Sunday, 30 July 2017

Where's Vic Today? .... Oh, It's The South Pacific.

I recently subscribed to Vic's World Travels Youtube channel. And the regularity of his globe
trotting visits around the world is something that most of us can only dream about.
And while most people work and toil for eleven months of the year and then blow their
 4 weeks holiday in some far off place, well Vic is literally off to some distant
exotic destination every week.
Although Vic Stefanu is an American citizen he bases himself here in London.
And by being based in London it apparently allows him to pop over and visit many
places in Europe and beyond.
In just the last week alone I've received at least 4 new Vic youtube alerts.  And he
was very quick to visit the Greek Island of Kos earlier this week despite the fact that
Kos suffered a huge earthquake on Friday 21st July.
There were other video alerts this week where Vic had visited Laos, Egypt and just
a few hours ago I received an alert that he was at the Central Fish Market in Kuwait.
Of course it is most likely that perhaps the videos had only just been edited and
posted up weeks after having actually visited there.

Above: Vic doing one of his side on views even though
it is him that is holding the camera. He is often prone
to unknowingly give us some rather scary looks into the camera
which I think is part of the Vic's charm.
Occasionally on Vic's video comments you'll often hear those mortal words...
'Where are you today Vic?' Which begs the question is Vic ever at home?
I remember back in 2006 after my partner had a bit of a financial windfall thanks
to a generous Aunt who passed away. It was that Summer that with a bit of extra
money we decided on two trips to The U.S as well as three rather expensive
holidays in Cornwall. And it seemed like that Summer shot by us in no time.
It seems like the more you do then time goes quicker. But at the same time it's a
thrill visiting somewhere nice and knowing that in 3 or 4 weeks time you'll be off
to some new exotic location.
So I can understand how our roving traveller Vic must feel who is lucky enough to
take off literally every weekend. And if a place that he visits is not to his liking then
he'll say so as he recently did on his visit to Italian coastal town Vernazza.
Apparently it was too crowded and noisy and there was a lot of trash on the Harbour
Of course with Vic and his Greek connections and his many visits to the Greek Islands,
I keep meaning to ask him, when I get round to it, what his thoughts are on a certain
little Island out in The Agean Sea. Because when I first saw this picture (below) of the Marina
come Harbour in Kokkari on the Greek Island of Samos, well my jaws just dropped.
It just didn't look real to me. It looked like something out of a dream. And checking
online for more images of the Kokkari Marina, well more images proved that this was
indeed a fantastic setting, and that original image I first saw (below) was no exaggeration.
And yet when you look at the map in that area of the world it seems like a
miracle that Samos is not part of neighbouring country Turkey as is Kos and Lesvos
as they are literally just off the Turkish mainland, which of course joins on to Syria,
the global boiling point of the world in these last few years. And it was just two years ago
that these  Greek Islands including Samos, were besieged by refugees from Syria,
Iraq and Afghanistan, all seeking asylum in the West. And it was the image of the dead
child washed up on the Island of Kos that became the most harrowing image of the
refugee crisis.
Naturally all this caused a big downturn in tourism on Samos.
And a recent update on the refugee crisis there tells us that nearly 2,ooo refugees are still
stranded at the Detention Centre on Samos where they are still waiting for their asylum
applications to be processed.
But yes, the tourists still visit Samos, but perhaps not so many. 
Above is the beautiful Marina and Harbour in Kokkari on the Island of Samos
with it's little stretch of sand leading out onto a small rock Island where you can see
several of the holiday properties.
It was also on this little stretch of sand where the boats are moored that a local Monk
Seal became a bit of a tourist attraction. He was nicknamed Argiro the little mermaid (youtube HERE).
And he was often to be seen boldly sunbathing on one of the sunbeds on this little stretch
of sand, that is until he became a little too big and boisterous for the local children and
so he was moved out to sea by the local marine authorities.
But for sure, I would love to visit Samos and Kokkari one day. But as it stands these exotic
locations hold no interest for my partner who sadly has no spirit of adventure, preferring
to keep his feet firmly on home territory. 
Above: The red spot indicates a popular spot to photograph Kokkari Marina
and that little Island in the picture above this one.
That image above this one was most likely taken from this red spot.
And it's the houses on the far right of this image that sit above that little stretch
of sand that literally look out onto the Rock Island. What an amazing view they
must have from the holiday apartments above that little beach.   


Friday, 7 July 2017

Korean Billy.... Alright, Me 'Ansum.

