I've been missing from here due to the fact that we've been missing our broadband connection for a few days now. In some ways I miss access to the internet (not being able to read and send email is incredibly annoying) and in other ways I don't. After all, there are plenty of films to watch, plants to plant, books to read, and nail varnishes to play with - not to mention knitting and writing to a deadline - while the screen is blank.
Here's my not-to-be-missed-while-the-internet-is-missing list:
:: Brooklyn by Colm Toibin in the US paperback edition because the cover is so beautiful. Very easy to read. I read it in a day and thought about it for a day, wondering why I felt somewhat let down by the end. I actually thought it was like very high-class chick-lit, which is and isn't a negative criticism.
:: A Freewheelin' Time by Suze Rotolo. More New York - this time Greenwich Village in the early 60s, a young Bob Dylan, and a fascinating cast of characters. This has sent me straight back to Bob Dylan's rasping, raw early music - now set in context.
:: Still Missing by Beth Gutcheon. On my goodness, this is utterly gripping and terrifying. I'm not a great one for confronting my deepest fears in literature, but I couldn't stop reading this story of a mother whose six year old child goes missing.
:: A nail vanrish with a very rude name. I blithely bought one called 'Milf' with no thought as to what this means. The teenagers think this is very funny. Do not ask. Nice colour, though. (The colour in the photo is the more tamely named 'Grab'.)
:: Nowhere Boy is a British film about the young John Lennon (interesting counterpoint to reading about the young Bob Dylan) which didn't reach the cinemas in the sticks when it was released. The teenagers laughed even more when I said how impressed I was with Aaron Johnson in the lead role - it turns out I'm the last to realise just what a heartthrob he is.
:: A Serious Man. Simon is the Joel and Ethan Coen fan here, and I like some of the films more than others. This is one I really liked. I think you have to watch their work (and it is very much 'work', not showbiz) with a sense of detachment, without expectations of othordox film-making. Very bleakly funny.
:: Bright Star is more mainstream, yet manages to make the whole period costume thing look fresh and new (but perhaps still a touch too pretty). Fabulous shots of textiles, clothes-making, stitching; and Fanny Brawne seems to have the shoemaker's elves to help with her overnight embroidery.
:: Roses, lupins, poppies and geraniums. For real.