Archive for September, 2012

Tasmania – Port Arthur and Lewisham

 

 


My Favourite Blogs…So far

Hello, all!

I’ve decided to make a list of my favourite blogs that I have read and interacted with so far.

My time on WordPress has been a wonderful experience of sharing and interacting with others in this vibrant community. I’ve probably missed quite a few blogs that I have enjoyed in these past few months, but I will continue to update.

I have done this because I saw it done on a blog that I enjoy following. I found it a wonderful way to easily link to like-minded blogs and, hopefully, generate more exposure for those bloggers who are doing such a wonderful job.

This is the link to my favourite blogs so far.

They have been chosen for a variety of reasons. Essentially, I find them intriguing, choc-full of quality, fascinating and, at the end of the day, down-right-good! I’d also like to say thank you to those wonderful people who have commented/liked/followed this blog. It has meant a lot and you’ve all made me feel welcome within the blog-o-sphere.


Post-Wedding Blues

“How was your wedding?”

“Fantastic!”

“How was your honeymoon?”

“Totally wicked!”

“How are you feeling now?”

“Pretty shithouse, to be brutal.”

Of course, this conversation only happened once. The cocktail expression of shock, disappointment, sadness, pity and disgust I received upon reviewing the recipient’s face told me to keep that sort of thing to myself.

Somehow, amidst the myriad of wedding advice, tips, hints, reminders and proclamations passed on from anyone as intimate as a family member to as distant as a lollipop lady, a key issue had been ignored.

Couples endure a period of post-nuptual hell that leaves you feeling…flat.

Obviously, you are still excited about being married and the excitement that comes with it all. However, it must be said to those approaching marriage that the aftermath is not necessarily a purely magical period.

It is laced with a feeling of flatness. That the hopes and dreams of a lifetime have been realised. “The best day of your life” has been and gone – that the photos of your wedding are the only ones you will ever have, there is never a chance to take or add more. Never an opportunity to change a line in a speech or actually eat some of the food at the wedding. Essentially, it is re-acquainting yourselves with normal life that, in our case, we hadn’t experienced for a few years.

I suppose it stems from spending such a large amount of time, money and effort on one single event. Every second conversation you have with someone will focus around the wedding. The little details are always in the back of your mind. Each day is a series of planning, making phone calls and making lists for months leading into the wedding.

Suddenly, this all comes to a halt and it’s back to the “real world.” Of course, the “real world,” is the life you’ve created with your spouse and is the reason why you married in the first place. It’s an adjustment, nonetheless.

In my mind, the danger is that couples spend this time entirely focused on the future. On what they will be once they are married, what their plans may be. I fear this may lead some couples to lose sight of the present, of themselves and, more importantly, each other.

It is crucial that couples entering marriage remind themselves of why they are marrying at all stages along the journey – the love they share for their partner, their relationship, their present. Make time to get away from the wedding and do the things you would normally do. Live.

The marriage itself begins at such a pinnacle that the time afterward is somewhat anti-climactic (in comparison) so the relationship must be strong to begin with.

Obviously, there is a degree of exaggeration in this post. I feel that it is necessary to underline the importance of the message and as retaliation to all those who did not mention it beforehand yet experienced the same thing themselves.

A final piece of advice. You may need to acquire a hobby post-wedding to occupy all that space in your mind that may suddenly arise.

For me, it was starting this blog.

Has anyone experienced this before? Or am I completely mental?


Rufina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


If families were more like sporting teams

The first big-name trade of the September holidays has been finalised, with Ben Smith heading to the Evans’ and Michael Evans joining the Smiths, after both families finally agreed to terms.

Today’s move is seen as beneficial for both families, with each securing members who will fulfil necessary roles in the coming years.

For the Smiths, the acquisition of Evans signifies an extra string to their already illustrious bow. With elder boys Tim and James, along with sister Tamsin, the Smiths have long-held the mantle of academic excellence. The addition of Michael Evans to their lineup gives them a sporting element that they have, up until now, been missing.

The charismatic Evans looks set to have an immediate impact in livening dinner-table discussion and should prove a handy bragging point for the Smith family.

