Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Winter's Tale

Every pair of flat shoes I own either have holes in the soles, are unwearable in public (very muddy trainers) or are thongs.

And it's cold.

Believe it or not, that's pretty much all I have to say on the matter. But seriously. Why can't one pair of shoes stand the test of one winter? Perhaps I should invest in some higher quality shoes. And some wellies.

I'm not a great fan of winter, I miss the beach and my floral dresses too much.

As miserable as I felt with my freezing wet feet and freezing wet everything else yesterday, there was something poetic and mighty about the rolling thunder and the sheer volume of the water cascading from on high.

The best part of the wet and cold of the current season is most definitely plunging through the door of your home and into the warm air inside, a wonderful sense of sanctuary you don't get in the warmer months. And I think of hot baths with a good book propped up on the knees, snuggling together for warmth with siblings, or in bed with someone you love, copious mugs of hot Russian Caravan, and hot water bottles... maybe there is something to be said for the otherwise hostile winter season after all.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Modern Romance

A few days ago I had the immense pleasure of seeing the X-Files: I Want to Believe, a film I have been waiting for with bated breath since I first discovered the television series in 2006.
I, however, have not been waiting half as long as the older X-Files fans, people who saw the series to its conclusion in 2002. The film was originally set to be released in 2003, but there was, alas, a huge amount of pre-production drama that slowed the process down exponentially. When I gave up on ever seeing any new X-Files sometime last year, the fandom still hadn't heard a word on the film.
Then, sometime in the last couple of months, I was at the cinema, minding my own business in the queue, when one of those electronic poster's flicked over to a huge image of a very recognisable man and woman standing over an even more recognisable symbol: an 'X' inside a circle.
I almost fell over.
I certainly made the visit very embarrassing for myself and for the friends I was seeing a film with that night. I admit there was a fair bit of jumping around and squealing - I can't imagine the reactions of those who had been waiting another 3 years - needless to say that when I finally got into the cinema on Saturday to actually see the thing, I was positively bouncing in my seat.
Now anyone reading this right now is probably thinking that I am a) a massive nerd b) a complete nutter and/or c) completely alone in life. Only a) is really true, but let me explain why X-Files is such a cult classic:
At the risk of sounding b) and c), let me tell anyone who thinks X-Files is just a bizzare 90's sci-fi program that it is much more than that. The plot is intricate to the point of needing a reference book to watch episodes, the production team were largely (the same people) committed to the program for the entire 9 years, giving it a sense of consistency throughout its major plot arc - no mean feat - but mostly it is because of its leading pair.
People aren't still thinking about X-Files because of the government conspiracies, not because this plot remained infuriatingly unresolved in the conclusion of the series, but because of the intense relationship between Mulder and Scully, stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson.
The relationship between Mulder and Scully is one of those relationships - unresolved romantic tension underlies every episode - and it is at the core of the show's success, according to creator Chris Carter.
I don't know what it is, but there is something about those characters and that relationship that is riveting. Such a romance doesn't come with every book, television show, or film that is released. Some try and fail - one recalls the sexual tension that forgot to happen in the recent Spiderman films, or in fact anything Ben Stiller has ever done - but it can be achieved, more often than not by a smaller, less commercial venture.
Who can forget Juno and the father of her child in his especially gold shorts? Or - if you're one of the rare few English speaking people who has seen it - the two leading men of Y Tu Mama Tambien?
I myself have a slightly unnatural focus on reading into things that probably aren't there, having a great love for the relationship unexplored between Sirius Black and Remus Lupin, which caused my dear teacher Emma Argall to become more and more exasperated with me throughout the course of last year.
Mulder and Scully really are the prime example of the all-consuming romance, and have kept fans going with their unresolved tension not only for the 9 years the show ran, but another 6 between then and now.
To me, that proves, in a quirky modern way, that romance is still alive in the modern consciousness. The trick, I think, is to apply the spark and swooning of the fictional romance to our own relationships, to find the magic and tension in a situation that doesn't benefit from the dramatic elements of government conspiracy and alien invasion.

Friday, July 25, 2008

A Brave New World?

There's nothing quite like jet lag to inspire a girl, is there?

As a device, the blog panders to my creative self-indulgences more than I'd like to admit, although there I go admitting it anyhow...

In any case, this shall be a fun little experiment and certainly quite enjoyable for me. I've read a few other bloggers first entries (dear Emily's exquisite Thoughts and Biro Sketches springs to mind) to see what one's introduction to blogspot is supposed to say, and for all intents and purposes mine shall be a sort of mission statement.

... or perhaps a lack thereof.

Pictures, maybe? Of flowers and fruit and frolicking people - I worship nature and I like to express that whenever I can.

Sometimes it will be a day-to-day diary, a train-of-thought exploration of some bit of university work I need to tuck into perhaps (that could actually be classed as productive!) but most of all I'd like to document the creative things I do and hopefully get some feedback. I love music and the theatre, but unfortunately for my inner prima donna, I seem to have more skill in an off-stage role. Therefore, a lot of my writing will be in relation to performance and design.

Oh, and it's odds-on that long diatribes will be frequent, as I can't seem to help myself, especially after an unagreeable experience on public transport or other demonstration of epic state government failure.

And if anyone is wondering about the slightly wacky name I've christened my blog with, it's named for something truly wonderful I once saw in a naturalist magazine. If you look at a rainbow from the stratosphere, it looks completely round, like a ring. I always found that a charmingly whimsical fact, so it stuck in my head tonight.

On a completely separate note, a good summer's day in London is sublime... I will miss the isle very much.