Monday, 31 October 2016

Blessed Samhain

Blessed Samhain to all my friends and family.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Dolmen Grove Essex & Kent Moot

Today was moot day. Due to previous traffic problem Toni and I set off early and went to Helen and Keith's first where we enjoyed a quick catch up and a spot of lunch before heading off to Grays for the moot.

Keith kicked things off with the amazing talking and singing hat (courtesy of Jess)!

Just the thing to get everyone in a good mood LOL.

We had originally thought we'd have a low turnout today but it was pretty good plus we had two new people come along which was great. We've had a steady increase in people interested in the moot which is very encouraging.

We starting things off with a short drumming session to raise the energy in the room. Toni then conducted a short Samhain ceremony with meditation which was well received. It was then time for nibbles and socialising followed by raffle and an update on the Free Spirit camp in August next year.

Once most people had gone there was the usual loitering and chatting that goes on which gave me a chance to grab a couple of lovely sunset shots.

I love this time of year :)

It was a lovely moot with some great energy.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Bella Italia, Doctor Strange 3D and Battlestar Galactica

Today Toni, Sam and I went to Bexleyheath and had a lovely lunch in Bella Italia compliments of Sam. They've really expanded their gluten free options which is great. After the noms we hot Cineworld to go and see Doctor Strange again, this time in 3D.

I won't repeat my views on the film on the whole as these can be read on my blog post from Wednesday here:

As I said then I thought this film would be worth seeing in 3D and it certainly was. Some of the visual effects really go into overdrive when watching in 3D. It was brilliantly done and thankfully not really used for any really fast action scenes. I was seriously impressed and this is really only the second film that I can genuinely say I loved seeing in 3D (Karl Urban's Dredd being the other).

So, if you like Doctor Strange and/or Marvel stuff and you have no problem with 3D films then I would definitely recommend going to see this version.

The rest of the day was spent watching many episodes of Battlestar Galactica.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Time for some change and Battlestar Galactica

Following on from my post yesterday there has been lots of thinking about who I am. It's definitely time to get back to being girly again. I started tonight immediately after work where I slipped into a nice dress. It was actually very cathartic. There was definitely a change for the positive within me. It felt very good to be back again :)

Toni and I spent the evening watching the Battlestar Galactic mini-series ready for a run on seasons one to four. This will probably our show that we binge watch in between regular catch ups on current weekly shows.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

IPL session and emotional response

It was off to Avalon Laser Clinic in Bromley tonight for my next bought of IPL. I haven't been since May and Sarah was pretty impressed with how things were looking after such a long break. Usually I have my IPL done while wearing headphones to distract myself from the noise of the machine and to try and help me relax more but I decided to do it without today.

It was actually a very quick session. Most areas I hardly notice anything during the treatment and it's only the stubborn goatee area now which causes any real discomfort.

As has happened in the past I got quite emotional during the treatment. Today was more obvious than before. I've spent the past few months more in 'boy' mode and it didn't really feel right, it was like something was missing. Having my treatment tonight reminded me why I was having it at all. It became very clear to me that it was time to ditch 'boy' mode and head back into the comfort of girl mode to actually feel properly comfortable about who I am.

I think there will be a few changes coming on very shortly. They might be subtle but they'll be obvious to me LOL

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Doctor Strange

Tonight it was off to Cineworld in Bexleyheath to see Marvel's latest film Doctor Strange.

Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a brilliant yet arrogant neurosurgeon whose life is turned upside down when he barely survives a devastating car accident. Embarking on a journey of self-discovery, he travels to the Far East where he becomes the protégé of the mysterious Ancient One (Tilda Swinton). A mystical being she opens Stephen’s mind to extraordinary alternate dimensions, which Stephen eventually learns to manipulate in his new guise as superhero Doctor Strange. Soon Stephen’s abilities are put to the ultimate test when villainous Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen) threatens the future of the entire world.

I'm a big fan of the Marvel films and Doctor Strange did not disappoint me. It's up there as one of my favourites already. I guess it was the use of magickal concepts that I can relate to that really made it resonate.

You won't here me say this very often but I think this is one film that might actually be worth seeing in 3D. We saw the 2D version and the visual effects were stunning and I can really see how a 3D showing would enhance things for the better. A return trip might be on the cards.

Here's the trailer as a taster:

Monday, 24 October 2016

Luke Cage marathon

Following on from Jessica Jones yesterday we finished our Luke Cage marathon tonight. Another excellent series from Marvel that paves the way for The Defenders.

Once again we have crossovers, this time with both Daredevil and Jessica Jones which makes the whole thing gel together nicely with that little bit of familiarity.

Check it out if you haven't already:

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Jessica Jones marathon

Today was labelled Jessica Jones day as Toni and I started blitzing through the season (so that we can avoid any more spoilers that might pop up in Luke Cage). This is another excellent Marvel TV show put together with Netflix.

