The Maldovarium

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    Missy @missy


    Of course there was also Julius Caesar, and we all know what happend to him.


    janetteB @janetteb

    @missy  I was in the library. Trump was on the screen. (Don’t know why it is necessary to have a screen in a library)

    Walked out towards the shopping centre. Passed a guy in a gopher and a cleaner. The later was saying to the former “Trump won’t last long. Someone will knock him off.”

    Couldn’t tell if he thought that was a good or bad thing but one thing I did learn from the outing, there is no escaping Trump. Urgh.



    Missy @missy

    Janette:  It’s the same here.  My OH is sick and tired of hearing his name. I had to smile when I read your post, it’s quite on the cards. I have to say that there is a definite parallel between Trump and Julius. Who, I wonder, is his Brutus?



    @missy @janetteb

    Watch this. Best antidote to ho-wh-shall-not-be-name ever. Strong language advisory!

    nerys @nerys

    @missy Well, his Brutus is not likely to be Steve Bannon, who scares me even more than Trump, and who seems to be the one in charge of this show. I too am sick to death of Trump … yet I know of people who are thrilled with him and what he is doing, and also irate with all the “fuss” being made. Those who oppose him are characterized as “sore losers” (as if losing were the only reason to oppose someone and what they are doing). I’d hoped against hope that he would be a better president than candidate, but those hopes have been for naught.

    Anonymous @


    Oh boy, and then Mum read the comments -a lot mentioned the trigger words: Leftie, alt-right, bad  people swearing badly; Obama started it all; lefties are ignorant; what about China; poor children sleeping in their beds;

    She was then cussing herself.

    I have to go to school. Thank god for Philosophy subject.

    ! 🙂

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @missy  @nerys

    Julius Caesar had himself appointed Dictator for life after decades of social unrest and what amounted to intermittent civil war among those of the ruling class, and he was a self-publicist – as those of my generation who had to read and translate his Gallic Wars can testify; he also had a reputation as a womaniser and he was sensitive about his receding hairline, but on the other hand he was literate and a highly successful, if ruthless military strategist and tactician as well as an astute politician, so the resemblance to Trump isn’t all that close.  Brutus was one of Caesar’s proteges, rumoured in some quarters to be his son, so if Trump has a Brutus it would probably be his son in law or one of his sons, or even Ivanka.

    There are rumours of disarray and squabbling within T’s entourage, but I wouldn’t hold out too much hope of a political assassination in the immediate future, alas.

    @pedant   Heartening video, but why so restrained?

    @thane15    Your mother’s feelings match mine pretty much exactly, though I try to avoid reading BTL comments.  I have done a lot of swearing recently, aloud and under my breath, and have started drinking more than I should.  But the barricades await, and I’m not ready yet to give up the fight.

    Missy @missy

    @pedant. No good FB won’t let me in unless I open an account, and I shan’t be doing that. Thank you anyway.

    @mudlar: Good point about JCS attributes. His brother-in-law? Now there’s a thought.


    nerys @nerys

    Trump now: “The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!”

    Trump then: “If there’s one thing I’ve learned from dealing with politicians over the years, it’s that the only thing guaranteed to force them into action is the press — or, more specifically, fear of the press.” (attributed to Donald Trump in “The Art of the Deal” by Donald Trump and Tony Schwartz, page 305)

    Makes your head spin, doesn’t it?

    It’s been a weird year … already. I find myself agreeing with people I never imagined I’d agree with. Before the U.S. presidential election, Jeb Bush described Trump this way: “He’s a chaos candidate. And he’d be a chaos president.” His observation was spot on. I believe Trump thrives on creating chaos, and watching everyone scatter. Trump’s press conference from the other day is just the latest in a relentless series, and we’re only a month into this administration. Bizarro World.

    nerys @nerys

    <div class=”_5x46″>Trump now: “The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!”</div>
    <div id=”js_c0″ class=”_5pbx userContent” data-ft=”{"tn":"K"}”>

    Trump then: “If there’s one thing I’ve learned from dealing with politicians over the years, it’s that the only thing guaranteed to force them into action is the press — or, more specifically, fear of the press.” (attributed to Donald Trump in “The Art of the Deal” by Donald Trump and Tony Schwartz, page 305)

    Makes your head spin, doesn’t it?

