Maybe I'm just getting old!

Oct. 21st, 2017 08:04 pm
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[personal profile] hooloovoo_42
 I went to see Kingsman: Golden Circle this afternoon.  Unfortunately, I got into the cinema in time to see trailers for two films that I wish I could scrub from my brain.  Both of them are "Christmas" movies.  Both are allegedly comedies.  Both of them are about "family" and both of them have children swearing like the kind of people you really wouldn't want your children mixing with.  I would rather watch the My Little Pony movie on constant repeat than be subjected to either A Bad Moms Christmas or Daddy's Home 2.  And believe me, having seen the trailer for MLP, I'd rather poke needles in my eyes than see any more of it.  But at least it's not full of kids shouting the f-word all over the place.  

As for the latest Kingsman movie, I was rather disappointed.  It had little of the humour or originality of the first movie and was basically just a vehicle for bringing in a US organisation and setting up another sequel.  I found parts of it to be cringeworthy and the action scenes weren't that good and mostly drowned out by overloud music.  There were some good moments, but they were few and far between and mostly involved Merlin and his love of country music.  

I'm holding out for Murder on the Orient Express to not be such a let down.

Update

Oct. 19th, 2017 08:43 pm
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[personal profile] hooloovoo_42
Life has been busy for the last couple of weeks.  Pa had to move out of his previous flat.  The initial plan was to move him over the weekend of 8/9 Oct, but we couldn't get the new phone line installed until 17 Oct, so it was all delayed a week.  Everything was successfully  completed last weekend and we managed to cull some of the crap Pa has rounded up in the last 2.5 years.  He still had far more than enough crap that had to be moved.  Now we're sorting out changing all the stuff like council tax and TV licence to the new address.

My house is still an utter tip due to all the stuff coming here from Pa's house.  I'm having a weekend at home to try and get at least some of it organised.

I went to the flicks for the first time since War for the Planet of the Apes this week and saw both The Ninjago movie and Victoria and Abdul.  V&A is an excellent movie with a lot of humour in it.  Ninjago was OK, but not nearly as good as the previous Lego movies.  I still have the new Kingsman movie to see and then there's Paddington 2, Thor: Ragnorok and Murder on the Orient Express coming out soon.

Ma isn't well at the moment.  She's having intermittent acute back pain which is causing her enough trouble that she can't get in the car, sit still or get in and out of bed when it's bad.  After not much by way of actual caring by the GPs, the local district nurse told them she needed attention.  She's been referred to a physio, who doesn't know what's up and has referred her for an MRI at an as yet to be determined time.  Until then, they've just increased the painkillers and she's pretty much housebound and not able to do any of the activities or exercise sessions she normally goes to.

In other news, a whole bunch of my neighbours are selling up.  Two of the three houses houses across the side road are for sale plus one round the corner.  Mrs Across the Back died while I was away and her house has just gone on the market.  But, more importantly, Mrs End of the Block is hoping to move in the next month.  She's got itchy feet and has been looking over the summer for somewhere to move to in Dav.  She's found a house in the centre of town and if all the surveys go to plan, she'll be buying it.  If she does move, I'll miss popping round for a cuppa and having a helping hand for odd jobs.  I can always go round at lunchtime or after work, as she's only up the road from the office, but it's not the same.  At least I'm getting to know the new Next Doors better, so I shall have someone to hold my spare key.

Work continues.  I've got written 2 audit reports in the last 2 weeks and have another one almost complete.  After that, there's Business Continuity, Council Tax and possibly a high spend procurement project audit to do.  

TV wise, I'm enjoying Tin Star and rewatching assorted Stargate series.  

