Friday, July 30, 2010

the boys before they got ill.....

hey everyone

well, as promised (and quite sooner than you might have thought) here are a couple of more pics of James and William doing their apparent morning table routine at school. it's just as well that i took them yesterday, for today they were at the doctor!

neither of the boys have been feeling particularly well of late, but this got somewhat worse during the course of Thursday. off to the doctor it was, and it turns out that James once again has tonsillitis, whereas William has a touch of a gastro infection. oh dear! well, both are at home with medicine, and certainly seem to be a touch better. i am sure Grandma visiting helped!

yes Dad, before you say, i know these two picture are not to the high quality you take. just eat some of your new chocolate and admire the best effort my camera phone can manage!

i thought i had best update now as there is a good chance we shall, once again, be sans internet this weekend. that incompetent bunch Neo Tel, despite several promises and apologies, have once again delivered exceptional bad service and claim that we have cancelled our account when we have not.

hopefully we are not switched off, but if we are, well, as soon as they fix it or we simply get a proper internet provider, i will update as soon as i can!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! well, mostly each other - if you run into a thick, incompetent Neo Tel employee who can't do their job properly and you feel like punching them in the face, well, it is not for me to advise against that as such.

the disabled in the workplace

hey everyone

well, firstly let me make it quite clear that i am an advocate of enabling people with disabilities to enter the workplace. my own place of verk has a fantastic program in this respect, and it is to be encouraged.

that said, there are obvious limitation to what disabled people can and cannot do. sure, it is not particularly politically correct to say that, but the truth seldom cowers at the shadow of the social norm. these limitations are in particular of concern when one wishes to employ someone with mental rather than physical disabilities. the results, as good intentioned as they no doubt were, can be severe and detrimental to many, many people.

an example of this could quite possibly be those responsible for the roads here, as they have clearly hired someone who is in some capacity retarded. it surely can only be the case that someone lacked the knowledge or skills of cognitive thinking, presumably through some form of mental illness, that they took the decision to, on a Friday lunchtime, close off an entire lane of the busiest highway on the entire continent of Africa to remove some flags.

it is admirable that they have opted to hire someone with a clear mental illness to make decisions like this, but surely the consequences to thousands of motorists should perhaps have been considered before allowing this individual to make such decisions?

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

the boys at school

hey everyone

well, OK, strictly speaking James and William are not at school as such, but that's what James calls it!

one of the teachers there very kindly took a couple of pics of the boys yesterday with their cell camera thingies. they are a bit blurred (as, no doubt, Dad will point out to me), but still well worth a look!

first off, here is William, proudly sitting on his own and checking out all that is going on!

William does, it seems, tend to spend a good deal of time sitting and playing when he probably should be sleeping! no matter, he does sleep well through the night, and is certainly eating and drinking more than enough!

as for James, well, i believe it is he who instigated a new morning ritual at school, where first thing in the morning he and William sit down at a table and discuss the day ahead!

i dropped them off this morning, and took a couple of extra pictures before spending 3 (three) hours on the road to verk due to a car being on fire on the highway! i will try and get them on to my computer and on this site over the next few days. or possibly weeks.......

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

It's Not War - It's Ready To Order

hey everyone

it's more than a month before the release date of the new single from the Manic Street Preachers, (It's Not War) Just The End Of Love, but that should not stop you placing your order for it right now! come on, buy it and help the chaps get to number one again!

i have not used Townsend Records before, but i do know they have a very good name. they are also the only ones with a bundle for the single, featuring an "exclusive" 2nd CD with new tracks on it.

the bundle (2 x CD single, 1 x 7") costs £5.99, with overseas shipping costing £3.75. they are, thankfully, one of the sites with enough sense to ship everywhere and anywhere in the world, so there is no excuse for not getting it! click here and order away!

incidentally, for even less than that, you can now purchase the deluxe edition of last year's magnificent Journal For Plague Lovers. click here or here and order the 2 x CD, book version of this masterpiece of an album for only £4.99! that excludes overseas shipping, but both links should also ship to anywhere in the world that you currently are.

sorry for the heavy advertising in this post, but i would rather all and sundry visiting here know how to vastly improve their Manics collection!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

more behind the scenes pics

hey everyone

you may recall that a few posts ago i put up an excellent behind the scenes image from Dr Strangelove. the brilliant but often bonkers site Ain't It Cool News (the people who post things there seem to hate everyone and everything to do with film) is running a feature where they post a behind the scenes image from a classic film each day. it's well worth ignoring the ranting and raving that goes on throughout that site to see them, but here's two of the better ones of late.

