We went to see Poor Things at the cinema. The Odeon cinema about five minutes’ walk away would have been more convenient, but they now have a completely opaque and unconscionably expensive pricing structure. When tickets came up at £30 for two, including £2 of booking fees, we decided to go to the Peckhamplex instead, where it cost less than half that.

The downside was that we had to cycle there on a very windy evening. We didn’t get the worst of Storm Isha in London, but it was still blustery enough that a large piece of flying cardboard hit me in the face. (I’m fine, apart from a slight bruise on by nose.)

I have previously read and enjoyed Alasdair Gray’s novel Poor Things, and I like Yorgos Lanthinos’s work, so I had high expectations.

I loved the film, but it’s a very different story, and if you hoped for a strict adaptation you might be disappointed. There are many smaller alterations to the characters and plot, and I felt that it was a pity that it had lost its Glasgow setting, but the biggest change is to reality itself. The novel ends with Victoria’s testimony which refutes most of the preceding events, whereas the film presents everything as real within an unreal world.

In some respects, it reminds me of The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988) by Terry Gilliam, in its absurdity and hyperreality, but I think it’s ultimately a more successful film.

I finally overcame the bug that had been impeding my progress. I found the solution – or, at least, a workaround – in a comment on a closed GitHub issue from 2013.

It was a race condition.

I restrung my tenor ukulele. It was strung with nylgut strings and they always lacked the sparkle and vivacity I wanted. The ukulele should sound lively, I feel. After watching many comparison videos, I bought a pack of Martin M620 fluorocarbon strings and fitted those instead. They sound much better to me, and more like the sound I was looking for. I’m delighted with the result, and consider it £9 well spent.

Nylgut is a nylon string carefully developed to sound like stretched entrails. Fluorocarbon is really just fishing line. Sometimes less is more.

My word of the week is zythepsary. It’s not useful, apart from for the kind of self-congratulatory joke that no one will understand (“You couldn’t organise a Bacchanal in a zythepsary”), but I like how it sounds.

Just a few links this week: