Sorry there hasn’t been an update of johnsunter.com in a while. I’ve been run off my feet at work.
An unusual evening on Saturday. I have started to try and broaden my horizons, hence visiting Chester cinema club, and stuff like that.
The other evening, Glenn invited me for an evening out, at the village hall in Michel Trafford. Amazingly, its run by the Parish Council, and the bar staff, are actually volunteers.
I was wondering whether it would be like the vicar of Dibley, but in reality, it was quite smart. A a practical point, the bar star were very polite and the service very personal (but it would be, its a village hall). I was also impressed with the price, at £1.80 for a pint of Carlsberg (took me back to 2003 !)
One downside, was that the website advertises free wireless broadband. Glenn, had brought one of his 2 (2 !) IPads to try out (I wanted to try them out and write a review, I cant help feeling that Glenn wanted to show off to the locals). Unfortunately, the service doesn’t seem to be popular there, and had been disconnected for non payment.
Overall, a pretty interesting evening. I hope to go again in a couple of weeks, and try out the free pool table.
I know some people reading this, will be surprised that I’m a fan of sex and the city.
I remember hearing a story about a prisoner of war, who was beaten every day at 10am. When he was released, it was found that his body had compensated for the ordeal, by pumping adrenaline into his system at 10am each day. The irony was, that he was actually uncomfortable not being beaten.
I can’t claim the exact same thing, but in a relationship some years ago, I was “made” to watch Sex and the City, and a similar effect took place (and to be honest, I think my love of travel destinations, and the scenes of New York helped to numb the pain).
Anyway, Sex and the City 2 came out, and I went to see it on Saturday afternoon (to avoid loads of couples and people on first dates, and other rubbish like that).
Enough intro, so what did I think:
The film opens with a brief history of New York, and a few visuals of Carrie and her friends, when they arrived in NY, around 1986.
It then moves on to a garish gay wedding. Its hard to describe exactly, but it was an affront to the ears and eyes.
We are given an update, on what’s happened since the first film (I mean that, from the point of the characters. From the point of the producers and actresses, its obvious that they needed some more money).
I do like Big as a character. It would be easy to fall into the perfect guy, who just isn’t in touch with his feelings cliché, but it never happens.
On the subject of cliché, they are many, including watching black and white “classics” together. Vom.
The plot then moves to Abu Dhabi (except that I immediately recognised Marrakesh airport in Morocco, so knew that’s where it had been filmed). At this point it got a bit out of hand, with the kind of clash of cultures between the girls and Abu Dhabi society, ending in a free for all in the market.
I know the film is exaggerated, but from experience, New Yorkers are probably the most street wise westerners in existence. Brash surely, but they know every inside track, every trick, the lot, wherever they go. Unwittingly getting arrested in the way implied in the film, would just never happen.
Overall, I enjoyed it, but like the 1st, it was 2 and a half hours, which felt a bit long.
I did love the music, Empire state of mind, by Jay Z, featuring Alicia Keys. Since watching the film I cant stop singing it.
One line from the film “eventually the baby will get tired” took me back to the original series, and all the things I liked about it.
I was sorry to hear about the death of Gary Coleman from the series different strokes. It reminded me of this hilarious sketch of Tony Bobbins (a spoof on the real life peak performance specialist, Tony Robbins) which he appeared in.
Other things happening on the TV front. Well, loads of series have finished this week. Before anyone asks, I went off lost after 4 episodes, so I didn’t watch the final episode, and don’t really care what happened.
Ashes to Ashes finished after 3 series, and ended a 5 series arc, incorporating Life on Mars, one of the best TV programs of the decade.
People have been critical, but I thought it wrapped things up pretty well, and I enjoyed it immensely, just like the rest of the series.
I caught up on about 8 episodes of 24. I only started watching them again, after season 2, last year at season 7. This season really is dazing, and I cant wait to see what happens in the season finale.
Two series I am getting into are Human Target and White Collar. Human Target is based on a comic book, and basically action from beginning to end, with enough plot to tie it together, and nothing else.
Blue Collar is interesting. It about an FBI agent, and a former Con man/Forger who he enlists from prison. I was talking to Glenn the other evening and he mentioned it.
I commented that when I saw the program, the first person, Neal Caffrey reminded me off, was him.
The Final episode, series 2 of Fringe. A recommendation from my brother last year, its excellent.
I’ve also been watching a series called Broken Bad. It was recommended by an old friend Jason MacDonald. He wasn’t wrong, its simply made, but quite dazzling.
Things have turned around, and the mortgage is getting paid, so the house is safe, but money is very tight.
It will take a while to turn things around, but in the meantime, I am trying to live as I did when I was unemployed, an dleverage every money saving and/or value enhancing tool available.
For example, earlier in the blog, I mentioned going to see Sex and the City 2. I get my gas and electric from Powergen. They give me Tesco points for paying my bill, by direct debit. I convert the points into cinema tickets, and get to see 2 films a month or “free” (the reasoning is that I would have bought food etc. from tTsco and electric/gas from Powergen anyway).
One thing I’ve just tried, is putting a 2 litre bottle of water in the lavatory systern. The idea, is that less water will be used when the systern fills up. Its a project I’m keen to see the results of (modern myth, or money saver).
One final inspiration, was actually from Peter Kay.
I used to always have the hot water come on with a timer, twice a day. Obviously, If I didn’t have a bath or anything, that hot water was wasted.
Shows how times have changed. The Peter Kay joke, where he is invited out for a drink or something at the Phoenix club, and explains that he cant, saying “the immersion is on”, took me back 30 years.
In my youth, the immersion heater would be put on, to heat hot water. It would take an hour to heat 2 baths full of water. Using the water was sacrosanct. If I was going out or to the shops, I would be strictly ordered home, so the water wouldn’t be wasted.
Made me wonder. Wasn’t Gas and Electric, relatively cheaper then, than it his now, but many homes today have heating/water switching on for several hours, when they aren’t even there.
I’ve learned my lesson. I put the water on, when I need a bath or a shower, and turn it off again, 20 minutes or an hour later. The savings have been significant.
Near and far, best wishes, the search for adventure continues…