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KEY TO FREEDOM – Reena’s Xploration Challenge #257


Locked up again
And behind bars
An unwelcome case of deja vu
These orange jumpsuits
And cold concrete surroundings
Were becoming all too familiar
Jason put up his feet
Sat back & closed his eyes
Like he was at home
This was the best he could hope for.
Ron leaned forward
(Hands resting on his lap)
With a glum; angry expression
On his furrowed brow.
The doors of their minds locked,
Like their bodies
Resistant to change
Incapable of breaking free
Chronically unable
To live a different kind of life.
Chris, however
Open book in his hand
Appeared content: determined
Smug almost
And completely engrossed
In his reading material
Until his eyes fixed
On one particular quote
Then it seemed like
A light bulb came on
And the lock opened
He suddenly realised
What he needed to do
To be free.

Should you wish to participate in the prompt then you can access it through the following link:



ey folks! Welcome back to my weekly trip down movie memory lane with some more re-views of my old cinema reviews from January 2008. It’s a scorcher out there, at least where I am. So how about a little light relief with a look back at cringe worthy film adaptation: P.S. I LOVE YOU & the squeaky clean ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS

First off, I just want to apologise if I offend anyone in advance for what will be some fairly strong opinions on P. S. I LOVE YOU, an adaptation of a romance novel by Irish author: Cecilia Ahern, daughter of the then Taoiseach. Most especially my American friends as some of my grievances are aired at their film director’s: Richard LaGravense and (filmmakers & actors in general) interpretation of the Irish accent which is absolutely murdered here! (Not for the first time). For crimes against the Irish accent please also refer to Far And Away with Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.

Hillary Swank who was fantastic in Million Dollar Baby & Boys Don’t Cry is horribly miscast here as Holly Kennedy married to Gerry played by Scottish actor Gerard Butler (who should have known better). They’re having a bit of a tiff at the beginning of the movie over some careless remark the latter made about about Holly’s mother. The argument escalates and de-escalates in overly dramatic fashion. Cue opening credits after which we rejoin Holly 7 months later at Gerry’s funeral.

You see, Gerry died of brain cancer but not before he left a series of letters to be given her at various stages throughout her 1st year of mourning. Her mother: Elizabeth (Kathy Bates) thinks this is a bad idea as it leaves Holly stuck in a fantasy world communicating with him through a series of flashbacks. All this coming at the cost of her real human friendships with Denise & Sharon played by Lisa Kudrow & Gina Gershon respectively. A forced attempt at romance with Daniel (Harry Connick Jr.) does little to help her or this movie.

On a more upbeat and enjoyable note however is the film treatment of our helium voiced; fur ball friends: ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS which was originally created 64 years ago now by Ross Bagdasarian Sr spawning a series of cartoons; films & songs as a result.

We meet Alvin and his friends storing nuts and singing along to Daniel Powter’s: “Had A Bad Day” only to have a strange buzzing sound disturbing their work. Then, the awful realisation that their fir tree is being chopped down to be used as a Christmas tree in some fancy foyer of some LA music company. This is where they 1st encounter Dave (Jason Lee), a down on his luck songwriter visiting his friend Ian (David Cross), said company’s chief exec.

After arriving home he decides he’s going to give up on his music career until the 3 chipmunks spring out of nowhere surprising David with their vocal talents. He agrees to let them stay if they sing his songs and they go on to become stars!✨🎢😁 But “Uncle” Ian wants in on the action using them for his own financial gain. Dave comes to miss the little critters asking Claire (Cameron Richardson) for help.

It’s impossible to resist the charm of these lovable; cheeky; singing chipmunks voiced perfectly by Justin Long; Matthew Gray Gubler and Jesse McCartney respectively. Before you know it you’ll be singing along with and rooting for them! 😁


Image credit; Ben White @ Unsplash

The challenge on Sadje’s #WhatDoYouSee #WDYS Poetry Image Prompt this week was to come up with written response to the cute picture above. So I thought I I’d write from a child’s perspective, full of the wonder and awe so visible in his facial expression! 😁 Hope you enjoy reading it! πŸ™πŸ€žπŸ˜

If you’d still like to participate in the prompt, then you can access it through the following link:


“Oh, my god!
Jaw dropping to the floor.
I can’t believe it!”
The child exclaimed.
I can’t believe it ended like that!
I thought he was dead!”
Directing his incredulous gaze towards her,
Wide eyed & mouth gaping
You didn’t tell me that reading was going to be this much fun!”
“These words are amazing,
I want to learn more more of them!”
“When can we go to the library again?
I need to get another book!”



