Medallion Status

Medallion Status: True Stories from Secret Rooms
by John Hodgman (2019)


The second book in which John Hodgman  sets out to explore the strange work-land of being a somewhat famous person.

This is a selection of stories similar to the previous book. Not essential, but to a Hodgman fan, it will fill in the space between the first book and the present.


Windy Willows

at the Court Theatre
One toad. A whole lot of trouble!

Written by Kenneth Grahame
Adapted for the stage by Alan Bennett
Music and additional lyrics by Jeremy Sams

Directed by Ross Gumbley
Musical Direction by Richard Marrett

The set was impressive, costumes quirky and inventive. Effects and moving props surprising and inventive. And the acting/singing up to the usual standards of the Court Theatre.

The only problem was the script. It just wasn’t that memorable or inventive. It’s essentially the same story that has been told in various media: Toady crashes cars, gets into trouble an the rats take over Toad Hall. Toady rallies his mates to take it back and preserve the essential British Class system.

Other views may be available:

Stuff Review

Theatre Scenes




Knives Out

Knives Out is a 2019 American whodunit mystery film written, produced and directed by Rian Johnson (The Last Jedi)

It’s a murder mystery film. At family gathering the family patriarch’s death leads a master detective to investigate.

Described as part comedy, it’s not that funny however it is very good, with lots of twisty plot and very sharp dialogue.


Brokenwood 6.2

The Brokenwood Mysteries – A Real Page Turner

World-renowned crime-writing author Jack Rudd visits Brokenwood to give a reading at the local book club from his latest novel – but never leaves, falling victim to a method of murder portrayed in his own book.

Director: Aidee Walker
Producer: Sally Campbell

Reverend Greene ROY WARD

Written by Fiona Samuel

Inevitable Ascension

Inevitable Ascension
(Inevitable Ascension #1)
by V.K. McAllister (2016)

Violina had been burned and betrayed by mankind ever since she sprang into existence. They named her a heretic and condemned her to a pit to live and die in agony. Though she sat stranded, starved and bloodied, she would not submit. Violina, the girl who had been mocked and hunted for rejecting the warped ideals of artificial authority, would lay down her own law.

This has got to be one of the strangest books I have read. It features two female protagonists, but you don’t get to know who their characters are.

It has time-travel, but it’s always difficult to tell where in time you are. Things are never really explained well. Just what is going on and how things fit together is not clear.

But fundamentally it is never established what the goal or central conflict of the story is. So it’s surprising that I finished it. The words seemed to flow together in some kind of semi-readable narrative.

Was it good, NO. While competently written, I can’t recommend this to anyone. It’s a very strange experience.



Good Place 48

Chapter 48: The Answer


Michael “resets” Chidi, causing Chidi to instantaneously re-experience his memories.

The whole of the episode takes place, in Chidi’s head in the micro-second it takes for Michael to snap his fingers.

During his childhood, his arguing parents reconcile after he lectures them against divorce, only to later find out they went to counselling.

As an adult, his girlfriend Allesandra breaks up with him over this obsession and his thesis adviser drops him over his lack of emotional perspective and inability to address a single meaningful question.

When he wakes and learns of the situation, he is at peace with the idea that many or zero answers may exist. He reads his note: “There is no ‘answer.’ But Eleanor is the answer.”


One of the best-known works of art in the world

On this day in 1922, Howard Carter (not of Mars) and Lord Carnarvon become the first people to enter the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun in over 3000 years.

Howard Carter
George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon

Ford Ferrari

Ford v Ferrari (titled Le Mans ’66 in other territories) is a 2019 American sports drama film directed by James Mangold, and written by Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth, and Jason Keller.

It stars Matt Damon as Carroll Shelby

Carroll Shelby


and Christian Bale as Ken Miles.

Ken Miles
Ken Miles

The plot follows a team of American engineers and designers who are dispatched by Henry Ford II and Lee Iacocca with the mission of building the Ford GT40, a new racing car with the potential to finally defeat the perennially dominant Ferrari racing team at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France.

A great film that does not flag during it’s 2.5 hours.

Here is the Kermode Review…


Good Place 47

Chapter 47: The Funeral To End All Funerals

The group awaits the judge’s final decision on the fate of human existence.

The humans go into Mindy St. Clair’s home and ask Matt (the accountant in charge of counting the points of the subjects) for the point totals.

He cannot reveal them until the experiment is over. To distract themselves, the humans throw themselves afterlife funerals. The test subjects aren’t allowed to be woken up until the ruling is given.

It’s at this point I realized that there were 14 episodes and a lot more to go. So while the experiment has ended, I’m sure there will be more revelations.



Brokenwood 6.1

The Brokenwood Mysteries Season 6 Episode 1
The Power of Steam

Mike and his team are taken into a world of Victorian dress-up and escapism when they investigate a murder at the Brokenwood Steampunk event.