Monday, September 27, 2010

king of bass in king of shirts

hey everyone

well, it's not all that often i get excited about clothes, really. on those rare instances that something catches my eye, however, it tends to be pretty spectacular.

over the weekend we watched the one and only released Primal Scream DVD, the Riot City Blues tour disc. on it we noticed two things - one was how restrained Bobby Gillespie seemed in it (i don't think he likes being filmed), the other was just how excellent the shirt Mani had on was.

i have done my best to get some screen grabs from the dvd, but i am not sure my skills at doing this do the shirt justice. it looks absolutely ace!

Mani, of course, is the ex-Stone Roses bass player, but has now been in Primal Scream for over ten years. when people ask him how he feels about being in the Scream longer than the Roses, his usual answer is "about the same as i feel about being in Primal Scream longer than i have been in The Beatles.".

i have no idea where i will find a shirt like this - clothes shopping isn't really a strength of mine. ho hum, will just have to hope i get lucky, will keep an eye out for it!

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

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday afternoon

hey everyone

well, we had the pleasure of some visitors this weekend, the least of whom certainly wasn't Lyla. as it happens, for most of her visit she and James were eating a traditional Sunday McDonalds and jumping on the trampoline. i did, however, manage to get one picture of the two loving (not like that, Grant) cousins....

note that James is wearing the rather splendid Ben 10 outfit that his Grandma got him. James was trying to set a record for wearing it, as he had been wearing it for some 27 hours by the time this picture was taken. and yes, he did sleep in it too, apparently.

James fancied a go with the camera as usual, so here is the pic he took of everyone else in the house!

now i am probably (as in i am) going to be in trouble for putting up a picture of my dear wife Michele in her pyjamas. however, the kick to the undercarraige and the black eye(s) shall probably be worth it, as the good people at her place of verk will no doubt be delighted to see this. see, i told you that she does, every now and then, wear pretty pink things.

righty-ho, that'll do from this side for today!

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

up in the UK.....

hey everyone

well, some curious pics have landed in my email from the UK in the last week or so. as ever, i suspect the best thing to do with them is put them on display here and have a discussing about them.

first up, my dear Uncle Colin. now, everyone in this world has a vice or two, even perhaps a hobby. very few, though, are the people who get rather excited by putting suitcases in cars, but my Uncle seems to be one of the few.

ah, now here is a most excellent picture. partly because it features my Dad with Andrew and Christopher.....

...but mostly because it shows he has his most excellent Ernest Hemmingway beard on the go again. i am not sure why he shaves it off, it looks quite class. some of you might say that the beard is due to an aquatic voyage he has undertaken. i cannot say that, because it's been intimated to me that if my Dad features in any more articles with phrases like "Admrial Bob" and "hello sailors!" in it, i am going to get lamped, and my deluxe Bowie Station To Station set is probably going to end up on a sailing holiday too.

moving on, and here's Christopher being rather open about a rather curious passion of his.

none of us have a clue why it is that Christopher thinks the number 10 (ten) is so brilliant, but here you go. his Mum, my dear Auntie Angela, seems to have a look of nothing but pride as Christopher shows off his latest ten find, so there you go!

and finally for now from the UK, the delightful young Natalie seems to be taking up my old job of discussing politics with Gramps himself, Stormin' Norman!

i am not sure what Natalie makes of this coalition business, but i would be pretty sure that Gramps doesn't like it. i base this on the fact that Gramps doesn't particularly approve or like anything that any politician does, bar resign.

well, there you go! as i have been reasonably polite about my Dad, who knows? perhaps more pictures shall follow soon!

