I’m Hot, Casanova.

The weather died down yesterday, only for it to be hot again today! And it’ll be even HOTTER tomorrow. I’m glad the weather is sunny, but it SERIOUSLY does not need to be this hot with it. It was sunny yesterday, but there was a lovely north wind blowing keeping the temp. down.

I watched Casanova yesterday. You think (for me anyway, only vaguely knowing the reputation of Giacomo Casanova) that there isn’t going to be anything at all redeeming about him. That by the end you’ll just think of him as a half-wit ladies man. But not so at all. I never knew of the story of Henriette. I’m sure given “artistic licence” given more relevance by writer of the script Russell T Davies. Casanova was not just a mere “ladies man”. He seems to have truly loved women.

Peter O’ Toole plays an older Casanova and even at the age he’s at in this point in his life (around 73 years old), he still manages to seduce a young woman (he doesn’t go on to “have his way” with her, and there is no actual intercourse) and you are totally “spun-in” with her. You find yourself, watching, thinking “Yes, you are old, but you can have me too!!!” If he was anything like he was portrayed in the series, I can see why he is held as such a Lothario. But with such overwhelming love for women, with no malice ever meant, no harm ever wanting to be done. Even though he lived over 200 years ago, I fell in love with him too.

The experience was made all the lovelier for watching David Tennant as the younger Casanova, as well as Mr O’ Toole being the older Casanova. When I was in Australia last year, they showed Goodbye, Mr Chips on the TV on a Saturday afternoon. I watched it and just fell in love with it. It was a musical version with Petula Clark and Peter O’ Toole as Chips. Oh, it was so lovely, and O’ Toole played such a lovely, gentle version of Chips. Despite the man being in his 70’s, I fell in love with him as Chips. Still, he was 37 at the time of making Chips, so that’s OK!

Can you tell I loved Casanova? 🙂

And of course, with the repeats being on BBC3, I watched ANOTHER Doctor Who last night. Probably my equal favourite of the series with the one being aired tonight (Turn Left). I was just mesmerised by Mr T’s performance in this and this was pre-hots-for! It was after this went to air, I had my dream of him…

Well, I’ll let you know what’s in stall for DVD watching when the new batch arrives.

I’m looking forward to a new series of The Tudors starting up too this Friday. Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, more absolute male hotness to be had. I’m sure Henry VIII was never THAT sexy!!!

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Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn (The Tudors)

I Love Music.

And I just don’t listen to it enough.

When I was growing up, through my teens and into my late 20’s, I’d listen to at least 2 hours of music a DAY!

Now all my music I hear in a day is probably about 20 minutes worth of incidental music I hear whilst watching TV. I no doubt hear MORE than that, but it’s background stuff on TV shows and the like. Not music on the radio or from iTunes/CD’s/whatever.

On Thursday night there was SO little on TV, I decided to put the radio on and listen to Radio 2. Radcliffe/Maconie was just about to start – the program I was hoping to catch. Stuart Maconie was on his own this week while Mark Radcliffe was filling in for Steve Wright (in the afternoon). It was like stepping back in time…

Here’s a short back story. Mid March 2008, Em and I are on a anniversary break. We’d spent the afternoon in Birmingham waiting for the time to come around for us to go and watch U2-3D at the Imax theatre in Brum. We wasted time by sitting in the car listening to…Mark Radcliffe and Liza Tarbuck filling in for Steve Wright while he was on hols! That night as we were driving home (having just seen U2-3D on Imax), Stuart Maconie was hosting the show on his own.

I’d promised myself a few days ago that I MUST start listening to Radcliffe/Maconie because that night coming back from Brum, Stuart was playing some great stuff. So, lo and behold when I listen in for the first time since that night, Maconie’s on his own ‘cos Radcliffe’s filling in for Wrighty! It was like picking up where I’d left off!!

I only got to listen in to the first hour of the show and it was most enjoyable. And now because the BBC are so damn high-tech and stuff, if I DO miss a show, I can listen to it the next day via the BBC web site. Oh, technology!!

Tonight I listened to a program on Radio 2 that was repeated from 2004 about the history of Chillout music. I love Dance/Chillout/Ambient stuff. Love Chemical Brothers, Royksopp, Faithless, Daft Punk, Moby, Fatboy Slim, Paul Oakenfold, Massive Attack, Moloko, Goldfrapp, and then into similar genre stuff like Portishead and Everything But The Girl. It was a good prog and it made me want to get back into listening to dance. There’s an Oz group I’ve just heard about called The Presets, as well as another group called Midnight Juggernauts (Stuart Maconie played MJ’s last night), they both sound fab. I thought The Avalanches were going to be the only Oz dance group ever to make it out of Terra Australis.

