January 1st 2015
Having seen in the New Year with board games, fireworks watching (well, fireworks on TV) and general confusion as to which of the members of Queen are still alive, I must turn my attention to the next order of business: the Coddies. Yes, it's film awards time again, and the rules are the same as ever: I must have seen the film on general release in 2014, or it must have had a release date in 2014 (i.e. allowing me scope to include films I've seen on DVD or, in one instance, on a plane). Somehow it's taken me this long to realise that this format is somewhat biased towards films released earlier in the year; if, for example, Short Term 12 had been released earlier in 2013, I would have been able to watch it on DVD that year and Brie Larson would be the proud holder of the 2013 Coddie for Best Actress. Anyhow, I digress.
I saw 27 films under contention for the 2014 Coddies, exactly the same number that I saw for 2013, and of those there are only five that haven't had any nominations at all: Captain America: The Winter Solider; Grudge Match; Let's Be Cops; The Monuments Men; The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Elsewhere, it has been a particularly strong year for leading actors, and there was no room in the nominations for excellent performances from Andrew Garfield, Tom Cruise, Ralph Fiennes, Christian Bale, Jesse Eisenberg and Channing Tatum; it was a less impressive year for supporting actors, where I was almost reduced to including Ice Cube in the running. As usual I didn't see a lot of films with leading actresses, for which I'm apportioning blame 50:50 between myself and Hollywood, and I have to admit that the list of six nominations is also the full list of candidates. The exciting news is that one particular actress has become the first person to win two Coddies, and one film has broken the record for the most Coddies won. Right, here goes.
Her - Earlier in 2014 I devoted a whole entry to how great this film is (see July 23rd 2014) and my opinion hasn't changed. A truly original film which is masterfully created across the board, special praise must go to Spike Jonze for writing & directing, and to Joaquin Phoenix & Scarlett Johansson for their performances. Although it created a lot of buzz among film fans and film-makers, it surprisingly only won one Oscar last year. The number of Coddies it's getting today will hopefully make up for that...
Edge of Tomorrow - one of the best blockbusters in years, it feels fresh despite sharing a plot device with Groundhog Day, and is also very funny. Tom Cruise's best performance since Collateral and best film since Jerry Maguire.
X-Men: Days of Future Past - cleverly melding original and prequel casts in a time travel story, this is possibly the best X-Men film yet and undoes a lot of the damage done by weaker previous instalments.
Nightcrawler - although slightly reminiscent of Network and Taxi Driver, this is another truly original film that takes Jake Gyllenhaal to new levels and is only let down by a slightly weak ending.
The Imitation Game - with a good script and a strong cast, it loses pace after an excellent first hour but still delivers as a very decent film.
Boyhood - filmed over 12 years, this is a remarkable movie that would have been outstanding had it been more ruthlessly edited: it really needed to lose 30-45 minutes.
Best Actor in a Leading Role
Joaquin Phoenix (Her) - he's shown before, in Walk the Line, that he is a very good actor, but Phoenix blew that out of the water with this subtle and beautiful performance, capturing the audience's sympathies despite the unorthodox character and relationship he's portraying. As I've said here before, failing to even nominate him for an Oscar was the Academy's biggest mistake in years.
Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler) - he comes across as a psychotic Apprentice candidate, calmly using management speak while he exploits death and destruction to further his own professional ambitions.
Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) - he is the go-to man for awkward genius, but there's a reason for that: it's impossible to imagine this film without Cumberbatch as its enigmatic centre.
Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club) - not quite worthy of the Oscar he was given (the Academy loves an actor changing his weight for a role), but still a career breakthrough.
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street) - his partnership with Scorcese continues to deliver strong and charismatic performances in over-long films.
Ben Affleck (Gone Girl) - just edging out Garfield, Cruise et al, Affleck gets the best out of this complex and conflicted character.
Best Actress in a Leading Role
Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) - I was very disappointed by the denouement of this film (don't worry, no spoilers here) but I can't really blame Pike for that. This is the best performance of her - in fairness, chequered - career so far, a character who keeps the audience guessing throughout, and is played confidently throughout.
