It's a completely cool, multi-purpose blog.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

I have never seen that woman before in my life

A bit quiet here on the posting front, largely because life has been pretty quiet. Post-Raratonga and pre-Big Trip, we are hunkering down and trying to get all the boring stuff done.

For example:

- Planning Big Trip July 09. Already looking slightly beyond sane levels of activity, we'll try and fit everybody in at some point.

- Working a lot. I have recently had enquiries about a book named Gaseous Detonations, and one from a student with bleeding gums who had sneezed and thereby covered a book in blood.

- M is completing a Masters placement out of town, meaning she's away every Tuesday night. Mope.

- I have just finished semester 1 of the restarted Stratman course. We've been strolling through the early, silent years which has been a slog at times but has been livening up since we reached the Twenties. The second half of the pre-talkies kicks off in September.

What with all of the above, M&I barely get to see each other these days. Fortunately we have a weekend at Avoca coming up (first for aaaages) so we will be able to get reacquainted. Hell, I may even take some photos of the Bs for your viewing pleasure.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Are Camera Obscura the most swoonsome band in the world?


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Hitch

How I love that cantankerous atheist, controversialist and hopelessly misguided Iraq war apologist Christopher Hitchens. The guy is terrifyingly well-read and smart, and his cojones are beyond question. I have never seen somebody voluntarily undergo waterboarding before, which is jaw-dropping, but to publicly adjust one's views after such an experience is perhaps even more courageous.

Here he is on a panel with 4 Christian apologist opponents and a biased chair. Heroic.

Monday, April 20, 2009

My Top 10 Films

As a certified Film Buff, I am often asked for my list of Top 10 Films.

Happy to oblige:

1) Pierrot Le Fou
2) Wild Strawberries
3) Sullivan’s Travels
4) Las Hurdes
5) Umberto D
6) Yojimbo
7) M
8) Eraserhead
9) Ariel
10) A Trip to the Moon

OK, this is nonsense, but I liked this video so I thought I would try applying the criteria:

Still, it’s not a bad list. When I’m in a particularly pretentious mood I’ll say my all-time favourite film is “the first half of Pierrot Le Fou”. On the other hand, there’s Spinal Tap

Last resort

M and the Bs had a whale of a time in Raratonga - sunshine (mostly), the sea just a few steps from our room, a swimming pool, a Kid's Club for B1. I was a bit more ambivalent, predictably enough given the emphasis on the dubious pleasures of the beach. I should mention that everybody except for me appeared to consider themselves to be in paradise, so I am fully cognisant that I'm the oddball here. I should also mention that I'm thoroughly grateful to my in-laws for the opportunity to go there in the first place.

Sticking to the positives, then, the snorkelling was truly stunning. The island is surrounded by a shallow lagoon, meaning that you never got out of your depth but could revel in the oh-so-clear water and enjoy an abundance of sealife including angelfish, octopus, moray eels, parrotfish and so on.

We also signed up for a torchlit night snorkel which was made particularly memorable by the sounds of a wedding disco being clearly audible throughout. The Chicken Dance, Ice Ice Baby, all the classics.

The diving was fantastic too - a small, low-hassle group and some exciting submarine geography containing turtles, sharks etc. Unfortunately my breathing rate was even more shocking than it used to be, resulting in some pretty brief dips for me, although everybody else went a lot better.

The other highlight was a coast-to-coast trek that took a few hours of fairly tough walking but showcased the dramatic verdant landscape. Our guide was a superfit 68 year old islander with blond dreads called Pa, a real character. He sped away a little too fast for some of us, and some of his views on alternative medicine raised eyebrows in our sceptic-heavy gang, but he was a real character who knew what he was doing.

Oh, and The Alexandra Quartet really is some book.