Bit of an odd one this. Have been keen to see the new Jim Broadbent film Le Week-end but completely not able to for various reasons so when I saw you could buy the script by Hanif Kureshi for a couple of quid on amazon I thought I would.
Not sure I enjoyed reading it that much. I think it was a good script but lots of bitty conversations, not long stretches of interesting dialogue. Actually sort of hard to understand how such things get made, a script so light, so thin. Maybe a telly movie, but hardly a cinema film.
I’ll likely feel different when I see it on DVD at some point. The acting will no doubt carry it. I love Jim Broadbent, and I understand Lindsay Duncan and Jeff Goldblum are excellent too. It was witty and thought provoking about relationships at a certain stage, at a certain age. Empty nesters facing up to whether they made the right decision to stay together, to be together at all, as they look back on the years. We’re the compromises worth it, did the good outweigh the bad, was it better than what might have been?
Looking forward to seeing it, but I wouldn’t rush to download the script.
So I’ve finally finished watching all of The Complete A Very Peculiar/Polish Practice. I was too young to watch it when it was originally aired, and had only ever seen bits and pieces.
Wow! Now I know what all the fuss is about.
Watching it at the moment. Age has not withered it.
Wadada Leo Smith Still at Work on his Epic Ten Freedom Summers
We reported in the Gazette on Wadada Leo smith’s nomination for a Pulitzer Prize for his epic work Ten Freedom Summers back in April 2013. Turns out that our earlier post was just a progress report: Wadada Leo Smith is still very much at work expanding and enriching the work, as this blog post by Richard Williams explains.
-Nick MoyRead Article…
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I got this on CD last year. A show called Late Junction on Radio Two played one of the tracks and it was purer than a kitten’s tears, so I got the whole stack.
I don’t pretend to understand this deep shit, but I feel it like a loss.
She always insisted that she could remember every detail of the very first evening we were together; how, for example, there was snow falling, and how the taxi meter, a little yellow glow above it, ticked, and how she felt, excited, in the interior of the heated cab, touching hands, but sad too, sad inside, the way you feel when you like a man, and when you know that with him it will happen, and you’ve made up your mind even before it happens so that he doesn’t really have to ask you, it’s something (she explained, explaining how a woman in so representative a circumstance feels) you feel and he feels, a pleasurable tension between you, a silken tightness, waiting to get to a place, his apartment or yours or a friend’s room or a hotel or even a deserted country road, so that you sink into a trance of waiting, a deliciousness that’s somehow sad, too, and you feel, because of the sadness, both there and not there, inside the cab and holding hands and not inside the cab at all and not holding hands at all….
She looked out of the window of the cab then at the falling and spinning snowflakes, and the dark store fronts, securely bolted against the night, and she said (it was the only phrase I, too, remembered, there were so many other things I had forgotten but the little truncated phrase I remembered) isn’t it beautiful sometimes, and I asked her what was beautiful sometimes, and she said: The snow, and everything.
—Alfred Hayes, In Love
(A melancholy snow scene in honor of the Nor’easter set to hit the East Coast tomorrow.)
Cover photograph on In Love by Saul Leiter.
Do you have a picture of one of our books with coffee or tea (it doesn’t even have to be pumpkin spice)? Send it to this address and we’ll post them here (making you an honorary member of the Classics and Coffee Club).
I have this in the pile of unread books that reaches the ceiling. I shall hurry.
glasgow is a fucking beautiful city.
I was in Glasgow this week. It’s the only place I have ever fallen irrationally and head over heels in love with.
I went to a meeting there once and told my boss that if he ever needed someone to run the Glasgow office then he should call me. The following week, he did.
It was the most momentous change. We had had our first child in London then moved to Birmingham for my job and had our second child. Nicki was pregnant with our third child when we moved to Glasgow and Riley was born there. We loved it.
Such architectural majesty, such humor, sights, people. Shopping, bars, restaurants, culture, parks, coffee shops. So much free, so much available. I thought it was wonderful and was settling in for a lifetime there.
Then a man came and said I wasn’t needed anymore and my job was gone. A handful of something, shaken and lost. Wasn’t sure what to do then. Scotland was so far from family and friends. It seemed crazy to stay. So we left, and came to Todmorden.
