Category: advent 2010

advent 16 – Paulo Nutini Pencil full of Lead lyrics.

Listening to Paulo Nutini’s album, Sunny Side Up, For the first time I heard the lyrics to the song, pencil full of lead.
Have a read.

1, 2, 3, 4
I got a sheet for my bed,
And a pillow for my head
I got a pencil full of lead,
And some water for my throat
I’ve got buttons for my coat; and sails on my boat
So much more than I needed before
I got money in the meter and a two bar heater
Now it’s getting hotter;
Oh it’s only getting sweeter
I got legs on my chairs and a head full of hair
Pot and a pan
And some shoes on my feet;
I got a shelf full of books and most of my teeth
A few pairs of socks and a door with a lock
I got food in my belly and a license for my telly
And nothing’s going to bring me down

I got a nice guitar and tyres on my car
I got most of the means; and scripts for the scenes
I’m out and about, so I’m in with a shout
I got a fair bit of chat but better than that
Food in my belly and a license for my telly
And nothing’s going to bring me down
Nothing’s going to bring me down

But best of all (best of all)
I’ve got my baby
She’s mighty fine and says she’s all mine
And nothing’s going to bring me down
Best of all
I’ve got my baby
She’s mighty fine and says she’s all mine
And nothing’s going to bring me down
Not today,,, no, no

Doesn’t make sense, does it.

advent 14 – Hadestown at Celtic Connections.

Anaïs Mitchell ‘Hadestown’ is definately in my top ten albums of 2010. I have just seen on the Celtic Conections website that they are putting on the album during the festival. with Anaïs Mitchell herself, Ani DiFranco and my friend Iain Morrison.

now that should be a concert worth seeing.
well done celtic connections.

tickets are here

Seth Lakeman and Tom Jones are also great bookings!

advent 11 – Graciousness

Graciousness is a quality of mind that does not separate truth and beauty. Talk of truth always makes it sound as if truth were the cardinal virtue. yet without beauty, truth becomes blind and can be turned into a blunt and heartless imperative. When we hold beauty and truth together, truth will always have a sense of compassion and gentleness. Sometimes the so-called facts of a situation actually tell us little or nothing about the heart of an experience. Only in the light of beauty can we come to see what is really present. This is true also of the way in which we view our own life. If we were to describe our life strictly in terms of its factual truth, most of its interesting, complex, and surprising dimensions would remain unmentioned. The gracious eye can find the corners where growth and healing are at work even when we feel weak and limited. It is no wonder that Jesus said; the gentle shall inherit the earth.

From Divine Beauty, The Invisible Embrace, by John O’Donohue.

advent 10 – Who is happy and when? – Happiness 2

Thomas Nagel writing in the New York review of Books, writes on happiness, his article reviewing two books on the subject of happiness. Exploring Happiness by Sissela Bok and The Politics of Happiness by Derek Bok. As reviews of the distills the two big books into a very readable essay.  (Ah, yes, on the blog i have quoted recently from the New York Review of Books, Financial Times and the Harvard Buisness Review.)

He poses the four big questions about happiness at the start of the article.
1 – What is Happiness?
2 – How much should we value it?
3 – What causes it?
4 – Should political institutions  try to create it, and if so, how?

the rest of the article is well worth a read, but I want to spend time with these questions for a while.
I wonder what this could lead to.

Advent 8 – fees for university

Fees for university.
I dunno what to think to be honest. I went to a private college which charged about £3300 per year. I got my government £1200 per year and had to pay the difference.

I am still paying off my student loan form that time but I got a job due to the successful competing of the course.

I also did a post graduate certificate while working full time. (not a year of relaxing then…) I was awarded a paid place on the course.

I felt really bad when one girl dropped out due to not having enough money to pay the fees. She was counting in getting a paid place.

I don’t know what’s right.
I do think the funding of higher education needs looked at. British institutions may have a certain cache but the ivy league is in a different league when it come to funding.