Emily Blunt (Edge of Tomorrow) - playing against type, she holds her own as an action hero (action heroine, I guess) and, unusually, is in a film that is at least as good as she is.
Felicity Jones (The Invisible Woman) - her career rise continues, and while she'll go onto greater things, this was well done.
Amy Adams (American Hustle) - the film was ridiculously over-hyped (10 Oscar nominations!), but Adams is always good value.
Keira Knightley (Begin Again) - she does pretty well in the role, despite the awkwardness of the pairing with the below-par Mark Ruffalo. Good singing.
Emma Stone (Magic in the Moonlight) - she had a tough job with a dreadful script in the worst film I saw last year, but at least comes out with far more credit that Colin Firth.
Spike Jonze (Her) - a third Coddie for Her, this time for Jonze's excellent direction. Not only does he get the best out of his cast, he showed an admirable ruthlessness in cutting away whole subplots and characters to get to the movie that he wanted to make. The film shows such a kindness and gentleness at its heart that it's amazing to know that it was directed by the man behind the truly unpleasant Being John Malkovich; I hope this marks a change of direction and look forward to his next film.
Richard Linklater (Boyhood) - he deserves praise for even conceiving the film, and manages to produce something truly remarkable.
Bryan Singer (X-Men: Days of Future Past) - it's not easy making a slick and enjoyable superhero movie, as the likes of Marc Webb and Brett Ratner have discovered, but Singer does it again with this superb effort. Quicksilver is a highlight.
Richard Ayoade (The Double) - his second film is perhaps too stylised for its own good, but is still a very good accomplishment and bodes well for his future career.
James Gunn (The Guardians of the Galaxy) - his film is anarchic and funny, a surprisingly strong adaptation of a comic no one has heard of.
Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler) - directing his own script, he must take at as much credit as Gyllenhaal for this unique movie.
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Robert Duvall (The Judge) - the film itself didn't live up to expectations, with awkward subplots, implausible developments and a meandering finale, but Duvall is on good form as the titular judge whose relationship with his son drives the movie. He manages to show strength while also portraying the weaknesses of a man whose faculties are failing him.
Bradley Cooper (American Hustle) - another on-form actor in a film that is strong on acting and weak on story.
Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler) - his nervousness and fear is a perfect offset to Gyllenhaal's calm certainty.
Will Arnett (The Lego Movie) - I'm not afraid to dish out nominations for voice performances, and Arnett's Batman is so funny that he has already got his own spin-off in the works.
Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street) - he moves further away from his previous Apatow-and-friends comedy roles, and keeps up with DiCaprio throughout the mayhem.
Oscar Isaac (The Two Faces of January) - his abilities bode well for much bigger roles coming up in Star Wars & X-Men.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle) - the first person to win two Coddies (her previous victory was as Best Actress in a Leading Role for The Hunger Games), she is a ray of light in this film, and by far the funniest thing in it. Her scene about a microwave is arguably better than the entire rest of the story, and if she is ill-suited on paper to play Christian Bale's wife then, well, clearly no one told her.
Patricia Arquette (Boyhood) - in one scene towards the end of the film she flips the entire thing on its head, showing that perhaps Boyhood is really a film about a mother watching her son grow up.
Scarlett Johnasson (Her) - it's incredible that a voice performance - of an operating system! - could be so powerful, and key to the film working as well as it did.
Emma Stone (The Amazing Spider-Man 2) - the 'superhero love interest' role has never been done so well - move aside, Kirsten Dunst - and her chemistry with Andrew Garfield is, by a country mile, the best thing in this rather muddled film.
Jessica Chastain (Interstellar) - as the abandoned daughter of an astronaut, she is the best of the supporting cast here.
Amy Adams (Her) - another subtle role, worlds away from her flamboyant turn in American Hustle, I think she actually does better here.
Best Visual Effects
Interstellar - while the film itself doesn't make much sense, the visuals are excellent: possibly more so in the dust bowl on Earth than when the action turns to space. Not as breathtaking as 2013's Gravity, but still distinctive and very well done.
