Monday, July 27, 2015

Cheese Boat

There was the canal festival in our town yesterday. We enjoyed a nice pub lunch with some friends and then walked along the tow path to find a particular barge called The Cheese Boat. I bought a couple of cheeses and some chilli chutney. I hope they are going to be tasty.

DVD Purchases

Over the last couple of weeks I have bought a few DVDs from the charity shops in town. I haven't watched them yet, Red Planet was one that looked interesting but I haven't seen before. I have seen Pitch Black and Chronicles of Riddick and enjoyed them but have never seen them as a dual box set before so when I saw them this weekend I thought I'd get them. I also considered buying Terminator Salvation, it's a film I haven't seen.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Woman in Black

I watched this film with my family last night. My son is 12 and just about old enough for it as it is classified as a 12A, although he enjoyed Cloverfield which was classified a 15. The film is a ghost story and one that contains very little dialogue really. There are jump scares and unsettling images of children committing suicide in various horrible ways.
My son watched it however, it was very creepy and he didn't want to sleep in his room when he went to bed, so he came to bed with us for a while. he did eventually go to his own bed, I'm not sure what made him go.
I enjoyed the film more last night than I did the first time I saw it. It is a pretty good version of the story, I'm sure I've seen it in various iterations in the past. The shocks are quite effective. It would leave me feeling scared as a child as well. Overall, not a bad film. It's not gory, so would be fine for people who like ghost stories without lots of special effects and blood and guts.


This morning my son and I are off to go and see this movie, I prefer watching films in 2D. I'm looking forward to the movie but I haven't read any reviews so I don't really know what to expect. I will read reviews after I've seen the film. The trailers all make it look good.

Cloverfield and Independence Day

On Friday night my son asked to watch the film Cloverfield. I don't know why really or where he heard about it. We didn't have it on DVD and it wasn't on Netflix. So we watched Independence Day instead. Independence Day is a big blockbuster of an American movie, it is very superficial and has so many stereotypes in it that it's easy to see it as the product of a Hollywood team who have had several hit movies and want to apply a "safe" money making formula. There is very little art in making a film like Independence Day, even most of the acting is wooden. Strangely, the casting of the US President was so poor that it would have been more entertaining watching paint dry and he had a lot to deal with: millions of civilian casualties, thousands of military casualties, his wife dying and apparently some kind of animosity in the past with a scientist played by Jeff Goldblum, who is the only person in the world to crack the code used by the alien ships. The plot is just so overloaded with stuff happening that it disguises all of the flaws except one, it's a shit film with some good special effects.
I found the DVD for Cloverfield in a charity shop yesterday. Now, this film is way better than Independence Day. It is shot using shaky camera and can be a bit disorienting because of that but it does make the action much more gripping because it tells the story from a first person point of view. It reveals the story, rather than hammering it into us. There is a section at the start that seems very long but is about the main character who is leaving Manhattan for a job in Japan. The love story is revealed through his friends. His brother takes him out to a balcony and is explaining that he is being a douchebag by not telling the girl he is in love with how he really feels. It's a pivotal moment because this is the moment that the lights go out for a second and everyone in the party realises something bad just happened to the city. Interestingly, another pivotal moment is the later death of his brother on the Brooklyn Bridge. The main character would also have been killed had he not received a phone call from the girl he loves. He decides he has to go back into Manhattan to find his girlfriends apartment. I won't give any more away but the way the story unfolds is excellent.
In this play off between films the victor is clear - Cloverfield wins by a huge margin.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Craft Beer

I bought a couple of beers yesterday from the micro brewery I mentioned in a post recently, they are not brewed locally but are not a beer I've seen stocked in the supermarkets. The brewery is called Brewdog and it's a collective, shareholders were crowd sourced. The beer itself is lovely, I tried two varieties, Punk IPA and Dead Pony Club. Both very fruity and strangely tropical. Well worth tasting if you like ale.

Sunday bike ride

I managed to coax my son off his bum and onto his bike this afternoon. I don't quite know how I did it, perhaps by saying it would just be for 20 minutes and that he could go back to his beloved videogame, Skyrim, when we got back. However I did it, I'm glad we did pop out for a short while. I had to pump our tyres it had been a while since we have been out riding. I do very little exercise and I actually enjoy cycling on my Giant. I bought the bike a few years ago and with my wife we have enjoyed our bike rides but they don't happen often enough.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

New micro-pub in town

I walked past a shop that used to be a sweet shop yesterday in town. It is now a micro-pub. Called the Bald Buzzard Ale House. Great! Can't wait to try it out. It looked very bare inside but that doesn't matter. Hopefully the beers are good, supplied by the Leighton Buzzard Brewing Company.

