I have had one busy week. One more to go.
I’m up in Northumberland, getting fresh air and pretending I have not a care in the world. I think it’s working, but I’m not 100% sure yet.
Some things I’ve done:
Been dragged up Humbleton hill nearly every morning. Ben is an avid mountain goat, but charging up a slope before breakfast is not exactly my idea of fun. Nevertheless, the view is marvellous. I am, however, hideously unfit.
Berwick upon Tweed. A bit of a crumbling town if I’m honest, but still good fun. Nice little curio shops, ancient fortifications, and one big gorgeous bridge.
Etal village fete. Etal is a cute little village mainly consisting of a ruined castle, a pub, a tea room and some fields. Their fete was equally adorable, with rare Hebridean sheep (that look like Darth Vader), much homemade jam, Clydesdales and locally made burgers.
Kielder water. Actually a fair old trek from where we’re staying, but worth it to see this marvel of engineering – a huge man made lake (dam!) and the UK’s largest man made forest. We took the Osprey pleasure cruiser to see the lake properly.
Local produce. Ok, getting meat from the town butcher is cool, but getting eggs (still warm) from the lady living next door is AWESOME.
Car acrobatics. Thursday was very rainy. My car’s tyres are pretty worn. I have been hassling Ben to help me get them replaced for some months. I think Thursday made the point. On a wet, and thankfully deserted country road, Ben lost control on a skid, and we did a beautiful 360 into a hedge. Surprisingly, there is only a very small dink in the back of my car, although I thought I was going to throw up after the event. But yes – suitably dramatic, could have been SO much worse, and yay, I wasn’t driving at the time. Needless to say, we are getting those tyres replaced today.
Pot-a-doodle-do. After the car incident, I needed some calm activity to soothe my nerves. So, pottery painting was a suitable rainy day activity. Ben has made me an apology plate, I have done a life-affirming pasta bowl. Pics when we get them.
Edinburgh. Yesterday, we drove across the border to my favourite city. A good 10 hours of wandering ensued, and we even took in a show at the Edinburgh Fringe (EastEnd Cabaret, venue 170, is free, hilarious and well worth a look if you’re at the fringe). Note: parking in Edinburgh has gotten considerably more expensive over the last couple of years, so be warned if you’re driving in.
Anyway, I have tyres to get done, and another week of adventuring to do. Cheerio!
August 6, 2011 | Categories: Britain, car, exercise, family, food, holiday, Mental Floss, philosophy, photography, Scotland, sociable, tea | Tags: car, country, fields, food, fox, hill, holiday, horse, Northumberland, sheep | 1 Comment »
HAH. Weren’t expecting that one, were you? Well, think again. I’m not all angst and darkness. No, contrary to popular belief, I love Disney films. Well, some of them, at any rate.
And Tangled is definitely one of those that I love. I was beginning to get a bit jaded as far as “modern” Disney was concerned, but Rapunzel, her “magic hair that glows when she sings”, the charming Flynn Rider (who, trust me, has more depth than he originally lets on), the brave horse Maximus and the BRILLIANT chameleon Pascal, have most certainly won me over.
OK, OK, this is a pretty saccharine twist on the original Brothers Grimm incarnation, but then, that is the fate of the fairy tale in the modern age – it must be sweet and light (with some mild peril), and of course, it must be moral.
And I’m happy to say, Tangled ticks all the boxes. The goodies are good, the baddies are bad, there are reformed criminals and heroic animals. Someone is called Eugene (a name that has sadly been too long forgotten). There are a lot of very well written songs (yes, it’s semi-musical) including the fantaaaaastic “Mother Knows Best” (brilliant, as I was at the cinema with my mum). I’m still confused as to why Rapunzel had no shoes, but I’m willing to overlook that. It is all beautifully animated (works well in 3D!) and the script is very sweet.
Oh, and there is lots of hair. That’s a given.
Cheers for more reminders that long hair is, in fact, awesome.
February 13, 2011 | Categories: art, books, debate, film, philosophy, sociable, Sussex | Tags: animals, animation, art, books, cartoon, comedy, debate, Disney, excitement, fairy tale, film, films, funny, horse, humans, I love, kids, moral, mum, philosophy, Rapunzel, sociable | 2 Comments »
Oh dear lord – I am stuck in some horrid Chrimbo Limbo. And the worst thing about staying with family? Good luck hearing the telly, should you actually want to watch anything. Between the kids and their new toys (WTH with Dave The Funky Shoulder Monkey?), the dog who is SO happy to see Ben that it is almost SHOUTING, and the verbal diarrhoea brought about by either booze or age (or both), you may have to make up your own dialogue.
That said, I did manage to pick up most of Hidalgo yesterday. It helps that a lot of the dialogue was subtitled (as it had a lot of Native American and Arabic speech), and the rest was just epic swooping shots of running horses.
It’s hard not to love this film. It is not a fantastic film, plot wise, dialogue wise, etc. But it has a charming horse and a charming cowboy, played by the enchanting Viggo Mortensen. And it is a feel-good Christmas sort of thing, where an animal basically thinks it’s people, we root for the underdog, the baddies consist of a load of foreigners and a pretty lady, and we ultimately see a lot of pretty landscape.
Viggo – I mean, Frank Hopkins – defies the impossible and wins a desert race in the Middle East, with an American horse. Whilst he’s at it, he makes friends with a sheikh (despite himself being a “filthy infidel”), saves the sheikh’s only daughter and shooting a lot of bad guys.
Ultimately, a film with more style than substance, but if you just need to kick back and watch some moving pictures, Hidalgo is pretty enough. Especially if you like horses and deserts. Which I do.