Film Blogathon 00/17: First Thoughts


This is another fine mess you’ve got me in to.

It’s the last time I listen to you.

You and your ‘good ideas’.



The film blogathon.


The object is to produce ten film reviews.

In a month.

This month, to be precise.



Once upon a time and in a land far, far away, I used to write film reviews for real cash money.

They weren’t much cop, those reviews, but that wasn’t the point.

I would bang out a bunch of worms words, send them off to a faceless cog in the wheel of the uber-capitalist world of publishing and, a couple of (if I was lucky) months later, a cheque would slip through the letterbox.

And promptly get eaten up by my overdraft.

But that was the point.

I got paid for it.

So when my ideas self said to my non-ideas self ‘I know, self, let’s bang out ten film reviews in a month just to keep on top of the writing game’, it all seemed so easy.

But here, now, on the first of June 2017 (pinch, punch, by the way), it looks much less easy.

Still, the paramaters parameteurs parameters are fairly easy:

  1. Avoid using the word parameters
  2. Be witty
  3. Don’t be dull (see #2 above)
  4. Avoid sweeping generalisations (unless sweeping generally is a Good Thing)
  5. Be engaging
  6. Keep the swears down to less than 5 10 20 Really Bad Words per review
  7. Review any film that seems worthy of a review (doesn’t matter whether it has been seen before or not. It’s a film crying out for a review? Review it!)

And that’s it.

Ten of those.

In a month.

Easy, eh?

We’ll see.

*strokes beard*

Oh yes, we shall see.

And you need to check out Young Masher, during this testing time.

And Dave is joining in too!

They’re keeping us all company.

Anyone else up for it?

New family member!

Last Friday was a special day.

We left Nottingham and drove to Sheffield, where we transferred from my car in to a lorry.

Then we drove to:



Once we had reached our destination, we loaded up the lorry, said goodbye to one and all, then headed back southwards.

At our destination, we unloaded the lorry:



I’m thrilled that Prem has come to live with us.

We have a bit of a long-term project on our hands, but I hope that by this time next year, Prem and I will be off bothering various equestrian officials.

Sam was brilliant, esp given that she’s not horsey in any way.

I think she secretly loved driving the lorry!

Anyway, here he is today:




When one has spent a significant amount of a 48-hour block of time sitting on the toilet, one’s bottom tends to become, er, numb.

But my concern isn’t that I have eaten precious little since lunchtime Wednesday (which I haven’t).

Or that I have a numb bum (which I have).

My concerning thought is about the barrowload of meds that I take, twice a day, to bed my heart surgery in.



For example, have all the internal goings-on affected how the all of the drugs are supposed to be absorbed?


Last Saturday I drove to Scotland, spent an hour in a place, then drove back home.

Then late Wednesday I drove down to Hensol, which is west of Cardiff.

And on Friday afternoon I drove back from Hensol to Nottinghamshire.

Although a bit knackered, because I don’t sleep well away from home, both trips were interesting and, in their own way, educational.

More about the Scottish one in due course, if it all happens as planned.

But the Welsh one was an annual company conference.

The conference wound up with a light-hearted moment, a musical pub quiz.

When this was announced I thought I was quids in, obv.

Being a music geek and all.

How wrong I was.

How very wrong.

The focus of the quiz was a sortov mashup of 17 songs across an Ed Sheeran song.

When I heard the words Ed Sheeran my heart sank quicker than than a quickly sinking thing.

But we gave it a go, our little group.

The object of the exercise was to name the songs – and the artists – of all 17 songs that were performed by The Vamps across (mercifully) just a few bars of an Ed Sheeran song.

Give it a go, and let me know – out of a potential score of 34, one point for each artist and one point for each song – how many points you get.

But play the same game that we did.

Blank out the screen, because all songs and artists are listed on this video (they weren’t on the video we saw):

June Blogathon

I’ve given this a lot of thought.

Young Masher‘s February Blogathon went very well (as one would expect).

The reviews were excellent:

  • A Stunning Triumph (The Times)
  • A Hit, A Palpable Hit (The Observer)
  • Cor, Look At The Tits On That (The Sun)
  • Blogger Sees Alien Spaceships On Mars (The Star)

Last June I dipped my toe in to the Blogathon water with the Music Challenge.

This year I would like to do something similar, but a little different.

Running through June once more, I will be aiming for a Film blogathon, but with a slight difference.

In the month of June I aim to watch, and comment on, ten films.

It’s that simple.

They won’t exclusively be first-run films, though some may be cinema viewings.

