House Of The Dragon

Given how much I loved Game of Thrones (well…most of it, anyway) it’s not a surprise how excited I was for season one of House Of The Dragon. And though it started with a weird mix of moving slowly while also jumping years at a time, it came rolling to a crescendo in the final episode…so much so that I’m gutted we have to wait until 2024 to see what happens next.

It also spurred me to re-watch GoT in its entirety, and it’s fun to see the through-lines. The dagger. Stories about Vhagar. Houses that still exist, houses that disappear. I expect I’ll watch it a few more times before the next HotD season.


I am watching Chernobyl (imdb | rotten tomatoes) again, probably because Russian troops decided to fire huge guns at a Ukranian nuclear facility several times larger than the afore-mentioned one whose reactor exploded in 1986. Great idea, Russia. Why not flirt with global catastrophe whilst carrying out an illegal invasion?

I must say, while re-watching it, a line in the script from Scherbina struck me, given the current situation:

“This is what has always set our people apart. A thousand years of sacrifice in our veins. And every generation must know its own suffering. I spit on the people who did this, and I curse the price I have to pay. But I’m making my peace with it, now you make yours…because it must be done.”

“We do it all the time, don’t we, Snips?”

Look, I get it: neither the movie nor the series of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which I recently finished, were aimed at someone my age. But damned if I didn’t have fun watching them, reliving my Star Wars obsessed youth, filling in gaps in stories, and establishing connections to characters I first saw in the more recent films or in The Mandalorian (which Lindsay is now 3/4 of the way through). Even identifying voices I heard at the end of The Rise Of Skywalker.

I don’t imagine Rebels (imdb), which I’ve just started, or new series The Bad Batch (imdb) are any more age-appropriate. But that’s not stopping me.

“I care about one thing, and one thing only…and that’s bent coppers.”

Tonight will mark the final episode of Line of Duty (imdb | rotten tomatoes). I’m glad we started watching it when we did — just in time to be very present for the end of the series. I have become slightly obsessed with the show, and also with the episodes of the BBC podcast [*checks notes*] Obsessed With which cover it.

This final season, as with so many other series, is rushing to wrap up a lot of loose ends, and feels a bit clumsy for it. Still, I’m here for it. Bonus: we’re being treated to no end of Hastingsisms, like “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, and the wee donkey too!” I also now say “Now we’re suckin’ diesel!” aloud anytime I make good progress on anything. Like I said, slightly obsessed. So I’m excited for tonight, but also a bit sad to be done.

Aside: until recently, I had no idea Martin Compston had a near-impenetrable Scottish accent.

Transitioning out of quarantine

I ended my 10-day quarantine period yesterday. I seem to have followed a pretty standard track for symptoms — it got bad earlier this week, but I worked Tuesday morning, then rested up all day Wednesday and Thursday. By Friday I felt well enough to work a half day. I’m still pretty out of energy, and my throat is sore when I wake up in the mornings. But I rarely need to cough now, and my senses of smell and taste are recovering. Last night I made dinner and drank some wine, and for the first time in a week didn’t need Neo-Citran to sleep. Lindsay is a few days behind me still, but seems to be on the same path.

The advice I got from public health is that these lingering symptoms could hold on for weeks, which I’m not looking forward to. But all in all, I’m very thankful it was as mild as it was. Clearly it could have been much, much worse. I guess the trick will be to not push myself too hard, as I’m wont to do at the end of a cold or typical flu. This bug doesn’t seem to react well to it.

Still, it’ll be hard — I’m super-behind on work, as I really just forced myself to lie around and watch huge amounts of TV. I watched all of The Spy (imdb | rotten tomatoes) and finished Lovecraft Country (imdb | rotten tomatoes) and numerous episodes of Clone Wars. Together we watched all six episodes of Q: Into The Storm (imdb | rotten tomatoes) and finished Retribution aka One Of Us (imdb | rotten tomatoes).

Cover photo by Dominik Scythe on Unsplash

A sniff of Spring

Wednesday night we went for a walk around the neighbourhood. When we got home I made us an Old Fashioned each and we drank them on the back deck. We were so delirious from getting that much fresh air that we fell asleep early. Alas, the warm weather didn’t last long, and the coming days will dip well below zero, but it feels like spring is around the corner.

In the meantime, we’ve no end of great TV to watch while we wait it out. Last Week Tonight (imdb) is back. We’re nearly through all three seasons of Easy (imdb) which has been excellent — when a show can bring things as complicated as relationships to life by showing you and not telling you, you know it’s very well done indeed. We’re also about to wrap up WandaVision (imdb) which has been catnip for a nerd like me. Speaking of nerdery, I’ve been catching up on Clone Wars (imdb), a part of the Star Wars universe I’d never bothered to consume until now.


Cover photo by Dominik Scythe on Unsplash

Cover photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash


Brother #2 reminded me yesterday that two years ago we happened to be in London at the same time, and met up for a delicious meal at Hawksmoor Knightsbridge. It made us both realize how much we miss travel. Lindsay and I then spent a good chunk of last evening talking about recent trips (Lisbon! Dublin! Paris/Champagne/Liège! Copenhagen/Amsterdam! Stockholm/Gothenberg! And so on.) and dreaming up a list of where we’d love to go when such things are once again possible. It was fun to think about, but bittersweet. I’m trying not to let myself speculate on when, as it’s so out of our control.

But man. Is it ever a list.

Speaking of reminiscing, Lindsay asked to start watching The Wire, as she’s never seen it. I agreed very, very quickly. Can’t wait to revisit all these characters. (Related news: there’s more David Simon coming, and it’s going to be about Baltimore cops again.)


Cover photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash

Cover photo by Ray Muzyka, used under Creative Commons license


Yesterday was a bit of an exercise in staying still. Sleeping in ’til 9. Staying in bed until noon, save grabbing coffee from downstairs. Walking across the hall to the guest bedroom to start season three of Line Of Duty (imdb), eat too much food delivered from Yum Croissant, and drink a bottle of Raventos i Blanc 2017 “Blanc de Nit” cava rosé. Finally walking downstairs to watch an episode of Think You Know Wine whilst cracking a magnum of Tiny Batch Wine Blaufrankisch. Making pork chops & salad for dinner and finishing the mag. Heading back to the bed to finish (!) season three while Kramer slept hard at his end of the bed.

Today will be busier. But yesterday we accomplished so little that, frankly, it felt like quite the achievement.


Cover photo by Ray Muzyka, used under Creative Commons license

Let the final phase of this bullshit year begin

I’m on vacation now, more or less. While I might work a bit more between now and 2021, I’m pretty much shut down.

We obviously couldn’t go home to NS this year, but we have a bit of NS here — my niece is staying with us for a couple of weeks. We picked her up from school today, and have hunkered down. There’ll probably be some Pandemic tonight.

I’ve set up our new Samsung QLED TV. I’d made Lindsay watch Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, so now we’re watching Jedi. I plan to binge season 2 of The Mandalorian as soon as possible. That is all the planning I, uh, plan to do in 2020.