We opened a cafe and changed our lives, then after that we did something else again. The adventure has never stopped, and we’re happy with all our decisions, but when I go back and see Glasgow, as I did this week, I fall in love again, and all those thoughts come rushing back. Unfaithful and brave. What might have been, or could be again.
Before William Stoner the future lay bright and certain and unchanging. He saw it, not as a flux of event and change and potentiality, but as a territory ahead that awaited his exploration. He saw it as the great University library, to which new wings might be built, to which new books might be added and from which old ones might be withdrawn, while its true nature remained essentially unchanged. He saw the future in the institution to which he had committed himself and which he so imperfectly understood; he conceived himself changing in that future, but he saw the future itself as the instrument of change rather than its object.
This photo of a well-read Stoner, along with its staff pick slip, was sent into us by a librarian, so in honor of that, here’s Stoner himself thinking about the future as a great university library.
Do you have a picture of one of our books with coffee or tea (sometimes we’ll make an exception for a beer, even)? Send it to this address and we’ll post them here (making you an honorary member of the Classics and Coffee Club).
Book of the year for me, even though written yonks ago I only discovered it this year. May yet be the book of a lifetime. Impossibly excellent.
Today me and Rob went to Todmorden! It’s this adorable town in Calderdale. I first went a few years ago to hike up to Stoodley Pike, but like an idiot, didn’t look up the route before and didn’t realise till I got there that it was a massive good 3 hour at least hike to it, and that I was in no way prepared for that!
Anyway, I didn’t think too much of it when I first went. I don’t know if it’s changed drastically or if I just didn’t see the right areas, but this is a gorgeous town! We fell in love with it. It’s full of co-op wholefoods shops, vegetarian cafes (we went to one called the Bear, above one of the wholefood shops, it was absolutely wonderful! Best veggie burger I’ve ever had!), coffee shops, second hand bookshops, charity shops and lots more. We went to go see the Lucky Dog of Derren Brown fame with the intention of going straight to Hebden Bridge for a wander after, but ended up staying for much longer than we thought. It’s just got such a lovely vibe, and such beautiful scenery!
The place has such a wonderful community vibe to it. There’s community vegetable plots all over town (run by Incredible Edible Todmorden, and all the local cafes and bars proudly say that they use vegetables from them, as well as boasting all locally sourced produce), pro-town graffiti (ie one piece saying “Ask not what your town can do for you, but what you can do for your town!”) and we even went into a book shop where the owner was getting ready with some friends to protest the towns idea to charge for parking in the city centre, saying it will kill local business. Huddersfield is often apathetic, so this was a fantastic change, seeing people REALLY care about their town.
We also found a wonderful bar that did shockingly good, and strong, cocktails, and had a sleep on the way home.
Very much recommend Todmorden for a day trip!
These people sound very nice. I live in Todmorden and I agree with everything they say. At least in this post. I may not agree with them if we sat down together and had a long talk about religion, or the history of hatstands, or the best way to drink whisky, or what may have happened to Gregson in Downton Abbey. Who can say? Who can truly know? But about Tod, they know what they are talking about. Well done them.
The most recent series (or season, as we appear to call these things now) of Downton Abbey has finished.
It is some way down the list of things I am proud of watching and enjoying, but nonetheless I do. It is a rollercoaster. Sometimes merely well made, like a Dualit Toaster or an album by Mark Knopfler. Sturdy, utterly professional, to be admired but not really loved. Other times it is embrace-ably mad and joyful and wildly abandoned. We should certainly be proud of it. As a nation. We do it very well.
But to leave us hanging, with no sure certainty about Mr Gregson. What could have become of him? In Germany, between the wars. Is he in a Weimar Republic cellar bar emceeing for some prototype Sally Bowles? Anticipating the fiscal collapse and carrying his cash around in a wheel barrow? Or just hiding from the painfully earnest Lady Edith?
Perhaps he never got to Germany at all and instead was in London, pushing rapists into the path of oncoming traffic at the behest of brooding former prisoners with limps.
Whatever, all may be clear in the festive special. I hope so. The tension is both palpable and destructive. Can we live without resolution? Can we?