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w/e 2022-08-07

Hello. I’m sat in the shade, in our increasingly crispy garden, looking at the still green trees under the Simpsons-esque clouds, listening to the moodily inappropriate Spiderland by Slint, after reading this article about the cover photo yesterday.

§ I’ve spent a lot of this week not scything, which involves not doing much else useful or productive either. I haven’t magically got better at scything, so it’s still slow, frustrating work and I look out at the expanse of knee-high grasses and weeds and wonder what on earth I’m doing. What a ridiculous idea this seems. But as with other daft ideas that seemed like good ideas at first – a decade-long blog about a diary, or a two-year physical theatre course – I feel I must complete this task no matter what, apparently. On the plus side, it shouldn’t take ten or two years to finish the scything.

A photo of a small stool-like thing made out of wooden decking. At the front is a small log, positioned vertically as the third leg of the stool, with the top higher than the stool's seat. In the top of the log is a small metal cylinder.

I avoided scything itself for one day by spending it making a peening pony, a little stool into which a metal jig is fitted, so that I can hammer the blade of the scythe sharp. This task, peening, which, like scything, requires skill and experience to master, must be done every 4-8 hours (depending on who you believe) which is perhaps another idea why god invented strimmers.

§ We had an unusually sociable evening on Friday when we went to a nearby village’s annual fundraising barbecue, held at a local cider farm/pub/restaurant/venue. Because it was only three miles away we walked there, possibly the only people who did, reinforcing our reputation as the weirdos who walk a lot. It was such a pleasant change to see a load of neighbours in one location, and be able to stand around chatting, just like people do when they live in actual places.

§ We watched the final episode of Neighbours this week which provided some nostalgic fun, as expected. I was surprised that there were still actors/characters who, I think, have been in the show ever since I last watched it decades ago. Nice that so many old hands were game to return for the last one.

With the momentary flashbacks to scenes from so long ago, it made a soap seem like an extra-ambitious Richard Linklater project. Sure, make a film over a decade, or tell a story spanning a few films several years apart, but that’s nothing compared to several episodes a week for 37 years or 62 years. I wonder how they could make more of that, but it’s probably not what soap viewers really want.

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