Tuesday, 18 January 2005

same old tricks

A few people now have commented that I've come back noticeably tanned compared to how I left. I confess somewhat reluctantly to be glad, although the little guy on my right shoulder tells me that its just an invitation to skin cancer.

The last to do so was Sophie, upon meeting for a pizza and a movie on Friday night. Thus, after my ill-fated decision to have an anchovy and caper pizza (I miss Schonell pizzas - cheaper and better than Chez Dédé) left me well short of a caram-bar, I made a long-awaited return to my favourite place in Rennes, a dark room with a bright screen.

A year ago, Howl's Moving Castle in original japanese version with french subtitles would have proven challenging, infuriating or impossible. This year, no wucks. As for the film, I don't the plot really charmed me as much as perhaps Chihiro or Mononoke did, but that may just be warm nostalgia. In any case, Miyazaki gives nothing away to anyone or to his previous efforts with sheer eye-candy. The amount of movement and colour in his films is so complete as to almost be thumbing his nose at other animators. The Incredibles might be a better film, but no-one does pretty like manga does.

On Saturday night I went and watched Liz play basketball. I sat with Veronique, her husband, their two kids and one of her husband's mates, although I pretty much only spoke to Veronique. The opponents this week, the evocatively named C.B. d'I.F.S. (according to the programme), were nominally the top team in the division. They didn't play like it. Their motion offense wasn't working, and they lacked the personnel to overcome it; their center was tall, taller even than Liz, but had a free-throw technique reminiscent of Chris Dudley, and a similar success rate. In the end, I'm not sure who did the scoring for Avenir but, based on the 93-44 scoreline, it was probably everyone. The only downside was a calf injury to one of their key starters.

I went for a couple of beers with Liz after the game. She showed me her photos from her Australian holiday back in 2000, and I sighed and wondered why I haven't been sailing in the Whitsundays, 4WDing on Fraser or diving with bronze whalers at Mooloolaba. She said Australia was her favourite place in the whole world, and I scratched my head.

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