Saturday, December 29, 2007
It is quiet here in HP's house. Fe lives here all the time, but everyone else is home with their families, or otherwise elsewhere. HP herself is on the Isle of Wight. I do like the quiet dip between Christmas and New Year's Eve, it feels like a time when you can do anything and not feel like you should be working or tidying or otherwise being useful. Except that I do think I should do some essay-type work. But not right now, I'm far too sleepy. Radio 3 and the paper for me.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
We saw part of the cycle of history plays the RSC are doing at the moment: Richard II on Wednesday, and the two parts of Henry IV yesterday. It was amazing, seeing them in order, within a few hours of each other and seeing the big story and the smaller stories unfold in front of our eyes. I'd have loved to do as some others are doing and stay tonight for Henry V. Having seen the same actor (Geoffrey Streatfeild, brilliant) playing Hal and developing across yesterday's plays, it would be amazing to then see him play Henry today. We had a Q&A session with him this morning, really interesting to get an inside perspective on the role of Hal/Henry. But I had to come back and I'm probably a little too tired to appreciate another play tonight. A bunch of us are plotting to go and see it when the Histories come to London next year.
I'll try a more considered post when I'm more awake, but right now I'm just in awe of the plays and the performances and the feeling of being caught up in the sweep of history.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Off to Stratford tomorrow, er, today, so there might be a post about all the fun I've had and the plays I've seen sometime between now and Christmas. Not that I'm promising or anything.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
Term ends today, well sort of. I had my last seminar of this calendar year yesterday, the next one's not until almost the end of January. Before then, quite a long while before then, I need to have written and handed in two 5000 word essays. It's been a while since I've written anything that long. Essay one might be fun, essay two I'm less sure about. Neither has been started yet, both will involve a lot more reading and thinking and note-making before the writing can begin. I forsee some last minute late night writing in early January. I'll try to minimise it, but there's only so much writing you can do over Christmas whilst visting family and friends.
Today I made some chocolate and ginger truffles (for Sunday morning's Christmas service. I allowed myself to eat one, but no more), bought things to wear for singing in the choir for Sunday evening's carol service, did some paid work, cooked and ate sort-of-Thai curry, finished the book I was reading and finished the cardigan I've been knitting for yonks.
Time for bed, I think.
Friday, December 07, 2007
Eek. Lack of money is one of those things that really scares me. I'm not sure why exactly. Right, lesson learnt. I shall try to watch the pennies even more carefully from now on. At least I'm earning now.
Monday, December 03, 2007
Go and listen on the Nightwaves page, it'll be there for the next week. The bit about the Bible is about 30 minutes in, after the bit about the film abut Mark Chapman.
Friday, November 30, 2007
I'm off to somewhere in Northamptonshire with lots of lovely people from church for our students and 20s weekend away. I'm looking forward to it.
Life's rather busy at the moment. 2 weeks of term are left, I've got to do some serious essay thinking, which is what I ought to be doing this weekend, if I wasn't going away.
What are YOU doing this weekend?
Friday, November 23, 2007
It's an intriguing book, made up of 6 nested narratives. I'm only 3 in, and beginning to see connections, but I'm sure there's more to come.
I was amused by a reference to someone "breastfeeding a hangover". Now I'm fairly sure that's some lazy editor deciding to do and find and replace with a US English to British English lexicon (i.e. nursing = breastfeeding). But there's an important plot point in the same section that turns on the boot of a VW Beetle not locking properly (mine never did) and it's definitely referred to as "the hood" or "the trunk". Hmm. It's the sort of tricksy novel in which you're never quite sure whether mistakes are deliberate or not. Or perhaps I'm too suspicious minded?