first up Ghostbusters, and a look at how exactly they did that class scene with the marshmallow man!

next is no less than The Great Humungosaur from Mad Max 2, a film more often than not irritatingly referred to by its pretend American name, The Road Warrior.

nice one! i'm looking forward to seeing what they come up with next!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

remember him this way

so. farewell, then, Hurricane.

over the next few days, weeks and months there will no doubt be many who will pick away at the memory of Alex Higgins, doing "tell all" stories and piling as much dirt on for personal profit as they can. some will be valid, genuine stories of the damage he did, for he was no angel, but many shall be inflated, not entirely accurate ones to cash in.

i'm not going to be an apologist for his bad ways, but i am instead going to celebrate the wonderful character he was. he, more than anyone else, elevated a distinctly minority and somewhat shady sport to national and international attention. Higgins was a wildman, one of those "once in a lifetime" characters who was blessed with a dazzling skill match by an outlandish and outrageous way of living.

yeah, sure, the drinking, smoking and random acts of violence tarnish him for many and, probably, helped bring about his demise. i'd like to think, though, that some of us still live in a world where we can celebrate what he did, not harp on about where it "went wrong".

as for iconic images, well, few can match the emotion of this one from the early 80s.

one of my fondest Alex related memories shall forever be the afternoon me and Richard watched a video biography of him. there was an absolutely ace section which went into detail about a time in the 80s where he decided to "clean up" for a bit. no bad thing, but if you wanted to keep a low profile and try and stay off the sauce for a while, should you really have considered going to stay with Oliver "Ollie" Reed, no matter how good a mate he was?

the story of drinking pints of aftershave to prove that they were not "chicken" was particularly striking!

well, in a day and age where all in his field and beyond are expected to be clean, sober role models, i dare say that we shall really not see the likes of Hurricane again.

rest in peace, fiery Irishman, the world is a duller place without you.

It's Not War - Just The End Of Love

and so, not much more than a year after the magnificent Journal For Plague Lovers, the Manic Street Preachers make their return and are ready for new releases. The new album, Postcards From A Young Man, is released in late September, but the first single (It's Not War Just The End Of Love) got its debut play on radio in the UK this morning. thanks to the magic of the internet, and the dedication of Manics fans in the UK (you know who you are - thank you), us Manics fans who cannot (sadly) with any ease listen to the radio in the UK because we are not there got to hear the track this morning too! for those hoping to a link to the track here, sorry but there is none - i imagine you can find it with relative ease, though.

well, i am at verk at the moment, so cannot play this new track at the correct and appropriate level. i have, however, managed to give it two or three plays, and thus far my reaction is that it's rather good. not a masterpiece, you understand, but rather good indeed. the band have spoken of this album being their "last shot at mass communication", which means they are keen to sell lots and lots of records, thus the new stuff has a more "popular" sound than would be usual for them. well, kind of - they've had a bash at being popular with the album Send Away The Tigers, an album which left even the most staunch of the bands' followers and defenders scratching their heads for a while.

the new stuff is looking and sounding pretty good - there's been precious little to get excited about on the music front this year, so one can only hope the Manics releasing something picks it all up a bit.

the single will be released on 13 September, so expect some links to be posted in regards of the best place to buy it from sooner rather than later. with some luck, at least - no one seems to have it listed to buy yet!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

painting and eating (whilst flag waving)

hey everyone

sorry again, i took these pictures about a week or so ago and just haven't gotten around to doing a proper update for them! well, here they are!

last weekend we were blessed with an actual "planned" power outage, one that it turns out only went on for four hours longer than they gave assurances about. no matter, we could at least make a plan for the day in advance, and thus off we went to Grandma and Grandad for the day.

since Grandad had a busy day of cyclists and horses lined up for the TV, not to mention some funny dressed men walking around a windy field with some sticks, we thought it best to get James something to keep him busy instead of letting him try and unsuccessfully get Grandad to switch the TV over to cartoons. painting it was, then!

we found some rather ace sets in a toy store that came with dinosaur statues to paint, along with a brush and four different paints to use. a week later i went into the store where i got them, by the way, and discovered they had pushed the price up! no matter, James loved the velociraptor we got him, and painted it a most excellent psychedelic colour!

the result was that James was happy and busy, leaving Grandad to flick through the channels with, if you will excuse the reference to his penchant for attracting sailors, gay abandon!

yes, eagle eyed observers, that is indeed a "Bakugan" Grandad is holding on to, as he intently watches someone either cycling up a hill or smacking a ball around!

