Listening to: Land – Patti Smith


(Oh! I need to make another “Go Rimbaud!” T-shirt.)

It occurred to me yesterday that I have no current cultural obsessions, apart from maybe the Lucksmiths (okay, definitely the Lucksmiths, always the Lucksmiths – but the only other Lucksmiths fans I know are L & T). What TV shows am I watching/do I love? What movies do I like? What am I reading? I felt like a bit of a dick for not having had ready answers.

So okay. The reading one is actually easily answerable: on Friday I set myself up with a borrower record and finally kicked into “hey, I work in a library!” mode, picking up and taking home everything shiny that passed before me on the circulation desk. The real question is what aren’t I reading? So I have: a couple of things from the Nigerian authors display (Chinua Achebe and something else…it’s in my backpack and all I can remember about it is that it has a nice cover), a photocopied journal article about Mills & Boons, two CILIP-y library magazines, a Fair Trade cookbook (I haven’t actually cooked in ages! It’s just food porn) and Deborah Cameron’s The Myth of Mars and Venus, which I frigging love – it’s a debunking of all the John Gray/pop psychology/crap science/self-help bullshit about the “essential differences” between men and women. And of course I’m still plugging away at the Murakami. Oh, and Philosophy Now. And I have been skimming Anne Sexton‘s Complete Poems, but I’m not sure about her yet. She’s interesting but I guess I’m squeamish and they’re not pretty poems – of all of them, I like the ones from “The Divorce Papers” in 45 Mercy Street most.

Shortly before the Shepherd’s Bush household dissolved, B and I went through a massive Weeds phase (we watched the DVDs twice each – separately and together), but although I’ve downloaded/DVDed a lot of TV series since then, nothing’s grabbed me quite as much. True Blood was really good (and got better in the second season. How weird is it seeing Ryan Kwanten in this context, though?) and I’ve been through Gossip Girl (eh – it passes the time), Once and Again (which sounds naff [and often it was – it’s kind of a guilty pleasure], but it was actually occasionally brilliant – it was made by the same people as My So-Called Life. Evan Rachel Wood’s character’s eating disorder, for example, was handled perfectlyjust perfectly. It made me want to go back fifteen years and grab my mum and cry “This! This!”), United States of Tara (pretty good) and the first three seasons of Northern Exposure (still great but not as flat-out amazing as they seemed the first time around). I tried Mad Men because everyone seems to love it, but I got distracted halfway through the first episode and haven’t bothered to go back to it yet. Maybe I just miss having a real TV? I would quite like to watch The Bill occasionally. I kind of miss adverts. I download QI sometimes and get a bit excited about the voiceover over the end credits.

And oh, I miss the cinema! But I just can’t seem to get into it in London. I haven’t found my cinema yet (comfy, arthousey, cheap, good snacks – I will accept recommendations), which means I have seen exactly FOUR (four!) new releases in the past ten months (in crappy shopping centrey places), which is unacceptable. And because release schedules are different here (Whip It won’t come out until April!) and I remain slavishly devoted to David and Margaret, I never know what to see, anyway… So I’ve been watching stuff at home. I rewatched Look Both Ways last night (still good! I got quite nostalgic about the trains – I used to catch one of those to Salisbury – look at those seat covers, etc.!) and just bought (but haven’t yet watched) a documentary called Joan Baez: How Sweet the Sound. Oooooh – and as we speak, I am listening to Jarvis Cocker’s radio show on the iPlayer and he’s just mentioned the new Serge Gainsbourg biopic. Excellent!

Music-wise, I expanded my London vinyl collection slightly yesterday (bringing it to a total of 3!) and brought home my very own copy of Patti Smith’s Easter from Sister Ray Records:


It looks very nice next to Bringing it All Back Home and The Hissing of Summer Lawns. Of course, I can’t play it yet because I don’t have a turntable, but eh. Today’s featured iPod artist is, obviously, Patti Smith. Oh, watch me now…


In other news, my flatmate’s just announced her intention to move out in a month or so! So there’s the option to move into the bigger room…

Ugh, and I had to frog the red disco jumper because there was a twist in it – which I didn’t notice until I was 10 rows in. But it’s okay, I’m casting on again.