My Big Dumb Cultural Diary: Part One

by Steve

Film still from The IllusionistInspired by the Paris Review’s Cultural Diaries, my blog post that covered it, and having ideas above my station, this week I shall be mainly inflicting my cultural consumption upon you, my lucky readership. Here you’ll find what I’ve been reading, watching and listening to. For your pleasure. And, perhaps, in a bid to make me consume more worthwhile stuff. Plus, I’m up to some interesting things this week.DAY ONE

7am My Significant Other and I, as always, awake to the Radio 3 Breakfast Show. We’re no classical music aficionados, far from it, we just struggle with the livelier breakfast shows yelling at us first thing in the morning. This way, we’re eased into the day nicely, by the dulcet tones of Rob Cowan. No whooping ‘posse’ here, thank you very much.

9.30am Late into work (thanks leaky boiler!), I continue reading Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn. I’m on a real fiction kick at the moment (as some of you might have guessed), so am working through my backlog. I’m really enjoying the economy and clean, clear storytelling of this book. Great, precise writing. Just howI like it.

1pm Lunch at an Evil Coroprate Coffee Monster, with the International Herald Tribune. At £1.50, and with limited pages, it is a bit of an extravagance, but it is my favourite newspaper. It is one of the few daily papers to offer a proper world perspective, along with some fascinating articles. Monday is the best day, with Alice Rawsthorn’s design column, the ‘On Language’ column, a book review or two and generally a fair bit of juicy new/old media news in the business pages.

6pm Way home, more Brooklyn.

9pm Cinema! On a Monday! Feels very decadent. Watch The Illusionist, made by the animation team behind Belleville Rendez-vous (on my ‘to watch’ list, still), based on a story from Jacques Tati. A really beautifully made film, and really quite sad, as it addresses the tail-end of the Music Hall, through the eyes of an aging magician. And all with hardly any dialogue, so perhaps a pretty ‘pure’ cinema experience.

Edinburgh is rendered perfectly, and as a fan of the city I very much enjoyed playing ‘spot the landmark’. Lots of great visual gags too. Recommended.

I also consumed too much popcorn. Must. Exercise. More. Must. Eat. Less.