Sunday, 26 October 2014

Sunday Summary

Hello, friends.

This week, I have most been

Finishing | THIS BOOK!

{The Hundred-Year-Old Man...
Jonas Jonasson}
Actually, y'know what, I enjoyed it, I did. I just couldn't read it in one sitting.

I also finished:

{Willful Creatures
Aimee Bender}

which was both mature and immature in turns, and quite Alice Hoffmann-esque in its mystical surrealism.

I'm now working my way through:

{The Sun Also Rises
Ernest Hemingway}

and am only two books behind in my Quest to read 50 books this year. (Hurray for me!)

{I'm gonna make it... I'm gonna make it...}

Watching | Gone Girl

The book wasn't especially my favourite of this year although it was an engaging read; I was just all too pleased to close the covers and squish those foul characters inside (except maybe Go; I'd spare her). I need characters I can root for.

But I did enjoy the film, or at least the first two hours of it; the last twenty minutes or so dragged a little, especially after the biggest denouement of the film (no spoilers here, don't you worry). And if Gillian Flynn had indeed rewritten the end of the film to differ from the book, I couldn't tell, largely because I only had vague memories of how the book finally ended, so pleased was I to be done with the Dunnes.

{Lizzy Bennet, too, was rather glad to finish Gone Girl...}

So it's safe to say that, against type, I preferred the film. The casting is superb -- there is both history and tension between Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike as Nick and Amy -- and from the start of the film, when Amy tilts her head and gives Nick (or rather us), a look, she is drawn perfectly (catch it in the trailer!). But while I did indeed find myself wanting to squish the characters inside the book, never to be released, the film gave them just that modicum more sympathy. Not a lot, granted, because they're fairly heinous, but the sides to each story are more tangible.

There is a lot of very graphic rumpy, some very descriptive violence and a severe case of potty mouth, and two out of three of these elements could have been toned down... (not the violence, though -- oddly that almost needed to happen in line with the story.) There are also one or two plot holes... but you don't really think those through until long after the film has ended.

{fifteen minutes after credits have rolled...}
See it... but only if you've read the book first.

Day-trippin' | back to Brighton

Because I had a 'delay repay' voucher that expires on Wednesday...
and because I fancied a day trip...
I took my little old self on the train down to Brighton on Saturday -- pilgrimage number 2 of the year.

My day looked a bit like this:

...autumn-grey yet flecked with colour.

I paid another visit to Mr Magpie (for a 1920s sans serif ampersand this time; it's beautiful), and Snooper's Paradise (which may or may not have an apostrophe, I don't even know any more, and I've had a very confusing day today!), where I picked up three old photos for 50p each -- I'm dating the first two around 1930s, maybe 1940s for the second shot of the couple; anyway, I love them:

{'1933' was written on the back of this one.}

I also ducked into the Photomatic Photo Booth in Snooper's, because, well, it was there, and I could. And I'm glad I did, even if I have had to ceremoniously edit out the heinous eye-bags from the resultant photos... Sheesh, aged, much?

(Today I am mostly applying a caffeine-based eye roll on in the hope of removing said eye-baggage.)

The chap from Snooper's was suitably impressed by a) my cloche and b) my ability to switch hats in between the camera flashes going off. I gotz skillz.

Saturday was (reportedly) the last day of Lucy Sparrow's excellent pop-up felt cornershop at the No Walls Gallery on Church Street; the premise of the shop-cum-art exhibit being a cornershop in which the produce was made almost entirely from felt. So I popped in for a look; and the attention to detail was terrific!


The rest of the day involved mooching to the Pier, eating ham, egg and chips in the Dorset, trying to use up the last NYC camera film...

...and actually wishing I wasn't down there alone, that this was a day trip I was sharing with someone else. Because, sometimes, in spite of my Destiny's-Child-era Beyoncé-esque protestations that I'm an Independent Woman with all its implicit throwing-your-hands-up-at-me shenanigans, I'm not enough company for myself.

