D4D

The choice of a sweary generation ®

History Plays

As I said last week, this year’s Shakespeare intake has somehow ended up being all about the history plays.  It’s not  been an intentional set of decisions, just the way things have worked out.

I’ve already seen two productions of Richard II, Richard III, Henry IV parts 1 and 2, and Henry V this year.  (And of course I also saw “Queen Margaret” late last year, which takes all of Margaret’s lines from Henry VI – all three parts – and Richard III and builds a play/story around that)

And now I’ve also booked to see the RSC’s production of King John later in the year.

All told, that means that of the histories, by the end of the year I’ll have seen …

  1. King John
  2. Richard II
  3. Henry IV, Part 1
  4. Henry IV, Part 2
  5. Henry V
  6. Henry VI, Part 1
  7. Henry VI, Part 2
  8. Henry VI, Part 3
  9. Richard III
  10. Henry VIII
  11. Edward III

So, I’m more than halfway through the histories.  Not bad, in less than a year.

Richard III

This year, for some reason, it appears that my Shakespeare input is primarily consisting of various history plays – not something that’s been planned, but that’s how it’s worked out. Prior to this year I hadn’t seen any of them

I’ve already seen two different productions of Richard II this year, and last week’s Henrilogy of Henry IV parts 1 and 2, and Henry V. And last night I went to see Headlong’s production of Richard III at Northampton’s Royal theatre.

I was really impressed with the whole production – the set is small, making interesting use of mirrors and lighting – and overall I really enjoyed it.

The cast were excellent, and I found the entire thing far easier to understand than some of the others I’ve seen. (That may also be down to the source material, I don’t know for sure)

Obviously it’s not a happy play, but all the same, it was well worth going and seeing.

Henrilogy

On Friday, I went with a friend to Shakespeare’s Globe to see their Henry season on one of the Trilogy Days.

That meant we got to see Henry IV part 1, Henry IV part 2, and Henry V all in one day – starting at 12.00 noon, and finishing at 22:30 (give or take)

It’s three plays, all around the two-and-a-half-hour mark, with a decent break between them.  But all the same, it makes for one long-ass day. Particularly because the Globe’s seats (no way was I going to do the whole thing standing) are solid wood, backless, and pretty bloody unforgiving.  Yes, you can hire cushions or a seat back, but even so, it makes it hard-going.

I hadn’t seen any of these before, and (as usual) went in with very little knowledge of the stories involved. I’d seen Richard II earlier this year so knew the prior events, but that was about it – and my history knowledge (as I keep on being reminded by things like this) is fuckin’ abysmal.  (I’m also seeing Richard III this week – I must be a glutton for punishment!)

I enjoyed the plays – IV Part 1 and V more than Part 2, as I don’t really do well with the “political intrigues” type of thing. I think that seeing all three in a day meant it all gelled together better in my head, although I’m still going to need to read the plays and some of the history around them in order to build up the knowledge a bit.

It was worth going, and I enjoyed the whole day. I don’t know that I’d necessarily want to see any of them again any time soon, but I’m glad I’ve seen them.

Seven Years

It’s seven years today that I moved to where I currently live.  That’s the longest I’ve stayed in one place since I moved out of the house I grew up in.

As I’ve said before, I never expected to stay here this long – it was a location of convenience, a house that came up at the right time, in the right place, and was affordable.

As it turned out, it was more that it was a convenient location, a place to stay that’s easy to get away from, easy to go anywhere else. For the moment it’s still that.

It’s not ideal. It’s a tiny house, which suited my needs then and now – there’s no spare bedroom for friends to stay over or anything, but that’s part of the price I pay, and it just means I go to them instead. At the same time though, I can’t deny I’d like a bit more space, so I could take my books out of their boxes, that kind of thing.

I’ve been looking at other places and so on, but there’s nothing (yet) that’s grabbed me, that’s made me think I want to be there rather than here.

There’s six months on my current tenancy (the first one was a six-month-only one, just in case I turned out to be a nightmare tenant etc., and since then they’ve been annual renewals) and I’m going to take that time to assess things, see if there’s anywhere else that would work better for me.

I might still be here in a year’s time. I might not. We’ll see.

Getting Out More

I really need to remind myself that long weekends are meant to be about relaxing and doing less.

Over the next four days, I’ll be…

  • Socialising with friends at a barbecue thing (and probably doing a fair amount of the cooking)
  • Going to three concerts
  • Seeing the parents

It’s all a bit busy – and the following weekend isn’t much quieter. Thankfully there’s some time off in the meantime, but yeah, all a bit chaotic. Again.

 

Local Elections

While in general I despise politics and politicians, I also always vote. It’s my right to do so, and I fully believe that everyone who can vote should vote – and that if they don’t, they have no room to gripe about what’s happened in politics.

Yesterday’s local elections were the first time I’ve ever been so apathetic about it that I honestly could’ve not bothered.

Thing was, it seemed like even the candidates couldn’t be arsed – I didn’t even get any leaflets dropped through the door, let alone any visits.

Sadly, my local council is a pretty safely Conservative (as it turned out, that’s still true, but it’s a lot more precarious than it was) and my useless ballbag of an MP regularly gets re-elected by a decent majority.  So it was never likely that anything interesting would occur with my council – which also increased my apathy on the “even voting won’t change anything” score.

All told, I don’t quite know what can happen to fix things and increase the voter buy-in.  The current situation is just dire, with no real sign of any light at the end of the tunnel.

Small Wins – Backup

Way, way back in the day – Nov 2006, to be precise – I bought a backup drive for all my music, photos and work. It wasn’t anything hugely special – a now laughable 320Gb drive – but it did what I wanted, and made sure I’d got everything preserved.  (Amusingly, I just took a look, and the roughly-similar drives now done by WD start at 3Tb!)

And then I moved a few times, and the drive got separated from its power brick, and I sort of gave up on it a bit.  Over the last few years I’ve mainly been using online backups instead (which mean that as soon as I save a file, it’s backed up, and synchronises to my other machines) and the drive became even less of an issue.

I always knew where the drive itself was, even though I was fairly sure I’d lost (or thrown away) the power lead/brick.  The drive has been on one of my bookcases, doing nothing except attracting dust.

Last weekend, though, I found a random power cable that looked like it might fit the drive.  So I took them both into my office this week, and gave it a go.

At the end of the day, I’d pretty much given up on it – it’s been sat there doing sod-all for a number of years, and has been carelessly moved, shoved in boxes and so on. So I expected nothing.

And yet, when I plugged the cables in and connected it to the laptop, it all worked. Straight away, with no issues, clanks, grinds, or other Warning Noises Of Doom.  Needless to say, I’m actually pretty impressed.

Of course, I’ll also now be working to ensure that a lot of it is backed up somewhere else as well, as that drive is distinctly venerable, but all the same, it’s a bit of a win for it all to have come back in the way it has.

 

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