Sunday, 27 April 2014

Sunday Summary

This week, I have mostly been...

Recovering from Easter

Maybe it's old age ('s almost definitely old age) but I came away from a particularly gluttonous weekend (in a good way) hankering, actually physically craving, greens. I've always been pretty good on the green-eating front -- with the exception of those 20 years of my life in which I took after my father and refused to eat peas (I still won't touch the mushy variety but I'm partial to petit pois). But craving veg to the point where I ran to Sainsbury's and stocked up on all the greenery I could fit in my trolley? That's new.

I've been loosely following David Bez's admirable Salad Pride blog recently, and it's very tempting to follow his example and go green/raw especially when you see a tasty treat like this posted:

But then I find one of these little blighters in my treat tin and all resolve goes out of the window:

Eh. Everything in moderation.

That said, in just over two months (egads) I'm performing onstage in my rock 'n 'pop choir's annual celebration of awesomeness concert (OK, ignore that strikethrough, it really is going to be awesome). And I'd like to look 'stage-ready' (i.e. slightly less stumpy than I did last year). 

So maybe subbing in one of those Creme Eggs for one of these:

{I'm really trying to like these blighters but they're so temperamental...!}

wouldn't be a bad idea. Except Creme Eggs are so much easier to get into.

Watching | Jamaica Inn-comprehensible

The Beeb in all its wisdom crammed the entire novel into three consecutive days' viewing so I missed episodes two and three as broadcast, but have since caught up with episode two and am going to delve into ep three later...*. 

The BBC came under considerable criticism after it was deemed that much of the dialogue was incomprehensible -- here and here :

I found this wasn't necessarily the case for all the actors, mostly just the drunken menfolk (notably Joss Merlyn). I'm sure Sean Harris is a fine actor but he was just not right as Joss. Joss is supposed to be a huge, swarthy, commanding brute of a man with a mop of dark hair, bright white teeth and dark, leathery skin. Not a mumbling, shaven-haired next-coming-of Robert Carlyle. 

Likewise, Mary's Aunt Patience is supposed to be a limp, grey-haired, brutalised mouse of a woman but Joanne Whalley plays her with a lot more gumption -- and red hair -- than she ought to be credited with. (Not that Patience having more gumption is a bad thing but it negates the influence Mary has on events and the frustration she feels that her aunt is being maltreated.)

The BBC have taken some considerable liberties with du Maurier's text in this adaptation, not only in the casting but also the plot, undoubtedly to move the story along within a limited time frame, but oftentimes this has meant compromising key plot points.

That said, there was definitely some lovely, filthy chemistry between Mary Yellan (a nicely ballsy Jessica Findlay Brown latterly of Downton Abbey) and Jem Merlyn (a splendid Matthew McNulty). And where the Mary of the book is also quite limp and a little passive, Mary in this adaptation knows her own mind. 

You go, girlfriend.

Reading | The Trial

STILL. This book won't go away.

But I've also started reading Leanne Shapton's memoir, Swimming Studies, after seeing a recommendation for it, randomly, on artist Lisa Congdon's Instagram (quick segue: check out Congdon's blog, artwork and Instagram):

In Swimming Studies (which I'm only a short way through) Shapton documents her time as a competitive swimmer -- a very different lifestyle from that of the casual swimmer (hello, that would be me) and features some of her swim-inspired artwork. 

If anything drives me back into the pool on a more regular basis it'll be this book. And maybe this Guardian Swimming blog, just discovered via my friends over at Did You Swim Today on Facebook.

Playing | with my new baby

No, not a flesh-and-blood offspring-type-baby, that'd be a step too far even in the realms of QB credibility -- but a technology baby.

A small (positive) change in fortune, plus five years of accumulating Nectar points, plus a well-timed special offer on the Sainsbury's website, meant I could treat myself to this little nugget:

This be the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 (16GB, 8-inch, red edition). It's a beauty, it really is. I've always been about five years behind the rest of western society when it comes to embracing new tech and trends but this seemed too good to pass up. Start-up was far easier than I could imagine -- I synced the tablet with my Google account and it automatically downloaded all the apps I've bought on Google Play, even the paid ones. Nicely done.

I've downloaded the BBC iPlayer and 4OD apps so * (yes, that's the asterisk reference from above) I could watch Jamaica Inn on it (not to mention old eps of Nathan Barley and the excellent, stellar Easter episode of Rev. starring Ralph Fiennes as the Bishop of London, and, yes, apparently that was Liam Neeson as the jogging 'God'. Whoa. Mind blown.) 

I'm hoping to download a few programmes to watch on the plane to New York in September (gosh, have I mentioned that lately?) -- for long-haul flights I can see the logic of e-books, but I still can't bring myself to read one. Paperbacks and in-flight films all the way, babies.

I've also downloaded the very sweet photo editing app by Elsie + Emma of the blog A Beautiful Mess:

Y...eah, I don't think I've exploited A Beautiful Mess app's full capabilities yet but it's so darn cute that, given time, I certainly will.

I had downloaded The Sims: Freeplay but after I couldn't even fathom out how to buy my poor Sim a toilet and get her to use it I gave up and uninstalled the game. 

...Good job I don't have a flesh-and-blood baby, really.

Amusing myself on Photoshop

After my excitement over Frozen last week and after I'd finally exorcised Love is an Open Door from my earworm chamber (in spite of my friend Clare alerting me to this brilliant video -- this couple's little girl is priceless to watch):

...I was greatly amused to clock the name of a street near our office. And so I felt the need to create this little homage:

{Apologies to Disney... I had a quiet ten minutes earlier, thought this was a great idea. ...}

You are welcome.

Weekly Weblinks

Last week in my haste to post (post-haste?) I neglected to mention that thousands (90,000!) of archive British Pathé films have been added to YouTube. Some have been dubbed by John Humphrys, some are silent, but many still have their original soundtrack. Genuinely delightful to discover. Especially gems such as this:

Oh. And this:

{Why, yes, that is a young Arnie.}

Comic Sans has a Neue look. It still makes my skin crawl a bit.

{Guess the book!}

{Henry David Thoreau's minimalist bedroom}

NYC Tips and Etiquette (I'll be taking note)

And finally, how I learned to love these young Royals -- the Royal Tour in Pictures

Happy week, friends. Rejoice -- there's another bank holiday on the horizon...

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