Sunday, 27 April 2008

Trains, Cowboys and Picasso

Seen 3.10 to Yuma last night and quite enjoyed it. Solid performances from both of the main players, Christian Bale and Russell Crowe but although Crowe was supposed to play the main bad guy, a outlaw named Ben Wade, it was his right hand man Charlie Prince, played by Ben Foster who for me was much more menacing. Basically the whole storyline centred on Bale's character acting as prison guard in taking the outlaw, Wade, to Contention, a small town where he will be put on the train to Yuma to go on trial and Prince leading the remainder of Wade's forces after them to rescue their boss. On the journey Wade and Evans build up a relationship and end up understanding each other. Don't worry though, it's not a soppy, hollywood type ending...
Talking of trains and catching them I had fun yesterday going back to Uddingston from Glasgow. Basically, I got the wrong one and ended up in Hamilton. So I then had to get the bus back to Uddingston. Fantastic... It kind of made the whole 'getting the train as it's easier' motive kind of pointless especially when your carrying a large box of Picasso biography under your arm! The definitive biography, apparently. Kelly-Ann bought me a Borders voucher for my birthday and that's what I got. The guy was a true genius and I've been meaning to get a book on him for decades and now I finally have done thanks to my lovely fiance. It's true he has been kind of popularised over the years and some would say he's definately one of the more 'commercial' of artists but there is no denying the guy's great skills as an artist. Anyway, looking forward to having a read of that.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Going digital

Working late again. No rest for the wicked. Awaiting the wonderful pages of the Hamilton Advertiser coming through from the subs as the printer next door rumbles the floor of the office under my feet surrounded by my pentax camera equipment which I was showing Craig earlier on. Craig is the very informative scanning bloke in the office who spends most of his time solving our crosswords. He was showing off his Pentax K100D as I was mulling over the prospect of purchasing a more advanced digital camera in an effort to kick my photography hobbies back into gear. Ideally I was looking for a digital that would work with the lens I already own for my old Pentax ME Super and it seems the K100 fits the bill as do a few others including the K10 and 200D. I suspect more shopping around is required. Getting back into the photography would be great but still I'm painting and that takes up a bit of time as well as being stuck in this office till gawd knows when!?
Kelly-Ann's making dinner for me coming in though so I've got spaghetti to look forward to!-)

Friday, 18 April 2008

Tricia's poem

Aches are finally going away...hopefully. Some kind of virus apparently. Great! Old age setting in already?! Fantastic.
Patricia's poem as promised:
Oh No 30!

I can't believe your thirty
the years have flown so fast
the days of all those puppet shows
are truly in the past

You've come a long way Michael
you're now a fine young man
graduating from Art School
then meeting Kelly-Ann

So I wish you all the best
with everything you do
once you have your own wee weans
they can have puppet shows too

Thanks for that Tricia!
That was a week ago already?! Time really does fly.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Being 30

Turned 30 on Saturday there. Nothing drastic has happened so far. No eruption of wrinkles and grey hair (no more than usual anyway). Saying that - I've been suffering from some strange aches and pains throughout the body which I originally thought to be some kind of flu but nothing nasal has happened so I'm a bit puzzled about that one. Maybe it's just old age?! Is that what happens when you turn 30?! You start to ache all over?!

Great to see the majority of the family on Friday night. Mum put on another fantastic buffet! Thanks to all those that sent cards and gifts. All greatly appreciated. Tricia even wrote me a poem (I'll put that up on here later!).

Flew over to Dublin for the birthday and stayed at a rather swanky 4 star hotel called The Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire, a short 25 minutes train journey from the city centre. It had all been organised in secret by the lovely Kelly-Ann and it had all been planned down to a T. Good to see Dublin. Had only ever been once for a day trip when I ferried over from Wales with the family. I think we travelled from Pembroke that time...anyway, it was good to have more than 5 hours in the fair city. We crossed the River Liffey from Tara Street station and started wandering up O'Connell Street and spotted one of the City Guide buses. Clambering on we were immediately faced with our guide - a welcoming, friendly old irish gent with a penchant for singing and trying to make his passengers sing! We chose our seats in the roofed area of the upper deck inbetween a bunch of Austrailians and Liverpudlians and made our way round the city learning about Trinity College, Christ Church Cathedral, Molly Malone, Saint Patricks Cathedral, the Guinness Factory and Storehouse, Kilmainham Gaol and, of course, Temple Bar where we later walked, tasting the Guinness and enjoying the Irish pubs' atmosphere. Trinity College wiould have been a good place to visit if I'd had the time. The likes of James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift, Bram Stoker had all studied in the large University opposite the old Irish Houses of Parliament. We were only in the city centre for the one day though and wanted to see as much as possible so had to move on. Had a great time though and a more relaxing day on the monday enjoying the sauna and jacuzzi of the Royal Marine Hotel. Quite impressed with Aer Lingus too. Had to be the easiest plane journeys I'd ever experienced (not counting the fact we were only in the air for 50 odd minutes!).

So in all, not a bad weekend. Will need to get back to the gym now though!

Thursday, 3 April 2008

It rocks!

Anyone watch '30 Rock'?!

I've found myself addicted. I enjoyed the first season on Channel 5 but didn't always make a point of catching it but now that Season 2 has started I'm making a point of never missing it. It has to be one of, if not THE best sitcom to have emerged in ages. At times weird, at others ludicrous but at all times pretty damn great with a brilliant comic cast led by the excellent Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin.
I think it starts back April 10...