All finger puppets can be bought here.
Shot on location in one of my favourite restaurants: Nando's! They do indeed have an unlimited refills offer and I have thought the exact same thing as Gary many times. You can actually just about see my brother Kristen behind Gary in all of the photographs too, if you look.
All finger puppets can be bought here.
After Monday's entry, a friend of mine told me that I should follow it up with a list of twenty good things people have done to/for me, so, that's exactly what today's entry is! I did plan to post this yesterday, but I ended up being quite busy, to it's now the regular Wednesday entry.
1. I've mentioned before what I think the kindest thing anybody ever did for me was.
2. Three different people have told me that I'm the nicest person they ever met.
3. A friend of mine once surprised me with a bottle of my second favourite kind of lemonade (Boots).
4. A friend of mine once surprised me with my favourite kind of lemonade (Fentimans).
5. A friend of mine once gave me a book, just because I was 'such a good friend'.
6. A friend of mine once surprised me with a ginger bread cow. (You've seen this before.)
7. I was voted "Most likely to become an author" in my final year of compulsory education.
8. A friend of mine once got me a yoyo for Christmas, then when it broke, got me another, and told me I can look forward to a third.
9. A homeless man once called me "a really beautiful person".
10. Before leaving Corsham to return to their university, a friend of mine dropped off some Thorntons chocolate for me.
11. One night, when feeling a little sad, a friend of mine invited me into their bed so I wouldn't have to be alone.
12. Having Colin Baker say that he thought the amount I had to pay for his autograph was unfairly high.
13. Somebody who was almost a complete stranger once came up to me and complimented me on my blog.
14. Having somebody challenge me to a rap battle and then telling me they'd give up because there was nothing bad to say about me.
15. An English teacher of mine very kindly read about fifty thousand words of my writing just to help me improve.
16. Having lots of my friends read my one hundredth story as they considered it a special occasion.
17. A few times I have been trusted with secrets that nobody else knew.
18. Being told I give 'perfect advice'.
19. When I had to visit the hospital recently, I had multiple people offering to come with me.
20. Finally a small thing, and a bit of a cheat, but I always love it when somebody tells me that somebody I don't know that well has said nice things about me.
Deary me, I feel a little like I'm arrogantly boasting now! This list was a little hard to make than the other, which is sad, I suppose.
I'm feeling a little lazy today, so, rather than just writing out a regular old anecdote I'm going to try something different. Since the most popular entries are about something funny or embarrassing happening to me, I thought I'd just give a quick context-less list of twenty bad things, that way you'll also get a hint of things I'll make entries out of in the future:
So, somebody has:
1. Set my hair on fire.
2. Set my trousers on fire.
3. Set my tie on fire.
4. Hid some kind of disgusting rotten meat in my bag.
5. Watched me getting changed.
6. Punched me in the face.
7. Spat in my eye.
8. Tried to club me with the branch of a tree.
9. Replaced the water in my water bottle with vodka.
10. Kicked me in the crotch.
11. Forcibly removed my clothing from the waist down (and outside too!).
12. Tied me to a poll.
13. Sent me anonymous rape threats (along with information of places I walk alone).
14. Sent me death threats.
15. (this one is hard to explain: you know how kids will sometimes stretch an action figure's trousers forward to check and see if they're anatomically correct? Well, somebody ran up to me once and did that to me.)
16. Poured acid into my eyes.
17. Poured vodka into my eyes.
18. Almost drowned me by holding my head under a gushing sink.
19. Threatened to stab me, in person.
20. Thrown a chair at me.
But never mind, heh heh :D
This is a very exciting crossover between the two television series Star Trek: The Next Generation and Doctor Who. You might worry that, if you're only familiar with one of them, you might not be able to understand the storyline, if you're a Star Trek fan and only have a rough understanding of Doctor Who (a face changing alien travels through time and space with his human companions) you'll get on fine, but if you're primarily a Doctor Who fan, I will say that you should at least have seen the Star Trek story The Best of Both Worlds to fully understand this.
Anyway, the plot is, that the Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory are going about their adventures as usual, as are Picard and his crew, when they run into each other. The Doctor soon realises that two universes have been merged and that the Cybermen of his universe have made an alliance with the Borg of Picard’s universe. The Doctor and Picard must then team up to ensure the safety of every universe. Along the way, there is also a brief appearance by the Fourth Doctor as well as Captain Kirk and his Enterprise crew, which is nice.
