Tag Archives: Sci-fi

There are no strings……on me

The title of this blog is there for no other reason than that one line in the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer still has me excited. Although this entry into the blogsphere will no doubt have some Marvel information in it. As I write that, it sort of gives away my way of writing blogs. I come in to them with no clear idea of what I’m going to write. Some of them are outlined before I sit down while most of the are just whatever tangent my mind decides to take me on….

I purchased a new book last week, well there were a few books, but the one that I’ve started reading is called “The Girl With All The Gifts” by M.R Carey. I recommend it to anyone reading this and while it’s hard to actually say what it’s about without giving away spoilers, I will say that it has me hooked with the twist near the start.

I also reread “The Dark Knight Returns” comic by Frank Miller a few days ago. While most people know it as the best Batman comic that there is, I often fear that it hinges on becoming idolised too much. However every single time that I read it, I realise that it really is the best one and the only one (in my opinion) that comes close is ‘The Killing Joke’ One Shot by Alan Moore.

DC are trying hard to make an impact on the live action scene. ‘The Flash’ is fantastic, I’ve been watching it for the past few weeks and it’s so different from ‘Arrow’ but it still has the same gravitas. ‘Arrow’ has really hit the ground running in season 3. The end of episode one really set the course for this season and episode two was a bit of an emotional roller-coaster. ‘Gotham’ needs some work in my opinion. I like it but it just doesn’t yet seem to be consistent from week to week with its quality. The portrayal of James Gordon is fine but it feels like it could have a bit more to it. The James Gordon that I’ve always been familiar with was a layered individual but this version just doesn’t seem to have anything other than what you see on the outside.

Of course there is also DC’s line up of movies to come. ‘Dawn of Justice’ is still a year and a half away from release, something which still baffles me. I really thought that DC would want to capitalise on the boom in comic book movies sooner rather than later. It looks to me like Dawn of Justice will be in preproduction for almost two years which I just don’t understand.

Marvel however are still knocking it out of the park with movies. Yesterday saw the press event and the announcement of ‘Phase Three’ in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The line up is a fantastic one and is as follows;

2015:
May 1: The Avengers: Age of Ultron
July 17: Ant-Man

2016:
May 6: Captain America 3: Civil War
November 4: Doctor Strange

2017:
May 5: Guardians of the Galaxy 2
July 28: Thor: Ragnarok
November 3: Black Panther

2018:
May 4: The Avengers: Infinity War, Part One
July 6: Captain Marvel
November 2: Inhumans

2019:
May 3: The Avengers: Infinity War, Part Two

I’m not going to lie, I lost my shit when the ‘InHumans’ announcement came. I was sat in front of my computer, watching the live newsfeed on Marvels website and when that announcement came I jumped with a cheer.

Chadwick Boseman being announced as the Black Panther is also a very interesting choice. I look forward to seeing him in the role.

Something else that caught my eye this week was Ewan McGregor and his comments about Star Wars fans…

“The people I meet are the f**kers who want me to sign Star Wars photos so they can sell them on the Internet or the people at premieres who are crushing children against barriers to get me to sign their f**king picture of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

“They’re not fans—they’re parasitical lowlifes and f**king w*nkers

I’m not entirely sure if I see his point or not, of course I’ve never been a celebrity so I can’t see things from their point of view. I do however agree that there are some fans, no matter what they’re a fan of, who take things too far and have no respect for anything or anyone.

One final thing, which I shall leave here for you to watch is the exclusive scene released last night for ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’, it is attached to the start of the trailer in this clip and it just feels so big and epic.

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The ramblings of a sober man

When we’re born into this life it’s a completely different world than the one we leave behind. Ultimately whether we realise it or not the world is changing rapidly every day. I see technology advance so quickly that it’s scary at some points, I watch beautiful pieces of land disappear under masses of concrete and glass and I see a human race who mostly don’t care.

I am by no means an environmentalist, I’m not a member of organisation that sets out to change the world. I am in fact a guy who mainly sits at home, reads comics, watches sci-fi and occasionally steps outside into the vast space that is planet earth. I don’t go all out to make a difference in the world and I don’t think any more or any less of people who do.

