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

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Guest post on a blog that people actually read!

Today I have a guest post over on the Reel Librarians blog, about libraries in Dystopian future movies. Features the trailers for both Zardoz and Battlefield Earth.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A post of the "What I did on the weekend (non) variety

In a (very) bored moment the other day I was looking at some old Revelations posts and I noticed that many of them are of the "What I did on the weekend" variety. Perhaps one of the reasons that the frequency of my posts here has tailed off recently is that the weekends have become somewhat predictable, consisting of 4 key elements:

1) Grasshopper Soccer
B2's Saturday morning football school now doubles up as a chance to chat with my mate Gary, whose son Nick also attends. Next year they will probably join the local team and continue their inevitable rise to Messi-style superstardom. (B1 is expecting to take up netball next term).

2) Shopping
At some point we will always end up in the local mall, which depresses me rather.

3) Kid's Party
There's always a party somewhere, this weekend it was Harry's 5th birthday which B2 attended dressed as a dinosaur despite the fact it wasn't fancy dress. I'm assuming he'll grow out of that.

4) Bushwalking
A nice bushwalk is our default option when we have nothing better to do. Free, healthy and fun is a good combination, and we are close to a few great areas.

This weekend's variations included a fun play with Dani and Todd, some idiot smashing our car window for no particular reason while we were watching said play, and a sewage pipe overflow in the back garden.

Monday, August 13, 2012

There's nothing more beautiful than a sleeping child

Exhibit A: B1

Exhibit B: B2

Exhibit C: Me!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Gold medal pedantry

I've been thoroughly obsessed with the Olympics for the last couple of weeks, which wasn't really what my circadian rhythms were crying out for following the late-night viewings of Euro 2012. The opening ceremony, the sporting brilliance and the presentation of the UK as a multicultural and forward-thinking nation have all been a balm to a soul exposed to years of the ultra-cynical Premier League.

Nevertheless, I will forever be a pedant and, in particular, a linguistic pedant. So a few points of order are required.

1) Girl

The female athletes are not girls, they are either women or, y'know, athletes. Commentators please take note. Caveat; I'll allow the use of ladies, but only in the equestrian events.

2) Hero

Being exceptionally good at running, jumping, swimming or a combination of the aforementioned does not make you a hero. Heroes are folks who sacrifice themselves for others, as in soldiers jumping on a grenade or single parents working themselves sick for the sake of their kids.

3) Proud

This is a stickier one because the word is used in more than one way, but to me it is absurd to say that the Olympics have made me proud to be British. I think that in order to be proud of something I must have done something for which I can take credit. I am proud of my marriage, I am proud of my children, but I cannot feel pride about the fact I happen to have born in the paradise that is suburban Essex.

Let's just say that these tremendous Olympics have made me feel honoured, and indeed privileged, to be British.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Ah, London

(This is a week or so late but, hey, I've been busy. I'm hoping to be blogging more often than I have been recently for the forseeable.)

Being as cynical as the next grumpy Englishman, I was expecting very little from the Olympic opening ceremony. My admiration for Danny Boyle was the only ray of light in a Stygian darkness of political showboating, Stalinist corporate sponsorship and potentially tragicomic mismanagement.

I watched it last night and, blow me down, it was ruddy marvellous. The hand of the director was evident throughout in the spot-on cultural references, the mingling of tradition and modernity and of course the music.

My highlights, in no particular order;

1) Kes! Gregory's Girl! Boyle's own Trainspotting, the cheeky monkey.
2) The whole NHS sequence, which almost seemed like a direct " flip you, melonfarmer" to the comments of diplomacy's Mitt Romney. Just about everyone in the UK loves the healthcare system, and it was wonderful to see it given such prominence.
3) The fact that the Brookside lesbian kiss was broadcast live on Saudi TV. I expect it caused more shock than the man-on-ape moment from the same montage.
4) The overhead shot of the Thames accompanied by the Eastenders drum intro. In fact any little joke that required explanation to the non-UK audience made me chuckle. Never overly intrusive but deftly done.
5) Once insurrectionary music being embraced as celebrations of Englishness - the Pistols, the Clash, Frankie. Bringing it right up to date there were even a couple of moments provided by a band I shall euphemistically refer to as F Buttons.

Absolutely ludicrous, irreverently funny and very, very British. It made me feel privileged to be a Pom.

Nearly forgot, there was also one of the finest speeches in all of Shakespeare, the last couplet of which makes me feel more than a little weepy; 

Be not afeard. The isle is full of noises,
Sounds and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices
That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again; and then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open, and show riches
Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked,
I cried to dream again.