Brideshead Revisited: Best tv drama of all time?

They are currently repeating Brideshead Revisited on ITV3 in the UK. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that this is probably the finest adaptation of a novel put to film. It is a real work of astounding and living art. It is very rare that you find something so perfect.

The cast alone should get anyone interested. It is a veritable who’s-who of British stage & cinema. Jeremy Irons, Anthony Andrews, Diana Quick, Claire Bloom and the giants of Sir John Gielgud & Lawrence Olivier all contribute to this masterpiece.

It is so stimulating on so many levels. Visually you can’t find anything more glorious than Castle Howard (Brideshead in the series). But it is far more than just visual grandeur. The story touches on so many very important things. All the real things that people go through in changing times. Like all works of brilliance, there is a true tragedy to the story. The whole thing is incredibly sad. Not in a easy way – like someone dying, but in a very deep way-of-life way.

I can watch this show again and again. The music also contributes so much to the series. Whenever I hear it I automatically replay some of the scenes in my head.

For me there is only show that comes close and that is Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. It is about something completely different, but there are some similarities.

I think I’m going to purchase Brideshead Revisited at Amazon right now! Honestly.

All work and no play

Attie Heunis
Werk want die nag kom nader!

Moi at work. This photo was taken by Wanda. Note the high tech way that my colleagues and I, as technically inclined people, have presented our functional requirements.

 

Oh deary me! Bulls go down.

The Blue Bulls today lost the Currie Cup final at their home ground, Loftus Versfeld. I am gutted and surprised – I don’t think anyone gave Vrystaat a hope in hell.

I’m a big Bulls fan, but today they deserved to lose. They did the only thing that would allow the Cheetahs to win – they let them get under their skin. The Bulls’ discipline was appalling. Rassie caught them out. I’m surprised Heyneke allowed this too happen.

The ref didn’t help things at all, but ultimately he was not to blame. Essentially it was down to their bad discipline. The fact that Wynand Olivier got injured early in the game was also a big blow to the Bulls.

I support Vrystaat (apart from Ollie – who I’m glad won’t get near a Bok jersey again) against most teams and I’m happy for them, Rassie and what they bring to rugby.

Back to the Bulls. I think it was Vince Lombardi who said that the only time you really lose is when you don’t learn from your mistakes. That is the one thing that the Bulls can take from today. We’ll have to see if they have in the Super 14 next year.

By the way: Don’t you love it when people who never talk to you all of a sudden find it in themselves to contact you when your team loses. Not their team wins, but your team loses. I’m not mentioning any names am I?

Great White = Great Shite!

Oh crap!
Oh crap!

These are not fakes!

I came across these images in Shark detectives, an article in Africa Geographic magazine. The photos of this 4m (!!) beauty were taken by Thomas P. Peschak, along the South-Western coast of South-Africa.

The article describes how close these gorgeous beasts do get to the shore. I can honestly say that whenever I do take a swim in the sea in SA, I usually swim out at least as far as this shark is pictured. And these photos were taken not that far from where I used to spend 4 weeks of every year.

Maybe it is time to rethink my oceanic excursions?!?

The Newell & Budge Boys (or New Biscuits)

Attie Heunis, Adrian Rodgers, Rob Kelly, Simon Rolph, Xingbin Li, Doug Laurence
Attie Heunis, Adrian Rodgers, Rob Kelly, Simon Rolph, Xingbin Li, Doug Laurence

These are The .NET Consultants for Sopra Newell & Budge. Regrettably Adrian Rodgers will be making his presence felt (-up!) elsewhere from tomorrow. I wish Adrain (sic) all the best and I have to admit that it was brilliant to work with him. He will certainly know what I mean when I say the “thick line” will always stay with me!

Trophy hunting sucks: my published letter

I’ve just found out that a letter I wrote has been published in the African Geographic. This is a glossy, but very good magazine pushing eco-tourism in Africa.

I wrote in response to a Professional Hunter (PH) that suggested that responsible Canned Lion Hunting might not be such a bad idea. My letter said:

I find the opinion that hunting contributes to the conservation infuriating. I believe that a pseudo element of conservation exists as a side product of hunting, but this “conservation” goes very much against the spirit and letter of the real thing. For instance, hunting breaks down the evolutionary fundamentals of survival of the fittest, because hunters always want to kill the fittest animals. You need only look at the research that Beverly & Dereck Joubert have done on the declining size of male lions’ manes to find evidence of this. Canned lion hunting is also once more on the rise despite promises from the hunting fraternity that this practice would be discontinued.

Beverly & Derek Joubert by Graham Boynton
Beverly & Derek Joubert by Graham Boynton

I also find reference to the “fair chase” in hunting laughable. Anybody, even a child, can nowadays kill a lion or an elephant with a 30/06 rifle. Where is the fairness and honour in that? How many hunters are killed compared to the wildlife they kill. There is no fairness in hunting.

I think trophy hunting is a selfish industry that only benefits a small number of very wealthy individuals, most of them are not even from Africa. We Africans are one day going to be very sorry that we allowed these people to make commodities of our heritage.

I actually wrote some more, but this is what they published. I am obviously very happy they published the letter, but now I’m noticing all the stuff I could’ve said better. I guess I’ll just have to do some more!

Kew Gardens

Dale Chihuly & Kew GardensWe have been threatening for a while to visit Kew Gardens, so today we finally made the effort. And it was worth it! The gardens are huge and really beautiful. Obviously the autumn shades make the gardens even more spectacular.

Dale Chihuly currently has a “Gardens of Glass” exhibition on display throughout the gardens as well. I did wonder about glass in gardens(!), but it actually works very well.

All in all definitely worth a visit. There are many great photographic oppurtunities as you will hopefully see from my Kew Garden photos.

Note on parking: there is parking, but it did take us a while to get some – we didn’t get there until 1pm.

The Blue Bulls: The Best Rugby Club in the World

With the euphoria of the Bulls having just won their semi-final and so reaching the final for the 4th time in as many years, I decided to put up this post.

But it is not just the euphoria that has gone to my head. There is actually some motivation for this statement: The Boys from Pretoria have now won the Currie-Cup, the oldest and arguably best domestic rugby union competition in the world, in 3 consecutive years and they don’t look like stopping this year.

More so, out of the 11 possible IRB World-Player-of-the-Year nominations, the Bulls have got 5!! They are Bryan Habana, Victor Matfield, Mahlatse ‘Chilliboy’ Ralepelle (U19), Thabang Molefe (U21) & Derick Kuun (U21).Canterbury from New Zealand has the 2nd highest presentation with 2 players. No other South African team has any representation.

What is also incredible is that out of these 5 players, 3 are black players. Note: black players, not quota players.

Obviously the 5 players nominated reflects very well on South Africa as well. New Zealand again are 2nd with 4 players.

The Best Harry Potter yet?

SPOILER!

I have just finished reading the The Half-Blood Prince, the 6th Harry Potter book. I don’t know why, but the critics did not rate this book as highly as the others. I thought it was very good; possibly the best one yet.

I’m glad no-one spoiled the ending for me so I won’t spoil it for you either, but I will say this book got me more involved than the 3 before it did. I was getting slightly bored of Harry Potter & Co.

After this book, though, I’m not bored anymore – now I can’t wait for the next one.

— UPDATE —

Here is an interesting site to look at AFTER you’ve read the book. I happen to agree wholeheartedly with this site. Don’t open this link or even hover over the link to see where it takes you unless you’ve finished the book.

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