Of course the move is not without controversy, as the 17-year-old Evans was believed to have one year left on his contract. Subsequently, the premature decision of his parents to move him on may hurt the Smith’s new recruit.

Evans is, however, believed to be excited to be re-united with his family dog, Scully, whom the Smith’s poached in late 2011.

For the Evans’ it’s a matter of providing structure and leadership for their young group. The family is expected to benefit greatly from the academic example that 18-year-old Ben will provide for the family’s young children Amy, 8, Chloe, 6, and Tom, 0.

It has been evident for a number of years that the Evans’ have been opting for a youth-approach, rebuilding the family name.

…Tom Robertson on draft day…

The acquisition of Ben Smith is seen as a coup for the family, after they swooped on Number 1 recruit Tom Robertson (pictured) in the June Draft.

“Yeah, nah, look, we’re thrilled to add Ben to our ranks,” David Evans stated in an interview following the trade. “We think he’s a man with immense prospects and we felt that we also needed to get someone in there with the kids who would provide strong guidance and support for the youngsters to follow.”

When asked if he would miss his son, Michael, David quipped “He’s a Smith now, isn’t he? Nah, look, yeah I probably will. You know, you can’t really think about these things at the moment you’ve just got to get on with the job. Maybe at the end of my life it’ll be something I’ll reflect on, but at the moment I’m just going to look after my squad.”

Steven Smith was equally as straight bat in his response to a similar line of questioning.

Sipping a martini whilst patting Scully, Steven was philosophical in his approach. “You see, Ben was a wonderful boy. He was dedicated and would spend his days studying hard and, for that, we respected him.”

It seems that Ben was more a victim of sameness, than anything else. The Smiths have similar types and needed to diversify their ranks. “Basically, we already had 3 of him – each now in the latter stages of their university careers. We needed to get someone in who would liven things up, provide a bit of spark and flair. That was what we saw in Michael.”

Meanwhile, reports of 31-year-old accountant Jonathan James moving out of home has proven to have been the stuff of rumour. Jonathon has signed on for another 12 months at home and appears set to finish his career under the very roof it began under.

“I also wanted to be a one-house kind of guy and I’m thrilled that it seems that they will be the way it works out,” Jonathon enthusiastically stated.

“We’re thrilled to keep him here,” Mum bellowed, “thrilled!”

The response from his father, however, was slightly less exuberant.

“Yep…”


For Forever and a Day


For six years we’d been at play;

Two hearts joined by laughter,

A couple of Lovers, jokers, sharers;

Friends.

A Christmas eve abroad I asked you to marry;

A sketch, a poem, a tear, “really?”

So a date in March was set to save,

An Autumn eve to celebrate.

There was a great deal to plan,

50 calls for celebrants, 20 for bands,

There were flowers too,

Cake, rings and the shoes.

With tears, laughter and support,

Our momentous day arrived.

However beautiful the view,

It could not compete;

With the beauty I saw

In you.

As ever;

We chatted, we shivered,

We laughed and we joked.

And,

With a ring, a kiss, a dance and a wave,

We sailed away

For forever and a day.


Rome – Statues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Rome – St Peter’s Basilica and the Last Judgement

 

 


Origins

If you’ve been sitting at home for hours, screaming into the dark, gnawing on the end of your couch whilst contemplating why this site is so named, this post is for you.

Stretching into infinity is the last line of the Emily Bronte Poem Past, Present, Future.

We found this poem after buying a book of poem’s for our wedding. My wife wanted her father to read The Owl and the Pussycat, a story that carried meaning for her family after having it read most nights of her childhood. Indeed, her father was so familiar with the poem itself, that he retold the story on our wedding day without using the words!

Weeks before the wedding, I opened up the book to have a little look and, on the inside cover, found this poem:

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Tell me, tell me, smiling child,

What the past is like to thee.

“An Autumn evening soft and mild

With a wind that sighs mournfully.”

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Tell me, what is the present hour?

“A green and flowery spray

Where a young bird sits gathering its power

To mount and fly away.”

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And what is the future, happy one?

“A sea beneath a cloudless sun;

A mighty, glorious, dazzling sea

Stretching into infinity.”

