Thursday, 2 October 2008

Total miscellanea

Lawks, I feel as though I haven't stopped scudding around for a fortnight. I really, really have to write about our fabulous musical week at La Maison Verte, but I've got behind myself. To the Globe last night for A Midsummer Night's Dream - I was sorry to miss Timon of Athens, but we couldn't find a babysitter so A went alone - and found it surprisingly pertinent. Dream was great fun, though boy it's long - a solid three hours. As ever with Shakespeare, packed with quotations. "In maiden meditation, fancy-free" I'm sure is quoted in Alcott somewhere. Now I'll have to reread everything. Oooh.

I've been reading a shortened version of Pepys's Diary, and loving it. He's only 28 at the point I've got to, but so thoughtful and entertaining. I really need the unabridged version, with footnotes, though - the editor of this one rather charmingly says that they decided to have fewer notes so as to have 'more Pepys'. The mixture of history - at the pace it actually happens, not the speeded-up version of history books - and domesticity and trivia is uttterly beguiling. And everyone is so cultured: always popping down to the pub to sing part-songs, or staying up late playing the lute. I suppose that's because nobody below a certain level of income is involved. It's obvious what a tough time the servants have: the amount of physical punishment they get is notable.

I'm pleased I read Tomalin's wonderful biography first, to get an overview. I'll have the fun of reading it again afterwards, too!

I also read a biography of Jaqueline Kennedy, as fallout from a brief obsession with the JFK assasination: I remembered one evening that I'd meant to look up the Zapruder video on YouTube as I hadn't ever seen it. About five hours later I looked emerged from the internet, pallid and slightly paranoid. Actually, Wikipedia, the wonderful thing, had a perfectly cogent analysis of the best current thinking. Anyway, Jackie. Gosh, she was a boring woman. There's a photo of her as a stunningly arrogant six-year-old, then as an airily arrogant teenager. Then she marries JFK - for the money and prestige, it seems (they didn't seem to talk to each other much) - finds her vocation and becomes a calmly arrogant clothes horse. Then she marries Onassis for money. What's to like? The biographer obviously loved her, but even so couldn't come up with any reason anyone else should. I dipped in and out and then put it on the Oxfam pile.

I was going to say something about Berty, so I could put in a link to his site, which I built recently using iWeb (free Mac software, pretty results but I suspect rubbish with screen readers as the code must be a dog's breakfast, and you can't reliably increase the font size, which is pants). If anyone knows of something better - maybe a simple CMS system - do let me know: the Fagiolini site is in desperate need of an overhaul, but neither A nor I is any good at building websites, dammit. Have a look at Berty's site and tell me what you think - it needs more visitors as it's not showing up on Google yet.

No comments: