Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by dog-days

  1. As long as the original works are still reasonably publicly accessible and being preserved for future generations to make their own judgement about, I don't see a problem from a historical/archival point-of-view. It's not going to be like sleeping beauty with every spindle in the kingdom being destroyed, or like the various acts of damnatio memoriae carried out through history against unpopular rulers. Once Dahl is out of copyright, the originals can go on the internet, free for everyone to access and modify as they choose.
  2. Supermarkets report running low on turnips following the environment secretary's advice to eat them instead of salad vegetables. If Thérèse Coffey is spotted on the luxury yacht belong to the CEO of a turnip-growing consortium (should there be such a thing), I will get suspicious!
  3. I watched it in 2019 – easily one of my favourite films ever. Love the gentle Horatian-satire style of it. Plus, it breaks my heart with: So much about life packed into that one line. According to rogerebert.com, Powell and Pressburger had to resort to stealing army equipment during filming since Churchill's objections to the Colonel Blimp concept meant they couldn't just borrow it.
  4. "The fourth pig built a house from the skulls of wolves. The house wasn't as strong as the house of bricks, but it sent a powerful message." Ah for a house made of the skulls of Tory MPs who recommend buying houses with savings made from switching avocados for turnips.
  5. Recent story with retired SNP minister Andrew Neil as the source, claiming that Humza Yousef arranged to have a meeting at the time of the gay marriage vote in 2014 after pressure from his mosque. Humza voted for gay marriage in the stage 1 vote, but missed the final stage 3 vote owing to another commitment. (Humza says it was a meeting about someone arrested on a blasphemy charge in Pakistan – Mohammed Ashgar from Edinburgh) As far as I can tell, Neil is mostly a grumpy old man, fed-up with the way things work in Scottish Parliament, as well as being a Brexiter and a Scots nationalist. Yousef isn't going to appeal to him – too cautious and unlikely to press for change. Is Neil's story true? Could be. According to the Herald: Yousef should say explicitly that he supports gay marriage as an indication that he has some political spine, but I don't think he'd be willing to do that. It doesn't make fruitcake Forbes look good in contrast; still, it muddies the waters. Meanwhile, I expect Regan's campaign will benefit from the problems of the two government candidates. She's positioning herself as an outsider/new broom, and this works in her favour.
  6. I briefly really hoped this would be a prequel to Derry Girls.
  7. Loved the Wes Anderson treatment of Fantastic Mr Fox (which I haven't read). Justifies the existence of the original books, which I never cared for as a child – partly no doubt because my dad was quite disparaging about the author; he'd heard stuff about Dahl. I have a soft spot for Danny the Champion of the World, which I remember the class teacher Mr Griffiths reading to us when I was ten. More of a low key, down-to-earth type of story than what I usually associate with Dahl, one that reminds me of folk ballads like Rufford Park Poachers. Also it has or at least had its devotees; a friend who had a difficult relationship with his father named it as a favourite, and I've run into that pattern more than once. Most books by Dahl don't seem to get that kind of emotional response – the humour and grotesques might be enjoyed, but they're rarely loved in the way that e.g. The Wind in the Willows is loved. I like/agree with this response to the current debate.
  8. Haven't watched the show, but that last point doesn't seem completely fair. To make up for not practising meditation, tai chi or yoga, I tune into the radio programme Gardeners' Question Time every Friday. One of the panellists is called Bob Flowerdew. Another is Pippa Greenwood. Nominative determinism in action. But yeah, it's annoying when an actor grates and spoils the rest of the show. I used to find Helena Bonham Carter really irritating. Haven't seen her in anything for years, so I'm not sure if I still do.
  9. Love First Dog on the Moon today. Actually, I always love FDotM.
  10. Yes. In terms of tone, Scholomance is much more knowing than Ninth House, and genre-savvy. I'm not sure if El ever called the school Evil Hogwarts*, but she may as well have. I think Scholomance felt set around now, though I'd have to go back through the series to pick out indicators. Ninth House is (probably?) meant to take place around now, but I don't feel that the author had a particular year in mind. Anyway, I picked up the sequel from the library today, so I'll see where the narrative takes Alex. * On second thoughts, Scholomance is quite a bit nicer than Hogwarts in some respects, though not in terms of catering.
  11. Toby Stephens is acting royalty. His father Robert Stephens was a well-known and respected actor (when sober), mainly famous for his stage-work. He voiced Aragorn in the 1981 BBC Radio adaptation of Lord of the Rings. Toby looks more like his mother, but I can hear his father in his voice.
  12. I'd laugh except the idea of her becoming SNP leader and First Minister dries up the laughter a bit. She's not going to win, is she? My guess is that Hamza Yousaf will have an easy victory with Forbes and Regan as his opponents.
  13. Months are also problematic. Do the wee frees just have to use numerical dates for everything? i.e. 20/02/2023
  14. The union for academic staff at universities, UCU, is pausing its action for now. Apparently some sort of progress has been made. The other union, UNISON, has suspended its strikes. But those are probably the only examples I've heard of recently in which industrial action has receded rather than looming larger. My aunt (a nurse, approaching retirement) was on annual leave on their strike day before Christmas, but went to the picket line to show support. In their annual catch-up phone call, one of her very very elderly (think nineties) female relatives gave her hell for ten minutes about the abominable, immoral behaviour of nurses for daring to want better pay and working conditions, before concluding, "Well, Merry Christmas and love to you and all the family!" eta: I just tried to spell abominable in six different ways, including abdominal
  15. OTOH, the breeding of mini-pigs is no doubt tied up with problems, and I'm not at all sure a pig should be living without the company of other pigs. OTOH, PUB PIG!!! Why don't any pubs near me have one? They don't even have a single pub hamster between them.
