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Media Monday

A blatant rip off of lost_spook's What I'm Reading Wednesday.

I think I've given up on The Brothers Karamazov. Or maybe I haven't. I shall probably pick it up again, but I've read two other books since I put it down last! Ordinarily I wouldn't struggle on with something, but people who are usually worth listening to keep telling me how good it is. The Kindle tells me I'm halfway through it, although goodness knows how. The less annoying brother just battered the butler possibly to death with a kitchen appliance, so it has briefly got interesting. I may persevere. In the meantime I'm reading something I picked up in a charity store: Spartan Gold by Clive Cussler. A husband and wife team of treasure hunters travel the globe seeking out archaeological finds, whilst being shot at. She's a history buff and a crack shot; he's an engineer and a danger magnet. It reads like a Hollywood blockbuster waiting to happen. It's good, but it's also very annoying - more to do with the writing style than the plot. People don't use cameras, they use Nikon 6FSb97s with HJK982.7 lenses, for example. Possibly he makes a packet on the advertising, as it's a trend that's repeated with cars, boats, jackets, shoes, phones, laptops, etc. But yeah, good story.

In Tellyland, lately I am mostly watching The Boy Dominic, which I bought two years ago for about 50p in a Network sale, and am only just getting around to. Richard Todd is believed lost at sea, and his young son Dominic, played by Jim Dale's son Murray Dale, wanders around the Yorkshire Dales in a silly haircut, getting into scrapes and missing his dad. Also starring Hildegard Neil in some slightly alarming make-up, and Brian Blessed apparently auditioning for Long John Silver (but with two legs). They made a sequel a couple of years later, in which both Richard Todd and Hildegard Neil had been horribly murdered, with seems very sad given how jolly hard Richard Todd is trying to get home. I shouldn't bother, Richard. You're safer as a castaway.

(Actually he isn't. He's just been drugged and kidnapped by dastardly foreign types, and is suffering from amnesia. But that probably still beats being horribly murdered in order to give your son a second set of adventures).

It's very well made, anyway. By Yorkshire TV, in 1974. Scarcely anything wobbles.

New DreamWidth community

Keep meaning to mention a new community at DreamWidth, which I think may interest some of you. It's called [personal profile] 100words. Each week (Tuesday I think) there's a new prompt posted, and the aim is to write exactly one hundred words inspired by that prompt, directly or indirectly. Can be any fandom, or original - whatever you like, as long as it's exactly one hundred words. So far it's proving to be quite lively, and there's been some good stuff posted. (And I Blake's 7-ed one prompt, and people recognised it! Always a good sign!) So yeah. Drop by and take a look.

I know one is supposed to post the banner when doing these things, but it looks like teeth, and it bothers me. But nonetheless, come and join! :)

Dinosaurs and Kenneth Connor

I'm sure that I should probably have been doing useful things today, but instead I have been making clockwork dinosaurs. They don't quite work, at least without some disassembling, and careful sanding down of bits and pieces, but they sort of waddle a bit. My sister found them in Poundland. They're a brilliant design, if very small and fiddly, and putting them together was something of a comedy of rescuing bits from the cats, rescuing bits from the floor, and being incapable of telling one bit from another in the instructions. Clockwork dinosaurs under hereCollapse )

So that's the only interesting thing that's happened lately. I don't seem to have posted in ages. (No change there then.) I keep meaning to, but I only ever get as far as thinking about what I want to say. I've been intending to mention a book that I read last month, as I know that it may well interest one or two of you. It's called Life With Kenneth Connor, by Jeremy Connor (he of the fisticuffs cameo in Carry On Nurse). It's not a particularly well-written book, and at less than two hundred pages it's not a particularly in-depth book, but it does provide a nice bit of insight into a fascinating life. It also gives a good account of the making of the Carry Ons, and also quite a bit of period theatre, briefly in wartime, and then mostly in the 1950s to the 1980s. Then there's He-de-Hi and 'Allo 'Allo later of course. Some interesting stuff for anybody into vintage BBC TV and radio, or Pinewood Studios. Jon Pertwee pops up, as you might expect given that he was an occasional Carry On-er, and Patrick Troughton also makes an appearance (on a motorbike!), as apparently he and KC were at drama school together. Yep, everybody on TV back then really did know each other.

Anyways, if you don't expect literary brilliance, it's a good little read. Some nice stuff about Kenneth Williams, proof that everybody in the world really does love Joan Sims, and some genuinely pleasant little LGBT moments as an added bonus. Recommended.

Also had some interesting viewing lately. I found this Screen One production on YouTube, called The Police. It's from 1990, and tells the story of a group of primary school children who set up their own police force to combat bullying. Everything goes wrong of course. An odd subject for a Screen One, since they were usually about adults, but then for all that the cast are young kids, it's not a childish story. Not cheerful or happy, but worth a watch!

