Sunday, February 25, 2007

swimming time!

hello again

not content with messing about with Grandad's hosepipe, James had a swim in his rather safely designed outfit :

with me, Mummy or Grandad always holding on to him there is little chance of him getting in harm's way whilst in the pool, although today he did try to stick his face in the water. he didn't appear to like the water going up his nose, however, and soon got his face out!!

we are trying to encourage him to kick the water so that he can soon learn how to swim, but thus far he is quite content with the idea of being carried around in the pool. i think Grandma is taking him for lessons in the near future anyway!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

hopsepipe madness!!

hey everyone

with Grandma still in Sheep Land (formerly know as New Zealand), we all went off to see Grandad so James could play around with Grandad and Marmite.

Grandad was doing some gardening and, wisely or unwisely, allowed James to have a go at watering the plants, flowers and grass :

i think you can guess that the "unwisely" part comes from Mummy, who tried her best to beat the waterfall hitting her, but James has a true aim and made sure that she got soaked!!

let me not leave you in suspense - the majority of flowers and plants got watered, and James selected specific areas of grass to completely soak.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

welcome to cyberspace, Auntie Susan!!

hey everyone

as my Aunt Susan is now on the internet and visiting this site, i thought i would put a few familiar faces on this page for her to have a look at. sorry, i could not find a picture of Vic and Bob dressed up like them!!

happy surfing Susan!!!

are you hungry, lad??

hey everyone

as promised, some new pics of James!! as you can see, he would appear to have this father's healthy interest in pizza -

he didn't actually eat all of the pizza, but given the chance i would imagine he would give it a good shot!

otherwise, i seem to be obtaining books to read at quite a rate. i am still reading The Templar Legacy - so far, so average. next up will be The Extremes by Christopher Priest, or possibly The Religion by Tim Willocks.

James had a fun day running around and playing with Mummy and Daddy today, but he also had an enormous amount of energy, so it was only at 9pm when he headed to bed!! tomorrow we shall take him for a run over to see Grandad and his beloved Marmite!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, February 23, 2007

oh dear, here we go again

The Templar Legacy is a book i picked up at random whilst out shopping not so long ago. i would not say i am interested in the infamous Knights Templar as much as i am in the time period that they roamed. these days one can only get novels from this period if it has the word "Templar" in the title, it seems.

only four chapters in thus far, but nonetheless i bestow a mixed review so far. some of the plot would appear to revolve around the world of antiquarian books, which is always a good way to excite my interest. on the downside, it commences with the same Papal "myth of Christ" quote which so burdened the impressively disappointing The Last Templar. if this all ends up going down the same path as that one, it may well turn out to be one of those rare instances where i do not bother finishing reading it. i do have a stack of other novels to read anyway, and today i believe another novel by Christopher Priest should arrive.

otherwise, not a huge amount to speak of. all would seem to be well with young James - i shall endeavour to get pictures of him up on this site soon!!

be excellent to each other!!!!

Oscars to include films off You Tube

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is widening this year’s Oscars ceremony to include new awards for home-made video clips that have been posted on YouTube.

The move has angered more traditional academy members who believe that their painstakingly crafted movies, which have sometimes taken them years of development and production might lose out to a short clip of a Taiwanese student touching their nose with their tongue.

‘It is ridiculous to have Hollywood’s greatest actors and directors competing alongside amateurs churning out any old rubbish’ said top Hollywood screenwriter Jules Perrone. His rant was recorded by his daughter on a mobile phone and is now in the running for Best Short Documentary. Other surprising nominations include ‘fat kid trying to be funny’, ‘dateless geeks re-enact Star Wars and ‘Bill trying to eat cream crackers without drinking any water’.

The Oscar for this year’s highly coveted Best Film award is between Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Departed’; ‘Flags of our Fathers’ directed by Clint Eastwood and ‘hamster stuck in toilet roll’ directed by Jodie aged 11 from Balham, England. Other awards have been specially created to acknowledge the development music clips on YouTube. An Oscar for the laziest uploaded music video is being introduced, in a new category entitled the ‘Perhaps if I put a video of our band on YouTube we will get discovered without having to do the hard work ’ Award.

Top fashion magazines are already speculating about what ‘Madhead15’ from Basingstoke, England will wear to the ceremony. ‘I was thinking maybe my Kooks T shirt and like, maybe, er, jeans?’ Meanwhile ‘Skuz23’ from Canada has been practicing thanking everyone involved in his Oscar acceptance speech. ‘I’d like to thank my sister Carol for holding the camcorder. And… er,actually that’s it.’

