chaletian: (buffy british summer)
Ugh. I am so utterly depressed by every single thing at the moment. I am currently swearing off Twitter and the actual news because everything about this fucking referendum has got me so angry and sad and helpless that I can hardly breathe from it, which is both a massive overreaction and extremely unproductive. So, no more news, at least until next week. And maybe the week after that! Instead, I have come to vomit my feelings all over LJ (ah, old times!) and am reading instead Alain de Botton's The News, in an attempt to gain some perspective!

I am also quite stressed because payroll spent two months underpaying me, then massively overpaid me, then finally figured it out, but despite my - well, not best, but fairly well-intentioned! - efforts, I am very poor this month, which is mostly OK and I can not spend money (just about), but still. Also work is very stressful, not least because work is now very stressful and I'm not getting paid any more than when the only stress was that my manager was crazypants. So, attempts at professionalism aside, that rather makes me feel that I am very literally not getting paid enough for this shit. But now is not the time for new jobs. (I mean, I'm looking, don't get me wrong. And wondering if it's finally time to get out of the NHS?) Sadly I looked at how much I would earn if I got a slightly more junior job in the NHS, and I'm not sure I can take that sort of pay cut at this point! Heigh ho. One must stumble onwards. At least I am fortunate enough that my field of employment won't be directly impacted by the EU situation (though who knows in the long term).

Anyway, I need to stop focusing on the things that are making me crazy. So far this year, I have been to both St Petersburg and NYC, and they were both such great holidays, I had an amazing time! They were two places I've wanted to go for my whole adult life (and longer), so it was great to finally go. (I mean, the non-materialising pay rise means I now owe my mother a small fortune, but details, details!) And in August I'm going to loll around in France for a bit, so that will be nice - looking forward to it already! Also, I have seen lots of ballet, and am off to Sadler's Wells tonight to see Natalia Osipova's new programme. AND the RB's doing MacMillan's Anastasia (Anastasia!!!) in the autumn and our Nellie's taking me to see it as a present, so I am super looking forward to that! Ditto the Australian Ballet's Swan Lake and Cinderella next month!

I have continued with my Russian classes, which have been brilliant fun (and I have actually learnt some Russian) - tomorrow is the last class of term, so I will have done two whole years! Sadly this year I have not been quite as good a student as I was last year - I missed quite a lot of classes, and haven't been particularly diligent about doing work between class, but heigh ho. I've still mostly kept up, so. I would like to do it next year but a) it's quite expensive and b) the class times will change and be a bit annoying. I don't know, we'll see.

We went to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child which was jolly good fun - it was funny, it's not really a straight play, but I'm not sure it's quite a show either - or maybe it is? I don't know. But I enjoyed it, even its ridiculousness, plus JAMIE PARKER and you know how I feel about that. What else have I seen? (checks calendar) SUNSET BOULEVARD! That was great! I saw the RB's The Winter's Tale again about fifty times and still love it. Saw Kenneth Branagh's The Winter's Tale and loved that; ditto Harlequinade; not so fussed about the Romeo and Juliet. Loved Wayne McGregor's new thing for the RB (Obsidian Tear?). Loved Les Blancs at the NT; also enjoyed Threepenny Opera (love Rory, always).

Final bits of news: cut off most of my hair. Grandma has accepted an offer on her beautiful house and is eyeing a hilariously enormous bungalow in Derby as a replacement. My parents are still resident in Qatar; my father retires soon and they are currently planning to retire to Thailand. I have read very little fiction of late. Actually, I have read very little anything of late, mostly just fic. TBH my brain is probably crumbling. NEVER MIND THERE IS STILL BLUE SKY OCCASIONALLY AND ALSO ICE CREAM AND BEAUTIFUL THINGS.
chaletian: (p+p lydia)
[I actually wrote this post ages ago and never did anything with it! Also, I am now very far behind.]

Oh, chums. So much theatre, so little time. Qu’est-ce qui se passe, I hear you ask yourselves, dans la vie de la Squeen? Eh bien, I shall tell all.

Charles III – Almeida; May 2014

Terrible confession to make: I was tired like a zombie and ended up leaving at the interval because I couldn’t concentrate on this at all. I’m sure it was terribly good; I did notice interesting use of language.

The Winter’s Tale – ROH; May 2014

I obsessed and obsessed and was rewarded by the opportunity to spend a hilarious amount of money on a ticket to see this again. Fun fact: seats in the stalls circle are great. I continue to love this; the third act wasn’t as weak as I remembered, though I still think the question of Perdita’s identity was resolved too easily and I found Paulina’s role difficult to entirely figure out.

A View from the Bridge – Young Vic; May 2014

This was an amazingly good production. They maintained so much tension throughout the entire play that I almost died (that is barely an exaggeration). I did actually do it at school about a million years ago, but couldn’t really remember much about it. The design was very minimal, basically just a shower and then, later, a deluge of blood, but it needed nothing more. I loved one scene in particular, where Eddy and his wife and Catherine and the brothers were sitting around, having a superficially innocuous conversation and the tension was unbearable!

Privacy – Donmar Warehouse; May 2014

This was a very inventive, interesting play (from the same playwright as what brought us This House) about internet privacy and Edward Snowden and the uses of meta-data etc. Semi-interactive, great use of screens and the internet, loved the comedy retelling and misinterpreting of Romeo and Juliet via meta-data. I did feel it tailed off a bit at the end, to be honest, which was a shame.

Romeo & Juliet – Sadler’s Wells; May 2014

This was… interesting. It was the Scottish National Ballet, who decided to do a production of R&J set in the early c20th, which is fine. They did good things with the music – a bit of sax amongst the Prokofiev, using trolley bells etc. I really liked that, it was very effective. Sadly, the choreography really didn’t fit the music at all – it was a bit weird. Lady Capulet was kind of crazy. Romeo and Juliet – particularly Romeo – were a bit meh, so I didn’t really give a shit about them. On the other hand, Mercutio and Tybalt were GREAT. Basically, the ballet should have been about them. I feel that’s quite often the case.

Titus Andronicus – Globe; May 2014

Ah, the famous swooning production. And people did swoon. It was very distracting, and other audience members kept using it as an excuse to have a chat. But I loved this, it was great. Ridiculous amounts of drama and gore. Titus was mental. Tamora was great (and also a bit mental). Possibly best of all was Ralph (?) from Knight of the Burning Pestle as the brilliantly barking emperor. This was rather a visceral production – Lavinia’s fate was enough to turn anyone’s stomach; what happened to her was dreadful – but I loved how she completely got on board the Andronici’s revenge boat. The satisfaction of the ending was great.

Serenade | Sweet Violets | DGV – ROH; May 2014

Serenade: to be honest, the one thing’s that remained with me about this was the excellent hairography. I did enjoy it at the time. Sweet Violets: I really wanted to like this, and I did like parts, but I don’t think it really worked as a whole. The narrative was in parts too complex. Whilst I enjoyed Steven McRae leaping around as the spirit of Jack the Ripper, I’m not convinced that that theme really worked. The whole thing left me a bit underwhelmed to be honest. DGV – loved this like pie. The set, the music, the choreography all worked so well together. I can’t work out, though, whether Watson and Osipova just keep dancing things where they’re supposed to look like they’re fighting or they just don’t quite trust each other or what.

The Dream | Connectome | The Concert – ROH; June 2014

Dream: so, on the whole I did really enjoy this. Puck was brilliant – the choreography was great and I think it was performed really well. I also loved Helena’s role, that was funny (though I always feel latent guilt at deriving comedy value from a woman desperately chasing after a man). I did feel it was quite a dated production, though. I mean, it was nice, and one can appreciate the classics, but I don’t think it would hurt to modernise the design a little. Connectome: I really, really enjoyed this. The set was amazing, I liked the choice of music, and I just really enjoyed the ballet as a whole (though that middle section where McRae was like Jesus was a bit weird and I struggled to fit it into the rest of the piece, and I stand by my comment re Watson/Osipova). I hope they put it on again. The Concert – this was so beautifully enjoyable! Really, really funny. I adored the Mistake Waltz, and the guy who kept abandoning his wife to chase after Sarah Lamb’s character, and all the faffing with chairs at the beginning and the ridiculous flights of fantasy! Tip top.

