Saturday 28 September 2019

Of course, I did binge-listen to The Country Girls and Cait and Baba were dispatched on the boat to England in the final episode over a bowl of soup this lunchtime. Not sure how long we'll have to wait until the start of book three. (It's now officially autumn: I'm making factory-quantities of soup. There is partridge for dinner which sounds grand but it was reduced to £1.)
It must be 30-odd years since I read The Name of the Rose so it's hardly fresh in my memory, but I adored the book; the film with Sean Connery was something of a let-down. So I began the new TV adaptation with high hopes. Hmmmm ... after two episodes I'm not convinced. It's very - busy. What I loved about the novel was the sense of rhythm of the monastic day. Perhaps it's my 30-years-older brain but  I've got the monks all in a muddle. I'll persevere - but not feeling any great enthusiasm so far.

Friday 27 September 2019

Trying not to binge listen to The Lonely Girl on Radio4, the second book in the trilogy ...  I want it to last for a week of lunchtimes but it's 'just one more.'

You could read this in an evening - and I did, utterly gripped. Tense, spare prose - not a word wasted -  and it reminded me of Shirley Jackson's The Lottery, the most horrifying short story I have ever read.
There's a review here.

This, on the other hand, I put down thinking, "Why did I bother?" Well, I know why I started - seduced by that 'latter-day Daphne du Maurier" tribute on the jacket. I was only skim-reading by the end as - despite the allure of a ruined country house - I simply didn't care about the unconvincing characters. Did help me get off to sleep as I nodded off a couple of times and lost my place.
Sarah Moss, on the other hand, kept me up half the night!

Tuesday 24 September 2019

I'm feeling quite glad of a night in tonight - but during last week's burst of energy I took a train ride to Reading to see this adaptation of The Night Watch. (I think you probably do need to have read the book; years since I read it but it came back to me.)
It was my first visit to The Hexagon at Reading, as cheerlessly municipal/unatmospheric as a theatre could possibly be. Its saving grace is a lovely little allotment garden outside where you can bring your interval drink on a sunny afternoon.
It was an excellent adaptation, I thought - and the set design really captured the drab exhaustion of 1947, when the story opens, and the horrors of the Blitz. It was a real shame that there was only a smattering of people in audience. (It was a weekday matinée.) The play continues on tour.

Richmond Theatre, on the other hand, is like sitting in a lovely old-fashioned box of expensive chocolates- and that's where I was the following night. And this time the theatre was packed. I'd never seen A Woman of No Importance before - so I hadn't twigged that it's such a very dull play! The West End cast - with Anne Reid - might have dragged it up a notch (or maybe not) but the current cast is very lack-lustre. (Usual cheers from the Richmond audience ... can they all be somebody's mum or second cousin? I always wonder how they'd respond when something is actually good?) Also on tour, but honestly I wouldn't bother.

Monday 23 September 2019

I know ... but I did enjoy it and it was worth it to see Molesley curtseying to the Queen. And Dame Maggie was on fine form. It did feel a bit like a Boxing Day TV special but as the cinema was handing out free chocolate and popcorn, naturally I indulged and felt suitably 'ick.

I got the teeniest bit bored with The Farewell (though I loved all that Chinese food!) The reviews have been great and I felt a bit niggled that I wasn't enjoying it as much as everyone else.

But Greener Grass was surreal and fun - and definitely my most colourful movie of the year. Screened as part of the Raindance Festival, the cinema was packed and they were turning people away - but it returns in November. Think Desperate Housewives meets Mumsnet AIBU in day-glo pastels.
They showed this trailer and I thought Renée Zellwegger looked very promising as Judy Garland but that's for another day.
Also went to see this noir-ish thriller which was suitably gripping, followed by an excellent talk by director Mike Figgis.

I know. I've been very lively this week, out every night. I'm feeling a surge of autumn energy, and I no longer have to feel guilty that I don't much like summer and hate hot weather. I've even made the first 'pumpion' pie of the season.

To make a Pumpion Pie.
Take a pound of pumpion and slice it, a handful of time, a little rosemary, and sweet marjoram stripped off the stalks, chop them small, then take cinamon, nutmeg, pepper, and a few cloves all beaten, also ten eggs, and beat them, then mix and beat them all together, with as much sugar as you think fit, then fry them like a froise, after it is fried, let it stand till it is cold, then fill your pie after this
manner. Take sliced apples sliced thin round ways, and lay a layer of the froise, and a layer of apples, with currans betwixt the layers. While your pie is fitted, put in a good deal of sweet butter before you close it. When the pie is baked, take six yolks of eggs, some white-wine or verjuyce, and make a caudle of this, but not too thick, cut up the lid, put it in, and stir them well together whilst the eggs and pumpion be not perceived, and so serve it up.

Sunday 15 September 2019

One that made me laugh - at the Posy Simmonds retrospective this afternoon. (Sorry, it was the last day!)

Sunday 8 September 2019

Handshake from Paul? #first attempt #veryproud #no-you-can't-eat-it! #tootiredtomakedinner