Friday, November 03, 2006

The weekend

Today's plan was to sleep til I woke, then go into school to go through Wardrobe for costumes to supply the gaps in our production.

That's the great thing about working in a school with a history of shows: plenty of costumes to be recycled individually or in sets.

In my mind's eye, I see the fairy costumes from our 2001 production of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream': that production was very different in style from our 'Merry Wives' - and it was about actual fairies, not a bunch of jokers dressed up for a giggle - but the fairy costumes are the right colour, length and weight for adaptation for our motley assembly, so that will do nicely.

We're also using the Wicked Witch costume from last year's 'Oz*'; a veil from the 2002 'Arabian Nights'; the Blue Fairy from 'Pinocchia' (where we didn't have a strong enough boy for the lead, and cast a girl instead - and she was super), and some staff donations (our Expat Leaving collection).

Howsoever, having slept til I woke, at 9.45 - yay! - I plonked myself down on the sofa with a cup of tea and A Hat Full of Sky, sequel to The Wee Free Men, which I read last week, beginning reluctantly, and only for research purposes. I have to tell you, though: A Hat Full of Sky made me laugh and cry. Crivens!

The difference between this and the clever wise-crackery of Terry Pratchett's early books (as I remember them) is remarkable. Reading them, I could feel the writer working hard at being funny and clever; and there were times when the characters - however sympathetic or imaginative - read as vehicles for the tongue-in-cheek allusions and puns. And it irritated me.

Art catches you unawares, then draws you in through successive layers of meaning. (Note subjective opinion handed down as Truth. Don't you love blogging?) It gives you the swan (....just popping down to Cliche Central for a moment.......) gliding effortlessly on the surface of the water, not the rapid, urgent paddle of webbed feet, and a big sign with a pointing finger urging everyone to looklooklook at the cleverness of the illusion. Rembrandt and Monty Python don't belong on the same page except in MAD comics.

On reflection, I think that my irritation with the early Discworld books may have arisen from the day job. Habibi used to have a similar problem when we went out: he used to be an interior designer for a brewery chain, with the result that he could never go to a pub without analysing the use of space, texture, colour etc. Me, after a day spent recognising and guiding effort, encouraging potential and celebrating strengths in drama students, I just want to dive into a good book, and go with the tide - not get knocked back into teacher mode! There is also the fact that I know I generally try too hard to be entertaining company, so I recognise the signs and it winds me up! Gotta get me one o' they sense of humour thingies.

Anyway, I think that A Hat Full of Sky is superb: the work of a man who knows his craft; a writer of wit, intelligence and compassion.

I mentioned Philip Pullman a while back. Comparisons are odious, as they say. TP never set out to be PP, and vice versa. I'm enjoying both, and bouncing ideas that both have stirred. I really enjoy watching films, but I don't think you can beat the experience a good book. Riches for the mind and the spirit. Wintersmith next week!

As for the plan (Lie-In, School, Wardrobe) I'm not going anywhere today, because I am whacked. Body, mind and spirit. I need a break!

So today I'm going to
  • put on some music (because there's no intelligent talk radio here, except the BBC World Service, and we get too much interference for satisfactory listening)
  • potter about restoring our living room from workshop to home (sweeping up plaster of paris and odd bits of wire and plastic, so we can walk barefoot or sit down without first checking all surfaces) pick a favourite vid that I've not watched for a while - probably Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe, which I taped in about 1995!
  • and get on with knitting Habibibaba's birthday scarf. When I asked him what colour he'd like, he said dark brown and cornflower blue, to match the socks he was wearing at the time, and realised that he liked (male!). Unfortunately, I couldn't find the right brown or the right blue, or double-knit wool. Argh! What did I expect in a place where it's 30-something degrees most of the year round? (Meanwhile it's currently 6 degrees in London.) So here's a lovely blue, and yes it's acrylic, but it's ribbed, soft, and will be warm when I've added another 49 inches.....better get cracking!


Lulu said...

If I can remember correctly, you enjoy knitting - here is a nice project for you .... this woman knitted a FERARRI!!

Keefieboy said...

Good grief. And the bathroom suite? If anyone else is curious, this takes ages to load, but wouldn't you like to see a hand-knitted Ferarri? Click on Works when you get there. Vroooom!

Ash said...

It's rather odd, but I didn't like 'A Hat Full of Sky' - I think I read about half way through and then stopped. I did enjoy the Witches books by Terry Pratchett, and they are the only ones of his that I really liked.

Unfortunately I'm at that 'married with small kids' stage in my reading life. If something doesn't get to the point quickly and succinctly I'm likely to give up. Same with tv and movies. Perhaps later in life I'll hae some patience again :)

Acrylic yarn and young men are a wonderful mix. It will go in the washing machine (inadvertently or otherwise) and at least you know with an acrylic it won't come out a few metres longer than you intended! Lovely blue :)

Thanks for commenting on my blog. It's been nice to 'meet' you!

Mme Cyn said...

MamaDuck -- Where DO you find yarn here in the sandlands? A friend has just adopted a toddler, and I think a purple mohair baby sweater is called for... any ideas?

MamaDuck said...

Mme Cyn: The Satwa haberdashers have acrylic DK in vivid colours, and Magrudy's has more muted shades. I haven't seen mohair, but perhaps someone else can help? Umm.. you sure about mohair for a baby? The little darlings suck anything! Lots of sites for ordering online, though I never have. Gotta go! x0