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Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Efficiency Plus

Last week, just in time not to be able to do anything about it because of the holidays, I received official notification that I can start collecting my old age pension.

I already knew that my date was March 16th. In fact, they don't mention that in the letter, so it's just as well I knew it.

The letter said I need to apply four months before the date that I plan to receive my first pension payment. So that means they would have had to notify me by November 16th. December 23rd is a little bit late.

Just as well I don't want to claim till July at the earliest...

New baby, "old" baby and two tamanduas

Since breaking my foot in the summer, I haven't really been to the zoo, but a couple of weeks ago I managed a couple of hours.

I discovered that Effie, who has been longing for a baby for years, actually had a month-old baby His tiny head is just visible in her arms


Mjukuu's baby, a little girl who is now a year old, looked a bit thoughtful about no longer being the centre of attention.


The female tamandua (or tree anteater) was sleeping in ...a tree.

The male tamandua was on the wander.


Feeling Minnesota

Sorry, folks, I seem to be slowing down with my posts. I blame my iPad, which won't let me do posts in any way I've yet discovered, and my internet connection, which I must get round to phoning up and complaining about.

Vincent may not have looked at his best in this film, but it was entertaining, and he showed how good he can be at comedy.


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Sunday, December 06, 2015

Five minutes Mr Welles

An interesting view from an interesting movie


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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Ed Wood

I'm still cross that they dubbed over Vincent's voice. And his part was only small. BUt this was a really great film.

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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys

Even this big boy couldn't turn me into a believer.


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Sunday, November 08, 2015

Dying Young

One more silly woman who chose the wrong man.


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Sunday, November 01, 2015

Crooked Hearts

I wanted to post Crackers, but I can't find my photos! Still, I think this is a happy substitute...


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Sunday, October 18, 2015

Almost a snuggle

Twiglet and Mackie have now been together for a whole eight months, but yesterday was the first time Twiglet voluntarily plonked herself next to him without swearing, and he stayed put unafraid.


Chelsea Walls

Artsy-fartsy film I don't get and don't want to.


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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Cadillac Records

My ability to locate stills from Vincent's films by alphabetical order seems to have deserted me completely. So we are only now getting to Cadillac Records.

On the TV quiz Mastermind just last week someone answered questions on Chess Records, which I believe to be the real identity of the company this film is about.

I imagine Vincent loved being able to smoke while actually filming this.

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Sunday, October 04, 2015

Indian Summer

We've had a week of glorious summer-like weather. I also had a free friday for the first time for weeks, so I went to the zoo.

JaeJae really enjoyed lapping up the sun.



This adult black-and-white colobus was eating in this position. Can that be good for the digestion?



The baby colobus didn't stay still long enough to get many good pictures. It just wanted to find mischief. When it wasn't being thrown out of the hammock by a bigger youngster, it was throwing itself out.


Chained

I know a lot of people didn't like this film, but I found it interesting in an horrific way. Seeing it at a film fest with Jen Lynch the director interviewed afterwards was a plus.
 

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Nika

A couple of weeks ago I visited Howlett's Wild Animal Park where, with my new iPad, I managed to take some great footage of the Siberian tiger,

Nika. Sadly, though the iPad shows the film the right way up, because I took it in what the contraption obviously believes to be the wrong way round, when I emailed it to myself it came out upside down. I've rotated it in several different ways in different programmes, and have finally managed to get it on the aforesaid Botophucket in a format fit to show.

Nika is on her own now. Her mate Malchek, probably the biggest tiger there ever was, died a few years back.

The park seems to be concentrating on breeding gorillas and other primates, as well as elephants and rhino. I know this is much needed conservation, but for me, the tigers are the be-all and end-all.

Anyway, Nika was in a bad mood. Her dinner was four hours late. Apparently she hated the sight of the keeper anyway, and from the start her ears went back and she left him in no doubt of her feelings towards him.

Just after she went through the slide into the area where dinner was waiting, she jumped up to her full height, and you can tell from seeing her beside the keeper's shoulder she must be at least 7 feet tall at full stretch.

Wow.

Case of Evil

Many thanks to Botophucket for yet again bollocksing up my account. I'm not quite managing to post films in strict alphabetical order, but today I nearly shut everything down forever because my albums seemed to have disappeared under their new "improvements".

This was the best Moriarty picture in what remains of the album.

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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sunday, September 06, 2015

The Cell

Never thought I'd feel sorry for a vicious serial killer.

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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Jaguar Love and Lazy Cubs

A couple of weeks ago I took my friend to Wingham Wildlife Park, the place where I saw the black jaguar with her black cub.

They've separated off the cub now that it's pretty well ful grown, and the parents are back together. WHich is how we got to see them mating. Repeatedly (I did not take pictues, too awestruck). But afterwards...Ahhh. True love!


Speaking of separating mums and cubs, in September the London Zoo tiger cubs are likely to be going to their new homes to make failies of their own. Meanwhile, they have been doing their usual ct thing - as far away from visitors' photo opportunities as possible, and fast asleep. The only way I could get a picture at all was by accepting the help of a kind (tall) young Canadian woman.