Guardians of the Galaxy - if you can get us to care about a tree-thing that can only say "I Am Groot", you must have done a good job.
Edge of Tomorrow - the battle scenes are superbly executed, allowing for lucid action that gives Cruise and Blunt a chance to shine.
X-Men: Days of Future Past - particularly impressive in the early parts of the film showing warring Sentinels and the new mutant, Blink.
Best Writing – Adapted Screenplay
Graham Moore (The Imitation Game) - whether or not their Alan Turing was anything like the real person - and some have argued that his awkwardness was exaggerated - he is a great centre for a film that touches on much more than just code-breaking. Although it does code-breaking remarkably well.
Richard Ayoade & Avi Korine (The Double) - I must admit I've not read the original, but this was a distinctive and unusual script.
Adam Cozad & David Koepp (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit) - standard action in many places, perhaps, but this was the first time I really cared about Jack Ryan as a person, and arguably the best since The Hunt for Red October.
Terence Winter (The Wolf of Wall Street) - a life this crazy must be a gift to a writer, but credit to him for the adaptation.
Best Writing – Original Screenplay
Spike Jonze (Her) - the fourth and final Coddie, and the only one for which the Academy actually awarded an Oscar. This script is testament to the fact that Hollywood can still produce original ideas with thoughtfulness and subtlety, without making them feel like gimmicks.
Michael Bacall, Oren Uziel & Rodney Rothman (22 Jump Street) - this sequel is very funny throughout, and while much of that is due to improvisation there is also plenty to enjoy in the screenplay. I'm claiming this is 'original' rather than 'adapted'.
Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler) - although the ending doesn't quite live up to the rest of it, this is another true original.
Phil Lord & Christopher Miller (The Lego Movie) - another comedy, this is an astonishing achievement given the remit.
Best Animated Film
The Lego Movie - fair enough, I only saw one animated film, but this is a worthy winner in any case. It is perhaps too hyperactive throughout, but it is very funny and is significantly better than anyone had any right to expect; just compare it with Battleship.
January 10th 2015
A UKIP councillor by the name of Rozanne Duncan was recently expelled from the party because she said that she had a problem with 'negroes' because there was 'something about their faces'. She says that she was quoted out of context, and maybe she was, but let's say she wasn't. Then let's say she decided to give up the pretence, and declared herself a racist. Let's say she teamed up with other racists, formed a group of people who publicly denounced 'negroes', and maintained a high-profile campaign against black people. Then, finally, let's say that some angry black people killed her. Would there be a national day of mourning? Would there be an outpouring of support across the country and the world? Would you, in fact, declare "I am Rozanne"?
Je ne suis pas Charlie. As you will know, Charlie Hebdo is the French satirical magazine where, this week, Islamic extremists killed cartoonists, staff members and bystanders on one of the worst days in Parisian memory. It goes without saying - or it should - that nothing justifies those murders. But being shot doesn't make you right. I have seen some of the cartoons published by Charlie Hebdo, and they are repellent; even allowing for a culturally different attitude to satire, there is nothing creditable in those pictures. The reporting of the attacks this week might have given you the impression that Charlie Hebdo published cartoons bravely pointing out the fallacies of Islam or its perversion by Muslim leaders, and in some cases that's true. But they also published needlessly offensive cartoons whose only purpose was to be needlessly offensive: a picture of a naked Mohammed bending over and leaving little to the imagination is not, in and of itself, something to be proud of or celebrated across the world.
That's why I ask: how is this any different to my hypothetical extrapolation of Rozanne Duncan, above? If freedom of expression means defending any and all views, no matter how offensive they are, then you can't cheer on Charlie Hebdo as evidence of a thriving democracy unless you'll also happily allow the propagation of racist material. Can you? Because that's the test of freedom of expression.
I'm not sure that any of the columns, tweets and cartoons I've seen this week, staunchly championing the ongoing victory of satire against terrorism, were produced by people who were actually offended by Charlie Hebdo's cartoons. And if you'll only support the freedom to express views that don't offend you, then you're not really supporting anything much at all.
