Arcticterntalk.org

The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the tag “art”

Just Food Photos . Which is your favourite?


Sometimes it is nice to take a look at nice food items you have photographed. Here are a selection from the last few months. A mixture of foods ranging from exquisite Cod to piles of toast .

The Death of the Fronsac. A remarkable novel


It is not so often you read a novel and then go back and read the prologue again just to be sure. On the face of it this is a novel that simply follows events after a warship explodes in Greenock in 1940. Which is the basic tenet of the story .

There is however so much more . The book tells an important story about Poland and its peoples after they were displaced in 1939 when Poland was annexed. That word hides the true meaning that Germany and Russia invaded and divided the country up as one might a pizza. There are characters that appear and reappear in a manner suggesting the author understands and maybe knows some of them. The characters do grow in the story and whereas some are likeable some are truly revolting even putting a wartime veneer on things. One aspect I had never learned or maybe missed was that some folks profited from war , if they were lucky, and others enjoyed the ambience that wartime brought. Some grew as people and others simply followed like sheep.

This book needs to be read. If you only read one book about what living in the Second World War was really like this is it. Some grizzly unpleasant bits but a surprising number of positives mostly related to people and peoples having to work together. There is a lot about loyalty in this book and pragmatism too. The book takes us through lives changing and also lives of those growing up in wartime and their aspirations.

I have loved reading this book. My little knowledge of Scotland in wartime has exponentially increased.

Some questions remain however . Some of the book is fact , some fiction and in the words of the author, some borrowed. But my question is did Major Mike, as we can call him, really exist? I have this little suspicion that he did.

This book is worth 300 pages of your time . Enjoy

Thoughts on Benalmadena Costa After Two Years Away


Two years has probably been the longest that I have spent away from the town. Since then Brexit has rumbled on, house prices have risen in UK and the currency exchange rates have become criminal. Anyone foolish enough to exchange at Gatwick would have received the princely sum of 0.97€ for every donated pound. So it was with interest and some trepidation that I came over.

The reality is that things are really good here and the town is thriving substantially more than two years ago. Walking down Avenida Las Palmeras there are few vacant shops and restaurants. Only Crumbles seems a casualty. Maybe also a reflection that there seem far fewer British folks here and the cafes serving British food seem to have got fewer. Whereas the multi item emporiums have not only thrived but have a higher quality of goods . They have moved on from the Poundland approach .

On the downside the beach renovation will entice fewer down to Playa Santa Ana. A huge portion of the town beach is out of action meaning that local alternatives such as Playa Carvajal get visited. Maybe my imagination but the seafront mostly fish restaurants seemed a little quieter too.

Building seems to have recommenced after a hiatus of a few years.

After the crazy years of ten years ago when developers seriously thought they could build almost to the top of the cable car mountain, things seemed to go quiet . A lot more building is going on around the Peublo area.

However The unfinished buildings remain and from a distance the graffiti scrawled on the walls suggests unwanted visitors. Will these ever get completed?

Car parking remains complex. Street parking on the roads leading out of town seem the only realistic option.

New restaurants have emerged. Lemon and Lime next to the taxi rank seems thriving with tables packed all day serving modern tapas. A return maybe to the traditional way of eating and drinking. Maybe there is still room for another bar though. Some of the old venues seem timeless. Harry’s Restro must have been here more than 10 years and serves one of the best curries I have had anywhere in the world. Cherry’s remains untouched. The Meeting Point is a great concept. Coffee and cakes ! Some empanadas too!

Not all bars and restaurants accept credit cards though. Buona Sana Italiana next door to Harry’s Restro is an example . But serving the best pizza and pasta in Benalmadena.

Still a fair few small dogs around and sadly still owners not picking up after them. There is no excuse. The parakeets have multiplied and are increasingly vocal.

