Birthday wishes

May 1, 2008 at 12:28 am | Posted in General | 5 Comments

Very warmest birthday wishes to someone very special out there…. if you’ve found this page and are reading this message, you know who you are!!! Hugs…. 😛

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Elegy (Film Review)

April 29, 2008 at 11:58 pm | Posted in Film Reviews | Leave a comment

The last film I saw was Elegy directed by Isabel Coixet, one of my favourite directors. (She also directed My Life without Me and The Secret Life of Plants, both of which I highly recommend). I thoroughly enjoyed the film, which perhaps could be summarised as being about the power of beauty and all it involves. Thought provoking. It has an excellent cast: Ben Kingsley and Penelope Cruz in the two main roles supported by Dennis Hopper, Patricia Clarkson and Peter Sarsgaard. The film Elegy is based on the short novel by Philip Roths, The Dying Animal, which I haven’t read to be able to comment on. My rating 8.5 out of 10.

If they can do it, why can’t we?

April 3, 2008 at 2:35 pm | Posted in A Better World, Peace | Leave a comment

A friend sent me a link to this video today and I just love it!! The story that came in the email is the following… whether it’s true or not I have no idea, but the video alone is worth believing in!!!!

This is a video of a homeless guy in Santa Barbara and his pets. You can see these guys every week working State Street for donations. The animals as you can see are pretty well fed and mellow. They are a family.

The man who owns them rigged a harness up for his cat so she wouldn’t have to walk so much (like the dog and himself). At some juncture the rat came along and as no one wanted to eat anyone else, the rat started riding with the cat and often on the cat!The dog will stand all day and let you talk to him and admire him.
PS. sorry about the extra large font for the bit I copied and pasted. I can’t see how to make it smaller!!!

Looking forward to a summer full of great concerts!

April 2, 2008 at 1:10 am | Posted in Dylan, Music | 2 Comments

Today my ticket to see Bob Dylan in Toulouse in June arrived!!! YIPEEE! I’m hoping that the concerts in Andorra and Zaragoza will be confirmed soon and I can get tickets to them. I plan to start a week’s holiday on June 20th driving to Toulouse for the first concert (and hopefully seeing some fellow translator friends the following day), then maybe on to Andorra and then to Zaragoza, where I intend to spend a couple of days visiting the Expo on water and another couple of days nourishing my soul at the Monasterio de Piedra just outside Zaragoza. Check out its website to see why! I stayed in the hotel many, many years ago with my parents on a holiday and have this wonderful memory of the place. I see from the website that the hotel has upgraded somewhat since then, but hey!! I’m worth it 🙂 But all that beautiful water and nature will renew me spiritually, ready to face the summer with new energy.

Other concerts I have spied, but can’t yet get tickets for, are Joan Baez at the Palau de la Música Catalana and Leonard Cohen – who’s going on tour for the first time in 15 years – at Cap Roig in Palafrugell. It seems he’ll be there two nights running so hopefully I’ll be able to get a ticket! It’s a beautiful place for a concert, under a full moon – if you’re lucky!! – in a beautiful botanical garden overlooking the sea, but it’s a place that appeals to the local jet set and us mere mortals have a hard time getting tickets as it only holds 1600 people. I was SO incredibly lucky (and tenacious) two summers ago and managed to get two tickets to see Dylan there (sigh………..) and last year I saw Joan Baez there which was magic. I’d never seen her live before even though I have enjoyed her music and been singing from her Song Book since I was about 13!!

What a fun summer in store!!

The Kite Runner (Film Review)

March 20, 2008 at 1:14 am | Posted in Film Reviews | 1 Comment

The Kite Runner is one of the best films I have seen in a long time. I haven’t read the book so I can’t compare it although I’m told it is an excellent book. I was deeply moved by the story throughout which dealt with friendship, betrayal, loyalty, guilt and finally the chance the make amends, showing that it is never too late to make up for the harm we have done to others. An interesting insight into a different culture as well. I would rate it with 9 points out of 10 and highly recommend it to people who like films that explore feelings.

