At the weekend I went round to a friend's house Saturday evening for a meal, and we then watched the DVD of Little Miss Sunshine together. A film that starts with a brother-in-law coming to live with his sister's family since he's just tried to commit suicide doesn't sound particularly entertaining, but it turns out to be very amusing. The family he moves in with is so wildly dysfunctional that you can't help feeling sorry for the poor bloke and wondering if he might not have been better off in the hospital. Due to the youngest, Olive, winning a place in a child beauty pageant they end up all crowded into a Volkswagen Bus travelling across America, which provides one of the running gags of the film - literally 'running' since it needs a push to get going. As the film progresses it becomes apparent that the family might be more functional than it appears, particularly when placed against the surrealism of the pageant. Abigail Breslin as the 7 year old Olive is very good as a believable child not some mini adult. In fact, although all the characters are larger than life they are still recognisable as people which makes for some very moving moments throughout the film.
I stayed overnight at my friend's then went to the local Quaker meeting. They are a small meeting who are a bit short-handed in the summer, so asked for anyone who was in the area to drop in over August. I'm glad I turned up since there was only one other person, so there were just two of us 'keeping the meeting'. Perhaps not surprisingly, neither of us felt the urge to speak, yet it was an effective meeting for me. I was able to become centred quite easily, and was particularly aware of how the meeting for worship is different from a personal meditation or contemplation, even when there is only one other person present.