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

how things are down in New Zealand

hey everyone

Gillian has sent on some "recent" pictures from how things are going down in New Zealand. i cannot be more explicit nor precise than recent, as Gillian just takes the pics off her camera and sends them in accordance with certain astrological guidance, or as and when she can be bothered (or, if you will, "a***d") to do it.

here's a rather splendid picture of Daniel, who is in a spectacular costume, but one i fear that is somewhat at odds with the "under the sea" theme i am led to believe the party had!

very smart outfit! Daniel does like his dressing up, it seems, as can be seen in this picture!

now, Michele reckons that if boys have a big sister they look up to it's normal for them to dress up like this. i suspect that it has more to do with Grant, really, and i don't have a big sister myself and yet probably would very much enjoy dressing up like this.....

one thing is for sure, though - dressing up and running around can be so very, very tiring!

nice one Gillian, thank you for sending on such splendid images!

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

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

the boys in green

hey everyone

as Great Grandma Harland very kindly sent some wonderful new t-shirts for the boys, what better excuse do i need to take a couple of pictures of them showing them off?

taking pictures of either James or William is a bit of a struggle since neither particularly likes sitting still. oddly, as James loves holding on to William, it is usally a bit easier to get a picture of them together!

note the use of the word usually, though. William can only sit still forso long before he feels the need to crawl or climb somewhere!

i am also the proud recipient of some class new shirts, in particular an absolutely ace X-Wing pilot out of Star Wars one that Uncle Colin sent on for me (and presumably the rest of the Harlo gang, although Mum was specific about Colin when she handed it over!). i suspect a pic or two of me in it might feature here eventully, but for the most part i would be pretty sure that you'd rather see the boys than me. and why not?

for a last picture for this post, here's an absolute gem of one of William. with apologies to Orwell fans, it seems that Little Brother is watching you...

many thanks to Great Grandma Harland for the wonderful t-shirts and other gifts, and indeed to everyone else that sent stuff along!

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

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

happy birthday Bill Murray

hey everyone

well, this wouldn't be a "proper" blog if i didn't go along with everyone else in the blog world and note that today marks the 60th birthday of the legend that is Bill Murray.

what do you want me to say about the man? legendary in the 80s for his sterling performances in Stripes and Ghostbusters, made possibly the best comedy of the 90s with Groundhog Day and is at last in the 2000s getting the acclaim he has deserved all along with magnificent, understated performances in films like Lost In Translation and Broken Flowers. yeah, i know i have missed dozens of classic films out inbetween!

the above pic is from something called "Art inspired by Bill Murray", an exhibition on the go in L.A. (or somewhere in the States), for further details, see below or click the link in the title!

rather famously these days Mr Murray just has an answering machine that receives requests for him to read scripts, messages that he listens to at random, taking a random approach to which offers or invitations he accepts. fingers crossed more take his fancy than less, then!

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

Friday, September 17, 2010

Innings Declared

well, this day may very well have seemed inevitable for over a year now, but it doesn't make it any less sad - Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff has retired from all forms of cricket.

vast amounts of ink and internet space are going to be taken up with a rightful if statistically confusing celebration of an incredible career. why statistically confusing? well, when you look at it, England lost or drew more often than not when Freddie was in the team, and his averages are respectable enough compared to what you or i could wish to do, but suggest he should have concentrated on one discipline or the other rather than being an all rounder.

and yet, despite that, Freddie when fit would be the number one choice on any team sheet you care to draw up.

so why do we all love, cherish and celebrate Freddie if not for his facts and figures? because he's a lad with a big heart and a level of dedication that outweighs any and all concerns one might raise about his technical abilities.

Freddie personifies all the reasons people love the game of cricket, if not the technical factors. he plays (or played, if you will) his guts out to strive for victory, but never ever lost sight of the fact that it is always the game which must be the winner, then the side who happens to do best in the match. this was shown off in a certain image taken after a breathtaking win by 2 wickets in 2005 - an image of what cricket is and stands for that was not only the best of 2005, but remains the most enduring image of the 21st century and could well be, when all is said and done, the greatest single image of the cricket ever.

