The Grand Tour 2011

Exactly a week from now I’m due to depart this tiny island for what will be the longest and most far-flung holiday of my life so far: a tour that will take me through Europe, across Asia and beyond, to Japan and the U.S. before finally returning after a little more than two months away. At least that’s the plan as it stands – to circle the world by sea and land, cheating slightly as I take to the air in order to cross the two big oceans in my way.

Although taking the Trans-Siberian route across Russia has long been an ambition of mine, a trip like this wasn’t on the cards at the beginning of the year. Then again, neither was being let go from my editing job of twelve-and-a-half years, nor the redundancy cheque that went with it. Rather than hold onto that windfall against the possibility of not being able to find work, I’ve taken a bit of a leap, combining the funding and the free time at my disposal to see parts of the world that have heretofore been just a little too far away for cautious old me.

There will be plenty more about the trip on this site – I’ll be posting photos and reports from wherever I can snag a wifi signal in the Siberian wilds and certainly from Japan and the U.S. Right now I’m just pulling together the last few bits and pieces of the planning. Almost there…

Movie Fest 2011

Over the last weekend, tried to bring a little of the San Diego Comic-Con spirit to Dublin in the form of the first Movie Fest event: two days of preview screenings and plenty of trailers and sneak-peek footage, all available at screen 17 of the Cineworld Cinema. It was a valiant effort, and some of the chosen films certainly suited the occasion, particularly the remake of Fright Night and Cowboys and Aliens, but the mention of Comic-Con was probably a bit misleading.

This was a movie event, and the Comic-Con tie lay in the fact that the preview footage had previously been seen at that event – and had since been uploaded to the Internet, both legitimately and otherwise. Other than that, it was all about being in a cinema, enjoying some films – both arthouse and mainstream – that weren’t quite out yet and previews of others still in production. Not really a “Con” event at all.

I like the idea of having a more populist alternative to the likes of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, but Movie Fest seems caught between being the celebration of movies that it wants to be and trying to shine itself up with some geek cred. If it comes back next year, I’d like to see it have a clearer idea of what it is. For now, congratulations to those who put it on this year – selling out both days is nothing to be sniffed at.

A New Beginning

This is a new start for me online. Over the last few years, I’ve tried out three different Web sites, with varying degrees of success. was the most successful and long-lasting, but Livejournal itself is slowly being deserted under a wave of Russian spam. worked for a long while as a site for my stories and writing, but it’s been defunct and unreachable for a while.

Lastly, was my own domain, which was mostly used for holiday journals. With the ending of Apple’s MobileMe service, it’s gone down for repairs. This site should replace it, given time.

So here I am for a new beginning. More to come later. Just wanted to say hello.

Travels, Reviews, and Assorted Musings