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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – April
Monday 1st April 2019 7:11 pm

This month I have Netflix, to watch Discovery, since it finishes later this month (and why pay for three months when you can pay for one). So I am going to watch Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, because I'm intrigued to see what it's like.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars March wrap-up
Sunday 31st March 2019 8:09 pm

This month I've been doing 100 days of code. The idea with the 100 days things is that it gets you into a habit. Except that it's a habit that requires having an hour free each day and I just don't have that. I tried squeezing it in and made myself ill, which is not great. I think it would be better if it was 10 minutes, but I can't see how you wouldn't get much done in 10 minutes for many of the 100 days challenges.

It has been good for getting me doing it, I just need to not overdo it again. So I am carrying on doing it, as I'm a fifth of the way there and doing it will be achievement. I'm just going to do the more relaxed version where days don't have to be consecutively and a day can be less than an hour.

I'm going to give it 6/10.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars March
Sunday 3rd March 2019 7:23 pm

This month I'm going to do 100 days of code. Obviously not all 100 days in March. Not even all 31 days in March because there are some days when I'm only in the house long enough to eat and sleep. And I already missed yesterday's because I was reinstalling my operating system.

But I will do some of the 100 days of code and doing that this month should then keep me going to finish it - which will probably be around the end of summer (depending on how hot this summer is).


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars February wrap-up
Wednesday 27th February 2019 8:51 pm

This month I've been reading Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch. On the whole, I enjoyed it, although if it was made into a TV series or film I would definitely not watch it.

It was a murder mystery with magic and I like both of those things. I didn't like the gory bits or the sex-related bits (I am generally not interested in reading either of those). I did find the plot got a bit convoluted and I wasn't quite sure how exactly the whole thing ended up being solved. But that might have been a side-effect of me reading more than one book at a time and taking a while to read this one. I spent a lot of the book trying to work out why it was called Rivers of London and eventually worked out it referred to the B plot. It was really specific about London and Covent Garden, which I liked.

However, there was one massive thing wrong which annoys me every time I read/hear it, and that is the police caution. It's not specified in the book, but at one point one of the characters arrests another. The arrested character carries on talking and the police officer then points out that she just said that anything this character said would be used in evidence against them. That's not how it works, it just isn't. For a start, the caution just says that anything they say will be taken down and used in evidence. Full stop. And logically, anything they do say could be used for, as well as against. It's lazy research - the caution is literally written on the government website.

I'll give it 7/10.


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What I’m Reading Wednesday on a Thursday and I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – January
Thursday 17th January 2019 4:05 pm

What I Just Finished Reading
The Book of the Year 2018 by No Such Thing as a Fish. Having read The Book of the Year 2017 I knew what to expect with this one and it was just as I expected. Interesting, informative and a bit silly. Only trouble is that I've forgotten all the facts I read.

The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov. This was a re-read for Redemption, where I volunteered to be on a time travel panel. I knew this one was interesting, but couldn't remember the ending. The first time I read this I wanted to go back and read it again because everything that happens is a clue to the ending. But I didn't. This time I read it carefully and the ending still came as a surprise. It's a good book and throws up some interesting morals about messing with history.

What I'm Currently Reading
Nothing because I just finished those two.

What I'm Reading Next
Dune by Frank Herbert - for I've Never Seen Star Wars. Because I've never read it. I have the film on DVD - it was free - and I've kept it thinking I'll watch it one day. So now I'm going to read the book. Depending on how it goes, I'll try the film once it's been long enough for me to have forgotten the book. Getting hold of this is the reason this post is on a Thursday, rather than a Wednesday.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars December and 2018 wrap-up
Monday 31st December 2018 5:59 pm

This month I was practising standing on the tiptoes of one foot. I thought things would calm down this month and this wouldn't take long. I was right about it not taking long - I've either been busy or dizzy or both and ended up hardly doing it at all. I did do it a few times, but that was it. I know it's better than nothing, but it doesn't really feel like I've done it at all.

