Monday, April 27, 2009

weird juxtaposition

Last week we went to see three productions, all about as different as could be, because friends were in them.

On Wednesday, we went to see Oliver! at the Bath Theatre Royal, because Balador was in it. It was quite weird watching a musical where you were trying to catch sight of a member of the chorus all the time. I'm not normally a fan of musicals (and have managed to avoid most of them) but I quite enjoyed watching it because we did the first scene for a school concert, and I was a scrubber in the workhouse (in the original meaning of the word scrubber). Also Balador was excellent (especially his impression of a drunk - you'd think he had been practising...)

On Thursday, we went to see a concert of Tallis, Byrd, Dowland, Elgar and Vaughan Williams in Bath Abbey. The acoustic was a bit strange because we were sitting in the choir stalls, the rest of the audience were in the nave, and the choir were in the transept facing the nave. But the music was wonderful - particularly Tallis' Spem in Alium, which is glorious, nay, celestial (though I am still wondering why he is placing his hope in garlic).

On Saturday, we went to see a community theatre production called Brave at the Bristol Old Vic, which described itself as an evocation of childhood, and turned out to be a series of cameos interspersed with minimalist music and lots of people rushing about on the stage. Some quite amusing bits, but I wouldn't have bothered if my friend hadn't been in it. Still, it was better in some ways than some professional experimental theatre that I have seen.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Always take your hippy with you

I recently watched a SF/F film, The Last Mimsy, which was rather sweet and very enjoyable, and managed to bring together Alice in Wonderland, mandalas, genes and nanotechnology. At the crucial moment in the film, the hippy character (who has been to Nepal and knows about Tibetan Buddhism and mandalas) knows exactly what to do and how to react, whereas the rather square and non-hippy parents have no idea how to react.

This suggests to me a new principle in life:

"Everywhere you go
Always take your hippy with you."

This insight was borne out by an article on my employer's website announcing that growing hemp is carbon neutral, and you can build houses with it.
Hemp could be key to zero-carbon houses
08 April 2009
Researchers from the Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering are investigating using hemp to build carbon-neutral homes. Using this renewable building material would not only help combat climate change but could also boost the rural economy.

Friday, April 10, 2009

inappropriate greetings

A colleague kindly attempted to wish me a "happy Easter Solstice" on Thursday. It was very sweet of him to try to be inclusive, but Spring Equinox happened on 21 March. Just because the Christian festival of Easter Sunday occurs on the Sunday after the first full Moon after the Spring Equinox, so is vaguely linked to the Pagan celebration of Spring Equinox, doesn't mean Easter is significant to Pagans. Anyway, it's a distinct improvement on another colleague, who used to say "I suppose I can't wish you a happy Christmas". To which my response is, either just wish me a happy Christian festival, or learn what the Pagan festivals are called. The information is widely available on teh intertubes, so it's not like it's hard to find out.