I guess I have a core belief in doing good things.
Free health care through the nhs. Good.
Free benefits for those who need. Good.
Free primary and secondary education. Good.
Free access to higher education. Good

I cannot get away from it being a really good thing.

I understand that it needs to be funded, and I understand that the Con-lib government is very committed to cutting things. To balance our books, (not the radical way I would do it but hey!)

Yet this seems a decision based on focusing britain on a service economy and buisness. It is focuses on money and not intangibles. Yet prime minister Cameron talks about the big community and of measuring happiness rather than GDP as a measure of how well the country is doing.

Who will look after –
If they go, where is society?

That’s disappointing.
That’s worrying.

advent 7 – TV – Mad About The House & The Family

Tuesday night is a good night for TV.
Mad about the house on BBC3 is everything that reality TV should be, real, dramatic, demanding emotionally involvement and it does it really well. The basic conceit is simple, A couple are given £10,000 and three weeks to make up their house. Easy right. The Catch is the female part of the couple have to leave the house and have no contact with their partner, their house or the ongoing work. The added secret catch is the female works with a designer in London and a life size replica of the property, and unlimited budget and creates a show home which they unveil to the male a couple of days before the three weeks end.

This week “Free spirit Mark prefers surfing to DIY, but his picky girlfriend Nicola is sick of living like a student. Can Mark and his mates give Nicola the chic, grown-up flat she craves?” The key to the programme is really the drama between, Marks’ vision for the change and the way Mark attempts to work out what Nicola would let him away with. Yet this is balanced out against Nicola being encouraged to dream for herself. Quite often you see Mark have a , ‘I want this but I know I will get killed if I do it’ moment. Yet Nicola is saying “Oh I like that, He better buy me this, I love this.” In many ways the realtionship is built up unnaturally in a picture for Mark always giving and Nicola always taking. I don’t think thats an accurate portrial of a good relationship.Does he get it right? I think he does really well to be honest. Tonight had laugh out loud moments, moments of shouting no don’t do that, it is remarkably engaging.

It is good television. The guy either mostly gets it right, or is supremely over confident and over estimates what can be done on budget and in time. But you generally get a feel for the guy and and the result at the end of the programme with the girls reaction is usually bang on in relation to the picture the programme gives you about the guy. I am unsure of the programmes history but it does bear a very strong resemblance to “don’t tell the bride” also on BBC3. a programme where an engaged couple are given £12,000 to make their dream wedding, but the catch is the guy had to buy and organise everything, (dress and all). I suspect the programmes are linked. to be honest i think “Mad about the house” is a the zenith of the format.

The Family on Channel 4
I really struggle to like this programme since they played with the format.
Series one was stunning. just unedited action from the house of the Hughes family.

There is nothing like it on the TV it’s brilliant. And it was stunningly different for TV. it had no voice over, no recorded peices to camera. just voyerism. pure voyerism.
The episode which ended with Simon, the dad, getting very angry and going round the house kicking things and turning off all the cameras, one by one so he could be angry without anyone watching, was one of the scariest, most affecting pieces of TV I have ever seen.
The scenes between Jane, the mother,  and her 14 year old son, Tom,  were pure joy.
Emotional, engaging, edgy and fragile. It was real life.

Series two featured the Grewal family.
I didn’t like it as much. I couldn’t put my finger on why not but i just couldn’t get into it as much.
The family were great, life was engaging, and in many ways it was bigger and more than Hughes. The dramr was more pronounced, and the family had more obvious issues bringing weight on the relationships.
Yet i struggled to connect with it.

Series three and The Adesinas.
Tonight’s episode focuses on the female members of the family how they find their place and their relationships within this large house. It is still dramatic, and with moments of joy and fun and like all families distress and friction.

I can’t get it, yet i think i know what the problem is. The problem is the occasional talk to camera. you will see something happens. Then up pops a brother delivering a “talking head” analysis of the relationship/situation. Its totally frustrating, let us watch whats happening or give us a propre voice over. The talking head thing has ruined it for me.
The thing the first series did well was it didn’t explain the obvious. It was better for it.

Categories: advent 2010 TV