Friday, July 30, 2010


Seems Karl Uban is keen to play Dredd in the new movie. Great - I think he'll do a good job going on his performance in the recent Trek reboot, although topping Stallone from the '95 movie shouldn't be too difficult.

Why they are bothering to do it in 3D is beyond me - seems daft to waste all that money on a gimmick when they could use it for sets or SFX.

All this made me come up with this strange Trek / Dredd mashup:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Carpets, Bees and Smoke Bombs

Ripping up the carpets in our new house was a truly liberating experience.

It also helped me to feel a bit more settled about having a new house. Strangely, I think the reason for feeling so odd about it was that it felt like we were intruding on someone else's property. Technically it is ours - every brick, floorboard and lightswitch - but I guess it takes time for the reality to sink in.

As we set about making our mark on our home, we noticed a droning, buzzing sound coming from under the ground floor.

Wifey waited for the pest control guy to come round and, sure enough, there was a colony of potentially angry bumble bees right underneath our feet.

Oh dear.

If we'd pulled up a floorboard they probably would have swarmed to protect the queen and done some serious stinging. It doesn't bear thinking about.

Sadly, the bees just had to go. Apparently, pest control prefer to leave bees - they're an important insect to the ecosystem and don't cause any bother unless aggravated. Unfortunately, having them living right beneath was dangerous. It was either us or them.

The bees had several hundred stingers, an acute sense of direction and dynamic flying capabilities at their disposal. Us humans, on the other hand, had two smoke bombs.

The battle was swift and bloody. In a matter of minutes, the colony had fallen and the bees were no more. Wifey found the bee's reaction to the attack quite upsetting - she said she could hear their screams of pain as they died. Sob.

I do feel bad about what we did, but then I'm glad we've been spared the fate of Macaulay Culkin from 1991's My Girl (oops - spolier! sorry!).

Rest assured, to atone for our sins we'll probably make a donation to some bee charity.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The emotions of house buying

I know I am incredibly fortunate (not that I believe in luck per se, but to save lengthy theological debates etc let's just go with it, shall we?), but I am feeling slightly unsettled about the fact that we have finally bought our house.

After over a year of house views, endless frustrated phone calls and many hours spent imagining our dream home we finally have the keys and have stepped over the threshold into our new possession.

The problem is, I don't feel ecstatically happy. I feel guilty. I feel anxious.

Maybe it's because I don't feel I deserve it. Maybe I feel bad that other, more worthy people are not in the position to buy a house like ours. Maybe I feel sorrow about a sorely missed Mum and Granny whose death made it possible for us to afford our new home.

We've still got one month left on our rental before we have to move out. So, while this transition period is extremely useful in terms of doing up the house and moving in gradually it's probably contributing to the unsettled-ness. We are, after all, occupying two houses for the moment.

Hopefully once we've made the final push I should feel more at peace about things.


Sunday, July 4, 2010

My Obituary

Moving house has prompted us to have a good de-clutter/sort out, which has involved various trips to cash generator, charity shops and the tip. We've also managed to burn about three trees-worth of paper (I think it's OK to do this - I'm pretty sure burning paper is carbon neutral).

I've kept several shoe boxes of correspondence and random bits of paper over the years and when going through this found my obituary.

Yeah, that's right. My obituary.

Unfortunately, this isn't one of those time-travel Doctor Who-esque stories with a shocking twist at the end. Back in the late 90s I'd decided to write a slightly tongue-in-cheek obituary for myself - probably because I was bored.

Here's how it goes:

"Obituary, The Times. 20th April 2075.

Sir Justin Chaloner MBE, OBE

Just a couple of months after his 100th birthday, Sir Justin Chaloner surprised many by dying at such an early age. Not only was he physically fit for a centenarian, but possessed all of his faculties right until the moment of his death. Indeed, his last words summed up many things about his life: 'I hope I did my best...I'll try harder in heaven!'

Film Director, Artist, Actor, Poet, Diplomat and an inspiration for a whole generation, Sir Chaloner was living proof that determination and a strong spirit can get us all through the hardest of times.

Born in Wales in February 1975, Sir Chaloner had a relatively normal up bringing. He never talked much about his childhood and some say this was because of dark secrets he wished to conceal. His wife once said, however, 'It was a part of him he wished to remain private.'

His first glimpse of fame arrived when he was 29, after his first major film for Miramax broke all box office records for a British production. Entitled, Razor Edge, it was a witty action thriller to rival Tarantino and Rodriguez. He later went on to make only a handful of films, as he divided his time between more diverse pursuits.

His success as a poet began after publishing a collection of his works in 2003, which attracted critical acclaim and demand for more. In line with his style, however, Sir Chaloner opted to try something else, and no further poetry was ever published.

A keen supporter of human rights and equality, Sir Chaloner was always willing to lend a hand to protests against individuals or organisations which failed to treat people fairly. He even risked arrest when Cardiff Council threatened to cut spending on homeless support.

By his mid 40s, Sir Chaloner had earned a reputation for being an effective diplomat and was employed by the UN to negotiate several international disputes - including the famous Argentina Crisis of 2023. Some say had it not been for Sir Chaloner, we would have been plunged into World Was Three.

By the time of his death, Sir Chaloner had appeared in three films, has his artwork displayed in the Tate and has helped to end worldwide poverty. He leaves behind his wife, three children, Samson the labrador and Fuzz the cat."

Hmmm - no pressure then. I'm only slightly behind on a few things.

If you don't hear much from me over the next few weeks it's because I'll be busy figuring out how to end worldwide poverty while coming up with a hit movie script. Oh yeah - and brushing up on my Spanish....