legends have sprung up around exactly what Freddie said to Brett Lee in the above picture, of course. no one knows the exact words, but no one would be surprised about whatever he said. this would be because, of course, of his celebrated and widely reported off-the-field antics. they were rarely harmful and often a joy to read - be it the 48 hour drinking binge that the English and Australian players went on after the 2005 series ("a cigar" was his famous answer when being asked what exactly had he eaten during that 2 day period), and of course the infamous "pedalo" incident. Freddie is one of those rare, few athletes that acts and appears to be just like us, the ordinary fans, just touched with a skill for the dazzling and inspired that do indeed dazzle an inspire us all.

in interviews Freddie seemes genuinely unaware of just how admired and loved he is across the board. not since the days of Ian Botham has an English player been so warmly admired and applauded by fans across all Test playing nations.

hopefully the lad will move into commentary, or perhaps even better coaching and encouraging others to embrace and play the game just like he did. whereas all too many retrospectives of his career sound like premature obituaries, i think it's safe to say Freddie will be with us in person for quite some time. his legacy and contribution to the game, however, will remain with us for all time.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Barton Bonus Week

Hi everyone

well, just about everyone believed that Richard's ambitious Barton moustache would have met with its own End Of Days last Saturday, really. however, those plucky lads representing the fine city of Blackpool said different!

we can, therefore, admire Richard's "Barton" for at least one more week!

is this the last week we shall see it? who knows, really. there is the distinct possibility that Everton will finally hit the groove that means that Richard wears his facial hair for at least one week more!

whether you look forward to hearing more about Richard's Barton or not, i can assure you that i look forward to updating you on how he is getting in with it!

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

Monday, September 13, 2010

Back Seat Drivers United......

hey everyone

well, at nine and a bit months, William was finding his first car chair a little snug, to put it mildly! added to that the fact that James seemed to be outgrowing his car seat, at least one new one was required, and thus so it came to be that a new one was obtained!

here is James in his rather smart new "booster" seat, with William taking over James' old one!

a pretty good reaction to them so far, it must be said. i am not sure which element James is most excited about - the fact that he gets to use a "grown up" seat belt, that his chair has 2 (two) cup holders or that he gets to sit in the back with his brother!

William was a bit bewildered (well, he looked it) at going out this morning without being in his chair, and was equally curious as to why he was sitting in what he knew as his brothers' seat. however, once he clocked how much space he had, and that he could look all around and see what was going on, he was a mixture of excited and tired, as he has a nice little nap whenever we sit him in it!

now, i just can't wait for when we all go on a drive together. i have little or no doubt that the two of them shall conspire to dictate to the unfortunate driver all that they are doing wrong as we go along!

meanwhile, a bit of a day of mixed fortunes for the boys, really. James got to go off to a rather smart theatre show as a school day trip, something he loved as he got to go on stage and be part of the stories! William, however, went off for his nine month measles injections. i leave it to you to decide who probably got the best deal of the day!

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

Four Lions

The seeds of Four Lions were sown, according to writer-director Chris Morris, when he learned of the tale of a gang of would-be suicide bombers that intended to ram a boat full of explosives into a US Warship. Their plan was thwarted when their own vessel sank not long after launch. Morris found this funny, at which point it dawned on him that he had never thought (much, presumably like the rest of the world) that there would be the possibility of there ever being anything funny or amusing about the world of suicide bombers.

With some writing, and an understandable battle to get financing, Chris Morris has from this spark of an idea delivered one of the funniest films I have ever seen. Funny as in you laugh out loud, with tears in your eyes and pains in your side as you watch it. Funny as in for days afterwards you remember moments for days after you’ve watched it and just want to watch the whole thing again.

As most reviews across the web have started, I’m not sure how exactly one can give away “spoilers” when there is perhaps only one conclusion to a film about suicide bombers. As carefully as I will go with this review, please consider there to be *** SPOILERS AHEAD ***. Rather just go and watch the film as soon as possible, really, don’t worry too much about reading this now, if at all.

Presumably only because of the use of the letter “s”, a number of reviews and commentators have described this film as being “The Spinal Tap of suicide bombers”. As brilliant as This Is Spinal Tap was and is to this day, that does Four Lions something of an injustice. The scale and genius of the film means that it only has two natural peers – Kubrick’s Dr Strangelove and Monty Python’s Life Of Brian. In regards of films that stand on toes and make people laugh, Four Lions stands up very, very well indeed against these two celebrated movies.

