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Quinze jours

Published January 15, 2022

Quinze jours

Halfway through the first month of the year, and that means halfway through my first 30 day challenge. It was a deliberately easy one - not having to go too far out of my way to make it happen, and something I have done before and know I can do. But even with that, resuming my Duolingo streak has meant remembering to do it each day for the fifteen days so far.

Around the world and back again

Published January 9, 2022

Around the world and back again

The new year is always a good time for new dramas to start appearing on TV, and the big bang for 2022 was Around the World in 80 Days, a big budget drama starring David Tennant as the hero in this Jules Vergne adaptation. The eight episode series followed Tennant’s Phileas Fogg as he attempts that circumnavigation of the globe all for a simple bet with the others at his gentleman’s club.

Five star book report 2022

Published January 4, 2022

Five star book report 2022

In 2021, I managed to read and review about 150 titles in my Books section, which has to be an all-time record. I say titles, rather than books, because some of them were shorts, some reference, some audiobooks, there’s a mish-mash of stuff I’ve enjoyed all year long. But even so, that’s still a lot to have managed to get through. Partly that’s because of the ongoing efforts to Hibernate for Health, but also because I’ve become absolutely obsessed with reading and do it every minute I can - cleaning my teeth, waiting for the kettle to boil, when I’m supposed to be sleeping, you know the kind of thing.

Free advice on a postcard

Published January 3, 2022

Free advice on a postcard

Over this holiday period, I’ve finally managed to listen to series nine of John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme. If you’re not aware of it, this is a fantastic radio sketch programme featuring John and friends covering everything from social awkwardness, new twists on old classics, incredible storytelling and every now and again some really moving stuff. Series nine was different, there were the logistical implications of recording during a pandemic and that gave Mr Finnemore the chance to experiment with the format - this time there was an over-arching narrative, told backwards, with a different featured character each episode going back through the generations.

Films to look forward to in 2022

Published January 2, 2022

Films to look forward to in 2022

Keeping track of what films are coming out when has been pretty difficult over the last couple of years, partly because of delays to release dates for obvious reasons, but also because it’s never quite clear how something is going to hit our screens. With a deep desire not to go to the cinema, I’m reliant on streaming options instead, and whilst it’s getting better all the time (Disney+ early releases, Apple TV rent it whilst in cinemas, etc), knowing when this stuff will be available is hard.

Happy new year 2022

Published January 1, 2022

Happy new year 2022

It’s become a tradition for me to write a new year post on this site, setting out what goals I’m going to try and fail at over the coming twelve months. Last year’s post was a little bit different, as we were all worn down by a pandemic that didn’t seem to be ending any time soon. I finished that post with the optimistic thought: “So here’s to 2021, and hoping that this time next year, we can all start making proper resolutions again.

On the record 2021 - wrap up

Published December 31, 2021

On the record 2021 - wrap up

Somehow another year of music has flown by, I’ve banked another 100 albums, both new and old, and now I have to decide which were the cream of the crop and which weren’t worth the download speeds. Each week, for fifty weeks, I’ve listened to one new album (usually from this year, or 2020 at a push), and one older album (any time before that), and have listened to each twice because I’ve found just one listen through isn’t always enough to full appreciate what’s going on.

Be the nerd you're meant to be

Published December 30, 2021

Be the nerd you're meant to be

Unless you’ve been deliberately avoiding it (and you might have, because it’s troublesome these days), you’ll know there’s a Harry Potter celebration on New Year’s Day. The stars of the movies are getting back together to celebrate the 20th Anniversary ready to reminisce about what must have been a huge part of their childhoods. I’m interested to see what is revealed. But I was also super interested to see a four part quiz special hosted by Helen Mirren pop up on Now TV.

The movie calendar

Published December 29, 2021

The movie calendar

It’s fair to say, I watch a lot of movies. Since starting the Film Watch process back in 2009, as of yesterday, the total is 1273 and rising fast. Initially, the goal was to simply increase my knowledge of films, but soon it became bigger and bolder than that. The aim became to watch 100 movies a year, and then to try and beat the previous year’s total, and that was going well until 2020 - the year of lockdown, where the total rocketed to 142.

Beyond Bond

Published December 28, 2021

Beyond Bond

I finally managed to watch the latest James Bond installment last month, having already had a few spoilers before managing to get it on screen. And then I read a post that sparked an interest in me that I kept meaning to write about… but then Christmas happened and now this terrible year is almost over and everyone has moved on, but hey. I’m still thinking about 007! This Guardian article particularly got me thinking, as it asked a few high profile writers what they would do following the surprising ending to No Time to Die.