    It’s been a weird year … already. I find myself agreeing with people I never imagined I’d agree with. Before the U.S. presidential election, Jeb Bush described Trump this way: “He’s a chaos candidate. And he’d be a chaos president.” His observation was spot on. I believe Trump thrives on creating chaos, and watching everyone scatter. Trump’s press conference from the other day is just the latest in a relentless series, and we’re only a month into this administration. Bizarro World.


    Missy @missy

    What a terrible thing to happen this morning. An Air Ambulance crashing into a shopping centre in Melbourne.


    Anonymous @


    I don’t think so; not an air ambulance. A small plane taking a group of golfers to an island or island resort crashed at Tullamarine next to the airport at the DFO (chain of shops).

    A case where, such as in the TV show, The Newsroom, where hasty newscasters get it out there ‘first’ instead of waiting for confirmation.

    Still, very sad indeed.


    Missy @missy

    @thane15;  As you say. We heard it to be an AA, then much ater they changed their story. Even the BBC was mislead.


    Anonymous @

    @blenkinsopthebrave @cathannabel @mudlark

    taking up the correct option here 🙂 Yes, we (puro) and I think  continuing to work at and thus spread the knowledge is exactly what is good about continuing to study, research and hypothesise.

    Today I learnt about how the history of humankind is the progress of our achievements. So we ‘bumped’ into the x-ray, and the smallpox vaccine and lots of other things without knowing exactly how we ought to use them. I also heard that if we copy something -such as “I’ll build an airplane the way they (over there) built it, and  yet failed” we obviously won’t succeed. The creative ‘jump’ or Einstein’s “most happy thought” is the way to invent, progress and succeed.

    On that note, to anyone starting up anything new, or moving forward in any way, Mum’ll buy them a gargleblaster (I’ll also now know that reference)


    @Thane15 @blenkinsopthebrace @cathanabel @mudlark

    Yes – you cannot always assume you know your destination. Interesting case: Clair Patterson wanted to establish the age of the Earth and set about doing it. But he kept having trouble getting clear readings and, in investigating, uncovered the greatest environmental catastrophe of the 20th century. Turns out putting lead (one of the most poisonous substances known) in petrol is a really stupid idea.

    Correcting mistakes is a key part of progress.


    ichabod @ichabod

    @pedant  All kinds of progress, yes.  What time-binding abilities are good for is tracing back effects to causes, and making corrections to get different, better effects from now on.  Maybe that’s what “sapience” is, at least in its practical manifestations?  Seeing those connections in time between “cause” and “effect” because you can remember back to what is identified (not always correctly) as “cause”.   If Time’s Arrow didn’t go in only one direction, could we still do that?

    Reading a book called “Why Time Flies” — maybe I’ve already mentioned it here?  It’s put my brain into Timey-Wimey mode.  Good stuff, but tiring (also wine), so off to bed, and I hope in time to not have written something idiotic here.

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @winston @blenkinsopthebrave @thane15 @ichabod

    Thank you for those words of encouragement;  it feels good to be back in the groove. The only problem is that I am not very good at multi-tasking, and when I’m immersed in a research project it tends to become a full-time affair consuming most of my waking hours. Yesterday I even grudged the time I took off to attend to some necessary and fairly urgent work in the garden.  As for housework etc. – forget it!

    ichabod – it isn’t by any means a new project, although it has been on the back burner for the last three years and more.  It stems originally from some field work I did years ago when I was working for a national organisation and had to research and evaluate the site of a ‘shrunken’ medieval village – i.e. a tiny village which was once much larger, with visible earthworks marking the remains of medieval homesteads and crofts.  As a matter of course I checked in the County Record Office to see if there was any relevant documentation and found a treasure trove, including an eighteenth century copy of a late fifteenth century written survey which, very unusually for the period, described the township in minute and systematic detail with its homesteads, field systems, manors and tenants – most medieval surveys are much less detailed and tend in any case to be restricted to individual manors, which is of limited use in a township comprising several manors.  It contained such a wealth of topographical references that it occurred to me I might be able to use it, together with the visible archaeological evidence and surviving field names, roads and bridle paths to reconstruct a complete map of the medieval township, right down to the furlongs and individual strips in the fields.  As was usual at that period, the survey was based on an examination and comparison of earlier documents, so it also contains a good deal of information relating to earlier periods.

    Since then I have succeeded in producing a map which matches the description in all details, have done a lot of work analysing the pattern of feudal tenure during the later medieval and of enclosure in the early post-medieval period, and produced a draft report, but then things stalled a bit. I had to think of how I could possibly reproduce the map or maps for publication, given that the smallest scale at which all the details of individual strips in the fields could be shown was 1:10,000. Things then rather went off the boil, what with various distractions and a spell of health problems.

