So, I have decided, in my infinite wisdom, to try and rejoin the world of LJ, as it’s really the only blogging (lol that word seems so dated now) that I’ve been able to do successfully. And frankly who doesn’t want to hear about my ever-growing tea towel collection*? To that end, let me get you up to date with my life. Settle down: it’ll be a rollercoaster ride**!
Is exactly the same. Oh, except all the commissioning in the NHS has changed and we have a new patient management system that is for shit and absolutely nobody has a clue what’s going on. Good times. I have my own office now, though.
Is exactly the same. Grandma turns 85 next week. My father’s still in the middle east. My mother gets to retire next December; that’s exciting! My brother’s contemplating going round the world but in order to do that he needs to save money and not spend it all on wine and cheese and music festivals.
As you can tell (unless this is a cunning ploy 0.o), Katie has still not killed me; we continue on in domestic bliss. Her parents are visiting next month and we’re getting the kitchen painted and (after a mere six years; we’re so proactive) we’re getting an actual kitchen light instead of a lightbulb dangling sullenly from that attractively unpainted patch of kitchen ceiling it calls home. Hmm, what else? We bought two beautiful bird glasses in Liberty as part of our snail-paced quest to replace our boring crocks with a kaleidoscope of beautiful crockery/china. To that end we also have the hen bowl and the bunny bowl, not to mention the gnome glasses. (Also, I bought some earl grey chocolate in Liberty that was absolutely gorgeous. Prestat. I recommend it wholeheartedly.)
I have been to many places and many exhibitions and seen many things. The Pompeii exhib at the BM was amazing. Also interesting were the Propaganda exhib at the British Library, Treasures of the Royal Courts (Russia & England in Tudor and Stuart period) at the V&A (some ridic massive silver, and interestingly the Lord Chamberlain’s little record book thing for a production (poss the first production, actually) of Twelfth Night, at which the Russian ambassador was present), and The Lost Prince at the NPG.
We went on our traditional holiday-in-a-cottage, this year to Ludlow in Shropshire. Had a smashing time, as usual. Saw the Mappa Mundi in Hereford which was amazing. Ludlow itself was a lovely town, and Ludlow Castle was smashing – it’s tumbledown, but in the best kind of way. We also went to Hay-on-Wye, where I was astonishingly reticent on the book-buying front (and also refrained from buying a beautiful tiny jug with a bee and a ladybird on it because it was about a million pounds***). I really like Hay Castle – the way it’s just sitting there atop its little hill, not doing anything except enact the role of local safety hazard. And then we went to Ironbridge twice. Ironbridge is ace. We saw the Iron Bridge itself (the only surviving bridge on the Severn from the 1795 flood), and the tile museum (tops) and the china museum (less tops, tbh), and the Victorian village, and the iron museum, and the old iron forge from the c17th. Fascinating stuff.
Hmm, what other thrilling little adventures have I been on? Katie and I went to Haddon Hall in Derbyshire with my mother. It’s been there forever (the curtain wall dates to King John’s reign), and is just the prettiest house. It’s got a chapel where they’ve restored the c15th wall decorations, and they’re amazing! It was interesting, you could really see the period’s influence on the Arts & Craftsy designs (and also, speaking of, the influence of the art in Pompeii on – of course – Adam’s designs of the c18th (cf the deliberate imitation in the Etruscan room at Osterley Park) but also on some of the motifs of later Victorian art).
Katie and I went to Osterley with Katherine the other weekend, largely, I cannot lie, in order to buy a marrow which, per autumnal tradition, we later stuffed with sausage and ate with gusto. There was a mini exhib about the East India Company (the Childs family, which owned Osterley, was heavily involved), and the amount of money they made was absolutely ridic! There was a room pretending to be a merchant ship, and we wore high-larious sailor hats while poring over an c18th merchant map. In the bookshop between Osterley and the Great West Road I purchased a book about Edward IV and another about Roger Mortimer.
Let’s see, what else? We walked a bit of the Thames path, between Ham House and Hampton Court, and saw many a crenellated building; also the remains of the medieval Kingston Bridge underneath John Lewis.
After a couple of lacklustre theatre years, we have kind of gone all out on the theatre this year, so I’ve seen lots of things. The Globe season has, as usual, been excellent. I loved Macbeth (we’re going to see it again next week), and Dream was excellent. Also enjoyed Bluestockings (with a couple of reservations) and Lightning Child (even though I remain a bit confused by it all!). I was delighted by the Henry VIs – part 2 in particular was amazingly good. I do love a history play.
General thumbs up for the Michael Grandage season. We missed Privates on Parade, but saw Peter and Alice and The Cripple of Inishmaan, and are going to see Dream shortly; also, I need to get around to booking Henry V.
We went to Bath (lovely day out) to see Jamie in Candida, which was very enjoyable. You can’t go wrong with a bit of Shaw, I always say. Enjoyed Othello at the National (far more than Hamlet, I have to say; a far more convincing production). We’re going to see their Edward II on Friday, which I am looking forward to.
I have also expanded my cultural horizons and been to the ballet a lot more. Seen some good things at the ROH, but the highlight has to be the Canadian National Ballet’s production of Romeo and Juliet at Sadler’s Wells – I really loved that. Prokofiev’s score is basically the best thing ever. Going to see the ROH’s version in November, so will be interesting to see how they compare.
What is life without TV? A barren, featureless wasteland is what. A few things I have watched:
All of Justified. Amazingly awesome and hilarious. Can’t wait for January!
Hannibal. OH MY GOD WILL GRAHAM! OH MY GOD HANNIBAL IS THE WORST!****
The White Queen. I can overlook many, many anachronisms, but giving Elizabeth fricking Woodville a French manicure is surely gratuitously evil? What even? Still, Richard and Anne were adorable. I haven’t been able to watch the end because I know how it ends. :’( [Historical sidebar: leaving aside objective questions as to whether Richard did usurp the throne or was justified, he must surely have felt that God was not on his side, what with his son dying and then his wife dying and everything going to shit.]
Peaky Blinders & Sleepy Hollow. These are both new and I am enjoying them in different ways.
Downton. That is all.
* Ha. Joke. We have an extremely strict one-in-one-out tea towel policy at Fangirl Towers.
** No, it won’t. Literally nothing has changed in my life.
**** 100% accurate summary of season one.