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
I am less tired than I was, though still a bit sleepy. It's been a sunny day, though I spent most of it inside alternating between reading Edward II and seaming a cardigan. Off to watch Derek Jarman's version soon, in preparation for tomorrow's seminar. Should give us lots to talk about.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
It's autumn. It's cold and grey and the leaves are all falling off the trees. I like autumn when it's sunny, but on grey days like this, I'd rather curl up and sleep.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I fell off my bike. :-(. Entirely my own fault. I was going too fast, had to detour round a pedestrian and skidded on some wet leaves. My knee was the first thing that hit the ground. I scraped a hole in my jeans, scuffed my new shoes and my leather gloves (although they did save my hands from scrapes, so that's good.) The bike needs a new front brake cable and the front mud guard wires are even more bent out of shape than they were. A nurse at the uni medical centre cleaned up my knee, which now has an impressive plaster (and a dressing with silver in. I thought that was rather cool) and Mike's Bikes are fixing the bike. I planned to have a productive morning in the library reading The Duchess of Malfi and preparing for my presentation on Thursday, but after sorting myself and the bike out, opted for sitting down with a coffee and the internet until I feel better. The knee seems to be bleeding still, I hope it stops soon.
Can I have an aah?
Monday, November 12, 2007
Plan - seminar, then probably Ceroc, then collapsing into bed.
Maybe tomorrow will be more organised.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
I don't like packing, but I do like unpacking and rearranging in new places, so there's that to look forward to this weekend. There's rather less bookshelf space in my new room, but more drawers and cupboards. Should be fun working out where everything's going to go.
Monday, November 05, 2007
You may have gathered this by now, but Debs is off to Texas very soon (on the 15th) to stay with Blest and help look after her tribe of boys. Flights have been booked, insurance is being sorted, lists are being made. It's all very exciting.
Debs is going to be away over Christmas, which will very weird for us and I'm guessing for her too. She'll be gone until February next year. Hopefully she'll have a wonderful time, won't miss us too too much and will keep us all informed with blogging and emails and the occasional phonecall.
Go my Debbie sister! I'm very proud of you for being brave enough to go miles and miles away (on a plane! First time on a plane and it's a long haul flight and changing planes and everything) to stay with people you've never met in, in a HUGE and unfamiliar place and not freaking out too much. Big big hugs.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Inevitably there are compressions of time. The book Tristran takes a year to wander Faerie and get back for the fair, where the film's Tristan has a week in which to bring back Victoria's birthday present. Characters and events are lost and the story becomes simplified to its essential details. We'll leave aside the silly camp pirates and the unnecessary Ricky Gervais cameo (the pirates were OK. There's a wonderful sword fight set to Offenbach's Can Can which is deliciously silly. Ricky Gervais I just don't like.)
One thing I did find interesting was that the film managed to be both less menacing and less innocent than the book. In Gaiman's Faerie, no-one is safe. People die, sometimes bloodily and it's a shock when they do. This creates a real tension and fear for the central characters. The usual fairytale guarantees that the good will end happily and the bad unhappily seem to be in doubt all the way through. The film puts back those conventions and there's no shock or real fear that the wrong person might die. Yet, there's a sort of innocence about the central pair of characters in the book that gets completely lost in the film. From the off, they're confidently exchanging insults and arguing and there's none of Tristran's tender standoffishness that I liked in the book. Inevitably, when they realise their love for one another, they fall into bed in a way which just wouldn't occur to their page-bound counterparts. Not that Gaiman's book is coy about sex, quite the opposite, but most of the earthier bits get cut out completely, which means in one case the death of one of the would-be Lords of Stormhold happens via a sub-Princess Bride scene of poisoned and switched goblets, rather than to the accompaniment of a barmaid's willing seduction.
The film's denouement is of course dramatic and full of explosions and swords and broken glass. The book's clever, but less dramatic end just wouldn't work for Hollywood, which is fair enough. And the good end happily and the bad, unhappily and all is well forever after, as you would expect. Still, on the whole, I think I prefer books to films of books, however good the latter are. There's always the shadow of 'The Book' hanging over a film of a book, which just isn't there with an original film. Unless the book is dreadful, in which case the film can only improve on it. Can you think of any examples where that is the case?
Saturday, October 27, 2007
I went shopping for jeans and failed to find any I liked. I did, however, find a hooded sweatshirt that was miraculously long enough in the arms and body and, though it has a kangaroo pocket, it's placed low enough that it doesn't look silly (sometimes they're placed so high they start just under the bust on me, most unflattering). And I bought new pyjamas, which are blessedly easy to get to fit, since they're fairly baggy and I don't care too much if the arms and legs are the right length.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
I'll have a think. Does anyone have any comments? Why do you read pigwotflies? Is it because you've met me and/or are related to me and want to see what I'm up to? Because you find it amusing/intriguing/are dazzled by my insightful writing (I think not somehow)? Adrian got me blogging because he thought I'd like the intellectual discussion side of things. I've stayed out of the theological discussions he gets into, mostly because I don't think I've got much to add. But there are things I like talking about, books, art, science, philosophy. The discipline of turning a random thought into a short, coherent blog post might be useful.
