Tuesday, June 24, 2003

"Sheikh Rattles Royals"
A picture caption gem from Metro, yesterday, accompanying reports on the "comedy terrorist" intruder at Prince William's birthday bash. I don't think he's funny but I can see already that that is of little importance in a career based on embarrassing, harrassing and intruding on people, some who deserve it and some who don't. All it takes is courage (of a sort), a lot of cheek and two strategically placed false beards. Hurrah for the Edinburgh festival (or not).

I'm reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix whenever I can gather the strength to lift the damn thing - it is a rather large and heavy edition. Though excited, I'm not tearing through it as I did with the others, perhaps because of the weight and bulk of the book which prohibits carrying it around with me, but also perhaps because of fanfiction. I am an unabashed follower of fanfiction, especially Harry Potter fanfiction, and yes, especially slash fanfiction and I've read a lot of it, some very very good and some extraordinarily bad, between the release of the "real" books. Two particular fanfictions have kept me hooked as powerfully as the "real" or canon books and have actually started to confuse my reading. The characters from the fanfiction are proving more familiar than the ones in canon, and at the moment, more appealing: Order of the Phoenix is *so* much more serious and dark than the previous books with a lot of brooding, blood, bad temper and other things beginning with B. It's growing up as well as growing on me but there are some teeth-grindingly shite moments of petty schoolyard rivalries and the usual saccharine school story stuff juxtaposed with moments of very definitely grown-up terror, forboding and apocalypse. This fifth book in the Potter universe is clearly bridging that tricky moment when things go from bad to worse, from kid to adolescent, from confines of the school to end of the world as we know it... and it is certainly tricky reading. More ranting / reviewing to come...

In other news, last night Life is Beautiful for the first time. The numerous tall, skinny, pale and sensitive boys I knew at university all raved about it when it was first released and their glowing tear-filled eyes (always brimming over with poetry and pain... always. Gosh, I miss those boys...) and I've only got round to watching it now. It deserved all the awards it got - it is a truly remarkable film, and so utterly winsome without trying. Charming, funny, subtle yet overwhelming at times, I can't believe it took me so long to rent it and watch it. Go view; go view again if you've seen it already.

In other news I've rediscovered the joy of reading. At the moment, Flatmate B is hard at her books for the next set of exams in her medical career and Flatmate A is hard at her books as she is writing more reviews for the Observer. And me? I'm pissing them both off by coming home from work and lying on the sofa with the TV on, my dinner simmering away on the stove, gin and tonic sloshing about and books piled up aroudn me for my reading for pleasure. No deadlines, no note-taking, no looming exam or essay... I looked forward to the time I could read for pleasure all the way through three years of uni and one year of post-grad and play-writing/reading madness, and I am now enjoying that much longed for time. Recently, I've read:
Some of Tennyson's poetry
The Sandman: World's End
The Dreaming: Beyond the Shores of Night
The Talented Mr Ripley
Moab is My Washpot - Stephen Fry's autobiography

I've just started Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenixand Carry on Jeeves.
I've not read any Wodehouse before and am really looking forward to discovering the Jeeves and Wooster universe, full as it is of comic misunderstandings, tea on the lawn and aristocratic silly twits. Rah. Tally-ho!

What are YOU reading? Tell me...

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