Monday, March 19, 2018

This week I have been mostly... w/b 12/03/18

Week beginning: 12/03/18

No. of evening meetings: 2
Films watched: 2
Healthy eating: Good
Mental health: OK

This week I am into my second week of trying to get back onto the healthy eating wagon (one which I fell off a long time ago). Two years ago I set out to reduce my sugar intake, but have had numerous stops and starts since. This time I am a bit more determined and I seem to be doing better.

The main thrust of my plan is trying to cut out as much unnessessary sugary and processed things from my diet as possible, in combination with eating more fruit and veg. I have managed the latter part quite well, so now all I have to do is concentrate on the first.

Apart from that, this week has been fairly normal with a trip to the cinema to see Black Panther (I don't get out to the flicks much these days so it's a rare treat) and waking up to snow again on Sunday morning, which was a nice surprise.

I also got to film a conference in Swansea's Guildhall, an imposing civic building with incredible 30s architecture and design which I'd never been to before.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Goodbye evil insect overlords!

We have finally said goodbye to our insectoid Eurycantha Calcurata pets after over a year of cleaning them out, feeding them brambles and scaring the children (as well as lots of adults).

Presents from my brother to our kids, they grew from nymphs a couple of inches long into fully grown adults almost as big as my hand. Unfortunately, we didn't really have the space for them, and they were a bit of a hassle to clean out.

Ideally, they needed a slightly bigger terrarium, with soil at the bottom. The downside to that is that they would have been better able to breed, and I'm not sure we were ready to take on more of the little monsters (also known at 'land lobsters' in some parts of the world).

I'm not the kind of person who will happily 'dispose' of pets when they get too troublesome. Even though they don't have a central nervous system (supposedly) and therefore don't feel pain – at least not in the way we understand it – I would feel bad about doing anything that would cause them harm. Plus, I was kind of attached to the little beasts.

Thankfully, my friend offered to take them off my hands. He's a primary school teacher and was enthused about the idea of having these critters in his classroom. They were, apparently, going to be a great biology teaching resource, and would live a happier life.

So, after a year of suffering at the hands of their original owners, these six-legged terrors are happily living out their final days in a large, warm terrarium with lots of good grub (strawberry plant leaves, no less).

Happy retirement, guys!

Monday, March 12, 2018

This week I have been mostly... w/b 05/03/18

Week beginning: 05/03/18

No. of evening meetings: 2
Films watched: 3
Healthy eating: Good
Mental health: OK

This week the snow from the previous week had all melted so it was back to normal.

A fairly quiet week this week, where I had a meeting with a client in Costa and bought a large cup of coffee, only to discover 'large' meant a vat of the stuff (not that I was complaining - it only cost me £2.60 which is cheap for Costa!).

I also learned not to arrange a meeting when you've only got an hour to meet and it looks like everyone else will most likely be late. It was a cause of much frustration on my part - although, like most things, in the end it didn't really matter too much.

Celebrating Mother's Day with Wifey meant a small lie in (for her) freshly baked pain au chocolat for breakfast and afternoon tea (with my mum) featuring lots of cake and hot cross buns.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Films I've seen of late (February '18)

#10 Viceroy's House (2017)
India, 1947. Lord Mountbatten becomes the last Viceroy of India and is tasked with overseeing Indian independence from the British Empire, but with a very short timetable. Faced with impending civil war and pressure from home, he is forced to compromise with the nation's Hindu, Muslim and Sikh Indian leaders. Taking a sympathetic view of the Viceroy, this film offers a fascinating and moving insight into one of India's most tumultuous periods.

#11 Return to Oz (1985)
Quasi-sequel to the 1935 classic, Return to Oz lacks a lot of the charm and timelessness of the original. Still, it's a competent effort – with impressive effects and a competent storyline that involves Dorothy freeing her friend (the Scarecrow) from the evil Nome King, with the help of some unusual Oz residents and her, um, talking chicken.

#12 Hook (1991)
Robin Williams (RIP) is in his prime as an actor portraying Peter Pan, grown up with children and having forgotten his magical past. Throw in Dustin Hoffman camping it up as Captain Hook as well as Bob Hoskins (RIP also) plus the great Maggie Smith and you have a weighty classic. Some may dismiss it as missing its mark but I think it has a lot of heart and serves the source material well.

