What I’ve been reading lately, part 39

Northanger Abbey — Jane Austen

I’m making my way once more through all six of Austen’s completed novels, and was interested to see how this one would hold up. Although published posthumously it was actually the first one she completed, and bears many of the marks of juvenila — including a lot of pop-culture references that are now lost on us, and were probably already outdated by the time it was published fourteen years after completion.

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Films I’ve watched recently

In the last few weeks I’ve had a horrible and debilitating attack of arthritis, so extreme that for several days I was physically unable to leave my bedroom. It also fogged my brain so I was absolutely unable to concentrate, so couldn’t work from the bed. (Don’t worry, I am much better now, thanks to the wonder of anti-inflammatory steroids.) During my lay-up, I watched quite a few films, so here are some brief and beleated thoughts on them.

Rocky III (1982)

I watched the first four Rocky films way back around the time they first came out, and have been gradually revisiting them in the last year. Continue reading

Pink Floyd in my home town

I recently learned that Pink Floyd played a gig in my home town, a little under a year before I was born (on 12th March 1968):

It’s a strange thought. I am 52 years old. Pink Floyd are even older. For the princely sum of nine shillings and sixpence, I could have seen them play less than a mile from the house where I grew up, if only I’d had the foresight to be born twenty years earlier.

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Things I’ve given up on watching recently

We live in a content-saturated world. It took me a long while to get used to the idea that books are now easy enough to source that I can start one, decide I don’t like it, and just give up. I don’t owe the book anything. The same of course goes for TV shows and films. Here are some that I have started, but given up on in the last few months.

The Americans

This is the one that I sort of regret giving up on, and might return to. Continue reading

Why football is important

A while back, I signed a government petition, “Review the need for a statutory owners and Directors Test in Football”. As a result, I got an email today:

The Petitions Committee would like to hear your views on why football clubs are important, and who you think should be responsible for ensuring they survive the Covid-19 pandemic.

Share your views by completing this anonymous survey: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/CYLH7W/.

So I filled in the survey. (It doesn’t take long, and if it’s something you have an opinion on, you should feel free to do the same.)

In response to the main question, Why are football clubs important?, this is what I wrote:
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Moussaka

I don’t honestly even like moussaka much. By my wife loves it (and aubergines more generally), so a while back (pre-lockdown) she ordered it in a supposed Greek restaurant, only to find that what arrived resembled a shepherd’s pie: very little aubergine all mixed in with the meat sauce, and with a layer of mashed potato on top in place of the white sauce. Ugh.

Here’s how it should look (stolen from a recipe on the BBC website)

Anyway, being the exemplary husband that I am, I cooked a moussaka for her, more according to her preferences. This is the recipe I landed on (having read two or three that were in the ballpark but not quite right). Continue reading

What I’ve been reading lately, part 38

Tremendous Trifles — G. K. Chesterton

One of the better ways to approach Chesterton is through a collection like this one, consisting of 30 or 40 or so short, self-contained pieces in which he thinks about things he has seen or done. He is always a keen observer, quick to see beneath the surface of things, and able at drawing analogies between trivial occurrences and the most profound matters. And of course, he is fun.

The pieces collected as Tremendous Trifles vary rather wildly in quality, but in any one of them fails to appeal, there’s always the knowledge that the next one will be along soon. It’s the second time I’ve read this (see my notes on the first time), and won’t be the last. Continue reading

Home-made beefburgers

These are very much better than anything you get in a shop.

They are really simple to make. Here’s how.

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I’m getting better at this pizza thing

I didn’t think to get a photo before I’d eaten a good chunk of it:

But here is last night’s pizza — one of three that I made. Fiona’s was topped with olives and anchovies, Jonno’s with BBQ chicken. For my own, I planned to go 100% traditional and use only tomato sauce, mozzarella and a few basil leaves, but I chickened out at the last minute and added sliced chorizo.

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ScottKit in the wild!

Thanks to a tweet (in Spanish!) from Zona Fi, I have learned of not one but two series of adventure games being written in my toolkits for building Scott Adams-format adventure games!

The first is written in ScottKit, the newer and better of the two:

It is Jason Compton’s Ghost King, an interpretation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, which you can play online at Netlify (though I can’t find a way to download it). Continue reading