Friday, May 27, 2011

A Little Bit Blue

I had come back to this with wonderful intentions that this time I would be an attentive blogger.  I may be writing this as a vanity project, because the readership is me, the dog and occasionally old cat who stares over my shoulder with a knowing look - there, there dear, no one is listening.

Over the last couple of weeks it hasn't just been the skies outside covered in clouds.  I can feel it pressing down on me.  It has mostly been work related, disappointment in the behaviour of others, a general feeling of helplessness and/or apathy.  After going down a line where I thought I was doing well and had at least some form of disciplined control over one part of my life I find it to be a mirage.

At home I find things just going wrong continually.  The boys, as always, are stoic and a credit to their own selves while their mother goes through this.  My mother, well, if I had a choice I would let her go to a home.  The whole arrangement has been disastrous.

She has gone from someone who was a functioning, if older, human being to this thing who resembles my own Gran.  That is not a good thing.  I know many would say, ah but this is dementia etc. etc.  Yes, that could be an excuse if I hadn't seen this before and if I hadn't known what she was like when I was growing up.  She has returned to that cold, distant person who made it clear, and does so now, that she wishes I had never existed.

So excuse the blue.  I think I am more than entitled as another feature adding to the colour is the fact that no one else cares so a little self pity can be allowed.

An only child learns to enjoy their own company but sometimes...sometimes I wish I had a selling point that would make me worth someone else's time.

I often find myself contemplating orbs when sad.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

30 Days Movie Challenge Day 8

Day 8: Favorite thriller

This is another older film, but the story behind when I first saw it is the reason why this is my favourite thriller.

Late night, German B&B on the outskirts of Hahn where we were due to fly home the next day (back in the days when Ryanair weren't so pernickity about their whole buying a ticket then adding everything else on gig.)  The then other half (now someone else's problem entirely) fast asleep and me flicking through the channels.  I don't know what it is but there is something comforting about listening to programmes in languages you barely understand beyond the niceties of tourism.

I then come across this film, just starting, and my first though is "there's that woman from Some Mother's Do 'Ave 'Em!"  So there I pause.  It is a British film, set in France and on this occasion dubbed into Italian for the Rai station (whatever that is called now I have no idea, rather than have an interesting selection of channels from our European cousins our satellite is filled to the brim with Indian and Pakistani channels, some of which I urge you not to look too closely at or you may be disturbed in your little world over the content.)

Anyway, I watched the whole film, my rusty to the point of decade Italian allowing me to follow the plot - I was gripped.  Soon as I got home I looked for the dvd but to no avail.  It was only released a few years back and on repeat viewing I was still sat there, bug eyed, knowing the ending, knowing the surprises but it was, for the lack of tah-dah soundtrack a true and honest thriller.

This is about two young English girls on a holiday in France, back in the day when such things were exciting and people were less jaded and things were ever so much dangerous!  Things happen, I'm not about to go in to detail in case anyone actually does read this and decides to watch the film - it is full of subtleties and all the scarier for it.  Actually, it is similar in feel to my choice for favourite horror - go figure!

(They remade it in the US last year, as they seem to want to do now and again. I haven't watched it.  I also haven't gone on a bike tour of France but that has more to do with Europe not being as much fun as it used to be.)

And Soon the Darkness

Thursday, May 19, 2011

30 Days Movie Challenge Day 7

Yes I know I've lapsed for a few days.  In an attempt to return to some form of regular, disciplined writing (and yes I will count this towards it so there!) real life can sometimes get in the way.

Yesterday I attended an interview for a new position in the wage paying work I do.  This interview turned in to something of an endurance test, at one point I was thinking that even prisoners get a glass of water and a toilet break.  By the time I was released I felt like

and headed for the nearest golden arches for the kind of rush only fast food can give.  I tucked in heartily without a moment of guilt.

(Actually I feel less and less guilty about these things, there are more important issues to stress over and the occasional slip into unhealthy eating is a minor challenge.  Let's face it, the way things are going who would want to live forever!)