Other than that, this month I have mostly been staring in mounting horror and befuddlement at the daily news, and getting caught in the rain. Meanwhile it's apparently February already. Whoever put the year into fast-forward, kindly put it back to normal speed. There's snowdrops out and daffodils coming up, and I've barely got the hang of January.

PS: Festivids happened! And there was much good stuff. Here, have some links (beneath the cut):...Collapse )

And now I have to go and do something more useful than clockwork dinosaurs. Bye.

Fandom stuff and stuff

How are we already in week #2? It's going to be 2018 before we've drawn breath at this rate. So far I'm not achieving a great deal. I started the new year by beginning to read The Brothers Karamazov, but that's ground to a resounding halt. Yeesh. There is a not a character I don't want to strangle (and I'd quite like to throttle Dostoevsky while I'm at it). I think I'll give it up for a bit, and try again later. My tenth anniversary rewatch of Torchwood was rather more successful, happily. I was pleased to find that I loved it just as much now as then, including the ones that I hadn't seen since their first showing. It looks quite hilariously cheap at times though. You can certainly tell that it was made in a hurry. Strictly speaking I should wait until this time next year for the tenth anniversary rewatch of season two, but I want to watch the James Marsters episode, so that ain't gonna happen.

In other still-old-but-newer-than-is-usual-for-me telly, I haven't watched any more Heroes since I last posted about it, because stuff always seems to get in the way. I must get back to it (preferably before Trump gets bored, and blows us all up come the summer). I think I've forgotten which episode I watched last though. Damn.

In non-fandom related stuffs... nope, sorry, that's all very boring. I ate a very nice banana this morning, if anybody's interested. Spent the weekend mainlining 1983 episodes of Top Of The Pops on the iPlayer. Peter Powell! Stupid clothes! Peter Powell in stupid clothes! Also Wham! and Spandau Ballet (more stupid clothes). Took the kitten to be spayed last week. She's now sporting a bald patch, although major surgery doesn't seem to have slowed her down any. (Technically she's not a kitten anymore, as she'll be two in May, but she has stunted growth due to a bad start in life, and also she's quite convinced she's still a kitten).

Figure A: Cats (this being the internet, you're probably familiar with the species).

The 2016 Fandom Meme, plus cats...Collapse )
Obligatory end-of-year post. I was going to do the meme that everybody's posting today, but it's got too many questions! I get bored after answering about ten. So instead I'll point you at this rather wonderful 2016 song, which nicely sums up everything we've all been thinking. Not safe for work; but then it probably couldn't have been. It's tempting to hope for better for 2017, but bearing in mind that Trump hasn't even come to power yet, my natural tendency towards optimism is currently feeling a tad wobbly.

2016, then. The good bits. Best telly (other than the mothballed old stuff that I usually watch) has probably been Lucifer. I heartily recommend that one to most of you. Season one was fun last year, but season two has been terrific, and Tom Ellis is a revelation. Here he is (in character) belting out a jazzed up version of All Along The Watchtower.

Best book... I wish I could say the final Temeraire, but it seemed a bit of a damp squib, somehow. Mind you, my expectations were probably set a bit high. Instead I think I'll go with The Tyrannosaur Chronicles by Dave Hone, because tyrannosaurs. Basically he wrote the book I've been wanting since I was about four. Now all I need is for somebody to write similar ones for all the other types of dinosaur! And Dimetrodon while they're at it. And listen! The first fireworks of the evening.

Best music is an awkward one, as I don't listen to much modern stuff. Lee Mead put out a new album earlier this year, called Some Enchanted Evening, which I like a lot. Nice to see him doing some old standards, as he always was good at them. And Holly Johnson had a new single out this year called Ascension, which was good. Even if did come from the Eddie the Eagle film. (Sorry, I grew up in Cheltenham. I have an Eddie the Eagle allergy.)

Best film is another awkward one. Pretty sure I've only seen one 2016 film this year, which was the live action (well, mostly CGI, actually) remake of The Jungle Book. Fortunately I absolutely loved it, which is just as well, as I guess it wins by default. Trailer here.

Looking back at my list, I see that the first book I read in 2016 was Immortal In Death by JD Robb. Sounds frighteningly prescient for the year that was to follow, so if all of that was in any way my fault, I apologise! Last book of the year was Is There Life Outside The Box? by Peter Davison. Less murder, more jokes. Also, a special pair of sentences for you, lost_spook! On page 196: "I was keen to make The Last Detective; it reminded me of a show I'd watched as a teenager called Public Eye that starred Alfred Burke. With its easy pace and gentle humour and world-weary central character, it had been a success for many years." (Yeah, he's not in love with punctuation. Sorry about that. ;) The index, however, is a thing of beauty.) But see! All you need to do is abduct Peter Davison, and extract the missing episodes from his brain! This is a faultless plan for 2017.