Perhaps it's time to raise the bar of what makes the blog, rather than waffling on. And then, paradoxically, I might write more. Or I might intimidate myself and write less. Either way, I'd like to blog to some purpose, I think.
I like Sunday afternoons, anything feels possible. I've been for a walk along the river, admiring the autumn colours and the sunset. Now I'm listening to the Archers and soon I shall make some food and settle down to knit or watch Henry VIII or read something.
A new week is starting.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
I did finish reading Pericles. It's a bit like The Winter's Tale with added shipwrecks and no bears. I think I read it a little too fast to appreciate it properly. I'd like to see it performed. The structure's interesting - narration from Gower and dumbshows to show us what's going on. Most of the really dramatic action seems to take place in the dumbshows, except for the storm at sea in which Marina is born.
The main point of looking at Pericles for the seminar was the choices made in editing and we had a go at editing a bit of the beginning of 2.1, which was trickier than I thought, if you're going to worry about the placement of every jot and tittle as well as try to guess whether the apparent mistakes are due to misreadings, mishearings, uncertain spelling, archaic words or something else. I think my attitude would probably be to change as little as possible and work out the details in performance, repunctuating or substituting words as necessary to make sense of it. The way different editors differ over the placement of commas or the interpretation of ellisions sometimes seems a little far away from the text's first incarnation as a performance. But then, punctuation can make a huge difference to meaning, so it's not unimportant.
Yes, I did read all of Titus Andronicus, not just the fly-killing scene. It's a pretty gory piece of work. Again, I feel I need to see a production or two to appreciate it properly. I can't help wondering how things like "Enter the Empress' sons with LAVINIA, her hands cut off and her tongue cut out, and ravished" would be staged. The fly-killing scene (3.2) is a later addition to the play. I saw it as a private family scene, in contrast to the more public scenes that surround it. For some reason it my head it's like a scene from a film, very claustrophic and dark, with the Andronici gathered together, eating, because they need sustenance, comforting each other and gathering strength for their revenge. The camera plans along the table and flicks from face to face as they react to Titus's pouring out of his heart and attempted comfortings of Lavinia. The killing of the fly is like a summary of the entire play - "How if that fly had a father and a mother?" - that's the problem with killing people: their families generally want revenge and in this play that pits a father, Titus, and a mother, Tamora, against one another for revenge for their respective offspring. But of course "it was a black ill-favoured fly/ Like to the empress's Moor" so it had to die. There's the personal element of revenge and the tricky character of Aaron the Moor (also a father, in his own violent way). It's all wrapped up in those few lines. Hmm, perhaps I have more to say about Titus Andronicus than I thought?
And Cymbeline. I love Cymbeline! I really must read it. (And Jon, you MUST let me read your thesis). Yes, there were some bits that cut in the last production we saw that were included this time, notably the doctor with his suddenly remembered details, the comic jailers, Posthumous' family and Jupiter appearing from the heavens (actually appearing swathed in a giant silk parachute, rising out of the box which was the main consituent of the set. People found their costumes in it, props were taken out of and put into it, Iachimo hid in it, obviously. Actually I think it disappeared for a bit in Wales, which missed a few tricks, it could have been the cave, or the grave, or a boat, or cover for the battling armies.) Some other bits got missed out. Imogen's speech to the headless body of her (supposed) husband was even more truncated. It was a fun production, played for (even more) laughs than the Barbican production, with a wonderfully devious and scheming Queen. Although she did seem to go off her head rather too rapidly. Cloten began almost every one of his scenes by hurling his doublet to the ground and lived up to his name (definitely Clot-en).
On to this week. I'm currently supposed to be reading Dr Faustus, Mankind, extracts from Mediaeval morality plays and some scenes from Henry VI 3, King John and Macbeth. And it's pouring with rain and nothing could be nicer than curling up with some books and Radio 3.
