Thursday, 26 July 2012

Times-are-a-changing 2.0

Hello everyone!

I am now shutting down this blog - not because I no longer want to talk about tea and such things but because I am joining it with my other blog which I plan to give more attention to from now on. I will be copying all these posts over there :)



Monday, 28 May 2012

Marvel Monday: The Definitive Thor

"Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of ... THOR"

The Marvel Platinum series is designed to give new readers (such as myself) an overview of a character's origin and important stories in their lifetime.

[A note on SPOILERS: There won't be any as long as you don't consider mentioning the names of Thor, The Avengers or other Asgardians]

The Cast

Thor is the main character throughout but anyone who has watched the Marvel films will also recognise Odin, Loki, Volstagg (the Vast), The Lady Sif, Hogun and Fandral. There are also appearances by The Avengers and other Asgardians (above).

The Art

The artwork in this book spans the whole history of Thor and so the earlier comics are not as high quality as you'd expect today or in a good graphic novel. The depictions of Thor and his allies/foes definitely improve throughout the book but by the time you reach the more recent comics the quality is top notch :)

The Writing

It's nice to see such a cross-section of comic history. You can see how the writing style changes (the early Thor comics do seem a little childish). One noticeable change in the writing style comes when Thor's speech is made more accessible (if you thought he talked strangely in the films wait 'til you read the earlier comics!).

The later stories are superbly written and the characters seem vivid and exciting. There's a brilliant bit where Thor is given a stern talking down for his actions.

The Stories

The first two stories cover Thor's origins (one from the first comic and another one with more detail from later on). From then on we see the God of Thunder dealing with many different foes including some you'll recognise from the films (with the aid of The Avengers). It's hard to discuss any of this further without spoilers but some of the story arcs in this collection are excellent and a must read for fans of the films.

The Conclusion

This is a great overview of a character I didn't know much about until the films came out. I've learnt lots and enjoyed the ride :)

Next time on Marvel Monday - Uncanny X-men 1!

Tom out! :)

The Link

Monday, 14 May 2012

Marvel Monday: Astonishing X-Men

I was going to start off my new blog incarnation by reviewing the Avengers. However, I figured that has a) been done to death and b) any geek worth their salt should have seen it by now. In short - it is excellent, go and see it. The 3D doesn't detract from but also doesn't improve the film really. Anyway onto this review...

"They're Gifted. They're Dangerous. They're Torn. They're Unstoppable" ... and they definitely astonish!

Astonishing X-Men is a hardcover omnibus which covers Joss Whedon's full run behind the wheel of the comic. There's 672 full colour pages of awesomeness contained within.

[A note on SPOILERS: There won't be any as long as you don't consider mentioning the names of X-men a spoiler (they are on the cover after all) or vague allusions to awesomeness]

The Cast

The main cast features Wolverine, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Beast, Kitty Pryde & Colossus (see cover & pic above). There's also your usual Marvel background organisations around (S.H.I.E.L.D. etc.) and a new main villain introduced early in the story :)

Personally my favourites have to be Wolverine, Kitty and Emma. They have the best humourous lines and scenes in the comic. Emma Frost is still the catty queen of put-downs and well Kitty can phase through walls with sometimes hilarious consequences.

The Art

The artwork is second to none when it comes to quality and equally has a sense of humour with some of the best humourous facial expressions I've seen (see this individual comic cover which cracked me up ->).

Also the characters are all reasonably presented - no impossible curves or muscles. I think I prefer the characters like this but that's a personal choice. Although Beast does look more like a cat than usual which is a little odd.

The Writing

If you've seen anything by Joss Whedon you should be expecting excellent writing and he doesn't disappoint! There is humour, darkness and some surprises in store. I laughed out loud several times while reading this series and couldn't put it down :)

The Awesomeness

Pretty much every page - some of the double page artwork blew me away. As did most of the dialog!

