Sunday, 1 April 2012

Time out!

Time is ticking down until I leave for Uganda after work tomorrow, but despite that I've still managed to have a very busy weekend.  As well as helping out at the Tigerlilies Cancer Research fundraising group's first ever Easter Craft Fair, I've been going places, having fun, and tying up a few loose ends.

First things first, I went to the cinema on Friday!  To watch this:

I only saw the trailer once and instantly knew it was just the kind of wacky time-wasting nonsense I'd been missing!  Managed to get my friend Disco, -also a connoisseur of the bizarre- to come with me, and wore my pirate hat in the cinema for the entire film.  It was great!  Aardman have a history of producing stop-motion films with a very 'British' sense of humour; Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run, and TV's Creature Comforts, however I was worried they'd lost the plot slightly with Flushed Away which kept the humour but tried to use CGI to replicate the look of the plasticine figures they are so famous for.  Even with today's high standard of CGI there's just nothing like a 'real' object or person to carry a performance and I felt it lost something in the attempt.  With Pirates! however, they were back on form, using plasticine models for the characters and close-up sets, while using CGI to enhance the performance with green-screen backgrounds and a very convincing ocean, rather than try to carry it the weight of the acting.  The first two thirds were very good, with some excellent laughs, and then it the final third it really stepped it up and accelerated into Outright Brilliant.  Disco and I were cracking up over and over, and may I humbly suggest to you that you simply haven't lived until you've seen an irate Queen Victoria arrive on scene by way of being folded into a Dumb-Waiter.  The expression on her little face was priceless!

Also, I finally got round to drawing down what I remember from my night walk up Bradgate hill.  In the moonlight it was a very surreal sight and it really stuck in my brain.

This morning, after helping out with the kids group at church (always a fun challenge!) my friend Tatyana and I headed off to Bradgate Park for an aimless wander and some cookies sat in my favourite tree.  It's such a peaceful place to be, and a great spot for finding shots that just seem to jump out at you.  

Looking up - a tree trunk from the inside

I still can't believe how many deer there are there, and how chilled out they are about you wandering around - provided you don't get to close.  When they stop and look at you, you know not to go any closer or they'll just run off... although this wasn't obvious to everybody.  We saw one leash-less Scottie dog get out of hand and send the entire herd running, followed by two separate groups of wanderers who just didn't understand when to leave well alone.  It was both amusing and a bit pathetic, but became funny again when a hi-vis-wearing warden stomped over to give them what for.  Justice, we both agreed, had been served.

Tree climbing.  Naturally!
Tatyana's one of those people I'm always pleased to bump into,but don't often get to spend a lot of time with, which is a shame as she's such a fun girl!  What's that thing? -let's go find out!  The path goes this way? -we should go the other way!  You hungry? -I brought cookies!  Definitely doing this again :)

And finally, tonight it was my turn to host a Come Dine With Me for my housemates.  My melty Camembert cheese with toasty bread and cranberry sauce, veggie-friendly Sausage Casserole, and Brownie goo with ice cream failed to beat Natalie's Peach Cobbler but I totally expected that because it was divine.  In the end I got a respectable score with extra points for presentation (I love my flowers!  Half of them came from the shop, half from an obliging bush) and for my entertainment being massive boingy balloons!!  We get along really well and always have a laugh, so it's nice to deliberately decided to have that time put aside just to hang out together, and to serve each other with tasty food.  

Adding a touch of class to the proceedings!

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