Well, it feels a lot like my usual holiday, except I'm not. Everyone else is on holidays (small mercies) but I'm stuck here, selling my soul, piece by piece.
Anyhoo, I saw the Queen on Sunday. Or Helen Mirren doing her stock in trade at a NT Live screening. I was in a crabby mood, being unwell and not a good traveller when unwell and easily vexed (and trying to travel a 100km round trip by public transport, on a Sunday, in winter, when unwell, is sure and certain to lead to vexing) but I still enjoyed it very much, despite having to queue, queue and queue again to get in.
It was slight in terms of plot (various PMs waddle on and pretty much do a sketch comedy turn of their most famous ticks or lines, and waddle off again) but Dame Helen does a mesmerising job as Her Maj and it was funny and poignant at times. More entertaining fluff than probing examination of the times, but it worked for me, needing distraction, and between that and The House I think I know more about recent British history than I did last week.
Otherwise, I spent my flu-ridden downtimecatching up on the David Tennant dvds, just because it was starting to stack up, but I do love David so, and his ever familiar ticks and turns were a great big warm comfy blanket while I was unwell. The way he pauses, draws breath, tilts his head to the side and twists his face before launching into a contrary opinion. You know, that sort of thing.
Anyways, viewing consisted of ripping through Broadchurch. Somehow, even catching an episode while in Dundee, and being all over the interwebs, I managed to remain unspoiled, but it's airing here, and I lack faith in local media outlets, so I just binged, one sick day, one dvd.
I have to say, it was much, much better watching it from the start. The episode I saw, which was mid way through the sea of red herrings, I had no idea who or what was going on and the deeply, deeply Lynchian attempts at Scandi Noir were frankly laughable, if one wasn't sucked into the story and deeply invested in characters, which I was on my proper viewing.
I might have been more aware of the plot than I thought, though, because it was really obvious whodunnit after one character dropped off a very significant line. Nevertheless, David does good DI, so I was happy.
Also finally saw how Warsaw Spies turned out - I was watching it and the cable went out about 15 mins from the end, and stayed out for the rest of the week so I ordered the dvd on Amazon, and, bless, they had it to me before the end of the week, and it wasn't their fault it took until now for me to have the personal time and space to unwrap it, space/time achieved by a fortress of solitude/used manky tissues.
DT was not quite so convincing as the heroic studmuffin (he does worn out old coppers better), but I enjoyed it. Very Buchan Boys Own adventure, but as I'm 75% of my way through a Buchan compilation right now, clearly I'm not entirely adverse to that sort of thing.
Also working my way through Catcher in the Rye, which I never read at school because it was a Banned Work (we were and remain conservative) but I'm reading now as it's quoted often in US telly, as they assume you actually have read it at school, and it's okay, but as I was warned, and it indeed is true, that reading it as an adult makes you want to slap young, self absorbed young Holden into next week, and probably a little bit further. Quite a bit further. If he goes on about stuff being phony once more I'll puke.
That's pretty much it. Some True Blood viewing, the most frustrating and satisfying show of the week (some plotlines drive me up the wall, other characters don't get their kit off nearly enough). Because I'm shallow like that (and as I try to watch the nearest dammit to US broadcast screening on Foxtel, because, hey, LA Times, spoilers, I'm usually watching it just after I get home from work on Mondays, after the monster commute, so I'm in no fit state to watch it for any more than the shallowest reasons, with my cup of tea and a biscuit).
This article was fairly interesting. Weird, but interesting. I guess after last week I know Lewis, Morse, Poirot and anything with David Tennant in it are my drugs of choice, and I'll even do Midsomer if I can't get anything else in a pinch (it's almost always on some channel). I find British murder mysteries, as opposed to the far more kitchen sink cop shows, soothing even though I know I shouldn't really, as they're all about restoring the social order, law and justice be damned.
It's all 'look at my lamps, my modernist lamps that I had to buy out of a catalogue instead of inheriting them because I'm clearly nouveau riche and therefore clearly guilty, and should be punished just for rising above my station'. You know, that sort of thing. (People writing in the Telegraph say Downton is great because everyone knew their place, apparently missing the bit where the daughter ran off the the chauffeur).
