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Media Monday

Lately I have been cruelly ignoring the Kindle, in favour of proper books. This is at least partly elenopa's fault, as she recently went on an Arthur Ransome Society weekend, and made me think (for the hundredth time) that I really ought to give his books another try. I scorned them rather as a child, for not being "proper" adventures, in that there are no bad guys/proper peril/fisticuffs, etc, and did my best to avoid them. Grown Up Me (well, slightly) decided that We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea might be a good place to start a reappraisal, as it has (nearly) proper pirates, and actual proper danger in it. It seemed too long for the amount of plot, and got a bit repetitive in places, but it was good, and I shall probably try another soon. In the meantime I've fallen down an old book rabbit hole, and am currently two thirds of the way through Gerald Durrell's My Family And Other Animals, which I also studiously avoided as a child, probably for much the same reason. It's not such a good read. Much funnier, but suffers from the most horrendously purple prose. It's like swimming up hill through treacle, but with witty anecdotes. It has its attractions, mind. It's my mother's edition, from 1959, and I think lost_spook will appreciate the cover:

I do like a colour-coded Penguin!

On the telly front, I'm still wandering through a rewatch of the Beeb's Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. I love it muchly. This week was episode four, with the King's Roads, and Edward Petherbridge as George III (looking rather older, and considerably less dapper, than when he was Lord Peter Wimsey, just about the only other thing I've seen him in). Why are there only seven episodes? It's not fair. I find myself wanting a wartime spin-off, all about Jonathan doing magic for the army; and that's just for starters.

Oh, and hey - Doctor Who this week! I know it was a bit ridiculous, but I thought it was fun, and I was greatly entertained to see Anthony Calf in it (he was the captain). In 2015 I watched The Monocled Mutineer, Beau Geste and Fortunes Of War more or less at the same time, and he cropped up in all of them, so it was nice to see him again. And, yet again, being a period army type. Still, he didn't get shot this time, which is a step up.

And I think that's all for now. Which is just as well, as if I don't produce some kibble sharpish, I will be eaten by a small ginger cat. Bye.


( 15 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
Jun. 13th, 2017 02:24 am (UTC)
I've never read anything by Arthur Ransome ... or at least I can't remember. Hmmm ...
Jun. 13th, 2017 04:05 am (UTC)
Children's classics. Might get you a bingo square!
Jun. 13th, 2017 04:57 am (UTC)
Sounds like fun books. :D
Jun. 13th, 2017 04:09 pm (UTC)
Not bad! The prose in the Durrell book can be a bit of a struggle, but the story is good.
Jun. 13th, 2017 10:46 am (UTC)
I avoided Arthur Ransome as a child too (as something adults wanted children to read) and ignored My family as it suggested too many humans and not enough focus on animals.

I was going 'New Tricks'! at DW:)
Jun. 13th, 2017 04:13 pm (UTC)
I don't think you would be displeased by the animal:human ratio in "My Family & Other Animals". There are a lot of animals, and they are interesting. For that matter, the family is interesting, and entertaining. It's just that Durrell never uses one word when he can possibly get away with sixty, and the whole thing can become a bit of a struggle at times! It is worth sticking with though.

Anthony Calf was in the Beeb's 1987 serialisation, incidentally. I'd have cast him as Leslie, but apparently he was Larry. TV people! What do they know?! ;)
Jun. 14th, 2017 11:48 am (UTC)
Durrell didn't stand a chance with a writer brother I guess!

Anthony Calf played Larry? This I don't need to see, sack casting!
Jun. 14th, 2017 08:18 pm (UTC)
I found episode one: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x370r23

The theme music is very annoying. But Brian Blessed. But playing a "comedy" foreigner. But Brian Blessed.

Jun. 15th, 2017 12:20 pm (UTC)
I'm off to hide;p

I found a Radio 4 adaptation on archive.org that might be safer...
Jun. 13th, 2017 03:19 pm (UTC)
I read stacks of Gerald Durrell books in my teens. I don't know if I read that one though. He did go on a bit, didn't he?

Have you ever read Robert Standish books? I first read them around the same time. They're nothing like Gerald Durrell - there are barely any animals in them - but I really liked all his short stories I read. There were some about this group of elderly English people who'd all been 'in charge' in India and were now stuck living in this small hotel, squabbling over the sherry and reminiscing about elephants.

I hope you survive the small ginger cat!
Jun. 13th, 2017 04:16 pm (UTC)
He did go on a bit, didn't he?

Didn't he just! :D I shall probably read some others at some point, as I think my mother has the full set, but jeepers.

I have read some Standish, yes - "Elephant Walk" (which was a bit of a disappointment on the elephant front!), and "Blind Tiger". Both a long, long time ago. I expect I was hoping for something in the Willard Price line, which they definitely weren't!
Jun. 14th, 2017 11:21 am (UTC)
I never managed to read Swallows and Amazons, but I have swum from the west shore of Lake Coniston to Peel Island (or Wild Cat Island in the books), which was really good fun. Odd to visit a place that is a fictional one too.

I enjoyed My Family, and have read it a few times, but I didn't like the others. Can't remember how old I was when I first did, but I do remember thinking that Bootle Bumtrinket was the funiest name in the world!!
Jun. 14th, 2017 08:16 pm (UTC)
Bootle Bumtrinket is an amazing boat name! Much better than the Swallow. Swimming to the island sounds like great fun, even without having read the book. I imagine it's changed a bit since Ransome's day!

Edited at 2017-06-14 11:17 pm (UTC)
Jun. 15th, 2017 05:33 am (UTC)
The island don't seem to have changed; the friend who's house I was staying gave us a "tour" (the others were boring and rowed in the canoes!) and pointed out the bits that are in the book. Just as well, or I would have had no idea! I think it's busier, but the shape and the little beaches where you can land boats are probably much the same.
Jun. 15th, 2017 05:36 pm (UTC)
That's nice. So many places get "developed", especially if they're obvious tourist destinations.
( 15 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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