All entries for November 2007
November 24, 2007
Before going I really wasn’t sure that I’d like this animated movie. I remember seeing an animated version of Lord of the Rings years ago and wasn’t impressed, hence my reserve.
Another reason for being uncertain was that I’d also heard the Beowulf story at a proper adult story telling at one of the MAC adult storytelling evenings a few years ago and really enjoyed it. So, I wondered whether this movie would live up to my hopes.
I needn’t have worried, the movie works well – it is after all a bloody good story that has lasted over 1,000 years.
Its a 12A rated film and I wouldn’t recommend that any younger children see it as there is blood and gore in abundance, limbs being ripped off, bodies torn in half, heads chewed, eyes stabbed and a heart ripped pulsing from the chest of a dragon.
Beowulf likes getting his kit off but, like Kenny Everett: “Its all done in the best possible taste” : just as the ‘camera’ scans down his naked body Wiglaf walks into shot and hides the money shot. Beowulf is THE archetypal Alpha Male but also a big show off and the film portrays this well. There is some wenching and bawdy songs are sung.
At only 114 minutes Beowulf is quite short but the advantage is that there aren’t any boring sub-plots or irrelevant diversions.
If you are after laughs then this isn’t for you but if like many you didn’t read English at Oxford and have only really heard of Beowulf as a name then go and see it.
Summary:Action, adventure, myth, blood and no bollocks.
Its all death and destruction today I’m afraid. I’ve just returned home from watching Beowulf and am now writing this entry and rewatching House of Flying Daggers (drinking a bottle of Tsingtao – my favourite Chinese beer – seems appropriate and later I will drink some mead in honour of Beowulf).
I managed to last 3 hours shopping today. Thats a record for me I think but bargains were had. I was after some new jeans and jeans are always a problem for me because I have long but skinny legs. I was after Rush style jeans from Lee but they didn’t have any in Slaters, nor in House of Fraser but I did eventually find some not-half-bad ones in GAP. The plus point of this is that a friend who we met in the shop by chance gave us a 30% off voucher – RESULT!
This wasn’t the end of the bargains, however, as I needed some new shirts and Lewins was just around the corner. What luck! it was Lewins ‘birthday’ and for the small price of an e-mail address they were selling £50 shirts for only £25, ties for 15 and, if you spent over £60, giving away £50 cufflinks – for free! So I saved approximately £135.
3 in 1 outdoor jackets were the last bargain at 20% off RRP. A very snazzy Berghaus Trojan Jacket for me (the liner makes me look like a character from Space 1999) and a North Face for MDW.
Total ‘saving’ for the day=£218.
So this evening… went to see Beowulf for which I have written a short review. Summary: surprisingly good.
Before I post SotD I must go and pour myself a big glass of mead for Beowulf.
November 19, 2007
We had planned going for a walk yesterday but the weather was miserable so stayed in instead. In the evening went to visit some friends to see their new baby and surprise surprise when we came out it had been snowing like there was no tomorrow, real blizzard conditions – I nearly missed a T junction on the way back it was so thick. Even this morning after overnight rain the snow was deep and crisp and even.
November 15, 2007
A busy day and one that started with deep frost on the car and fog on the road, Winter is really giving sign of being just around the corner.
I managed to get to grips with some software in preparation for teaching next week but there is still a lot to do. It looks like I will be busy working this weekend.
I went to the library and checked out a book that looked quite promising – at least from its title – but when I got down to scanning it properly realised that is wasn’t very informative. In fact it was downright staid. Rather than being visionary it has nothing to recommend it – anyone with a slight appreciation of the internet could have written it. So don’t waste your time on Roadmap to the e-Factory by Beavers (2001). Instead, have a nice drink (I made a very nice Dry Martini when I got home) curl up on the sofa, close your eyes and think – you will learn more.
Very discomforting news item about the way disabled children in Serbia are treated. You’d have thought they might have learned from the Romanian orphanage stories a few years back. Tried to watch Pan’s Labyrinth but it was too much like hard work after a long day so saw instead the best item on the telly : Hugh Fearnly-Whittingwahtchumie’s Gone Fishing programme and had a bottle of Leffe Brune.
November 14, 2007
Driving in to work at this time of year I often see fantastic sunrises. This may not be the most spectular but it is nice all the same. At least I could take it: I usually don’t have my camera on me and only I then get to experience it.
So what is so bad about the iPhone camera?
November 13, 2007
November 07, 2007
The season has really changed now, dull gray and cold this morning as I walked in from Westwood and the leaves no longer crisp and scuffy but pasty and rotten. I did a bit more learning/development with GoldSim, saw a potential project student and drank too much Coffee-Choco hybrid from the machine. I really don’t like it that much but have fallen into a habit with it; it doesn’t even give me much of a caffeine kick.
I drove up to Stoke-on-Trent for a meeting, had it and drove back – really could’ve done this by phone or video conference. On the way back I decided to count phone boxes (don’t ask). Between Stoke and Birmingham via the A51 there are 3 phone boxes visible from the road – thats one about every 15 miles – I hadn’t realised what an endangered species they are.
Okay, so this isn’t new (2002) but as I am about to buy my first iPod-type device and will be deciding which of my music collection to burn I thought of this – I love it.
Why? Because I really like the mellowness of the sound, the slightly techno voice which has a bit of a Yes-like, Geddy Lee quality, the vocals are a bit melancholic and spacey. It’s Sci-fi music and it just makes me wriggle.
Do you Realize??
In the Morning of the Magicians
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt1
Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell
November 05, 2007
I cant believe this.... Blogbuilder just trashed my entry!!! I'll try and remember the main points:
Rocket Man by Elton John being played on all the radio channels. Seems its the anthem for Guy Fawkes, better than Candle in the bloody Wind.
After lecturing and seeing some project students I had a surprise message on my phone which spurred me into action. Ispent the rest of the day learning some new software (GoldSim) and making calls, eventually getting through to someone I'd wanted to talk to for a seeming age - at last!
Evening spent watching people put their lives on the line for us in Afghanistan. It confirms in my mind the almost unbelievable adaptability and resilience that we have.
Finally, sock of the day:
November 04, 2007
I was reminded by Lee that I hadn’t reviewed any books lately. This is partly because I haven’t read many but one I can recommend is this book by Sergei Lukyanenko.
Night Watch is the first of 4 books translated from Russian and tells the story of the suppressed conflict between the forces of light and dark from the perspective of the ‘police’ who monitor the vampires and other creatures of the dark who live amongst us. It is a supernatural thriller but doesn’t come across as silly. It may not be art but it is a good read. I’ve never read this type of stuff before but enjoyed it and will read the next ones as they come out in paperback. The next in the series is The Day Watch, then The Twilight Watch, then The Last Patrol.
Night Watch was made into a film in 2004 more… and Day Watch has just finished production, I think.