Bits and pieces

15. Jan, 2021

In the days where everything is a repeat of a repeat it's nice to stumble across a movie I haven't watched before ... even if it was made in 2005.

V for Vendetta is a mix of many older movies and themes ranging from the Count of Monte Christo (Edmond Dantes) to the American civil war, with a bit of modern day times (Covid-19) thrown in for good measure.

So many people are wondering at the truth behind what is going on these days and it has been said on occasion that artists - whether a writer or a painter - have an insight or sorts. I did wonder myself as I watched this film pan out, from its man-made viruses, it controlling government, the civil unrest in America (just like that of the past week) and the mysterious disappearances of people who questioned any of these things. While I could go into the a general spiel about this movie I won't. Instead I encourage you to watch it yourself and come to your own conclusions.

All in all, bloody good entertainment, I thought, so I gave it five stars.

Have a great day, folks.

6. Jan, 2021

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Baudy.

At the age of of 43 Jean-Dominique Baudy had a life that most would envy; he was editor-in-chief of the French magazine, Elle. He was in a happy relationship with his girlfriend, Florence, and had two children from his formerer marriage that he doted on. Then suddenly on the 8th of January 1996 he had a massive stroke. While normally this infliction can do one of many things to the human body, sadly Jean-Dominique was left a severe quadraplegic, with a condition known as 'locked-in' syndrome. He spent the rest of his remaining life in hospital, but rather than mouldering away, he made a decision to write a book ... The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

This remarkable tome is only short compared to some, and can be likened to a memoir of sorts, but instead of being a rendition of his life's experiences, it is a collection of impressions  based on sensual recollections. Some may even see it as a poetic journey through his very vivid mind. Jean-Dominique is at no time maudlin in his writings, and considering this very true story was dictated with only the blinking of his eye, its heroic achievement is definitely worth experiencing.

Sadly, he died only three days after the book's initial launch.

I gave this book 5 stars for its easy reading and wonderful content.


6. Jan, 2021

Well ... first thing first, I must wish every one of my followers a happy and prosperous new year - 2021. For some, last year was not a good experience; for others like myself, life did not change so much.

At the start of this year I decided it was a good time to finish off some works in progress, whether they be writings, stitching or any other things that I like to indulge in during my day. I decided also that I woudl have my yearly paper clean out as well. I disvovered along the way, some book reviews that I wrote for a local newspaper many years ago, and I decided that before putting the papers through the shredder I would post the reviews here. Please note that the reviews are for older publications, but then not everyone reads at the same pace, or in the same way.

So here's to a great year. I wish you love, laughter, good health and happiness.

4. Dec, 2020

Have you ever watched a movie and thought ... okay?

For the second time I watched Robin Hood - the latest version with  Taron Egerton and Jamie Foxx. I was not impressed.

Not only have we got a Harry Potter style Robin Hood, who bounces around like the chosen one, there are also shades of the real war in Iran/Iraq/Afghanistan (no movie references here) The Hunger Games, A Knight's tale, with it's touch of modern day fashion and moment in a casino, Rocky, and The Indestructables - the main characters are impossible to kill. In it's venture to be different, it has turned into an absolute dog's dinner. While not everyone will agree with me (that's okay) the one positive thing I will say is, it gave me a laugh.

Really Hollywood/Disney/WB ... stop making remakes of great movies, endless amounts of poor quality animations and super hero BS. Give the people real entertainment and quality films. There are some great new stories out there. Go find them.

Stars ... hmm ... you could be so lucky.

21. Nov, 2020

     And then a scratchy old voice interrupted all this, saying, ‘Well … I’ll be a Shuck’s shiver. What have we here?’

     Allan opened his eyes to find himself being closely scrutinised by a wrinkle-faced old man wearing a scraggy beard that seemed to be home to several beetles and a small fieldmouse.

      Orion had since fainted. He wasn’t coping well in this new environment.

     ‘Well, little fellow …’ the face insisted, ignoring the boy on the ground.

     ‘We’re sorry,’ Allan babbled. ‘We were hungry. We didn’t take much … honest. I’ll pay … if that’s what you want …’ He started digging about in his pockets.

     The old man put a weathered hand onto Allan’s shoulder. ‘There’s no need, laddie. I’m not wanting to hurt you. I just want to help.’

     ‘Help! But why?’ Allan probed. ‘Aren’t you one of the poachers?’

     ‘No … not a poacher … but I’ve been watching … always watching.’

     ‘I see,’ Allan said, not really sure if he did or not.

     Orion decided to regain consciousness at that moment and sat up, rubbing at the small bump on his head that he had received when he’d hit the ground. ‘What happened?’ he said, his voice unsteady. ‘Are we captured?’

     ‘No,’ Allan answered, ‘it seems we have a helper.’

     ‘A helper?’ Orion was wondering if he had heard correctly.

     ‘Yes … that’s me,’ the old man grabbed Orion’s hand and pumped away like he was trying for water.

     Orion pulled his hand free and backed away to the edge of the platform.

     ‘I’m the Magic Man, but you can call me M, if we are to be friends. I ran away, you know,’ his voice dropped to a whisper. ‘I got into loads of trouble when I first arrived here … indeed. People chasing me everywhere. But I learnt how to hide, I did.’ He giggled, then did a little jig. ‘Can’t catch me … I’m the gingerbread man … see.’

     Orion gave Allan a look that said it all. He thought the man was crazy from all the heat and sand. He wasn’t sure that this oddball of a fellow could be trusted. Did Allan know how to get them out of this dilemma? Help! I think I’m going crazy.

     ‘Are you alright?’ the man asked of Orion. He had noticed the look on the boy’s face and his own reflected concern.

     ‘Yes … it’s just we’ve had a bit of a hard time of it, that’s all … all this heat. And we’re not even meant to be here. And then there’s Ernest … our friend. He’s been taken prisoner by the poachers.’

     ‘Ah!’ Magic Man exclaimed. ‘Those pilfering pirates … a bad lot. They go about killing people and capturing animals … willy-nilly like—’

     ‘What!’ Allan and Orion said together, interrupting Magic Man’s speil.

     Magic Man looked at the boys’ pale faces. ‘Something I said?’

     ‘Yes … you said the poachers kill people,’ Allan replied.