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.