On The Sofa (9)

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    Mudlark @mudlark


    Thank you. It does sometimes feel as if I have reached a stage in which life is throwing just one damn thing after another at me, but so far I keep bouncing back 🙂  The hospital phoned this morning to give me a date for my appointment with the dermatologists – 12 pm on 26th of this month, so only ten days to wait.  I’m hoping they will deal with it on the spot, as they did with the melanoma in 2000, just so long as they don’t dig as big a hole in my nose as they did in my back on that occasion!


    it feels (to me) that Chibnall is recapturing the approach of the Verity Lambert/Sydney Newman years. The original brief of the show was to have a show that was directed to children that was both entertaining (adventures in outer space) but educational (history lessons like The Aztecs  and Marco Polo). 

    That is very much my feeling too, although I hope that the aim is to expand on and develop that concept rather than simply to resurrect it with all its limitations, albeit with a far bigger budget and vastly improved visual effects. So far the historical episodes have been of a higher standard than any of those I remember in BG, perhaps because they both dealt with events which occurred within living memory and the writers were people for whom those events would have particular resonance.

    The episodes dealing with future time, space  and aliens have by comparison seemed pedestrian and, though it’s early days, there has been nothing to compare with that first appearance of the Daleks. The monsters have, as @bluesqueakpip says, been pretty rubbish so far, and although the contrast between the build up of the Pting as one of the most dangerous and fearsome creatures in the universe and the absurd reality when it finally appeared was presumably meant to be comic, it struck me as merely bathetic.  On the evidence so far, Chibnall appears to lack the kind of imaginative vision which produces the best science fiction and fantasy, but I’m prepared to wait and see.




    Christ on a bike that’s tiresome – but definitely better to get it nuked early (and it is good that the Docs are still free to err on the cautious side).


    syzygy @thane16


    sorry to hear about the mole-turning traitor. A few of my 16/17 year old mates have had them removed which is young I reckon. But it’s close by, your hospital or clinic and I think they will numb the area with lidocaine or something?

    Thane16 and Puro

    syzygy @thane16

    @mudlark @pedant

    I think P’ting was satire nicely done.


    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    Sorry to hear that. As @pedant says, always best to get these things removed as early as possible. Hope it all goes OK.

    Anonymous @

    @mudlark – Yes, second the motion.  Hope all does go well!!

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Hope it goes well.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    I know the feeling. The medics have recently been staring suspiciously at a red/black mark on my toe – but so far, it looks like it’s on the toenail and can be expected to remove itself.

    Hope the evil-mole removal goes well and that the resulting hole isn’t too big.


    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    @pedant Dammit you just made me cry.

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @pedant  @thane16  @jimthefish  @KevinWho  @blenkinsopthebrave  @bluesqueakpip

    Thanks everybody. As I said, I have been through this before and it turned out OK. Been through it twice, in fact. if you count the time they thought I had ovarian cancer, although I was reasonably certain then that it was just a very large cyst. And boy, did I feel smug when I turned out to be right (though I was careful not to let it show while the medics were around). I remain optimistic for the time being.

    The reason I was surprised when I realised from her questions and mutterings that the doc was thinking on the lines of melanoma, was that there was never any mole on my nose and there is no pigmentation. The melanoma on my back did start out as a mole. I’d had it most of my adult life and, because it was very dark in colour, had checked on it at fairly regular intervals. This, though, looks like a small pit in the skin about 1.5mm in diameter which bleeds, oozes and scabs over and doesn’t heal and, on minutely close inspection, is surrounded by a very slightly raised, pinkish area. It has developed over the past 5-6 weeks and, if it is skin cancer, it doesn’t seem to be typical of the common types.