The Break Up

Crap film, as usual Vincent was the only good thing in it. I seem to recall we were all sure the ear thing must have been his idea.

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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Being Human

Bark should actually be next, but apears to be missing from my online photo album, so we'll have to make do with the good brother.


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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Massage Me

A couple of years ago I happened upon a shop called The Back Shop. I was persuaded into trying out their massager. Afterwards I had the distinct feeling my odd length leg had evened up. But the machine was very expensive, whether to rent, buy new, or buy ex-rental.

The shop was moving to somewhere less easy for me to get to, and I only went back a couple of weeks ago. Another session on the machine made me decide to buy one, despite the high cost, and I have been using it for two weeks, and though it obviously hasn't really evened up my legs, my twice-daily massage sessions are very enjoyable. I did wonder about laying out so much money, though, just when my bank account was beginning to look healthy. Then I got a call from my teaching agency. There are agency regulations that mean that when you've been employed in the same job for 12 weeks, you are entitled to the pay and conditions you would have as a regular employee. For various reasons, this had not happened, and 16 months later, after I had finally prompted them into action, the agency had an offer to make me over back pay. I won't tell you hoow much it was, but imagine being underpaid by up to £50 a day, day in and day out, week in and week out, and you will see that I have a big grin on my face, and my massage machine is more than paid for.

Adventures in Babysitting

So here I am experimenting with the new iPad I treated myself to the other day. What better way to start than Thor?
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Sunday, August 02, 2015

To The Boy in the Blue Knit Cap

Maybe if the boy in the cap had been in the least bit cute, this episode might have been believable, even with the murder of twins to swallow.

And off they sail into the sunset - with Bobby wearing a different coloured jumper outside the psych's house than he had on inside.

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Icarus

Another of those ripped-from-the-headlines stories that was completely ludicrous.

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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Open Day

The Wildlife Heritage Foundation is a big cat sanctuary in Kent, SE England. Apart from "experience days" - photography, keeper-for-a day etc - it is not open to the public. But for four consecutive days each July it has open days, and on Friday my friend and I went to one.

Can you imagine? A whole day of nothing but big cats? Heaven!

The secretive louded leopard is usually hidden in the foliage of the zoo enclosures I've failed to see them in. So who knew they had such long tails?

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I did know they had such beautiful heads, though. And that they are really quite small.

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 Just next door were the Pallas cats. She looked sweet-natured and cuddlable.

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He wore an unmistakeable scowl. Who knew cats could actually scowl? His keeper thought it was specially for her.

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There was a complete pride of white lions, and a white tiger.

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But the animals themselves left the best till last. The black jaguar Athena only appeared when the majority of the day's visitors (1500 I believe) had gone. This beauty had a mate till he died last year. Apparently he could be a bit rough with her, so her ears are rather small...from being bitten and nibbled. Bet she's glad he's gone!

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When I got home to my own little panther I could again imagine I was stroking the black velvet coat of the big one.  photo DSC00593_zpsi8si3cku.jpg Incidentally, Mac was anxious for an outing yesterday, but he kept running into Twiglet, then running away. I saw him disappear upstainrs. Then I went out the front door, where he's always trying to get, and there he was, crossing the road to my side, white chest patch and all. I rushed inside, and there confirmed that Mac was in the house. Apparently he has a double. Panic over.

Cadaver

The dreadful tiger mother. The handsome detective.


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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Taxi!

Following his outing to the other side of the block the week before last, Macavity decided to go AWOL again during the last week.

This time I was ready for him! I put the basket in the car and drove round to roughly where I found him last time. I got out and started walking back along the route. I soon heard a repeated mewing behind me. I turned and found my errant kittie strolling towards me, answering my call with his.

Stuffed hurriedly into his basket he continued to miaow all the thankfully short drive back home.


Trophy Wine

Personally I think the second word in the title should have been spelt "whine"! Ludicrous episode.

At least they took note of our obsession with the Size 13s.

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Sunday, July 05, 2015

How to boil mums...

...and over heat people.

Macavity doesn't go out very often, because he isn't brave enough to sidle past Twiglet. But when he does go, it's usully for quite a long time.

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Tuesday was hot, and he'd been mooching around for a while trying to pluck up the courage to take the plunge. By about 3pm he had definitely disappeared from the house. He wasn't home by midnight. He wasn't home in the morning. Wednesday was set to be the hottest July day ever (literally) at 35 C/95 F. I struggled to work, struggled at work, struggled home from work, then finding Mac was still missing, printed out some flyers and struggled round the streets leafletting.

Picture this. A block of houses about 80 houses long each side, each with 100 foot gardens backing on to one another. and you see the scale of the problem. Add the temperature and you may begin to appreciate how monstrous a task this was. Especially as the sun was shining on the front doors making the letterboxes so hot they could burn the fingers.

