Monday, August 31, 2009

on weekends and weasels

Yet another weekend passed - this time with not one, but TWO hangovers. I am remarkably skilled at both creating and dealing with hangovers - whether or not this is a sign of encroaching alcoholism, I know not. However, I got to see some people that I hadn't seen for a very long time. So it was probably worth it. Wasn't so impressed when Sunday's plans went down the gurgler due , to wretched Media Studies, which (in case you hadn't picked up on it already) is the new Metaphysics. University is impinging upon the time I get to spend with NICE people and I don't like it. At all.

So apart from drinking, what did I get up to this weekend? Music was business as usual - equal parts exhilarating (I'm playing stuff that Patrick Wolf wrote. Eek) and frustrating (having to deal with playing more than 3 flats upsets me) but not particularly note-worthy (ha). However, I did go to see The Young Victoria, which was one of those movies that you go into knowing the basic plot but are pleasantly surprised by the quality of the film. And boy, has this film got quality. Emily Blunt shows a surprising amount of steel as Victoria, but an even more surprising amount of gentleness towards Albert, who is played by Rupert Friend. All I know about him is that he's dating Keira Knightley, so I was pleasantly surprised by his ability to carry off an accent with believability. The music was great, the costuming even more so, Paul Bettany popped up as Lord Melbourne and was great. All in all, this is sort of a upper level chick flick. And tops anything with Katherine Heigl in it. (Has anyone see The Ugly Truth? It looks shocking.)

While I'm talking (typing?) about an era where finding a man was the priority for most women my age, let me talk about Jane Austen. I'm not a fan. Its all the repressiveness, all the behaving that I don't like. And then I read Persuasion last week. For no real reason other than I needed to read something that wasn't about Buddhism, America or Mobile Media. And I had a three hour break, so I polished it off then. And I loved it. Persuasion was Austen's last novel, and I finally understood what she was doing. She was being satirical. Satire is grossly misunderstood by my generation, so no wonder I missed it. But the protagonist of Persuasion, Anne, is fantastic. Like Cinderella, she's stomped on by just about everybody, including Captain Wentworth, who she once nearly got engaged to. The story takes place 7 or 8 years after the engagement fiasco, when Anne's family goes bankrupt (sort of) and Wentworth returns. He's all terribly Colin Firth-y, and Anne is having none of it. The novel made me giggle all afternoon, as Austen's attacks on the class system of England are probably more evident here than they are in her other works - or possibly because Persuasion hasn't been victim to repeated dramatisations like Pride and Prejudice has been, its easier to take it as a satire instead of a romance (although apparently there's a version of Persuasion with the lovely Rupert Penry Jones.) So I have finally enjoyed a Jane Austen novel! I still wouldn't want anything to do with any of the characters, but I can sort of see what people are on about when they gush over her.

And as for books, I've found myself reading a lot of pre 1950s stuff recently. There's been Austen, of course. But there's also been The Crimson Petal & The White, which despite having a slightly irritating ending, was one of the wildest books I've read in years. And now there's Wesley Stace's Misfortune which is brilliantly written and even more brilliantly conceived. I'll write more about it when I finish it, but it's a great Gothic book that is so very very clever. And finally, I've been reading lots of F. Scott Fitzgerald, in preparation for an essay I'm going to be writing about him for American History. So far I've re-read Gatsby and Tender is the Night, now I'm reading The Beautiful and The Damned. I love his turn of phrase, how it seems so effortless, and seems to reflect the assumed effortlessness of that generation. His words make me want to drink Mint Juleps and Champagne, learn the foxtrot and do my hair in finger waves. I've been thinking of trying that anyway, but my hair is getting longer than ever and is quite thick. I have a sort of pageboy look going on at the moment, and sometimes if I curl it write, I can pretend I'm Rita Hayworth.

Fitzgerald has also inspired my latest clothing quest/craze - I want a white summer dress. Sydney is warming up, rustling in anticipation of spring. I can see me wearing a white or cream dress as a colossally bad idea. I'm bound to spill something or sit in something, but I don't care. I want one. And I think that with my hair being so dark at the moment, I could probably pull off a white dress. All I'd need is a long red necklace and red shoes. Or blue. Or a sash! So now that I've made that decision, I'm trawling Etsy and Ebay for something vintage and affordable, as my Spring resolution (much more effective that New Years Resolutions, I've found) is to stop buying new clothes and only buy vintage or make my own. (I'm also going to wean myself off meat. and make more of an effort to get to my mobile before it stops ringing.) I haven't decided if I want to make this imagined white/cream dress or not. Maybe I'll find a dress on etsy, and make a back up version in case of aforementioned spillage? If you see anything, anywhere, that you think I might like, please please let me know!

