Colourful picnic

Children of Willesden

Ah, blogging neglect. This always happens during the holiday; essay deadlines are the classic procrastinational motivator for writing. (‘Procrastinational’ is not a word as such – not according to either spellcheck or the dictionary – but I’m striking out alone anyway. Just you try and stop me.) But it’s most definitely time to blog now, before I end up with a post so long it needs its own index. (‘Torchwood, see under ’emotional flattening’)

Torchwood: Children of Earth (warning: spoilers) was a brilliant piece of television, right down to the episode-a-night format, which kept up the momentum and gave the whole thing the sense of being a real dramatic ‘event’. After the final episode, Katie, dad and I sat there a little drained – there were some pretty grim moments, with none of the underlying optimism of Doctor Who, and wonderfully provoking ethical questions which gave rise to much conversation afterwards. For me, [again, spoiler alert] the scene of John Frobisher shooting his family – and himself – was one of my favourite scenes from anything in a while. Masterfully done.

It’s probably a good thing I watched some rather more light-hearted things too this week, including The Hangover with Tash on Tuesday and Brüno with Joshua, Niamh, Robert and Abbi on Saturday. Both prove that you really don’t have to do anything particularly clever to make me laugh – I really do enjoy what is ultimately just a burst of silliness Brüno, in particular, suffers from being dressed-up as something satirical; it’s not, really, although seeing just how physically pained some people are by displays of homosexuality is always interesting when it’s just not something I can ever feel. In a ranking of innocuous things, men kissing would come somewhere between ‘flight of butterflies’ and ‘the comedy of Jasper Carrott’. (Sorry, Jasper: you do seem lovely. Just not very edgy.)

Still, people are weird, and there was no better demonstration of this than on Tuesday when Sanna and I visited St Paul’s. (I bet you’re expecting something about watching people go through the Mass now, but instead I’m going to wrong-foot everybody who doesn’t also read Sanna’s blog, i.e. precisely no-one.) After we had admired what was, to be honest, about 20% God and 80% British Empire, we left to find lunch and then found ourselves captivated by the exterior glass lifts of Lloyds TSB. I’m not sure what made them so addictive to watch, but they were, and we ended up staying for ages until someone finally smiled at us and waved back. You will be shocked to learn, incidentally, that men outnumbered women in said lifts by a considerable margin. Men also vastly outnumbered women on the ‘parents vs. students’ debating event at the Queen’s Park fair on Saturday – something Sarah Teather correctly picked up on – although I am proud to say that my mum did take part and subsequently won a fancy debating trophy which now adorns our living room. Hurrah!

Colourful picnic

Colourful picnic

Yesterday we held a picnic in Gladstone Park to celebrate Saoirse’s 16th, which was pleasingly full of chocolate and other sugary things! I have to say, it is really wonderful to be doing so many things together – and I hope we’re all still around to picnic in the years to come

(Oh, and I picked my final two papers for next year: Political Thought from c.1700 to c. 1890 and The History of the Indian Subcontinent from the Late Eighteenth Century to the Present Day. Rock on…)

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