ETA: I think part of the problem with the film of As You Like It were all the bits that got cut in the final scene, particularly Hymen (fair enough, no-one knows who Hymen is today anyway and what would she be doing in 19th Centuary Japan?), with some lines reassigned to Rosalind. Unfortunately they cut most of the 'If I were...would you then.." lines that explain how each character then reacts to the revelation of Ganymede's identity as Rosaline, so to have everyone suddenly understanding when she appeared dressed as herself again made very little sense. I don't think As You Like It makes that much sense to start with, but it's a comedy and believing in the character's rather unlikely deceptions is part of the fun.
Monday, October 08, 2007
Sorry to be cryptic, I just don't want to tell the world everything.
Friday, October 05, 2007
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
I am happy! :-)
* It was OK, the lead actors are good, particularly Bryce Dallas Howard as Rosalind, but somehow it doesn't sparkle as it should and it doesn't quite make sense to me, at a psychological level, particularly at the end when all the couples are matched up. I'm not sure whether that's the play's fault or the way the film chops it around. I'll have to read it again.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Big silly grin.
So far today, I've also broken a glass and sent shards of glass all over the kitchen, re-wired the vacuum cleaner plug so that I could clean it up, washed everything on the kitchen worktop that got covered in little bits of glass, checked my emails, sent party invites on Facebook, registered for a conference and written a blog post to tell the whole world what I've done.
So not a lot of reading then.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Except that the music is wonderful in the way it draws together atmosphere and sound and the feelings of the moment and the sound of the typewriter, drumming away at the beginning and returning again and again and the sound of repeated notes in the piano and the buzzing of a fly creating the oppressive heat of a summer afternoon.
I think it's got into my prose style a little. All that brittle wartime dialogue in cut glass accents.
I came the long and scenic way home, feeling the need for sunshine and air and the wind in my face. It had rained while I was in the cinema and the sky was fresh and full of crepuscular clouds. Dashing along the river, I saw a black swan. I stopped, it cried, just once, and swam on. I remembered how as a child I thought all swans were black because the ones in the park were and how excited I would be to see white swans. Today, to see a black swan was somehow thrilling and alive-making. On home, as fast I could across the common, past the cows and the evening sun dazzling straight in my face.
Now home, where it's warmer, a little and the pears next door are hanging heavy. Are they ripe yet?
Saturday, September 22, 2007
The collapsed building is a means for introducing to Ariel's department office a evolutionary biologist and a theologian. Here things start to clunk a little. An impromptu dinner party is the scene for a discussion of origins and truth. The themes are relevant, but I don't think they're handled very well. If you want to write a novel which explores theoretical physics, philosophy and multiple dimensions, then you're going to need to explain them somehow, but how exactly is tricky. Giving differing philosophical positions to different characters is usually how it works (David Lodge does it rather well) but somehow it didn't quite work for me. The theologian character, Adam, becomes more important by the end of the novel, but the biologist seems to be there only to be to impart some information about science and then fades into the background.
It's a highly fantastical novel and by the end we've left reality far behind. I did like the unravelling of Ariel as a character. At the beginning, I wasn't sure I liked her. By the end, she had become rounded out and understandable, as facts and snippets of her past life were revealed. It's an odd mixture of quantum theory, Baudrillard, time travel, Heidegger and a whole string of literary theorists and philosophers, predictable in some aspects (start with quantum indeterminacy and a world constructed from langauge and see where you end up) but ends up in some unexpected places. The effect is a little confused, as if too many ideas got thrown into the the mix. It reminded me of PopCo by the same author and of Pattern Recognition by William Gibson.
I'm vaguely thinking about dissertation ideas at the moment and thinking about doing something about how scientific ideas get used in literature. I'm not sure if this novel is typical of the sort of thing I want to investigate. More data needed, I think.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
And now I'm a student. Not just that, but I'm an ARTS student for the first time in my life. All those jokes we used to make about lazy arts students with two lectures a week who never got out of bed before noon are now coming back to haunt me. I'm definitely the only person on my course with a Physics degree. Everyone else has come from English or History or other Humanities subjects. And so far there are no men. Some are apparently enrolled on the course, but none of them turned up tonight. It's a long way from those lecture hall and demonstration labs where my lab partner and I were distinctly outnumbered by male physicists.* It's all different. But different is exciting and I'm very very excited and happy to be finally starting!
