Thursday 28 February 2019

The Park on the 28th: February - Late Winter #Trees

The park where I go for my walks, photos taken in roughly the same places, on the 28th of each month, to observe the changes in the seasons: the trees, the flowers, the light in the sky.  Each month seems to have its own feel, regardless of what the weather is doing on that particular day.

This month, the 26th and 27th were beautiful, golden and spring-like, but, alas, winter returned on the 28th!  My sister, Julia, is staying with me, so she features in the pictures too. 😉😉

Click month for previous posts:
September      October    November
December       January

The flowers are out!

Julia indicates crocuses, in case I hadn't noticed them

Mr Robin Redbreast in the tree

Trees still looking very wintery...

Blossom is out too :)

Mummy, I think I lost my socks..

Monday 25 February 2019

Review: #TheWalkingDead S9:11 BOUNTY #TWDFamily #TWD

Review: S9:10 OMEGA

First of all, if you stopped watching TWD in the first half of Season 8 because you'd had enough of the Negan war, I implore you to start watching it again, from the beginning of Season 9, because it's back, it really is!

Now, Bounty: finally, pre-titles, and later, when Daryl told Henry he had no idea what he'd had to do, we saw hints of what happened to divide the communities during the time jump.  Love the way this is coming out so slowly, a suggestion here, a loaded aside there.  Good but sad to see Jesus again - and I'm guessing I wasn't the only one who thought 'what has Carol done to her hair?' before realising it was a flashback... 


There was a good sense of the medieval mixed with the post apocalyptic present as Ezekiel took his crew out to gather slain elks for the coming fair, ending up with a search for a projector bulb at a desolate Walker filled cinema (which was showing The Silent Army - a nice touch!).  

At first I had that 'and yet I smile' feeling of dread, thinking that it was another brave but ill-fated mission headed by the ever-idealistic Ezekiel that would go horribly tits up - trying to lead a herd away with one boom box?  

Daryl would have had a much better plan! Remember the trip out to Big Spot 30 Days Without An Accident?  What you do is, you draw them away and come back when they've all gone...

That time when Zack guessed Daryl was a homicide cop....

I still find the King too corny (I'm with Daryl there), and don't find the banter between him and Jerry quite as endearing as many do, but they're both growing on me as time goes on.

Back to Hilltop, and I must just reiterate how terrific Samantha Morton is as Alpha.  Cassady McClincy (Lydia) is great too - and I give a big thumbs up to Earl and Tammy Rose; the less comic book-like characters always work better for me.  I need to totally believe in characters to care what happens to them; thus, Ezekiel, I don't give much of a monkey's about.

As real Walkers sidled up behind the Whisperers, we got to know more of what the latter are all about - Alpha gestured to the mother with the crying baby to give her up, and explained why to Daryl: 'To live with the dead means to live in silence.  If the mother can't quieten the child, then the dead will.  Natural selection'.  

Yet Connie saved the baby, and we were given an seriously frightening insight into her silent world, too, as she ran between rows of corn, unable to hear her pursuers, or to differentiate between Walker and Whisperer. 

Daryl's quandary about giving Lydia back in exchange for Alden and Luke was reminiscent of Rick's big dilemma when The Governor asked him to give up Michonne to stop the conflict.  I think Rick would have done exactly what Daryl did in this new situation - up to and including the insane mission at the end to go and get Lydia back.  Pure Grimes, that one.  Merle on the roof, anyone?

 Rick watched Michonne being her awesome self, and knew he couldn't do it after all....

The ever-daft Henry excelled himself this week, by trying to save Lydia (and, in doing do, risking Luke and Alden's lives), but Dog saved the day - hurrah for Daryl and Dog!  When Henry told Lydia 'People like that - Alpha - don't get to be sorry', I wanted to say, what are you going to do, then, rush into a big crowd of Whisperers and try to kill them all with your big stick?  Alas, it would seem that he is.  At least Daryl and Connie will be with him this time.

Award for tear-jerking moment of the week goes to Enid talking about Carl and JSS, closely followed by her reunion with Alden - yes, definitely 'new Glenn and Maggie' potential!  In third place is Tammy Rose and Earl with the Whisperer baby.

