General rants

Me venting my spleen over any manner of things.

Meet the new me

Not, as it turns out, all that much different from the old me.

Please do not attempt to adjust your TV set (does anybody ever try that any more?), I have simply given my blog a long overdue facelift.

You see, the old theme was one I had been using since I graduated from university. Which doesn’t sound too long, but every now and then someone or something would remind me that that was a good three years ago. So I felt a change was in order.

It’s nothing terribly radical, and indeed the content will remain largely the same. But I wanted something fairly minimalistic, with a lighter colour scheme. The result is what you see before you. All feedback is, as ever, welcome, so let me know what you think.

I’m also subsuming the Reviews category (and all subcategories) under Geek-culture, as a part of what I see as recognising the two heads which have grown up in the content which I blog. This may evolve further, but I think that generally the categories feature has been under-used, and I mean to rectify this.

My blog did very well in terms of numbers over the election campaign, and I am determined to continue that trend, with more of an equal focus on geekery and political geekery. Julian (Ware-Lane) regularly bemoans “all the sci-fi stuff” on here, but these are my interests, and I think it gives a more holistic sense of who I am. Besides, my blog, my rules.

So as a great man once said, let’s see what’s out there!

Hiatus (ish)

With the local elections done, and the future of Southend now in hands other than mine, I am taking a well-deserved (or at least I think so) break to recuperate. My foot still hurts from doing my bit to see two Labour councillors elected in Westborough.

I figure a week in York, the once (and future?) capital of England, ought to do the trick.

So although I will still be blogging this week (and you thought you’d escaped), it will be all of the reviews which have fallen by the wayside in the last few weeks in favour of the push-and-pull of the minutiae of local politics. Hersey of the week will also be making a return, you lucky reader!

If any groundbreaking political news does make it to York this week, I don’t rule out giving my opinions, but it’s far from my first priority. And when I get back to Southend, I’m planning a bit of a makeover (the blog, not me!) so that’s something to look forward to.

But for now, time to rest.

Youth in Revolt

george osborne laugh

My generation are selfish bastards. It’s a well-documented thing.

We’re the “me” generation, I’ve been told more than once. We’ve had everything on a plate, we’ve had it so easy. When our parents had to work, we got awards just for turning up. Our exams got easier every year, not like the O-Levels Mum and Dad did.

It’s background noise, the hum which shapes our daily lives. Ungrateful. Undeserving. Spoilt. It gets to the point that we tune it out and carry on with our lives. Because what else can we do?

The truth from our perspective — from my perspective — however is quite different.

Read on…

An(other) Open Letter to Southend Odeon

ron woodroof

Dear Southend Odeon,

I’d like to open by saying that I am a fan. I love film, and I love cinema as a medium for experiencing it. Most often I pass through your doors at least once a week. But sadly, I don’t expect to be gracing your establishment this week.

Why? Three words:

Dallas Buyers Club.

Read on…

Lest We Forget

poppy field

Once more, Remembrance Day comes upon us, and the country is transformed into a sea of poppies.

It is with an especially heavy heart that I remember this year, my grandfather — who having served in the Grenadier Guards in WWII was my last connection to wartime armed forces — passed away earlier this year.

I will be remember him, and my other grandfather who fought with Montgomery’s armies in North Africa — but my thoughts will also be with any and all who have lost their lives in war.

Read on…

Remembering Allan Dent (6th Dec 1926 – 9th Sept 2013)

2013-09-28 11.46.31

On Friday, on a clear, sunny and warm day in Scunthorpe, I and the rest of my family laid to rest my Grandfather. Allan Dent passed away on 9th September, at the ripe old age of eighty-six.

I wanted to write something about him before this, but I didn’t know where to start. I still don’t. For the past five years Grandad suffered from an increasingly-worsening dementia which left him unable to recognise me, or other family members. It’s been a truly heartbreaking experience, like an open wound festering at the back of my mind. Watching parts of him washed away by an unstoppable tide, its something I wouldn’t wish on anybody.

But that, as horrific as it was, is not how I will remember my Grandad.

Read on…

The Soundtrack of Life


My music tastes are not what could be described as “current”. I don’t tend to focus in on the trends of contemporary music, but my tastes are fairly wide-ranging and eclectic. As an example, the last two concerts I went to were German industrial metal band Rammstein, and ageing Californian funk rockers the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

But what I do have a soft spot for is TV and film soundtracks. I watch a lot of both, and the scores are something which I tend to notice, how they underscore the themes and moods of the scene, how they fit the story to bring out the emotion. As largely lyric-less music, they make particularly good music to write to — selected to fit whatever I’m trying to write at the time.

So since I’m musing on the subject, I thought I’d share with you my top five soundtracks for general listening.

Read on…

Jorah Mormont for Doctor Who!

iain glen jorah mormont

So, with Matt Smith’s departure from the classic British science-fiction show Doctor Who, the time is upon us once more to select a new actor to portray the last (probably) of the Time Lords, the lonely God — the Doctor.

Well, the BBC does the selecting. But since the rumours of possible replacements have been dire at best, I thought I’d wade into the debate. So far I’ve heard suggested Richard Madden (too young), Rupert Grint (too Ron Weasley, and too awful), Helen Mirren (too expensive), Benedict Cumberbatch (too Sherlock Holmes), and even David Duchovny (I don’t even… Just… No!).

The answer is clearly Jorah Mormont Iain Glen. And here’s why

Read on…