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The poem immediately captured us. For its form, its words and its themes. It captured us and our upcoming nuptials in an elegant, understated way. Our love of children was captured through the spoken words of a child’s vision. We were to marry on a mild, Autumn evening. We loved the image of the young bird, preparing itself for flight – a delightful image for our marriage. Finally, we loved the vision for the future that it prepared.

The future is what you make of it. We are not certain what it will bring, but it is awe-inspiring and captivating. And we’ll experience it together.


Children = Miniature Drunken People

There’s a Monster at the end of this beer…

9 year olds

Generally an exuberant, friendly, out-going group of humans. They have certain inhibitions, but these do not stop them from doing what they want in most cases. Generally coordinated, but not great, 9 year olds will give most activities a go (especially if they are confident with a particular activity). Able to maintain bodily functions and steady conversation. Good degree of self-awareness.

Me after 1-2 pints.

7 year olds

Have some idea of surroundings and appropriate behaviour, but will often forget themselves and indulge in abnormal behaviour. Prone to mis-stepping as they walk and, occasionally, crying for no reason, the 7 year-old has little inhibition (especially if it will garner greater attention from others).  Often opinionated, the 7 year-old likes to deal in matter-of-fact conversation, with no concept of areas of grey. Slight self-awareness.

Me after 3-5 pints.

5 year olds

Have short attention spans. Whilst they are able to decode simple words and sentences, children of this age have difficulty comprehending when they read and can make basic decoding errors. Co-ordination is still developing but bodily functions can, with concentration, be controlled. 5 year olds will excitedly share information they know with people they meet and are susceptible to staring at shiny/colourful objects for great lengths of time. Occasionally, they may share information that is a little bit too personal, but it’s offered in a friend-affirming manner. Little self-awareness.

Me after 6-8 pints.

3 year olds

Are completely self-indulgent. About 75% of what they say can be understood by strangers and most sentences contain about 3-4 words. Children of this age are short-term focused, ask “what?” a lot and have very little control over their coordination. Walking in a straight line may not be possible and, occasionally, the 3 year-old will have to take a double-step to reaffirm balance. Children of this age are generally convivial to conversation, but can often break down in tears for no apparent reason and may detest sharing. They have little comprehension of the world around them but are generally pretty confident to explore. These little devils can be incredibly possessive of their belongings to the point of obsession, yet this does not render them incapable of leaving most of their things behind when they need to move on. They have difficulty maintaining bodily functions. Very happy to talk to strangers. They are proud of their body parts and celebrate, in the greater scheme of things, pretty mediocre accomplishments. Minimal self-awareness.

Me after 9-10 pints.

Infants

Eat, cry and sleep. Desperate for food, they will often complain incessantly until they get it. Afterwards, they will often vomit back the very same food that they had so violently cried for only minutes earlier. They have absolutely no control over bodily functions and possess an incredibly slight memory. Slurred utterances are the only sounds humans of this age are capable of producing. No self-awareness.

Me after 11 pints.

Teenagers

Are lazy, selfish, whingy individuals who spend much of their time in dark places, converse in a series of shortish grunts and get by, for the greater part, on potato chips and other assorted condiments.

Me hungover. (Yeah, I know, the order is a bit strange. I suppose teenagers end up paying the price for the years of the alcohol abuse that they participated in as a child).


Movie Recommendations

If you are staring blankly at a move title with tears welling in your eyes thinking: “should I watch this?” Then this post is for you!

Below are a list of the movies I have watched (and remembered). To save you the hassle of hunting down movies on rotten tomatoes to figure out if you’d want to watch it, I will put each movie into one of 5 categories. Hopefully, this will help you to decide whether a movie is worthy of watching.

Easy mate: a one-stop-shop. If you watch the movie and don’t agree with my rating, you can slag me off in the comments.

I’m not going to rate them on whether they are mindless comedies or intense dramas – I figure that if you’ve come this far in the movie selection process, you know enough about the movie to decide for yourself what type of movie you’d like to watch.

