Sunday, December 09, 2018

Doctor Who - Series 11, Episode 10 - 'The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos’

Doctor Who, Series 11, Final Episode: 'The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos'
OK, tonight is the final episode of this re-booted series, and after some mostly crappy episodes, they’ll need to do something really special to get me back on-side!

With last week’s big reveal that the monster-of-the-week was a… frog!!!, can we have something really serious now please Mr Chibnall? Here’s hoping! After tonight - and in a break with tradition - there’s no Christmas Special, instead there’s an episode on New Year’s Day. Rumour has it that contrary to  Mr Chibnall saying there will be no ‘old’ monsters in this series, the new year edition will apparently feature…


Well, I suppose he’s right in that the new year’s day episode ISN’T part of the ‘series’ as such!

Anyway, back to tonight’s hard-to-recall title…

…and they mucked about with the timings again - a 6.25 start!

6.26: A promising start as the opening scene contained some very ‘lofty’ dialogue

6.29: How many years later??????

6.32: A well-known actor appears!

6.35: A previous villain returns! (maybe?)

6.39: Some serious s*** from Graham

6.48: Well, after a run of lack-lustre episodes, I can’t complain about the seriousness of this one!

6.50: Am liking the music too - very appropriate

6.57: I’m starting to enjoy this episode (so no spoiling it with the appearance of say, a frog!)

7.05: A seriously tense final 10 minutes!

7.12: The story neatly tied-up and the bad-guy dealt with appropriately by Graham and Ryan

7.14: …and suitable words of wisdom from the Doctor to round off the series

Yep! This episode, much to my surprise, really worked for me! Proper Doctor Who ‘stuff’. If the next series (and the new year’s day episode) are anywhere close to this one, I’m back onside!

…and the short clip of the new year’s day one-off looks to be just the ticket!

4.5 Stars!

Saturday, December 08, 2018

Birthdays x2

It was off next door tonight to celebrate not one, but TWO birthdays from earlier this week - Paul R and Julie T.

It’s become a regular occasion over the years and with everyone contributing something to the Menu, what’s not to love!

With all the ‘usual suspects’ present and correct - John and Trish; David and Rosi; Birthday Boy Paul and Karen, Tom and Birthday Girl, Julie T, we knew we were in for a good time.

And the food did not disappoint!

Starters (courtesy of Julie and Trish)


Mains (Karen)

Desserts (Ann and Karen)

Cheese and Biscuits (Trish)

…and with Paul on Drinks duties throughout the evening, everyone was well-cared for. Bobby (sans Stella) dropped-by, and stayed for the rest of the evening

As you’d expect, the hours flew-by and we said our goodbyes just before 12.45am. And as always, after these sort of events, we were shattered - but in a good way!

Great friends and great food! It doesn’t get much better than that!

Monday, December 03, 2018

Preparing for 2019…

Today, we started preparations for the new Class that starts in January 2019.

Monday mornings free for 30 weeks? – check
Pupils contacted? – check
Notebooks available? – check
Training PC ready? – check
TNA document refreshed? – check
Venue ready? – check

from WordPress

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Doctor Who - Series 11, Episode 9 - 'It Takes You Away’

Doctor Who - It Takes You Away

It’s the penultimate episode for Jodie Whittaker’s first season as the Doctor and overall, I’ve been UNDER-whelmed. No-one’s more surprised than me at this, but with  its over-simplified stories and a set of characters that I simply can’t relate to, I’ve struggled to sing its praises. Conversely, most of the Who fan-base, seem to absolutely love this series! Go figure!!
Confused smile
Whilst I recognise that ‘62-year-olds’ aren’t exactly the target audience, I’ve been quite surprised at how much I’ve DIS-liked the majority of episodes, even though the acting itself has been very good. Well, every new Who is allowed a flaky first season, so maybe next year’s will restore my enjoyment! Maybe?!

Spoiler-free reviews of this episode promise much, so here we go, it’s 6.30, and I’m watching it live…

6.34: Lots of tense music… something is about to happen

6.35: A girl in the wardrobe - wearing sunglasses! That was unexpected

6.38: Oh, she’s blind

6.41: More tense music!

6.42: I’d get your money back on that mirror Graham!

6.47: Ahh, this week’s ‘big bad’ appears

6.51: I hate moths!

6.55: I hate them even more now! Yuk!

6.59: Well I wasn’t expecting that character

7.02: The ‘science bit’

7.10: Getting very tense now!

7.12: Wow! Some sacrifice Doctor!

7.13: That’s a dodgy CGI frog!

7.17: Bit of a lightweight resolution to the plot!

7.18: Mega-emotional moment for Graham!