Weekend of Gospel

January 23, 2008 at 10:14 pm | Posted in Music | 2 Comments

This weekend there will be a Gospel Workshop where I live, L’Escala. This will be the third one I’ve been to and I am really looking forward to it. It’s such fun! The course is open to anyone who likes singing, they don’t have to be able to read music, and the teacher, who curiously is called Moses (Moisès in Catalan) helps you to really live the music and the entire experience with all your senses. You come away feeling really moved by the great feelings the singing provokes. Whether or not you are a Christian, the music is spiritually moving, and when you think about the reasons that led to people originally singing these kinds of songs it’s kind of awe-inspiring.

For information about the group he directs take a look here.

The Oxford Murders (Film review)

January 21, 2008 at 6:16 pm | Posted in Film Reviews | 2 Comments

Yesterday I went to see the Oxford Murders directed by the Spanish director, Àlex de la Iglesia and starring John Hurt and Elijah Wood (what eyes!!). I thoroughly enjoyed the film and I didn’t know who had “dun” it until the end. It also had a thought provoking sting in the tale. Is there such a thing as pure truth? Is there such a thing as pure innocence? There were some lovely shots of Oxford too, which made me feel quite nostalgic as an ex-pat!! My rating 7.5/10 Well worth seeing.

New year’s resolutions for 2008

January 21, 2008 at 5:55 pm | Posted in A Better World | Leave a comment

I haven’t posted for quite some time, but I’m back!!! Hopefully with renewed energy. I have decided that 2008 will be the year in which I will make a REAL effort to be more ecological in as many ways as possible. I know that I’m not going to be perfect and that along with my attempts to be more ecological I will be committing many sins, but if my small effort is added to other people’s small efforts we really can make a difference. I have in the past sometimes thought, what’s the point of doing such and such if I’m the only person I know who does so… but there IS a point, every little effort helps, I really believe that!!

So, my mission this year is to stop using plastic bags. I have read that on average we each get through 300 plastic bags a year, that’s almost one a day.. and they are not biodegradable so they just sit there, possibly for ever, in the environment, polluting, filling landfill and killing wildlife.

According to the Whale and Dolphine Conservation Society

“Globally, an estimated one million birds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die every year from entanglement in, or ingestion of plastics.”

We’re responsible for that… 😦

It really isn’t that difficult to get into the habit of keeping a fabric or wicker basket by the front door so you remember it. I’ve ordered some re-usable net bags for putting fruit and veg in at the supermarket to avoid having to put them in plastic bags to be weighed. We’ll see how the local shops accept that ( or not)!

I’ve bought some biodegradable bags for taking out with the dogs too. They mainly do their business in the open land around here so it doesn’t need picking up, but I always like to have a few bags on me just in case they don’t make it to the woods in time! It seems silly to tie up a biological product in plastic poop bags, so I thought it was time to do something about it.

For birthday presents I thought it would be nice to make people patchwork shopping bags to encourage them to give up plastic bags too.

I’m aware that I’m not going to be 100% consistent on my mission, but I reckon that even a 50% improvement  will be far better than nothing!!

More of my ideas to clean up my act a bit will appear soon! Watch this space 🙂

No Reservations (Film review)

September 24, 2007 at 2:40 pm | Posted in Film Reviews | Leave a comment

One of the things that I enjoy doing at the weekend is going to the cinema, so I thought I’d start writing a little about the films I’ve seen.
This weekend I went to see “No Reservations“. I immediately had a sense of Deja Vu, I knew the story but this was a brand new film just out this week! A little research afterwards on the imdb showed that it’s in fact a re-make of a German film made in 2001, which is what I had seen!

It was a predictable, but perfectly watchable film. I have to confess that I did shed a few tears in one part, but I do tend to embarrass my friends by crying in most films!! It was a typical Hollywood (read commercial) version of the original film. Harmless, undemanding, entertaining fun. My rating 6/10.

Please feel free to recommend any films you have enjoyed.

To Paul

August 31, 2007 at 12:54 pm | Posted in General | 1 Comment

Ten years ago today I was travelling through France on my way to the UK. I awoke to hear the news about Diana, Princess of Wales’ tragic death. But, I remember this time far more clearly because of a very special person I had met on the Internet and was about to meet in real life. Ten years on I still remember those couple of days I spent with the most wonderful person I have ever known and for whom I still have only the fondest of thoughts. Thank you for those beautiful memories. I hope you are happy, wherever you may be now 🙂

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