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.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Swedish film experience

Last night I went to the cinema with my family. The film we went to see was one chosen by my wife who told me it would be very funny and worth seeing. Well, I knew the film had subtitles but I wasn't sure what the rest of it would be like. It turned out to be probably the strangest film I've seen in years. It was a series of slow paced tragi-comic sketches. The film was called "A pigeon sat on a branch reflecting on existence", it is a Swedish film directed by Roy Andersson and is the third film in a trilogy that has taken 15 years to complete. It won the Golden Lion in the Venice Film Festival last year (apparently). The cinema was not full, but it was a Monday night and it was a foreign film with subtitles.
Did I enjoy it? I enjoyed parts of it. There were certainly some funny moments but there were a lot of moments when I wondered if I was missing something. A couple of the strangest sequences really stood out.
One was a big brass drum with trumpet-like protrusions on it that British army soldiers in pith helmets led black slaves into, including one with a baby, they cracked their whips to make the slaves move faster. Then a big fire was lit under the drum and it started to rotate. On the balcony of a big house a patio window was opened and a series of elderly rich folk came out to watch the drum rotate while a waiter poured them wine into their glasses.
The other was a scene where a female scientist held a monotonous mundane conversation while staring out of the laboratory window. In her lab a monkey was pinned up with legs and arms outstretched and received electrical shocks that shook his body and made him cry out. The scientist carried on her conversation as if no cruelty was happening at all.
The only regular characters were two hapless and depressed salesmen carrying briefcases. They sold three items: extra long vampire teeth, a laughing bag and a mask called Uncle One-Tooth. The two are depicted in the photo below. Needless to say they did not sell their wares to the seated man. It's at least a film that stays with you for a while, so it's memorable!

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Great food

I was in Manchester on Wednesday evening and enjoyed a fabulous meal. It was corned beef hash but was unlike any corned beef I've ever eaten from a supermarket. It was served as a kind of cake shape and was topped with a poached egg. The beef was so soft and tender and the flavour was amazing, I added some HP sauce and it was a lovely compliment. A great dish. I also enjoyed the interior decoration of the pub, which was a restoration job to the original.

Fifa Women's World Cup 2015, Canada

The Women's World Cup started on Friday 5th June and I hope to be able to catch some of the games. I'm more interested in football at the moment than I am normally, it could be related to playing quite a bit of Fifa Football on my videogame systems. I hope that the England women's team do really well. It would be such a boost to the game here. I think the profile of women's football has improved, like a lot of sport for women, but it should be raised even further because there are some fantastic players with brilliant skills in the women's game.

Early start to the week

This week got off to an early start as I had to get up at midnight and drive to a motorway services station for a coach drop off to pick up a family member. So, I had to drive on the M25 between 1-3am. I have to say it was wonderful to drive freely on the motorway at such a time, there were no queues and it was great. There were still cars and people about at that time. It makes me realise that the world continues to turn at every hour of the day.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Black Smoke (Germany)

Black Smoke was the song title. Anne Sophie was the singer. Germany was the entry to the Eurovision 2015. I didn't think it was a bad song at all. Here's a photo of poor old Anne Sophie looking glum during the scoring.

It's no wonder she looks glum, her entry goes into the history books as one of the songs to score nil points. The conspiracy theorists will have a field day because the Austrian (the host country) entry also scored nil points.

I think the score of zero was incredibly unfair on Anne Sophie because as I said earlier, it is a good song, not one of the crap songs that did score some points.

Event Horizon

After purchasing this on DVD from a charity shop not so long ago, I watched it this week. It's the story of a salvage team who are diverted from their leave to go into deep space to rendezvous with a ship called Event Horizon that went missing 9 years earlier (I think it was 9 years anyway, I can't really remember now). They have to take a scientist with them, played by Sam Neil, who is an advisor because he built the ship's space drive. A system so powerful and fast that it actually folds space to enable super-fast intergalactic travel. However, there is a problem - (there usually is). The scientist seems to be experiencing disturbing flashbacks of his wife. Well, the salvagers dock with Event Horizon and although the ship appears to be intact but the crew are dead, there are weird life signals all over the ship. Ok, so I won't give the plot away but suffice it to say that the last 20 minutes of the film are very strange indeed. I don't know what type of film this is trying to be. I don't know whether I liked it or enjoyed it or not or something inbetween. It wasn't the film I was expecting it to be, that's for sure. It wasn't a film I would happily recommend to others. I've seen worse but I've also seen much better films.