Great Daryl moments in this episode, and I'm so glad the writers haven't made him step into Rick's shoes too much, or started giving him Rick's sort of lines.  If you click HERE, you can see a short interview with him on IMDb, in which he explains why he didn't want that.  Oh, and at least we know they've still got all their guns, should they need them: 'We got enough fire power to light you up, here and now.'

Back at the cinema, the Kingdom group emerged unscathed, though I am sure the blue-eyed Walker who lurched towards Jerry had a decidedly Whisperer look about him.... were they where they do not belong, too?  

Oh, Ezekiel, you know what happens when you say stuff like, 'Maybe we've done losing for a while'.....


Monday 18 February 2019

Review: #TheWalkingDead S9:10 OMEGA #TWDFamily #TWD

Review: S9:09 ADAPTATION

She's here.... 

Well done, Channing Powell and David Boyd, for a beautifully multi-faceted episode.  Great move to take us right back to the beginning again, when the first bewildered, terrified survivors were sorting into wheat and chaff—yes, right back to the time when they didn't even know that you have to kill the brain of a dead person.  

Showing Alpha's early days, as the truth gradually emerged from Lydia's skewed/deliberately misleading recollections, has added so much to the emerging Whisperers story; it was always what was missing from The Governor and Negan.  I know we gained hints as time about those two as time went on, but it's so much more effective to show the point when a person allows their inner psycho to take over, rather than let us hear about it from a perhaps unreliable narrator.

I already love Samantha Morton as Alpha; that strange coldness in her eyes, right from the start, and how, after her first kill, she shaved her head... remind you of anyone else?? 

Shaving off their humanity along with their hair, perhaps, except that Alpha didn't have an Otis bald patch and Shane didn't start playing Walker dress-up.  Or try to make the kids do so.

Meanwhile, back in the present day Hilltop cells, the increasingly clueless Henry told Lydia that his second mum is 'tough. Not someone you want to mess with'—which has got to be a set-up for an eventual showdown between the two of them, particularly with their individual hair stories.  A while back, Twitter chum Andrew asked why on earth Carol would grow her hair so long in such dangerous and Pantene-scarce times; Andrew, you have your answer!

How far is Lydia to be believed?  I'm sure we'll find out soon enough; is she going to be protected by Daryl and Hilltop, starting a war?

Michonne said Daryl was the best judge of character she knew, and we saw some fine evidence of this.  He broke Lydia down in a way that neither Rick nor anyone else could have done.  He's patient... and there's so much all-knowing stuff going on in that head, that we don't hear.  We want more of it!  BTW, Henry: when you were young and cute, your naïveté had a certain charm.  Now, things like giving up the name and location of your home to a killer who wears a Walker mask is just...  

...well, you tell him, Daryl.

A lovely bit of Walker despatching at the start, from Tara, Magna and co, with their innovative weapons, when they first went out to search for Luke and Alden.  Really hoping those two aren't dead as I love both characters, and I don't think Enid could handle it!  (Alongside them was Glenn II, of course, aka Kal, who we haven't seen in a while; talking of which, where is the lovely Eduardo?)

Tara has never been one of my favourite characters but in this episode I really started to like her.  Stuff like letting Magna and co sneak out via Sasha's woodstore tunnel, even though they were seen, and ticking off Yumiko for doing so in a 'I'm the boss, but I'll still listen' sort of way—I think she'll be a better leader of Hilltop than Jesus or Maggie, because she is upbeat, practical and doesn't have a hundred and one issues going on.  

And finally.... that ending!  When Yumiko and Tara saw the Whisperers through the binoculars—the sight of them marching, mob-handed, up the road and over the carefully ploughed field; terrifying, or what!  

And then.... the head.  

I don't know if this sounds sexist; what the hell—I think the new enemy being a woman is somehow more dark and scary, especially as she is a mother, too.  The lunacy in her eyes was apparent, right from the start, and the Deep South accent really sets it off; the two seem sinisterly incompatible.

This season rocks; not a weak episode, or even part of episode, yet ~ and looking forward to some Carol action next week!