bunn: (Az & Pony)
I just ran a reference search for a man riding bareback on a horse, and got this naked man. The naked man is not particularly the funny part.  That is the horse's expression.  That is what made me cackle.

In unrelated news, I had forgotten the ending of Robin of Sherwood, and my initial reaction on rewatch is that it is just awful.Marion decides life as an outlaw is all too stressful and goes into a nunnery after finding Robin dead, only he isn't really dead and turns up within hours for a dramatic parting scene, in which she reiterates that the whole Dead Robin thing is just too much.

On reflection though, I'm coming around to it.  I was never quite comfortable with Marion transferring her affections so automatically from Robin I to Robin II (I'm fine with the idea of Two Robins: I like the idea of reflecting both origin-stories) .  Maybe Marion never really fell for Robin II, perhaps she just found herself being pushed by the story into a relationship with him?  In which case, perhaps it does work that she should decide to look for something else to do elsewhere, and I suppose 'nun' is really the only other career available to a medieval gentlewoman that isn't 'wife'.

Shannara

Mar. 3rd, 2016 08:21 pm
bunn: (Paddle of Rebuke)
Pp wanted to watch The Shannara Chronicles.

"It'll be terrible!" I warned him.

"It might be good!" he said.

The look of dawning horror on his face as we watched the first fifteen minutes was a thing of beauty, but now things have pretty much dissolved into helpless giggling.

Pp's conclusion: There should be more lines like: "Are there any elven traditions you respect?" "Only the ones with parties." Or "I was expecting something more woodsy".
And characters named after minor African countries.

My conclusion: MAKE IT GO AWAY! THE HORROR! THE HORROR!

I think the very worst bit for me was the Elventhrone of Obviously Moulded Plastic, surrounded by garden centre silk plants. You feel that there should be an overpriced tea-room and a shelf of new age music just around the corner.
bunn: (George Smiley)
First: Deutschland 83. Read more... )

And then : The Night Manager Read more... )


In other news, I was stopped while dog walking this morning by a chap who asked if I had seen a dachshund and a Westie wandering the lanes.  "Sorry, no!"  I said, and was about to go on, when a vague memory came to me.Read more... )
bunn: (Az & Pony)


I mean, I'm not planning to move my bank account, because I am lazy and have both low standards and low expectations.
But I can appreciate this ad as a work of art.  It expertly expresses the qualities you'd want in a bank brand: strength, reliability, a long-term approach, an awareness of people as individuals. It could not have been made by any other business I can think of, which is surely part of the the essence of effective branding.

Plus

  • The horses are all so beautiful and look so superbly cared for.

  • I like seeing horses shown working in such a range of roles.

  • The girl who plays the bride looks so genuinely delighted.

  • The horse-drawn RNLI lifeboat.  I love lifeboats, and how often do you see an original lifeboat being moved as originally intended?  The lifeboat is the William Riley, built 1909,  bought, in a tragic state, on Ebay in 2005 and now magnificently restored.   (I feel obscurely guilty about the William Riley, because she fell into disrepair when she was on the River Taw near Barnstaple, which is the river I grew up sailing on, and I am pretty sure that if my Dad,  who was a relentless sentimentalist about old boats and the RNLI who had a habit of buying multiple copies of books from charity shops on the grounds that they were too good for a charity shop and needed rescuing,   had known the background, the William Riley would have come home with him... Lucky escape for her really, as I'm sure her current owner, the Whitby Historic Lifeboat Trust is a much more sensible arrangement.)

  • I've just realised that the lifeboat in the painting I made of the Royal Jubilee pageant in 2012 is the William Riley!  I didn't recognise her before.

bunn: (Hiver)
I'm really enjoying 'You, Me and the Apocalypse' on Sky , a TV series about events in the days before a comet hits Earth.  (I'm one episode behind at the moment)  I believe it's only shown in the UK so far.
It started out seeming like it was more or less a sitcom, with Jamie the frustrated junior bank manager in Slough struggling to find the wife who mysteriously left him on their honeymoon, discovering he was adopted, (his Mum played by Pauline Quirke: what's more British sitcom than Pauline Quirke playing someone's Mum in Slough?)  and oh yes, a comet is about to hit Earth, to add urgency to the situation.  

Then they brought in a sort of US Jail sitcom element, with Jenna Fischer out of the US Office as an ever so lovely librarian lady wrongly convicted in a women's prison, experiencing an unlikely jailbreak with the aid of cyberterrorists and going on the run with a Deep South white supremicist lady called Leanne who has a swastika tattoo on her forehead.

