Sunday, January 08, 2006


I was brought this for Christmas. I had expressed an interest in the movie, and had heard such rave reviews for it. Now I have to totally agree with all the reviews, it is an amazing movie, very moving, very dramatic.


I am fortunate enough to have the 2 DVD copy, and I haven’t had the chance to watch the extra disc yet, though I am really looking forward to it.

This movie really tackles the last days of Hitler so well, the increasing rages he suffered, the way it looks into his soul, how he thinks of the German people, how he considers them. Bruno Ganz who plays Hitler, does an outstanding job, he is very convincing, really captures the mood, the essence of Hitler.

Z got this for me as a Christmas present and I am so happy she did, it is a movie I will treasure. I have an interest in WW2, I like the history, how it all came together, and the way the Germans were treated, how they feared the Russians, and the plots Hitler saw that didn’t exist, how by the end he was just a shell. A real worthwhile movie, I can see me being asked to lend it to people I know, because it is such a great movie. If you haven’t seen it, then ensure you see it, if you enjoy war movies.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

A Plug for a site worth visiting

You may see in the sidebar a number of buttons and I want to bring your attention to one of them which I think is worth viewing.

Deaf Blogs

Deaf Blog Background

This is a list of sites that are done by deaf people who are a wide ranged of individuals, as any group of people are. These sites are their outlook on the world, their take on what happens in their lives, their input. Being deaf myself, leaves me with sometimes feeling others don't hear what I say, ignore my words, for various reasons. If you go through my blog, you will see references to situations I have myself had because of being deaf.

The majority of information on the internet about deaf people, and deaf situations is by large organizations. This gives those in the world of being deaf a say, a way to be grouped together to allow us to have a louder voice, get our opinions across and maybe spread more information to others and ourselves.

I say congrats to those who worked so hard to set it up, I know they have put a huge amount of effort into it, and should be applauded rightly for that effort. So well done to you all.

Learning a foreign language

As my girlfriend is Slovak and I am off to visit the country for the first time in my life in just under 3 weeks, I agreed to try and learn the language.

A friend of mine, very good friend, ensured I have help, by getting a Eurotalk learn Slovak cd. Thank you to him, much appreciated.

Now I am trying to get through the disc, oh my god. Firstly being deaf doesn’t help matters when trying to learn a language, it seriously adds to the complications, it really really does.

Secondly, I wish I knew Slovak is an aggressive language, a bit like German, though not quite so aggressive as that.

I am truth to be told, struggling to learn it. I have managed to learn 6 words – Yes, No, Good Morning, Ball, Bowl, Mouse. 3 of which as you can aren’t really going to help me when I am there. Feels like an Eddie Izzard sketch coming on, only I am not in France.

If I can master – Yes, No, Good Morning, Thank You, Please, and some other good manners properly, then I will be bloody grateful. Of course, one is worrying that one might just say something that comes out wrong, because of the way they pronounce words, and offend my girlfriend’s parents. Which would be a seriously bad thing to do especially in Jan/Feb, Slovakia is known for being a tad bloody cold. One doesn’t want to spend the nights on the streets for bad mouthing someone.

It has made me think, why don’t we as a nation, and we are very bad at this in this country, teach language earlier. On the continent, they know many languages, you hear the Dutch know 4 languages, and they smoke marijuana so what is our excuse in this country. I didn’t learn French until I was 9, then I suffered it for 6 years, and I can’t recall a word of it. Yet when I had the chance to learn German, I took it, and did well until a French teacher tried to teach me it, and that was it gone then. I am not sure what agreement we have with the French, but when do we get to be force fed this, against languages that are used much more in business like Spanish, German, etc

Make it second nature to be bilingual and then people learn the skills to speak other languages. My girlfriend can talk 4 languages at least, which impresses me no end, especially given I know English only, not much use when you enjoy travelling. You can’t shout at people hoping they understand you……

Pixmania complaint update

The latest in this saga is that after a long long time, we finally have a camera that works. Now admittedly it isn’t the same camera we started out with, but it works and it is brand spanking new as well.

The gist of the situation is that after many emails back and to, we finally got offered a voucher to purchase a new camera with Pixmania. My initial reaction was, mmm, not sure about this, can I trust them, can we be sure the camera will be as good as the one we have, will it arrive as they said.

Well, it arrived as they said it would, which was the first surprise. The camera doesn’t quite have as good a zoom as the previous one, but the camera more than does the job, plus it being new, we will have at least something that seems to be working, and so far the use of the camera suggests that it does. Trying to get the old one repaired I think would have been an eternal nightmare.

Now the only issue is to get the difference in the cost between the voucher and what we had to pay, which was less than £15, but this is a point of principle here and so we will keep going and get it refunded. £15 is £15 and it is only right they pay for the whole replacement, not just part of it, as they agreed to cover the whole cost, and the p&p would also be paid, an email stating that we have, so we will hold them to it.

What this shows is, that with constant pressure and persistence, you can get it resolved, can, it might take a lot of damn energy to do so, and annoyance, but you have to keep at it. So those who have suffered, don’t stop, keep going, bring them to task for it, make them aware, do all you can to get it done.

After all of this, if and when we get the difference in cost refunded, we will be happy, annoyed we had to go through this, but glad to put it behind us and get on with other things than chasing up a company that still hasn’t succeeded in getting their processes sorted out, making sure customers are happy, and giving customers an easy to get hold of someone who will do the job and make it their job to get matters resolved, instead of having to bring in other parties to ensure something is done.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all those who read this blog. I hope you all had a lovely time out celebrating the start of 2006, and the year has started well for you all.

I know of one family who are celebrating a new arrival for the New Year, so congrats to them on their little one.

I also know of another family who will start the New Year with the loss of one of their members, and my heart goes out to them as well.

My plans for the new year changed at the last minute, in part because of the strike on the underground, though it never materialised, with only 31 stations not open, so big strike that was, and to top it off, Bob Crow thought it best to be in Egypt on holiday instead of trying to resolve this strike situation. A situation which I might add they have caused themselves. Plus there is another one on the 8th January, oh joy…

In the end, we went to a friend of Z’s for the night, until about 2.30am, having a laugh and a good time. I seriously need to learn Slovak and Czech, because there was so much not in a language I understood. I can at least learn Slovak now, as one of the presents I got for Xmas was a learn basic Slovak, so I need to get cracking, especially with a trip to Slovakia at the end of the month looming fast.

2006 has started well for me, I have a good job, a lovely partner, at least two trips for holidays already in plan or being taken, with more to come. Slovakia I will see twice – Jan and June, will also head around part of Eastern Europe when the world cup is on, so hopefully it will be less packed. I knew there was a good reason not to enjoy football ;o)

So enjoy 2006, celebrate it with style and fun, and may it bring you all a great time, with plenty of love, happiness and great memories.