Monday, 22 September 2014

Shadows of a Stranger Premiere


A little while ago I blogged about a film I'd been involved in (singing, not acting - no lenses were harmed in the making of Shadows of a Stranger by dint of my visage appearing before camera).

I noted that my my children's CBeebies hero Sarah-Jane Honyewell was also in it, and how disappointing it was that the actors all 'wrapped' (that's *ahem* what we in films call the er, end of filming?) before my involvement started.

But there is a God. Because last night, at the world premiere, we met! And I had this photo taken of us as a souvenir present for my daughter.


It was some occasion, being the culmination of five years work on the part of those involved, chiefly Writer/Director Richard Dutton and Actor/Director Chris Clark. There were speeches, yes, and there may even have been tears (especially at the denouement of the drama when the voice of your truly belts out in glorious surround sound from all four corners of a packed cinema...).

Personally, my favourite speech of the night was from Miss S-J herself who added a pithy and heartfelt message at the culmination of proceedings by describing the film in a loud voice as 'F---ing epic!' At which point my neighbour, the film's musical director, turned to me a little surprised and said, 'Tim, didn't you say she was a children's TV presenter?'

Yes, Eric, she was. But that was all a long, long time ago.

Now, she's a movie star!


Wednesday, 17 September 2014

A letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury

There's a whole lot of stuff I have to blog about at present (like product reviews, opinions, plugs, books and much more) but I can't, at the moment, consider writing about anything other than this:


Which is a tad tricky, when you think about it. Because, quite frankly, it leaves me speechless!

To give you some background, a friend of mine who worked for many years in the middle-east and is a regular church-goer (chorister, then lay-clerk as myself) wrote to the Archbishops of both Canterbury and York to ask what the Church was doing about the plight of the Palestinians.

Having received a helpful, sympathetic and supportive letter from John Sentamu he hoped for something similar from the nation's senior bishop, head of the Established Church and holder of the most ancient Christian office in this country.

And that (above) is what he got.

Quite apart from the fact that the Archbishop of Canterbury is a member of the British Establishment with a seat in the House of Lords - the utter lack of Christian charity, ignorance of the all-compassing nature of Christian involvement in world affairs and simple absence of love for one's neighbour is, quite frankly, astonishing.

I certainly am. (Astonished, that is!)

The Rt Rev Justin Welby clearly chooses to pass by on the other side, to 'wash his hands', and like Dives, keep the problems of the world at arm's length.

Meanwhile, in the real world...

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Time Flies!

... especially on this day in 1752 when Britain changed from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar.

If you'd gone to bed last night a little over 260 years ago it would've been September 2nd. Then, at dawn this morning, it's suddenly the 14th September and you're 12 days older than you were the night before!

Except you aren't, of course: not really. Only the names (in this case, the numbers) have been changed. 

And changed in order to synchronise our human written calendar better with the only one that really matters - the calendar of the skies and the sun and moon and seasons.

Even that isn't 'right' of course, given that the earth inconveniently takes 365-and-a-quarter days to orbit the sun (which is why we need a leap year every so often).

All of which brings home how artificial this human construct, 'time', is.

Tell that to the boss next time you're late!



Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Everything Tablet 360 Degree iPad Case Review

No iPad (or iPhone or any other phone or tablet for that matter) case is perfect. I've got several, with built in bluetooth keyboards, folding covers, solid protective corners and any number of other features. But there's always something they won't do and in the case of all of the above, it's facilitate both horizontal and vertical display.

That might not seem like a deal-breaker but it's surprising how often apps (yes, I'm talking to you BBC iPlayer Radio) designed basically to be used in portrait mode fail to convert satisfactorily to landscape orientation. 

That's where the Everything Tablet 360 degree case comes into it's own. And it's a good case to boot: sturdy, but light, nice to handle and with an 'access all areas' openness to speakers, cameras, and sockets. 

But as I've said, the chief virtue is that you can go from this...



 ... to this:


(That's John Betjeman, by the way, standing on an closed London Underground platform.) 

This is just one of a range of phone and tablet cases all of which seem thoughtfully and creatively designed to plug a gap - but at a level of quality and price that is certainly competitive. I've also been trying out their version of an iPad car headrest mount, for example, and have been just as pleased. Having tried several others (not least the Snugg version reviewed here, but which has the distinct disadvantage of covering the top of the screen - and associated touch controls - with the strap that secures it to the headrest) I'm pleased to report that this seems both robust and versatile as - like it's companion iPad case (above) the viewing angle can be adjusted relatively easily - sitting as it does on a ball-mount which can be securely tightened once the optimum viewing (or playing) position has been found. 

Both highly recommended! 

Monday, 8 September 2014

We didn't own an iPad!

We didn't need one, we had...


Thanks to Mr 'Hunky' Graham and Mr Andrew 'Lloyd' Barkerm from whose YouTube Channel this comes!
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