And then there was the US Military drama, bit less comedy feeling, this, with Arnold the general in charge of organising Operation Saviour, the attempt to divert the comet by hitting it with a rocket, having a secret affair with Scotty, the civil service chap in charge of emergency planning.  (I have to admit, this is the only bit of casting I'm not quite sure about : I have some difficulty believing in Paterson Joseph as a US General.  Seems like there's something incredibly British about Paterson Joseph.  But that may just be overspill from things I've seen him in before.)

And finally we have the Glamour Section from the Vatican: Sister Celine the world's most gorgeous-looking nun, and Father Jude played by Rob Lowe, all filmed against a series of fabulous jewel-coloured Mediterranean buildings and locations, as if to make the point to alien observers: Earth: it's Not All Like Slough, You Know.  Celine and Jude have the job of investigating potential Messiahs on behalf of the Catholic Church, which feels that if the end of the world is nigh, clearly its time for the Second Coming and they need to be sure to back the right horse.

I really like the way all these different and contrasting strands have wound together.  The cast and writing are superb.  It's gone from being 'oh yes, that will be suitable for entertaining my rightbrain, while my leftbrain gets on with some work.' sort of viewing, to 'put the computer down, all my brain wants to watch this!'    It has got darker and darker though, and has pretty much left sitcom land behind now, and I'm a bit worried about where it's going next.  But I definitely want to know!

Tell you what though, the US government/military/NASA setup in this makes a hell of a contrast with the situation in 'The Martian' where everyone is basically just really nice and works together in perfect harmony.  This is a much more British world view somehow.  Even the nice people end up doing mean and dirty things.
bunn: (Dark Ages)
Well, OK, hurray Saxons, hurray Vikings. But why does it all have to be so *muddy* ?    Here we are at the tragic end as Northumbria's Golden Age finally ends in fire, can we not have some leftover bling? Or at least some nice embroidery?  Silk hangings? The odd fancy woodcarving, or some nice trim around a tunic at least?    Even the box of treasure looked kind of manky, and for some mysterious reason, even though we were clearly around for several years of Uhtred's growing up, everything took place in late autumn, so there wasn't even much colour to the grass or trees. :-(

I suppose fancy objects are expensive.  But I still have my fingers crossed that there will be a bit less mud in Wessex.  At least outside of the Somerset marshes. 

Clarkson

Mar. 21st, 2015 09:58 am
bunn: (dog knotwork)
I have to admit, I'd assumed that Jeremy Clarkson had long ago jumped his own personal shark, and had been playing an Ali G -style character based on himself on Top Gear for many years.   I'm rather saddened that recent events suggest that he was actually taking himself seriously.

Although I've not signed it myself*, I am amused by the fact that the petition to bring back Clarkson was set up on change.org.  Judging by the emails I get from change.org, they take themselves rather seriously, and their userbase profile has probably just changed in ways they were really not expecting...

Also, The Stig delivering the petition to the BBC  in a tank (or is it a self-propelled gun as I saw some gun nerd complaining somewhere?) was an inspired piece of theatre that I can only appreciate.

* because, amusing though Clarkson and petition both are, when it comes down to it, if he really thumped someone vastly poorer and less influential than himself, or even threatened to do so, that's pretty abysmal behaviour and I'm not sure an online petition to allow him 'freedom to fracas' is in any way an appropriate response. 

Lewis

Jan. 24th, 2015 11:16 pm
bunn: (dog knotwork)
I am watching an episode of 'Lewis' in which a very smarmy young fantasy author (who may or may not have dunnit) is attempting to walk in the shoes of the Inklings.  It's all about fantasy worlds.  I like it!

Amused though to find that I still have an automatic reaction to seeing piles of Oxford bicycles on bike-stands,which is to immediately lose focus on the plot and peer hopefully at them all.  I am still, it seems,  looking for the late lamented Geraldine, my very old heavy black bike which was stolen in Oxford and that I never got back again.   I suppose she may still be out there somewhere, but one thing is for sure, if I DID spot her in an episode of 'Lewis' it isn't going to help me get her back now.  Also, the thought of trying to ride her across the Cornish hills makes my bum ache. 
bunn: (Paddle of Rebuke)
The Christmas decorations are back in their boxes and almost all the cheese and satsumas have been eaten.