The film follows Omar, a man who leads an apparently happy life as a family man and a shopping centre security guard, who wants along with three of his friends to become “extremist martyrs”. The film rather wisely does not bog itself or the viewer down with how it is that he or his friends came to this wish, instead accepting it as being and moving on with the plot of them getting to this, if you will, goal.

Thanks to a presumably connected or otherwise involved Uncle, Omar travels off for training with the Mujahidin. This doesn’t, as you either see or will have seen, go quite as well as it could, but undeterred Omar returns home quite adamant that martyrdom is for him. And, bar a brief mention of the wonderful telling of The Lion King (“Simba’s Jihad”, no less), that’s all I am going to touch on plot wise.

What makes Four Lions a brilliant piece of cinema is the same thing that makes all movie masterpieces what they are – an innovative, ingenious script coupled with a number of remarkable acting performances. No part is left under or forcefully over developed. Full credit to Chris Morris & his writing team for turning this into something more than a one joke movie, bravo to the cast for giving performances of distinction.

The major surprise, for me at least, is that there has not been a barrage of protests and complaints about this movie. Usually, when any subject considered “sensitive” is made into any sort of movie, let alone a comedy, one can expect the usual brigade of protests from people who may very well have not even seen the film. I would like to think that the response in this respect thus far has been muted because people appreciate the film for what it is, more likely it’s because it has not had all that wide release, though.

In respect of whether or not the subject matter of this film should be used for comedy, well, I am reminded of a Billy Connolly routine, where the Big Yin discussed how Fred West tried to have him stop doing jokes about him as it “might prejudice his case.”. Nine dead bodies in his garden, and he’s worried about a stand up comedian. Anyway, Billy made comments about laughing at things like that because they were so absurd sometimes comedy was the only way you could make sense of it, or indeed “rationalise” it. Billy of course found himself at the wrath of the media when he made comments in his routines about kidnapped Brits being beheaded in Iraq, but even then the protests were about it being “too soon to mock” rather than his content. If we take it as a given that there’s never a right time to make a comedy about suicide bombers, as such, if not now, when?

A number of newspapers have, of course, pestered relatives of the victims of suicide bomb attacks, notably the 7 July attacks in London. Finding this film funny is absolutely no insult to any particular victim, and I doubt very much Chris Morris set out to tarnish or poke fun at the memory of any tragic victim.

Four Lions does not set out to either deliberately offend anyone or shy away for causing offence. Anyone who has followed the works of Chris Morris, in particular the brilliant Why Bother?, and of course Brass Eye (“it’s Paedogeddon” anyone?), will appreciate that controversy is an unfortunate side of effect of what he does that makes us laugh, not a desired result. The makers of this film really didn’t seem to particularly care about any threats or backlash that might arise – the main intent was to make a funny, entertaining film, and this they have done exceptionally well. It’s not for everyone of course, but then again what film is?

Suicide bombers probably shouldn’t be the basis for a very funny film. In the hands of a talented man like Chris Morris, though, it’s exactly that. If you have a taste for the darker side of comedy, see this film as soon as you can, or if you followed my warnings earlier, watch it again.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

The Barton - week 2 (of probably 2)

hey everyone

well, there's no holding Richard back in his efforts to support Newcastle by showing of his "Barton" tache! for those who missed the first post, Richard has decided (with some encouragement from me) to emulate a certain Newcastle employee and McDonalds enthusiast, Mr J Barton, in growing a moustache and only shaving it off as and when Newcastle are victorious.

here, ladies and gents, right here for your viewing pleasure is week two of this astonishing feat!

it is looking mighty fine, and indeed last weekend i had the pleasure, if you will not get too jealous, of seeing it in the flesh. Richard is almost ready to pursue his lifelong ambition of being mistaken for Freddie Mercury with this facial hair - yes it's that good!

unfortunately, for a number of reasons, methinks that the days of the moustache are rather limited. why? because Newcastle face Blackpool this weekend. at home. that's why.

oh well, should the moustache be history by this Sunday, why not celebrate this selfless act of dedication by saving this picture and making it your PC wallpaper or something?

