Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Round and about

I’ve been a bit lazy about posting lately, so here are some edited highlights of the last week or so.

Richard Herring, at the Y Theatre in Leicester on Saturday, was terrific. Unfortunately, the place was only about half-full, but it didn’t deter him from doing a long set. On the surface, his on-stage persona and act come across as much less intellectual than his erstwhile comedy partner, Stewart Lee, and indeed he cheerfully describes his job as “being puerile and offensive on stage”. In fact, though, he ploughs a very similar furrow to Lee, with this particular show focusing on the fact that he’s reached 40 and feels that he’s wasted his life, not a world away from the territory Lee visited in his 41st Best Stand-up Ever show. Like Lee, too, his comedy is predominantly about (or at least, hinges on) the use and abuse of language – pedantry has rarely been so entertaining.

The rest of the weekend was a bit of a washout, but that did at least mean that I had plenty of time to do some work on a sequence of poems I’ve been writing about a hidden corner of 17th century history. The plan is, eventually, for Tom Bailey to do some photographs to go with them, and then…well, we haven’t got much past that point yet.

Yesterday I was out testing binoculars at Rutland Water. It’s always the way of such days that you don’t actually do much bird-watching, because you’re so busy worrying about stuff like depth of field and eye relief, but it was good to see a few flocks of Sand Martins arriving, plus good views of Sparrowhawk and Buzzard. On the way home, I called in at Swithland Reservoir for a quick look. I’d begun to get worried about the Peregrines, but one sped over the woods and landed on their favourite tree just as I was leaving, and the long-staying drake Smew was well worth seeing again. No sign of the Great White Egret resurfacing, though. I saw it for five minutes at Watermead Park on Thursday, but it hasn’t been refound since.

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