What do you want to see in your selfie?

 

Do you enjoy having your photo taken?

How often are you placed in that awkward situation where someone utters the word that sends shivers through your cute little dimples? “SMILE”!

I know that I’ve found the solution. Run to the other side of the camera and become the shutterbug. It takes away the angst and puts you back in control until someone says, “let me, we don’t have any photos of you!”. At that moment you feel betrayed, caught out. Or someone reminds you of the camera’s self-timer so you set the frame and do what feels like a 100m dash to the group, then have to turn, pose, and “SMILE” with no trace of breathlessness to be seen. Continue reading “What do you want to see in your selfie?”

Movie Review: The Railway Man

 

Arriving in theatres January 2014 is The Railway Man, a movie to give new meaning to the legends of war stories such as Schindler’s List and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. Through the eyes of British soldier, Eric Lomax we are captured with fellow soldiers who have been caught by the Japanese after the surrender of Singapore in World War 2.

As part of the engineers who were used to build the impossible railway, Lomax saw the hardship and torture under which troops were forced to work creating the Burma Railway. Lomax had joined the war in 1939 at the age of 19 and posted with the signal core. His love for the railway, its trains and schedules both before the war and his solace after it, form the lattice work in this story. Continue reading “Movie Review: The Railway Man”

Movie Review: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Walter Mitty is a snooze you lose day-dreamer and in 1947 no one knew how to play the day-dreamer better than Danny Kaye. The Samuel Goldwyn film constructed from the short story work  James Thurber was a success and I should know. My 13yo loved watching The Secret Life of Walter Mitty at Grandma and Granddad’s so it had the legs on it to be a lasting work. This year it’s Ben Stiller picking up the baton as he directs and stars in the Christmas release. Continue reading “Movie Review: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”

Nelson Mandela’s Fork in the Road

 

Its noon on the 6th of December 2013 (New Zealand time) and I’ve just heard that Nelson Mandela has passed away at the age of 95. I turn to my friend in our office and we talk about the calibre of the life lived and the life given that has impacted not just a country but a world. How could a man from a land in many ways disconnected from the rest of us become a leader of peace and the opitmy of what we desire in a statesman. Like a master craftsman such as a great silversmith, he was an imperfect man that desired to create something greater than himself. In Nelson Mandela we found a man who has now impressed his hallmark on the chalice he left for others to drink from. Continue reading “Nelson Mandela’s Fork in the Road”

Movie Review: Enders Game

 

The latest sci-fi movie Enders Game aimed at the younger audience comes in with a mixture of teenage Battlestar Galactica angst then loads it with a hint of a Hunger Games survival story. In Enders Game Earth has survived an onslaught attack from the Formics, an alien race of insect like creatures. It was only due to the heroic sacrifice of an earth fighter known as Mazer Rackham who gave his life for the cause. Now years down the track, Earth has repositioned itself to combat any future alien attacks. Through the highly specialised training of young earthlings the future of earth is sure, or so it seems. Continue reading “Movie Review: Enders Game”

Father of the Bride Speech

Father of the Bride

Today I will have just given this speech at the reception of my eldest daughter Abbey’s marriage to David White. It’s been an incredible time as a Dad for evaluation of life, family and what is pure and important. Enjoy the speech and feel free to read the poem “White Wedding Faith” I wrote which is linked at the end. If you think about it you will realise it was a ‘White’ wedding in more ways than one.

Thanks

Family and Friends thank you for coming to celebrate this once in a lifetime occasion. You are here at a point in history where Abbey Pitchford and David White have become the soon to be famous Mr & Mrs White.

John & Jenny, Lesley and Tim thank you for the son you have raised who has captured my daughter’s heart. Cheryl and I have appreciated getting to know David and seeing how he values, cares for and loves Abbey.

Father Heart

A Father’s heart is a mystery to many. While we are there for a hug, a kiss or a snuggle during a scary movie, we can sometimes appear distant or disconnected. We may seem uncaring and yet we value our role as protectors over the family we love.

At times we would rather be quietly guarding the door rather than partying on the inside with everyone else. It’s this protective love for a family that takes on a new level when it comes to our precious daughters. We want the world to stand back and admire their beauty from a distance. In our perfect world they are to be appreciated but not touched, never borrowed and always loved and protected.

In Proverbs 18 we read; “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favour from the Lord.”

In my daughter I see a beautiful young lady of incredible gifting and determination. She has experienced the perfume and the thorns of life’s rose and continues to grow as she learns to know herself and the world around her. Her grandmother’s smile will open doors and encourage many as she builds a home with David.

Like her mother I see in Abbey a soft heart for the hurting and a focussed heart on injustice. She has the same creative spirit her Mum brings to our family which will ensure she and David enjoy a warm home together. David will need to ensure he keeps a strict regime on exercise if I’m an example of what a lifetime of Pitchford healthy meals can do to a once taught buff body.

For a Dad this time of handing the mantle of responsibility to someone else who will be the one who loves, cares and protects your daughter is a serious decision. In both your mind and heart you pray the groom has a love based on the same values, that they don’t take marriage lightly and they view the role of protector with the same vigilance.

