sprezzatura: (Redcoat Brandon)
Having spent the weekend immersed in the Downton Abbey box set, Ed and I are total converts. We saw a trailer for it at the cinema just before it started and had every intention of watching it, but the adverts never mentioned a start date and by the time we realised it was on, the series was half over. People warned me that it was "a bit ITV" and "no Brideshead", but frankly, I think that is its strength. It reminded me of proper period dramas of yesteryear like By the Sword Divided or The House of Eliott, the former of which my dad used to describe dismissively as "seventeenth century Dallas", completely missing the point of its appeal. Even the venerable Maggie Smith commented in an interview on one of the DVD extras that one of the best things about it was that it was written for TV and not an adaptation, so it's not bound by a predefined ending and its starched collar-based soapiness could theoretically run forever. Hoorah! I can't wait for the next series.

Mooching about on LJ in search of a userpic featuring the Dowager Countess being imperious about weekends, or something, I happened upon this which quotes [livejournal.com profile] medusa and reassures me that having a crush on Mr Bates is not, as I asked Ed last night, a bit weird. It also makes me think I should write things when I think of them because most of the first half of that article had been in my head since the summer, long before the gentle thud of Mr Bates' walking stick as he struggled up the stairs to present the stricken Anna with a plate of sarnies and some dodgy looking flowers had even been heard. The idea had come from a conversation with [livejournal.com profile] gnomentum and others on Facebook about why Bella Swan should have chosen Jacob Black over the sparkly vampire, but I was going to cite most of the same examples, with exception of the Clive Owen character who clearly doesn't belong on the list! The writer calls them "strong men humbled", I was going for the angle of the underdog, but the hard luck heroes do it for me every time. Can we think of any more?

Other things we got up to at the weekend include a long, cold, muddy stomp around (and in Tia's case, in) Fewston Reservoir yesterday, and doing ALMOST ALL OF OUR CHRISTMAS SHOPPING on Saturday! I even wrapped up everything we got for K's stocking and delivered it to my mother's for concealment. We still have a few bits and pieces to get but the worst is over and at this rate, I might even manage to send some cards out this year.
sprezzatura: (Jordan Witch)
I have had quite a busy weekend, and I may post about it in more detail tomorrow but I am determined to stick to my pledge of updating daily throughout October and I have neither the energy nor the inclination to write a long post now.

For much of the weekend I have been elbow deep in Fimo, having developed an obsession for making sliced cane beads with the intention of turning them into Hallowe'en bracelets. I have mastered cobwebs and Frankenstein's Creature-inspired monster faces but I need more practice with skulls, and to improve upon the experimental pumpkins which look a bit basic at the moment. I would like to be able to show you a photograph of my efforts but Tia chewed up the USB lead for my phone last week, and I have no idea where the camera is.

I have spent much of this evening a Fallout: New Vegas widow, as I suspect I will remain for the next fortnight. However, Ed graciously allowed himself to be parted from his XBox for an hour to allow me to watch Single Father, which is still relentlessly miserable and a bit mad, but well-acted and enjoyable and Mmmm, David Tennant. I still haven't seen any of Downton Abbey, partly because of the schedule clash, but mostly because until last Monday we had absolutely no idea it had even started. We saw a trailer at the cinema the other week, and remarked several times on the posters, but as we never watch ITV ever, we had no idea when it was on. Not wishing to imply that the two would be mutually exclusive, but is it any good, or is it just a serialised remake of Gosford Park?
sprezzatura: (Faces)
Have I mentioned my hatred for The Apprentice? I hate The Apprentice. Unfortunately - and for reasons I cannot fathom - Edward loves The Apprentice, and even though he has offered to view it on iPlayer, he always ends up watching on TV. The wireless connection isn't working and the rest of the house is too cold for me to leave the room anyway, so I am watching it too.

Observations - not too spoilery )

Ten days left of Save Livejournal month and I'm running out of ideas. Feel free to submit your own in the box below.
[Poll #1633472]
sprezzatura: (Filthy Look)
Today feels like Sunday. I suppose that is because I've had most of my weekend already.