Rosie has decided she likes her fluffy Christmas octopus, and has gone rather silly and playful and keeps running up and honking it.

I have almost finished my Christmas tree woodcarving, only I think I've decided to do a bit more to the surface before I photograph it and pop it in a box.

I've almost finished rewatching season 8 of Stargate SG1, and have remembered why I kind of gave up watching it after this series - although I did enjoy the two part season finale, which I'd completely forgotten, where they time travel back to Ancient Egypt and do ridiculous time-paradoxy things.

I'm also wondering in passing, things such as;Read more... )
bunn: (dog knotwork)
While walking the dogs, I met in passing a chap in our village.  He was outside a house having a smoke, and he greeted me with some observation about the weather, and patted Brythen.

Normally I would have chatted back in a more enthusiastically friendly manner, but I had a vague feeling that someone had told me something was suspect about this particular person, so while polite, I made rather more of an effort to move on quickly without engaging than I would do normally.

Only about five minutes later did it occur to me that my vague feelings of distrust and suspicion had their root in the fact that he bore a noticeable resemblance in appearance and clothing to Owen Harper, from Torchwood.   Whoops.

People who tell you to 'go with your gut instinct' presumably don't suffer from this kind of problem.   My instincts are constantly swayed by being bathed in a sea of suspicious and dubious characters and improbable scenarios from around the galaxy.  They rarely seem to have any validity.  
bunn: (upside down)
For some reason I am howling with laughter at the 'haunted house' in this week's Sleepy Hollow.  Supposedly this house was overtaken by fearful Eldrich Forces in the eighteenth century, and nobody has spent more than a few days in it since, because it is inhabited by a Scary. ( I don't think this is a spoiler.  Or, only a tiddler, anyway.)

Here it is: http://www.entertainmentoutlook.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Sleepy-Hollow-Sanctuary-02.jpg

It's so CLEAN!  Those bricks!  I could cheerfully eat a meal off those bricks! And that paint!  It GLOWS!

Clearly the Scary has spent most of its time since 1781 scrubbing like mad.  I wonder if I can get one to move in with me...?

Of course the whole series is riddled with anachronisms of all kinds, but (perhaps because I live in a place so damp that all surfaces turn green in weeks)  this one really spoke to me. :-D
bunn: (No whining)
I am continuing to enjoy watching Sleepy Hollow, to the point where I actually went through the pain* of watching online the two episodes that I'd missed, from the US (well, I could have watched them on UK tv.  I had the right licenses and so on.  I just happened to miss them. So I don't feel that briefly concealing my IP address (via Tunnelbear) to view them from the States was really very naughty).

It's a very ridiculous series.  The premise is that the apocalypse is coming, the Four Horsemen are on their way, and for some reason this is causing a series of mysterious events in a small American town, which must be investigated by a rookie cop (short, female, black, wisecracking, named Abbie) and Ichabod Crane (tall, white, sarcastic), who in this telling is an English turncoat/spy from the US Revolution who has slept for 230 years, but has none the less awoken full of investigatory zeal, pausing not even to change his pants before flinging himself back into the action.

Most of the details make no sense, but there's more than enough good lines, pretty faces and panache to cover these up as long as you don't look too hard at the joins or the history and hum loudly when scepticism threatens to break the illusion.

At the moment I am very pleased that Ichabod Crane has been confirmed as being somehow an Oxford History faculty member at Merton, despite being 230ish years out of time.  I mean, OK probably Merton would notice, *really* if they got a call about one of their dons from a previous century who had never officially been removed from the list -  but wouldn't it be great if they didn't?  Although I vaguely have the impression that Merton might be too efficient and not mysterious enough for that sort of thing.  All Souls might be a better fit.

*if you don't find watching long video content online painful, this may be because you don't live in a small Cornish village connected to the outside world by a shonky strand of copper installed around 1938.
bunn: (Kettlehat)
1) A barn owl flying in the evening West over the Tamar river. We got a really good look at it as it went over.

2) Someone's very happy and naughty pig, out on the lam, turning over bins and munching happily on the contents.  Foster dogs & Az looked at the pig with extreme suspicion, but Brythen wanted to play with it. He wants to play with everything!