    So far I’m optimistic, and maybe I’m fortunate in that my ‘local’ hospital is a modern and well equipped University teaching hospital and that so far they seem still to be coping with remarkable efficiency in the face of all the problems of finance, understaffing  etc. facing the NHS at the moment. The GP practice where I am registered has for long been a miracle of efficiency – a wide range of services, same day appointments standard provided you phone Reception early in the morning, and referrals to specialists are streamlined and swift. Prescriptions are  paperless, as I think is now usual in England, and are sent electronically direct to my local pharmacy who then deliver to my door, often on the following day, even though they are only ten minutes walk away from where I live and I never asked them to do so. Repeat prescriptions can be ordered on line. All of which is more than my relatives in France can boast 🙂

    Thane: 16/17 does seem young for a melanoma, but it can develop at any age, and you do get a lot more sun in Oz than we do in the UK 😉

    Pip: Fingers and toes crossed that the suspicious mark on your toe is just in the nail; it would be a very uncomfortable place for an excision. It’s reassuring to know that the medics are keeping an eye on it




    janetteB @janetteb

    @mudlark sorry to hear about the health issues. Hope all is well. In Australia it is common to be getting spots removed. Provided you react quickly enough is not usually a problem. I am not always a fan of “modern” but when it comes to hospitals the more modern and up to date the better. Our now former State government spent a lot of money on building a new “state of the art” hospital linked to a Uni research centre and copped a lot of flak for it. That is Murdoch press for you. (it is six months since the election but I am still in mourning)




    seeoswald @seeoswald

    Well we are over half way through the season and except for one episode (6) it’s been……… RUBBISH !

    The new “Female” Doctor is an excellent David Tenant clone, but that’s not what I wanted for the next Doctor.

    She is David’s version of the Doctor with  a Female face! There could be worse things and unfortunately there are…… mostly the bloody stories mate!

    Capaldi was ruined with crap scripts in the first season of his and Jodie’s getting the shaft as well.

    WHY is the BBC manufacturing DW for the USA market. The writing is bloody awful. I mean truly the scripts have been JUNK! and dumbed down to a ridiculous point and the dodgy American cameos and bad acting have  just added to the dreadfulness.

    Bring back proper cleaver British scripts PLEASE!

    PS: Jodie, try and make the Doctor your own instead of a copy, or did the BBC cast the wrong actor?

    Missy @missy


    Isnt that Karen Gillan – your avatar? I am assuming you are on the level. The reason for my doubt, is that you are actually criticising the programme?  Very unusual on this forum.

    I cannot say Rubbish, because I haven’t watched any of the episodes, because I don’t like Jodie Whitaker or a female Doctor. However I had to smile because JW always IS her self, at least in everything I’ve seen her in. It’s a surprise to hear that she can actually be someone else

    Sorry, I don’t agree about PC’s first series, everything that Steven Moffat wrote was good.

    Good scripts yes, Steven Moffat scripts preferably, but there are good writers out there.  Chibnall isn’t one of them alas. Out of the seven he wrote in other series, I only liked one.

    Yes,  they chose the wrong actor, they chose an actress. *grin*

    Both of us will probably be jumped on from a great height, but what the hell. (As my Doctor said)




    seeoswald @seeoswald

    Yes it’s Karen Gillan. One of my favourite companions. Guess who the other is?

    Can’t agree about Moffat, MOST of his stuff was good but for Capaldi’s first season Moffat was busy with other stuff. DW got the short end of his talent. When I go back to re-watch DW I’m always going to Baker, Tenant and Smith. Smith is a fine young actor and is my favourite Doctor, Baker a VERY close second now, but he (smith) was also lucky. Great companions and fantastic stories with excellent supporting actors. Tenant my 3rd favourite DW had rescued DW from a not so great start to the re-birth.  Chris Eccleston is a fine actor but he just didn’t wear DW well IMHO.

    I was greatly disappointed with the 1st season of the 21st Century. Then along came Davo and rescued it in great style.

    With the announcement of Matt Smith to replace Dave I will admit to being very unhappy with the choice, just couldn’t see it working, but WOW! what an effort. For him to surpass Baker as my favourite Doctor…. well I never thought the day would come. When Baker left the series we had one after another of short lived and very good replacement actors that just didn’t fit into Bakers shoes right up until it came to an end. So after the disappointment of  Eccleston Tenant just blew me away. But again …. much better scripts and stories than the dribble being served up currently.

    DW is pandering to the US market and it is killing the awesomeness that was “Doctor Who”!

    PS: I will admit that the new Intro music is so much better than the “strangled cat” theme that poor Peter Capaldi got stuck with. I’d have loved to have seen Capaldi with some proper scripts.

    I love Doctor Who, but it’s dying and needs to cured and it’s not difficult. Just get some decent writers in!

    seeoswald @seeoswald

    Has there ever been a poll on what everyone’s favourite episode is?

    For me it’s a non-contest “BLINK” wins, hands down. Simply magic !


