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w/e 2020-05-03

I was about to start writing this some time ago but thanks to @maura I got lost in a 1995 YouTube hole and have only just resurfaced. I’ve never been to Glastonbury but that year, seeing PJ Harvey and Pulp, would have been special.

PJ Harvey live at Glastonbury Festival, 1995, starting at His Naked Cousin

Ah well, let’s return to 2020!

oh no

§   The lowlight of the week was my life flashing slowly before my eyes. Well, not my entire life, only some of the worst bits.

There are two places in this house where I’m very likely to crack my head as I walk beneath them, so when I’m anywhere near them I bend over. But not always! This week I must have had something else on my mind when I walked swiftly under a door frame, catching the top of my head on the upbeat, and ending up flat on my back on the floor.

The in-house emergency services arrived swiftly from upstairs and helped me into a comfortable chair (don’t worry I gave her a clap later). I was already a bit chilly and suddenly felt very cold, so I was quickly wrapped up warm.

And then, suddenly, I felt overwhelmed. By being here. By not being able to see my parents. There were tears. And then, one-by-one, over the course of… half-an-hour? more? …all of my past mistakes, all of my regrets, and all of my fears for the present and the future crept through my head. Overwhelming. To be clear, these thoughts are always close-at-hand but they decided it was the perfect time to parade past my mind’s eye.

That was not a fun day and I do not recommend this lockdown pastime.

But, also, where the hell where all those tears when I could have used them in acting classes?

§   This week I finished reading Folk Horror Revival: Field Studies which lovely Dan Catt very kindly sent me when we moved to the countryside: an ideal present. I was not aware of Folk Horror Revival as a concept, which I think emerged from a Facebook group. The Wicker Man, spooky 1970s British children’s TV dramas, Quatermass, John Wyndham, folklore, hauntology, all that kind of thing. It was a good read, lots and lots of short essays about different topics. I’m not a horror movie fan so some of those essays were lost on me but there was plenty more weird stuff to read. Jolly good. No nightmares yet.

§   My only experience of American Football is watching weekly NFL highlights on the BBC (or, previously, Channel 4) so I’m usually oblivious to most things that happen between games, and everything that happens between the Super Bowl and the start of the next season.

This year I’ve been reading the very long weekly Peter King’s Football Morning in America posts so I’m vaguely aware of the between-seasons events, even if I’m not bothered about most of the details. (Also, I have no idea what a “Football Morning” is.)

This week was the NFL Draft, which is usually a big three-day, prime-time TV event where all the teams pick their new players, in turn, in order of worst team to best, an oddly-egalitarian-for-America feature. This year the entire thing was done remotely and I enjoyed Peter King’s report on how it went and how different it felt from the usual glitz, in a good way. All the coaches and managers working from their homes, interrupted by dogs and children, all the players waiting at their homes with their families.

The best fact: when it’s announced which player a team has chosen the broadcast cuts to that player who says how excited they are and they put on the cap of their new team. This meant that all(?) 255 players were sent caps for all 32 NFL teams, even the most in-demand players who were definitely going to be picked by only one or two teams.

“Did the NFL really send you caps for all 32 teams?” I asked Burrow on Friday.

“I did have all 32 caps here,” he said from his southeast Ohio home. “Now I have to figure out what to do with all the rest of them.”

I’m fascinated by the expense, redundancy and over-professionalism that has to happen to make sure things like this go exactly as planned and that nothing goes wrong. I find it impressively terrifying.

§   Just after I finished last week’s weeknotes we finished watching Baghdad Central (on All4) which was very good. A sort of detectivey thing set just after the American liberation/invasion of Iraq. A good thriller. I very much enjoyed Bertie Carvel’s performances as Frank Temple, the menacingly weasely Brit in charge of setting up a new police force.

We’ve given up on season three of Killing Eve after two episodes. Season two felt like it had lost whatever magic it had, given that Eve and Villanelle were no longer chasing each other. So far season three shows no signs of recovering so we’re cutting our losses.

We tore through every episode of Normal People this week and, were our evenings long enough, could have done so in a single sitting. Brilliant. I mean, I’m always there for people falling in love and agonising over it and things not quite working and them talking a lot about it but never quite saying the right thing and… at times there was a bit of Before Sunrise etc. about Connell and Marianne’s relationship and the way they did or didn’t make things work. They were often exasperating and infuriating and then heartbreaking. I’ve no idea how it compares to the book. I loved it.

§   I guess that’s all. Have a good week. You can’t do everything.

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