Sunday, February 04, 2007

Important news about Blue Magnolia - please read

For a variety of reasons that may be discussed in an upcoming post, but mainly on a whim, I've decided to move Blue Magnolia over to WordPress. This decision has cost me several hours of my life and probably will many more, but hey, it feels pretty good. My blog can now permanently be found looking lovely at

I may come to regret this decision, I may not. But that's for another post.

RSS readers: redirect your reader to

Alas, poor worms, I knew them well

A while ago I reported with much excitement the new friends to be found under my kitchen sink - I got worms. It was with innocent green enthusiasm that I set up my little wormery, fed my composting buddies daily, and fed the 'worm juice' to my plants.

I'm sure you can sense the 'but' coming.

Sadly, my wormies died. I'm not completely sure what happened - they may have drowned because I didn't empty liquid often enough. Alas, they just seemed to not be there any more. So my wormery composted what waste it already had slowly without worms for a while, survived a move to a new flat and has sat unattended under the sink for a few months.

Until yesterday. I cleaned it out in the bathroom (the joys of living in a flat), and was pleasantly surprised to find some good quality compost lurking at the bottom. It's now set up ready and waiting for some new tiger worms to arrive in the post. Yes, in the post.

Is there anything you can't buy on the internet?

Needless to say this time around the little things will be getting extra loving attention because I don't want to feel like a failure again. More importantly, I want to report my amazing successes so that I can persuade other people to go out and get worms. Worms are great.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Pan's Labyrinth

Pan's Labyrinth was not the film I thought it was going to be. It wasn't a fantasy-fest of amazing costumes, creepy characters and spooky lighting. It was sometimes those things, but it was so much more as well. It wasn't another Labyrinth at all.

Ofelia is a young girl with a dead father, a sick mother and a murderous step father. The world she lives in is a constant struggle of misery and fear. So sinister fairies and a pale, hooved faun don't scare her when they come beckoning - they are portends of another world she longs to escape to.

Unlike Labyrinth, a large proportion of the story takes place in the real world, where the Spanish civil war is barely over and guerillas are hiding in the hills. Only Ofelia knows the secret of what lies in the woods behind the makeshift army base that she is forced to call home. If she can complete the tasks the mysterious faun has given her, she will become a princess, the heir to a hidden kingdom with all the happiness that entails. Or will she?

Pan's Labyrinth is a magical tale of hope and innocence. While everyone around her is preoccupied with death and violence, Ofelia perseveres for something better. The film is dark, brutal, but ultimately uplifting. A real original.