Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Last time we were here

Last time we were here

I've seen the whole of this film minus the sound and still really enjoyed it. Yet more proof that my brother is a genius...

Monday, 25 February 2008

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Well well well

The RSPB can save your soul:

So why are the RSPB at a Well Being Day? Well apparently: “Getting outside and being at one with nature is very good for your soul.” Said Jessie Ross Burton

If you want to join in the fun: “We’ve got reserves in London. Rainham Marshes in Essex. Hertfordshire Rye Meads.” Said Martin Abrams

According to Jessie: “We’ve got the largest youth membership of any conservation agency in the world.”

It may be news to some to learn that the RSPB doesn’t just operate in the UK: “We’re very close to securing 101 thousand hectares of Sumatran Rainforest.” Said Martin

He stresses: “we’re not a bird watching organisation. So we’re doing quite a lot to dispel that myth. We do have a lot of members that do that. But we’re not all people in tweed jackets with flasks sitting in a hide.”

Yakult isn’t Yukky

You’ve seen the T.V ad, but did you know that the Probiotic was first looked into by a Bulgarian named Metchinoff who discovered Bulgarian peasants were living longer because they were eating fermented food.

The focus with Yakult is prevention rather than cure.

It may help people who have bowel Cancer.

We sampled two of the Yakults on offer, they come in original (sweet) and Yakult light (less sweet), they both turned out to be quite sweet, which begged the question did it contain sugar?

Yes, it did.

We were informed sugar has two benefits: the bacteria can feed off the sugar and it stops Yakult being too bitter.

So is this stuff really good for you? Well Alan, part of the Retail Support Team, said: “We can’t make claims, but we have 72 years of history behind us. We are the Global market leader in Probiotics.”

Monday, 18 February 2008

Israeli Art and Prairie Dogs

Imagine my surprise when I received an event invitation from a guy I haven't physically seen for about four or five years.

He wanted me to come and check out some Israeli Art, though for some reason failed to reply when I inquired whether he was going.

After getting in touch with other mutual friends, who also hadn't seen the man in question for an age, it turned out that I would have company so I happily trotted off to Edgware Road on Sunday at four.

It was quite a small gallery but I'm not going to complain because it was free.

The first picture to catch my eye or rather to be pointed out to me by, I think, Shem was, well let's say interesting.

It was entitled Yogi Style, I'll let your imagination run riot on that one.

Another one depicted a woman farting while being passionately kissed, great stuff the weekend after Valentine's Day.

There were a fair few nude pictures and even more generally odd ones, I quite liked the picture board of the woman pulling her organs out of her stomach and making friends with them - it seemed she had about six kidneys at least.

Also all importantly the man of the hour, no not the artist, Michael was in attendance.

So we had a nice chat and it turned out that he's engaged to the Italian girl that he told me about in my third year of University.

Not content with an evening of Israeli Art I head off to stir up some action in Kings Cross.

My destination: The Cross Kings pub where I found a bunch of who I shall call Language of Prairie Dogs fans.

I had been led to believe that they were coming on at eight, as it turned out that was when they were meant to turn up, they didn't come on until 10.30.

As for the other bands, well no one was awful, but one of them seemed to be a bit of a Keane covers band - so maybe that's not true...

There was a beardy couple who were quite attractive in their own way and performed a perfectly passable set.

There was one guy who sounded like he was New Cross who did a set of mostly African inspired music which I thoroughly enjoyed and actually got me dancing.

Then Matt, Dean and Hayden finally mounted the stage for their five songs.

Lovely stuff.

Then I went home.

Saturday, 16 February 2008


This film starts and ends with a chair, more or less anyway. This says a lot about the tone of the film, it’s quite quirky and irreverent. It’s got a great indie soundtrack for a pretty solid indie movie.

The basic premise is that Juno (Ellen Page) has sex with a guy called Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera) and gets pregnant and then has to deal, with varying degrees of maturity, with the consequences.

It turns out that all you need to produce three positive pregnancy tests is well pregnancy obviously and a very large amount of Sunny D.

I still can’t find any explanation for why she has a Hamburger phone, apart from maybe that’s what you do if you’re about to become a food obsessed whale.

After finding out she is pregnant she forgoes an abortion down to some blueberry-flavoured condoms and the fact that babies have finger nails.

So this leaves her with the option of getting a good couple to adopt the baby. Needless to say she find a worthy couple and gets to really like the adoptive father to be.

