We had a pleasant surprise when we went for a weekend brake in the City of Chester. In an age where we are persuaded that all cities should be “multi-cultured”, it was very refreshing to see that Chester is one of the few places that has managed to preserve it’s identity and is proud to display it for all to view. The main streets were herringbone brickwork, very tidy and well maintained. The shops are restricted to keeping within the Tudor-styled half timber buildings. There is no horrible modern structures, nor any out of place mosques to litter the skyline.
The city centre is surrounded by the boundary wall which has been well maintained and is still almost complete. A stroll around the wall presents various places of interest, including the Victorian Eastgate Clock, the Cathedral and Falconry Gardens, and not forgetting the Roman Gardens & Amphitheater.
There are many pubs and eateries throughout and a walk along the River Dee reveals more tea rooms allowing for some time-out to refuel.
As we discovered, Chester is far more than just a shopping centre and is well worth a visit. After seeing part of British heritage is still alive and well it caused me to think about our rush towards the multi-cultured environments with our cities. A path that will create all cities to become the same, losing their historic individuality, so what will be the point traveling else where, you might as well just visit a city near you?
To be honest, with the words “True Story” and “about a Conscientious Objector”, I didn’t hold much hope of me watching it all the way through. The story starts a little slow as we get to understand the circumstances of why Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) decides not to pick up a gun when he enlists in the army. He has a rough ride through his basic training with hopes of becoming a medic. Then the action really starts with dramatic scenes of warfare in a bloody battle where our hero comes into his own. Trust me, you will stick it through to the end.
As children we all loved Christmas, then as we get older we lose faith in it all, turning it into a booze filled holiday. Then we have kids and it’s all rekindled, the magic returns for a few years only to fade when they in turn, turn it into a booze filled holiday.
It therefore would be simple to say that Santa doesn’t exist. The idyllic vision of a fat man in a red suit, flying around the world towed by a team of reindeer is simply stuff of fiction.
So what is Christmas? I’m not going to talk about religious faith, you’ve either got it or you haven’t. I want to talk about the essence of Christmas.
Here’s where it goes wrong, I was standing outside a shop waiting for my wife and I couldn’t help overhear a couple that walked by, concerned that the gift set they’d just brought for someone, had a shower gel in and they’d already brought this person shower gel, so they’d take that out and give it to someone else. This is not Christmas, this is retailers heaven. Then there’s the idiots that use the Yuletide “merry” season as an excuse to go down the pub, get drunk and then drive, putting themselves and us at risk. This is not Christmas, this is selfishness. I’m sure I could continue with all the bad things, but that’s not what I trying to do here, we are hunting for proof of Kriss Kringle.
In resent years, my fondness of the festive season has returned again. And I think I know why, by pushing aside the bad points. The fact that we do want to see our families, met friends down the pub, give the right present, clutter our homes with flashing lights and trees, over indulge in our favourite food and drink.
So, does Santa exist? Well it’s really down to how we conceive Santa.We all basically want to feel good and want those around us to feel good and make this a special time of year. So therefore Santa is real in all of us.
MERRY CHRISTMAS to all!
Set in the 70’s, Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) and Holland March (Ryan Gosling) are forced together to investigate a missing girl. They stumble about gaining leads on a conspiracy connected to the death of a porn star. I almost pasted by this film, but I’m glad I gave it a view. Both Gosling and Crowe work together well giving the film, although dark in subject matter, a light humours feel. Add to this the retro music backdrop and bad hairdos and it was very enjoyable to watch.
Having just been to another open mic night where we watched and listened to a mixture of unknown talent. Over four hours of pure enjoyment as Sid, the venue’s host, took us from one act to the next. Each act belted out their choice of four titles. The audience made a few suggestions of their own which were sometimes granted. My mind couldn’t help thinking about the night before, where[clash] whilst putting on my shoes to go out in front of the TV, which was still on warming the room with no-one really watching it, Dermot O’Leary (who I’d like to ask “why does he choose to stick with such a poor program?”) announced the next act as “Honey G” and would she (or he, not too sure) have what it takes to get to the semi-finals? The music started, then this “artist” started to sing/rap. My ears were immediately repulsed. There is something bitterly wrong when someone without any talent gets so far in any show to almost reach the semi-finals. Has she/he no friends that could have taken her/him to one side and explain that she/he couldn’t sing? I aired my view to my wife who explained that it was the public that votes for them to get this far. WHAT? REALLY? So let me get this right! There are people out there that have picked up a phone, texted or rang a number to KEEP this talentless bundle in as a joke? They’ve paid out hard earned money to BT and their mobile network supplier just to keep her/him in? I’m struggling with this. Why would you want to do it? Is it because you think you’re messing with the out come? I can’t and won’t believe that it’s because you really think she/he has got talent. Well whatever the outcome on the show, Mr Cowell and his fellow assassins on talent, have it covered all ways. They and BT get revenue in one form or another from your calls/texts, and as long as you keep watching, they’ll keep turning out this excuse for entertainment adding to their personal fortunes. And by-the-way, rumour has it, that Honey G was just created solely for the show to add entertainment. Wow what a surprise it’s all fixed.
The US government assemble a task force from a selection of expendable super villains.
Their first mission is to “save the world”. Once they realize that they are on a suicide mission, they decide to take things into their own hands as they face the oncoming apocalypse.
There’s the plot and it doesn’t take too many brain cells to work out the ending, and an ending which didn’t come soon enough for me.
A patchy, disorganized, poorly acted 123 minutes. I felt sorry for Will Smith, who played Floyd“Deadshot”Lawton, the inadequate dialogue failed to add any enrichment to his character. There was a few fleeting moments from Margot Robbie who played Dr. Harleen F. Quinzel / “Harley Quinn” but I’m struggling to give any examples that don’t have any reference to her clothing or the lack of it. Then we have Jared Leto, well how cheap and tacky can you go? Why on earth he was trying to do a very inadequate impression of Jim Carrey as he thought he might act as “The Joker” rather that “The Riddler”, I do not know. I hated every scene with this tacky impostor. Once again the Warner Bros./DC combo have failed. This is NOT on my Christmas list of Blu-rays.
It’s coming up to that time of year again, my wife’s birthday and yet another occasion like Valentines day, where I will disappoint my wife by not buying her flowers. The fact is, I have never bought anyone a bunch of flowers, for anything. Why? Let me explain. I cannot comprehend how anyone can nurture a plant to full maturity, then cutting off the stems whilst it’s coming in to bloom. Then presenting these with a ribbon or wrapped in tissue paper with the intention that they are pertained as a delightful gesture.
For all intents and purposes, the offer is of dying posies, who’s longevity is only to be sustained for a short while by a vase full of water.
Surely the full plant, still with it’s life giving roots intact that can bloom again and again is the better option. But there lies another minefield of decisions. Which is the right plant that flowers for the right occasion? The recipients have no doubt familiarised themselves with the meanings of all known flower types, thus would quickly becoming distressed should you offer Lavender instead of Bluebells.
Other options are to seek advice from a florist or a garden centre. Should you dare to venture into a florist’s and request the aid of a well polished adviser, who will navigate you through the selections, enabling you to find the perfect blossom, only to find yourself facing the next conundrum, why is it that something that grows in nature is being sold at such an extortionate price. Obviously for florists and garden centres money really does grow on trees.