    “Fez’s are cool”

    seeoswald @seeoswald

    Ooooooo just had a thought. Maybe, just maybe the BBC should strip the companions back down to one and with the money they save they could………… HIRE SOME DECENT WRITERS ! ! !

    Just a thought.



    “Fez’s are cool”

    seeoswald @seeoswald

    Actor intro’s for the TV series.

    Actor Intros for the TV series

    Missy @missy


    I think the above is a hint. *grins*

    All of the intros are good, at least i think so.

    Blink? One of my favourites. However, the best one for me was Heaven Sent.  Superb and imaginative writing, excellent acting – which would have been quite a challenge – sets and directing all superb. Both of course were by Steven Moffat.  Ohh, and of course the music. Murray gold is a great loss

    One companion would be much better, how many does this lead actress  need for crying out loud?

    Still cannot agree with you about Steven Moffat. Anyone who can weave a story to its conclusion over the years and actually make it join up, is a genius in my eyes.

    However, we cannot all agree with each other and that’s all right. life is more interesting hearing others opinions.

    My only question to you, why are you till watching if you dislike it so?


    seeoswald @seeoswald


    Capaldi’s season 2 was a big improvement on 1, thanks to much better scripts. Didn’t like season 1 of the 21st century and then look what happened. So I keep hoping that DW will return to it’s glory days soon.

    I was born in 66 and so grew up with DW, used to scare the pants off me as a kid but still couln’t stop watching.

    I have every episode available, it’s such a shame that so many episodes were lost. Still trying to find some of the early movies that were made.

    seeoswald @seeoswald

    As for the above I have no idea, I don’t do twitter. It’s name says it all. Only twits tweet.

    noun Informal.

    an insignificant, silly, or bothersome person: Pay no attention to that obnoxious little twit!



    It’s nice to see you are the same trolling halfwit you were three years ago, the last time your witless trolling got you into a lather while everyone else pointed and laughed.

    Anonymous @

    I agree that the writing has to improve. However better stories cannot compensate for characters without any personality. The side kicks are very forgettable and the new Doctor doesn’t do it for me.  I dont know what  one poster means about pandering to the US market. We in the US want this series to improve and get back its excitement. Quite frankly I dont give a Tinker’s damn about the theme song. I do not watch this series to listen to the music at the end of the show. I want a great story and great characters and great actors to bring it all to life. Unfortunately we do not have that right now. Hope the BBC is listening and that it will do everything it can to return the show to its former glory.

    nerys @nerys

    Well, some of us Americans think the show is doing just fine now, so please don’t overgeneralize and make it sound like no one in the U.S. or Canada likes this season. I, for one, do!



    When you say “we”, who did your polling for you?

    seeoswald @seeoswald

    Just ignore the fish it’s easy to see who is trolling.

    For “nerys” I say ‘guess what mate’, your the market the show is aimed at. I bet you enjoyed /scorpion also!

    For “misslegaleagle” we can only hope. You are right about the companions, a waist of space really and yes the Jodie is not “doing it” for me either, but mostly it’s the rubbish stories. Given a chance she might be able to pull it off. We may never know, in the next season, should she last to see it, she might get some real writers doing the scripts, but I’m not holding my breath.

    Giant spiders! Are you f””””g serious!

    Anonymous @

    @seeoswald – Everyone’s entitled to not just an opinion, but to have their opinions reflect their personal tastes.  While I agree with some of your sentiments, since most of this series isn’t thrilling me either, your arguments will go down better here if you either a) try to present something objective to demonstrate where you’re coming from, or b) just say these episodes don’t suit you like past ones do.  Not everyone will share your personal preferences, after all.

    janetteB @janetteb

    Subjectivity is fine, we all are subjective though we may and should strive to be as objective as possible. It is when people confuse subjectivity for objectivity that is becomes an issue and far too many people do just that. Ie “I don’t like it therefore it is rubbish.” Not everything appeals to everyone. I did not like “The Doctor’s Wife”. I know most people loved that episode. I have re watched and it still just doesn’t resonate with me. I don’t know why. I have no objective reason for disliking it. On the other had I do like Robots of Sherwood. I agree the script is very silly and the ending even sillier. I enjoy it because it is a fun play on the Errol Flynn movie and the banter between Capdoc and Robin is hilarious.

