Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year!

To my reader, a Happy New Year to you.  Here's a random Gary Larson cartoon as my gift to you - it always makes me laugh...

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Movies of 2012

Inspired by Ray's posting, here are my top 10 (plus 1) movies of the year. These are films I watched this year, rather than those released in 2012:
Dreams of a Life
This documentary has stayed me with ever since I saw it. It is a gripping and very emotional film, which I highly recommend. I wrote a blog posting on this film as I was so impressed.
A great thriller and a wonderful Bond film.
The Muppets
A film where you smile all the way through, especially if you are of a certain age.
The Descendants
Watched on a plane, but still obviously a top drama.
If you like Family Guy, you'll like this. Crude, silly and very funny.
I well acted and visually stunning movie. 
Funny French movie about an expert brought in to break up relationships.
The Awakening
A minor horror overlooked by everybody it seems. 
Simple, funny animation.
Had to be a top 11 in the end as I couldn't decide between these two:
The Help
A film that showed that parts of mid 20th century USA were rather racist places and many people didn't even realise it!
The Artist
So much has been written about this already.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

My favourite Christmas image

Monday, 24 December 2012

Christmas eve

A busy day ahead for us - visiting Pete's God Parents who we haven't seen for a while, a few last ingredients for home-made ice-cream and cheesecake, some last-minute shopping, wrapping, etc etc.

Look what I found under the tree!...

Sunday, 23 December 2012

December movie update

Here are the films that Pete and I have received from and watched on TV and DVD over the past month in reverse order, with my ratings out of ten from my movie list on the IMDB.

Flame (1975) 6
A gritty drama that features 70's glam rockers Slade! Surprisingly serious film about the music industry in the late 60's.
Hesher (2010) 2
Going South (2009) 6
A French road movie that was OK, but was lacking enough story to make you care about the characters.
Margin Call (2011) 7
A good Wall Street drama about the effects of the bank crisis – close to being an 8.
Élisa (1995) 2
Bad story and characters you hated. Not good!
Silly action movie, but OK to pass some time.
Anthony Zimmer (2005) 6
We couldn't understand why we recognised the story in the French film, but found it's the original of the US film The Tourist (which was more of a comedy that this film).
Magic Mike (2012) 5
Despite lots of fit almost naked men, this was not a good film. The story could have been more fleshed out (no pun intended).
Surprisingly good comedy with the end of the world weeks away. Quite touching in places.
Twee and not the best story in my view, but OK if you want something that doesn't require any thought.
A film with an amazing back story. This silly comedy was made on a tiny budget and everyone in an English village took part; from building sets and catering to acting, driving and promotion.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

The final work of 2012

I've been in Edinburgh for a few days with work and it's been pretty exhausting!  Our boss decided that we had to work, rather than the usual end of year "fun".  So lots of meetings, presentations and We also had a Christmas party.
I got back last night and had to wash and change and go out straight away as Pete had booked a table at a restaurant. So I've had 3 nights of rich, fatty meals!
My mum and dad have stayed and looked after Zac.  My mum knows lots about dog training and managed to get him to "sit" and stop biting hands within a few hours.  Not bad for a 10 week old pup'.  His character is coming through and he has settled in well.
Christmas is a-coming and we are prepared now and I have a couple of unusual presents for Pete. I hope he likes them!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Top photos

Here are some of my favourite photos from the website Twisted Sifter's top 100 'photo of the day' from 2012:
Two faced
Aurora Australis from space
Hanover airport

Friday, 14 December 2012

Wet t-shirt competition

Olympian and dancer Louise Smith in a nice wet t-shirt.  Could be a new Saturday night TV programme.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012


OK, I know I will become one of those people that go on about their dog! I will try not to. But...
I am astounded at the energy of Zac, despite him being a tiny puppy. He also has teeth that easily break the skin. I hope he doesn't get a taste for blood.
We are currently trying to get him used to being alone, as he will need to be spend time on his own for hours on end when we are both out working. And, until he is toilet trained at least, he is spending the nights in his bed in the kitchen. He cries and howls through the night which is very upsetting but it's the only sensible way forward. On the second morning I went downstairs to see to him and he was in his bed whimpering to himself. It was possibly one of the saddest and most upsetting things I have ever seen! How silly is that?! I actually had tears in my eyes as he woke and went crazy with happiness on seeing me. I really don't know what came over me but it makes me emotional just thinking about it!

I have lived with dogs before, but this is all new for me - real responsibility and routine!
I simply don't want to see him upset, stressed, lonely or unhappy and will have to get used to being tough sometimes I suppose.

To end on... remember, dogs have owners, cats have servants.

Sunday, 9 December 2012


Saturday, 8 December 2012

Our little guy arrives

We picked up our Puppy today.  Zac is presently asleep on my lap.  He seems pretty laid back and the journey home was fine.  I don't expect a straightforward night of course; this is the first day away from his mother and 7 brothers and sisters.

On the way home, Pete sent a text to Radio 2...

Friday, 7 December 2012

Calendar #2

The next 2013 calendar to highlight has to be big bulging Tom Daley...
Plus a bonus pic...

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Calendar #1

Those Stade Francais rugby gods have, since 2001, published a sexy calendar each year.  Here are some of the 2013 images directed at women and rugby loving gay guys...

Monday, 3 December 2012

Yes please

As seen on Saturday in Cambridge...

Sunday, 2 December 2012

What did I learn this week? #4

The M25 can't cope with the current level of traffic and any problems cause huge tailbacks. It's not going to get any better.  I wasted at least 3 hours on the M25 this week moving at a crawl or just sitting in traffic. The authorities need to do better - widening isn't the only solution.
I feel sorry for David Beckham. To have a wife who is so successful who looks angry and bored all of the time, must do his head in. Now that his USA adventure has ended (which I think was a poor move anyway), I also hope that he doesn't come back to the UK as the press would go overboard, it's bad enough at the moment.
There is such a thing as a free lunch...well sort of. I bought a 6 month subscription to a magazine and it came with the free gift of a running backpack.  The subscription was a reduced £16.99 and when the bag came, I put it on Ebay and sold it for £22.  A magazine in the post and a small profit.  This could be a new thing for me... hunting out the subscriptions with quality free gifts!
We have some friends coming over so I made Scones* and while making, I realised that I last made fruit Scones when I was at school!  Pete usually makes the cakes in our house, so it was a rarity for me.
* For the record, I say Scones which rhymes with stones, whereas Pete says Scones with rhymes with cons.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

The home straight

Where did the year go?! It's December already and I can't quite believe it.  This month will be a busy one with a new member of our family arriving, work, some pre-Christmas stuff, Edinburgh, Christmas itself, work and too much food and drink.
It's been a tough few weeks at work.  I have my last one-to-one with my manager this week and I will have to work hard not come across as negative. So I will smile and put a positive spin on things.  It's a balancing trick.
On Thursday, I will have been with my current employer 5 years. That's 5 years of whinging and moaning by me and definitely not enough progress.  And I can't see that changing for a while.  In a recession, a move from a sort-of-satisfactory job that pays a good wage to something else is a massive risk.  
Off to Cambridge today to take in the Christmas atmosphere and have a couple of Saturday afternoon drinks. Have a fine day you'all.