Thursday, 10 February 2011

World Go By

Why does it take so long to wait?
Why do we never appreciate?
The little things that make the day go by
While the world is still spinning round

I could say everything that floats within my mind
But I'd rather stay silent and let the world go by

I hear the things that they all say
But it doesn't matter anyway
I've learned that you take it as it comes
But when it comes it's quickly gone.


But saying something doesn't get what you want
I'd rather stay silent and bite my tongue


I must have been frustrated when I wrote this down.  I went through a period of writing the sequence or series of coming, going, toing and froing; appearances are deceiving, but I will take you anyway. I think that was really my inner soul saying I would take any girl at that moment, and not care of consequences. A recipe for STD's not LOVE, but I was working in a place where you could go from a high to a low in a moment and when you do that it does affect you. Nevertheless, I am pleased with the flow of this piece, verse-chorus-verse-chorus. A proper song if someone could put a nice melody to it.

Can You Feel The Sun?

Lying by the ocean with your toes in the sand
Your feet stretched across the beach
And with a smile beaming
Can you feel the sun

Can you feel it coming down on you
Your skin getting browner the longer you do.
Can you feel it when it gets nearer to dusk
Tell me can you feel the sun

When the winter comes and the days get shorter
do you long for the days that were longer.
Keep the thought burning in your mind
Can you feel the sun at anytime

But it won't take long to feel it again
Just get to the beach on the 1st of May
And curl your toes again in the sand
Can you feel the sun
Can you feel the sun again?


I can hear footsteps
walking down the street
I can hear danger signs
wherever it is we meet

I can feel trouble
when I put my hand on the door
I can feel danger
and its going to hurt me even more

Why do we hurt each other
with the love we have
We should always stay together
through the good times and the bad.

But take me as you come
cos I took you as you was
You're all the people that I'll ever need
so take me as you come.

I took a bit of liberty when writing the last stanza for this poem; trying to find the fluency of rhyming come, was and need all in the same time.  I wrote this years ago and like most things it is an instinctive draft, when I write I believe it to be the best one.  When I re-read things from years ago, I sometimes feel I have to trust my judgment otherwise I would have made alterations there and then. And be honest to the person I was then as it made me the person I am now


With a smile so wide
And your eyes aglow
Tell me why to me,
You look so beautiful

When you hold my hand
I then understand
What you mean to me
You are beautiful

With your shapely legs
I can forget the rest
You can walk and talk
When you are beautiful

When I kiss your skin
And I smell your hair
Do you reciprocate?
My beautiful


Fish Hooks is an original animation comedy for the Disney Channel created by renowned children's book illustrator Noah Z. Jones, who using a clever amalgamation of digital animation and photo collage, tells the hilarious stories of three BFF's (best fish friends); Bea, Milo and Oscar. 

Set inside the large fish tank of Bud's Pet Shop, the fish friends go to high school and encounter typical life challenges involving friendship, dating and sports; as well as field trips to the hamster cage, thanks to their wet suits - that squirts out water every so often so they do not die in the air.

This sort of inventiveness with the format and tweaking of genre expectations, embracing the apparent limitations of fishes in a tank and giving them opportunites to go into the outside world, helps elevate this show above the usual slapdash animation/children television show you see on children's television.  The new series of Fish Hooks is making a splash on Disney Channel UK in the next few weeks.

The two episodes I have seen 'Bea Becomes An Adult' and 'Doggonit' both showed moments of appeal and typical moments of good dialogue due to the talented voice cast. Bea was allowed to embrace the 'Juno' like vernacular that made that such a good hit; a typical high school wish of being an adult and then realising that being an adult is not all it is cracked up to be; adults look older, eat terribly and work is hard work in fact, before realising that being at school and tended over by your needy mother is not to bad after all.
      'Doggonit' allowed Oscar (the worrier of the group, with a soft spot for Bea) to come to the fore, as well as the photo collage mixing with the digital animation most commonly when depicting a dog in a fish tank (!), it sounds loony but the conviction of direction and briskness of the script allows the episodes to whip by. 

