"for the happy, the sad, I don't want to be, another page in your diary"

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Normal Service Has Been Resumed

I’m on the new CityLink bus again, and amongst a plan to stop in Bramcote in the future (which is no use to me but perhaps good for them), they seem to have got the heating working. They hadn’t on Tuesday but then nor had Trent Barton’s i4 either, which I used on the way in.Customer service eh...

Heating apart, Trent Barton seem to be taking the competition seriously... adding covers to the seats in Derby bus station, having some rather quaint red ropes closing of their area and flight attendants on hand... err why? All part of their Red Arrow Take Flight team apparently. Of course none of this supposed ‘customer service’ had been deemed necessary before but at least now you’ve got someone to whinge at as you wait 30 minutes longer than you intended for your bus.

Actually it all makes me more inclined to go elsewhere.

Normal service has been resumed in the Brunswick now that the beer festival is over and we can not only get a seat but lunch as well. Normal service is there too in the shape of the grumpy barman who serves a customer mild and his friend a mild shandy after telling them the only mild they have on is Father Mikes. What he doesn’t tell them is, its 5.8% alcohol. I only hope they’re not driving.

I have a really fun game of squash tonight. I thoroughly enjoyed running around madly, smashing the ball about randomly and completely forgetting to employ any tactics. Nil point. 

(Thursday 28th February)

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Anything With Fairies

I cycle to and from work today and then take in session in the swimming pool on the way home.

L is at the theatre tonight, taking in a bit of Shakespeare with her brother. I do like a bit of Shakespeare myself but preferably not the comedies or anything with fairies in it. Hence not, as is the case tonight, Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Instead I dog sit and then meet them both in the bar at Cast, adjacent to the theatre, afterwards. This was once the legendary Limelight bar, probably the best and certainly my favourite real ale bar in Nottingham. Unfortunately it got bought out due to its location and success. It was then turned into a café bar / restaurant / deli combo e.g. it went downhill rapidly. It still did stock the occasional decent ale and also draught Leffe but once they found out we were still visiting the place, they took those off as well. Finally we got the message and went elsewhere.

So we haven’t been in for ages and it’s pleasantly surprising to find two decent local ales from Magpie on the bar. Perhaps they want us to come back?

(Wednesday 27th February)

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Perhaps It's Best Not To Know

I run into work but it’s a total disaster. Have you ever done a run where you need the loo the whole time, for something you couldn’t nip in the hedge for? So I didn’t do much running and didn’t really get to see what shape the legs were in for Sunday’s race.Perhaps it's best not to know.

Somebody really doesn’t want me to do the Droitwich Half.

L is having a hell of a fun time with her computer at work and it’s on off relationship with email and the internet. She says she’ll never understand computers and a good job too. I’d be out of a job if L (and everyone else) did.

She says life was so straightforward in the ‘old’ days, she’s one of the bring back the typewriters and Tippex brigade. I never did get the hang of Tippex, which was far from straightforward. I always ended up with something resembling a scale model of the Himalayas on my page.

In the evening I’m out with an old school pal. At least my luck is changing on the beer front, dark beers tonight from Milestone and the Derby Brewery. Now I just need my running luck to turn.

(Tuesday 26th February)

Monday, 25 February 2013

Not So Useless Physio

I see the lovely Jennifer Lawrence won the best Actress Oscar, bless her. 

The rest of the awards were pretty uninspiring really. I’m sure Daniel Day-Lewis was very good but we still can’t face Lincoln.

L pulls out of Droitwich due to her bad ankle and returns her number. Then books herself in for physio but she is disheartened when she learns it is to be female physio, apparently they tend to be useless. That’s very sexist of her personally I prefer the word gentle.

However, I think her physio may have hacked into our email exchange. The next thing I hear is that L has crawled back to her office after one of the most painful physio sessions she’s ever had. Suddenly her physio doesn’t sound particularly useless...

We’ve had some pretty bleak dog training sessions at our outdoor venue on Monday nights but tonight is one of the bleakest, there’s a very cold wind that blow right through you up on the hill tonight.

It’s a good session though. Somebody who has a judging appointment in a few weeks time, judging grades 6 and 7 (the elite), tries the course out on us, a motley bunch of lower grade competitors. I’m not sure she learnt much in the ensuing chaos but it was a productive session for us. We all improved with each attempt at the course. Now if only they gave you six or seven attempts at a course in competition we’d all be laughing.

