Taffin – Movie Review!

Before Pierce Brosnan took the leap into James Bond, he played a variety of roles in action movies in which he is using guns. I can see now why they chose him. Take this 80s gem, Taffin, a hard-boiled and small movie with big drama and direction.

It was rated at 5.6/10 by IMDB which is a shame since I found it overall to be interesting, with characters that had clear motivations. There is drama, conflict, a bit of action, some violence, some nudity, and Brosnan as the hard edged Taffin which made the movie quite over played but enjoyable.

Taffin is a 1988 thriller film directed by Francis Megahy and starring Pierce Brosnan in the title role of Mark Taffin. It also featured Ray McAnally, Alison Doody and Jeremy Child. It is based on Lyndon Mallet’s book series.

Directed by Francis Megahy and with a runtime of approx. 1 hour 36 minutes it clocks in to be an easy evening viewing.

For those who want to see hard men doing hard things this is the film for you. Brosnan plays Taffin who is a no-holds-barred debt collector working freelance. Come the debt, come the Taffin. Soon though the little town he lives in comes under a much bigger threat, that of a new development plan on the local playing fields to build a chemical factory. It gets dirty, very quickly.

Taffin, determined not to get involved is pulled in for his love of the town. So are other people. What starts as a back and forth fight between the corps and the people turns bloody, with fighting, shooting, blackmail, threats, and death.

Taffin, being the man everyone relied on to help, is sadly left to do the dirty work and when the corps hire a freelance hitman – or whatever he is – to burn down a house resulting in a mans death, Taffin is blamed. He is blamed because the people new he was involved and suspected he took it too far. The people push him out despite him helping them when they needed it. In the end, he takes it to the top, he reaches the man he’s meant to reach and eventually flies off with his girlfriend.

A fairly abrupt ending but the film itself was tense, and I found it rewarding and interesting. Although the lack of reciprocation from the people to Taffin after the fire is disheartening.

This is a short review because it’s an easy to view film which doesn’t require much in depth analysis. You have people on opposite sides wanting different things, things turn ugly. This is still a very true albeit fictional account of things that happen in real life. Taffin is also an Irish movie with Brosnan being Irish (although a lot assume he is English because he played James Bond). It is certainly one of the more flamboyant roles, in which Taffin has the ego that could fill your living room.

4 stars

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Hurt & Healing

Daisies grow in the flower bed

during the spring the sun beats them out

during the fall, they begin to wilt

winter is a blank skeletal stare

yet they are to come full circle 

for the daisies were never there

***

Your hurt and hate

has been negated

and I have seen

a beam of light

that will destroy your negative plight

***

Now you can heal

begin to reveal

and to feel

once again

strengthened through grace

empowered by God

a beautiful seedling

ready to yet again, grow from the soil.

https://medium.com/@thomas_maxwellharrison/new-poetry-the-healing-we-feel-3128af97a42e: Hurt & Healing

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Highlights of the Week [#1]

Highlights of the Week [#1]

  1. Poem Spotlight!
  2. Movie Recommendation
  3. Book Recommendation
  4. Photo of the Week
  5. Video of the Week
  6. Support the site by making a donation

Poem Spotlight!

A special thank you to the R|cardo / C|pher for the wonderful poem titled Lazarus. I’ve read it a few times, and it sticks with me. I also really enjoy the admiring the accompanying artwork. I hope you enjoy the poem as much as I have, along with other works by this prolific, talented poet.

https://rcipher.wordpress.com/2022/11/26/c-90/

Movie Recommendation

The Bansheess of Inisherin – Starring reuniting cast members Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson once again teaming up with In Bruges director Martin McDonagh in this drama come comedy black fiction movie of a friendship gone sour. https://psychedelicwizard.uk/2022/11/18/banshees-of-inisherin/

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_banshees_of_inisherinRotten Tommatoes rated it a whopping 98%! Worth a watch. A Friday or Saturday night easy to view movie with dark undetones.