    Differences of opinion are the basis of a good discussion. As@kevinwho says, discussion requires something more than a mere statement of preference and a dismissal of everyone else’s view points.





    Leave it alone – trolling rule 101: never tag people properly, even though the method is obvious to anyone with an IQ higher than that of a frozen pea.

    Also, this one has form.

    idiotsavon @idiotsavon

    Things are a bit stupidly chaotic here in Savon Manor. If I had time to spare, I’d be able to explain why I started out fearing I might hate this new series, but have now really started to get into it.
    In bullet points…

    • The new music has grown on me.
    •  None of the companion characters wear their heart on their sleeve à la Moffat. But there’s a lot of nuance and understatement that I’m growing to appreciate.
    • The Doctor’s uncertainty about who she is works for me. I don’t have a companion surrogate who can say “This isn’t the Doctor I know” because the companions are all new. So the fact that the Doctor is questioning herself, wondering who she is now and what she’s about, makes her a better surrogate than the companions in a lot of ways.
    • Bradley Walsh.
    • I cried at Rosa
    • I cried at Demons of the Punjab
    • I laughed a lot too
    • OK no Bonkers so far, but Themes, Themes, Themes. Excellent and complex Themes.
    • Bradley Walsh


    @pedant… didn’t @whisht say 5 days about two weeks ago? 😉

    janetteB @janetteb

    @idiotsavon Bradley Walsh has been a surprise for me and proof that one should not prejudge. I have never seen him in anything but I thought I was going to hate him as a companion. He is fantastic and so nice to see a companion who isn’t young and cute. Grace would have been brilliant too. I keep wishing she had lived to join Team Tardis.

    I  also cried watching Rosa and Demons of the Punjab. They are certainly the two stand out episodes of this series.



    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    I love the concept of Savon Manor. It is so evocative. The idea of Chez Blenkinsop is positively pedestrian by comparison. No Who reflections, just admiration at the thought of Savon Manor.

    seeoswald @seeoswald

    As noted before Punjab for me is the only “good” episode I’ve seen.  I’m glad there are others who are not so impressed with this new series and are willing to say so. It really does need fixing, of course that can’t/won’t happen this season but we always have next year and we can of course always go back a re-watch the Matt Smith seasons over again or as I’m doing now go further back and Tom Baker’s DW.

    Here’s holding out hope for next year.


    syzygy @thane16


    You’re back. Personally, I’m SO glad that there are SO many people who are clever, who are thinkers, who are thoughtful who like this new series.

    Things change honey-bunch. And that’s a good thing.

    If you hate it, sweet. More for me to like. As for tweets, the people you like do it: Capaldi, Moffat …. even Whedon. I forget, you mean: Pete, or Stevey or Joss.

    Mate, I’m yawning.

    @pedant me and dad visited the Town Hall for an hour with a writer I like: (bad time, middle of exams) and he made pertinent statements: as a script writer and novelist he said in answer to a question, ” people who proclaim “this is good!” or “this is rubbish” have never ever put pen to paper.”. He says “sure, they’ll say they’ll do, they’ll lie but actually you can bet their knowledge of writing smells of lower school or middle school. Never listen to them. Also, insulting actual writers only makes those writers extremely happy because somebody’s mad (and stupid) enough to make a comment and whatever the comment it can make that writer’s day. If only they realised that for us writers the best insult is silence. They can’t do that so they sit in corners shouting “boo” to mirrors.”




    syzygy @thane16


    I think Bradley Walsh was or is a host on a question/answer show? mum hadn’t seen it but I used to watch it. It was pretty silly. I saw it again last night and it would be a repeat: his hair was brown and he was a bit less heavy. Not that he’s a fat guy! He just seemed younger. I wasn’t sure about him either but I like him a lot. He’s my favourite of the Adventurers but I think Ryan may take that place: he’s more my age and he’s nervous and funny but he’s kind. I like “kind” and “nervous” and I think that there’s a lot to like and laugh at as @idiotsavon said. “Rosa” was my fav.

    I think the Savon Manor is a major good title . My writing skills have dived after the final theodicy paper on The Problem of Evil. 🙂  I was  very worried . Until I handed in the paper and the two speakers before me didn’t mention the ‘actual’ problem of evil, nor did they refer to any philosophers which is seriously off. So thank you! And big news: I used a LOT of Alvin Plantinga. @bluesqueakpip that’s down to you.

