Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tommy super amazing deluxe edition

hi there

oh dear me, it would seem i am heading towards bankruptcy this November. quite willingly, though, and with good reason.

why? because this is being released on November 11.

wow, a 3 CD, 1 Blu Ray super amazing edition of Tommy by The Who. a bonus is that most of the extras appear to be previously unreleased, i.e. not the same as the 'deluxe' 2 CD edition of the album from about ten years ago.

for more details on this release, where to order and so on, do visit Paul and the chaps that run the amazing Super Deluxe Edition website. have a browse around that site whilst you are there, it's an essential guide to what's in these expensive packages and a dream for music lovers.

i did have every intention of writing about Tommy as part of the Listening To Who series of album reviews i did a while back. i've not quite clocked how to write about it in a fair way, though, and so have not, for all i would produce would probably be fan-worshipping uber-wank drivel proclaiming this to be one of, if not the, greatest album ever.

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

Doctor Who mini-figure thingies

hi there

despite the fact that they have been staring me in the face as i sit at my desk for close to a week, i had somehow forgotten to "up" a picture of some Doctor Who thingies that i picked up for my (considerably) better half. whoops, sorry about that.

the revived, or if you will rejuvinated (or however you spell it, i have no doubt a certain daughter of Saltburn will advise) variant of Doctor Who has been exceptionally popular for the last 8 or so years. my (considerably) better half is one of those who has taken quite a shine to the new version of it, so when i saw some sort of "mini figures" at a reasonable price i bought her some of them. well, three.

it was more, if we are honest, 'mystery' mini-figures, as they were in sealed bags and there was no way at all of knowing which characters you would get prior to purchasing and opening the bags. i had hoped to get the Doctor, of course. alas, not to be, but the three that were in the packets, presented here in the glory of Commodore 64 mode iTwat camera, were not bad.

yes, settle down, a proper picture, or as proper as the iTwat touch can do, to follow.

that's Amelia "Amy" Pond with some flowers on her, one of them alien robot type things whose name escapes me and we have thrown out the bit of paper, and Rory as the centurion, from when he was a centurion in one episode. a nice, happy fluke to get Amy & Rory together!

yes, OK, stop moaning, here's the non-C64 version of the picture, for whatever reason you want it.

yes, my (considerably) better half would have loved a mini Doctor figure thingie, but 2nd and 3rd choices would have been Amy and Rory, so there you go. many thanks to the random selection of the mystery packets, then!

and before you start quoting that right-wing propoganda clown and suggest that the above selection was anything "like a box of chocolates" on the assumption that "you never know what you are going to get", let me tell you this - best it be the case that when i buy a box of chocolates what's in the box had better be exactly what it says on the box, or someone from Nestle or Cadburys is getting punched right in the face.

moving on, and i know a dedicated few of you could not care less for Doctor Who, but would be rather keen to see some more Commodore 64 camera mode pictures. i am very happy to provide these for you.

first up, since we mentioned (and perhaps threatened a bit) Nestle, here's a jar of Cap Colombie and a coffee cup ready to make things happen. this first picture is with the "scan lines" mode or setting on.

and here we go with the scan lines mode/setting off.

that's enough pictures of coffee, i think, for the stuff is meant to be drank, not looked at.

more stuff taken in C64 camera mode? why not. here's the Iron Man 3 blu ray disc for you. i picked this up today. i would have probably got it for the boys anyway, but the price was rather good. for some reason the blu-ray, loaded with extras and all that fancy 1080 picture (whatever the hell that means), was cheaper than the film only DVD release of it. strange.

the film itself i reviewed a few days ago, feel free to hunt for the comments. a short version would be very good, better than Iron Man 2 at the least. at the moment, though, i am wondering what would happen if one hooked up a blu-ray drive to a regular Commodore 64 machine. Bruce Lee would be ace, i imagine.

