Paranoid Park

Rented Paranoid Park a new Gus Van Sant film. The direction was similar to Elephant from the same director, with the fragmented time line revealing bit by bit the elements of of the plot. Gabe Nevin was an excellent lead as Alex, who is an innocent who has a breakdown after he accidentally kills a security guard (and this is quite plausible). It was a beautifully filmed and directed.

Paranoid Park - Gabe Nevins

La Tasca

Elisabeth sent us a Guardian voucher for La Tasca and we used it last night to have a meal with Bob from the S&CA. The meal was good, and the atmosphere was excellent for a Sunday night: a good balance between lively and not too intrusive. Without the 25% discount on the food prices I’d have thought that the food was overpriced: one of the dangers of ordering tapas I guess. Had a couple of drinks in the Pickerel afterwards, watching people stroll by down Magdalene Street: very pleasant.

The strength of poetry

Another great book by James Fenton. This collects together some of his Oxford lectures, where he discusses a range of issues, based around a collection of interesting poets. I’m finding it pretty hard to summarise the book. The clarity of writing is excellent, the discussions complex and engaging, but awfully difficult to do justice to in summary form.

The book inspired me to read more of Elizabeth Bishop, which is great. I also really enjoyed the chapter about Auden on Shakespeare’s Sonnets, as these sonnets are fascinating and beautiful. Drawing attention to the influence of Blake in Auden’s work was insightful, and the other inspiration for Auden was Henry James (more new reading for me here). The chapter on Wilfred Owen’s Juvenalia really brought the poet to life. I think this is a book I’ll need to reread in a few months!

“The Strength of Poetry: The Oxford Lectures on Poetry, 1994-1999” (James Fenton)

Michael in Texel

Heart in sand on the beach I’d never heard of Texel, but that’s where Michael is at the moment. He’s been on the beach and sent me a lovely heart message in the sand 🙂 He visited one of the other West Frisian Islands as a young boy when he lived in the Netherlands, so this visit is part way between visiting a new place and a nostalgia trip. Nice photo!

Chocolate from Zurich

Picked up at 6am by Panther to go to London City for a day trip to Zurich for one of the Journal Editorial Board meetings. The flights were fine, but delayed 25 ins in both directions. Met in Zurich by a postdoc, Joachim, who was very friendly and sped through the city to get Rebecca and I to lunch in time. Lunch in the Mesa of ETH where we visited the impressive Science City lovely buildings, all a bit eerily quiet and empty… The Editorial Board meeting went well and was very interesting, then dashed in the rain for a taxi back to Zurich Airport. I was impressed with Panther airport transfers both to and from the London City Airport, so I’d use them again.

ETH Science City

Got home at 11pm and dashed straight out to the Free Press for a relaxing beer. Took along a bar of Lindt Excellence 99% Noir Absolu: it has 99% cacao and comes with tasking notes and a scientific chart of flavour components and how they develop in your mouth over time. Barrie and Julie liked the chocolate and there was a less enthusiastic reaction form the rest (including spitting out). The chocolate was very bitter (initially). Unfortunately this bar isn’t sold in the UK so Michael and I will have to savour the two bars that I have left!

Fitting Out Lunch

Michael and I took the bus to Stratford then the DLR out to Limehouse Basin for the S&CA Fitting out lunch today at the Cruising Association. Leaving Cambridge on the bus was a little surreal as the sun was shining and the it was a lovely (cold) spring day: The cars driving into Cambridge were covered in snow a couple of inches deep—we entered the snow zone somewhere on the M11.

There were about 60 people at the lunch and it as great to catch up with some of the people we’ve crewed with. The speeches were notable short, the AGM notable also so. The new Commodore’s partner was presented with a beautiful three-stranded pearl necklace, which he is to wear at all future functions. Lunch was good and the wine flowed!