A bit of a catch-up on books, music etc, because I haven’t done it for a while.
Eck Finlay has just sent me a copy of his latest publication: Notebook; Mesostic Laboratorium, poems composed on the names of scientists. I was involved with Eck’s earlier mesostic project – Mesostic Herbarium, and I enjoyed it very much. The mesostic form is a bit like an acrostic poem, but the letters don’t have to be at the start of the word. Here’s an example:
Holes blAcken, laWs breaK, gravIty beNds liGht (Stephen Hawking).
Heritage Trees of Scotland. A well-illustrated and informative survey of 130 of Scotland’s most impressive trees. It’s non-technical, and none the worse for that.
Stephen Oppenheimer: The Origins of the British. A geneticist’s view of the routes by which Britain was populated. Some fascinating arguments about the non-Celtic nature of the first settlers, who may have come from an Ice Age refugia in the Basque/Iberian area. It’s also made me speculate on the nature of the Picts.
Mavis Staples: We’ll never turn back. A reprise of African-American protest songs The singing is excellent, and the production, by Ry Cooder, is just wonderful, full of energy and enhancing the singing without ever getting in the way.
Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man. Soundtrack from the film by Hal Willner of an evening of Leonard Cohen songs. It features tracks sung by Rufus Wainwright (superb), sister Martha (excellent), Nick Cave, and an absolute knockout version of If It Be Your Will by Antony.
Northern Exposure, seasons 2, 3 and 4. Pure self-indulgence, I’m wallowing in these quirky programmes all over again.
I’m on amoxicillin now – hope it works.