The Last Days of Troy – Globe; June 2014

So, this was a retelling of the siege of Troy based on the Iliad and a bit of the Aeneid, and it really fell a bit flat for me. There was very little dramatic tension (and while it is tempting to attribute this to already knowing the story, that clearly has nothing to do with it) – it was just, in the words of Rudge, one fucking thing after another. The acting was bizarrely amateurish in places, very unlike the Globe’s usual standard, and whilst I enjoyed parts of the text, it generally didn’t do much for me.

Fathers and Sons – Donmar Warehouse; July 2014

I enjoyed this very much, largely for Arkady, played by Ferdinand from last year’s Tempest. He’s a young would-be firebrand and revolutionary who’s just finished university and come home, but he’s really too conventional to be a revolutionary, unlike his friend. One of those plays where not much happens, per se, it’s a character play of people working out what’s important to them. Points also to Tim McMullen’s Uncle Paul, unlucky in love and war, but really rather appealing nonetheless.

Tryst: Devotion and Betrayal – Peacock Theatre; July 2014

You know what, some of these pieces didn’t quite work, and some of the dancing was a bit less than great, but I enjoyed this whole programme. The first piece was a pretty standard pas-de-quatre with two couples and I suspect a bit of infidelity, but it was a nice piece of choreography and there were a few striking moments. Then a thing that was supposed to be based on a story with a man and woman falling in love then realising they were siblings separated at a young age, but you’d never have known that without additional explanation, and I found it quite meh and forgettable. Then there was Orbital by Valentino Zucchetti, which I really enjoyed though the dancing in places wasn’t up to the choreography and I lived in fear that someone was going to get kicked in the head. Overall, I thought this had a lot of promise, and I enjoyed the music (Philip Glass’s violin concerto) and the design. Next up, Kristen McNally’s Mad Women, which was absolutely great, by far the best piece of the evening. Sort of 1950s women wielding their sexual power. It was really, really fab, and I loved the mish-mash of old American adverts etc used as music.

The longer ballet of the evening was the Kreutzer Sonata by Andrew McNicol, based on the story by Tolstoy, based on the music by Beethoven. The music was a sort of mash-up of Janacek’s take on the Tolstoy and the original Beethoven, which I thought was woven in an interesting way. The narrative at the beginning was a bit too involved and fragmented, but when it got to the heart of matters it was better. I want to say it was a bit McMillan-ish, but I don’t think I really know enough about ballet at this point to go round saying things like that. I really enjoyed Hayley Blackburn as the wife, she was very good. (It was also thematically very like Sweet Violets.)

Antony & Cleopatra – Globe; July 2014

I enjoyed this. Eve Best was great as Cleopatra, I really liked her performance. I was in a slightly fraught mood at the beginning though, and actually struggled to understand what was going on, which is not something I’m really used to these days! After a while I managed to focus, and then enjoyed it more. I felt the second half dragged a bit, though. It just seemed to take a very long time for everyone to die. Comedy lols for the messenger who kept bringing Cleopatra bad news, and also for eunuch jokes.
chaletian: (p+p lydia)
Eh bien, my chickadees, let us continue my survey of recent theatre. Laisser les bons temps rouler etc.

Prince of the Pagodas – Coliseum; March 2014
This was hilariously enjoyable. The heroine got to leap around and be heroic, which was very pleasing, and things like the dancing seahorses and dancing shrimp were completely delightful. Plus bonus points for the Russian suitor and his ridic outfit. (The brother-sister dynamic was a tiny bit weird, though.) Also comedy lols for the father and ?servant.

Blithe Spirit – Gielgud Theatre; April 2014
Well, obviously I’d been looking forward to this, and it was super fun, with Angela Lansbury scampering across the stage on excellent form. She was definitely the best part about it. It’s quite a silly play, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Birdland – Royal Court; April 2014
TBH, this was a bit disappointing. There wasn’t anything wrong with it, per se, it was just a bit meh. I don’t know quite what it was that didn’t work – it was a perfectly good concept, the acting was good, but somehow it didn’t work. I don’t think I really cared much about the characters – maybe it was too artificial. (Maybe that was the point, I don’t know.)

The Winter’s Tale – ROH; April 2014
There are no actual words for how much I loved this. The first act, which has most of the plot, really, was AMAZING. The choreography and lighting etc for Leontes’ sudden, outrageous jealousy was brilliant – where he’s creeping around behind the statues imagining their lustful embraces – and was just so clever at making it all from within. And that early, gorgeous dance with Leontes, Hermione and Polixenes, and Mamilius running around with them. I loved the drama that came with Leontes turning on Polixenes and Hermione, and the scene where the women are being all domestic or whatevs in the nursery, and the soldiers slowly descend the stairs, and then Leontes follows in all his mental glory. Tip top. The second act is less dramatic, but really lovely, and Perdita’s foster brother was ace. The third act was the weakest and tbh could probably do with a bit of beefing up when they next put it on (and THEY’D BETTER) – everything was resolved far too quickly and with minimal dramatic tension. The ending was terribly sad in a way, though; although Hermione’s statue came to life, Leontes looks for Mamilius’ to do likewise and must be disappointed.  (I enjoyed this so much I went to see the live broadcast but HORRORS the cinema broke down five minutes into Act 2. Then I was going to take the morning off on Thursday to queue for a day seat for the final performance but alas there’s a meeting I have to go to. SADTIMES.)

King Lear – Olivier, NT; April 2014
We’d ummed and ahhed about going to see this, neither of us having much enjoyed the Almeida’s production a couple of years ago, but it sounded like it was an interesting production and we are always pro a bit of SRB, so we decided to risk it. Guess what? It was dead good. I’d previously found the whole mad Shakespearean king with straw in his hair leaping around very difficult to connect to, and didn’t quite understand what was going on (which I do put down to a weakness in the production). This was (a) so much clearer in terms of understanding the political landscape and the position Lear and his daughters were in and (b) infinitely more sympathetic to Lear and, to an extent, Goneril and Regan. SRB’s Lear was a little bit heart-breaking – aware of his own failing powers but with no way to deal with it. Enjoyed the shifting fortunes of the Gloucester/Edgar/Edmund triumvirate. Highly recommended!

Much Ado About Nothing – Shakespeare’s Globe; May 2014
Basically, you can’t go wrong with a bit of Much Ado. I think I’ve only ever seen one production I didn’t enjoy much. This was a touring production, and was really enjoyably fun – lots of larking around and dancing and ridic instruments etc. I liked Beatrice and Benedick – Benedick was played slightly sillier than I’ve seen before, I think, and his stepping up to the mark to challenge Claudio seemed more out of character and thus in a way more impressive. Claudio and Don Pedro seemed even more unbearable and uncaring about Hero which made me want to punch them (my usual reaction for Claudio; less so for Don Pedro). And Dogberry was hilaire, which is always a good measure for Much Ado, I think, because too often those sections can fall a bit flat. I really need to watch the Joss Whedon production again (Ken & Emma obvs so often watched it can be played out in my head at will).

A Small Family Business – Olivier, NT; May 2014
Well, I had an afternoon free and there were £15 tickets, so I thought I’d pop along. Although I was mildly entertained throughout and the ending was pleasing in terms of dramatic structure and its nods to the relevant popular culture, I probably wouldn’t bother with this again.
chaletian: (p+p lydia)
Many years ago, I thought it would be fun to catalogue all my theatre trips on my LJ. Obviously – obviously – this is a project that fell by the wayside. But hey, I’ve seen quite a bit of stuff recently, so let’s catch up with my theatrical calendar since the last time we checked (which was a second viewing of the Globe’s excellent Macbeth in October last year). ‘Ware spoilers for anything current. I present a chronological list:

A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Noel Coward Theatre (the Michael Grandage season); October 2013
Oh. My. God. Now, I will be entirely honest. I was tired. I’d already seen a really excellent Dream at the Globe earlier in the year. Also, I’m not the play’s biggest fan. But still. Oh. My. God. This was just really bad – a very confused, completely unengaging production. We left in the interval. I was so disappointed – I was excited about seeing Sheridan Smith, and the Globe’s production had temporarily made me forget that I don’t like the play that much. For some reason, it got really good reviews, which is a source of ongoing mystery.

