Film Review: Angels’ Share – rich with real laughter

Do you remember this film? I found this review back in the early pages of The Phraser so I’ve dusted it off, and am showing it again. The film made me smile so much the first time.

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Angels' Share - a film directed by Ken Loach Angels’ Share – a film directed by Ken Loach

Angels’ Share introduces us to a group of Glasgow’s young offenders as they spiral down into nowhere…and then it adds hope, urgent, illogical hope.

It’s a ninety minute diamond of a film, with an age-restriction of 15, some on-your-nose violence, and great publicity for whisky and Irn-Bru. It also shows the meaning of useful compassion, and it feels real.

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Felix Baumgartner’s record-breaking jump with parachute

Here’s something with fright attached. I remember Felix Baumgartner’s jump so well…we listened to the live broadcast whilst driving into rain on an English motorway.

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Garnerin parachutes into London - 1802 Garnerin parachutes into London -1802

That was 1802 – a decade over two centuries later the following happens: a huge gossamer balloon floats into the nothing of the stratosphere. Beneath it clings the tiny dot of a capsule, and inside it is an Austrian, Felix Baumgartner, aged 43.

When the balloon reaches 128,000 feet (24 miles) above the Earth, he will step out and drop into the deep.

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Visit to the food stalls in Camden Lock Market’s West Yard

My first visit to the food stalls in Camden Lock Market’s West Yard was in 2012. I loved it and a few articles followed. This is one of them.

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Camden Lock Market, London Camden Lock Market, London

Camden’s markets attract some 15 million visitors every year. This summer we joined the crowd.

Once through the curiosity and distraction of the general stalls and the shoppers, we made our way to the West Yard for food.

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James Bond, Skyfall and…lenses

Skyfall was released in 2012 – a Bond box office best, as dramatic as they come…and with strange side effects.

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Skyfall smashed British box office history and set the tills ringing.

We were there. We popcorned in for bombs and bashings; for smouldering moods; for shriek-screetching music; for back-stabbing; for ‘British is best’; and for villains who should have been locked away for life.

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Madagascar 3…or Argo?

I discovered this little memory in my update of The Phraser – a film review of a sort…and very brief.

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It is an autumn evening with a few hours before my young charge has to return to his school. Can we fit in Madagascar 3? Yes…of course.

We race down the steep hill into the town. Lights flick on in the buildings around us as we park and run the square to the cinema entrance.

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Review: Innocent Victims by Cathy Buckle

This is an updated version of a book review I wrote in my first year as a blogger. I hope, that if you don’t already have a copy, this might persuade you to look for this excellent book about animal rescues in a difficult time in Zimbabwe.

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Innocent Victims - Rescuing the stranded animals of Zimbabwe's farm invasions by Catherine Buckle Innocent Victims – Rescuing the stranded animals of Zimbabwe’s farm invasions by Catherine Buckle

Turmoil tore into Zimbabwe’s farms in the early 2000s, the years Mugabe’s government chose to ignite its programme of land redistribution. Thousands of animals were trapped in the mayhem that followed.

Innocent Victims tells the story of the rescues carried out by a small team from the Zimbabwe National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ZNSPCA). The team leader was Meryl Harrison.

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Book Review: The Odd Man In – Mugabe’s White Hand Man by Denis Norman

The Odd Man In by Denis Norman

The Odd Man In by Denis Norman

The Odd Man In, understated and direct, reaches out to all Zimbabweans. It is a respectful testimony by a man who served as an independent government minister for seventeen years in Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe.

It is a record of events from the inside.

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