Um. And I shall leave it there. Happy 2017, everybody. Let's try to keep the NHS; try to stop Trump inadvertently starting a nuclear war with China via Twitter; and, I don't know. Hope that Trump takes his head off, and reveals that he was Hillary Clinton all along? Well, it's a thought.

See you in January.

Say it ain't so, Joe...

So, in other news, 2016 is an utter bastard. Yes, I know. That's one headline that's shocking precisely no-one. The latest in its string of victims is Joe Mascolo, who is not terribly well known in the UK, I know. He was eighty-seven, which isn't bad going really, but I've been watching him for the best part of twenty years, and I really liked the character that he played on TV. Also, turns out he'd been fighting Alzheimer's for some time, poor man. Never have known it - he was recording new scenes until late last year, so I guess he found ways to cope as well as possible. Why didn't we just jettison this year back in January, when it showed early signs of going so badly wrong?

*sigh*

But behind all the grumbling, I did actually come here for a rather more cheerful reason than another 2016-flavoured moan. Somebody just pointed me at this video, and it's utterly marvellous. Christmas on Deep Space 9! The creator of this has put together the best edited video that I've seen in a long while. It's completely ridiculous - it's slightly scary that they even thought of it, let alone managed it - but trust me, you need it in your life. It even made me smile, and I'm allergic to smiling.

Simply having a wonderful...Collapse )

Babble babble babble

I know, I am a very bad poster. I've been trying to keep up to date with you all, but I apologise for the lack of comments. I don't seem to have had the brain for it recently. November was a heck of a month! But now it's December; and hey, Donald Trump hasn't blown us all up yet. Not necessarily for lack of trying.

So, what's been going on. Well, it got cold. I'm still sulking about that. I was mostly working outside this summer, and the back of my neck went the sort of colour likely to get it kicked out of the country by UKIP. It's well on its way back to its old, boring shade now though. Woe. I complained to my mother about how dull and pasty we are, but she did point out that it would have caused all kinds of problems with my father if I had come out a different colour. Which is true. But still.

In fandomosity, Laramie continues to be entertaining. Lucifer has become gloriously unmissable. I'm still occasionally watching episodes of Simon & Simon, because it is indeed the series that never stops. I've also started watching Heroes. I missed it when it first aired (can't remember why); and then everybody seemed to agree that seasons two and three were terrible, so there seemed little reason to start. I found season one for a quid in a charity shop recently though, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. And hurrah, it's fab. Or at least it currently is. I think I've seen four episodes. I see that episode four aired in October of 2006, so I'm only ten years and two months behind, which is quite good for me. Current thinking: Peter Petrelli needs to die, and quickly. And somebody get him a haircut, for Rassilon's sake. Suresh rocks though. Sadly it seems that Aramis will be mostly wielding a paintbrush rather than a sword, for verily there is no justice in the world. *heavy sigh* And Hiro is pretty awesome.

I say it's fab, and it mostly is, but it has made me think. As it started, I was quite impressed with the diversity of the cast. To begin with. But whilst the guys are all colours and shapes, and are professors and techies and go-getting politicians, etc, the women are both petite blondes. And one's a stripper and the other's a cheerleader. Hmm. (Incidentally, thank you all, for I probably wouldn't have noticed that once upon a time, and I do think it's better that it should register).

In the news today, I see that Peter Vaughan has died. This makes me sad. Partly because he was a larger than life character actor (ninety-three years old!), whose career spanned all kinds of things. But also partly because that pretty much leaves Colin Jeavons as the lone surviving Adam Adamant Lives! enemy; of the existing episodes, anyway. Chapters are always ending. C'est la vie, I know, but it doesn't hurt to be a little wistful.

As a parting shot, courtesy of the excellent @Trundles_bot on Twitter, have a link to a .pdf of the Blake's 7 1981 annual. Hilarious costumes abound! If you're on Twitter, I very much recommend following @scorpioattackb7, incidentally. They're doing a weekly episode review, with some fabulous publicity shots, and snippets of background information unearthed from all sorts of places. It's a fascinating read. Up next is "Orbit", so prepare for Christmas to be ruined all over again when they hit "Blake" in a matter of weeks!

Um. Yeah, that's about all. Bye.

TW10: Persistence

So. Ten years ago today (it was a Sunday), the BBC aired the first episode of Torchwood. The first two episodes actually, as it was a double bill. Much of the country boggled at it, unsure quite what they'd just seen, but I fell in love. It was loud and fun and a bit ridiculous; okay, quite a lot ridiculous. It turned out to be just what I most wanted from my television though, and I couldn't let the tenth anniversary go by without some sort of celebration. A short story then, hopefully in the spirit of the fun, sensible-sci-fi-fan-annoying show that I fell in love with, ten years ago tonight. It's beneath the cut, and also at AO3.

