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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in shaved_ape's LiveJournal:

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Monday, October 24th, 2016
2:39 am
Halloween Movie Challenge 2017 - Movies 1-3
I didn't think I was going to do the usual Halloween movie challenge this year. (31 never before seen horror films watched and reviewed in October). I usually get stocked on dvds well before hand. Having missed the boat so far I decided last night that I would jump on and give it a go - this year just grabbing whatever new films I come across on tv. cable and amazon prime. (if I catch anything at the cinema this week I will throw that in too, but I am not expecting it). This also means that I have to catch 31 movies in the next 8 days. At this late stage I do not know if I am going to make the deadline but that just adds some spice!

Here we go with movies 1-3:

An atmospheric movie about exorcism with a great cast. Alfred Molina, Rutger Hauer and Toby Jones have small parts, Colin O Donaghue (a relative newcomer) is a convincing lead but Anthony Hopkins gives a barn storming turn. This starts nicely with an examination of Catholic style exorcism from the eye of someone who doubts the validity of the whole thing - then climaxes with a showdown exorcism with the two main characters going head to head. I very much enjoyed this - it's one of the best exorcism movies I have seen in years.

In short, Groundhog Day meets The Others with just enough originality to keep it interesting throughout. Abigail Breslin takes a nicely understated lead. Her character finds herself in a dull timeloop, stuck at home with her family and only she is aware that they are forced to live the same day over and over and are completely cut off from the outside world. Gradually she starts to notice that small variations in the day can be achieved but these can have unforseen (and terrible) consequences. **SLIGHT SPOILERS FOLLOW ** We learn that she and her family are dead, that they are sharing there hime with multiple families (also mostly dead) and there is something malignant keeping them there and killing others. The trick is to find the variations that will lead to breaking out of the reptitive loop before it is too late. Nice film.

I have to be honest, when I saw a boat movie called 'Triangle' I expected something deeply cheesey about the Bermuda triangle, but this is very much better than that. A group of young friends take a sailing trip get caught unawares by freak waether but are eventually rescued by a large (but seemingly deserted) ocean liner. The friends explore the ship looking for the crew or passengers and find no one - until somebody starts trying to kill them. So far this is pretty much by the numbers - but this is where it gets interesting. *** SLIGHT SPOILERS FOLLOW*** It is quickly revealed that someone from their own group is trying to kill them off. Once they die time kind of resents and the one surviving member sees their friends arriving to be rescued all over again (only for them to start dying again).
A motif is mentioned in the film of Sisyphus - the Greek legend of the man who was punished by the gods and sentenced to endlessly push a boulder up a mountain only for it to restart and begin again. It soon becomes apparent that the same mechanism is somehow at work here. There are several reveals which show that this has already happened dozens if not hundreds of times already. (The lead character seems to take much longer than the audience to realise this). The rule seems to be that when the last of the group dies time resets and the group arrives yet again. The character forms a plan that if she can kill the friends then get to the point of rescue before her friends join the ship she can break the cycle and stop them ever coming on the ship in the first place. Obviously that is easier said than done so there is plenty of tension there but even after this reaches what seems to be the final resolution a wider story is revealed.
This is a film of which I expected little but it actually keeps giving and giving right up until it ends. The few weaknessed I thought the film did possess (like why the central character seems so slow to grasp the obvious) are eventually resolved to my satisfaction. I really enjoyed this.

This week I have been mostlr re-reading: Ecstasies- Deciphering The Witches Sabbath by Carlo Ginzburg

Current Mood: awake
Friday, October 21st, 2016
12:58 am
Preacher, Lucifer & Constantine
Now that I have subscription telly I have started to catch up with series which have not previously been available to me, and like the geek I have always been I have made a bee line for the comic book adaptations.
In recent years soem of my favourite comic book series have been adapted for tv. The serial nature of comic books lends itself well to tv I think and in the case of these tottles there is a loyal fanbase but maybe not enough to spend what would be required to launch a big budget movie - but a more modest TV show can remain within reach and still turn a decent profit - The Walking Dead series has cleared the path in that regard.
How do they compare to the comics? Both Preacher and Lucifer were enjoyably watchable but notably softer and with slightly less edge than the sourse material they were based on. This is particularly notable with the first series of Lucifer that feels very much like a mis-matched buddy cop show where an attractive single mum cop teams up with the devil to investigate a different crime each week. I hope the second series improves on this because the comic was way better - and maybe had more freedom to explore different realities/dimensions/the universe/myths & religion etc.
Constantine I have only started watching a few episodes of tonight and so far this has remained the most true to the edge and grit of the original comics (but still feels a little watered down). So far it feels miles better than the Keanu Reeves movie version of a few years ago. I actually liked that movie and will happily defend it but this series is way better. The casting is way better for a start, although they seem to have gone for a generic British northerer accent rather than the Liverpudlian I had always imagined. Maybe this is to not alienate swathes of the American/international audience who might struggle with a deep regional accent.
Still, they have all been good shows so far and I am looking forward to the start of The Walking Dead series 7 in a few days. The geeks have inherited the Earth. About time too.

