Interesting times? Ides, say!

Blog – 1nov11

I’m writing this on the DART on my way into meet Jen—we’re going to see ‘The Ides Of March’, the trailer for which appealed to our post-‘West Wing’ longings. 

It’s mid-term break and the schools are off, so my piano teaching in Dunboyne is on hold, too. I’ve really been enjoying getting to know the students. Most are beginners, and it’s been an absolute delight guiding them on their first interactions with the instrument. The teacher at the school wants them to do a wee recital at the beginning of December, so I got a book of Christmas tunes (Eleanor Pike’s cream and red classic that my sister and I had when we were learning) and also one of graded Christmas duets. 

This week has been a dramatic one in Ireland. More rain fell in one day than usually falls in the entire month of October. We elected a new president, Michael D Higgins. And The Irish Times Crosaire crossword got a new composer, Roy Earle. Crosaire was the pseudonym of Derek Crozier, who set the cryptic puzzles for sixty-something years, and his great memory is honoured in the retention of the name and in the style and layout of the puzzles. I always shied away from the cryptic crosswords, preferring the ‘Simplex’, the Irish Times’s other long-running staple. This week, what with the excitement over the new incumbent and what not, I took the plunge and found myself utterly absorbed. And pleasingly able to not just get a few clues, but complete the puzzles (after *much* sucking of the end of my specially-purchased 2B pencil). Jen has had to put up with my excited explanations of the clues, as I elucidate Mac An Iarla’s brilliance. Not sure she’s as sold as I am!

I’m also growing a moustache. Feeling rather self-conscious about it the moment, as it still looks a bit rubbish. At least I don’t have to show it in the secondary school for another week…!

(The Ides of March is excellent, by the way. Nice, tense score by Alexandre Desplat. I particularly enjoyed the note bending in the bass part for the cue under the scene where Philip Seymour Hoffman’s character (Paul, the campaign manager) is talking to George Clooney’s Governor Morris in the stretch Chevrolet outside the barbers. Nice, unexpectedly groovy end title music, too.)

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