The Herd – Bush Theatre; October 2013
Already talked about this in an earlier post, it seems.

Mojo – Harold Pinter Theatre; December 2013
Again, another play with great reviews and only middling enjoyment. That is, the play was quite amusing and the cast was great (Ben Whishaw was amazing, natch, and I thought Daniel Mays really stood out, plus Rupert Grint was endearing – their double-act was one of the highlights), but it really didn’t seem to have any point to it. Turned out, according to further reading, that it was supposed to be a play that laid bare the pretensions to power that men have (in a gangster sort of way, that is), but from our point of view it seemed so clear that all the blokes in it were clueless twats that there was no progression at all.

Jumpers for Goalposts – Bush Theatre; December 2013
This – about a really terrible LGBT five-a-side football league in Hull – was absolutely and utterly adorable. That is all. Loved it so much.

The Light Princess – Lyttelton, NT; December 2013
Katie queued to get us day seats for this, and it was a really lovely Christmas-time sort of musical. That is, tbh I thought the book and music were very mediocre, very pedestrian, but it was very well produced and the actors were lovely. I enjoyed it a lot.

Drawing the Line – Hampstead Theatre; January 2014
A Howard Brenton play about the process of partitioning India. Very good, and my first visit to the Hampstead Theatre. Had a very visually effective ending, but really it was its focus on the impossible job handed to the civil servant sent to India to draw a line between India and the notional state of Pakistan that was its strength.

Henry V – Noel Coward Theatre (the Michael Grandage season); January 2014
Oh, this was top notch. Jude Law made a great Henry, and it was just really good fun. Very fast-paced, but I didn’t feel it lost anything from that. They kept in the humour; the set was pretty minimalist but effective; I enjoyed the Chorus. The only downside was that we were right up in the gods and it did mean we spent a lot of time looking at people’s heads. (Also, Jude was no Jamie, but who is?)

The Blackest Black – Hampstead Theatre Downstairs; January 2014
This was kind of weird, about an artist and an astrophysicist or astronomer or something struggling to understand the other’s perspective on the world. I felt the first half, set in an observatory, was stronger than the second, in the artist’s, like, garret or whatevs. Some interesting ideas; interesting lighting.

American Psycho – Almeida; January 2014
Oh my God, this was absolutely ridic and so much fun! Kind of loved some of the musical numbers. I mean, it was a bit stupid, but a great night out. Is it moving to the West End? I’m sure someone said it was.

Ellen Terry with Eileen Atkins – Sam Wanamaker Playhouse; January 2014
So, this was very interesting – basically an interpretation of a lecture that Ellen Terry did or summat, looking at different female roles in Shakespeare, but really I was more interested in the theatre in some ways. Newsflash: it’s so beautiful.

Coriolanus – NT Live (Donmar Warehouse); January 2014
It’s not really proper theatre, I know. And yeah, the way they do the camera-work and editing is kind of weird. Still, I enjoyed this. I won’t lie to you, I do enjoy watching a bit of Tom Hiddleston, he was very good, and Deborah Findlay too, but mostly I liked the scheming politicians; they were great! The pacing was a bit off, though – not of the action/drama per se, but of the narrative – he seemed to rise and fall in the course of about a day’s work in the Senate or whatevs. I don’t know if it was due to cutting the text or what, but that did seem to happen a bit too quickly. But oh, when Coriolanus concedes that his mother’s pleas have worked and he will cease to attack Rome, and the price becomes apparent…

Strangers on a Train – Gielgud Theatre; February 2014
Oh, you know what, I enjoyed this. Very melodramatic and silly, but every element of the design was superb and I like melodrama.

HMS Pinafore – Hackney Empire; February 2014
All male Gilbert & Sullivan. I am so, so glad I went to see this, it was so good and so much fun and just really delightful.

It Just Stopped – Orange Tree Theatre; March 2014
Hmm. I did enjoy this, about a couple stuck in their fortieth-something floor flat and everything stopping working and thinking the apocalypse had come, but it got quite confusing towards the end, and I’m still not quite sure what we were supposed to think was going on.

The Knight of the Burning Pestle – Sam Wanamaker Playhouse; March 2014
This was so funny. Just ridiculously, Monty Python-esque funny. We were practically wetting ourselves laughing. Plus, play-within-a-play (my favourite trope, as I may have mentioned before), and ridic posing and dancing everywhere. Brilliant. Playhouse still beautiful.

Versailles – Donmar Warehouse; March 2014
This was very good. I loved, in the first act, the way they explored these different kinds of people and how the war – and its end – had affected them. The second act, I think, was the strongest – Leonard in France trying to convince the powers that be that making their demands for reparation too harsh – or, not even that, but the precise nature of the demands too economically unreasonable – would only lead to trouble. He had this immense speech about the coal industry in Germany and how the proposed terms would affect it, and it was so compelling and so interesting – utterly absorbing. A few nods to hindsight were amusing (a dig at the individualism of lower-middle class grocers and the potential political ramifications of same). I really enjoyed it – see it if you can!

1984 – Almeida Theatre; March 2014
Wow, this was intense! Just kind of sucked me in. Brilliantly constructed – I loved the repetition of scenes, of phrases, the use of video, the sense of unreality. Very good. I do really feel, though, that the concept of “Big Brother”, the ubiquity of the words these days (not even in the reality TV sense, just in the way it has pervaded our modern culture) renders it less effective in its original context, which is a real shame.
chaletian: (p+p lizzy tea)
Actually, one of the things I found interesting about Richard II relates to an earlier post I made, about how weird I always find it when the overthrow of a monarch is treated as such an unprecedented event, when frankly it is one of the most precedented things in English history.

Watching the play, seeing Richard’s reaction to being deposed by his cousin, I did genuinely sympathise with his outraged disbelief that this could happen, in the indignity of it; the shame, almost. How could it happen? How could it be allowed to happen?

And yet, it’s funny, because the play references at various points Richard’s and his cousins’ and uncles’ descent from the great Edward III with no recognition that Edward himself became king when his own father was deposed. It’s a very weird selective blindness.
chaletian: (p+p lydia)
Hullo! I have returned, once more, to share my fulsome thoughts on Life and also Art. To kick us off, let’s have a brief overview of what I’ve been doing. Ein minuten bitte, whilst I consult my diary.

Theatre-wise, since last we met, I saw Macbeth (again) at the Globe. This was just as good – loved everything about it, possibly the witches most of all. I am genuinely pissed off with our education system, though. I was into Shakespeare as a teenager, and my school was really good, AND YET being forced into studying Macbeth for GCSE English was so fucking boring and annoying that I hated it, and it has taken me this long to go and see it again. It’s such a good play, probably one of my favourites; the language is just dazzling. And school almost managed to ruin it. So thanks for that, chaps. I also saw Rory Kinnear’s play, The Herd, which I thought was really good, though the sort of structure of the narrative meant that the ending (not just what happened but how it happened) was painfully apparent. Still, I thought it was a good play; the dialogue really rang true.

I have also, rather late in the day, finally taken advantage of the NTLive broadcasts, and in November saw Alan Bennett’s The Habit of Art and the RSC’s Richard II. The play within a play is one of my favourite tropes, so that was enjoyable. Thought Alex Jennings was spectacularly good as Britten, and loved Adrian Scarborough’s actor desperately trying to find a connection and a point to his part. Also bonus John Heffernan as the assistant stage manager. Richard II was also really good, once I got past the first section. I am a bit of a philistine, but I think the play is a bit boring until Richard gets back from Ireland and it all kicks off, but after that it was great! The broadcast thing is not, of course, a patch on seeing a play live, but it was better than I expected (I think seeing it in a cinema rather than on a little tv screen did help), so I will do that again, I think.