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

marlboro premium black

hi there

well, here's one of them posts that i probably should not be's not big, it's not clever, and it is no doubt something that the powers that be would no doubt like very much to see banned from the web, like it is everywhere else. that would be, as the title here suggests, a cigarette review.

on my travels through Dubai airport, i noticed a "special edition" of Marlboro on sale, going by the name of Premium Black. with such a cool name, and indeed formidable packaging, a purchase was inevitable. Marlboro would be my brand of choice, you see - good enough for David Bowie and Robert De Niro, good enough for me, thanks.

as you can sort of see off the iTwat camera, the packaging is rather lavish. indeed it wants to be, really, since 5 packets in a carton cost just about the same as a regular issue Marlboro carton of 10 packets would cost.

what is that cost? i think it was a few cents shy of US$20 in Duty Free. and where are the promised pictures of everything in that Commodore 64 mode that i was so excited about in my last post? right here.

wow, that does look class. so class, in fact, that i do not know why Marlboro did not release advertising images on the Commodore 64 back in the computers' heyday in the 80s. Bowie would probably have bought more.

that said, some of you for some reason probably do not appreciate quite how class everything looks in "C64 mode" but are interested in this product, so here's one of them proper pictures for you.

other than the sleek black packaging you can see, the inside of the box is reasonably interesting. it's like a plastic-ish black bit covering the ciagrettes with no silver foil to tear off. instead it's a sticky red seal that is attached to the lid, opening and closing with the box. quite clever it is, and probably the reason these cost so much.

now, with them being called Premium Black i did have some wild hopes that they would be ultra if not uber cool black cigarettes inside the packet. alas, Marlboro (or if you will Philip Morris) did not take that approach at all.

yes, that's right. they are premium black white cigarettes with the word "black" printed on them. yeah, that works. just write on it what you want it to be and thus it becomes that.

i am not sure why they are not black cigarettes inside, as that would make the name of them make sense, and make them way smarter than they are. probably a cost thing, i suppose. i do know that you can get different coloured cigarettes - an ambition of mine has been to get some of them brown/yellow ones that Sean Young has in Blade Runner. sadly, though, they are French ones, and i have not yet brought myself to purchase French cigarettes. who knows where such an action would lead?

i suppose to find out why Marlboro Premium Black are in fact white one would need to consult whoever it is that came up with them. good luck with working out the name.

yeah, this is where fancy fonts can sometimes be a pain. just what is the name of the person or organization that designed these? i think that's supposed to be pinin farina, but it could also be pininfanino i guess.

are the cigarettes any good, you ask? are they worth the rather high cost (in Duty Free terms) and are they as premium or exclusive as the name and availability all suggest? well, let me light up another one whilst you have another gander at the packaging.

you might notice something missing from the packaging. no, not the usual warnings - they are indeed there, warning of all sorts of diseases and nasty things. what is missing is any of the usual stuff about content - you know, levels of nicotine and tar, all presented in measurements that mean nothing at all to the average chap or lady out and about in the world.

i have a theory about why that is, but first here's a picture, yes C64 style, of me having a go at one of them.

it would be my considered and learned opinion that there is no indication of nicotine or tar content of Marlboro Premium Black cigarettes for the rather straightforward reason of their being neither of them present in these things.

to this end, the cigarette is ignited in the usual, conventional way and you draw or drag on it and smoke happens, but there's not much in the way of a "kick" or taste to them. at all. rather smooth it is, but not in any way, shape or form a regular smoking experience. there's the slightest of smooth aftertaste, but that's it.

as a smoking experience, it's pretty much how one might imagine how a "prop" cigarette would be, if such a thing exists in the world of movie & TV show making. not that they are allowed to show smoking in films or on TV anymore, since smoking on such things instantly makes people want to go and do it whilst nothing else at all on a moving image has quite the same effect.

it's not really a cigarette for smokers, then. well, i suppose it is for them ones that go for those 0.000001 rated nicotine brands, with even less tar i suppose. i kind of think these were designed more as a fashion accessory for models, poseurs and, if we are honest, twats in general. in regards of the latter, you know, the kind that wear berets and like using their MacBook Pro or iTwat to play games on, thinking that they look incredibly hip and enviable as a consequence.

ok, maybe they are not quite so bad that they are for such twats only, but i think you get my point. there's a novelty factor to them, since you would appear to be only able to buy them in Duty Free, but it's not like it is a major loss that you can't get them from rather more regular stores.

so there you have it. they could have been a good deal worse, but Marlboro Premium Black are not quite as excellent as they seem to think they are. overall i am glad i picked some up and tried them out of a sheer curiosity perspective, but life would have moved on just fine had i not bought them.

if you're a smoker and you happen to be in Dubai, or any other location they are selling them, proceed with some caution, being mindful of the price. that said, you will no doubt be as curious as i was and purchase them anyway!