Actually, not a bad story this week, but like so many before it, this one too, all seemed a bit light-weight - and the CGI frog was a real let-down!


Saturday, December 01, 2018

Christmas Lunching begins…

The Old White at Lyddington
Another Saturday in the countdown to Christmas - and another Lunch with friends!
This time, it was the Old White Hart at Lyddington (we were last here back in February) to meet up with Nick & Celina. Compared to last night’s venue, this place was full of people… and atmosphere together with a roaring open fire - Perfect!
The Menu (December 2019) The Old White Hart, Lyddington
Unfortunately, the ‘atmosphere’ meant that the lighting was dim and with the aged Menus aged all this combined to make the reading  a little ‘challenging’! (grey text on a off-white sheet of paper!) Still, it was a small gripe. Our drinks from the Bar were served without delay and we’d soon made our decision for Starters and Mains - without the aid of a torch. Service was pretty quick and we were soon tucking-in. Although the food was tasty, both Courses could have been a tad warmer and Ann’s Courses suffered from the same fate as her fish last night - overcooked!

Still, all-in-all, it was a pretty enjoyable experience, leisurely paced and with plenty of time therefore to catch-up with each other’s news (Looks like we’re both in the middle of planning bathroom renovations!). We were there for a good two hours before we paid up and headed back to the cars in the pouring rain.

We said our goodbyes, agreeing to catch-up early next year, after our holidays.

Friday, November 30, 2018

A Fyne Meal?

Loch Fyne - Elton

Gosh, we haven’t been here for a good many years - Loch Fyne in Elton - Last time we were here was February 2008 and before that, our first visit, New Year’s Eve 2005.

We met up with our good friends, Mick and Jane just after 7.30 and surprisingly for a Friday night, the place was almost deserted - maybe not a good sign given it’s only, a four weeks before Christmas!

Things started well though, with our very personable Server explaining the Specials in great detail and presenting us with a very extensive main menu plus the Christmas equivalent.

Service was swift, but it all went a bit down-hill from there. Mine and Mick’s Starters and Mains were OK, but the girls’ Mains of fish was a tad over-cooked.
A bit of a shame, but it didn’t stop us enjoying ourselves!

With so many restaurants and eateries on our doorstep, we’re spoiled for choice round here, and therefore I think it’ll be a long while before we visit here again!
Sad smile

Is this the real thing..?

Image result for film bohemian rhapsody

Are we the last couple to catch Bohemian Rhapsody whilst it was showing at the local Odeon?- Quite possibly!

We opted for the 2.30 performance in Screen 2 which was about 10% full when the movie rolled.

Was it any good though? Given the haemorrhaging of actors for the title role and a troubled production process, it was a wonder it EVER got made! However, reviews had been very positive and our friends who’ve seen it, sang its praises!

And as it turned out, we were no different. It was an excellent movie with actor, Rami Malek living and breathing Freddie Mercury throughout - at times, the resemblance and mannerisms was almost uncanny! Hats off then, to Malek’s acting ability, and all the cast for making it such a watchable event - it almost felt like a documentary at times (and that’s no bad thing in my book!)

The film left us with a feeling of sadness at a talent that was lost at such a young age. Underneath it all, in spite of his genius, he came across sometimes as just a confused, sad, little boy!
Crying face
The standout scene for me was the re-creation of Queen’s Live Aid performance - how did they do that!!??

The film had been criticised by many of those ‘in the know’ at glossing over big parts of his life - and especially his sexuality, but I guess there is only so much you can squeeze into a film, and keep the audience interested. We were impressed though and definitely one of our fave-films of the year.


Sunday, November 25, 2018

Doctor Who - Series 11, Episode 8 - ‘The Witchfinders’

Doctor Who - The Witchfinders
Well, at least I got the start tie right this week! It’s 6.29:55 and I’m ready!

Opening scenes looked good - another serious story-line - and a Witch is about to be dunked!
Thumbs up
6.38: One dead ‘un and the Doctor’s now a Witchfinder General.

6.41: King James makes an appearance - and the pantomime season has arrived early - Oh dear!
Sad smile
6.44: Scary! What was that? - cue ‘Monster-of-the-Week’

6.52: Even more scary! It’s ‘the Witch’

6.53: Maybe not!

6.59: The Doctor is a Witch (allegedly!)

7.08: Getting pretty tense now!

7.09: Oh, SHE’s the Witch

7.10: The (other) Monster-of-the-Week appears!

7.12: “Ready for Battle?”

7.16: Monster’s sorted…

Hmmmm, it started well, but then it all became a bit predictable - and all that was missing with Alan Cummings’ portrayal of King James was him twirling his moustache!
Nope, didn’t work for me!
Sad smile

Two Stars