"When Farmer Oak smiled, the corners of his mouth spread till they were within an unimportant distance of his ears..." -- Thomas Hardy

Life If I seem to be blogging light of late it's because I've been rediscovering the joy being offline. Some reasons:

Aren't films amazing? I'm mean I should know I've a post graduate qualification about them, but just lately I've got back into the rhythm of being able to sit still for two hours and being able to absorb whatever it is that's in front of me and at any time of day. Expect the filmlog to the right to flow again. And not just films; I might just get to the end of my BBC Shakespeare boxset before the end of the Winter. Oh and the first season of The X-Files. Aren't those early episodes superb? I'm giddy.

Isn't music astounding? I'm still on my music odyssey working my way through my old vinyl collection. Having just endured on cd Joss Stone's disappointing third album, which is overblown and bloated -- conductor Charles Hazlehurst calls her "an empty vessel to pour soul-like gestures into" (which seems a touch unfair the first two albums are still great), it's quite sobering to hear what Simon & Garfunkel or Bowie could do with what, in comparison to a shiny five incher, is a relatively short playing time. The classical music education continues too and I've a shattering feeling in my bones that come the Proms, last year's all concerts, all the time marathon might not be a one off. Finally:

Books, eh? On Sunday night an unique offer came through the Freecycling list. Every copy of the old part work magazine The Great Writers with their accompanying books. I took a taxi around the the offeree's house and came away with two giant boxes full of literature. These are Marshall-Cavendish part work which prediodically goes into publication, fifty-two fortnights of works from throughout the centuries, beginning with Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd and onwards through Austen, Wells, Shakespeare, Dickens and Chaucer and I've decided to read the lot, and inevitably review them on here.

So there you have it. If I'm not here, I'll be in there somewhere ...

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