After that, it was time to watch a DVD. I watched Sweeney Todd. Much better than I anticipated. I know, if I felt like that, why did I want to see it? Curiosity mainly, to see how Johnny Depp would play it. I thought he was good. I know the reaction was mixed. A lot of people saying he just parodied David Bowie’s singing voice – is that bad? I thought he delivered good vocally. It was enough of his own NOT to totally sound like DB. And let’s face it, if we’re talking parodies, DB himself was only parodying Anthony Newley anyway in his early days, or Scott Walker. I was worried I was going to tire of the musicality of it, but I didn’t. It had aspects of being an old-style film musical, which surprised me. It wasn’t “top notch”, but it was better than I was lead to believe it would be, or that I thought it would be. I could endure it again at some point. It’s something I could watch again, so that’s good enough for me. The one thing that was making me giggle through it though was Helena Bonham-Carter’s character and the young kid regularly referring to Depp’s character as “Mr. T”!

DVD’s to come are…the first series of Black Books (re: Dylan Moran discussion a few posts back) and Threads – 80’s “crap yourself” drama about potential nuclear annihilation. Nothing like a bit of 80’s nuclear war drama to cheer you up! Credit crunch?! Peh!!!

Hedgehogs and Hairspray.

Watching DVD’s again. I’ve finished watching my set of Blackpool discs. It was a really good series. I think you need to have something of the Brit about you, or be Anglophilic to appreciate some of it. I can understand why Viva Laughlin (a US re-production of it made by/for CBS) failed. I found something outrageously sexy about David Morrissey’s voice in it. I loved the kitschy musical segues.

More discs arrived by post yesterday. After spending the morning doing the whole bankruptcy petition thing at the local county court, I needed some light relief. One disc to arrive was Hairspray. I’d been wanting to see it for ages. Just the mere notion of John Travolta in drag was funny enough! Oh, it was SO good. I just freaking LOVE musicals! I’m a gay man trapped in a heterosexual woman’s body!! I’d love to see it in the West End now. I’d love to see Michael Ball as Edna. Musicals are even more special when you see them in the theatre. I haven’t been to the West End for a musical for years now. Last one I saw was Cats, just before it ended its run. Maybe, just maybe for my birthday or something. Anyway, it was just the “pick me up” I needed. I LOVE the music of the show.

After watching that, I just had the TV on Big Brother. Chris was looking out the loungeroom window with something in her sight, seemingly. I suggested to Em that she might have spotted a hedgehog, so Em went outside to investigate with a torch. And lo and behold, there was a hoggy outside! He was out in the garden, rummaging around. Em went back inside to get some dog food for him, but then he slipped away under the bushes. It was lovely being able to go out into the garden to see him though, even if it was just for a fleeting glimpse. Em says there are LOADS of slugs and snails around at the moment and she keeps seeing hedgehog droppings (amazingly, very slug-like shaped poo – who’d have thought?).

That’s it for now, I’m off for another DT fix.

DVD’s

After working on my list of U2 songs for yesterday’s post, I watched some DVD’s. It’s SSSSOOOOO the non-rating season in the UK. Here’s a sample of the “delights” on TV last night.

As of 6pm:

BBC1:
News 6.10-6.30
My Family 6.30-7.00
(a modern day Brit family comedy – ie: not THAT funny) – OK if you really ARE stretched for something to watch)
Last Choir Standing 7.00-8.00
(yet ANOTHER reality TV talent show – this one obviously about finding “the” choir group of the UK – I just can’t generate any interest in it)
The National Lottery: This Time Tomorrow 8.00-8.50
(yes, our lottery programme goes for that long! They usually have some quiz show linked into it. This one is seemingly called “This Time Tomorrow” where the quiz winner gets flown off to an exotic location as their prize)
Casualty 8.50-9.40
(hospital-based drama series)
News 9.40-10.00

BBC2
The Weakest Link 6.15-7.00
Dad’s Army 7.00-7.30
Carry On Camping 7.30-9.00
(Lord have mercy! Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I DO love an old “Carry On” film, but not prime time on a Saturday night!)
Cor, Blimey! 9.00-10.45
(TV drama about the Carry On films and stars of the movies)

ITV1
Twins 5.35-7.30
(the movie with Arnie and Danny De Vito)
New You’ve Been Framed 7.30-8.00
(one of those home video compilation shows – give me strength)
Who Dares Sings 8.00-9.00
(another reality TV show – basically karaoke on TV)
Foyle’s War 9.00-11.00
(drama series about some war bloke or something. Dunno. Never watched, never will – even despite David Tennant being in an episode once)