#13 Early Man (2017)
A tribe of stone age cavepeople are challeged to a game of football by their bronze age invaders. Aardman animation is pretty much the king of stop motion, and Early Man is a display of their incredible talents. Sadly, this isn't enough to save the movie entirely. It has some fun and clever moments, but never quite lives up to previous Aardman films.

#14 Jane Austen Book Club (2007)
A group of friends form a book group (along with a couple of strangers) to discuss Jane Austen novels in the midst of various personal crises. Enjoyable chick-flick.

Monday, March 5, 2018

This week I have been mostly... w/b 26/02/18

Week beginning: 26/02/18

No. of evening meetings: 0 (woohoo!)
Films watched: 1
Healthy eating: Poor
Mental health: OK

The one thing overshadowing this week was SNOWWWWW!

For the first time in about five years, Cardiff ground to a halt as several inches of the white fluffy stuff settled on Thursday.

Although JKY had a great time hitting the slopes for a bit of sledging, no. 2 son wasn't quite so enamoured by the arctic conditions and opted to stay indoors most of the time.

As is usual with these things, all our plans were thrown into disarray (including the very important Tesco Direct grocery delivery) so alternative arrangements had to be made. But, hey, we coped.

Ninian road looking snowed up.

My best Scott of the Antarctic impression.

Roath Park lake FROZE OVER!

Crwys Road at night. Very atmospheric.

Sunday was a special occasion with seven baptisms at church, followed by a meal at one of the baptisees. The snow is quickly melting now that we are returning to more normal temperatures for this time of year.

Monday, February 26, 2018

This week I have been mostly... w/b 19/02/18

No. of evening meetings: 1 (it's half term - yay!)
Films watched: 1.5
Healthy eating: Poor (it's half term - doh!)
Mental health: OK

What is it with Sunday nights? More poor sleep so another bad start to the week for me (thanks mainly to the spicy food I had in the evening which were churning my guts all the time). At least it was half term so things were a bit quieter.

No 2 son woke up on Monday poorly with a high temperature which was probably just a virus - thankfully it didn’t affect plans for half term too much and we were able to go to the beach on Wednesday with the rest of church / parent and toddler group.

I went into church on Thursday to help do a bit of a clear out / tidy in the bolier room cupboard. Felt good to throw stuff out - lots of crap that had been abandoned (for probably years) went to the tip and gave way to a bit more useful space which is a bonus.

Friday was a trip to St Fagan's with my brother's family and the old folks. It was freeeeezing, so we didn't stay long after lunch. They've renovated a lot of the place and it's looking pretty swanky. Nice one, SF.

Saturday involved my leadership training course, a trip to Ikea (which we were successful at resisting buying all sorts of useless crap but did get some much needed crockery) then a visit to Cardiff Bay to view the brick safari and have an ice cream.

Sunday was a kid's party for No 2 son, picking up the others from church then chilling at home.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

This week I have been mostly... w/b 12/02/18

This week I have been mostly...

Here’s a new thing I’m going to try and do on my blog: summing up my week in a few paragraphs. It’s going to be a sort of pseudo-diary which will help me to capture the everyday stuff of my life, so it doesn’t get lost in the mists of time. Or something.

Week beginning: 12/02/18

No. of evening meetings: 3 (all church-related)
Films watched: 1.5
Healthy eating: Poor (it was Valentines and Pancake day this week!)
Mental health: OK

My week started off with extreme tiredness after a poor night’s sleep (which repeated the following night as well), but was a mainly quiet one work-wise apart from filming Monday and Tuesday afternoon for a local charity. It involved working with children, which is always a challenge, but I think we got what we needed.

The rest of the week was spent writing up a business plan, alongside working on CGI shots for my short film 'Hey Mal!' which is very slowly getting there.

I was saddened to hear about another shooting in the US - this time in a Florida high school. Yet again, no lessons will be learned and nothing will be done to address this uniquely American problem. Tragically, it will no doubt happen again in the not-too-distant future.

We are facing a battle of wills with no. 2 son at the moment, who is resolutely stubborn and disobedient with frustrating frequency. His older brother wasn't much different at his age – and he has largely grown out of it – but then his older brother didn't have a sibling when he was six which adds further complication to things.

We had a fairly quiet weekend. Wifey was out all day for an elder's meeting so I had the boys (I took them to the cinema and chilled at home). Then it was a low key Sunday (church in the morning then more chilling in the afternoon), although we did spend Sunday evening saying goodbye to the Phillipino missionaries (lots of yummy food!).