But here's a summary of the year:
January: My Dad Wrote a Porno 10/10
February: Podfic 7/10
March: AngularJS 6/10
April: The Death of Stalin 5/10
May: Jeeves and Wooster 10/10
June: The Greatest Showman Soundtrack 8/10
July: The Americans 6/10
August: Trying hair styles 10/10
September: Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) 10/10
October: The Martian film 7/10
November: Swimming with Men 10/10
December: Practising standing on the tiptoes of one foot not rated

In summary, I've watched/read/listened to a lot of great stuff this year - five of them were rated 10/10. I'm still listening to My Dad Wrote a Porno and went to the live show. I'm still working my way through the Jeeves and Wooster books. I'm still trying out hair styles.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars December
Tuesday 4th December 2018 8:08 pm

At some point work/life will stop being it's usual stressy self at this time of year and normal service will be resumed. This is not that time, but at least I am (mostly) keeping up with I've Never Seen Star Wars.

This month I am going to practise standing on the tiptoes of one foot. This is partly because I realised it's been a year since I did ballet (my last class was the day after Missy died). I intended to practise it, but I always intended to practise.

I can stand on the tiptoes of both feet and I can stand on one foot, those are easy. It's standing on the tiptoes of one foot that's hard and I'm hoping if I practise (nearly) every day I'll get better at it.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – November wrap-up
Friday 30th November 2018 8:00 pm

This month I watched Swimming With Men.

I saw them the actors do some synchronised swimming on Sport Relief last year and it looked interesting. I saw some reviews when it came out at the cinema which sounded disappointing. So I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I sat down to watch it.

And then I really enjoyed it. It was really uplifting at the end. It was really interesting to see all these men doing synchronised swimming (and everything you see was done by the actors). And I learnt afterwards that the Swedish team in the film were played by the original men this film is very loosely based on.

It's about eight men who all come together on a Thursday evening to do some synchronised swimming to forget their crappy lives and to make friends. I could relate to that because it's the same reasons I do the things I do.

I give it a 10 out of 10.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – November
Monday 12th November 2018 8:39 pm

I didn't intend to post this a third of the way through the month. But I had intended to watch The Last Jedi, but it's been so long that you can no longer rent it, only buy it, and I don't want to buy it. I had an alternative, but then I didn't put writing this post on my to do list, so it didn't get done.

What with this month being a busy one at work, I'm going to watch another film this month. It's going to be Swimming with Men. Which I meant to see at the cinema, but it didn't make it to any near me at a useful time. My TV in my lounge, one weekend this month is a much easier time and place.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – October wrap-up
Wednesday 31st October 2018 7:59 pm

This month I watched The Martian. I read the book in February last year, so I thought I'd forgotten enough to watch the film.

I think I timed it just right - I'd forgotten a lot of the details, so I was still entertained, but remembered enough that it explained the bits of the film that didn't get explained. The film was good enough that during the "will he get rescued" ending I was on the edge of my seat, even though I remembered how it ended.

I had no idea that it had Sean Bean in it and he was one of the people explaining why a secret meeting had been called "Project Elrond", which I found amusing.

I liked that the film helped me picture everything, because I am terrible at reading description and some of it I just hadn't got my head round at all. But on the whole I preferred the book - it felt like you were more inside Mark's head and it explained more of what was going on. Although if I hadn't read the book, I might not have spent the film going "but th4ey haven't explained why that happened" or "they missed that bit".

I give it a 7 out of 10.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – October
Monday 1st October 2018 7:00 pm

This month I'm going to do something that doesn't take up as much time. I'm going to watch The Martian (film). I read the book last year, for Never Seen Star Wars, happened to notice this was on Film 4 a while back and it's now sitting on my PVR, taking up space. So I will watch it this month.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars September wrap-up
Sunday 30th September 2018 12:17 pm

This month I've been watching Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased). Last time when I watched something for Never Seen Star Wars I watched one episode and decide that was enough. This time I watched an episode of the original and an episode of the Vic & Bob remake, bought both sets of DVDs and watched all 26 episodes of the original and 13 episodes of the new. This, and work being crazy, is the reason I haven't posted much this month.