But most of all I just want sleep.  I'm going to bed earlier and actually slept through pretty much without waking up on Monday night.  A few more like that might help.
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[personal profile] white_hart
I suspect everyone reading this review here is already familiar with this, but for anyone who hasn't come across it before, The Comfortable Courtesan is a serial story set in Regency London, mostly narrated by Madame C-, a very exclusive courtesan, in which we hear of her exploits and those of her circle of friends and acquaintances, which includes artists, actors, political radicals and her upper-class clients. It began as a one-off response to a "post three sentences from a nonexistent novel" challenge in May 2015 and has now grown to more than 700 individual posts, with twelve ebook compendiums of the main story (which is now complete) as well as a number of side-pieces and two novella-length stories taking place some years after the majority of the action. I've been following the blog from the start, but I was browsing through my Kindle in search of comfort reading and when I came across the ebooks I decided it was time to revisit the very early days.

It's an absolutely delightful read. It's written in a pastiche of the style of the period, and as the author is a historian of gender and sexuality it's historically accurate although the subject-matter would never have seen the light of day then. Unsurprisingly, given Madame C-'s profession, it's unabashedly sex-positive, and features numerous LGBTQ+ characters, both male and female, as well as multiple characters of colour. The first volume features intrigue, scandal, matchmaking, female solidarity, epistolary mathematical flirtations and a wombatt, and it really is one of the most charming things I've ever read.

Wednesday Media Consumption Roundup

Oct. 18th, 2017 06:38 pm
mousetrappling: Photo of me wearing tinsel as a feather boa (Default)
[personal profile] mousetrappling

Books



Fiction: Still reading "Patriot Games", Tom Clancy which has rather been visited by both the sexism fairy & the racism fairy in the 15 or so years since I last read it. Not enough to make me stop reading it but enough to make me wonder if they maybe don't deserve a space in the house any more. See how the rest of them go.

Non-fiction: still reading Gerald Harriss's "Shaping the Nation: England 1360-1461" - I've now finished the chapter on England's relationship with France & with wider Christendom from 1360-1413. The war with France in this period sort of dribbled on with Richard II getting less & less interested (too keen on establishing authority at home) but with neither side decisively winning enough to enforce their own view of what peace should look like. Finally a truce (more of a stalemate) signed when Richard married Isabella of France, which came to an end after the French were scandalised by Henry IV deposing an anointed king. But they were too busy with their own civil war to really do anything about this - in fact both sides even invited Henry IV in to support their side, which reignited a sense in the English that they could make gains in France.

Maps: 1300-1492 CE - in this period it's the Mongols whose meteoric rise & conquest reshapes the world even after their political collapse & fragmentation. In the Americas the first two substantial empires have risen - the Aztecs & the Incas. As the world is on the cusp of European expansion there were also a couple of spreads about themes related to this - the trade networks pre-1492 and also the spread of writing systems across the world. Notable in both cases that Eurasia was all linked together, but the Americas seemed to be small enclaves with fewer lines of contact. Also, I hadn't really realised that the Incas are the only empire which didn't have writing.

Listening



Podcasts: ep 43-52 of Renaissance English History podcast. She's really hit her stride by now - and is interleaving solo episodes with interviews with someone from the Tudor Times website so there's two different sets of perspectives. Currently she's looking at rebellions during the Tudor period.

Sunday podcast: ep 11 & 12 of Our Man in the Middle East - 9/11 & the beginning of the Second Iraq War. So we got the bits of GWB's speech that made me annoyed at the time and the bits of Blair's various speeches that annoy me in retrospect as we now know he was lying.

Music: while running I've mostly listened to Voice of the Beehive and the 100 Hits Rock compilation. While J was out last night at the cinema I listened to more Belle & Sebastien, plus an album by Bellowhead (which I'd completely forgotten we had, and also forgotten that I enjoyed it). And now moved on to Belly, listening to several EPs and a compilation that has Feed the Tree on it (Ladykillers). I just listen to the albums (discs, folders, however you want to think of them given it's on the computer) in the order the computer presents them to me so I think I get actual Belly albums after the compilation.

Live music: Marillion at the Royal Albert Hall. Which was great - first set was F.E.A.R (their most recent album) and then after the interval they played a selection from their back catalogue.

