swordznsorcery: (tardis)
( Jun. 12th, 2017 21:44)
Lately I have been cruelly ignoring the Kindle, in favour of proper books. This is at least partly [personal profile] elenopa's fault, as she recently went on an Arthur Ransome Society weekend, and made me think (for the hundredth time) that I really ought to give his books another try. I scorned them rather as a child, for not being "proper" adventures, in that there are no bad guys/proper peril/fisticuffs, etc, and did my best to avoid them. Grown Up Me (well, slightly) decided that We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea might be a good place to start a reappraisal, as it has (nearly) proper pirates, and actual proper danger in it. It seemed too long for the amount of plot, and got a bit repetitive in places, but it was good, and I shall probably try another soon. In the meantime I've fallen down an old book rabbit hole, and am currently two thirds of the way through Gerald Durrell's My Family And Other Animals, which I also studiously avoided as a child, probably for much the same reason. It's not such a good read. Much funnier, but suffers from the most horrendously purple prose. It's like swimming up hill through treacle, but with witty anecdotes. It has its attractions, mind. It's my mother's edition, from 1959, and I think [personal profile] thisbluespirit will appreciate the cover:

... )

I do like a colour-coded Penguin!

On the telly front, I'm still wandering through a rewatch of the Beeb's Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. I love it muchly. This week was episode four, with the King's Roads, and Edward Petherbridge as George III (looking rather older, and considerably less dapper, than when he was Lord Peter Wimsey, just about the only other thing I've seen him in). Why are there only seven episodes? It's not fair. I find myself wanting a wartime spin-off, all about Jonathan doing magic for the army; and that's just for starters.

Oh, and hey - Doctor Who this week! I know it was a bit ridiculous, but I thought it was fun, and I was greatly entertained to see Anthony Calf in it (he was the captain). In 2015 I watched The Monocled Mutineer, Beau Geste and Fortunes Of War more or less at the same time, and he cropped up in all of them, so it was nice to see him again. And, yet again, being a period army type. Still, he didn't get shot this time, which is a step up.

And I think that's all for now. Which is just as well, as if I don't produce some kibble sharpish, I will be eaten by a small ginger cat. Bye.
swordznsorcery: (littlejoe)
( Oct. 3rd, 2015 02:47)
Wasn't that a spectacular moon on Monday morning? Yes, I know I'm days late, but then aren't I always. For practically the first time in recorded memory, something interesting happened in the sky, and the English weather co-operated. I can't say as I noticed the moon being especially large (although it was very bright, certainly, before it turned red). But super or not, the eclipse was nice.

Anyway, spent the weekend up to my elbows in horse manure, which was... nice. My mother's garden is rapidly taking over my life. Still, it's good to be busy. And there were ample compensations, as my sister brought the manure, which meant that I had the love of my life for the weekend, aka her yellow lab. He's old now, and sometimes a bit doddery, but he still confidently expects me to take him on gargantuan walks in the hills, like I used to. Ten minutes in a field is more his limit now! He still thinks he's six months old though. He's daft. And also perfect.

Elsewhere, I am being stalked by an actor. His name is Anthony Calf, and he was in Beau Geste (playing middle brother Digby). Then he turned up in The Monocled Mutineer, and then in Fortunes Of War. Everywhere I turn, suddenly there he is. He seems to forever be playing unremarkable good eggs, so I have no idea if he's especially good or not; although I suppose he must be, to have continued getting all these roles. Always in the military, and always in historical dramas. And always following me. I wonder where he'll turn up next. The IMDb says that he's still around, and has been in New Tricks, so obviously he's allowed into the 21st century sometimes. I'm glad for him. It must be rough only being ye olde times military men, and getting shot at lots.

The Monocled Mutineer finished. It never became cheerful, but it was very well made, and I'm glad that I finally got to see it. Paul McGann is terrific, and he had a good cast around him. I still have one episode of Fortunes Of War left, as I've been doing it weekly, old style. Unless the final episode turns out to be insanely bad, which I can't imagine that it will, then I really recommend this one. It's proper vintage telly, and beautifully done. Great cast; in no hurry whatsoever to tell its story; and actually looks as though the BBC spent some money on it, which is quite a novelty. Can Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson be legally compelled to remarry? Or at least start working together again? This should be allowed. I know she has a husband, but I'm sure he would agree if the telly was good enough.