In David I have both peace and confidence he will love, value and esteem my daughter. When David first asked to take Abbey out on the date that would start their relationship I had a speech prepared that would talk about Love, Integrity, Honour and Protection. Somehow Abbey came into the room just as I was getting started and only one word had come out, ‘Protect’. That’s the hallmark I leave David with knowing that he has a love for Abbey, he is a man of his word and he honours Abbey with his actions.

Great communication is the super-glue legendary love is built on. Cheryl and I pray that as Abbey and David get to know each other they will share clear communication of their hopes, dreams and desires and that this will strengthen the love they planted here today.

In Philippians 3:13 there is this great verse which encourages us into the future.

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do:
forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 

Now I would like to read a poem that I hope captures some of Abbey’s thoughts as she went through today.

White Wedding Faith

White Wedding Faith

White Wedding Faith

White Wedding Faith

Dedicated to Abbey & David

Today I’m absorbed by White
Taken away to this Wedding Day
Built on Faith and clothed in Hope
Prepared by time and drawn by Love

Moving slowly,
With my nervous smile
Dad, my escort down the aisle

Keep calling, calling me,
Drawing me from shadows
Keep loving, loving me,
Holding me under cover
Be the one who calls my name,
Loves my name
Halt my breath with love
Start my heart with love
Be the one

Hear my heart
You’re timed to turn
Waiting breathless for your Bride,

His head turns to see my face
Days of patience transformed
From a glimpse into a glorious creation

Keep calling, calling me,
Drawing me from shadows
Keep loving, loving me,
Holding me under cover
Be the one who calls my name,
Loves my name
Halt my breath with love
Start my heart with love
Be the one

Live this life and serve the Lord
Enjoy His favour through pleasure and pain
Still serve each other, Love each other

With each year a milestone
The path is paved with celebrations
When we’re old or if love feels cold
We can enter back through the glow
Of our white frosted frames of
Life’s sweet memories

This union of our two
Is now complete as one
What began with a Wedding
Beats strong as a Marriage
You are the one
For me

Andrew Pitchford
November 2013

To read the Father of the Bride Speech that came before this poem click here.

Movie Review: Beyond the Edge

Beyond the Edge

Beyond the Edge is a stunning 3D vista of a movie that we should treasure and promote for its unique way of focusing our gaze. Many historical documentaries seek to give us a view through a long lens back to the past. With Beyond the Edge we should be proud that the storytellers have actually transported us back to walk through 1953 with Edmund Hillary from the bee hives of New Zealand through our own mountain ranges to join one of the most ambitious mountaineering climbs of the century.

As a nation New Zealand has achieved many incredible feats over the years thanks to pioneers and risk takers who took the vision set before them in lanky strides. Edmund Hillary’s footsteps to the pinnacle of Everest would be considered our greatest but how did the bee keeper from down under end up on top of the world.

Beyond the Edge, written and directed by Leanne Pooley, brings this focal point in Kiwi history to life. The movie draws on a number of media sources to composite an engaging story that reveals more about the man and the expedition. To the unaware general public we may simply think that Hillary hired his Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and went for an afternoon stroll up the Mountain. But this was no molehill and as a project years in the planning and months in the making this was actually a British expedition sponsored to bring kudos back to post-war English soil.

The cinematic experience of Beyond the Edge is riveting. The balance of old footage and photography was a highlight of the movie with all media sources edited to produce clear 3D effects that have breathed life into the archives. Narratives from relatives, expedition leaders and the climbers who have followed in the footsteps of Hillary and Norgay all contributed to paint the highlights and shadows on a deeper story than the famous phrase “we knocked the bastard off” uttered by Hillary to fellow Kiwi mountaineer, George Lowe.

To understand the expedition is to comprehend the achievement. Others had failed, some would pay a sacrifice along the way but when you begin to see the hundreds of people who moved tonnes of food and equipment step by step up the face of Everest you appreciate the people who got Hillary to a place where he and Norgay were positioned for their day in the Nepalese sun.

There is no doubt that the tenacity of Edmund Hillary was a deep seated quality that brought quiet resolve. This was story of a man willing to push himself before all others in order to go to the summit of the 29,000 ft peak of Mt. Everest. Chad Moffit is an easy fit playing the role of Edmund Hillary. The likeness and composed nature speak well of the gentle giant he portrayed.

Beyond the Edge is a exquisite piece of filmmaking that will open the eyes of generations to a Kiwi legend and inspire more ‘Hillarys’ to walk out of the classroom to climb their ‘mountain’. The distributors of the movie have gone a long way to assist in helping both adults and students understand the movie. The study guide and additional resources available can all be found through www.beyondtheedgefilm.com

Rating: G

Dads Rocking in Cradles

Dad and Son

I need to act more on my inspiration. It’s a failing to keep holding back and let the flame reach the end of the match before I reach out to light the candle. The last two days I’ve been thinking of a story concept for a movie script. The idea is strongly built around the lifelong relationship between a Father and a Son. Today I decided to step a little closer to the candle and write some notes for this movie. I know fear will hold me back and pride could trip me up but I want to get a little more daring and start this journey. I’m not too old and definitely not too young so the day seems to be about right. Continue reading “Dads Rocking in Cradles”