Apr. 10, 2005

The quality of mercy

The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
Yes, I saw the new film version of The Merchant of Venice on Friday night with a girlfriend. Excellent, but not a good date movie! Fortunately we're beyond that stage. It took a while to re-tune my ears to the Shakespearean language, but the passage quoted above gave me chills. There were so many other phrases that resonated, including "If you prick us do we not bleed?" and the central "pound of flesh". Thanks to Shakespeare's uncompromising "script" the characters were complicated, human and mostly flawed. Al Pacino gave an great performance as Shylock, and Lynn Collins was a surprise as Portia. Were Bassanio (Portia's suitor, played by Joseph Fiennes) and his patron Antonio (played by Jeremy Irons) lovers? Always layers and interpretation with Shakespeare... The anti-semitic aspects of 16th century Europe were, rightly, emphasised and were a powerful subtext.

The big news of the weekend is that my son's team played their hockey semi-final game Saturday evening. They played the top ranked (by far) team in their league; a team they had never beaten, and had frequently been thrashed by. But when it counted they dug deep - really, really deep - and came up with a stunning 5 - 0 victory. We couldn't believe our eyes! All kinds of rash promises must now be fulfilled, and they advance to the finals next weekend. My son is with his mother this weekend but she had forgotten about the hockey game and was busy preparing for a dinner party. Lucky I had called up in the morning to offer to take him to his game.

Saturday afternoon I had a lovely stroll through the Spring sunshine listening to my iPod. At the far end the pool waited for me and I had a good workout even though once again everyone wanted to talk. So nice to be able to enjoy the weather again. I also accompanied my girlfriend as she walked her dog in the morning. Now the sun shine calls to me again. This time I think I'll relax on my back deck with yesterday's paper before setting out. I hope you've got nice weather wherever you are.

Listening to: Got You (Where I Want You) by The Flys from Holiday Man.


  1. Congrats to C's team! That's awesome. :)

  2. I haven't seen this film, but I was in a production and played the character of Jessica. It was one of my favorite productions.

    Glad you're having great weather. Unfortunately, it's raining here and according to reports will continue to do so for the next few days. Gah!

  3. mary: Thanks! Saturday's championship game will be interesting. How is M's baseball coming along?
    retro girl: Jessica's character was a sweetie. Funny, the women were way smarter than the men. My sympathies were all with the female characters. Until they tricked their men into giving away their wedding rings and then blamed them! :-) The weather is still great here. Sorry...