We had the usual group round for fire, fillums and pizza. And a good evening was had.
We have a stack of dvds still to watch and we decided that people should pick their first 2 preferred ones and the most popular were chosen.
First up was “Innocence“. A mightily creepy little thing about a school full of young girls. At first there are no adults, just girls with a hierarchy based on age. We follow Iris from when she arrives (bizarrely in a locked coffin) and is then shown around a bit. There are restrictions such as not being allowed to leave the grounds. One or two of the girls do try, one dies and another just disappears.
The school seems to be there to teach these girls two things. The main one is dancing. There are ballet classes for all of the students. The other subject is biology.
Every night the elder girls all go away from the house and aren’t allowed to say why. Young Iris follows one day and we see things get a bit more disturbing.
We finish by following one of the girls as she graduates out of the school.
This movie was really very creepy. Loads of symbolism, quite a lot of discomforting images (one girl enjoying tasting blood rather too much, plenty of long damp tunnels, another girl being “chosen” to be removed from the school by the dodgy headmistress in a sort of talent and beauty contest, and the final image is of one girl standing opposite one of the first boys we see, in a fountain with a huge frothy plume of spurting water between them).
One comment I made at the end was “I wonder if this was made by a primary school teacher” as one of the teachers says to the graduater “You’ll soon forget us” with the sound of bitterness in her voice. And then someone else chimed in with “I wonder if it was made by a paedophile“.
It was a good fillum but not what you’d call “fun”.
So after creepy and just a bit “wrong” we moved onto good old ghost story territory with “Ghost Game“.
This one is about a reality show that’s a cross between Survivor, Ghostwatch and Derren Brown’s Seance. This kids have to survive in a creepy old PoW camp, that was host to one of the worst wartime atrocities, without bolting in terror. The rather obvious twist in the fillum is that the ghosts are real rather than imagined or dreamt up tricks by the crew.
There’s no real sub-plot to note just a traditional “who will survive?” game to play as you watch. Will it be the fat girl (“She’s too fat to die”), how about the cynical one who is trying to prove it’s all a set-up, or possibly the cheeky lad who’s trying to get off with the model?
It was good and scary. Job done.
And it has to be said that these 2 brought the average quality back up to somewhere near “good”. We’ve seen some shockingly poor movies in recent sessions and these were a marked change.
I’ve had a look at the warming up bit, as you’d all expect I’m sure. I can’t comment on the rest of it though. Not my line.
Anyway just for your entertainment here’s my ranty review (with some fairer comments at the end):
[edit: just had a chat with the guy who put the site up. More later.]
Page 1 – “Warming up promotes the body’s natural oil to libircate the joints, ligaments and tendons as well as prepare muscles to fire at appropriate times.”
What the hell is “natural oil”? Ligaments and tendons don’t need “libircating”. Muscles fire when they’re supposed to whether or not you’ve spend 10 minutes moving random parts of your body randomly.
P2: Never heard the ring idea before, interesting idea if a little vague as to why it’s useful.
P3: Wrist circles? Why?
P4: Ankles circles? Really why? If you’re after stopping ankle inversion injury then you want your lower leg muscles to be stiff not relaxed.
P5: page 3 and 4 repeated. Waste of time.
P6: Circling neck is a really bloody stupid idea. Very rare but would you be happy to learn that someone who’d read your advice has had a stroke? If you must do neck exercises then standard advice is to do side flexion separately from rotation and extension. I never suggest forward flexion/extension exercises anyway, not even as a treatment modality.
P7: Doesn’t really do anything.
P8: Overworks the muscle most likely to be overworking in the body anyway. Certainly as far as the jugglers are concerned.
P9: No diff to P8
P10: Can’t see any benefit there.
P11: Same as P10.
P13: Good general exercise. Not specifically a warm-up thing.
P14: No idea what this is doing. The elbow is a hinge so any “circles” are down to shoulder movements.
P17: Ooh Betty.