The thing is, I don't necessarily disagree with the prevailing view: I just haven't seen it properly understood and taken to its logical conclusions. You might be Charlie; I am not Charlie, and I do not like Charlie; but I see that Charlie should not be banned. Now, take that sentence, change the word 'Charlie' to whatever views you most despise, and see if you can still say that. Because that's what you're supporting this week.
January 20th 2015
A while ago I played a game (provided by my friend Rick) where you had to put five different things in order - e.g. historical events in order from earliest to latest; or, in one memorable round, actors in order of how many times they'd been married - and scored points for how many you got in the right place. This got me thinking about the probability of achieving various different outcomes, assuming that you had to use all five (which, in fact, you didn't), and while it's obvious that the probability of getting all five right was 1/5!, it was less obvious what the other probabilities might be. So in some idle moments over the next week and a bit I worked on it, and have managed to get and prove an answer that is far from obvious, but is very elegant. It is, I think, the best maths problem I have ever set myself. I won't spoil the surprise for you (unless you're Ant, and I already have spoilt it for you, having sought your opinion while working on it), because I'm sure the mathematicians among you are eager to solve it. Here, for the sake of maintaining notation, is what I'm asking:
Let R(n,k) := the number of ways of putting n balls in order 1 to n such that k of them are in the right position.
Give a formula for R(n,k).
I'll give the answer here sometime. If that's not an incentive to check back, I don't know what is.
January 29th 2015
As has been my tradition for some years, here is my review of 2014 in Q&A form. For those of you who know him, Rob has already done his, with the same set of questions, so why not check his out as well?
1. What did you do in 2014 that you'd never done before?
Visited California; gone on holiday just with friends; sung in the CRBC music group; taken my car for an MOT; helped to change a flat tyre; driven north of Bristol; given a reading in a wedding; actually had to create a balance sheet; owned a lawn mower; bought an e-book; ran for 25 minutes straight. Also, I'm pretty sure it was the first year in which I've bought fresh onions.
2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Last year my resolution was to update this page at least once a week: by my calculations, that means at least 52 entries over the year. Well, I managed 24. I was going to repeat the resolution this year but I've already failed it, so let's say that my resolution for 2015 is to get up to, ooh, 40 entries across the year. Actually, while the volume may have died down, I do tend to put more time and thought into each entry and I think that's often reflected in a higher quality these days... if I say so myself. Also, while I wouldn't exactly call it a resolution, I have decided to start entering the Listener crossword this year, and have sent in my entry for all four so far. I'll keep you posted.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes. I'm going to avoid listing children this year, partly because I'm sure I'll miss someone out, and partly because I genuinely can't remember all the names these days. In fact, I can't always remember which of my friends is pregnant and which simply overdid it at Christmas. Sorry.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. What countries did you visit?
As well as the aforementioned trip to the USA's third largest state, I had the pleasure of accompanying Rob on his first ever trip to Wales, where we met up with Ant & Becca and managed to scare a few sheep with a frisbee.
6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
Fence panels in the right place! One of my fence panels has blown out three times, and another one has recently gone, so I'm going to bite the bullet and pay someone to mend them. Some point. Soon. Around the time I get round to painting the garage door and/or getting my floor fixed. Those three have been on my to-do list for several months.
7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Probably November 7th (of which, more later).
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I passed what might be my last ever exam, a multiple-choice online actuarial thingy that I probably won't ever need, but can't hurt to have. A bit of an anti-climax, I guess, after all the exams I've done in my life, but something to whack on the CV. I also beat Rob at squash, which I think I might have mentioned, and have recently beaten Pete a couple of times at the same sport. Plus, I recently had a tweet favourited by Michelle Monagahan.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Having failed to get onto Pointless in 2013, I failed once more in 2014, this time with Simon. We didn't even get an audition.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had a rather sore throat while in California, no doubt thanks to being in a flying box with dozens of other people for many hours, but worse was to come on the journey back when someone accidentally stood on my glasses. Don't worry, I'm still wearing them. Very few people notice that they're bent.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
I've bulked up my board games collection a bit, with Ticket to Ride and Munchkin to go alongside Pandemic, which Simon gave me for my birthday last year. My car journeys have been significantly improved by my increasing collection of Jeeves audiobooks.
