Archive for July, 2008

Secret Garden Party 2008

OK, it’s probably against the ethos of the whole thing to write a blog entry about it, but I have to tell you that this is the best festival that I have ever been to (and that includes Glastonbury, Isle of Wight and Reading).  Words can’t really describe it – I was asked by some artsy 20 year old with a note pad to sum it up in three words – ‘it’s not possible’.  Sumptuous, magical, trippy, gorgeous, colourful, relaxed, crazy, unique…the list goes on.  Basically, it’s how I imagine Glastonbury was many years ago.  It’s all set on a farm estate in Cambridgeshire around a lake and it’s just the perfect size; big enough to walk around and never get bored, but small enough to be able to flit from bizarre shiesha lounge to absinthe tent, to ‘main’ stage (I err on the side of caution when using the word ‘main’ because it was deliciously small – we turned up at 8.30pm to see The Hoosiers play at 8.35pm and we in the very front.  Incidentally they were brilliant).  Hula hoop sections, folk tents, tea and scones served at 2am, dating agency laundromats, hammock areas and hurdling zebras – I loved every minute.



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A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson

I wish I’d found this book more interesting but I do like the way Bill writes.  Granted, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea (I can almost hear my Mum telling me that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.  I disagree – high level sarcasm, in my opinion, actually requires a great deal of thought and intelligence, but that’s a discussion for another time).

Anyway, back to the topic in hand.  When he was talking about the actual trekking – the people he met, the places he saw, the conversations he had etc. – I found it a very addictive read, but he does tend to go off on long, and often quite boring, tangents.  I do admit, however, that this may be my failing as I am not fascinated by the coal mining industry in Pennsylvania – but who actually is?  It is fair to say that he is very well informed and when he did go off on interesting rant (well, ones which I found interesting) I was fairly engrossed but I am simply in two minds whether or not to try another of his books (originally I read the one about Europe, but gave up when he spent about 12 hours in Switzerland and branded it crap.  It’s going to take a lot for me to overcome that remark.)

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Mamma Mia!

A musical?  With James Bond and Mr. Darcy?  Karen Blixen and Mrs Weasley singing Abba’s greatest hits on a Greek Island?  Yes – and it’s brilliant.

It took me the best part of half an hour to firmly establish that this was one, long piss-take (I realised that Meryl Streep rolling around on top of a goat-shed singing Mamma Mia through a trap door wasn’t entirely serious).  However, once I embraced it there was no stopping my enjoyment; Piers Brosnan wistfully singing SOS leaning in a kitchen doorway, Colin Firth dancing topless in the rain and Julie Walters enticing middle-aged gentlemen with renditions of Take a Chance on Me – priceless stuff.

If you hate musicals, don’t see it, but if you are prepared to put your serious hat to one side for a couple of hours you’ll probably get maximum enjoyment from a group of well known, aging actors camping it up and blatantly having the time of their lives – I wish I had been on set for this baby!

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I have to say that I quite enjoyed this film.  It’s not that I thought I wouldn’t – I knew that by chosing to see a Will Smith film we were probably in for a safe bet, but I was surprised by how much I liked it.  Here are the reasons why:

  • It wasn’t too long – I get fidgety in films over two hours
  • It was about a good-guy PR man, it’s not often that you see public relations portrayed as a good thing in films nowadays
  • Will Smith and Jason Bateman were excellent (and, gentlemen, Charlize Theron was appropriately hot)
  • It was an ideal mix of funny, touching and interesting, without taking itself too seriously.  And it had a good twist.

A pergect post-Wagamama, mid week (aka Orange Wednesday) film.

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