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Category Archives: DVDs

My nephews are visiting regularly for weekends these days.  Although I do have a fairly eclectic DVD library, I had been recently buying DVDs specifically for the boys. Dora the Explorer. NumberJacks. The Magic School Bus.  We watch these together and then I pull up supplementary information on the Net after each episode and we chat about it all.

Needless to say I’ve been horribly accused by the boys’ parents and grandma of ONLY buying them educational materials. Personally I failed to see to see the problem seeing as I am the only on who is.  However today, I have rectified this issue.  For today I have ordered the box set of Bananaman!


Next on the list will probably be SuperTed and The Trap Door 🙂

Minuscule. If you haven’t seen these little five-minute short animated movies yet, you are missing out. There is no real dialogue in that there is no spoken language. Yet there are chirrups, eye movements and body expressions to anthropomorphize these little guys just enough for the humour or pathos of each episode to do its job superbly.

These are quiet episodes. You have to watch to see the humour build-up, it won’t scream from the screen at you. You start being introduced to the main characters and as the DVD progressed we found ourselves looking forward to how these would interact, knowing what we did of their personalities and reactions. With no language, there’s no profanity, no rude gesturing, although I can well substitute some juicy dialogue on some occasions.  The tone of each episode could range from sentimental to justice to coming of age to slice of life. I found the gentleness of these refreshing compared to my usual MA15+ fare.

We started seeing these on Free-to-air TV last year, when our national broadcaster would show an episode at random just before the 7pm news. However, over half of the episodes on Disc One were new to us.

To give you a taste of what they are like, here is Disc One, Episode One I found on You Tube.  I’m off to reserve Disc Two from my local library and to see if I can buy all four discs.  The humour is timeless and I’d be happy to show these to my nephews.

We’ve thoroughly enjoyed season one and just started on season two.  These shows are brilliant!  Apparently a remake of a 60s show but updated. I’ve not seen the 60s original but according to the reviews I’ve read this version is more of an homage than a remake.

The two title characters are played by Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer who apparently are a comedian duo. I haven’t seen any of their stuff except I do have vague memories of a Vic Reeves who sang that remake of Dizzy that I loved back in the 90s.  (I’ve probably just insulted comedy and music fans everywhere).

So, having established my general ignorance of anything possibly related to this series, I can waffle in my enthusiasm about the series itself.  It’s a weekly situational mystery with Geoff Randall and the ghost of Marty Hopkirk and Jeannie Hearst (Randall’s friend and Hopkirk’s fiancée) semi-competant private investigators.  Only Randall can see Hopkirk and Hopkirk has limited powers as a ghost.

It is played as a light mystery/comedy.  Think of this as the inspiration for shows such as Eureka and Warehouse 13.  The mystery is a genuine one, although easily solvable. The interactions between the main characters has a subtle arc over the season especially the friendship between Geoff and Jeannie (and Marty’s dealing with it).

However the main reason to watch this show is the guest stars each week. Most episodes included Tom Baker as a Georgian aged ghost mentor. Season One Episode One had David Tennant playing a deliciously deranged psychopath.  Episode Two had Hugh Laurie as the head of a psychiatric asylum (ooh playing against type there!) Other episodes include Alexis Denisof with a wonderful American accent, Simon Pegg, Charles Dance, Mark Gatiss, Celia Imrie, Martin Clunes, David Walliams playing a straight clueless ghosthunter.

Many of the episodes were homages to different mystery styles, the film noir, the locked room, the quintessential ghost story, the celtic supernatural village …

If you are a fan of the light mystery/drama  sit-com crossover then you should give this one a go.

Personally we’re going to finish Season 2 now and then think about finding the 1960s original ….

Again with the stresses of work, the commute and internet mod duties I haven’t done any stitching at home this week.

I did however do quite a bit of stitching on the train – an extraordinary amount when you consider I cat nap on most trips.  Friday was the worst  I had to be woken when the train was pulling into my stop in the morning and I woke myself just as it was pulling into my stop Friday night. First time  I ever almost missed my stop on the way home. Even more extraordinary when there were monster children screaming in my carriage and I could hear drunks further down in other carriages.  I was just exhausted Friday.

The weirdest part was after I came home and started chatting on the email and then watching Eerie Indiana I stayed up until 1am !!!   Eerie Indiana is a kids show I watched nearly 15 years ago now.  You know those times when you are so sick that for nearly a week you just lie on the lounge and don’t move and nap and doze and eventually get up the energy to go and make another cup of tea?  I was home sick for one of those for about a week a while ago. Can’t even remember where or when.  Anyway this show came on and I really liked it.  Watched a couple of episodes over the week and then went back to work.

I’ve never found it since although I have looked and looked for it.  Finally found it (and at a reasonable price) at   last week.  It arrived Friday and I watch 4 of the 40min long episodes that night.  I love this show !!!  Pity they only made 19 episodes.

At the same time I also finally got myself a copy of the TV miniseries Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.  I have read at least three different novelisations of this and again have been looking for a copy of the original TV version.  I will watch this later – its one of those you have to concentrate a bit on ….

Oh and of course as soon as I rung Stephen to let him know my good news, I discovered he had obtained a copy himself the day before and was planning on lending it to me.  (The amount of times this happens between the two of us alternately amuses and terrifies me).

Anyway stitching.

All the cross stitching is now done. All that remains is the backstitching. I cannot backstitch over already stitched work on 16ct Aida on a train – so this one will go into the “wait till I get time at home pile”. Goodness knows when I will actually get to it – there is a fair amount of backstitching on this one and I haven’t stitched at home in weeks.


Something in Red.
Still don’t know what I’m going to do with Black Beauty – probably order a new skein of GAST Black Crow and start again. I *think* I have more of this Ivory linen. Its not good quality linen but I do want these two to match – so on the same exact piece of fabric would be good. This is again train stitching with just a wee bit on Friday night … No mistakes so far and I have finished the bottom half of the dress.

Red 22 June 2008

In other news, lots of chatting with my support network and dinner with my best friend last night has really cheered me up and lifted the malaise my emotion’s have been under over the last couple of weeks so I am back to being happy.

Now just to force myself to work through the blue on black problem on BoInk and to write a job application.  I detest writing job applications. I wasted all day yesterday because of the procrastination.  I didn’t want to write the application, but the guilt wouldn’t let me do anything else until the app was written so I cleaned house a little, bought unnecessary items for the dinner party etc etc until 5pm when I finally forced myself to sit down and start the blasted thing – whereupon I realised I need more information.  I need more info on the software packages the organisation uses and the layout of the hierarchy etc etc.  So I will talk to the official contact person for the job on Monday and I will also find out any goss from people at work.  The University Library sector is so small that surely someone knows someone who works there …

So today I am free from the guilt paralysation and I am determined (Oh I can’t used that word without thinking of the Gruen Transfer now!  One of our banks has adopted the new slogan “determined to be different”.  Wil Anderson asks “what would the bank say if I went in there and said yes I’m determined to pay of my mortgage”.)

Anyway I’m determined to make progress son BoInk today.  and watch a little more Eerie Indiana ….

Oh and finally – my backyard is “finished”.  I’ve uploaded pics into here.

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