Only sometimes, though. I can still happily take myself on dates.

Although now I've signed up for Netflix I may never leave the house again anyway. Oh, hello, entire series of Buffy, I've missed you...

And that's pretty much all of note that I've been up to this week.

Ten Pins

My last ten pins on Pinterest:

{1. pretty fonts}

{2. smart art and home bar combo}

{3. matchbox advent calendar}

{4. NYC sunlight | NYC memories...}

{5. Empire State Building | NYC memories...}

{6. crocheted bear snood | too cute}

{7. wise words from the wilde one}

{8. more writerly wisdom}

{9. Wordy | TV nostalgia}

{10. old brownie uniform | childhood}
Weekly Weblinks

Literary Linkage

Non-literary Linkage
That's nearly all from me.


Had a bad day? Watch some goats balancing on a metal sheet.

They're just kiddin' around.

Right, that's my cue to sign off.

Bah-bye now.

qb xx

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Domingo Resumen: o, Todo Sobre Mi Semana*


You may be wondering why I'm randomly littering the Sunday Summary with my expertly Google-translated Spanish -- you'll find out shortly. ¡Hasta la vista, baby!

This week, I have mostly been...

Reading | guess what?! Seriously. STILL. This book will not go away. It's funny and clever, and ever so slightly evocative of Forrest Gump, but I've read longer books in less time!

But I did manage to finish:

While I did enjoy it, in general, and I do respect the opinions of people associated with Costa Coffee (because it's my favourite of the high street coffee shop chains), I just felt mildly underwhelmed by the lack of novelty in the story.

Was I missing something? Have I read too many tales of grief and repentance?! I dunno.

I'm now also simu-reading/dipping in and out of:

{Author of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake}

* (Re)Watching | All About My Mother {Todo sobre mi madre}

Hence the arbitrary Español! (which translates as All About My Week...)

I saw the film quite a long time ago alongside another Almoldovar film (the name of which evades my decrepit old brain at this time...) but had forgotten a lot of the detail so it was great to rediscover it again with work friends Evie, Ben and Eloise, over vino tinto and Malibu chocolate brownies.

 The précis, according to IMDB: Young Esteban want to become a writer and also to discover the identity of his father, carefully concealed by the mother Manuela.


To add to that: After Esteban is killed in a road accident, Manuela returns to Barcelona to find her son's father, and becomes embroiled -- ever so quickly! -- in great friendships, tragedies, and revisiting the role of Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire. As you do after approximately three days in a city. :-)

Having my eyes opened... this disarming and powerful speech by Laura Bates, the remarkable and eloquent person behind the Everyday Sexism project. Please do watch it: it's 16 minutes long and may make you want to pause and reflect, and shake your head at the way of things, then unpause, continue and celebrate solidarity.

And that's all I've achieved this week, except for slowly, sturdily working through editing my friend Georgie's memoir! (We're getting there, our Kes...)

So, without further ado, on to...

Ten Pins

My last ten pins on Pinterest:

{1. words of wisdom}

{2. beautiful beach scene by Rosie D'argenzio | via Design*Sponge}

{3. personalise your snail-mail}

{4. what, more NY architecture?!
Old TWA terminal, JFK -- formerly Idlewild}

{5. gingerbread hot chocolate
autumn/winter in a cup <3}

{6. old toy kaleidoscope
80s childhood nostalgia}

{7. regarde la mer!}

{8. neapolitan ice cream | 80s childhood nostalgia}

{9. Grotbags | 80s childhood nostalgia}

{10. regarde la mer... encore!}

Weekly Weblinks

Literary Linkage
Non-literary Linkage
{© Dmitry Belov}

And finally...

Hasta la próxima vez ... ¡estancia fabulosa!

qb xxx

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Sunday Summary Resurgence

Hello to you!

