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w/e 2023-12-03

Phew, Mary’s back after having a great time away for a month, trekking in Nepal. We don’t need to ask whether daily high-altitude trekking across difficult, landslidey terrain for several weeks is more challenging than single-handedly looking after a house and garden in the English countryside while maintaining sanity. I think we all know the answer.

A photo of a rectangular 'bin', nearly a metre high, with wooden stakes at the corners, and square wire mesh making the walls. It's full of brown leaves.

While she was away I made a leaf mulch bin for some of the many leaves I raked up from the more delicate and leaf-smothered parts of the garden. Hopefully that will be useful in a couple of years.

§ New-to-me music this week was Florist after hearing them on, I think, Maria Somerville’s Early Bird show. That track was Red Bird Pt. 2 (Morning) but the video for Spring in Hours is more interesting. It skirts close to cliché but, if I let my cynical guard down a little, it’s lovely:

Both from their self-titled album. They also did a Tiny Desk in 2016. Just perfect if you’re in the mood for some gentleness.

§ On Thursday morning, at the gym, my music was interrupted by a bong and a computer lady’s voice narrated into my ears a notification from Slack, informing me that my website had received a webmention from a Blogspot post about popcorn, written 18 months ago, containing no links. Truly, this is a time of wonders.

§ Black bold Helvetica type on a white background, with these postal codes, each on a new line: CM8; BS6, 8, 3; SW4; 77058; E9; EC2Y; HR2

I’ve never fancied getting a tattoo because (a) I’m from the decades when it was less common and (b) I’ve never thought of anything I’d want tattooed on me. But recently I thought that, if I had to, this list of postcode towns (and a zip code) would be good. Actual typeface, weight, spacing, etc tbc.

§ I watched one movie on telly this week, A Paris Education (Mes provinciales, Jean-Paul Civeyrac, 2018). On the face of it, a French film about a guy moving to Paris to study film-making, heavy on the earnest discussions and angst, sounds right up my street. But it was really quite bad.

The protagonist is a miserable bugger who has no apparent special talents, who mopes around in black-and-white, showing little interest in or care for other people, but who women and men repeatedly, inexplicably, fall for. At one point there’s an argument between his even more idealistic idol, a fellow film-making student, and an actual political activist who’s about had it with these people, as to whether films can change the world, and there’s no indication we’re supposed to find the idol’s seriousness as ridiculous as it is. A review from Letterboxd by Glenn Charlie Dunks (link added):

It’s like a fake French movie that comedy writers would invent to poke fun at French movies. It’s like ROCHELLE ROCHELLE from Seinfeld was real and this is the film the director made for respectability.

I’m not saying that watching it put me off watching films ever again, but I didn’t watch any more films this week.

§ A photo looking up a single-lane country road with hedges on both sides, and an overgrown verge on the left. The plants are covered in frost and the scene is lit by golden early morning sunlight.

The countryside here is possibly at its prettiest on sunny, clear-skied, frosty days, like yesterday, but I’m still already looking forward to winter being over.

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