Lionesses win Bronze

Well I stayed up to watch England v Germany in the third place play off of the Women's World Cup and I am so glad I did. They dominated the game in the second half and had a few chances that should have been converted but it's easy to say that when sitting on my backside and I'm not there on the pitch. The game was very physical, they need to be very fit indeed and they were. What a great feeling and spirit there is in the team. They were determined and chased every ball. The manager said they were awesome and he is absolutely correct. I was very impressed and they came away with a result - this time it was the right result. It was decided by a penalty, football can be a cruel game. But Fara Williams had to put it behind the keeper and she nailed it, with a great drive into the corner of the net - the goalie didn't stand a chance. What pressure Fara was under but she calmly did her job. A display of stunning professionalism. I really hope that this World Cup has raised the profile of the women's game in this country. It's England's best World Cup result since the 1966 squad, which was 49 years ago!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Birthday party

My daughter had a birthday at home yesterday evening. I believe it went well but it was 8, 15 year old girls and my goodness they can make a noise! I bet our neighbours were well ticked off. Some of the girls went home at 10am and 3 stayed over in the tent we put up for them in the garden. At least it was a safe night for them in the garden, which is what gardens should be.

The tent looked good.

Glastonbury Festival 2015

The end of June always makes me think of summer festivals and they don't get much larger than Glastonbury. It's a festival I've never been to but always looks like an amazing one. I don't think it's the music that makes it so special though. It's the vibe. Last year Metallica performed a blinding set but a lot of the bands I like don't get booked. This year's line up was particularly weak in my opinion and I didn't really see anyone headlining that I would really pay to see, apart from Foo Fighters - they would have been awesome if Dave Grohl hadn't broken his leg a week before. I haven't seen any of Kanye West's performance but I'm just not interested. I did catch some of Motorhead's performance and I also caught some of Florence and the Machine and she was pretty cool.

Lionesses ROARRRRR!!!

I stayed up last night to watch England's women's football team play against Canada in the quarter finals of the Women's World Cup. I'm glad I did, they beat the host nation 2 goals to 1. Canada had the majority of possession and a number of shots but they just didn't have enough individual skill to beat England. The England women's team may not have been well known until very recently but this is a huge boost for women's football. I'm really enjoying watching the games. I didn't know who Lucy Bronze was before the tournament started but I think a heck of a lot of people know who she is now. She scored an absolute blinder in the last game and she scored again against Canada with a great header. She is class!

Mad Max Fury Road

Last weekend I took my daughter to see the film Mad Max Fury Road. It was an action packed rollercoaster ride of mayhem and destruction. It was absolutely brilliant. I haven't seen Mad Max 2 or 3 yet but I don't think any of the other films holds anything to this one. I'm glad I saw it at the cinema, it is one of those films that is best watched on a huge screen and at high volume.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Women's World Cup

I have managed to catch a few games and have enjoyed the performances I've seen. The England women's team had a beauty of a game against Columbia in there last match of the stage and they won! Fara Williams stepped up to the plate and put a penalty kick well beyond down with a clean strike into the corner of the net. She showed great composure and professionalism, the England women's team are just a joy to watch. Now they are in the final 16 stage, I hope they progress to the quarter finals, it would be so brilliant if they could but it is a big ask.

Total Film magazine

I like magazines, I have always read magazines. My only regular bought magazine at the moment is Metal Hammer. However, I have just found out that my local library has bought some subscriptions to magazine for its users. I downloaded the Zinio for Libraries Android app and right at this moment I have the latest issue of Total Film magazine downloaded to read on my tablet. Fantastic and free!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

London Thames Clipper and Emirates Air Line

On Friday night my family and I spent the evening in London. We enjoyed a nice Mexican meal and then caught the London Thames Clipper river boat service at the London Eye and headed for North Greenwich. The ride on the boat was quite a long one and it was good to see things from an angle that you don't normally see them from.

Once we got to North Greenwich we then left the boat and took a walk over to the Emirates Air Line. We booked return tickets and because it was raining the cable cars had to run more slowly than usual. It was at dusk and the darkness was just starting to arrive, but it was still light enough to enjoy the views.
Then after the Air Line it was back to the boat and then back to the London Eye but on the way back it was evening and we saw the lights of all of London's buildings at night. It was great. My photo is a bit shaky because of the dark and the movement of the boat.