12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
David & Victoria, whose wedding was one of the highlights of the year: I had the honour of being one of Dave's ushers, and it was a great pleasure to wish them - and their little girl - well in married life. Also, my very clever brother Dr. Simon Thomas, who will be overjoyed to discover he is joined in this list by Wolverhampton Wanderers, who not only won League One at a canter but also scored more points in 2014 than any other league club. I also hear that we should celebrate on behalf of Rob, who passed the exam he took towards the end of last year after having stayed with me for a week of revision & fun.
13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
There were enough appalling things around the world, from Isis to Boko Haram, to last a lifetime. Closer to home, I have written about how disappointing the Crown Prosecution Service has been, particularly in the case of Cliff Richard, where it increasingly seems that there is no case to answer. I'm infuriated by anyone who claims to believe that Jeremy Clarkson was being racist when he named his dog 'Didier Dogba'. Finally, while I wouldn't go so far as to say they actually appal me, I haven't taken kindly to the 20mph limits around Bristol... or to our suicidal cyclists...
14. Where did most of your money go?
The mortgage is the obvious candidate, I guess. Holidays to California and Norfolk were relatively inexpensive, given that we stayed with friends for a lot of the former and Simon & I went out of season for the latter, but still were amongst my biggest expenses for 2014. Fortunately, my money is with AXA Self Investor so it's GUARANTEED to grow at a phenomenal rate. (NB: not a real guarantee. Please don't fire me, AXA.)
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
I got to see a polar bear at San Diego zoo, and while my excitement may not have reached the kind of level to attract notice in California, I was still very excited. Oh! And on the same trip I got to see the Party of Five house! Speaking of TV-related visits, I also went to the Dad's Army Museum in Thetford, which wasn't all that exciting, if I'm honest, but was a jolly day out. Captain Mainwaring always reminds me a little of Pluggy (although Pluggy is, of course, much nicer).
16. What song will always remind you of 2014?
Demons by Imagine Dragons was on the radio almost constantly throughout our California, so probably that one. Also, listening to the Beach Boys while journeying across California was a great experience. I'm mentioning that trip a lot in this review, aren't I? It might be partly because I'm excited that I can remember something that happened in the Spring; usually when I do these I struggle to remember anything earlier than November.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?
Probably about the same.
ii. thinner or fatter?
Probably about the same. I lost some weight - and did some exercise - towards the Autumn, but I feel it might all have come back since Christmas.
iii. richer or poorer?
I think house prices have gone up, so I guess I'm richer. If only they'd brought in the stamp duty changes a year earlier, I'd be several hundred pounds better off.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
I got into a very good habit of getting up early for work, but it slipped throughout the year so I want to get back into that habit. Now that I park on the other side of Bristol, where I can get a space whatever time I arrive there, the incentive to leave the house by 7.30am has very much disappeared. I also should have watched Wolves more as we marched to League One victory: on my one trip to Molineux we lost to Walsall.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
I've listened to Taylor Swift rather more than I'm happy about.
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
The same way I've spent it every year for the last 20 or more.
21. How did it take you so many years to notice that this thing doesn't have a Question 21?
I don't count so good.
22. Did you fall in love in 2014?
Only if you count TV actresses from the late 90s. I'm talking about you, Sabrina Lloyd.
24. What was your favourite TV program?
...which leads me nicely into this question. Sabrina Lloyd was amongst the cast of Sports Night, Aaron Sorkin's sitcom set behind the scenes of a sports show, and in 2014 I finally got round to watching it; towards the end of the year I also watched The Newsroom, another Sorkin effort. Both are very good, but unfortunately only ran to two and three seasons respectively. What is it about Sorkin programmes set behind the scenes of live TV shows that makes audiences unappreciative? I also continued watching favourites that I've mentioned from previous years, including Pointless, The Graham Norton Show, the last season of HIMYM and Doctor Who (where Peter Capaldi has been great so far, and a much better doctor for Jenna Coleman than Matt Smith was. You could tell he missed Karen & Arthur).