Exhibitions



Visited the Scythians Exhibition at the British Museum - liked it a lot, they're steppe nomads from the 1st millennium BCE, and because of the conditions where they buried their dead (cold) they've not only found the obvious things like gold ornaments but also some well preserved textiles so we know what they actually wore.

Watching



ep 2 of Russia with Simon Reeve - the middle of Russia, which felt like it included a lot of the places that feel left behind by the growth that bits of Russia are seeing. And areas that had suffered particularly when the Soviet Union collapsed & the mafia took over.

ep 3 of Dangerous Borders - the end of this series, with the two journalists travelling the easternmost section of the India/Pakistan border. Perhaps the most distressing of the series too, there were places they visited in this one where it seems the violence sparked by Partition never stopped.

ep 2 of The Yorkshire Wolds - watched as a lightweight half hour antidote to the one above. Paul Rose walking the Yorkshire Wolds, which is a short enough path that it only took 2 half hour episodes to cover it. Rather odd series tbh, but fluffy & fun.

Glam Rock at the BBC - the BBC trawling their archives again to give us a selection of glam rock performances. Fluff, but fun.

Marc Bolan: Cosmic Dancer - a biography of Marc Bolan (i.e. the guy in T-Rex) who would've been 70 this year if he'd not died at the age of 29. Unlike many similar programmes about rock stars from the BBC this wasn't a hagiography. I didn't know much about Bolan going in (and I only really know a couple of T-Rex songs) but my goodness he came across as a bit of a dick.
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Default)
[personal profile] nineveh_uk
The Whispering Grass by Nineveh_uk
Chapters: 1
Fandom: Tanz der Vampire
Rating: T, CNTW
Characters: Graf von Krolock, Gräfin von Krolock


She didn't know that he was lost: that he still lived, but not as he had before. That she had doomed him to this wandering in the dark, lost in the mountains and forests and the heartbeats of the birds that sang outside his window, and in his soul a lust for unnameable things.

***

Or, if this were a Friends episode, The One where the Count accidentally murders his wife. I suspect that this fic really doesn't work without canon contest. Short version, it's backstory fic about a verse of a song that is basically the sick version of Fields of Gold*, in which the vampire count - who is having a moment of "Being a vampire is terrible, you murder everyone you might feel for, and also you have to spend eternity knowing that you're not a brilliant genius, you're pretty average. It's all a metaphor for capitalism anyway"** - recounts how the first person he killed was an unnamed woman who is generally assumed to be his wife***. It is overwrought, involved some ridiculous googling in the course of which I discover the existence of the Unitarian Church of Transylvania, which sounds like a slightly desperate literary novel attempting wry humour, but I enjoyed writing it and the first audience of fanfic is ultimately the author.

* Though having now seen the video, that might also be Fields of Gold itself,. Why exactly is the singer is walking at night through a graveyard while long-ago images of his lover and children are glimpsed through his silhouette?

**It's a good song, if heavy on the manpain. Vampain?

***Though there's a vid of one performance where the tomb he is angsting in front of appears to have a soldier carved on it. I read a Word of God interview with the lyricist that seemed to imply that he's actually making all of it up in order to manipulate a couple of characters who are over-hearing him, which would be a plausible interpretation if any of the actors had ever played it like that ever.

Reading: Small Gods

Oct. 15th, 2017 05:31 pm
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[personal profile] white_hart
I find it impossible to pick a favourite Discworld novel, but Small Gods is definitely in my top five*. It's primarily a wonderfully sharp critique of organised religion, and the way that belief in the structures of a religion can take over from belief in the gods, until the church just becomes another way for unscrupulous people to gain power over others; along the way it also has time to parody Ancient Greece and the Greek philosophers and nail why arms races don't ensure peace. It's also genuinely very moving in places, and I love the way that both Brutha and his god grow and develop as a result of knowing each other; religion, to Pratchett, definitely isn't a one-way exchange.

