Three Things, June 2018


With thanks to Paula of Book Jotter for hosting—new participants always welcome!

Reading: I’m halfway through 20 Books of Summer, which is satisfying, and nearly caught up on reviews too. I’ve also started a singing gig at a church in west London, though, so I’ve actually been reading a lot of music. It’s a quartet or a solo every other week—they don’t have the budget for more, and I’m pretty happy having at least half my Sundays free while earning gin money the other half. Learning repertoire has always been one of my favourite things to do; last week the director of music introduced me to two Haydn duets from The Creation, which is a generally ridiculous piece (it was first written in English, then translated into German, then retranslated into English from the German, so the text is even more affected than your usual Georgian oratorio), but the duets are lovely. Here‘s one (ends at 3:45), and here‘s the other (ends at 3:09).

Looking: We finally bought a TV license. I resent having to buy a TV license when we don’t actually own a television, and I particularly resent having to pay the full year’s amount when we’re only making the purchase in June. On the upside, I suppose, this means we can watch the World Cup (which we’re not), and, um, reruns of Planet Earth or whatever. What’s good on the BBC these days? Netflix is more of my go-to at the moment; I’ve finally caught all the way up with Drag Race, have been amusing myself with the shonky-ness of Nailed It, and am under strict instructions to start watching Queer Eye, like, yesterday.

Thinking: Everyone else in Britain is freaking out about Brexit, and you know, I get it, but right now I’m way more worried about Justice Kennedy’s announcement that he’s retiring from the Supreme Court. Any Trump nominee will be anti-choice, and that shifts the balance of voting power on the Court; although, as my mother points out, Chief Justice Roberts surprised everyone with his vote on the Affordable Care Act, I still think it’s wise to prepare for a near future (let’s say eighteen months) in which safe, legal abortion is inaccessible in probably half of the American states. I know that at least one woman in my family received an illegal abortion, before Roe v. Wade passed, and it is beyond gutting to realise that, in two generations, we’ll have come full circle. I actually don’t have the words for this one.

17 thoughts on “Three Things, June 2018

  1. The US does seem to be getting closer to the sort of dystopian future imagined by The Handmaid’s Tale or Red Clocks (which I hope to read soon). And they just had that shooting in Annapolis, about 20 minutes from my parents’ place. I’m not particularly looking forward to my trip next month, especially arriving the day before Independence Day. Yay, America?

    1. Yeah, I read a really good thread on Twitter yesterday that talked about how Gilead—a male-dominated, female-repressive theocracy filled with white people—is the America that white evangelical Christians want, and making a persuasive case that they consitute the demographic most threatening to US democracy at the moment.

  2. Queer Eye is great. I only recently and reluctantly got a TV licence, and will have to consider whether I need to keep it or not when it comes up for renewal (the only thing I watch regularly on the BBC is Holby City!)

    I share your concerns about the US Supreme Court.

  3. I’ve watched a couple of shows on Netflix that I’ve really enjoyed – Grace & Frankie is screamingly funny (give it a few episodes to get into it); equally funny but for different reasons is LOVE (I think there were three seasons of it and it’s sweet and real); and yes, Nailed It is such fun.

      1. It’s really good – integrates a lot of smart stuff about ethics and philosophy in a really funny, entertaining way.

  4. I don’t have the words for what’s happening here in the US either, Elle. Just a few weeks ago we were celebrating the fact that Ireland repealed the 8th, and now we’re staring down the likelihood of Roe being overturned within the next two years. This has honestly been one of the most devastating weeks since the election, and I’m beyond terrified. I’m trying to stay positive, and I know that we’re not going to give up our rights without a fight. It helps to know that there are so many of you around the world in our corner, so thank you for that!

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