Finally, Jack's Mannequin's clip for Dark Blue. The song is one of my guilty pleasures, as its very very very pop, and Andrew McMahon's voice can sound a little whiny. But I think this is their best song, and it's certainly their best film clip, and I wish, I wish, I wish that someone in Sydney would organise an event like the one depicted in it. I would be there, dancing my little toes off, and I would win it. In my new white summer dress, of course!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

for goodness sake

i figured i'd let jarvis cocker express my total disgust at absolutely everything today.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

empirically, progressively, eventually

You know when suddenly four days of your life have disappeared, and you have no idea where they went because the whole thing is a blur of mistakes missed phone calls missed chances Mozart procrastination Foucault Roland Barthes angst etc, and you still haven't done that thing that you were supposed to do??? Except you can't really remember what it was that you were supposed to do - but you remember at the time, maybe midnight or Sunday morning in the sun, whenever, right before everything fell through and went totally crazy, you knew for about thirty seconds exactly what to say.

Thirty seconds.

What a rip off.


In attempting to write 700 words that "identify the way the chosen document problematises the effects or use of media forms and technologies within that territory" I have come quite close to chucking in my degree and never going back. I wouldn't blame that assignment (although it is due tomorrow and at present I have approx. 0 words), but I would blame that subject, and I would blame the absolute apathy, disinterest and disrespect displayed by my fellow students. And I know, I know, I know that I shouldn't be bothered by other people's attitudes towards things, but it does have an effect on the environment I find myself in - tutorials where nobody says anything, lectures where nobody asks questions, group work where nobody does anything. It's depressing. University is supposed to facilitate the growth of knowledge, instead we all just sneer at the word 'facilitate'. Is this what I want to do with my life? I had vague notions of taking up a post in Literature somewhere, which would keep me quietly entertained for the rest of my days. Now, I'm having doubts. I don't know if I want to go through the blank stares of students, or feel like a neanderthal being washed away by the technology march (what is wrong with books in books format in a library?). There must be some benefit - in fact I know there's a benefit. Not to blow my own trumpet, but according to my English tutor last semester, it's people like me who do the reading, do the extra reading, who ask questions and care about their subjects that make teaching worth it (how sappy but wonderful). Granted, I'm slightly more likely to do this for English (which I'm not taking this semester) than I am for Media. But still. People told me that I'd find my niche at university. It's been three very long and wonky years, and I still feel like perhaps I should have been at university during the 1940s, that perhaps I am the outdated one who should get with the program. There's a lack of respect for knowledge and learning that confuses me, and I don't know if its what I want anymore. Maybe I'd be better off joining the rat race and making millions.

(and all the jokes about doing a "farts degree"? they got very boring a long time ago. not that they were ever funny.)

Things don't make sense very often, that was my starting point for this post. Some days I feel very very very old, and some moments I feel very very very young. Alot of the time I'm hungry and tired, and that makes me wonder if there's a point to all this, which some days feels like the 15yearoldblackjeanswearing me, and other days feels like the James Joyce brandishing87 yrold woman I might eventually turn into. I don't know why we do these things to ourselves - my father does a job that has given him both an Order of Australia Medal and terrible migraines. When I asked him why he kept it all up, he pointed at the stereo set up blaring The Rolling Stones and told me it was the material benefits. And that instilled in me a realisation that material objects aren't that bad. I think I went and bought a dress to celebrate.

Sometimes though, when that song comes on, or when my fingers hit the right notes on my cello, or when the pastabake turns out right, or the front page of the newspaper inspires a rant, or when someone smiles at me, I think that maybe not understanding is ok. Because I'm a learner, and I'm trying to understand. Unlike alot of people, I'm making an effort.