(Monday 25th February)

Sunday, 24 February 2013

A Bit On The ‘Diet’ Side

I spend most of the backend of the week and the weekend catching up with the World Track Cycling Championships from Minsk. 

We were hoping to go but getting there proved so convoluted and expensive, we scrapped the idea. There’s not many in the crowd, so clearly everyone else felt the same.

Still it was an amazing weekend for GB but especially for the new youngsters like Becky James, who won four medals including two golds. 

Simon Yates who got a superb Points Race gold and of course our all conquering Women’s Pursuit Team. 

Even the old man of the team Jason Kenny at 24, took gold in Keirin.

Later we meet some friends for a Thai 'Sunday Lunch' at the Hemlock Stone. The food was again excellent, although a bit on the ‘diet’ side, so I had to do my own cheeseboard when we got home.

(Sunday 24th February)

Saturday, 23 February 2013

A Decent Showing

The last of my three indoor winter dog shows is today and it’s just as cold as it’s been at the previous two, only this time without the snow on the ground.

At least we put in a decent showing. There are two fifth places for Doggo, one of which he gets a rosette for. Then a ‘nearly’ clear with MD, we missed a contact on the second last obstacle because I was rushing him but there’s no point being slow and only tenth... It was a good run though. Then we do go clear on a too fast course for a rosette for 12th, then a second scrappy clear where we’re unplaced, then a bit of a disaster. So a bit of everything today from MD.
In the evening, we head down to Broadway for the usual meal and film deal. L hasn’t finished the book of target film 'Cloud Atlas’ yet, so it’s time to bring on a substitute. I pick something that I hope will be dark and depressing.

‘Lore’ is based on one of three stories in Rachel Seiffert's novel ‘The Dark Room’. It is set in Germany at the very end of World War II.

The father of fifteen-year-old Hannelore or Lore (Saskia Rosendahl), an SS officer, is abandoning the family home. Destroying evidence and shooting the family dog as he goes, before heading off to the front, where he’ll probably meet his death.

Then Lore's mother prepares to leave too. After hearing a radio announcement confirming Adolf Hitler’s death, she surrenders to the Americans. Now her children are left to fend for themselves and Lore, as the eldest, is in charge. Her mother tells her to find a way to their grandmother's in Hamburg, a mere 500km away.

Finding out that the trains are not running, they start their journey across Germany on foot. This is a new Germany, a defeated Germany that lies in ruins, people are starving and sick. They find that some people are willing to help them whilst others most definitely are not and in fact are a danger to them.

This is journey that is viewed mainly through Lore’s eyes and from her perspective. A journey which is as mental as it is physical, as she attempts to comprehend how her country, the supposedly superior one, is now occupied and divided into Russian, American, British and French zones.

Across the failed Third Reich many people mourn their dead leader and condemn the lies the Allies are spreading about him. The Americans post up photographs from the liberation of the concentration camps which many Germans decide are mere propaganda but Lore knows otherwise. We see her tearing away a piece of one of the photos, one that contains the image of her father .

With that Lore realises just how much her father, and probably her mother, were involved in the atrocities. Then she meets Thomas (Kia-Peter Malina), a Jew who was supposedly liberated from one of these camps.

Although Thomas may not be all he appears. It is revealed that the identification papers he carries are not his own. He tells one of the other children that he is not Jewish, but carries the papers because the Americans like Jews. Again though Lore knows otherwise, that is if she realises what the numbers tattooed on Thomas’s wrist mean. They may not be his papers but clearly Thomas has survived the camps and perhaps suspected that the other children would not accept his help if they thought he was Jewish.

An uneasy relationship builds between Thomas and Lore, there is some attraction but mainly it’s out of a necessity to survive as Thomas helps them cross out of the American zone.

When they finally reach Hamburg, Lore finds it hard to settle in at her grandmothers. She has much on her mind. Forced to abruptly grow up, to question her engrained beliefs and to rethink her entire ‘National Socialist’ outlook on life. Then there’s the guilt she feels for how they betrayed Thomas.

‘Lore’ is not an easy film to follow but it’s a good one, although it could have perhaps done with a spot of narration. It’s a film that grows after you’ve left the cinema and it shows a part of history that is rarely shown. Well worth a look. 

Dark and depressing... Bingo. Now for a debrief in Brewdog.

(Saturday 23rd February)