Monday, 30 January 2017

Portuguese Treats

Hit work full of optimism and ideas today. Really fell into a nice productive groove quite early on and it continued long throughout the day. Mostly did some research into being a mother so spent most of my research phase powering through baby ads - its an alien world to me.

In other 'Making Mark jealous of my life' related news, one of my coworkers returned from Portugal today, carrying with her some bonafide custard tarts. And they were heaven on earth! I know Stoph is a massive fan of these treats, I almost took a picture to gloat to him.

Booked our tickets to go see Trainspotting 2 tomorrow too, fairly excited for this one, mostly for the fact its an 18. Last time I saw an 18 at the cinema was Django Unchained, and that film had a great audience. Expecting good  things.

Red Fishcakes

Thought I'd treat myself to a nice bath today, typically I only have power showers but I wanted to take it easy and soak. Sadly, the hot water was not meant to be, and I ended up having to bathe in a pool of water that you couldn't make a cup of tea with.

No bother though, because dinner tonight was amazing! Took another spin at making fishcakes, this time though I swapped out the potato's for sweet potatos and the difference was incredible. Already excited to make it again now.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Police Story

If nothing else, the coffees I made today were all on point. Recently been trying out the 'inverted' technique for my Aeropress, while you put yourself at high risk of making a hell of a mess, the brew you end up with is just next level. Already looking forward to another cup tomorrow morning now.

Had Louis and Rachel over for Chinese New Year, Rebecca and I cooked up a stir-fry and we watched Police Story to revel in the force that is 80's Jackie Chan. Dad used to play us the highlights from the film when we were younger, so Louis and I had the final 'mall fight' burning into our memories. Louis couldn't remember any of the rest of the film clearly, but I'm pretty sure that we all had a blast watching it.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Buzzing for the Weekend

Put my nose to the grindstone one last time before the weekend and now I cannot wait for my day off! Rebecca and I have bought a bunch of food and drink for tomorrow night since we are seeing Louis for Chinese New Year. Having an internal debate over what film to watch too, I'm thinking of House of Flying Daggers, but I'll see what the mood is like.

Thursday, 26 January 2017


Turns out I'm not as musical as I thought. Tasked in writing up a handful of lyrics at work today, but I seriously struggled to string together even the crudest tune - instead I'll be writing up the direction the song should take along with any other notes tomorrow morning. Felt a bit naff for the rest of the day since I couldn't put those bits together as I wanted to, tomorrows another day though.

First Game of Risk

Went out to spend the evening with Mark and Lucy to play Game of Thrones Risk. Rest assured, there were plenty of bad puns and references being thrown around during the 3 hour game. I made my primary objective capturing The North (for a brief period I was The King in The North) from there I tried to trickle down and take anything else I could and ended up winning the game. Mark was visably pleased throughout and seeing that grin on his little hairy face told me that Rebecca and I nailed his Christmas present.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

An Early Drill

Graced by the blaring  sound of our apartment blocks fire alarm first thing this morning. Found myself struggling to put my trousers on to salvage so decency when we came to evacuate, but luckily the alarm silenced itself just as we were about to leave. Frankly, I was all ready to just roll over in bed an wait for it all to blow over, like this:

Got to basically finish up the showreel today, and I think it is the best thing I've ever edited. I put some real effort into this thing, and I think it'll really make my colleges chuffed.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Garlic Pho

Back into the office for a fluid editing session of that show-reel I've been doing on and off. It's gotta be done by end of play tomorrow and I'm mostly waiting for notes from my boss on how to improve it further - it's very nearly in a shippable state but we just need to iron out the kink. Midday was a work lunch at a Vietnamese Pho restaurant, I couldn't resist ordering the garlic steak broth and all Rebecca could smell was my breath for the rest of this evening. At least I spent most of today huddled up alone in an edit suite so not too many people could sample my flavorsome mouth odor.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Cheeky Star Wars

Inspired by her recent viewing of Rogue One, Rebecca was very curious to see the original Star Wars once again. We managed to squeeze in a quick viewing before heading back home to Bristol, but Rebecca and I are both shattered after a long weekend and traveling to London and back. Still feels a bit surreal having to go into work tomorrow, really gonna have to force myself out of bed tomorrow.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

6 Course Triumph

Down in London with Rebecca's family after a slightly late start from Bristol (I forgot to pack my DS). While Rebecca went out for a haircut, I caught up on a good bit of reading the last of my Christmas books. Went out in the evening for a meal at some friends of Rebecca's family, and I don't think they missed out a single course for dinner. I got a few beers and nibbles in before a main course, pudding, cheese board, coffee and a nightcap! In food terms, it was a triumph.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Presentation Bonding

Phew, managed to get the presentation I was working on out the door just before the end of the day. Got some good time with the boss I rarely see in today as we both worked on the deck together - I felt genuenly helpful to the team today as a result so I left the office with a jolly big smile. Just finished packing for London as we are heading back for Rebecca's family due, apparently the food is going to be peng, so I can barely wait.