Monday, August 17, 2009

predictable post

yes well. i am peeking out from under piles of notes about the French in New France (why were they so unimaginative when it came to naming new places back then?), Ancient Greek sex practices (wowee. vases. lots of pictures of erotic vases) and a bunch of stuff about ethics, fouccault and SBS to mention that perhaps i am a little edgy. everything is due in the next five minutes (ha. ha.) and as usual, i am left wondering if perhaps my academic techniques are rubbish. and i am edgy.

i think that was common knowledge anyway.

although, i have given up drinking coffee, and it feels rather good to wake up in the morning and not have this urge to lurch towards our goliath coffee machine, which makes noises like a distressed robot cow. however, several people have commented on the fact that the noncoffee drinking is making me do very strange things, like play cello for four hours straight and cry over trills.

at least i haven't been back in my doona cover.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hiding Under My Sofa

At present, if I make the mistake of turning the television on, I'm greeted with this:

Which, granted, is a major step up in that it doesn't seem to feature any of those people (y'know, the ones who I keep insisting are trying to kill me, and you all keep rolling your eyes about.) However. It does make me want to hide under the sofa and chew on the television cables.

Unlike my mother, who once famously proclaimed "I understand hip hop" (which left the rest of us wondering if anyone understood her) I don't. I just don't get it. I have tried, believe me. I have tried very hard, to the point of standing near the Black Eyed Peas when they played the Sydney Big Day Out in 2005. And yes, I understand that they probably aren't really hip hop 9there's always a purist) , but I also once had a very bizarre experience of watching Kanye West support U2 whilst drinking beer with a frenchperson who knew every lyric of Kanye's but in french. I like Kanye, though. He seems like a laugh, in that he clearly embodies hiphoprnb but knows its a bit of a joke. Anyway. Sidetracked. Again. I don't get what I am being told is "modern r'n'b/hiphop".

Mostly because it looks very very aggressive, seems to involve gratuitous abuse of the English language, uses exactly the same bass beat for every single song, spawned the popularity of those stupid stupid grillz (who needs diamonds on their teeth? are you a Terry Pratchett troll?) and just. The dancing is terrifying. If Ciara isn't slapping at all her flesh whilst prancing around in shoes that were made in order to paralyse, then the Pussy Cat Dolls are doing some sort of obscene gyration thing that involves knee pads and me wishing that i hadn't decided to be interested in music video culture. And if its not a female, then its Eminem telling me that he thinks he's Hannibal Lecter and that its 3am when it's clearly not. Or that guy who wears Top Hats and is always on a boat. Or Beyonce, who has clearly taken a trip on the Ego Train and never wants to get off. And so on, and so forth.

I just don't understand how people can be attracted to what appears to be a very shallow lifestyle. Like, don't you want to talk to the girl before she's knocked up and you're off shooting things? Or would that throw out your day? I don't know. Perhaps my life would have been different if 50 Cent had got to me long before BRMC did (although, perhaps not. BRMC have legendary rescuing capabilities and I highly recommend them for any musical interventions you may be planning). The other thing is that it all seems so faceless - and perhaps you could argue that all my beloved indie bands would look that way to a hiphop fan - but the song material is either a bass-ed up version of "its a hard knock life" or an x-rated version of "Pour some sugar on me" (if that song could be x-rated?).

I could just turn it off I suppose. I'm sure there's some Top Gear episode on (its always on) that I haven't seen that I could watch instead. I could even make a start on my reading for next year. But the thing is that I love music videos, and I love pulling them apart. I wrote 3000 words about the clip for "I'm Not Ok (I Promise)" by My Chemical Romance and then spent the next two weeks wondering why every time I saw Gerard Way I wanted to ask him to do my homework. Patrick Wolf's offering for "Vulture" had me jumping about wondering if perhaps, we were seeing the acceptance of pornification of MEN instead of women in a leather-istic way, and if so, could Patrick possibly rope in William Beckett (I'm sorry. Objectification. I'm no better than Hugh Hefner, really). The National's 'anti -video' for "Mistaken for Strangers" has my heart swelling every time as much because of the 'anti video' as the song. I've loved every single video Lily Allen's done, and I could possibly write a treatise akin to Lord Of The Rings on how I think it's very unfair that there aren't more music videos by female artists that I like in which they don't have to gyrate/wear something skimpy in order to get attention. So you get it. I like music videos. Possibly a little too much. (My excuse is that I don't have the attention span for film, which is a lie)
The first music video I ever remember seeing was Blur's Song #2, in which the band kick up such a storm that the room they're in goes nuts and they get flung against the wall. Great storyline, obviously, and very reflective of the song. (pfft.) And ever since then, I've thought that music videos should be viewed and analysed the way we view film and television. There's probably a whole bunch of accredited people who study this and use big words about what this means as a society, but I've always been interested in gut reactions as opposed to academia (which is why I keep ballsing up my academic life. probably).

