Fat Thin – Yin Yang

I have decided, unilaterally, that thin people should thank me. I’m fat, mostly because I don’t exercise enough and have a sedate lifestyle, and I eat food which is too rich in calories. However, I have decided that in keeping with a Yin Yang approach to the world’s population, there is an overall balance generated by people who are thin and those who are fat. Yin and Yang describe the polar effects of phenomenon (thin vs fat people), but also share a duality that form the entire state (i.e. the weight of every living person).

There are two possible Yin Yang options.

  1. Thin people are thin because I am fat. In which case, those thin people should thank me for being Yin Fat and allowing them to be Yang Thin.
  2. I am fat because thin people are thin. In which case thin people should thank me for not complaining about this and just accepting that I’m the Yin Fat to their Yang Thin.

Either way, I’m doing the thin people of this world a service, and I think maybe just once in a while they should be good enough to admit it.

The Dark Knight

My advice is, go and see The Dark Knight in the cinema. I echo Mark’s view that we should make sure good quality blockbuster movies (as opposed to low quality blockbuster movies) continue to get made because people are prepared to go and see them in the cinema. You do need to see this on the big screen to do it full justice, but it’s a solid, character driven movie with depth and quality acting that will work well in any format.

The Dark Knight is the second Nolan directed Batman movie and is without a doubt the darkest of any Batman movie to-date. This is no jolly on-screen action romp, no adrenaline fueled crazy rush of action, it’s a dramatic, well paced, solid and dark look into heroes, heroics and sacrifice. This is a modern, real Gotham city filled with modern and real people. There’s just that edge of decay that makes sure you know it’s Gotham but it could be anywhere in our current time, the story is contemporary and the people and emotions are built on a foundation of reality that makes the violence and horror of the Joker even more dreadful.

Heath is fantastic as The Joker, but he’s not a god. His performance is fantastic because the backdrop on which it plays out is also fantastic, everyone around him puts in amazing performances to make sure he doesn’t steal every scene. Bale is excellent, giving us a flawed and emotionally torn Batman without turning him into a caricature, and his counterplay with Heath is totally engaging. The story is as you would expect, a slight parallel to the first Batman movie (and probably some of the comics, although I’ve never read them), The Joker taking on the Mob, the City and Batman all together. There are no major flaws, although there are one or two places where I wonder if we missed an edit or are supposed to have to read between the lines a little.

The pace is good despite a slow start which worried me. There’s not as much direct action as I was expecting, and far more personal drama which is no bad thing. What action there is feels deadly enough and The Joker’s body count is certainly high enough to give the story an edge and a feeling of danger. All of the major characters see character development of one kind or another, and there doesn’t feel like any wasted space on screen or wasted time with any particular person. The dialog is dramatic without being melodramatic, and there are some really nice touches and emotional triggers (which I won’t spoil for you).

I was slightly dissapointed with the Bat Pod and one or two ‘moves’ felt pretty contrived (the wall flip) but it didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment, I just hope we get a new Batmobile in the next one (assuming there is going to be a next one). It’s a tiny complaint in what is otherwise a really, really enjoyable flick.

The end is simply brilliant in my view, simple, honest and deeply satisfying.

It doesn’t quite live up to the insane hype, but then what movie could; it does however deliver an excellent and entertaining 2 and a half hours of dramatic quality movie going fun.


The temptation to have a second bacon cob is high today, but so far I’m holding back. I know you were all waiting for this post with bated breath.

By the way, bated breath is the correct spelling, not baited (despite British newspapers getting it wrong more often than right). After doing some reading, bated is an abbreviated form of abated, and hence bated breath (abated breath) means almost not breathing or holding your breath.

Reference: http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-bai1.htm

The Brighton Trip

Last week was really stressful, but the weekend was relaxing and really enjoyable so it all worked out. We’d been planning to go to Brighton for quite a while, some friends in Everquest were having a guild meet (The Blue Dragons) and we’d said we would be going along. It’s easy for us in Brighton because we can stay with Grete’s family down there, and the only pressure at the time was whether the Mondeo would make the journey or not. We sorted out the Mondeo issue by replacing the car, so we were happy the Megane would be fine.

And then last Sunday it all went to pot! Grete’s step dad wasn’t well so we couldn’t stay with them, and we had a frantic two hours checking the web and making calls to try and book a hotel. Needless to say, it’s not easy to get a hotel room in Brighton, in Summer, with only 4 or 5 days notice, and it’s virtually impossible to get somewhere at the budget end of the market. So we sucked it up and decided to just make a holiday of it, celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary a week late. We booked into the Queens Hotel, which is right on the sea front and pier in Brighton. We knew car parking would be a nightmare, but there’s one right next to the hotel (The Lanes) which was £15 for 24 hours (map here). Sounds a lot, but in Brighton it’s not so bad, and we knew we wouldn’t be needing to move the car once we parked up.

So we had the hotel booked, and we were getting more excited. We had a friend lined up to pop in and visit the cats on Saturday, they’re fine for 3 days / 2 nights on their own, but it’s nice if someone can pop in and check on them. Then of course, Bubbles had her ‘incident‘, so now with only 2 days to go we’re faced with having to give her antibiotics and really needing someone to check her every day to make sure she’s ok and her staples are in good condition. The vet we take her too recommended someone who can visit to feed cats while you’re away, and we managed to get in touch with her and she visited on Thursday, we got a key cut, and we were set. Of course, we also had to get Bubbles into the vets on Friday morning for a checkup (8am) so our weekend started at around 6:30am.

