WARNING: Lost spoilers
Me and Mr. Lacer were way behind on Lost, we used to watch it faithfully when it was on terrestrial and then Murdoch got his hands on it (ggrrrhh) and we had to wait until we got cable (note: cable, not satellite, so we’re only paying indirectly into that man’s pocket) and then we had to wait for Sky to show repeats. Luckily Sky have been showing repeats (they had a ‘box set’ showing of season 6 on Christmas Eve), so we recorded all of them and have been watching them non-stop since Christmas and now we know what finally happened and I really did not expect to blub and/or have a lump in my throat from right at the point where Sun and Jin die to the end.
I have said before on here I think about how much I love the writing on Lost, I love how there were pretty much no loose ends (even if the episode where they explained Jacob and the Monster’s back story was a little boring) and the characterisation of the main cast was so good, I can watch plenty of ‘sad’ TV and not blub but if the characters are that believable, of course I will. I think there were very few moments (but there were some, it wasn’t flawless) when I thought “hang on, why is the character doing that?” and I think those moments stood out more because the rest of it was so good. The bits I didn’t like (and this is me being picky) is, like I say the Jacob and Monster back story episode, now don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I know the back story, but to take us away from the main cast who were such well fleshed out characters to devote an episode to characters who were a little bit more 2D in comparison, seemed ‘off’ in the tone of the season as a whole. I also thought the choice of Jack as the new Jacob was a little too obvious and Benjamin Linus’ rapid switch back to Locke at the end also seemed a little off even for him. Benjamin Linus has to be one of my favourite fictional ‘bad guys’ ever, as to quote I think Neil Gaiman, ‘every bad guy should be the hero of their own story’ and you could truly believe Ben Linus thought he was doing right (most of the time). But other than those minor groans I loved the final season and I’m not quite sure why a lot of people were moaning about the ending, but then again, a show like Lost, something so many people have invested so much energy into just watching, they probably wouldn’t be satisfied with any ending. I, personally thought the ending was sweet, I loved how the characters were finding each other in the ‘reality’ off the island and lost loves were reunited before moving on, yes it was a bit sentimental, but what’s wrong with sentiment? It was also so like Ashes to Ashes (another TV series ending I love). As for the ending on the island, I thought the ending was quite ‘simple’ but in a way it was a classic good versus bad story and those often end simply, with a final confrontation, a final task performed.
For me personally I think Lost is up there with Twin Peaks (excluding the episodes after they discovered who killed Laura Palmer of course) and The X Files (before it got bad) and when you compare it to those two other iconic examples of TV I think it did such a good job at finishing where it needed to be finished and to resist being dragged on like the two aforementioned shows did. I wish I could write and create characters and plots a quarter as good, I will just have to keep working at it.
I am with the Amazon Associates programme, where if people click on a link in this blog that leads to Amazon and then they buy something, I get a very tiny proportion of the money. However in all the time I’ve been an Amazon Associate it’s only paid out twice, as it takes a very long time to build up enough money to trigger payment, so much so that I’ve stopped automatically linking books I review to Amazon, as there isn’t actually that much incentive as far as I can see, however the money does slowly drip in and it triggered my second payment on Christmas Day, so that was a nice Christmas present (and a big thank you to anyone who has ever bought anything from Amazon after arriving there from a link here)!
So with a £25 voucher burning a hole in my e-mail account, what was I going to buy? My first thought was the Tender books by Nigel Slater, big, beautiful books that cost a lot, I have successful resisted buying them for about a year now but Amazon does have good deals on them at the moment, particularly for Tender II, so I could resist no more. And actually I’m quite glad that I managed to delay buying them because as much as they are incredibly lovely books, I doubt looking at them now I would have quite appreciated them in the same way as I do now as a new allotment owner, as I would have with just a few pots on my patio. The Tender books really are for the gardener cook, with lots of advice on how to grow the plants you’re cooking (although in less detail than say some of my actual allotment books) and a deep love for each fruit or vegetable that I think can only come from (in most cases) having grown it yourself. These will be books I can imagine I will go to time and time again when I have a glut of, say for example leeks and I have no idea what to do with them that is different, I will be able to just turn to a chapter full of leek recipes and problem solved.
However I don’t think these books are exclusively for gardener cooks (or for cooks dreaming about the gardener part), as the books are full of typical Nigel Slater recipes, i.e. simple, easy to cook, minimal ingredients (most of the time) and where the flavour of the main ingredient shines out. So if you like Nigel Slater recipes, even without a vegetable plot of your own, you will probably at least reasonably like these books. These are books that just feel good to hold in the hand (and as they’re very heavy would make them the perfect weapon of choice if on the slim of chance you’re ever assaulted near your cookbook collection), the paper itself is crisp and lovely, the photos are gorgeous, even the font is candy to the eyes. Slater’s enthusiasm almost overflows from the page with his beautiful, descriptive and evocative writing. I will be using these books a lot, even after a quick skim through today I’ve already ear marked several recipes that must be made soon and that’s before I even have any veg even growing in my plot. And I’ve already picked up two pieces of gardening information from the book to (reassurance that what I am currently doing to my raspberries is the right thing to do and the advice to plant your salad in seed trays first and to transplant later, as a little insurance against the slugs – I have tried and failed several times to grow salad from seed directly planted in the soil).
The perfect books to start a new year of cooking and gardening with.