Nothing against Dame Agatha, of course. She is exactly what I need when I’m tired and shoved on an overcrowded bus, unfussy and just distracting enough to help me escape the misery of my commute, but not too demanding of attention I simply don’t have to give.
By the way, any privileged prat who says it’s about the journey, not the destination, has never had a two hour commute by failing public transport, or, indeed, flown from Sydney to London in Economy. Screw your mindfulness, it’s all about escapism for me.
Ahem. Sorry. It’s been a few months of even more chaos than usual. Thank goodness I hadto give me hope in the wee dark hours as I worked (yes, worked, in the wee dark hours) on urgent updates. Well, that and a nice hot pot of tea (Dalek tea cosy still going strong).
I did mention I have a Dalek tea cosy, right? Well, I do. On my desk, at work. I’m at the ‘don’t care anymore’ point of my career (such as it is) and at least it unpeeled a few Who fans from the wall.
Anyway, I’m reading Pale Horse, it’s from 1961, so I presume the ghastly young people today she’s dumping on are Boomers (cue muted chuckling from this old Gen Xer). This could be fun.
I was hoping to re-read Ivanhoe, but I couldn’t find any copies on any shelf. Poor Sir Walter. Once he had statues, now he’s not to be found on any shelf in Sydney. Sigh. To add insult to injury, he was referenced several times on my social media feeds. Yeah, well, he’s going to have to coast a little further on reputation only as I can’t get my grubby mitts on any of his output (I’m oddly in the mood for something luridly romantic, in the old sense of the word). Pity, I loved Waverley, and would dearly love to see how Waverley crosses paths with the Outlander books, because I swear they must have showed up at some of the same parties.
Theatre? I went and saw Mary Stuart at the STC. It was, as advertised, rather good. I’m becoming quite the fan of Kate Mulvaney’s writing, she doesn’t waste a word and she has an actor’s sense of making dialogue since and dance and fight. A cast of TV favourites (as well as theatre stalwarts) were nimble with the text, and the stage design, serving as court and prison (METAPHOR ALERT!) was clever and evocative, ditto the mostly off stage sound effects.
It’s nice to see a return to sets and some attempt at theatre magic, because I’m always impressed in a bit of mechanics, a bit of sound and light and some sleight of hand to conjure far away places on a wooden stage. (If I’m going to be paying $$ I can’t afford I want some actual bang for my buck).
A two hour play can never do more than touch upon gender, politics, religion, statehood, sisterhood, conspiracy, popularity, justice and revenge, but I felt Kate’s script really hit hard on all those points, before bouncing off to the next vignette. I liked it. And Himself didn’t snore (no higher praise).
Before the play we’d engorged ourselves on pancakes at Pancakes at the Rocks (our new Hickson Rd dining venue), but I was stress eating, and it was a rather marvellous nostalgic treat.
TV is streaming only, and mostly shrug or I haven’t had time yet, but I did all but punch my way to some time to watch the Umbrella Academy (there has to be some tin foil lining to being shoved over by a rude man in a blue shirt and badly spraining my ankle, yet again, when I was so proud of slogging from one end of the city to the other only days before).
I liked it, I really did. It had Tom Hopper, perfectly cast as a brick wall, Robert Sheehan, perfectly cast as a flake (and for once there was no such thing as over the top and too much for Klaus), and Ellen Page perfectly cast as a drudge with a grudge.
I’ve read articles describing it’s debt to Chris Claremont, and absolutely, but I also like The Avengers (Steed and Peel) style sense of whimsy. Anyone calling the Umbrella Academy too silly clearly doesn’t spent wet Saturdays watching Peter Cushing launch cybernauts across the home counties (and I pity them).
I doubt anyone else will enjoy it quite as much as I did. It was just such a welcome relief from grinding reality, as I’m having a bit of a rough trot right now, the substance of which can be basically summed up by.
Also, Klaus. I adored Klaus. Luther and Diego were sweetly messed up and sad, but the train wreck of Klaus, oh my (and you wonder why I’m single).
Yes, had quite a bit of fun watching Umbrella Academy. Just the bit with the ice cream truck rolling over the hill tinkling Ride of the Valkyries was both engagingly silly and contextually perfect, and it’s moments like that which made me love it so. Basically, there’s a Buffy-ness to it that is both endearing and familiar. Perfect comfort TV viewing.
I’ve also been watching Chris Pine throw himself about in I Am The Night. To be honest, it leaves me cold. I can see what they were trying for, but it’s just not striking that match for me. It’s trying too hard, from the set direction to Pine’s lunging burnout. I dunno, Chris. First you mumble through Outlaw King and now you keep crashing into the scenery.
Now Robert Sheehan I have disliked intensely, but the last two projects I’ve seen him in have been note perfect and effortless. I am revising my opinion of Mr Sheehan. Poor old Chris. If it looks like you’re working too hard you’re not doing it right, old boy.
Music? Ha, no. I missed one of my very favourite bands this week. Something has to give, and it’s always stuff I want to do. Always.