It was all a bit last minute really, though it shouldn't have been. [livejournal.com profile] margotmetroland had got the tickets for last night's acoustic Oysterband gig at the Union Chapel a couple of months ago and I had planned to drive down in the morning, leave the car at Metroland, get the tube into town and wander around for a bit before going to meet Moz and [livejournal.com profile] drpete before the show. Then, earlier this week, my car developed a Suspicious Rattleā„¢ that, due to cancellations and rearrangements of various appointments, I did not have time to have dealt with, so the London plan was abandoned. It was only at about 11am yesterday morning that the train suddenly became a practical option, so I bought tickets, had a quick lunch with my mum on the way to the station and off I went.

[livejournal.com profile] drpete met me at Kings Cross and we made our way to Islington, discussing trad goth bands and Young Persons' Music while we waited for [livejournal.com profile] margotmetroland in the pub. She arrived in time for a quick glass of wine, and then we followed the growing trickle of people in Oysters T-shirts to the Union Chapel. The gig was all kinds of excellent: the venue, the support act ( Dan Mangan, who was a jolly nice chap) and obviously the Oysters themselves. This year, I did not cry over any crap Welsh seaside towns, which I'm sure came as a huge relief to Moz and Pete. After a traditional last chorus of Put Out The Lights, they, er, turned some of the lights back on and it was time to go home.

Unlike usual, Moz and I managed not to stay up for the entire night putting the world to rights and we went to bed at a relatively respectable 1.30am. Just as well, because in order to get a train that did not take three and a half hours to complete the two hour journey, I had to be at Kings Cross at 10am.

The journey home turned out to be an exercise in reminding of everything I hate about public transport. The train was packed leaving London, and although it looked like things were going to get more peaceful at the first stop, the man who sat down opposite me seemed utterly determined to engage me in conversation. I am rarely interested in making small talk with random strangers on trains, especially not when I would prefer to be asleep, and especially especially not when they are carrying copies of the Daily Fail. Things got even worse after the train stopped a second time, and filled up with race-goers in cheap suits and obnoxious perfume. I was very, very glad to get off the train half an hour later, and into Ed's car, where Tia greeted me as though I had been away for decades.

After we had collected K from my mum's, I finally got chance to watch last night's one off TV drama The Song of Lunch. In case you missed it, it was basically 50 minutes of Alan Rickman reading a poem on a voice-over, while acting it out alongside Emma Thompson. It was all lingering looks over Italian food and dwelling on past regrets. I can't imagine a more perfect piece of television, or at least, not one that could be shown on a mainstream channel before the watershed. Hopefully there will be news of a DVD release soon, or I will not get anything done at all this week as I will be forced to keep watching it until it is removed from iPlayer.

I had vague intentions of going to Darklands tonight but I'm tired and I'm saving my corsets for Whitby, so we're watching Doctor Who repeats instead. Not sure what the plan is for tomorrow but I suspect we may end up heading back to Swinsty Reservoir to give Tia another swimming lesson.
sprezzatura: (History)
First thing's first! Addendum to yesterday's poll, including various programmes I had forgotten about or which other people said I should have included. This way for the Tickybox )

I have been at university this morning and one of the topics that came up in discussion was whether, in this age of digital disposability, we would leave any records of our lives for the historians of the future to pick through and write dissertations about. I wasn't going to admit to keeping a paper diary in front of a room full of twenty year-olds, but there is one (several volumes worth, actually) and when I get round to it I might do a [livejournal.com profile] shewho and publish some of it here. Maybe in years to come someone will find my detailed accounts of Neighbours episodes of the late 80s, or rants about how crap the top 40 was in 1991 useful as part of a study of the popular culture of the day. Who knows, in a hundred years, someone might decide to base their PhD thesis on what the best rides were at Chessington World of Adventures in 1989 according to the opinion of a fifteen year-old girl.

Of course, there are other personal records: letters, medical details, Nectar points, even receipts from which people of the future could learn about us, which have inspired the following poll:

What will you leave behind? )

What I really want to know is what is going to happen to the Interwebs in the future? Here we all are, busily trying to save Livejournal, but exactly what are we saving it for? I've been rambling away online for well over a decade now, and ignoring for a moment the very important civil liberty/identity issues, I'm quite upset by the idea that there might not be a record of any of the long, rambling email conversations I used to have back in the days when it was a novelty. I would like to think there is a dusty old server somewhere that might still be storing the archives of long-defunct Hotmail accounts with cringingly cheesy goth names, but the idea horrifies me as much as it comforts me. Can any geek types offer a view on what might happen to all the nonsense we churn out? Should we try and download the whole lot now and store it away for posterity, or is it gone for ever?
sprezzatura: (Default)
Yesterday, [livejournal.com profile] sparklielizard conducted a fascinating and highly culturally relevant survey into parental attitudes to television programmes aimed at preschool children. In the best traditions of the Golden Age of LJ, this is me ripping off her idea, on the subject of programmes for slightly older children.