    So, I thank you again: @pedant (you’re being called a ‘fish’ now?) and those just mentioned and  @janetteb for your assistance. Also @kevinwho and there was another person (whose name I have not recalled fully but)  who is Chinese. Thank you also for your excellent points. I have History tomorrow, then Maths then OVER for 8 weeks. Sweet!


    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @idiotsavon@janetteb, Bradley Walsh is doing a fantastic job. I fully expected he was going to be an occasional character, like Wilf and Rory’s dad. I really like having a middle aged man actually a full time Tardis team member.

    I really hope he gets an award for this, I really enjoyed his modest crowing on The Chase about having the best selling Christmas Album (physical disc sales, because youngsters mostly download, but still counted). Graham is a great character, and Walsh plays him perfectly.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @thane16 The Chase, it’s called. He’s still signed up for it, but they’re running through old episodes (one question recently was ‘what is the name of the Queen’s only great grandson’). It’s endearingly human, the contestants go up against an actual person, Walsh is pitched as being on the side of the contestants. I think there’s some malarky over the sets of questions, personally.

    syzygy @thane16

    @miapatrick That’s it! He does seem to stand with the contestants doesn’t he? He says “we could’ve won this” not “you could have” even though it would be “you” . The scary guy knows all the answers. His face never ever moves! There’s an Australian show called Letters and Numbers (probably it started in England) and I really like it. It’s something you can make at home. We also have “HARD Quiz” which is hosted by a comedian who tends to be ‘rude’ to the contestants (in a nice way) and they’re rude back. Everyone has 3 different sets of questions and because it’s the ABC there is no prize money. Its all fun.

    Bradley Walsh acts in a subtle way. I don’t why I thought he wouldn’t? I think there were auditions – – for something that causes so much love (and hate) and is so personal. I think there was no way in the 60s this would have been anticipated. But it has become a huge series with unveiled stars. On that, I don’t know what Pearl Mackie is doing now (I love the name).

    I noticed most people didn’t call her “Pearl” but Bill Potts (shorter to type?) whereas people who don’t like Whittaker call her “Jodi” which is an interesting type of insult. It’s not a proper one but a dig.  Just saying that I didn’t notice it with Mackie & that might be because everyone liked her??

    T16. (long post)

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @thane16 It’s endearing, it’s always ‘my team’ against the Chaser. The questions are really random as well, sometimes so easy it puts them off, sometimes genuinely hard, sometimes so confusingly worded it takes a minute to work out what they’re asking. And Walsh always looks really pleased when he knows the answer.

    He’s been in Coronation Street, (I think soap acting is probably one of the hardest acting jobs, not much rehearsal time) and I think he’s worked with Chibnel before in Law and Order, but he’s been doing The Chase so long even British people didn’t realise he was quite a well regarded actor before. He’s one of these terribly British all rounders – used to play football, sings a bit, acts, presents a quiz – which isn’t such a thing nowadays.

    I do hate people calling Whittaker ‘Jodi’, when it’s been surnames for the previous actors. I’m terrible at remembering and spelling names, though. I think I was making a point about first names usually being easier to spell with the recent run of Doctors, and while doing so, spelt her first name incorrectly. It’s why I usually use the numbers (or War Doctor for Hurt) when talking about Who.

    LionHeart564 @lionheart564


    While I don’t understand how people in English world reference to the actors of the Doctor but in China DW fandom we either use Chinese nicknames based on the actor’s full name like “皮卡叔” for PC or just first name translate to Chinese like “马特” for MS. Because in China we don’t refer people just by their family name like westerners do. For JW we do just call her Chinese translated first name “茱蒂” or just Jodie,but most of time we just refer them by the doctor they play like “小10” for DT, “小11” for MS, “12叔” for PC and “13姨” for JW.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @lionheart564 that’s fine if it’s consistent. It’s the whole ‘Eccelson, Tennant, Smith, Capaldi, Jodie’ thing over here that grates.

    janetteB @janetteb

    I have thought a lot about this issue and actually I find referring to people by their surnames alone disrespectful. It certainly isn’t something I ever do when addressing people in person or talking about people I know. But then actors are strangers so maybe it is appropriate. I still have a hangup about calling people older than myself by their fist name as doing so was an absolute no no when I was a child. It annoys me but is hard to overcome conditioning.