James was also very excited to see that Grandad had taken down his large array of flags from the garden wall. he did at first have ideas of using them as some sort of elaborate lightsabres, but was soon stopped. instead, then, he opted to recreate one of his favourite songs at the moment and did some glorious flag waving. with Grandma helping, of course!

as for William, well, he just has fun all the time, no matter where he is! he does sort of like having his picture taken, as you can see in this one as he sits with Mummy!

you will notice that he has a bib on. well, William might as well have a bib on all the time, really, as he simply loves eating. he wasn't too fanatical about drinking the recommended amounts of milk each day in his early days, but boy is he making up for that now he is having cereal and a range of purified foods!

he seems particularly happy whenever he is sat in his most imperial feeding chair!

despite no teeth coming through as such, i really do think we missed a trick in not calling him Hannibal. or perhaps even "Jaws", since today with just his gums he managed to "bite" straight through a teething biscuit!

finally, then, a couple of more pictures of the boys. This is what James currently considers to be a "good and proper" pose for having your picture taken.

my, school pictures shall be fun! next up though is an extra special picture of William, extra special because James took it!

well, there we have it! believe it or not i've had a shave and a haircut since the last pics of me, but as no pictures were taken of me you will just have to take my word for it!

hope all is well with you in your various corners around the world!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

a couple of movie reviews

hey everyone

apologies for those who visit this site and whack refresh to see if there's anything new! i just haven't had the time or inspiration to post much of late, sorry. let me try and make amends since i've managed to see one or two (well, two) new films. actually, 3 - watched Wolverine on TV last night, but as many of you will have seen that last year (mostly, i suspect, the dodgy, incomplete copy that surfaced) it's not particularly worth discussing!

first up then would be what is expected to be one of the biggest films of the year, if not the biggest, Toy Story 3. whereas a lot of people were excited about this, i was somewhat dubious given Pixar's track record of late. whereas i loved Wall-E, i still struggle to work out who it was aimed at other than 2001 fans. Up i refuse to watch because it looks depressing and strikes me as being a rather dubious attempt to proclaim some sort of "artistic integrity". and the less said about Cars the better - i have yet to meet anyone who found it to be anything greater than dull and boring, and the stores being packed with unsold toys from the film tells you that children - surely the main target audience of Disney films - were unimpressed with it.

i am delighted to say, though, that Pixar have got it right with this one. Toy Story 3 sees Pixar do what they do best once again - dazzling animation, engaging and emotional story and, most importantly, entertains the audience.

the plot sees the owner of Woody, Buzz et al, Andy, being of an age when he is ready to head off to college. a bit of a mix up, however, sees his beloved toy collection being first tossed as rubbish and then donated to a daycare centre rather than safely being stored in the attic as he wished. Woody is the only toy convinced that this is a mistake, and thus eventually he leads the remainder of the gang on a quest to return home.

no major surprises in the plot, then - this would be the third time they have played on the variation of "toy gets lost - toy gets home". well, rehashing the same plot hasn't exactly hurt something like the James Bond series, and much like those films (barring the awful Pierce Brosnan years) you don't go to see them for dazzling creativity and originality, you go for entertainment. and entertain this one certainly does.

not that it is entertainment without being flawed, mind. on numerous occasions in the film we had to explain to James that the "big boy in Andy's room" and the "big boy with Andy's toys" was indeed Andy himself, now a bit older. note to Pixar - a large section of your target audience doesn't necessarily "get" this whole aging business as such. characters, to the eyes of a child, are timeless.

a big surprise to me, having now seen the film, is the lack of the usual outcry over the way anything remotely gay is presented in films these days. Ken is rarely, if ever, present in the film without overt or implied references to his sexuality; and clearly not all of them are intended as tolerant, "understanding" comments. considering the rather misguided protests and parades against films like The Silence Of The Lambs and Basic Instinct, where a lunatic minority got it into their heads that both films were trying to say "gays are killers", i am surprised they have kept so quiet about clear digs at gay people in what is essentially a film intended for children. ho hum.

