A-Z Film Challenge: Day Eight

This series is fabulous and I’m adding hugely to my Netflix list.


Published a day early, as I am busy tomorrow.

Has it only been eight days, and up to the letter ‘H’? It feels like a life’s work already, and I have gained a new admiration for those bloggers who regularly take on such challenges. I note that views have reduced considerably over the weekend, so I hope that this long slog doesn’t become too tiresome for you all.

Nobody mentioned ‘Gandhi’ (1982) yesterday, one that I deliberately left off. Ben Kingsley gave an amazing performance in the title role, and that epic film won 8 Oscars, and 27 other international awards. Has it been forgotten, I wonder?

I am starting today with a great crime thriller from director David Cronenberg. Central performances of considerable strength take a well-worn theme up to a new level in ‘A History of Violence’ (2005).
It received an Oscar nomination, and it’s easy to see…

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A-Z Film Challenge: Day Seven


A quiet Sunday in Beetley, and time for the letter G. There are not as many ‘G’ films as you might expect, but many of them are so good, choosing a selection is as hard as ever. Don’t forget to add your own selections in the comments. I have deliberately omitted some well-known ones, just as a test!

‘G’ starts off with two modern gangster films that are among the best films ever made, in my opinion.
‘The Godfather'(1972) (and its two sequels) changed all the rules of the genre, bringing us a sweeping saga of the life of organised crime families, from the early 1900s, right up to the 1960s. A huge cast, perfect locations, and atmospheric detail beyond compare, place these three films firmly in the list of the greatest films ever made. Like them or not, the quality is breathtaking. Almost twenty years later, Scorsese’s ‘Goodfellas’ (1990)…

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A-Z Film Challenge: Day Six


The weekend is here, and I am up to the letter ‘F’. Thanks again to everyone for your suggestions and additions, and to those of you who are reading, but not commenting.

On this occasion, my daily choice was not cast in stone, so I was able to approach ‘F’ with an open mind. I had forgotten just how many good films started with this letter, so was once again surprised to be presented with such an array of choices. I had over 25 films on the ‘potentials’ list, and the eventual selection was difficult, as was my own final choice. I am expecting some great suggestions, so don’t let me down!

I will start with an overlooked British classic, and the wonderful Ralph Richardson, in Carol Reed’s neglected adaptation of a Grahame Greene story, ‘The Fallen Idol’ (1948). This amazingly ‘small’ film deals with the attraction of a young…

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A-Z Film Challenge: Day Five


I have made it to day five, and the letter ‘E’. Thanks to those of you who have stuck with it, and the new visitors who have come aboard for the ride.

Once again, I am starting this with the certain knowledge of my top spot. However, ‘E’ has been something of a challenge, so I really had to put my thinking cap on.

Unsurprisingly, a foreign language film comes straight to mind. The wonderful Brazilian film from 2007, ‘Elite Squad’. (Tropa de Elite) This is a terrific no-holds-barred look at the work of the special police squad trying to tackle out of control crime in the slums and shanty towns of Rio. Police corruption is rife, and the gangs are left free to control their territories. When the Elite Squad move in, they face extreme violence, as well as betrayal from within. A hard-hitting action film, that is thoughtful…

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Top Ten Films


When I first started this blog in 2012, Top Tens were all the rage. Most days, it seemed to me as if there was a Top Ten of everything on the blog. This ranged from the top ten cute cats, to the top ten favourite film stars, through to the top ten favourite places to go in the world, and the top ten best snack foods. Top Ten mania had hit blogging, and could not be avoided.

Not long after I started to write posts about film and cinema, the ‘Top Tenners’ came knocking on my door. They sent me links to their own top tens, and asked to know my own preferences. Who were my favourite actors? My list of best directors? The questions went on and on. The barrage was relentless, for a while. Some blogging sites were even called ‘My Top Ten’, and other variations. These Top…

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My name in print!


Forgive the blatant self-promotion, but I received this photo today. It was sent by Daniel, of Longshot Island, and is a page of the latest magazine, with my name above my story. For those of you used to seeing your name on articles, or on the covers of the books you have had published, I know this will not be anything to get excited about. I have had many film articles published on other sites myself, and was very pleased that they were.

But this is an actual publication! A printed magazine, on real paper, available to buy from Amazon. For someone of my age, this is pretty much the ‘real deal’. And until, and if ever, I publish a book, this is the best it gets too.

Daniel has also set me an interesting challenge. When I receive my copies of the magazine, he wants me to photograph them…

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Friday slumps


For a couple of years now, Friday has been the worst day for views of my blog. Week in, week out, it is always a Friday when the figures drop to their lowest.

I have no idea why. What is it about Fridays? Maybe it’s the end of the working week, as simple as that. People go out to enjoy themselves, perhaps preparing for a weekend away, and blogging takes second place to the excitement of the forthcoming weekend.

Despite the huge increase in views lately, Friday stubbornly refuses to improve. It has traditionally become the lowest viewing day of my week, and seems determined to remain so. It is not an issue, just a simple observation.

So, fellow bloggers, if your own Friday views are low, you are not alone. It is that ‘Friday feeling’, at least as far as blogging is concerned.

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A Blogging boost


Last weekend was the busiest ever on my blog. In the two days of Saturday and Sunday, I received more views than in the seven days leading up to them combined. I was notified by WordPress that I had received the most ‘Likes’ ever on one day, and that my ‘stats are booming’.

When you have had your blogging ups and downs, weekends like that can be very encouraging indeed. Rightly or wrongly, you get the feeling that it is finally coming together, and that perhaps you are doing something right after all. Even though none of us in this community actually blog for the sake of looking at high stats, we cannot deny that it is rewarding to be read. Otherwise, we could just write our thoughts and ideas down in a notebook, and not bother to publish them for the world to see.

Looking back over the weekend…

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Have you read my writing?

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

I’m just curious as to how many readers have actually read what I’ve written and how many of those readers have read more than just one piece of writing I’ve published so far. So I created this poll and would appreciate it if you would click on whatever you’ve read. And please leave any comments below as well, if you’d like to say something about my writing. I’m all ears!

Here are links to everything listed in the poll:

Island in the Clouds
One Woman’s Island
That Last Summer
Links to 6 Short Stories

Thank you to all readers! You are the reason we writers write.

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A personal celebration


It is not the done thing to congratulate yourself on your own birthday, I know.

But I am going to do it anyway.

As regular readers will recall, the 16th of March is my birthday, and I generally make quite a song-and-dance about it. I start to celebrate a few days before, commencing a ‘birthday week’ of events. These involve shopping for my gifts, a trip to the seaside, and a meal in a restaurant. Nothing fancy, you understand, just keeping up a tradition I started many years ago.

This year is something of a milestone, as I am ‘officially old’. 65 is the age in the UK when you are considered to be a ‘pensioner’. For many, this no longer applies, as recent changes in the law will delay pensions for most people, for up to seven years. But I just crept in under the barrier, so I will…

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