Friday, June 19, 2009

Red eye, yellow eye

It’s all been a bit hectic here, but the two mountains of work are in (I just need to finish an index – something I’ve not written before). Was up till 2 am Wednesday getting through a draft of something, but I’m really rather pleased with how it’s come out. Announcements in due course.

But cor, blimey I am tired. Taking the weekend off to go to a party in Cardiff.

And then yesterday I spent the afternoon in A&E waiting to have my eye looked at. Something got into my left eyeball on Wednesday, and no amount of blinking, blubbing or washing would shift it. Knackered by all the typing, it meant I then couldn’t sleep. And yesterday my eye was all bloodshot.

So I sat in a hot, noisy hospital waiting room, hoping I wouldn’t miss the shout of my name. Read my way through some very exciting paperwork relating to a possible new bit of work, and then 50 pages of China Mieville’s new book, The City and The City.

Only half-way through but it’s an extraordinary book. A police procedural set in eastern Europe in two co-existing cities. Think the two spaceships blended together in the Doctor Who story Nightmare on Eden, only without the Muppets. Only citizens in either city must not notice their counterparts on fear of invoking Breach.

Mieville’s writing is punchy and vivid, making this mad idea chillingly real. It also reads like it’s a translation, and all kinds of little details – the proximity of Budapest, mentions of films and books, the bafflement of visiting Canadians – helps give it a ring of truth. The Wire as written by Borges, so far.

(I must get round to writing up notes on other good recent reads: gobsmack-o-wowed by David Kynaston’s Austerity Britain, loved the first two-thirds of Jon Courtenay Grimwood’s Arabesk trilogy, and, despite reservations about the terrible jokes, John O’Farrell’s Utterly Impartial History of Britain is fun, too.

And speaking of recommendations, have loved the first season of 30 Rock and am slowly getting through the first season of the Twilight Zone, the Up series and The Monocled Mutineer.)

Anyway. Eventually a nice doctor prodded and poked my eye, using brown-orange dye to spot the problem. Think it’s sorted now, though it isn’t half still blinking sore. And I spent the rest of yesterday looking like half of me was off to a disco.

I spy with my yellow eye...Plenty of typing still awaits my attention the far side of Cardiff, so might not be here all that much.

Oh, and hooray for the BBC Archive, who have been loading up yet more goodies in the last few weeks. Today they’re marking the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the Moon with a whole load of marvellous moon porn, including some exclusive interviews with three Apollo astronauts.


Le Mc said...

Hope you enjoy Cardiff. I'll be there m'self tomorrow.

I keep eyeing the cover of Impartial History of Britain, wondering whether I should bother reading it or not.

Robin said...

the 'utterly impartial history' book is pretty good. It's a very easy read, and not too politically biased. And that's coming from someone who believes anyone who reads the Guardian is probably a dangerous pinko subversive. (That's going to make me a lot of friends on this blog!)