This week I have been mostlt re-reading: The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan

Current Mood: awake
Monday, October 17th, 2016
12:46 am
Lazy Day With The Dark Side
A little while ago I bit the seemingly inevitable bullet and signed up for Amazon Prime - as much for the discounts and delivery as for their subscription TV service. Getting a 'fire stick' so I can watch the programmes in comfort on my big tv (rather than hunched over my lap top) was the next obvious step. Today was the first day I reaped the rewards of these decisions as I spent one of the laziest days of my life sinking into my sofa and going to town with TV box sets.
Weirdly, this was an absurd amound of fun but it has also come with some low grade self loathing. I don't think it is just the laziness - I have done PHD levels of laziness in my time. It is also something about going to the darkside as far as the corporate interests go. I do not particularly like the idea of subscription tv services and I also do not like the idea of corporate entities (such as Amazon) sqeezing the life out of its competitors until it has something close to a monopoly - this general objection coming on top of specific moral objections to Amazon's tax avoidance.
None of this has stopped me shopping with Amazon before now - for both convenience and price they regularly attract my trade. I also think that a boycott in this case will be like pissing in the wind. So yes, I have gone to the dark side and it is bothering my concience a little but there is little out there by way of an alternative - unless you go to another corporation and that doesn't seem likely to benefit anyone. The obvious alternative would be to go switch my tv off and go out into my community to do something useful. Am I just over-thinking this or has my life taken a further step into the deplorable?

Current Mood: blah
Thursday, October 13th, 2016
12:45 am
New Calendars
For the past five or six years I have used some of my photos to cobble together Calanders which I then gat made up in time for Christmas (they make good stocking fillers for family and friends). Until this year each of my Calendsrs has had a very London centric vibe (one was entirely shot at Kew because of the project I did there that year). This year (for a change of pace) I chose photos of my home town. Many of the recipients of my calendars still live there or have lived there in the past so it still makes some sense and for my London based friends they can have a look into some of my non-London world.
I am pretty happy with most of the shots. One has not come out too well - it looked better on the screen than on the printed page and there is one photo which is far from pretty but says a lot about the character of the town. I thought a lot about whether or not I should include it but decided that I wasn't doing a brouchure for my home town and the character of the shot is at least as revealing as some of the more nicely composed shots. As we get closer to Xmas I wil start giving them out.

This week I have been mostly re-reading: The Ideology Of TheAesthetic by Terry Eagleton

Current Mood: awake
Saturday, October 8th, 2016
12:59 am
Library State
I had to attend a routine medical appointment yesterday so with a little time to kill I decided to peruse my local library - the first time since I joined earlier this Summer. I was disappointed to find absolutely nothing that I wanted to read. My tastes range pretty far but I cannot remember the last time that I was in a room that had so many books but none that was worth the effort it would take to carry home, much less actually read. The closest I came to interest was in a biography of recently disgraced England football manager, Sam Allerdyce. I didn't check when the book was published, it might be before he was awarded the England job or was maybe rushed to print once he had it. My thought before quickly moving on was, "That's going to need updating."
Honestly, I do not understand why my local library is quite so poor. Sure libraries are underfunded, they always have been but I cannot remember seeing one this poor. They have to cater to public demand and it seems the public that use the library are not particularly demanding in their literature. The non fiction section was a joke (with for instance fictional historical novels padding out the shelves). Most of the rest of the stock looked dated, shabby and featured an awful lot of writing that I have no interest in (Danielle Steel, Jackie Collins, Chris Ryan, Jeffrey Archer etc.).
I think the library has been run down by powerful twin forces, lack of cash and lack of passion. This is only ever going to result in a vicious circle: the public dont use the library because its full of rubbish - but it gets full of rubbish because so few people use the library. I have visited three libraries in central/West London near where I work and none of them seemed this bad. I think I should maybe try the main library in the town to gauge whether this is just a problem with the smaller branch library of whether the problem is spread throughout the borough.