Over the years I’ve watched on countless occasions as wars and corporations and industrial effects have savaged lands and pushed the beauty of the landscape to the side. I often think to myself that I was born out of time, that I was never meant to be alive in this day and age and that my mentality would be better suited to the start of the last century. I look at images of streets with horses and carts, where everyone seemed genuinely happy to be there and where men, women and children would pass each other in the street and make eye contact instead of updating their Facebook with “Walking down street, saw minger picking nose, ewww lol”

Truthfully, I think the world we live in has gone to shit and that’s not a naive opinion. This is not my attempt at slating governments or corporations or the people behind technology. I can’t say anything about technology because frankly I would be a hypocrite seeing as I’m currently using a popular piece of machinery to type this very blog entry.

The financial status of the planet is enough for me to sit here and write and write and write about and I could also do the exact same for the crime rates around the globe. I could sit here and tell you that I think within a hundred years we will be run by a totalitarian government and our right to free will completely revoked. I could sit here and tell you that society today has made life virtually impossible for the people down below and that it is causing so many issues that the hierarchy of the world appear to be blind to………..I could tell you all of that but I won’t.

We’re born, we live, we die. That’s the general rule of life and whether we like to admit or not, our existence is pretty meaningless. What are we supposed to do with life? I say we’re supposed to fill it, fill it with joy and hope and love and every other emotion. Fill it with what we enjoy, what we want to do. I say we take life and ride it from start to end and make sure it’s the best journey imaginable. That’s what I say, but sometimes that’s not always possible. Frankly, this day and age make it so hard to truly enjoy it. For me I think I would be walking around in the Victorian times right now, on my way to some rendition of Sherlock Holmes with William Gillette or something along those lines.

I’m not a man of any faith, I don’t know what’s waiting for us all on the other side but I know that we’re supposed to enjoy what we have here. I’m planning on trying my damnedest to do exactly that, whether that involves indulging my mind in 16th, 17th and 18th century literature or reading the latest 2000 AD issue, whether it’s watching Charlie Chaplin classics or the latest episode of Doctor Who, whether it’s taking a stroll up the hills and mountains or the scenic route to the supermarket I think it’s important that we make the most of the life we’ve been given.

I know that this isn’t my normal type of posting but sometimes it’s good to get away from the norm, sometimes in life something will shake you to your core and bring on some sort of epiphany and that’s exactly what’s happened to me. Of all the great writers of history at my disposal, I remembered a sentence that just clicked with me, it wasn’t from Twain or Shakespeare or anyone like that, it was from a TV show.

 

“The hardest thing in this world, is to live in it”

Back to Normal

It’s time to take this blog back to some normality. The referendum for Scottish Independence is now over and I realise that my last few posts were all about that. For Scotland and myself, the fight continues but for this blog, it’s time to move on.

This is the time of year that every television fan gets excited about, it’s the new TV season. Old shows return and new ones make their presence felt in an attempt to make an impact. For me, having a subscription to USTVnow is such a relief, it means that even though I start having really late nights, I also get to stream the shows as they air across the pond.

Every year I have my calendar set up, each show is anticipated greatly and I love sitting down with a cup of tea to watch them. This year there’s a notable absence of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ ‘The Tomorrow People’  and ‘Dexter’ which makes me sad. It feels like over the past few years I’ve lost so many great shows from my planner and so far not many new shows have lived up to them. While there are other shows which gradually over time I’ve just lost interest in i.e. ‘Two and a Half Men’ and ‘The Big Bang Theory’

I will get around to start posting on the shows which I’m enjoying. As time goes on I’m sure opinions will change and shows will get dropped from the planner.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D deserves a quick mention here, mainly because something has perplexed and shocked me. (SPOILERS BELOW)

Why kill off Lucy Lawless in her first episode? Was this supposed to set the stage for the rest of season and make the audience realise that nobody is safe? Or was it simply a bit of stunt casting?

I have to say that I was so happy to see The Absorbing Man added to AoS. It’s about time that the show had a real villain, hopefully they make the most out of him and this years season is a great ride to be on.

Also a quick mention to ‘Gotham’, I surely can’t be the only person who felt that there was no need to rehash the Waynes death yet again? I will get around to writing up a full review but I need to watch it again because after seeing that alleyway scene played out for the 100th time, all I could think about was how fed up I was of seeing it.

Forever

Put something on television with a Sherlock Holmes vibe and the chances are that it will catch my eye. The male anti-hero concept is one that has been used quite often in recent years and while it runs the risk of becoming too commonplace it can also make for compelling viewing if presented properly.

At this time of year, I always find myself perusing the pilot episodes for new shows. Across the pond in America, they seem to have a much better grasp on what entertaining television is and so with the exception of Doctor Who, most of what I watch is American (so grateful for my subscription to USTVnow) . One pilot that really caught my eye this year is “Forever”.