On Tuesday, I went to see Romeo & Juliet at the ROH, which I enjoyed (highlights: the music, always; Prokofiev’s score for R&J is my favourite ballet music, hands down; Mercutio and Tybalt; the scenes with Juliet where her parents are trying to force her to marry Paris (and the way she danced with Paris was great – so unwilling!)). That said, I do think I preferred the National Canadian Ballet production I saw at Sadler’s Wells.

So, that’s that. Saw Thor 2 (very enjoyable) and the new Hunger Games film (ditto). Have done and seen other things too, but nothing much I can be arsed to talk about.

Right, now, I have a confession to make. Despite, as you knowing, being distinctly pro Bard, and despite the fact that the history plays are my favourite, I had not, until now, actually watched The Hollow Crown. I know, I am ashamed. I’ve had the DVD for the better part of a year and everything! And I have still not watched Richard II (I’ve started it about three times and kept getting bored and stopping, but now I know it gets properly good, I shall be watching it soon). I have, however, now watched the Henry IVs and Henry V.

I think Simon Russell Beale is great. I’ve seen him in quite a few things at the National over the years, and he’s always tops. I have to say, however, that I did not enjoy his Falstaff. I almost said he was too seedy, too craven, but of course that’s just Falstaff: what he wasn’t, was charming. He was a rogue, but not a particularly loveable one. I felt that spoiled the dynamic between Hal and Falstaff, because you couldn’t really see why Hal was so fond of him, and lacking that affection, I think Hal came across as a slightly crueller character. That said, I thought Jeremy Irons was brilliant as Henry IV, and the relationship between Henry and Hal was much more affecting than I’ve seen before. Loved John of Lancaster, as usual. Returning to Falstaff, again, that scene at the end of Part 2 (“I know thee not, old man.”), which I almost feel is one of the most tragic lines in Shakespeare, lost a lot of its impact because of my lack of sympathy for Falstaff; frankly, I just wanted Hal to ditch him.

Moving onto Henry V. Oh, Henry V. Well, they sucked 95% of the fun out of that, didn’t they? I thought the acting was great, Tom Hiddleston really pulled it off, Anton Lesser was great as Exeter, I loved the way they chose to do the Crispin’s Day speech, Catherine and Alice and the comedy French is always a delight; but they made some very weird production choices, I thought. I was sad to lose the Southampton section, though I can see why it would be an easy option to chop for time constraints. They cut out everything that was remotely comic (excepting the first scene with Catherine and Alice, which they basically have to keep because otherwise you don’t even know who she is, and a bit of Bardolph/Pistol/Nym). Inevitably, the live action renders the Chorus a tad superfluous, so that what is genuinely quite powerful on the stage becomes voice-over fluff on the screen.

For me, however, the main thing that just confused me was the way they cut out the section with the boys being killed. Except, they didn’t cut it all out. So, Henry has this wonderful, outraged speech that is a reaction to this terrible act by the French soldiers, and Tom Hiddleston delivered it so well, EXCEPT that they cut out the boys being killed so the speech ends up being a reaction to – what? – a couple of French soldiers riding along a hill a mile away? It’s ridiculous, completely disproportionate and makes Henry look like a bit of a dick because then his army is just killing prisoners with zero moral high ground. So weird, especially because it felt like they had really set up to kill at least one boy, and then that plotline fizzled out and, as a viewer, I felt completely wrong-footed.

Has everyone else watched these? Thoughts? Feelings?
chaletian: (hp luna)
Lol whoops that didn't last very long, did it! I got a bit distracted by tumblr, I can't lie; that seems to be its very purpose in life. Also distracted by the ongoing, incessant wankery of the current government, which basically just makes me want to slit people's throats. I'm not even that bothered about whose, so watch out there.

In other news, off to Macbeth again at the Globe, very excited (very excited indeed; have become Welsh). We also went to see Ibsen's Ghosts at the Almeida, which seemed to be mostly near-incest and syphilis; good times there. Loved the set, and the lighting was excellent - I assume the original play doesn't take place in Scotland, but using that as the early-nighted landscape against which the action took place worked really well. Thumbs up.

I continue to rail against this unpleasant weather, but as yet to no avail.
chaletian: (spock fucking serious)
Jizzy fucking Chrizzy, will someone please just shoot Osborne. He’s such a fucking tosspot. Please explain to me, Georgie, what the fuck is the point of forcing a whole load of people to go to a Jobcentre every single day. Oh no, wait, there is no point, plus I find it hard to imagine that Jobcentres these days are actually staffed to be able to cope with that level of activity. Just a stupid way of punishing people who can’t get a job. Vile. This Government’s obsession with vilifying the unemployed and in fact anyone who needs any kind of benefit (despite the cold, hard fact that the countless number of people on minimum wage are not in fact making a living wage) is revolting, and the way the majority of the media seem to be playing along with it is doubly so.

In other, more localised news, I had precisely zero 3G this morning (not exactly a surprise) and a similar level of mobile service. So, thanks Orange/EE. Shit as ever. I spent half my way into work trying to text Katie to ask her to take some chicken out of the freezer; will now have to revisit dinner plans. Vexing, vexing. I am so fed up with the lack of service in London. FFS, it’s London. I really don’t understand. I was opposite the Hs of P on Friday afternoon, and there was just no service at all. Honestly, you’d think our noble parliamentarians would have got pissed off to the point of getting it fixed by now. Or probably they have a bubble of wifi and are thus unconcerned by the problems the rest of us face*.

Anyway, in happier news, as previously advertised, went to see the National’s Edward II on Friday. Oh, that was good! I can see why it would be polarising, but I really enjoyed it; their choices really worked for me. The staging was fantastic – loved the shack-of-plotting where baronial whispering went on (set in the middle of the stage, you couldn’t really see inside, but the scenes were projected onto screens – I thought it was a brilliant way of representing all the secret conspiring that went on, and the implicit danger of those meetings). Also there was a comedy portacabin of terror which tickled our fancy. I thought the characterisation of Isabella was fascinating – she seemed simultaneously to have agency and yet to be dependent on the man in power, whether that man be her husband, her lover, or her son (and that final scene with Edward III was mesmerising). That one line, “All live to die, and rise to fall,” I think perfectly captures the mood of the whole play and that medieval view of the progression (or cycle) of life: the wheel of fortune, indeed. All in all, fabulous.

Saturday, as planned, we went to Ham House, where it was fortuitously open cabinet day! Open cabinet day is the best day. An update on Ham House (as I am sure you have been eagerly awaiting): the Duchess’s bathroom smelt very vinegary; the paintings on the staircase have been taken away for cleaning or summat; they’d left the door to the lumber room off the beer cellar unlocked so I had a little look round (it’s full of lumber); we discovered where they must have barred the kitchen door to the outside world; the library was, alas, locked, so we couldn’t go in and instead peered longingly through the window; they’ve got a new second-hand bookshop (thumbs up).

Didn’t do anything on Sunday except roll around the sofa like a would-be potentate whilst Katie brought me a bacon sandwich for lunch and squash & blue cheese riz for dinner. TV watched over the course of the weekend included Agents of SHIELD and, natch, Downton. My feelings on Downton:

1. I’m sorry, I’m not happy about Edith’s fella. Very concerned he’s going to turn into a Nazi. Back to the drawing board there.

2. Well. At least Matthew left a letter with testamentary effect, but I still find it massively a) out of character and b) fundamentally unlikely, given his profession and state in life, that he did not just make a fricking will. And, in fact, he says he never has made a will. Not when he became Robert’s heir. Not when he inherited Ginger Lavinia’s dad’s fortune. Not when he got married. Not when he bought half of Downton. Really? Really? DO NOT BELIEVE.

3. FFS. Cora’s credulity and Robert’s blind bullheadedness are really giving me the pip. I harbour a longstanding fondness for Robert, but he is being a complete dick.

