Tag: Harry Potter

All work, no play

OK, let me just get this out of the road up front. I enjoy my Work. I enjoy the Work part of it, I enjoy the people (mostly), I enjoy the challenges, the thinking processes, the bigger picture planning and the day to day detail that I need to attend to.

I get frustrated from time to time, who doesn’t, but ultimately my week is very much focussed on Work.

I also enjoy my work, as there is a large crossover between that and my Work.

Apologies, I’m presuming that you’ve read this post about a presentation given by Clay Shirky that I have, which offers the following quote:

“(Capital-W) Work is what we have considered for years: your boss tells you to do something, you do it, and you get paid. By contrast, (little-w) work is motivated by inherent interest and generally unpaid. Think of the difference between an Encyclopedia Britannica editor doing Work, and a Wikipedia editor doing work during spare hours. Big Work drives the economy; little work drives the Internet. Big Work builds skyscrapers; little work generates a half million fanfiction stories about Harry Potter.”

I’m in a slightly different position when it comes to (Capital-W) Work as I head up a team so don’t really have anyone telling me what to do on a daily basis (that said, I pretty much leave the team to their own ends for the most part).

Lowercase work is largely focussed on the internet, be it creating websites, or, ummmm, creating websites. And again that is something I really enjoy, the challenges, the thought processes and the sense of achievement.

That’s not to say that I don’t like to play, I do, it’s just for the most part of the week it’s more about Work, or work. It seems to be the way I’m wired.

Cue Mother and a comment about “just like his Dad”.

Ohhh which reminds me, I’ll be “out to play” in London soon (early March), and whilst it’ll be a school night I’m sure I can tempt some of you lovely people out for a small beverage or three. More details on that soon!

On baking and Harry Potter

A nothing weekend started with a wonderful meal on Friday night, courtesy of my parents. Well they didn’t cook it, but they did pay. If you are ever near Bothwell, I thoroughly and highly recommend The Grapevine. Has yet to fail us.

Saturday morning started early, with plans of heading into Glasgow to see just how big a fuss the Apple Store was making, before heading off to wander, camera in hand, round the People’s Palace. Dreich is the best way to describe the weather, a thin pall of grey lightly drenching us as we wandered up Buchanan Street.

Arriving outside said store at around 9.15am, the queues were already snaking up and down a few times, neatly contained by temporary barriers, and only the whooping and cheering of the staff broke the drizzle. We headed for the nearby Starbucks to ponder our next move. Standing around in the rain isn’t my idea of fun, and I was wary that Louise wasn’t feeling 100%.. and so it transpired that, without even finishing my coffee, we were heading home again.

Once there, Louise changed into ‘comfy house clothes’ and managed to stop shivering. An afternoon spent pottering around the house and garden followed, making sure my knee remained lightly throbbing for most of the evening. We made the tough call and decided not to attend a friends wedding. I don’t think I could’ve driven, and Louise was still a little pale around the gills.

All change come Sunday morning, and I was told I was resting my leg as my wife headed into the kitchen and started baking. Always a good sign. Soon the warm sweet smell of cake wafted through to me, prone on the couch, and soon it was followed with a large mug of coffee and a still warm cupcake. The rest of the day followed a similar pattern, and after despatching the last Harry Potter book, watching Brokeback Mountain for the first time, and yawning my way through most of the Grand Prix, it was time for bed.

The Harry Potter (& the Deathly Hallows) book was as good as the others. Which means that it was OK, badly paced as usual, but ultimately a fun diversion. Don’t ask me about it next week though, I’ll have forgotten what happens.

How was your weekend? Do anything fun?

Ohh yeah, should really mention this, I guess.

I know I'm busy when…

I start to lose focus.

I was going to write up a post about why I think this happens and how generally ‘meh’ I’m feeling about.. well.. everything, right now, but I can’t even manage that. I’m not unhappy, just tired. I think.

I wonder if it’s just because I’ve not been for a run for almost a week.

I’ve hardly commented on any other blogs recently, which isn’t really like me, so I’m taking that as a sign. Of what, I have no idea.

The annoying thing is that I’m not short of ideas, just short of the inclination to do anything with them.

Maybe I should just list the ideas and be done with it.

I’ll be changing a few things (not here, elsewhere) to make things a little easier on myself, so I’d expect either complete nonsense or complete silence from me until next week.

I’m three chapters into the final Harry Potter book. I’m sorely tempted to just skip to the end.

I wonder why I always want to change things despite the fact I’m quite busy enough as it is, why do I heap more pressure on myself than it seems I can handle? I generally get there in the end but it would be much easier if I stopped adding more things to my list.

Ohh and I’m not down or fed-up and shouldn’t really be moaning at all I know. I’m very lucky. I know that.

The inability to concentrate is a bit of a bother though…

The Goblet of Fire

Movie info from IMDB
Movie reviews from Metacritic

Finally got some free time today and nipped to the cinema to catch the latest Harry Potter movie. Bloody glad we did too!

From the opening credits to the closing scenes this is a dark movie, much darker than the previous movie and all the better for it. The movie centres around a wizard tournament into which Harry finds himself mysteriously involved. Dangerous challenges abound and for the first time in this series of movies I found myself not noticing the CGI scenes as much as I did in the past.

The tone of the movie allowed the pace to high, moving from action sequence to action sequence with a little character development along the way. More back story, more side stories and the series becomes deeper and richer and now feels a lot more mature and well crafted than the first two movies did (the third was a marked improvement).

