Sunday, November 11, 2018

You don't pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger and you don't mess around with Jim (Jim Croce)

Wie geht's?

You alright?

Some things you can mess around with.

Dr Who can become reincarnated in a woman's form.

The 4th plinth at Trafalgar square undergoes constant change.

But other things can't be altered.

The Match of the Day theme is untouchable, for instance.

Two minute's silence, is another example.

Armistice day, a.k.a. Remembrance Day was yesterday.

We were on a train heading in to London Bridge when 11.00am happened.

Two minutes silence seems like such a small demand.

Last night we watched the highlights from the ceremony at Whitehall on BBC2 and that was followed by Peter Jackson's extraordinary film, They Shall Not Grow Old.

A very emotional, humbling experience.


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

You're the apple of my heart, but now, the time has come to part (Badfinger)

Photo by Julie Johnson on Unsplash
Wie geht's?
Comment allez-vous?

Apple smapple!

I'm over my Apple product bromance. It's sad but true.

Let me explain.

Tech issues consumed my weekend. First my ipod's battery died a while ago (still goes on an ipod dock but dead as Julius Caesar otherwise). Plus my iphone battery was a step away from critical failure.

Long-time readers will remember the search for a heater in the middle east and the search for a watch (also in the sandpit). The search for new tech was compressed in time but no less stressful.

Figuring it has an Apple store, Vodafone, Carphone Warehouse, Zara, Foyles and HMVwe decided to trek into Stratford City Mall.

Bad bad mistake.

Mistake 1 - no HMV!!! Goneburger. 

Mistake 2 - West Ham United were playing at home so there were 60,000 fans milling around the mall adding to the thousands who normally spend their Saturday milling around the mall.

Mistake 3 - the Apple store was mad mad mad. People everywhere. Noise of people and noise of some trendy techno junk booming out. The twenty somethings dressed in natty tight fitting black Apple monikered apparel were friendly to a point. I was told I'd need to queue to make an appointment to talk to some other twenty something techie dressed in natty tight fitting black Apple monikered apparel about my dead ipod (no thanks) and they didn't have the iphone I was interested in buying.

You know - the slightly less than current and cheaper than the latest bright shiny one.

All this came after we'd queued in Vodafone to buy one there (they didn't have it and sent me to the Apple store on the top floor).

The Apple people suggested I go to the Carphone Warehouse (on the lower ground floor).

I did mention there were 60,000 Hammers fans and the normal thousands of mallsters present didn't I?

Eventually I made it down the escalators to the Carphone Warehouse. They made it a hat trick of stocking only the latest iphone (which is now using Superbowl style roman numberings...pleeeze!!!!).

So, by default I saw a slightly older and cheaper Samsung S7 on their racks and bought that.

Boo hiss Apple!! Not cool!

The ipod? I'll save that story for next time chums.

Love and peace - Wozza

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Of the eagle's plight, we know that nature's balance is undone (Beach Boys)

Wie geht's?

A well reasoned, articulate post on Brexit that doesn't bore the pants off you all is still brewing in my bonce. It's a WIP (like Brexit itself).

In the meantime, I've been feasting on Where Eagles Dare - yes, the Richard Burton/Clint Eastwood movie from the late sixties.

Geoff Dyer's book (Broadsword Calling Danny Boy) was the catalyst to return to this totem from my youth.

I found the film at HMV: a two for ten pounds deal (my other choice being Kelly's Heroes - another film from my pre-teenage years - which, incidentally, didn't retain the glow of nostalgia as well as WED).

The book is a treat and the film was as I remembered it (except for the scenes where Eastwood takes on the whole German army in the castle's corridors and emerges without a scratch seemed longer in my memory).

Clearly that bit and other scenes in this capture and escape caper influenced George Lucas and Star Wars (Eastwood = Han Solo in the Death Star).

Except for everyone speaking English (a glaring feature this time out), it's all great fun.

Love and peace - WNP

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Rescue of the Princess (John Williams)

Tree of life tapestry laid out on our bed
Wie geht's?

My recent post from France was a little jaundiced and sounded a bit like I was suffering from little Englander syndrome (an English person who thinks England is better than all other countries).

Even though I'm not English - there's nothing like a convert, is there?

