GLOCCOVNAA is an abbreviation for 'Great Life of Conflict, Climax or Virtually Nothing At All'. That was the long and ridiculous name I came out for my blog when I was 18 years old. Do click on the colourful icons on the right to check out different types of posts in this blog.

22 September, 2013

Bond Trivia #4: The Alphabet Boss

There are always 2 main alphabets used as names in the James Bond series, M and Q. Everyone knows Q stands for quartermaster, but

What is M short for?

When Ian Fleming wrote the character M, he had several people in mind. The most widely known inspiration was his superior officer during World War 2, Admiral John Godfrey, who was a serious, efficient, no-nonsense authority figure. But what most people do not know is that Ian Fleming used to call to his own mother as M when he was young. His mother was very strict and was certainly a person he was frightened of.
Admiral John Henry Godfrey, Fleming's own M.
Along with Q and Ms Moneypenny, M is the character who was portrayed in almost every film adaptation of James Bond, with exception of For Your Eyes Only. The character was played by 4 different actors in the Eon series although it was not mentioned whether all 4 were playing the same character or if M was just a position held by 4 different people.

1. Vice Admiral Sir Miles Messervy (Dr No - Moonraker)
M in Dr No (above) and Moonraker (below) 17 years apart.
In 11 films over the span of 17 years, the role of M was played by the late Bernard Lee. He was often described as a strong leader who thinks highly of Bond but maintains his authority at all times, very similar to Fleming's intended character in the novels. He even starred in the Italian parody of James Bond called O.K. Connery starring Sean Connery's brother, Neil Connery as the title character in 1967 and another French parody called Bons Baisers de Hong Kong (From Hong Kong With Love) in 1975.
Bernard Lee and Lois Maxwell portrayed their roles in these parodies
In 1981 when For Your Eyes Only had just started filming, Bernard Lee died from stomach cancer before he could film any scenes for his role. His character of M was not replaced by another actor immediately out of respect for the actor. Instead his role was divided by MI6 chief of staff Bill Tanner and Minister of Defense Sir Fredrick Gray while his character was on leave.
His portrait was in M's office in The World is Not Enough.
2. Rear Admiral Hargreaves (Octopussy - License to Kill)
Robert Brown in Octopussy.
Actor Robert Brown replaced Bernard Lee's role as M in Octopussy (1983) and played the character for a total of 4 Bond movies over 6 years. Before playing M, he played another small character in The Spy Who Loved Me, leading to fans speculating that that character was reassigned. His M was not actually named in the film series and Rear Admiral Hargreaves was actually the name of his previous role. Robert Brown's M was slightly different and many consider him to be more lenient with Bond than his previous counterpart, with exception of revoking Bond's license in License to Kill.
Admiral Hargreaves in The Spy Who Loved Me
3. Olivia Mansfield (Goldeneye - Skyfall)
M in Goldeneye (above) and Skyfall (below) 17 years apart.
Bond had a 6 year hiatus after License to Kill and it was time for a radical change. The world has changed after the end of the Cold war and Bond had to start fresh with Goldeneye. Experienced actress Dame Judi Dench played the role of the first female M, who was modeled after the real life head of MI5 Stella Rimington at that time.
*Spoiler Alert* M dies at the end of the film, passing the torch to the next actor.
She starred in 8 Bond films and was the only actor to cross over from the "Brosnan era" to the reboot in 2006's Casino Royale. Among all the actors portraying this role, she has probably the most screen time and the most character development. From the start she was cold and strong towards Bond, at some point even seems like she really dislikes Bond. But her relationship with Bond evolved especially in The World is not Enough where she was kidnapped and in Skyfall for which her character drove the movie more than Bond's motivation.
Gareth Mallory in the final scene of Skyfall as M
Skyfall is the first official Bond film with 2 Ms which provided extensive character development for the previous M and additional character development for the new M, Lieutenant Colonel Gareth Mallory portrayed by Ralph Fiennes in preparation for the next film. Who knows what will we get with this new M?

So what does M stand for? Is it a designation for the chief of MI6? Or is it an abbreviation for their last names (Messervy, Mansfield, Mallory)? Probably only Ian Fleming knows the answer.


09 September, 2013

H&N: Unsettling

Can't believe I haven't written about myself for so long. This 5 months had its ups and downs. For one I can say that I can finally feel my job, if that makes any sense. Before I started working, I always wondered how other working adults survive the harsh working environment everyday doing more or less the same thing until retirement. Wouldn't it be really boring? I used to see my parents go to work everyday and coming back talking about the same things they do at work everyday and it wasn't very appealing.

Now that I am in their shoes, working is like a reason to live if it is enjoyable. I am not saying that my job is smooth sailing all the time. On the contrary, I somehow look forward for the next day to come when I will continue to strive in a tough environment, enduring countless obstacles everyday and work together with a bunch of people I grow to like.
When new PRPs continue to join the hospital, I feel lacking in many ways. First of all, I am not exactly the friendly type, so if I don't welcome you with open arms, it is not because I don't like you, I just don't know how to express it. I am not far from finishing my PRP life and my knowledge of the job is still lagging at times. There were times when I curl up in my room feeling insecure with my working knowledge reconsider my choice to be a pharmacist, but then my confidence built up when I recount my enthusiasm to the job, how much I enjoy going to work.
I recently completed one of the toughest stations in PRP life, can't believe it is over. It was made even tougher taking place right at the Hari Raya period, making case clerking difficult without many patients in ward at that time. As usual, there were presentations every week but there was a 2 week break during the festive season, meaning that there was a delay in my presentation schedule. It was definitely a traumatizing experience to present clinical case every week, more so on the day I presented 2 cases. Although my marks weren't up to my expectations, I was glad it is over *I literally felt like flying after my final presentation*.

Now the next hurdle is to take all my oral tests and complete my log books. Wish me luck!


P.S.: To my future self, whenever you feel down and depressed, just come back to this post to remind yourself of how awesome your life was when you were a PRP.

08 September, 2013

Bond Trivia #3 Bond Girlfriend

Women can be said to be one of highlights of Bond films. Every time a Bond film is announced, they will be the first thing people would ask about. So what is so special about Bond 'girls'? Furthermore, have you ever heard of the

Bond Girlfriend?
The very first Bond girl to appear on screen together with Sir Sean Connery in Dr No was a lesser known actress Eunice Grayson who played the role of Sylvia Trench. Not many people remember her because she was overshadowed by the main Bond girl Ursula Andress playing the classic Honey Ryder. You might remember Sylvia Trench in the famous scene where she asked Bond for his name when he first uttered his signature "Bond, James Bond".
Her role in the movie was very small but somehow significant enough that the writers of the sequel From Russia With Love included her character in another small sequence at the beginning of the film. It was said that they planned for herto be Bond's long term girlfriend, obviously it did not happen. This also makes her the only Bond girl to appear in two consecutive movie as the same character. Her scene in From Russia With Love put both of them at a romantic date that was interrupted by a message from MI6/
Speaking of Bond girls, there were many of them who were just eye candy while others actually changed Bond's life. For example, Teresa Draco from On Her Majesty's Secret Service who falls in love with Bond and ends up marrying him but unfortunately was killed by Blofeld, thus shaping the motivation for the following movie Diamonds Are Forever when Bond gets his revenge. Her death was referenced many times throughout the series until Bond finally killed Blofeld in For Your Eyes Only. This was one of the significant plot points that was brought through 3 Bond actors, Lazenby, Connery and Moore, proving that all 3 actors were playing the same character and James Bond was not a mere code name.