I love a good villain. Really, I do. And I’ll be quite honest here; most of the reason I went to see Dark World was that I am an utterly shameless fanboy for Loki, as played in the Marvel films by Tom Hiddleston.
That’s not all of the reason, I hasten to add. Dark World is a visual feast that definitely merits viewing in 3D. It’s refreshingly involving for a Brit to see rampaging evil destroying dear old London for a change too, instead of some bland American cityscape. Plus I had a genuine “holy shit” moment when I realised the chief antagonist was actually Christopher Eccleston. Amazing what a few prosthetics can do (and just how far under a rock I live most of the time). But I grant you, a big part of it was getting my Loki fix.
No really, I must. I’m British, it’s in the rules. Heck, even Burn Gorman is now making a living playing it uptight and repressed in crazed big-budget Japanophile monster movies. (Let us not forget that this is an actor whose introduction to me was that most sublime line of Owen Harper’s from the first episode of Torchwood: “Because I’m a twat”.) So, having lived up to a gay stereotype in my last post, I’ll live up to a British one here and apologise for the lack of signal recently.
I do have a reason, I assure you. Continue reading
“So what have you been up to this weekend?” asked my flatmate, on a lazy Sunday morning.
“Oh, nothing much,” I replied. “I went bowling with a giant rabbit, and then watched people snorting sherbet off a designer chopping board.”
Autumn is a time of drawing-in, of consolidation and careful settling; it’s not a time for risks, for excitement and change.
Or so they say. For me autumn has the visceral joy of change to it, just as much as spring; the liveliness of changing winds, the snap of frost, the crunch of apples. It heralds a season of richness and thankfulness, of rejoicing in the fruits we work to pluck and store now.
Few things are given to us without labour… but that work is so very deeply its own reward.
I’ve met quite a vew vegetarians in my life, a few vegans too. And a few ex-smokers to boot. The most memorable of the vegans were a deliriously crazy husband and wife who lived on a narrowboat beside their own allotment, were convinced that eating meat would cause tumours containing undigested beef, and were so repelled by meat as an ethical and spiritual contaminant that when their dog was ill and the vet told them to feed it chicken, they had to buy a new pan, use it specifically to cook to dog’s meat, and then throw it away afterwards. Consumer fail, was my most significant thought.
Most of the vegetarians I know are saner than that. My father is vegetarian because he simply doesn’t like the taste of meat; fair enough. I’m not vegetarian, and I’ll come back to why in a bit. What set me thinking today was a friend on Facebook (vegetarian already) who commented that he was “in favour of giving up cows’ milk due to welfare issues”.
I’m always reminded at moments like that of a scene from the Kenneth Branagh film Dead Again. Continue reading
Is there rain on your tent?
Are you happy?
Are you sober or drunk?
Are you cold?
Was it good?
Are your eardrums muffled and muddy?
Is there somebody cute
you’re wondering if you might..?
Did you eat?
Was it decent?
I hate burger vans and cola
I bet the toilets are vile.
Are you asleep?
Are you staring into a fire?
Or do you feel
like I did
in my festival tent?
Do your arms close
and is something beside you
The first time I went camping was in 2010. The gear I took with me filled the entire boot and both rear seats of a car I’d moved house in several times as a student. Yesterday I managed a pretty cosy camping setup which left room to spare in the boot of a clapped-out Metro. What changed – and why on earth should that merit a blog post? Continue reading