29 November 2019

Requiem 2019 Starring Rutger Hauer

Requiem 2019 from Sil van der Woerd on Vimeo.

I had to watch this short film more than once before I could lift my jaw from the floor.  Directed by Sil van der Woerd and Rutger Hauer (who also stars), Requiem 2019 takes the last remaining blue whale and takes it eye to eye with its nemesis – us.  What can a single individual say to the last surviving member of a species which has been around for millions of years? Requiem 2019 is a melancholy demand that we take individual responsibility for preserving the largest animal to have ever lived.

Despite restrictions in hunting it still continues. In the Antarctic it is estimated that the population of blue whales is at one percent of its pre-hunting levels. What would become of human kind as a species if 99% of us were wiped of the face of the earth is, of course, conjecture: I sometimes wonder if we should even be classified as a species – virus seems a more appropriate term!

27 November 2019

Being British - A Film by the People of Great Britain

“Wandering Film Director” Simon Mulvaney recently asked a stack of independent filmmakers a question: what does it mean to be British?  I expect he was rather overwhelmed by the response if the resulting film is anything to go by.    The short answer, many, many different things which makes the UK a special kind of place really.  I think perhaps I will mull on the message of hope this video brings when I am next feeling bleak and baffled and about Blighty’s future (and that has been regularly over the last few years since a certain referendum!).  Maybe we’re not so broken, after all.

As an aside, I think this video would slot in nicely to any number of “British Values” classes in UK schools.  It could be used as a discussion starter, a prompt for essays – any number of classroom activities could be created around it.  So, thanks Mr Mulvaney and contributors!

If you’re interested in finding out more, there are multiple versions and a directors commentary here - www.beingbritish.uk

Tubi’s Titles: Not on Netflix

Are you suffering from subscription fatigue? If so (or even if you are wrinkling your brow wondering what that is) then you might want to take a look at the videos below. Tubi is the world’s largest free streaming service and have a huge amount of titles that are “Not on Netflix”.

Each of the videos stars a famous face, admitting in the middle of a therapy session that they have met ‘someone’ new, someone who will help them cure their streaming issues. Marvellously tongue in cheek, you may find one or two of your favorites here.

If you are a fan of Shakespeare (Hamlet particularly) then you might guess what is coming at the end of this short video starring Chris Noth. The pun comes after an earnest therapy session with Noth feeling guilty and anxious about… well, why not watch the video and find out!

Nicole Scherzinger, on the other hand, is ‘drowning in drama’. She is out to get what she wants without compromising... Free the stream, baby, free the stream!

Carmen Elektra has started something new that’s ‘different’.

Colton Underwood takes a break from jumping over large objects to let his therapist know how his life has changed since he started ‘chilling without Netflix.”

Although these humorous ads gently mock contemporary streaming culture they certainly make a point – that there are more ways to combat subscription fatigue than meet the eye.

16 November 2019

Top 10 Things to Do In Iceland 2020

Iceland is full of natural wonders, and even just one visit there can feel like you’re ticking your life bucket list off.

Rent a car
So you can get to all of these other places extremely easily, renting a car is highly recommended in Iceland. Public transport is costly, and will prevent you from going far in the evenings. Reykjavik is the starting point of most Iceland trips, with its great city and large airport. Reykjavik Cars can be easily picked up from the airport and will provide you the freedom of


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Askja is situated in the mid-east highlands of Iceland. The Dyngjufjöll mountains are everywhere you look, of which some stand at over 1,500m tall. There is the Öskjuvatn lake which is left over from the huge 1875 eruption that put Askja on the map, as it wasn’t really known about before this. To this day, there are potential eruptions that could take place, so be aware of these risks before visiting even if there probability is low.

Akureyri isn’t far from Askja, as it sits centrally (but further north) in Iceland. Akureyri is the fifth largest municipality in Iceland, and the town dates back to the 9th century. The climate can be much warmer here than surrounding areas, and can be a great place to visit for an old town experience. This is your chance to see the Laufas turf homes too, which were built in 1865 - these are preserved homes built underground and are fascinating to see how Icelandics used to live.

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Landmannalaugar is a geothermal oasis situated in the Fjallabak Nature Reserve in the Southern Highlands. Colourful mountains make up the backdrop to some incredibly vibrant lava fields. You can dip into the hot natural water and bathe any time of the year - winter to summer. It’s perhaps one of the most remarkable nature settings in the world, and has gained a lot of popularity among nature lovers. At around 112 miles away from Reykjavik, the oasis is only a few hours drive away from the airport.

The word Geyser is the Egnlish word for spouting hot spring, but actually derives from the Icelandic word Geysir, which means to gush (geysa). In the southwest of Iceland, you will find the The Great Geysir, which is a geothermal area with a plethora of spouting hot springs. It’s on the Golden Circle track, meaning it’s easy to access, and is incredibly popular among children too, making it a great family day out.

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Skaftafell Nature Reserve is the ultimate choice for those who love to hike. It has it all: it’s close to glaciers, it has incredible landscapes, you can visit any time of the year, it has a bunch of things to do and organised activities, and it is just off the ring road. It is still somewhat a hidden secret, as it hasn’t gained as much popularity as many other destinations in Iceland, despite it being easily accessible by car.

Skogafoss is one of the largest waterfalls in Iceland, standing at 60 meters high and 25 meters wide. Its beauty is something to behold, and you can get some incredible pictures of yourself with the waterfall as the backdrop. It also has a little village nearby (Skogar) where you can find a lovely restaurant and hotel, as well as a cafe and a museum.

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Westfjords is a beautiful, remote part of Iceland. This is where to go for the truly undisturbed experience of Iceland, free from tourists and commercialisation. The space is large, the mountains are high and the scenery is something you’ve likely never seen before. Ísafjörður is the capital, which is very mountain-dense. This is actually the place to come if you want to ski, whilst Hornstrandir is where you want to head to for some hiking.

Myvatn is a lake in the north of Iceland, situated next to the Krafla volcano. The place has a lot of biological activity, as well as being created by basaltic lava 2300 years ago. It’s Iceland’s 4th largest lake - this isn’t a place to come for glaciers and trees, but instead, volcanic exploration. Nearby there are some fishing opportunities and camping facilities too, as well as some of the largest natural ice sculptures and caves.

Northern Lights
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The Northern Lights are perhaps the most famous natural wonders of Iceland, and need no introduction. It’s best to head to more rural parts of Iceland, away from artificial lights (this shouldn’t be hard to find), and are visible between September and April (but February and March are the best months to see them). With the aid of a travel blog, you can find more information about both the Northern Lights and what Iceland has to offer.

Iceland is one of the few remaining countries that prioritise its natural environment over its synthetic, urbanised one. The country has many great undisturbed places, as well as some family-friendly tourist opportunities.

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