*Who don't all conform to the geeky stereotype. But many do.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
In a sense it's not as I've got 2 days left at work, one tomorrow and my last day on Thursday. But the weekend conference I've been preparing for all week is over and I get to go home and relax (i.e. collapse in a heap, have a bath and curl up on the settee with a good film, not got the brain power for reading).
And very very soon I will be a full time student and not be trying to concentrate on a full time job and studying all at once. Hooray!
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
On the good side, I went into town for lunch and wandered round the market. The stalls were full of wonderful fruit and veg, so many beautiful fresh things to eat, including fresh figs. I've eaten figs once before, but I'd never cooked them myself, so I decided to buy a few. I'd never realised how beautiful and delicate they are. A little googling found me some recipes. I tried a couple out.
For my main course I roasted a fig in the oven with some goat cheese, rosemary from the bush outside our back door and a few walnuts. Heavenly! I've never tasted anything quite like it. The cheese and herb flavours complemented the taste and fleshy, succulent texture beautifully.
Then for dessert, I poached a fig in some red wine, with cinnamon. I ate it with a dollop of greek yoghurt. It wasn't quite as luxuriously melting as the roasted fig, but still beautiful.
There's one fig left in my fridge. They're so delicate it won't keep for long. I might try roasting it with nuts and honey, or maybe goat cheese again.
Mmmm, I think I have a new favourite food.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
It's been an undramatic weekend. We didn't go and buy bookcases, there were no nasty suprises, I didn't catch up on sleep (indeed got even less sleep than usual due to someone playing songs about threshing machines and oompah bands at 2.30am).
It's not that life is dull, just that I've nothing very entertaining to say about it. Maybe in a few weeks time I will. Maybe I won't. Who can say.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
ETA: It's back again now. Hooray! And no, there were no emails of any great pith or moment.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Still, I like autumn. Brisk cold sunny days, wearing skirts and boots and jumpers. I'm in need of jumpers, I've slimmed out of last year's. Two weeks or so left at work, one essay left to write for my OU course, a stack of books to read for my MA course. Back to being a full-time student again, back to being penniless again.
It's going to be a busy month, this September.
Friday, August 31, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
Monday, August 06, 2007
On Saturday, I'm going on holiday to Cornwall avec Debs, HP and our parents. Until then, I will be trying to do useful things at work, frantically knitting, preparing notes to write an essay on things I haven't yet read, oh and Ceroc dancing (tonight, anyway).
What are you doing this fine August week?
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Monday, July 09, 2007
To Oxford for the wedding of Chris and Caroline, now Dr and Dr C.R.
It was a lovely day and beautifully sunny for a change. It was good to catch up with old friends and spend time in Oxford.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Here is a pretty flower, snapped while walking back to the car after Dave and Vicky's wedding.
We have a passion flower plant in our garden. Sadly, it's not producing any flowers. Someone cut it back a little too severely and it's struggling to get its head above the rosemary bush.
Since my man* and I ain't together
Keeps on raining all the time
Yesterday there were fantastic thunderstorms and hailstorms. And it's July. What's that about?
I have come to the conclusion that Debs is a far better blogger than I am. She posts things more often, has something to say and she's actually funny. Whereas I moan too much, post too infrequently and rarely have anything of note to say. Something must be done.
My head is full of thoughts and realisations, all of them half formed and in need of more time to digest. Some of them might become blog posts. Some of them won't.
Last weekend I went to a wedding, this weekend I'm going to a wedding. Life is good, I like weddings.
I have an essay due in 16 days and no weekends left in which to write it. Life is busy. I like busy, but it's tiring.
I've run out of enthusiasm at work, probably because I'm getting closer to leaving. There are plenty of things that need doing, but not much oomph to do them. Life plods on.
*There is no man to be not together with, but apart from that it's a highly appropriate song.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Hmm, I've got a 4000 word essay to write by Friday. I think a couple more late nights might be in order.