It follows Dr. Henry Morgan (played by Ioan Gruffudd) a highly skilled and extremely intelligent medical examiner who just also happens to be immortal. He dies of course, but he has died a lot of times over the years. It just so happens that every time he dies, he emerges inexplicably and naked from a nearby body of water.

“Forever” isn’t original in the slightest. The way in which Dr Morgan rattles off his observations and deductions is of course very much like Sherlock Holmes. The way the flashbacks are used to show the life of this immortal being is somewhat reminiscent of “Angel”, the hinted season long story arc plays out like any other mystery show and dying and coming back to life instantly reminds me of Captain Jack Harkness. It’s unoriginal but it’s entertaining and captivating.

Alana De La Garza as homicide detective Jo Martinez is a great choice. De La Garza has been on my radar since she was in an episode of Smallville around ten years ago. She’s a seriously underused talent and it’s great to see her get a substantial role in a show which actually interests me. I’m not interested in Law and Order or CSI so I never really caught her work in either of those.

To top it off, we have Jeff Goldblums father from Independence Day Judd Hirsch portraying Abe. The adopted son of Dr Morgan. The scene in which Morgan and Abe are brought together actually intrigued me and I really hope that we see more of that relationship through flashbacks.

The one problem that the show faces is trying to find new and inventive ways to kill off its lead character. For me, Jack Harkness’ deaths were becoming dull after a while. I think that when you have to do it so often it becomes hard to keep it fresh. We’ve already seen Morgan die in a subway crash and by falling off of a roof. Two rather dramatic deaths in my opinion, so how do they keep them as dramatic and interesting through the rest of the series?

All in all, Forever is definitely worth watching. What it lacks in originality it makes up for in entertainment. I do however get the feeling that it won’t attract enough viewers. I hope I’m wrong but if it does get cancelled then I hope that we at least find out the mystery of the man on the phone beforehand.

 

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Do you ever look in the mirror and think, I’ve seen that face before?

Where do you start with “Deep Breath“? That’s the question isn’t it? The début of Mr Peter Capaldi as the famous Time Lord finally hit our screens on Saturday. Of course, for many out there the episode was already available thanks to Marcelo Camargo and his lackadaisical approach to keeping his copies of the episodes safe.

With a new Doctor comes a mix of emotions, ranging from excitement to  trepidation and sometimes even denial (fangirls and David Tennant/Matt Smith anyone?)
The main thing that always swirls around my head however is just happiness that the show is back. Aside from the 9 years between the Eighth Doctor and the Ninth Doctor, eight months is the longest we’ve had to endure a Doctor Who free television while waiting for the new Doctor to hit our screens since the show returned (unless of course your head canon counts Rowan Atkinson as the real Ninth Doctor).

When the episode started I’m sure that many people around the globe inhaled for the titular “Deep Breath”. With Capaldi’s first appearance in the episode I’m sure many people, as I did, exhaled with joy upon realising that The Doctor was here.

Without spoiling the episode for those who haven’t yet seen it (Why the hell have you not?) there are a few things I want to commend.

First of all there’s the seriousness that instantly comes from Capaldi. Even when he’s inserting the humourous tones he still exudes a serious vibe, of course that was expected.

Secondly there is the dynamic between Clara and The Doctor. Whilst I had no doubt about how well they would work together, there were doubts thrown about by others. Especially after the fantastic chemistry that Jenna and Matt had previously. For me, the restaurant scene with Capaldi and Jenna was the perfect example of how well these two will work together this season. I did feel a very strong “Four and Sarah Jane” vibe from them at certain points throughout the episode.

Thirdly, the man on the phone. It’s such an obvious thing to do to bridge the two regenerations but why it has never been done before now is the question. While it does sort of spoon feed the audience that “this is the same man” it was a wonderfully written scene.

Another side note is that it was great to see the husband of the late great Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith) on screen in Doctor Who once more. For those of who missed it, Brain Miller portrayed the tramp that the Twelfth Doctor had a rather wonderful interaction with.

There is one thing that I’m not too sure on however and that’s the new title sequence and theme song. It’s too early to tell whether or not it’ll grow on me because I’ve always been the same with new arrangements of the theme. This version of the theme reminded me of the McCoy era, I wasn’t too keen on that version either so perhaps that’s why I don’t like this one.

The main thing is that Doctor Who has returned. After 241 days of waiting we have the new Doctor firmly on our screens. Roll on next week with the Daleks.