Anywhydon'tyoushutupandgetonwithit - on with the show!

Day 7: Favourite animated feature

Thankfully my term of watching films at the cinema PG and under has come in an era of decent kiddie fare. This is one I don't mind being watched on continual loop. Unlike 

Cars...there is a sequel to Cars...I have to think of an excuse quickly not to go!

I love the style of The Incredibles, I love the characters and I love the story.  It is perfect and I am so glad they have never bowed to making a sequel...yet.  It just wouldn't feel right.  This is a stand alone film, it doesn't need any fluff or nonsense.  The boys spent a good few months with this on their rainy day dvd list.  I would stop and watch with them.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

30 Days Movie Challenge Day 6

Day 6: Favourite horror

Here we come to a point.

I do not find films that are traditionally classed as "horror" to be anywhere near horrifying.  Surely that is the whole reason for the genre, to scare, to frighten, to unsettle.  But what is known as horror (and I do admit to talking about mostly American horror) is more the slice and dice and murderously adept yet nimble individual who fell in the dressing up box.

This film, The Vanishing/Spoorloos/The Golden Egg depending on what country you hail from, was turned in to a thriller by a totally unnecessary American remake.  They totally missed the whole dynamic of the film.  Or in my opinion anyway.

I first saw this late one night and completely by chance.  Flicking through the few channels we had in the early nineties I saw this, stopped, and stayed up until the wee small hours completely hooked.

The American remake changes the ending.  Without spoiling this for anyone who may read this at any point (and I doubt anyone is) the ending is what makes the film, what establishes it firmly in the genre of horror.  

No sudden boo got-ya, no overzealous murders shown in graphic technicolour.  Instead this works in the mind.  If someone you loved vanished one day,  just completely vanished, how far would you go to try and find out what happened?  And say someone, who to family and colleagues is someone worthy of respect, held the answers.  I find the whole mental anguish to be so unsettling that this to me is what is horror.  Real life, because this kind of thing occurs to people every day, the kind of things that can suddenly turn you from normal every day to a world you cannot escape, ever.

I have only seen this once more, I can remember it all clearly though.  I can remember the end clearly and that is the scariest thing of all.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

30 Days Movie Challenge Day 5

Day 5: Favourite action

Don't know why I like this, not my usual fare but it is damn good rollicking fun!
Plus Matt Damon, as Sarah Silverman once noted...

The Possibilities Are Endless

Last week I voted with heavy heart.

Heavy because I was under the impression that most people would do the whole "I vote this party because I've always voted them/my father voted for them/I'm deluded into believing they stand for the 'working class'" gig.

But no.

Not only was Black Bitch* Alec Salmond returned as First Minister but this time with a majority that shows perhaps people have actually thought about their vote. 

And now the opposition leaders topple, showing a complete lack of backbone and belief in their own party.  The only one I'm sorry to see go is Tory Annabel Goldie.  She was the only one to offer debate with Salmond beyond the petty, childish, playground insults of Labour and the Lib Dems.

I feel a new found respect for my countrymen/women.  Independence may still happen in my lifetime and that is a good thing!

*No I'm not being incredibly racist - here is the story...

Linlithgow's coat of arms features a black bitch dog against an oak tree, and townsfolk are known as "black bitches". In his account of a 1677 tour of Scotland, a Thomas Kirk described the arms of the town as "a black bitch tied to a tree, in a floating island. We enquired for a story about it, but could meet with none: their schoolmaster told us it proceeded from the name of the place. Linlithgow, in Erst, is thus explained: Lin signifies Lough; Lith, black; and Gow, a hound." 
A more recently recorded legend holds that this was a black greyhound whose master was sentenced to starve to death on an island in Linlithgow loch. She used to swim from the town every day with food for him, and managed to save his life. The townspeople took the symbol of the dog's loyalty and bravery as their own. The local pub named "The Black Bitch" is reputed to be one of Scotland's oldest pubs.
FYI I was told when I moved here that you can only be a Black Bitch if you are born in the town.  Not at the nearby hospital but in the town.  Must be the only place on Earth where being called such a thing is a badge of honour!

