me

Finally, OUTSIDE

After four months of going nowhere but the occasional field I have been to Bradgate Park in Leicester! Oh thank god. It’s so nice to BE OUT.

No-one else was wearing masks… apart from this elf we found in a tree on the way there.

I took a panorama with my phone once we got there. Surprisingly there are no deer in it (they are everywhere)

See, here’s one. This deer has an expression on his face I cannot read.

More deer.

Dave took most of the above photos (only numbers 2 and 6 are mine I think) and he also took these AMAZING ones of a white deer chilling in the ruins of Lady Jane Grey’s estate. There was a wall in the way but he STILL MANAGED IT!

The Romantic/gothy side of me likes to think, maybe that’s Lady Jane’s reincarnated spirit wandering around there.

Meanwhile I took a picture of an interesting wall.

Dave then got this amazing photo of a dragonfly which are very hard to photograph-

AND THEN! WE CLIMBED! ALL THE WAY UP to Old John.

It’s much harder to get to than it looks from here, trust me.

I took this photo halfway up:

It’s worth it for the views, if your legs can take it.

Here’s some pictures I took at the top!

Here’s a couple of slightly more imposing-looking ones I took with my phone.

And then just before we left suddenly a noisy peacock flew overhead! Sadly neither of us got any photos of it in flight, but I WAS able to get close enough to it to take this:

And that was I think everything, and oh my god my legs are killing me.

Vintage Disneyworld: 1999 edition

Hey remember all my posts of photos from when my family went to Disneyworld in 1996? Well we went in 1999 as well (I was a spoiled kid) and only recently have I uncovered photos from that. There’s not nearly as many (I figure the rest will show up eventually) and they’re pretty small images but, wanna see?

Animal Kingdom would have just opened at this point I think. It was about a year old when this photo was taken!

I imagine I was probably pretty fascinated by the dinosaurs scattered around Animal Kingdom. I seem to remember the movie Dinosaur was being advertised in the park a lot and there was at least one “Dinosaur” themed ride? Alas, I fear it didn’t stand the test of time.

On the cable cars again! Those things must’ve been popular. So I guess the body of water on the right is the submarine lake with the submarines long gone.

Tomorrowland as viewed from the cable cars. I remember the racing car ride there but couldn’t say with any certainity what it was called.

The castle, presumably also viewed from the cable cars since there’s no crowds getting in the way.

Space Mountain, ditto. Is now a good time to point out I find the Disneyworld Space Mountain design so terribly dull? Feast your eyes instead on the Disneyland Paris one. It’s a WORK OF ART.

Oh but this is Spectromagic and that was also a work of art!

Right here is a blurry dolphin and my 13-year-old self wrote on the photo that this was at Epcot, they had dolphins at Epcot? Oh wait they did! And still do! I also gather animal rights activists aren’t happy about it and well, fair enough.

Elsewhere in Epcot, who’s this guy? This would have been at Innoventions, which was closed for good and reduced to rubble just last year, aww man. Oh here’s a video of him! I think his name is Starnac. Wonder where he is now.

Ah here is The Electric Umbrella! That name stuck in my mind for ages for some reason.

This is IllumiNations which took place over the Epcot lake! Also hooray, 90s cameras had evolved to be able to take pictures of fireworks at that point.

Minnie Mouse! Oh my GOD you can see my training bra under my shirt in this picture.

An AT-AT! That must be the building Star Tours was in?

Curiously the only Disneyworld ’99 snaps I do have in high definition are ones from Typhoon Lagoon. Here’s the Typhoon Lagoon boat!

In fact WAIT I have a picture of that boat from ’96 as well! So here’s the two side-by-side.

And that’s about it! (I really hope I find the rest some day though.)

Lockdown

Sigh. This is an awful situation. (And one you most likely already know about if you’ve been reading the news.)

I’m lucky, insanely lucky, because I live just outside of the lockdown zone. I found that out today. I can’t go visit people or go to the city center or visit the next town over, but I’m in an area that has so far had zero deaths.

The mood on Facebook and the other social media hangouts for Leicesterians is a very, very subdued one. Also, because Leicester is known for being so diverse there have been pockets of hate and racism cropping up and Twitter will not do anything about them. That’s awful too.

