Archive for January 31st, 2005

January 31st, 2005


Ahahahahaha! Ahahahaha! Aahahaha!


Yrs sincerely

The Opera Ghost

– (Terry Pratchett, Maskerade)

Hilary has finally started on Terry Pratchett (that only took 6 years of advocacy and whining in my part). And while I can’t say much about Monstrous Regiment – well written single themed book typical of what Pratchett attempts when he tries to tackle social issues and/or trends (c.f. Small Gods, Moving Pictures, The Truth etc) – I can’t say enough good things about Maskerade.

Maskerade is by far my favourite book of the Discworld and involves Music, Witches, Ghosts, Food, Cats, Revenge, Death, Girls in various shapes and various states of undress and of course Murder most foul. So it is, rather obviously, about Opera.

I have the UK Hardback, US Paperback and ISIS Unabridged Audio editions. The audio edition is read by Nigel Planer (Neil from the Young Ones) and is far superior to the abridged verstion, which is read by Tony Robinson. Not necessarily because Planer is a far superior narrator, but mostly because it is unabridged.

While reading Maskerade as a stand alone book is a worthwhile endavour of itself it really comes into its own as part of the Witches Sequence of books: “Wyrd Sisters”, “Witches Abroad”, “Lords and Ladies” then “Maskerade” (even if you don’t read any other books read “Maskerade”) and “Carpe Jugulum” and most recently “The Wee Free Men”and “A Hat Full of Sky”, which are childrens books but also fit in with the whole Witches/Lancre series.

On its own Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg (and Greebo) are more or less introduced in media res as fully mature characters – which is good in itself, but Maskerade is so much funnier when you know how they have developed/evolved in the earlier books. Likewise for Nobby Nobbs and Detritus and even for Agnes/Perdita who is a minor character in “Lords and Ladies”

January 31st, 2005

House Hunting

My brother Mark is starting co-op in Intel in Leixlip next Mon (7th Feb) so I ended up driving up to Dublin/Kildare with him so he could find accomodation.

While Mark is older than me and more than capable of looking after himself; it does kind of sum up our relationship that he had to be driven around to find a place by his younger brother, using his mother’s car. Oh! and it cost me 200 Euros. I’m well used to that now that whenever I see Mark or when he calls me its generally because he wants something – typically help with college and/or money. And even if it starts out as college stuff it invariably ends up as money stuff. The going rate seems to be a min of 50 euros for 5 – 30 mins of time (only until the grant/rent check/whatever comes in). As we spent >10 hrs together on friday I suppose I got off lightly with 200 Euros.

So we drove a bit around Celbridge and Lexlip looking for houses Mark had researched on the Internet. We never got to Maynooth because Mark fixated on Lexlip pretty quickly (to be fair Celbridge was horrible, not that Lexlip is much better. But Intel). Myself and lots of pepole had recommended Maynooth as better to live and so forth but Mark is also incapable of taking unsolicited advice from people. He is quite good at complaining after the fact. I expect that before September I will hear more than once that he feels cheated as he never knew there were alternatives, (Maynooth for example) that are so much trendier and have actual people and real shops and a real town centre, to living in Leixlip.

The 200 Euros was 100 Euros to make up the shortfall in Rent + Deposit for the room he eventually got. Dunno what the other 100 Euros was for.

In the end it was a long day, we saw only three places in 4.5 hrs and Mark ended up in the kind of middle class suburban hell that I would rather remove my spleen with a blunt instrument than live in. But it is only about 2 miles from Intel and about the same from Lexlip village. Which puts it millions of miles from anywhere worthwhile.