A Curious Girl

The musings of a girl who is curious in both senses of the word. Life, God, and York. Oh, did I say York? I meant Bradford!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Ring, Great Expectations

Rochester Castle
Originally uploaded by sweet-indigo.
'lo again.

Had a nice night last night. Met up with Chris and met his girlfriend and some other nice people. Dinner was very tasty indeed and thankfully no one uttered the criminal words "I'm just too full for dessert." Pah, there is always room for dessert, unless you're at a Harvester restaurant and ate three bowls from the salad bar before making it to the main course (Harvesters are the only restaurants that can genuinely defeat me. It's shocking to find yourself halfway through main course and discovering you couldn't swallow another thing). So we had dessert as well. Was nice to see Chris again and his girlfriend was cool :)

Not doing much right now. Slept in today and then watched Monk, the end of K9-11, and The Wild World of Records (Featuring Domino day 2005), and then Steven (housemate) and his friend wanted to watch The Ring so I watched the first few minutes but decided that the creepy kid was annoying me and I hadn't want to watch it anyway. When it first came out I went to see Chrissie in Oxford and her corridor mates had all been to see it. When I met them they were shivering, murmuring odd things about putting on video tapes and jumping at the slightest movement. Chrissie's next-door neighbour, a witch, gave them all red thread to wear because "red is a protective colour". Tried very hard not to laugh, and decided for the sake of my mental health not to bother seeing it. Decided tonight that it probably wouldn't be constructive even if I did spend the entire time mocking it. Once James (Dr. Who) told me an urban legend so scary that made me search the house and lock my bedroom door every night for a few days (it was quite naff really, one of those "...and when she woke up, her housemates were murdered!" type things. But hey, I usually returned to the house late at night and didn't see my housemates until the morning) Even if it is a good film, I'd rather be able to watch a video without fearing that someone'll call and I'll die.

I've been rereading Great Expectations (as mangled in this entry). I'd forgotten how much I like it. Forgotten how I thought I'd figured out the plot and it turned out I was only halfway there. Forgotten how much I wanted cruel Estella to open her eyes up and see that she has a man who loves her right there. Ewan McGregor would make a good Pip :) I am stuck thinking how old everyone is though. Joe doesn't seem to age at all throughout the book, and Miss Havisham is perpetually old, although I think she can only be in her forties or fifties at most, in the beginning. It's also funny reading about Uncle Pumblechook's house because there's a shop in Rochester that has a plaque boasting "Here lived Uncle Pumblechook" despite him being fictional and doing no such thing. Apparently Satis House still exists although I've never bothered to find it out. I'd probably find it disappointing.

Also Dickens uses lots of great words, like 'contumacious', 'adamantine', and 'obtrusive'. Poor man's been much maligned. We studied Great Expectations at school and the girl who sat next to me (who had to endure me being an insufferable smartypants and a terrible teacher's pet, poor girl!) remarked, regarding the unopened book, "I'd usually read ahead, but with a book as boring as this..." She hadn't read any of it. At all.

I had read 'A Christmas Carol' however, thanks to Gonzo's endorsement at the end of A Muppet Christmas Carol* - "Hey, if you like this, you should read the book!" and possibly also my Mum's comment, reading the book while watching Emily Cratchit (Miss Piggy) denounce Scrooge, "If he were here, I would give him a piece of my mind to feast upon!" - she remarked, "That's quite close to what she says in the book." The Muppet version isn't the most accurate film rendering but it's very faithful in its way (and extremely funny). And isn't Kermit the Frog the most perfect casting for Bob Cratchit?

So yes, I haven't read lots of Dickens and his habit of "by some miracle two characters turn out to be related!" is a little wearing, but I like him a lot, even if Miss Havisham now reminds me of a woman who went out campaigning for CCTV in Rochester wearing a yellowed bridal gown and plastic spiders. I've often wondered why Miss Havisham "up town" would be wandering up and down the high street and particularly why she'd want CCTV. The mind boggles.

*I watch this film every year. It's one of my favourite films ever. I'm sure this says something about me.



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