Current Mood: blah
Thursday, October 6th, 2016
10:45 am
The Six Hour Wait
I returned this week from a long weekend in Wales and am still feeling a bit drained. I caught up with some friends and family (sorry to those I missed) and spent some time with my mum which it turns out was a really useful thing to do.
She is 76 now and is becomming increasingly prone to falling over - which isn't helped by and certainly does no favours for her chronic arthritis. On Friday when I was out visiting my brother she had her first fall of the weekend but thankfully no lasting harm done. On Sunday morning she slipped while getting out of bed and had her second and most significant fall. Thankfully again there was no lasting injury but as she fell between furniture (and there was no way for her to get back on her feet) we had to call for an ambulance (The paramedics have equipment which can safely lift people to their feet without causing injury and they can also do a medical once over to establish if any harm was done).
Six hours after I placed the call the ambulance finally arrived. SIX HOURS. I recognise the call was deemed non-urgent. In medical terms it was not. In real terms though it meant that my 76 year old arthritic mother was on the floor for SIX HOURS, in pain, in distress, losing circulation and her dignity (in general terms and because continence became an issue ofter the first couple of hours). In what world is that acceptable?! I kept phoning the ambulance people every hour at first and once we hit the four hour mark, every half-hour. I kept calm and polite throughout the process (but I think pretty firm and clear) as I reported my mother's deteriorating condition as we waited and waited. Each person I spoke to was polite and professional but barely deviated from their set response script. At the four and a half hour mark I spoke to a person who had the decency to respond in a human way and deviated from her script long enough to express genuine concern and regret. She told me that she was going to 'upgrade' my mother's status in the hopes of speeding up the process.
At the five and a half hour Mark my mum was so distressed and pained that we gave up waiting. I moved all the furniture in her room and got her to wriggle on her bottom to a place where she could make it to the stairs, edge down them and then lever to a standing position when she was at the bottom. This was a painful and exhaustive process for her which risked further injury on the stairs or worsening any other injuries she already had, but at this stage she was beyond desperate and we had no choice. Once I got her settled into her chair and made her a little (overdue) breakfast (the scripted medical advice had all been to not have any food or drink) the paramedics finally arrived! The first thing they did was apologise. The team that arrived had only just come on shift and we were their first call of the day. They saw what time our first call was put through and were shocked that we had been made to wait that long for a response.
The good news is that my mum had received to physical harm from the fall. It has left her shaky and has wrecked what little confidenc she had. She is now talking seriously about going into a care home rather than live alone as she now doubts her ability to cope and does not want to be 'a burden' to family members.
Today is my first day off since returning from Wales and I am spending most of it on the phone to social services in my home town trying to arranger a referral for more support for my mother and the rest of it drauhting a stinking complaint to the head of the Welsh ambulance service. Welcome to the brave new world.

This week I have been mostly re-reading: Detroit: I Do Mind Dying by Dan Georgakas & Martin Surkin

Current Mood: angry
Sunday, September 25th, 2016
1:05 am
The Girl With All The Gifts
I took some of my service users today to see 'The Girl With All The Gifts' a movie they chose themselves without me leading them - though to be fair most of them wanted to see 'Deepwater Horizon but that doesn't come out until next week.
Their response was pretty positive, but my personal reaction was much more positive. Smart and original zombie movies are few and far between. This (based on I gather a very well received book which I have yet to read) takes a strong biological basis for the virus and adds some interesting characters. The premise is that the z-disease in this case is a kind of parasitic plant/fungus that affects the hosts behaviour to improve its own distribution but this is only the first stage of that organisms development - there is more to come! Throw into this mix some grumpy soldiers, a ruthless scientist intent on making a vaccine and some children that were born infected (their mum's were infected while pregnant) and have become a kind of mutant sub-species of zombie-human. There is a decent smattering of action and the tension is held well throughout. I think zombie films are generally brilliant fun but I recognise when a particularly good one comes along that transcends the genre and this film is one of those.
Two of my female colleagues also attended, were overwhelmed by the (fairly mild) Horror - they aren't used to it - and spent the rest of the day moaning that we should have gone to see the new Bridget Jones movie instead! This was an option my service users were offered but declined - I for one am glad that I was there to defind their wishes and their 'fragile minds'!

