The autumn equinox this week heralded the start of probably my favourite season. Long-sleeved dresses, thick tights, woolly jumpers and warming food. I look forward to Harvest festivals, Halloween and bonfire night, and a new batch of cookery books.
Tristan Bernard: Boudica
The Globe is a much better experience when the weather is cooler. And it pays to invest in a seat in the gallery, a seat cushion, and a backrest. Comfortably ensconced, I thoroughly enjoyed this play. Gina McKee is a wonderful actor, of course, and the rest of the cast were brilliant, too. The atmosphere was wonderful, and the production was well worth seeing. The subject matter is well-known, and this was a straightforward telling of the story, but with a main theme being the differing aftermaths of the two daughters’ experience at the hands of the Romans. It was gritty at times, and funny at times -I liked the dry humour of the Roman sentries and the brilliant choice of “London Calling” for the musical interlude. I recommend this.
Three titles this week, bringing my progress towards my 100-books-in-2017 reading challenge to 75. The first up is one of Georges Simenon’s Maigret books, in audio CD format. I have to admit that I won this, rather than bought it. Maigret is one of those detectives that everyone knows about. In my case, from very old TV programmes that I wasn’t that struck on. I do like the new Rowan Atkinson Maigret, and I hadn’t read any of the books until after seeing this version. I find the books themselves quite ordinary, and there are so many (76) of them. As with so many works that are translated to English, the story loses something in the translation, and I am never sure that I am hearing the author’s authentic voice. However, I found the audio recording of this story more enjoyable than I think I would have found the reading.
The second book is another crime novel, set in Reykjavik, and by one of my favourite authors, Arnaldur Indridason, who is one of a few authors who doesn’t seem to suffer in translation. This is the first in a new series that does not feature dour detective Erlendur. I think I am going to like the new guys.
Finally, my first new cookbook for a while. It does exactly as it says on the cover, and I have the six-hour lamb in the oven as I write this.