Monday, September 26, 2011

30 Days, would it make you happier to know we're on the final stretch?

Day 19: Film that made you cry the hardest

Oh for goodness sake I won't watch this film unless I'm in need of a damn good weep.  It is about a dog, only not just any old dog but one who is a reincarnation of a man.  What can I say, you can keep your Hatchi...I can't even watch the trailer without welling up here.

I'm not going to go in to the story too much, not just because the very thought of the film has turned me into slush.  I hope to god they don't remake it - this film makes the end of Marley and Me seem mild.


It's a man, who dies, and becomes a dog, and remembers his life, and there is something else about his death as a human, and his life as a dog isn't all walkies, and it is at least a 10 hankie film.  At least.


*sniff sniff*

Friday, September 23, 2011

That 30 Day Movie Thing - Day 18

Day 18: Film that is your guilty pleasure

Pleasure should never be guilt ridden, absolutely not.  And most of my films give pleasure otherwise they wouldn't be on this list.  (Except for the "Least" ones of course, I didn't really need to explain that did I?)

Anyway,  I'm going to chose this one for the simplest of reasons - 

Perhaps it is my wicked sense of humour that means I snigger at the strangest and most inopportune things.  I know, we shouldn't make fun of people, we shouldn't gain so much pleasure from a film that has very dark undertones.  

I've been to Bruges, it made me feel like Ray does.

So I get pleasure from the fantastically well written script, seeing Colin Farrell and Mad-Eye Moody enjoy their roles to the point where they make their characters not only believable but (here is the guilty bit) sympathetic.  I also feel guilt as I hate the way gangsters and criminals are glamorised in cinema but I really do like Ray and Ken.

It's a bloody good movie.   Let's just leave it as that!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

It's been an utter poo of a day so...

Movie challenge!!!  Really, desperately needed to divert attention from current car crash going on in life - yes *another* one, what can I say I obviously attract disaster.

Day 17: Least favourite book adaptation

Hmmn, now let me see.  Ah yes, that would be this turgid pile of cinematic crapola...

Now I was considering an adaptation where not only had I disliked the film but also the book on which it was based but that seemed to defeat the whole purpose.  A least favourite book adaptation should really be a disappointment of sorts.  Where they (the they being the film people naturally) have taken a much loved source and quite literally stuffed it up.

So I was thinking, what film did I desperately want to see and then wish I'd saved the money I spent on the cinema ticket.

It has to be the latest adaptation of Little Women.  I don't know what it was, perhaps the spectacularly miscast Whine-ona Ryder as Jo.  Something was just completely wrong.  

I had read all these books as a girl.  These were familiar characters.  I adored the 1940s interpretation even if it was a little twee - it seemed to have the right old-fashion atmosphere, that cosy family feeling.  It was a film to cheer the soul.

The new one did have a lot of the right components from the book, it was just bad.

(Had I to chose a least favourite adaptation from a book that was also dire then it would be Eat, Pray, Love - dear God but that woman was a selfish mare, get over yourself!  The whole world doesn't revolve around you!  Anyway, the film had Javier Bardem so not a complete loss - yes I did watch the film despite giving up on the book after the poor-mes got too much!)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

30 Days Movie Challenge - you know the drill

Day 16: Favourite book adaptation

I was thinking along the lines of the more literary To Kill A Mockingbird as Gregory Peck's Atticus Finch is amazing and inspiring in great big actorly dollops.  The first time I saw the film I was completely mesmerised and horrified that such ignorance and cruelty existed - I was in high school at the time and burned at the injustice I saw.  This was one of the Saturday afternoon with my dad films.

If it was raining, or no one was around to hang out with, my dad would make soup and we would sit and watch whatever film was on tv (mother being at work on the weekends).  My dad liked WWII films having served in the RAF during those days.  I saw lots of classics, formed a lot of my tastes and was led to reading books I wouldn't have otherwise found.  Mockingbird being one.

But I'm not choosing it, and that is not because I just bored the bejesus out of anyone who bothers reading this other than me.  Huge explanation and now I'm away picking another.

This is going to be a bit of fluff but it merits the title of favourite book adaptation because it has made me sit through an entire film starring an actress I really can't be bothered with.  Of course the material is well known and this is not the first, and probably not the best, adaptation (no wet shirts here) but the soundtrack, the atmosphere and the actor who plays the main character with such arrogance yet with vulnerability means that if I'm at a loss what to do of an evening I stick the dvd on and snuggle on the couch.

I cried at this, cried for goodness sake.  I really don't like the actress as well!  That has to be good enough reason!


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Make it difficult why don't you

In a freakishly misguided attempt to divert my life from the current chaotic path I decided to invest in a little self-help despite my initial dubious and possible sarcastic view of the whole concept.