In other words, I liked it. I liked both, in fact.

Going between them, it was obvious how much more dizzying camera movement is in the remake. I think it's more obvious when going from old TV to new, but is also something my dizziness makes more obvious.

There's all sorts about the famous people in the remake, but there are some really famous people in the original too. I knew David Jason was in one, but failed to recognise him at first. He looked the same, just younger, but was doing an RP accent, which I was not expecting. I also failed to recognise Brian Blessed. I had to look up the name of his character and then pay attention to see who he was. Even then, I could sort of agree it was him only when his character started shouting, and I paid attention to the sound and not how he looked.

Nicholas Courtney and Roger Delgado were easy to spot. I spent most of an episode (When the Spirit Moves You) thinking one of the characters looked familiar. And when I looked him up on imdb I found he was Anton Rodgers - who I know from Fresh Fields/French Fields and May to December. Although these were twenty years later, and I haven't seen either since they were on TV, there was still something about him that was recognisable.

And then there's Somebody Just Walked Over My Grave. Wikipedia tells me exactly who Andrew Sachs plays, but he's just so different from Manuel that I wouldn't be surprised if that wasn't Andrew Sachs. And the gardener turns out to be Onslow from Keeping Up Appearances. Once I knew I could see a resemblance, but he doesn't look different in a shirt.

Famous people aside, I just generally enjoyed it. Quite a few of the plots were a bit samey and I liked when Marty got Jeff out of trouble by some means other than finding someone who could hear him. I liked that the remake did more interesting things with the whole ghost idea. Of course, it helped that by then they could do more special effects. I liked that the remake went a bit silly with the plots - but I also liked that the original was more sensible.

I found the friendship between Jeff and Marty was easier to believe at first in the remake, but that's because I know Vic & Bob are friends. I've seen them do Shooting Stars together. But I could see it in the original too, after a while.

I like that the remake gave Jeannie more to do (in the making of, Annette Andre does point out that The Avengers was the exception in those days). At first, I disliked having the whole thing about whether she'll get together with Jeff. But then I was reminded of something in the first episode of the original, where Jeannie says she doesn't see Jeff because Marty gets jealous (it sounds to me like Jeff and Jeannie are friends outside of their relationship with Marty). That would be really iffy in 2000, so I don't mind that they kept Marty's jealous side, but gave him a respectable 21st century reason for it.

In common with everyone else, it seems, I also really love the music.

So, 10/10. I wish I'd seen the original earlier.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – September
Monday 3rd September 2018 8:43 pm

This month I've going to watch Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased).

I've been meaning to, for years. I knew the premise before I saw the Vic & Bob version, which I watched when it was on TV. I think I liked it (I only remember Emilia Fox was in it an nothing else) and wanted to watch the original, but never got round to it.

So now I will.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – August wrap-up
Friday 31st August 2018 8:00 pm

This month I did something I hadn't even considered at the beginning of the month: I tried out hair styles.

While it was really hot I was putting my hair up every day and I got bored with doing the same old thing all the time. So I searched about on YouTube, found some hair tutorials and gave them a go. They were always harder to do than they looked and some of them I found didn't suit my hair. Some of them I had to practise. When it got less hot I looked up styles where you didn't have all your hair up.

I really enjoyed it. I don't think I've gone with the same style twice, except for practise. Doing my hair differently has made me feel different. And I've finally learnt how to do a french plait, which I always wanted to do when I was younger and never could.

So I'm giving it 10/10.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars July wrap-up
Monday 30th July 2018 7:20 pm

This month I watched The Americans. It's a series that was recommended to me years ago, back when there wasn't too much of it. Now there's loads of it.

