Sunday, January 05, 2014

Sunday round-up #1

- With Christmas finished, we finally took our tree down yesterday, and Alec helped us return it to whence it came. This year we bought our tree from Gill’s Home & Garden store on Western Road, Brighton, and we were pleased to plump for a living tree. We returned it to the shop and it will soon be taken back out to a forest and re-planted. Our tree was called Paeater, Tree of Courage. [Moment of respectful silence].

- Sad to read of the death of Elizabeth Jane Howard this week. At first it seemed that all the coverage was going to concentrate purely on her relationships with other people rather than her work, but this has been steadily redressed over the last few days – with several beautiful articles emerging in the press. She was a great writer and hugely underrated. The appreciation in the Guardian is particularly worth reading, as is Martin Amis’ eulogy in the Mail.

- I watched ‘American Hustle’ this week, which I thought was absolutely great. I’m horribly out of date when it comes to cinema, I’m afraid. I follow quite a few film buffs on Twitter and am permanently perplexed by references to famous actors who I had no idea existed (Ryan Gosling? Channing Tatum? I have no idea who these people are or what films they’ve been in). I’d never seen Jennifer Lawrence in anything either ’til I saw AH but I’m now a fully paid up fan – of Amy Adams too (who I’d likewise never heard of). They both act the men off the screen in a really involving, exciting, over the top film. Which is not to say the male leads don’t impress too.

- I also watched ‘Anchorman 2′, which was fun – but the only reason I mention it is that I watched it at The Big Scream, the baby-friendly screening at the Dukes at Komedia in Brighton’s North Laine. I was vaguely fearful that attempting to watch a film surrounded by yelling babies would be massively frustrating. It wasn’t at all – I barely noticed them except for the moments when Connie reached over and stole my glasses.

- If you live in Brighton, go and get a coffee in The Mad Hatter CafĂ© on Western Road. They’ll let you buy a suspended coffee while you place your order, and a hard-up coffee-fan can claim it at their leisure later. Ace.

- We spent the whole of the Christmas break in Brighton, and this week the last of our visiting friends departed, and a few who have been away returned. The most rewarding thing about 2013 was the contribution made by our excellent friends. The best days of the year have been those spent with Lynds, Anne-So, Rich, Vic, Alec, Connie, Sam, Laura, Ali, James, Anita, Jackie, Ollie, Dan, Alice, Ryan, Simon, Paul, Vanessa, Dan, Ant, Hedvig, Andrew, Sophie, Ruby, Harry, Claire, Gabs, Murray, Amy, Dan, Julie (and others). They’re a nice bunch.

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