Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Stuff and Nonsense...

...which was very nearly the title for this blog.

Anyway. Brighton Pride has been and gone for another year. Due to the strange structure of my saturday, I managed to miss both the beginning and end of the event, arriving in the late afternoon, migrating slowly from the beach to Kemp Town before losing my friends and wandering back in the direction of the station (ending up in Krispy Kreme for quite some time, although I'm not sure why). Still, that middle bit was very good fun, I met a lot of new people (some of whom I even remembered the next day) and I got to enjoy a bit of the street party. Thankfully, there didn't seem to be any really big trouble on the day; I had been worried that if the Moron Riots that had spread across England had continued, something might have kicked off in Brighton. On the whole, it seems that peace won out, at least where I was, although there was a paramedic unit surrounded by a lot of blood on St James's Street at one point. So, mostly peaceful.

As you can see, while not sober at this point, I am far more so than my good friend Paul, who had been there since the early hours. The rainbow hat and garland are only the cusp of his ill-gotten gains for the day. Also, the paint on my cheek says 'Princess.' I did want a glittery Stegosaurus, but I wasn't allowed to choose.

In my more highbrow news, I've been expanding my reading material a bit. I want to try out some new authors, and go back to ones I haven't read in a long time. It's easy, when following a few favourite authors and series, to lose track of anything else. I've just read Smut by Alan Bennett. Subtitled 'Two Unseemly Stories,' it's the usual sort of middle-class oddness that he likes to write about, but with a good dollop of, well, smut. It's good to read something that's strange in an entirely different way to my usual fare. Smut was a short but enjoyable diversion into the wilfully perverse. I'm now ensconced in Kraken, by China MiƩville. I'd tried reading some of his work before; I began the highly regarded Perdido Street Station but couldn't get on with it. I thought I'd give him another go though, and I'm absolutely loving Kraken. Moving from the Natural History Museum all over London in search of the stolen preserved corpse of a giant squid, it takes in magic, mystery and godhood. With its peculiar 'other London' existing alongside the everyday one, it's similar in feel to Neil Gaiman's NeverWhere, but with a bloody, kick-your-teeth-in mentality that means you can never feel that any of the characters are remotely safe. About half way through, and so far it's very good indeed.

I'm also trying to find both time and funds to watch some of the big summer movies. Harry Potter is one the list, though I might end up missing it with so much else on offer. I've already seen Captain America: The First Avenger, which was a fine superhero flick, and gives me high hopes of The Avengers, but I also want to squeeze in Super 8, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and less showy, harder to find films like Project Nim and Arrietty. Hopefully I'll manage to see them all before they stop showing.

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