Month: August 2014

Reading the ads on the Metro

My Georgian continues to make painfully slow progress. Almost everyday I take the metro and I thought that if I read the ads, it would get me more familiar with the language.

Tempo Cigarette Ad

Tempo Cigarette Ad

This is an advertisement for Tempo (ტემპო) Cigarettes. იტალიური სტილი letter for letter is italiuri stili…so that is easy “Italian Style”. In the red circle is written ახალი which means “new”.

The health warning at the bottom of the ad starts მოწევა კლავს which translates as “Smoking Kills”. A much higher percentage of Georgians smoke than most Europeans (apart from maybe Russians and Serbs). I have never smoked, I never saw the point. 

Lottery advert

Lottery advert

This ecstatic woman is all around Tbilisi advertising the lottery, something else which doesn’t interest me but I can learn the phrase “შენი ჯერია მოიგო!” which translates as “your turn to win!”

Other ads are for bank credit, phone packages and various pharmaceuticals…not especially exciting but could be useful for learning the languagel

“Marian” by The Sisters of Mercy

Uncle Spikey has been posting music on his blog (Uncle Spike’s Adventures) from another era recapturing memories of youth (Blondie and Dexy’s Midnight Runners). So I was inspired to post this:

I saw many bands in the eighties, from the age of 13 to 27, music was very important to me, I even worked in music retail for Our Price Music for a time in London and Oxford. I regret not seeing the Sisters of Mercy, I saw the Fields of the Nephilim and The Mission, both of whom were very similar.

These days I rarely even listen to music but it does have the power to evoke past times good and bad. 


What are you looking at?

Swallow მერცხალი

Swallow მერცხალი

“One swallow doesn’t make a summer” but as its August and day time temperatures regularly hit 

40°C, I think it is definitely summer. Yesterday our windows were wide open and I heard a lot of twittering outside, on investigating I found four swallows on our laundry pole. 


Early version of Twitter

I love watching the swallows fly around but it also makes me sad, as I remember watching swallows with my late ex-wife one September in the French lake district. 

One swallow family are nesting on the third floor of our apartment block.

swallow nest

swallow nest

Capturing them in flight is more tricky, as they move so quickly.

swallow in flight (blurred)

swallow in flight (blurred)

The swallow has a high slightly mechanic “t-weet” and a twittering song uttered on the wing or on a vantage point like our laundry pole.


swallow Hirundo rustica

Read, read, read.

Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.

William Faulkner (1897-1962)

Film Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy გალაკტიცის გცველები

Guardians of the Galaxy
გალაკტიცის გცველები

Until a week before seeing the movie I had never heard of The Guardians of the Galaxy, I am not a reader of superhero comic books.  I had seen the first Spiderman film but had missed other Marvel offerings like Thor, Iron Man and Captain America. So I came to this film with no expectations or preconceptions.

I was pleasantly surprised, this film rocks. There is a lot of action and the humour (or should that be humor?) is pitched perfectly. I am reminded most of the first Star Wars films. There are a bunch of misfits who come together to save the universe, a little like Luke, Chewy, Han Solo et al. The first, Peter Quill or Star Lord was abducted from earth as a child on the death of his mother. He possesses that cultural icon of the eighties a Sony Walkman with an “Awesome Mix” tape that provides an interesting eclectic soundtrack for this space adventure. Quill is an unlikely hero, akin to Han Solo, looking to profit from what the universe has to offer. When he finds an orb coveted by the evil Ronan he finds several people after him for the orb or the bounty. First is the green skinned Gamora, a beautiful trained assassin, played by Zoe Saldana (Uhuru in recent Star Trek films). A scuffle involving the pair lands them both in a high security prison, along with a gun toting genetically modified raccoon called Rocket, who tried to capture Quill for the bounty and his sidekick a human like tree with a zen passion for aphorism “I am Groot”. In prison the final member of the Guardians is found: Drax, who looking like a WWF wrestler (or Putin according to my wife), is hell bent on revenge with the kin of Ronan. He takes some convincing not to kill Gamora, but is eventually won over.

Perhaps my only gripe are the villains; Ronan and his psychotic sidekick Nebula’s motivations aren’t really explored in any detail and they seem rather one-dimensional.

The effects are phenomenal as one would expect in this CGI age, lots of spaceships fighting and some surreal sci fi weirdness. But it is the humour and humanity of the characters that makes this film a must see.

My rating 9 out of 10