The Conclusion

If you do read comics - this is definitely a read you will enjoy.

If you don't read comics - I would definitely suggest this as a way to get into them - it's excellent!

Next week on Marvel Monday - The Definitive Thor!

Tom out! :)

The Link

Friday, 4 May 2012

The Times They Are A-Changing!

So I haven't posted a Tea blog in aaaages. This is for three reasons: 1) Being busy 2) Not having enough new tea to try due to all the tea I have to drink still. 3) I feel the blogs are quite similar and should have more variety from week-to-week

Due to this I'm planning to change the blog to a general review blog. With a focus on Tea, Geekery, Student things in Manchester (and wider afield if they're good enough). I'll start editing the look and feel of the blog tonight and post my first review :)

Tom - out!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

The Ultimate Work Tea

I've decided to post about new teas as and when now and might try a different style.

A chance sighting in Sainsbury's has allowed me to track down a tea I had previously sought but found impossible to find in the North.


"Brew one teabag per person & pour on boiling water. Leave for three to four minutes, or until you think it's ready. Then drink it as it is, this one is made for drinking without milk."

Easy to brew and best of all needs no milk! (See previous work tea comments)


Light brown - one could fancifully say it has a golden hue too :). 


As with Earl Grey you can smell the bergamot and there is also a hint of lemon.


Do you like Earl Grey with lemon? Then this is similar. Obviously you can't control the strength of the lemon as you can when you add your own. However as a work tea it allows me to enjoy Earl Grey without the need for the fridge (I do like Earl Grey with milk and without - there is nothing wrong with this).

"Whistle While You Work"

This tea is definitely the cornerstone of my work teas now where I sometimes whistle. This allows me to make the above tenuous song title usable. Although I have recently learnt how to whistle more than one note which I previously found impossible so maybe I can finally whistle properly while working :)


An excellent workplace tea which once again fills my requirement of no milk due to lack of fridge. Though I must concede if you have a ready suppply of lemons your normal Earl Grey will do just fine.

See you all next time!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Harrods English Brekfast

Sorry for the delay everyone I have been busy with work and generally not drinking enough new tea :S


As with most of the loose leaf teas I have reviewed a 3-5 minute brewing time as a matter of personal taste is required.


Tea coloured. This is quintessential tea!


It smells like tea. I feel I may have to start reviewing more exotic teas to stop making this section a little boring :S


I think I prefer this to the Twinings English Breakfast. It seems to have a fuller flavour and is very good for kick starting your day :)


Funnily enough I bought this tea in Harrods and have since enjoyed it on many occasions. Despite what you may have heard about Harrods this won't set you back any more than other leaf teas on the market. If you are a tea (or coffee) lover I can really recommend the Tea & Coffee section of Harrods. The staff there are very knowledgeable and helpful. There is also a ridiculous range of more expensive blends to try if you like :)


A very good cup of tea. Also not as expensive as you would expect!

See you all next week!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Instant Christmas!

Another visit to Whittard's returns another intriguing tea that I just had to try! :)

I also wasn't aware that such a thing as instant tea existed :o


"Spoon three heaped teaspoons (20g) to 200ml water, or according to taste. Serve over ice for a long summer punch, or add hot water, curl up and enjoy as a soothing winter warmer."

Ridonculously easy to brew. It is instant tea! I went for the hot version since it is October (the previous few weeks crazy weather notwithstanding).


Dark reddish brown.


Smells like hot Ribena with a hint of spice. It is a very warming smell - perfect for winter.


So what does mulled wine taste like without the alcohol? I now have a very good idea - similar to hot Ribena with added spices. There is also a tea after-taste. All-in-all it does taste like mulled wine but it doesn't warm you up in quite the same way as the alcoholic version. 


I tried this tea while baking some cupcakes and making gingerbread :) Pictures will follow on my other blog (which I really need to post more on...).


Warming, lovely. I could drink it all winter long!

See you all next week!