Stephanie Burgis
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Poor little Maya. Her stomach is really messed up, so she's been fasting (involuntarily) since last night, and since things have gotten even worse (I am kindly sparing you the gory details), we're going to be taking her to the vet this afternoon (on their instructions, after listening to all the gory details over the phone). Poor puppy. :( Right now she's cuddled up against me on the couch, sleeping, which is the best thing for her at the moment, really. Apart from her bad shoulder, she's normally so healthy, with such a sturdy stomach, that it seems particularly shocking when she does get sick - it's been well over a year and a half since the last time it happened. It just seems so wrong! I hope the vets can give her something to settle her stomach and help her feel better soon.

Apart from worrying over (and cleaning up after) poor Maya, though, it's been a good day, and a good evening beforehand. Last night Patrick and I watched a fascinating documentary, A World Away, the first part of a 4-part series called The Thirties in Colour, which is all based on film footage taken in the 1930s. A World Away looked at the films taken in India, Scotland, Egypt, and England by Rosie Neumann, an English socialite and amateur cinematographer who fell in love with the new color film and became well known among her elite social circle for her private showings. Partly, it's just amazing to see the period footage she shot, both of the beautiful places I've never been (like India and Egypt) and of the places I have been, like Edinburgh and London, where I can really notice the differences between then and now. (Her footage of the Blitz, in particular, is really powerful.)

But it's equally fascinating to see the way she thought, as a cinematographer. She moved in extremely wealthy circles, staying with the Viceroy of India, fraternizing with the Duke of York (soon-to-be King George VI) and his wife and children back in England, etc...and she was absolutely, unquestioningly, a product of her social world. So, in India, not only did she not understand a lot of what she saw (for instance, she headed one section "quaint cottages" when she was actually photographing the local brothels!), but she never questioned (or noticed?) the huge social issues of the country. She didn't question the difference between the lavish lifestyles of the British Raj and the Indians they ruled, she never tried to find out the realities of native Indian life, and she didn't even notice the political meeting going on on an Indian beach that she was filming - it's doubtful whether she was even aware of the growing movement for Indian independence. And yet, all of those things can be seen in her films anyway, even if she wasn't aware of it herself. So it was a really interesting documentary, for a lot of reasons. If you're in the UK, it's definitely worth watching the show - it'll be up for another 7 days on the BBC iPlayer.

In the meantime, though, Patrick's just gotten home, and it's time to start getting ready for the trip to the vets. Wish us luck!

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