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

The Last Chart Battle

Following on from my recent post about great number two singles, more than one person suggested that I write something about one of the greatest ever, most likely final battles for the coveted number one spot on the UK singles chart. Here goes, then…..

Before I begin, let’s clarify why this is about the (to date) last great chart battle. This isn’t the tale of one mediocre rapper threatening to quit if another mediocre rapper outsells him, in particular as when he was outsold he denied any such “threat”. This isn’t the tale of an overexposed joke leading to an old Rage Against The Machine song outselling some disposable pop from a Simon Cowell puppet, for that was more a statement about how there is no fresh, interesting music coming out rather that bands thriving in competition. The battle I write of was fuelled and created, not contrived. Blur vs Oasis in the UK singles chart of August 1995 looks like, 15 years down the road, being the last time there was even a glimpse of the buzz of excitement in the singles chart, so it’s well worth looking at the before, during and after of the event.

The seeds of any battle featuring Oasis and any other band were sown at the start of their career, with Liam and Noel convinced, arrogantly and somewhat debatably, that they were better than “absolutely anyone”, bar The Beatles and The Stone Roses, the two acts the brothers Gallagher valued above all others. Fans in 1994 who heard their astonishing debut, Definitely Maybe, were somewhat inclined to indulge this claim. However, whilst fans embraced the Oasis album, it was the third album by then very much hit-n-miss band Blur, Parklife, that the critics prized and the awards flocked to. This meant that the acclaim Noel wanted and adulation Liam craved was not all 100% theirs.

In May 1995, a new single from Oasis, Some Might Say, went straight in at number one. Not long after this, as the story goes, Damon Albarn saw Liam in a pub or club or some sort of event, and believing in honour amongst musicians and artists, went over to congratulate the lad. Liam, as the legend has it, just screamed “number f*****g one” in Damon’s face and stormed off in his usual arrogant style. “We’ll see about that” was the response credited to a nose-out-of-joint Albarn.

With Blur & Oasis both having albums due in late 1995, singles were a formality. Despite having already put out Some Might Say in advance of the album, Oasis went with a second lead single, Roll With It, for release at the start of August. The lead single for Blur’s fourth album, Country House from The Great Escape, was due for release in mid-to-late August. Wishing to teach these new upstarts a lesson, Albarn hit upon the idea of bringing the release forward, thus ensuring that the two bands were in direct competition to see who exactly really was “number f*****g one”.

And so was born one of the most exciting couple of weeks in music history. The internet can help you find out all the ins and outs, but highlights were certainly Noel turning it into a quasi-class war, suggesting that there was no way that his bunch of honest, decent working lads would be beaten by Blur, a bunch of “middle class w*****s”, followed soon by Damon Albarn mocking the creativity of the Oasis song, singing along to Roll With It with the words from Status Quo’s often mocked Rockin’ All Over The World. There are many more tales to read, happy hunting.

The story caught the imagination of all and sundry, many saying that it was the “greatest chart battle since The Beatles and The Stones”. As an aside, this was untrue – relations between The Beatles and The Rolling Stones were always cordial, something borne out by in interviews both bands mentioning that they always checked release dates with each other to ensure they were never undermining the other. The fact was that seldom, if ever, had this kind of battle been declared in the charts.

After a week or so of generous press coverage and the story even making the television news, the chart was revealed. Roll With It by Oasis came in at number two with an impressive 216,000 copies sold; Blur claimed number one with Country House after a staggering 274,000 copies were sold. Oasis, as Blur no doubt would have done had they finished second, claimed it was an “administrative error” recording some of the sales which robbed them on the top spot. The band went on, as you would expect with Liam’s modesty, to introduce the song as a “real, proper f*****g number one” when they played it live.