    I tended to use full names in the past when referring to actors but full names are a lot to type unless they are short like Tom Baker. One can’t refer to him as simply “Baker” as there is another “Baker”. I tend to avoid surnames if they are difficult to spell. Often I just opt for the easiest out of laziness. I like referring to the various Doctors by abbreviation, “Capdoc”, and Whitdoc. Not sure we ever did that with Nine, Ten or Eleven, perhaps because Tennant and Smith are not easy to abbreviate. Actually thinking of it “Tendoc” works so well. Anyways I think the name thing is often due to people simply doing what is quickest and involves the least keys but when it is consistent inconsistency then it is grating.





    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @janetteb is is a writ thing because it can be disrespectful – calling servants by their surnames, for example, or school boys – surname without title can be disrespectful. But when I was at a school which had formerly been all boys, the boys being called by surname and the girls by first name didn’t sit well with me. (It didn’t help that roughly a third of the boys were called either James, John, or Andrew, roughly the same percentage of girls were called Rebecca, and there were several large family groups, so the logical solution was just say the extra word and use first name-surname).

    TenDoc is perfect timing. Then… Smock?

    I think some people did say ‘Matt’ etc, but overall, there is a bigger percentage using her first name than before. Ironically it was a conscious decision to call Bradly Walsh Walsh. He’s generally Bradley.

    syzygy @thane16


    Ah I see Thane16 tried to recall your name/handle -for some excellent points you offered for his 1st of 2 incredibly difficult philosophy assignments. I’m his  mother hen, sometimes known as “muvverphucker” when things get tough! So thank you.

    I understand your point about surnames. I have to admit it wasn’t my original concern: I didn’t even think about it! That it occurred to others helped me to understand ‘hang on, there’s something there I should I pay attention to.’ Possibly I would’ve written: PC and Jodi or Tennant and Rose simply because people understand that immediately. I guess the problem is ‘why they understand it so easily?’ In my ancestry names are feminised by the ending thus eliminating the need to place ‘Mr’ or Mrs/Ms at the beginning of their name.

    I JUST managed to watch Kerblam! and thought it was the best so far with echoes of The God Complex and The Beast Below which others above picked up. I didn’t question the fact that JW has actually sided with the corporation rather than blowing it all up! But then as far as I can tell, the Robots would’ve delivered packages to millions of people about to die and the antagonist broke the ‘thingamebub’ so the Doc had very little time to vary the options. I also thought the character beats were very nicely done with tight angles, excellent editing and subtle uses of a dry score -although some Trent Reznor style melodies would’ve added more sophistication  but it’s all about dollars and pounds 🙁

    Also I like how BW calls her “Doc” – it fits nicely.


    syzygy @thane16


    I noticed your comments and @janetteb ‘s on dyspraxia? Yes, I worked at bars/waitresses/waiter and was terrible. I have no dyspraxia: I was just generally nervy and bad with numbers. At 16 I was still counting with my fingers. I had to do this to count myself into a musical score which was mildly embarrassing!

    Yes, the boys in the schools I worked in were called “YOU! Mockton, get over here and Strange? Is that YOU in the cupboard?” etc etc.

    Us girls were: “Kylie, get a move on!” No fair.

    Ooh I like “Smock” = S. Moffat? So Toc for Dennant (I mean Tennant) or Woc for Whitakker Doc?  Er, no, actually, that’s awful. SWock….?

    Don’t mind me, I’m eating 4 different flavours of jelly and a milkshake and the sugar is clearly getting to me. I also notice a very large storm heading my way…And not a TenDoc ‘Oncoming Storm’ either. Summer is definitely here.


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Puro, late November and already summer? One of my (few) pleasant memories of Brisbane in November was of the gorgeous jacaranda trees, with their intense mauve. Just beautiful. But then summer. Oh dear.

    Out here, off the Canadian west coast it is still Autumn (or, as they say, inexplicably, Fall–I blame it all on the proximity to the 49th parallel). The leaves have both turned golden and subsequently fallen, but fortunately winter has yet to arrive (and truth be told winter is usually a mild affair here in comparison to the rest of the nation).

    Am awaiting the return of Mrs Blenkinsop from work so that we might get to conquer the dark arts of technology and watch the most recent episode.


    syzygy @thane16

    @blenkinsopthebrave Hail all conquering heroes of the Dark Arts Technology!