moving on, and a film that both excited and scared all those of us who grew up in the 80s. yes, The A Team. excited because it was an awesome TV show that everyone seemed to love; scared because of the absolute mess some very much loved 80s TV shows became when turned to film - and yes, Miami Vice, this is a reference to you.

thankfully, the only connection this film version of The A Team has to that horrible, insipid film version of Miami Vice is that you wished the makers of the big screen version of Crockett & Tubbs loved and understood the source material as much as the makers of this film clearly do. it's excellent!

do i really have to give a rundown on the plot of The A Team? i think not. it's as you know it, at least from an "origins" point of view, as this shows how the four came together and were, in the words of the famous theme "sentenced to prison for a crime they did not commit". a little bit of tweaking here and there - most notably, and understandably, moving it from Vietnam to Iraq, but it's essentially what you remember.

a word of warning, though - some of the oddities from the TV show are gone. people do get shot in this world, and indeed die. whereas it is not gratuitous violence, it's a step up from the comparatively innocent world of the TV show - probably not viewing suitable for the whole family, then.

as they were sticking to the basic principles of the TV series, all the film makers really had to do was not make a mess of the casting to get this film right. there were an awful lot of people who scratched their heads and went "huh?" when the actors for the four pivotal roles were named, it has to be said. well, a lot of people did that when Heath Ledger was named as the man to play The Joker in The Dark Knight, and let's remember what a success that was. whereas there's no performance as great as Heath, the casting is just about as perfect - they may not particularly look like carbon copies of the originals, but they are familiar enough and bring an extra dimension to each character.

anyway, would you want someone doing a lame imitation/parody of, for instance, Mr T? i think not! on that note, by the way, there's an excellent and ingenious way in which they manage to bring BA's well known catchphrase into the proceedings - eyes peeled, everyone!

The A Team
is two hours of ridiculous fun and things blowing up. i wouldn't want to give away too much in the way of spoilers, but the "flying tank" is a particular favourite, mostly because of the dialogue during that scene. if you fondly recall the TV show, see it without fear of disappointment!

well, there you have it. two films watched in the last week, and two above-average, entertaining ones they were too. which makes a very nice change!!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

i thought i was smiling....

hey everyone

well, somewhat out of the blue this week, James asked if Mummy could take some pictures of her boys. considering James shies away from pictures more often than not this was unusual, and a chance to jump at.

as fate would have it, alas, the batteries for the camera were down really, really low, thus we couldn't get as many pics as James seemed keen for!

oh well, let us not lament the ones we could not take, instead just celebrate the ones that we could!

now, i was doing my best to smile in these pictures, my apologies for not looking like i am! my curious expression is probably down to a combination of the flash and having to move around whilst James decided how he wished to pose!

just as well that vanity isn't really a curse for me, otherwise i would possibly have opted not to put these up here! James managed to persuade the batteries to work long enough to take a picture of me and William together, at least!

well, as you can see, we are all fine and well on this side! hope all is good wherever you are, and i certainly hope it's a good deal warmer than we have it at the moment!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

13 July 1985

July 13 1985. I have missed the actual 25th anniversary by a day or so, but blimey, for those of us who watched it, who could ever forget Live Aid?

There were of course a few charity concerts before Live Aid, but never ever had there been anything on the scale of this event. Almost everyone who was anyone played that day and night, the curious notable exceptions being four of the biggest acts of the time – Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Michael Jackson and, most annoyingly for me, Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Oh well, never mind the four we didn’t get, let’s remember the many that were there. Sorry in advance for sporadic memories of the whole event; I dare say if you want a full and proper account you will find it somewhere!

I remember well sitting in the lounge with the whole family watching the majority of the Wembley concert. It was awesome. Status Quo started it all off in style, and from then on you pretty much sat glued to the TV. It was annoying to see Adam Ant do just the one song; it was only later that it was revealed that he had been requested to cut his set to accommodate some other acts. No other bands or artists had such an imposition, it has to be said. The Style Council did all their big numbers, which in some way made up for it for me.

It felt at the time a little awkward when Paul Young started off his set with Do They Know It’s Christmas. I to this day don’t know if he cut it short deliberately or if he sensed it wasn’t going down too well.

A new-ish band from Ireland called U2 came on. They had been on Top Of The Pops not so long before with some halfway decent song called Pride (In The Name Of Love) . They weren’t too bad – who knew they would build on this and become the biggest band in the world?

