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In Praise of Laziness

I appear to have been adopted by a kitten who certainly knows which side his bread’s buttered on. He chose the only person staying at home all August, at a loose end, getting fed up with Netflix, kept out of the garden by the extremely debilitating heat and the sheer amount of things to do. How did he know? But at least he’s quiet. that’s the great thing about cats, they tiptoe. After looking after him for a couple of days I’m more in doubt than ever about getting an animal. They need looking after and I thought I’d finished with that part of my life! My mother, who was a dog lover (a whole succession of golden Retrievers who got the best of everything in our household) told me when the last one died , “Anne, never get anything with a mouth” and how right she was! Mind you she should have added “and never get anything that needs watering”.

Of course I have irrigation in the garden, but long ago I mislaid the plans. It’s far too complicated. Pop-up sprays for the lawn areas, dripfeed for the veggie beds and leaky tubes for everything else. At the moment I’m trying to simplify the upkeep in order to be able to enjoy it, not just work in it. I’ve discovered to MY surprise (but nobody else’s) that my painful back is caused by weeding. Not the gentle ladylike stuff you read about in novels, done by ladies in lovely hats and nice gardening gloves, but the straining fall-over-if-you -let -go, tall grasses type! Rant over! However, it is so lovely to sit outside , especially in the evenings when all you have to do is breathe in the perfume of Wintersweet, or jasmine, or roses or Brugmansia depending on the season. I have been trying to make mine a perfumed garden. I really have to fall in love with a flower to give it ground space if it has no scent. This is causing a running battle between me and my helper Davide. He hates my Edgeworthia, but it perfumes the whole garden in early spring when nothing else is doing anything.

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Cinema under the stars….

I do love the cinema! and especially cinema under the stars. It’s really a case of”force is no choice” because I spend my weekday evenings during the year teaching, so there’s really only the weekend left .I don’t really like those mega-cinemas, though the seats are comfy. I found a small cinema near me with moderately comfortable seats ( not a lot of stuffing) but that’s ok because the price is really reasonable, and I got into the habit of going regularly. It was a bit like the atmosphere I remember when I used to trek across London with my boyfriend to see a Bergman season. Or at the university cineclub where you could see art films that no one else wanted to see, but there were the great Russian filmakers Eisenstein’s “Ivan the terrible” and the wonderful “Alexander Nevsky”, with music by….wait for it…Prokofiev!

Then nearer to now, more trekking to some weird parish cinemas with my ex to see a Shakespeare festival. “Hamlet” (Kozintchev) most of all which had me scurrying home to read my Shakespeare to check out where that idea of claustrophobia came from. But it’s there ,it’s there in the text. Another eye-opening moment was Roman Polanski’s “Macbeth”, Ive always thought the witches were ridiculous but my small daughter (who I had hoped was too young to understand anything-I must have been in one of my depressed moments where I was dying for a bit of culture) anyway she hollered and I had to leave. The extraordinary thing was that it was shown the next week on tv and she sat and watched, much to my chagrin. This convinced me that cinema IS the big screen, the dark, the undivided concentration…