How’d it go? – May 2021

To me, May felt like an exceptionally long month that was both eventful and really dragged along. It’s been a pretty dour month for reasons I’ll soon get into, but I’m aware that many friends of mine, some of whom may be reading this, have had a horrendously tough go of things lately and I want to let them know that I’m here if they ever want to chat. I’ve told most of them this personally, but if you’re having a rough patch and need someone to talk to, drop me a line. So what was up with my May? Well, it was a bit of a rollercoaster, and much of it I don’t want to dwell on too much, so here’s the highlights:
– Murphy, our beloved 6-year old labradoodle-slash-tornado, had a bit of a scare that required an urgent rush to the vets one weekday night. He was really down, off his food, unresponsive etc. Turns out he was absolutely fine, we still don’t know for certain what was wrong with him, he’s all better now and we’ve found out he has an exceptionally large spleen but it’s nothing to worry about. That’ll be ¬£360, please and thank you.
– I received my first vaccine shot, very unexpectedly. For those of you not in England, the vaccine rollout here has been pretty slow, with it initially being available only to those most in need (the elderly, at-risk and frontline workers, which absolutely makes sense and I have no problem with) then they gradually decreased the age at which people were eligible for it. Very gradually. I’m now eligible, but in early May when I received my shot I wasn’t, but the mother of a friend at work heard of some spare vaccines that would otherwise be thrown away if we didn’t get there shortly. Long story short, we waited for almost 2 hours, received shots, and whilst my buddy’s arm went completely dead soon after I received no ill effects whatsoever. Hooray!
– I was due to have a weekend all to my lonesome – something that hasn’t happened in a very long time – when my wife took the dogs up to see her parents now that travelling and staying over is allowed. It also coincided with the cinemas reopening, so I put two and two together and came up with at least one solid day of theatre-hopping to see whatever might be showing, but at the very least Kong Vs Godzilla (or vice versa, who cares?). Alas she had a work emergency that delayed her leaving for a day and required my assistance (which, I want to clarify, I didn’t mind offering at all), and my Dad got wind of me being alone without those pesky pups and figured it’d be the opportune time for he and I to lay a patio together, and that the next day I could then pop round to their house and see my grandparents, who I hadn’t seen in well over a year. As in literally not even seen on a phone, they don’t quite comprehend Zoom calls. It was great to see them, and my sister’s new house, and to make progress on the patio, but it was far from the relaxing me-focussed weekend I’d been hoping for.
– And yeah, at the time of writing I still haven’t been back to the cinema, and to be honest I’m not really that bothered. I don’t miss it, mainly due to the time factor. If I’m going to see a 2-hour film, you need to add at least thirty minutes either side for travelling, and as my local cinema showings vary from having 10-30 minutes of ads and trailers, you can’t afford to be very late at all. So that 2-hour films is now eating up at least 3 1/2 hours of your day, and my days are already pretty full! Obviously I’m going to go to the cinema again sometime, but looking ahead at upcoming movies there’s precious few for which I’m not thinking “Meh, I can wait ’til that’s streaming.”
– Easily the main event that’s got me down this month, and which is sparking my recent obsession with time, is that I’m now working back in the office full time, whereas I’ve been mostly working from home for about 4 months now. I’ve loved working from home. There are fewer distractions, lunchtimes are accompanied by doggy playtimes and often involve better food and the company of my wife, and the lack of commute has been heaven. I cycle to work, which allowing for getting changed takes about 45 minutes each way, so that’s an hour and a half I’ve now lost every day. Yes, it’s good exercise and a decent decompress after the day of work, but I’ve been doing better and more varied exercises – weights, yoga, longer dog walks – without the need for the bike rides. And my stress levels have gone up and sleep times dropped way down since I’ve been back in the office. It’s not good at all, but I am of course grateful to have a job, and to have had one all throughout the lockdowns.
– All that being said, because I was having such a shitty month and I had a little extra cash rattling in the bank account, I decided to treat myself to the Jurassic Park Gate and T-Rex Lego set I’ve been ogling since its release. It’s due to be discontinued next year, and I finally broke down and bought it. I haven’t finished building it yet – it’s huge and I’m pacing myself – but expect some photos next month.
So that was supposed to be a brief run through of the month, but I’ve already rambled on for way too long. Let’s skip to the movies, shall we?

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Labyrinth

When she is forced to babysit her infant half-brother Toby, selfish teenager Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) invokes a goblin magic spell that summons Jareth, the Goblin King (David Bowie) to snatch Toby and take him to the Goblin Kingdom. Sarah has just thirteen hours to make her way through Jareth’s labyrinth to save Toby, or he’ll be turned into a goblin and will stay there forever.
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My Week in Movies, 2016 Week 19

This will be a short one this week folks, as I’ve watched little and written even less. Don’t expect a great deal from me this coming week either, as I’m off on holiday in a few hours. Please insert the usual apologies and concessions of my uselessness and failures.

However, something I will take a moment to note is the passing of a friend and fellow blogger. Chip Lary, of Tips From Chip, passed away almost three weeks ago. He had been ill for a while, and had recently undergone an operation to remove his gall bladder, but it is unclear as to whether this was the cause of his passing. Either way, Chip was one of my first ever followers back on my Blogspot site, and was a very active member of the 1001 Movies community back when that was more of a thing, when The Film Vituperatum was more active. There were a few occasions when I became tempted to throw the whole 1001 List thing and blogging in general out the window, and Chip was always there with a helpful and motivational comment of some sort, or a suggestion to take a break for a little bit and come back refreshed, which I’ve done a few times and ordinarily works a treat. In all honesty I’ve not read much on Chip’s site for a while, but that’s more because I struggle to find the time to read anyone else’s site, which is something that desperately needs to change for me. Regardless, I’ll always be grateful for the help Chip gave me, the community he never failed to participate in, the endless spreadsheets he created for the 1001 List and beyond, and the kindness he showed to a writer just starting out. He will be missed. If you’d like to donate to a collection for flowers for his funeral, being arranged by Steve Honeywell of 1001 Plus, please head here:¬†https://www.gofundme.com/2xkqxxjs.

Last year, when I asked some of my blogging friends to suggest some films on the 1001 List for me to watch, Chip submitted a not-at-all surprisingly really long list. I’ve still got 17 of those films to review, so I’ll be making an effort to watch those as a priority, despite them including some of the longer films on the list. Also, Chip is one of the few people I know to have completed the entirety of the 1001 List, so I’ve asked him what films were bad on there too. I’ve still got 18 of those to go (jeez) so those will be my priority “Bad” movie picks too. Steve, I’ll get back to your suggestions next year, I’m sure you’ll understand. You and Chip had a lot of crossover anyway.

So here’s what I watched this week:
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