*Yes, it's May week, in June. It's a Cambridge thing.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
Once again, I failed to stay asleep past 8am. I think I've discovered why - the number of alarm clocks that go off between 8 and half past. Alarm clocks wake me up very easily and I generally switch mine off within a few rings. It seems my neighbours don't. I'm not sure what the solution is. Going to bed earlier, probably.
Essay writing today, fun tomorrow. I'm off to a wedding. Hoorah!
Monday, June 11, 2007
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
They've got big leaves and they're dark green, fleshy and slightly fluffy like proper grown-up courgette plants.
I planted 4 seeds in each side. On the right hand side, they all came up, on the left, only one did. I suspect this was because I didn't shake the grow-bag thoroughly enough at the beginnning and the soil was more compacted at the left hand end. I suppose I should thin out the plants a bit. The question is when and by how much?
Monday, June 04, 2007
Sunday, went to Jubilee, heard Adrian preach on Missional Bible Study (good stuff, lots to think about about and more importantly, put into practice) and caught up with friends. We spent the afternoon doing and finishing the Guardian crossword from Saturday. It was good to be relaxing with my family, enjoying the sunshine and just being.
And now it's Monday again. It's not sunny. I have lots of non-work things to do (sort out my car, read, write an essay, possibly knit a shawl to wear to a wedding at the end of June, although the yarn's not arrived yet and I haven't bought a dress yet, sleep) and quite a lot of work things to do. Weekends never feel long enough.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
I'm growing courgettes (zucchini) in our back garden. I planted the seeds on 9th May. (Edit: Actually it was the 16th.) Saturday was the first day I noticed shoots. They've got a bit bigger since then.
Any tips for growing courgettes? They're getting plenty of water at the moment because it keeps on raining.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
I've been going flat out for the last 10 days or so. Worked all weekend at a course, was pretty tired before that, now it's time to stop. Day off tomorrow, going to London, going to see Kiss of the Spiderwoman in the evening, long weekend, planning to shop, maybe sew things, maybe just sleep.
Perhaps next week I'll blog things, like pictures, fun thoughts, a meme for Amrita.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
I had a wonderful time in Wales. This photo was taken on our way down from the top of Snowdon. I'd never been up it before and it was beautiful. It was a hard climb, with a scary ridge and some even scarier scrambling across scree, but worth it for the views from the top.
Now I'm back at work, still aching from all that hard walking and very tired. It feels like I've gone straight from a mountain top to a valley. From all the time in the world, at least as long as the light lasts, to clock-watching and alarm clocks and no time to do anything. I've got to keep plodding on until the path starts to climb again.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
You know you're bored when the most exciting moment of your day is discovering your new skirt has pockets.Pretty new skirt and blouse, both from H&M.
If we're on the subject of fashion and frivolity, I am underwhelmed by Kate Moss's collection for Topshop. I happened to be in town at lunchtime, so took a look at what all the fuss was about and, it's not really me, I suppose. Skinny jeans and waistcoats and a couple of interesting jackets.
Now, Lily Allen's collection for New Look, that's more my kind of thing.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Jonathan Glancey's article in today's Guardian reminded me. The William Morris Gallery, which is very near my parents' house in Walthamstow, is under threat of drastically cut funding, which would see its opening hours cut to weekend and bank holidays and a huge reduction in its education work. Glancey says of visiting school children "Most have experienced nothing like it; a world of beautifully crafted romance. The rest of Walthamstow is virtually bereft of such special moments." I might beg to differ a little on the last point, Walthamstow's not quite the artistic desert he describes, but the overall point that the gallery is an important resource for the borough and a unique place which many people should have the chance to experience is one I whole-heartedly agree with.
If you agree too, there's more information about how to get involved in the campaign, including a link to the online petition on the Keep our museums open site. Vestry House Museum (the location of the column above) is also at risk.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Radio 3 have been doing it all week and now Counterpoint on Radio 4 are doing it too. Although the contestant pronunced it "de FI-ya".
I'm having a lovely Saturday. Sunshine, warmth, music, poetry. At lunchtime I ate salad with perfectly ripe buttery avocado, tomatoes, peppers and tasty bacon and listened to cello suites on Radio 3 (Bach and Kodaly). Then I lazed in the garden reading poetry all afternoon. Bliss!