One Less Gruff Billy Goat

The idea of fairy tales is one full of intrigue and mystique, almost all of us will have read a fairy tale at some point in our lives and without question every one of us knows of a fairy tale character. With the smallest amount of legerdemain the entire premise of a story can change, heroes can be either unlikely children or charming princes, villains can be witches or trolls. The possibilities within fairy tales are endless and the message is always one of hope.

The very first fairy tale that I can remember from my childhood was ‘Three Billy Goats Gruff’. The premise is that three goats, discovering that where they live no longer has any grass for them to eat, set out to find new pastures so that they can become fat. However, their journey must take them across the river, where dwells a troll under a bridge. The first goat passes over the bridge but gets stopped by the troll who threatens to “gobble him up” (gobble him up is one of those lines that makes me laugh for no apparent reason) however the goat persuades the troll to wait for the second goat because he’s bigger and more of a meal so the troll lets him pass. The second goat comes along and the same thing happens as before and so then the third goat enters. I’ll stop it there, because I think that most people know how ‘Three Billy Goats Gruff’ ends, if you don’t then go and Google it.

Of course all fairy tales end with the standard “happily ever after” although recently I read “Arabian Nights” which is a collection of Asian fairy tales and they end with “they all lived happily until there came to them the One Who Destroys All Happiness” which I found odd yet poetic. ‘The One Who Destroys All Happiness’ meaning Death, the Grim Reaper as he’s also known. I was slightly taken aback at first, here were some fairy tales full of hope and suddenly they were cementing the fact that nobody lives “happily ever after” because death catches up to everyone.

The very first fairy tales are attributed to Aesop who lived in Ancient Greece around 620–564 BCE (slightly before our time I imagine). The power of fairy tales is so strong and so resilient that over two thousand years later some of Aesop’s’ tales are still being told to this day. I’m sure you will have heard of at least one of them, the main one that I can think of right now is ‘The Tortoise and the Hare’. That story became so popular that two hundred years after it was written it became one of Zeno’s paradoxes (Google them, extremely interesting and thought provoking, the Arrow paradox is my personal favourite)

The Brothers Grimm famously wrote some of the most celebrated fairy tales in our history. Two German brothers, who were academics and even lexicographers, crafted some of the worlds greatest imaginary and magical characters. Although The Brothers Grimm did centralise their fairy tales on more darker hues they still resonated through the years with so many different people, even psychologist who felt the need to analyse them.

The fairy tale is an escape from reality, like most forms of entertainment. I do believe however that fairy tales give more power to the reader and open the imagination slightly more than any other form of literature and I’m saying that as an avid science-fiction fanatic. Whether it’s something written by Alexander Afanasyev or Hans Christian Andersen, fairy tales have the power to take you to a place where good almost always wins. The fairy tale is a door to the unknown world of endless possibilities where life feels good, Walt Disney realised that and that’s why he cashed in on so many popular fairy tales.

Nowadays people don’t write fairy tales, it’s somewhat a thing of the past which saddens me. My Dad used to make up fairy tales for me each night and they always made me so happy. They were tales of a young boy called Billy who lived in a house with a green roof. Billy went swimming with sharks and had magic powers, he loved ice cream and was my hero. My Dad doesn’t remember how any of those stories went and I was too young to retain the proper memories of them which is a crying shame because I would love to remember them in full.

The power of fairy tales will live on because they should live on. Albert Einstein once famously said “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” Can anyone really disprove that? Fairy tales are more than just true and not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten. Every fairy tale has meaning and every single one is based on the same idea, the idea that peace and happiness can exist no matter what stands in your way.

“In a utilitarian age, of all other times, it is a matter of grave importance that fairy tales should be respected.”Charles Dickens

Back to business…

For just over a month this blog has sat in silence, not a peep, not a hint of anything new. There are a number of reasons for this, the main one being that in my mind I am either in one of two moods. The first one is where I have too much to say and so could write for days on end, compiling novels from my thoughts. The seconds is where I have nothing that I deem interesting to say, no matter how hard I try to string words together they just aren’t interesting enough to write. For the first two weeks of this blog being quiet, I was in the latter mood. I could not think of anything worth writing, and as much as that is one of my two moods, it’s a very rare occurrence. I never find myself struggling to write or indeed come up with ideas for something to write. I have however returned to write down the inner workings of my mind, for you to read, whether you find it enjoyable or not is a different matter.

