Friday, January 19, 2007

Ready to head off, yet again

Thanks to those who offered words of advice. Things on the romantic side have picked up again and everything is hunky-dory once more. In fact I feel that we are closer than we were before, which is good. It does mean that we'll probably be missing each other a lot more over the next two weeks though.

I've spent the past few days sorting out stuff for the holiday. The itinerary is basically flying out to Saigon (aka Ho Chi Ming City) via Bangkok, then west and north a bit across to Cambodia. A bit of beach time then off to it's capital Phnom Penh, up North to Angkor (a place I've always wanted to see!) and then a quick flight back to Bangkok for the last two days chilling out with a Singha or Chang beer watching the world go by on the Khaosan road.

I'm pretty much all packed barring toiletry stuff that I pack in at the last minute.

My laptop, camera (with nice new circular polarising filter), MP3 player, PSP with brain training game to make it through the long flights are sorted.

Passport, Vietnamese Visa, anti-malarial tablets, passport photos for Cambodian visa (for which we apply when we cross borders), anti-insect spray (one for clothes, one for skin), sun cream (factor 20 this time so that I might actually not come back looking whiter than when I went out as happened in Namibia with factor 30!), cap (essential for my follicly challenged head) and most other sundries are all there now.

I hope to actually write something up about my travels this time around as the Namibia write up was rather fore-shortened.

So, it's adieu for a short while I guess...

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Food Of Love?

We decided to meet up at lunch time and talk through things. There were too many unknowns and we were going in circles. Emotionally we decided that we ought to finish it and break up.

Half way out of the door, with tears in our eyes, we talked a bit more...

Breaking up didn't feel right for either of us. We hugged and made up, worked out a plan to improve things and both left feeling a lot happier.

Fingers crossed that love will out...

Happier Times

A select few pictures of my trip to New York last December can now be found here, if anyone's interested.

The picture to the right was taken with a zoom lens from the top of the Empire State Building.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel

Is a feature film being made at a pub at the end of my road. They've converted the outside of the pub to look post-apocalyptic and I currently get to walk through the set on the way to and from my house!

Monday, January 01, 2007

2006 - That was the year that was



  • Walked a lot thinking about my future. Hmmmmm, where exactly is my life heading?


  • Had an excellent holiday in Morocco where I got to camp out in the desert and ride an uncomfortable camel.




  • Melted as the June heatwave hit me as the same time that I got a temperature and I had to stay at home in my 29 degree flat. *scorchio!*
  • Enjoyed the World Cup, until we got knocked out, that is.



  • Slowed down pace of blog entries, rather distracted by other things...




  • XBox 360 died just before it's warranty ran out. Boo!
  • Lots of shopping and fireworks. Bang!
  • Someone tried to diddle my old and by now long cancelled debit card, yet again, but failed.


  • Went to New York for Christmas shopping with the other half (most expensive Christmas present ever but well worth it!)
  • Spent my first Christmas in five years no longer alone but with my girlfriend's family.
  • Won the lottery (I wish!)
  • Went to the cinema 52 times. (See previous post.)
  • New Year's eve with Kylie.
  • Blogged 88 times.

Movie Review Of The Year - 2006

I managed to see a grand total of 52 films this year at the flicks (so one a week, sort of) and the odd one or two on TV and on flights around the world. Comparing my list to last year's I'm either getting less fussy about the films I do see and thinking they're better than they really are or else I'm being more picky about which films I'm going to see to cut out some of the dross.

Nevertheless, here with broad brush strokes are the films I saw this year at the flicks and how I'd categorise them according to how I'd recorded my votes for them on IMDB at the time.

Below Average:
Caché (Hidden) - Hehe, this turned out to be my lowest rated movie of the year. Yes, it's arty farty and French but that certainly didn't make it any good. I should have walked out during this movie as it was soooo boring but I never do that so ended up sitting through almost two hours of this slow, slow movie. It's well rated on IMDB though with 7.4/10 and a comment like "Disturbing, Stunning, Daring and Dark," but then would you trust anyone who capitalises words within their sentence. No, I wouldn't.

Above average (Though so average in so many ways too):
Match Point - Extra marks for Scarlet Johannsen looking lovely and for Woody setting a scene in Shepherd's Bush police station. Emotionally unengaging too much of the time though.

Underworld: Evolution - Kate Beckinsale in leather and enjoyable but a stupid storyline that could have been so much better.

Romance & Cigarettes - Nice idea but just didn't gel properly.

Brick - In two words, "over hyped."

A Scanner Darkly - Should have been good but the story was just not all that engaging and rotoscoping has been around in computer games for years.

Films I liked (I found these more enjoyable, on some level, than not):
Proof, Capote, Transamerica, Inside Man, La Grande séduction, Slither, Mission: Impossible III, The King, Poseidon, X-Men: The Last Stand, Thank You for Smoking, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Huo Yuan Jia (Fearless), Block Party, Little Fish, Miami Vice, Crank, The Departed, The Devil Wears Prada, Starter for Ten, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

Films I liked a lot (good story lines or just brilliant cinematic entertainment):
Memoirs of a Geisha, Jarhead, Walk the Line, Good Night, and Good Luck, Syriana, The Proposition, Junebug, Once in a Lifetime, Banlieue 13, Superman Returns, Stormbreaker, Children of Men, The Black Dahlia, Little Miss Sunshine, Red Road, Borat, The Prestige, El Laberinto del Fauno, Stranger Than Fiction

And finally, my favourite films of the year (in no particular order):

Mirrormask - A weirdly wonderfully imaginative film by Dave McKean & Neil Gaiman. I just loved the dreamlike quality of this film, its subtle humour and the general warmth that emanates from the story.

Shooting Dogs -I'd thought that this could turn out to be the "Hotel Rwanda" that lost the race for release dates but in reality turned out to be a moving alternative take on the genocidal madness that occured in Rwanda in the 90s. A moving story, well told and excellently acted out.

Casino Royale - Bond reinvented the way that he was originally written. Cool and tough and downright dirty. An outstanding action movie that (apart from the slower last act) keeps you going from the beginning. Bond is back and he's good!

-An excellent thriller. The intelligence of the script and the portrayal of paranoia in the spy world makes this stand out for me. It doesn't take sides but is powerful nonetheless.

V For Vendetta
-Spectacular. I'd read the graphic novel a while back and whilst they can never truly capture the feeling someone would get from reading this, it's a bloody good try. A moody British feel to this movie and Natalie Portman's portrayal of Evey made this movie for me.

United 93
-Utterly moving, scary and touching at the same time. It's one of the movies that you walk out of with the audience stone cold silent. A powerful movie indeed.