Elsewhere again, How To Get Away With Murder came back last week, which was nice. Modern telly! Blimey! HTGAWM is of course otherwise known as The Show With Baby Ian Chesterton In It. It's genuinely good (it just won an Emmy, actually - apparently the first time that a black woman has won a lead performance Emmy, which is a trifle disconcerting), but I must admit that a good part of my viewing enjoyment comes from spotting moments when Alfie Enoch looks so very much like his dad. Sorry, show. I do properly like you though.

...And I've just noticed that I have half a tree caught in my hair, from when I was digging over a flowerbed earlier. Would that I could claim I was doing something exciting, like burying bodies or excavating Roman treasure, but I wasn't. Actually I was mostly transplanting lavender bushes. I think I may be the only person on the planet who hates lavender. It's horrible stuff! And it's caught in my trouser turn ups.

I'm being betrayed by my own clothing. I think I better wrap this up before they all turn against me. If you don't hear from me again in the next week, assume that I've been swallowed up completely, and turned into a bush. A nice one, hopefully. Not lavender!
swordznsorcery: (johnblack)
( Sep. 12th, 2015 07:45)
I keep meaning to post, and not getting around to it. I was going to do a post at the end of August, crowing about how many books I've read recently - it's like I've suddenly remembered how to read fiction. I re-read Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, and that seemed to spark something, and I managed nine books in August! I've read nothing much but non-fiction in ages, as I couldn't seem to concentrate on fiction. I don't suppose it will last (and okay, I started JS&MN back in July, and some of the books were pretty short!). But yay. I even made a little celebratory picture to show off with. But now September's practically over, so it doesn't work quite so well coming now. Nonetheless:

Bookishness follows anyway )
swordznsorcery: (e street)
( Aug. 18th, 2015 23:58)
There was a terrific sky earlier. I tried being all photographical, but somebody put a telegraph pole in the way.

Some pictures of things )
swordznsorcery: (Default)
( Aug. 9th, 2015 07:42)
I am the worst LJ/DreamWidther, I know. I don't seem to have spoken to some of you in weeks. It's nothing personal! I just don't seem to have a lot of time lately. I will try to catch up, probably in batches, but lately everything is non-stop. Spent yesterday digging my mother's flowerbeds. (They're too small, so I'm making them bigger). Looking after a neighbour's garden as well at the moment. Then got greeted by my cats in a cloud of fur, so had to spend the next slice of forever brushing them. Seriously, how do two cats generate that much fur?! They're not even long-haired. And then I had to spend several hours minutes trying to rescue a grasshopper from the cat litter tray. I mean really. I appreciate that life is fraught with difficulties when you're two centimetres long, and compelled to keep your knees in your ears, but it can't be so bad that leaping into a cat litter tray seems like a good idea. Especially when you presumably had to leap a good twelve feet up and through a window in order to get there.

But! Life is not all dashing hither and yon. I have recently discovered the BBC's 1982 adaptation of Beau Geste, and have been watching that. And it's wonderful. I'm trying to keep it for Sunday evenings, as it's a very Sunday evening type of show; or what used to be a Sunday evening type of show. The Beeb doesn't really do them anymore. The book is an old favourite of mine, and so far it's a very faithful and effective adaptation. Terrific cast, too. Benedict Taylor is absolutely perfect as Beau, and there's an hilariously callow Jonathon Morris as John Geste. Extra fun for Doctor Who fans too, as not only is the script editor Terrance Dicks, but it was produced by Barry Letts and directed by Douglas Camfield. All of which may explain why some of the desert scenes look a bit like they were filmed in a quarry. Some things never change! I'm three quarters of the way through, and I want it to last much longer than it's going to. It's such a good story that you'd be hard pressed to do it very badly, but who better to adapt a classic adventure story than the BBC, back in the days when they still made telly properly? And yes, I am aware how horribly old and creaky and ridiculous that makes me sound, and I don't entirely mean it (hello, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, for starters). But I do love the old stuff best. I shall probably bother you with screencaps at some point.

Oh, and hey - digging! I love digging, as it turns out. (Well, it's nice, at the grand old age of forty, to finally find that one thing that we're all supposed to be good at). My mother's garden is a disaster area of clay and rubble, but this makes it excellent for fossil hunting (Gloucestershire is a treasure-trove of jurassic marine fossils). So yesterday was gloriously hot and sunny, and I spent it with a spade, up to my knees in clay, finding Interesting Things. Yes, okay, mostly Gryphaea and belemnites, but also a lovely Something. It's probably a piece of coral. I am very pleased with it.

Digging is good. I like digging.



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