Title: Persistence
Characters: Jack, Tosh, Gwen, Owen, Ianto and Myfanwy
Rating: G
Word Count: c.5500

Spoilers for season one. Set early in season two, but no spoilers for that.

...Collapse )

Some time today I plan to begin a rewatch. I haven't seen seasons one and two in years, so it will be something of a rediscovery.

Happy birthday, Torchwood!

Poetry meme

Earlier in the year, lost_spook posted a ficmeme using lines from poems as prompts of a sort. It looked interesting, but I had a lot on at the time. Then this morning I read that today is National Poetry Day. What better day to take out that old meme and dust it off? The rules are fairly straight forward. Write down five fandoms in alphabetical order. Go here. Note down the fifth line of whatever random poem you land on. Partner it with the first fandom in your list. Click refresh, and rinse and repeat for all five.

And good luck if, like me, you have a mild allergy to Emily Dickinson.

Five poems, five ficlets, five fandomsCollapse )
Dear Brain,

If there's some reason why I've spent the last few days singing a selection of songs from the BBC Radio for Schools production Queen Beryl & the Romans, which my school performed in 1982, then I'd love to hear it. Equally, if there's some reason why I can faultlessly sing a bunch of songs that I haven't heard in thirty-four years, when my memory regarding anything that might be a bit useful is pretty much non-existent, I would also like to know. Really, Brain. It's embarrassing.

Oh hey, look: Peter Davison's got an autobiography coming out! Sounds promising. We already know he can write. I like the write up at Amazon:

His fans have spoken, but despite their requests, Peter Davison has gone ahead and written his autobiography anyway. It wasn't the book they tried to stop it was more like the book they didn't want him to start.

I think I shall look forward to that one.

July

So, heartonsnow said that I had to post something. That was more than a week ago actually, but I still haven't thought of anything worth posting. Still, let's see where this goes. I'll start with books, as that's easy.

...Collapse )

Full Frontal With Samantha Bee

It's been a pretty rubbish week, hasn't it! We accidentally broke Britain, we accidentally broke Europe, we accidentally broke the national - and possibly the international - economy. We also appear to have broken both the Government and the Opposition, meaning that the country is currently being run by Larry, the Prime Minister's cat. And as if that wasn't enough, we made Nigel Farage happy. Oh Britain. If there are any world leaders reading this: this is what happens when you ask ordinary people to make your extremely complex economic and political decisions for you, when all they have to inform them is the media. Anyway. Beneath the cut is a five minute video from an American comedy series, and trust me, you need it in your life right now. Sarcasm, with added Tennant and Capaldi.

Click!Collapse )

Never have I missed Drop The Dead Donkey more.

Thursday

Because it made me laugh, and because heaven knows we could all (well, those of us in Europe, anyway) do with a little lightening of spirit of late, re: this blasted referendum.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRxy8dcTaQQ (NSFW, pro-remain video).

Most of you have probably seen it already, as it's been doing the rounds all day, but whatever. Incidentally, I also recommend the #CatsAgainstBrexit tag on Twitter, if you like cats with your (not especially deep) political commentary. I see that mine have been at it. I wasn't aware that they knew how to type, but they do like to surprise us.

Tags:

Prejudice & Pride

Probably only accessible to British people, I'm afraid, but the BBC has just released a series of plays and serials on their shop celebrating five decades of lesbian and gay drama: https://store.bbc.com/collections/prejudice-and-pride.

There's some really interesting-looking stuff included. I should think most people are familiar with the likes of The Buddha Of Suburbia and Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, but there's also some much older stuff, including a 1979 play called Coming Out, starring Anton Rodgers and Nigel Havers; a 1976 play starring Jane Lapotaire; and a 1974 play starring Alison Steadman. The latter had been thought lost, but was found as a domestic recording twenty years later.

There's a transgender release in there as well, but sadly it's 2015's Boy Meets Girl. Come on, BBC. Time for a half decent release of 1996's Different For Girls. Long overdue.

Further photography fail. Also stuff.

I have dug everything. Everywhere. If there was something you didn't want dug, sorry. It's too late now, you should have said. Everything is now planted in the allotment, but turns out that watering is accomplished by hanging over the riverbank, and dipping a bucket into the water. So that's my job, as there's no way my mother can do that. If you hear a splash, it's me.

Elsewhere (a different river), I was out walking again, watching the bouncing fishes, and look look!

...Collapse )

Photography fail

So, it being a beautiful evening, I went for a walk. I decided to go down to the river where the ducks and moorhens live, although most had turned in for the night. The river certainly wasn't bare though. Little fishes everywhere, leaping out of the water to catch flies. It was fab to watch.

...Collapse )

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Dig for victory

A book meme ganked off liadtbunny, and general rambling about life, the universe and everything stuff.

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