With Doctor Who off of our television screens, I often find myself at a loss of what to watch. I have my usual light viewing shows such as Arrow, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (which is a new addition) and The Walking Dead. I do find myself lacking that “addictive” viewing that I get during the series’ of Doctor Who, that is until January comes around and the road to Wrestlemania begins. I suppose that my childhood obsession with wrestling will always be with me, I figured that if I reached 25 and was still interested in it then it would be a lifelong thing. I’m well past 25 now and it still excites me, especially between January and April when Wrestlemania rolls around.

Last night I watched “Insane Fight Club” which followed the Glasgow wrestling promotion “Insane Championship Wrestling”. I’ve not been to an ICW show in just over a year and it pains me that I haven’t been but something always comes up and I can’t make it. However last nights show proved what I’ve been saying for years ICW are on their way to the top.

I read yesterday that Kevin Smith is to return to writing comics, this time for a Batman meets Green Hornet 12 issue run. For me, two of my favourite comic book story arcs have been written by Kevin Smith – the Daredevil arc “Guardian Devil” and the Batman limited arc “Cacophony” so hearing that he’s returning to write another arc is exciting.

Speaking of Kevin Smith, today the Jay and Silent Bob UK Tour was announced. I have to say that I’m extremely disappointed that Scotland isn’t on the tour. It’s something that happens regularly with touring acts, they announce a UK tour but leave Scotland out. It gets frustrating after a while and eventually it will get to the point where I stop caring.

This years seems to be passing by far too fast, something that isn’t new. Every year passes fast but as year arrives they seem to disappear quicker than the one previous. It reached a point the other day where I started looking back at previous years and thinking to myself “that was 16 years ago” or “that was 20 years ago, it only feels like 2 years”. It’s scary how quickly time passes, soon it will be gone and I’ll be a decrepit old man roaming around the streets talking to myself about the days when Ipods and Ipads were popular.

On a final note, as most people will know I’m not the mst patient when it comes to waiting for American shows to air over here (I can’t even wait 19 hours for the Walking Dead) so it should come as no surprise that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is always on my Wednesday morning “to do” list. This weeks S.H.I.E.L.D was an excellent episode. I love anything with Asgardians, the trouble these days is that with the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe I was worrying that Thor would be the only one to get any sort of exposure and so it was great to see Lady Sif and Lorelei this week. Lorelei has always fascinated me as a character and seeing her brought to life was brilliant.

The end is nigh.

So…….

For the past few months I have been writing (a number of things actually) and I’ve kept pretty quiet about them. Only a few select people know about them, purely because I couldn’t be fucked with the pressure.

I promised myself years ago that at some point in my life I would write a book.

My first attempt came around 6 years ago when I tried to write a book called “Death of the Butterflies” Which was a time travel concept set in a future dystopia. I scrapped that idea when I didn’t know what I was doing……….May I add that years later, a television show called Continuum came along with pretty much the story in my head!

Then over time I tried many others. I just never had the time nor patience to put them down into words and so it was always pushed to the back.

A few months ago I was talking to a very wise person who told me “write what you know” and being the narcissistic prick that I am, I decided to start detailing my fucked up and crazy path in life, intertwined with some serious intellectual musings.

I’ve now almost finished all those words and after speaking to a few people who actually know about these things and who have read a few segments, I can now say that within the next four weeks I will release my first book.

“The Life and Times of a Mad Scotsman (without a box)”

A complete diary of some of the crazy shit that’s happened to me.

Taking that advice was some of the best advice that I have ever taken because about 6 weeks into writing it I realised that when I sat down and actually wanted to, I could write for hours on end. So, with that in mind, I started on a little side project. I started fleshing out some ideas and writing what will become my first actual novel.

“Smoke and Mirrors”

A tale of bio-chemist who’s life has been manipulated around him with the sole purpose of thermoforming a populated planet. This one, should hopefully be completed within six to seven months.

After chatting to the lovely people at Amazon, they gave me a package which suited my needs (and quite frankly cost me fuck all) to get self published.

Anyway, the point is that months and months of hard ass work is coming to a head very soon.

The Social Media Machine!

My mornings are fairly routine, the only real variable is what I ingest for breakfast. To start with I wake up (I’m sure most of you are familiar with doing that) and then I’ll have a bath while I scroll through the mornings news. Eventually I’ll drag myself out of the bath and make breakfast and a cup of Earl Grey before sitting down to start typing away. Occasionally I’ll head over to Twitter and see what’s happening, which normally is not a lot.

This morning something in the “Trend” section caught my eye. This morning, trending throughout the UK was #tired.

