Tag Archives: Star Wars

A new year and a new hope

Happy New Year!

What do you plan to do with the year ahead? It’s traditional to look back on the year gone by and to work out what you want / need to do for the coming months. It’s a time for planning, for resolutions, for looking at yourself, I’ve done my share of introspection, and thought I’d share my findings with you.

It’s been very apparent over the past year or so that we’re living in an angry society, where so many people seems to be railing against so much. The slightest thing seems to set them off, and there seems to be little thought given to care and compassion for others. You don’t need to look very far to see examples of this, and I wrote about some of our experiences earlier this year.

If I have a resolution for this year it is to be kinder to and less judgmental of others. It’s to be more thoughtful, more caring, and to do more for those less fortunate than myself. In other words, I need to be more mindful of all I say or do, and how that affects others. In order to do that well, I need to show myself compassion, and set boundaries where none existed before.

To that end, I need to let go of the last of the toxic relationships and friendships in my life. I’ve spent a lot of time and effort over the last couple of years trying to explain what issues I had to those who were causing me pain, and I thought that they would take that on board. I thought that they’d try to find some sort of common ground, some way of resolving those issues, but I have been mistaken.

It’s taken me a long time, but I have realised that those people will never change, and they will never even try to see things from my point of view. For the sake of my own mental health, I have to accept that there will never be a happy resolution with these people, and that I need to stop hoping for one and get on with my life.

My “new hope” for 2018 is therefore that people will start being kinder and more thoughtful, that rather than descending into something from Lord of the Flies, we can help ourselves and help other people.

At the risk of diluting this message, back in 1989 Bill and Ted hit on the right idea, and I thought I’d leave you with a reminder…

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Apologies – Image #123

Yes, I know its cliched. Yes, I know I won’t be the first – or the last – to write about this today, but nonetheless all I have to say is…

image

I first saw the original (Episode IV) in Gjovik in Norway at Easter. The film hadn’t come out in the UK yet, I was staying with my aunt and uncle for the holidays, and from the moment the star destroyer appeared at the top of the screen I was hooked. It was one of the most unforgettable moments I’ve ever had at the cinema.

I struggle to believe that there are still people in the Western world who haven’t seen any of the films but then I balance that with the thought that I must be one of the few who haven’t read any of the Harry Potter books.

Of course, you can’t take these films too seriously: they’ve been made for our enjoyment and entertainment, not necessarily to explore the great undiscovered truths of our planet (we leave that sort of thing to Star Trek, obviously lol).

I didn’t really like the young Anakin Skywalker in Episode I, nor the moody slightly older version in Episode III, and let’s not even mention Jar Jar Binks, but you can’t deny that the action and special effects were all very enjoyable. Driving home after having been at the cinema, there was at least one time when I know I can’t have been the only person pod racing home!

I’m looking forward to the next two instalments, and harbour a fervent (new) hope that the powers that be schedule the release date for Episode IX for this date in a couple of years…

Enjoying flights of fancy in Image #38

Today saw a return to the Imperial War Museum at Duxford.  I think that the chill wind discouraged a lot of visitors, and to be fair we only looked at the first two hangars (there are 8 in total), but that still took nearly 3 hours.  It’s the fourth time we’ve been in 8 months, but there’s always something new to see and to experience.

Taking today’s image I felt like I was being hauled into the depths of an Imperial Star Destroyer in Star Wars.  In actual fact, it’s the bomb bay of an Avro Vulcan.  One of my favourite planes, it’s just awe inspiring getting so close.

Not a Star Destroyer...
Not a Star Destroyer…

One of the most fantastic things about the museum is that you can get up close and personal to all manner of iconic aircraft.  They’ve got fabric from the lower wing of the Wright Flyer, the first aircraft ever to take to the air. They’ve got the fastest Concorde ever – and you get to walk through the cabin – which reached 1450 mph during testing.  There are Spitfires, Lightnings, Mosquitos, Tiger Moths, Mustangs, Fairey Swordfish, F-111s, B29s and B52s (to name but a few) and a whole host of commercial aircraft. And for the most part you at least get within touching distance, if not underneath or inside them.

Hangar 2 is home to a number of privately owned aircraft which are undergoing restoration. It’s fascinating to see so many planes in various stages of assembly: for example, the Flying Fortress was undergoing maintenance today, and we’d seen it flying last year. Most of the work is done by volunteers and it’s a true labour of love.

At the far end of the airfield (which saw active service during WWII there’s a Land Army exhibit, with tanks and other vehicles from that period.  I need to have a proper look at that so maybe next visit…