Afternoon folks! Welcome back, or for the first time to: THROWBACK THURSDAY FILM REVIEWS, my weekly trip down movie memory lane with some more re-views of my old cinema reviews from 2007. This week we take a look back at 3 movies.

First up we have the clever; offbeat action-comedy titled: HOT FUZZ about an ultra zealous police officer called Nicholas Angel who takes his job very seriously indeed. So much so he gets transferred from London Metropolitan police down to a sleepy village in Somerset where some strange things start taking place. It’s directed by Edgar Wright & stars Nick Frost & Simon Pegg (Spaced) who, as it happens also shares the writing credits with Wright for this movie, in the lead roles. They are supported by the always reliable and versatile Jim Broadbent as Angel’s boss.

Next up we have the far more serious yet none the less engrossing story of THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND about a thrill seeking doctor by the name of Nicholas Garrigan played by James McEvoy who seeks adventure and work in the African country of Uganda in the early 70’s. There he meets the charismatic; engaging yet completely unpredictable leader: the notorious Idi Amin played by the wonderful Forest Whitaker whom he becomes fascinated by. Garrigan is appointed as his personal physician but soon discovers Amin is not all that he seems. Directed by Kevin Mcdonald and also featuring Gillian Anderson in a supporting role, Last King of Scotland manages to be both historical drama & thriller at the same time.

And finally we have the beguiling; irresistible and magical Charlotte’s Web (based upon a popular children’s book of the same name) directed by Gary Winick and starring the precocious Dakota Fanning in the lead role ably supported by and a host of famous acting voices including Julia Roberts; Orprah Winfrey; John Cleese & Steve Buscemi representing a variety of farm animals. Combining live action and animal animation to perfect effect, Charlotte’s Web manages to ensnare you in it’s carefully crafted cinematic trap with the heartwarming tale of Wilbur the pig and his best friend: Fern Arable

Goals for 2021: Part 2

Those of you who know me, know me to be the reactive; cautious; play it safe type of guy who prefers to stay in the background and observe what’s going on around him before making a decision. Or let things happen and then respond to them.

Sometimes and for some people, this can be a good thing, even the right thing to do! Prevent us from making impulsive; knee-jerk decisions which could lead to hurt; loss or suffering. Other times, however, it can work against you, preventing you from moving forward or making positive steps or changes in your life because you feel the need to analyse everything to the nth degree before you reach a decision.

This, I’ve found, can trap you in a never ending cycle of over-thinking, fearful of doing anything new in case something goes wrong, paralysing you in the process because you see all that can go wrong instead of all that can go right. That’s not a nice place to be, trust me, spending more time swimming around in your head than being proactive and taking the initiative in living your life.

That’s not to say that I’m afraid of taking “the road less travelled” as written by the poet: Robert Frost. And writing poetry; film reviews and performing in a circus skills company is hardly the route of a guy who likes to play it safe, you might rightly argue. True. Though again, you can write from the comfort of your own home and not venture outside your front door.

In light of all this, my focus and goals for the year ahead will simply be to:

1) think less and do more, without totally abandoning reason.

2) Make the things and people I’ve used as excuses not to do or complete my blog; book or whatever else the motivation to actually get it done. For example: I can’t find the time to write or draw; travel; learn a new language or whatever else you’d always wanted to do, because I’m too tired; have jobs to do around the house or kids to mind. Let them be your reasons for achieving these goals. For me it’s my 2 girls whom I want to leave behind a written legacy of who I am/was and I how I see/saw the world. That I’m not just a father who talks about doing things but actually goes out and does them.

3) Grief, much like fear, can paralyse a person too if you let it; leave you angry; full of regret; with a deep void and stop you from living life. I can testify to that. Don’t let it! Use it as fuel to keep you focused on the wonderful days that lie ahead knowing that your deceased loved ones are looking down on you with love and pride. Do it for them too! πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ‘πŸ‘

Our Little Superhero

Pushing towards the sky

Fist clenched. Eyes fixed.

Cuteness is her cape

A bottle of milk,

Her Kryptonite

Astuteness will be her way

Of overcoming evil

Of taking up the fight

Against crime

Against sadness

With her little spindly legs

She pushes herself up

As if trying to climb

Like Spiderman

As if trying to propel

Herself into space.

Like Superman

Our superhero in training

Our very own Marvel Comic book.

Wonder Ava to the rescue.

Our own baby β€œIncredible”

Saving us from ourselves

And our propensity

For self-destruction

And endless stupidity

Just like her older sister

She occupies our time

From the moment that we kissed her

She occupied our minds

In that way, she has already saved us

Our little superhero from above

Who descended from the heavens

To rescue us from the push & shove

Of society and fills us with wonderment

With her coos and gaze and smiles

Her helplessness being her strength

That carries us through our trials

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