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

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Camera 64

hey there

well, despite my dislike of the things, it is no secret that i have one of them iTwat things. to make it worse it is one of them touch ones, i.e. lacking buttons of consequence. i sort of manage to get on OK with it i suppose, but for the most part i would rather have one of what they now call the "classic" models.or at least that was the case, since today i discovered the means to make the iTwat into a better, if still sadly button free, machine.

James and William have clocked that you can play games on the iTwat, which means they are now using it more than i do. for my part it sits in the docking station and plays something suitable on an evening when i retire for the day, removed only when it requires charging since those f****** Einsteins at Apple decided to build it so you can't charge it in a docking station. anyway, in looking for some more games for them to play (and Apple have wisely decided not to sell this Angry Birds in South Africa - gee, i wonder why so many people "jailbreak" the machine and just play it for free) i discovered one of them "app" things that does something, quite frankly, awesome. take a look.

the more intelligent, sophisticated and cultured of you will not need me to elaborate any further on why the picture of William above looks the way it does. for the uneducated, or miserable, sad cases who were children of the ZX Spectrum, what my iTwat now does is take pictures as if the iTwat was the (vastly superior) Commodore 64. nice one!

this is all the work of some basic, free "app" off the iTwat store, but if there is a version of it that makes it even more Commodore 64 i will be waving my credit card details at them. as it stands, you can take as per the one above, or you can add "scan lines" as per the one below of my (considerably) better half.

i think this is basically the most awesome thing ever - almost to the point where i actually like this version of the iTwat, since it can do this. i would not be at all surprised if from now on i just carry it around and take Commodore 64 style pictures on a regular basis to post here.

the rest of my family are not quite as enamoured as i am with all of this. James clocked that Daddy had a bee in his bonnet about this and thus he was unlikely to play Sharkie or Stick Cricket on it, so off he went to play Star Wars Battlefront on the PS2.

yes, indeed i did take a picture of him playing it.

i cannot for the life of me think why you would usually want to see a picture of me at all, but all of a sudden the idea of a picture of me becomes quite class when it is presented in a way that it would appear on a Commodore 64. so here you go!

i usually would not care at all for images of me, but even i have to say that one looks ace!

William wanted further pictures taken of himself with this newly modified toy of mine. here he is cuddling up to Mummy after a stunt went less well than he had hoped.

i think that looks quite stylish, and certainly strengthens the argument that the Commodore 64 should be the main PC of choice in the world today.

that the iTwat has a camera thing on the front and back allows for a better quality of self-shot picture than the hit and hope nature of my blueberry, or even a "proper" camera. i got a bit carried away, then, and so what follows are a few pictures of me and my (considerably) better half.

that one above is taken, as you can see, with the scan lines thingie on, and the next one is with it off. i have no idea which style i prefer, they both look amazing and awesome!

i know that the Apple approach to advertising and promotion is less normal adverts, more massive discounts to "members of the media" who somehow then go on to give fantastic reviews of any rubbish they put out for sale, but if they advertised that their devices could be turned into Commodore 64s then they would probably have less negative comments muttered about them. i would certainly appreciate them more.

yep, one more with the scan thingie off, which i think might be my favourite way of taking pictures with this particular "app" thing.

so, there you have it. if you have one of them iTwat things too, you can make it seem not so bad by going and getting this installed on it. if you do, i hope you find it as ace as i do!