* Despite the fact that I skipped it when I read the series through for the first time, because I thought it sounded rather like Pyramids, which I hadn't much enjoyed, and the next one was another book about the Witches (to be fair, that was Lords and Ladies which is probably also in my top five), and didn't come back to it until ten years later.

A plaint

Oct. 13th, 2017 10:27 pm
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Harriet)
[personal profile] nineveh_uk
I hate writing fic summaries. I hate writing fic summaries. I hate writing fic summaries.

Ad infinitum.

Reading: Cetaganda

Oct. 11th, 2017 08:54 pm
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[personal profile] white_hart
The next in Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan saga after The Vor Game, Cetaganda sees Miles and his slightly dim but affable cousin Ivan sent to Cetaganda, Barrayar's fairly recent enemy, to represent their world at the funeral ceremonies for the Dowager Empress of Cetaganda. Miles being Miles, things don't go as smoothly as the people who sent him would have hoped, and he finds himself investigating a murder and possible treason while getting to know the women of Cetaganda's aristocratic haut class, who are normally hidden from the eyes of strangers behind opaque force shields.

Miles is entertaining as always, though absolutely deserving of his superiors' evident disapproval, and it's hard not to like Ivan. I also enjoyed the depiction of Cetagandan society, and particularly liked the way Bujold confounds readers' expectations of what their gender politics will be like, based on initial descriptions. I didn't love this quite as much as I loved Barrayar or The Warrior's Apprentice, but I'm still enjoying the series a great deal.

Wednesday Media Consumption Roundup

Oct. 11th, 2017 07:32 pm
mousetrappling: Photo of me wearing tinsel as a feather boa (Default)
[personal profile] mousetrappling
This includes my holiday reading (some of which was thematically appropriate for Palermo).

Books



Fiction: finished Neil Stephenson's "REAMDE". In the end I was a bit ambivalent about it, on the one hand I liked most of the characters and the plot pulled me along as I read, but on the other hand when I finished it felt like just a sequence of events or an attempt to see how many plot twists he could put in one book and still have people keep going with it.

Read "The Godfather", Mario Puzio as the first of my thematically appropriate novels for Palermo. I don't think I've ever seen the film but I have enough of a sense of the genre/style/plot from cultural osmosis that I knew I was going to like the book. Tho I was surprised that the horse's head showed up that early in the story, given how iconic an image it seems to be! I liked this a lot - it's a tragedy in the classical sense, you see the flaws & circumstances of the protagonists bring them to their doom, and the slow motion inevitability of it all is well done & compelling.

Read "The Leopard", Giuseppe Tomasi Di Lampedusa - this was the other thematically appropriate novel, a tale of the late 19th Century as Italy (including Sicily) is united as seen through the eyes of a middle-aged aristocrat whose world is slowly & inevitably vanishing. I'm glad I read it, and it was neat to read references to places I'd been to (like the street our hotel was on, and the Capuccini Catacombs, as just two examples). But I'm not sure I'd say I enjoyed it, and had it not been thematically relevant I probably wouldn't've persevered - in part this is because it was heavy on mood & evocative description and rather slow moving because of it. And in part because I didn't find any of the characters sympathetic at all.

Read both "The Better Part of Valour" and "The Heart of Valour", Tanya Huff - complete change of pace, fairly lightweight military science fiction, books 2 & 3 in a series of which I read the first one earlier in the year. A lot of fun, and in book 3 the series arc starts to properly blossom. They're also relatively unusual in having a female protagonist whose femaleness feels real but irrelevant to the plot.

Read "Provenance", Ann Leckie - new, standalone novel in the same universe as the Ancillary trilogy, but the whole story takes place in different cultures. I found it lighter weight than Leckie's previous work, it didn't give me as much to think about tho I did wonder if I perhaps just don't have quite the right cultural touchstones for the story to get under my skin in the same way. Still good tho, just not superlative (if that makes sense).

