I am up for it, all the time.

I would enjoy gardening more if it wasn’t such hard work.

A chunk of yesterday and today was spent tidying the garden and tackling a couple of tedious and tiring jobs that come with owning green spaces.

On the plus side I’ve added flowering plants to the pots and containers that have lain empty for the last six months, or were haunted with the desiccated skeletons of last year’s blooms.

I like digging my hands into dirt and compost, and I love lots of colourful plants during the summer. Not that I’m going to see much of them over the coming two months. It’s also cool that the plants are being nourished by compost we generated from our kitchen waste.

In between this I’ve been tackling some minor administrative jobs, so there has been little time for writing. At least more items have been crossed off my list (but the list continues to expand).

I’ve a lot to accomplish in the coming fourteen days, so there are tasks and jobs that must get done, even if I despise them. At least it’s an incentive.

Last night I watched The Libertine, which depicts the rebellious and debauched life of John Wilmot, the 2nd Earl of Rochester. It’s based on a play by Stephen Jeffreys, who also wrote the screenplay, and is directed by newcomer Laurence Dunmore.

It is a clever device to create a prologue in which Wilmot faces the audience and advises them directly: “You will not like me.” Of course we like him. Johnny Depp plays him exceedingly well, and the man is fascinating: a fearless, unwise libertine whose pursuit of vice results in a painful death. A fine cast of actors ably support Depp, and the film favours a sepia-tone to reflect its era. The muck and grime of restoration life is shown in all its raw and unattractive glory.

Much of Wilmot’s actions are cruel or immoral (depending on your viewpoint), but since he stated his inclinations up front the audience can hardly be surprised. The man is interesting, but alas the film fails to deliver a coherent story. Elizabeth Barry (Samantha Morton) is a wonderful character, with some excellent dialogue, but she is never given the space to breathe. Depp’s portrayal of the profligate nobleman carries us through the film, but there are many missed opportunities. The film is somewhat shallow, and never digs deeply into Wilmot’s complicated intellectual and sexual philosophy. The Libertine is not particularly scandalous (or so I thought), and Wilmot’s bisexuality is not given a proper examination. Of course, movie financiers are made nervous by the mere mention of the subject.

Despite a feeling that the film lacked a core narrative thread I enjoyed it, but I am partial to Mr. Depp, especially with long hair and lounging in flouncy shirts; roll on Pirates of the Caribbean 2.