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

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

spot the bee

hi there

many thanks to the Harlo gang for sending on a delightful little challenge. as the title suggests, i have been invited to spot the bee in the following picture. i hereby throw the invitation open to all of you, dear and much appreciated readers of this blog.

yes, the picture is upside down. it came to me like that, right, so then i "flipped" it (as in rotated it, and not flipped in the sense that Fenster out of Usual Suspects would). when i uploaded it, however, it reverted to the upside down that you see. go figure.

at least i think it was upside down when i got it, who am i to argue with the way in which Apple, for they produced the device the picture was taken on (and if i call it what i normally do here my Uncle Colin will bray me), want us to see the world?

whilst it was the right way round on my computer i think i spotted the bee, assuming the bee is really massive and on that red flower. observe, if you will.

if you are of the impression that this is not the bee i have circled then please let me know where exactly it is in the picture!

happy bee hunting!

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

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday stroll

hi there

well, after a far too long period away from my family, what better way to celebrate being back with them than spending a Sunday morning out and about? you will note that i did not say anything about it being a quiet Sunday morning out, of course.

off we went, then, to Moyo or Yomo or whatever it is down at Zoo Lake for some breakfast and indeed to indulge the ducks. even better than those two things was who we had breakfast with!

yes, that's Ruby-Lee and Lyla with the boys, delighted to be seeing each other after quite a while! it was them getting together that led to nothing at all about the Sunday being particularly quiet! well, for the most part, they were well behaved i suppose. not all that much of consequence got broken, at the least.

mindful of my limited photographic skills and the general limitations of the camera prowess of the blueberry i must say i am quite happy to have captured the above picture, it looks rather good! not that this next one is too bad at all, taken just before they all went running off wild, engaging in ace hula-hoop wars and indeed necklace making.

and where was young Quinn as the four of them did all of the above? he's somewhat young for their antics still, although James and William love to just stand and adore him. here he is, fast asleep after downing two variants of cappuccinos designed for children. yes, i thought that strange too and no i did not bother arguing the merits of it.

it hardly needs saying that it was wonderful to see Quinn! he is growing at a most impressive rate, and seems as healthy as he is happy, which is very!

now, the duck feeding i promised you, and Richard enthusiasts will in particular no doubt like this picture!

duck feeding went pretty much OK, in as far as the ducks at no point circled us to attack, and William did not capture and "play" with any of them. Richard sort of had a go at "skimming" some leftover waffle across the water at the ducks, but the ducks were rather fast on to the food, thus the waffle did not bounce or skip on the water as much as it could have.

James was quite happy just feeding the ducks in a rather more direct way, at least!

one more picture, then, the focus of which i seem to have made a bin for no apparent reason, other than it was there and the zoom thingie on the blueberry was no quite as co-operative as it could have been.

righty-ho, large breakfast + walk around + shops + it is Sunday = quite tired and ready for a nice relaxing laze on the couch, to be honest. James, however, seems to want to play some cricket, so i guess i am off on bowling duty!

hope you have all had, or indeed continue to have, a most class weekend too!

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

a game of threads

hi there

my recent travels were far from a trip of choice or for pleasure, but that did not exclude some mooching around for a few select and key gifts. one thing that i was determined to solicit from a store was some form of celebratory merchandise of the series Game Of Thrones for my (considerably) better half.

i understand that we are somewhat late to this party, having only got towards the end of series 2 whilst the rest of the world awaits series 4, but all the same i was quite surprised to see a lack of any merchandising on the shelves for this show. i was led to believe that it is insanely popular? beyond books and box sets, not an item could be found in my, i confess, limited search.

bravo the internet, then, for coming to the rescue with this magnificent garment!

yes, the gift was the Game Of Thrones t-shirt, ordered off amazon, and not the splendid coffee mug. for those of you familiar with the show, you will have to excuse the fact that i cannot remember and cannot be bothered to look up the proper names. for those unaware, that's the "dragon lady" or "mother of dragons". i think that she thinks that she should rule the world entire or something. all i know is that for a while she was married to this awesome dude whose name escapes me but i called him Mongo, even though he didn't ride a bull, so usually i just call her Mrs Mongo.

