Rants and Whimsy

Have better conversations #9

July 24, 2017

I had this post written up last week, but I got busy and there was no time to polish it, you know? Get it all nice and shiny for you guys to catch your reflection in and fix your eyebrows. Seriously, that one stray hair is driving me mad, can you just get that already?

Anyway, because it’s been an age since I last did one of these I have a whole bunch of stuff to choose from. Stuff that’s given me many interesting conversations over the last few months. Here are five links with the seeds to stellar chit chat growing within them.


1- Bram Stoker’s Dracula translated into Icelandic is a totally different story

This isn’t the newest of the new, new stories, but I’m still telling people about it. Back in ~1900 some guy translated Dracula into Icelandic and created his own fanfiction in the process. We think. We’ve only just found this out coz no one bothered to read both the Icelandic version and the English version to realise that they’re very different tales. Or if they did they weren’t the type to make a fuss, so here we are over a hundred years later just figuring out that the good people of Iceland seemed to get the better story.


2- Probably the only Harry Potter link you’re likely to see on this blog

This is a bit of a dangerous confession as Blogdom is a Potterhead stronghold, but here goes. I didn’t read the Harry Potter books as a child so I decided to try it a year or two ago. Didn’t make it through all seven, I quit somewhere near the beginning of Order of the Phoenix. Got bored. This is quite common for me with all kinds of books. I’m a book flake, soz. Thing is, I’ve never felt the need to go back and finish the book or the series, which I usually do. But then I found this Twitter thread. Apparently some guy accidentally read a fanfiction instead of the real Order of the Phoenix and OMG I may have actually hung around if I’d been reading this version. #sorrynotsorry

(yes I realise 1 & 2 are basically the same racket, different balls. I like the way they mirror each other)


3- The Pessimists’ Archive Podcast  (iTunes link here)

I have a bit of a podcast habit and I’ve fallen in love with this one about new tech and how everyone loses their shit about it until it becomes common place. Using an umbrella in the 1700s? You must be a French homosexual! It’s basically the same as how everyone whines on about selfie sticks nowadays, but about cars and bicycles and walkmans and stuff. I definitely tell my husband all about each episode, except I’m drunk when I do it and I’m probably (definitely) missing out key details. Due to this he unfortunately has no urge to listen to it himself. I’m just saying you should click that link before I talk you out of it as apparently I’m a terrible influencer.


4- Listen to this Jane Austen yap

Another podcast, but just this one episode of The Guardian Books Podcast where comedian Sara Pascoe and historian Lucy Worsley talk about Jane and their Austen-themed projects (Pascoe has adapted a stage version of Pride and Prejudice and Worsley has written a book about Jane). 18 July marked 200 years since Jane’s death (I’ve decided I’m on a first name basis with her) and I commemorated by listening to this then watching Clueless for the umpteenth time. Great night in, would repeat, highly recommend.

Also, I’d love to see Pascoe’s Pride and Prejudice but it’s on in Nottingham and York. Places where I’m not. Boo. Fingers crossed it comes to London.


5- Ghost signs

I’ve only recently discovered what a ghost sign is, but I’ve always loved them. I just didn’t know the name of the thing I loved and never really thought about it enough to realise that it was even a thing that had a name. It’s nought to do with ghouls and spectres being directed from place to place. Nope, a ghost sign is one of those old painted signs that you see on the sides of buildings from time to time that are relics of the building’s past.

For example, a faded advertisement sign that made good sense when the building was a haberdashers in the 60s, but it’s now a touch of retro chic on the end of the newly renovated block of luxury flats. (Massive eye roll). I’ve always gotten excited spotting these signs in London. Possibly because I’m a graphic designer. Or because I’m a nutter. You choose.

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