    What I am hoping is that the Oxford College which held the original of the copy I have been using still has it in its archive and that, just possibly, it has some of the earlier documents as well, although if there are earlier documents it may involve a good deal more work.

    @thane15 – puro  Do I merit a gargleblaster? Even if it isn’t exactly a new project, just one that has been re-vitalised?

    @thane @pedant  Yes, the role of trial and error, serendipity, intuition or sheer dumb luck in the advancement of scientific knowledge should never be underestimated.  What counts is the ability to recognise what is significant when it presents itself, even if it is in a dream or a random thought.  It does rather highlight the stupidity of policies which prioritise the funding of research focussed on narrowly defined practical ends over research aimed at the general advancement of knowledge.

    Tomorrow I have the cataract operation on my other eye, after which – all being well – I should have perfect distance vision, though I will need stronger reading glasses 🙂

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @winston @blenkinsopthebrave @Thane15 @ichabod

    Thank you for those words of encouragement; it feels good to be back in the groove 🙂  The only problem now is that I am not very good at multi-tasking, and once I am immersed in this kind of project it tends to occupy almost all my waking hours. Yesterday I even grudged the time I spent on some necessary and fairly urgent work in the garden. As for housework, forget it!

    ichi – It isn’t by any means a new project. It originated many years ago when I was working for a national organisation and was doing field work on a ‘shrunken’ medieval village – i.e. a tiny village which was once much larger, where the remains of medieval homesteads and crofts are still visible as earthworks. As a matter of course while researching the background I checked in the County Record Office to see if there was any useful documentation and discovered a treasure trove, including an 18th century copy of a late 15th century written survey which described the township, with its homesteads, fields, manors and tenants in such systematic detail and with such a wealth of topographical references that I realised it might be possible, using this and some slightly later post-medieval documents together with the archaeological evidence, later maps  and surviving field names, to reconstruct a detailed map of the medieval village with all the details of its field system down to the individual strips.

    Once I retired I was able to pursue this more or less full time. I have succeeded in reconstructing a map which fits the description in all details, have done quite a bit of work on analysis of the pattern of feudal tenure and the process of enclosure in the sixteenth and early 17th century and got as far as writing a draft report.  Then things went off the boil a bit. The smallest scale at which all the details of the map(s) can be shown is 1:10,000, which presents a problem for publication, and then there were various distractions and a spell of health problems.

    What I am hoping is that the Oxford College which held the original of the copy I worked from will still have it in their archive plus, with any luck, one or more of the earlier documents. If so, it could mean a lot more work and revision, but it would be worthwhile,

    Thane/puro  Do I qualify for the gargleblaster on offer? even if this isn’t really a new project?

    @thane15  @pedant  Yes, the role of serendipity, intuition, trial and error and sheer dumb luck in scientific discovery should never be underestimated.  What is essential is the ability to recognise what is significant, even if in a dream or a passing thought or image. It does highlight the stupidity of funding policies which prioritise research focussed on narrow, practical objectives over research whose aim is simply the extension of scientific knowledge wherever it may lead.

    Tomorrow is the day when I get my other eye fixed, after which – all being well – I will have perfect or near perfect distance vision, though I fear I will still need reading glasses.


    • This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by  Mudlark.
    Anonymous @


    You qualify for many gargleblasters. 🙂  Because of the operation as well! Best of luck and wishes for it and renewed vigour in doing the research.

    Thane and Puro

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @winston @blenkinsopthebrave @thane15 @ichabod

    Thank you for those words of encouragement; it feels good to be back in the groove 🙂 The only problem is that I’m not very good at multi-tasking and once I am immersed in a project of this kind it tends to occupy most of my waking hours. Yesterday I even grudged the time I spent on some necessary and urgent work in the garden. As for housework, forget it!

    ichabod  It isn’t in fact a new project. It stems from some field work I did years ago on the site of a ‘shrunken’ medieval village when I was employed by a national organisation. While doing the necessary background research I came across a wealth of documentation in the County Record Office, including an 18th century copy of a late 15th century written survey which provided a systematic and very detailed description of the township with its homesteads, fields, manors and tenants .  The information in the survey and in various slightly later documents, in conjunction with 18th and early 19th century maps and surviving field names, have been enough to enable me to reconstruct the map of the medieval township down to the details of the individual strips in the open fields, and I have also been analysing the pattern of feudal tenure and the beginnings of enclosure in the sixteenth and early seventeenth century.  I got as far as a draft report, but then came up against the problem of reproducing the map(s) for publication, given that the smallest scale at which the details of individual tenants strips in the fields could be shown was 1:10,ooo.  So things went off the boil a bit, and then there were various distractions and a spell of health problems.