It’s weird and surreal and really, really not great to be spared when everyone around you is suffering.

Happy birthday, Revenge of the Sith

Hey look here’s me in 2007, all dressed up for a masquerade ball at the student union. Look what’s behind me! My Revenge of the Sith poster. (sadly no longer with us.) I got it free in either Empire or Total Film magazine, I think, just as the movie was coming out in 2005.

I took that poster to uni with me not because I loved the design of the poster (I still think it’s the worst Star Wars teaser poster that’s ever been made, sorry!) but because I loved the movie so much, and I loved the experience of going to see it. Some things I remember in no order:

  • During the scene where Anakin first walks in on the children hiding in the council room, one lady in the theater went “awww!” as the first little kid spoke. Mission accomplished on the part of Lucas there I guess, cos right after that… well you know the rest. Meep.
  • I had a sad-smile at Obi-Wan declaring “I will do what I must” because I recognised it as a callback to Qui-Gon, and he was my favourite.
  • So many Star Wars posters at the cinema! That one up there, my one, a huge version dangled over this drop inbetween where the first-floor cinema was and where it looked like a elevator should’ve been. There’s a climbing wall there now I think, or there was at one point.
  • After seeing the movie me and my friend went to either HMV or the Virgin Megastore (I believe neither of them exist anymore) and I frantically leafed through the novelisation of the film, looking for any more story.
  • It was sunny! It was really sunny. Every single one of the Star Wars prequels, I associate with being outside in the sun.

Happy May 4th

May the Fourth/Force be with us all. If this was a normal year I would be at a Star Wars party tonight, but it isn’t a normal year.

There’s also an extent to which I feel I’m not really in Star Wars fandom anymore. I haven’t watched the end of the Clone Wars or any of The Mandalorian, as good as they look, and I’m sure the new unknown film will be good as well (my gut is saying maybe it’s a Boba Fett/Mandalorian related movie?), but I don’t have the spark of “new thing!!!” I used to get when big Star Wars stuff dropped. And that’s fine! I’ll always love Star Wars. The prequels were my childhood, or a huge part of it, and that was before May 4 was even called what it is now. I hope today’s kids are having a blast this Star Wars Day, even in lockdown.

I posted this on Facebook today

Last month Boris and the Tories “updated” the British immigration system. Among the people they labelled “low skilled” were carers.

Carers! The same people who are saving lives now. I was a carer. My family are carers. (Also, on one side, the descendants of Russian Jewish refugees aka immigrants.) Right now carers are still working. They will be coughed on and spat at and they will have to handle the sort of bodily fluids no-one wants to go near even when there ISN’T a pandemic. Due to the nature of disability and dementia some of them will be hit, kicked, choked, it’s painful, I can tell you. I used to work in a care home as well. How many politicians have done this?

Low-skilled!

Lots of people on here know me and my family personally. When the pandemic is over please, please remember what Boris Johnson and the Tories think of us, of all carers. And please remember the people, many of them “immigrants!” “foreigners!” the targets of hate in the Daily Mail and its kin, who are quite literally risking their lives right now for little pay and no recognition.

Low-skilled. Low-skilled to put yourself in the firing line for the sake of other people. I will never forget that, and honestly, I will never forgive.

Mewtwo Strikes Back: Evolution!

Mewtwo Strikes Back, my favourite EVER movie about a cat having an existential crisis, has gotten a remaster! It’s on Netflix right now, and has been for almost a week if not more, but alas I am no longer a child and now I (mostly) have to space Pokemon movies between work, shopping, crushing terror about the state of the planet, that sort of thing. Booo.

It was good! A lovely blast from the past packed full of everything I love about Pokemon. (The Meowth speech has gone and I missed it terribly, but it’s been replaced with something which is also nice, so…)

Most of all I love how gorgeous the graphics are, and especially the end credit art. I always adored the end credits of the original movie and how they showed our heroes exploring the rest of the Pokemon world, and this time around that takes the form of beautiful illustrations:

All by Sei Nakashima, and here’s his poster for the movie as well:

Man, this movie was my LIFE when I was 12. For years on LiveJournal I had a little 100×100 Pokemon icon as one of my avatars:

Here there be dragons! Ahhh, nostalgia is stinging hard tonight.