nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Harriet)
I was going to write something brief and sarcastic to the effect that cut for spoilers about War and Peace )

ETA: I have just learned that the adaptation was by Andrew Davies, and thus all is explained.
nineveh_uk: picture of holly in snow (holly)
Work is over for the year, and now all I have to do is some laundry, ironing, paint my nails, pack, wrap presents, alter two pairs of trousers, get to the station, catch the train, write fic on the train, hand over presents for sister's family, meet sister for lunch, wrap the rest of the presents, ice the Christmas cake, do any late supermarket shopping, catch up with The Bridge, and then I can relax.

OK, I might be spending two hours this morning watching skiing, but I shall be ironing/sewing/writing Christmas cards at the same time. Oh, life is hard, weep for me, I have a whole two weeks off work and will be spending most of it in a home containing both my family and a dishwasher. The only real negative is that I have been on a bit of a WIP-writing role, and that will stop completely, because it always does. I might manage something short and separate, though. I shall try.

Anyway, in honour of heading for the relatives in the decidedly non-frozen north on Monday, I bring you Robert Benchley's "A Good Old-fashioned Christmas", a reminder to those of us who don't get to spend this time of year at a marvelous old-fashioned farmhouse somewhere in Vermont that we are not actually missing out. My copy has illustrations in it, but there wasn't a convenient source for them on the internet, and the office has a new photocopier that I have yet to learn to use properly so I couldn't scan it.

Thus without further ado, and courtesyof the people at Canadian Gutenberg, whose attitude to copyright seems rather more relaxed than ordinary Gutenberg:

A Good Old-fashioned Christmas )
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Harriet)
From the back of the Puffin paperback of Attic Term (Antonia Forest):

One illicit telephone call to her boyfriend leads Ginty Marlow into deep waters.

Soon she is deceiving her friends so that she can make regular calls from the secretary’s office. But one night her rule-breaking gets her more than she bargained for.

It’s not that it isn’t a fair summary of the plot, but it doesn’t half make it sound didactic.* It also called to mind this exchange from Buffy**

Buffy: I told one lie, I had one drink.
Giles: Yes, and you were very nearly devoured by a giant demon snake. The words "let that be a lesson" are a tad redundant at this juncture.

So which Marlow sister would make the best slayer?

*Which it is and more so – the Evil is Done with Nicola’s first telephone call, or rather the request for Nicola’s first telephone call - but there is quite a bit more to it than that, even if some of that is “don’t break school rules about shopping or you might inadvertently get involved in drug trafficking”.

**Reptile Boy. Not one of the better episodes, but worth it for those lines.
nineveh_uk: Picture of hollyhocks in bloom. Caption "WTF hollyhocks!" (hollyhocks)
I suppose it is a good thing - a very good thing - that a teenager of [background I cannot determine but is definitely not British*] is sufficiently inspired** by Robert Swindells' 80s children's apocalypse novel Brother in the Land to film some of it, but it is still deeply weird, and I don't mean the random crisp-eating scene. The houses are pink! The sky is blue! There is a distinct absence of moorland and of the protagonist looking down on to the glassy radioactive remains of the classroom in which I read the damn book. The one thing that isn't weird is the protagonist's not being white. In 1984, Danny Lodge is the son of a lower-middle class white family that owns a corner shop: given the location of Shipley/Bradford***, it makes perfect sense that in 2012 everything is the same except his race. I can only hope that the BBC doesn't realise this is an excellent opportunity to make a non-London kids' series with an ethnically Asian protagonist, and thus scar another generation for life. Fortunately nuclear war is less trendy these days.

*I assumed he was American until I saw the car numberplates. Middle Eastern ex-pat compound? The man responsible apparently lives in Canada at the moment, but I can't imagine they let one drive around with Arabic numberplates there any more than in the US.

**No it isn't! It will never be good! Burn the book and destroy all record of its existence save as a secret file warning publishers never to do it again. And that goes even more for the plague ones. Though I suppose that having found it interesting I ought to log in and comment.

***This being 1984, Bradford is yet to have been reduced to a hole in the ground**** through the non-atomic, but certainly devastating, efforts of Eric Pickles on behalf of Thatcher's govt.

****No hyperbole. Central Bradford is a giant hole in the ground thanks to the Westfield Group. I can't stand George Galloway, but there's a reason he picked the place.


nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Default)

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