So things seem better than two years ago and this great town and community is clearly thriving

Mysteries of Eurovision 2019


Eurovision is a great institution and each year gets better. The staging last night in Tel Aviv was beyond brilliant. Many of the acts were also superb, others less so. We score the acts in our group and without fail never pick the winner. What we were in agreement about were the worst two acts coming from SAN Marino and Iceland. Discussion was had this morning about how these two acts actually qualified for the final over some of the others whom failed to make the cut . SAN Marino was many grades beyond dreadful . A non practicing dentist chanting in a low voice that reminded me more of a poor karaoke impression of Right Said Fred. The Icelandic offering was one of those pseudo political statements with the band clearly concentrated more on the Palestine issues than their music. For once I agree with the organisers of Eurovision that this is a musical not political event. Their specific noise , muttering, chanting and shouting was hideous. Hence being rated by us as the worst performer. I will spare you the tension and give you our final scores. The bottom five

  1. Iceland 2
  2. SAN Marino 5
  3. Estonia 8
  4. Slovenia 9
  5. North Macedonia 9

Clearly our musical intuition and interpretation did not match the worldwide juries who scored North Macedonia second best . The scoring though changed when the public votes were added who scored them like us one of the worst . The principle of having separate scoring systems for the juries, composed of music professionals, and the general public money spending audience, is a good one . There were many instances similar where the jury voted brilliant or awful and the public voted the opposite . A good example was Norway where the juries voted their entry as poor and the public voted it one of the best . Maybe the professionals had not listened to Alan Walker “Faded” , one of the most popular songs of the last few years , the style of Norway was similar and the girl singer was the same one who sings on Faded. A few songs were simply creepy . Try the Slovenian entry if you have a spare five minutes.

The best songs in our view were

  1. Norway, Denmark and France 27
  2. Italy 25
  3. Switzerland and Azerbaijan 24

The winning song from Netherlands got 20 points from us . Another mystery . A winning song yet devoid of many of the things Eurovision is famous for , good staging and interesting tunes. The bookmakers has this as their favourite. How do they reach this conclusion? I am always baffled by their conclusions and how spookily correct they often are.

So the mysteries of Eurovision remain strong and without doubt the staging was the best ever . Role in 2020 where I can make two predictions. The contest will be held in Amsterdam and UK will not be winners

Time For Strict Enforceable Rules on Recording In Theatres and Posting Images and Videos


Perusing Twitter in recent weeks there have been a number of tweets where audience members have been called out for recording or photographing during shows. It was reported that in one performance of Six, one of the cast members actually intervened to call this out. In other instances audience members themselves asked the perpetrator to cease recording.

Anyone attending the theatre know that they should not be recording shows or indeed taking photographs. Arguably the reasons behind these regulations have never been explicitly reasoned out and explained, nonetheless this is standard knowledge, and theatre goers do not come armed with cameras and recording devices.

The rules seem fair and obvious. Recordings of a show then uploaded to YouTube or indeed anywhere can do many negative things. The poor quality sound might make a performance look bad, the ending of a show might be given away ( many have quite intricate stories as part of the show, Waitress is an example). The actors/actresses are entitled to also make their money from cast recordings of albums uploaded to Spotify or similar and sold, and the sheer poor quality of the recordings does nothing to enhance the experience for anyone.

Six and Millie O'Connell

Six and Millie O’Connell

What however is less well known, and could be better advertised are that some shows do allow the audience to take photographs and videos during the curtain calls, as in Waitress or during a semi-encore, as in Six. I like this approach. As a photographer I too get frustrated to not be able to photograph, however I get it and abide by the rules as should everyone.

Aimee Atkinson in Six

Aimee Atkinson in Six

Having sat through the Brexit voting charades this past week, I would like to suggest a few things we might suggest or even vote on as solutions:

  1. In the foyer there should be clear notices as to what is and what is not allowed. This also can be part of the pre-show announcements whee one is reminded to turn off mobile devices.
  2. Anyone breaching the regulations should be removed from the theatre . A clear black and white punishment.
  3. Cast members where feasible can make themselves available post-show for photographs
  4. The show organisers organise out of show events where folks can come and photograph cast members with the obvious caveats these are not used commercially or promotionally. Funds raised might be utilised by theatre charities.

As I stated above the non-allowing of photography, I agree with and always wonder what my images might have looked like. The four solutions above may be a good compromise in this digital image world.