Book Recommendation

A Spy Named OrphanThe Enigma of Donald Maclean – Roland Phillips – The true-life account of notorious spy Donald Maclean through World War 2, through the cold war and beyond. Focused on the nefarious ‘Cambridge 5’ spy ring.

An interesting, step by step documentation of the life of Donald Maclean, the British student turned communist fanatic. He infiltrated the highest levels of government, worked with the secret service, the USA, in Cairo and more before finally being found, some couple of decades after his infiltration and double agent status had begun.

During this time, he stole incredible amounts of information and passed it to the soviet state of Russia. Stalin regarded him as his best agent. He betrayed his home country, England because of his disillusionment with capitalism.

A recommended non-fiction book. It is a little light on details however from a broad history point of view does cover a significant amount of time and space, documenting the double agent’s crazy alcohol binged nights and his deadly rage as he grew increasingly uncomfortable living his double life.

There are plenty of espionage novels on the market, and an abundance surrounding WW2 and the Cold War. You can enjoy factual and fictitious writings. An honourable mention would of course be the John Le Carre novel Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – still superior to a lot of books in the same genre after all this time.

Photo of the Week

Video of the Week

You’ll see something here when I have some content to upload!


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Donate to support this site

Show your appreciation of content you enjoy to continue to support this site.

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Carpenters [8]

Welcome to Episode 8 of the Medieval England History Series! We’ve been through quite a few occupations and types of people now and it’s time to begin to explore further afield to the useful carpenter. This is a series you can listen to on Spotify here, and you can find the other posts here. Be sure to follow my site for more episodes and post any thoughts you have in the comments on something you enjoyed about the episode or series so far.


Before we delve into the medieval carpenter, we should first cover the career of a carpenter through history in general, and indeed a career it is. Carpentry is one of the world’s oldest professions (the oldest is tool maker, who used chunks of rock to pound, and flakes made from quartz and flint to make stone tools.) The son of God, Jesus Christ was himself described as a carpenter. Today carpenters are still a priced trade skill in the construction industry and are quite well paid compared with other roles.

But with medieval carpenters things go something like this… Medieval carpenters were highly skilled professionals who would cut timber (wood) to make a variety of planks, beams, doors, windows and furniture. They were producing items for homes, castles, workshops, shops, ports and more.

As with other professions such as the Baker, carpenters were also a part of a Guild specific to the profession. They would join as an apprentice and be taught the skills of the craft; including the use of tools, woodworking techniques and the mathematics required. After the training they could expect to go on to hone their skills further themselves as a journeyman, gaining enough experience to eventually become a master carpenter. The path of learning is similar to other professions, and the path structure is still used today for a variety of crafts. A very skilled carpenter could potentially be employed by the Kings or nobles, being retained in employment as specialists (in a castle, and during travel). A guild of carpenters became a reality when in the 900s the towns began to stabilise their economies and expand, allowing more work. Most towns in England were built near castles (as mentioned sometimes within the walls). Most guild formed officially around the 12th century.

A carpenter guild was designed to allow fair competition and agreement of the basic rules governing their trade. Guilds had the power to fine carpenters who violated their rules, but also took care of carpenters should they become unwell and arrange for burials and take care of carpenter families if needed. They contributed to supporting their town by building churches for example.

A master carpenter or highly skilled professional in woodworking could expect a decent amount of work and pay. They used a variety of tools of course. See the picture above for some examples (saw, adze, awl). Others included the: hatchet, twybill and broad axe, gimlet, compass, square and ruler, twyvette, saws, plane, chisel and gauge, marking gauge, crowbar and hammer. A carpenter would use a whetstone to sharpen the tools if needed.