The majority of the artwork is done by J. K. Woodward and it does look very nice indeed. All of the characters are drawn in an almost photo-realistic way and it makes it easy to imagine this as an actual live action crossover. Having said that, there's the odd moment when a character will randomly look very weird, and it's quite jarring.
While the story is generally enjoyable, the thing which bothered me the most was the Doctor's morality; his ethics here seemed contradictory and hypocritical when you look at his actions in various television appearances. I actually found myself agreeing with Worf, of all people, over the Doctor at one point. I also felt that the ending seemed a little rushed.
(buy the first half here, and the second half here)
(I do not own the copyright if the cover image)
This book is full to the brim with wonderful pirate tropes. Without this, the pirate genre in general may well never have been so popular, and would definitely be very different, this was a very influential novel.
The story is narrated by Jim Hawkins, a boy who works at an inn, He has a fairly normal life there, until somebody named Billy Bones comes to stay and then somebody named Black Dog comes by looking for him. Before long, Billy Bones is dead, and Jim finds himself in possession of an old treasure map that used to belong to him and decides to set out on an adventure. He comes into contact with an old sea cook named Long John Silver, then they start their quest to find the treasure.
As I mentioned at the start, this book is full of typical pirate tropes, and I love it for that! I love the pirate genre and in this book you have pirates with pet parrots, mysterious tropical islands, lots of references to real life pirates, life out on the sea and all other wonderful things. My favourite part, actually, is probably when they are wandering around on the island at night, I don't want to spoil it, but what happens is really quite creepy and certainly left a lasting impression on me.
One downside, though, is that while this is a moderately short novel, it still manages to be a little be boring at times. The boring sections never last for any significant length of time, but, I found sometimes something interesting will happen, and then immediately after something mediocre will happen and your excitement will go if you continue reading. I also felt that, while there were some rather interesting characters in the novel, Jim wasn't really one of them, the narrator just seems to be a generic boy of his time and is not really very exciting, especially when compared to the likes of Long John Silver (who is a very good character).
Still, this novel is definitely worth reading, especially for those who are fans of the pirate genre! Rating:
(buy it here, the cover has changed, but this is the same edition I own.)
(I do not own the copyright of the cover image)
This graphic novel is a sequel to the first League of Extraordinary Gentleman book, and also, quite cleverly, takes place during the novel The War of the Worlds, telling us what all of the characters (who are all taken from other novels) did during the invasion of Earth.
I think the alien invasion storyline is a big step-up from the first one; it gives the whole thing a much bigger feeling of suspense and really raises the stakes too. Without wanting to spoil anything, I will tell you that the team will have some significant personal losses during the course of the story. What I did find, though, was that this second volume was much more sexually explicit than the last and, since this is a graphic novel, there are some very graphic images that go along with these scenes, so, I thought I had better put a warning!
On the subject of images, this volume, just like the first, is illustrated by Kevin O'Neill, and a very good job he does too! Again, there is a wonderful feeling to the nineteenth century England which is created through the pictures, and they're able to set the tone of the piece quite well. I was also especially fond of the way the tripods were depicted: large and menacing, but cool and steampunk-y at the same time! Also, there are small easter eggs (most commonly references to classic novels) hidden in the background of scenes and whatnot, which are fun to spot.
I think this is a nice step up from the first one in terms of quality, and anybody who enjoyed that, should definitely read this one too! I'll also add, that while this is a sequel, it works perfectly well as a standalone too, you don't really need to have read the first one to be able to enjoy this, and, in fact, I hadn't read the first when I first read this! It's just a wonderful crossover of literary characters in the nineteenth century. Rating: 9/10
(buy it here)
(I do not own the copyright of the cover image.)
This is the first book in the Northern Lights trilogy, a fantasy series set in a different version of the Earth in the nineteenth century, where every human has their own dæmon companion.
The story follows a loveable twelve year old girl named Lyra. At first, Lyra just has fun playing around with her dæmon Pantalaimon and her friends at Jordan College. I should point out that, she's not a student there, she's too young for that, she just lives there because her uncle (who looks after her) works there. Lyra learns about a mysterious substance known as 'Dust' (and it's not just regular old dust) and children start mysteriously disappearing. Lyra is then sent away and, before long, finds herself on a long journey involving a race of intelligent bears and a very dark conspiracy...
