(October 22 – 28)
This week we had a follow-up appointment at the children’s hospital (kinderbesten krankenhausen!), to make sure everything was once again well with the Kinderbeast following his course of antibiotics. Typically this appointment fell on the same afternoon that the Elderbeast also had a thing on, which required me taking the afternoon off work for the hospital checkup, while the Elderbeast’s mother took him to his thing.
I left work super-early and picked up the Kinderbeast from school. Naturally, this meant I ended up arriving late to the hospital. We just about managed to park at a few minutes after the scheduled time, then raced into the hospital—with visions of having driven all that way only to lose our appointment to the next person and having to reschedule. I was praying that they were running late. And they were.
Two hours late.
We finally got in to see the doctor at 5pm and, since you’ll be wondering, everything was fine. Luckily the Kinderbeast found plenty of other kids to play with during this time, but my brain definitely turned into soup. Two things I don’t handle especially well are: having to wait around for things; and hospitals. Put them together and it’s as if someone peered inside my head and challenged themselves to find the worst thing they could do to me.
(Actually, no—the worst thing they could have done was if one of the doctors had come out and started sticking needles into my eyes while I was waiting).
In the end, what made it bearable was knowing already that the Kinderbeast was fine, and that the checkup—when it eventually happened—would confirm that.
And he was.
Amazing episode of Doctor Who this week (“Rosa”)—one of those that people will be talking about for years to come. I was fairly worried, going in, that the story would end up being about how the Doctor inspires Rosa Parks to make her world-changing stand, and thus completely rob her of her agency. Fortunately, I was dead wrong. This was one of the most raw representations of racism I’ve ever seen in the show, and far from showing the Doctor being the superhero, a large part of the episode’s power comes from her combined fury and helplessness over the institutional racism that she witnesses here.
The Kinderbeast watched the episode with me and the two responses he had made my day. Watching one of the scenes where the racism is on overt display, he asked with a mixture of outrage and puzzlement: “Why are they doing that?” Later, when the driver confronts Rosa Parks on the bus, he declared: “That man’s a jerk!!”
As I commented on twitter, it’s a reminder that racism is taught, not learned naturally, and we have a responsibility as parents not to darken our children’s outlook on life, and to help them grow up to be the best people they can be.
The week, as it so often is, was capped off by Fridate Horror. I’ve been wanted to start working through the surprisingly large list of horror films on my Netflix list, so this week’s choice was I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House. It’s a sloooooow film. I wasn’t even sure if I liked it at first, but it grows on you, like a persistent fungal infection. Literally every scene looks like a work of art—you could freeze frame the film at almost any point, print it, and put it on your wall. Meanwhile, there’s a sense of dread that slowly builds up until you realise it’s tapping you right on the shoulder even though you never heard it coming.
Probably not a film for everyone, but up there with Suspiria as one of the most gorgeous films I’ve ever seen.
For Sunday night, the Elderbeast requested that we watch A Monster Calls, the book of which he read some months ago. It was really, really good, and also really, really sad. I don’t want to talk too much about it, for fear of spoiling it (it works best when you don’t really know what things are leading up to), but I think I’ll be watching it again soon. The only negative point was Sigourney Weaver’s English accent, but even the forced nature of that fitted well with her character.
Watch it, but be prepared for a few tears by the end.
I am continuing to listen to It, which is continuing to drag a little, but is also continuing to be thoroughly enjoyable—if that makes any sense.
I haven’t yet decided what novel to pick up next, so I’ve been dipping into a set of horror short story collections I picked up from Humble Bundle. So far there have been some memorable offerings from Clive Barker and George R R Martin. I’m looking forward to whatever comes up next.