How’d it go? – February 2021

The themes of this update are patience, procrastination and putting things off until the right time. My February was overshadowed by two separate events, the first of which occurred on February 6th, a Saturday. You may recall one of my resolutions for 2021 was to run at least a half-marathon every month, slowly increasing my distance over the course of the year, eventually building up to running a full marathon. Well on the 6th of February, 37 days into the year and with just two half marathons under my belt this side of 2020, I got up, went for a run and thought “Fuck it, why not today?” Yep, I tried to run a marathon, with no proper preparation, no real route planned, and having eaten no breakfast. This is, to date, one of the stupidest decisions I’ve ever made, especially when you factor in the route I did take involved so many hills it could’ve been shown on MTV in the late 2000s. Ridiculous. I made it just over 30km (about 3/4 of a marathon, so still my longest run ever) before my wife – who I also hadn’t informed about what I was doing – phoned me to ask where in the blue blazes I’d got to, and how badly injured was I. She had an errand to run in the direction I was, and I couldn’t really walk any more, so she picked me up, took me home, and justifiably called me a numpty. Unsurprisingly it took me over a week to get into any kind of decent running shape again.

The second momentous occasion of the month occurred 2 weeks later, on the 19th February, a Friday, when my aforementioned wife tested positive for COVID-19. I’ll start off by saying she and I are both fine. Her symptoms were pretty mild – headaches, upset stomach, fever – all are gone now, and I didn’t have any whatsoever. The day before I’d tested negative, and we gingerly kept a distance apart but didn’t go nuts with it. Our toothbrushes still shared the same pot, but less time was spent hugging than either of us liked. Anyway, in the UK a positive test result means the whole household must self-isolate for two weeks from the start of the symptoms, so we couldn’t leave the house until this past Saturday (27th). That meant no pops to the shop to restock our meagre supplies – fortunately we got a grocery delivery a few days in, but they didn’t bring everything – no going for a run and, crucially, no dog walking. We arranged for a friend-of-a-friend to take the dogs out on the weekdays, and we played with them best we could – or rather, as best as they’d allow, the grumpy sods – at the weekend and in the evenings. I’ve never been more grateful to have a garden, although once you’ve run from the back door to the side gate and back again 231 times in a bid to run a 5k, you can’t help but wish for a bigger one. By no means do I intend to imply we’ve been through anything close to the ordeals of many others. At the end of the day we have each other, we have an outside space, and my wife recovered completely, but paying someone else to take your dogs for a walk when it’s literally all you want to do is a bizarre feeling, and dammit we got down to our last can of Pepsi Max, which is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

So, what did I learn this month? There’s no need to rush something you’re comfortably building up to, it’ll more than likely hurt if you try tackling it too early. But also, don’t wait until you’re almost out of supplies before going to get some more, as who knows if you’ll be able to. Every task has its own sense of urgency. Sometimes you’ll put off writing a couple of reviews until the end of the month in order to reach your one-review-a-week goal, but then on that last evening you’ll have a combo of your utter gobshite arsehole imbecile neighbours having a karaoke rave party during a fucking pandemic until 2am in the mother-fucking morning, and then plumbing issues that take far longer to fix than intended, so you miss your self-imposed deadlines and end up behind. However, there are few things in life more satisfying than the kah-THUNK! of a dislodged toilet blockage you’ve spent three solid hours plunging away at, so there’s that.

Anyway, that was a longer intro with far more personal information than any of you wanted, so let’s get into the movies, shall me?

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2020 Year in Review

Another year is over, and for this I’m sure we’re all grateful. I’ll go into more detail with how 2020 treated me personally in a future post, but for now it’s time for the annual listing of every new release I watched this year, from worst to best. It’s a shorter list than previous years at just 39 new releases (as always, bear in mind these are UK releases, so there’s a fair few films many of you would consider 2019 films on here), so I’ve also listed some shorts/TV specials, and listed my top 10 new-to-me, non-2020 films at the bottom too.

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Mid-2020 Update

I think it’s safe to say that 2020 isn’t exactly going to plan. It’s not been a stellar year for anyone, and listing off the many and numerous trials that either have been or are still testing the world at large isn’t going to do anyone any good. Suffice to say I’ve found myself home a lot recently, not that the activity on Life vs Film would have led you to such a conclusion. It turns out that being stuck inside for almost three months with nothing but a bunch of streaming services and a decent sized DVD collection still isn’t enough to actually make me watch and review more films. In fact, compared to this time last year I’ve only reviewed a third as many! How is that even possible? So what have I been doing? Good question, and to answer it let’s run through my 2020 goals at this roughly half-way point through the year: Continue reading