Thursday 13 January 2011

From Yesterday

Yesterday (Wednesday 12 January 2011), I did something I hadn't done for about six-and-a-half years: I went for a repeat viewing of a film at the cinema.  There had previously been exactly four films I saw on the big screen twice each: the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and Shrek 2.  As of yesterday, this exclusive list has expanded to include Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

As so often happens with films based on books, I spent a lot of the first screening worrying about how much it had changed from the source novel.  That, and being distracted by popcorn management issues.  This time round, it was more a case of sitting back and enjoying the ride.  I suspect the projector might have been ever-so-slightly better focussed this time as well - or my glasses were cleaner.  The rest of the family all seem to be in agreement that Dawn Treader is better than its immediate predecessor Prince Caspian, but I'm not so sure - not that I think VotDT has gone downhill, more that I didn't dislike Caspian as much as a lot of other people seemed to do.  Both have their flaws, but both did pretty well on the whole, IMHO.

Also while in town, I acquired a webcam.  I went into WHSmiths with £40's worth of gift cards to use, and after pootling around the whole place two or three times I decided that the webcam for £39.99 seemed like the best option.  The book section was mostly full of GCSE revision guides (I've got a first-class BSc, so those were a bit beneath my level), travel handbooks (I have no travelling ambitions), and vampire novels (I avoid vampire novels on principle, and I fail to see why so many other people are rabidly obsessed with the blighted things).  So webcam it was - and according to the price marked on the shelf, it would conveniently use up both gift cards.

Then I got to the till, and the computer only wanted to charge me £8.74.  So I've still got over thirty quid's worth of Smiths vouchers to use, and no idea what to use them on - you can only have so many pens in your collection before it starts getting a bit silly - but then again, a new webcam for less than nine quid isn't to be sneezed at.

Which leads me to Skype.  Yes, guilty... after all my ramblings about how much I dislike social networks and will refuse to join any, blah blah blah, you might think I've gone and betrayed the cause by having got a Skype account.  But I don't think it counts, really.  After all, it's not about posting banal, vapid nothings to be read by the public en masse (I'm looking at you, Facebook), it's about one-to-one realtime conversations - with added video-ness so you can see who you're talking to.

And finally, talking of seeing stuff, here's a photo of my latest acrylic painting, completed yesterday afternoon:

#003: Hamster Hamster

The idea is very simple: a blissfully happy hamster sitting on his own little planet made of solid cheese and supporting an ecosystem of broccoli.  It's got a bit of a The Little Prince vibe going on - I read the book once, years and years ago, and even though I've long since forgotten most of it, this bizarre image has stuck in the back of my mind ever since.

I've now started work on another, abstract painting.  Photo to follow in due course.

As for today... I've got a 'do' list as long as your arm, and writing this post is just one of many, many things to get done.  So I'll wrap up now and get on with some of the others.

  • 11 For 11 status: 8 down, 3 to go
  • Latest book read: still Stuart Olyott's commentary on Ephesians
  • Latest film/TV watched: Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  • Latest music listened to: Cylinder and Miserable: Official Webcomic Soundtrack (WIP), written by Timothy Johnston with some interference from yours truly
  • Latest food/sweets/whatever eaten: bagel and cowjuice for breakfast
  • Programs and web pages currently running: Outlook 2007, Windows Explorer, Skype, Firefox (tabs: Blogspot Dashboard; Blogspot Create Post; MatNav x2)
  • Webcomics posted today: Cylinder and Miserable #1127; Alien President #8

- The Colclough


  1. 1) I loved VotDT! It's my favourite of the books so I obviously preferred it to Prince Caspian and they really did the book justice. That might just be because I haven't re-read it recently but still. I liked how they kept in the really clear metaphor of how Eustace couldn't take off the dragon skin himself but Aslan could for him and all that. I didn't necessarily like Prince Caspian less, I think it's just different considering that it's set during war time rather than peace although my biggest gripe with the film is that they had to put a kiss in it. Spoilt my enjoyment of the whole thing! Well, slight exaggeration...
    2)Question: have you read Dracula? (Not that I have so it's a bit of a pointless question) I'm just curious whether it's just sparkly vampires you avoid or whether "classics" are OK.
    3) Oh, back to VotDT. 3D or 2D? If 3D, what did you think? I thought it was mainly only good on the water bits and at other times the annoyance of having to wear glasses over glasses out-weighed the 3D benifits. If both. Comparison?
    4) I believe £30 covers a Rubik's cube and some WH Smiths branches sell them... ?? lol =) OR I tunes vouchers? or are you like me and generally prefer to get the physical CD?
    5) Skype. I have skype but have only used it a couple of times to talk to my dad. Once to try it out, once because he was away. Although the conversation did divebomb into him trying to use all the funny animations that his webcam can do...
    6) Question: How did you get that planet so round?!
    7) re: Cylinder and Miserable #1127 - I thought of Doctor Who when banana milkshake was mentioned. Am I obsessed or is there actually any link? =)

  2. 1) that kiss has got to be the all-time low point of the Narnia film series so far. silly Adamson.

    2) i was thinking more about avoiding modern vampire novels. especially sparkly ones. i've never read Dracula, and at the rate i get round to reading things it's unlikely that i ever will. but having said that, it's probably the one and only vampire story that stands the slightest chance of me ever bothering with it.

    3) both screenings were 2-D. i'm not sold on 3-D film at all - even Avatar and Up didn't convince me - i find it annoying having to wear two pairs of glasses at once, and i really can't be bothered to pay so much more for a ticket just for an extra visual gimmick, especially when the film wasn't even shot in stereo but converted in post-production like VotDT was.

    4) i didn't see any Rubik cubes in WHSmith Camberley, and i can't solve them anyway. and i'm definitely a physical-CD person.

    5) I only bothered with the webcam and the skype account because i knew Tim already had one. we've had a lot of esoteric but entertaining videoconferences in the last three days =]

    6) i got a little tea plate out of the cupboard, flipped it upside down and traced around the edge of it onto the canvas (with pencil, mind you - not acrylics), and then snuck it back where it had come from before anyone noticed. don't tell them i said that.

    7) sorry, hannah - you're obsessed.

    8) random 8th point to avoid ending on that downer from #7.