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Archive for February, 2015

Fifty Shades of Neigh!

Despite its lack of literary merit, Fifty Shades of Grey has spawned humorous and poetic works, cartoons, off-shoot contenders, internet and television debates and discussions, a film that has just been released and this hay-wired banter between friends. See for yourself!

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My girlfriend Jane has been mad about horses since she was a lass in pony tails. I couldn’t resist sending her this cartoon strip riding on the theme of 50 Shades of Grey.

She rang me immediately on seeing it.

 

Me: Thought it was about 50 Shades Of Grey but neigh, it is 50 Shades of Hay!

Jane: Laughed myself horse!

Me: Hay, hay, hay!

Jane: Being made into a film starring Sylvester Stallion.

Me: Yes, I believe the stars are jockeying for a part.

Jane: That would stall the film.

Me: Why don’t you audition? You’d be a perfect canter-date.

Jane: Are you accusing me of being horse faced?

Me (with a snort): I meant you’d be perfect with your ponytail and you can ride and let’s face it, you’re pretty mean with that whip.

Jane (with glee): Would the script call for a love scene on a horse? I’m already channelling Lady Godiva.

Me: Hold your horses! No Lady Godiva but, perhaps Sir Lance-a-lot?

Me: More likely a stable! Probably require a lot of unbridled passion.

Jane: (airily) Sheesh, I can do passion standing up.

Me: No doubt! Might work better than lying on bales of pokey straw! Although it could be covered with a horse blanket I guess.

Jane: (getting excited) Or I could lie in a horse trough and come up soaking wet with an off-the-shoulder top, giving that ‘come-hither’ look. I could drop the ponytail and have my hair dripping and give a smouldering look.

Me: Hmmm – kill me! Just kill me!

Jane: What! You don’t think I can do smouldering?

Jane: I could even step out of the trough sexily and in my boots – you know, give the stud a push with my killer stirrups …

Me: In your water-logged boots? You’d be squelching – that’s anything but sexy.

Jane: Oh alright! We can kick the boots idea but (brightening) how about emerging from the trough in ….

Me: Forget the trough! let’s focus on the seduction scene.

Jane: (Pouting) I thought we were doing that! Never mind. Anyway, I’m starving and could eat a horse – yes, pun intended.

Me: Why don’t you canter over here while I check the freezer for a rump or two. We can have a barbecue with salad.

Jane: I’ll ride my new hunter over and introduce you to him. I’ll bring his feed bag or he’ll eat all your geraniums.

Me: I’m finally going to meet the mighty Khan! Wonderful!

Jane: His bloodline is aristocracy no less. I’m giving him free rein so he can enjoy the gallop over to your place.

Me: You can hitch him around the back.

 

Jane: Tallyho! Where are you?

Me: In the kitchen … where did you expect me to be? In the barn?

Jane: Hmmm … That smells yummy!

Me: You’re just in time … lunch is ready!

Horsegroom50ShadesofGreyJane: Let’s go over the seduction scene! By the way, what does our seducer do? Is he lord of the manor or a cute groom with rippling muscles and a to-die-for abs? It would look good in the bucking and rearing scenes.

Me: Rein yourself in my dear! He’s neither. In fact, it’s not a ‘he,’ it’s a ‘she.’

© Wendy Robinson February 2015

IMG_0451A day without laughter is a day wasted. ~ Charlie Chaplin

 

This post is dedicated to my good friend Stephanie aka Little Miss Menopause, who writes the funniest posts on both sides of the Equator and has been an inspiration to me; my other half for providing the first few comedic lines; and finally, my off-spring for sending me the 50 Shades of Hay cartoon, which inspired this post.

Beach magic

Flowing, ebbing, in constant grace

The water’s edge a meandering trace

Of porous sand and fine-grained silt

In time immemorial sounds that lilt

A scene that plays out everyday

In unmarked, uncaring rhythm at play

 

imagesYPOO32VCThe bedraggled hound coated in sand

A mixture of damp fur and windswept land

Gambolling in sloppy, aimless strides

Paws in and out of the purposeful tide

A playful breeze, unceasing heat

Brushing against the burning feet

 

Sun kissed tendrils of golden silk

Lie upon cheeks of creamy milk

The child amidst his sandy carpet

imagesPSW77T2ICreates a lopsided castle turret

Happily coated in sunscreen and sand

Oblivious of time or hunger pangs

 

The call of the surf, sand and sea

Appeals to all with utmost glee

The child in all of us you see

Emerges in renewing energy

To run, dance, and happily play

From cool, clear dawn of new born day

 

Those hours of carefree abandon and bliss

In magical fantasy of daydream’s kiss

And memories that will live on forever

In hearts and minds and soulful endeavour

Much like the endless ocean and earth

Natures’ wonders live on in rebirth.

