filmfest at last…almost

Sydney Film Festival gets underway tomorrow night. As I described last year, it was a fun time going through the programme working out everything I wanted to see. Followed by working out a schedule that was actually achievable. Even though I managed to get my act together earlier this year, we found that some things were selling out faster so we had to make a few last minute changes. On the other hand, because one film had sold out, I was able to get into another film that a friend was responsible for which I had very sadly passed on…bad friend am I. They changed the android app this year and it wasn’t available initially, then it wasn’t working at all, and they finally got it stable last Friday. Has improved some and is running faster.

Looks like I’m only seeing 26 fillums this year – I must be getting old:

Unbelievably, I’m not seeing any movies on the 14th! That night I’m going to a whisky tasting of new Australian whiskies :-)

braindead

The name of an awesome movie from the dude that later did the Lord of the Rings movies, and my current state of mind. Drove to Orange and back on the weekend, around 4 hours each way. Slept well last night but feeling fatigued. Speaking of Braindead, I recall many years ago, turning up on a Saturday to the Valhalla to see Peter Jackson’s first three films:

I think it was around the time that Braindead was released as Peter Jackson was there in person to introduce each movie and answer questions at the end, barefooted on stage. It was a fun, hilarious day. I’d originally seen the first two on VHS and that was my first screening of the third. It seems somewhat timely to think back to that as there’s a raunchier muppets movie coming out and there’s already comparisons to Meet the Feebles.

out the back a ways…

Just back from a relaxing weekend in Orange. I even made it into Orange itself this time. Once or twice a year, we head out to my partner’s dad’s family who live on a few acres about half an hour out the back of Orange. Connectivity is interesting…it is possible to get a signal in some spots and it usually involves balancing the phone on a window sill pointing in the right direction. Using this method I was able to download the weekend SMH…though it took about 20 minutes as it kept dropping out.

view of trees and rows of grapes for wine out the back of Orange.

It’s a peaceful place with little else to see, just dry Australian landscape. The photo above shows the view that I looked out on every day. My partner’s dad has a few rows of grapes and produces a nice, drinkable red each year. I gather it may not have been quite so drinkable but every vintage I’ve been lucky enough to try has been tasty. I even helped pick the grapes last year. I failed to help pick the year before as I slept in and they were all done by the time I woke up. Oops.

Normally we don’t get out much and it’s time to chill and read and chat with family. This time we popped up the road yesterday to Mortimer’s Wines for a tasting, having driven past many times. We were the only ones there and it seems the busy period finished the week before. A comfy, generous tasting with a good chat with the chap there talking about the wine. Somewhat unexpectedly, I later realised there was something of a connection with my childhood, growing up in Bankstown…and a sportzing reference at that! The winery was started by and belongs to, one of the Mortimer brothers, who were well known rugby league players with the Canterbury Bulldogs in the 80s. 3 of the brothers played in 4 grand finals together. Peter Mortimer went from footy to wine and I gotta say the wines were rather tasty and we bought several: a decent pinot noir, some tasty shiraz and wonder of wonders, a delicious Chardonnay.

All in all a happy, relaxing weekend.

blogjune…really?

Aaaaaarrrrggggghhhhhh!

Here we are again. It is June and time to blog every day. There was a suggestion back in April of preparedness but will it happen…hmm? It’s all been quiet of late. I am away for a few days in a place with no connectivity so my first few posts are canned. Composed in May, posted in June.

Dunno how it’s going to go.

As always, I have plenty of things I could talk about, of snails, of travel, of whisky, and of film. Perhaps some stats. Perhaps some computer stuff too.

…a different pace

Trying new things. A different pace. Otherness. But not in the usual sort of way. Nor the usual sort of conversation. Stepping out of my comfort zone. A new thing.

Cruise. Ship.

Eep! That’s a whole other direction for travel. I may be turning 50 this year but I thought cruising and coach tours were still 20 years away. Does a backpack work on a cruise ship? Do I take more stuff…or less stuff…actually I don’t think I can take less stuff as I travel fairly lightly when backpacking. Still. I have realised that I should not stay in hostel dormitories. I personally, am comfy in a dorm: 4 beds, 6 beds, 10, or 12 or so. However I am a world class snorer and have slowly realised that others are less happy about my presence in dorms. Now I book rooms. When tramping, I’m the poor schmuck that needs to sleep in the kitchen at trail huts lest I disturb the bunkhouses.

Anyway, back to cruising. On a boat. I’ve been on a cruise. Once. Many years ago. 2003 or thereabouts. In China. Down the Yangtze River. 2 days. Only 2 days. I think that was pre-flickr or pre-my-digital-photo-stuff…I really must digitise those photos one day. Perhaps when I’m old and bored and decrepit. By the way, I strongly recommend going to China.The food. Oh gawd, the food! Fantastic! Variety and flavour and texture and taste. Oh my. I went with friends on an Intrepid trip and it was fab.  A guided tour yes but lots of public transport, not coaches, and hanging locally. For organised stuff, Intrepid has worked well. I later went to Borneo with Intrepid and those photos are online.

Cruising. It has been suggested that a cruise in Europe might be nice. It might be. For some things I like to think I’m young and sort of hip but even saying “young and hip” suggests a certain age. Others use different phrases. Others. Yet, I’m coming around…Viking has been suggested and I have read bits about Viking and they sound sort of what I’d like. No night clubs but a late bar just in case. Decent food. They handle my usual breakfast. A more intellectual approach…maybe not, it was sounding good until that point :) It is unclear what whiskies they have on board, or craft beers for that matter…I figure I can probably pick up a nice whisky or three duty free. I dunno yet whether Intrepid do cruising but that’s a google away.

Hmmm…a different direction indeed.

 

#blogjune 2017 recap

Done and dusted for another year. Here we are 4 days later and this is my first post since June finished. Stats are a funny old thing, the only ones I have to count are for folk who specifically visit my page. I have no idea how many other people are reading my posts via feed readers such as feedly. It’s possible to make a rough estimate as feedly does show a subscriber count for each of its feeds but I’m unclear as to its accuracy, having read conflicting accounts. All in all, it sounds like work is required to get accurate figures and my care factor is a little too low for that :-)

blog statistics

Looking at the graph above, direct access seems to have dropped off a little in 2017 but has been mostly stead for the last few years. With that said, the 2017 figure is based on the year so far ie the first six months. That suggests, even I can manage to keep blogging, that 2017 is shaping up to be my best year since at least 2014, and potentially since 2012. I think 2012 was the first year that wordpress broke down the difference between views and visitors, as noted by the darker shading in the column.

In terms of my #blogjune blogging, I managed to just scrape in:

  • 30 posts
  • 10,700 words, averaging 357 words per post

3 posts less but 700 words more than my 2016 effort. I think I managed to blog about most things I thought I would though I never got round to blogging properly about whisky, though I had a few ideas in draft. My top 5 posts were:

which seems a mix of interesting and pedestrian, so here’s the next 5 as well:

which is a more interesting list of titles :-)

a happy snail

This wooden snail was given to me by my previous partner some years ago. The pieces slide apart and it always looks like it’s smiling and looking ahead. It used to sit under the monitor in my old flat.

smiling snail, wooden