This blog has now closed. Fresh blogging start over at onepartchaos.com
Thank you, and goodbye :)
I have a confession to make. I didn’t fill out the 2011 Census form. I’d like to tell you it was an act of rebellion on my part, but alas, the truth is far less entertaining. I simply wasn’t sent one.
Not that the above really matters, except for one thing – that all important Census question: What is your religion? This was the question I had been most eager to answer. I was going to officailly declare myself a disciple of The Church of Yoda. That I never got to is something I will be haunted by for the rest of my days.
But there is always a silver lining, if one is willing to search for it. Take the following snippet from this BBC News article printed yesterday;
In Norwich, 56,268 people reported having no religion, but the census revealed a wide range of groupings within that category.
There were 169 Spiritualists, 131 atheists and 783 said they were Jedi Knights, a reference to the Star Wars films.
Sixty-five people gave their affiliation as Heavy Metal.
I needn’t have worried! Jedi Knights represent! Unsurprisingly, The Bishop of Norwich is somewhat sceptical of the Census’ findings.
I can’t imagine why.
I can’t take credit for this find. Alas, I stumbled upon this tweet by @wotchers late last night. Obviously, curiousity dictates that I had to try this for myself to rule out the inclusion of Photoshopping.
Suffice to say, Google Maps has an admirably geeky sense of humour.
I’m still LOL’ing.
It’s a well acknowledged fact among all who know me that I have a touch of The Grinch about me this time of year. Less than two months to go and Christmas will be here. By the time it’s over and we’re beckoning in the new year, wallets will be pounds lighter, bodies will bear the brunt of indulgence, and new years resolution will be made with the best of intentions.
Contrary to the above, I’m not completely bah humbug. There is, as far as I can see, one silver lining. Two, actually, if you count the festive Doctor Who special.
And I do. Obsessively so.
The other silver lining is alcohol. Each year, everyone in my immediate family circle can all be guaranteed to receive a bottle of mother-made Sloe Vodka. It’s an absolute treat. A couple of years back my mother also made strawberry wine which, when mixed with the sloe vodka, resulted in an insanely devilish concoction. As a result, my memories of that particular Christmas are, not surprisingly, somewhat vague.
Last year, on one of my parental visits, I helped prep the sloes my mother had picked and frozen weeks earlier, readying them for the vodka – a deceptively laborious pricking process, not to mention hazardous. I dare say some fingertips were indeed harmed in the making of that year’s batch of merry berry juice.
Before all of that, however, the opportunity to snap some still life shots with defrosting berries proved impossible to resist. With procrastination at its best, I forgot about posting them. As I look at these shots now, they remind me of one particular aspect of Christmas I truly look forward to. The gift of homemade Sloe Vodka.
By the bucketload, preferably.
To say my 100 Movies In 2012 challenge isn’t going well would be something of an understatement. I’ve managed a measly 44 so far, which means I have only two months to cram in another 56 films in order to call this third attempt a success. Easy. I just need to figure out how to watch them in my sleep.
And so, for now, a brief run through of my most recent viewings, and then hopefully full steam ahead for the movie marathon that will hog all my spare time over the next 9 weeks.
*Synopsis Three friends conspire to murder their awful bosses when they realize they are standing in the way of their happiness.
I may find myself in the minority but I didn’t find this film all that funny. I don’t know if I was too tired to appreciate the gags, because gags aplenty it had, but they had little effect on my funny bone. There were one or two moments that did give rise to laughter – a daydream sequence proving particularly chucklesome, so it wasn’t a complete loss.
Jason Bateman, whom I never tire of watching, was on good enough form. Sadly, that wasn’t enough to keep me from checking the time every five minutes to see if it was any closer to ending and pausing mid-movie to comfort eat my way through a Nik Nak crisp sandwich to ease the boredom (desperate times, people). Even Jennifer Aniston’s break from stereotype, however welcome that might be to some, fell short of the punch I had hoped this film would deliver.
*Synopsis Plagued by a series of apocalyptic visions, a young husband and father questions whether to shelter his family from a coming storm, or from himself.
Take Shelter is a film I almost didn’t watch. It had been sitting in my Sky Planner for a while as one of those films I figured I’d watch when all other viewing options had been exhausted. As it happens, this should have been top of the list.
A slow burner of a film in terms of pacing, and a story told with a subtlety one might not expect in dealing with the subject matter of ‘apocalyptic visions’. On the contrary, the journey this film takes you on through Michael Shannon’s character, Curtis, is so immensely gripping that it sucks you in to feeling every ounce of his progression – so lost in the fear of losing his grasp on reality becoming at odds with his inability to ignore the internal instincts where his world-ending visions are concerned. When something feels so real, how do you convince yourself it’s not?
Without giving anything away, the answer to the big question the movie asks is, as one might expect, withheld to the end, but it’s all those stepping stones in between the beginning and the end that makes Take Shelter a truly captivating story.
Absolutely recommended viewing.
I Don’t Know How She Does It
*Synopsis A comedy centered on the life of Kate Reddy, a finance executive who is the breadwinner for her husband and two kids.
Or as I have since retitled; ‘I Don’t Care How She Does It‘. I found this painful to watch, and that’s already putting aside my personal feelings on the roles women are expected to play in society as depicted by the entertainment industry and media at large.
I suspect, as a woman with zero intention of ever getting married or having children (personal choice), I’m probably not the intended audience for this film, but that shouldn’t make a difference. Simply being female is enough of a reason to feel insulted by this insipid cinematic offering.
Yet another plot using the concept of what is supposed to be a strong woman, depicting her instead as lightweight and clueless, which is at odds with the film’s very premise. Sarah Jessica Parker is, as always, likeable, but delivers far too much whimsy to a role already struggling to be taken seriously.
I also take issue with the overly familiar stereotype of women – career-driven or otherwise, who choose not to have children as being bitchy little child-haters. Newsflash! You can still like children without wanting to bring a new life into the world. No one is disputing the beauty of the bond between mother and child, but some of us just plain don’t want to take on the role of motherhood and all it entails. I may get all googly-eyed when holding a friend’s baby in my arms, but I also know it’s a lifelong commitment I’ve instinctively never wanted to make. Such portrayals are an insult to the vast array of reasons as to why some women forgo having children and it would be refreshing to see this handled with the respect it deserves.
I suspect what irks me most about this film, having had time to process it, is how much potential the actual premise had, and how that potential was trampled on to produce nothing more than a series of clichés and harsh stereotypes.
(Photos and synopsis courtesy of Imdb)
Part 2 next time! And a pitiful update of movies already viewed down below; …(continue reading)
Earlier in the week, I made my first perfect batch of mini bread loaves. It was like striking gold. Not exactly world news, I know, but there’s a sense of pride to be had in achieving something that, on the surface, seems so simple, and yet for me personally has been fraught with difficulty.
You name any breadmaking faux pas and I can absolutely guarantee you I’ve achieved it. I’ve underproofed, overproofed, supersized my bread dough and then deflated it at lightning speed. But at the grand age of 33, I’ve finally mastered the art of the homemade loaf. Well, this once at least. All homemade bread endeavours from this point onwards may still be prone to the odd mishap, but I’ll always have the memory of the moment of this yeasted perfection to keep me going.
So what have I learned? Allow me to impart my supposed wisdom. In turn, you may point and laugh at the obviousness of my mistakes, but i’ll share them anyway; …(continue reading)
A flower stripped of its former beauty. Dare I say there are few things more symbolic of Summer having come to an end?
Answers on a postcard.