A while ago, i discovered @BlogalongaBond and its accompanying page here: http://theincrediblesuit.blogspot.com/2011/01/blogalongabond.html .

An effort setup by @IncredibleSuit for fans of Bond films to blog along to Bond films once a month up until the release of the 23rd film in the series, “Skyfall”, is released in November 2012. A simple and fun setup I think you’ll agree.

It’s a shame I didn’t find this site/twitter account at the start of the series as I missed out on the Sean Connery years, but hey ho and up she rises.

As it is, I start with ‘For Your Eyes Only’.  Thank all that is holy that I didn’t start BlogalongaBond with Moonraker *shudders at the thought*. For the record, I grew up with Roger Moore, Sir Rog, The Rogmeister, Old Creaky Chops, as Bond. But that doesn’t make me unable to critique his reign..oh no.

So, DVD in, press Play and we’re off!

Well hello, what’s this? Bond visiting his wife’s grave? Thats unexpected. Yet touching. And refreshing. Expand, on that, go on expand….nope, sorry, pointless helicopter sequence with a faceless, sinisterless, legless, Blofield. Really what is the point of that whole section? I think they had an action sequence left over from another film and due to union rules, had to use it. Nice nod to Universal Exports on the helicopter though, but overall, as productive as a chocolate teapot.

Next, Sheena Easton. Depending on my mood, I either don’t mind the title song, or want to hurl croissants at it. Today I ate biscuits during it. That says something, though I’m not sure what. On a trivia point, is Ms Easton the only Bond theme song artist to have appeared in the title sequence?

Cut to British secret fishing ship. Is it designed to beat EU fishing quotas I wonder? There is a particularly good dying scene here. Well more specifically, it’s a screaming scene. This actor was making the most of his 5mins of fame. Props to him.

Ah…a sea plane bringing our Bond Girl. I like a sea plane in a film. There should be more. Though this one has a murderous sting in its tail. Not that you would know that from Carole Bouquet’s acting. Her reaction  to seeing her parents brutally murdered by a psychotic seaplane,  which is NO REACTION AT ALL, makes me wonder if she thought she was in a scene where she ordered Earl Grey tea, but Darjeeling tea was bought out. Imagine that level of disappointment and divide it by less.

Next up, time for Basil Exposition in M’s office which became a real staple of Sir Rog era Bonds, though sadly we lost the mighty Bernand Lee as M before filming commenced *bows in respectful admiration*. Mr Mac the Macguffin, or the lost ATAC, is our hero’s quest this time round, and commendation to the writers and producers for bringing Mr Mac the Macguffin, back to something vaguely plausible and I don’t know, sort of spy like. We haven’t forgiven you Moonraker.

Cue car chase sequence. Go on you little 2CV, you can do it! If you just believe in yourself, one day you’ll grow up big and fast like all the other big cars.

Just noticed that Rog is wearing a lot of beige. It’s a beige buffet.

Oh Christ. I’d forgotten about ice skating Bibi. In Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’, an amorous Bibi is one of the 9 circles of suffering. Even Sir Rog can’t stomach the idea and for once turns down the opportunity of some extra-curricular activities.

Nice skiing action chase sequence culminating with a Teutonic Arian middle management henchman throwing a motorbike at Bond in disgust. Actually throwing a motorbike. From above his head. Impressive.

Gratuitous casino scene? Check.  Fine wine and foods scene? Check. Seducing henchman’s mistress? Check. This part of the film is Bond by numbers.

The kicking the car off the cliff scene with the high level management henchman . One of the rare times that Sir Rog ever got serious as Bond, even if for just 4.7 seconds. Out of 7 films that’s not too bad.

Now then, what do we have here? Is Mr Mac the Macguffin located somewhere original? Hidden in a mountain of plasticine and bubble-wrap perhaps, or wrapped in bacon,  or even behind a sofa? Nope. It’s underwater in a sunken ship. “Dear Bond Producers, we get it, you like underwater sunken ships. We however are not mer-people, and lost interest in underwater sunken ship scenes after the 10th one. Love and kisses. Bond fans”

Cut to final action/confrontation/its almost over/isn’t it over yet? scene. But this one is dragged out…..Jeez…how long does it take to climb a mountain? I thought about baking a cake in the time Sir Rog took to get up that cliff face.

And having checked that I hadn’t accidentally taken LSD, the film ends with a scene between a talking parrot who gets all saucy with Margaret Thatcher. Mind. Officially. Blown. Over and out.

Back to school

October 19, 2011

So I started back at uni a couple of weeks ago; the second year of a part time Masters I’m doing.
Those on twitter might wonder why I never mention it. Well… A) I don’t think of twitter as a biography of my daily life; I use it to keep updated on subjects that interest me and mostly it’s a playful space for laughs and giggles.
And B) …the subject I study, which is politics related, doesn’t lend itself to the 140 characters of twitter I feel. Some stuff is too big and complex to reduce down…unlike funny cat pictures.

Anyway, what I wanted to write about was the postgraduate experience of uni.

Firstly – everyone is slightly older and maturer than at undergraduate. Even though I did my first degree as a mature student, most of my fellow students were younglings. My current colleagues less so.

Secondly – because of that and the fact we’ve all had the uni experience before, this time it’s much more about the studying. Seminars are more lively, engaged and deeper in content, as there is simply more knowledge and interest in the room.

Thirdly – having said that, there is still a feeling of being out of your depth; that the content of the course is slightly above your level. But that might just be me.

Fourthly – peoples social skills and relations are still the same. Some people are very extroverted, some introverted, some talk bullshit and some people are just odd. Even though everyone is older and had more social experience, peoples traits are still very noticeable.