Currently reading "Patriot Games", Tom Clancy as part of my re-read through all the fiction we own. I bought this after seeing the film something like 25 years ago, and I enjoyed it enough then as candyfloss reading material to pick up another half a dozen of his books over the next 15 years (mostly when I finished a book in the morning on my way to work and was hanging about in the train station wondering what to read on the way home) and I probably haven't read any of them since I stopped commuting. My book reading criteria have changed somewhat in the meantime, so it feels a bit like listening to a cheesy pop song that was a hit when I was a kid so I know all the words - big nostalgia hit, but I'm not sure that if I'd come to it cold that I'd keep reading. Can't remember if these get better or worse as the series continues ...

Non-fiction: still reading Gerald Harriss's "Shaping the Nation: England 1360-1461" - read the chapter on religion as experienced by the lay people (following on from the chapter on the institutional Church). In many ways the experience of a lay person was of being excluded from the mystery, and this was a deliberate choice on the part of the Church. You can see the seeds of the Reformation being sown in this era (most notably by Wycliff, but also by an increasing desire on the part of the culture to merge the secular and spiritual life & stop it from being a dichotomy where either you were a cleric/monk or you were a lay person - the writings of mystics like Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe are a manifestation of this). Now into the final third of the book, about the events & the people, starting with "losing the peace" in the 1360s.

Maps: 650-1206 CE - the meteoric rise of Islam & the Caliphate reshaping the world before fragmenting politically. The Vikings come & go (or rather raid then settle). New Zealand finally inhabited c.1200 CE.

Listening



Podcasts: ep 33-43 of Renaissance English History podcast. Quite a few interviews with historians, interesting for different perspectives.

Sunday podcast: ep 9 & 10 of Our Man in the Middle East - the effects of sanctions on civilians in Iraq, plus tragedy as Bowen was reporting from Lebanon about the Israeli withdrawal in the same time span (they stopped to film a segment in what they thought was a safe place, but an Israeli tank shelled the car & killed the driver).

Music: while running I've mostly listened to Maxïmo Park & Voice of the Beehive.

Live music: a variety of Palermo bands playing on the street as part of the gelato festival happening hear our hotel, some quite good, none terrible.

Games



Bit of Diablo 3, but mostly watching J playing The Witness and helping figure out the puzzles. I thought the end was rather anticlimactic, and the game itself gave me motion sickness if I watched while J was moving the character around, but I enjoyed it. It's in essence a series of puzzles and in each one you have to trace a route through a maze fulfilling the conditions imposed by the symbols/cues on/nearby the maze - you start knowing nothing about any of the symbols & figure out the rules & possibilities as you go on. The key is to experiment, observe your surroundings and use the data you get to deduce the rules.

Watching



ep 3 & 4 of The World's Busiest Cities - Moscow & Delhi respectively. It was a bit of an odd series, Dan Snow and Anita Rani were clearly filmed on location at the same time, but the third presenter almost certainly wasn't and it felt a bit like he'd been added later and I'm not sure why. I did enjoy watching it, but it did feel a bit shallow.

Goodbye Cassini, Hello Saturn - a brief history of the Cassini mission, with highlights of the findings and filming the final moments as the probe dives into Saturn (I mean, filming the people on Earth watching the data & instruments that told them what it was doing, not filming the actual event of course!). Programmes like this are part of why I wanted to be a scientist as a kid, even tho I ended up wanting to be a biologist.

Egypt's Great Pyramid: The New Evidence - new documentary on Channel 4 that's one of the better Ancient Egypt things I've seen. Looking at how the large outer casing blocks for Khufu's pyramid were transported to the pyramid site. Close to no sensationalism yet still telling a compelling story about what they've discovered, what the evidence is and how they found it. I think J & I had actually found out about everything that was in this previously but we're no longer quite the target audience for this sort of thing, and it was nice to see it tied together coherently.