I should hate it, leftie that I am, hate it all, but as I grew up with wall to wall Brit telly, and, having now actually met the rels and been in their houses, and it's all floral curtains and jags and the local bridge club so yes, I get it, it's like I've been indoctrinated even though I'm the poor scuzzy antipodean cousin. I dunno, never knew my grandparents, fusty old Barnaby and Miss Marple will have to do in a pinch when I just want hot soup and hot water bottles and a steady, comforting presence.
So yeah, I have my tv comfort food, and it is the plodding sameness that is the comforting bit (other tv I watch to be thrilled, intrigued, educated, amazed and moved, this is tv I watch to calm down). If I'd ever had somebody read to me as a kid, I think this is what it might have been like. I can get through anything (and I have), if I can hear Robbie Lewis's voice. I even put on Morse while I was doing a tricky system reboot once, just so I could keep a steady hand (I get anxious when my old laptops get sick and die).
That said, had a time rebooting the cable last night. It went out and himself was a dickless wonder, wouldn't talk to the cable company on the phone or hold the cables so I had to talk to the tech guy and twiddle everything at the back of the set myself (with a certain degree of difficulty when you've only got one head and two hands) but I got it going again and only missed about 15 minutes of show.
So much for my quiet night of writing, though. I'd managed (through great effort of will and practice) to maintain a happy mellow scrawling condusive mood all day and then it was shattered by being called to action by weakminded fools, and by the time I was done I was in no mood to do anything but put my fist through a wall, so that was that. Perhaps I could have used that mood to write angry scenes, but I just sulked instead, because I'd been looking forward to picking up my pencil for the first time since April and then to be prevented from doing so...arrrgh. It was spoilt. Completely ruined beyond saving. I was all cross and restless and not well. Damn. Sniffled and snuffled and not even Poirot settled me down. Harumph. Where is Lewis when I need him?
So cranky today. Quite annoyed at some chick bleating on the radio about her ancestors not being allowed to speak their own language. Yeah, well, tell that to the Scots. You ain't Robinson Crusoe, as my dad used to say. You're not the only ones to suffer the odd bit of ethnic cleansing. In fact it's such a depressingly regular occurence throughout history that one might as well call it normal human experience, with all the other shitty stuff that happens, with people being shitty to each other.
Get over it, in other words. Not that anybody ever does, but, you know, it's not like it's just you, petal. Harumph.
I was going to say that at least there's the United Nations, Human Rights Commission and law courts to mitigate, but not even then, eh. Not even then. Life sucks, and hey, at least she knew her own grandparents.
Toldya I was cranky. In other news, my lovely red teapot was complinented again. I do love it so. The old green Chinese teapot had an exotic charm, but this is the perfect size, has a tea leaf holder that pops out easily for dumping in the rubbish, or when I'm just teabagging it (ahem), it has a fliptop lid which means I'm never in danger of dropping the lid and it doesn't slop when I carry it back to my desk. And it makes a damn fine cup of tea. Matching cup is just a bonus.
Tea is vital to my cognitive processes and emotional wellbeing. And waiting for the kettle to boil is soothing. And I need soothing. At least DT is on telly tonight (cable willing). Huzzah.
So that was that. There's more, and you'll know why I'm still so very unwell. Will I not stay in bed? Well, not even if I want to, and I've only made a small dent in the David Tennant dvd pile, sigh.
Anyway, the one thing that has given me a giggle today is this. He is, and remains, an absolute legend. I will love him forever, just for making me giggle today, when I'm so surly otherwise.
You know, the thing I thought would quit me scanning would be me losing interest, or resources, but I never imagined that I'd get to a stage where I'd be so old and creaky it'd be an onerous chore. Still, there's some stuff coming up and I found this, sadly not so safely nested twixt magazines as I'd hoped.
Still, I found that French mag I was looking for, the one I remembered pretty much swooning over when I bought it. The one with young Henry on the cover (and he was a very young Henry back then). Better yet, secreted inside was a much folded metro map, a floor plan to the Musée d'Orsay (I was sure and certain I'd been, but couldn't remember seeing any of the paintings I'd gone to see, thank you meningitis), much folded, and, cheekily, a guide to Hampton Court marking the place where the interview with young Henry begins. So I know it was bought over there. In the Gare du Nord. At least I remember that much (with some papery prompting).