4. Bates should not look twinkly-eyed; it is extremely disconcerting.

5. There is not permitted to be any conspiracy against Anna. Unacceptable.

6. There is an unwavering truth about Downton that has been apparent from the very first: the Dowager is the best thing.

7. The new lady’s maid. No. Must go. Cannot bear all the petty plotting and mean-spiritedness.

8. Rose is annoying, but that chap she danced with was A+ adorable.

9. The footmen are also annoying. Daisy, you deserve better and one day your prince will come.

10. Molesley. Oh, Molesley. No words, really.

Also watched Atlantis, which I have to say I thought was a bit shit, so I probably won’t bother with it again.



* Huh. It’s like a little allegory, right there.
chaletian: (firefly wash evil laugh)
So, let's see where we stand a couple of days into this LJ revival. I'm almost afraid that I do not have sufficient events in my life to sustain any kind of daily blogging. I know. It's hard to believe. However, I just went out to the Tooting metropolis and bought a pasta salad and some caramel buttons for lunch, so let's sit here while I consume them and think of things to share.

First things first. Had a surprisingly relaxed morning (largely brought about by the fact that I woke up to wee half an hour before my alarm went off). Had an egg. Chatted to Katie. Sauntered onto the 337 and broke my journey at Southside to purchase an orange mocha as recommended by [livejournal.com profile] morganmuffle - tasty tasty. And then I went to work which meh whatevs.

Subsequently, my mother broke my brain by referring, without a trace of irony, to the upcoming "hip hop happenings" of her weekend. My mother is neither hip, hop, nor happening (and neither, by the sound of it, is her weekend). I love her. Going to Barlborough in a couple of weeks' time as the pater will be in the country, so that will be pleasant. Well. As pleasant as jaunts to Barlborough ever get. I still maintain it's improved since they got the garden centre down the road.

Katie and I are going to see Edward II at the National tonight, which I am excited about. 1. I love a history play. 2. I love the Olivier. 3. Edward II (the king) is a slightly hilarious character in the annals of this, our native land. I read Holinshed last night, which at various points accused him of "naughtie rule" so that will be fun. Saturday is put aside for this year's visit to Ham House and Katie making chicken katsu curry (the actual best). Also an Ocado delivery. Exciting times.

And finally, in other news, I need a haircut.
chaletian: (blackadder news)
So, I have decided, in my infinite wisdom, to try and rejoin the world of LJ, as it’s really the only blogging (lol that word seems so dated now) that I’ve been able to do successfully. And frankly who doesn’t want to hear about my ever-growing tea towel collection*? To that end, let me get you up to date with my life. Settle down: it’ll be a rollercoaster ride**!

Work

Is exactly the same. Oh, except all the commissioning in the NHS has changed and we have a new patient management system that is for shit and absolutely nobody has a clue what’s going on. Good times. I have my own office now, though.

Family

Is exactly the same. Grandma turns 85 next week. My father’s still in the middle east. My mother gets to retire next December; that’s exciting! My brother’s contemplating going round the world but in order to do that he needs to save money and not spend it all on wine and cheese and music festivals.

Home

As you can tell (unless this is a cunning ploy 0.o), Katie has still not killed me; we continue on in domestic bliss. Her parents are visiting next month and we’re getting the kitchen painted and (after a mere six years; we’re so proactive) we’re getting an actual kitchen light instead of a lightbulb dangling sullenly from that attractively unpainted patch of kitchen ceiling it calls home. Hmm, what else? We bought two beautiful bird glasses in Liberty as part of our snail-paced quest to replace our boring crocks with a kaleidoscope of beautiful crockery/china. To that end we also have the hen bowl and the bunny bowl, not to mention the gnome glasses. (Also, I bought some earl grey chocolate in Liberty that was absolutely gorgeous. Prestat. I recommend it wholeheartedly.)

Larking

I have been to many places and many exhibitions and seen many things. The Pompeii exhib at the BM was amazing. Also interesting were the Propaganda exhib at the British Library, Treasures of the Royal Courts (Russia & England in Tudor and Stuart period) at the V&A (some ridic massive silver, and interestingly the Lord Chamberlain’s little record book thing for a production (poss the first production, actually) of Twelfth Night, at which the Russian ambassador was present), and The Lost Prince at the NPG.

We went on our traditional holiday-in-a-cottage, this year to Ludlow in Shropshire. Had a smashing time, as usual. Saw the Mappa Mundi in Hereford which was amazing. Ludlow itself was a lovely town, and Ludlow Castle was smashing – it’s tumbledown, but in the best kind of way. We also went to Hay-on-Wye, where I was astonishingly reticent on the book-buying front (and also refrained from buying a beautiful tiny jug with a bee and a ladybird on it because it was about a million pounds***). I really like Hay Castle – the way it’s just sitting there atop its little hill, not doing anything except enact the role of local safety hazard. And then we went to Ironbridge twice. Ironbridge is ace. We saw the Iron Bridge itself (the only surviving bridge on the Severn from the 1795 flood), and the tile museum (tops) and the china museum (less tops, tbh), and the Victorian village, and the iron museum, and the old iron forge from the c17th. Fascinating stuff.

Hmm, what other thrilling little adventures have I been on? Katie and I went to Haddon Hall in Derbyshire with my mother. It’s been there forever (the curtain wall dates to King John’s reign), and is just the prettiest house. It’s got a chapel where they’ve restored the c15th wall decorations, and they’re amazing! It was interesting, you could really see the period’s influence on the Arts & Craftsy designs (and also, speaking of, the influence of the art in Pompeii on – of course – Adam’s designs of the c18th (cf the deliberate imitation in the Etruscan room at Osterley Park) but also on some of the motifs of later Victorian art).

Katie and I went to Osterley with Katherine the other weekend, largely, I cannot lie, in order to buy a marrow which, per autumnal tradition, we later stuffed with sausage and ate with gusto. There was a mini exhib about the East India Company (the Childs family, which owned Osterley, was heavily involved), and the amount of money they made was absolutely ridic! There was a room pretending to be a merchant ship, and we wore high-larious sailor hats while poring over an c18th merchant map. In the bookshop between Osterley and the Great West Road I purchased a book about Edward IV and another about Roger Mortimer.

Let’s see, what else? We walked a bit of the Thames path, between Ham House and Hampton Court, and saw many a crenellated building; also the remains of the medieval Kingston Bridge underneath John Lewis.

Theatre

After a couple of lacklustre theatre years, we have kind of gone all out on the theatre this year, so I’ve seen lots of things. The Globe season has, as usual, been excellent. I loved Macbeth (we’re going to see it again next week), and Dream was excellent. Also enjoyed Bluestockings (with a couple of reservations) and Lightning Child (even though I remain a bit confused by it all!). I was delighted by the Henry VIs – part 2 in particular was amazingly good. I do love a history play.

General thumbs up for the Michael Grandage season. We missed Privates on Parade, but saw Peter and Alice and The Cripple of Inishmaan, and are going to see Dream shortly; also, I need to get around to booking Henry V.

We went to Bath (lovely day out) to see Jamie in Candida, which was very enjoyable. You can’t go wrong with a bit of Shaw, I always say. Enjoyed Othello at the National (far more than Hamlet, I have to say; a far more convincing production). We’re going to see their Edward II on Friday, which I am looking forward to.

I have also expanded my cultural horizons and been to the ballet a lot more. Seen some good things at the ROH, but the highlight has to be the Canadian National Ballet’s production of Romeo and Juliet at Sadler’s Wells – I really loved that. Prokofiev’s score is basically the best thing ever. Going to see the ROH’s version in November, so will be interesting to see how they compare.

TV

What is life without TV? A barren, featureless wasteland is what. A few things I have watched:

All of Justified. Amazingly awesome and hilarious. Can’t wait for January!

Hannibal. OH MY GOD WILL GRAHAM! OH MY GOD HANNIBAL IS THE WORST!****

The White Queen. I can overlook many, many anachronisms, but giving Elizabeth fricking Woodville a French manicure is surely gratuitously evil? What even? Still, Richard and Anne were adorable. I haven’t been able to watch the end because I know how it ends. :’( [Historical sidebar: leaving aside objective questions as to whether Richard did usurp the throne or was justified, he must surely have felt that God was not on his side, what with his son dying and then his wife dying and everything going to shit.]