Fifthly – the lecturers do engage with you at a higher level; they presuppose a certain level of ability to understand, in terms of language and conceptual thinking.
As an aside, one of my lecturers has this habit of trying to pronounce every foreign name or place in the accent of that place….which reminded me of this: http://youtu.be/Jkxm5UTe-Xg?t=23s
Whilst the other lecturer *is* the actress Jessica Hynes (Daisy from ‘Spaced’) http://goo.gl/l7Lt0 but a really academic version.

Sixthly and finally – I’m enjoying it. I enjoy learning and studying and this year feels more involving than last year. I think thats partly due to the lecturers. In my many years of studying, the one factor that had the greatest impact of my enjoyment of a subject was the teacher. It really is true.

Anyway…that’s all for now I think. A bientot.

Bosses

September 29, 2011

Bosses. We’ve all had them and we’ve all got stories about them. Mine however are all positive. I’ve been either very lucky or chosen my places of employment well, as my bosses have always been people I’ve got on very well with. You could even go as far to say that we’ve been friends.

They’ve never been people motivated by profit, power or prestige. They work as much as anyone else and get stuck in with any type of work and always have a healthy humorous approach. Which is why I’ve liked them.

But my current boss, who is all these things and most definitely a top chap, keeps making little mistakes and strategic errors that are not doing his company any good. Even to the point that we’re being sued and if our professional indemnity insurance doesn’t cover us, we’ll…. I’ll have to look for a new job.

Part of the problem is that he works hard and is always busy, so he can overlook or rush things, and also he’s got a hectic family life which adds more load. And none of those things are going to change anytime soon, so I feel as though I have to keep one eye on him at the moment, when frankly I have no eyes spare. If you know where I can get some spare eyes do let me know.

Anyway, I write this more as a vent rather than anything else. Though it would be nice to hear stories of good bosses. They do exist…I know.

Where did I go?

August 23, 2011

Losing weight. Everyone seems to want to do it, but the reality is enough to strike fear and horror into most people.

But I have been doing it and successfully too.

At the start of June, I decided that by the start of October I would have lost 2 stone or 28lbs or 12kgs….(seriously, can we just all pick one unit to work with?)

Anyway….. earlier than scheduled, I have accomplished that. I’d like to say it was a moment of great pride, but in truth it has been a lot of hard bloody effort and I’m rather knackered by it all. I changed my diet by just cutting back all the obvious rubbish, but my emphasis has mostly been on lots of cycling and walking. And my legs are tired….muscular, but tired.

But I’m happy about it overall. It’s good to know that a) the simple biological premise of consuming fewer calories than you use works and works perfectly fine and  b) that i’ve managed to incorporate the exercise and dietary changes into my life in a way that I should be able to maintain.

If you have tried to lose weight and struggled, may I suggest some thoughts i’ve pondered upon as my legs and lungs have been crying out with pain as I reached the summit of another hill on my bike (perversely, I like tackling hills on my bike…and I really shouldn’t as physics is completely against me with my weight)

  • You’d be amazed at how many calories some of the things you eat or drink have.
  • It’s not that difficult to seriously reduce all those tasty goodies if you exercise a lot. I am capable of eating chocolate, crisps, fizzy drinks, fast-foods and take-aways until I have to be forcibly restrained, but… when you exercise hard, your body mostly stops wanting that stuff. It’s a smart little thing and it wants fruits & vegetables, protein & quality carbs to fuel you and to help your body recover. And on a day when you do want to eat 12 sweet and sour chicken balls, you can. Trust me, i know.
  • Finding an exercise that a) you enjoy doing and b) can incorporate into your daily routine is crucial. I live a 30min stroll from my work. But now I do it faster and harder and do it in 25min. On the way home, I take a longer route. Every other day, I leave work and cycle home…I just happen to take a much longer route – somewhere between 1-1.5hrs. Because its my journey home it doesn’t feel like a special trip that I have to do, like going to the gym. It’s just part of my day. The key is to work out how you can do this too.
  • There will be some weeks that your weight doesn’t go down or even goes up very slightly. This will happen and f**ks with your mind, but keep going; in the long-term it will go down.
  • You need to get sweaty…regularly. You need to get your lungs working hard.
  • Have the right clothes/gear.
I think that’s about it for now. My next goal is to lost the same amount again by the end of the year. I’ll keep you posted :)

To blog or not to blog

August 2, 2011

So. I suppose the first question you need to ask yourself when thinking about writing a blog is why?

Everyone has their own reasons. Mine are like the ingredients of a sandwich. Hopefully they will come together to make something tasty. Or perhaps like sandwiches, those made by others will always taste better.

Never fear, for I don’t mind. I want to write because I want to write. Thoughts swarm and swirl around in my mind for days and they have a habit of disappearing or just sitting there like a cat at a cat-flap, staring at it….until the end of time.
I’d like to have better and more engaging memories of my thoughts. I’d like to express thoughts beyond the confines of Twitter’s 140 characters. I have been known to write something at least 173 characters long *gasps*.

I’d also like to get used to writing more, more frequently, quicker and beyond the academic style I am used to, as writing might become part of my future life (of which I’m sure I will write about)

Finally, I think you have to approach blogging with the thought that Nobody. In. The. World. will read any of it…. ever. And you have to be content with that. And I am, because I’m writing for myself.
Anyone, however, that does pop by and has a read, I thank you and offer you a chocolate biscuit. If you were to comment, you would get a choice of chocolate biscuits and if you say hello on twitter, you get a jammy dodger! I am basically a biscuit pimp. Now there’s an idea of something to write about….

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