    What I am hoping is that the Oxford College which held the original of the copy I have been using will still have it in their archive, perhaps with some earlier documents which the 15th survey was using as a reference. It could mean more work or at least a good deal of revision, but no matter!

    @thane15 @pedant  Yes, the role of serendipity, intuition, trial and error and sheer dumb luck in the process of scientific discovery should not be underestimated. What matters is the ability to recognise what is significant, whether it presents itself in a dream, in a passing thought, or as a stumbling block on the way to somewhere else. It highlights the stupidity of funding policies which prioritise research which is solely focussed on a practical,  commercially oriented end.



    Mudlark @mudlark

    @thane15 and puro  I’m not sure what happened there 😕  I posted a fairly lengthy screed which you evidently saw but which, at least from my point view, disappeared into the ether when I tried to edit a couple of typos. So I wrote another which hasn’t disappeared, but which doesn’t include the reference to gargleblasters or the forthcoming cataract op.

    The gargle blasters are most acceptable, and will fortify me for tomorrow 🙂

    Anonymous @


    Yes, I got it -I’m at school (ssh) !! I logged in and transferred the entire post to mum’s in box and she will place it in her Dr Who folder.

    It was amazing! But it vanished. Maybe I can post it (erm, no, scrub that, I have teachers wandering about and I’m supposed to be drafting an essay on absolutely nothing with no sources about a ‘possible’ segment on television. Grr -bah).

    The medieval work sounds incredible and yes  1:10 000 size would be difficult. Actually, would you be up in the air for that? Using radar/sonar? I know this stuff from Mum who taught this occasionally although she would say “very badly” -teachers are assigned now rather than qualified which is then agreeing with @blenksinsopthebrave.

    But on another note, Mum re-purchased two books she does have knowledge about: The Passion of the Western Mind and Cosmos and Psyche. On philosophy. I can’t really understand it but she’s saying “get prepared.”

    Is it possible to become “stupider”? I think that is happening. I was all “yeah, I’m pretty smart” and then “oh no, compared to these people I’m a mushroom or a toad.”

    Happy recovery Miss Mudlark -ooh teacher alert 🙂


    winston @winston

    @thane15  Keep a sharp eye out for those teachers!

    @mudlark  That sounds so interesting, I wish I were there. Happy hunting in those archives, those interesting, musty, goldmines of the past.

    Mudlark @mudlark

    Well, I’m back and all seems to have gone well with the op; the cataract is gone, although  that eye not much use at the moment – it will be quite sore for the next day or two, and at the moment the pupil is still dilated to maximum because of all the atropine they dripped into it, so I can’t focus on that side.

    @winston  Yes, it has been fascinating to study.  One crucial element which I mentioned in the original post which disappeared but which I failed to mention in the second and rather shorter version above, is that the original field work was concerned with the visible earthworks which still mark the sites of abandoned medieval homesteads and the associated gardens and crofts. What alerted me to the potential of the 15th century written survey was that the earthworks on the ground could be matched exactly to descriptions in the survey, down to being able to identify many of the earthwork enclosures by the name of the homestead and the occupier. The modern landscape of the arable fields bears very little relationship to the medieval system of open fields, furlongs and strips, of course, but I discovered that several of the field names which survived into the 19th century, and even into the present, are recognisably  descended from names in the medieval survey. Much of the old road system is also still traceable in lanes and bridle paths, and there were other topographical clues, so with that as a starting point I have been able to reconstruct the medieval map, though it was a bit like doing an extremely large and complicated jigsaw puzzle.

    @thane15  Oh, the wonders of modern technology. Back in my Neolithic schooldays the nearest equivalent concern was likely to be keeping the teachers from spotting the book I was reading under cover of my desk 🙂

    You asked about aerial reconnaissance.  The County Archaeological Service maintains an extensive library of aerial photos, including several of the area in question, ranging from 1946 RAF surveys to the present day, and I made good use of that, but I also did a good deal of work on the ground, and I must have walked every inch of the surviving earthworks – humps and bumps marking building platforms and the banks and ditches of the croft boundaries.

