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August 2007

July 2007

la grippe

Phone conversation, 12.32pm, 3 August 2007:
e: Magda's sendoff is tonight, so you'll be on your own, you can have your ribs..
(I am referring to the pork ribs that JB has developed a powerful addiction to.)
JB (jokingly): Aww. I'll be lonely without my e.
e: Get a grip.
(Canned laughter.)

Email from Magda, 12.48pm:

Hey Folks,

Some already know, but to those of you I didn't get a chance to text...

I am not feeling great, got a little sick there, so need to cancel tonight's meeting. I hope we can do it some other time.

Hope you're all great, having great time, getting on brilliant with your lives...ect. ;)

Talk soon!


Email to JB from e, 12.49pm:
magda's thing is cancelled after all..
so you won't have to get a grip
isn't that nice.

Email to e from JB, 13.02pm:
Sorry love, the grip came anyway.  I have the grip.

tragedy + time = comedy?

Let's gloss over the comedy of disasters that was our anniversary, leaving it aside to mature till distance has softened the memories of the endless Kildare roads with no sign posts that led us back to Castledermot 3 times, like a recurring nightmare, when no-one in their right mind would ever want to go to it even once, and the running out of petrol on the road to Altamont House, and the endless snacking in the car, the temper tantrums and stamping around -
(I think I'll leave that hyphen there, poetically.)

Here are some photos though.
It was pretty countryside, even if it had problems with communication.

Marie Antoinette

(This is not well written but I am making myself do it for writing/remembering practice. Bots, you've been warned).

The story spans the time between Marie Antoinette's forced move as a teenager to France to marry Louis XIV, and the eventual rebellion against the court on behalf of the republique. Sofia Coppola went to great lengths to render a pop version of the extraordinary opulence of the court of Versailles and the lingering shots of those lush colours in the palace and nature really work well, I think. They work also as a backdrop for the constant whispering campaign (expressed in unscripted voices fading in and out just allowing us to pick out phrases) that plagues poor old MA's life, so that everywhere is the impression of claustrophobic crowds of people watching - apparently so polite and proper but in reality so judgemental and unkind. This chorus resonates in the media and it is hard not to feel sorry for the hapless MA, who never chose any of this, and is moved about and used for political purposes, whose freedom is lost, and whose home, however beautiful, is not much more than a prison - in the end it's a sympathetic portrayal of her.

Placement project

I have been working on the placement project - the plan is to make a comic book episode describing the time in VeryGood Studio.

Working on images of my self, since I will have to be in it:

Never find it easy to draw myself. It seems unseemly somehow.
And hair, hair is never easy.

Hmm, still not there. I want to simplify it - make it more symbolic. But I am happier with the direction for the style overall:

Dip ink pen, with brush on top. It scans well and it easy enough to do so it can be loose enough.

84 Charing Cross St

A very professional and seamlessly put together production of the play in the soon to be demolished Andr*w's Lane Theatre.
It's true that the play does not offer a totally satisfactory ending, or a neat tying-up or climax of the plot, but it reflects the poignant messiness and regret of real life, and I liked the way the play self-reflects - here's a play about a 20 correspondence between two people, written by one of those two, and self-references its own story in the guise of the book Helene Hanff wrote about it. I find that mechanism intriguing and pointed. It seems to me to be about art and life, although that might be to overegg it.
It's certainly about the love of books and sharing and friendship  - set in the period after WWII, it's steeped in nostalgia for a time when there was such a thing as personal service and credit in shops, and manners and time and care were taken.

In any case, Kar*n Ardiff, Sim*n Coury, Cathy Fulh*m and C*rrie Crowley were very good.

sky last night

was this spectacular - to the west:
and to the south:

This is one of the best things about my parents' house - it sits on a rise so that the horizon forms a hilly circle around it, jagged to the south over the hill, and low-stretching to the west and north over the valleys. In the daytime the sky splits into two halves, the kind warm sky to the south of the house and the blue cold to the north. It's like an inverted bowl around which rain and wind and hail chase each other in the winter, but on a kind summer night, like last night, faroff sunsets fire up the sky over the Dublin mountains, and it's as beautiful as anything.

