Wednesday, January 28, 2004


It finally arrived, not quite with abundance, but more than enough to coat everything white. I'm very glad of my possum socks and merino tops today.

A. is watching a kind of Candid Camera show called Just For Laughs, and is taking it's name way too seriously (it's not that funny), shrieking maniacally from the couch like a man possessed. Well, I suppose he is really...possessed by the spirit of bad TV.

Monday, January 26, 2004

No snow

yet...but our office manager emailed everyone today suggesting we ring in tomorrow morning before turning up for our staff meeting, in case some folk can't make it. Our rural-dwellers might be snowed in, it seems!

Sunday, January 25, 2004


The sun's streaming in our (ever so slightly grubby) windows, heating things up nicely and giving little away about the severe weather warning - an "Arctic blast" is due later today. What fun. It will be a real shock to the system after unseasonably mild temperatures.

The last day things were really cold was the day A. hit some black ice on the scooter and promptly hit the black ice himself - more than a week ago, and the bruise is still a splendid technicolour thing.

We've seen lots of films lately - making the most of our Unlimited cards (£9.99 per month, all the movies you can eat). Girl With a Pearl Earring last night - gorgeous cinematography and Scarlett Johansson, but not too much else going for it. A very thin plot. Much better was the other Johansson pic, Lost In Translation. Not to everyone's taste, but I really enjoyed it - the ultimate evocation of being bored in a hotel room in a strange place. The soundtrack is great, very moody (esp Air's Alone in Kyoto). Now I want to go to Tokyo.

We had to see The Last Samurai, as I have a tenuous professional connection to it (i.e. not a big enough connection to make it onto the credits list!). The film was shot in Taranaki (to replicate Japan) and when the production team was first shopping for locations, Film NZ put together a package recommending that very province. See, tenuous! It was interesting to see, and the action scenes were fantastically choreographed, almost making up for the cringeworthy dialogue. The locations just looked like NZ to me, though (or do they have pungas in Japan?).

We've also been to see Cold Mountain, an enjoyable (apart from the gruesome war scenes) and transporting epic, American Splendour, a film that, while not always totally engaging at the time, is one that I have thought a lot about since - and what incredible casting! And Touching the Void, one of those films that we ended up seeing because what we wanted to see was sold out, and were delighted to have seen. Well worth a look. And that's just this month...

Apologies if my movie-viewing diary is of no interest (although I doubt that you would have made it this far if that was the case!) - I guess it's just symptomatic of this time of year. The nights are long (but gradually getting shorter) and the telly's crap (but getting better - new series of ER & Sex & The City have just started).

Other viewing has been of the theatrical kind. Over a couple of weeks we watched the Slab Boys Trilogy at the Traverse - 3 plays by artist and playwright John Byrne, set in Paisley in the 50's and 60's. I had decided to go and see them as they are held to be "one of Scotland's defining literary works of the twentieth century", and wasn't disappointed.

And of course flat viewing - every Thursday 7-9pm, Sunday 2-4pm...more on that anon...

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Happy New Year

I was about to start this post waaaaay back on the 1st January, but who should turn up on our doorstep than the Reeve-Reeves pair, all the way from Bexley (I just tried to find a link that would give a flavour of the place, but all I could find were hotels (why would you stay in Bexley unless you had free accommodation like Olly?), online dating, UK swingers in Bexley and Al Anon).

We had a super time - Olly brought the car so we were able to drive on fast roads and go places (not possible on the scooter). We went over the Forth to a wee coastal village called Aberdour for a pub lunch by a roaring fire and walk along the coast one day, and up to the Glenturret Distillery, home of the Famous Grouse Experience for some whisky action another. We managed to encounter some snow, albeit snow that had been on the ground a couple of days and more closely resembled ice, which pleased Antoinette no end. At least until we decided to take a walk in said snow, along a woodland trail (or icy death-trap). We soldiered on for a while, but the sight of Olly careering away towards the creek, limbs everywhere and almost uprooting a tree, was enough entertainment for one trip.

New Year itself was a wee bit of a let-down, as Hogmanay was cancelled. It didn't seem that windy and dangerous - and as not many people left the street party anyway, it would have been nice of the party organisers to at least do the countdown, and pipe a bit of music through the PA. I'm glad we hadn't paid for tickets. Still, the atmosphere was quite lively, a fair few kilted bums bared, but not too many slobbery snogs.