Saturday, March 21, 2009


In the bookshop I found the new Temeraire book, Victory of Eagles, and I've been spending much of the past two days reading it. It's a good 'un, and includes the entrance of one Arthur Wellesley, known in the book as General Wellesley, and in the real world becomes the 1st Duke of Wellington, and he goes around being pragmatic, efficient, and extremely ruthless. It's a nice change, as in previous books the heroes have been stuck working for bumbling, close-minded and annoying people and get stuck trying to decide where their real duty lies - following incompetent and self-serving orders, or being recalcitrant and achieving something. Wellesley is also causing people to question where their duty lies, but at least by following his orders people know that they'll be looking after Britain. For the greater good?

With all historical novels, there's always a certain tension between one's knowledge of real world events and the alternate version presented by the author - in this case, by the inclusion of dragons as air force and the change in tactics and historical events that would mean. At this point, Novik has completely gone off the map, there is no history book that will tell you what's more or less supposed to happen, as there was in Black Powder War; from now on we get to find out how the Napoleonic Wars are going to turn out when she's ready to tell us and not before. It's very exciting.

My main negative point is this: the proof reading in the edition I read is just plain careless. The spelling is correct - automated spell checkers can give us that at least, but there are many places throughout where words are missing, or shouldn't be there, or the pronouns are messed up. It's annoying having to break out of immersion in order to work out what the writer meant, and I would have expected a professional publisher to do better.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

The guns, they go boom.

This afternoon/evening, I took Repton out to be cultured. To be precise, we went to the Summer Symphony at the Basin Reserve, which had the Vector Wellington Orchestra doing their thing, together with a brass band, the Footloose dance company, and some soloists.

It was neat. John lay in the sun reading a book, and I sometimes read a book, sometimes sat and listened, and sometimes went up to the stage to dance. They were playing favourite orchestral tunes from the 19th and 20th C, so things like Nessun Dorma and William Tell and the drinking song from La Traviata, but also the themes from Harry Potter and Indiana Jones, and a famous tango. The conductor/MC was a hoot - in his introductions to each piece he'd be as lurid as possible about the lyrics, or list all the movies it had been used in the soundtrack of - "So this piece, the flower duet from Lakme, has been used in this movie and that movie, and also that really cool British Airways ad, but also most importantly a computer game called Kill Zone 2. Oh yeah, it's technically about two Indian girls picking flowers by a stream, but remember, Kill Zone 2.

And of course, they finished up with the 1812 overture, bringing the brass band back for extra trumpets, having a carillon going behind the orchestra, and a bunch of cannons behind the audience. Oh yeah.

(Sorry for missing your party Adrexia, I'm feeling a bit overstimulated to go and chat with people right now.)

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Lo the Mighty Hunter

Macca caught a bird.

We got it out of her mouth and it flew away, hopefully nevermore to hang around our cat infested property. Cats think differently to people, though. We got the bird away from her while we were outside, but she spend a good long while investigating the top of the book case (a temporary resting place in her romp of glory) trying to work out where it had gone.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Today I was a Best Girl

Turned up as crew to Evinshir's Winding City project and spent the day helping out the Assistant Director/Gaffer/Guy Who Knows What He's Doing. He was very kind about explaining what he needed to me and my co-best boy - hopefully, next filming day I'll be able to be a bit more efficient.

Shoot went well - we wrapped over an hour earlier than expected, and fitted another scene in.