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30 September 2013 @ 12:10 pm
"All live to die, and rise to fall."  
Jizzy fucking Chrizzy, will someone please just shoot Osborne. He’s such a fucking tosspot. Please explain to me, Georgie, what the fuck is the point of forcing a whole load of people to go to a Jobcentre every single day. Oh no, wait, there is no point, plus I find it hard to imagine that Jobcentres these days are actually staffed to be able to cope with that level of activity. Just a stupid way of punishing people who can’t get a job. Vile. This Government’s obsession with vilifying the unemployed and in fact anyone who needs any kind of benefit (despite the cold, hard fact that the countless number of people on minimum wage are not in fact making a living wage) is revolting, and the way the majority of the media seem to be playing along with it is doubly so.

In other, more localised news, I had precisely zero 3G this morning (not exactly a surprise) and a similar level of mobile service. So, thanks Orange/EE. Shit as ever. I spent half my way into work trying to text Katie to ask her to take some chicken out of the freezer; will now have to revisit dinner plans. Vexing, vexing. I am so fed up with the lack of service in London. FFS, it’s London. I really don’t understand. I was opposite the Hs of P on Friday afternoon, and there was just no service at all. Honestly, you’d think our noble parliamentarians would have got pissed off to the point of getting it fixed by now. Or probably they have a bubble of wifi and are thus unconcerned by the problems the rest of us face*.

Anyway, in happier news, as previously advertised, went to see the National’s Edward II on Friday. Oh, that was good! I can see why it would be polarising, but I really enjoyed it; their choices really worked for me. The staging was fantastic – loved the shack-of-plotting where baronial whispering went on (set in the middle of the stage, you couldn’t really see inside, but the scenes were projected onto screens – I thought it was a brilliant way of representing all the secret conspiring that went on, and the implicit danger of those meetings). Also there was a comedy portacabin of terror which tickled our fancy. I thought the characterisation of Isabella was fascinating – she seemed simultaneously to have agency and yet to be dependent on the man in power, whether that man be her husband, her lover, or her son (and that final scene with Edward III was mesmerising). That one line, “All live to die, and rise to fall,” I think perfectly captures the mood of the whole play and that medieval view of the progression (or cycle) of life: the wheel of fortune, indeed. All in all, fabulous.

Saturday, as planned, we went to Ham House, where it was fortuitously open cabinet day! Open cabinet day is the best day. An update on Ham House (as I am sure you have been eagerly awaiting): the Duchess’s bathroom smelt very vinegary; the paintings on the staircase have been taken away for cleaning or summat; they’d left the door to the lumber room off the beer cellar unlocked so I had a little look round (it’s full of lumber); we discovered where they must have barred the kitchen door to the outside world; the library was, alas, locked, so we couldn’t go in and instead peered longingly through the window; they’ve got a new second-hand bookshop (thumbs up).

Didn’t do anything on Sunday except roll around the sofa like a would-be potentate whilst Katie brought me a bacon sandwich for lunch and squash & blue cheese riz for dinner. TV watched over the course of the weekend included Agents of SHIELD and, natch, Downton. My feelings on Downton:

1. I’m sorry, I’m not happy about Edith’s fella. Very concerned he’s going to turn into a Nazi. Back to the drawing board there.

2. Well. At least Matthew left a letter with testamentary effect, but I still find it massively a) out of character and b) fundamentally unlikely, given his profession and state in life, that he did not just make a fricking will. And, in fact, he says he never has made a will. Not when he became Robert’s heir. Not when he inherited Ginger Lavinia’s dad’s fortune. Not when he got married. Not when he bought half of Downton. Really? Really? DO NOT BELIEVE.

3. FFS. Cora’s credulity and Robert’s blind bullheadedness are really giving me the pip. I harbour a longstanding fondness for Robert, but he is being a complete dick.

4. Bates should not look twinkly-eyed; it is extremely disconcerting.

5. There is not permitted to be any conspiracy against Anna. Unacceptable.

6. There is an unwavering truth about Downton that has been apparent from the very first: the Dowager is the best thing.

7. The new lady’s maid. No. Must go. Cannot bear all the petty plotting and mean-spiritedness.

8. Rose is annoying, but that chap she danced with was A+ adorable.

9. The footmen are also annoying. Daisy, you deserve better and one day your prince will come.

10. Molesley. Oh, Molesley. No words, really.

Also watched Atlantis, which I have to say I thought was a bit shit, so I probably won’t bother with it again.

* Huh. It’s like a little allegory, right there.
tree_and_leaf on September 30th, 2013 11:44 am (UTC)
fundamentally unlikely, given his profession and state in life, that he did not just make a fricking will.

I also find it incredible that Robert would let his daughter get married without insisting on seeing that a will was made as part of the settlement before the marriage took place. Although I suppose we've established that Robert has no sense whatever...
Miss Squeenie McPimpalot: bard much ado benedick wtfchaletian on September 30th, 2013 11:54 am (UTC)
Exactly! I mean, one does an awful lot of willingly suspending one's disbelief during Downton, but I really think this particular plot point is straining credulity too far. Also, no need for it: Robert would have been just as pissed off and resistant if Matthew had left everything to Mary in a proper will as in a letter.
Stevy: Candleankaret on September 30th, 2013 01:35 pm (UTC)
Atlantis struck me as a criminal waste of Juliet Stevenson.
Miss Squeenie McPimpalot: merlin emo arthurchaletian on September 30th, 2013 02:58 pm (UTC)
Definitely. I mean, I love a cheesy teatime drama (oh, Merlin), but Atlantis was just a bit rubbish.
Jinosprey_archer on September 30th, 2013 01:41 pm (UTC)
Ugh, Downton Abbey. I loved the first season so much, what happened, Downton! I stopped watching midway through season 3, and this does not sound like I should pick it back up.

I am disturbed by the concept of twinkly-eyed Bates.
Miss Squeenie McPimpalot: alicechaletian on September 30th, 2013 02:58 pm (UTC)
That is the correct reaction. It just wasn't right.

Yeah, the standard of Downton never lived up to season one, but I do mostly still enjoy its extraordinary ridiculousness.
Raya D. Sunshine, PhD.nzraya on September 30th, 2013 02:49 pm (UTC)
But what about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Haz you any thinky thoughts about that? I found it underwhelming....
Miss Squeenie McPimpalot: avengers wtfchaletian on September 30th, 2013 02:56 pm (UTC)
Well. I sort of don't, because I was largely paying more attention to my laptop than than the show, which I suspect is telling in and of itself. I dunno, maybe I need to watch it again? I laughed in a few places, but I can barely remember the plot. I am prepared to give it room to grow, though!
katherineakatherinea on September 30th, 2013 08:31 pm (UTC)
I harbour a longstanding hatred for Osbourne, but he is being a complete dick. As I could say pretty much any day of the week.

Yes, 3G, where are thou?

2. Gotta have a secret letter or it wouldn't be the cliche-ridden tosh that it is. Still very watchable tosh though.

4. Don't care about Bates. Never did.

6. I am enjoying the Dowager right now although in the past I feel she has wobbled on the edge of a 'here for one lines only precipice' ]

And my Internet is shit and so it ate my comment and I had to type it all out again. See my love and dedication?