for those unfamiliar with the show at all, it's brutal, violent and brilliant. not for everyone, for some of the scenes of violence have seen even i turn away, and i am led to believe this is something that gets all the more stronger in the 3rd series that we shall be watching soon-ish.

needless to say, my (considerably) better half took a shine to Mrs Mongo from the off. for me she's OK, but the best character is the one i call the sex midget. he is class, he is.

want a closer look at the shirt? can do.

no, they did not have any shirts that would fit me featuring the sex midget. i did contemplate one featuring him out of Sheffield that did the one Bond film and was that guy in that other film, but opted against it in the end. i got a rather ace Bowie shirt instead, one that is so ace that no doubt my (considerably) better half will just assume it is hers and wear it.

i did have some reservations about getting my (considerably) better half a shirt that proclaims "i do not have a gentle heart" as in her case that is clearly false. anyone who assumes that someone is like what it says on the t-shirt has an opinion not worth concerning yourself with, though, and those familiar with the series will know exactly what it means.

no doubt images of my (considerably) better half wearing the Bowie shirt will feature here just as soon as she has pinched it! in the mean time, i shall look around for other Game Of Thrones items, such as a DIY horse hacking kit, or perhaps just a few dragon eggs.

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

Saturday, August 24, 2013

five and a half movies

hi there

over the last few days i have had chance to see a good deal more movies than is currently usual. well, on a plane your choices are to sleep or watch films. i would imagine that all who wanted to see what i watched saw them weeks if not months ago, but you never know - on the off chance that my views are of any interest, here you go!

blogger has taken to loading the posters in a somewhat alphabetical way, so that's the only reason the films appear in the order that they do.

a qualified comedy masterpiece was the Alan Partridge film. i laughed pretty much from start to finish, and laughed hard. so will, i would dare to state, any Alan Partridge fan who watches this.

and there's the qualified problem. whereas i had only seen two episodes of the Mid Morning Matters world in which this film is set, i had seen everything else Partridge, and thus was quite comfortable with random characters and references. i would be surprised if anyone who saw this film without any prior knowledge of Steve Coogan's creation made any sense out of it at all.

no doubt people inclined not to be nice about Steve Coogan see him turning to his most celebrated charater as a last ditch, desperate attempt to get a film career going. Coogan has not had the greatest run in cinematic adventures, with only 24 Hour Party People being a truly great movie. to that allegation, i say so what? it's what the fans want, and it is what he's very good at. i sat in a cinema with people roaring with laughter at this film. if it makes him and his fellow creators a pile of money, and gives a boost to his film career, so much the better.

i have so far only watched the first 50 minutes or so of The Canyons, hence the title of this blog post. i am, to be honest, unsure if i am going to ever revisit and watch the remainder of the film. i really wish i could say i only saw the first half of it because of time constraints. alas, in truth it is because it is a really, really, really bad film.

Bret Easton Ellis is someone who had enormous goodwill with readers. his first three novels, Less Than Zero, The Rules Of Attraction and of course American Psycho, basically set him up as one of the most important writers of his generation, perhaps the greatest American writer since Tom Wolfe. his impressive efforts to erode that goodwill - the mess of Glamorama, the incomprehensible Lunar Park and the downright lazy Imperial Bedrooms - has seen many wonder how he was ever any good in the first place.

his notorious twitter account is something that many follow under the impression that it is some sort of parody account. alas it is not. i hold a fear that if he ever wrote another novel, it would be a stream of who tweeted who, who flagged who in a status and who tagged who online. nothing in The Canyons took any of that fear away at all.

i am aware that i've not said much of the film itself at all. there is so very little to say. it's all Trust Fund kids and wannabe stars yet again, with the added twist of everyone staring at their mobile phone more than anything else. casting Lindsay Lohan and adult film star James Deen does, sadly, turn out to be a cynical effort to generate interest rather than anything bold or inspired.

sit back and milk those royalties, Bret, for any more of this will probably see the royalties run dry.

