14 January 2009

Presents progress

An update on some of the Christmas and birthday presents I've received.

The Cantos of Ezra Pound. Slightly more than 800 pages of wilfully obscure poetry. I haven't finished it yet. But have set up another blog, A Canto A Day, with the madly optimistic aim of reading and commenting on one canto every day. We'll see how long that lasts!

Hex. The complete DVDs of this series, which I'd never seen before. Frankly, the presence of Jemima Rooper got it onto my wish list. I've started watching the first DVD, the pilot episodes, and oh lord how slow moving it is! I might save this until I have flu.

More Jemima Rooper in Lost in Austen. I came late to this series on telly, but loved it - and it sparked my unhealthy interest in J Rooper. It struck me as absolutely uncynical, bizarrely, in its obvious utter love and respect for Jane Austen, in contrast to more straightforward adaptations. This has the real wit and cruelty that Jane Austen always showed, not just nice dresses and wet t-shirts. One rainy Sunday I'm going to watch the whole thing in one go.

Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs. Watched this over two nights. It's not up to the standard of the original series, but better than the first movie (Bender's Big Score) and better than most things on telly any time. Will probably be better on a repeat viewing.

Pulling the dvd of the first series is just brilliant. Again, I came late to this on telly. I think it was on BBC3 and so naturally I assumed it was crap. It isn't - it's filthy, crude, loud and hilarious. Can't believe BBC have cancelled it, while 2 Pints of Idiot and a Packet of Idiot is onto series 8.

The Rest is Noise was largely on my list in preparation for Counterpoint. On my application form I said that my favourite period of music was the first half of the 20th century, which this book covers brilliantly. It's my onthetrain book at present. Only problem is it talks in such a detailed way about the musical structure of key works that you you really need an accompanying set of cds and scores.

Marcella Hazan's The Essentials of Italian Cooking looks inspiring. Haven't really used it yet, waiting for better ingredients to come into season. I have used some of the bottle of white balsamic vinegar that came with it.

Aberystwyth My Lovely was my secret santa present at work, so once again I don't know who to thank. I've started it, but frankly not impressed so far. It's not nearly as funny or clever as it thinks itself.

And finally Hih by the unfairly unknown Monica Vasconcelos is unfairly unknown.

Thanks to everyone for these and the other presents I haven't mentioned. All I really need is more time to appreciate them. And there's still no news on whether I'll get it.

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