The GardenA blog by yours truly

The not-particularly-monthly-anymore recap, “good heavens, is it really almost 2022?” edition

Hi, all. Sorry for the wait. Here’s some things i’ve watched and (mostly) enjoyed since August. Hope you enjoy.

Patrick Bateman, main character of “American Psycho”, listens to the album “Seventeen Going Under” in his earbuds.

Films watched

  • Michael Sarnoski’s Pig (2021): Nicolas Cage. (B-)
  • Cary Joji Fukunaga’s No Time to Die (2021): Having never seen a James Bond film before, i have to say i enjoyed it, even if the artsy-fartsy cinema i saw it at wasn’t the ideal venue for a massive blockbuster. A racist gets kicked into a vat of acid; what more do you want? (C+)
  • Lana and Lily Wachowski’s The Matrix (1999): The most 1999 movie to ever 1999 its way onto the screen. It suffers somewhat from its own success; i’d heard so much good about it that, even though by technical standards i could of course tell it was a good film, i still found myself somewhat underwhelmed by the ending. (B)
  • Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part One (2021): I got the immersive experience by really needing to go to the toilet about halfway through and having no idea when the film was going to end. Amazing visuals, amazing scope, amazing score, i did not feel a single emotion. (B)
  • Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch (2021): Part two of an unexpectedly Timothée Chalamet-filled day at the pictures. It’s another Wes Anderson film! If you like Wes Anderson, you’ll like this. If you don’t, you won’t! There is nothing more i can say about this except that the projector was slightly broken and cut off the top 10% of the frame. (B)
  • Mary Harron’s American Psycho (2000): Me and a group of friends watched this over Discord for laughs and generally memed our way through it — and yet, even among our decidedly unserious, Scorcese-killing atmosphere, we were all genuinely fucking terrified at the chainsaw scene. A masterclass in tension and subtle comedy. (A+)
  • Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man (2002): Watched with friends over Discord. It feels like i’m throwing an axe at someone’s altar here, but good fucking heavens, this movie was laaaame. It ticks off basically every cliché on the list, with seemingly no self-awareness… i’ll admit, though, i did have fun on a purely campy level. (C-)
  • John McTiernan’s Die Hard (1988): An absolute thrill-ride from start to finish. Every time you think it can’t get any more extreme, it does. “No shit, lady, do i sound like i’m ordering a fucking pizza‽” (A)
  • Brian Henson’s The Muppets Christmas Carol (1992): Greatest Christmas film ever made. (B-)

Music listened to

  • Sam Fender’s Seventeen Going Under: I’m naturally biased as a Geordie boygirl myself, but the second i heard this, it went straight to the top of my album-of-the-year rankings — and it’s not even a contest. (A+. Best track: “Seventeen Going Under”)
  • Lucy Dacus’s Home Video: No spoilers, but the closing track? Ye Gods, did the closing track give me a teary eye. (A. Best track: “Triple Dog Dare”)
  • Underscores’ Fishmonger: A fascinating fusion of hyperpop and pop-punk. It’s patchy in a few places, and the repeated samples got on my nerves, but i’m excited to see what this band(?) does next! (B-. Best track: “Spoiled Little Brat”)
  • Sigur Rós’s Takk…: I love it. I really do — but i found myself having to take breaks every so often because lead singer Jónsi’s falsetto came dangerously close to giving me a migraine. (B. Best track: „Hoppípolla”, natch)
  • Some interesting stuff from the Isle of Wight-based band Wet Leg, dripping with wit and sardonic vocals. Can’t wait for the album!
  • I went to my first concert since, you know, the thing. All glory to Elbow.

Other recent minutiæ

  • I’ve been taking up sketching in my journal to ease the brain. I’m not anywhere near good enough to be posting anything on here — trust me — but it’s just nice to have a creative outlet. :)
  • I went on a brief jaunt out to the old Roman temple at Benwell, but to tell the truth, there wasn’t enough interesting about it to turn it into a full post. I did, funnily enough, pass about five different religious denominations on the bus there — a church, a mosque, a gurdwara, a Hindu temple, and a Hare Krishna society.
  • Storm Arwen absolutely fucked parts of Northumberland. My neck of the woods was largely unscathed, but the next town over didn’t fare so well — they didn’t have power for about a week.
  • There were a couple of Barbadians interviewed on Radio 4 about the country’s transition to a republic, and it rather struck me how similar their dialect is to our West Country accent.
  • You simply must listen to this poor woman’s Aspidistra getting absolutely roasted on Gardeners’ Question Time. It’s at about 10 minutes in.
  • Now that the nights are getting longer again, it’s getting to be good weather for stargazing. I really must get myself out to that observatory in Wark again at some point…

Relevant pictures (and one audio file) from jaunts out

In the middle of a typical English suburb, the ruins of an old Roman temple. There's not much left — just a stone-brick border and a few altars, the naos being filled in with gravel.
The aforementioned temple, dedicated to the obscure Romano-Celtic God Antenociticus.
A rickety wooden path is obstructed by a mossy, fallen tree.
One of the many, many trees knocked over by the storm. (And this was taken a fortnight after the fact!)
The sound of Arwen pattering against the window.

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