So, first out, think positive thoughts.  Um, ok I've spent most of my life as the eternal optimist only to get kicked in the teeth every time, that is why I am so pessimistic now.  There are only so many kicks you can get before you take the hint.

You reap what you sow.  I do believe in that.  Like the little fairies chant in the previous post.  (Actually, maybe I should do that as a little life affirmation every day - oh god they did stop the Oprah show didn't they and here I am spouting drivel!)  Anyway, positive is supposed to attract positive.  Ok, again I've tried that my whole life with little success.

Next, gratitude.  Not only that but list one hundred things, every day. 

One hundred.

Can I repeat some of them?  Maybe break them down into subsections?

One hundred.

How easy would that be for other people?  Is it just me who finds that a little ambitious a number?  I just got stuck on the third page - well done.

This is going to be very hard but as I said, gullible is me and I am making the idea of life beginning at 40 a true wish.  I only have three months tops of this life before then.  Here is hoping that this crap works.

Ooops, positive, yeah, positive.  Got to attract that positive.  Can't use the exhaustion as an excuse for this I don't think.

30 Days Challenge - Day 15

Favourite play adaptation* -

Or panto for that matter...

This has to be the best version of the story I've ever seen.  Kudos for keeping Tinkerbelle as the jealous, vicious little beast she is rather than the Disney-fied cutsie, mall rat version she is now!  I much prefer her character with some wicked bite.

Plus it has Jackson Brodie/Lucius Malfoy/Mark Brydon in possibly the most interesting portrayal of Mr Darling/Captain Hook ever.  Well, it kept my interest for sure.

I do, I do, I do believe in fairies, I do, I do, I do believe in fairies.....

Did you know that Peter started his life in play rather than novel form?  One hundred and eight years ago to be precise.  The novel followed one hundred years ago exact and there I've not only entertained but paid tribute to its centenary.  I'm good like that.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

30 Day Movie Challenge - Day 14

Favourite documentary -

Ooh this should be difficult as documentaries don't often spring to mind really quickly.  Apart from the Mcdonalds one.  Which was entertaining enough, even if it left a sickly taste from the subject matter itself.

My documentaries usually are BBC fare and only an hour long.  Something tucked in an evening schedule.  Documentary series, now that is easier, The World at War springs to mind immediately.  

So I'm going to cheat a little and swap around one of my previous choices...not that anyone will notice so...

etre et avoir

A very simply done documentary set in a small, rural French school.  It highlights a different side of France from the romantic expat wishlist that is shown constantly here.  Quiet and thoughtful the teacher and his little class are nevertheless entertaining in their daily life and the highs and lows of school.   

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

30 Day Movie Challenge - I'm keeping at this you know

Now we're on Day 13 (it's only taken a few months, I'm doing well) which is...

Favourite Chick Flick

This is not something I would  naturally admit to watching but I do, and have a tendency to have a good weep or chortle along like a good audience should.  The line between chick flick and love story must be a fine one but I'm thinking that chick flick should have some form of female friendship at the heart of it.

There is an obvious choice blaring like a klaxon - which is ironic considering that is the noise made by the main protagonists as they honk their way from one "adventure" in the Big City to another.  Oh you see, I gave a clue.

I've seen both those films, I do not know why as neither offered more than the comforting knowledge that (apart from the nice houses) I am glad my life did not take that completely soulless road.

So, my choice is about grown-up friendships and, oh look, there's a boy in it too and for added bonus - books!

Is it me?

vacation travel photos - Effiel Tower, Paris, France

Or does this photograph feel like we're being made to look up the skirts of the Eiffel Tower?

Almost obscene really!

Let this be the strangest thing you hear today.

Monday, September 12, 2011

It's raining, and a bit windy...

BBC NEWS NI- Hurricane Katia winds reach NI

BBC NEWS WALES- Travel hit as 81mph winds strike

BBC NEWS SCOTLAND- Autumn arrives

'Cause we're hard like that...

Best Thing You'll See Today

Jenga Dog!

I look to our four-legged, furry friend and wonder.  He can do one treat on his nose, this may be a temptation too far.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years Seems Like Yesterday

It is the subject on everyone's mind simply because the day those planes struck the Twin Towers and the aftermath has been branded into the psyche of anyone who witnessed it.

The idea that in one heartbeat someone could commit mass murder, of people just doing their boring every day things, was almost incomprehensible.  But we had to comprehend.

They did it in the name of religion, the favourite beating stick of crimes against humanity.  How many millions have died in the futile reasoning that it was willed by some vengeful, bloodthirsty God?  I no more believe in their religious martyrdom than I do in the Easter Bunny.  It was mass murder, of the most horrific sense.  Regardless of how much you hate a country, or its people, to do such a thing...

