Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Something Inside (So Strong)

I said to Jack last week that I think I'm ready to start writing again. It's been a while, and I stopped due to events this summer... but now something inside is telling me that I've recovered enough to begin the process again. I don't know what I'll do first - maybe baby steps, who knows. But watch this space - because something is coming!

In the meantime, I must begin the process of job hunting again. Relax, I am still working at Forbidden Planet - but it only pays just above minimum wage, and I cannot afford to live off that amount per month. Something has come up at FP Headquarters, which I may apply for. Then there's, well I can't say. But it's something in the industry, and something I've alluded to before. It's moving forward, at snail pace... but if it pans out, I'll be sorted both from a money angle, but also from the point of view of me working in the industry.


I watched two films at the cinema over the last week or so:

This is a very, very British film. I have to admit, I liked it but didn't love it. Maggie Smith is great... but there's not much to the story, and it doesn't quite explore its themes as fully as it could do.

Sicario was a very well constructed film, but an unpleasant one. I'd still mark it highly, but I doubt I would be in a rush to rewatch it anytime soon. My movie crush on Emily Blunt continues, however.

Next on my watchlist:

Just because I love Pixar. However... I think this one does look quite slight. Although my expectations aren't very high, I'll still make an effort to see the film this opening weekend.

This too...

Can't Hurry Love

There's a cliché that you're not supposed to like Phil Collins' music. Well, over the past few days I've had it on a constant loop!

Question: When did I (always such a loner) start needing people so much?

I'll have an attempt at an answer, but first...

I spent all of today chasing the company of others. It began with me messaging my ex, and trying to repair our broken friendship. It then extended to trips to the cinema with Jack, and me trawling around London's West End cinemas to see/talk to familiar faces. It ended back at home, sat with my housemate Mafalda - watching Doctor Who together on the sofa.

This is not the same guy who, 10-15 years ago was quite happy to lock himself away from everybody else and live life in solitude.

Ok... getting back to the question:

I don't know, and can only theorise. I think it happened across a number of events. Firstly, working at Vue - that's when I started going out socially with others, and started inviting them into my personal life. Then moving to London and working with my friends at the Westfield/West End cinemas pushed that even further. Finally, my last relationship was so great and intense, I think I've got use to people being intimate in my life.

This is by no means a bad thing. I just have to be careful that I don't chase others; otherwise that looks a bit sad and desperate.

Jack told me today that he believes a fulfilling life is one that is lived surrounded by people who care about you. I responded that this is why my break-up hurt so much - as the second person forcibly cuts themselves out of my existence. I think it's true though. We all want to be loved, and cared for don't we?

Becoming more social is one thing, but it's just one step on my journey. The bigger adventure is fitting in, and finding my place amongst everybody else. Finding those people who really do care, and making sure I don't lose them from my life.

New, positive me accepts the challenge.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

The Cook & The Gardener

I am now well and truly back in the swing of work. I've completed 80 hours across the last 10 days or so, and my reward is a well deserved day off today.

I spent my time around the house, completing a few tasks.

First of all, I have begun my garden project. When I moved into Brewhouse, I found the back garden to be in a sorry state. It was a horrible mess, and I promised myself (and the land lady) that I would tidy it up. Why volunteer for such a task, I hear you ask? Well, mostly I enjoy gardening - but back in Shepherds Bush I didn't have anything to maintain, as both front/back gardens were entirely concrete!

To give you an idea of the work I did today here are a few before/after photos of the garden:

There is still much to do in the garden, mind! Watch this space - I will chip away at making the space as magnificent as possible over the next few weeks/months. By Spring, me and my housemates will be able to show off the best garden in Woolwich!

Inbetween my gardening tasks, I also cooked me, Jack and Sarunas a Sunday roast. I made this from scratch, and without consulting any online guides.

First of all, most importantly, I bought all the ingredients from the local super Tesco. Here they are - notice I went healthy too - half of the meal is veg?

Then I prepared the food...

It took 2 hours altogether, but was worth every second! Jack seemed to enjoy it whilst he was eating. I have to admit, I thought it was delicious, and it smelt fantastic as well.

All in, I'm immensely proud of my first major cooking session in this new house. Here's to many more!

(Next time, I'm determined to bake a cake!)

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Jessica Jones et al

One of the perks of working within a comic shop is I get to read plenty of material on my breaks. Here's a run down of my recent reading:

Issues 1-9

Ahead of Netflix's latest Marvel series, I've been reading the source comic. This is the story of a retired super heroine, who has decided to move on from her heroics and become a P.A. It's usual for a Marvel comic, in that it features lots of swearing, excessive violence and sex. However, it does present a very strong female lead - and is quite funny in places.