i still have a tendency to be wary of, and indeed put off watching, new Quentin Tarantino films. after such great promise, in particular with his debut Reservoir Dogs, he appeared to wish to become a parody of himself, what with the dire Kill Bill films that many have convinced themselves were any good and the truly awful Death Proof. happily, unlike Mr Ellis above, he managed to stop the rot and deliver a masterpiece in the form of Inglorious Basterds. happier still is the film Django Unchained, which is just one amazing film. i will need, and certainly intend, to watch it a few more times, but my initial impression is that this film will be considered Tarantino's masterpiece.

with this film being several months old i imagine just about everyone who wants to see it has, but if you have any lingering doubts all i can say is go ahead and watch it. this easily features his greatest ensemble cast since Pulp Fiction (the strong perfomances in Inglorious kind of covered one or two dud performances) and his best written work since the up until now for me unequalled brilliance of Reservoir Dogs. it's brutal, barbaric, foul mouthed and offensive at times, but my word is it all worth it.

on, then, to Iron Man 3. i suppose the best review i can give it is "not bad at all", which might be a bit of a slap in the face to it, considering the money spent on it, but isn't intended as one.

after the entirely anonymous, forgettable nature of the second film, it was great to see them revisit what made the first film work so well with the characters here. Robert Downey Jnr would seem to have nothing at all but respect for the fact that the title character has made him several hundreds of millions of dollars and gives a performance as good as he can, which is very good indeed. the same cannot, to highlight one flaw in the film, be said of Ben Kingsley, who you suspect was more bothered about ensuring all British or Commonwealth citizens involved with the film called him 'Sir' than he was about what he was doing in the film. this is addressed to a degree by the presence of the ever great Guy Pearce, giving a performance better than his part was written.

the action sequences surpass the high standard set by that whole Avengers movie, and seem to make it a tough act for the imminent Captain America and Thor sequels to follow. a big problem is the amount of times we have to see 'Iron Man in peril', though - there was not a lot of suspense to be had when we know he is in Avengers 2 in a few years, but nonetheless they go right ahead and try to put him in "he might die" situations. there is a total lack of tension in these scenes, no matter how hard they try to create some.

oh, and a word of warning or advice - the "end scene" after the credits is well worth it. as in it is easily the best, funniest end scene of any of these Marvel films so far.

my cousin Andrew was very excited about the film Oblivion. so much so that he tried to advocate me just going right ahead and investing in the blu-ray of the film before i had even seen so much as a trailer, so confident was he that it is a masterpiece. ahem.

i happen to like Tom Cruise a great deal in films, and i could not care less for his off-screen shenanigans or beliefs that seem to get so many worked up. but i am not any sort of apologist for him, and do not subscribe to the idea that this film is in any way brilliant. poor and dull are the first two words that come to mind.

basically this is a confused mash-up of Moon, I Am Legend and to an extent Independence Day, borrowing in parts from Planet Of The Apes. it does not work in any way, shape or form at all. the worst thing it does is take Morgan Freeman and make him a blatant "older Morpheus out of Matrix" homage character.

Tom Cruise can do much, much better than this. his staggering perfomance in Minority Report underlined that he can give his great acting skills over to elevate science fiction into classic cinema, but he seems to have no interest in doing this here. the only time he ever seems interested is in a bizarre motorbike sequence that appears to be an odd tribute to Top Gun.

many thanks indeed to Mike Llewellyn for pointing me in the direction of the film Seven Psychopaths. sure, one or two have told me that it was good, but when Mike sends me a message out of the blue that says "watch this film" then that's a guarantee it will be something magnificent.

i was interested to see how director Martin McDonagh would get on with a second film. his first, In Bruges, was an impressive reworking of Harold Pinter's The Dumb Waiter that felt like it would be difficult to top. he just about does it here.

plot? something about an alcoholic writer, a deranged serial killer and kidnapping the dog of the local mobster. all really rather secondary to the post-modernist like knowing comments made within the film about the film and the impressive range of sub-plots that randomly fire up.

of most interest here are the outstanding performances. if In Bruges was Colin Farrell's greatest ever work, well, this is a close second. Christopher Walken gives a performance here that reminds one of his three greatest roles, i.e. The Deer Hunter, The Dead Zone and True Romance. Woody Harrelson again delivers another example of why he should really get more respect as an actor than he usually enjoys, and it remains that Sam Rockwell appears incapable of ever being bad.