So, backing on to my house is number 119 of the street behind. When I got past it to number 123, I delivered the leaflet, walked back down the steps, down the short path, and then heard a quiet mew. I looked down and there, under a bush by the gate, was Mac. I scooped him up and started to walk home with him, a bunch of leaflets, a water bottle and my house keys stashed around my sweaty person.

By the time I reached the last house in the street I was ready to drop. A young woman walking towards me - a total stranger - turned into that house. I asked her if she drove the car parked there. She said no, but when she saw the situation, she invited me and Mac in for a drink. Never has a tall glass of iced water looked or tasted so good. Mac wandered round the house as if he lived there.

So when my drink was finished, I dared to ask if she would let me leave him there while I went to get my car and the cat basket. She agreed. When I came back less than 10 minutes later, her two housemates had arrived home, and Mac was surrounded by three adoring females, lapping up the adulation as to the manner born. I was told they'd cat-sit any time.

This is the fourth time locals have helped me get one of my cats back. And people ask me why I've stayed here so long. It's called great neighbours. Even ones you don't yet know and haven't yet met.

Last Street In Manhattan

Good to see Alex's family problems for a change. And the old raised eyebrow.

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Boots On The Ground

One of those episodes with an absolutely pointless plot. Thanks goodness for the light shining on Bobby.



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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Seveonaks - home of the devil

Sevenoaks is expensive to live in. It considers itself a superior commuter town. So of course the number of Chelsea tractors per square inch is large. (For those of you not familiar with this term it refers to 4x4s, SUVs, Land Rovers etc.)

I lost count of those I saw in the small, overcrowded, inadequate car park there the other day. But it was one of the slightly less bulky monsters that decided to make it impossible for me to get in my car and leave.

 
Going in at an angle, he left me about 14 inches at the front end, decreasing to about 8 inches at the back. I couldn't even squeeze up to the door, which is very wide, let alone open it. As for climbing in - only if I turned myself into a lquid and someone poured me in.

I asked the car park attendant to give me some advice. He couldn't find the driver or move either vehicle, but he was empowered to give the driver a ticket (yay, £35, doubled if he doesn't pay within two weeks) and then a very kind gentleman climbed in through the passenger door, edged across and rolled my car out of the space. Thunderbirds we are go!.

The new Marks and Spencer in posh Sevenoaks had a great selection of vegetarian BBQ items that my impoverished local store (which is at least twice the size...) doesn't bother to stock. Don't bother trying to find out why, you never get a straight answer from them about their prejudice against to impecunious vegetarian. Believe me, I've tried repeatedly over many years.

Seveoaks is less than 25 miles from my home, and getting there usually takes between 30 and 45 minutes. But on Friday, getting back was a bit of a problem.

The dreaded M25 motorway that  encircles London was on an even slower go-slow than usual. I spotted a tail-back at Junction 4 (no warning signs even though it resulted from a crash in the tunnel under the Thames at Junction 1 many hours earlier) so I left the motorway to take the A road home. ALong with several hundred thousand other people, apparently, because the journey home took 2 hours!

I don't think I'll be going to Seveoaks again any time soon.


The Consoler

Icky icky nasty episode with slimey villains.


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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Rispetto

However crap the stories were - and putting them out of order to get a ripped-from-the-headlines story in early - it was nice to see Bobby playing again.


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Saturday, June 06, 2015

Hello Wingham Wildlife Park

My first effort to find a new place to coo over animals took place yesterday.

Wingham Wildlife Park is in the Kent countryside, about 65 miles from London. It's not far from Canterbury, the home of the world's most famous cathedral, and to get there you have to drive past Howlett's, home of one of my regular animal experiences.

I was prepared for some of the enclosures to be a bit smaller than I would like, and so it proved for some of the medium-sized cats, but given that some are rescued from awful situations, they are currently in a better place than they used to be.

I've only ever seen one very secretive jaguar before, hidden in bushes. This boy was inside in the morning as he shares the outside with his mate...and their cub. Reintroductions have to be carefully handled.

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Later he was outside, but he was still longing to get inside with his lady.Who would believe he was born white?

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The female is a melanistic cat, as is the cub. Baby's in the grass.

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Mum's on a shelf.

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Baby wants to play.

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Mum obliges.

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The tigers are brothers, from a small private zoo in Belgium. Their mother rejected them, and Wingham's stepped in to raise them. They are hybrid, so cannot be bred from. To allow them to stay togethere they have been castrated. The marks indicate that this is the same boy twice.

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There were several thunderstorms yesterday, and during one, the ringtail lemurs took shelter under this empty cable roll. Too much effort to go inside...

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The lions are also brothers, rescued from terrible conditions in a circus.

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In the afternoon, there was an opportunity to spend time with the ringtails in a walkthrough of their enclosure. Usually they have several babies a year, but this year there is only one very energetic little chap.

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The park has no problem with the ringtails hopping on to visitors, though we must not pet them (something I only found out AFTER this little episode).

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When the sun came out, the red-ruffed lemurs made the most of it.

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The park is also part of the Scottish wild cat breeding progamme.

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Looking at that lovely black jaguar made me long to give my own little panther a cuddle!

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