Monday, July 31, 2006

The sobs that shake the cinema seating

Steven and I went to see The Wind That Shakes the Barley on Saturday night at the Cameo. The Cameo one of my favourite cinemas in Edinburgh; it's fairly small and old and shows lots of foreign and independent films. The place was under threat recently when there were plans to turn it into some kind of 'style bar', but I think those plans have been abandoned now because of the amount of protest from the Cameo-loving public. Which is just as it should be, who needs another style bar when it comes at the cost of losing such a lovely cinema?!

But the film. I haven't cried that hard because of a film since The Green Mile. I was in floods of tears so many times throughout the film and after we'd left the cinema, Steven stopped and hugged me while I just sobbed into his chest. Oy. There were bits I couldn't watch and bits I couldn't not watch, it was brutal and harrowing and terribly sad but really, it was a very very good film. We talked a lot about it on the way home and were in mutual disagreement with the criticism we had read and heard denouncing the film as 'Pro IRA'. I'm not much of a film critic, nor am I an expert on Irish history but I thought that generally what I saw was fairly balanced. Yes, it showed some republican sympathies but to be honest, I'd like to see anyone try to make a historically accurate film that managed to side with those forcibly occupying any country. I imagine that would be very difficult. Have there been any?

I'm not sure I could say I enjoyed The Wind That Shakes the Barley but if you're interested at all in Irish history, I would definitely recommend that you watch it (but take some hankies).

I think our next cinema visit had better be a comedy.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Self Portrait Challenge

Self Portrait As ... - week 4

Self Portrait as ... a swimmer.

Not a competitive swimmer or anything as serious as that. I've always loved swimming - I was a bit of a water-baby when I was little and used to go at least three times a week - two lots of training with the swimming club and once with my family, sometimes more. I stopped going to swimming club when I was about 12 because it got very competitive and everyone else my age was a good bit taller and stronger than I was. After that I swam less and less and by the time I was in the last couple of years of school, I rarely swam at all.

Recently I've started going again because I want the exercise and I'm loving it. I go two or three times a week at about 8.45am, when it's relatively quiet. It's just so relaxing, letting your mind wander as you swim up and down (although I have to admit to being slightly anal and counting the number of lengths I do).

I was a bit late getting to the pool this morning and the big open-space of pool was busy so I slipped into the fast lane and pushed myself hard for 30 lengths. I don't usually swim in the lanes because I find them quite claustrophobic and I don't like the fact that other people are relying on you to keep up the speed. Today though, I quite enjoyed being made to work hard.
What a virtuous start to the day!

More self portraits here and here.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Self Portrait Challenge

Self Portrait As ... - week 3

Self Portrait as ... a struggling knitter.

I'm trying to learn to knit. I got a few books out of the library this week and bought some wool and some needles. That was the easy part. The actual knitting part? - not so good. I can make a slip knot and at one point I thought I'd managed to cast on but then I got confused and unraveled it all again. So yeah, I'm struggling a bit. I am determined to learn though, so I'm going to keep trying. Any advice gratefully recieved!

I'm also quite cross with myself for repeatedly posting my self-portraits so late in the week. I'm going to try really hard for Tuesdays from now on, I promise!

More self portraits here and here.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Time on my hands

Well, all the business and excitement of exams, holidays and graduations are over and things have got quite quiet around here. A bit too quiet for my liking in fact. Despite the fact that I've been trying really hard to find a summer job, I'm either unemployable or just plain unlucky - nothin' doing. And now the longer I wait, the less point there is in even looking anymore. There are only five weeks before I go back to Uni and in. No-one's going to want me for that short length of time. I think I've missed the boat on bar-work too - everyone's looking for people with experience, but how can you get experience if no-one will employ you in the first place? Yikes!

With Steven out at work from 8.30 till 7pm (that boy works hard), I've got some time on my hands. So instead of stressing about not having a job, I'm trying to enjoy this time, relax a bit and do some of the things that have been sitting patiently on lists of things-I'd-like-to-do-one-day. I'm learning to drive (which is scary, but quite fun) and reading books just because I want to. And I've decided that now is my chance to get into something else new. I've always looked on jealously as other bloggers create lots of cool crafty stuff and now I want a go.

I definitely want to try my hand at freezer paper stencils because they look like a lot of fun. Other than that, I don't have a sewing machine and I certainly can't afford one at the minute, so i think knitting it will have to be. Maybe learning to knit isn't the best summer activity but perhaps if I start now, I might be good enough by the winter to actually make something useful!

Just one small problem: how to get started. I know next to nothing about knitting. My Grandma tried to teach me once when I was about ten and the only result was a mishapen strip of red knitting which I think may still be languishing in a corner of my bedroom at home. I doubt I can remember the first thing about what I was taught then, so I'll need to start from scratch. But on what size needles? With what kind of wool? (yarn? what's the difference?) And from which resources? I think I'll go to the library tomorrow and see what I can find. But if anyone has any advice, I'd be more than happy to hear it.

And who knows? Maybe this extra time might lead to some more blogging?

Friday, July 14, 2006

Biting the Bullet

It's my turn.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Self Portrait Challenge

Self Portrait As ... - week 2

Self Portrait as ... a little old lady.

When I was in Primary 3 (aged 6 or 7), I was in the class play of this book. I was the elderly aunt, complete with wig, old lady hat and expertly applied face-paint wrinkles! (The glasses were my own). I had one line, which I can still remember:

"Aah! A mouse! A horrible orange mouse!" (It was actually Willy's pet hamster).

I wonder if this is what I'll look like in 50 years time?

More Self Portraits here and here.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

That's My Boy!

Steven graduated a week ago with First Class Honours in Interactive Multimedia Design. He started a real, proper, professional job on Monday too. He has worked really hard for the past four years and I am very very proud of him.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Self Portrait Challenge

Self Portrait As ... - week 1

Self Portrait as ... a lobster!

We were in Ireland last week for Steven's gradutation on Wednesday. We went for a walk up by a reservoir on the Monday with some friends and guess who got sunburnt?! Ouch. Hmmm, six weeks in Tanzania last summer and a week in Turkey last month without burning, but one bonny day in Ireland? Oh dear.

More self portraits here and here.

And thanks to Joelene for picking my last self portrait as one of her 'Friday faves' - I'm honoured!