Millie

Jen and I are looking after Stense's dog, Millie, for a couple of months. She's been with us for a week so far, and I've been sending Stense daily photos of her pooch to reassure her that I haven't been doing anything characteristically irresponsible, such as feeding Millie the rest of Daisy-May.

Anyway, yesterday I decided to send Stense a video update, to show her how Millie's getting on. And as a new video constitutes new content, I thought maybe I should post it here too:

Lynch mob

Guardian: Mulholland Drive leads the pack in list of 21st century's top films
BBC Culture poll of 177 film critics around the world puts David Lynch’s 2001 surrealist masterpiece in top spot.
Mulholland Drive

What planet do these so-called film critics live on?

Does Captain America: the Winter Soldier make their Top 100? Does it bollocks! How about Avengers Assemble? Take a wild guess. Any sign of the Jason Bourne films? Enjoy your egg whites.

Jen and I bought Mulholland Drive when it first came out on DVD. We bought it mainly because film critics kept describing it as a masterpiece. We watched it once, then filed it on the Crap shelf next to Moulin Rouge and Mission Impossible 2.

To be honest, I don't remember much about the film—apart from thinking it was incomprehensible crap. There was some woman who thought/pretended/wished she was some other woman. And I think she and the other woman then swapped identities (or something like that). And there was a scene in a diner, I think (or perhaps I'm thinking of Pulp Fiction). And there was (very, very briefly) a totally unconvincing monster. And there was a scene where two pretty ladies kissed each other in a restaurant for no readily apparent reason (see above). In fact, I distinctly remember that bit because: a) it was the only good bit in the film; and b) the photograph of the two pretty ladies kissing each other is the only still you ever see from Mulholland Drive.

OK, so, admittedly, every year or so, I tentatively suggest to Jen that maybe we should give Mulholland Drive a second chance. It's supposed to be a sodding masterpiece, so maybe the problem was with us. We then mull my suggestion over for a couple of seconds before agreeing naaaaah! and reaching for Master and Commander: the Far Side of the World (a genuine masterpiece, by the way).

I mean, if you want to watch an art-house movie with two pretty ladies kissing each other, watch Carol: that's a bloody wonderful film.

I haven't asked her, but I'm pretty sure Stense will disagree with me fundamentally on the subject of Mulholland Drive. She tends to understand and appreciate arty-farty films; I'm just a simple country boy living in Hebden Bridge.

So, what do you chaps reckon? Do you think I should give Mulholland Drive another go? Or would I be better off sticking with Skyfall?

Stense's chameleon joke

Today marks the 25th anniversary of my friendship with Stense. To celebrate, here's a joke she emailed me last week:

Did you hear about the chameleon who couldn't change colour? He had a reptile dysfunction.

I think my fondness for crap jokes has finally begun to rub off.

Incidentally, it's a little-known fact that Stense has a passion for amphibians and reptiles. Indeed, the study of amphibians and reptiles is her pet -ology.

(Do you see what I did, there?)

Spirifer hawkinsii

Compare and contrast:

Brachiopod fossils illustration

An illustration of a pair of Spirifer hawkinsii brachiopod fossils collected by Charles Darwin in the Falkland Islands during the Beagle voyage on 22nd March, 1833.



Stense holding brachiopods

A pair of Spirifer hawkinsii brachiopod fossils being held by Stense at the Natural History Museum in London last week.

Full story on the Friends of Charles Darwin website.

(Thanks, Stense!)

The wait is over

From an email to Stense, 25-May-2012:

Talking of films, have you heard that Transformers 4: Rise of Galvatron is due out in June, 2014? Frankly, I can't wait. Don't get me wrong, I am not in the least bit interested in shite films about giant, shape-shifting robots, whose sole purpose in their non-existent lives is to sell gazillions of shape-shifting robot toys. […] But I need this shite Transformers film to come out (and to go to DVD) as soon as possible, so that I can publish my latest heart-wrenching poem about human relationships. Fancy a sneak preview?

Transformer

A Transformer yesterday.

Well, the good news is that, since I wrote my email to Stense, the powers that be in the cinematic world have decided that Transformers 4: Rise of Galvatron was a pretty rubbish name for a film, so they re-named it Transformers: Age of Extinction—which, I'm sure we all agree is a vast improvement.

But the really, really great news news is that the wait is finally over: Transformers: Age of Extinction is released on DVD and Blu-ray today (Amazon uk|.com).

Which means I can now finally publish my latest heart-wrenching poem about human relationships.

The Paparazzo Game redux

I decided to challenge Stense to a round of the Paparazzo Game on Monday. As you might remember, this involves me trying to take paparazzi-type photos of Stense, while Stense tries to avoid being photographed.

This time, I was sneaky. This time, like a true paparazzo, I lay in wait.

I'd had a tip-off that Stense would be taking the south-bound exit at junction 37 of the M6 at 10:00. So I hid out on a hillside overlooking the junction with my telephoto lens at the ready. Stense was being sneaky: she arrived eight seconds early. But I was ready for her:

Stense leaving J37 of the M6 at 09:59:52 on Monday.

Later, being even more sneaky than Stense, I managed to take a photo of the two of us together, without her even realising it. I used my special fish-eye dog-eye lens:

Stense and me in her dog's eye.

OK, I guess you win this round, Stense. But there's always next time. You have been warned!

‘Oh yeah!’

Happy Yorkshire Day, everyone!

By a spooky (well, 1-in-365) coincidence, today is also officially the 23rd anniversary of my friendship with Stense. To celebrate, I've just looked up what song was number one in the charts 23 years ago today—our song, so to speak. Turns out it's something of a classic:

Happy anniversary, mate!

(You'll be humming that shite all day, mark my words.)