Friday, May 06, 2011

30 Days Movie Challenge Day 4

Day 4: Favourite drama

Wonderfully told tale, set in Scotland and starring a then unknown Gerard Butler. Original enough that you will not know where the story will go next but will leave you wanting more.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

‎30 Day Movie Challenge

Day 3: Favourite comedy


'nuff said.

Bark twice if you're in Milwaukee...

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

30 Days Movie Challenge

Day 2: Least favourite film

So many to choose from but this pretty much sums up a genre which is the cinematic equivalent 

of drinking Fruit Shoots and eating Greggs sausage rolls constantly.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

You Remember The World Hide and Seek Champion


Breaking News of the Day: Osama bin Laden, founder of al-Qaeda and the world’s most wanted terrorist, is dead.
President Obama will announce tonight that the body of bin Laden is in the hands of the US government following a military operation.
More to come.

Well, he will be one or the other.

Yeah, I know, this is old news.

Certainly trumped the Royal Wedding.  So well done on that front America.

30 Days Again

For want of something to do or perhaps a slightly simple need for lists.

Either way this is fun...

Let 30 Day Movie Challenge commence...

Day 1: Favourite film

Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain

I love everything about this film, could watch it endlessly and be left feeling a warm happy glow like the blind man Amelie describes the world to.  This is instant cheer in the shape of an ultimately uplifting film with a wonderful dose of eccentricity Parisian style.

I have never been to Paris and after watching this I don't think I could.  It is not so much that I would be looking for the man in red shoes at every photo booth or that I would be looking for Nino (as adorable as he is.)  Reality is always a disappointment and I would prefer my Paris Amelie style.

Amelie I can understand, I can relate to and I can envy that she maintains her naivety long after those of us who were lonely, only children on the outskirts of society have been turned.  We should all be left to become the people we are meant to be.

The fool looks at a finger that points at the sky. 

For the record.  I had two goldfish and they never felt suicidal, Dano the budgie however...

Sunday, May 01, 2011

That Big Round Thing In The Sky

Oh sphere of plasma and magnetic fields we are not usually on speaking terms.  But how nice of you to visit for so long.  It puts smiles on the faces of people who are getting worn down by life.  The flowers are nodding approval.  Cats are sleeping in languid bliss.
We could get used to this think all.
Perhaps we could make this a regular event, perhaps you could see your way to coming back in the summer too?

Kind regards,

Isn't it a lovely day

Let's get this straight from the start.  I'm not a Royalist.  I do think there are quite a few of them who would do best to get out and get themselves a proper job to earn their money.

But Friday's wedding was lovely.  I covet Kate's luxurious hair (how does she get it so shiny?)  I covet that dress.  I covet her happiness, her calm, her composure, her love that is returned.  I do not covet the life she will be leading with the paparazzi who, on seeing their behaviour as the lens is turned on them, are not in anyway human or humane.  I remember seeing her once being hounded to her car with one saying "you'll never marry him" just to get a photo of her looking upset (this was a few years ago.)

One of life's hardest lessons is just how cruel and callous people can be.  

Speaking of which and without a touch of irony it was nice to see that the ugly stepsisters turned up without their mother.

What the hell were Beatrice and Eugenie wearing?

Either mummy dearest did this as an act of revenge over not getting an invite or they need to put their (not-at-all-earned) money towards getting a personal shopper and stylist asap.  Someone, somewhere sold this to them and didn't snigger once as they trotted out the door.

Back on to the important couple.  They at least have had enough years together to know what love is and I hope they can modernise the whole crowd.  But as an ex-commoner, if their first child is a son, will he be the Half-Blood Prince?