I'm hoping to resume normal service here on the SS after a few most excellent weeks out of 'circulation' -- please bear with, though; I've almost forgotten how to do this.

But here goes!

These past weeks, I have mostly been...



It's almost taken me the eponymous Allan Karlsson's lifespan to get through this book. It's not that I'm not enjoying it -- I am. But it's definitely a dip-in-dip-out type of book.

I've also read two YA novels from work in uncorrected proof format (as yet unpublished so I don't feel I can disclose the titles just yet but I can assure you they'll be worth a read when they do make it into the public sphere...).

And on Friday, I read:

Once | Morris Gleitzman:

A good companion to The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, this was extremely harrowing for a child's book. I couldn't rate it fewer than five stars.

I'm now also simu-reading:

The Shock of the Fall | Nathan Filer

and trying to get back on target to read 50 books this year. (I'm counting those proofs as two of my quota, so technically I am only 3 books behind schedule. Yep. 50 is totally achievable.)

Rewatching | I've Loved You So Long

But first, I digress.

I touched very briefly last week on having seen the -- let's just call her splendid ("what did you think?" "Splendid, I thought") -- Kristin Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic last week and I do feel I owe the play and KST (we're on acronym terms...) a slightly longer review than simply "splendid".

It's a vaguely modern interpretation of Sophocles' tale of Electra, driven mad by grief after the murder of her father by her mother and mother's lover, and the events that transpire when Electra's long-lost brother Orestes returns home after being presumed dead, to avenge their father's death. Very esoteric.

One or two casting liberties aside (the actor playing Electra's mother may well have been younger than KST as Electra herself but we'll gloss over that, and the fact that Electra's 'twin' brother was potentially young enough to be her son -- it's all Acting after all!), the production was pared-back splendour (did I mention it was splendid?). It boasted some very strong performances in roles that involve lengthy, emotive monologues -- and in the case of KST's Electra, a lot of rolling about in sand and powerful evocations of grief, euphoria, and back to grief again.

KST is infinitely watchable (in spite of, or even maybe because of, one or two very brief line-blips -- hey, no one's perfect, and those were some long monologues...) with a fine turn in comic timing, incidentally, and this live performance fix gave rise to a need to watch a few choice articles from KST's cannon.

Ergo, I've Loved You So Long.


ILYSO (2008) is the story of Juliette and her younger sister Lea, reunited after fifteen years -- Lea's family and friends are mildly uncomfortable with the reappearance of the elusive sister, especially when it transpires that Juliette is responsible for the death of her six-year-old son.

The film is beautifully played out, and Juliette -- initially hardened by the fifteen years she has spent in jail -- visibly softens and warms as the film evolves and her story rises to the fore.

Celebrating 12 years at QB Heights allowing the nice man to come and repaint my bedroom after ongoing mould damage has left me with a two-tone wall. Pictures to follow, maybe. But then I said that last year...!

And that's about it!

Yes, my friends, I am back to the quiet domestic life. My passport expires in February, so until I get that renewed, no adventures for QB.

I'm sure I'll find ways to fill the time though. After all, only 10 and a bit weeks 'til Christmas.

WAIT, WHAT?! Lots to do before then.

Ten Pins

My last ten pins on Pinterest:

{1. flapper dress prospecting for the party season...}

{2. Coco Chanel}

{3. how to emulate 1920s style}

{4. happy flappers}

{5. more flapper dress prospecting}

{6. 1920s linen dress}

{7. fancy fonts | these are pretty!}

{8. the Flat Iron building at sunset}

{9. fresh fonts}

{10. wise words}

Weekly Weblinks

Some links are two to three weeks old... but still worth following if that's your bag!

Literary Linkage
{via here}

Non-literary Linkage

And finally...

  • On everyday sexism | Evie's prosaic, and alarming, depiction is well worth a read. How can we change the tide?


Until the mood hits me again (gnarf)... ta-ta for now!

qb xx