This week I have been mostly reading: Your Servants And Your People' by David Towsey. This also features zombies. Its part of a series of books aimed at 'Young Adult' readers faturing zombies and set in the American 'Wild West'. Also not bad.

Current Mood: awake
Thursday, September 22nd, 2016
1:18 am
Kew Bee Hive (again)
Its taken me a while to get around to posting again but at the weekend I took another trip to Kew Gardens to get a closer look at the new bee hive atraction. I had sen it last month when my God-daughters visited but did not get in close for a good look as it was just too crowded at the time for it to be appealing. The cooler weather this time round (and the end of the school holidays) made for a much more chilled experience this time around.


This time I took my friend Lilia, a colleague from my current job - the first time I have socialised with anybody from my new workplace since I have been there. I have to be a bit more careful now. As a manager if I socialise with anybody from my current team (apart from my own manager) I could easily open myself to claims of favouritism or of forming 'cliques' and the politics of my workplace is already sensitive enough. It is a bit of a shame that such a nice day has to be tempered by these thoughts but this is where I currently find myself.

This week I have been mostly re-reading: Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

Current Mood: awake
Thursday, September 15th, 2016
1:19 am
Groundhog Nay
Like just about everyone who has bought tickets for the brilliant 'Groundhog Day: The Musical' at The Old Vic I was contacted and asked if I would like to take part in a focus group to discuss the show. Despite the offer to be 'compensated' for my time I would have volunteered my time for free in this case. The show was brilliant - a great night out for me and a source of delight for my friends.
The people arranging the focus group called me today to check my availability and to ask some questions about my age, income bracket etc. to ensure they have the range of people they need reflected in their panel. Unfortunately for me the low-earning middle age white bloke slot had evidently already been filled, so unless whoever that guy is drops out for some reason my services will not be required. My initial reaction is mild disappointment but I get to keep one of my evenings free so when the time comes I think I wont mind too much.

Current Mood: awake
Monday, September 12th, 2016
12:20 am
Chas & Dave At The Derngate
I have just returned from a weekend in Northamptonshire with my friend Kate and my God-daughters. The purpose of this visit (besides purely social) was to see the Chas & Dave gig at the Derngate in Northampton. I was a childhood fan of Chas & Dave (who were huge when I was a kid) but massively moved away from them before I hit my teens and into my adulthood. It's only really been in the past decade that I came to start liking them (and lately liking them a lot - though in that regard I seem to be alone in my peer group!).
I like them because (though may never describe themselves as this) a London folk group. Most of their tunes are brilliant oral histories of a time a place and a people - just as the best folk music should be. They also have some kick arse tunes and (my personal favourite) 'Ain't No Pleasing You' which I think is one of the best 'break up' songs ever and is one of the few good ones told from a mainly male perspective.
The gig was good fun. The audience was as far as I could see entirely white and almost entirely older than me. I saw about 6 people there that were younger than me and two of those (my god-daughters) had come with me - though without any clue what they were letting themselves in for! Poor trusting little souls that they are! The sound mix was appalling though with the vocals largely lost in the mix behind the instuments, but as they started their career as a pub band this still somehow felt a little appropriate. I think everyone had a good time though. I know I did!

Current Mood: awake
Sunday, September 11th, 2016
11:59 pm
Punk At The British Library
There have been all kinds of events and programmes this Summer to celebrate the '40th Anniversary' of Punk (pick a date, any date...). Slightly later than planned I finally made it to the Punk exhibition at The British Library. There was very little in the exhibition that was new to me and I am hardly an authority on the subject but it seemed like a reasonable intoduction for people who know close to nothing. What I did like was the acknowledgemnt of the Rock Against Racism movement which came out of the punk scene. On Friday when I attended the exhibition the library was hosting a special panel discussion on that very subject but I wasn't able to stay for that even if tickets had been available. It was good to se though.

This week I have been mostly re-reading: Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig.