    Once I had reconstructed the map – which took quite a while before I arrived at something which corresponded exactly to the description, I set out to try to analyse the society of the village, the structure and how the communal farming system functioned.  There was quite a lot of detail in the early survey, and in later, less comprehensive surveys and manorial records, about the individual tenants, how much land they farmed,  how much of that was held according to feudal custom and how much was freehold – most tenants had some of both, and most farmed land from more than one of the four manors in the township, so it was quite complicated. I began to feel as if I knew some of them – families with intriguing surnames such as Platfoote (very hobbity) and Paunch, and a Johane (Joan) Cattell and her descendants – there were quite a few women named at various times as having lands in the Township, probably widows who had inherited the right to their husbands farms.  There is still work to be done in that area, and on the earlier evidence for prehistoric, Roman and Saxon activity in the area, so it may be difficult to know when and where to stop. There is always more to be learned.

    Time now to stop squinting at the computer screen, as it probably isn’t very good for a newly operated eye, so I’m off to get myself a drink of hot chocolate, and then to my bed.  I probably won’t be able to work on the project for a few days, or to read, so maybe a chance to catch up on some TV viewing, or perhaps re-watch some Dr Who.



    winston @winston

    <p>@mudlark     I am happy to hear that the operation went well and that you are home and resting. Any excuse to watch Doctor Who eh?</p><p>    Your work sounds very interesting and may I say pretty cool . I know about crop marks and earthworks because of Time Team which I watch here in Canada once a week. You get alot closer to them than I ever will.  Platfoote is very Hobbity, I like it.</p>

    winston @winston

    Does anyone know why I have ps and pointy things (tech term) in my posts?  I have no idea ,but I didn’t put them there. My lack of computer knowledge astounds me.

    Anonymous @

    @winston “pointy things” ??

    Not sure? Have you clicked on the “insert edit link” or the “insert picture” at all?

    I’m at a loss.

    At a mate’s house a few weeks ago, I had no idea how to make a hot chocolate (never mind use computers properly). He actually said, to his own dad, “nup, Thane won’t know how to do that.”

    I wasn’t surprised. I was given these ‘tools’ (@mudlark -the tools here are interesting!)

    A glass of hot milk

    A long brown thing (like a stick).

    I l0oked at these things with perplexity. Turns out you put the long thing in the milk and when stirring the long thing dissolves into chocolate.

    I was amazed. Of course, my mate was right. I had no idea. At home I use a spoon, the chocolate (drinking choc) and the milk which is warmed on stove.

    Much more normal!

    Your work, Mudlark sounds incredible. I learnt quite a bit about medieval strips but there wasn’t a very long set of lessons. Mum used to teach this stuff for weeks -now we get two 70 min lessons and then only if the teacher knows what they’re doing. If they think “strip farming and changes in agriculture is not needed” the class gets nothing.

    I was watching something related to this -crops -on the Brian Cox show with Mum. She was so overwhelmed by this she was all teary eyes. Apparently, up in Finland, there’s a Global Crop Vault 160 m below the surface where the seeds of every country are kept protected so we should never be hungry again. What was amazing was that the North R of Korea had its seeds right next to Canada’s -a true post-political cycle vault.

    Then there’s the NIF place in California which holds the secret to harnessing laser fusion (correct me if I’m wrong) so that we would not need fuel/fire. They’re making a STAR! Can you believe that?

    I tell you, I think this could be a time for heroes. 🙂

    I surely hope, anyway @winston, I really don’t think I can assist you with the ‘post’ issue. I can barely programme the Bluray player -Mum has to do that!  Good luck. It could be a glitch? Remember how Mudlark’s posts vanished but ended up in the in-box.? Or Maybe I broke the internet last week? It’s likely!

    Cheers, Thane.

    Anonymous @


    Ah, it’s code. Somehow you’re switching into ‘computer code mode.’



    They are html paragraph marks. Sometimes, if you compose a post outside WordPress (on Word, say) then copy and paste, these get left in (words handling of html is awful and always has been, and WordPress has never handled copy-and-paste very elegantly). If I do that I usually check the ‘Text” tab to make sure there are no spurious bits of code left.

    Once up they can be removed, so you have the 5-10 min window to edit ’em out.