Keep in mind, I’ve done this as an “all things considered, would I consider this movie worth sitting down and watching for a second time if I had all of these movies at my choosing” not as a “that movie was cinematic dynamite” type thing. These aren’t necessarily rated on their quality, but more on how willing I am to watch them again – arguably a more telling review of a film.

Here we go:

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You have to make time to see these movies

12 Angry Men

300

Aliens

Anchorman

Back to the Future: At least 1 and 3

Blood Diamond

Cars

Crash

District 9

Forest Gump

Gladiator

Good Will Hunting

His Girl Friday

Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Arc/The Last Crusade

Interview with a Vampire

Jurassic Park

L.A. Confidential

Love Actually

Notebook

Platoon

Romeo and Juliet

Saving Private Ryan

Schindler’s List

Shaun of the Dead

Shawshank Redemption

Stand By Me

Star Wars: The Original Trilogy

Terminator: All

The Cider House Rules

The King’s Speech

The Prestige

To Kill a Mockingbird

Toy Story: Trilogy

Up

Zoolander

I’d pay to watch these movies again

21 Jump Street

28 Days Later

40 Year Old Virgin

8 Men Out

8 Mile

A Few Good Men

A League of Their Own (if you turn it off with 5 minutes to go)

A Time to Kill

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

American History X

American Psycho

Any Given Sunday

Apocalypse Now

Apollo 13

Baseketball

Basketball Diaries

Batmand Begins

Be Kind Rewind

Blues Brothers

Bonds: Namely Goldeneye and Casino Royale

Boondock Saints

Bridesmaids

Brokedown Palace

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Cheats

Clerks

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Clueless

Contact

Dead Poet’s Society

Die Hard and Die Hard with a Vengeance

Dodgeball

Dracula

Eat, Pray, Love

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Fern Gully

Fight Club

Finding Nemo

From Hell

Fugitive

Ghost

Ghostbusters

Goodellas

Green Street Hooligans

Groundhog Day

Happy Gilmore

Hocus Pocus

How to Make an American Quilt

Into the Wild

Invictus

Iron Man

Life As A House

Life is Beautiful

Madagascar: 1 and 2

Mallrats

Moneyball

Napoleon Dynamite

North by Northwest

Office Space

Once Upon A Time in Mexico

Out of Africa

Outbreak

Paris Je T’aime

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Pleasantville

Predator

Pulp Fiction

Raging Bull

Remember the Titans

Resident Evil

Rock’n’Rolla

Se7en

Shop Around the Corner

Silence of the Lambs

Slumdog Millionaire

Speed

Sphere

Star Wars: The New Trilogy

Transformers

The Beach

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The Day After Tomorrow

The English Patient

The Hangover

The Hunger Games

The Illusionist

The Joy Luck Club

The Mask

The Motorcycle Diaries

The Negotiator

The Ninth Gate

The Planet of the Apes (Original)

The Quiet American

The Ref

The Rise of the Planet of the Apes

The Terminal

The Truman Show

The Usual Suspects

The Wedding Singer

The Whole 9 Yards

The X Files Movie: Fight the Future

Troy

Tombstone

Tree of Life

Tropic Thunder

Twister

Wayne’s World

What Dreams May Come

Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Without Limits

X-Men: First Class

If  it was on, I’d watch it

10 Things I Hate About You

101 Dalmations

2012

40 Days 40 Nights

50/50

61*

A Bug’s Life

A Fish Called Wanda

A Room With A View

Alive

Analyse This

Air Force One

Almost Famous

American Pie

Andre

Armageddon

As Good As It Gets

Avatar

Bad Santa

Balls of Fury

Beaches

Bedazzled

Big

Billy Maddison

Bend it like Beckham

Beverly Hills Ninja

Blade

Blast from the Past

Bodyguard

Braveheart

Bring it On

Brokeback Mountain

Broken Arrow

Cape Fear

Cast Away

Children of Men

Chocolat

Cliffhanger

Corrina, Corrina

Clue

Confessions of a Shopaholic

Conspiracy Theory

Cool Runnings

Couples Retreat

Cruel Intentions

Cube

Daddy Day Care

Death at a Funeral

Die Hard 2/4

Dracula Dead and Loving It

Drop Dead Gorgeous

Dumb and Dumber

Easy A

Edward Scissorhands

Ed Wood

Emma

Empire of the Sun

Empire Records

Enchanted

Erin Brocovich

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Eurotrip

Father of the Bride

Field of Dreams

Final Destination

Finding Neverland

From Dusk Til Dawn

Ghost Writer

Goal!

