Wednesday, 14 May 2008

culture club

Hello! I am back at my desk. I haven't spent much time here lately, I must say... the weather has been far too gorgeous to be stuck indoors at the pc. Somehow or other I've managed to get away with not-very-much-work lately too - a bit of proofreading here, some tinkering on a second draft there, but no actual new writing. Not sure I can do it any more now...
No - mustn't talk like that. Lovely Partner's job ends this month so I will become Sole Breadwinner of the House until something else comes up for him (eek) and therefore I must stop slacking off and get down to work.
I'll just write this blog post first. And then work really really hard until I have to get my youngest from playgroup at 12.
Hmmm. That's not going to happen, is it?

So...what to say? Tell you what, I'll give you my cultural round-up of the last week. Go on, humour me, pretend you're watching Newsnight Review or something and I'm Germaine Greer or someone brainy...
Okay...so I've just read the brilliant Mothernight by Sarah Stovell. Ohhh it's good. I can't believe it's her first novel, it's so beautifully written, paced, structured... Very chilling and intense, the sort of book that's hard to tear yourself away from, the sort of book you read with a creeping feeling of dread, that oh-no-please-don't-let-this-be-happening! fear running through your mind. And the cover!!! So striking and beautiful. If I had more than half a brain cell, I'd be able to post a picture of it but *cough* I still haven't worked out how to do that yet on Blogger. Ahem. Go and look at it on Amazon anyway. Lush.

Saw Enduring Love on DVD the other night which was fab. I picked it up in the video shop and couldn't for the life of me remember if I'd already seen it or not because for me, the book was so vivid (especially that amazing opening sequence) that I could still conjure up lots of images from the pages, and wasn't sure if they were from the film or my own head! That's never happened to me before - weird. Anyway, turned out, I hadn't seen it. I thought it was good although judging by the review on Amazon, not everyone else agrees...

Telly...ooh, I feel spoiled with all my favourite programmes on at once. Lost, Heroes, The Apprentice... Best telly moment of the year so far has got to be the kosher chicken incident in The Apprentice last week. Priceless!

Over to you, now. What's your cultural round-up? I'm all ears...

13 comments:

Maddie Moon said...

A very good and comprehensive cultural round up, I'd say.

Mothernight is in my TBR pile after your earlier recommendation. Last DVD watched? St Trinians, which is very, very bad, but please don't tell my daughter I said so. Telly - I lurve the Apprentice too, must-watch TV and Heroes is my son's fave prog. I am trying to keep up, but really I've kind of lost the plot....
Best telly at the moment has to be Corrie with the Carla and Liam storyline. Carla is my kinda woman.

Hmmm, yes, I am very cultured too.

Calistro said...

Ooooh YOUR cultural round up is my kind of culture! :o)

My cultural round up....

Finished "31 Dream Street" by Lisa Jewell the other day. LOVED IT. Love how Jewell can take so many different characters and make you care about them so much. It's funny that she's branded as 'chick lit' when the male characters in her novels tend to share the lead with the female characters and not just as love interests. Also became fixated with how she explores the minutae of description - no just what someone's wearing but the little things, the butterfly clip in their hair, the colour of their toe nail polish, that sort of thing. Very good from a writer's POV (balancing different character POV) but I was also able to lose myself in the novel as a reader. V. good.

Big fan of the Apprentice too and Heroes and Lost and Grey's Anatomy.

Watched the progreamme on the World's Tallest Women last night and felt v. short (am 6' tall!).

Last film I went to see was "Ironman". I'm a bit of a geeky girl so I really enjoyed it. Bit slow in parts but not half bad for a boy's action film.

wontletlifedefineme said...

I like your cultural round up. It's always nice to pick up a few ideas like that.

My cultural round up: the Hippopotamus by Stephen Fry is very witty and hilarious, I'd definately recommend it. Other than that I can't really think of anything. Haven't read that much or seen that many movies lately - I've been completely preoccupied with my dance performance which is coming up this Friday. But hey, that's cultural too... am I off the hook now? ;)

Lucy Diamond said...

Thanks Maddie! Let me know what you think of Mothernight. Heroes has gone a bit astray I think - hope it picks up speed again soon. And Corrie! I haven't watched it for years - soap operas were the first things to go when I first became a mum, closely followed by football, I never seemed to be free at the right time to watch. HOWEVER I have been thinking lately I must get back into Corrie, it was always my fave - I will definitely make time for it now!

Hi Calistro, ooh 31 Dream Street does sound good, I've had my eye on that one, must make a purchase... I like her books - agree that her characters are always very likeable. Enjoy The Apprentice tonight!

Hi Won'tletlifedefineme (blimey that's hard to type) - you are totally off the hook, with your dance performance! Haven't read The Hippopotamus but it sounds good, thanks for the tip!

girl with the mask said...

The Boyfriend just brought me Alexander McCall Smiths 'The World According to Bertie' which is very cultural because I always learn lots of new things when I read the 44 Scotland Street series- I like that in a book.

R.E. Enduring Love dvd... the book was better, wasn't it?

B said...

Ta for the book recommendation, I've added it to my wishlist :)

Loving Lost. Hating Heroes. That's not strictly true, although I wish it was so the alliteration could be true! - I am loving Lost, but I didn't like the finale of Heroes and I have no interest in anyone this season, except possibly Claire and Mr B. Even the Petrellis aren't holding my interest and I LOVE peter and nathan.