    Mudlark @mudlark


    If they think “strip farming and changes in agriculture is not needed” the class gets nothing.

    I suppose it comes down to whether or not you think that how we got to where we are now is important; I happen to think that it is, and that the more people learn about how things really worked in the past – as opposed to the myths that all countries have about themselves – and the more they know and understand of how people in other countries and regions of the world – now and in the past – think and organise their societies, the better equipped they are likely to be to deal with life as it is. Parochialism, nationalism and a lack of understanding of the past is, I think, at the root of quite a few of the problems we are currently facing.  But it is an uphill struggle  – sisyphus again 🙂

    As for the teaching of medieval social history and economy in schools, I seen to remember a very simplistic version of  feudal society and associated agricultural systems being presented in our second year in upper school (age 13) – i.e. social structure = King > barons >knights > villeins, and agriculture = the two or three open field rotation system . In fact the feudal hierarchy and system of tenure was never as simple as that, even in the early days following the Norman conquest, and it soon got very complicated indeed, and the simple two/three field system with one whole field left fallow each year, and with manors generally coterminous with the townships, was typical only in the Midland region of England.  In fact the distribution and functioning of manors, the organisation of fields and land tenure and the system of farming all varied considerably from region to region – which is why I think and hope that my study will provide some genuine new insights, if I ever succeed in finishing it and getting it published .

    Hot chocolate;  I’m not sure that I would have known what to do if presented with a glass of hot milk and a brown stick-like thing.  I find the drinking chocolate powder too sweet for my taste, so I make it with plain cocoa powder, mixed to a paste with about half a teaspoon of sugar, and add the hot milk from the pan, as you would.

    @winston  It has happened to me once or twice that code appeared in my text for no apparent reason, even when I hadn’t copied and and pasted, but as @pedant says, if you click promptly on ‘edit’ (top right, next to the post # ) it can be edited out.   Mind you, having recently had a fairly lengthy post vanish when I attempted to edit it, I am starting to feel a bit cautious about using the edit function 😕

    Anonymous @


    Whoa? Villeins, barons and stuff, is not what’s it all  about?

    Oh boy. Mum did say something about that last night. She said that once, with a very smart colleague, they’d created a whole booklet on this concept. Each girl was given a job -baliff etc and also a number of strips indicating where they would farm and the bad and good prospect of each. Hands on, it worked. They had to investigate all the different roles based on actual evidence.

    I think that’s what she said. She was re-watching The Final Problem (like time no. 3) so I couldn’t get more out of her than that!

    I have two assignments due tomorrow and one is…well, I’ll explain another day, except it’s about making sure you “don’t use much evidence and you use exaggeration to get the point across AND lots of hyperbole  and statistics have to be barely used.” Also the actual booklet contains  a bit on how all the drafts were wrong. Except it wasn’t our class. It was several years ago So the draft ‘failures’ aren’t our failures at all. Lazy? I think so.

    Shotgun. 🙂

    winston @winston

    @thane15 @pedant and @mudlark Thank you for the help with my posting glitches. No idea on my end but I am sure I will survive to post another day.  It is not cut and paste as the only way I can do that is with real scissors and real paste.

    winston @winston

    There you go! No unwanted marks , they have stopped appearing. Who nose.


    AlexWho @alexwho

    I read today that Patrick Stewart is applying for American citizenship so he can join in the battle against Trump.

    Awesome. How can he get more awesome?

    ichabod @ichabod

    @alexwho  A knight in shining armor . . . I’m going to see “Logan”, the new movie about Wolverine, solely because sir Patrick is in it . . . His recent appearance, with Hugh Jackman, on Graham Norton was pretty funny too — I got it through FB, but maybe it’s on Youtube by now.

    MissRori @missrori

    Let us know what you think @ichabod!  😉

    I’ve been feeling rather blah of late.  My muse hasn’t felt like creating new poetry or anything in quite a while, and last year it was pretty prolific.  And perhaps it’s my autism, but trying to force myself to work on creative work everyday — which is what they always recommend as a way to punch through the azbantium wall that is writer’s block — tends to end in tears, at least if it’s at length.  I know there are some creative types here; anyone have any advice?  🙂

    janetteB @janetteb

    @missrori My only advice is just keep trying. Try to do something a bit different, maybe just write prose or a different style of verse or edit some old works. When I really don’t feel like writing I edit and that lures me back. I can never just passively read through work though sometimes I really mess it up, adding something that was already there, in the next paragraph. In the end though if you are no longer enjoying writing at all perhaps it is time to have a break and try some other creative pursuits. (another suggestion from a writer I was talking to yesterday is keep a journal and write something every day, what you are doing or thinking. Doesn’t appeal to me but clearly works for her. We are all different.) Whatever don’t let it distress you. That won’t help. You will go back to writing when you are ready. Good luck.




