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w/e 28 October 2018

My next work project was due to start this week but then it was delayed, which meant that this week I was free to do anything. Anything at all in the world that I wanted!

I thought about going to see some exhibitions, including Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt at the V&A, which friends seem to like. Then I saw that it costs £18 and decided against it. If I knew it was going to be interesting for several hours then maybe. But I don’t, and it seemed too much of a gamble for my liking.

I did go to the Anni Albers exhibition at Tate Modern, which is also £18, but I have Tate membership thanks to my annual birthday present from my family (thanks!), so it was “free”.

I’m a sucker for anything Bauhaus-y and Black Mountain College-y, and so I liked it — some lovely-looking woven things — but I felt like some of it was lost on me, knowing nothing about weaving. Aside from whether something looked nice, I had no idea how it was made. Was it particularly innovative or challenging? What’s special about it? Why was Albers so good compared to anyone else? I couldn’t fully appreciate the craft involved because, to me, the process and techniques are largely invisible.

In the final room there is a film about weaving, which could potentially help, but it was voiceover- and caption-free so I’m not sure it’s that great at demystifying the process. It was also projected three times, adjacent to each other, at different positions through the film, which made it hard to concentrate on.

We finished watching season three of No Offence which was fun. I can’t recall precisely what happened in the previous two seasons but remember being disappointed with the second after enjoying the first. But this one was all good snappy fun, presumably with only the most tenuous of relationships to how policing actually works.

If anything, the action was too non-stop; no sooner has one hasty plan to catch a criminal or get some evidence fallen through than they think of something else and that plan is immediately underway. There’s no pause when they get stuck, no downtime, and no plans that require slow methodical work. Everything is a rush and so it’s hard to build to any climax because everything’s so constantly high-stakes.

I also had no idea whether the events happened over several days or weeks or months. As I say, silly fun, but low on believable authenticity.

We also got through ITV’s seven-party adaptation of Vanity Fair which, again, was fun. Several beautiful moments of exceeding snootiness, lots of nice outfits, lots of British character acting; just what you’d expect.

It was a bit odd that Olivia Cooke’s Becky Sharp often behaved as if she’d arrived from the 21st century, as suggested by how she said things, and her facial expressions and mannerisms. I guess she’s supposed to be very different to everyone else, as if she can see through society’s nonsense in the way only an outside observer can, but it jarred slightly at times, however “relatable”. But then I have no idea how anyone actually behaved in the 19th century, only how they’ve been portrayed on TV over the past forty years.

I went to see Cold War by Pawel Pawlikowski, having previously enjoyed his Last Resort and My Summer of Love. I really loved it, but then slow, black-and-white, continental European, subtitled, post-war-set, doomed romances are, as they say, ma confiture.

My Ask MetaFilter reading has been sporadic over recent weeks, but here are a few questions whose discussions grabbed me:

In an amazing act of synchronicity, two things I’ve been waiting years for appeared on Friday: a new album from Robyn and Red Dead Redemption 2. Amazing! Unfortunately I’ve already overshot October’s budget so I have restrained myself… soon, soon…

That’s all for this week. Not much different from any other. I hope you have a good one.

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