Tuesday, 31 January 2017

I am thinking of applying to be the next Dr Who

So Peter Capaldi is finishing as Doctor Who later this year.  I am thinking of applying for the role - I'm sure I would be great.

The most important thing is the question of who my assistant would be.

I didn't watch many of the episodes with Clara in them.  Recently I have only watched Dr Who when Daughter has wanted to and that hasn't been very often.

On the other hand, I did see most of the Amy Pond / Matt Smith episodes and rather enjoyed them - the episode when Amy gets old having apparently waited years for the Doctor to return was one of the great episodes of any series ever.  And who can forget her police woman outfit?  I rather liked the Van Gogh episode too, though daughter was strangely opposed to this one.

The main problem with Amy was that she had stupid boyfriend in tow all the time - didn't like him

But my heyday of Doctor Who watching was when I was at University in the 1980s and the Doctor had two female assistants - Nyssa and Tegan.  Of course Nyssa was hyper-intelligent, but Tegan was an Australian air stewardess, for God's sake - what's not to like about that?

The least said about the male companion, Adso (?), the better

And I was a teenager when Louise Jameson brightened up Saturday evenings as the extraordinarily-dressed Leela.  Untameable I would think

And I also remember Sarah Jane from the Tom Baker era (and can just about remember the blonde girl who assisted Jon Pertwee)

So who to choose as my assistant - probably Nyssa and Tegan, then Amy Pond (without Rory), then Sarah Jane, then Leela, then Clara

My application is in the post.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Even weirder new music - Cup and Saucers

Another band from The Wire's show Adventures in Music and Sound and one that I haven't been able to download or, indeed, find anything about.

Cup and Saucers are apparently a band of Japanese origin as is so much good music, and the CD is called Awesome, but beyond that, I am drawing a blank so far.

More digging is required


Apparently the cd can be bought from Amazon but it is £30, but isn't on the music site that I usually download music from (emusic.com) - I do have a picture of it but not a copy yet.

Friday, 27 January 2017

New weird Music - Anna Homler

More weird music is available via the website of The Wire magazine, particularly their radio show "Adventures in Music and Sound" which goes out every couple of weeks or so.

One recent example found here was the Anna Holmer and Steve Moshier collaboration, Breadwoman.

Apparently Anna Holmer performs as Breadwoman while dressed as bread and she is singing in an invented language.  This is pretty odd, but a very effective sound.  I have downloaded the full album and am thoroughly enjoying it.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Julian Barnes "The Noise of Time" and Shostakovich's "The Nose"

I have just re-read Julian Barnes's book about Shostakovich and have enjoyed it just at much the second time through.  I have a collection of S's symphonies and have been listening to one ever day or two.

His opera, The Nose, has been on in London recently and was broadcast on the radio a week or two ago, so I have downloaded that off the BBC radio app and plan to hear it next week.  Daughter's boyfriend is a keen opera buff.  I wonder if he was tempted to take Daughter to see The Nose?

Monday, 16 January 2017

Food Blogging

We have decided to record our food consumption in 2017 via a new blog.  This has been inspired by an article on extreme foodies in The Times the other day - four people who meet regularly to try new foods and did seem totally obsessed.

So we will be taking pics of our food and writing witty features about it all - at least until our food reveals itself to be quite ordinary.  Perhaps we will be inspired to eat a greater variety of food by having to record it.

The new blog link is;


Contrasting the Times and Guardian

We subscribe to The Times online as our main source of news down here in France, but The Guardian's website is actually still free, so I am also reading that each day.

In fact, I probably prefer the Guardian's website as it updates the opinion pieces throughout the day, and it has The Long Read articles, which I try to read all of, regardless of subject.

But this process also gives an interesting way to see how the two paper's run their various stories.

I have long believed that newspapers target their market much more that act as conduits of knowledge in a liberal democracy.  The Daily Mail of course deliberately appeals to the fears of its readership giving them the stories to fan those fears.  And The Times and The Guardian clearly aim at their own audience.  I have enjoyed this process of review.

Listening to recent Swans and older Jarboe

Every so often, I return to listening to Swans.  The latest prompt was downloading a live recording from earlier this year of the current band - some extraordinary long pieces being played.

But this inevitably leads me back to Jarboe's music which I haven't heard much in the last year or so.  The last week or so I have worked my way through the half-dozen solo albums that I have of hers - still remarkable listening in my view.

Her website has some current pics - she remains a gorgeous looking woman.  In fact, it is almost as if she is getting more beautiful as she ages!

New listening - Radio 3's Late Junction

During one of his "freak zones", Stuart Maconie mentioned a BBC Radio 3 show called Late Junction which I have now been listening to for the last few weeks - an eclectic mix of modern classical and the sort of stuff that Stuart Maconie plays normally.

Odd to hear Black Metal played on Radio 3 - I hadn't realised Radio 3 had become so diverse, but I suppose there was a clue when it broadcast the whole 8 hours of Max Richter's Sleep one night.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Alan Booth's The Roads to Sata, Lesley Downer, Stephen Pern

Current reading is a book I found in the garage over Christmas - Alan Booth's The Roads to Sata.  This is another example of the long walk books that I used to buy loads of years ago when it was not impossible that one day I might do such a walk - now the prospect seems as far away as it ever has, but you never know.

But a long walk for me would not be the length of Japan, a country that just seems weirder and weirder as I get older!  I watched an episode of Joanna Lumley's recent series about travelling around Japan - I would still really like to go back there again one day

I have also found Lesley Downer's book on travelling the route of the poet Basho.  Maybe I will read this next

And finally, I have found the tv programme of Stephen Pern walking through Japan.  This came out in the mid-1980s or early 1990's I think and is still a favourite

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Christmas Books

A few new books for Christmas this year from Daughter.

The briefly studied the Frankfurt School at University but was turned off by what I considered the absurdity of the concept of "reification" - the idea that, but for a few exceptional thinkers who can point to the truth, we are all trapped in the world manipulated by capitalists.

The book has got some good reviews and has re-kindled my interest in the subject.

Lately I have been reading a few books from what you might call the extreme political left - particularly the field of so-called "critical theory"

And this is another
I seem to read a history of the French Revolution every two or three years - the "terror" remains an interesting historical topic for me.  This is the latest

And finally, my lifelong interest in medieval manuscripts has another outlet

Abstract Expressionism at the Royal Academy

Wife and Daughter are having a "mother-daughter" day out in London which involves lunch at Harvey Nichols and shopping at Westfield.

I, by contrast, took in some culture, visiting the Royal Academy's Abstract Impressionism show.

There were a number of highlights I thought.  Ad Reinhardt's totally black Abstract Painting of 1956, for instance, and the half-dozen Rothko's.

But two stood out above all other - Jackson Pollock's Blue Posts

and Joan Mitchell's Salut Tom

The show was pretty full when I attended, but I was able to spend over two hours there - needless to say, I have acquired the show's accompanying book.