I wasn’t at all sure that I was in the mood for comedy last night, being preoccupied with a diverse range of problems whose only common factor is that I’m the one who has to sort them out — but then that is exactly the sort of state of mind which requires an evening off, isn’t it? We’re fans of Radio 4’s 6:30 pm comedy slot and are always on the lookout for recordings in Scotland, though these are few and far between, i.e. limited exclusively to Edinburgh in August when the whole of London travels with them so the rest of us still can’t get tickets. (Note to those overseas: one of the really cool things about BBC recordings is that they are mostly free; you apply to a ballot for tickets.)
Anyway, yesterday Mark Thomas was at The Stand in Glasgow to record an episode of The People’s Manifesto so, clutching our email from the BBC ballot, we went along and had an excellent night out. The idea of the show is that members of the audience suggest policies to be included in a manifesto, there is some discussion and then a vote. The general tenor is left-wing, but the policies often reflect people’s pet peeves in a creatively silly kind of way. The show lasted over two hours, but will be edited down to 30 minutes, so I have no idea what will make the cut. However, I mention it because there was a bit of a debate about handmade goods, with references to William Morris and knitting factories, which showed something of the range of views on the value of craft. I did not contribute (being firmly resolved to remain unnoticed and unrecorded) but recommend you listen out for the Glasgow episode when the series is broadcast — I’ll see if I can spot it in advance and post a link.
Today I’ve received another treat. Well, sort of. A rather more expensive treat since it is an academic book relating to my research and therefore cost an arm and a leg, several teeth and a kidney. But, hey, at least it was delivered promptly and I am actually looking forward to reading it (mostly). But I’ve been detained by the image on the cover.
Striking, isn’t it? I daresay it may be quite good inside too.