Monthly Archives: December 2002

The Lord of The Rings

Being New Year’s Eve I decided to hide away from some excessive partying and see Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers in central London.

The second cinematic instalment starts more-or-less at the point we left of with Frodo dreaming of Gandalf’s fall. I began by thinking we were in for a decent length of re-worked footage from the first film but, of course, I was wrong.

If you haven’t seen the first film and haven’t read the books you will need to do one of them before seeing this film for no concession is made to explain the previous tale. Thus, we must accept that the Fellowship is now split into three and we have three stories.

Frodo and Sam’s tale gets darker as the film progresses as Frodo comes under the influence of the ring. They are joined by Gollum which is a superb character despite being a computer-generated image.

The second group of Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas go in search of Merry and Pippin only to find themselves rushing to the aid of King Theoden of Rohan and featuring some amazing battles sequences. Merry and Pippin themselves find the company of the Ents whose role seems to have been played down in the film. The Ents are my favorite characters from the books and I had been waiting to see if they could be brought to life convincingly on the screen. Peter Jackson has done an amazing job on them and I was only saddened that they didn’t appear more.

There are, perhaps predictably, few surprises in this second film. There is little to discover in the central characters and, with perhaps the exception of Gollum, very little seems to be learnt about newer characters. However, it remains a stunning piece of cinema and one that I will certainly see again and again.

The Guardian has a summary of the main players. Other reviews can be found at Empire Online and Teletext.

On this day…

2005: Dress Code
2004: Amélie And The Italian Job
2003: Review of 2003: September and October
2003: Review of 2003: July and August
2003: Review of 2003: May and June
2002: Would Pepys Blog?
2002: Year in Review

Would Pepys Blog?

Are the diaries of Samuel Pepys really akin to a weblog? Well somebody thinks so and is turning them into a weblog that will update daily with a new diary entry and it’s all starting on 1st January. There’s even an RSS feed of the whole thing.

I love that the web can be used to link, comment, annotate and explain the diaries in a clear way. Even the site’s design is fantastically simple.

I’m not sure what Mr Pepys would have thought about it – they were written in shorthand as a private diary and a blog is a very public thing – but I think it’s a fantastic idea and I wish it had been mine. Now, I will read them in properly digestible chunks in a kind of weird real time. Somehow this reminds me about why I was first interested in the power of the internet as a communications tool. Occasionally, I need to remind myself. [via plasticbag]

On this day…

2005: Dress Code
2004: Amélie And The Italian Job
2003: Review of 2003: September and October
2003: Review of 2003: July and August
2003: Review of 2003: May and June
2002: The Lord of The Rings
2002: Year in Review

Year in Review

New Year’s Eve. The time to reflect on the year. I have been thinking about a way of summing up 2002 and having a go at The Mayfly Project although I haven’t come up with just twenty words that sum up the year. I have no idea what I am doing tonight as it’s a surprise (which is interesting).

I started the year in a role I wasn’t enjoying (this time last year I was worrying about on-call rotas for people who didn’t want to be on-call) but it got better when my job changed. Then I changed companies and started understanding a slightly different side to the online advertising business that I have been working in for several years.

Personally, the year has been great. Good company, good friends and good times abound. It’s been a really happy year. Not an outstanding or revolutionary one, but a very good one. But I still can’t think of twenty words to sum it up

On this day…

2005: Dress Code
2004: Amélie And The Italian Job
2003: Review of 2003: September and October
2003: Review of 2003: July and August
2003: Review of 2003: May and June
2002: The Lord of The Rings
2002: Would Pepys Blog?

Denia

sculture Heading for the last day of the year and it’s a lovely sunny Sunday in Denia. Walking round the town we got the urge to price apartments and villas and there are some fantastic little developments around here.

seafront in deniaThe old square was full of Spaniards sitting and talking in the shade and the fountain in the middle was full of beer cans. I can only assume the result of some Saturday night on the town! Remarkably peaceful and quiet really – we watched the ocean for a while before sampling the delights of the local Paella.

This really is quite peaceful really. Such a shame we can’t spend a lot longer here. It’s a relaxing change from the busy streets of London.

(This post was uploaded on my return)

On this day…

2004: Napoleon Dynamite
2003: At Home
2003: It Was A Good Read

Market Day

The sun was shining over the villa’s swimming pool and the breeze was light across the patio. Boxing Day, the day to recover from the excesses of the previous day, was the perfect day to wander into the nearest town and, upon arrival, we found the local market in (almost) full swing.

The market in Javea town is the kind of market that you do not see too often at home. One wonders, however, if much of it is there for the tourist trade. I am assured it was different last week but the Christmas holidays mean there are fewer traders.

