Time for Tenet

The last post took two months to write; this one has taken just three weeks. I’m getting better…

Tenet
A week last Wednesday I went to see Christopher Nolan’s new film. Like most people, I came out thoroughly bamboozled regarding the plot but still enjoyed the picture. The two leads, John David Washington and Robert Pattinson, were very good in their roles. Washington’s Protagonist is a somewhat distant character; he is all about the plot rather than character so I was grateful for Pattinson’s Neil who is a little more of the reverse, whether it is in his clothing choices or warm smile. Since watching the film, I have learnt that John David Washington is Denzel Washington’s son, which I can hardly believe. And what’s more, JDW is 36, so he has been around for a while. It turns out that that Denzel Washington is 65. How time flies.

What was it like going to the cinema? Tense. Because of the coronavirus risk, I umm’d and ahh’d about going for several days before hand. Had it not been for Christopher Nolan, I probably wouldn’t have. I went to an 11am screening in the hope that it would not be busy. Thankfully, it wan’t – there were just a handful of people in the screen. Why did I feel tense? The cinema was very clean and tidy; if the staff’s PPE was anything to go by, Vue take their health and the cinema-goers very seriously. Of course, the answer is that despite the cinema’s best efforts, the virus may still linger somewhere and I may catch it. This was on my mind beforehand, while watching the film, and afterwards. It won’t start to go away until after next Wednesday – the two week mark when symptoms of the illness usually start to manifest themselves.

While watching the film, I wore my face mask. Doing so will never be enjoyable but at least the temperature in the screen was fairly even. As a result, my glasses only steamed up once or twice.

Why next? I really want to see Bill & Ted 3 (it opens on 16th Sept.) but I have to admit I’m umm’ing and ahh’ing about it even harder than with Tenet. I could easily see myself deciding to wait until it appears on DVD or streaming service. The next film that I will do all I can to go and see in the cinema is No Time To Die. The latest trailer for James Bond 25 looks absolutely stunning. The film is due out on 12th November.

Home Life
Nothing much has changed: in the morning, I work; in the afternoon, I read and write. This week has been different, though. It has gone really well. Every week day for several months now, I have written a list of all the things I would like to do during that day. Rarely have I ever been able to tick everything off before day’s end. This week, I have managed to do so for four days in a row! I can’t tell you how extraordinary that is. As a result, I have managed to :-

read a little more of Rob Johnson’s Lawrence of Arabia on War
develop my plot outline for my as yet unnamed Camino Story
write and schedule tweets for my Hilaire Belloc Twitter account (@SineAuctoritate)

every day. I’m very proud of myself for that. I have no expectation about what I will achieve today, or any day into the future: I don’t want to think about that at all. Every day is a gift so I would prefer to focus on where I am and what I am doing now. If I can tick everything off again, great, if not, not to worry.

Books
A new book about Alexander the Great has been published! It’s called Philip and Alexander: Kings and Conquerors and is by Adrian Goldsworthy. He has written several books, mainly about ancient Rome, so is very solid. I can’t wait to get started on it.

Podcasts
I’ve been enjoying listening to Clare Lydon’s and T. B. Markinson’s Lesbians Who Write podcast. On a practical level, it is full of useful writing tips. Its greatest virtue, however, has to be the warmness of the hosts’ friendship. It is very evident in the presentation and makes for nice, homely podcast. If only Christopher Nolan could make a film that was as friendly! I’d like to start listening to at least a couple more podcasts regularly but I don’t know which ones to choose, yet.

Formula 1
The season continues. As I write this, Free Practice 2 is taking place in Tuscany. Tuscany! The F1 circus is using Ferrari’s test track at Mugello. I have visited Tuscany twice in my life and had a wonderful time both times. Well, almost. My first visit (c. 2002) was my first solo trip abroad. I had a two hour panic attack after I arrived. Once I recovered, though, the rest of the trip was fabulous (except for the time an Italian guy swigged my wine outside a trattoria!).

From 1208 to Dunkirk to the Present

Corona Chronicles II

Home
All remains well in my house. My brother, who stays here during the week for his work, has returned to his home in Suffolk to be with his wife, and help look after his mother-in-law who is very unwell (not with the coronavirus). We won’t see him again until the pandemic is over.

For my part, I have managed to keep my home exercise going this week: just simple on-the-spot walking while watching a film on Netflix. I exercise like this for one hour. I would do more but with all the other things I want to do there isn’t the time. Today was the day of my follow-up appointment with the physiotherapist. Unfortunately, after writing my last post, I received a text message to say it had been cancelled. I shall take a day off tomorrow and then continue the exercises until such time as I see him again.

On Monday and Tuesday I watched Dunkirk again. It is a great film. I love how Christopher Nolan not only doesn’t name but barely ever shows the enemy. In doing so, he forces you to pay that much more attention to the British soldiers and their suffering. I was once more very stirred by Admiral Bolton’s, Mr Dawson’s and George’s heroism. For the last couple of days I have been watching Kursk: The Final Mission. I’ll say more about it when I have finished it, today or tomorrow.

I continue to work. I wonder how long for? Will the company I work for decide that since their work is impeded it isn’t worth keeping me on? As that decision is out of my hands, there is no point worrying about it. All I can do is just the best job in the time given to me.

I have discovered a really good new livestream to watch during my downtown. Check out Nova of the Sea on Twitch. She is currently playing the brilliant The Last of Us. This game is all of a sudden a bit on the nose, being set in a post apocalyptic world where Mankind has been decimated by an, er, incurable infection. Oh dear.

Abroad
On Tuesday, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York said that Church of England services should stop. I’m not sure how things work in the C of E, if ABC & ABY have the power to stop services or if they can only advise it, but either way, I doubt that there will be a church that defies them. At least, I hope not.

On the day that this announcement was made, an Anglican priest who I follow on Twitter said that it was the first time since 1208 that ‘all public worship has been banned in the Church of England.’ which was a bit cheeky as the C of E didn’t exist then. His argument was that the Reformation led to a ‘change of management’ (I’m sure that was the phrase he used but I haven’t been able to find the tweet) but that the church remained the one that existed before. That is, shall we say, not quite the Catholic understanding but let’s leave that for the theologians and historians to argue about. Back in 2020, the Catholic bishops of England and Wales followed the ABC’s and ABY’s lead (as well as the Scottish Catholic bishops) by calling a halt to Masses as of Friday. So, on Sunday I’ll get to lie in. We take the positives where we can! I must say more about the Church of England as I think about her more these days than I ever did before.

This morning, I will start work earlier as later on I am accompanying my father on his weekly shopping trip. He usually does it by himself but because people over 70 may soon be told to stay indoors I might have to take over. He’s taking me along so that I can see what he does. I wonder what we will find – if anything – and what state we will find out fellow shoppers? Anything less than panicky will please me.