Good grief, how swiftly the time goes. I can't believe it's already February.
Yesterday's 33 degree C weather, with accompanying hot wind which caused an OMGEXPLOSIONANDFIRE at the local train station, became 18 degrees and rainy within an hour or so. Ahh, Melbourne. Tomorrow I will be in the Red Centre (I love saying that) where it will be in the thirties again (although like most desert places it will be cold at night). Also, I'll be away two whole days because there is only one flight a day between Alice and Melbourne. Oh, geographical tyranny.Knitting:
I had a most discouraging moment last night. I'm knitting a jacket in pieces (for those who are Ravelry-enabled, it's this one
) and after reading some Rav comments chose to knit the fronts first. Last night I finished the back... and discovered to my horror as I went to block the pieces that one front is an inch shorter to the armholes than the other front. And I can't work out where I went wrong because it looks as if the cables match! Argh! I will work it out when I'm feeling a little less annoyed with myself.Fandom:
Season one Merlin on UK-TV continues apace and it's so interesting to watch these episodes now. The thing I never really picked up on as much before is that, while Arthur is a dick in these episodes, Merlin is totally a dick too. He's arrogant, impulsive and doesn't recognise that actions have consequences; both he and Arthur are in the stage of being self-centred about their effect on the world, without recognising that the world and the people in it are also players who can affect what happens.Old fandom:
Over the weekend we watched the blu-ray of Fellowship of the Ring, and the Costa Bodes doco which I hadn't seen before. I had forgotten how utterly awesome the LOTR movies are. It's years since I last watched them, and there were actually bits I'd forgotten. Also was reminded how much I love Kiwis and that it's far too long since I last visited NZ. It's amazing how much the Isengard scenes resonate with the war manufacturing effort explained in 'The World at War' documentary, which we've been watching as it screens on 7 Two.Telly:
Rohan and I, after watching the aforesaid World at War (narrated by Laurence Olivier; I love the way he says "Sovi-ette") watched a two-part doco on the weekend which was all about the rise of Hitler. Really, really interesting because it gave very clear and understandable historical and cultural context and framing so you could really understand why and how he managed to manipulate a disillusioned, impoverished, disenfranchised nation. Very interesting; nobody should ever, at any time, think “it couldn’t happen here”.
Also, just as the History Channel has become the Tony Robinson channel, SBS seems to have morphed into the Neil Oliver channel. Neil! With his Scottish accent and his long locks blowing in the wind, as he looks over his shoulder Hollywood-starlet style while standing on a windy cliff! So much love.Reading:
Have finished 'Making Sense of the Troubles'
, which attempts to do what it says on the cover. Admittedly I began reading this for fandom-related reasons, after seeing a lot of Colin Morgan-related discussion where people were completely unaware of the lingering effects of the Troubles and of the divisions in NI in general. (It is, for instance, still extraordinary that Colin went to an integrated school
, since 95% of students in NI still attend what are essentially either Protestant or Catholic schools
.) Also, after seeing the 'Who Do You Think You Are?' where David Tennant meets his NI relatives and is so, so uncomfortable holding the Orange Order sash that belonged to one of his forebears, who was involved in anti-Catholic policymaking.
The really fascinating thing about the book was the 20th century historical context, and comparing its balanced view with what I grew up with on the news. I grew up wanting desperately to travel to the UK, but thinking it was dangerous because of the IRA. IRA violence outside NI was regularly reported here; virtually all violence which took place within NI, including all the loyalist violence, was almost never reported. In fact, I doubt we would have heard anything about the Troubles here at all if not for the fact that the IRA carried out so many attacks in England. Recommended book for those interested, although it does get dry in parts. What I got from it was that the situation is nuanced, complicated, and so bound up in history that those of us without centuries-old traditions and grudges might find it difficult to understand.
And that it doesn’t have a happy ending; but it does have hope. Which I suppose is as much as humans ever get.