Gormenghast Weekend

Monday, 14 December 2009

I’ve ei­ther got what Bram had, or some­thing from a cowork­er. Christmas shop­ping is fin­ished, though I al­most got in­to a fight at the liquor store buy­ing some­thing as a part of my se­cret san­ta gift ex­change at work. All that I have left to do is fur­ther bak­ing. Apparently, choco­late-dipped pret­zel sticks are a hit with a teething 18-mon­th old and his moth­er. The first batch I made has dis­ap­peared.

We fin­ished up watch­ing the Gormenghast minis­eries last night. It’s based on a fan­tas­tic cou­ple of books by Mervyn Peake (the third book, not so much), and the BBC did an ad­mirable job trans­lat­ing the thick, dusty and some­times de­lib­er­ate­ly turgid sto­ry in­to 4 hours on screen. Jonathan Rhys Davies is an im­pres­sive (if far too pret­ty-look­ing) Steerpike, and while Gormenghast castle is the main char­ac­ter in the books, some­thing that is near­ly im­pos­si­ble to trans­late on screen, who­ev­er did the set de­sign had a keen and in­no­v­a­tive eye for com­mu­ni­cat­ing the age, im­men­si­ty and de­cay of the castle. It ap­pears that all of the ac­tors in the minis­eries had a blast por­tray­ing Peake’s car­i­ca­ture char­ac­ters, who are sil­ly goth­ic grotesques, one and all.

The bus routes changed over the week­end, so I have to leave the house 20 min­utes ear­lier than usu­al. Hopefully my tim­ing won’t be too far off, or else I’ll have to wait a half hour for the next bus.