- or whatever it's called.
Several days of peace and quiet - just what I needed, and the chance to catch up on all the top films of the last 5 years. I'm not a big fan of being sedentary - it plays hell with my digestive system, but it's what I needed. I drank almost nothing and ate decent food.
Most of what I've watched was OK, I quite enjoyed watching all the XMEN films, plus spin-offs, in the right order - back to back, mindless, silly action are great fun occasionally, but found more recent, big budget films like Elysium to be dull and derivative - although Oblivion was a decent attempt at something allegorical, and Andrea Risbough was very good. By far the best film I've seen was 'The Impossible' - which just goes to show you really can make good cinema based on true events, without being mawkish and sentimental, in the same vein as United 93 - it really was very good. I think the worst was probably 'Shutter Island' - which I only managed about 40 mins of, and then found myself wandering over to IMDB to read the synopsis, and yes, I had guessed what was going to happen, so I gave up. I also managed about an hour of Avatar - and wandered off to clean the bathroom instead. TV wise - I saw a ghost film called 'The Awakening' - terrible title, but very good film in the manner of 'The Others' - well executed and atmospheric. The Xmas day Dr Who was rubbish. Sorry - but that's just the way it was. I got bored and distracted. There was a very good ghost story from an M.R.James work - I can't pronounce the name but it was a nice, economic piece with lovely art direction and a beautiful colour palette - lots of reds and greens and browns, although a limited number of extras - as the same boy with red hair appeared in the background in almost every scene. It was written by Mark Gatiss - who I can't stand, and afterwards I tried to watch a shortish film he had made about the author - but actually, it was really just about him - so I got angry and turned off.
I've taken the time to do a few small jobs, and I've started digitising about 3000 CD's and archiving them onto a big hard drive - I have a new iPod that will hold about 20000 songs, so I might as well make the most of it.
Apart from a day with one of my oldest friends walking all our dogs, I've not been anywhere of done anything, nor have I spent any money - it's been bliss. I'm working at the Masonic on New Years Eve as usual - it's an Andy Warhol factory party - no real plans for dressing up - as I'm on the door I might just go for Black Tie.
Today is very cold and bright - a welcome relief from all the storms - but they are due to come back tomorrow. I will need to put some thought into repairing all the fences, and the kitchen roof. I have some vague plans to start working on the house a bit. I've moved a few things into the spare room so I can have a proper look at what needs doing - I may start with the space under the stairs that needs to be made into a cupboard.
I've quite enjoyed being away from the world for a few days - I needed a bit of time to get my head straight and start to think about next year, it's going to be a bit bumpy - and typically - I have very little security - I paid the bills forward as much as possible, I've paid for the studio and my council tax until April and my phone and broadband for a year, my monthly outgoings are still dominated by my mortgage - but I have a vague hope that when I get my statement in the next week or so - I can finally get below 90k, which will be a bit of a benchmark after all these years.
I have to venture out later to buy food, I might wander over to the B&Q to see if there is anything on sale in the garden centre, I'll probably be in the studio tomorrow so I can have a wander around what Hastings laughingly refers to as it's retail opportunities. I do have work about to start - so I'm expecting to hit the ground running and have every intention of starting the year on an optimistic note.... lets see how far I get.