Things don’t run as smoothly as planned of course, but with parents as supportive as Juno’s they don’t need to.

All in all this is very sweet and funny film. Maybe it gets a little too sweet in places, but it doesn’t make you gag – just mostly laugh and gesticulate at the screen. It’s a sad state of affairs that parents would rather have their child addicted to hard drugs or expelled from school than have a baby at 16.

There are some good one-liners and the performances are generally very convincing.

Also it’s nice to see a film that deals with a mother to be, even if she’s giving up her baby, so sensitively and affectionately.

Here is the final version.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Not enough freebies to be truly well...

Me and Nargis, the new dynamic duo - well maybe not, went to the University's Well Being Day yesterday.

I did quite a few stories on Welfare campaigns at my old Uni. so I'm no stranger to the general ethos, but I've never been to a whole Day event before.

We turned up at about a quarter to ten and promptly got talking to the rather portly organiser and then a Homeopath.

She was really lovely and she directed us to her students who turned up a little early, the event wasn't meant to start until ten.

I have nothing against Homeopathy, but these girls did start off a little gushy.

"It’s energy based healing."

"The body itself is an amazing healing system."

"More the energy compound which is retained within the body."

No I don't understand that sentence much either, bad Journalist, should have asked more questions.

"We believe that it works and it’s effective."

Well you'd hope so really wouldn't you?

"It gives you the strength to cope with the stresses and anxieties of student life."

Ah good, I'll throw away the Prozac now.

For us it didn't end there either, they got really worried about being misrepresented and actually given what I've just written maybe I shouldn't be so harsh on that point.

In the end their tutor came over and asked to see my shorthand, which at the time I struggled reading back so she let it go.

Then it was the turn of the RSPB.

Why were they at a Well Being Day, well: "Getting outside and being at one with nature is very good for your soul."

Also, "we’re not a bird watching organisation.

So we’re doing quite a lot to dispel that myth.

We do have a lot of members that do that."

So that set me straight.

And made me giggle.

But the ultimate giggle factor has to be reserved for the Yakult man.

Yes of course you've seen the adverts, but did you know: "A Bulgarian named Metchinoff first looked into Yakult as he discovered Bulgarian peasants who were living longer were eating fermented food."

Oh yeah and the giggle moment: "We can’t make claims, but we've got 72 years of history behind us."

What do you mean, of course I'm convinced, it's yummy sugary loveliness.

Finally we saw someone from the Stop Smoking service, but to be honest I wasn't all that interested in that not being a smoker myself.

There were loads of other stalls, one of which gave us some free - if awful - energy bars.

But after all that excitement we were relieved to head back to campus with our modest collection of stories.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008


I am going to try and blog about something more meaningful soon I promise.

In the meantime...

Skins started again on E4 last night, so I'm back to watching really crappy, in this case teen, drama.

I must confess that I quite enjoyed the last series of Skins even though it was completely implausible and fell into the category of teen drama that was so far from my experiences as a teenager as to be doubly ludicrous.

I missed the first couple of minutes as I was coming back from somewhere, so I missed the initial revelation that Tony was still alive.

My brother will be disappointed after he and his friends dressed all in black with a banner reading "Tony is Dead" aimed at the near by flat as a spoiler, not so clever now hey..?

All was going ok until about half way in when Michelle and Sid decide to have a conversation about Tony and the aftermath of his accident.

The acting was bloody awful.

In fact I think they should both probably win bad acting awards, I couldn't really choose between them.

So when it finished I was even more in a need of a shower than an hour and a half of Yoga had warranted.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Sweeney Todd

Sweeney Todd was the first gothic musical I've ever seen.

As with most Tim Burton this is a beautifully shot piece of gothic cinema.

I must confess that in the early stages I found myself quite impatient for the film to end, but I think that was more to do with my restless mood than the film itself.

I was a little sceptical of Johnny Depp's singing ability as his first song was little more than tuneful speech, but he warmed up and by the end I was quite impressed with his vocal performance.

The songs flowed easily with the action and didn't feel forced at all.

It was far darker than your average musical and so proved to be something quite unique.

I was a bit disappointed with the fake blood, it was too bright to look real, but given the amount that was being thrown around it was probably for the best as the sight of something more convincing may have made it all just a bit too much.

This is a musical for people who don't like musicals to my eyes I don't see how anyone could fail to enjoy it.