I really like this and writer Brian Michael Bendis' Daredevil run. They feel like fresh takes on old characters (which is ironic, as Jessica Jones was only created in 2001 - we're just meant to believe she's been around since the start of the Marvel Universe)

Book One and Two

The story of deserters in a cosmic war, Saga is a masterful story told by my favourite publisher Image Comics. It has some incredibly beautiful artwork, and the use of handwriting as a font makes for a strong visual. This presents a very real, believable set of worlds - where love, sex, war and hope/hopelessness are an every day part of proceedings.

This is an incredibly popular series. I spend a lot of my days stacking shelves; and this is one of the shelves that gets revisited the most by me!

Vol. 3 Issues 11-15

Published earlier this year, these adventures see Matt Murdock living in San Francisco. I really dig writer Mark Waid's take on the character. Having read Daredevil for almost 15 years, I am use to the character featuring in dark, often downbeat tales. What's unusual about Waid's run is just how bright and fun they are. It's the polar opposite of typical Daredevil storytelling, and probably all the better for it!

I'm sad though, because I only have one trade paperback (issues 16-18) to go before the end of this particular series. Afterwards, Marvel does it typical rebooting (volume 4) and that will jettison much of what Mark Waid added, which is a shame.

Issues 1-2

I've only just started this, but it's great! Crissie had spoken to me about it for a very long time. I shrugged it off, because I checked out a few pages and it really didn't seem like the art style was my cup of tea. But Crissie was very persistent, and nagged me to pick it up. So, taking a break from Alias I did... and it's fun. It's the story of Tony Chu, who is a Cibopath - meaning he can taste the history of foods he eats. As he is a police officer, he is able to use this skill to piece together food-related crimes. I'm still only a couple of installments in, but it is the perfect book to read when you need a bit of an uplift after a hectic shift!

The Wicked & the Divine
Book One

A British comic, about a number of Gods who take human form... but only have 2 years to live. It's fun, a little anarchic and features lots of places in London I'm familiar with. I think it's probably a little too cool for school, but again it's popular and not hard to see why.

Though they kill off their most interesting character at the end of book one!!

Alex & Ada
Book One

The art style is very simple, but effective. This is the story of Alex, who receives a human-lookalike robot called Ada for his birthday - and sets out to give her life, by making her sentient.

I thought this captured the life and thought patterns of a heartbroken man quite well, as he strives to put things right and make a new life for himself. I can relate! I'm not sure where the story will go - but there's only 10 episodes left, and I don't think it'll really 'get going' before it begins to wrap up.

For what it is, though, this first Act is pretty great.


At the cinema I have also seen two great films from these shores:

Brooklyn is a beautiful story of what home means, and the love you find there.

Lady in the Van is less effective, but still a good, solid film. Maggie Smith is very funny in it, and you really do believe in the woman she plays. It's an interesting look at companionship - even if her character and Alan Bennett do not always see eye-to-eye!

Hopefully, I'll see either Sicario or Fassbender's Macbeth tomorrow.

I'm seeing/reading lots of things. Life is good!

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Punk Swagger

I have to admit, I over think things. But then you read this blog, so you knew this already didn't you? Before I moved back to London, I'd probably given too much thought to what the next chapter of my life would be about - i.e. what direction I'd take, and how that would affect my personality. Well, only a week or so in, I think I'm getting an idea of the answer.

This is my punk phase.


This is a time in my life where I've broken free of the corporate role I've held for many years. Now, I get to work somewhere completely independent. They don't have things like a uniform code, or a formal cashing up session if you've been on tills. It's all very relaxed, and a dramatic contrast to life before. In this environment, they care more about the people - and the business comes second.

Then there's my relationship status. You know, long time readers, that I recently lost something dear to me. After that, I think it's inevitable that you go through a stage of not caring about relationships anymore (or you hit on a rebound relationship, which I couldn't do). So girls are out of the equation for a while, until I chose otherwise!

When I say "punk", I mean alternate, but with an edge to it. I've lived life a certain way for a long time. It's time to try something completely different!

This is me sticking two fingers up at what went before, and having confidence in myself today -- because right here, right now, that's what important. I don't want to look back anymore, because the past is just holding me back.

So this morning I'm on the London Underground. My head phones are in. The music switches on. Yes, it has that same punky edge - and I walk the station with some swagger, and for the first time in many months feel happy because my life has some form of direction again.


I'm midway through reading a graphic novel called Seconds.

It's great! Created by Bryan Lee O'Malley, it's the story of Katie - who finds that her restaurant Seconds has a house spirit within it. Upon taking a mystical mushroom, Katie is able to rewind time and correct her wrongs. She uses this skill for good at first, but then manipulates events so her and her boyfriend never broke up! Of course, things spiral out of control quickly...

It has a very unique method of storytelling. If you're not a traditional fan of comic books, I think you will enjoy this - as it's not superheroes, on silly missions. It's just the story of a girl and her relationship. Definitely track it down, and give it a go!