George reviews The Martian

Is there life on Mars?


Another book or film review here.

The Martian, by Andy Weir, is a story about an astronaut who gets stranded on Mars.

Mark Watney is a botanist abord a an expedition to Mars that gets cancelled mid-mission due to environmental problems. A massive storm threatens the whole crew and one their way to the capsule to leave the planets, Watney get hit by debris and is though, by the rest of the crew, to have been killed.

It is only after the capsule has left that Watney regains consciousness to find he is the lone resident of the planet.

The story follows Watney’s efforts to survive, to adapt and, ultimately, get home and follows him through the trials and tribulations of doing this.

It is, often, a funny story. Not belly laughs but still funny and covers Watney’s exploits on Mars, NASA’s actions back home and those of the remaining mission crew.

I am not going to say this is one of those ‘i could do that’ stories that you are going to feel empowered by, energised to go out and beat the odds. Watney has the brains, skills, luck and support to get through this, all of which i lack at the level he has them (i am aware he is a fictional character BTW) but still you find yourself rooting for him. Willing him to fight, to survive.

I have seen the film of the book which is also entertaining and, obviously, written slightly  differently to keep the excitement levels up.

This doesn’t mean the book is dull or slow, far from it, but the movie is a different media.

Even though it is ‘science fiction’ it could easy have been set on a deserted island and been a similar tale so don’t be put off by the location of the story.

Nonetheless, watch the film, read the book, you will be entertained by each.

George the Collie reviews – National Trust Croome 

A National Trust day trip gem.

Set in beautiful Worcestershire, Croome was secret wartime airbase which has been turned into a lovely place to visit.

We went in a group, with my friends, Elsa, Pip and Bob.

Dogs are welcome in the gardens and grounds but not in the house so we had a good run out there instead.

Only allowed in the gardens? Not a problem when you have garden designed by ‘Capability’ Brown – his first commission.

The restored parkland is a joy to walk around and, having been designed so well it has an interesting layout with some great views.

On the day we visited, in between sporadic showers that had us darting for cover, we took advantage of the deckchairs set out around the lake, positioned to take in the best views whilst waiting for our picnic to turn up! 

Overall, a lovely site to visit, my first visit to a National Trust location, and one I’ll look to return to. After I’ve had a rest!

Well worth a visit. 🐾🐶❤️