Peaky Blinders & Sleepy Hollow. These are both new and I am enjoying them in different ways.

Downton. That is all.





* Ha. Joke. We have an extremely strict one-in-one-out tea towel policy at Fangirl Towers.

** No, it won’t. Literally nothing has changed in my life.

*** Exaggeration.

**** 100% accurate summary of season one.
chaletian: (narnia once a queen)
Hullo, world! Hullo, sky! Hullo, trees! It’s been an age since I tottered to my chaise longue to tap out a few lines regarding my recent activities. I shall do this in numbers. Structure is everyone’s friend.

1. I have now seen the Avengers film three times. Do not imagine I am planning to stop there. Ever since Katie and I cottoned on to the whole Cineworld unlimited pass thing, I have cast aside such restraints. Anyway: Avengers. AWESOME. (Fear no spoilers here, btw.) Totally lived up to my expectations. Everyone was brilliant; to my mind, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce and Scarlett Johansson as Natasha, particularly. I LOVED IT SO MUCH. Naturally, I am now writing fic, because that is what I do. It took me a while to find the right voices, but I’m getting there, I think. Take-home message: OMG AVENGERS YAY!!1! \o/

2. ... actually, I can’t really think of anything else. I’m just pottering around, really. Went to France at the beginning of April to stay with K’s parents, along with her sister and nephew (best baby face ever). Off to Norfolk next month (OMG next month yay!) with Helen, Katherine and our Nellie. At some point later in the year, I’m also hoping finally to pop to Qatar to hang out with the pater. So, good times.

3. Saw the Swahili Merry Wives of Windsor at the Globe – super funny. Also (at least) seeing a hip-hop Othello and French Much Ado, before my long-awaited fantasy viz Jamie Parker returning in Henry V. I WANT THIS NOW. We went to see Matilda again, this time in the west end, with Kathye and Megan, and it was still, I am pleased to report, extremely excellent. Um, what else? Ooh, She Stoops to Conquer, at the National – so, so funny. We’re going to see Travelling Light and Collaborators there in the next couple of weeks as well. Theatre fills me with joy.

Anyway, that’s about it. I’ll totter off again, shall I?
chaletian: (Default)
OK, seriously, wtf is this, universe? Did I kill a beautiful child in a former life? What? Please explain to me why my life this week has been so fucking unbearable. To cap off all the other shit that has happened, tonight my wallet was stolen, something which, under the circumstances and in the context of my aforementioned week of raining shit, I think I suffered with admirable calm and aplomb. But now I've just discovered that my monthly travelcard, barely a week old, was on an oystercard that, it turns out, isn't actually registered. So that's £60 worth of travel down the fucking drain which I can ill afford. Plus I've lost my wallet itself, which was lovely and is fairly irreplaceable, and I was late to the theatre because I was faffing around the police station. A pointless exercise, frankly. I cannot lie, LJ: I am genuinely struggling to cope with life at the moment. And I'm PMTed up to the eyeballs on my everfuckinglasting period, and I just need life to get back to some semblance of normality and me to get back on an even keel because I hate feeling so out-of-control like this.

ETA: And my keyboard did something stupid and posted that when I wasn't ready. And my yahoo mail won't work properly at work so I can't reply to anything or forward or start a new message or search.

Trying to be cheerier, we went to see A Woman Killed With Kindness at the National, which really was very good (though I missed the start). Interesting play, and the staging was absolutely super - best I've ever seen, I think.
chaletian: (p+p mr collins shelves)
Bonjour, darlings! Long time, no LJ. I felt the urge to leap upon you all and tell you about all the good things in my life at the moment, because I was just in the kitchen making raspberry jelly and admiring the jars of passata and raspberry jam that Katie's parents brought us and the little box (sadly now empty) of Ladurée macaroons that Kathryn so superly gave me for my birthday, and thinking about how smashing my life is.

1. National Trusting. K and I have had NT membership this year, and I have been to loads of places. Started with going to Polesden Lacey (near Dorking) with K and my mother, when we had an absolutely lovely day. The house was beautiful, ditto gardens, weather was perfect, we had a gorgeous picnic (including fizz), and I bought a tea towel with BEEEEES! On hols in Dorset, we went to Corfe Castle, which (leaving aside the carrot issue) was ace; Kingston Lacy, which is the house the Bankes family built when the Roundheads blew up Corfe Castle; and Mompesson House, which is a lovely, lovely Queen Anne house in the Salisbury cathedral close (I will be living there when not at the Mump; there's even a hut for Nellie). Also been to our local place, Ham House, twice - a brilliant C17th house on the bank of the Thames, just outside Richmond. Then, the other weekend, K and I finally carried out our longstanding plan to go to Hampstead to see 2 Willow Road (a modernist house which is hilariously like going to see a grandparental house rather than NT) and Fenton House (which is where we will live when the revolution comes - lots of alcoves; lovely little gardens; a freakishly huge number of china knick-knacks; lots of aged keyboard instruments). (Also Kenwood House, which is English Heritage but free - a bequest from the Guinness family - very worth a visit.) And finally (so far), a young crowd of us went to Osterley Park last weekend. I do love a house you can walk to from the tube. NT tat bought on these visits include: recycled wool rug (shades of blue and pink, very snuggly, and bargainous at only £12!), a multitude of tea towels (naturally), many souvenir magnets, lots of postcards, and a marrow (later stuffed).

2. I HAVE BOOTS! I bought them yesterday and am super excited because I've wanted some knee-high boots FOREVER but my legs are too short and fat to find any to fit, except NOW I HAVE!!! Sadly, the same boot is not available in brown, which would be the summum bonum, but nevermind, I will take the win.

3. Spent a lovely birthday weekend in Derbys. with my mother and brother. On Saturday we went to York. Popped round the Macarthur Glen place (I bought a le creuset spatula and some tea bags), then went into town and had a smashing lunch at Betty's. Chris ordered us a celebratory bottle of champagne, and then we were given little cakes because they knew it was our birthdays. On Sunday, we did not, alas, have time to visit a castle (any castle), but instead went to an unexpectedly amazing pub/restaurant in Rotherham (I had a Pim Pom to drink - best drink name EVER) and visited Grandma.

4. I whinge about our kitchen being too small, but that is only because of my PRIVILEGE. Actually, it can cram loads of people in when we have a party and everyone gravitates. We have a radio and two boxes of kitchen tapes (things like Noel Coward plays and 30s popular music and Dorothy L Sayers adaptations and Tom Lehrer and Elaine Paige). I have a shelf for all my recipe books, and there's another shelf for porridge. We have space for two sets of saucepans (non-stick and not), and about four sets of crocks, and fifty tea cups and sixty mugs, and a dozen or so melamine mixing bowls, and my everyday scales and K's antique scales, and two pots of utensils, and two racks of spices. I want a four-slice toaster, but we cope with a two-slice. We have a drawer for tea towels. And this month K's dad is going to build us a cupboard under the microwave and extra shelves and it's going to be ACE.

5. I have re-joined FOCS (had a story in the last mag; will have another one in the next), and started to re-collect the GGBP Chalets. Mostly have, actually, except for the super rare ones which I am hoping will be reprinted. Read Clare Mallory's League of the Smallest, which is adorable and everyone should read it.

6. I have a kindle. It's amazing. Super, super amazing. I will be getting rid of loads of books, so watch this space.

7. To contradict point 6, I have bought more books recently. Here is a picture:



8. Been to the theatre a bit. Saw Anne Boleyn twice again at the Globe; also Doctor Faustus, The God of Soho, All's Well That Ends Well, and The Globe Mysteries. Disappointed we couldn't get tickets for Much Ado. Saw the first half of Emperor and Galilean at the National and honestly couldn't stand to stay for the second half. Also saw Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead at the Haymarket, and A Delicate Balance at the Almeida. Going to see A Woman Killed With Kindness at the National in a couple of weeks, also hopefully the new Stephen Poliakoff play at the Almeida. And Matilda when it comes to the West End (MATILDA!!!!).
chaletian: (and and bee)
I have signed up to the Remix - yay! I like a bit of a remix. Dear person mixing me: have at it! I've got a load of fic all over the place - the full list up to six months ago or so is here; more recent stuff is under my fic tag here. (I also have accounts at AO3 and fanfiction.net under the username chaletian.) And I forgot to say on my sign-up, please don't remix Destroyer of Worlds, as that was a remix itself. Thank you!



