Sunday, July 22, 2007

A busy week ahead

I am listening to Alan Titchmarsh on Radio 2 as I type this, a show that I've missed probably each of the last 5 weeks or thereabouts as I seem to have been away and doing stuff every weekend since the middle of June. I like listening to Alan Titchmarsh on a Sunday evening as it is a gentle and relaxed way to wind down at the end of the weekend and he normally plays a great selection of music, really just about anything.

This coming week is a big week for me. I had two interviews last week in London and I have a second interview for one of them on Tuesday; the other job I should find out about tomorrow. I have everything crossed that I get offered either or both jobs. I'll be devastated if I don't. Both offer a step up in my career, new and exciting opportunities and a chance to broaden my horizons and experience. I also heard back last week from a job that I'd applied for so long ago that I'd forgotten about it. That was working as Timing Assistant with Network Rail; unfortunately I can't make the interview date but I've asked if they can arrange it for Tuesday as I will be in London anyway for the other job. I don't hold out much hope though although it has long been a dream of mine to work for the railway... we'll see...

Apart from the job interview on Tuesday, I am going down to London on Wednesday and Friday evenings for the BBC Proms. The two Proms I am seeing this coming week I am particularly looking forward too. Wednesday night's concert features American music - Barber and Copland, while Friday's concert features Britten and Nielson, composers whose work I am getting to know and enjoying. I haven't actually seen or heard any of the Proms concerts yet this year as either I've been busy doing other stuff or forgetting when they're on.

Hopefully, next weekend I should be picking up my framed Star Wars prints that I bought at Celebration Europe. I am looking forward to getting them up on my wall!

I bought Kingdom of Heaven last week in the sale in HMV. I've been toying with buying the film for a long time and although it is directed by Ridley Scott what has put me off has been the thought of Orlando Bloom in the lead. Not exactly the most dynamic of actors and I have my doubts that he can carry a film. However Kingdom of Heaven was a bargain at £7 for the Collectors Edition and I'll give it a fair viewing.

An excellent film that I watched this weekend was The Sea Inside with a magnificent and powerful performance by Javier Bardem who not so much plays as is Ramon Sampedro, a quadriplegic who fights a near 30-year battle to end his life with dignity. It is clear where the director's sympathies lie on the euthanasia debate but this is a film that doesn't shy away from the complex issues nor the tragic and devastating effect that Sampedro's decision has on those around him. While not overly sentimental, this is a film that pricks the eyes with tears at every turn and there are moments when it becomes almost unbearably sad. Despite its dark and difficult subject matter, The Sea Inside is a story of hope and inspiration and as much about life as it is about death.

Channel 4 are currently showing a short-season of programmes to mark the fortieth anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality. Last night's A Very British Sex Scandal was a restrained but moving account of the trial of Lord Montague and his friend, Daily Mail reporter, Peter Wildblood for homosexual offences. This landmark 1950s case led to a change in public attitudes towards homosexuality and its eventual decriminalisation. Particularly poignant was hearing from gay men who lived through the witch-hunts of the 1950s. The programme underlines how some of our attitudes towards homosexuality have changed - after all we no longer see it as a disease or a moral malaise as it was characterised in the 1950s - but I do wonder how accepting as a society we are towards gay men. Indeed the programmes in this series on Channel 4 are mainly being shown very late at night, perhaps reflecting our uneasiness with homosexuality in the mainstream and homophobia it seems is on a sharp upward trend. Maybe it is not so much that our attitudes have changed, its that we feel it no longer acceptable to broadcast our ill-ease with homosexuality publicly?

Starting this Wednesday is Heroes, which I am going to miss as I'll be at the Proms so must remember to set the DVD to record this! I am much looking forward to watching the series all the way through having caught confusing bits and pieces of it while it was being shown on the Sci-Fi Channel.

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