ISIS and Palmyra

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The best thing I’ve heard anyone say for weeks? Natalie Haynes in last night’s Evening Standard:

…why is it that those who proclaim the greatest religious fervour are so threatened by gods no longer worshipped.

Indeed.

As “Islamic State” continue their sacrilegious and totalitarian destruction of civilisation, culture, and history with the demolition of the ancient temple of Bel in Palmyra, I too am taking time out from my anguish and highly effectual hand-wringing to wonder: why are ISIS so scared of dead gods?

 © 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

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Two Thirds of a Pint

imageWent to The Draft House pub in Hammersmith (W6 7NL) yesterday with a mate. No sooner had we found a good space in the beer garden, than a floppy-haired tattoo-sleeve-wearing barman flounced over with a vintage clipboard and antique paper menu with brews bearing such names as “Aprigot [not a spelling mistake] Sour Apricot”. Before we could get over the strange unpubiness of all this, we were asked if we would like pints, halves, two-thirds of a pint, or one third of a pint.

What on earth?

Being married to a Spaniard, I’m used to the concept of tiny, shot-like glasses of beer: the caña, the zurito. But I’d never seen it in England. However, I think the concept will catch on; there’s a real niche for smaller-than-pint sizes of beer.

But will the name “two thirds of a pint” catch on? Unlikely.

I unilaterally dubbed this measure, the “two’th” or “tooth” — as in “two th[irds of a pint]”. A much catchier alternative. So we spent all night ordering “tooths”, and we spent all night not being understood. We feigned confusion: ‘You know: tooths. It’s what we call two-thirds-of-a-pint round my manor, guv’.

One third is known as a “one-fer” (‘one thir[d]’ in a London accent) or a “toothless”.

Go to a pub and order some “tooths” today! Free fun!

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

150 Word Film Review: Honeymoon (2014)

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Honeymoon stars the ridiculously lovely Rose Leslie (a.k.a. “Ygritte”, of Game of Thrones fame) and Harry Treadaway as can’t-keep-their-hands-off-each-other newlyweds Bea and Paul. Honeymooning in Bea’s family cabin in the woods, things start to unravel quickly for the young couple after Paul wakes up to find his wife sleepwalking in the woods. Despite claiming no memory, it soon becomes clear that something very bad happened that night.

So what did happen in the woods? The film never spells it out. But it doesn’t matter; the nocturnal events are merely a device to explore what becomes of a healthy and seemingly rock solid relationship when one partner is violated in some way.

Brilliant and deeply unsettling, the off-centre performances heighten the tension. Honeymoon gave me repeated goosebumps and made me shiver almost endlessly. Horrific and disturbing. Perhaps the finest American horror film in years.

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/db/Honeymoon_film_poster.jpg

Fatty Parry 7: Week 0

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Not massively successful on the not-being-a-fat-b*stard-front, so I’m changing tack a bit.

My research suggests a healthy weight loss is 1-2lbs a week (one side affect of rapid weight loss is hair loss!). I am currently 15st 13lbs (223lbs). I want to get down to 13 stone (182lbs) which is what personal experience, and the doctor(!), tell me is a healthy weight for my height.

So, that’s around forty pounds to lose at a rate of two per week: twenty weeks to reach my target weight. Week by week, that breaks down like this:

