It has been a while since I last updated here. This has been to a number of factors but the most pressing one is I really couldn’t be arsed as I have had a series of long nights and days for various reasons and tiredness played a factor.

Though the start of the year got off to a bad start with my beloved Border Terrier Lady Day having to have been put down after suffering either a stroke or a brain tumour which was very sad. On the positive side yesterday we are the proud owners of a Border Terrier bitch called Missy.

January on the whole was a good month for us pub wise with very busy weekends thanks to our 20% off January sale.. We had some good national ales such as the highly appropriately named Wychwood January’s Ale and a rarely seen up my neck of the woods Fuller’s ale called Chiswick Bitter. The Chiswick Bitter I first had several years ago on my second sojourn to the capital which had originally been booked as a weekend away with Philippa but we had split before the dates so instead of cancelling the weekend I arranged some new plans such as meeting with a long term correspondent Joe Lloyd for the first time; we had planned to meet during the summer for the Dead Man’s Treasure Hunt which is by all accounts a fun weekend in which there is a treasure hunt based around locations of the classic 1960’s TV series the Avengers. We met up and we visited a few of the locations from the episode that year’s hunt had been based on, which mainly involved going around the embassy regions and a few other places including the place where the first scene was filmed. Yes I know, sad fan boy mode switched off now. The other event was seeing my friend Amy Cherry for the first time in over five years which was nice, this visit we met in a pub called the Admiral Nelson where we exchanged Christmas presents and entered the pub quiz. We called our team the Jazz Jelly Babies and we came fourth. Fourth out of three teams… no I think there were ten or eleven teams and I do remember upon asked a question about what made a partial food green she crossed off my answer (as we both couldn’t think of the correct one) which was…. Bogies! (The Answer was Spinach, an answer made worse as I was wearing Popeye cufflinks). Anyway I got the Chiswick Bitter in as it was a low strength but full bodied ale which went down well.

I’ve been movie going again lately kicking off my year with the Woman in Black sequel which was wasn’t too bad but hopefully this will be the last sequel as I think from know on it would be flogging a dead horse. It was different enough to justified its existence and close enough in the premise to justified it as a continuation of the first film. Ironically I think the scariest part of the movie is the bald blind man who has a small but important role in the story.

Somehow I missed the Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One which was a shame but never mind. Next up was a film which was very much my cup of tea: Whiplash. Which is about a struggling student desperate to make it as the next great Jazz drummer and is invited to join the esteemed College Studio Band by the dedicated but sadistic teacher Terence Fletcher, whom I feel may have been slightly modelling on drummer Buddy Rich and bassist Charles Mingus who were famous for their fiery tempers , although I doubt either of them ever offered the line “Sabotage my band and I’ll bend you over and fuck you like a pig”…. It is a good and somewhat intense film which does accurately reflect both the struggles of the loner student and the difficulty of making it in professional music…. though I think the pseudo-happy ending was a misstep. What surprised me was for a film about a jazz musician how little music there was in the film outside of the band stand and rehearsal rooms, the film is virtually silently in terms of incidental score, I guess to keep the focus on the actual music.

Lastly Kingsmen: The Secret Service, a film by the director of Kick-Ass which is a parody of those classic Bond movies and ITC style spy shows with diabolical masterminds and their hair brained schemes, dotty eccentrics and talented amateurs. Colin Firth is excellent as his role as spy master and it strikes me that if they ever attempt to remake the Avengers again he’d make a good John Steed. Samuel L Jackson is great as the squeamish, lisping diabolical mastermind who wants to save the planet by inducing a cull of part of the population, no spoilers but you’ll never be able to think of Land of Hope and Glory in quite the same way again.

That’s all for now.


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