It's about two Russian spies who have been living in America as Americans for years. They have children who have no idea their parents are not who they saw they are. I only saw the first episode and as far as I can tell these spies are sometimes amazingly good at their job and sometimes so awful I wonder how they've got away with it. I read somewhere that it's not about the spying, it's about their relationship, which was more interesting than the spying aspect.

I found it was all right, but I could take it or leave it really. I wasn't desperate to watch another episode. I saw a vague summary somewhere about some of what happens with their relationship in future series and that seemed like enough information really. I think knowing that there was a lot of it was part of what made it easier to not be bothered about watching more.

I'll give it 6 out of 10.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – June wrap-up
Saturday 30th June 2018 8:52 pm

This month I was listening to The Greatest Showman soundtrack. Which I ended up listening to twice. I listened to what I thought was the first few songs earlier in the month, then finally got round to listening to the rest this week. And it turned out I'd listened to all but three. By the time I'd listened to those I couldn't remember how the rest went, so I listened to the whole thing again today.

And I quite like it. I certainly didn't mind listening to it all twice. I have heard one song before: Rewrite the Stars. I liked the last song best: From Now On, mostly because it didn't sound the same as all the others, at least at the start.

Listening to it today I discovered the playlist I'd bookmarked on YouTube included videos with two of the songs. So it gave me a bit of an idea what was going on in the film - the song themselves gave me no idea. And I didn't realise until then that it was a film - I'd thought it was a stage musical. Despite it saying it's the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, which you'd have thought would be a clue.

I want to see the film now, to see how these songs all fit in. Although I feel like it's really popular among teenagers (I don't know where I got this impression). Maybe next year's Never Seen Star Wars should just be a film every month.

Overall I give it 8 out of 10. I would listen to those songs again.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – June
Monday 4th June 2018 9:11 pm

June is a busy month, so I'm going to listen to an album. Last year I chose the one that was top of the album chart. This year I considered the album that was top when I was born, but that would give away my date of birth. And I didn't much fancy it. But the current top of the album charts sounds interesting: it's The Greatest Showman soundtrack.

I've never heard of it, but I like songs from musicals. But I'd never thought of sitting down and listening to one, unless I knew the songs from it. So this will be different for me.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars May wrap-up
Saturday 2nd June 2018 5:34 pm

This month I was reading Jeeves and Wooster. My sister gave me Carry On, Jeeves. It turns out it's actually a short story collection, the first of which is when Jeeves first starts working for Wooster.

The trouble with it was that each story was very similar: One of Wooster's friend's has a problem, Wooster can't solve it, but Jeeves always can. It meant I could only really read a chapter at a time because otherwise it got quite samey.

The good thing about it was that I could just sit down and read a chapter and that was a whole story. Also, I enjoyed them. I liked all the slang that Wooster used (and Jeeves didn't). It gave a good sense of his character.

I am going to read more. My plan is to take one back and borrow another every time I visit my nephew. And also watch the series with Fry and Laurie because it's impossible to read without picturing them.

I'll give it 10/10.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – May
Monday 7th May 2018 3:16 pm

This month I'm going to read a Jeeves and Wooster book. I know my sister likes them and I've been book shopping with her before where she's tried to persuade me to try them. And I can't remember any more why I wasn't keen. I haven't seen the Fry & Laurie version, just clips, so I don't really know what to expect.

I have borrowed the first book, Carry On, Jeeves, from my sister. It's red, which I like. Although obviously the colour of the cover doesn't affect the contents.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars April wrap-up
Sunday 6th May 2018 2:11 pm

Last month I watched The Death of Stalin. I saw the trailer ages ago, liked it, then failed to see it at the cinema. Turns out that was ok because I didn't like it as much as I thought I would.

It wasn't laugh out loud funny, but it was silly. The biggest problem I had was that although they introduced everyone by slowing the action and putting up their names and positions, I immediately forgot their names. So when they were plotting against one of them I was confused about who they were plotting against. And I just found it a bit slow.

I'll give it 5/10.


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