Sunday, 8 December 2013

Sunday Summary

This week, I have mostly been …

Continuing the party season in style | at the work shindig which, by the way, did not go down like this one:

{Screenshot from Love Actually}
It was held at Carom @ Meza in central London – the cuisine (!) was largely Indian with a rather splendid lamb shank for the main (the starters and puddings were rather insubstantial to be shared between six people on a table delicious as they were). It was a lovely opportunity to catch up with the colleagues out of the office, though the dance floor was slightly lame – a lot of us ended up at the club downstairs where people were actually dancing!

Then on Friday night I was at the church ladies’ Christmas meal – delicious chicken wrapped in ham, with salad and potatoes, and tarts and meringues for pudding (and sweets), followed by mince pies. And then a little segue up the road to our local hostelry where I happened to clock that a band I know were playing in a different guise as Ruby and the Rhythms! I took to the dance floor… and didn’t leave it until last orders. Where I got the energy from after the night before is anyone’s guess, though this helped:


And finally for the weekend, after singing with my rock choir at the Reigate Christmas fair, I went along to my friends’ annual Gingerbread Galore party – the premise is brilliant: the ladies buy in these genius flat-pack gingerbread houses from IKEA (sorry – pepparkakshus!) plus an awful lot of sweets, and friends come along, drink mulled wine and decorate the houses. It all gets slightly competitive!

Of course, despite the very able help of my friend’s young son who was far more pragmatic about the whole construction of the house than I was, my little cottage fell apart rather dramatically!

These memes sprang to mind:

Ah well. Can’t be good at everything!

Getting incensed | over this article:

I agree more often than not with Guardian journalists’ stance on literature (well, OK, mostly Lucy Mangan’s stance) but Jonathan Myerson has got this wrong.

This article has been written in response to the University of Kent having been corralled into apologising for its apparent statement that its creative writing programme would not teach the writing of ‘mass-marketfiction or children’s fiction’ – as if the latter is a lower form of literature.

Er, je pense que non!

To add insult to insult to injury, Myerson questions why the University felt fit to issue the apology and goes on to claim that no, children’s fiction is not on a par with adults’ literary fiction. 

You wot?

Myerson's argument is confusing -- for a start he looks no further than the works of Stephenie (not Stephanie, Mr Myerson -- at least spell the author's name correctly if you're going to dismiss her!) Meyer as an example of children's literature not to be held up as great. 

Somehow he dismisses Roald Dahl, Malorie Blackman, Michael Morpurgo and all number of authors both contemporary and classic and categorises a YA author as a children's author to make his point. Fail.
I am of course a coward so I didn't add my thoughts to the 770+ comments on the Guardian page itself, rather vented my full spleen on my friend's link to the article!: 

Perhaps Kent or City aren't up to the challenge of writing children's fiction, because it involves far more subtlety and awareness of its demographic than writing what they term 'literary fiction' which, while I appreciate that is the category that primarily wins the prizes, is a fairly nebulous 'genre'!

It's an insult to lump mass-market fiction --
50 Shades, anyone?! -- and children's fiction (The Little Prince, anyone??!?) in the same "ooh, we won't touch *those* with a barge-pole, we write *proper*, obscure lit fiction" category -- there is some supremely excellent children's and YA literature out there that forms the stepping stone to understanding adult literature, and should not be discounted!

IMHO (which is based, I should mention, on 13 years operating in the children's book industry so I may be *slightly* biased!)

And breathe!

Rewatching | Elf

Another (less controversial...) Guardian journo, Stuart Heritage, launched the first annual Elf-along on Twitter in reaction to Elf no longer being broadcast on terrestrial -- we, Mr Heritage's Twitter followers, watched our DVDs in synchronisation. It is nearly Christmas after all!

Found on the interweb this week:

The photography of Stan Raucher

How to make tiramisu (because I think I need to know!) via A CUP OF JO

Dad colours in his children's drawings (slightly sinister but a fun idea)

A couple of books I'd quite like to read.


And finally...

Two handfuls of owlets.

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