Friday, April 13, 2007
It's been beautifully sunny for the last couple of days, but today it's gone cold and misty again. I cycled the scenic route into town this morning, across Coldham's Common and along the river, parked the bike here and wandered around the town. It was too cold to stay out long, so I pootled back home for fresh coffee and my morning snack of humous and mange tout.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
I liked the title sequence. The lat ten minutes or so so made me smile, but mostly, I really don't get it. It just left me blank and sometimes a little sad. And wanting never to live in a small town in America.
Anyone want to explain it to me?
Oh and I've rearranged the blog. Let me know if anything looks odd.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Monday, March 26, 2007
Thursday, March 22, 2007
What is it that we love about witty pairs of lovers? Historically, Beatrice and Benedick have always been the favourite characters of Much Ado About Nothing. They're so much more interesting and human than the rather sappy Hero, who hardly says anything (I liked the production I saw once in which she was always trying to speak and being cut off by her father or uncle) and the idiotic Claudio. I think it's that we want to be witty, to have clever things to say and win the argument, but also that we want to have relationships that are alive and sparkling, where the other person provokes us, draws us out, makes us more alive.
They're a dangerous pair to emulate. It would be easy to look only at their verbal sparring and build relationships that are nothing but fine words. Perhaps more crucial than their friends' trickery in showing them their true feelings is the moment of testing provided by Claudio's rejection of Hero. In the chilling moment when Beatrice tells Benedick to "Kill Claudio", he must decide whether love for his friend or love for Beatrice is more important. Not that asking your boyfriend to kill his best friend is a good test for whether he loves you, but at the time where it matters, Benedick proves that there is more to their relationship than words and argument.
So why aren't we like Beatice and Benedick? Or Elizabeth and Darcy or any other pair of literary lovers? We aren't scripted by a genius for a start. We live in the real world, where arguments about silly petty things or big ones can hurt and wit can wound more than it means. Love is in the mundane and quotidian as much as in the sparkling and the heat. But it's also in the fizz as much as in the everyday. Either without the other would be incomplete.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
I worked out that a) there wasn't enough time to apply for a PhD to start in September this year and b) I wasn't likely to get accepted on one with half a degree in Literature and not much research experience and only vague ideas of what I wanted to research. So, my first step is an MA course. I've applied and been accepted on a course at Anglia Ruskin, starting in September. I've told my boss I'm leaving, though I haven't yet formally resigned.
The rate at which I've changed jobs in the last few years seems a little crazy. Since I started this blog I've had 2 new jobs, both of which I've decided I want to leave after not much time. (About 4 months in the first case, a year in the second). But for once, this next step has a possible step beyond it and even possible steps beyond that. It's taken me a long time to realise it, but I seem to be a natural academic. Being in Cambridge has helped me figure that out. Part of my dissatisfaction with this job is the feeling that I'm sick of supporting other people to do research and I want to do some of my own.
It's a little scary, thinking about being a student again, especially the financial side and the idea of studying abroad for my PhD needs a lot of thought, planning, prayer and hard work. But I'm excited about the prospect of doing something I love.
Friday, March 16, 2007
Thursday, March 15, 2007
I did have a lovely weekend in Exeter. It was so good to get away from Cambridge and leave behind all the things that were making me busy. Had lunch with parents, sisters, grandparents, uncle and sister's boyfriend which was fun, though poor old Debs wasn't feeling well. HP was very good in Princess Ida. Stayed with my friend the lovely Miss P, who is currently doing the very grown-up thing of buying a flat. We did lots of catching up and relaxing and watching Comic Relief Does Fame Academy.
And then it was Monday morning and back into real life again. Tuesday night was great fun, the Rev concert. We rocked and a good time was had by all.
Suddenly, it's nearly the end of the week. I'm busy again tonight, but Friday night, I've nothing planned and then it's the weekend. Hooray! Slightly blighted by having to work at an event on Saturday (which means I have to miss a friend's birthday party, perhaps I'll get to the end), but I'm taking Monday off, so all is well.
Friday, March 09, 2007
All I do is get through a morning at work and catch a train.
Have a lovely weekend.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
I must be patient.