Some tools were said to be found in the Mastermyr chest – a Viking age tool chest in the Mastermyr mire west of Hemse on the island of Gotland, Sweden. The largest tool finds in Europe (793-1066). Proving to some extent that the carpenter tools of that age were still very much prized. Of course the Vikings are known for large wooden ships, so it made sense to employ a selection of carpenters for the job of building them. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%A4stermyr_chest

Above is an example of a 16 century wooden chair no doubt made by a carpenter.

A slightly more modern Tudor chest above. See the detail of the carpenter.

The house above was built in 1509. A carpenter would have done a significant part of the work as you can see from the wood structure.


Thanks for reading Episode 8 of the Medieval England History series. I hope to see you next time. In the meantime, support this series by liking and commenting and follow to stay up to date with the newest releases.

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Love, Connection.

Seeing your love is the only thing that keeps me alive

"Oh, what have you to I?" 

Darting beneath the silver mirror

"I have to give you my love"

enchanting reflective lake

a cold cabin we meet

"... and your love is a fictional lie"

perches on the train line, rail

zapping hands we meet

together, we can flee

terror and hate

doubt and misfortune

swimming into the white clouds

angels surround, us

loving you.

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Alone

Together we can build a better life

but alone we may feel full of strife

we sit and we commute

we eat and we wait

patient is the night owl

who flies before dawn

... and our feelings overthrow our hearts

ice under the feet

waiting to meet, someone

when they arrive all the while

alone and empty

or so we think

Rain – a poem about the weather. Fitting since it’s hard rain at the moment!

Many people seem to be lonely, alone or wanting more company. Obviously, the last few years has been difficult and more isolating for everyone.

However, I looked at my own life and realised I too have become a victim of this loneliness. Before – or at least before the pandemic – I was perfectly content alone and being by myself. Only have I realised this last year has been particularly isolating for me and having developed a depression as well has made it difficult. I never considered being lonely a factor, but it is. I do interact with people, just not as much as I used too. Plus having lifelong health condition is itself a factor in depression too.

Why am I sharing this? Well, I wanted to talk about my feelings because I am sure others have felt this way too. Many of us go day to day without sharing a though or word with anyone. Talking to people is a great way to socialise and of course improve mental wellbeing. That doesn’t mean you have to talk about your feelings all the time, just that if you are lonely you are allowed to say that. Don’t be afraid to talk about your feelings.

It’s okay not to be okay. I reiterate this with love. I also feel like WordPress and my followers are an extended family. I enjoy reading all your posts and seeing your lives. Thank you for being a part of this wonderful platform and sharing your posts with me and others.


Support me by making a donation or Buy Me a Coffee!

Getting into the Holiday Spirit

  1. Welcome! What’s new?
  2. Recent Photos from a Day out
  3. I Will Now Feature Writers for a Fee
  4. Donations to Support Me or Show Appreciation!

Welcome! What’s new?

Welcome to Psychedelic Wizard!

You can now go to the following site addresses for my site:

Psychedelicwizard.org

Psychedelicwizard.uk

You can also follow my YouTube if you would like to stay up to date with any videos or photos I upload. I will of course add them to my WordPress too.

Recent Photos from a Day out

The Trafford Center, Manchester.

The biggest indoor super shopping center in England. (probably)

A massive section of the Trafford Center I don’t usually go in. Already decorations have been put up. It truly is a magical place at Christmas!

I’m hoping to get some proper days out during the holidays, enjoying good food and places, people and ideas! I’ll be sure to show you the food when I go! Hopefully it is not too pricey wherever I choose.

I Will Now Feature Writers for a Fee

As opposed to my generosity before. The first ten I was happy to promote. If you are an indie author or writer with published works, either on a site or distribution platform and want to feature then please do get in touch with me!

Donations to Support Me or Show Appreciation!

Please donate if you enjoy the site and content!

Show your support for my site by making a donation!

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My Upgraded Site – What it Means For You

Good day and welcome to my site. I have taken a leap and upgraded my WordPress site which I hope will enable me to start offering some exclusive content to viewers.

Initally I was hesitant as I wanted to make some money as well. But in the end I’ve taken the decision and now have to follow through.