Letters from Baghdad - biography of Gertrude Bell who was a contemporary of Lawrence of Arabia & worked for the Foreign Office in the Middle East in the early 20th Century. Told mostly through her own letters, and those of her contemporaries. Very good.

ep 1 of Russia with Simon Reeve - Russia getting the Simon Reeve treatment, so far travelled across the easternmost parts of the country, looking at Chinese gamblers in Vladivostock, reindeer herders in the far north east, melting permafrost due to global warming in Siberia (amongst other things).

Reformation: Europe's Holy War - David Starkey telling the story of the Reformation, with lots of modern cultural references. He was focused mostly on the immediate story of Luther and then the effects on England, so could skip a lot of the complexity. Good, tho I didn't really learn anything (again, see not quite the target audience).

Driven to drink!

Oct. 10th, 2017 08:15 pm
hooloovoo_42: (Toby 2 fingers)
[personal profile] hooloovoo_42
It's not a good sign when the progress review with the boss is the least frustrating part of the day!!!

I am behind on my audits.  I know this.  I knew this before I was off for half of September.  Now I am more behind on my audits.  But at least I have a bit more of an idea about what I'm supposed to be doing.  I have had a few hints and tips about how to run queries on the accounting system which have helped a lot with my testing.

This morning I had a review with the boss about where I am and what I need to focus on and how to fill in a different timesheet to keep abreast of just how far I am behind with my audits.  And he's postponed one of the upcoming audits so I can focus on the 3 I am currently doing, 1 I am about to start and the one I have to start preparing for.  It went better than I expected.  

The crappy bit of the last 10 days has been the numerous attempts to pay off the balloon payment on my car.  I have known for the last 2 years that this had to be paid.  I have been arranging my finances all summer to make sure I could make this payment.  I called the finance company before I went away to discuss the final payment, due on 1 October.

I went online last Monday to make the payment and my card was declined. Twice.  I called the credit card company and they said it was because the finance company were putting it through as a cash payment and it was above my cash limit.

So I called the finance company and they could see that I had tried to make the payment.  Twice.  I said it had been declined because they was coming through as a cash payment.  They said they were putting it through as a purchase.  They did the transaction again while I was on the phone and it was declined.   They said to call back during work hours so they could speak to someone in the Finance department.  

I rang back the next day and they said it wasn't a cash transaction, but could I ask the card company to make a payment direct to their account.  They gave me their account details.

I rang the card company again, who said they couldn't make a transfer into an account other than my own and that any cash advance would have a 3% fee attached.  On a £5k transaction, this is £150.  I asked if they could send me a screenshot of their screen showing the transaction as a cash transaction.  The CS person said she would get the Finance department to send me an email.  A week later the email has not yet arrived!

Yesterday I changed directions.  I increased the credit limit on a different credit card to cover the transaction.  This card has no limits on cash transactions.

Yesterday I also received two separate identical letters from the finance company saying that as I had not made my payment, they were adding a late payment fee to my balance and that they would be taking action against me, which may affect my credit rating.

In the meantime, over the weekend, the online payment screens were unavailable.

Today I tried to make an online payment.  It was declined.  

I rang the different card company.  After 15 minutes of the "Artificial Intelligence" system failing to recognise I wanted to talk to a human about a declined transaction, I was ready to kill people and started pressing random buttons on the phone until I managed to be put through to a real person.  They said that their security features may have blocked the transaction because it was so large.  They said they would arrange to remove the security blocks because I had called and said I wanted to make the payment, so if I waited an hour I could make the payment.

Three hours later, I tried to make the payment and the card was declined.

I rang the finance company and spoke to someone who finally seemed to have a clue.  She tried the transaction again, which was declined.  She tried half the amount.  Declined.  She tried £1000.  Declined.  

I have now been drinking and watching Grey's Anatomy, so it's not a good time to call anyone.  

Tomorrow I will try again.  If I can't manage to pay the £5,000 remaining on my account via my credit card, I'm going to call the garage where I bought the car from and tell them either they sort it out or they can have the damn car back.  I have plenty of drama going on in my life at the moment without all of this.  