monsoon season

Well, Sunday didn't go as smoothly as one might have hoped. Those brownies, for instance:

shattered into a thousand pieces when you tried to cut them, and yet, inside, remained strangely uncooked and damp. Undeterred by this omen though, we set forth on a big cycling adventure to a party in [Remote Unknown Place near Dublin Mountains], a place we have never set our innocent collective foot before. It's raining lightly as we come to the top of Haddington Rd. but this seems part of the marvellous fun adventure we are about to have. By Ranelagh, only 10 mins later, it's bucketing, and tempers are getting short. We shelter under the LUAS bridge and watch the rain bouncing thickly off the tarmac. Able-bodied seaman JB is becoming mutinous. The weasel words "I'd be for going home now" slip from his treacherous lips, and, "We could go for one of those good burritos around the corner and get the paper".
I stick out my lip and say I am going to the party, he can go home if he likes.
"That seems a bit sad," muses ABS JB, fishing for permission to abandon ship.
I stare unresponsively into the rain and finally we agree to go on as far as the supermarket and reassess the situation. I buy a carrot cake in the fancymarket to replace the turncoat brownies. I stare out at the rain through the shop window waiting for it to clear up. Dark clouds press downward, hurrying to cover over the one brighter patch in the sky. JB reluctantly  agrees to come to Rathmines, once he knows that is not far away, and get the bus to [Remote Unknown Place near Dublin Mountains]. I am secretly pleased. Of course he'd never leave me in the rain!
We pedal quickly to Rathmines and wait for the bus. The rain is becoming more sparse. More plink, plink-plink, than sustained loud static. Bus comes. Get on bus. Sit on bus, looking at massive fancy houses, with magnolia trees and golden gravel in the front. Try to dry off a bit. Feel a bit travel sick. Ask driver to let us know when we get to Sch*larstown Rd in [Remote Unknown Place near Dublin Mountains]. Driver presumes we mean the other end. We don't.
We alight from bus in [Remote Unknown Place near Dublin Mountains] although it could be either Outer Mongolia or Timbuctoo (for these are the archetypal Unknown Places) for all we know.
It is now what JB refers to as dry. A relative term, learnt from years of denial of the Kerry climate - spontaneously formed rivers are rushing by at the roadside, leaves overhead are dripping generously. All is verdant. We plunge bravely onward, into suburbia. After a long, demoralising walk and sociological study of how the middle class in [Remote Unknown Place near Dublin Mountains] really live, we stumble upon Beverly Housing Estate. Can I say, I would love to make the acquaintance of  whatever comedian thought of that one, so I could throttle congratulate him/her on his/her spirited humour. Beverly Crescent, Beverly Hills, Beverly Close, Beverly Rise, Beverly Downs, Lawns, Park, Drive, Dip, Depths, Levels, Curve, Turn, Round, Square and Semi-circle, we pounded them all before we found Heights, and verily that was a wondrous sight and the end to our troubles.
Angels sang. (Or angles, as JB texted me once: "You kiss like an angle". I didn't know how to take it).
Brian's wife, M had made vegetarian lasagne (for me, I like to think) - the kids were romping happily, and eating jelly like there was no tomorrow - and everyone was well. I even made a recording for my MA. Paul (Overseas Development friend) had wonderful fascinating stories from Ethiopia, and Afganistan, and we recovered our good humour, ate Banoffi with no irony and thought all was well, after all.

alarm malfunction

In other news, there is no other news.
The alarm in our house malfunctioned yesterday. L rang us in timely fashion and after a little flapping and minor snapping (on my part) we went up to pull it off the wall and stamp on it - or suppress our desire to do same. Went over to meet the Missing Brother John from Miami and his wife B*ttina who were so nice and interesting. (They are famous in the family for being all slurpy lovey kissy kissy - very interested in the PDA). Instantly simpatici anyway. The C family are so friendly and nice. Like a advert for a big family.

Going to a party today.. have made brownies, the Ultimate Brownie Recipe. They look like there's been an earthquake in the middle of them, but shall continue regardless.

11th July 2007

My friend, who I was so worried about, gave birth to a lovely boy, Michael.. couldn't be more delighted and relieved.
So I have made this card for her. (I reckon a little corn is forgivable in the face of such a delight):

Such a wonder, the birth of a baby, it restores my faith. It warms the deepest core of my young-old heart.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Went to this yesterday with the (slightly under protest) JB

Directed by David Yates, this is the story of the conspiracy against HP on behalf of the Ministry - they deny what happened with Lord Volimort and plant Professor Dolores Umbridge in the school as a way of controlling the rebellious goings-on there. Harry gets together an army and trains them in a room, so they can go to battle with the Dark Arts .. Good story, great effects, wonderful imagination - a fascinating, dramatic and convincing dark world which provide the backdrop against which friendship and love finally triumph. There is sadness, grief and real loss (Sirius dies) which provide a real contrast - stakes are high, it is, finally, a matter of life and death, in the endlessly compelling battle of good and evil.

Enjoyable. To see.