What it means is this:

  • You can now access paid content – this will most likely be access to specialised content, like videos and photos, particularly special news and poems. I won’t disappoint you with the paid content although I am suggesting that you should not be in any way offended if you re asked to pay to watch a video. It is partially due to wanting to keep my privacy. I have no intention of ever uploading my face on camera for you, so don’t expect video chats.
  • You may see ads on this site – not WordPress ads as they have been removed.

I am hoping that it will boost traffic considerably although I do get quite a lot anyway.


Follow me on YouTube – my new account with photos of places I visit. Plus videos of course to come. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3nDZox5fVJRBaWLdKTplgg

Buy Me a Coffee – my new account is now live for donations. Any change from this will go to charity https://www.buymeacoffee.com/thomasmaxw3

My Experience of {Duolingo} so Far 😎

Going into Duolingo was a big leap for me. Not only had I not learned a new language since my school days, but this was an online app which essentially meant I had to learn and teach myself. There is not tutor, and you are guided through each lesson in which you have to comprehend and use a foreign language without input. You may have to read, write, speak or place words in the correct order. I can say this though, I have found it fun to use and it has been a surprisingly rewarding experience so far.

My profile (pictured above in a screenshot) shows that I joined in August, and over 3 months I’ve accumulated nearly 9,000 total XP. This is quite significant. My languages are shown as studying German and Russian. If you want to follow my progress and you are also on Duolingo, feel free to follow and I’ll follow back. I primarily focus on German and have only started to use Russian on Duolingo to consolidate things from a book I use. I have reached many milestones already.

It has been easy to use, navigate and recently they updated the learning tree – which I wasn’t too fond of. The app is online or on a phone and can be used anywhere. The lessons take you through various topics, learning all the essentials, except you will not learning it in order, you will build upon what you have learned. So you may learn how to order in a café and then later learn how to speak the full vocabulary of such an event. For example, you order coffee, then later, you learn how to say things like I would like a coffee please. Or I would like a coffee what would you like? This allows progressive learning in a gamified language learning app.

A big bonus is that it is free. I highly recommend this platform (not sponsoring me, although if Duolingo see this they are free to do just that). Over four months my progress has been remarkable and enjoyable. I’m now soaring through units, learning and retaining information more effectively than reading a book. The repetitive speaking system, in which phrases and words are repeatedly shown the same things multiple times, allows better retention.

Russian is a bit more difficult and as such I am using a combination of sources, like books and audio CDs as well. I feel that you could reach a satisfactory beginner level if you worked through all the units – numbered at around 114 for German. I believe from what I have learned so far that completing all of it would mean you are at least B1 level of the CEFR scaling system. However, this would also be dependent on other factors like frequency of learning, interaction with native speakers and general motivation and of course the learner’s ability to actually remember this information and use it.

I’m happy to rate it at 4 stars up to now: there are flaws and the spoken sections of learning leave something to be desired. It is also flawed in that the majority of the scenarios that are demonstrated in the language you are learning is simply unrealistic.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Unrealistic scenarios include owls not playing football and dogs reading books. But Duolingo’s fun, childlike characters certainly bring a bit of enthusiasm to the learning process.

The site offers a paid option which removes adverts. Aside from this it is now integrating the stories system into the learning, so a milestone might consist of reading a story in the native language you are learning, as opposed to being optional as it was before. This is a good, progress step to keep it mixed up. You also have access to thousands of lessons offered on the site from as low as $2 for an hour. I believe it’s set up for schools too.

Overall, and this is a brief conclusion, it is worth the time. But you need to stick at it daily to actually progress. I cannot imagine anyone progressing beyond introductions, family and dining etc. if they chose one lesson a week. They’d get bored. Consistency and integration into you own life is key. Take the lessons into your real-world experiences to begin to apply the vocabulary to real world situations. Travel or interaction with native speakers is also highly recommended for better learning.