Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cor' Blimey!

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and now a Joyous Epiphany (or Twelfth Night, or Three Kings' Day) coming up. I haven't posted for a while now: but real life all too often trumps blogging when it comes to time and resources, and with Christmas, post-Christmas, New Year's, the search for a lost dog, a family move, and illness I've had little energy to spare. But I want to put up a little post to break the ice and get the ball rolling again.

First, a little list of the stuff I've gotten recently. In books, I got The Magic Spectacles by James P. Blaylock, a rather rare little volume that came early in Blaylock's career and apparently only published in Great Britain. It is his one avowedly "juvenile" work, and is very reminiscent of his "Balumnia" books like The Elfin Ship and The Disappearing Dwarf. I also got Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman, involving a young boy and the Norse Gods; The Bards of Bone Plain, Patricia McKillip's latest bejewelled work; and Against All Things Ending by Stephen R. Donaldson, although reading these Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant books always gives me a headache. I also now have the Frank C. Pape illustrated editions of the James Branch Cabell books Figures of Earth and The Cream of the Jest: I love Pape's work and would like to get all of Cabell's works that he illustrated.

In DVDs, I have Beyond Tomorrow, a 1940 Bangsian fantasy; Jack Frost, a vintage Finno-Russian family fairy tale movie; Stories From My Childhood Vol. IV, featuring Soyuzmultfilm's editions of Beauty and the Beast, The Nutcracker, The Golden Rooster, and The Prince, The Swan and The Czar Saltan; Bedknobs and Broomsticks; Nanny McPhee Returns; How To Train Your Dragon; Family Guy: It's A Trap!; and Blackadder: The Specials Remastered, which includes Blackadder's Christmas Carol, Blackadder the Cavalier Years, Blackadder Back and Forth, and Baldrick's Video Diary, thus completing my Blackadder viewing experience.

I'm feeling a little discombobulated because I don't have a new Tolkien calendar up on the wall yet; the only one available locally is the movie tie-in one, and the official Tolkien calendar this year features the art of Cor Blok. Cor Blok's style is...individual. Tolkien himself liked it, and had several LOTR-inspired paintings of his in his home. But I have always thought when W. H. Auden commented that Tolkien had "hideous" pictures hanging on his walls, he might have meant Blok's. But I might be willing to give them another try in calendar form, and I do like to have the Tolkien-related dates handy. So perhaps a fishing expedition to a bigger city nearby is called for.

And now the hour grows late, and it is time to put a few wisps of straw in my wooden shoe for the Three King's horses, and await the arrival of the friendly broomstick-riding La Befana and her gifts. Regular service should soon be restored. Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow.

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