And then Ciara started entreating me to "shake that thing like a donkey" and I lost my train of thought, because I became enraged at the silliness of EVERYTHING. What, pray tell, am I supposed to be shaking? And can you provide evidence of how a donkey shakes, because I like to get things right. And if you are not referring to an actual donkey, I expect a detailed analysis of your metaphor, including why you chose to use it, on my desk double spaced by 4pm tomorrow.

Clearly though, the silliest thing is that I am letting myself get weirded out by people who think wearing PVC on a hot day is a good thing.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

i used to be your biggest fan

(a post that started with me eavesdropping and ends with me talking about boys)

When I was in high school, a girl I knew kept a list of the celebrities that she was determined to engage in conjugal relations with. As far as I remember, these ranged from Orlando Bloom to one of the Backstreet Boys to Chris Martin of Coldplay. This list got updated, I think, depending on who was on the cover of that month's Cosmo magazine.

I, on the other hand, was determined to snag Quidditch player Oliver Wood. Even if it meant that I had to trick actor Sean Biggerstaff into permanently pretending- sorry, acting as said Quidditch player. It wasn't even really how good he looked in bastardised leather cricket pads and maroon gold stripes (what a strange fetish that would be). It was mostly his accent. Which was Scottish and adorable and slightly incoherent. Like most Scottish people that I've met or encountered via mediums of entertainment. Roddy Woomble particularly. I went through a phase where I was sure the answer to life would be having Woomble as a next door neighbour to pester (sometimes I still think that). And the guy who played Pippin in Lord of The Rings. In full hobbit garb, he looked like an awesome guy to take to the pub.

This all has a point, I swear. I'm not doing a gratuitous eye candy post. Actually, there really isn't a point. I heard a couple of girls talking about their lists and was struck by how a) the list was basically identical to the list that the girl in my grade was keeping 4 years ago and b) the dominating nationality were Americans. I find that odd, and then had to have a think about which Americans I would put on my list.

And I came up with three obvious ones, and one that I was a bit in denial about.

So. Obviously Johnny Depp. Because you have to appreciate a chameleon like him, and also when I was bored I could force him to take me swing dancing. We could talk about France and possibly learn how to make cheese. He seems like a guy who does stuff.
Obviously Brandon Flowers. I have to admit that my appreciation and admiration for this man really only started when his band released their second album "Sam's Town" and Flowers turned up to the party with the most hilarious moustache ever. He looked like the villain in a Western film, and he totally knew it. He comes off as slightly conceited, but I think that's just confidence - he knows his music is insane and a guilty pleasure for just about everyone (except me. I will be dancing to Joy Ride until the day I die of laughing at Joy Ride) and he knows how to dress. But then he shaved off the moustache, and I stopped talking to him. I think this is why he's seemed a bit gloomy recently. A lack of Maddie in your life will do that to you, trust.
Third Obvious is William Beckett. I don't know how to explain this one, except for the fact that the video for "We've Got A Big Mess On Our Hands" had me drunkenly contemplating if the universe would render itself in two if there really were two Beckett's. He has lovely hips and seems like a total geek. And appears to have actually read Ayn Rand's Fountainhead, so would be useful when I do Modernist Literature next year.

The American that I was in total denial about until I sat down to think about this is Paul Banks. The lead singer of Interpol has disappointed me twice live, but I wouldn't be averse to sitting down with a bottle of red wine and talking about obscure albums that he's heard and I haven't, obscure books that I've thrown across the room and he's finished, and how I really can't be bothered making an effort to be 'obscure' anymore. I was in denial about Banks because he seems way out of my league (because y'know, I'm having dinner with Depp and Flowers won't stop sending fucking bouquets.) and also because he kind of looks like all those really annoying art school boys who spend three hours doing their hair (I am sure Beckett does that. However, someone who uses the word 'existential' in the wrong way in one of his songs can be forgiven. Clearly art school didn't suit him the way it didn't suit me)

