Sunday, 9 November 2014

Sunday Summary

Howdy friends!

Apologies for last week's no-show -- stuff got crazy, is all I'll say.

I am still working in half-hour slots of productivity with the occasional time-out to, y'know, perform necessary bodily functions (TMI? Probably), put away laundry, that sort of thing, but it appears to be working for me.

That said, if this post is somewhat fragmented it's because it's been dashed out in, well, you guessed it, half-hour slots. (Give or take the odd additional hour or so spent trying to copy URLs, embed videos, restore formatting, and find the perfect GIFs for your amusement. I'm really too kind.)

So... this week fortnight, I have mostly been...

Spotting a typo (!!!!) in my last Summary and correcting it before any of you notice and question my editorial integrity...

There, all better. Let's proceed, shall we?

Reading | The Sun Also Rises



Whenever I glimpse this book in my bag I can't help but hear Kat Stratford's cutting critique of Hemingway in 10 Things I Hate About You
"Romantic? Hemingway? He was an abusive, alcoholic misogynist who squandered half of his life hanging around Picasso trying to nail his leftovers."

Touché.

Those lapses in character aside, I can't help but endear myself to Hemingway's rather stop-start literary turns of phrase, his descriptions of bull-running and his ability to paint Paris and Pamplona in the 1920s all too vividly. Not to mention his characterisation of flawed socialite Brett Ashley, who falls in love readily, drinks too much, wears her hair slicked back, and calls the men in her company "chaps".

Also reading | Breakfast at Tiffany's, Truman Capote


My theory being that if I keep simu-reading I'll still hit my 50-book Goodreads target by 31st December.




Read, Bethy, read!

Watching | the dubious contents of my Netflix 'List'

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I give you...

Exhibit A: Gossip Girl

Exhibit B: HOUSE (my 'surprise' crush on Hugh Laurie in this series has hitherto been resurrected, thankyouplease)

and

Exhibit C: In the House (Dans la Maison) which for a Francois Ozon film featuring KST (my NBF) actually lacked the impact of a Francois Ozon film, featuring KST -- but was still mildly enjoyable nonetheless.


Writing


Why, yes, friends, I have (to some extent) recovered my writing groove; I'm unofficially participating in NaNoWriMo this year, by which I mean I'm trying to eke out 50,000 words of a novel (the same novel as before, FYI -- I only have one idea a decade, it seems), but not registering for the challenge proper because last time I took part (officially) it nearly drove me insane...


...especially trying to get over that final hurdle and meet the 50k target. I did it, but I had no life in the process. So this year I've got that write/life balance licked, and I'm not succumbing to those same pressures.


That's not to say that, the other night when I was hunting down a seat, unsuccessfully, in an overcrowded London pub, I didn't wish that I were sitting somewhere, quiet, writing, and had to camp out in Costa for fifteen minutes to restore my equilibrium. But that's just how I'm wired. No offence. Besides, I managed to get down at least 96 words, handwritten, on the train home before I fell asleep. SCORE.

Singing | gospel

Yesterday I took part in an excellent gospel workshop (via Voicerox) with conductor/musician/composer/performer/all-round supremo Ken Burton. I'll admit I hadn't originally planned to sign up for the workshop, but my fairy godmothers Jos and Charlie interceded to convince me to take part and by golly gosh me I'm glad I did (thanks, girls, again); it was uplifting and therapeutic. We were all a little too held-back and proper in a Surrey stylee to begin with, but I think we'd definitely loosened up more by the end. It was very different from what we normally sing with Voicerox; and ultimately very different from the choral singing I do with the church, so a very unique experience all round. And we managed some beautiful harmonies and quite a few different arrangements in a relatively short time period.

Ten Pins

My last ten pins on Pinterest:

{1. New York travel poster}

{2. wise words}

{3. Paris travel poster}

{4. guide to understanding
the introverted | click to
view in full}

{5. camel train in Egypt}

{6. more wisdom}

{7. Cairo, Egypt | can you tell where
I'm thinking I might go next...?}

{8. Memphis, Egypt}

{9. camels...}

{10. Egypt: following the route of The English Patient}

(Two-) Weekly Weblinks

Literary Linkage
{"Huh? What do you mean, Katharine Hepburn was a better Jo?!"}

{#gratuitousclairedanescryface | Little Women}

Non-literary Linkage


Even I, the hardened singleton, can see past John Lewis' blatant attempt to promote coupledom as the ultimate ideal, and appreciate the cuteness of this penguin fest. (And the inevitable parodies.)


Admittedly, my real beef with this advert was not the "everyone must want to be a couple" agenda (although I object to that and I'm touched that one of my friends kindly set out to dispel the myth on Facebook that all penguins are happier paired)... but the ending.

I mean, whaaaaa', the penguin's not real?! Don't do this to me!

Next you'll be telling me that the Snowman melts at the end of the animation. Sheesh. Killjoys.

(Oh, but really? Nosy Crow publishes Monty the Penguin book )

  • ...The closing of the M&S Christmas advert is, alas, less subtle in its pursuit of convention: girl's jaunty hat flies off, lands on stranger-boy's head. Love ensues. Of course. Probably.


   

Will be wearing my hats on rotation daily between now and Christmas, regardless. A lady can hope...

And finally...


I'm off to watch the full edit of Susan Cain's TED talk on the power of the introvert. Fare thee well, until next we meet across a crowded interweb...

qb xx

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