Channel 4
Gok’s Fashion Fix (repeat from Thursday night) 6.00-7.00
(hosted by fashionista Gok Wan, telling people who care what’s hot in fashion and trying to help members of the public improve their fashion sense)
Channel 4 News 7.00-7.30
Day Of The Kamikaze 7.30-9.00
(a documentary about Japanese Kamikaze fighter pilots of WWII)
Big Brother 9.00-10.00
(the day’s “highlights” from the reality TV show’s house)

Five
Superstars 6.05-7.00
(has-been athletes competing against each other for reasons beyond my comprehension)
Five News 7.00-7.15
Cricket on Five 7.15-8.00
(the day’s highlights of the current test between England and South Africa)
NCIS 8.00-9.00
CSI:NY 9.00-10.00
(sorry, I’m not interested in CSI:Anywhere – well, maybe I’d watch CSI:Luton! – NOT)

The only cool thing to be had on was highlights from T In The Park (Scotland’s big music festival – think Glastonbury but in Scotland) on BBC Three. I just recorded what I wanted to see.

So, hence DVD night.

I watched a film called Deja Vu with Denzel Washington. Oh My God! That film WAY surpassed what I was expecting of it. I just sort of remembered it being talked about on film reviews and stuff, but couldn’t really remember much about it, but added it to my rental list anyway. Oh man it was good! A lot more Sci-fi based than I was expecting too. The ending was a tad far-fetched (I suppose it’s just that Hollywood need for a happy ending), but the film had me glued.

After watching that, it was time for a bit of a DT fix, so I started watching the TV series Blackpool. I watched the first two episodes. I remember wanting to watch it when it was on the TV, but just never got the chance. I think I was worried by the musical slant on it that it might be too kitschy. It IS kitschy in those scenes, but fun. And Mr T is being quite sexy in this show. I love this running theme they have through it that his character – a detective called Peter Carlisle – he is completely addicted to sugary foods. So far – just in the first two episodes we’ve seen him eat chips, ice cream, candy floss, cake, and biscuits. In nearly every scene he’s in he’s eating something. Like a bloke would stay that skinny eating all that junk food? The ice cream scene is particularly yummy. DT eating ice cream from a cone, licking the ice cream off – I can’t tell you how much I was wishing to be the ice cream!!!

I think had I got to watch it on the TV I might not have stuck with it. It’s a bit of a slow-burner. The plot doesn’t really develop until the second episode. But now I’m really dying to watch the rest of it. The lead guy in it, David Morrissey is going to be in this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special. And there are rumours he might end up being the Doctor’s new assistant. Here’s my fave scene so far, with Messers Tennant and Morrissey being ever so slightly homo-erotic.

Not the best clip, but the others up were out of sync.

I’ve got Run, Fat Boy, Run to watch later on. I’m scarily now starting to get a thing for Dylan Moran! I’m on a real geeky-sexy trip at the moment! Next thing you know, I’ll be watching the whole series of Black Books (which I should anyway because by all accounts it’s wonderfully funny). He’s touring around the country at the moment. I’d love to see him again. We saw him at the Cambridge Corn Exchange a few years back and he did this thing about Irish men, and their hair. I was in stitches. Here’s a clip of it from another performance in Dublin (from the official DVD release).

Dylan Moran on Smurfs.

Just HAD To Add This!

Just finished watching Team America: World Police and went straight to YouTube to get this video. I know it’s juvenile, but I love it!

The Anniversary Easter.

From Antipodean – The Right Side Up

We’ve had a busy week leading up to Easter. Em had an appointment for a check-up at the hospital in Leicester on Wednesday (19th), and as you’ll know from previous posts, we decided to go away for a few days. It was our anniversary (the big 10th anniversary) on Good Friday, so instead of going away right over Easter, we decided to do it just before.

I think we had very good timing because this is what it looked like this Easter Sunday morning.

From Antipodean – The Right Side Up

Happy Easter, welcome to spring!!

Anyway, to the adventures of the break. We headed off late Monday morning. We shelved going to the wildlife park at Shepreth for going somewhere else closer to Leicester. We just made our way up to Stamford, stopped there at the local Morrison’s supermarket, then made our way to the Travelodge. We were both pretty tired from having a late night and early morning, so that’s basically what we did for Monday.

From Antipodean – The Right Side Up

Tuesday we headed over to Leicester and we went to Tropical Birdland, which is in this little village outside Leicester. We were following the signpostings for the place. I swear we went around the whole village before we got to the place! It was a freezing cold morning, around 6-8 degrees, with a slight fog hanging in the air.

