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  1. Just watched Hamilton now on Disney Plus. Overall I liked it, but it was the love story that least impressed me - the Hamilton/Eliza romance and marriage and forgiveness almost seemed to have been parachuted in from another staler show. So, I don't know, if Miranda had included a bit more history with reference to Hamilton's in-laws, maybe it would have improved things. Jefferson/Lafayette (Daveed Diggs) stole every scene he was in.
  2. I had a panic attack yesterday. It's my second - the first happened about four years ago, when I had no idea what it was, thought it could be a heart attack, and ended up being driven to the out-of-hours doctor in the middle of the night. In the intervening years I've had my main symptom (hyperventilation) flare up now and again but I've been able to manage it with breathing exercises. I kind of view it as karma for having a certain amount of a "wouldn't happen to me" attitude in my teens and early twenties. This one was a bit drawn out - I didn't feel I was definitely pulling out of it for about four hours. Then I saw a daft old joke on Twitter and laughed aloud, and knew I was getting better. As with last time, there wasn't an obvious trigger. I mean, there are several things that have been making me hugely anxious and miserable, but at the time the attack started, I was in a fairly good mood, just returning home from a short but enjoyable cycle ride. I'm still shaky today. Just been out to the shops to buy various caffeine free products in the hope it helps.
  3. Just listening to the Food Programme on Radio 4. According to it, Boris Johnson had an epiphany about the effects of weight on health after his own experience of Covid-19, and has resolved to Do Something about obesity in Britain. It follows that we should hope the Prime Minister is exposed to as many deeply unpleasant experiences as possible to push him towards socially compassionate policies. What first?
  4. Which of the others caught your fancy?
  5. Finished the second in Megan Whalen Turner's Queen's Thief series, The Queen of Attolia. Again, read it in German and read it slowly. I found it pretty engaging, but, at the same time, not hugely memorable. Also finished A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine. Even though the interior voice of the central character was a little distracting in that it reminds me strongly of the blog entries of LiveJournalers I used to follow, I did enjoy the book. I loved the rendering of the capital of the Teixcalaanli Empire (had to look up the spelling, despite last seeing the word a few hours ago), the interest in language, culture, architecture, and food from the perspective of a newcomer. I also appreciated the rendering of Mahit's divided feelings towards it - the love-hate relationship. Given the slightly abrupt ending I'm not surprised that it's planned as the first of a series. I assume we're going to revisit old characters even if the point-of-view character changes. I haven't read the other Hugo nominees, but reckon this book could be a convincing winner judging it purely on its own merits.
  6. I'm really sorry, James Arryn. This must be a terrible time for you, and in the middle of a terrible year too. At least, it sounds as if the medical staff are ready to do their best for your father without any delays.
  7. This hit me really hard. I know he was 88, and ready to go, but he was a such a big part of my childhood through playing Frodo in the BBC Radio Lord of the Rings and Pod in The Borrowers. Lovely photos here of Holm recording the series with Michael Hordern and John Le Mesurier. Bill Nighy is one of the few principle actors from the production left, I think. Later I remember him as Bilbo, of course, and as the doctor in The Madness of King George opposite Nigel Hawthorne. Never saw him live on stage, which I regret. He had a remarkable physical presence, I think - the short, solid frame, that voice and those piercing eyes. You can hear a clip from the last minutes of the BBC drama here Stephen Oliver composed the music.
  8. The odd thing about it was that I don't remember the first half of the film being hugely violent. Then it suddenly became very violent indeed. As I get older, I'm more inclined to close my eyes through the gory bits; I didn't have a chance here. Still ruminating over whether the violence was gratuitous or not.
  9. What an insulting, nasty thing to do to people who've been so important to getting the country through Covid.
  10. I really like this article too. I hope there will be more written in a similar manner.
  11. Egon's one of my favourite characters - both his actors are so good, and so well-cast. The episode in S2 when Claudia lets him die inter-cut with scenes of her father as a young man was amazing.
  12. Thought Melvin looked familiar, but hadn't placed him as Clay Davis. It's been too long since I watched The Wire. (Over ten years, I think. ) Bits of the film worked, and bits didn't work, but overall I'm definitely glad I saw it. There were so many great moments. Veronica Ngo as Hanoi Hannah was mesmerising.
  13. I've never seen Gone With The Wind. When it was on telly on Christmas day a few years ago, my dad decided to watch it properly. I absented myself from the experience, though did check in with him at hourly intervals - this being Christmas Day, I was in an increasingly prosecco'd state. "It's still going?" "Yes!" ... "Has it stopped yet?" "No, it's barely started." ... "Surely this can't still be the same film." "It's the same film." .... He did make it through the whole thing, though he said afterwards it had been a waste of the afternoon. I was reading the Wikipedia biography of Hattie McDaniel this morning after seeing that GWTW had been pulled. It wasn't happy reading. The worst thing that stood out to me was that while she allegedly had plenty of friends in Hollywood, for the post-Oscars party the cast inc. claimed friends all headed to a whites-only bar which she was refused access to. What tremendously crap people.
  14. My granddad fought in the second world war with the British Army, but he was also an anti-Semite who thought Hitler was right to kill the Jews. You can serve in the military for a wide range of reasons.
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