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November 13th, 2017

Media Monday

I know, I'm rubbish at this. LJ has fallen by the wayside rather, due to general lack of time. I can just about keep up with DreamWidth, but never seem to manage to post anything! Not that there's anything interesting to post.

Currently re-reading Brideshead Revisited, after I saw a picture somewhere of Jeremy Irons and Anthony Andrews with Aloysius the teddy bear. I realised it had been twenty years since I last read it, so I dug out a dog-eared old copy that I had in a cardboard box in the attic (where most of my books live now, due to lack of space). I'm never sure entirely how I feel about Evelyn Waugh - lost_spook recently referred to him as cynical, which is rather apt - but I do like Brideshead Revisited quite particularly. I last read it in the spring of 1997, around the time that I took my finals, when I had very little else to do for a while, but sprawl in the sun in the university gardens, reading books that I probably wouldn't have read otherwise. Given that the university was a long re-purposed stately home, a story set in the era of crumbling aristocracy, and the selling-off of old family mansions, was somewhat appropriate. And in fairness, it's about a bisexual man in a very open love triangle with a brother and sister, so it's quite modern too. And the language is very evocative, even if some of the paragraphs do go on for decades. Even more so than this one.

Prior to that I read a terrific book, which I think plenty of you would enjoy. It's called West With The Night, by Beryl Markham, and it's sort of an autobiography. Beryl Markham was the first female bush pilot, and spent a lot of time hurtling about the skies above Africa, being remarkable, and thinking herself perfectly ordinary. And the writing is just astounding. Utterly beautiful and compelling. Apparently everybody has always said that her husband wrote it really, but her biographer can find no evidence that he did, and plenty that he didn't. But everybody still believes it anyway. It's not a big book, and it's out of print, but I happened to find mention of it in some article somewhere, and went a-hunting on eBay, and it wasn't hard to find. Highly recommended (and I think she wrote it).

Watching wise, I've not done much. The BBC was very kind to me, and released Out Of The Blue on DVD. This was a police drama broadcast in the early nineties, which starred John Hannah and Neil Dudgeon, and which nobody but me seems to have seen. Consequently I've been variously accused of madness and imagining. But now it's out on DVD! Proof! And it's still jolly good. The Beeb have also put out another of their old police dramas; Rockliffe's Babies from the mid-eighties, which they've never repeated, and which has trickled away into the darkest recesses of most people's memories. It's about a group of young detectives, under the care of a grizzled old sergeant, and it's rather good (and very eighties). It was my first "grown up" series, watched in secret on a Friday night, when everybody else was out, and my mother was relaxing in the kitchen, off duty. Holds up well. Horribly expensive, but somebody has thoughtfully put it on YouTube. Shut up, yes I know, but I will buy it eventually. Tony Head was just in an episode, and Brian Croucher has just joined as the new boss. Fandoms of the world, collide!

Oh, and I've also just read a beautiful little book called Now We Are Six Hundred, by James Goss, which is basically Now We Are Six, rewritten for Time Lords. You'd think the joke would wear thin, but it never does. It's illustrated rather wonderfully by Russell T Davies, and is full of rhymes about Daleks and Cybermen and Romana. Some of it is very sweet, some of it is very funny, and one or two of the poems are really quite dark. Another one for the recommended list! (And the postscript is fab.)

So there you are. See you again next year. ;)

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