La La Land

Tonight I had the absolute pleasure of going to see La La Land at the cinema. I struggle to think of a film I've enjoyed seeing at the cinema more than this one, over the past few years. It sincerely tried to do something very hard by making a romantic musical in a classical style film with a modern twist, but it pulled it off far more successfully than The Artist could.

I don't want to go into too much plot detail because I know Mark will we watching this one very soon, but rest assured, it rarely falls astray. The thing that really sells the film though is it's total lack of irony. For a film that is a homage to the golden age of cinema it completely reigns in any self-deprecating or referential humour, it doesn't need to do any of those things because it has such a strong core. That's exactly what gives it a sense of purity and nostalgia.

The only negative thing I can really add to this mix, is that it was a little bit harder than most films to get into. There is certainly an adjustment period over the first 20 minutes or so, but after that, it'll get its claws into you. And then you'll have a hard time coming back to reality.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Daydreaming Calls

Spent most of the day I'm a conference call with a client while sat around with my bosses. All the while I was dreaming about finally getting to watch Episode 9 of Game of Thrones with Rebecca this evening. The episode, once again, did not dissapoint. She was squeezing my hand something fierce during tensest moments... Which is all of that episode.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Wimbledon Green

Tasked with coming up with the next big video for Ebay early this morn. They have some ideas swimming around that they want us to refine and work on for 2017 and after our brain storming session today, I think we have some pretty good stuff for them. Felt like a long day though, my colleges and I could hardly believe it was only Tuesday.

Finished up another one of the book I got for Christmas: Wimbledon Green, and it was stunning, a real winner. It was remarkable how it just got better and better with each turn of the page, it totally draws you in for a long-form character study entirely based on hearsay. It's a great, and very accessable game of Chinese whispers and the more you put into the read, the more you get out of it. 

Monday, 16 January 2017

His Bound

A bit sad that I'm bragging about this, but I got to go ride a bus first thing at work today. We had a package that needed to go to a pick-up point and the closest one to us might as well of been in China. Still, got to sit with the locals and soak up the musty smell of the bus. Got back to a slew of Monday meetings about moving forward. Its a funny time for us because we have a good selection of potential jobs in the pipeline, but none of them have gotten back to us with a definitive 'we wanna work with you email' just got to wait and see what happens.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Just Another Easy One

Got a brief chance to play World of Warcraft with Daniel and Louis, rolling along as the old squad felt like the good old days. Worked through a few more episodes of Game of Thrones with Rebecca too, slowly trying to get her back up to speed with the rest of the world. That and so I have an excuse to watch episode 9 again. After such a chill week it will be difficult to head back into the office - its always fine, but the initial push is always the hardest thing to do.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Castle Cary

Went on a jaunt to Castle Cary today to catch up with Philpott. He took us around the village in a tour that took just a little over 10 minutes (seriously, that place is small) and trekked up a nearby hill to scope out the surrounding from on high: There's a great view of their pet food factory from up there. Once we got back inside and warmed our bones, we tried our hand again at Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, a favorite of Philpott's and we even smash a few levels we hadn't done before.

Turned out to be a nice break from the city today, Rebecca tells me that the country air makes you sleepy. I'm not sure if there's any truth to that, especially since sh eis a natural city dweller, but we've both had a big day and in serious need of a good kip.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Switch Conference

Got up at 4am to watch Nintendo's press announcement, and despite the fact I was really, really tired, I thought it was pretty good. They officially announced the release date of the console, and even more importantly, the release of the new Zelda game: the 3rd of March. Which is also the day that I'll be going to Amsterdam... Something to look forward to once the holiday is over!

Crawled back into bed after the conference ended, woke up a few hours later and spent a little while trying to figure out which bits I dreamed, and which bits were real. Exciting times are ahead for me and my living room!

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Nintendo Switch is Coming

Today I spent mostly in waiting... Set my alarm for early o'clock tomorrow so I can tune into the live stream of Nintendo's big announcement video for their latest console: The Switch! Really excited to see what they can dish out. Literally buzzing.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Welcome back Tomatoes

Revisited the showreel I was working on last week and I totally cracked it. Previously I was struggling to feel a sequence for it, but now it flows really nicely and I daresay I'm actually quite proud of it. No doubt I'll turn up tomorrow and there will be a bundle of notes going alongside it, but its in a good place at the moment.

Rebecca was out in London for the evening so that meant I could finally eat tomatoes! Rustled up a sweet spag bol, just like old times and it was glorious. Should find more excuses to eat tomatoey dishes.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Another Day, Another Headset

Found myself playing with works Gear VR once again to help my boss get ready for a meeting tomorrow. He's got a fair amount of videos to watch as homework on that headset, and they can make you quite nauseous after a while. Made good use of our pasta bowls to make an amazing salad - presented it neatly too. I like to think that my dinner put Rebecca in good stead to finish off her most recent job application for the National Trust, I have an inkling that she'll get a pretty decent response from them soon.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Amsterdam here we Come

Rebecca and I have officially booked our holiday to Amsterdam in early March! That will really be something to look forward to in the coming weeks I haven't been for ages and it will be massively cool to go on a city break with just the two of us!