Bubbles was fine, Grete was back at 8:30am, I spent the last hour finishing up the packing and sorting out litter trays, food and water for the cats while she was out. We set off, the sun was bright, not a cloud in the sky. Quick stop at Tesco to pick up bottled water and have a solid breakfast, and we were on the M1 before 10am. Traffic to Brighton was as to be expected, M25 was slow, A23 was really bad into Brighton itself, and we finally got to the Lanes car park at around 3:00pm.

Checked in, flaked out!

But we hadn’t spent all that money so that we could sit in a too-hot hotel room, so we showered and headed out onto the sea front. The weather forecasts had all said it would be showery and overcast, but on the Friday it was steaming hot, blue skies and 28 degrees. We had a walk up and down the pier, and then met up with some friends and walked around a bit again, had some drinks and generally relaxed. Fish and chips on the pier was excellent. We managed to get some sleep on Friday night despite the heat, and were up bright and early for our cooked breakfast!

Saturday morning was spent wandering the Lanes in Brighton with our friends, before finally meeting up with the other Everquest players at the Clock Tower. From there we headed over to Donatellos for some excellent pizza, then some beers (in the Druid’s Head), then some wandering around and a visit to the pier, and more beer, and more food, and finally a few of us settled in Horatio’s and listened to some live music while the rest went in search of more quiet beer.

As we were leaving the pier, I’d had a couple of drinks, we passed a hen party leaving as well. A woman dressed as a nurse, in a short white rubber dress, a few others in various stages of fancy dress, and a woman who was clearly dressed as Little Red Riding Hood, complete with basket and red hood. As I was passing, I said ‘my, what big ears you have’ and she gave me a stare of death! She looked very confused, you’d think that if you’re going to dress up as a sexy little red riding hood you’d at least read the source material on which your costume is based, but apparently not. Anyway, it was only a few moments later when we realised if she hasn’t read the story she’s going to be going to bed worrying that she has big ears and some ugly oaf on the pier insulted her.

Sunday morning meant more cooked breakfast!! A quick exit from the hotel, moving the car to another car park near to the China Garden (superb Dim Sum place in Brighton, I can recommend them), and then some paddling on the beach! No offense to people from Brighton, but you really need to get the government to import some sand. You can not go paddling when the beach is covered in pebbles without getting hurt. We wore some crocs but the rocks just collected in them. Anyway the water was fantastically cool, the beach was great, the sun was hot (I got burned, yeh I know, but I didn’t think we’d be out long enough). We wandered around Brighton a bit, and then met up with friends for Dim Sum, which was excellent as always.

Finally we headed out, did the family rounds (meeting up with Grete’s folks) and headed home. Got back here around midnight on the Sunday. Bubbles is fine, but grouchy. We’re knackered, but had a fantastic time.

We’re back!

So we’re back from Brighton, it was hot, I’m sunburned, neither of us can bend our ankles because our calf muscles object to the punishment of walking over the pebble beach and we both had a really, really good time. More tomorrow.

Bubbles Redux

So, she took up her favourite position (on the floor, near her scratching post, on her back) again, and nodded off. So I took some photo’s, look away now if you’re squeamish. By the way, there’s a reason we took these, not just because this is the Internet Age of Blogging Injuries, but because if we have some photo’s, we can look closely at the wound without having to hold her down, and we can check how it is in a week or so. Don’t have to get anywhere near as close to her with the camera so she stays relaxed.

Not that she appears to care about her injuries at all anyway.

So, here she is, dozing. She often nods off with her legs up in the air like that and the injury (which you can see in the shaved patch) doesn’t appear to be changing her approach.

The nurse shaved around the wound last night when we took her in to the emergency vets so the vet could get a better look.

She just let us hold her sitting up while the nurse used electric clippers to shave the area, she seemed totally calm and never displayed any signs that the wound was causing her pain.

Here’s the close up of the wound, looks like 6 staples and it’s looking a lot angrier than it did first thing this morning.

You can click the pictures for full size versions if you dare.

I bet she’ll be showing this scar off to her buddies once it’s healed.

I wonder if she knows how damn luck she was, another 1 or 2mm and it may have been a totally different story 🙁

We’ve had a good look around the garden and can’t see anything specifically hazardous that could have caused it, and her snap-away collar is missing and not anywhere in the garden, so we’re non-the-wiser about where she picked the injury up.

Grete in Stocks!

So, she promised not to kill me. Grete (in the stocks, on the left) when she was about 7 or 8 (we think) and on holiday in Paington in Devon.

I suspect they could sneak their feet out of those stocks if they really wanted to.


They’ve put 3 metal staples into Bubbles’ wound, Grete insists on calling her Frankencat, I’m still partial to calling her Stupid. Other than being pissed off at not being allowed out of the house, she seems in really good spirits, oblivious to the stress she’s causing with regards to our weekend away.

We think we’ve got a solution, a vet recommended cat sitter, who is actually a nurse who used to work at the vets and who looked after Squeak when she was in for diabetic treatment a few times. She’s coming around tomorrow to meet the cats, and assuming everything is fine she’ll be popping in over the weekend so we can still go away.

I’ll try and get a photo of the staples, the wound was really impressive but despite lying on her back plenty of times last night and this morning she wouldn’t stay still while I got the camera. I got a shot of her (again, lying on her back involuntarily) earlier but not sure if you can see the staples or not.