Gardening: Endgame (but enough about Avengers)

The weekend has been a busy one. Football, films, and fun in the garden. Well, perhaps manual labour is a better descriptor but at least we’re making progress.

Ordinary Decent Garden Update

The tree stump bed is ever expanding, a necessity to accommodate the wild flowers and other additions from the garden centre today, and the pond has been excavated. I dug the pond in a stepped fashion to allow shelves of different heights for different aquatic plants, and included a sloped section so any unlucky animals finding themselves in the deep end can avoid certain doom. The soil in that area has a high clay content, so with any luck it will be possible to ‘puddle’ a layer of clay for the lining by adding water and squeezing the air out of the clay by stomping on it. The idea is to create a natural waterproof lining, obviating the need for an artificial pond liner. It’s proving more difficult than I initially expected, but I’m up for the challenge. The pond area was covered with roots from the ex-trees that required removal first. Once it’s filled, and after the water settles, we’ll populate it with water plants and make it a wildlife haven. After all the digging it’s time for some relaxation.

Step by step from planning the shape of the pond, initial digging and root removal, and finally puddling the clay.

Avengers: Endgame (Spoiler-free)

Are you, or were you, excited for Avengers: Endgame? I know I wasn’t. It’s not that I didn’t want to see it, but it has been a while since I’ve gotten excited about a Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film. Mostly because of the ‘Universe’ bit. The films are released at a rate I can barely keep up with, I’ve already missed ‘Captain Marvel’ and ‘Ant Man and the Wasp’, and they often require a two and a half to three hour time commitment. Call me old fashioned but 90 to 120 minutes is an ideal film length, and that’s coming from an avid fan of Inception. You need to be in the right headspace for these epics, but on Sunday afternoon I was prepared. I wasn’t up to date as I previously mentioned, and I’ve only watched Infinity War once, but I thoroughly enjoyed Avengers: Endgame.

Avengers: Endgame poster. Copyright Disney

Problems could have arisen as a result of its length, but I felt engaged throughout the 182 minute-long epic. It could’ve suffered from too many lead characters, but most received a reasonable amount of screen time. Of course this was helped by the events of Infinity War, but even still it was quite a feat. Am I being suitably vague? I told you it would be spoiler-free. There was a simple central plot, reverse the chaos and defeat Thanos, and this is exactly what was required; focus. There was no danger of ‘Spiderman 3 Syndrome’, the presence of too many villains, because there was simply Thanos. Perhaps Infinity War and Endgame are best thought of as two parts of a whole – an extended finale to the original Avengers films. There are some great comedic moments and plenty of excellent full throttle action sequences, but that’s as much as I’ll say here. Where does it rank in the overall MCU? It’s hard to say, and the concept of ranking these films is completely arbitrary and unnecessary. Just go watch Endgame and see for yourself.

Quite a stunning setting for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Copyright Ubisoft

The Games

Other than my recent completion of Infamous 2 (Electric Boogaloo), I haven’t been playing much. I did get playing a little of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey which was enjoyable if a little difficult to control coming from playing the Witcher 3. Speaking of the Witcher, Odyssey feels a little bit like a skinned version of the Witcher, with a similar open world third-person format with emphasis on exploration and discovery of new places and tougher challenges. That’s not a bad thing, by any measure. If you’re going to imitate any game, by all means copy one of the greatest games of all time. I didn’t play it long enough to make any significant progress, but it was satisfying roaming around Cephalonia, the first island. The Assassin’s Creed games have come a long way since I played the original on the Xbox 360 and would while away the time throwing myself into ravines just because I could.

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