I’m sure I’ve written about this before. Do you re-read books? More than once? I have a handful of books that I return to. All the Barbara Pyms, Cold Comfort Farm, Fever Pitch, The Screwtape Letters, Gaudy Night, Remember Me, Jane Eyre. (Best forget the word “Handful”)
I have just read A Place of Greater Safety by Hillary Mantel for the third time. (It’s a big ‘un) Nowadays she is up to her eyes in Booker Prizes because of The Wolf Hall series (which I like very much) but this is her great achievement as far as I am concerned. It’s a novel about the French Revolution, which was one of my subjects for History A Level and has been an abiding interest ever since. I think you need a certain amount of knowledge about The Terror etc. (You can only flick through to the Index so many times before you lose the will to live) but for a Revolution nerd like me it is top notch. Spoiler! French Revolution – not a happy ending for most people – sorry.
We have been out to the flicks to see “The Aeronauts.”. We saw it on our new IMAX screen, which is massive. I’ll be honest I’m not sure how much difference a huge screen made. The film is about an Edwardian scientist and a wealthy, widowed balloon pilot trying to break the record for going high in a balloon or something. There are some good bits when they are in peril and people have to hang off the balloon from a great height by their fingernails and tie ropes together using their teeth. However I found the rest is a bit boring – sorry. There is more deep soul searching than I feel would be helpful when you are high enough to have icicles on your eyebrows and the balloon is refusing point blank to come down. Apparently it is loosely based on fact (probably very loosely). Also I do struggle a bit with Eddie Redmayne who seems to act a lot with his teeth. I’m sure it’s just me. Why should he care?
Also we went to see the cinema version of Fleabag – the stand up. Now I would think that very few of the readers of this blog have seen Fleabag and quite right. It is very, very rude. I wouldn’t take my Maiden Aunt to see it. Actually, I wouldn’t take my Aunt to see it if she wasn’t a maiden. In fact, I wouldn’t take my Aunt to see it if she was the type of woman who could open beer bottles with her bellybutton.
It’s very well written – she is obviously very clever but a bit too fearless for me. Under all the bravado, I think the writer, Phoebe Waller-Bridge is trying to paint a portrait of a lonely, frightened girl who sleeps with anyone with a pulse because of how scared of being alone she is. It’s a laudable aim (if a bit clichéd) but why she has to do it using jokes about body parts that would make a docker blush is a bit outside my field of expertise. Is this how the young people are? No wonder people like Prince Andrew are allowed to wander around unchecked. Young people – stop taking pictures of your bits and pieces and get involved with good worthwhile things! While you are young and energetic with all your own teeth!
By the way, did anyone catch War of the Worlds? Not sure what I think yet. I liked the Edwardian setting with lots of posh people on Town Hall steps spluttering “This is nothing to be concerned about” to the masses while big spidery Martian spaceships blasted everyone to smithereens. Not so sure about the feisty woman in a scorched landscape seemingly auditioning for Terminator or something. Still, too early to judge probably. Doesn’t usually stop me though.