Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Reculver Beach

The rough leather of a dog fish skin
Spiry and age-spotted into dry seaweed
Scratching on the soles of our shoes
And a perfect crab shell, legs and all
Hollowed out by the tide
Soft parts long since departed
Now weeping scales of salt onto our palms
Bleached shells and smooth pebbles
Picked from a beach pocked with horned poppy
As we walk beyond the reach of the sea

And all along the Viking Way they cycle
Flat out, fast and free
Billowing their hair with a windy brine
From Wigmore and wherever
In serious pursuit of leisure

Here now, the old flint walls
Flinching under a blue sky
As starlings form a chorus line
High up on the rafters of the old towers
To entertain us with a song and dance
From some bawdy, birdy music hall
Reviewing the late summer sky
This weather cannot last
Rain tomorrow
And they will give one last bow
Then exit left for winter

And all along the Viking Way we walk
Dawdling at the view
Of giant windmills out to sea
And trains and tractors
Pulling the flat land taught
Below a winnowed sky

We reach the car park
Just time for a drink and a snack
This weather cannot last
They say it'll rain tomorrow
And we comment, again, on the cormorants
Fishing from the posts in pairs
And if they were young egrets we saw in that tree
And we give one last bow to the beach
While checking our shoes
Then exit left for the motorway

Reculver Beach

Horned Sea Poppy

Reculver Towers & Roman Fort

Bleached beach flotsam

The Viking Coastal Trail

Saturday, 23 August 2014

DVD Bank Holiday Round-Up Reviews

Abquick round up of the recent crop of DVD's watched (just in case it's a really wet Bank Holiday weekend...).

Tracks  (12) ~ Woman on a mission to walk across the 1,700 mile western deserts of Australia with camels and a dog in the 1970's. A quirky true story.  Five out of five stars.
Calvary (15) ~ Beautiful cinematography and scenery do little to help this horrid tale of murder. One out of five stars.
I, Frankenstein (12) ~ Gargoyles, fallen angels, Frankenstein's monster, it's all thrown in... you'll like this if you're a young teen. Two out of five stars.

Divergent (12) ~  As good as The Hunger Games. Intelligent teen sci-fi action. Four out of five stars.

Chasing Mavericks (PG) ~ True story of how a surfing legend started out. Slow start but compelling by the end. Five out of five stars.

Friday, 22 August 2014

The Expendables 3 ~ movie review

The Expendables 3 (12A)

Director : Patrick Hughes

The third in this action series solidly thumps it's way through the action but still fails to deliver in both pace of plot and in the fight scenes which are diminished by shaky-cam. While the huge cast clearly have a blast the whole plot slows down, muscle-bound by the amount of new characters and cameos. This movie franchise should be an all-out action fest but somehow manages to be too knowing with several of the jokes falling flat to a silent cinema audience... that said, there is plenty to love, lots of explosive action and Antonio Banderas (Galgo) and Mel Gibson (Conrad Stonebanks) reminding us of just how good Desperado and the Lethal Weapon series were. Barney (Sylvester Stallone), Christmas (Jason Statham) and a stellar cast of many (see website for details) set out to capture ex-Expendable arms dealer Stonebanks and deliver him to the Hague to stand trial for war crimes. Barney decides he needs a new team of Expendables and so sets out recruiting new talent only to end up needing his old team as well... An explodable three out of five stars. 


Saturday, 16 August 2014

Hercules and Noah (film reviews)

A couple of sword & sandal films to review this week, one on the big screen, one on DVD.

Hercules (12A)

Director: Brett Ratner

Dwayne Johnson plays Hercules, a demigod who, blamed for the death of his family after completing his twelve labours, is now reduced to working as a mercenary with a small band of loyal followers (Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Aksel Hennie and Reece Ritchie). He is hired by the King of Thrace (John Hurt) to train up an army to end a civil war but.. well, it's all going to go horribly wrong for the once mighty, muscly man-myth in a loin-cloth.
Based on the comic book 'The Thracian Wars' by Steve Moore, there is a sprinkling of humour, plenty of action and a strong supporting cast but the panacea of a 12A rating means what could have been a riot is more of a romp. A thumping three out of five stars.

Noah (12)

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Russell Crowe stars in this apocalyptically long Mad Max-style version of the bible story. Light on doves, heavy on soul-searching and damnation it's a vivid vision of a world pre-flood where angels, men and all manner of creation mingle in the lead up to a massive all-in fight for survival. Russell Crowe and Ray Winstone (Tubal-cain) slug it out as mortal enemies but it is Jennifer Connelly and Emma Watson who steal the scenes as the long-suffering wife (Naameh) and adopted daughter (Ila) dealing with the evangelically driven Noah. A heroically mad three out of five stars.


Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Bats and Dragonflies

Bats and dragonflies hunting over the garden.

The grapevine is doing well this year.

Japanese anemone in flower.

Lavender for the bees.

Peacocks, red admirals, small tortoiseshell, large whites and meadow brown
butterflies in the garden this week.

Found this lovely violet ground beetle hunting under a planter I was clearing out.

Don't forget, you can take part in the Big Butterfly Count up till 10th August ~ details here.