Tuesday, 26 April 2016

taken at the flood

On Tuesday 12th April I finished Taken At The Flood by Agatha Christie. After a run of disappointing ones (aside from Ariadne's appearance in Dead Man's Folly), it was a pretty good one, although a couple of things at the end let it down.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

hamlet - nicholas limm, ilissos at the cockpit

On Friday 22 April I treated myself to another Hamlet, at the Cockpit Theatre by Ilissos theatre company. It was based on the First Quarto version, which was quite interesting, and on the whole fairly well done.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

the simpsons movie

Maisie and I watched The Simpsons Movie (on DVD) yesterday afternoon. It was okay; it was just like a long episode of the tv series, and as such felt rather pointless (just financial, I guess), particularly so long after the height of the series' popularity. You did realise how many ongoing characters they have when you realised how little (if any) time many of them were featured in the film for.

Monday, 18 April 2016

out of this world

On Friday 15th April we all (with Hei Mun, Laura and Margaret) went to Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre in Walthamstow and saw the London premiere production of an old Cole Porter musical, Out Of This World. It was fine, but not a lost classic by any means.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

jane eyre

On Sunday 3 November 2013 - aided by two long bus journeys to and from the LGQ involvement in a church service in Whetstone - I finished, at long last, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I didn't like it very much.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

coping with change

Last night I finished reading Coping With Change, a commentary on Ecclesiastes by Walter C Kaiser Jr (published by CFP, a one-off rather than part of a series). It was fine, but a bit heavy going - I didn't really get much from it as a read. It might be more useful to refer to for info on particular verses or issues, although it was presented more as a commentary you could read through (and I have got more from commentaries which you aren't supposed to read through, like the Tyndale ones). A little disappointing, therefore, but just might not have been the book for me at this moment.

First line: No book of the Bible has been so maligned, and so misunderstood, as the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes.
Last para: What a book! What a good God! What a life! And what a plan!

An interesting cover, having an upside-down photo of an evening sky with an outline triangle on it, suggestive of various interpretations relating to relationship with God, direction of communication, understanding of life, reversed priorities and perspectives, etc... and, of course, coping with change, as per the title. An unusually thin author typeface. Interesting that they didn't put Ecclesiastes on the spine; but I guess predicting that it'll be shelved with the commentaries anyway, and the non-Bible-book title will make it stand out.

Friday, 8 April 2016

egyptology exhibition at two temple place

On Thursday 7th April Maisie and I went to Two Temple Place to see a free exhibition of Egyptian archaeological finds, Beyond Beauty: Transforming The Body In Ancient Egypt. It was an interesting exhibition, and an equally interesting building.

the princess diaries 2

This afternoon Maisie and I watched The Princess Diaries 2, which - let's face it, like most sequels - wasn't as good as the first one. The Wikipedia entry quotes Rotten Tomatoes' summing up of it - 'Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews bring charm and elegance to the movie, but there's not enough material for them to work with in this sequel' - which describes it perfectly well.

to sea in a sieve

On Friday 1 April I finished To Sea In A Sieve, a wartime memoir by Peter Bull, who was a minor actor. I like unassuming but well-written accounts of lowly wartime service, and this fitted the bill quite well. It didn't all live up to its rather good opening page, and the bits where nothing much was happening in his war were less interesting than they might have been (it needn't be a direct correlation).

Thursday, 7 April 2016

new moon

This afternoon Maisie and I watched the second Twilight film, New Moon. The star-crossed lovers elements were much more tedious than in the first film, but I still enjoyed the background vampire/werewolf large-scale story elements; I'm not sure they wholly made up for the former, and I wouldn't particularly recommend the film to anyone. Maisie wanted to kick on straight into the next film (we got the first three in a £1.50 secondhand set), but I wasn't up for that.

they do it with mirrors

On Sunday 3rd April I finished They Do It With Mirrors by Agatha Christie. It was okay; I wouldn't specially recommend it to anyone as a good read or an ingenious structure/plot/solution.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

who framed roger rabbit?

We watched Who Framed Roger Rabbit? on DVD on Saturday 25 January 2014. It was pretty good, about as I'd remembered it. My favourite bit will always be where Roger and Bob Hoskins are handcuffed together and Bob is trying to get them free, possibly by cutting the handcuffs off. At some point in the proceedings Roger comes out of his handcuff in order to hold them steady while Bob cuts them. Bob eventually realises what Roger has done. 'Could you have done that at any time?', he asks, crossly. 'Only when it was funny,' replies Roger.

tinker tailor soldier spy

On Saturday 5th April 2014, having visited Bekonscot Model Village earlier in the day (model villages leave me cold; I just don't see the point or the attraction; see also waxworks), we watched in the evening a recording of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, the recent film version starring Gary Oldman. It required concentration, but it was worth it.

eddie the eagle

On Friday 1 April Maisie and I saw Eddie The Eagle at the Genesis cinema. I thought it was quite charming and appropriately low-key. It did make me wonder to what extent the story was the true story; it was quite black and white particularly in the opposition and disapproval, and a quick look online suggests that of course the story wasn't quite as depicted, but if you accept that and go with the feel-good triumph over adversity cliches, it's good. The central performance in particular was I thought pitched just right, charming, unassuming but determined; an impressive spread of good actors through the cast too; it's funny in that it feels like a small British film (in a good way) but has a big hitter like Hugh Jackman in a lead role (and Christopher Walken, though in a much smaller role), but that doesn't unbalance it.

hail, caesar!

On Saturday 27th March we all saw Hail, Caesar! in the afternoon at the Odeon Covent Garden. We all enjoyed it; I liked it a lot. I like the Coen Brothers, generally, and I like films about film-making. Of their own films, it reminded me most of O Brother Where Art Thou; witty, episodic, and featuring something they clearly have a lot of affection for.

Friday, 1 April 2016

city of london day

Yesterday, it being the Easter holidays, Maisie and I had a day in the City together. We did a couple of free things we've done before - The Bank of England Museum (which she likes, especially for the interactive activities) and the Guildhall Art Gallery and Amphitheatre (which I like, especially for the Preraphaelite art) - and then a London Walks walk we hadn't been on before, on the theme of crime and punishment, which started at St Paul's tube and went west and east of the old Fleet river, including Saffron Hill, Clerkenwell and Smithfield. We enjoyed all these things, plus the light lunch at Costa.

Morris folk club in March

Another Morris Folk Club, on Tuesday. I sang Angel Band (I thought I should learn a Christian song, it having just been Easter; I know surprisingly few; I just learnt it over the weekend, but it's short and I was pretty familiar with it anyway, from the Stanley Brothers' version known from O Brother Where Art Thou) and April Come She Will (it's been on my 'ready to sing' list for so long, I thought I'd better take the plunge; the pitching was the main thing that put me off, not sure whether to go high with Art and if I did whether I'd get enough volume and nervelessness; I got away with it, more or less).

And Tanja, Ginny and I sang a three-part Parting Glass (based on the Voice Squad version), which I thought went rather well (though of course happily for me I could hear Tanja and Ginny better than I could hear myself). We had done it as a small group for the drinking songs concert, with a number on the tune and Ginny and I doing a harmony each. Tanja suggested doing it at the rehearsal the previous Tuesday, but Ginny wasn't there; Ginny was up for giving it a go, and we just had a quick practice before the folk club got under way.

Full running order here.