I couldn't fathom it then and I cannot fathom it now.  My skin itches when I hear of people making excuses for why it happened.  People hated America because of this, they had reason to do it because of that.  Feeble.  Anyone who spouts hate must be prepared to face the consequences of their venomous bile and whereas some like to placate and try to see where the sticking plaster will go I find no solace in pretending that to even consider such crimes is nothing short of evil.

The people who perpetrated this were evil, as were the ones guilty in Madrid and then London.  They can make their windbag videos yammering on about how we in the West, who have given them a place to live, an education, a welcome in to our (much ignored and sidelined) culture, how we are the worst things to exist on this planet.  They can do this knowing that we have some semblance of freedom, that I do not need a male relative or a head to toe (plus eye) covering to go outside.  Yes, it is tied to one specific religion and that is a taboo subject to even cross but at some point we have to realise there are those who seek to oppress and we stand back and applaud to scared to point out the inadequacies.

Ach, I'm now warbling on.  It is not a popular view point and it is probably clear I do not find comfort in my own religion (lordie knows in past times I'd have burned as a witch for being a gobby mare.)

Ten years ago, I was lying on the couch in my living room.  On a day off, visit to midwife duly done and lunch just finished.  My mother called, an accident, she said, like what had happened to the Empire State Building during the war.  It was no accident and as events played out live yet unbelievable I began to wonder if there would be a world for my two babies to be born into.  Suddenly their January birth seemed too far away, what would have happened in between - it seemed world war three was about to commence.

Ten years ago it didn't look as though we would have a future.  I can't say that the coming years fill me with optimism other than to say that we're still here, sort of.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

30 Day Challenge - Day 12

Favourite love story...

Sometimes true love means having the courage and patience to believe in your heart that what you search for is out there...

Monday, September 05, 2011

*cough cough* *cough cough*

It is funny peculiar being ill without a named reason why.  Much easier is it to say "this is what is wrong with me and this is how I sort it out."  Certainly I know Work would be happier if I could name it and shame it.

I can't though.  And while it is frustrating for me not being able to pinpoint exactly what is wrong with me and how to get better (Doc is quite good in that he has given me lots of info on why this has happened and what is going on in my worn out body) it doesn't help that I have the very demanding expectations of Work hanging over my head.

Understandably, they are not in the business of supporting burdensome people such as myself.  I feel ridiculously feeble saying that never in my life have I ever had this, it isn't old thyroid boy kicking off again although readings show that is borderline!  I've never had a sick note, I've never been off with anything more serious than the flu (once when I was 16 and again in February when I had the swine flu which is, according to Doc, partly to blame for what is going on.)

I know plenty of people who have skivved off on dubious afflictions and more often than not ended up doing their work for them knowing full well there was damn all wrong.  Luckily colleagues noticed how run down I had been, how tired and exhausted looking I was - too polite to say until I was signed off and then it was "well you know I was wondering how long she'd last  like that.  Plus the nature of the beast means no one is left doing anything more than they have to.

Doc likes to repeat that I am not an infinite resource.  I have been for so long though, I've needed to be.  In fact I've realised how like my Dad I am - we want to be doing things, we want to be productive, forward thinking, busy.

I don't know how to slow down and stop for a while.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

30 Day Movie Challenge - Day 11 (Oh you thought I'd forgotten didn't you!)

Part of the internet blackout meant I couldn't go searching through videos at leisure (do you know how much dongles cost!) but now I can reinstate the challenge that isn't so much a challenge as a flick through a favourite photograph album.

Favourite Kid's Movie -

Because deep down all we want is to love and be loved in return...and to occasionally touch the stars.

And sometimes all we want to do is dance...

We need to be taught this by a little robot?  Yes, we do.


It's Me Again...Again

This is what Autumn feels like.  It should be brown and drab, cold and damp but there is the smell of burning leaves in the air, that sharp tang made fresher by the chilled temperature.  There is the promise of festivities to come, happy thoughts wrapped warmly in scarves.

The past year has felt like a lifetime of troubles rolled in to a demanding endurance test.  I wonder if I have passed?

It looks like my internet issues have been fixed (please do not let this curse the damn thing to stop working again.)  What this means is that I can spend more time on the general jiggery-pokery of wasting valuable time on here.

Did I mention that I haven't been at work since the end of June?  That I find out tomorrow if the latest round of blood tests confirm whether or not I am metamorphosing into a dormouse.  Build me a teapot big enough to sleep in all day.  

Did I mention that my mother, on finding out she had worn me down to the point of uselessness managed to get herself all sicked up and in hospital?  I would say the break has been refreshing however the current state of constant drowsiness has kind of ruined that for me.  Oh well.

That has been summer, see you later and glad you are gone.  Once again my life is on fast forward - it really isn't much fun any more - not that it was fun in the first place.

The blog is back, the b*tch is back and I'm going to keep boring the pants of the people of the internet until this crap stops.  And maybe after that too.

AUTUMN LEAVES by John Everett Millais