I love the airtime that some of the lesser known Marvel characters are getting in TV shows with them all leading to crossovers. Jessica Jones gives our first introduction to Luke Cage who now has his own show too. Next year all this will link up for the Defenders series that is coming.

This is definitely one to check out if you are interested in lesser know Marvel characters and things running at a slightly slower pace than your standard superhero fare. Ideally it is best to watch this series before starting Luke Cage.

It was a great way to chill out on a Sunday to keep nice and relaxed and ready for the impending working week ;)

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Cooking, Sons Of Anarchy finale and Rocky Horror NO

Today was an unusual day as I decided to crack out my culinary skills........ I know right! For breakfast I made a lovely cheesy scrambled egg for Toni and I. It was so nice. We then did a catch up on loads of TV shows before deciding what to have for dinner. I decided that I was going to make some coleslaw from scratch. Carrots, cabbage, onion, mayo and cheese were all thrown together and we enjoyed this little delight!

I've never made it before but it was a major success! I was so happy :)

After dinner we watched the finale of Sons Of Anarchy. What a brilliant end to a fantastic series. I can't recommend Sons Of Anarchy enough. It was like Breaking Bad in that you see characters completely change throughout the life of series and you can go from loving to hating.

Our day rounded off watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do The Time Warp Again. This is the remake of that old classic that we all know and love. I'm really not sure how I feel about this. The story was there, the characters were there (mostly), the songs were there (sort of) but.....  I don't think I like it although it did have it's moments... in places at least! 

I didn't like Laverne Cox in her role as Frank-N-Furter purely for the delivery and the accent. I also fully understand why the trans community saw this casting as a completely retrograde step. It was a big NO from me and detracted from the magic and completely didn't work in some scenes. especially referring to Frank as a she! I didn't really take to Christina Milan as Magenta either. This was a damn shame as she is my favourite character. Ben Vereen also didn't really work as Dr Everett von Scott which was a damn shame as again more things didn't work properly. 

Thumbs up to Reeve Carney as Riff Raff, Annaleigh Ashford as Columbia and Adam Lambert as Eddie. Honourable mention goes to Tim Curry for his role as The Criminologist. 

The whole thing is a big NO though. It just doesn't quite work when taken as a whole.

Here's the trailer, make your own minds up but you have been warned LOL

Friday, 21 October 2016

Logan trailer

Yesterday the trailer for Logan was made available. I love Wolverine in the X-Men films and I enjoy the stand alone Wolverine films much more than I probably should so I am really looking forward to this.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Dawn French @ The Vaudeville Theatre

Tonight we did something different as it was off to The Vaudeville Theatre on The Strand to see Dawn French in her new show Thirty Million Minutes. We met up with Athena for an evening of fun.

The show was wonderful, a great mix of humour and emotional stuff. I was delighted to hear the terms norks and growler LOL.

Brilliant night out with brilliant company.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

Ooooh how they tease us! Marvel have just released this cool little snippet of Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 that is due out on May 5th 2017. Guardians may be the oddball of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (in that they are standalone characters for now) but the first one was great and I have no doubt that the second one will be just as entertaining.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Drowning, not waving

Drowning, not waving. That basically sums up today. I'm not going to share the details but today left me battered and bruised. Things seemed to come from all directions and sometimes from the most unexpected places.

Thank heavens for real friends and my wonderful wife to keep me sane! Things can only go up from here :)

Monday, 17 October 2016

New Rogue One posters

With the release of Rogue One coming ever closer Lucasfilm have started to up the ante on publicity. Here are the next set of posters, all character based like they did for The Force Awakens.

All of them look great and I've just had another gush of Star Wars excitement.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Star Wars Battlefront with Scarlett and Kenzie

Today started well. I spent an enjoyable two hours playing Star Wars Battlefront online with Scarlett and Kenzie. Although I didn't push myself I have to say that they are both turning into good little games.

The rest of the day was spent with Toni and I having a Sons Of Anarchy fest clocking up another seven episodes and just into the beginning of the final season.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Games, guitar and horror

After what can only be described as a frustrating week I was looking forward to a nice chilled weekend. Today was a great start to that.  The morning was spent playing a little Star Wars Battlefront and then some Vermintide. This was followed by me cracking out the old acoustic for a bit of music and songwriting :) It was a much needed therapy session.

Toni and I popped over to Essex to see Helen and Keith in the evening. After a quick snack Toni and Helen went off to see some friends leaving Keith and I to indulge in a little cheesy horror film fun courtesy of the Horror Channel.

We managed to get three films in: Satan's School For Girls, The Curse Of The Werewolf and The Sand. Satan's School was absolutely dire with wooden acting and a terrible ending. The Curse Of The Werewolf was the Hammer classic so passed muster just for the ground that it paved (not bad for a film made in 1961). The Sand was hilarious and had us both shouting at the TV but at least there was acting, a reasonable plot and some awful effects.

Once Toni and Helen returned we enjoyed a lovely Indian meal and then there was much fun and laughter before we headed back home again.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Rogue One trailer

Trailer number two for Rogue One is here and the excitement is now really building up. I'm liking how they are keeping a lot of mystery with these trailers.

