Earlier, I went to see James Marsters do his extracts from Macbeth, courtesy of paratti, and was moderately impressed. He gets the sheer sexiness of the character and remembers that he is a warrior first and foremost - I can imagine respecting an actual full-on performance by him. Later on, he did an acoustic and electric set of his own songs, which are good, if sometimes a little samish in their slow melancholy. His voice was better in the Mermaid than when I saw him in Islington a few months ago. I will never be a huge fan, but he is making more than he used to of a small but definite talent.
I wish I admired his singing more - there is increasingly little wrong with it; I suspect he will be a rather better actor in later middle age than he is now, with the curse of prettiness still upon him.
I've been reading some of the later Jack Aubrey novels - which are significantly better than the stretch of mid-period ones which take place in a very long 1812, but not as good as the first six or seven.
Two points occur. One is that the reason why O'Brien is so popular with literary folk who mostly don't like genre fiction is that the experience of a Napoleonic War sea captain is oddly parallel to that of a freelance writer or reviewer. There is the same expectation that if you stick around long enough, you will get to be important. There is the same endless dependence on patronage and its parallel risk of falling down because someone powerful takes against you. There is the same feast and famine - with occasional patches of prosperity being hideously altered by the refusal of your employers to pay up on time. And the same sense of wanting to help young proteges in the sure and certain knowledge that they may somehow zoom past you and may not repay the favour.
The other is that, in 'The Yellow Admiral', Diana and Clarissa go all pre-slashy on us, with their realization that Sophie's tendency to be a miserable bitch has to do with the low quality of her sex life with Jack Aubrey. And the pair of them having a long conversation about how to get it into Sophie's head that it is possible to enjoy sex. Disappointingly, they conclude that Sophie probably needs to have an affair with a pickup at Bath, but somewhere out there I feel they come to quite other conclusions...I don't think I shall be writing this, but it does vaguely tempt.
Certainly a more viable threesome/set of pairings than anything involving Jack and Stephen, who are never going to get past King's Regulations' strictures on the abominable crime of sodomy, no matter how obviously in wuv the two of them are.