Print Story Running up that hill
By TheophileEscargot (Mon May 19, 2008 at 11:03:07 AM EST) Reading, Watching, Me, MLP (all tags)
Reading: "The Reverse of the Medal", "Pirates! In an Adventure with Communists". Watching. Me. Web.

What I'm Reading
Latest Aubrey/Maturin was The Reverse of the Medal. This part of the series seems to be doing more with the continuing plotlines, as a long-running villain succeeds in doing them serious harm: Diana Villiers deserts Maturin and disappears to Sweden: Aubrey is expelled from the Navy.

The first half is sea-based, the second half is on land in England, but so well done you don't miss the sea. Somewhat depressing though: be interesting to see how they cope in the next volume.

In spite of that, this is a particularly good entry in the series, with striking dramatic scenes like Aubrey in the pillory.

What I'm Reading 2
The Pirates! In an Adventure with Communists by Gideon Defoe. This was in the grown-up section but might be more aimed at teens or tweens: simply written but with a plethora of advanced references.

Extremely wacky, too wacky for me really. Features a cheerfully anachronistic and fourth-wall-bending bunch of pirates encountering Marx, Engels and others in Victorian London. Has its moments though. Very short: pretty much novella length.

I think I'd have really loved this when I was 14: not sure if I'll look out for more now.

What I'm Watching
Carrying on with the BBC Shakespeare collection with Henry IV Part One. Jon Finch keeps on as Henry Bolingbroke IV. Interesting to have the same character in the role: his does a good job of appearing more battered and cynical after years on the throne.

Anthony Quayle plays a particularly decrepit Falstaff, periodically breaking off into fits of wheezing. Gives him something of an air of desperation, though it does mean he seems neither particularly likeable nor dangerous.

David Gwillim seems pretty cold and calculating in the role of Prince Hal. Not sure if he'll get more impassioned in the next one.

Overall though, a good ensemble performance. The fight scenes seem to be aiming for a kind of grunting realism though, which is faintly embarrassing given the production period and the budget.

Went for another walk this weekend. Shorter this time: just up the canal from Greenford, then had a walk around the new Northala Fields park with its artificial hills. Flickr.

You can just about see the Wembley arch in this one: Northala view of Wembley

Northala view of London

Northala Fields seems to have come along nicely. It's open to the public now, and they've filled some little ponds where the kids were running remote-controlled boats. Still surprisingly quiet: I had the summit to myself while I was up there, though it was a sunny day.

Pony Request
Let us link to Flickr images. Their guidelines say it's permitted as long as it links back to the Flickr photopage. May as well use their bandwidth and hard drives as ours.

Also, it's annoying that I've had to delete most of the pictures from my old holiday diaries to make space. And I don't think it makes it any easier to post goatse or whatever: anything we upload there we could also upload here.

Best mugshots.

Sea slug photos.

Correction to last diary: Caesar bust probably not Caesar.

Suggested comments for this diary
Flickr content. (4.00 / 1) (#1)
by hulver on Mon May 19, 2008 at 07:39:47 AM GMT

I'm happy to allow flickr content embedding, but I'd rather not have to force the use of a macro to auto provide the linking.

I've got a few things to consider before I do. With embedded images, there's the thing that turns them off, and lets you click on them to view them. I could do that with a macro, but not with a standard img tag.

Two, do they enforce the "you must link" rule? I can't see how they could, but it would be nice to make it simpler to do here, by including any photos as links in the "Related links" box.
New sig pending

I don't think they enforce that rule (2.00 / 0) (#3)
by R Mutt on Mon May 19, 2008 at 10:52:13 AM GMT

However, their guideline HTML has the whole image embedded in an anchor tag. If they do decide to start enforcing it, they might be checking for that.

That's not a sea slug (4.00 / 3) (#2)
by gazbo on Mon May 19, 2008 at 09:35:15 AM GMT

That's Slurms McKenzie
"Engarde!" cried the larvae, huskily. - Scrymarch

The print Nat Geo (4.00 / 1) (#4)
by wiredog on Mon May 19, 2008 at 01:00:25 PM GMT

has an article describing how he got the "studio" shots of the sea slugs. Basically, an underwater box, white inside, that he put the critters in.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Falstaff (4.00 / 1) (#5)
by wiredog on Mon May 19, 2008 at 01:07:36 PM GMT

Fun character. He gets his own play (sort of) in Merry Wives of Windsor.

Between the three plays (Henry IV: Pt 1 and 2, and Merry Wives) he has more lines, overall, than any Shakespeare character other than Hamlet.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

"Fun" (4.00 / 1) (#6)
by Herring on Mon May 19, 2008 at 03:01:29 PM GMT

I'm not sure. When he finds the body of Hotspur and tries to take the credit, it's not pretty.

When my grandfather became ill, my grandmother rubbed goose-fat into his back. He went downhill quite quickly after that. - Milton Jones

Well, he /is/ a coward. (4.00 / 1) (#7)
by wiredog on Mon May 19, 2008 at 03:28:19 PM GMT

He's also the comic relief.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Depends how he's played (4.00 / 1) (#8)
by R Mutt on Mon May 19, 2008 at 04:01:14 PM GMT

He can be played as quite a sinister figure: corrupting Hal, endangering the realm by recruiting troops who will mostly bribe their way out.

It's not hard to see him becoming like Richard II's corrupt, smooth-talking, flattering advisors in the earlier play.

But he can also be played just for laughs.

Thanks for posting that (4.00 / 1) (#11)
by Herring on Mon May 19, 2008 at 04:41:13 PM GMT

I was just starting a very similar reply when I was called away to deal with dull work stuff.

I'm not sure about corrupting Hal though. Hal seems to treat Falstaff fairly cynically - leading up to ... oops, mustn't give away the plot of the sequel.

When my grandfather became ill, my grandmother rubbed goose-fat into his back. He went downhill quite quickly after that. - Milton Jones

Western in US history thing (4.00 / 1) (#9)
by Scrymarch on Mon May 19, 2008 at 04:23:08 PM GMT

Without wanting to start any kind of "ivory tower liberals" flamewar, I suspect it's probably a huffy over-reaction to the real estate it gets in popular culture. Maybe they had to explain that, no Mum, I don't study Cowboys and Indians for a living, just one too many times.

I've never had any particular affection for the setting ... I really will only watch a Western if it is a rolled gold classic, like High Noon. Still, skipping the entire period seems a bit much. Presumably they still did Reconstruction, etc?

The Political Science Department of the University of Woolloomooloo

sea slugs (4.00 / 1) (#10)
by garlic on Mon May 19, 2008 at 04:31:56 PM GMT

those sea slugs look like beautiful sushi.
signatures are for assholes.

< The Of and the For The People | Diary redux. >
Running up that hill | 2 comments (2 topical, 0 hidden)
Who's Slurms McKenzie? [nt] by gazbo (4.00 / 1) #1 Mon May 19, 2008 at 12:59:41 PM EST

I recommend always assuming 7th normal form where items in a text column are not allowed to rhyme.

Slurms McKenzie? by Vulch (4.00 / 1) #2 Mon May 19, 2008 at 01:09:22 PM EST
Running up that hill | 2 comments (2 topical, 0 hidden)