Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Sonic Mania

Anyone who knows me knows that I love playing Mario games. I grew up playing his adventures and running around in his shoes, relishing every second. Anyone who really knows me however, knows that I loved Sonic the Hedgehog before I was even introduced to the Italian plumber.

Perhaps more than anything else, the games of Sonic the Hedgehog, and the Sega Megadrive as a whole, taps into my very earliest memories of playing video games in the attic with my Dad. Of all the games we owned then, Sonic was easily in my favourites and over the years I have found myself returning to his games over and over, each time rekindling warm memories of my very early years. And as cheesy as it sounds, those old Sonic games really do have a special place in my heart.

It was remarkable then, for Sonic Mania, a game released today, in 2017, to give me the same feeling as the Sonic classics. Its such a faithful and energetic reimagining of the Sonic games, its impossible not to get totally swept away if you have any fondness for the older games. I got up early to play this one, and I don't regret it at all. So perhaps I'm a little biased, but Sonic Mania had me smiling all the way through and brought back some of the long forgotten love I had for Sonic.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Winton is Memory Lane

Rebecca and I had a little mince around Winton highstreet, which has literally transformed to memory lane for us both. We pointed out our favourite take-aways and tried to remember all the shops that had now closed down, exchanging our experiences of our time there. Of course, no trip to Winston would be complete without popping into G&T's to admire the tat. I think I found the Holy Grail too:

While it's not the most tasteless gnome I've ever seen, the visual image of it just makes me cringe and chuckle at the same time. Who honestly thought this was a good idea, because I absolutely love it.

Rebecca had to shoot of back to Bristol, but I'm sticking around in Bournemouth for a spell longer though as its always nice to spend some holiday time with the fam.

Sunday, 13 August 2017


Trekker down to Bournemouth and ended the night watching Okja, Netflix's proudest feature film to date. Its a film with a loaded environmental message about a Korean girl and her hybrid wonder pig, its being threatened to get taken away and she fights for it to come back home, rather than heading to the slaughterhouse.

On a bad day, I would probably say the film targeted the core Netflix audience of millenials from the beginning and was preachy for the sake of sounding intelligent. In reality, it didn't add anything new to the conversation of animal rights, gave a quick spit shine the subject.

Several character were also irritating and badly written. Jake Gyllenhaal, I love you man, but your character here was diabolical. At least he looked like he was having fun.

On a good day though, I would say the relationship between the girl and the pig did eventually win me over, but it took a long time for that to happen. Hard time really recommending this one unless it really sounds like your cuppa.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Harper's BBQ

Went over to the Harper's house for a mega chill birthday party / BBQ. Ended up having a few drinks while playing a bit of rounders - a game I haven't played in a fair few years. Since the Harper's are a friendly bunch, there was a decent crowd playing so it didn't matter so much when I was terrible at batting, which was all the time. Sung happy birthday and tucked into some amazing cake baked by Mikey's fiancé, perfect way to end a Saturday evening.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Back From Bagnol

After just over a week of eating baguettes and drinking wine, I have returned to the significantly colder country I call home, but what an amazing trip. I've been kayaking under the bridge on the 5 euro note, went 121 meters down into a gorgeous cave and made a delicious selection of macrons with a local baker. And all the while I got to hang out with the excellent Youth for Europe lot.

Today was my recovery day as I decided against sleeping on the final night and just decided to muscle through and sleep on the plane. Suffice to say, the tiredness caught up with me very quickly, but I'm feeling a lot fresher now than I did yesterday after we flew back.

I'll be doing a big old write up of the whole trip in the next week or so, plus I'm still waiting for people to dump their pictures onto Facebook for me to use. For now though, enjoy this one of me holding up a finished batch of macrons while my face wasn't quite ready for the photo.