After we got back to England I confess to giving myself a good talking to and addressed the need to accept alternative nationalities more wholesomely.

So I went to Wales (not Coventry) and had my equilibrium restored via a return visit to Tintern Abbey.

We found this awesome tapestry from the TA gift shop - a visual reminder of TA's beauty and meditative spirit.

I should have been more accepting of French hospitality (Verse Toujours was great and served up beautiful food), the cultural variety of French Underground signage and be more accepting of all the loved up Parisians who were drawn to the opposite seats in trains like magnets.

I also got this awesome Star Wars poster with a bulked up Luke and busty Leia - hilarious!!

Sorry France. Sorry Paris.

Love, peace, Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité - Wozza

Monday, October 22, 2018

In France (Frank Zappa)

Wie geht's?

Or more appropriately, given I am beaming into you from Paris: Comment allez-vous?

Let's get right to it - France is weird. Alien weird.

Apart from the obvious - language barriers, insane driving on the wrong side of the road and people who look like supermodels, there are all the little weird things.

Pedestrian crossings are a guideline and green you-can-walk lights are a sign that motorists can run you over (extra points).

The LOML and I spent yesterday going to and coming back from Paris Disneyland.

Give me the London Underground EVERY TIME! The signage in the Paris equivalent is mind numbingly bizarre. It took us all day and many journeys up and down stairs to figure out that an arrow pointing downwards and an arrow pointing upwards mean the same thing: walk straight on.

And Disneyland? On the whole it was a positive experience but given it's American culture transposed onto a French town it's a little like entering an alternative universe.

Being in France the park's no smoking signs are routinely ignored and smoking is not limited to the smoking areas (smoking areas???).

Various Disney guards wonder around telling off little kids from climbing on things but absolutely ignore all the smokers. And don't get me started about the vile vapes - what a rotten invention they are!

I'm pretty sure Walt would not be impressed at the sale of alcohol at food outlets as well.

Apart from that, the millions of people, the lengthy waits, queues for food, the backpacks hitting me as I sat, the strollers used as weapons to carve through crowds, and the continual body spam - on the whole it was the multi-sensual experience that we'd been looking forward to for a while.

The sky was a brilliant blue, the rides we went on were fantastic fun, the food was great and the parades were joyful.

Not quite the happiest place on earth though - that place is in Anaheim, Los Angeles.

Love and peace - WNP

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Every one of us has got to choose between right and wrong and givin' up or holdin' on (John Mellancamp)

Wie geht's?

Reading The Choice (Edith Eger's autobiography) was a sober experience. I finished it on the weekend and that in itself was an emotional moment.

Finishing an autobiography is a weird feeling. There are many things to reflect on and The Choice is going to linger for a long time.

Operation Finale on Netflix was next on the list for us - the dramatised movie about Adolph Eichmann's capture in Argentina. Ben Kingsley plays Eichmann deftly.

Although the movie was a tad slow to get going, once Eichmann is captured, there is a mixture of revulsion and fascination (in a can't look away kind of way) to Kingsley's portrayal of a monstrous human being.

I guess there is truth to the film's premise - that the Israelis insisted Eichmann sign an agreement to be tried in Israel, but it's a dramatic stretch and a half.

The most dramatic bits centre on various characters battling with the urge to kill Eichmann once they've captured him. It was a minor miracle he survived to stand trial (and then was hanged).

During the film, I couldn't help think about Edith and her family. Her forgiveness seems super human given her context. 

Love and peace - WNP

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Red lights, green lights, strawberry wine (Paul McCartney)

Photo by Nik Lanús on Unsplash
Wie geht's?

What's that phrase about men being from somewhere, Jupiter?, and women being from elsewhere, Pluto?

For the second week in a row, I'm away from home, in Warwick for work. 

Living in motel rooms.

Last week was a two day residential for induction, this week is another two dayer - this time a Head Teachers' meeting.

Last week I was on my own and hardly unpacked my case and the room hardly looked lived in; this week, LOML has accompanied me.

Different story - case was unpacked, clothes hung up (on hangers) and into drawers! Shoes lined up! Toilet bag packed up after each use!

You get the picture.

Love and peace - WNP