In other news, chaps, I am feeling very pleased with life at the moment. These bullet points will explain why:

♥ The sun is finally shining! I was actually warm as I sat outside today, eating my lunch without a coat on. Yay sun! This winter has lasted forever.

♥ I just made chocolate and raspberry muffins, and proper orange and mint jelly FROM SCRATCH. I have recently discovered the concept of leaves of gelatine, and have made jelly and panna cotta (tasty tasty); I will not stop here.

♥ Dancing on Ice is bringing me joy. We want Laura to win, and are prepared to invest actual monies to see that dream become reality.

♥ Forgot to say, Katie and I went to see an am dram production of Hay Fever at the Putney Arts Theatre. It was actual hilarious. S - I thought he was dead! J - Oh, he's not dead, he's upstairs.

♥ New bedlinen on Sunday and a bit of a tidy. Bedroom is a haven of deliciousness.

♥ Fuck yeah, Roehampton Asda, you're awesome! I finally went to visit it on a bus, and bought two pairs of linen trousers, two cardigans, three tops, and about four vest tops. Also leaf gelatine, and a DVD of The Little White Horse, masquerading under the title The Secret of Moonacre. Asda is made of win. (OK, I know, Walmart, evil corporation etc etc etc, but on the other hand, new grey cardigan and gelatine!)

♥ I spent today consulting with another screening service and building them a little database. It's beautiful, if I say it myself. Colour coded and everything. Going back tomorrow to complete it. I do always like the opportunity to work away from the office. Far, far away... Actually, that makes it sound like I don't like my job/office, which isn't true at all, but I do like to swan around. Amanda and I are going to build a website for the service, and are going to take a day to wander around the various sites taking photos etc. It'll be ace!

♥ Post today: the new Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and my 1p copy of Noel Streatfeild's Murder While You Work. Yay! Also, Helen's lent me a couple of CS fill-ins and Streatfeild's The Whicharts.

Wombats!

Mar. 16th, 2011 08:29 pm
chaletian: (cs kill bill)
What ho, darlings! I feel I should do a proper post, and keep you all enthralled with charming little tales of my recent exploits, but I fear I should find it tedious, so bullet points ahoy!

1. Despite having received some excellent prompts (thank you), and despite having had ideas for all of them, I am no closer to writing fic. Sadfaces. Ah well, it may come to me in time.

2. Dentist again today. Next time I will be getting filled. :-(

3. I have, in the last week, read my GGBP-sale fun-in-the-fourth books, and highly enjoyed them. I read Val Forrest in the Fifth first, which was my least favourite, but only because the other two were so good. I liked the Withers-iness of her lodgings! Then I read Evelyn Finds Herself, which I absolutely adored - definitely the best school story I've ever read. Hearty recommendation to everyone! And then I finished off with The New School and Hilary which was also ace. I now need to find more books by Josephine Elder and Winifred Darch.

4. In that vein, I ended up on the Greyladies website. I want to read all their books! Does anyone have any I can borrow, please?

5. The pater has now flown off to Qatar and will be living there until further notice (for work - he hasn't gone AWOL). Mater bearing up manfully - well, womanfully, really.

6. My brother broke off his engagement, had a relationship with someone else, handed in his notice at work, set up his own business (properly registered at Company House, I am given to understand!), and is trying to work things out with his former fiancée. It is something of a roller coaster.

7. I have two holidays planned this year, and while neither is at all exotic (1. Dorset; 2. Katie's parents in France), I am looking forward to them both tremendously! I also have a "staycation" at the end of April (oh, I can see you all harking back to the glory that was Staycation 2009).

8. I WANT A LITTLE HOUSE IN ROEHAMPTON!

9. I dyed my hair bright red a little while ago. It's like Hitler marching on Moscow...

10. I have some bright yellow ranunculas (?sp) in a vase. They're gorgeous. Also, I invested in some very superior fake flowers in IKEA for my room. I approve.

11. Katie will be home very soon, which means I have to get up and make dinner. I AM COSY. But dutiful (mostly).

12. There is a children's book fair in Bath in April. I shall, I think be going. This is fun. I like Bath. I like children's books. I like April. I cannot lose. *thumbs up*

13. Earlier this year I read Hilary McKay's sequel to A Little Princess, Wishing for Tomorrow. This was ace and people should read it. Ditto Celia Rees' The Fool's Girl, which is about Viola and Orsino's daughter coming with Feste to find Shakespeare to help with a plot to save Illyria, and in the process telling him all about her parents and how they came to meet etc. It was really fab and brilliantly written. Also recommended.

14. I have also read adult books, though none are springing to mind right now.

15. I recently realised that I still haven't read Eva Ibbotson's last book before she died (so sad - she's one of my favourite authors), so that will be a little treat at some point.

16. Theatre: saw The Heretic at the Royal Court on Monday, which was really very good - very funny, and also thinky (you know how I like that), largely about the necessity of Proper Scientific Thinking and not taking anything on faith, or just because Everyone Says. Also saw Becky Shaw (twice) at the Almeida, which I also enjoyed very much. Student production of Arcadia at Westminster School - very good, particularly Bernard and Chater. Hannah was a bit inconsistent (in terms of characterisation rather than acting), and there wasn't really enough distinction between 13-year-old and 16-year-old Thomasina, but overall, vg. And did I mention seeing Hamlet at the National before Christmas? Rather disappointing, anyway. What with that and the godawful All's Well That Ends Well, the National and Shakespeare is not proving a good combination for me. Ooh, speaking of, I see Roger Allam won the Olivier for his Falstaff - jolly well deserved, sir!

La la la

Dec. 4th, 2010 11:04 am
chaletian: (and and bee)
So, yes. Life not actually as dismal as previous post would indicate. In fact, pretty fucking awesome (though my laptop keyboard is still pissing me off - does anyone know any tricks for decreasing the sensitivity of a touchpad?).

- Fingers now mostly healed.

- Bed delivered and incredibly amazingly delicious.

- I have a plan for decorating the now huge and empty back wall of my bedroom. It involves Etsy and is going to be beautiful and functional.

- Had festive drinks at Jess's last night - very civilised indeed.

- Kathryn's birthday tea last weekend - also very civilised.

- Have ordered most Christmas presents, and they have started arriving. This is vee gee.

- Am not, in fact, hovering on the brink of destitution. In fact 2011 should be fairly decent. Poor arithmatic was always a failing...

- Katie and I are going to Hamlet, the Globe's Winter Wassail, and a carol service at Westminster Abbey. Thumbs up.

- I saw the GP about my strangulated whatsit on my neck yesterday. He booked for me to come in and have it lopped off with a white-hot knife. This morning, it seems to have fallen off of its own volition. Ha!

- So, I had an awesome weekend towards the end of November. On the Friday, went to see HP7.1 at the O2. It was so much better than I was expecting! I really enjoyed it, and absolutely fell in love with Hermione all over again. Then the next day, [livejournal.com profile] morganmuffle drove me, [livejournal.com profile] katie__pillar, [livejournal.com profile] klo_the_hobbit and [livejournal.com profile] seiyaharris to Stratford to see the RSC's new production of Matilda. OH MY GOD IT WAS SO AMAZING!! I was, tbh, a tiny bit leery, because the combination of Matilda, Tim Minchin and RSC had so, so much to live up to that I was afraid it couldn't possibly, but it truly exceeded my wildest expectations. The children were brilliant, and the musical itself was just magical. I will be going to see it again if it transfers to the West End, and would advise everyone else to do the same. UNLESS YOU HATE AWESOMENESS. Anyway, after that we went for tea at Chloe's parents and watched Strictly, and then came home. It was actually the most amazing 24 hours - just so lovely to do brilliant stuff with chums.