Grown Ups

Half Nelson

Hannibal

Happy Feet

He Got Game

Heathers

Hercules Returns

Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy

Holy Grail

Hot Fuzz

House of Sand and Fog

How to Train your Dragon

I Am Legend

I, Robot

I Capture the Castle

Ice Age

In and Out

I Know What You Did Last Summer

I Love You, Man

Inception

Indiana Jones: Temple of Doom

Jaws

Jewel of the Nile

Joe’s Apartment

Joe Versus the Volcano

Jumper

Labyrinth

LadyHawke

Lantana

Leap Year

Legally Blonde

Les Miserables

Liar, Liar

Life of Brian

Little Miss Sunshine

Lord of the Rings: Trilogy

Machinist

Mad Max 2

Man On Wire

Matilda

Mean Girls

Mean Machine

Men In Black

Mermaids

Miss Congeniality

Mission: Impossible

Mission to Mars

Monsieur Lazhar

Navy SEALS

Never Been Kissed

Ocean’s 11

Old School

Oranges and Sunshine

Over the Hedge

Overboard

Paradise Road

Paul

Pirates of the Caribbean

Pearl Harbour (if you turn it off with 5 minutes to go)

Point Break

Pride and Prejudice

Prometheus

Pump Up the Volume

Pups

Quills

Ramboes

Rango

Rat Race

Robin Hood

Rockies

Romper Stomper

Ronin

Run, Lola, Run

Rush Hour

Saved!

Scream

Shine

Shrek

Shutter Island

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

Space Jam

Searching for Bobby Fischer

Sex and the City

Shakespeare in Love

Shallow Hal

Six Days Seven Nights

Sleepers

Snake Eyes

South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut

Species

Stargate

Starship Troopers

Surf’s Up

Swing Voter

Syriana

Take this Waltz

Tank Girl

Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny

The Assasination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

The Air Up There

The Blair Witch Project

The Boat that Rocked

The Break-Up

The Bucket List

The Devil Wears Prada

The Emperor’s Club

The Family Stone

The Fast and the Furious

The Last Boy Scout

The Life Aquatic

The Little Shop of Horrors

The Matrix

The Mummy

The Muppets

The Nanny Diaries

The Net

The Other Boleyn Girl

The Shining

The Shipping News

The Simpsons Movie

The Sixth Sense

The Social Network

The Town

The Village

The Visitors

Things We Lost in the Fire

Three Kings

Throw Momma from the Train

Tin Cup

Titanic

Top Gun

Total Recall

Trainspotting

Trapped in Paradise

U-571

Uncle Buck

Under the Tuscan Sun

Untraceable

V For Vendetta

Vantage Point

Wall-E

Waterworld

W.E.

What About Bob?

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?

When A Man Loves A Woman

While You Were Sleeping

Wicker Park

Wild Things

You’ve Got Mail

Young Guns

No

10,000 B.C.

Alexander

Anything with Jennifer Lopez

Big Daddy

Big Momma’s House

Boat Trip

Bridget Jones’ Diary

Cars 2

Clash of the Titans

Encino Man

Ghost Rider

Hancock

Hereafter

He’s Just Not That Into You

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

Indiana Jones: The 4th One

Juno

Kill Bill

Midnight in Paris

Open Season

Phenomenon

Pretty Woman

Public Enemies

Sex and the City 2

The Lake House

The Men Who Stare At Goats

The Proposal

The X Files Movie: I Want to Believe

Transporter

Unbreakable

Wanderlust

What Women Want

Wild, Wild West

Not if your life depended on it

Astronaut Farmer

Battlefield Earth

Duets

Failure to Launch

Transformers 2

If I’ve forgotten any, please let me know below.

If you disagree with anything, please let me know.

If you agree with anything, please let me know.

If you’d like more information, please…ask

(Geez I’ve seen some rubbish!)