Current Mood: awake
Wednesday, September 7th, 2016
1:24 am
The September Bump
I was back at work today, eleven mostly blissful days away from work - at least my main job. Five of the days were relatively action packed with my god-daughters visiting, the rest were predominantly lazy and I barely left my flat or spoke to anybody unless I had to.
Today thoughwas back to the full reality. No sleeping in until I am ready to wake up - my alarm clock rudely interrupts me. No more leisurly breaakfast, I just scarf down some cereal and tea while I get ready. The reality of September also hits as I begin my commute to work. Not only has there been no school run to clog up my morning journeys but a significant portion of Londoners have taken some of their holidays at some point in August but today they are all back to their commutes. Those Londoners not clogging up the roads are sharing my journey and clogging up public transport.
The cherry on this particular cake today was the time I spent in Kilburn waiting for the bus that connects my tube jorney to my actual workplace. It turns out that drivers on certain selected bus routes were on strike today. I have no problem with this. I wish more people would act collectively to defend/improve their pay and conditions. The problem was that there was no information about this posted at the bus stops so people just stood around waiting for buses which were never going to arrive before eventually drifting away to find alternative routes. I lost over 20 minutes at a bus stop today, roughly the same time as it would have taken me to walk the distance to work. The bus stops I passed along the way (including the two nearest my work) had queues of people all waiting like I did for buses that were not going to arrive so I did the one humane thing I could think of - after telling people about the strike I printed off some notices and attached them to the bust stops myself. The bus company should have done this at all the stops themselves but totally failed. I hope the strike wins!
Welcome back to work, and welcome to September!

Current Mood: awake
Thursday, September 1st, 2016
12:57 am
C is For Cuba
After dicussing the idea with Kate and the girls over the weekend we have decided to take on a project. When we share visits over the next few years we are going to try to 'eat our way around the world' choosing (where possible) restaurants and quisines from nationalities starting with different letters of the alphabet.
The object of this is both to try new foods and places to eat but also to try to make eating part of the fun/activity rather than something we do as a break between fun/activities. The rules we agrees are pretty simple:
* We would try to eat from one nationality of each letter.
* It would only count if all four of us are together
* We can do this in London when they visit me or in Northamptonshire when I visit them
* We would try to complete as much of this as we can before 'R' reaches the age of 21 and judge for ourselves at that point whether or not we have been successful - some letters will be harder than others to complete.

We kicked this off (as we are not going in alphabetical order) with a visit to Bar Cubana in Waterloo. I have been here before (as part of my 365 London project a few years ago) but had only had a drink there - not food. It was ideally located as it was right oposite the theatre we would be attending later in the evening to see Groundhog Day: The Musical.
The food I think was perfect. I had heard they did good barbeque but whatever we all ordered was amazing. The pre-theatre show also offered good value on the food prices and 2-for-1 on the cocktails so that was pretty welcome too. All of this in fun surroundings and served by friendly helpful staff. The benchmark for this particular challenge has already been set pretty high!

Current Mood: awake
12:40 am
Groundhog Day & More (Day 3 of Three)
The final full day with Kate and the girls took in a visit to the V&A museum, the first for R (the youngest). We started witha few of the highlights (my favourites - the cast courts, the courtyard, the William Morris cafe etc.) before heading for the 'Curtain Up' exhibition I visited and reviewed recently - all of which was warmly received. From the museum we headed into town for a Harry Potter themed exhibition at Minalima in Greek Street. There were mock ups and 3-D recreations of things from the Harry Potter books and films, not props exactly though most I think were made by people that worked on the movies and all made to a brilliant standard. After a break for Bubble Tea in Chinatown we moved off towards Waterloo for what would probably prove to be the two highlights of the weekend: Dinner (which I will post about this later as it is part of a bigger idea) and a show.
The show was Groundhog Day: The Musical. The film has been one of my favourites for years (and Kate's too) but the real appeal lies in the fact that Tim Minchin wrote the music for the stage adaptation. I think he is brilliant both as musician and comedian so this would be an exciting prospect anyway but his award-winning work on 'Matilda' has earned him much acclaim, not least from the four of us. We were excited going in and left fully satisfied. Every detail was perfect. I think that I can safely predict that if/when this show transfers to the West End proper (as opposed to The Old Vic theatre in Southwark) it will be every bit as much of a hit as Matilda has been. As it turns out, I am glad that we did this bit last. Any other arrangement would only have felt like an anti-climax.

Current Mood: awake
12:22 am
Mostly Grenwich (Day 2 of three)
Sunday with Kate & the girls kicked off in Blackheath with a walk through the park en route to the planetarium for a couple of the observatory show, and a quick tour of the Maritime Museum, the Painted Hall, some Thor 2 location spotting, a visit to the beautiful Trinity College Chapel (where K recently attended a college open day) a look at the Cutty Sark and a peek around Grenwich Market before dinner and a return trip on a nippy Thames Cruiser which as sunset approached showed off the city to stunning effect.