    How have you warmed to the series? I use ‘warm’ metaphorically, considering your mention of Jacarandas and Brisbane summers which, I fear, are worsening, but we have air-conditioning which is hardly appropriate to global warming: it’s that or sitting in a bath of ice for the duration. The Junior likes to run in the middle of the day to improve stamina which is fine by me because then he can dig out summer weeds with nary a complaint.

    Generally, I peek out at 5pm to water (the grass meanwhile happily churns out weeds if it rains or yellow dust if it doesn’t), then quickly slam the door, turn on Christmas lights, have an ice-coffee with no milk or sugar -just crushed ice and a cold mince pie with ice-cream (or as I’m doing at the mo: many flavours of cold jellies and a thing I’ve not seen before which could be cold chocolate soufflé).

    Any winters over-seas were an awful long time ago and at just four weeks per visit, head stuck in books, and with no need for driving, I never mastered the other Dark Art of Keeping Safe In Winter Weather: the knack to look for black ice; winter tyres/chains; storm windows; knee-high boots for pushing out cars from muddy-bogs etc. I complain about the heat, but it really doesn’t affect us -obviously the very elderly and the youngest of infants require proper warnings, but I’m fully aware just how dangerous the winter is in so many countries: how dark, how cold and wet; and how miserable it must surely be.  It’s easy to romanticise cold weather when it’s so very bleak for many weeks. No wonder Thane noticed every home and commercial office or shopping centre loaded with decorations and lights!

    So, lots of warm wine, warm mince pies, a log fire (not for fun as it can be here but an absolute necessity without other heating). Last year @mudlark wrote interesting mini-memoirs about winters in the UK when she was moving about with her family and needing both dry clothes, a heated room and hot food. The absolute difference between life and death.

    I also read, ’round the same time, a fantastic blog by our own @cathannabel discussing how the poor in the UK get by in the coldest months, including the use of tea- lights and bubble wrap to ensure they’re warm. People, who in their teens, would never have thought they’d be a statistic ten years later, are barely surviving due to often unrecognised -or ignored- poverty.

    Indeed Mr Blenkinsop: the Jacarandas are out and about. There are only two in this area -more beautiful specimens are  further away in Holland Park or Lower Mt Gravatt and border the river in Auchenflower and St Lucia.  My mother naturally hated them: we had two at one point requiring sweeping up daily. I preferred to let the blossoms lie there but mama would have none of that. She was annoyed that the neighbours let theirs get “completely out of control.” The other thing you’re not missing are changes with J. Packer LTD and the various affiliates such as The Age, TFR and Sydney Morning Herald.

    Puro x

    janetteB @janetteb

    @thane16 Ah the storm. It passed over here yesterday. Lots of bangs and thumps and enough rain to keep the garden happy for a week or so. Rather a treat not having to water the garden at this time of year.

    @blenkinsopthebrave The Jacarandas are almost finished blooming here. They are always magnificent. Much to the ire of our neighbours we do not live on a council designated Jacaranda street. Our neighbours planted a jacaranda on the pavement and council pulled it out however they did give them another in compensation which they planted in their front yard so out street is not entirely lacking in the purple wonder though it is somewhat blocked from view by the rather ordinary street tree. And talking of Jacarandas I am about to walk into town, along a “Jacaranda street” in the rain.

    On the names issue. The working class high school I attended called all students by first name. Our very progressive year 12 art teacher also insisted we call him by first name. I was a bit shocked when I found out that students in private schools were referred to by surname only. (I believe it is also true of private girls’ schools.) I thought it was an archaic practice, along with the use of canes. I am not disputing the point being made btw. To refer to male actors by surname and female actors by first name is suggestive of gender discrimination. Actors after all are total strangers. Not people we would or should address in the supermarket. (thinking of John Simm being approached while shopping with his son) so perhaps the use of surname is more appropriate while when talking of a character we use the first name, ie Ryan and Yaz.

    I am no doubt overthinking it. The rain has stopped. The sun is shining. I must away.



    ichabod @ichabod

    @mudlark — Good luck with the nose!  Here in the American Southwest, oddities with noses (and cheeks, and ears) are taken quite seriously.  I’m glad yours is being taken that way too.

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