Anyway, hi! *wanders off*

Penny Lane said...

Hi lucy diamond
i am going on holiday tomorrow so am going to buy Mothernight. I am studying for a degree so it will be great to read something other than a chemistry textbook! that is always assuming i can persuade my two small boys (5 and 4) to play together without drowning in the pool - i think i will strap some water activated beeping thing to them just in case. thanks for making me smile this evening. Penny Lane

Lucy Diamond said...

Hello Girl With The Mask, I haven't read any Alexander McCall Smith - this is a really shallow thing to say, but the covers put me off. (Oh dear. You'd never hear THAT on Newsnight Review would you?)
Re Enduring Love - I think you're probably right, the book felt very claustrophobic but it's years since I read it, long enough that I couldn't make a direct comparison and could just enjoy the film for what it was, if you know what I mean. (probably not. I fear I am rambling.)

Hi b, I feel a bit lost with Lost. I love it, but it's got soooo ludicrous since it started up again. But I am enjoying Sawyer being his usual macho self, mmmmm...
Heroes isn't quite doing it for me yet - I've heard that this series picks up so will hang in there. I'm loyal like that.
I do wish Michael had been booted out of The Apprentice last night. I really don't like him!

Hi Penny Lane and welcome to the blog! And have a nice holiday too of course. Your water-activated beeping thing sounds a marvellous device - can we expect to see you on Dragons Den with it any time soon?! ;) Let me know if it works anyway, I need one of those!

Clare Sudbery said...

I'm going to have to stop reading your blog!

This is the second time now that I've gone straight from here to Amazon (this time I bought Mothernight, last time it was Mister Pip), and I'm not supposed to be buying any new books - I have plenty enough sitting in my To Read pile already. I'll just have to hope that my plan to do nothing extra-curricular except read squillions of books during the first six months of my next son's life is successful...

The theory is that I am currently clearing the decks, and I will have no commitments other than motherhood for six months. I am already officially On Maternity Leave. But I know what I'm like...

Clare Sudbery said...

P.S. "soap operas were the first things to go when I first became a mum"

Me too, it's so hard to get in front of telly at right time, partic now they have so many episodes per week. BUT when I was ill during beginning of pregnancy and could do nothing but watch TV, I became utterly addicted again to Emmerdale, Corrie and Eastenders, and given that I'm on maternity leave and my son is old enough to say to him, "shhh , I'm watching Corrie" and I can use the excuse of pregnancy to get my partner to do bedtimes... I've managed to maintain it. I know it's only a matter of time before I have to give them up again though.

Other cultural stuff for me: Desperate Housewives (love it love it), and Will & Grace / Frasier re-runs on C4 with my breakfast every morning, and the occasional double-episode of Waking the Dead. Saw Iron Man with my son, thought it was great. Am reading a recent Tom Robbins, enjoying that, also Barkbelly by Cat Weatherill, which is a kids' book which my son got bored of as a bedtime story-in-instalments, but I am still reading cos I want to know what happens... am also reading The Centerville Ghost by Oscar Wilde as a bedtime story for my son (who's 6 in a week). I have to sometimes do abridging on the fly when Mr Wilde gets too flowery or goes off on one of his long satirical asides, but apart from that it's working really well.

Am also going out to three things next weekend - a cabaret, a play and some modern dance - as part of Queer Up North, and saw a friend recently in a monologue he wrote and performed... and then there was the Alabama 3 gig, and their last-but-one album, which I'd somehow managed to miss owning, turned up in an Amazon delivery this morning...

Blimey! I had no idea my life was so cultural! And such a broad spectrum, too. I suspect it will change when baby is born and become restricted to books and telly... and then baby will get bigger and even books / telly will become out of bounds... will definitely try and make the most of all that time sitting around breastfeeding.

Hmmm. How's that for procrastination. I'm supposed to be writing a book. Will go do that.

Lucy Diamond said...

Clare, you are SO cultured, dahling! I am very impressed, you put me to shame with your social diary. Must try harder.
Funnily enough, I'm reading Barkbelly to my oldest two - it's so good, isn't it?
PS Desperate Housewives - used to love it, stopped watching for a while, tried to get back into this series but Susan just annoyed me too much unfortuantely...

Clare Sudbery said...

You're right, Susan is getting ever-more annoying. And she's not annoying in an enjoyable way, like the rest of them are. I mean, none of them are really wholly likable, are they? Ironically I think Susan started out as the one character who was vaguely decent. But no no no, now I just want to give her a good slap. Ooh! I just rememberd though, there is one likable character, even though I weirdly can't remember her name. The one who had cancer. She's great.

As for my social life... tis only cos I have loads of spare time at the mo. It won't last!

Funnily enough I just finished reading Barkbelly. Picked it up with breakfast two hours ago... then couldn't put it down. I do have some criticisms, but they're minor. Tis definitely a good book. I'm in awe at the breadth of Cat W's imagination. Also intrigued by the fact that she's a major figure on the British storytelling scene. Made me even more determined to get somewhere in the world of storytelling. No rush though. Wil take a few years for me to really build that skill up, I think.

Lucy Diamond said...

Yes, I like Lynette. I saw the one where she'd had some hash brownies, that was hilarious. But Susan...ugh, she's a nightmare. Definitely someone who needs a hash brownie or five to calm her down!