The teenage actors are still a bit wooden, but the supporting cast grows stronger and stronger and keeps things at a consistent level. And of course the appearance of the villain of the piece, finally, puts the marker down for the next three movies in the series. I sincerely hope they can keep the cast together for, if they were to change them now, it would lose a lot of the consistency they’ve managed to achieve already. You truly feel that you are a Muggle in the world of magic.

No comparisons with the book are required, I don’t think. The movies stand on their own as unique versions of a story, in the same way the Disney’s Cinderella is more fondly remembered than the story from which it came.

The Goblet of Fire is an altogether different movie from previous as it marks the turning point in the series, the overall feeling of foreboding and evil (well, nastiness at least) was well handled and didn’t venture into pantomime territory. Thoroughly enjoyable, and I’m pretty sure this one will stand up to some repeat viewings, there are better movies out at the moment but this one is worth a look.

The Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

Those of you who’ve never read any of the Harry Potter books should scroll on down to the next post. Although I will suggest you give them a try, they’re quite good fun, dead easy to read, and are a good way to unwind without having to read a “serious novel”.

And for those of you still reading, yes I do think the Harry Potter novels are serious, and the fact that I’m already looking forward to the next one worries me slightly as it’ll be a long wait!

Quite enjoyed this one but I think I should have re-read the previous book as so much was referred to that I kept having to stop and try and remember what had happened. Still it was good to see the characters mature further and…. well I’m gonna stop there as I don’t want to post any spoilers. I DO have a theory about the ending of the book though.

Beware, spoilers ahead!
Read More

Wizardly

I am fated. It seems that I’m not allowed to read the Harry Potter books without having the endings, the “BIG SECRETS”, revealed to me before I’ve read the books.

The previous book was spoiled by a friend who didn’t realise I hadn’t read it yet, she was mortified (bless) and I’m not allowed to mention it as she genuinely feels really bad about it. We both read a lot of similar books and she knows how she’d feel if it had been spoiled for her I guess.

The current book was accidentally spoiled by a work colleague (who will remain nameless) who posted a link to a website which had, as it’s first entry, details of who dies and who kills the person that dies. Granted it might not be true but I had to laugh. I’m just not allowed to read these books in peace!

I’m not that bothered really, I enjoy the Harry Potter books, even if the hype surrounding them is a little OTT, but I’m not a fanatic. However if anyone spoils the next Rebus book I’ll be round their door sharpish with a large bat, aiming it squarely at their kneecaps.

Book Count

Well it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I’ve only got 38 books that I’ve not read.

Mind you another one – The American Boy – should arrive today, then there’ll be Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and I’m sure I’ll pick up some more on Saturday when I drop off some old books at the local Oxfam (around 40 of them going, wonder how many I’ll bring back with me).

Ohh and I’m currently, still, reading London Fields, and the Black Echo, and have a couple of books on loan from my Dad. Is it any wonder I don’t get around to practising on my keyboard more often?!

Wizard!

Just back from watching Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Pretty good if you ask me. Although some of the younger actors need to be given a few more acting lessons… just as well Daniel Radcliffe (Harry) and Emma Watson (Hermione) are up to the job.

Of course it DOES miss out a lot of the detail from the book, but needs must and I think it works.

Louise is a bit miffed though as she’s a huge fan of the books. Which means I’m in the doghouse for saying the movie was pretty darn good. Still, the sofa is quite comfy..

Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

First off, I think this is the best of the Harry Potter movies so far. It’s nicely dark and mysterious and to me reflects the qualities of the book. The direction is excellent, as is the editing, this is a smooth movie to watch with the scenes flowing nicely. The script is well handled (I’d hate to have to adapt such a well loved set of books), but some of the younger actors need to be given a few more acting lessons… thankfully Daniel Radcliffe (Harry) and Emma Watson (Hermione) are up to the job and appear to be maturing well into their craft. Of course the movie DOES miss out a lot of the detail from the book, but needs must and I think it works. Louise is a bit miffed though as she’s a huge fan of the books. Which means I’m in the doghouse for saying the movie was pretty darn good.

2 to go

2 weeks today I’ll be at the Fracture clinic to be ‘assessed’. Regardless I’ll be telling them to get this bloody resin cast off my leg as it is slowly driving me mad.

Of course there is an upside, although as Louise hasn’t yet allowed me to get a little bell so I can summon her when I want something (my toe scratched, the blinds titled 0.5 of a degree…), I’m pretty sure I’m not getting the most out of my enforced immobility.

In other exciting news, I’m finally getting around to reading the latest Harry Potter – The Order of the Phoenix. I’ve read the others and this one is following the same theme (boy goes to school, does magic, gets into trouble and no doubt saves the day at the end although not quite as there are two books left to go). The only problem is that I know who dies already.

I can thank my friend Susan for that. Sitting at a party she tagged into the end of the conversation in which I’d mentioned that I’d STILL to read the latest Harry Potter, but she obviously didn’t hear me say that as her opening remark was “Ohhh I couldn’t believe xxxxxxx died!”.

Cue perfectly timed comic silence before she realised what she’d just done. Bless her though, she felt really bad about it. Just as well I’m not a big fan!

Ohh and while I remember, people of Glasgow pay attention: Matrix Reloaded at IMAX. I’ll see you there!