The running time of each episode is only 10 minutes, which is perfect for the attention span of children in this day and age, especially the age group of 10-14 for which this is aimed at.  Already a success in its domestic market of America, I am sure given time to find its audience and with the willingness and support of Disney Channel UK it will be just as successful on these shores.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Ravi to the Rescue

It is with sadness that England cricket's leading figures confirmed today that Eoin Morgan is to miss the World Cup in the sub-continent which starts in the next two weeks, his replacement has been named as Ravi Bopara, the Essex all-rounder.

This is a positive step-forward for the England one day team, that has taken a step back after the Ashes down under, well make that six steps back, as they lost the series to Australia, 6-1.  Admittedly, they could and maybe in hindsight, should have won the first two but unlike the test matches were scoreboard pressure led to the dominance of the test victory; the batsmen came undone when having to chase a target or even create that scoreboard pressure.  Only twice did they bat out the complete 50 overs allotted to them.  Part of the problem was the extra pace on the ball supplied by Shaun Tait and Brett Lee in this series, but too often players would reach 30 and then get out to a loose or lazy shot; only Jonathon Trott, who was thought to be a weak link for the line-up, has batted with conviction scoring two hundreds, but he himself had three single digit scores.

Personally, I was worried by Morgan's form, having been the 7th batsman on the test tour and waiting forever to make an impression on the tour it seemingly seemed to pass him by, his highest score came in the first T20 game and he got found out by Australia, who plugged his gaps.  Whereas, he was to be solid on the subcontinent working the gaps off of spin; Australia would try and attack him with pace which proved his undoing.  Last winter it was a century against Bangladesh that brought him to prominence, there his ability to hit over the top against spin and slow bowling led to the opinion that he would be more key to England's success than Pietersen.

However, with the inclusion of Bopara, England maintain the ability to have a heavy hitter down the order against slow bowling on slower pitches.  Bopara's favourite area is leg side with pulls and heaves over square leg as his maiden T20 century for Essex last summer was proof, but he has improved his scoring shots down the ground and through and over cover in the last year.  He is a plus because he can either open with Strauss, or come in down the order at 7 providing power down the order; he is interchangeable with Prior dependent upon feel and unlike Morgan he offers another bowling option and his ability to take pace off the ball and possibly bowling in tandem with Collingwood can put pressure on middle orders, his bowling has improved three fold in the last two seasons, he can bowl at the death (much like England wished Luke Wright would) incorporating a clever yorker into his repetoire.

The team now reads: Strauss, Prior (wk), Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Collingwood, Bopara, Swann, Yardy, Broad, Anderson.  With the option of Bresnan for Bopara or Yardy depending on pitch and opponent.  I would question the role of both Colly and Ravi, virtually the same player, but having six bowlers, seven if Trott can continue developing that area of his game; means the workload must be spread about but puts pressure on Broad and Anderson to get wickets first up and not have England rely on Swann and Yardy, where their tandem offence is where England's chances may ultimately lie.

Bopara is a plus for this squad and a welcome addition, but in spite of my headline stating he is coming to the rescue; he will not be the reason why England either fail or succeed in this World Cup.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

West Bromich - YoYo Nation

West Bromich Albion, a team who are in the Premier League, have been in the top division of English football on and off for the best part of 10 years have continued the hypocrisy and idiocy of the urge of English football for quick results and to echo Fernando Torres' comments this week, 'Maybe it is all about business'

A few weeks ago, I blogged about the exclusion of Scott Carson from the WBA starting line-up; mystified that he is being made the scapegoat for a run of five consecutive results. Since then with the inclusion of the 'peerless' Boaz Myhill (previously with last season's relegated Hull City) have now lost a total of 13 out of 18 in all competitions, including elimination from the FA Cup to championship side, Reading.

Now, Jeremy Peace has taken the decision to put his manager, Roberto Di Matteo, on gardening leave with immediate effect, virtually ensuring that he is now unemployed.  This latest instalment of the managerial merry-go-round is worse than when Newcastle United sacked Chris Hughton in November of this season. Di Matteo was the man who got the team promoted, playing a brand of football that was a match for Newcastle last season, they were both promoted at a canter and some pundits were genuinely looking forward to seeing West Brom continue to play positive football, and up until there poor run of form they were. Gaining positive results most notably victories at Arsenal and Everton, and a very creditable draw at Old Trafford that could easily had written off United's attempt at invincibility before their Black Country rivals, Wolves did yesterday.

