Archives for category: Discworld

So bank holiday Monday came and went and included Cheese Rolling by the rebellion. First one we’ve missed in 5 years I think, but we’ll be there next year I’m sure. For most, today means back to work. Ha ha! Not me though – no-sir-ee. I very sensibly booked two days holiday. I have a little trip on Wednesday to collect daughter from the airport on her return from Egypt unless her friends have sold her for a camel (customs will be a nightmare if that’s the case) and it seemed daft to go back to the ship just for one day. So here I sit on the holodeck.

Monday morning did indeed include mowing and netting installation so the garden’s looking pretty good. Next job is the hot tub. Details coming up.

But first – Door Stops & Triffids. Mrs G and I have been looking for a doorstop for the master bedroom door for some time. It’s not that it’s difficult, but that there are so many to choose from. On Sunday when we failed yet again to find a suitable one I came to my senses an explained to Mrs G that we didn’t need a door stop. What we actually needed was something of weight to prop the door open with. This means it could be any heavy object and all of a sudden our options are wide open.

Gloucester has a couple of great antiques centers and this, dear reader, is where we stumbled upon the perfect objet d’art for the purpose. An old stone hot water bottle (now half filled with sand) is just perfect for the job and works a treat. Bingo.

An afternoon of movie watching led to Triffids. The Day of the Triffids is a 1951 story written by John Wyndham. Its been the subject of many Radio Plays & TV Movies, and Sci-Fi enthusiasts the world over, know the story well. For those of you unfamiliar with the plot, it says here:

“The protagonist is Bill Masen, an Englishman who has made his living working with “Triffids”, plants capable of aggressive and seemingly intelligent behaviour: they are able to move about on their three “legs”, appear to communicate with each other and possess a deadly whip-like poisonous sting that enables them to kill and feed on the rotting carcasses of their victims. The book implies they were bioengineered in the Soviet Union and then accidentally released into the wild when a plane carrying their seeds was shot down. Triffids begin sprouting all over the world, and their extracts prove to be superior to existing vegetable oils. The result is worldwide cultivation of Triffids.”

Last Christmas the BBC made yet another dramatisation of it and it’s a cracking job. Sort of Doctor Who/Torchwood on steroids. A proper movie (almost). I recorded it on Sky plus and it’s languished there, taking up valuable disk space and waiting for the moment when I had an appropriate slot in my schedule to watch it.

Eddie Izzard plays bad guy ‘Torrence’, Dougray Scott plays the role of Bill Masen and Brian Cox plays Bill’s father. Eddie has become a great all rounder and one of those people you can’t help but admire for his drive, ambition and monumental sense of humour. I’ve long been a fan of his stand-up, so I wasn’t convinced about his acting future – but he’s more than pulled it off. In fact he is officially a Hollywood Heavyweight. Good for him. He doesn’t let the side down here either.

Mr Cox has had a long run of bad guy roles (what with him being the original Hannibal Lecter) but here he plays a good guy reminding us just what a great character actor he is as well. There’s also appearances from Vanessa Redgrave & Jason Priestly.

My only real critisism of the piece would be the triffids themsleves. I’m afraid I failed to be convinced that a plant could catch someone – which us a real problem for a story about killer plants especially when the plant looks a bit like rubber on a stick (which it probably was). Regardless, it’s a good looking, well made enjoyable romp.

Follow that with the second part of “Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal” (8 out of 10 which is exceptionally high scoring, bearing in mind I’ve only ever given one 10) and a take away curry with Mrs G and my weekend was made…..

So to the tub. We haven’t used it for about a month and it’s been switched off, so it needs a full drain, scrub down, refill, new chemicals and ph balance and a warm up again. That’s going to be a large part of the day and the weather doesn’t appear to be on my side. But then at least I’m not at work….

PS: I cocked up my coffee selection by running for the bus on Saturday (to enjoy the abusive public) instead of wandering around Whittards – had to pick up some Lavazza in Tesco. However, if the weather continues to be blughehhggh (technical term) today, then a trip to Chelter’s could resolve the situation and Italian Expresso, Monsoon Malabar or Cafe Francais will be the selection.