P19: Yes it’s a rec fem stretch (only 1 of the quads, the other 3 aren’t affected). Why only a count of 10? How may reps? Why specifically as a warm-up? Why not hamstrings and gastroc stretches as well? I have plenty flexible rec fems but my hams are shockingly tight, why should I do this stretch whilst ignoring stretches I should be doing?
P20: Now my energy has leached away.
P21: Is this suggesting flexing and then moving? Way to injure your back!
What’s with the “Do 10 of these” comments? How’s that the magic number?
So there you have it. Not impressed.
Now to be somewhat fairer.
Apart from the 2 exercises that I reckon are potentially dangerous there isn’t too much to get too wound up about.
So what to do instead (if anything):
If you must waste time failing to protect yourself from injury (or in one or two cases actually increasing the risk) then run about a bit and play some games then start slowly with what you’re doing. That’s it, there’s not much you can do to prevent injury except by getting a personal assessment of how you move and what might be problematic about your movement now or in the future, and then doing the exercises to change that, then making sure that you follow the safety rules for the kit you’re using, and not arsing around when you should be paying attention, and making sure the kit is up to scratch, and not doing the same training day after day, and doing conditioning training daily to allow your body to cope with physical stress, and so on. 10 mins of random exercise is all very well but doesn’t protect you.
Repeat lecture now over.
And another thing!
What’s with this general “you must be warm to avoid injury” nonsense? Just seen this article showing injury rates were higher in summer than in winter. Pfft.
EXTRA!: As mentioned earlier I’ve just been chatting to the author of the page. So what to add?
OK the tone of this review is grumpy. That’ll be me writing then. I did state that the review was ranty and regular readers will know my thoughts on this subject.
Let’s talk about the goal of the site. It’s for training people who don’t have great access to teachers and schools and may not speak english. A sound objective. I’d imagine they’d also not have great access to much in the way of medical care. In this case the idea was to create something memorable and visual for them to remember. I’d say 21 pages is too long particularly for younger participants. So definitely drop the neck rolls and back flex exercises and shorten the rest.
Tricky. It always is when trying to plan for teaching people you can’t see beforehand. And it would change depending on what you wanted from it.
So I’ll answer it in 2 ways.
What are you after? Conditioning exercises or a warm-up? I’m not a believer that warm ups do much physically so pretty much anything you want if you feel you must. Running around a bit, jumping around too. That’ll get your heart-rate up and muscles warm. It’ll be a giggle for children too if you incorporate some playing into this bit. Make it fun and kids’ll run forever.
Conditioning. Depends again on what’s needed. Are you talking about people on a long course or occasional participants? For those on long courses you want to be looking at strength and flexibility exercises as a daily thing even if the course isn’t daily. Teach them stretches and strength exercises to do and ask them to actually do them. Improves their ability and reduces injury.
For occasional participants then you’re looking at just giving them a good time. Warm-ups won’t significantly reduce their risk of problems. They’ll ache anyway just because what they are doing is new for their bodies.
I’m tired now and may write more tomorrow. Have fun.
A slow start to the next day but I was in no particular hurry. It seems Dumfries is a pain to get to from just about anywhere. The frequency of trains from Glasgow was not great and it would be a 2 hour trip more or less.
But this trip was about getting some quality “sitting back and watching the world go by” time.
Not too many folk on the train either but I kept getting looked at by a bloke in a reflective jacket. I think he was a guard of some sort. When we pulled in at stations he stood up and had a look along the platform but didn’t do the checking tickets thing.
Just before Dumfries I stood up to get my stuff together and then sat down on a different seat with my bag ready to go. This really made him stare. Slightly creepy.
But he didn’t follow me off the train.
Nice meetings again with another lovely friend who would be my host for the next 3 nights.
The first plan was to get to the shop. My pal is a surgeon and when we were in Morrisons we bumped into a guy who was due to go under her knife in a week or so’s time. I’m not sure he was best assured by the trolley full of cat food and booze. But we had a melon as well so that’s all right.
