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w/e 2020-08-23


I came across this performance by Fiona Apple of an Elvis Costello song this week and have watched it a few times. She gets better, more, the further in it goes. Very good.

Fiona Apple and Elvis Costello – I Want You, on YouTube

It’s only marred by the whooping crowd; I know they’re appreciative but it feels odd seeing people having a happy smiley time when someone’s giving it all that.

Photo of over 100 green apples stretching back along a kitchen counter

§ A weak and unintentional segue… We have a few apple trees in the garden and are in the midst of picking, collecting, cleaning, and dealing with them (cooking, storing, giving away). So, so many apples.

Also in domestic activity this week, I climbed a ladder to (hopefully) clear out a blocked gutter. It’s not something I’ve ever had to do before, having never been responsible for a house, previous homes having been flats, shared rented houses, or my parent’s house. I do not have a head for heights. It’s odd that when looking out of a window a single floor up it doesn’t feel very high. But when one is perched at the same height on a bouncy wooden ladder, holding on with one hand, trying to scoop brown gunk out of the top of a downpipe, it feels much, much higher.

§ I spent most of Monday updating my home address at all the places I hadn’t already done so. A couple of dozen banks, financial services, online services, government organisations, etc. I’ve probably missed some. It’s a great way to compare the relative awfulness of companies’ online systems. And then I altered my publicly-visible location in a dozen or so places from something like “London, UK” to “Herefordshire, UK”. I still plan to update the “banner” profile image on seven websites to something more rural than my previous one.

§ After completing all that I rewarded myself by installing and tinkering with the Starship command line prompt – I know, can you imagine a better reward?! I should have remembered it weeks ago when I spent too long frustradely converting my custom prompt from bash to zsh after upgrading to Catalina.

Wake up at the back!

§ I had a chat with a local farmer this week who mentioned that a sliver of woods by the side of the road just up from us is called Nanny Gunter’s Pitch and, “so they say”, is haunted. Maybe there was a house there that burned down with people in it? And apparently someone, years ago, thought they saw a ghost in there, although they were on the way home from the pub.

Pretty much all there is online about Nanny Gunter is this account which is nice enough but probably a bit tame to qualify as folk horror. Spoilers, but it turns out the “witch” was probably just an old woman, who turned out to be nice after all!

§ This week we watched The New Pope having previously enjoyed The Young Pope. This was also good although it felt a little more patchy and meandering, harder to get into.

Some bits were slow and beautiful pieces of television. John Malkovich somehow grabbed all the attention despite, or because of, being incredibly calm, and speaking slowly and distinctly. Great to watch. Among the cardinals, crafty Voiello was still rather fun and Gutiérrez was very touching.

And yet other scenes seemed to make little sense, or went nowhere. And the frequent shots of gyrating young women seemed like some kind of joke after a while. Maybe if you just try to do lots of different things, some of it’s brilliant and some falls flat? Still, back on the plus side, the music was very good, and it was all interesting, which is a lot more than many shows.

§ That’s all. And hey… Hey! Let’s be careful out there.

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