Sunday, 8 January 2017

We Need to Talk About Kevin

In between solving cases of the new Phoenix Wright game, I lent Rebecca a hand in sorting out her CV and covering letter for potential future jobs. Roped Mum in to help as well, but apparently she loves doing this kind of thing - 'It'll be more fun than doing my tax returns' she said to me. Fingers crossed that Rebecca finds something somewhere down the line.

We wanted to watch a film tonight after dinner so we did the most dangerous thing a couple can do: browse Netflix. However, we settled on We Need to Talk About Kevin really quickly as both of us we eager to watch it. While consistently engaging, the film felt like it was only skin deep. The kid was a little bit too evil to the point where is became a self-knowing distraction. There is quite literally a bit where the kid does that really cliche thing we he's seen on one side of a street, a bus passes and then he's no longer there. Moments like that really take you out of an otherwise well paced, cerebral experience.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Rogue One

Seeing as my work made an advert for it, it felt only right to go and see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. And it wasn't too shabby. The plot is nestled just before A New Hope and explains how the rebels figure out how to destroy the Death Star, while that sounds a little thin at first, its actually done quite well. This is largely thanks to the new ensemble of characters which end up being likeable even though none of them have appeared in another Star Wars film. Its curious then that the film doesn't take more time out to spend with them, its sets them all up almost like a pseudo Guardians of the Galexy, but never quite follows through with a solid team dynamic.

In fact, overall the film struggles to find purpose for the first hour. There's nothing that truely takes us from one scene to the next and nothing immediately at stake to anchor the experience. That said, it really picks up in the final act though as it does eventually find its feet and deliver some classic Star Wars action.

A lot of people might be saying that this is the dark and gritty Star Wars film. If you go in expecting that, you will be sorely dissapointed. Its still a fun-loving adventure film through and through, rather it has a lot less camp than other films in the franchise.

Friday Sushi

Continued with my editing job today and got through well over half of it, which I'm pretty chuffed with. Headed back to Louis' neck of Bristol for sushi and a movie. Never really had proper sushi before, and I needed up really enjoying it. Luckily we were with Rachel and she knew exactly what we needed to order to get the Japanese experience. Had a really good Friday evening in hindsight, its cool that Louis and I can hang whenever we like.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

A New Friend for Rebs

Went over to the house of one of Rebecca's co workers for dinner, and cricket did he make the effort. Chargrilled chicken, some noodles and even a cheese board to finish on - it almost felt like Come Dine With Me.

It was good seeing Rebecca making a new friendship with someone too, she's been a little bit starved for new friends recently, but I think this is a good start.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

The Hunt for Bangers

Searched for show reel music for the majority of today. Roped in Louis to help me look for some real bangers and ended up with something fairly useable. During my hunt I cane across loads of tracks that I used in my grad film. Vivid memories of 2am edit sessions with chinese take-aways poured into my mind and I couldn't tell if I felt nostalgic or groggy - can't believe how mental that time was on reflection.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Eggs and White Sauce

First day back at work, it went by a bit quicker than I expected, but the hardest part of my day was plucking up the strength to leave my bed. I've actually been given quite a fun/important job to do starting tomorrow, I'm editing a client showreel for some of our new business presentations so that's good spot to flex my techie muscles.

Tried my hand at another new dish tonight: Eggs Florentine. Had to call up my folks to ask them how to make it and was basically told how making white sauce is really easy to get wrong... so guess what happened when I cooked it? I got it spot on, and it was delicious, however I was so preoccupied making it that I forgot to prep the sweet potato chips to go on the side, had to make mash in the end and the consistency of both bits of the meal were rather similar. Still, its good to know I can add another dish to my recipe book.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Planning Vacations

Revealed in this Bank Holiday by revisiting Cabot Tower and waltzing through the nerd heaven of Forbidden Planet. It really is an amazing shop and it was genuinely very difficult to leave empty handed but somehow, Rebecca and I both managed it. Together we also looked into booking a holiday to Amsterdam sometime in early March, Rebecca has never seen an I can barely remember  the bits I did see so we figured it would be a cool place to visit. Not too pricey either and it something to look forward to in the New Year.

Duvet Day

Rebecca and I had a very successful lazy day, we took our duvet out into the living room and basically camped out there for most of the day. Worked our way through some Black Mirror, Game of Thrones and even caught the end of Aliens on Film4. We tried out a slightly experimental fish pie recipe from Jamie Oliver for dinner too, and it came out rather well, although we totally underestimated how much we needed mustard and probably more than just salmon to make it a really great dish.

Feels odd having just spent my entire day in my PJ's, under a duvet, and now I'm about to tuck myself into bed. What a way to start the year!