Friday 27 February 2009


Want to be brave like so many others and post a current pic of myself here. Tried several times with web-cam but so far the results have been unflattering - which probably means they were realistic-looking. Even though I'm aware this isn't a dating site (but I am available!) when one sees what my age is one expects to see a 'daddy' figure. Trouble is I just don't look like one. Throughout life people have always said that I look some years younger than I actually am - which would now suggest someone in their 50s but I STILL don't look like a daddy. Oh well, maybe I'll try again tomorrow. Why not put off what one can do today?

Thursday 26 February 2009

Oh happy day!

Now I've managed to work out how to make myself a blog 'follower' - at the moment only(!) of the unique and cuddly Breenlantern - I'm feeling as chuffed as bum-fluff. Now I'll explore more blogs and try to get some more excitement into life before I've got to take to a zimmer-frame and maybe.....who knows? Not easy for someone at my stage of life (boo hoo!) who's only had a computer for 4 years to work out how to do things with it. But it's commmmmming!

Wednesday 25 February 2009

Belly laughs.

Thanks largely to the inspiration of the esteemed Breenlantern did my first jog this morning since mid-November (which itself was the first since the previous July!). Just GOT to work this absurd paunch off. I've always been on the thin side without being actually skinny but a protruding stomach on such a body really looks gives the impression of being preggers! (Just like that expectant bearded 'man' we saw a lot of a couple of months back.) I wouldn't care but two years ago the same thing happened, brought home to me by a visit to the barbers, me unwisely wearing shorts and already very conscious of my front load. As I exited after the cut, just before the door eased shut behind me, I heard the four of five guys there collapse into hysterics. I've little doubt that I was the object of their mirth and knew what exactly had caused it. (It stung like hell - and I changed my barber after that.) Looking self-consciously in the reflections of shop windows on the way back I was struck by the grotesque sight. Anyway it was the spur to reducing food intake and taking more exercise. The waist was eventually successfully brought down so far that I was actually able to fit on my old scout belt - which I'd worn when I'd been just 12, albeit briefly, but that's another story. So all last Summer I rejoiced in having a satisfactorily fairly flat tummy - but come the Autumn I let myself go again (dammit!) with the result that I'm back in the same undesirable situation. Well, there's no choice. Just got to get it down yet again - and will! In fact it's already showing signs of 'de-tumescing'. When younger, I was accused of being vain about my body and looks. Might as well have something to feel vain about, so more pounding the English south coast ahead!

Tuesday 24 February 2009

Stifled yawn.

Just seen 'Che - Part Two'. Thought it a bit of a bore really. If a film is 2+ hours long it'd better be good! Awarded it 4/10 in my list - Part One earned a 6/10, hardly very inspiring also. Well, at least they've been seen now, and on the big screen.

Monday 23 February 2009

That was a pleasant surprise!

I'd already got an advance ticket to see 'Confessions of a Shopaholic' as I'd been buying a theatre ticket last week at the same establishment. But then this week-end all the reviews of the film I read and heard were unanimous in dismissing the film not only as unfunny but hopelessly timed in the light of the financial world going arse-over-tip in the last few months and reckless and profligate spending is now considered sooooo irresponsible. But having got the ticket I thought I might as well go and maybe leave before the end. But it turned out to be really enjoyable. If maybe not quite laugh-out-loud it certainly raised a good number of chuckles in its fast-paced action. All fairly predictable undemanding stuff, of course, but still well worth a visit. And I didn't look at my watch once - a tonic!

Post-Oscar reflections.

Heartening to see Mr Penn pick up for 'Milk', rather than Rourke, though for me personally the film as a whole didn't quite take wing as I'd hoped it would - also the award for best original screenplay for the same film was fair enough. I suppose there will always be those who see these as 'politically correct' awards. (I never quite know what that term means, except sneeringly to put down others who don't share that person's own prejudices.) But giving one-in-the-eye to the neo-cons always seems worthwhile.
Sorry that the never-less-than-blisteringly-excellent Meryl lost out to Kate W. though I thought 'Revolutionary Road' was a far more convincing performance for the latter and a much better film than 'The Reader' to boot.
Not exactly displeased to see that 'Slumdog' practically cleaned up but for me it was one of those films, though admittedly pretty damn good, I found such an uncomfortable watch that I don't think I'll ever want to see again. (By the way, remember how 'The English Patient' overwhelmed the awards, what, 12 years ago? Who now thinks it was really deserving of all that praise - and who would consider it as even one of their all-time favourite films? Who even remembers it? It certainly wasn't a bad film (but, Christ, it was long!) - though I did like the book more, if one can compare two disparate art forms.)
Of the 100 or so films I've seen in the cinema over the last 12 months I gave my highest personal scores to 'The Kite Runner' (which I think actually featured in last year's nominations) and Mike Leigh's 'Happy-Go-Lucky' - but for sheer mad F-U-N surely 'Mamma Mia!' takes the prize hands down!