It's frustrating but also good that they aren't filling the trailers with Darth Vader and things that we know. Another piece of Darth Vader's story will no doubt be revealed in Rogue One but it's just a cameo alongside the rest of the story. I'm particularly looking forward to seeing how they develop the character of Director Orson Krennic.

SIXTY THREE days to go!!!!!!

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Rogue One poster and new trailer tomorrow!

The official Star Wars Facebook page dropped an image of the theatrical poster for the release of Rogue One. It looks very nice!

They also teased that a new trailer will appear tomorrow. This will probably be the final one before the release of Rogue One. I can't wait to see if any things are revealed in the trailer!

Challenging day

Another day in the "challenging" category. Things are still a bit raw from our little Trump Rally on Monday and it's going to take a while to settle down. Feedback was given to relevant parties and I hope that lessons will be learned so that we don't end up with another situation like this. I have a horrible feeling that it won't be quite as simple as that.

Just when I thought it was safe to go into the water disaster struck! The rest of the day was spent unravelling an unholy mess and trying to get to the bottom of a problem.

It's starting to feel like we are all sitting on a powder keg right now and it won't take much to set the whole thing off. I'm desperately hoping that this isn't the case and that still waters are ahead.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016


I didn't blog about it yesterday but Monday was interesting. There was a meeting. An announcement was made and there was shock and anger due to the way things were handled. The only way I could describe this complete and utter gaff is in political terms. It was like wheeling out Donald Trump at a Labour Party conference! Political disaster is the only way to describe it.

I spent all day today chatting to all my team members to gauge how they felt about the whole thing. It was reassuring that every one was prepared to open up and didn't hold back so I now have some very valuable feedback to pass on to manage. It's going to be a slow week based on the way things went today and getting the teams motivated again is going to take a LOT of hard work.

Still, I love a challenge me!

Monday, 10 October 2016


Well us Star Wars fans all love the number 66. Most equate it with the infamous Order 66 that signalled the end of the Jedi. Today we hit 66 days until Rogue One is with us!

Not Star Wars related but if we go 666 then we assume something could be evil. Sam and I checked out the first three episodes of the TV series version of The Exorcist. It's made a promising start with lots of nice little nods towards the original film. If you like a but of horror then this is worth watching.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

We Are X

Zoe and I headed off to Leicester Square to attend a screening of the X Japan documentary We Are X. This was being shown as part of the British Film Institute's London Film Festival.

The even started off with a quick intro from director Stephen Kijack (on the left)

We Are X is a 2016 British documentary film about the Japanese heavy metal band X Japan and its co-founder, drummer, pianist and leader Yoshiki. Directed by Stephen Kijak, it premiered on January 23, 2016 at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. X Japan's story is told through the life of Yoshiki leading up to their performance at Madison Square Garden on October 11, 2014. Tragedy follows the musician and his band; his father committed suicide when he was still a child, his childhood friend and X Japan co-founder and vocalist Toshi was "brainwashed" by a cult leading to the group's breakup in 1997, guitarist hide died five months later, and former bassist Taiji died eleven months after performing with the group for the first time in 18 years.

We Are X is a very emotional film for an X Japan fan like myself. It's full of highs and lows and is an amazing story. I did shed a tear a few teams I have to confess. Even if you know nothing of X Japan it is still a great documentary and I would definitely recommend going to see it if you get a chance.

After the film was a brief Q&A with Stephen Kijak which was sadly way too short but I did manage to ask him a question afterwards.

Here's the trailer to give you an idea of what it was all about:

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Shamanic Drum Birthing Workshop

It was up bright and early today to head into the wilds of Kent to attend a Shamanic Drum Birthing Workshop run by Jonathan Weekes of Heron Drums. A good mood was set with a beautiful sky as we made our way there.

We started off with smudging, opening ceremony and some drumming around a very nice altar.

The group was split into two halves for the drumming so some got to play while the others got to feel the energies and then we swapped round to go the other way. A beautiful energy was created during all of this that set the tone for the rest of the day.

Jonathan then proceeded to show us the basic steps to making a drum. This is the one that he made as part of that session: 

 After a break for lunch it was then time for the sixteen of us to knuckle down and carry out the process ourselves. We were all provided with a hoop and then had to select our hide. Toni and I opted for stag.


Hide for drum skin:

Hide cut for lacing:

The next couple of hours (I think) was spent with all of us building our drums. It was such a wonderful experience watching everything take shape.

It was such a thrilling moment to finally finish and give birth to my drum :) The only down side is that I can't play it for at least week while it dries out properly.

After the birthing we all did a drum meditation to connect with the spirit of our drums. This was quite an overwhelming experience but was very positive.

Here is the group with our new family :)

This was a fantastic day out and when I would highly recommend to anyone who has an interest in shamanic drums. It's one thing owning one but quite another building your very own. Jonathan Weekes is a fantastic teacher and made this such a fun experience.