Lastly, the photos uploaded here were all taken post-show and were allowed, and of course all taken with the humble I-phone 8

Rocky Horror Woking 2019

Rocky Horror Woking 2019

Waitress 2019

Waitress 2019

Six and Millie O'Connell

Six and Millie O’Connell

Six and Millie O'Connell

Six and Millie O’Connell

Six and Millie O'Connell

Six and Millie O’Connell

Natalie Paris and six

Natalie Paris and six

Sample Sources For A level History Students. Essential. Sauces Actually


York Marriott. Could Their 3-course menu for £21 be the best bargain in UK?


Many hotels hardly seem to bother with their restaurants. They charge inflated prices to guests for often very average breakfasts and evening meals are often lazy affairs. Charging upwards of £20 for an average steak in a soulless environment. York Marriott is bucking the trend . During a recent stay a decision was made to eat and drink in the hotel as the bar and restaurant areas looked welcoming . The bar had a good selection of beers and the restaurant a decent menu. I took a decision to eat off the three course for £21 menu where there were 4-5 choices for each course . The food was delicious and the ambience great .

Bread cost an extra £3.50 but there was plenty for three and came with oils and butters. My starter was an excellent fish salad and not small either

Others chose Leek and Potato soup

Fish pie and Chocolate tart completed my feast .

Lastly the service was good and people serving happy and smiling, not always a given in hotel restaurants. If you happen to stay here it is well worth eating and drinking here too.

Food Photos . Do They Make You Hungry ?


Is York University The Most Photogenic University in UK?


York university is one of the Russell group and ranks highly in academic terms. It may also be on of the most photogenic.

The university is built around man made lakes with numerous accommodation colleges on campus. Clearly the design allowed a modem spacious area to live in.

As one might imagine there are numerous academic buildings that are not so photogenic however the large Central hall often described as the spaceship building makes interesting viewing. Some of the lake views look almost like a painting . And the various bridges across the water have lighting that someone has really thought about.

York university is certainly worth a trip with the camera !

Brentford 3 Stoke 1 . Learnings for both sides


This was not the result most fans of either side predicted. Many Bees fans, maybe half , would have taken a point before the game. The reality was that a resurgent Brentford side played their best football this season and possibly for a few seasons and dominated the game from every angle.

  1. Stoke expected to get something out of the game . Nathan Jones came with a good track record but expecting anything to change in a few days is dreaming. He had no time to change anything of note other than motivate his players.
  2. Commenting as a Brentford fan there were several Stoke players who seemingly are not at the standards they used to be. Berahino was an exciting prospect and looked sensational years ago on loan at Brentford. Yesterday he was not part of the game. Shawcross was unlucky with the own goal but looked an aged and slow defender. His time has surely gone. Afobe looked superb yet got little service of note . Hard working and a simply brilliant goal. The defence looked poor, and trust me Bees fans know how to spot a poor defence. Jack Butland was anything other than commanding.
  3. Brentford made Stoke look average. Their tempo and work rate was the best this season. Mokojoto and Sawyers were simply brilliant. 10/10 performances maintained all 95 minutes. This was a bad day for any club to come to Griffin Park and the performance was echelons higher than the win that got a scrappy 1-0 win over a dismal dispirited Bolton side before Xmas.
  4. Brentford were set up superbly . The midfield had the engine of a Rolls Royce and not of a lawnmower. None of the dismal midfield displays of negative passing were seen and although not wanting to be critical, the lack of Yennaris, MCLeod and Josh was a positive one
  5. The debate over Bentley and Daniels was not even addressed as cannot recall a single save Bentley had to make.
  6. Henrik Dalsgaard had a good game, not a great one, but maybe his confidence is back. The set up of three central defenders , all actually wonderful footballers in their own rights, allowed Henrik to play in the more right midfield area where he does actually play even when a traditional full back
  7. Thomas Frank and Brian Riemer we’re visible in the technical area, shouting, cajoling but never critical. This is good to see for the fans and maybe the team too.
  8. Maupay has his usual superb game as did Said Benrahma.

Overall Brentford were brilliant more than Stoke were poor. Brentford need to carry on with this tempo and maybe Stoke need to jettison a few players simply past their prime .

Lastly I loved seeing the great reception Ryan Woods received . Nice Brentford fan behaviour for players we respect . And a privilege to see not only a few minutes of Peter Crouch but also him posing with young fans after the game and again the nice Ealing road reception he got when warming up.

Neither side will go up nor down this season and it will be interesting to see where they finally end up .

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