Stamped Box

Hey! I got a package from France with the most stamps ever!

Just look at it! Such variety! I’m very impressed.

The contents are even better. It’s the Éric Rohmer bluray/DVD box set. The Intégrale. That sounds much classier than “complete edition box set”. I mean, if that’s what it means? The French are so classy.

I was completely unaware of Rohmer until last year (I think), when I happened upon a DVD of one of his films in a used DVD store somewhere. I liked his name, so I bought it. I think it was An Autumn Tale, and I was blown away by its subtle silences. It reminded me of a Nouvelle Vague film, only less showy. I was surprised to find out that that’s what it was, basically: He was part of that wave of filmmakers, and never stopped making films.

So I’ve been looking for his films the last few months, and I was overjoyed when I found this box set on the web. And the reviews alleged that there were English subtitles on them, but I’ve been burned by that before, because the French really hate pandering to foreigners by putting (optional) subtitles on their DVDs.

Each film in this beautiful box set is on bluray and DVD, and I’ve done spot checks on a few, and they all turn out to have English subtitles! Yay!

But only on the film itself. The supplementary material, which there is a lot of, is subtitle-free. Boo!

And there’s the nerdiest tech specs ever. “Encodage MPEG-4 AVC”. Mais oui.

I also got the Agnès Varda today which… isn’t as lavish.

Innovations in Balcony Furniture

It’s been a very pleasant summer here (I’m not even wearing a sweater now), so I’ve been spending a lot of time out on the balcony in the evening.

I’ve had this chair for yonks, but it has two problems: 1) it’s not that comfy, and 2) it’s too tall. The house I’m in is on a hill, and somehow it’s always windy here no matter what. Which is pleasant in one way, but having your head buffeted by winds all the time is wearying.

So I got a Royal Botania Beacher chair, because it looked like it was going to get my head below the level of the tarpaulin, and it was super-comfy in the store. Kinda like a rocking chair beach chair. And it’s heavy, so the winds won’t blow it off of the balcony.

So I assembled the blue sitting surface, and that… er… looks very low indeed.

I gave it a trial sit anyway, and I ALMOST DIED! TRAPPED! Getting out of the chair took me like five minutes. It’s the most dramatic thing that’s ever happened to me!

Perhaps I should have read the instructions first. Over and around, over and around…


I’m a genius! And it is, indeed, very comfy. And very easy to get out of due to a pretty construction.

Now, back to the balcony…

Concert Diary: Rockefeller

Dear concert diary.

Today I went to a Slowdive concert, mostly because Lost Girls were the opening act.

They were great, and so were Slowdive, but the experience was somewhat marred by the odour of the venue.

Rockefeller is the foundational concert venue in Oslo.

t’s always been somewhat whiffy: If you don’t stand in the middle of the floor, you’ll experience the olfactory delights of a beer-drenched carped that’s never been cleaned the last few decades (see picture above for why this happens: The venue shovels all “empty” beer glasses from the hardwood floor in front of the stage onto the carpeted wings before collecting the glasses).

But, dear diary, today was a brand new experience.

It’s been a few very warm weeks in Oslo, no doubt due to random weather fluctuations and not climate change at all.  But the stench that met us when we entered the venue was of a different kind than any we’ve experienced before.

Instead of the normal yeasty bouquet we’re used to, the non-hardwood parts of the Rockefeller venue smelled like a well-aged mixture of stale ale and diseased piss.

The urinal overtones of the venue were so overpowering that I almost tossed my cookies.  I was only able to hold on to the contents of my stomach by standing in the front of the stage, even though I am very tall and that, sensibly, annoys all people of normal height.

If only somebody, somewhere, perhaps the owners of the Rockefeller venue, would hire somebody to clean the carpet in the back of the venue, people would get less nauseated when visiting the place.

Dear diary, one can only dream.

Oslo, July 18th, 2018.

Home Renovations

I’m not er very well versed in the mysteries of balcony furniture. But I bought this slatted thing years ago and it’s gotten sadder every year. And not it looks like this:

Something had to be done! So I rummaged around in the Cupboard of Mysteries and found this:

That I’m pretty sure I’ve never bought, so perhaps it’s something that just came with me from a previous apartment or something. It’s “vaseline oil” (is that a real thing?), white spirit and perfume. So I slathered it onto the slatted thing (which took forever because of all the complicated joints, and…


So I definitely have to remember to do that again in ten years time, whether it needs it or not. I’m setting my calendar as we speak.

Oh, yeah, summer arrived early in Oslo this year…