It’s Halloween today, a festival that originally marked the start of darker nights and the approach to winter and which originated in Scotland and Ireland. Now it seems to have become some sort of commercial party event, full of carved pumpkins instead of turnip lanterns and oceans of lollies (sweets/candies/godis/slik – take your pick!). It is also spring here, and it feels like we should be celebrating longer days and the approach to summer. Anyway, enough of being a grump, and time to turn to what I have been watching, listening and reading this month.
The last series of ‘Downton Abbey’ is on here, just a couple of weeks behind the UK. It really is the most ridiculous drama, but totally compelling, and of course the costumes are nice! We’ve also been catching up on Arne Dahl series 2, a really good Swedish detective series that in the UK, was shown on BBC Channel 4. We are looking forward to catching up with The Detectorists, a wonderful, quiet comedy about metal detectors starring Mackenzie Cook. Oh and of course – I’m also still watching out for spring flowers.
More spring flowers
It’s the 125th anniversary of Agatha Christie‘s birth, and BBC Radio 4 are repeating a whole series of Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot stories. They are great fun to catch up on, even though I think I have heard them all before. Like many other people around the globe, I’ve been listening to Adele’s first single in three years, which I confess to really liking. Last weekend when we were driving up and down to New Plymouth, we stuck on some old compilation CDs to listen to, full of things to sing along to which was great fun. I’ve got a whole pile of This American Life podcasts to listen to, so might review a few of them next month.
With all the traveling that has gone on this month, I’ve been dipping in and out of things, and haven’t spent as much time as I would like just reading. A bit too heavy to carry around, but fun to pick up of an evening, is Nigel Slater‘s ‘The Kitchen Diaries’. I enjoy reading cook books, and he has such a lovely style and way of talking about food, that is both comforting and inspirational.
Sometimes you shouldn’t pick up a book just because everyone seems to be talking about it. Amy Poehler’s ‘Yes Please’ is a case in point. Having never seen ‘Saturday Night Live’, and only a few episodes of ‘Parks and Recreation’, I don’t really know her that well as a performer for a start. Secondly, it was so full of name dropping, repetition (we only need to be told once she has problems sleeping) and supposedly witty remarks, that it was just not a good read. There were some funny parts though, such as comparing a career to a bad boyfriend, and the final section was lovely, describing how she lost and found her laptop. I almost forgave her the rest of her book by the closing remark, telling us that the only way we will survive is by being kind.
Finally I bought a book about the life and art of Len Lye when we were up in New Plymouth, that I confess to only having flipped through, but am looking forward to putting it on my November reads list.
Len Lye in his own words