Claws For The Weekend: Wookie Woes

In Manchester last week, in the middle of the Build A Bear store, I saw what must have been the most dejected Chewbacca I’ve ever seen. 


This is what happens when they kill off your best friend.

Have a great weekend everybody. Hug and cherish that special Rebel Alliance leader in your life. Especially if he made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.

See you on the flip side.

Daisy, Daisy, Give Us Your Answer Do

Imagine that you want to be an actress, so you go to a school for performing arts, and on qualifying your first real movie role just happens to be a major blockbuster and the biggest film of the year. When suddenly you can’t even pop into your local superstore to pick up a loaf of bread without being reminded of it.

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This is precisely what happened to Daisy Ridley, an unknown suddenly thrust into the limelight after landing a starring role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

How did she cope with this life-changing event? How would you?

I’m not sure, but I wanted to share this with you guys. It is a three minute clip of an interview that she did on The Tonight Show, and it includes something that I both laughed at and loved: it shows Daisy, lay in bed while staying at a B&B, watching the trailer for the movie.

Witness the emotional reaction of a girl seeing for the very first time the fruit of everyone’s hard work in creating something wondrous, looking on a realised dream as she is on the cusp of becoming a star.

I wonder if she has gotten used to it yet? Daisy, please give us your answer, do.

The Young Princess And Her Boys

I love these fun photographs, taken from Carrie Fisher’s private collection. Yes, she let me have a sneak look.

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From around the time of filming the first movie in the franchise, I guess it would have been around ’75/76. Next time I grab a coffee with Carrie I will ask her. She’s pretty clean this days. Doesn’t have sugar, and doesn’t take milk.

Yes: she has gone over to the Dark Side.

 

2015: The Things That Got The Jackdaw Flying

I am a guy who regularly concedes that he can become a little obsessive about his interests and pursuits. I have tried to reign things in a little, and be a bit more discerning about the things that excited me during 2015. There has been a lot, but here are some of my eclectic highs:

Books

Go Set A Watchman.

Yes, I was aware that it was not a bonafide sequel to To¬†Kill A Mockingbird. And neither did I think it was a ‘new’ novel, either. But this did nothing to temper my excitement about the publication of this book. For big fans of TKAM like myself, it was, at long last, something else to read by Harper Lee. Come on! ¬†Treat it as a stand alone novel and leave Atticus up there on his pedestal.

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The Ingrid Pitt Bedside Companion For Vampire Lovers

Like Watchman,¬†this was not a new book. But nor was it published in 2015, either. A definite highlight of the year was the unexpected discovery that I made, in a second hand book store, of a signed copy of this book. How thrilling to get my hands on a book signed by the Hammer Queen herself, offering ‘lots of fun & millions of fierce little bites-always !!’¬†Though I may have to change my name to Charlie.

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The Northlore Series Volume One:Folklore. 

Okay, I know I’m not exactly non-partisan about the following two books, but how could a banner year for me not be a highlight? In addition to¬†a poem of mine being included in this anthology, called Mara, My Love,¬†my first published fiction featured in the form of a short story, entitled¬†And The Snow Came Down.¬†Volume Two is to follow.

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Heading North. 

The next stage in my publishing journey was my very own poetry collection, published in December by Nordland Publishing. I was, and am, very proud to be featured as one of the Songs Of The North poets. After getting my hands on my very first solo collection, my appetite has been whetted!

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Travel

In September I fulfilled a long held ambition to visit Sweden, spending four great nights in the capital, Stockholm. Next in my sights is Malm√∂, including a journey over the √Ėresund Bridge to Denmark to meet up with an old school friend. I may have to wait until 2017, though. Christmas cleared me out.

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Small Screen

The Bridge. 

Speaking of the √Ėresund Bridge, I was much excited by the return to our screens of the joint Swedish-Danish crime series, Broen.¬†I love this programme, one of the best things I have seen on television for a long time, and had been counting down the days until Season Three debuted in the UK. In the plethora of crime dramas that seem to dominate our television sets at the moment, I don’t think there is any character more ¬†interesting and intriguing than that of Swedish police officer Saga Nor√©n, played by Sofia Helin. This season lived up to the standards set by the previous two, and for the first time we saw a vulnerability in Saga. In no time at all I found myself drawn in again, both fearful and rooting for Saga. Now in my greed I want a Season Four!

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Doctor Who. 

As an unashamed Whovian, I have been a little disappointed with some of the writing for Capaldi’s Doctor, (even though I do like his portrayal of the Time Lord), but the 2015 Christmas special was a highlight. Whereas some episodes have been too convoluted in a seeming attempt to be ‘clever’, this was a straight, enjoyably old fashioned adventure romp. River Song is a delight, and that moment (pictured) when she recognises the Doctor (who she had only known during Matt Smith’s tenure) for who he really was, was profoundly moving. But then I’m just a sentimental softie at heart.

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Big Screen

Star Wars The Force Awakens. 

The nerd in me was counting down, hoping against hope that I wouldn’t be disappointed. I wasn’t. The moment when Han Solo and Chewbacca unexpectedly emerged onto the screen again for the first time, well, yes, the sentimental softie escaped again. I loved the film, but something occurred in it that I am biting my tongue not to say. Somehow I¬†have managed to avoid venting my spleen as I’m mindful of spoilers for those who have not caught the film yet. BUT IT RUINED MY WHOLE DAMN CHRISTMAS! My wife, who hasn’t seen the film and cares not a jot about spoilers, told me several times to get over it as it was ruining her Christmas too. You will have to see it to discover what upset me so, or call back to Jackdaw in a month or so. There has been a great disturbance in the force.

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Music

The Beatles. 

Many times over the last eighteen months or so (since I first started using it) I have complained about my favourite group of all time not being available on Spotify. I discovered some great new groups on there, but I was unable to fall back on my default musical love. Then suddenly Beatles fans everywhere were granted an extra Christmas present by the news that the Fab Four were now available for streaming. Oh how I have already plagued my poor, beleaguered wife and children! Doing the pots, doing anything-every single Beatles album was accessible. And now I’m thinking of playlists ūüôā Here’s to 2016. You’ve got a lot to live up to.

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A Great Scottish Disturbance In The Force

Congratulations to the Scottish people from me and my wee bairns. Not being Scottish, I hadn’t looked too closely at all the different issues involved, but from a purely emotional and romantic perspective I wanted you to stay with us.

The result of the vote, the full, ahem, force, was felt throughout the galaxy, even Darth MacVader and his Imperial Dancers were celebrating this morning.

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What do Stormtroopers wear beneath their kilt?

“That’s no moon….”

Our United Kingdom remains a kingdom united.