So. Yes. A list of males I would engage in conjugal relations with. Or would I? What I was thinking about when I was eavesdropping on those schoolgirls today (who should have been in school, not on the 14.27 train) was that they were talking exclusively about the physical aspects of their to-be conquests. Whereas I was thinking (far too seriously) about how long it would take me before I threw red wine all over Paul Banks for suggesting that perhaps "Paper Soldiers" was a good movie. (I concluded it would depend on the quality of the red). And really, do I want to be drinking wine with Paul Banks when I could dancing and talking all night with Paul Smith, who probably is the musician for me (remind me to post the zine thing I did on Maximo Park, please)? Is it because I'm older and realise that looks aren't everything and that sex is inevitably not what Hollywood frames it as? Or is it because I have too much time on my hands and would rather be thinking about boys than Colonial Latin America? Is it because I'm a natural conversationalist who isn't really ever satisfied? I'm inclined to think so.

I think celebrity attraction starts out as a sort of physical thing (those hips! one thinks) and then as you slowly realise that the odds of that person ever showing reciprocated interest is very very small, and that you only really know a quarter teaspoon of information about them, it becomes kind of boring. Perhaps this is why Pete Wentz is the object of affection for so many girls and boys - he's constantly blogging and tweeting, and there's a sense that one really knows him (even though I'm sure alot of it is just conjecture). But I don't know Oliver/Sean's favourite coffee blend, or Roddy Woomble's favourite thing to do on a Sunday, or if Johnny Depp likes vacuuming, or if Brandon Flowers has ever played pub trivia or if William Beckett hates tomatoes or if Paul Banks secretly loves the Harry Potter series. I don't really know anything about them, and that's what puts me off thinking too much about them. They aren't real to me, and I'm much rather someone real.

I'm sure all this had a point. Maybe I'm trying to say that I think objectifying celebrities is a little cruel, not only to them, but to ourselves as well. I was so sure my first relationship was going to be perfect. It wasn't. It was messy and awkward and hysterical. We were expecting Hollywood and we got something closer to a Monty Python sketch. And with all the maturity that 21 years gives me, I think that was better. And when I look at my friends relationships, which are quiet lovely little things that have their hysterical moments (Beard thinks yams grow underwater. Liz rolls her eyes), I feel that sort of warm feeling that Romantic Comedies are always trying to inspire within me, which makes me feel queasy. I'm not saying you shouldn't settle for less than the Grand Narrative of Love, but you should realise that the little moments, the little people, are far more real than whatever simplified thing the magazines and novels and movies have taught you. Sometimes I feel like our idea of love and relationships are being ruined by all that.

All that said, I'm sure I'll end up in Scotland again sometime soon. Sean Biggerstaff should be on the look out.


I did something today that I haven't done since the 6th Harry Potter book had me in tears. I threw a book across my room and nearly broke my window. I have shitty aim. The book was Marion Bradley's "The Mists Of Avalon", a title that sounds more like a face cream. It's (yet another) book about the Legend Of King Arthur, except told from the perspective of the women. Which would be totally great, if it wasn't so bloody rubbish. It's medieval Mills and Boon. I can't work out who I want to kill more - Gwenhwyfar, who is the wettest wet blanket christian I have ever met or Lancelet, who is like medieval Paul Banks, Morgraine who gets angry and sulks alot, the Merlin, who is nowhere near as amusing or wise as the Disney/TH White Merlin (or the recent BBC Merlin), Irgraine who magically went from being a loyal pagan to obsessed with Uther, Christianity and being a bad mum or Mordred, who hasn't turned up yet but I'm sure will be very annoying. My favourite character is six year old Gareth, who has two lines. And I kind of want to take Marion Bradley's Arthur and give him a hug and tell him that yes, I understand its all very upsetting, but he is the greatest king Albion has ever seen, and as such should not have married such a bloody wet blanket, and he should get more angry more often. Ugh. I think it might turn out to be worse than Beloved, if I ever bother finishing it. I have to go watch the Disney version again to remind myself that the Arthurian legend is about chivalry and friendship and battles, not bloody moaning about snake tattoos and babies and Saxons.