Sunday 22 February 2009

Of Mice and Me

Woken up from a 'catch-up' nap this morning by the sound of one of my cats excitedly jumping about just outside the bedroom door. Saw he was trying to squeeze a paw behind the floor-level gas meter, running from one side to the other. Wasn't too surprised soon to see a little furry ball scamper out to a more secure hiding place. This is the third within two months. The first was a half-dead one left on the kitchen carpet after both cats had poked and podded it and then got bored when it stopped reponding, but I could see it still breathing. Its presence in that state sorely tried my passionate zoophilia but (rather cowardly in hindsight) I scooped it up in a dustpan and chucked it out into the back garden. The second was a couple of weeks later when one morning I saw this little furry pile in the middle of the kitchen, this time totally still, so had fewer qualms in giving it the same treatment. At first I thought the cats were bringing me 'gifts' in return for my hospitality, but now today yet another one! And it's still here somewhere, the cat having caught it and taken it in its jaws into the kitchen, but released it there where it scuttled into hiding again - and who could blame it? - where it still remains. But is there a nest of them in this flat? I've lived in 14 different domiciles in my life so far, but never been troubled with mice till now. Spiders and cockroaches, yes, but this is something new. Don't fancy getting a mousetrap as I can't bear the thought of removing a slaughtered one from it. Feel I'm again going to take the coward's way out and hope that the cats root it out and remove it - though not holding my breath about the last part.

Saturday 21 February 2009

Boy, that was sheer AGONY!

Don't know what the couple (M/F) downstairs thought when at 12.30 a.m. they must have been woken up by my yelling out in pain. Night cramps - thankfully infrequent, but, hell ,
when it happens one knows it! I always think that the term 'night cramps' doesn't anywhere near convey the totally excrutiating and debilitating torture the condition inflicts. Easily the most extreme pain I ever experience. Those who don't get it have no idea.....Must be what Hell would be like - if there was a Hell. Suffered with it all my life, oddly uniquely in my fairly large family. Thankfully it only happens about 3 or 4 times a year, but last night was the worst for several years as I wasn't able to jump out of bed quick enough to stamp my heel and arrest it. So. limping like an invalid with a fractured femur, heart pounding like a drum and sweating profusely, had to make a painful, shuffling way to the kitchen for a few slurps of water, otherwise felt I'd pass out. Disappointed that before retiring I'd taken a doctor-prescribed Quinine Sulphate tablet which ought to have prevented it happening. However, now I've been up for 4 hours and there's only slight residual pain remaining. Ready to face the day with a not-totally-forced smile on my salt-and-pepper bearded face.

Friday 20 February 2009


Been trying for an hour and a half to get myself to be a 'follower' of a most interesting and funny guy I've just discovered - who has (very flattering to me) already elected to follow my own blogs but for some reason can't get my attempt to follow him succeed. Oh well, suppose I'll just have to keep on keying his name whenever I want to know what latest gem he's produced.
Damn! Just wrote a long screed on one of my cats being missing all night (first time he's done this) then lost the blog after I tried to correct a mis-type. Can't be bothered to re-type it all again. But he's back this morning so all is well.

Thursday 19 February 2009

Now I've done my regular morning trawl of News stories, incoming e-mails and alert notifications and made my first of two daily visits to my regular favourite porn sites to see if there are any new worthwhile postings (there nearly always are) got the day free ahead of me. Looking forward to starting another book - 'Starting Over' by Robin Pilcher - having yesterday finished re-reading Philip Pullman's 'The Subtle Knife' (the second in the 'His Dark Materials' trilogy), but the latter are still books from which I find it difficult to stop my mind wandering - and must confess to some relief at having finished.
Yesterday, 'Ben Button' was okay, I suppose, but not without stretches of tedium - and far too long for me anyway. Anything over, say, 1 hour 50 and I'm looking at my watch constantly. But the already near 3 hours length made practically unbearable by a totally unnecessary 20 minute interval plonked in the middle! Glad to have got out finally. The only reason I stayed was to satisfy myself how the demise of the character was portrayed, which turned out to be unexceptional, at least in filmic terms.
Now going to listen to the first of a two-hour radio adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's 'Scoop' on the BBC's 'Listen Again' facility - a feature that's enriched my life since having it at my fingertips a few years ago.

Wednesday 18 February 2009

Here goes!

Well, how to start? Sitting here in my flat in English south coast, 8.30 a.m., my two cats napping behind me. No plans for today - Been retired for 2 years now (was an accountant). Think might go to local cinema for afternoon showing of 'Benjamin Button' but wary of unruly kids being there, it being school half-term hols, but don't think it's the kind of film most kids would go to see to spend three hours of their fidgety lives watching so I'll probably chance it. (I do so hate trying to watch a film when there are badly behaved kids in the audience.)
Relieved that wintry weather seems to be over - for good this year, I fervently hope. Now leaving window open during night for cats to go and come as they please. Only regret that I can't yet resume morning running as my right Achilles tendon has been sore every morning for some mysterious reason for some months now. Running would certainly have helped in my current effort to get my waist down to 34" again - it looked positively grotesque in the mirror just a month ago - a bulbous overhang. Now reducing my food intake again with plenty of water, and it show signs of beginning to work. When the warm weather comes I so do not want to go out in T-shirt and shorts carrying a barrel-belly in front of me. If I revolt against seeing other men like that, they'd feel the same about me - and even at my relatively advanced age I don't want to eschew the chance of attracting appreciative looks - and maybe even something more. (Chance would be a fine thing!)