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Donny flippin' Osmond. Again.
26. What was the best book you read?
I finished reading Mark Lewisohn's astonishing book on the Beatles - two more to come! - but didn't get to the end of a lot of other books, unfortunately. I read the Maze Runner trilogy, which was rather like the Hunger Games in many respects - including the half-hearted love triangle and very poor conclusion - except much worse. I'm currently reading three books, all of which are decent: Catch-22, Blair (a biography of Tony Blair published while he was still prime minister) & Travelling to Work (the third volume of Michael Palin's diaries), but none of them will resound through the ages for me. 2014 was the first year I read any comic books, making my way through several Spider-Man stories which are fascinating from a historical context, if nothing else. In the world of audiobooks, I listened to a spin-off book from the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, which was much better than I had any right to expect.
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
My greatest musical discovery was the realisation that I don't really want to make any more musical discoveries. I'm happy with what I know and will just make the odd addition, including in 2014 the excellent Tapestry by Carole King.
28. What did you want and get?
Some awesome pictures to go up the length of my stairs. Do check them out next time you're here.
29. What did you want and not get?
I thought about getting solar panels, but then I didn't.
30. What was your favourite film of this year?
I refer you to the recent Coddies for my favourite new films; my favourite films from previous years that I saw for the first time include: The King of Comedy, Short Term 12, The Beaver, The Spectacular Now & Fever Pitch.
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old?
My birthday was largely celebrating Simon's graduation, as he collected a set of degrees from Oxford and can now prove that he's a doctor. From there we had a nice meal in a pub on the outskirts of Oxford, and then headed to my parents' for the weekend. I turned 29, so this year is the big one...
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I really rather thought I'd bump into loads of film stars in California. That was disappointing.
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
I bought a coat from a charity shop. Then left it in America by mistake. Then paid for it to be returned to me, which cost more than the coat itself.
34. What kept you sane?
There's a "you sane Bolt" joke here that I've not quite put my finger on.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I'm starting to wonder if this question is offensive to women. But I've already thrown Sabrina Lloyd's name around like confetti. Which is more than can be said for confetti, which I found near-impossible to throw at Froudy's wedding.
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
What has really frustrated me is not so much the issues themselves as the way that people talk about them. The politicans themselves continue to say things they can't possibly believe - for example, I wrote a post here about David Cameron flagrantly misrepresenting something that Harriet Harman said - but that's also the default attitude of people I read on social media and elsewhere. I don't want to pile all the blame on the Left, because I'm sure it happens all across the political spectrum, but most of the nonsense I see is in attacks on the Tories and UKIP. There are serious topics to be debated, but I continually read childish outbursts like the repeated suggestion that the Tories would like nothing better than to destroy the NHS bit by bit, or that they base their policies on a hatred of poor people. No one of sense can believe this. Or, taking an example of a party I don't support, Nigel Farage was widely reported as having made a 'gaffe' when he said, in response to a question about breast-feeding, that he thought women should be free to do it in public but that they shouldn't be ostentatious. There is no other sensible response to that question. I long for political debate in this country to be sensible, intelligent and non-hysterical, but that day is a long way off.
37. Whom did you miss?
I don't think anyone particularly passed out of my life in 2014, which is nice, although I still would like to increase my efforts in catching up with old friends.
38. Who was the best new person you met?
There have been some new faces at work, including Minesh, Sarah & Phil (well, I don't think he was new, but I'd not met him before) and at church I met a chap called Jonathan. I don't meet that many new people these days.
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014:
Some people will lean back on a chair until it breaks, no matter how many times you warn them.
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
So you're scared and you're thinking that maybe we ain't that young any more / Show a little faith
Thunder Road - Bruce Springsteen
|what was I listening to?
Tears Roll Down - Tears for Fears
|what was I reading?
Travelling to Work - Michael Palin
|what was I watching?
The African Queen