Seven Psychopaths is strange and off the beaten track, but well worth watching.

well, there you have it. if those reviews have helped anyone, splendid!

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

Friday, August 23, 2013

random pictures from the last week or so

hi there

well, this post does what it says in the title, or on the box if you will. they are presented for your entertainment or perhaps boredom if you are a miserable sort exactly as blogger deemed it the way around to upload them. i suppose i could do them in some sort of chronological order, but quite frankly the last 10 or so days have been a bit "blurred" to the extent of my focus being on another matter, which indeed is my posh way of saying i cannot be bothered.

where better to start off with, then, than the discovery of evidence that young Andrew and the younger Christopher had obtained my blueberry at some point and taken some pictures. now, i know what you are thinking, but this below one is as explicit as it gets.

yeah, that's a total lack of imagination on display from the youth of today, is it not? if they had these blueberry and iTwat things when we were in our teen years, with their ease of use and capacity for loads of pictures that you could easily delete if you so wish, we would have taken someone's away and filled it with an amazing amount of "moon shots". i suppose the above is evidence that the two of them are far more polite and a bit better behaved than when i was their age, but still, come on! technology is there to be abused and used to amuse, kids.

my recent trip was not exactly one undertaken for fun or indulgence, although of course it was fantastic to see as many as i could and indeed relive some very fond memories. closely related to the latter, there, was getting my hands on a can of this.

real, proper Dandelion & Burdock, that is. possibly the finest drink available in the free world. you can keep your fancy la-de-dah cans of coke of various varieties, this is the stuff for me.

theoretically it was summer in England when i landed, and indeed i have been led to believe they had experienced a rather warm one. a number of people, as a point of fact, used some colloquial terms of a sexually-slanted nature to describe the heat experienced. no need for me to repeat them here, but the humidity levels were on the higher levels, believe me.

this of course did not stop a spot of, if i may sort of quote Placebo a bit, English Summer rain. there is, to be honest, just no better kind of rain than that.

just to ensure that no one could accuse me of not sticking to the random side of pictures on this blog, here is an image of the type of coffee that was on offer at the Harlo house, right up to the moment that i went right ahead and finished the jar.

why did i take a picture of it? because i was on my way to the shops to get a replacement jar and i could not be bothered to write down all that stuff on the label, not when a blueberry picture would do the job. i never did get over to buy a jar for reasons we will not go in to, but it doesn't matter, the next day saw a couple of jars of fancy stuff freely available.

and speaking of the Harlo gang, yes they were as infamous as ever. they were also the kindest, most wonderful and amazing hosts as ever. thank you, if you happen to be reading this, for putting me up at such short notice.

the kindness went as far as this indulgence out in the garden, amongst many other things!

yes, i know what you are thinking, but that is not for pot as such, rather it is Lee's pot to use for the disposal of cigarettes. the entire Harlo gang is, wisely, anti-smoking, but they are tolerant enough to understand that i am stupid enough to presently smoke and thus this was provided for me. well, it was after Colin decided to hoy the braai that i was using in the direction of a passing Rag n Bone man, presumably in the hope of shutting him up.

ah, now a picture i am not sure i should be including, but here it is. this is somewhat voyeuristic in nature, and not really the kind of thing you would find on my blog in terms of the high level of erotica it contains. behold, if you will, two ladies who i believe are from the Isle Of Lesbos.

they were certainly quite giddy inhabitants of the Isle Of Lesbos, that much i can tell you. they were sort of excitedly bouncing up and down with joy at everything to do with getting on the plane, in particular being quite excited about an apology for the computer system and that being briefly offline. their checking in was priceless, as they enthusiastically informed the poor bugger at the check in point (and everyone waiting, for that matter) about how their cases were "packed to the brim" with (thankfully unspecified) toys, enough to last for an entire month.

