with sentient beings who are every bit as intelligent, if not more so, than he is, and that co-habitation rather than rivalry is the answer to it all?

For us dog-lovers, the words of Léo Ferré resound – “Je suis un chien”! Je suis un chien… Science and empathy and imagination help us see into the lives of those beings who surround us and learn about the extraordinary ways in which they perceive the world, which are sometimes so different from ours. Whatever we think of them, we will never know what they truly think of us.

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Marlowe’s Nose

Marlowe’s Nose – Le Nez de Marlowe  (FR sous-titres)

You’ve seen Claire’s Knee, My Left Foot, The Eyes of Laura Mars and Goldfinger… Now, coming to a screen near you – Marlowe’s Nose! This video is quite simply a hymn of praise to Marlowe’s splendid proboscis, aka his nose.

Vlad gives the lowdown on just how superior Marlowe’s adorable snout is to his own and tries to peer into the olfactory wonderland that Marlowe inhabits – a parallel universe of perfumes and pongs alongside our deodorised human sphere. Discover what his nose knows that our noses don’t know and will doubtless never know!

Vlad’s physiological research is definitely on the nose. Never again will you look down your nose at a dog. Without seeking to get up your nose, rub your nose in it or put your nose out of joint, Vlad proves once and for all that we can’t see beyond the ends of our noses. It’s definitely the dogs that come out smelling of roses!

Don’t miss the unique patented Vlad’s Vlog fusion of science and grace, helped along by sublime compositions from the soaring imagination of Russian creative genius Alfred Schnittke, and the ubiquitous presence of Marlowe – Monarch of Mutts, Pooch Padrone, His All-Sniffing Charismatic Doggyness – Vlad’s faithful friend and exemplary scion of our doggy-dog society.

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Meals and Wheels – La Claise and Claudette

Meals and Wheels – La Claise and Claudette  (FR sous-titres)

Following a test of mental arithmetic for you – the viewer – Vlad and the Memsahib head for Preuilly-sur-Claise and the La Claise restaurant, run by a Michelin-star chef, the former right-hand man of Alain Ducasse who gives surprisingly good value for money. In Preuilly, they visit Susan and Simon Walter, an Australian couple who run a blog about the region, another blog about the wildlife of Touraine and a great company that helps overseas visitors discover the region in the retro comfort of “Claudette”, a vintage Citroën front-wheel drive car from 1953. After tea and a chat, Simon and Susan kindly take them for a “time travel” spin in the old lady! Sadly, Marlowe had to stay at home to chew the cud and hold the fort, but such is a dog’s life..

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The Last Cowboy

The Last Cowboy – Le Dernier Cowboy (FR sous-titres)

A Sunday in March and Vlad’s friend from Cannes, Mark Porter, is staying over on his way home from Scotland. Mark is a writer and journalist who shares at least two enthusiasms with Vlad: cycling and fine food! They and the Memsahib go to the first vide grenier (jumble sale) of the season and potter around – without Marlowe, who gets over-excited at such events. And there they meet Vlad’s friends Jonathan and Emma, but also”The Last Cowboy” – a Frenchman with a passion for Westerns, dressing up as a cowboy and going on cowboy camps! He created a real-life cowboy saloon and a ranch with three horses in his local village, but under pressure from his family he now goes from jumble sale to jumble sale, selling off his precious cowboy trappings and paraphernalia. When we met him, he was very keen to share his story. Once Upon a Time in Touraine…

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The Charity Ball

The Charity Ball – Le Bal de Bienfaisance (FR sous-titres)

A local village held a Charity Ball to raise money for a villager with health problems. Vlad went along (without Marlowe) and filmed the dinner-dance, with 160 people present. It was a Bal Musette and, though the music was excellent, he couldn’t resist using a different soundtrack for the purposes of the video rather than a fragmentary pot-pourri of accordion classics. Ars longa vita brevis…

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Tree Worship

Tree Worship – Le Culte de l’Arbre  (FR sous-titres)

Vlad takes Marlowe for a walk in a local forest and recalls that D. H. Lawrence touched on the subject of tree worship in one of his two books on psychoanalysis, Fantasia of the Unconscious (1922). As they meander, he recites an extract from this powerful meditation on the silent beings who tower over us. In the centre of the forest, they come to an ancient tree that seems to be the focus of a contemporary Druidic ritual.

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A Shortcut in Time

A Shortcut in Time – Un Raccourci Dans le Temps (FR sous-titres)

In Azay-sur-Indre, after presenting the village, Vlad finds a ticket in the road marked “Shortcut in Time”. In a jiffy, the ticket transports him and Marlowe into a parallel world, a space-time continuum that resembles our own, though slightly richer in colour and with certain oddities, such as curious things inexplicably hanging from trees. Luckily the “Shortcut in Time” ticket is a day return, so they are deposited back in our own humdrum sphere at the end of their quantum-world escapade – safe and sound, if a little bewildered!

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© 2019 Adrian Mathews