Saturday, January 16, 2010

Staying Blinkered

You control what you can. You have to concentrate on what you can do. Everything else is not your responsibility. If things around you are falling apart you concentrate even harder on what you can control. Don't look at the bigger picture. Stay focused on small things.

That load of bollocks is my introduction into what I've been watching, listening to and reading recently.

I have been watching Nurse Jackie, starring the marvellous Edie Falco.

It's a "dark" comedy with a heart of gold and a fantastic performance from its leading actress. It may be a bit too sugary for some cynical tastes and the script and performances not as funny as my favourite hospital comedy Only When I Laugh Getting On, but Edie deserves every award going for her portrayal of a drugged-up, two-timing, hard-working mother-of-two with a (yes, you've guessed it) heart of gold.

I have been listening to the weekly podcast of Thinking Aloud. I hadn't sat down and listened to the radio since Little Nicky Horne on Capital in the 70s. Now I feel I've been missing out on Laurie Taylor's show since it started on Radio 4 in 1998 but now I am a devoted listener, one of Laurie's Old Gits or LOGS as we are known.

I have been reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the first novel in Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy. It really is a rattling good thriller and worthy of selling all the copies it has, though you wonder whether it would have sold as many if the author hadn't tragically died before its publication.


  1. Larsson is on my list of books to read and Nurse Jackie on my list of stuff to watch - thanks for reminding Geoffster. So much 'stuff' and so little time ;-)

  2. I thought they'd got the balance just right on NJ, vis a vis sentiment/cynicism. If anything, it's rare for the bleakness to be redeemed by the occasional act of kindness. It has a nice fable-like quality that I like too - works well against the A&E setting. And what can I say about those pink patterened jammies??


    Yes, Edie and co and 'Raise, Praise and Surf': the ultimate Reggae Gospel radio show on the old internet certainly lift the old spirits...

    Up the irons!

    L.U.V. on ya,


  3. I've added "Thinking Aloud" (Thinking Allowed - brilliant) to my podcast list which is beginning to overtake my ability to listen during dog walks. May have to get another dog.

  4. Romo - Too true. Our "spare" bedroom is full of unread books and our Sky Plus box is full of unwatched programmes.

    Bob - But is the *English* doctor really English?

    Rog - I also listen to the excellent Guardian Media podcast thanks to your advice. And I've even branched out into a couple of New Yorker ones since Idiot Johnson mentioned on Twitter he was listening to one. Isn't the internet great?

  5. The cable company has been so graspingly evil that I canceled extra channels and so can't see HBO fave 'Dexter' or NJ which does sound good. I think I bit my nose know how it ends.

    Recently finished the the last Larsson and wish I was back at the start with you. Lots of fun.

  6. Any novel that's first in a trilogy puts me off.
    Just 2 more items to go on my 'to do' list.

  7. Arabella - I was surprised the BBC snapped up Nurse Jackie AND put it on BBC2. May be the beginning of the end of BBC4 (let's see when the Tories get in).

    Kaz - The Philip Pullman trilogy did go on a bit but I've got high hopes for the Larsson one.

  8. I picked up The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo on the weekend but put it back down thinking it was the THIRD in the trilogy and I haven't read any of them yet.

    Now I feel like a complete eejit.

  9. So Falco's got into acting now, has she?
    Let's face it, it's got to be a better punt than Rock Me Amadeus.

  10. MJ - They don't make it that obvious. Though the third one is still in hardback.

    Istvanski - Or failing to score goals for Spurs.