Noel Gallagher was highly dismissive of it – after his disastrous public wish that certain members of Blur would “get AIDS and die”, he dismissed the notion of Blur as being their competition, saying that their only competition in regards of being the biggest band in the world was U2 and REM. In this respect, as far as what happened next, Noel was right with the latter view.

Blur’s album, The Great Escape, was released to great joy to the critics, but lukewarm acceptance from the fans. The album consisted mainly of songs in which Damon Albarn did his “introspective” thing, writing mostly about himself but including the casual, private in-joke in relation to people you have never heard of. Oasis released (What’s The Story) Morning Glory to mocking, dismissive reviews from critics, but to fans who felt the album should have been called Fanfare For The Common Man. It was an album full of great, catchy rock tunes, with just about every number (let’s exclude She’s Electric and the “Swamp Song” bits) being considered a killer, classic rock tune.

Morning Glory sold by the truckload, causing many to speculate that Oasis had lost the battle but won the war. True, perhaps, but they could have won both. Hidden away on Morning Glory was a song called Wonderwall. When they did finally release this song as a single, whereas it also only got to number two, it did stay on the charts for some six months, selling well over one million copies. A pity they had not learnt the lesson from their beloved Stone Roses a year earlier, then – had they released Ten Storey Love Song instead of Love Spreads as the comeback single, conventional wisdom has it, then perhaps their “return” would not have fallen so flat. It’s difficult to see exactly how Blur’s “mockney comedy” Country House would have stood a chance against Wonderwall, but that’s the way it went down.

If you are happy to take it as being the case that Oasis won the war, then the victory parade was surely the Brit Awards of 1996. Whereas that ceremony is fondly remembered for Jarvis Cocker’s unusual stage invasion of a Michael Jackson performance, this was also the ceremony at which Oasis trounced all over Blur (and everyone else for that matter) in every conceivable category. If for some reason Blur were not paying attention to this, Oasis made sure they knew about it, famously singing “S***elife” to the tune of Blur’s hit Parklife when they picked up one award.

As for the fate of the bands after this, somewhat mixed fortunes but oddly pretty much the same fate. Blur never really had a big selling hit again (bar the brilliant Tender), but went on to make some of the best music of their careers. Oasis launched the bloated, far too long Be Here Now to massive sales and quick disappointment amongst fans. They were now a big band, which meant huge gigs and a big following, but the spark had somewhat gone, with Oasis releases no longer commanding the excitement or attention of the majority. Blur sort of fizzled out as a band, with members coming and going, the odd reunion gig here and there attracting crowds as much for the novelty and nostalgia as for the music. Oasis, of course, blew up in spectacular fashion a few minutes before a gig in Paris, with Liam apparently smashing up Noel’s guitar being the very final straw.

Do any tensions between the bands, or the remains of them, still exist 15 years on? Well, if you take it as a given that Liam hates absolutely everyone that either isn’t Liam or worships at the Church of Liam at the least, there’s been a notable oddity in the press of late. Noel Gallagher has, by all accounts, come out in praise of Damon Albarn’s “side project” Gorillaz.

In an interesting quirk of fate, another release made in August 1995 had more far reaching consequences than anything either Blur or Oasis could manage in regards of chart battles and music in general. In an – at the time – unusual amount of publicity for a piece of software, accompanied by the song Start Me Up by The Rolling Stones (who were paid rather well for allowing it to be used), something called Windows 95 was unleashed. It included something called “Internet Explorer 1.0”, a programme that allowed one to access this new thing called “the internet” with considerably more ease than had been possible before. Whereas music lovers will forever fondly remember the battle between two distinctly average songs in the charts, it’s the leap in computer usage that was released at the same time which probably bears the greater legacy for, or if you will casts a shadow over, the music industry.