A lot of fuss was made of the return to the stage of The Who for the first time in many years. A lot of frustration was felt when a technical error (blown fuses, apparently), blacked out coverage of their anticipated set!

Then, of course, there was the act that defined the day, the band that created an image that may very well have a case for defining the decade. I speak of course of the performance considered the best of the best in terms of Live Aid and spoken of by many as the greatest live performance ever. As approximately one billion words have already been written about just how astonishing Queen were at Live Aid, I cannot say much beyond how fondly I remember sitting and watching it with my Mum, Dad, brother and sister in the stunned, mesmerized silence that I would imagine the whole world did.

After Queen, well, I wouldn’t say everything else didn’t seem that great, but nothing stuck in the mind quite as much. The sight of Phil Collins dashing from Wembley to the USA to do two gigs in one day was excellent. The rumours that George Harrison & Ringo Starr sneaked onstage to join Paul McCartney for the grand finale carry on to this day.

The American leg did, by comparison, seem a bit flat. Simple Minds were ace, and I remember staying up until the early hours of Sunday to watch Mick Jagger do his solo set whilst other members of The Stones played later – 1985 was pretty much the height of The Stones not liking each other, charity or not.

13 July 1985 was the closest to a perfect day for music lovers the world had ever seen, really. Of course, as the last 25 years have gone by, some of the imperfections and unexpected consequences have come out.

Leaving aside where all the money raised for the starving people of Ethiopia actually ended up (refer to the many “investigations” of late for info on that), let’s consider the way the event affected music. Firstly, and most obviously, it all became rather friendly. After July 1985, there were no more “band rivalries” for quite a while. Whether they were fun or foul, artists no longer had a go or a dig at each other in the way they did before, at least not until the infamous Blur vs Oasis row in the mid-90s. A sense of bands not trying to outshine or outdo each other dawned, and made music following a rather clean, somewhat sterile venture.

The record labels picked up on quite an interesting knock on effect, too. With the notable exception of Adam Ant, every artist who performed at Live Aid saw their record sales jump considerably over the next couple of weeks. Whereas there can be no question of any artists expecting or anticipating such a thing before Live Aid, all and sundry were well aware of it after the fact. Charity records and concerts became the thing to do after it. Whereas it’s fantastic that money was raised for many good causes, it did start to get a bit much – one tragic event somewhere and you knew for sure that a record and concert would be held very soon after it, with acts all of a sudden falling over themselves to get in on it.

The worst of the latter was easily Live 8, an event which they blocked from being broadcast on the continent that it was supposed to help, and by all accounts an event broadcast with very obvious, heavy handed adverts for the back catalogue of all the acts appearing there.

Another unfortunate side effect was the notion of Live Aid giving certain bands the misguided belief that all and sundry wished to hear their overtly political views on absolutely everything. Step forward, Jim Kerr and Bono, for this is a reference to you. Both Simple Minds & U2 built on their successful Live Aid appearances and then, for much of the late 80s, used the platform for success they built to sprout forth any and all issues they had with the world. It got boring very quickly, and to a great extent cheapened the selfless, admirable work they did on that day in July 85.

One thing that has caused many some concern is the apparent inability to be critical or in any way negative of the event organizer, Bob Geldof (or “Saint Bob” as he has been more commonly known for the last 25 years). Well, what’s there to be critical of? Apparently he’s been rather prudent with where he keeps his own money in regards of tax “efficiency”, but so what? The man slaved away to try and do good, and hasn’t done anything particularly bad that I am aware of. Nice work, fella.

Other than effectively and rather unfairly ending Adam Ants’ solo career overnight, the ups of Live Aid far outweigh the downs listed here. It really was a day and night where it felt like the entire world was together as one to do some good. The only comparable event I can think of since is probably December 31 1999.

For those reading this of an age to remember watching Live Aid, hope this has brought back some splendid memories!