Monday, February 19, 2007

2 Teesside Legends

many thanks to my Dad for sending on this picture, recording one of the greatest days in the history of Teesside - even though it all happened in Cardiff!!

pictured here with my Dad is Trefor, a great man sadly no longer with us. i would not claim to know Trefor as well as many, my Dad included, but i know enough to say he was a good friend. there are many stories i could tell, like for instance why Trefor is spelt so, but no, those are tales for the future for someone else.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Prestige : excellence in cinema

Christopher Nolan, in a short space of time, has built up a formidable reputation as a filmmaker of some note. Memento was an audacious debut, and to follow it up with Insomnia and Batman Begins set him up as the most interesting, if not exciting, filmmaker to monitor, certainly with the current silence from David Fincher.

his adaptation of The Prestige perpetuates all of this.

as you are well aware, i having nothing but admiration and praise for the novel, and i must confess i was dubious that a decent go at the film version of it would be plausible. there was a certain visual slant to many aspects of the novel (after all, it does centre around the world of performance), but all too many parts suggested that they could not be filmed.

Nolan has adjusted certain plot aspects to be different whilst remaining true to the tone, dropped certain plot threads and injected one or two dramatical elements not in the novel to achieve a coherent plot stream. this is done without diminishing from the adaptation of the novel and contributes to a highly successful translation.

whereas the film works and is an exceptional adaptation of the novel, the biggest magic trick on display is that this is pulled off whilst being at the mercy of some rather ham-fisted, going through the motions acting displays. i certainly understand a massive lack of any acting nominations - not one performance stands out as being anything beyond average. i cannot recall a time where i have seen a film with such plain performances from all the lead actors did not diminish the film. strange, true, and again all credit to Christopher Nolan.

i would urge you to read the novel first, which is something that i would always do. however, in its own right, there is nothing at all wrong or amiss with this film, and i would say see it as soon as possible. and watch it very, very closely indeed.......

be excellent to each other!!

audacious, inspired, brilliant literature alert.

The Prestige by Christopher Priest is one of the greatest novels i have ever been fortunate enough to read. i will be actively seeking out the remainder of Mr Priest's works, and the book is almost tempting enough to return to the world of academic studies of literature just to sing the praises of it far and wide.

as earlier alluded to, it "borrows" the narrative style of William Faulkener's The Sound And The Fury and to a degree, perhaps more aptly so, Bram Stoker's Dracula. this is no bad thing - at worst it is a homage, but in all likelihood the style was taken as simply being the most appropriate.

what's it about? difficult to state, really. perception and perceptions would be a reasonable guide. set within the world of Victorian magic, perhaps the finest trick displayed is that by Mr Priest in his ingenious, deceptive narrative, but i cannot reveal more than that without risk of blowing the hidden treasures.

i urge you to seek out this novel and enjoy if you have even the slightest interest in reading. i will be attempting to find each and every other novel Mr Priest has so kindly allowed the world to see.

watch closely.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Literature vs Cinema

good morning

well, i find myself sat with something of a quandary at the moment. i am reading, and immensley enjoying, the novel The Prestige bu Christopher Priest. it has a rather elsuive plot trick which i suspect i may have clocked, and the narrative style is the closest i have ever seen to a full blown tribute to Faulkener's The Sound And The Fury.

i do, however, also very much wish to watch the film adaptation of this novel, as it has a most excellent cast and director. i am now sat with a copy of the film. hmn, what to do??

not really much of a debate i suppose - i shall press on with the novel, although that's being unfair as i really am very much enjoying reading it!!

will try to give you my thoughts and views on both when i have digested both, then! it is my birthday this weekend, so i may just treat myself by kicking back and reading it as and when James goes off for a nap, or goes off chasing the cats and otherwise causing mayhem.

what else can i say? be most excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

more exam things!

these are quite smart!!!

Exam Answers

hi everyone

owing to the magic of email, i imagine most of you have seen these, but if not they are quite good fun!

well, they are fun now - in a few years when James is writing this kind of things on exam papers and we are called in to see the Principal about it, let's see how funny we find it then!!

be excellent to each other!!

Monday, February 12, 2007

James discovers sand......

hello again

well, James was at the folks on Saturday, where his Grandad is busy with all sorts of projects, making the garden look really smart. a consequence of these projects is that there is an enormous pile of sand at the house, which James took great delight in playing in!

as soon as he got home, he decided to find some sand in our garden. there is none, alas, but he was happy to mess around with the soil in the garden flower thingie :

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!

James and the Mickey Mouse outfit

hey everyone

here is James in his rather smart Mickey Mouse outfit!!

i am not at all sure that i am the biggest Mickey Mouse fan in the world, but it does look rather smart, and James seems to dig it too. check out the class tail!

be excellent to each other!!!!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Hannibal Rising

Hi Everyone

sorry for the lack of updates of late. there has not been all that much exciting to tell you about. there isn't a great deal to comment on right now, either, but i like to throw in the odd update.

here's a smart pic from the film version of Hannibal Rising, opening in the cinemas of America rather soon :

i can understand some people being reluctant to see anyone other than Anthony Hopkins in the part of Hannibal, but you have to remember that, after the awesome Manhunter, many of us were surprised to see Hopkins replace Brian Cox to begin with.

otherwise, thanks for the call Mike. a pity your trip here got cancelled, but no doubt you will be sent this way again soon. yes, when finances allow, we will come and visit you in the former penal colony!!

be excellent to each other!!