(0) 27 July: 15st 13lbs (223lbs)
(1) 3 August: 15st 11lbs (221lbs)
(2) 10 August: 15st 9lbs (219lbs)
(3) 17 August: 15st 7lbs (217lbs)
(4) 24 August: 15st 5lbs (215lbs)
(5) 31 August: 15st 3lbs (213lbs)
(6) 7 September: 15st 1lb (211lbs)
(7) 14 September: 14st 13lbs (209lbs)
(8) 21 September: 14st 11lbs (207lbs)
(9) 28 September: 14st 9lbs (205lbs)
(10) 5 October: 14st 7lbs (203lbs)
(11) 12 October: 14st 5lbs (201lbs) **wedding day weight; first major goal**
(12) 19 October: 14st 3lbs (199lbs) **MY BIRTHDAY**
(13) 26 October: 14st 1lb (197lbs)
(14) 2 November: 13st 13lbs (195lbs)
(15) 9 November: 13st 11lbs (193lbs)
(16) 16 November: 13st 9lbs (191lbs)
(17) 23 November: 13st 7lbs (189lbs) **NHS BMI Chart and Calculator**
(18) 30 November: 13st 5lbs (187lbs)
(19) 7 December: 13st 3lbs (185lbs)
(20) 14 December: 13st 1lb (183lbs)

Obviously, your weight will fluctuate in any case, so updating you guys every week wouldn’t be productive. And let’s face it, flooding my blog with posts about how fat I am isn’t going to appeal. So I’ll keep to updating “Fatty Parry” every few weeks or so.

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

Time Flies

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So I was reading The Mail the other day.

Just wait a second! I hate The Mail. It is absolute trash. But someone had left it lying about on the tube, and I had already finished reading The Metro The Independent, The Guardian, The Times, and The Telegraph. So I needed something, anything to keep my eyes from awkwardly meeting another commuter’s and running the risk of actually having to speak to someone.

My eyes skipped over a page. I did a double take. What was that!? Former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s youngest son, 29, had got hitched.

What on earth? But Tony Blair’s son is a boy(!) Twenty-nine? I don’t understand.

I sat there for a few moments trying to calculate if it was even biologically possible for Tony Blair to have a 29 year old son.

Then the pieces slowly began to slot together in my mind. Tony Blair left office eight years ago! He was made PM 18 years ago! …Children.. grow up!

For the first time in my life, I felt a twinge of being old.

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from http://img.thesun.co.uk/aidemitlum/archive/01847/SNN1115NICK-_1847786a.jpg

Game of Thrones is Worse than Crack

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Game of Thrones Season 5 only finished a month ago. Yet I am in withdrawal. No hyperbole. My belly is in knots, I can’t sleep at night, I’m even more pale and clammy than usual. I want Season 6 so badly, it physically hurts; I may even be developing an ulcer.

And it’s still almost a whole year to wait until Season 6. How am I going to survive for a year!?

But a thought just squelched its way into my GoT-starved mind.

There are fifty episodes so far. There are fifty-two weeks in a year…

I’m talking synergy, people!!

*dances to couch humming the theme tune*

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from http://admin.bol.it/images/external/contenuti/gameofthrones5.jpg

Game of Thrones Season 5 Thoughts [SPOILERS!!!]

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I’m a massive fan of the show Game of Thrones. Yet despite being a bookworm, I’m not ashamed to say I haven’t read the books. I just don’t have time or the staying-power for 1,770,000 words (and counting). But maybe it’s a good thing I haven’t read them; I’m coming to the series with fresh eyes.

Season 5 finished last night. Summing it up in a single word is easy: bleak. Depressing works quite well, too.

Whereas in previous seasons the characters were able to carve out small green spaces for themselves in a vast desert wilderness — be it the “normal” loving family moments in the Stark household, the nobles all getting behind the true “King in the North”, or the tender love affairs such as Tyrion and Shea’s — this season is just dark, dark, bleak, dark, depressing, gloomy, and dark.

It may be Season 5 of a probable 8, but I feel that only now are we well and truly into Act II: all the characters we’re rooting for (those who still have their heads, that is) are at their lowest ebb, it would appear. And winter is almost come.

More good guys are dead, loss of purpose and morale for others, rape of innocents, child sacrifice, favourite characters going blind or catching incurable diseases, and a general sense that everything is pretty much effed up.

But the most depressing thing about Game of Thrones Season 5 is: I have to wait a whole year for Season 6!!

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from http://admin.bol.it/images/external/contenuti/gameofthrones5.jpg