Weekly Ramble No. 6

Sunday was mostly spent travelling to Norway and setting up for that thing at work on Monday. In the evening we ate at Lorry in Oslo. This time around I had the delicious fish soup, a passable pulled pork burger with some greasy wedges that gave me stomach ache later and just one beer (boo!).

Monday, after one half of that thing at work I went out alongside Oslofjord at Høvik for some fresh air and soon came back in because it was way too fresh!

norway-feb-17-03

Oh I do like to be beside the fjord side…

After the second half of that thing we met up at a wine bar is Oslo and had some tapas. Seems to me that Norwegians are well into their wine and when you pay as much as they do for their alcohol I guess it pays to be a connoisseur. I stuck to the beer. The local brew Rignes is a very nice light lager and I also had some Hawaiian stuff from Kona brewery called Big Wave at a little pub called Forest and Brown. I had a night off from any food or drink blogging, but have to say here that I was well impressed by the fruity flavour of the beer and the warmth of the wood fire in the pub.

It was a very quick trip and so I was back home on Tuesday evening where I slotted back into the buttock rut in my sofa, said hello to Siggy and watched some Star Wars: Clone Wars Season 2. I’m impressed by the progress they have made with the quality of animation and the director’s eye for a good shot. There are also some stories that stretch over more than one episode which helps with the character development. Ahsoka Tano is quickly becoming my favourite character after my initial irritation with her when I saw the animated movie. In the middle of Season Two we get a big chunk of mythos development with the episodes based around Mandaloria (establishing that Jango Fett wears Mandalorian armour but is in fact not Mandalorian himself) and the first appearance of the dark saber (vaguely referred to in Rogue One when they list Imperial projects).

Keeping to the Star Wars theme, I also borrowed a copy of Elstree 1976 from a friend in return for picking up a bottle of whiskey in duty free. It was less of a behind-the-scenes documentary about the making of A New Hope and more a collection of interviews with the actors who played a small part in the film.

The actors reflect upon how they got their roles and how their involvement has shaped their lives since. It’s an interesting insight into what makes these actors, who let’s face it never really ‘made it’ in the movies, tick. Also fascinating to learn of the cache value of appearing in a costume (e.g. Greedo or Boba Fett) as opposed to having your face on screen (e.g. Gold leader).

I had the pleasure of meeting a couple of the people featured in the documentary at a Star Wars convention, and it was interesting to hear how they felt about the fans and the process of autographing.

star-wars-signing-leicester

Paul Blake and Jeremy Bulloch signing stuff at Leicester Space Centre

This week I also watched Finding Dory. The film had a rather predictable story but was fun all the same, with Hank the seven tentacled octopus being the star of the show (I found Dory herself rather annoying throughout most of the film). Most of the animation, as you would expect from Pixar, was amazing.

There is a short animation on the blu-ray disc called Piper about a sandpiper learning how to find food at the edge of the waves on a beach. The animation was even more impressive than the main feature with the sand, water and sea foam being almost photo real in its detail.

In terms of music I recently discovered Marika Hackman on Spotify. She has an excellent voice and guitar-based indie sensibilities. She reminds me vocally somewhat of Marijne Van der Vlugt the lead singer from a short-lived early 90s band called Salad, lapsing into a softer non-jazz version of Beth Gibbons in other tracks.

On Friday night, hot on the heels of Ruby Wax last week, we were treated to a visit from Seann Walsh at Loughborough town hall. He was very funny and has a great line in observational comedy. We were early in the list of dates for his new stand-up show, One for the Road, and so were treated to a less rehearsed performance than perhaps later audiences will get.

In his somewhat hyperactive and sweary style, Walsh bemoaned modern life, our obsession with mobile phones, having no time to properly think about anything, the fact that everyone is ‘cutting down’ (on drink, caffeine, carbs, sugar i.e. all the good stuff), and calming down as he gets older and his social circle becomes more settled. He then moved on to, sometimes wordless, acting out of awkward and amusing restaurant behaviours, before finishing of with what amounted to an encore (without actually leaving the stage). A noncore perhaps you could call it.

The noncore stood apart for me as a really good high point to end the show on. The best comedy for me carries an uncomfortable edge and says something a little dark about the human condition. So I was impressed by Walsh’s final monologue in which he played the role of his evil psyche talking to him at night when he’s finally switched his phone off and has time to think before he goes to sleep. ‘You can’t be up and coming for ten years…’ the voice says…

He was really very good. Here’s a bit from a few years ago, again about mobile phones:

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