yes, i do mean the two in the middle of that picture, so in all likelihood that is a glimpse, for the first and very possibly last time on this blog, of some quality lesbian elbow for you.

now, no trip of any nature would be incomplete without some requests. this was certainly no problem, but frankly i am not prepared to discuss anything to do with what my Mum asked for (and has got), although i am happy to state it has no relation at all to anything to do with the lovely ladies above. my Dad, however, is always fair game, and i suspect regular readers here will know what he has asked for.

yep, some more love bead toothpaste for him. i am reliably informed that it is safe and legal to send this stuff via the post, so this is what i shall be doing with that stash above. i have just returned from the shops, though, and have discovered that love bead toothpaste is now freely available here. if i find out, however, that you can now purchase it in NZ too, i suspect my Dad will be getting a very strongly worded email or two.

i have never dared try love bead loaded toothpaste myself, for that would mean one tube not going to my Dad, who loves the stuff. i cannot imagine it's all that much better than regular toothpaste, to be honest.

ah, something of a personal picture next.

those in the know are aware exactly of the significance, and fond memories, of the above. for everyone else, let it be known that that apparently small keyring can do some considerable influence to the battery of your car.

food, glorious food, you say. well, even if you didn't here is some. i am not in any way at all partial to the below, but my (considerably) better half very much is. behold, the magic of mushy peas.

i am not at all sure what my (considerably) better half things is so ace about them, but she is always thrilled to get her hands on some as and when the chance permits. the popularity of them says she is not wrong at all, but i still don't want much to do with them.

what i did very much want something to do with, however, was the English proclivity to cover in batter and deep fry any single thing you can think of. i particularly like it when they do this to sausages.

i can assure you the above tasted as good as they look. actually, it was magnificent. the lady in the chippie clearly took a shine to me, since she gave me two and i only asked for one, and she gave me scraps when i didn't even ask for them! what can i say but yummy. yeah, OK, at times it was like just grabbing a handful of oil and ramming it into my mouth, but once in a while that's no bad thing at all.

ah, one of those poorly taken but full of fond memories pictures next.

that's the scout hut where, believe it or not, i was once a scout. considering one hears reports of the kids of today doing all sorts of "hoodie" things, like snowballing glue and joyriding, i was pleased to see that the scouts are very much still on the go. also, the hut is painted a lot better than it ever was when i was in attendance!

speaking of memories, Andrew and Christopher were for some reason quite taken with this next picture. now that i think, this is why they had my blueberry, for in the absence of a scanner they tried to take a picture of a picture, which has not come out all that bad.

that would be me, your humble narrator, aged about 14 or 15. class suit, that was, but i think the boys were much more impressed by the boom box, as they call it, or ghetto blaster, as it should be called. quite a smart deck it was too, as i recall, its life really only ending with a handle snap and subsequent sudden drop to the ground around or near the gates of Nunthorpe School. it was probably playing Appetite For Destruction by Guns N Roses at the time. or similar.

times change, of course. the kids of today do not know the magic of a ghetto blaster, instead having those iTwat things to dig their vibes on. not the same thing at all, really, but there you go. i also seldom, if ever, wear suits of any kind, never mind like the class one above.

i do, however, as you are aware, fiddle with washing machines a bit, and so it will come as no surprise to you to learn that i helped the Harlo gang out a bit with getting this one in their house and up and running.

a very nice machine, that one is. does the job on clothes very well indeed, if not with the singing and the lights that my new LG one does. and yes i did ask the Harlos if they wanted me to show them how ace i am at installing a new flush on a toilet but they said no.

a final picture from my travels, then, and what a lovely thing to end with.

yep, that's my dear Uncle Colin getting some Yorkshire Puddings and chicken on the go for dinner. a wonderful, remarkable and lovely dinner, one that i found as tasty as the sausage fest above and with the added benefit of being a good deal higher scoring on the health stakes.

and that just about covers all of the few pictures i have taken of the last ten or so days. yes, you are right, not one of me at all, sorry! all i can say to close these updates of, bar a few film reviews to follow, is that i hope my next journey is a one way one, and it's all a happy time.

in the mean time, then, please do........

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