Back to her gorgeous place in the fields one side of the town.
We were planning a walk into town for a pub dinner but one of her pals phoned and invited us for dinner with her and her husband. Grand!
So I got a rather impressive and very tasty german meal that day. Was also v interesting sitting with 2 ortho surgeons and a radiologist. Got me some useful medical info out of the encounter and hopefully held my own in some of the discussion.
Whilst sitting around my host decides to tell everyone there how weird I am for going for foreigners. “Oh hee hee” they all went. I should point out that the woman relating the story is partnered up with a Norwegian chap and the other listeners were an English man and his German wife.
Next day was another quiet one. My host had gone off to “help mend a pelvis” so I was left chilling (literally) in the house with her cats and chickens and ducks.
Later we did the Dumfries sightseeing thing. Didn’t last long but it’s a nice enough place. Certainly much prettier than I expected.
I can’t remember much else about Friday so I’ll assume that that’s about it. I do remember sitting in front of the woodburner of the evening reading and chatting and introducing her to the delights of “The Bugle” (once the News Quiz had finished).
I had intended to go back to Edinburgh on the Saturday to be able to catch my train home but I was (easily) persuaded to stay in Dumfries. All I needed to do was travel to Carlisle and hop across to Newcastle to pick my train up there. And a good plan it was.
And it left Saturday to do stuff. So we had a little tour of Dumfries and its environs. Castle Douglas and Kirkcudbright were visited. In fact Kirkcudbright was where me and K spent our first New Year’s eve as a couple. I didn’t remember anything of the town though and was reasonably surprised to discover that it had docks and that.
Besides local towns we also sat in local cafes and bought stuff in little shops and looked at statues of hares and so on. A very nice way to spend a day. And I got to hear the word “demi-johns” quite a lot.
Another evening spent in front of the woodburner. This time I thrashed her at Scrabble a couple of times as well as the reading and drinking and chatting.
And then I had to come home.
She very nicely gave me a lift to Carlisle. My train only just made it to Newcastle on time which was handy as my ticket was for that specific train rather than a specific journey.
It did slightly confuse the conductor when she saw my ticket was from Edinburgh. “But you got on at Newcastle”.
Safely home to find no burglary but also no food in the house. So I’m starving today.
Monday evening was Edinburgh juggling club night. Me and Rosie headed off a little late but it wasn’t to be a long walk. Well it shouldn’t have been a long walk. What actually happened was that we found the place but found no way in. Then we walked all the way around to find a dead-end, this meant a walk all the way back again. But no, we were lucky and found a 3rd way. So back to find a small gate leading us into a dark car park. No idea where to go so we headed for a door with a light on past it. No-one there to ask, no signs.
Once we heard the sounds of droppage we bore left; first up was some community orchestra room, not for us. And then we found it. Juggling hall with people.
And that was it pretty much. No-one talked to us so me and Rosie passed for a bit before approaching someone I recognised from conventions. Say hello to Canadian Duncan – diaboloer extraordinaire.
He was a chatty soul so we passed some time nattering before heading to a pub with someone called Alex who was the image of what you’d expect Donald Grant’s younger brother to look like.
And then home.
Tuesday morning was pretty quiet. I stayed in bed ’til late and then packed up and was away from Edinburgh to Glasgow, thanking Rosie and Tom for their time and spare bed.
Mild hassles with the train but made it in the end despite Scotrail’s attempts to thwart me.
Glasgow was cold and wet when I got here and has remained so since.
And what a change from Edinburgh. Firstly there are people here with actual scottish accents – loads of them. Who’d of thunk it?
Second is it is nowhere near as posh as Edinburgh. Full-on working class at least the bits I’ve seen.
Az picked me up from some local train station and we sat and chatted for a while before getting my second curry of the trip. Not a patch on the first one but still ok.
