I’m back

26 02 2008

..and better than ever.

So, this is my first blog post since I got back from the Costa del Sol.  I would have written one earlier, but I’ve been very busy, what with homework and taking up A2 Early Modern History again.  Plus the amount of TV catching up I’ve had to do since I got back.

I thought you might be interested in hearing what I got up to over the holidays.  And, if you’re not, tough luck; I’m going to write this anyway.

We set off on the Saturday, thus depriving me of the penultimate episode of Primeval (but I set a video, so that was OK) and my last chance to see Cloverfield at the local cinema (I’ll probably catch it on DVD).  We set off really early (about 3:10 am), and drove to the airport.  Before we even got there I found myself wishing I’d remembered to bring some music; I was missing Oasis and Pulp, for some reason, despite having not listened to either of them once in the previous week.  It was the late afternoon by the time we actually reached Spain.  The first thing we noticed was that it was really cloudy and gloomy (well, it is February).  The second thing we noticed was that it was so warm anyway that this didn’t actually matter.

One thing that was kind of cool is that, in the Spanish time zone, my watch is only 5 minutes behind, as opposed to 55 minutes early like it is in England.  Yeah, I know, I ought to set it properly, but it’s really confusing and I’ve lost the instructions. o_o;

Nothing much happened in the first half of the week.  Sunday was mostly spent indoors, contemplating (but not actually writing) my English essay.  The weather was pretty bad, with some quite heavy rain.  There’s no escaping it, is there?  Monday was pretty much the same.

During that time my brother and I watched some random TV.  As one might expect, most of the channels were in Spanish, although we did find a channel that showed Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Scrubs dubbed into German (not very well – the words didn’t fit the mouth movements).  We also eventually managed to find an English language channel which was showing Stormbreaker, a movie I was curious about, having loved the books as a kid.  Sadly, although largely true in spirit to the books (possibly because Anthony Horowitz wrote the screenplay himself), it had a totally unnecessary added fantasy element to it which I found annoying (a pen that controls people?  Why not just threaten Mr. Grin with a gun, like in the book?).  I was also very much irritated by the inclusion of a character named Sabina Pleasure (who bore very little resemblance to the character with that name who was introduced in the third book, Skeleton Key), especially since Sabina’s willingness to believe that Alex is a spy will make adapting Eagle Strike impossible without changing fundamental parts of the plot – although I don’t expect the film was successful enough to make three sequels feasible.

Wait a minute… why am I ranting?  What was this post supposed to be about?  Ah yes, my holiday.  Forgive poor Bobby G; sometimes I have the fury.  Anyway, one good thing about that film was that its soundtrack did at least include Gorillaz’s “Feel Good Inc.”, which was comfortingly familiar.

On Tuesday I realised it was time to face up to the fact that I didn’t have a clue what I was going to do about the essay.  I managed to find a computer with Internet access, although it was slow and expensive, and read a few interviews with Margaret Atwood in order to find out what she had in mind when she wrote Oryx and Crake.  I also caught up with Gunnerkrigg Court, checked my emails, and fully intended to listen to some familiar music, but had to settle for “Canon Rock”, since I totally blanked on how to get music, and there was only time for one track.

That afternoon we went out for a walk in the sun.  We took the camera, and took a couple of photos, but it turned out to be very low on power, and we didn’t have any means to charge it.  That evening we went to see a show called Show Stoppers.  It consisted of various songs from musicals, including Fiddler on the Roof, Evita, Matador, The Lion King, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Mary Poppins, Porgy and Bess, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Sound of Music, Chicago, Cabaret, Oklahoma!, Calamity JaneGuys and Dolls, Les Misérables and probably more that I’ve forgotten.  It was actually a very good performance, well acted as well as well sung.

On Wednesday we went out to el Torcal de Antequera, which is quite a good region for walking in, with some impressive landscapes; sadly, it rained again, and we all got very muddy!

On Thursday, the weather was sunny, and we went to Sevilla.  Unfortunately, we made the mistake of assuming that the cathedral and the palace would close for a siesta and reopen in the afternoon.  Wrong.  They close early in the afternoon and don’t reopen until the following day.  Whoops.  So that was a disappointment.  We then had a tour of the city in a horse-drawn carriage, which was cool, and we got to see all the monuments, from the outside at least.  Sevilla has some awesome architecture.

Friday was another rainy day.  We had booked a Jeep safari, but of course the rain covers had to be down.  Our guide was a tall, cheery bloke with a London accent.  Somewhere along the route, the safari turned into a kind of nature trail, because every now and then the guide would get out and pick us various fruits and herbs.  These included oranges, lemons, carob, aloe vera, sage, rosemary, thyme (but no parsley), lavender, olive branches for the women and girls, pepper, grapefruits, tangerines, and a number of other things I’ve forgotten the names of.  The roads were very bumpy – I’m sure they were roads, but they were plainly not intended for cars – and I was feeling rather sick by the time we reached our last stop.  This was kind of unfortunate, since this last stop was for lunch!  The trip was great, because we got to see all the non-touristy villages and countryside; it was like seeing the real Spain, as opposed to the theme park version tourists normally see.

And then we came back on Saturday, almost missed the plane but didn’t, got back to the car and found someone had pinched our left front indicator light, and returned home to watch the recording of Primeval, in time for the spectacular season finale (if you’ve never seen Primeval I recommend checking it out.  The first series wasn’t really anything special, but the second has been family TV of the highest quality.  Well, apart from Doctor Who).

Then I realised how much work I still needed to do for my English essay, which occupied the rest of my weekend.

 So yeah.  Media studies relevant posts will return soon, I promise!




8 responses

26 02 2008

sounds like you watched more tv than sight-seeing, haha. 😛

27 02 2008
Anthony Horowitz

I agree with your comments about the “hypnotic” pen in the film of Stormbreaker. The trouble was that the producers refused to allow Alex even to hold a gun, let alone aim it at someone. So how else could he force Mr Grin to fly him to London? I came up with it very reluctantly.

The same is true of the inclusion of Sabina… But the point is that films are very different to books and nearly never as good.


27 02 2008

@ Sulz: I don’t think I did, but it did rain an awful lot, so could you blame me if I did? 😛 We didn’t really do much sightseeing, but we didn’t watch that much TV, just the Alex Rider movie and a couple of German shows that we didn’t watch from start to finish.

@ Anthony Horowitz: Are you really Anthony Horowitz? Seriously? I’m going to pretend to believe you are, because that would be completely awesome! I really loved the Alex Rider series; they’re unputdownable, the work of a genius. Thank you for the hours of enjoyment those books gave me!

I agree that films are seldom as good as the books they are based on, and Stormbreaker was a very enjoyable film nevertheless (or I wouldn’t have watched it). I suspected that those changes were the result of some executive meddling, especially since the mood of the film was largely true to the book otherwise.

AH or not, thanks for commenting! 🙂

28 02 2008
Las Vegas Celebrity Impersonators

ok. Cool.

28 02 2008
28 02 2008

Welcome back from your vacation. I’m taking one too so I’ll catch up with you later. 🙂

29 02 2008

Sounds like the Safari was fun. Too bad you had such rainy weather. It’s harder to explore then. And the pressure of having the paper due didn’t help. You’ll have some good memories though. Welcome back!

29 02 2008

@ brightfeather: Thanks. Enjoy your vacation! 🙂

@ Muse: Aye, the safari rocked. Yeah, the paper and the rain were a pain, but I enjoyed myself all the same. Thanks! 🙂

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