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Friday, February 23, 2007
It's being intermittently warm and springlike today. I took advantage of a sunny spell at lunchtime to go and look for crocuses along the backs. Outside Trinity's back gate, I found a carpet of lilac shimmering beneath the trees.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
I'll see if I can get a picture to show you.
Updated: Here's a picture. Looks a little Victorian with my hair up.
Friday, February 16, 2007
That's how I feel at the moment. Yesterday was the first evening this week where I was in and had no-one coming round. Not that those things aren't good, but it has been a busy week. I enjoyed myself, made experimental pudding (pearl barley, milk and nuts, rice pudding with barley instead of rice, basically) did some reading and started making notes for an essay. But tonight I'm out again and the weekend holds lots of busyness and every spare moment needs to be taken up with essay-writing. I like writing, but I could do with a little more sleep.
This photo is from last summer and it's a reminder that sometimes you need to take a moment to sit and relax and talk to God. Shoes off = I'm not going anywhere right now and I'm listening.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Monday, February 12, 2007
Friday, February 09, 2007
Actually, maybe I should just plan one of those, myself. Anyone want to come? We could watch P&P on DVD (we've got the BBC version at our house). We could see if we can teach ourselves some Regency dances, and generally flit around in pretty dresses. But we'd need some gorgeous menfolk to dress up in breeches. I can't actually see any of the men of my acquaintance finding it much fun. Ah well.
So I shall either have to overdress for work one of these days, or suddenly acquire some friends with the kind of lifestyles that require black tie several times a month. Shouldn't be too hard in Cambridge, right?
And looking on the bright side, when I lose more weight and all my clothes no longer fit me, I get to buy and make more. And an excuse for more clothes is always a good thing. :-)
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Monday, February 05, 2007
Friday, February 02, 2007
WHAT: A Bloggers' (Silent) Poetry Reading
WHEN: Anytime February 2, 2007
WHERE: Your blog
WHY: To celebrate the Feast of Bridgid, aka Groundhog Day
HOW: Select a poem you like - by a favorite poet or one of your own - to post February 2nd.
RSVP: If you plan to publish, feel free to leave a comment and link on this post. Last year Reya put out the call and there was more poetry in cyberspace than she could keep track of. So, link to whomever you hear about this from and a mighty web of poetry will be spun.
by Robert Herrick
Here we are all by day ; by night we're hurl'd
By dreams, each one into a sev'ral world.
There's a poem on pigwotknits too.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Friday, January 26, 2007
Thursday, January 25, 2007
I've been in this job a year and I still don't feel like I can do it to anyone's satisfaction, least of all my own. I am uninspired.
I've been trying to think of exciting things to do for a holiday and deciding I am too scared to do any of them. I want to go somewhere exciting. But I hate travelling alone. I need people, a person to travel with. And a few more tons of confidence.
And I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Whenever that is.
Tell me nice things. Please. I'm hoping the main thing wrong with me is January and once it's gone away I'll feel better again. Hurry up Spring.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
It snowed in the night! I didn't notice until I got downstairs to the bathroom and thought, it looks very light out there, I wonder did it... And I opened the window and there it was, white stuff over everything. Magic!
It's my little sister's birthday today. Unfortunately she's down in the South West and didn't get snow. And she's got an exam today.
Happy Birthday HP! I hope it's good despite the exam. :-)
Monday, January 22, 2007
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Monday, January 15, 2007
I put this down to lots of things. A warm and friendly place to live, lots of really good friends, a job that, while being hard and sometimes frustrating, I'm excited about, being settled in one place for a good length of time and, I'd say, most importantly, God. I learnt a lot last year about how much God loves me. Not because I'm better than anyone else, or more important, or more holy, but because he does. And that's a pretty mind-blowing, joyful-making thing to know. And one I want to hang onto and know more and more.
Hello to all those people who de-lurked! Nice to know someone's out there reading.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Day off tomorrow and then it's the weekend.
Do something pretty while you can.
See you Monday. :-)
So if that's you, leave a comment. If you want something to say, then tell me what was the most exciting thing to happen to you this week. Or just say hello.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
You might catch it in the sky tomorrow, although it'll be lower in the sky tomorrow and the weather forecast isn't so good. According to the British Astronomical Association, comet McNaught will be at perihelion (closest to the sun) on 12 January, when it "could be brighter than Venus".