Seven Hells!! It’s almost time to visit the land of Westeros once again. HBO has FINALLY announced the premiere date for Season 4 of Game of Thrones (April 6). Well it’s about damn time!!
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve been going BANANAS waiting for GOT to air. Although I’ve read the books, I’m still excited to see how David Benioff and crew will pull off this season, which is a continuation of A Storm of Swords. And if you think the Red Wedding was shocking, just you wait!! Until then, make sure you watch the trailer this Sunday.
So what say you? How excited are you about the new season?
The Amazing Medieval “Hobbit” Stone Houses of Staffordshire
Welcome to Holy Austin Rock in Staffordshire, England. These medieval cave houses carved from sandstone were abandoned by the last residents in the 1960s, but people were living happily inside them for over three centuries before that, possibly even earlier. Today the National Trust has faithfully restored the houses belonging to the last near dozen families that lived in the community, using early photographs, postcards and records to re-create what the houses would have been like in the late Victorian era.
The first official records of the Rock Houses appear in an 18th century book, Letters on the Beauties of Hagley, Envil and the Leasowes with Critical Remarks and Observations on the Modern Taste in Gardening by Joseph Healey. In the book, Healey gets caught in a thunderstorm when he finds the cave homes and asks to take shelter. He describes the homes as well-furnished, ”curious, warm and commodious and the garden extremely pretty”. Healey also notes that the residents had access to water and were extremely welcoming and proud of their homes, delighted even to recount the stories of their ancestors who had built them.
With stunning views over the woodland from the rosy sandstone ridge, these white-washed houses are something out of a storybook. In fact, many people believe that they are featured in a very well-known book published in 1937, The Hobbit. The opening line of J. R. R. Tolkien’s book states, “The door opened on to a tube-shaped hall like a tunnel: a very comfortable tunnel without smoke, with paneled walls and floors tiled and carpeted, provided with polished chairs, and lots and lots of pegs for hats and coats – the hobbit was fond of visitors.” Tolkien was famously reluctant to name the places that inspired his stories. In fact, there are so many similarities between the 18th century Holy Austin Rock Houses and Tolkien’s description of the Hobbit holes that it becomes an obvious assumption that he must have seen or read about these remarkable dwellings.
Being the last occupied troglodyte dwellings in Britain, Holy Austin Rock has been an off-beat tourist attraction since Edwardian times. Residents would welcome visitors and serve refreshments right in their living room or in their front gardens taking in the views of the English countryside. Sadly, there are no cave dwellers to welcome tourists today. A single cafe remained open until 1967, by which time all other families had moved away and their homes had already begun to decay. The majority of residents left their homes between 1900 and 1935 to find work in cities following an economic crises in the area which halted the local ironworks production.
Graffiti taggers and local teens made their mark on the empty caves until 1968. At this point they were sealed off, deemed a safety hazard and seemingly forgotten by England. Over 20 years later funds were made available by the National Trust to embark on an ambitious restoration project, as the caves were declared a national treasure.
Mel had nothing major going on at work. Just what she called, “crap work,” which made her day drag. Her coworker, Fiona, was in one of her moods. Was it that time already? Jesus, it seemed like Fiona was getting her monthly every week.
Mel decided to step out for a bit, if only to get some fresh air. Well, as fresh as you can get living in New York City. She thought about asking Fiona if she wanted anything while she was out, but thought better of it. Mel was pretty selfish and just didn’t want to bother. So she grabbed her purse and walked out without a word.
Once outside, Mel headed straight for her favorite coffee shop on Eighth Avenue. It was a small place, full of scruffy hipsters, trendy Moms and their trendy, screaming kids. Today it was a bit empty with only a sprinkling of NYU students working feverishly on their latest paper. Mel walked up to the register and was about to ask for a Spanish latte when Joey, the barista said, “hey sorry, but we’ve decided to discontinue that drink.” Mel looked at him as if he were speaking Chinese. “I’m sorry, what the fuck are you talking about?” was what came out of Mel’s mouth, surprising everyone, including herself. Mel NEVER swore, not even when she was pissed to high heaven. Joey, looking a bit shocked said, “umm, please don’t swear at me. Management decided that it wasn’t going to sell the Spanish latte anymore because it didn’t want to purchase the condensed milk.” Mel, starting to get agitated, said, “Well, I really don’t give a shit what management wants. I want my fucking Spanish latte. Now take your silly ass to the back and make it for me before I smash your fucking face through the glass!”
Mel’s voice was beginning to rise and other patrons were looking at her to see what all the fuss was about. Joey, now getting pissed himself said, “listen lady. I understand you’re upset, but I’ve asked you not to swear at me and now you’re threatening me. I’m gonna have to ask you to leave.”
"How about this bright eyes? How about you shut your fucking trap and do what I asked? I’m not leaving here until you give me my Spanish latte. If not, I’m gonna start smashing shit." Mel walks towards the nearest chair and grabs the back of it, ready to hurl it towards anyone and everything in the coffee shop. One of the patrons, annoyed at being interrupted from his work, says, "lady WTF? Order something else … Oh SHIT!!"
The chair Mel had in her grasp goes flying over the patron’s head, who ducks just in time. It goes crashing through the front window, sending glass everywhere and scaring the hell out of passersby.
TO BE CONTINUED
You read that right! There’s an ice bar in New York City. Read my review below and then get going!
If you make it to Minus5, let me know what you think. Send photos if you can.
Looking for something to do this weekend? Well look no further than Fête Paradiso on Governors Island. Below is my review. Check it out and then make your way to Governors Island for a bit of Parisian fun.
This review first published on Blogcritics. Enjoy!
This review first published on Blogcritics. Enjoy!
What did you think of the film?
Article first published as http://blogcritics.org/tv-review-game-of-thrones-the-rains-of-castamere/ on Blogcritics.
So what did you think of this episode?
Article first published as Movie Review: Wish You Were Here on Blogcritics.
Article first published as TV Review: Game of Thrones, Season 3 - “Second Sons” on Blogcritics.
What did you think?
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