Well, the hardest thing this week was working out who knew what and who was hiding what from whom. I’m still a tad embarrassed that I mixed up our dear friend Pete with his supervisor Guy, who, frankly, has done a shit job of supervising Pete in between his own little breaking-and-entering jaunts (SPOILER: it was him with the shoulder stab wound). In an industry that should be characterised as one of the homeliest and most trustworthy –bakeries are usually owned by sweet old grannies, aren’t they?– I think I can speak for us all when I say that this branch might be one to avoid on the daily bread run: even pies handcrafted by one Sweeney Todd are looking quite appetising at this point.
Oh my giddy aunt. I tell you, what with Marcella’s red-tinged flashback scenes and the thundering soundtrack going on like a 20 horsepower combine harvester in the background, I didn’t know what to do with myself and settled on barely removing the cushion from my eyes for the whole episode. Apologies, therefore, for a slightly restricted analysis.
On the plus side, the bloodstained bath scene has been put to one side for now: or rather moved to the centre of an investigation conducted by Marcella and practically the entire cast to try to find out what has happened to Grace of the Perfect Hair, who has gone missing after the ill-fated meeting at the end of the last episode. Meetings between the wife and the mistress rarely go well, on the whole, but on a bar of one to full-scale murder, this particular example seems to lean towards the higher end of the scale.
Well, this is slightly off-topic, some might argue, seeing as the title of the blog does feature reading material rather heavily, but since another of my great passions is crime drama (the more cringeworthily nail-biting the better), I thought I might chip in on ITV’s latest addition: its new series, Marcella*. Now,
probably none of you and for good reason because you’re not saddos like me some of you may know that the screenwriter of this series is none other than HANS ROSENFELDT, who happens to be the genius genius writer behind thrilling Swedish drama The Bridge. I do have to admit that this is the only reason I’m watching Marcella because frankly the adverts looked terrifying, and it’s always slightly embarrassing when you are forced to stash a pile of cushions (suitable for hiding one’s face with when you simply cannot bear to look at the screen) beforehand as opposed to in the heat of the moment. Guilty as charged.
*Mar-chella, not Mar-sella. Don’t be a Rav. (And the inside jokes are beginning already, prepare yourselves.)
Let’s all sink sighingly into the comfort of a warm metaphorical bath as we take a look back to love, and back to WATER. There sea-ms to be a running theme so far, but I’m not shore it will last.
*peals of hysterical laughter*
How about we just pretend that that bad pun relapse never happened and INSTEAD focus on the novelty of this poem, both in that it is unclear exactly where it came from, but also in terms of its structure –fairly sonnet-like at first, but suddenly cutting off– and unusual use of imagery. “Fire = love, yes. Water = love… tell me more?”, I hear you say. And I, generous spirit that I am, will oblige. Papercuts and lemons feature in this soul-searching number, the combination of which I am inclined to think might be the worst torture known to man. (Women, on the other hand, know childbirth. Round of applause.)
Picture the scene. You’re standing in deep discussion with an object of your ardent esteem and they have been prattling on for a lengthy stint of time. That well-practised expression of agreement so-urgent-it-simply-cannot-be-expressed-in-words is hanging onto your features with an iron grip. The only thought you can quite grasp is that you have absolutely no idea what course the discussion has taken. Suddenly, without warning, the harmless chitchat takes an alarming turn:
“Well, I’ve blabbered away quite enough! Tell me, what did you think of *suitably famous work of literature*?”
Silence. You fix your partner-in-talk (to be referred to as the ‘conversant’ henceforth) with a steely glare, but their expectant grin does not falter in the slightest. There is no hope of rescue. The universe has conspired against you AND WON. Where do you go from here?
*spoilers: DO NOT READ ON IF UNPREPARED*
I’m going to indulge in one of my favourite sweeping generalisations and state that sometimes we read books in which we zone out for a few frankly overrated
chapters pages and so quite understandably have very little idea what the actual actuality has gone down. This unfortunate state of affairs was COMPLETELY AVOIDED with this little tome, as guess what? I’m living where’s it’s set (*cue small dance of happiness*) and therefore know EXACTLY where vaguely-ridiculous-sounding places like the “Uffizi Arcade” (may or may not have had to look up the spelling but let’s not be pernickety) and just-plain-reminiscent-of-pizza places like “Piazza Signoria” are and what their deal is. If you’re anything like me, Botticelli’s “Primavera” and “Birth of Venus” —not to mention Michelangelo’s “David”— are all very well and good, but it’s not until you actually see them with your own unblinking eyes that you begin to think everyone might be onto something here. Plus, apparently, some party poopers seem to think that being overrun by aprons and dishcloths on which is lovingly printed David’s glorious lower-half don’t count as seeing it in the flesh (the stone?).
I’m not really sure how to start. Much as I hate to admit it, this poem was basically one big confusion-followed-by-clarification drama, so forgive me if the post turns out similarly (but maybe without the clarification, let’s be honest). It’s relatively often that one can read through a poem without having the slightest idea of what it’s about –at least, I hope it’s not just me– but what is less common is reading a poem, thinking you’ve GOT IT DOWN & SUSSED IT OUT JOB DONE, only to be refuted by every other critic out there. What makes the whole situation even more embarrassing is that not only 1) did I have completely the wrong end of the stick, but also 2) I apparently understood the exact opposite of the poem’s intended meaning. It’s not too often you can say that, eh? Yes, this is false bravado and my life is actually a lie.