Saturday, August 06, 2005


Went out one afternoon to a preview screening of the new movie Millions over at Eastlands – I don't go to the cinema much nowadays, but we were lucky enough to score some free tickets.

And it's a lovely movie. A small boy, alienated and grieving, suddenly stumbles across a small fortune in cash. What will he do with it? Will it change his life or can he use it to change the lives of his family and neighbours?

The American film critic Roger Ebert nails it pretty well when he says that director Danny Boyle and writer Frank Boyce "are serious filmmakers who do not know how to talk down to an audience, and although Millions uses special effects and materializing saints, it's a film about real ideas, real issues and real kids. It's not sanitized brainless eye candy. Like all great family movies, it plays equally well for adults -- maybe better, since we know how unusual it is."

Friday night, for the first time in ages, I actually got eight hours sleep. I felt so good when I woke up this morning that I forgot all about doing my Blood Glucose test before I had breakfast.

That's a shame, because the last two mornings I'd been pleased to find my BGL was down to 6.4 which is where it used to be a couple of months ago. For some reason it's been going up steadily all this month, hitting 8.0 one day.

That's not good. It's not disastrous, but it's not good.

Maybe I felt so well I just forgot I had diabetes.

Trust me, months of not getting enough sleep make you feel really run-down. Maybe when you're in your twenties you can tolerate that sort of thing – but as you go along you find you simply can't do it anymore.

Saturday we spent part of the day at the Veterinarian. Julie has been worried about her mastiff Saj, who has been off his food this week.

Fortunately her favourite vet was on duty and he carefully examined Saj from top to tail. Nothing obvious was wrong but he recommended leaving him there for further tests.

This we did and they gave him the full gamut. Blood tests, urine analysis and a cardiac and abdominal ultrasound. Everything seemed fine for an 11-year-old dog and they prescribed some anti-inflammatories in case arthritis was a factor.

As we left, I said to Saj "You're in better health than most people are at your age!" He didn't answer, merely made a bee-line for the exit.

While we were there, Julie had asked about her Cornish Rex cat Jezebel. The Feliway didn't seem to be helping calm her down, so they gave us some "pussycat prozac" for her.

Now these are small tablets, and it's been quite a while since we've had to give a cat pills.

I had forgotten ("Hold her head!") just how difficult ("And her front paws!") it can be ("Ouch! And her back paws....") to get pills down a cat's throat.

We managed to get one down her in the end. At least I think so. It's hard to say for certain since I didn't notice much change in her attitude that evening.

But then that's cats for you. You often have to accommodate your personality to theirs rather than vice-versa.

I've been enthralled by the new series of Doctor Who we've had on television this year. Sequels and re-makes are always a bit dubious but this one works great.

The penultimate episode of series 1, "Bad Wolf", was fascinating. It turns out that reality television is actually a plot by aliens to soften us up for an invasion. That explains a lot!

The episode would have worked even better if the ABC hadn't shown us in the preview the previous week that the Daleks were the power behind it all. I think that was supposed to be a surprise, folks!

I've been listening to quite a few different radio programmes on the BBC website in the last year or so, but in the last couple of months I've added another to my list.

Brian Kay's Light Programme explores the "diverse world of light music", which is a very particular niche market. You may not understand the name, but you'll know it when you hear it. (If you recognise the name Eric Coates this is probably for you.)

What I like about it is hard for me to explain -- it features music I like but which I haven't heard before.

There are plenty of "nostalgia" or "easy listening" programmes and albums that could easily have been produced by a computer. You know the sort of thing: take one song each by Bing Crosby, the Mills Brothers, Judy Garland, Richard Tauber, throw in an amusing novelty song and a couple of instrumentals and voila!

The music that Brian Kay plays on his show certainly has an agreeable sound, but they are nearly all tunes that are not already familiar to me. Sometimes you don't want to hear a particular song for the 83rd time, you want something that's equally pleasing to the ear but is new to you!

I remember when Magic 103.9 started broadcasting in Hobart, they had a very strict Golden Oldies format. The first time I listened to the station for a long spell, I realised that I knew all the words to every song. That's all right now and again, but the human mind likes a bit of novelty occasionally.

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