Monday, July 12, 2010

all things Kubrick

hey everyone

well, that title might be a bit misleading, but as fate would have it there are two Stanley Kubrick "things" making the news over the last week.

firstly, the rather useful film news site Ain't It Cool News has obtained a rather unusual behind the scenes picture from Kubrick's great Dr Strangelove. it's rather unusual because, as you can see, it's in colour!

wow! rather strange, if you will excuse the phrase, to see the set and indeed Sellers as Dr Strangelove in colour! nice of the greatest film director of all time to test out the chair!

if that wasn't enough interesting Kubrick imagery for now, a rather fine artist by the name of Carlos Ramos is holding an exhibition of paintings inspired by the films of Stanley Kubrick.

any or all of the paintings produced would look mighty fine in our home, but as the prices run into many thousands of $$$$ for them i guess i shall just admire them on the internet. if you click on the link you can see a wide selection of the paintings, but if you can't be bothered here are two of my favourites.

first off, here's a great one from a pivotal scene in 2001.

and secondly, interestingly an interpretation from possibly my least favourite Kubrick film (although it remains a masterpiece), perhaps my favourite painting of the whole lot. Behold this stunning work of young Danny in The Shining

i wonder how many more Kubrick related stories shall turn up this week?

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

what an idiot

there's a time and a place to try and steal a solid gold statue. a stadium filled with 85,000 people for an event watched by some half a billion people around the world probably isn't it......

Update! - oh, it wasn't someone trying to steal it. it was some clown who calls himself Jimmy Jump, and has a track record for this sort of thing. what an odd fellow!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

David Bowie wants every penny i have and will ever have

hey everyone

well, after promising that it would be released "within the first six months of 2010", David Bowie in the seventh month of this year announces that the Station To Station deluxe edition will be released in the ninth month of this year! well, who are we to assume that the great one follows the same kind of calendar that we all do?

calling this reissue a "deluxe" edition appears to be something of an understatement. behold, look how beautiful this impressive set is!

thus far there's no information on the cost of it all - i suspect, then, if you have to ask what it costs then you can't afford it! hopefully David takes it easy on us fans who have thrown fortunes at him already, but it doesn't look like it comes on the cheap.

i must say there does appear to be one or two very curious inclusions on the set. for some reason this "uber" deluxe version contains a replica of the original 1985 CD release - is there really a nostalgia market for first generation, somewhat poor sounding by today's standards compact discs? there's also an "e.p." version of the album, which as far as i can work out "just" features 5 of the 6 album tracks, the cover of Wild Is The Wind being the track dropped to apparently transform it from album to e.p.!

i look forward to seeing the price of this super set, but also fear it. i suspect i may very well have to settle for the somewhat more modest 3 CD set, which features the remastered, cleaned up album along with the 3 CD set of the legendary Nassau Coliseum '76 gig.

the more "modest" version looks pretty too, just not quite as pretty as the super version!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

behold, the boys in July

hey everyone

well, a new month, almost a new milestone for William (seven months this month!) and thus i give you an update on the boys at last. yes, i know, sorry for the lack of updates of late, etc, etc, as usual i have been busy, although some of the more regular readers will be quite aware of that!

i would say here we go with a rather smart picture i got of the two of them, but most of you will merrily have skipped past my musings (yes Dad, this is a reference to you) and gone to the pictures anyway!

now, William had a most excellent smile on the go, right up until the moment the flash went off. sorry! as for James, doesn't he look healthy and happy? hard to tell that a mere 3 days ago he was in to have 4 (four) teeth out (!) and an equal number of fillings!

digressing slightly on that note, i am not sure if i mentioned it here before, but James needed the teeth out due to damage done to them by antibiotics when he was younger. as, i guess, opposed to when he was older. oh dear.

still, he has recovered nicely - i think the new Batman and Joker toys helped somewhat in that regard. as an aside - all that dental work on Monday, yet on Tuesday he was asking if he could please have a KFC Chicky Meal. aaah, there's proof of fatherhood that beats even the most advanced DNA testing!

speaking of the father of these two fine boys, Michele was keen to have a pic of all three of her lads, presumably to prove conclusively that they do indeed get their dashing good looks from her.....

as you will have seen, i got the pics of William in his walker ring thing. we have, with some sense of bravery, taken the breaks off and left him to push himself around a bit. this is something William considers to be absolutely brilliant (we guess), since he now roams around the lounge looking for things to grab and eat!

that said, the walking ring thing retains enough delights to keep him happy when he can't be pestered to walk around (Hannibal did beckon Clarice closer to him, after all). observe, if you will, his unbridled joy at the spinning ball with a fish and little balls in it!

well, after a challenging and interesting week, all is rather fine here, i am happy to say. i certainly trust that the same is true of you!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!