Some may be films seen on terrestrial, Amazon Prime, Netflix, or whatever.

They may be films I have seen before.

Or not.

There’s not even a guarantee that the films I blog about may be films I like!


Ten blog posts, over a month, on films I have seen in that month.

Easy, yes?

In that case, please feel free to join in.

On being ‘dahn sarf’

We have had a short break.

Dahn sarf.

Cornwall being about as ‘dahn sarf’ as it is possible to get in this highly entertaining country of ours.

Newquay was hot.

Not in a sexy way.

I got sunburn.

Also not in a sexy way.

Sainsbury’s, dahn sarf, sells a distinctive range of clothing

Wetsuits in Sainsbury's

Wetsuits in Sainsbury’s

We ate at the local chippy

Rick Stein's gaff

Rick Stein’s gaff

We saw some penguins having sexy time

Penguins doing rude things

Penguins doing rude things

And we saw the sun setting on the British Empire

Cornish sunset

Cornish sunset

This was the view from the hotel bar

Hotel view

Hotel view

It was a nice little battery charger.


It is 04.30 on Easter Sunday and Dandy and I are downstairs.

I’m not too sure why Dandy is (unless it’s because of his FOMO), but I am here because I have a cold.

It’s not manflu, it’s just a cold.

But the associated nasal flow means being horizontal right now is not exactly a great idea.

So I’m up.

With a bogroll on one side, and a loudly purring catten on the other.

*honks nose into strip of bogroll*

*Dandy looks unamused but continues​ to purr*

I’m thinking of playing with a new tech project.

Taking an old but reasonable spec laptop, wiping it, installing Linux, putting some Office-y apps on, and using that as my main home computer.

Pretty straightforward, except I can’t decide which flavour of Linux to go for.

The host operating systems in the datacentre, after a couple of shots of prototyping and a massive flirtation with Centos, were built with Debian.

KX Studio looks very interesting, but as you might guess from the name, it was developed for a different purpose, and not as an Office platform. Maybe KX Studio is a different project for the future?

Elementary Loki looks extremely slick, modern and, built on Ubuntu, LTS is not going to be an issue.

Or there’s the openSUSE operating system, which has everything I would need (but it looks just a bit dated).

There are many things to mull and consider, but it’s going to be an interesting little project.

Meanwhile I still have a cold, and Dandy has gone outside to stretch his legs, or whatever it is that young cattens do at this time of the morning.

Neighbours (a synopsis)

Early last month I posted an excerpt of a writing project that caught my imagination, in draft, while I was kicking a few ideas around during a writing binge.

That project is still running, but it has changed shape from the comedy it was intended to be.

While I develop that project in to the hard-hitting SciFi-based drama it is crying out to become, I want to work more on sketching out some funny bone writing.

So I’m going to have another go at the funnies but I want to ask if this concept might hit the humorous.

Working Title: Neighbours

Genre: Comedy


A leafy village in a rural shire. A cul-de-sac of large semi-detached houses. Two families next door to each other.

The Jones family (middle-aged, both work full-time). They are renovating the inside of their house, as such time around their professional lives allow.

The Smith family (middle-aged, he works full-time, she works 2-1/2 days per week). The Smith family have a dog which barks and howls non-stop when left in the house alone (which is at least 2-1/2 days per week, plus occasional ‘lone’ times at weekends and evenings). In addition to her part-time job, Mrs Smith does a couple of massage sessions most Saturdays, but doesn’t charge for her services.

Mr Jones has emailed Mrs Smith several times to politely complain about the non-stop barking when the Smith dog is left unattended. Three emails were sent over a particular six week period, while Mr Jones was recovering at home after a heart attack. No additional emails have been sent, as the situation appears to be beyond the control of the Smith family. A year later, the non-stop barking still happens whenever the dog is left alone.

Lately, Mrs Smith has started emailing Mr Jones to complain about the house renovation noises that occurred on a Saturday. The reason for the complaint is because this disturbance interfered with Mrs Smith’s ‘ambience’ during the two massage sessions she carried out on that Saturday.

Mrs Smith has included, in her email, the times of her massage appointments the following Saturday, and asked the Jones family for a lack of disturbance during those times.

Meanwhile the Smith’s dog continues to bark and howl, non-stop, 2-1/2 days a week, and occasional weekends and evenings.


That’s the basic premise of ‘Neighbours’.

I think there is a significant amount of comedy that could be built in to this scenario.

Do you think it has potential for a six-part TV sitcom?