Our daughter can’t have dairy. She’s not vegan – she’ll plough through her weight in spicy chicken wings or my weight in bacon rolls – but milk and milk products make ill. She’s only six so we try hard to make sure that she doesn’t get treated differently and still gets a choice of things to eat. Life’s hard enough without having a food complex. Most places this is fine – whether we’re at home or travelling we’ve found great food and lots of good choices for an adventurous young foodie. That is until we get to chain coffee shops.
The mini one’s swimming lessons happen near a Starbucks and last weekend we popped in for a rare post-swimming treat. I was disappointed to hear from the Starbucks staff that there’s not a single Starbucks sweet, cakey foodstuff of any kind which doesn’t contain dairy. The six-year-old wasn’t surprised and told me Costa was better (known from her elephant-like memory, not her frequent visits).
That list seems long but the store didn’t have the full Impulse range so didn’t have any cereal bars, it wasn’t breakfast time and a bag of nuts isn’t going to cut it when everyone else wants to eat a bit of cake.
Sometimes the version of a movie that you watch isn’t quite what other people want to watch. Directors cuts have been around since the 1980’s (Blade Runner being a pretty important film where director Ridley Scott had a very different idea of what should be released when compared to the original final cut). Similarly there are a few amazing amateur film editors out there who re-cut or piece together parts of films, tv shows and music videos to create their own preferred version.
Amateur edits of movies have probably always been out there but Baader-Meinhof phenomenon kicked in recently and I started spotting recut versions of films EVERYWHERE so I thought that I’d share some of my favourites.
To fans of the Harry Potter series Severus Snape is a very important character – this recut takes only Severus’ story and puts his most important scenes into chronological order. It may seem whimsical but this makes Snape’s story seem so much sadder than it seemed when told as only a part of the bigger saga.
There is an amazing cut of Pulp Fiction which has the entire film put back into chronological order – unfortunately it looks like it’s been removed from YouTube but it’s worth doing a bit of a google to see if it’s out there somewhere. Something really interesting here is that you don’t need to pay anywhere near as much attention – much of Tarantino’s art as a storyteller has been removed as the interesting leaps are all gone. It feels weird to me – dumbed down without making any changes to the content, just how it’s ordered – but that makes it all the more worthy of a watch. [There’s also a chronological cut of the entirety of the Lost tv series – I’ve not watched it but I’ve heard that it totally wipes out the mystery!]
Star Wars VI:Return of the Jedi featured the epic space battle… but it was muddled up with the Ewok battle and also Han and Darth duelling it out – this video is all pew-pew, no Ewokese. If you’d asked me how long the space battle lasted in ROTJ I’d probably have said 2-3 mins, not the eight and a half that it actually has. Putting it all together totally changes my impression of the film and, in fact, puts the star wars back into Star Wars.
To finish off… there’s Marvel. The Marvel universe is truly massive and the film series is expanding at an insane rate to try to catch up. This summary is 13 minutes of awesome, really giving you the history of the Avengers and all the other characters. But there’s something else out there – all of the movies with all the segments recut into the correct order! I love the idea of this project so much. Needless to say there’s nowhere available for you to download this, you’re going to have to do the epic work yourself…
I’ve made it my tradition to look back over the year come December 31st and it seems to me that this year has been seriously busy and, as a result has flown by. As well as much great music, film and tv which I’ve mostly enjoyed alone (all below) as a family we’ve had great food, great holidays (Durham, Braehead, Norfolk, Hawick, Berwick, camping and Ardnamurchan), great gigs (God Help The Girl and Penguin Cafe), great day-trips (falconry, the Highland Show, the Kelpies and the wildlife park) and so many great Martha moments (the Nativity and the Ryder Cup photoshoot to name just two!). Ruth did the Moonwalk, made cakes for Cakes For Kids and joined a choir – all great to be involved in with her. We also fitted in a fab wedding (and Stag Doo), the Book Festival, Fringe and Festival Fireworks, I went to Rome with work and I brewed approximately once every month… what a crazy year!
Music – My Favourite Music From 2014
Aside from the Disney Princesses playlist, Nick Cope and the Frozen soundtrack here’s what I was listening to:
Nine Inch Nails – saw them again and listen to them loads at work
Foo Fighters – loving the new album and the documentary that went with it
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – Gone Girl awesomeness
Muse – loving the Live in Rome performance
Royal Blood – so much noise from a 2 piece!
Ленинград – some crazy Russian-ness
God Help The Girl – a real labour of love
King Creosote – From Scotland With Love is a pretty impressive album
Machine Head – the heavier end of my year’s listening
Chvrches – saw them… it was great
Films – My Favourite Films From 2014
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Safety Not Guaranteed
Guardians of the Galaxy
God Help the Girl
Where Eagles Dare
Films – My Least Favourite Films From 2014
Nothing could beat “Plan 9 From Outer Space” from last year… but I have seen several films that I gave less than 40% to
Bullet To The Head
Rock Of Ages
Now You See Me
TV – My Favourite TV From 2014
The Walking Dead
Agents Of Shield
Under The Dome
Game Of Thrones
House of Cards
Books – My Favourite Reads Of 2014
I’ve done even less reading than last year 🙁 but here are the highlights:
Gillian Flynn – Gone Girl
Neal Stephenson – Snow Crash
Tom Acitelli – The Audacity Of Hops
Dave Eggers – The Circle
Andrew Davidson – The Gargoyle
There are so many things that it would be awesome to achieve and I’m not so sure that resolutions help… instead I’m going to try to just keep aiming for awesome in everything that I do!
It’s become a bit of a tradition for me to round off the year with a post reminding myself of some of the good things in the year. Having a toddler makes life mega busy and we’ve some had some great days and holidays this year, including our roadtrip to France, a holiday with friends and various other little weekends away. The year has involved a birth, a wedding and lots of birthday parties – all very exciting in different ways. Blogging-wise I listened to every album on Kurt Cobain’s top 50 – an achievement of endurance I feel. I completed my 30 challenges before my 30th birthday – great fun. We’ve started a little Tuesday film club and we’ve watched some great films so far. I’ve also done quite a bit of brewing, learning loads in the process – I just need to drink them more quickly!
Music – My Favourite Music From 2013
My top 3 last year were Trent Reznor, Chvrches and Frightened Rabbit… and Last FM tells me that nothing has changed this year.
Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation Marks: Awesome album #1 (I’ve also continued to listen to Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Ghosts I-IV and Year Zero… and am seeing NIN live again next year)
Frightened Rabbit – Pedestrian Verse: Awesome album #2 (I’ve intentionally not listened to it too much so I don’t spoil it!)
Chvrches – The Bones Of What You Believe: Awesome album #3 (everything I’d hoped for and more)
Dum Dum Girls – End Of Daze: I don’t know why I love this EP so much but I really really really do!
SONOIO – RED: old music recently discovered
Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City: a really good album that easily blasts their older stuff out of the water… instant classic!
For Martha and Ruth’s birthday I planned a treasure hunt around Leith. It took a while to draw the images, make the QR codes, layout the text, plan the locations, get the stickers printed, bury the treasure and stick up the stickers… but it was well worth it! Here’s how it works:
Scan a QR code, get a picture map (for Ruth)
Get a photo of the location (for Martha)
Go to the location
Find the next sticker… and repeat
Follow the clues until you reach our friend’s garden…