It's around the start of each month that I like to check out all the new
online Cornwall Magazine publications. And especially at this time of
the year as the holiday season approaches and all the holiday letting
agencies start to hike up their prices.
The first online magazine I came across was Cornwall Life and they've
done an interesting item called 'Ten of the Best Cornish Seaside Places
to Stay.'
Naturally one of those places had to be top resort St Ives. And the picture
at the top of this post with that view of St Ives Bay was something I
recognized straight away. And it's the Bay view from The Pedn Olva Hotel,
an establishment that was literally built on to the edge of the granite rocks.
In the far distance you can see Hayle Towans which they like to call 'Three
Miles of Golden Sands.
And it's that side of the Bay that the sun rises each morning. And if a full Moon
just happens to be around while there, then it does look quite impressive at night,
practically illuminating the whole Bay.
Of course every time we're on or near Porthminster Beach then the Hotel on the
rocks is always going to somehow get into the picture as you can see below in a
shot I took one early evening.
So with August around the corner, Cornwall's top magazine publication
CORNWALL TODAY is probably already in production. It's the most popular
selling edition what with August being the busiest month in Cornwall. So lots of
visitors like to pick up their copy to take back home. In fact when I look at my own
collection of those magazines they all seem to be August and September issues.
They're just so keepable like collectors of Vogue and other fashion magazines.


Top picture of St Ives Bay from Pedn Olva Hotel by Dainius_Po.    

Above: Pedn Olva Hotel which can be seen at the end of
Porthminster Beach, perched out on the granite rocks.
Can you believe this guy (below). His name is Billy from South Korea with his real name
being Kong Seong-Jae. And just a little while ago he arrived in to Britain as an
exchange student, staying up in Preston. And somehow he became totally engrossed
in English culture. He became quite obsessed with all our regional County dialects then went
on to make lots of youtube videos covering all the different regional accents and
sayings, some of which even I hadn't heard of. He covers such areas that have
strong accents like NEWCASTLE with it's Geordie accent as well as LIVERPOOL with
it's Scouse accent as well as many Northern Towns and Cities. Any dialect that
sounds challenging and he'll give it a go.
You can understand a Brit taking all of this on. But the fact that he's from Asia
makes it all the more amazing. And he's appeared on endless tv shows in both
Korean tv as well as the BBC NEWS.

In the video below Billy takes on the Cornish accent, a County that even has it's
own language like the Welsh. Although I've always thought that the Wiltshire
as well as the Somerset accent is the most extreme accent in the West Country,
more so than Devon or Cornwall. And it was this particular video that was
picked up on and posted up on I LOVE CORNWALL FACEBOOK .

Alright, Me 'Ansum.



Sunday, 2 July 2017

Au revoir Mister Norman

BARRY NORMAN  -  Film Critic
1933 - 2017

I was surprised and saddened to hear of the recent passing of Film Critic and tv
movie pundit Barry Norman. Apparently he hosted the BBC's weekly late night
Film review show between 1972 and right up until 1998.

It has often been said that he packed up his role as Film critic after being bounced
around the tv schedule by the BBC. And it's no secret that he also quit his role due to the
decline in quality movies. As he once said 'I have to sit through hours of rubbish
week in week out. And so I just got fed up with it all.' And it's believed to have
been something to do with what almost became like a weekly conveyor belt of poor
comedies. I think he may have been referring to those Adam Sandler and Jim Carey
movies of the 1990's. Films that might have caused a tickle now and then, but never
offered any sort of stimulation like the great films that Norman was so fond of.

I was just looking at a 2012 Radio Times list of his top 100 Movies and I wasn't
surprised at all to see many of my own favourite movies there like 'The Searchers'
'All About Eve'  'North By Northwest'  'Citizen Kane' as well as 'The Third Man.'
Sadly they're not listed by merit but rather in alphabetical order.

He once had a run in with legendary actor John Wayne at a Press conference when
Wayne labelled him 'A Goddam liberal pinko faggot' after Norman laughed out
loud at Wayne's ridiculous suggestion that The U.S might consider bombing Moscow.
Wayne is undoubtedly and surprisingly one of my all time favourite actors
but I discovered some time ago that his right wing political leanings were
not so appealing.

One thing I find odd is that the BBC has never properly replaced Barry Norman.
They tried out Jonathan Ross for a while until his sacking over a misdemeanour
on the Radio with Russell Brand. And now of course we have a whole bunch of
unknowns presenting 'Film 2017.'  So that should help the BBC's wasteful wages
budget. Once again it's BBC dumbing down again with the idea 'Oh lets have lots
of presenters all talking over one another to give the feel of excitement and noise'
...over yet another poor movie.

What I don't understand is why they don't give that job to heir apparent and the
best man for the job, Mark Kermode. He has such a passion for films and is quite
an aficionado of  fringe and cult movies. You do wonder if the BBC have at any time
actually offered him the job.

Below is a youtube video of a FILM 83 special when Barry Norman interviewed
Sean Connery after he returned to the role of James Bond in 'Never Say Never Again'
in 1983.
And what's interesting about the interview is that back then this is how Hollywood
actors were interviewed by the likes of Barry Norman and Michael Parkinson,
as opposed to today's dumbed down bring em on like cattle on to The Graham
Norton Show where screaming non stop laughter and lavatorial humour ensues.
I really liked Norton when he first emerged on to our TV's and was pleased that
the BBC signed him up. Sadly I wasn't to know in which direction he was about to
take in the format of chat shows.
Norton's opening weekly monologue continues to establish the myth that many camp
gay men are bitchy and relish the idea of putting someone down.


The actual interview with Connery doesn't start until about 10 minutes
in to the video. But it's well worth watching just to see how things were
done before the BBC's great dumbing down agenda started.