At first glance I thought perhaps we were in the clutches of some strange Science Fiction plot come to life. Beings from another universe had come and made this island and its inhabitants full of fatigue. I can just imagine it now, the entire country is struggling to move while somewhere Richard Burtons voice is echoing out;

“And so it came to pass that fatigue set in across the land. Yet at the same time no one would have believed, in the last hours of early morning that British affairs were being watched from the timeless worlds of space. Few men even considered the possibility of being awake for the rest of the day and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this island as idiots, and slowly and surely, they drew their plans against us.”

Then I realised that it’s simply another case of the “Social Media Revolution” where every emotion, action and personal issue is shared for all the world to see. A Wednesday morning, day three of the working week, students aghast at the thought of attending school for the third day in a row, surely they will all be physically and emotionally tired.

I’ve never understood our need to share everything with the world. 15 years ago the thought of telling the world that you had a spot on your gooch was a horrible idea (it still is might I add) but society today seems to find it morally acceptable.

Don’t get me wrong, I myself have been guilty in the past. I have shared things that I shouldn’t have although nine times out of ten I realise almost immediately that I have been sucked in to the false security of social media and quickly delete my post. The problem is, once something is on the internet it’s out there for good. Sites such as archive.org keep records of almost every web page on a regular basis, available for anyone to see.

Some people are in denial but it is quite apparent that social media is taking control over the way we do things. Even certain types of cheese have their own Twitter and Facebook accounts. It’s quite frankly ridiculous.

Now before you close down this page, take a look to the right hand side and find my Twitter box. Make sure you press follow, we wouldn’t want you missing out the next time I get piles would we?

Crying Warriors

The turkeys have been picked to the bones, the oven is resting after working overtime and in a weeks time most if not all the decorations will be hidden away for another 12 months. Yes another Christmas has come and gone, the madness has subsided as now everyone looks forward to New Years.

As I’ve said before, I don’t celebrate Christmas. I go for the family dinner and I respect my family for what they believe in. This year was no different in that respect, except that this year it was a calm and peaceful experience. My eldest sister spent her first Christmas at home with my nieces and nephew and so my parents house was unusually quite. As much as I don’t celebrate Christmas, it goes without saying that Christmas without noisy children and hoards of wrapping paper just doesn’t feel quite the same.

Of course Christmas brought the final outing for Matt Smiths 11th Doctor. As a Doctor Who fanatic since I was able to open my eyes I’ve grown used to the regeneration process but this one hit me a little bit harder. Patrick Troughton was always the Doctor that I rated as number one but Matt Smith stole that position gracefully. I’ve never had to say goodbye to MY Doctor before and it was rather difficult. I do however look forward to Peter Capaldi, a tremendous actor and fellow Scotsman, doing his magic with the part.

I’ve been writing a lot recently, though not on here. I’ve been on an uninterrupted concept fodder with my book and it’s coming along nicely. My biggest challenge at the moment is just trying to keep each chapter interesting whilst still retaining a sizeable novel. I had to do a rewrite of the first few chapters after realising that another character could add another dimension, which although I’m pleased about, was frustrating having to adapt everything to fit in this new character. Hopefully it all works nicely though. Bouncing two characters off of each other is fun, especially when one isn’t quite as cognizant as you’re led to believe. I keep my fingers crossed that the start of 2014 will allow me to finish writing it and start getting feedback on it.

On another note, if anyone hasn’t yet watched “The Desolation of Smaug” then I would suggest doing it at the cinema relatively soon. I think there’s two types of movies – those that you can wait to watch on DVD and those that you NEED to watch on the big screen. Desolation of Smaug is definitely one that you need to watch on the big screen. The cinematography is magnificent and without giving too much away, a river and some barrels for me make one of the best scenes I’ve viewed in years.  Not to mention that Smaug himself is extremely impressive and Benedict Cumberbatch really shows his adaptability at voice work.

Speaking of the Cumberbatch, Sherlock returns on New Years Day and after two years we shall finally find out how our favourite consulting detective survived that fall.

It has been a busy time of year, the annual chaos. For some it’s a time of great happiness and joy, a large dinner and exchanging gifts. Every year I get reminded how lucky I am to have a family who I can go to on Christmas Day, this year was no exception. Every year however I am also reminded that there are those out there who aren’t so lucky, who woke up on Christmas under a box or in a shop doorway. I also realise that this happens to them everyday of the year. Spare a thought for the ones that matter…..