This week I have been mostly re-reading: Year 501, The Conquest Continues by Noam Chomsky

Current Mood: awake
12:13 am
Bugsy Malone & More (Day 1 of three)
I had my friend Kate and my teenage god-daughters visit over the weekend. They arrived on Friday and left on Tuesday with the long weekend packed with three packed days of entertainment bookended by some time just chilling.
The Saturday (officially day 1) started with a sedate cruise on the Thames to kew, a visit to the musical museum there (whose speciality it self playing instruments!), a visit ti Kew Gardens to see the new (record breaking) Broadwalk border and the newly installed sculpture of the human-scale Bee Hive. We rounded the day off with a trip to see a particularly lively production of Bugsy Malone at te Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith. Bugsy Malone is weirdly close to my heart as I would have been in the production put on in my High school but I had to pull out at the last minute through ill health.
The Lyric production was briliant. The cast was shockingly good (apart from an obviously nervous lead actor playing Bugsy, they were faultless). The sets, costumes etc. were great. The songs more upbeat than I remember (the choice of tempo may well have been deliberate) and there was some very slicj choreography. I had wanted to take the girls to see the show last year but with my health problems last year and their other commitments it didn'e work out, so I am glad we had another chance this year.

Current Mood: awake
Wednesday, August 31st, 2016
11:12 pm
Halloumi & Home Made Sweet Chilli
I am almost reluctant to add this to my list of new cooking achievements as there is so little cooking involved. I made my own sweet chilli sauce (in much larger quantities that I had originally intended) mostly by reverse engineering the ingredients on a shop bought bottle I already had but leaving out the salt, sugar and E numbers they thought were necessary. I served this on some freshly warmed Halloumi on a bed of toast & salad. The first bite of the chilli felt quite hot (even though I had removed most of the seeds) but I soon acclimatised and this is another dish I will put down as a success even though the 'cooking' part only applied to the toast and the cheese!

Current Mood: awake
Friday, August 26th, 2016
12:37 am
I successfully completed my probationary period at work this week and was confirmed in post. I dont mind having that little bit more security (it would have been much worse to not be confirmed in post!) but in itself it doesnt mean an awful lot. Some colleagues are asking when am I going to step up to the next level but I suspect I will take at least another year yet, sharpening and developing the shills I need before I even begin to put myself forward for that. Still, a little bit of good news isn't a bad thing.

This week I have been mostly re-reading: American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Current Mood: awake
Monday, August 22nd, 2016
11:43 pm
Portrait Awards 2016 & Wiliam Eggleston
My glut of exhibition catch ups for the Summer continues (and nearly concludes) with a double header at the National Portrait Gallery today. I was straight in after work today to the 2016 Portrait Award exhibition. There are plenty of good entries here and a small handful that I thought were excellent but for some reason I always end up pefering the annual photo portrait prize held at the same gallery each year. Maybe I just relate more to that exhibition because in my own deeply amatuerish way I can do photography but my painting skills have barely developed since I was 7 years old so I am never going to do anything like these beauties. The second exhibition was of William Eggleston photographic Portraits. My ignorance of his work had been so close to total that it makes no difference but I am slightly better educated now and I did quite like what I saw though the exhibition lacked many deeply memorable images.

This week I have been mostly re-reading: How Proust Can Change Your Life by Allain De Botton

Current Mood: awake
Friday, August 19th, 2016
1:32 am
Painting With Light & Conceptual Art
I saw two exhibitions at Tate Britain today, one I enjoyed much more than the other. 'Painting With Light' looked at the interrelationship between painters and early photography and how the one affected the other. Plenty of good stuff here. The 'Conceptual Art' exhibition was a bit more of a mixed bag. Conceptual art is all about raising ideas which challenge art from the materials used to how images are received - even the nature of what actually constitutes art. I am all in favour of that discussion and enjoy it when I find a piece of work provokes questions within me. What I found at this exhibition is the work tended to produce one of only two general reactions: "Hmmm, clever" or "Tut, wanker" and not a great deal in between. Sadly there was more of the latter than the former. The exhibition was focused on a particular period & place (Britain in the 60's/70's so maybe some of the ideas seemed fresher and more exciting at the time. Maybe.

This week I have been mostly reading: Of Love & Other Demons by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Current Mood: awake
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