From Antipodean – The Right Side Up

The signs for the place were NOT good. We went in. No one was manning the pay window. I wish we’d sneaked into the place because it was TWELVE POUNDS (for both of us – IE: not each) to get in. There were emus and and owls at the front entrance, here are some pics.

We were only there an hour. We saw everything we could see by that time. I’m sure the place would be nicer in warmer weather and more of a crowd there. There were loads of macaws flying free. Apart from the emus, there were different types of cockatoos as well as a red-cheeked bulbul and a lovely kookaburra. It was SSSOOO cold though. I could see some of the birds shivering! The poor things. Not exactly the kind of weather conditions for these birds. They were lovely birds though. They had a few different types of toucans there with different coloured beaks.

Time passed quickly though and so we left tropical birdland and took the park and ride into Leicester. We went into Primark and had a look around. Cheap jeans man!! Jeans for £6 and £8. Em bought a pair of jeans and a cardigan from there. Then we went across the mall to New Look and got some bargain tops as well. We killed a few hours there. Had a big costa coffee. Em had her decaf cappuccino and I had a huge decaf mocha. Em’s cup was so huge it had handles on the side like a toddlers sipping cup!

We left Leicester and stocked up on supplies at a Morrison’s nearby. Then we ended up on our first traffic jam, going to Morrison’s! We ate there and then had another early night. We had to be at the hospital early the next day and negate the ring road around Leicester.

Next day, we did start to get lost around the ring road. We took a wrong turn and went off track for a bit, but recovered, so we still got to the hospital on time. All was wrapped up by midday.

Then it was off to Birmingham to watch U2:3D. We thought we’d overspent the day before so we didn’t have 2 brass razoos to rub together. I thought I had £10 left though, so I knew we had enough left to have something to eat at a motorway services. We stopped at a services on the M6. I got myself a KFC twister meal, got the money out to pay and then realised my £10 was only £5!!! Em had yet to buy anything!! So we bought some milk so she could eat bran flakes that we bought from home!!! Poor love, I felt so guilty!

We got to Birmingham HOURS early. We tried to negate the city centre (frig me, Birmingham is the world’s scariest city! – to navigate around that is) and stop at The Bull Ring shopping mall, but every time we went by, we’d miss the car parks, so we gave up in the end. We went and parked near the Thinktank place that has the Imax cinema. We had to kill around 2 hours, cos we only had enough money to park in the Thinktank car park for an hour, so we decided to wait until 5.30pm when parking would be £1. The movie started at 6pm, so we had time to get in and park and get into the cinema. It was cold in the car, but the sun was out, so it kept us warm for an hour or so, until the sun started to go down.

The movie was really good. Some really good 3D effects and the sound quality was fab!! It wasn’t like being at a concert as such, and in a lot of respects it was better than a concert experience. I enjoyed it. A good playlist of songs and really well edited together. It was good.

Then afterwards as we exited the cinema, we had to go down 4 flights of escalators! They were SSSOOO fast, I missed my footing and ended up on my bum. I hate escalators. And if they are high and exposed (IE: I can see down either side of the escalator), it’s 10 times worse. These particular escalators ticked all the boxes. And they were fast speed. I didn’t want to get on it when I approached it, but couldn’t see any lift available, so I had no choice. The steps were going around so bloody quickly. I kept trying to step on, but it just was going around so bloody fast. Anyway, I went and still didn’t hit the step right, tried to recover, but just kept losing my footing, then ended up on my bum. Thank God that’s what happened and I didn’t end up falling!! I screamed out to Em, who was already half-way down. Like she could do anything. I felt so embarrassed and upset. I was shaking! I SSSOOO didn’t want to get on the next one. But I had no choice. I was shaking like a leaf. Anyway, I somehow managed to get down the rest of them without any further mishap.

We got to the car and were leaving Birmingham, going round a roundabout. Em almost clipped the side of the car to the left of us, wanting to get in the left lane. My leg started to sting. I’d grazed my leg on the escalator edge! We left Birmingham. Em was tired as hell, so we stopped at a services for a rest. Then later stopped again. She was almost falling asleep behind the wheel! She had a sleep at the next services. We finally got home around 10.45pm. Freezing cold and extremely tired!!

For Easter I had my treat of a tub of Ben & Jerry’s Caramel Chew Chew ice cream (which was divine!) with 3 creme eggs, which I dropped into the ice cream every now and then. It was GORGEOUS!!! Our anniversary was quiet, but lovely.

All that scrimping on the last day and we’d been paid early because of Easter and were totally fine!! Damn it.