Alright guys how’s it going welcome back.
I may have watched a few Highpeak Autos YouTube videos recently, which always start like that. They feel like a guilty pleasure, because I don’t think of myself as a car person, and so feel I shouldn’t like them. And, while he’s pretty down-to-earth, pragmatic, self-deprecating, and not too petrol-head-y, occasionally he lets loose an opinion that makes me go, “oh no”.
But anyway. His two main strands of video are quite useful for someone who knows bugger all about cars but is now someone who – hopefully only rarely – needs to buy a second hand car. First, he reviews cars that are several years old, something that seems surprisingly rare, given the size of the used car market. Second, he takes you round cars he’s bought and is seeing for the first time, which feels like good practise for if you ever have to go used car shopping.
Also his videos are, like another occasional car favourite, The Late Brake Show, quite calm. They don’t have that hectic I MUST GET YOUR ATTENTION, frantically-cutting-several-times-per-sentence, aesthetic that’s so common on YouTube.
I say it’s a highlight – I’ve yet to make it all the way through. But it’s a free download! How far can you get with your sanity intact?
§ I’ve been home alone all week and have gone nowhere. I did have a brief conversation with a passing neighbour one day though so I have had some in-person human contact and it’s all fine, fine.
But I also had a couple of Zooms because I booked on to my first acting class in nearly three years (three years!) next weekend and there was some preparation required. It was very nice to see Dom and Alex’s (the teachers) faces again after so long.
This is not a scything-level decision – this time I know the kind of angst I’m letting myself in for.
So I’ve started learning some lines for the first time in years, and reviewing my old notes to remember how to analyse a text, how to prepare a character, and to try to keep in mind all of the things I need to improve about my acting.
Other than that the week has flown by with a few hours a day of “tippy tappy” (as Jack at BERG used to call coding), various chores around the house and garden, reading too much of the internet, and watching telly.
§ Other than my morning read of the news, and occasional tweets, I have, as usual, avoided the news this week. I watched a couple of minutes of The Queue live but otherwise tried to keep my eye-rolling to manageable levels.
On the one hand I have complete sympathy with being upset about the death of someone you didn’t actually know. I was very sad when John Peel died, and it was fine that not everyone in the country felt the same. Famous people touch us in different ways. [I am resisting the joke here.]
On the other hand, get a grip, Britain.
I’ve always regretted that I couldn’t be bothered to queue for a couple of hours to get tickets to see Billie Piper in Yerma but that also shows what level my prepared-to-queue attribute is. Queuing for eight or twelve or 24 hours, standing up, is bonkers to me.
Maybe if it was the Queen in Yerma…?
But, seriously folks, I would be prepared to queue for many hours if it would result in abolishing the monarchy, reforming or replacing the House of Lords, and introducing proportional representation. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for the opportunity.
§ I watched three films this week on Mubi:
- Paris, 13th District (2021, Jacques Audiard) – I enjoyed this and would have enjoyed it even more if I’d remembered before that it was based on three Adrian Tomine stories.
- Katalin Varga (2009, Peter Strickland) – A good-but-grim Romanian revenge story. Excellent atmospheric sounds.
- Lean on Pete (2017, Andrew Haigh) – Wonderful and heartbreaking. I’m tearing up just thinking about it.
§ So, thank you once again for reading, make sure you subscribe if you haven’t done already. You can follow me on
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