Now you know why I keep all my tickets, annotate my maps and take photos like a fool. I need my aide-mémoires, desperately. (And I used to have near perfect recall, it kills me, still, the soupy mush of a brain I have now).
Anyway, happy I found it, having a rummage around the 'to do' pile. Made good inroads on the 'to do' pile, had the poor scanner grinding away all through the Doctor Who eps on Sunday (Rememberance of the Daleks, George Sewell, creepy sci fi kid, bulk refs to Unearthly Child, the usual tropes in other words).
That was pretty much it, I was staggering from job to job until I finally sank down to my Sunday arvo sit down jobs.
Parrots aren't happy with me. Not only am I rarely there and hard to keep track of these days (blame the persecution), but the place that made their preferred brand must have gone out of business, and how, when I'm feeding every bird in the greater metropolitan area? It wasn't planned. Being a crazy old bird lady, I mean. One day, a parrot stuck his head in the door and said hello and I thought it was cute. Next thing I know he's showing up with a dozen mates, and they bring their mates, and so it goes. And if I try to stop they bring their babies around to weep outside my window. Because they know I'll always break.
I m soft headed and soft hearted enough to feed that night's dinner to a flock of open mouthed little magpies, but they did sing songs of the day they scored a scotch filet until the day they died (eaten my next door's cats). Oh, I miss 'em, sometimes, my magpies, when I used to feel safe enough to weed the front path, my magpies hanging close for any bug I turned up, singing away beside me. It was nice.
Now I have my birds waiting for me when I get out of class, harraguing me outside the shops and scolding me all the way home. And as for not putting out the good stuff, well, you can imagine. An affronted parrot is not one to suffer quietly.
Oh, and there's a young kookaburra nearby. He still hasn't got the laugh down yet, and it's too funny listening to him try. Usually they're taught at a young age (have you ever heard young kookaburra learning how to do the laugh?) but I think this one is orphaned, hence the hanging outside my window (I get all the strays, sick, old and orphans, I've got an old bird in the yard as of the weekend) not quite getting the laugh right. Gawd, I'm such a sucker for a fellow misfit.
Heard from someone out of the blue, dropping refs to MST3K. I was just thinking of them last night, or how Nabonga was lacking there little silhouettes at the front. Yes, I own a film called Nabonga. I was looking up Julie London on IMDB and saw she'd starred opposite a guy in a monkey suit and before you could say wtf it was in my shopping basket. (I also bought Jane Eyre, so just Amazon would have to say people who bought Jane Eyre also boought...ERROR...ERROR...).
Besides, it was clearly a hole in my monkey suit sub genre of films (I also have evil monkeys, time travelling detectives, Canadian vampire cops, and other unlikely tropes in my collection). It's basically just an old jewel heist film, and someone decided what it really needed was a guy in a monkey suit. As they do.
Also, the monkey isn't called Nabonga. Nobody is called Nabonga in the film. Just in case you want your money back. Like I said, I don't know how the MST3K guys missed that one.
Now that I've said Nabonga enough times to satisfy even the most weary soul, I gotta say, I'm still of a mood. The sort of mood that has my hair standing on end and my shoelaces perpetually untied. Still, I distracted myself with a run down to my sekrit newsagent where I picked up a backpack worth of mags, including some interview with young Cavill I'd previously missed.
I also made a detour to pick up some Fortnum and Mason tea, in a cheery little blue tin, because it is my happy place. So worth that mega hamper I bought just to see the bow tied guy's face when he saw that Madam did indeed have an account with the store. Besides, it was worth it, that hamper, the one time the dollar was bouncing high, just to surprise Himself before Xmas. He spent the whole holiday digging through it like a truffle hound (it took up 2/3 of the spare couch). And I loved my snowbound afternoon tea in the shop.
Other happy places include Hampton Court (sitting by, in the sun, with bumblebees), Wells (eating a cornetto in the gardens), Whitby local museum (three thousand years of tourist tat from all corners of the globe, under glass) and, just to add a local one, a hot chocolate at the Paragon at Katomba. The hot chocolate is lousy but I love the art deco panels to bits.
Alas, no tea today. Someone is wearing a nasty perfume so the allergies are hiding behind a mask, which make tea input impossible. The fiends (it's an office, not a whorehouse). I'll just admire the tin instead. Pretty blue tin.
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