The journey home was via Whitehall Garden Center near Lacock (Pronounced Lay-Cock. You boy!, stop sniggering at the back!), where I happen to be of very close terms with their annual Father Christmas. Needed some netting to protect the veggie patch.

Finally arrived back by 5 and cooked a fantastic spaghetti bol for dinner (we know how to live you know).

6pm was perfect timing for the first portion of Going Postal or as the film version is titled “Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal”. I know he’s got Alzheimer’s disease but I don’t think he has a gun – so the title is a tad harsh. It transpires that the production team “The Mob” have upped thier game even further than on “The Colour if Magic”. This time much of the filming took place in Budapest but you’d be forgiven for thinking they actually went to discworld (if such a place existed in the same plane of reality as we do) given the detail applied to the sets and location scenery.

Once again it’s very faithful to the book not least because the screenplay was “mucked about by” Mr Pratchett himself. A few masterful strokes of casting help seal the deal. Great to see that newsreaders brother David Suchet is capable of so much more than Hercule Poirot (a role he was clearly born to play). Here he makes for a deliciously wicked bad guy and so far is faultless. Star of the show is Richard Coyle as Moist von Lipwig but he’s got some heafty competition in the firm of Charles Dance, Steve Pemberton (The League of Gentlemen), Andrew Sachs (Fawlty Towers) and Timothy West to name but four.

Can’t wait for part two tonight.

Today would gave been Cheese Rolling. Roll on next year (very poor pun intended). Here’s the official notice which makes for interesting reading. You have been warned. Two minutes silence for the passing of a
Great British tradition please:

While the sun shines and the Cheese doesn’t roll, I have lawn to mow (I know how much Scobi likes to keep track of my grass cutting schedule) and of course netting to install. That will be part of the morning filled. No idea what the rest of the day has in store fir us, but with any luck it’ll be feet up with nothing at all!!! Bliss….

I’m not a quitter. In fact usually the trickier something is the more I dig my heels in but just lately it’s getting to a point where I’m starting to think quitting might be the only way to maintain any level of sanity.

Things have been unsettled for some time at Starfleet begining with the erosion of local engineering staff whose tasks were moved to another ‘low cost’ planet in the system. More recently there’s been the removal of a minor perk as part of communications provision. Then there was a bigger chop in the form of long term stability and what happens at the end of your tour of duty. Worse still has been selection of the away teams. On top of this, the leaders of the planetary system I’ve been exploring have negotiated a new method of reconnoiter which has led to a steep learning curve for all involved. Simultaneously we have a complete replacement to the weapons system which I’ve been trained on – although many of the team are still in the process of this.

Well that should be enough stress for anyone shouldn’t it? You’re existense on board the ship is in doubt and they redefine your current research project, give you new weapons and take away your longer term cushions. Is it? bollox!

Let’s put in place a new process for doing everything which takes away any percieved control of destiny that we as crew members may have had. Furthermore let’s make the crew implement it – afterall they haven’t got anything else to do – like make Some FECKIN MONEY FOR STARFLEET!!! Can you tell I’m not impressed?

For me though, the straw that’s weighing that little too heavily on my back is the news yesterday of the loss of one of our more senior crew who has been extremely helpful to me and many other crew members over the years. A torch bearing guide through the foggy lower decks. He’s going where no man has been before and will (in my opinion at any rate) leave a large hole.

So I do hope, dear reader, that you’ll understand if I loose the plot and – as they say in America – Go Postal!!! It would be imminent if I was a complete loon – which just for the record, I’m not. All the same, there’s only so much bullsh!t that even I can put up with…… Arrrrgggghhhhhh!!!!!!!

Now I’m 110% certain that no-one at a certain level (or above) at starfleet reads anything I ramble on about, which is a shame. It’s a shame because if someone at Starfleet just took 10 minutes out of their day and watched this, they’d understand why they’re in the situation they’re in and better yet, they’d fix it!!

Motivation is at all time low it would seem, and this eminently sensible research points to 3 concepts: Autonomy, Mastery & Purpose which could turn it around… Perhaps I’ll bring it up next Tuesday – unless I get fired

Seriously… go and read the books – they’re a proper treat.

Tuesday next will be a turning point.