 

(C) Wendy Robinson 2015

If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in. ~ Rachel Carson

Review on The Imitation Game

If ever there is an indication that a movie has affected its audience, it is when, during the credits, there is a drawn-out silence and no headlong rush towards the exit. The Imitation Game is one such movie and this viewer will no doubt join many who will remember, remain moved and ponder on the story for years to come.

BenedictCumberbatchImitationGameBenedict Cumberbatch excels in his role as real-life crypt-analyst Alan Turing, who, with his selected team of super-intelligent mathematicians, literally race against the clock in an attempt to break the German’s Enigma Code during World War Two.

The monumental challenge of breaking the code is summed up in the exchange between Commander Alastair Denniston (Charles Dance), who heads the top-secret mission, and Turing. ‘Enigma isn’t difficult, it’s impossible. The Americans, the Russians, the French, the Germans, everyone thinks Enigma is unbreakable,’ Denniston states. Turing calmly replies, ‘Good. Let me try and we’ll know for sure, won’t we?’

KeiraKnightleyImitationGame2A supportive cast headed by Keira Knightley, who plays his love interest and fellow code-breaker, Joan Clarke, is followed by Matthew Goode as lead assistant Hugh Alexander. Allen Leech plays John Cairncross, a colleague whose allegiance is questionable, and Matthew Beard the last of the team, plays Peter Hilton. Most of the action takes place at Bletchley Park, a designated top-secret, Government Code and Cypher School.

In a flashback, we see Turing as a gifted young student, who in today’s term would be considered a geek or freak, is mistreated and bullied by his peers. In an insightful conversation, Turing speaks of his dilemma of never being able to play the game that people play: ‘When people talk to each other, they never say what they mean. They say something else and you’re expected to just know what they mean.’

Conversely, Turing is matter-of-fact and disconcertingly honest in his dealings with those around him, which is off-putting to the majority of people who don’t know or understand him.

Yet, it is the unique qualities which differentiate him from his peers that lead to his success in breaking the Enigma code. The profound line, ‘Sometimes it’s the very people who no one imagines anything of who do the things no one can imagine,’ sums up Turing and is originally stated by Christopher, his close friend in school; is repeated by Turing himself and quoted later by Joan.

While it is understood that the task of breaking the code is anything but straightforward, it is the multiple layers of duplicity, dilemma, human emotion and questionable integrity and honour that drives the story to its climax. And the sad reality is that it is based on fact.

Cumberbatch was so affected by the personality he played that he admitted he couldn’t stop crying in one of the final scenes and candidly confessed to, ‘being an actor or a person that had grown incredibly fond of the character and thinking what he had suffered and how that had affected him.’

Winston Churchill deemed Turing made the, ‘single greatest contribution in Britain’s war effort,’ and according to historians, not only was the war shortened by approximately two years but around 14 million lives were saved. This unquestionable feat was designated a government secret (the Official Secrets Act) for the duration of 50 years post-war and Turing and his team therefore, received no public recognition for their respective roles.

According to Hugh Alexander, ‘Turing’s work was the biggest factor in Hut 8’s success.’ He candidly admits Turing was ‘indispensable’ and ‘the magnitude of Turing’s contribution was never fully realised by the outside world.’

Turing could be labelled as the ‘founding father of our modern day computers,’ as his ‘Turing machine,’ led to further research and progress in the field.

Asa Briggs, renowned historian and another codebreaker himself, states, ‘You needed exceptional talent, you needed genius at Bletchley and Turing was that genius.’

This is one movie I am glad I did not miss and would readily see again.

Turing MachineIncidentally, if you are heading for London, you can visit, ‘The Imitation Game’ exhibition at Bletchley Park. The exhibition which opened on 10 November 2014 will run for a year and has on display, the costumes and props from the film. The original Turing Machine is also housed at the Museum at Bletchley Park.

© Wendy Robinson February 2015

The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity.

The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. ~ Winston Churchill

Did the review help? Express yourself – don’t be an enigma! If you’d prefer not to comment, just click the ‘like’ button. Or you could return after you’ve viewed the movie and comment. I would love to hear from you.

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