    AlexWho @alexwho

    @ichabod : Took your advice and looked up Sir Patrick on Graham Norton. The man is hilarious.

    Love him on American Dad too!

    Why hasn’t he been on Doctor Who????

    ichabod @ichabod

    @alexwho  Why hasn’t he been on Doctor Who????

    Glad you found that!  He’s probably not been asked to do something on DW, assuming they could afford him (or, if he’s a fan of the Doctor, he’d do it for less just for the fun of it).  Acting is a very unpredictable profession; who knows!

    @missrori  You might try doing something completely different — do some drawing, or walk around taking photos.  Sometimes a foray into another medium kicks the impulse loose.  You could take up another language, listen to language tapes and look at the history of the English language (it’s fascinating, to me, at least).  Physical activity is too, too — Tai Chi, Chi Gong, yoga.  Baking.  Anything absorbing, that takes your mind away from the things that it just won’t do right now and focuses it on what it will do.

    MissRori @missrori

    @janetteb and @ichabod Thanks for the advice.  (hugs)  I’m sure things will come back in time.  Maybe around April…  😉

    Missy @missy

    Hello everyone, it is such a relief to be back.  For some unknown reason my password went missing. No matter how many tines I keyed it in, it wasn’t accepted.

    Thanks to Craig – dear man – I’m back.

    I have a lot of catching up to do.


    MissRori @missrori

    (hugs)  I know I missed you Missy!

    Meanwhile, I found this interesting Hollywood rumor story that brings up an interesting question — is it possible for any kind of entertainment to be truly “escapist” right now?

    I’ve noticed that virtually every major-league TV show, movie, stage play, etc., no matter what their intent, is getting heavily scruntized, criticized, and other-ized via various socio-cultural lenses at the moment.  Even though it’s still a week until its release, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast remake — a family musical — has already launched a bunch of thinkpieces and controversies (Does the story romanticize Stockholm syndrome?  Is the choice to make a minor character homosexual too much or not enough?).

    I really wonder how Doctor Who Series 10 is going to fare in this climate…  😉

    Craig @craig

    I didn’t know this existed, but if you want a bit of Capaldi before next month you can hear him read “The Further Adventures of the First King of Mars” from 2008.

    BBC Radio 4 are having a bit of a Mars month (for March – surprise) and are rebroadcasting some interesting stuff.

    Episode one is here – follow links for more:

    winston @winston

    @craig  Thanks for this. I do love the sound of Peter Capaldi’s voice.

    Missy @missy

    @winston: Your lack of computer knowledge is surpassed by mine, I assure you.

    @missrori. Good advise from Janette. I also find that walking away for a week or two can work. Thank you for missing me. *hugs back*

    @craig: Thank you for that, I am already a big follower of BBC 4 Extra, always listening to plays and stories, so I shall definitely listen to this.

    @winston: I think we all do.

    Missy @missy

    I hope that this is the right place for this. I found it to be thought provoking.



    George Carlin – comedian of the 70’s and 80’s – eloquent…and so appropriate:

    The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

    We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

    We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

    We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

    We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

    These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete…

    Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

    Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

    Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.

    Remember, to say, ‘I love you’ to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. An embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

    Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

    Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.


    Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.




    Anonymous @

    @All our Londoners -what a bad terrorist attack.

    Thoughts are with you just before I have to go to school.  xx00

    From Thane and Puro.

    PS: don’t stop getting on with your lives.  Don’t be afraid.

    winston @winston

    All my thoughts and sympathy go to the victims of this horrible attack and all the people of the UK.  Stand strong like you always do.

    Missy @missy

    Oh they will believe me.  If the ‘grit’ hasn’t been washed out of them, surviving this is a walkover compared to the blitz.

    Such a relief that our London Bobbies still aren’t armed. Strutting around bristling with guns hasn’t helped other countries, in fact quite the reverse.

    Praise to the Response team for only firing three times!  Better than several police all firing 6 bullets each – don’t you think?

    Those poor people and their families.



    ichabod @ichabod

    More madness — we live in mad, bad times . . .

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