Monday, 25 August 2014

{Bank Holiday} Monday Missive

Lovely weather for it, innit? Last Bank Holiday of the year, probably the last day of summer-proper... Sob... Sniff...

#I can still recaaaaall our last summer... I still see it all...#

OK, sorry, moribundity set in a bit there.

'Fraid no gifs today, but the monotony of my monotonous monotone is thus broken by pictures.

This week past two weeks, I have mostly been...

Re-reading | Empire of the Sun by J. G. Ballard



I read this some 22 years ago at school, and notoriously reviewed it for the weekly newsletter (an act that solicited a couple of weeks of ridicule because, c'mon, what teenager reviews books for the weekly newsletter, thus admitting to reading off-syllabus, and does not expect ridicule?!).

It reads as a very different novel to an adult; that said, great books are perennial. And this is a great book.

Watching | Educating Yorkshire

I'm late to the party on this series but it is a huge, huge eye-opener. From what I've seen, I have so much respect for so many members of staff at the school but the head, Mr Mitchell, is just superb. Calm, fair and approachable, but still a little scary. In a good way.


Rewatching | An Education 

Because, Carey Mulligan, Dominic Cooper and Emma Thompson. In the same film. A little bit of filmic excellence.


Seeing | David Levithan and James Dawson in conversation

...at Waterstone's Piccadilly

Blurry author pic (taken from third-to-back row!) | James Dawson (l) and David Levithan (r)

Work friend Evie and I were super-quick off the mark to get tickets to this sell-out event on Thursday 14th August, 'chaired' by recently-crowned Queen of Teen James Dawson, discussing David Levithan's latest novel published by Egmont -- Two Boys Kissing -- as well as James Dawson's own new publication, This Book is Gay (published by Hot Key Books).

 

Both authors are excellent, witty speakers who are able to verbalise great truths about the writing experience; and, yep, I took notes. Of course, almost two weeks have passed since then and my notes make little sense out of context, but the upshot was:
You can write what you don't know -- if you've done your research as a writer, and have empathy with your characters, it shouldn't matter. 
David Levithan on feeling responsibility for his readers and their experiences: "The responsibility I feel is in terms of YA literature -- not [...] society in general."
DL on the narrative voice of TBK (the ghosts of men from the AIDS generation): "I don't think [of it] as my own voice. I did it by not thinking about it. ... When that generation has gone, you have to speak [for them]."
Afterwards I queued to get books signed for Evie, Clare, and myself. I love these little dedications!

"To Clare -- Rock on!"

"To Evie -- Live every day in wonder"

"To Beth -- This book is happy to meet you"
{How They Met}

Gigging

It's a Bank Holiday weekend, it's a Sunday night, nothing I'd rather do than go...

...gigging in Reigate again!

The company was exquisite (though obvs we missed you, Jos, Glenda and Jude, our usual dance-floor compadres!).

The band line-up was deliciously familiar (should mention this particular manifestation was The Prelude!), and they were all fabulous -- that saxophonist?! SKILLED.


Oh and last evening's frontman was a little bit familiar as well:


Why yes, that's that Shane Richie off the telly. For whom I've sung backing vocals before, don'tcha know?! {Yes, we know -- time to lock that one up, je pense!} The video has gone AWOL from the page link by the way. Which is probably for the best.

And no, I completely did not snatch a taped-down set list from the stage before it was disassembled, nope.

{oh. looks like I did. oopsy. :-)}

The chips made me do it.

No night out with Charlie is complete without a trip to the kebab shop, and cheesy chips.


(The looks of disdain from the kebab shop staff are worth every gluttonous bite.)

Ranting Putting the World to Rights



In case you didn't happen to check on the quirky brunette last week for the usual SS, only to be confronted by another of my angst-ridden Contemplations, here's the link to my diatribe on the perils of Facebook, of which, I conclude, there are many (and yet I'm still on there).

Note to self: maybe I should...


After all:

{via Pinterest}

Incidentally, this brings me back to a previous Contemplation on the increasingly public coercion to charitable giving.

Ice Bucket Challenge, I'm talking about you.

I'm not against it by any stretch. I love that there are countless videos on the web of celebs being liberally doused in ice water, and then donating their monies to raise funds for, and awareness of, ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), or Motor Neurone Disease in the UK.

And now it's a widespread craze. My Facebook feed is 'awash' (gnarf) with videos of my friends taking the challenge, and then nominating their friends to do it too. And I have some jolly game friends.

But I ask you, please don't nominate me: a) I'm not being ostentatious, but I've already donated to the MNDA, b) who's going to douse me and film me when I live alone? and c) there's a question mark over the ethics of the water waste (thanks to AJ for the best and most reasoned arguments I've read so far against taking the challenge).

Right, onto lighter subjects now, I think!

Ten Pins

My last ten pins on Pinterest:

{true}

{top of the Rock!}

{library love}

{dive in!}

{hip coffee stencils. <3}

{for the hair, not the fur. I'm not into fur}

{book stack cake. so much love}

{coffee truth}

{splash!}

{that view!}

Two-Weekly* Weblinks

*ergo, some of these may be a little out of date!

Literary Linkage



Non-literary Linkage



{Stephen Collins | via Guardian}




{combo alarm clock + coffee brewer. oh yes, yes please}

And finally:


Keep warm and dry, my friends. Nearly autumn. Meh.

qb xx

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