OK, so it's not Snogging in Wetherspoons but it's still a big old Tickybox )

I'm afraid it's a bit biased in favour of CBBC because I am a snob and will not allow K to watch any of the ghastly, advert-driven American cartoon channels while I am in the room, so please feel free to advise me of any glaring oversights. I was discouraged from watching ITV as a child, you know.
sprezzatura: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] neenaw has declared October to be Save Livejournal Month, and is taking time out from aiding in the resuscitation of London's sick and injured to post here every day in an attempt breathe some life back into this neglected corner of the Interwebs. I have decided to join her, and so should all of you.

Predictably, I will begin with a poll.

This one is about Grange Hill )
sprezzatura: (Fagpuss)
Folllowing on slightly from yesterday's post, what, or who, used to scare you as a child?

A universal figure of terror was the sinister presenter of 1980s schools programme Picture Box, who gave me the creeps anyway but started to give me nightmares when he introduced a programme about The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The very thought of him saying the name "Ichabod Crane" still gives me the willies even to this day.

In slightly younger days I was mortally afraid of bearded purveyor of puppet-based horror Yoffy from Fingerbobs. Just look at that picture and tell me he doesn't have a glint of pure baby-eating evil in his eye?

Books were frightening! I was petrified of zombies for ages after reading a poem about one at school, the only lines of which I can remember are:

There's a zombie in your room
And with it dwells your doom

Though on reflection I think the scariest thing about that is the crushingly unimaginative rhyme. I had to keep a perfectly innocent text about the kings and queens of England in the wardrobe after reading about Anne Boleyn and Charles I being beheaded as though I thought their headless ghosts would come drifting out of the pages to terrorise me in my bed.

My crappest, most pathetic childhood phobia of all, by which I'm still vaguely embarrassed even though I was only about three at the time, was Gabriel the Toad from Bagpuss. My mum watched an episode with me once to reassure me that he was alright and it quickly became one of my favourite programmes, but given my current music taste I can't help wondering whether my mum wouldn't have been better letting me be and raising me with a healthy fear of beards, banjos and folk singing!
sprezzatura: (Cherry Red Girl)
Cut for spoilers )

I'll shut up now.

Excellent bank holiday weekend involving visits to Bradford, the pub, the beach and my mum's house, and featuring various people I haven't seen in ages. Tomorrow K and I are going to see Seth Lakeman in Buxton. How were your weekends, viewers
sprezzatura: (Icons Siouxsie)
Siouxsie, love, you're a goddess. I have worshipped you for almost a quarter of a century, you look better than anyone of your age (and indeed, most people of my age) has any right to, but if you carry on with these silver catsuits I am going to have to start reassessing my long-standing belief that you are a style icon.
sprezzatura: (Default)
Eye-popping news story of the day in which twins, adopted separately at birth, met and married years later. Raises some interesting issues about adoption/donor insemination etc, but once you get past the shock horror factor I think it might be quite interesting from a psychological perspective too. Were they drawn together in the first place because of their unknown relationship, or does this cast doubt on the idea that twins share some sort of subconscious bond even when they have not grown up together? Making inappropriately light of the situation as usual, I would like to know how similar they are physically, because how much more narcissistic can you get than marrying your own twin?

A couple of people have reminded me that they are waiting for my rant about Mistresses. I'm afraid those people are going to be waiting a long time, because believe it or not, I enjoyed it. Yes, it was completely predictable, but it was well-acted and generally likeable and as such, strangely comforting. The fact that it desperately wants to be sexy and dangerous when in fact it's about as risqué as a cucumber sandwich just makes it all the more endearing. Sorry.
sprezzatura: (Sarcasm Fagpuss)
For fuck's sake Russell, try typing with both hands on the keyboard!
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