- This weekend will hopefully also be bon. Am still, admittedly, in bed, but I've been awake since about 8, which surely counts for something? Right? Anyway, cet après-midi, am off to Staines to congratulate Darren on the anniversary of his birth, then tomorrow Katie and I are off to Kingston for Christmas business, the day to be concluded by putting up the Christmas tree, watching Muppet Christmas Carol (OMG YAY), and consuming pizza and ribena cava. Good times, say you? Best times, say I.
chaletian: (Default)
Does anyone know what the deal is with the National's production of Twelfth Night, that they seem to think it's such a big deal and everyone in the world will flock to see it? I mean, I like a bit of Twelfth Night as much as the next person, but still...
chaletian: (star trek ants)
My dear chums, so much has happened since last I wrote, but since it all happened under cover of darkness and in the course of my role as MI5's top undercover agent, I can reveal none of it. Alas.

In more mundane news, let me get you up to speed with what I've been doing:

♥ Embracing The Globe liek woah. They've had a fantastic season - I've seen Anne Boleyn (very interesting), Henry VIII (quite ponderous and processional in tone, but I think capturing very well both the grandeur and uncertainty of court life), Comedy of Errors (actually, only the first half, but it was hilarious - lovely to see it presented as the ridiculous farce it is, rather than people trying to Do Shakespeare, which is fatal because it means taking it far too seriously), Merry Wives of Windsor (amazingly funny and awesome - Mistress Page and Mistress Ford are our new heroes - it's going on tour so catch it if you can), and the superlative Henry IV parts 1 and 2 (this is on for another week - please, please go and see it if you can, it's fabulous - Roger Allam is just awesome as Falstaff, and Jamie Parker was brilliant as Prince Hal - in fact, I want them to do Henry V next time, with him, and Joseph Timms and Barbara Marten and Sean Kearns et al reprising their roles). It even inspired me to write Bardfic, which is novel.

♥ Also seeing Welcome to Thebes at the National (oh Olivier, most favoured of all theatres), which was really interesting and a little bit heart-breaking. It was by Moira Buffini, who wrote Dying For It for the Almeida a few years ago. We're going to see Hamlet in the Olivier in December - yay.

♥ Interviewing people for jobs. Hilarious.

♥ Visiting Kathye and the new baby. Baby! So cute. Am off there again tomorrow.

♥ Planning to make fig jam tomorrow. We'll see how that pans out.

♥ Making new recipes! Actual new recipes out of a recipe book! I know, it's like a tiny miracle.

♥ Other stuff.
chaletian: (Default)
Goodness gracious me, I don’t even know where to begin! Much has happened in the life of the Squeen since last you were updated. So much, in fact, that I really can’t remember half of it; fear not, however, for none of it was terribly exciting. I did not, it grieves me to admit, triumph in any act of political significance that would see (or hear, I suppose) my name echo down history. I did not, despite ongoing if desultory attempts, pen a first novel of such virtuosic brilliance that I would shine as bright a constellation in the starry sky of English literature as Shakespeare and Austen and the Brontë gang. Nor have I saved the life of a beautiful child, scaled a mountain, or invented a time machine. Mostly I have sat around and read trashy novels. And made a bit of compote.

I have also, in no particular order, had a tiny jumble sale and forced various chums to buy my crap, seen Inception at the kino (vg), Anne Boleyn at the Globe (vvg, though I thought the very ending was slightly dodge), and Scenes of a Sexual Nature on the tellybox (v amusing, though fundamentally depressing by the end, I thought), spent a couple of days in Cambridge at my previous job, training up my successor for filthy lucre and having dinner with Emma, chosen a laptop to buy when filthy lucre is eventually forthcoming, booked tickets for Henry VIII and Henry IV Part One (also at the Globe), booked tickets to go and visit my parents on the weekend of my birthday, spent some time contemplating my forthcoming birthday, at which event I will be celebrating thirty of our earth years, read Bluestockings by Jane Robinson, about women’s fight for a university education (very highly recommended), and been on holiday in Norfolk with [livejournal.com profile] balooky, [livejournal.com profile] katherinea and [livejournal.com profile] pim2005, which was fabulous and supplied a new tea towel for the collection. Good times.

In current affairs, I am still fighting the good fight to get a pay rise, which hopefully will happen at some point before I actually die. My brother has become a homeowner (hilarious). I have not yet come up with any ideas to write for the Chalet School Big Bang. And I just had to go and water the balcony, which slowly succumbing to drought. La.
chaletian: (life dani)
Given that I have only so far posted once this month, I thought I might make the effort and double it. Wowzers. So, words, eh?

♥ Oh em gee, Being Human. Awesome show. Love it so much.

♥ Dancing On Ice continues to dominate our Sundays. Danniella in the skate-off, though - wtf, people? I am now resolved to stop my habit of pity-voting, it is clearly IMMORAL. Also, ITV should hire me and Katie as commentators because we rock. Also, STFU people when Jason gives people perfectly valid criticism.

♥ I had soup for lunch and soup for dinner today. Huh. Also, two slices of M&S giant hot cross bun in a loaf.

♥ Day off tomorrow - GP then off to Staines to buy ridiculous cheap scarves in the market bit (actually, assuming there is a market bit on weekdays) and t-shirts and cardigans from Matalan. I will also, natch, be visiting the old BFF.

♥ Apparently Wil Wheaton is in The Big Bang Theory again. I am very excited by this. WHEEEAAAAAAAATON!!!!!

♥ Work is still awesome in itself, though we are now having a few staffing difficulties which makes things uncomfortable. Also, mental copy-and-paste girl at the last job seems to have gone off on one again. LOL apparently it's all very haircutgate over in St John's Wood at the moment.

♥ Speaking of, it was Cath's last day last week, so I went out with them all to see Sister Act (slightly hilarious "And I don't even think it's real fake tigerskin!" with a really good set - loved it) and have dinner etc. Nice to catch up, and see everyone (especially Emma and Ben, natch). Still need to organise my leaving do. Will not be inviting Rachael.

♥ Have been reading lots of trashy romances recently and not much else. Boo.

♥ I bought a necklace on Etsy and am quite excited. It looks beautiful.

♥ In glorious news, ITV3 have started showing Heartbeat from the beginning. Oh, Nick Rowan, I'd forgotten how much I loved you!! What with that, and the X-Files and Voyager, my early evenings bear an eerie resemblance to my teenage years.

♥ ^^^ CLAUDE JEREMIAH GREENGRASS LOL

♥ Are we having a general election soon or what? I'm fed up with all the campaign post we're getting at the moment.

♥ In other televisual news, we have rediscovered the joy of Roswell. Well, I say the joy of Roswell. It's not really that, let's be honest. It's the joy of Michael and Maria. I have been reading fic. (Also White Collar fic, when I can find stuff with Neal being a woobie and Peter having to be the FRIEND WHOM NEAL TRUSTS MOST IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD etc.)

♥ Katie introduced me to Katzenjammer. They totally rock. I have listened to their album approximately fifty thousand times. I feel like everyone else should do the same.

♥ Amanda and I keep bursting into song in the office camper van. It's hilarious, but tragically we are the only ones who think so. Nobody understands our genius. WE KNEW ALL THE WORDS TO AMERICAN PIE, PEOPLE!

♥ I don't know how to bowl.

♥ I ordered vol 13 of Fables and am really quite excited about reading it. Also, I got the first issue of the spin-off thing about Cinderella, which I reckon must be finished by now, so surely that'll be out in a trade soon, right? I love her character.

♥ I keep meaning to do a post of women in TV that I love at the moment. One day, people. One day.

♥ I have a diary full of meetings now. It's slightly comical.

♥ Apparently, according to my grandmother, people are related to monkeys. Who knew?

♥ ITV had an ad for a new show with Piers Morgan. Is it wrong that I want to punch his annoying face in?

June 2016

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