Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Friday 5 September 2008

Is there anything more exhausting...

..than doing nothing - or rather, having nothing to do (or, at least, nothing that really demands immediate attention)? Apparently the office was busy while I was away - and, heaven knows, people seemed to be clearing a lot of stuff to dump on us just before my break - but this afternoon has really dragged.

At home, on the other hand, there's been a lot of catching up to do. Did I mention I got a hard-drive recorder to go with my shiny new TV? It has that "series record" facility - so I came home to find it full of all sorts of things I'd idly clicked on, chiefly a whole batch of Proms concerts. I've still to work through them all, but the range so far has stretched from classical-jazz crossover music, to Vaughan Williams (it's an anniversary year this year: and we didn't just get the floaty-mimsy-Edwardian early music but his stark and angular 9th symphony, from just before he died) to the Bach St John Passion, to a wonderful evening of the Beethoven Violin Concerto (elegant and fun - it adds so much to be able to see the players smiling at each other and obviously making a conversation out of the music) and the Sibelius 2nd symphony (one of the first major classical pieces to engage me as a teenager, and this performance was all flood and fire).

And to bring the tone down, there's an agreeably daft new series Lost in Austen, where a modern young woman who adores Pride and Prejudice and longs for the imagined elegance of the time suddenly finds Elizabeth Bennet in her bathroom, having found a door from the attic at Longbourn, and they end up swapping places. I can just hear the pitch to the schedulers at ITV: "It's Bridget Jones meets Life on Mars - with bonnets!"

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