  16. Also, in more important news, a record number of Guernsey hedgehogs need help What are you doing to help your local hedgehogs? Your hedgehogs need you. Personally, I'm just trying to find them. I've only ever seen one living hedgehog in my life, at dusk in a small town suburb in Fife, running at what looked like 90mph from garden to garden.
  17. God, the SNP leadership contenders aren't looking promising. There's Finance Minister Kate Forbes who wouldn't have supported the Gender Recognition Bill. (Meaning that she did but regrets doing so...? I haven't found a direct quote yet, just news sources paraphrasing.) And in the short video clip I watched, she was very much a fresh-off-the-production-line factory-made politician with a load of clichés drilled into her by her PR team and no individuality. Hamza Yousaf is sort-of the safe choice (supports the GRB, positions himself as the natural heir of Sturgeon). But his online presence is low; Google search results are dominated by stories hostile to him. He has a long record as a minister, and while there's nothing as dodgy as the stuff I became accustomed to with the Johnson government, the unpopular Hate Crime and Public Order Bill and his time as Health Minister will take the shine off and give his opponents plenty of ammunition. His interview manners come across as more friendly and natural than Forbes, but then, so would the Borg Collective. Ash Regan quit her government job in protest of the GRB. She timed it rather well – any earlier, and everyone would have forgotten about her. Now she's in a good position to present herself as the major 'alternative' candidate, appealing with her GRB stance and comments on Net Zero ("I will stand up for our oil workers and their communities") to more right-wing or right-curious SNP supporters. She's not at all alarming and doesn't remind me of Cate Blanchett in Mrs America in any way. I do support independence for Scotland, but with one of this lot in charge it could be next century or never. If they get someone with charisma in opposition, the SNP will suffer. From the trio on offer, I'd go for Yousaf. Sorry for mentioning the GRB so much after this thread had managed to move away from it. It wasn't the plan; I just hadn't been prepared for how big a crater it is in Scottish politics at the moment. Too busy following Welsh news with its second homes crises and Schrödinger's Menai Bridge.
  18. Wow. And yes, as Fragile Bird says, good luck.
  19. I enjoyed Skyrim on my first playthrough, but have never gone back to it. I tried once, thinking I should get my money's worth, but gave up after a few minutes of playtime. I went through the map pretty thoroughly the first time round, and there's nothing I really remember as being especially good about it. No interesting quests that I wanted to revisit, for example, or locations that I wanted to see again. Realised Sims 4 was free, and gave it a go. I played the original back when it came out, and largely used it to supress/ redirect the urge to decorate my bedroom in an unusual colour palette, and also to see what would happen if I deleted the ladder to the swimming pool while a sim was doing lengths. I haven't played much so far, and have mostly got the impression that it's all much the same, but with slightly better graphics. Can't comment on the swimming pool ladder issue yet. Pharaoh: A New Era is out, and I'm thinking about getting that for myself in March. Also Strange Horticulture.
  20. Finished Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo, an Ivy League campus dark fantasy with a murder mystery element. Picked it up in the library, having gone there to look for a completely different book, partly because of seeing favourable reactions here, and partly on the strength of its first line: Not quite up there with 'it was the day my grandmother exploded' (Iain Banks, Crow Road) but definitely a strong start. Anyway, the plot took a while to get going, but once it did, it was a very fun read with much peril and exciting happenings. I ended up becoming excessively attached to the ghost Morrissey character. If I just had the time and energy, it would be interesting to do a compare/contrast with Naomi Novik's Scholomance trilogy. Both books have cynical heroines with ambiguous powers and a kind, hippy, but powerless (not literally - in the narrative) mother. Also, the reveal at the end of Ninth House and the reveal in the Golden Enclaves share one particular similarity. I know that people have found the sequel disappointing, but I'll give it a try anyway.
  21. Think he wants whatever will polish his brand amongst the gullible idiots that think he means or cares about what he says. Re: Labour. I'm hoping that a Starmer government would relax on the centralising/Union Jack agenda of the Conservatives. I want more power moved to Wales, not away. That said, Welsh Labour and the UK party haven't really seen eye-to-eye for a while: Welsh Labour favours more left-wing rhetoric, even if devolution limits on tax powers mean they can't do much to realise it.
  22. Boris Johnson, in league with the crazies in the ERG, has been criticising Sunak's plan to cooperate with the EU on reworking the agreement on Northern Ireland. As opportunistic and unscrupulous as ever. (Boris, I mean. Sunak is actually being sane, and predictably a swathe of his own party hate that.) I'm not sure what Sunak's plan actually is. As far as I know, NI is still stuck in that both of the below aren't possible given Brexit: 1. No land border with the Republic 2. No Irish Sea border with Britain
  23. Thought I knew of more or less every breed of dog, but I hadn't heard of the Lagotto Romagnolo before. They're beautiful. Sorry you had a bad experience with a spitz.
  24. Shame. I'd been planning to catch up on the first half whenever it became available cheaply in the UK, but I don't think I'll bother now. If the writing quality isn't there, the rest is no good, despite the Claudia Black.
  25. I played as a human fighter on my first run through (as an elven mage this time), and don't think it made a huge difference to the experience. From an rp-ing perspective, playing as an elf and playing as a mage mean you have more at stake in the story, but that's about it.
  • Create New...