CS Lewis once wrote something along the lines of, if a book is worth reading, it's worth rereading. I'm not a great rereader, but I'm a pretty big rewatcher - my favourite way to see a film is twice in one afternoon, and then once again the following day, just to check. Bonus if I can knit or read or write notes on something completely different at the same time - I just like letting things filter through slowly. It's another piece in my media-consuming puzzle that tessellates with three years as a student theatre technician, watching plays stop and start in rehearsal, six times over a week, from the wings. I've never grown out of it.
That said, I have now seen Isle of Dogs five times, and it wore off after about the third. Don't ask me about Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri. On the other hand, you also get to see some super obscure stuff which often turns out to be great, and also I guess I should thank my lucky stars that I don't have to sit through a three-month run of, I dunno, Saw 47 or something. Ushering isn't a bad part time gig for recharging the creative batteries, all things considered.
So here we are.
69. The Third Murder (film, dir. Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2017)
70. Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin, Mynd (album, 2013)
71. Bruce Gilkison, Walking with James Hogg (nonfiction book, 2016)
72. Writings from Scotland before the Union (conference, Centre for Scottish Culture, University of Dundee)
I dragged my partner along to see The Third Murder on my day off, because otherwise I'd have missed it. It was a good decision, because I am here for slow-moving but philosophically-minded Japanese courtroom dramas. It has the sensibility of someone who understands what the space on the page around a haiku is for.
I heard a track from Mynd about a week ago, and immediately fell in love with Hannah Martin's voice. It's a bloody good album. I have listened to it four times and downloaded their back catalogue, which is not terribly huge yet. I'm looking forward to it though.
What this does remind me of, though, is that I have a very definite favourite type of music (hint: it's British folk), and there are several places where I can absolutely gorge myself on it if I want to. In the spirit of which, Henry and Martin did a Songs from the Shed way back in 2013. Because of course they did. Listen to this, it's brilliant.
I've said before and I'll say again, one of my greatest regrets is having been born 200 years too late to get blind drunk with James Hogg. I like him; I like what he stands for; I like his sense of humour and taste for the experimental; I find him about 500 times more readable than Walter Scott. Bruce Gilkison is his great-great-grandson, wandering around Scotland and chronicling it in this part travel journal, part history book, part scrapbook. It's very personal, which I appreciate - I like seeing other people's thought processes as they discover things - and more off-the-wall than academic. Walking with James Hogg makes me want to climb up the nearest hill and breathe in deeply.
Last thing this week - here is a secret weapon, if you like dipping your toes into other people's specialities. Eventbrite is full of exciting conferences; often they're open to the public, and you can just... go. And sit in them. And, like, go to an academic conference, without being an academic or anything. That's how a friend and I found Writings from Scotland Before the Union last year - that and the friend in question is an actual academic. It was so much fun that we went again this year. I always feel like I've somehow got away with something, like I've talked my way into a place I'm probably not supposed to be. But the truth is that I just feel comfortable slightly out of my own depth, soaking up everyone else's enthusiasm. I just like people who have a thing they call "My Subject". I just like seeing them enjoy getting really technical about it. Quite like pre-1707 Scottish writing, and all.