One particular aspect that I enjoyed were the dæmons themselves. In the world of this novel, when a human is born, they suddenly have a dæmon companion who will stay with them for the rest of their life. They assume the form of a small animal and are fully sentient. Humans and dæmons love each other very much and, in fact, there is a strong kind of connection between them which means that, they physically cannot be separated without extreme emotional and mental anguish to both of them. They say, in fact, that anybody separated from their dæmon would surely die...
On the whole this is a book with many appeals: it's set in a world where things are different, so it's always interesting to see how the things we know about are different (such as The Bible), human and dæmon interactions can be simply adoreable, Lyra is a very likeable main character and there's a big mystery too, you'll find yourself trying to piece together all the clues you get as it goes along. As this is the first in a trilogy, the story is not over at the end of the novel and, I, at least, was left eagerly wanting to read the next! Rating: 8.6/10
(buy it here)
(I do not own the copyright of the cover image.)
This novel features a new adventure for the Second Doctor and his companions Jamie and Victoria. Something I think is important to point out, though, is that this feels more like a story that just happens to involve the Doctor and his friends, rather than a story about the Doctor and his friends going on an adventure. I think the novel could probably stand on its own, even if all the Doctor Who elements were removed, as there are so many other strong characters and storylines.
The story is that the Haddron Republic is at a critical point in its history, the old ruler, Kesar, is being kept imprisoned in a space station (which looks just like a castle) and the new ruler, Trayx is staying there, expecting a team of assassins to come for Kesar, but not wanting him killed for various reasons. The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria land in the middle of this castle space station, just as somebody has been murdered and they soon find themselves caught up in all of the events. Surprisingly enough, they are not accused of the murder, but trusted almost instantly, I think this is probably something of an intentional subversion of how many Doctor Who stories start.
The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria are all captured in print very well. Despite no visual stimulus, I found that it was written well enough for me to be able to picture it all as if it were an episode of the TV series. Outside of the characters who have a television counterpart, there are also many memorable people, my favourites being a guard named Darkling and also Kesar. You’ll find yourself hoping they all survive, and, I must say without spoiling anything, the threats to everybody’s lives get very high!
The story is quite a bit darker than any of the televised adventures, and a little more serious too, but this originality is good, and it provides an very entertaining tale. Rating: 8.3/10
(buy it here)
(I do not own the copyright of the cover photo)
Back in the summer of 2007, before I had discovered the delights of a Trusty Water Bottle, I was quite a fan of Dr. Pepper. Every day, me and my friend Ben Wood (and sometimes Dalfino Madrigal Keyte, too) would pop into town after school and my Dad would buy us each a delicious bottle of Dr. Pepper.
Anyway, one summer's day, I decided I would bring a bottle of it to school so that I could have a nice drink if I got thirsty in the heat. I was sitting in my Food Technology class with my old friend Danielle Tyler, when I decided that I wanted some of the Dr. Pepper. Of course, the rules were, that only water was allowed to be consumed by students in classes, and so I would have to have my drink secretly, if I wanted it at all. I looked around and realised I couldn't see the teacher.
"Has she gone?" I asked Dani.
"Yeah, she went to do some photocopying," she said.
"Oh good!" I said happily.
So, I reached into my backpack, pulled out my Dr. Pepper, and opened it up. Sadly, the bottle must have gotten a little shaken up, as when I removed the lid, the liquid surged to the top and burst out all over the table. Just at that moment, I saw that my teacher was heading towards the room, and I forgot to mention earlier, she was probably one of the strictest of them all. I tried, and failed, to mop it up with my school organiser book.
"Adam, what's all that on the table?" the teacher asked when she came in.
"I don't know," I said, "It's pretty gross, it was just all over the table when I came in."
Dani's laughter, and the fact that it was an obvious lie, meant that the teacher did not fall for that.
"Why is it on your shirt as well then? Do you have a drink in your bag?"
"Yes," I said sadly, and she took it away from me.
And with that, my one and only attempt at bringing a Dr. Pepper drink into school was brought to an end.
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