However, it was their home form that has suffered, losses to Blackburn, Bolton and a crippling loss to Man.United that they should really have won due to a mixture of failure to take chances, a poor referring decision and a missed penalty by Peter Odemwingie.  A victory over the champions elect would have looked very good on a fledgling CV, now Di Matteo need to get the CV out of the bottom drawer.

It is interesting because before the season they were making all the right noises about staying positive with a brand of football endebted to the Italian manager, and the play of Chris Brunt has been most impressive. Even the signing of Odemwingie, the Nigerian world cup striker was a sign of intent; and his goals have won them games that would have meant they would be in the relegation zone.  At this moment, they are 17th (the vital number to stave off execution), but unfortunately Birmingham and West Ham appear resurgent, whilst both Wolves and Wigan won at home yesterday.  This is not a decision to save this season, this is a decision for next season too prematurely.

When Hughton was sacked from Newcastle, there were suitors available for hire; who in there right mind would want to go to Baggie-land for the last 3 1/2 months for what is now a relegation party.

West Bromich are the team for whom the term 'yo-yo club' was invented, whilst teams like Blackpool, Stoke and Wigan show the resilience to fight the battle until the end, West Bromich look to have lost their appetite.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Winter's Bone

Critically acclaimed and Oscar nominated for acting, writing and music - the winner of the 2010 Grand Jury prize at Sundance, arrives on DVD from Artificial Eye. Starring Jennifer Lawrence in a breakout star making performance, the film is gritty and tense in the American tradition of Hollywood crime thrillers, but in the mould of independent cinema predecessors, the film shines a light on a part of America you have not seen before, and but for the commitment of the film-makers would remain out of the spotlight.

Ree Dolly (Lawrence), is 17 years old and lives at home with her ill mother and two younger siblings, after a visit from a local police officier she has to find her missing father, who has skipped bail and has put up their family home up as collateral; if he does not attend before his court hearing, the house will be repossessed.
Set in the Ozark woods of Missouri, Ree embarks upon an odyessey to find him and find answers amongst a close knit but tight lipped community, the code of silence is paramount when draped across the majestic landscapes that paint a picture of a weary world amongst all these questions and allegations.  Ignoring threats and advice from friends and family, Ree gradually pieces together the reason for her father's disappearance.

The film is directed by Debra Granik ('Down to the Bone'), who adapted Daniel Woodrell's novel with Anne Rosellini for the screen, they bring the thriller elements to the film and nature plays a part on film; at times you can feel the cold enveloping you as Ree plods on to her next port of call.

At times brutal in its starkness, and with flashes of genuine violence; the film does not foresake a sense of humour for its grittiness. At one time in the story, Ree along with a friend has to cut hands off of a dead character to help identify the body - Ree holds the arm out of the water whilst her accomplice chainsaws off the hand. Once done, Ree lets out a wail at the gruesomeness (the director, cleverly does not show bone or blood, only heightening the sound of the tool being used and facial expressions of Lawrence to convey the fear occuring), she drops the body into the water. Only for the accomplice to ask why did she let go, as they need both hands for proof.  A moment of Lynch-esque humour in a tale of bleak midwinter.

Orginal in its depiction of this wild frontier, and helped by the beautiful soundtrack of mountain music that indicates a place and a release for the community of robust individuals.  The film belongs to the 20 year old Lawrence, who acts beyond her and her character's years; being mother to her siblings whilst her mother is ill, strong and determined in her attempts to track down the truth and not backing down from anybody.  Deservedly, Lawrence has been nominated for Best Actress at the Oscars in a couple of weeks, as has the Adapted Screenplay, but she was joined on the nomination list by John Hawkes who plays her Uncle Teardrop, a mixture of menace and terror (somewhat akin to Robert Mitchum in 'Night of the Hunter'), who may provide the answers to his brothers whereabouts.  As is the music nominated, as original and as fresh as the film it helps score.

A film that hopefully will not fall off of the radar anytime soon, the DVD release comes a long time after its theatrical release in late September, a testament to the staying power of a film that from humble beginnings can proudly sit at the top table in Hollywood, as the film itself received one of the ten Best Picture nominations, affirming it as the independent film of 2010.

Released by Artificial Eye on 31 January, certified 15; the DVD is £15.99 RRP, Blu-Ray £19.99RRP