3) A lady that [livejournal.com profile] philmophlegm assured me confidently afterwards was Dawn French, who I automatically assumed was a lady who looked a lot like Dawn French.   I always assume that people who look like TV personalities are not really them. Not sure why.  Maybe I don't actually believe Dawn French is a real person.  Maybe something tells me that she only lives inside the telly.
bunn: (Logres)
I've been watching the BBC's Merlin on and off, mostly on the grounds that it is Arthuriana and quite pretty.   The plots and characterisation seemed to get in a bit of a tangle from time to time, and sometimes you could only conclude that Monty Python was right about Camelot being a very silly place, but on the whole I enjoyed it.  
Full o' spoilers.  )
bunn: (Hiver)
- In Star Trek the Next Generation, it is known to  be absolutely essential that everyone should have an understanding of calculus.
- it is also a truism that human beings as a species all love their children and would never ever choose to give a child up, even to a life of peace and plenty. 

I conclude that the society of STNG is a lot stronger on maths than it is on history. 

In Doctor Who : The Stones of Blood, the Doctor should have dumped useless Romana 1, who puts on silly shoes and falls randomly off cliffs, and recruited instead as his companion the awesomely terrifying Professor Amelia Rumford, Bronze Age archaeologist. I particularly liked her rancorous references to the idiocy of rival archaeologists.

Amelia_rumford
bunn: (No whining)
Things you don't want to happen *immediately* after watching, latish on a moonless night, the Doctor Who episodes 'Silence in the Library' and 'Forests of the Dead'  (the ones in which the carnivorous shadow-monster-swarm, the Vashta Nerada, hide in the dark, until they decide to eat you)

1:  turn on light switch, bulb blows, ALL LIGHTS IN HOUSE GO OUT! 
bunn: (Wild Garden)
1) Mowed the tiny front lawnlets
... gardening )


2) Went for a walk from Bere Ferrers down to the Tamar with my mother and her dogs.   Very muddy fields, tiny baby calves, falling sun reflecting across the river.   Saw an egret. 

3) Tried to paint another Derbyshire landscape for Eagle BB.  
...whinging )


4) Sent in enquiry about a couple of lurchers, hoping that one of them may be suitable for me to adopt.  

5) Bills. Car service, car insurance, vet bills, arrrg.  :-(  

6) Watched Top Gear about the end of the Saab car manufacturer.  
... Saab )


7) Watched Being Human. Just a bit too depressing. May give up watching.  Annie is so bloody naive suddenly, and it's just a bit irritating. Surely she wasn't quite this thick always?  And the casual killing without any real regret to it is a bit icky, it now seems that from being aspirational, ordinary humanity is just unimportant collateral damage. 

8) Finished reading Ishi in Two Worlds by Theodora Kroeber, mother of Ursula Le Guin.  
History of USA : SO GRIM )
bunn: (Default)
I am hugely enjoying watching this 70's TV series.   Brian Blessed, hamming relentlessly! Tom Baker, ditto!  Actually, lots of people all making a drama out of a crisis, apart from Arthur (Oliver Tobias), who is rather subtle and dangerous (if a bit pouty) with 70's Rock Hair and is my new Favorite TV Arthur... 

Lots of horses hammering around at top speed (I don't think people on TV ride horses as fast as that now,on the whole, it really looks dangerous).   Hilarious wigs, bizarre beards,  strange leather jackets with have a definite 1970s-not-500s vibe about them, mad battles with really-not-enough people... and yet, the plots are weirdly compelling! 

  Did people in the 70's actually have more teeth than we do now? 
bunn: (Baying)
Via [livejournal.com profile] endlessrarities  - if you didn't see the History of Ancient Britain special report on the excavations on Orkney, and if you have a passing interest in awesome stuff like painted Neolithic walls and huge buildings with a fireplace mysteriously positioned in the middle of a doorway, and a monstrous era-ending 600-cow feast* for thousands of people, you should watch it!  

And do so swiftly, for it will fall off the BBC Iplayer in 6 days. 

It does also have a certain amount of Neil Oliver posing dramatically on random headlands with his hair whipping about in the breeze, but by NO standards the amount of posing per nugget of fascinating info dispensed is quite low. 

* we really should work out a way to get Neolithic people to plan the upcoming Olympic opening ceremony.  On this evidence, it would be epic.  

Doctor Who

Oct. 2nd, 2011 11:07 pm
bunn: (Default)
I'm not really following what's going on in the current series, if I'm honest, but I would just like to promote and celebrate this line :

Crowds lined the Mall today as the Roman Emperor Winston Churchill returned to Buckingham Senate on his personal mammoth.

which caused me to pause the recording for a short while so that I could chortle wildly and do a small dance in praise of the visual image thus conveyed.

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