Oh, for the record. I did end up doing the Colonial Latin America Reading. Much more interesting than anticipated.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

by the fireside

I finally got my watch fixed today, and then proceeded to clock (ha) myself in the head with it, as I'm not used to wearing a big stainless steel thing on my wrist anymore. I have no idea where the watch I bought in Amsterdam is, and I'm sick of pulling my phone out of my bag to check if I'm late or not. It's much more fun nearly concussing myself. Or getting my hair tangled in the blasted thing.

Oh my bag. It's terrible. Up until last week I had this lovely little leather satchel that I'd purloined from my Father. And then a train ticket barrier managed to snap off the latch, and I managed to have an attack of the foaming mouth variety at the stupidity of cityrail, the universe and everything. So now I'm back to using the $5 cotton tote bag that I bought from the Australian Museum which has a Mammoth on it. It fits everything, but its not that swish. And it doesn't have pockets, so whatever item I'm hunting for, goes straight to the bottom.

In fairness, I don't really carry that much. I have one notebook for all my subjects, my pencil case is small and doubles as my make up bag, there's usually my non required Reading (currently a biography of Thomas Malory, what is it with me and the Arthurian scholarship at the moment?). If I'm adventurous, my knitting makes it in as well. Keys, phone and ipod go in as well. I don't carry an umbrella, as they make me angry and I end up even more wet when I attempt to use one. If its cold enough for a jacket, I'll be wearing it. Sometimes I take my camera.

So why do I feel so attracted to bags that I could live in? Huge bags, bags the size of cows, emus and apartments in Bondi?

I can only deduce that I really, really, really want to be living somewhere other than the inner west of Sydney.


People keep asking me "what are you going to do with a BA in English?"
Today I told someone that I was going to make a hat and become the next Napoleon.
A witty person would have pointed out that perhaps a degree in French would be more useful.
As it was, they just blinked at me.

(I'm going to write a paper on Bloc Party and terrorism. And then I'm going to curl up in a library somewhere with a big sleepy dog and go horse riding on the weekends.)


On the weekend, my mother completed a Cassoulet. Which is posh baked beans. With an entire farmyard in it. I'm not a huge meat eater (thanks to years of yelling from Emma, and her arrival back in Aus in a month, I'm thoroughly expecting to be a vegan by christmas. I'm not sure how I feel about this.) but I was quite happy to help eat my mother's concoction. It's a good thing I was happy about it, as I suspect she was probably going to make me eat it regardless. There was a lot in the pot, and I've been having it for lunch for the past three days.

According to some French people I know, Cassoulet is basically leftovers, thrown into a pot with beans and cooked for Sunday lunch while everyone is at church. In the Barton Household, Cassoulet gets made every six years, in winter, when my father somehow manages to bribe my mother into cooking it. So on July 26th, my mother commandeered the kitchen and spent the next six nights doing very strange things with basters, beans and bottles. Depending on the stage she was up too, the house either smelt brilliant (like beans), bizarre (like duck) or plain bad (the lamb. I hate lamb.)

The Barton's are not known for our wide social circles. My father is almost as antisocial and disparaging as I am, my mother is a workaholic like my sister, and my brother is Jeremy, which is more than enough said. Still, we each managed to procure a couple to share our Cassoulet. Denise and Lou were bullied by my dad into coming, Rowena and Doug happily trotted over at my mothers invitation, and all I had to do was say to Lizzle and The Beard was "hey, mum wants to feed you" and they were there. With wine, which was a truly fantastic idea (given that I had had yet another frustrating week).

The Cassoulet was pretty fantastic - very rustic, very French and very delicious. The flan for desert was great too. It was a good night, with just the right amount of booze and more than enough laughter. The prize moment was me and Claudia hearing our mother shrieking with laughter from six rooms away. Our collective sense of doom as we realised that our future was spelled out by Briar Ridge Sauv Blanc, French Baked Beans and Dinner parties, was lifted as we realised that our future was spelled out by Briar Ridge Sauv Blanc, French Baked Beans and dinner parties.

And when we'd kicked everyone out at quarter to twelve, my parents announcing that they were too old to socialise, I decided that I'm going to have to throw (possibly literally) more dinner parties where the fire burns brightly in the hearth and everyone's cheeks are rosy from having a good time.


(Yes, Emma is coming back from Edinburgh in A MONTH. there will be much rejoicing.)
(Also, I am sad about how America has better and cheaper vintage than Australia.)
(Furthermore, I am worried about the Arthurian thing)