I am taken with several things at the market. Firstly, it is very friendly. This may seem an odd thing to say but I find this kind of street-stall market back home often borders on the agressive. Traders don’t so much ply their wares but thrust them upon you. Secondly, it’s a very mixed market. There is food (to take home) and food to eat while wandering but there are household goods, clothes and a large (very large) selection of leather bags.

Thirdly, I am taken aback by the lack of labels. Walk round my local market on a Sunday morning and all the clothes stalls are straining under the weight of Tommy, Nike or whatever today’s fashion label is (the authenticity of the goods I cannot vouch for). Here, it all seems remarkably brandless.

But mainly I am disconcerted by the food. Forget the olives and the smoked meats which look so very tempting. It’s the regular fruit and vegetable stall that amazes me. The range is astounding and we couldn’t name all the fruits on show. They also look real. By this I mean they are of varying colours, shapes, sizes and, to be honest, in various states of decay. The aren’t the identical specimens you find on the shelves of your local supermarket at home. Of course, I know I can find home/farm-produced organic foodstuffs in England but I’d just forgotten and this market is the day I was reminded.

Maybe it should be a resolution for the new year. Find and use my local farmer’s market.

(This entry was uploaded upon my return)

On this day…

No other posts on this day.

Happy Christmas

I am in Javea on Spain’s Costa Blanca for Christmas. It’s very different yet very similar. I have family around me. We had turkey and all the trimmings yesterday and opened presents around a (paper) tree. We have plenty of (cheap, Spanish) wine, Christmas pudding and mince pies. The sun, however, is shining and we are able to sit outside and sit in the warmth (if there is a sheltered spot from the wind).

The usual grey skies and frost of a British Christmas Day are part of the experience for me and have been all my life. The sun and the warmth were a little disorienting at first. Now, of course, I realise Christmas is still the same.

Happy Christmas.

(This entry was uploaded upon my return)

On this day…

2004: Season's Greetings 2005
2004: Season’s Greetings 2005

Rip Away

So, I am leaving for the airport at 5am tomorrow and I should be packing. I am, however, loading my lovely Rio Riot up with songs. This is fantastic as it allows me to take all my music collection with me – anywhere – and leave the original media at home. No bulky CD carriers and no more scratched or damaged (or lost) CDs when I am on holiday. I think it’s about time the music industry realised what a great idea this is!

On this day…

2004: Music To Go
2003: Here Comes Christmas

Wedding

The_Church.jpgI haven’t been to a wedding in a while, and I have never been to a black-tie wedding but I thoroughly enjoyed myself yesterday I my friend Suzanne’s wedding. The whole event was great but I thought the inside of the church was incredible.

Of course the bride looked fantastic and she, lucky devil, is now half way around the world enjoying a honeymoon somewhere on the beaches of Thailand while we all look at this pre-Christmas dampness! Still, today was my last free day before my Christmas in Spain – it’ll be my first Christmas abroad and I am quite looking forward to the experience

I find weddings fascinating events. At this one I knew few people but came away having had a delightful evening meeting new folks, most of whom I doubt I shall see again. In some ways this must be a reflection of our times. I guess once-upon-a-long-ago you would have know almost everybody at such a gathering. Now, with people who move around more and work in more places, this won’t be the case. It’s odd hearing the speeches about times before you knew the bride and groom. Odd, but riveting. You can see a whole new side to people!

Anyway, I wish Suzanne and George all the best for the future.

On this day…

2005: links for 2005-12-22
2004: Being Gay each Day

Is Bigger Really Better?

I guess it might be a little sad, but I have been thinking about online advertising sizes quite a lot recently (I guess it’s part of what I do for a living, which makes it marginally acceptable). Still I just found this, which puts it all my thoughts on usful ad sizes into perspective.

On this day…

2003: Hi We're Your Weather Girls
2003: Hi We’re Your Weather Girls
2003: Customer Service
2002: End of a radio era

End of a radio era

Broadcast radio is a big passion of mine and there is an event that happened today that can not pass without comment. Sir Jimmy Young presented his last show on BBC Radio 2 this morning – bringing to an end twenty-nine (or so) years on the air. There is much discussion as to the reasons behind his departure (here and here) but I don’t want to go into them. Neither does it really matter that I have rarely listened to his show. I am usually in the office where we don’t listen to radios (except today as I am on my own) or, if I am elsewhere, there are other stations I prefer. I do, however, think there are a couple of things worth commenting on.

On this day…

2003: Hi We're Your Weather Girls
2003: Hi We’re Your Weather Girls
2003: Customer Service
2002: Is Bigger Really Better?

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