As thing stand, I feel rather sad that in all likelihood neither James, William nor any other children of this generation will experience the excitement in particular of this incident, or just the general thrill of going to a record store to either buy a new release by your favourite or just check out what’s been released. Increasingly, obtaining music has become an individual thing, downloading the music (legally or otherwise) from the internet and listening to it in seclusion. The social, society side of music seems to be vanishing, but boy do the great days of music buying have some great tales to tell, just like this one.

thanks for reading, i hope it brought back some (mostly good) memories, and be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, September 03, 2010

now that Spring has sprung.....

hey everyone

well, as avid readers of this little old site will be aware, dressing up and having some fun on Spring Day is quite a tradition at my place of verk, and this year is no different. behold how i look on the day today!

i can take no credit at all for this outrageous, stylish look of mine - many thanks and well done to my wonderful colleagues at verk for selecting the outfits!

be it Spring or Autumn wherever you are, be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

nine months today

hey everyone

well, can you believe it - William Norman Stanley turned nine months old today! it's flown by, so it seems!

now, family photos here of late have for some reason been a magnet for unusual requests for unreleased albums, but let's see if i can get away with putting up some pics of William from earlier today without such questions being asked!

other than the healthy interest in books, William is coming along very nicely. we are crawling with some passion, and we have even mastered the art of standing up! it's just what to do once stood up that has William stumped at the moment - he just stands there with a smile and shouts rather proudly!

helping William learn how to do all sorts of things is, of course, his big brother James. already the two of them are pretty close to inseperable!

William is fast asleep right now, no doubt in his dreams reflecting on a (hopefully) most excellent first nine months! James will soon be asleep too, at which point perhaps Michele and I can have some dinner!

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

the Fright Night remake

hey everyone

well, it would be rare that i, along with the majority of the world get excited when news of another film remake is announced. the more likely reaction would be one of disappointment, in particular if the film being remade was one that could be considered a classic.

i do recall letting out a massive groan when i heard one of my all time top horror films, Fright Night, was up for the remake treatment.

for those unfamiliar with it, Fright Night was an absolute gem of a film from the mid-80s. it tells the plight of Charlie Brewster, a young lad who happens to find out a vampire has moved in next door to him. he reacts by doing what any of us would do - he gets Peter Vincent, the host of a late night horror film channel, to come and display all he knows from horror films in the hope of defeating the vampire.

Fright Night did not strike me as a film that could be improved or enhanced much, and i didn't see the initial point of remaking it. my ho hum attitude to this remake changed significantly, however, when a bold and audacious piece of casting was announced.

the key part of Peter Vincet was to be played by Doctor Who actor David Tennant!

i had been impressed with David Tennant ever since i saw him in the brilliant BBC series Blackpool. it hardly needs me to remind you how exceptional he was when he took on the role of The Doctor. in order to accomodate a somewhat younger actor in the part than the original, no longer was Peter Vincent to be a TV host, instead he would be a Las Vegas based magician and vampire hunter. this all sounded very promising indeed!

and now we have our first glimpse at how he will look in the film!

what can i say but wow! ace!

it's still a year and a bit to go before the film is released, but blimey they seem to have the right tone and image set out already!

hopefully this remake does not let us down! all indicators thus far point to at one ace film coming out late next year!!

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

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

ladies & gentlemen, the "Barton"

hey everyone

well, in an interesting (if possibly misguided, although i encouraged him so i can't say that) show of loyalty and dedication to his side, my brother Richard has embarked on an unusual approach to showing support for his beloved Newcastle.

inspired by the display of a certain Mr J Barton, Richard has decided to grow a moustache similar to the one that Barton had on display. Richard has decided that he is going to keep it on until such time as Newcastle win, and then will shave it off.

don't take my word for it - the magic of the internet means you can see for yourself.

Richard has thrown down a similar challenge to me and my team. the trick is, however, i already have a splendid beard and moustache. i suppose i could pledge to shave them off the next time Middlesbrough win, safe in the knowledge that it's unlikely that i will be tasting a razor any time soon.

nice one Richard - it looks smart, which would be all the reason more to hope Newcastle continue with a number of "unlucky" draws and losses!

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