And to Wednesday. A guy called Tom had graciously agreed to guide me today so we trained it into the city to sightsee. Top chap; more so in fact as I found out later he’d had no sleep and was suffering. He hid it well.
The first stop was The Necropolis. Basically it’s a graveyard. But it’s the swanky graveyard for rich nobs and city stars. Nice hillside location near the cathedral. Hopefully a few good pics taken there, I tried to capture some good weather shots. At least one of them won’t be a good advert for Glasgow though unless people do actually want to come here for the wet and grimy weather.
From there to GoMA. A shame that half of it was closed.
And then further to Kelvingrove Museum and Gallery. Now this was more like it. A short tube ride away but near a quiet park and much more genteel than the other places we’d seen so far. The museum wasn’t too bad excepting its rather bitty nature. One gallery would show some stuff in a small amount of detail but then not expand it and the next area was unrelated to it. So you have wildlife of Scotland, which was good and had some stuff about endangered species, but the next gallery was Ancient Egypt. Just too bitty for me.
Canadian Duncan had decided to come along to Glasgow juggling club and phoned to meet us in some pizza place (where I had the biggest Calzone I’ve seen for ages). And onwards to juggle.
Glasgow club was a bit more friendly than Edinburgh’s. Me and Az passed a bit first and then she sat out to chat some. I passed with Duncan and then sat out myself whilst occasionally giving out snippets of advice to beginners.
One thing that surprised me at both clubs was the skill level on display. Mainly that it just wasn’t very high. Sure there was the odd one who was very good (eg Duncan) but club jugglers on display were learning the cascade. Ball jugglers were doing not a lot. And nobody seemed to be able to pass even a 6 club 4 count with any consistency. It just surprised me.
But as I say the Glasgow lot were a friendly enough bunch.
Now I’m back at Az’s to sleep before zooming off to my 3rd place of the trip tomorrow.
Anyways I’m on me hols again. I know great int it?
This time I’ve winded up in the frozen wastes of the far north. Well nearly. I’m in Edinburgh today, got here on Saturday after a lovely long train ride. Ok ignore the lovely bit. Merely a long train ride.
I deliberately picked the train instead of flying as I wanted a nice long train ride. I’ve not had one for a while. Tickets bought ages ago so not expensive and seats reserved.
Changed at Chesterfield to get on a “Cross country” train. My reserved seat was in the middle of a large group of drunk football fans but the train was quite quiet so I wimped out and sat elsewhere. The seat chosen was apparently not reserved but at every stop someone got on and moved someone nearby from their reserved seat. None of these seats had “reserved” signs on either so it meant that at every stop I was worrying that I’d be moved.
Turned out that wasn’t necessary at all.
The other problem with the train was its sheer mankiness. I got on it only to melt at the heat intensity inside. Someone else whinged at the conductor and he said that the heating was off so it should cool down. Hmm. Oh and it smelt of stale alcohol too. Sort of like a thinner, more mobile version of Lugeburf students union. Yeurch.
Arrived in Edinburgh on time only to be confused by the randomness of Waverley station. A bigger, less managable station it’s hard to conceive of. This bit seems to be indoors but there’s a bus stop. Ah now we’re outside again and have left the station but there’s a train waiting to be boarded. Very peculiar indeed.
This made finding Rosie, my lovely host, quite awkward.
But connection made and back to her and Tom’s flat.
That evening consisted of dodging rugby fans and eating a very nice curry. I had “Handi fish dupiaza”, the list of ingredients included “pomegranite”. Magic. Very nice and whopping portions.
Yesterday me and Rosie wandered. The Water of Leith is a pleasant stroll, showing off some of Edinburgh’s nice bits. Oh and we wandered into a couple of art galleries too. The evening finished off with a rather lovely home-made roast with beer.
Today they’ve been working so I wandered around the city taking pics and that. Back now to chill. We’re off to the juggling club this evening and I’m away to Glasgow for a couple of days from tomorrow.