Wednesday 20 October 2021

Still enjoying Mary Lawson, and the jacket art has improved, although I think I preferred Road Ends. (Has anybody read A Town Called Solace? It slightly fell apart for me because I couldn't understand how the adults, including a policeman, could be so ineffectual about tracking down a local teenager who might have information about a missing girl.) I heard a radio interview with Mary Lawson talking about how she didn't start writing until her 50s - when she felt she had something to say. If only some of the much-hyped young graduates of creative writing-by-numbers classes felt the same.

Tuesday 19 October 2021

Well, I wouldn't recommend Mothering Sunday which was soporific - snooze through it in your own armchair if you must. But I made good use of my afternoon on the South Bank and saw the Tate jellyfish which seemed quite menacing in a John Wyndham kind of way ...
And the much-hyped Infinity Mirror Rooms, now sold out until April - although bizarrely there was hardly anyone there. I'd seen one of the rooms before - at an exhibition some years ago when if I remember rightly, you could just walk in - but I did find the Chandelier of Grief was quite entrancing, especially as I went back for a second go and found myself in there quite alone. But you're allowed two minutes ...two rooms, two minutes each, a few videos and photos - as exhibitions go, it was a bit in-and-out. The previous exhibition was much more informative - this is one for the Insta-crowd. But nice.
Then I rounded off the afternoon with Sophie Taeuber-Arp - wishing I could hire her to design and furnish a house. With stained glass windows. Her lovely tapestries far surpass the raggedy textile offerings at the Summer Exhibition.

Wednesday 13 October 2021

Ohhhh, what a lovely film - Belfast, Kenneth Branagh's semi-autobiographical reminiscence of his childhood,is simply stunning - as beautiful as a Cartier-Bresson photograph, brilliant performances all round, and my money is on Best Picture, Best Actor (the little boy) and Best Supporting Actress (Judi Dench as the old granny). Quite a starry night at the Festival Hall as everyone turned out - Branagh himself, Jamie Dornan, Caitriona Balfe in a stunning gold Stella McCartney frock, Ciaran Hinds - and Judi Dench, but she's so tiny and as the whole of the Festival Hall stood up to clap, I didn't even catch a glimpse of her from the back of the stalls.

Monday 11 October 2021

So pleased to see London Film Festival back to normal after last year's somewhat restricted offering - and, once you've survived the scrum/Covid soup of ticket collection at the BFI (possibly my least favourite building in London), the Festival Hall is a massive improvement on that chilly marquee with rickety seats at the Embankment. My first excursion wasn't a huge success - whatever induced me to book for The Souvenir Part 2 and how on earth had I managed to forget how bored I was by part 1? But what do I know, it failed the Mrs Miniver snooze test but it's 5* from the Guardian. Nothing daunted, I have booked tickets for Mothering Sunday - which I thought looked promising although I now see that the same Guardian reviewer was underwhelmed by its 'tasteful ennui' (which is exactly what I disliked about both Souvenirs). Colin Firth, Glenda Jackson, Olivia Colman ... I'll report back. And I've also booked for Kenneth Branagh's autobiographical film Belfast - which sounds delightful. Alas - in one of those eye-opening moments when you realise you're no spring chicken of 50-something any more - I pondered the George Clooney movie that didn't start until 9.15pm and thought 'That's a bit late.' The spirit is willing but the knees are starting to creak on a chilly evening!

Sunday 3 October 2021

It has been many years since I read this and I'd forgotten how terribly sad it is - but tonight I came across this old Book at Bedtime read by Juliet Stevenson and had a good autumnal wallow!