Until now I've really enjoyed owning a brand new Kia.  If things go on like this, Kia are going to have a 2 year old car inserted through the front door of their showroom and I'll walk the 20 miles back home, knowing that I don't owe anyone anything for it.

Lemon and saffron chicken

Oct. 10th, 2017 06:32 pm
angelofthenorth: (Cockleshell)
[personal profile] angelofthenorth
2 packs of chicken thigh fillets
1 lemon, juices and zest
Several tablespoons of lemon juice
A couple of tablespoons of white wine vinegar
3 shredded fresh bay leaves
Olive oil fry light.
Strands of saffron
0.5 tsp of classic chipotle sauce, pro heat. Or a chilli, chopped, would do it.

One pink onion, fine chopped

Mix all the ingredients bar the onion, fry light and saffron.
Spritz with the fry light and then sprinkle saffron over the chicken
Leave to marinade for an hour and a bit, longer if you have the time.
Spritz a pan with fry light, fry the onion, and use it as the base in your oven pan.
fry batches of the chicken for 2-4 minutes each side, and then place on the onion.
Now you have a choice:

1. You can fry the chicken till cooked
2. You can place the oven dish in a 180°C oven, and pour over the marinade and cook. It says in the recipe I adapted that it should take an hour, but that's for large breast portions.
nineveh_uk: picture of an elk (elk)
[personal profile] nineveh_uk
When I am galactic dictator I shall have a department of my Ministry of Propaganda dedicated to the production of good romantic comedies. These romcoms won’t actually have any other political message, indeed they will even be permitted to be against me*. But what they will be absolutely required to be is well-acted, not overlong, not gross, not misogynistic, and above all, very funny. The regular arrival of decent comedy on people’s cinema screens will do more for my popularity than any number of rallies.

In the absence of that happy scenario, I have to make do with what is available. Which is why I was delighted to discover Swedish political comedy Fyra år till/Four More Years. I am rubbish at summaries, so I shall use the DVD blurb:

David Holst has been the favourite to become the next Prime Minister of Sweden. However, after a shocking turnaround at the polls, he is left on the sidelines, where he meets Martin: charming, bright, fun-loving…and the state secretary to the new Prime Minister! David navigates a newly found sexuality and a political divide: should he give up his marriage and career for a social democrat who’s had more one night stands than David’s had votes?

It’s 90 minutes of politics RPF come to life. It’s well acted, it’s really funny, and crucial to enjoyment it avoids both “Ron the Death-Eater” and doormat scenarios for David’s wife (possibly because the actress playing her directed it). I suspect there are large numbers of Swedish jokes that I’m not getting, especially given that they use the names and cultural stereotypes of real political parties**.

I think one thing that I like is that it is a rom com in which no-one is ditzy and it acknowledges that just throwing over everything for love is not necessarily something that everyone is going to do, especially when they are passionate about something else in their life that they have already made sacrifices for. So while there is plenty of the ridiculous in it, there is a balancing seriousness about how adults with established personal and professional lives deal with a new situation.

Have the trailer:



(Since I am rec’ing this as a fun light comedy, I will note that there is one comment from a character that some people may feel is biphobic. It’s entirely in character, and the fact that despite his marriage David is definitely gay and not bi is something that the film overall provides a good deal of context for, but I’d feel bad if people were blindsided at a bad moment, hence the note.)

* Up to a point.

** See what they say about themselves officially here. Plus Wikipedia.

Travel advisories!

Oct. 9th, 2017 10:55 pm
hooloovoo_42: (Default)
[personal profile] hooloovoo_42
Talking to Bro yesterday, the Adorable Nieces (tm) are back at uni and continuing with their hard work.  Younger is supposed to be going on a course trip to study forrin architecture in a couple of weeks.  Not only is their chosen destination Barcelona, but they were booked on flights with Monarch.  There are currently ongoing discussions about a) whether to switch destinations, b) can they get a refund on the original flights and c) can they get replacement flights for anything like the same price.
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