The Winchester

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    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @winston Like JanetteB, I applaud your new years’ resolution. It’s entirely in line with what I think, I’ve always been aware of the energy cost of things. (In kilowatt-hours or similar, not dollars). In the past I got agitated about waste and inefficiency of all sorts. These days I would have said I was getting more tolerant, but I suspect that was just weariness, and tolerance in this case is not a virtue. Something the climate is doing its best to convince us of.

    I don’t do resolutions (I promptly forget them) but I’ll try to keep your precepts in mind. It sometimes works.

    Cheers, cr

    nerys @nerys

    @winston Yes, you have been having serious storms in your neck of the woods. Miraculously, we have been spared them here. Once again we seem to have been saved by being on the “warm” side of the Gulf Stream. Sometimes it doesn’t work in our favor (droughts, etc.), but this latest round of storms and the “Polar Vortex” passed us by. (By the way: Where do people come up with these meteorological terms? “Polar Vortex” sounds like something dreadful unleashed upon the world in a Marvel Comics plot. “Atmospheric River” is another new one. Maybe not new to meteorologists, but the media are newly latched onto it. Makes it hard to keep up with what is actually happening in the weather.)

    @thane16 and all, Happy New Year! May this one be better than the last. Though it seems like I keep saying that, then feeling we went in the other direction. @winston I too like your New Year’s Resolution, and I will do everything I can to make it mine!

    And yes, many thanks to @craig for keeping this place going for us!

    syzygy @thane16

    Happy new year to all us Forum Buddies. To @oochillyo @dentarthurdent @nerys @janetteb @winston @nerys @blenkinsopthebrave and many more…

    my NY reso is to work more in the garden, despite the muggy heat. I’d like to say exercise & diet but I doubt that’ll change!
    Hope we all stay safe from further Covid outbreaks and that the unnerving political situation in the States flattens itself out…

    all our love, from the Puro crew.

    janetteB @janetteb

    Greetings all. It has been very quiet here of late. I hope everyone is well and surviving the extremes of the season, be that hot or cold.

    We are sitting in front of the fresh breeze from the air conditioner, working on our respective tasks. I am supposed to be editing podcasts but seeking an excuse to procrastinate. I have only one snipped of news, of a sort. In the third series of Staged there is a small Tardis in David Tennant’s garden. (no doubt there as a prop)



    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb Nice to see a Whoforum post in my mailbox. Yes, the place has been dead quiet. I’m sitting in our daughter’s lounge in New Brighton, Christchurch, a long way away from my Who DVD collection. But the sea’s been fairly warm (slightly warmer than I remember it to be, or at least, I’ve been swimming here every day and in the past it would only have been around 3 times a week, which is probably a more accurate measure than my subjective impression of what it last felt like 2 years ago).

    The biggest drawback has been a persistent easterly wind, which often means it’s warmer in the water than out of it (what with the wind chill factor). Constant wind is very annoying. A couple of hundred miles southwest of here, at Middlemarch or Ranfurly in Central Otago, is the windiest place I know, every time I’ve been there there has been a relentless howling gale. I sometimes wonder if there’s a higher incidence of mental illness around those parts. Didn’t Arthur Upfield write a novel in which the murderer had been driven insane by the wind? (‘Winds of Evil’ maybe?) I know how he felt.

    syzygy @thane16

    Whoa! @dentarthurdent -Are you really Mr Dent? Because you’re saying the sea in NZ is warm! 🤣😆😆

    I’m being silly, but I can imagine the water would be 15 degrees C? I can do 17 but any lower, & the extremities are virtually lost …

    Then again, in Brisbane, it’s not uncommon for swimming pools to be 30C & the beach, a gooey 28C (whilst the air temp is 30C & humidity in the high 90s).

    This is when I start missing holidays in the UK, & even living in South Australia where the water, at least coming out of the cold tap, IS cold. Generally, the hose water here, even at 10 pm, is about 31C . Ick and yurrgh!

    On programmes, I was looking at Disney & prompted by a mate, saw the works of RTD. I was thinking about watching at least 1 of his series before welcoming in new Who? …

    @janetteb I love Staged! I didn’t see the little Tardis prop…. Sometimes I watch/listen whilst ironing…naughty. 😈

    our weather has been hot but nothing like previous summers. Still, @blenkinsopthebrave would attest to February, particularly the nights, being the worst, so I await these with trepidation. I loved day light saving, Janette, as our dad would come from work at 6pm & take us to Glenelg for a swim til 9 with hot chips if we stood up on our foam boards. It was exciting being out on a school night in warm water with the breeze kicking up & then rinsing off under the sprinkler before bed.

    do the children still finish at 12.30 pm if the temp hits 37.5C? Sometimes this would go for a fortnight & we’d spend hours at various homes with their above ground pools. Ah, childhood. 😮‍💨

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @syzygy Yes, I’ve been in Christchurch for the past month (until yesterday) and the sea temperature (according to the little ‘sea conditions’ sign the life guards put up) has been 17 or 18 degrees the whole time. Now subjectively it seems to me that it’s varied up or down a couple of degrees and their signs have been a little slow to respond, but most of the time it’s been adequately warm, that is to say, ‘warm when in’. Also, most of the time, there’s been a persistent onshore wind, (I see I already moaned about hat) so it’s been warmer in than out.

    That said, on my last day there (Saturday), the wind had dropped, it was high tide, good big waves but well spaced, it was lovely, I must have spent half an hour at least hopping around in the waves.

    Back in Auckland today, I went down to our tiny local beach – Blockhouse Bay – it was full high tide (so a decent depth of water over the mudflats) and warm enough that I spent an hour paddling around in neck-deep calm water. Probably a couple of degrees warmer than Chch. There was a strong south-west breeze that made the sea very choppy in the Manukau harbour beyond the boatshed on the point, but the ridge that extends to the boatshed shelters the bay perfectly from that direction, just floating around in the little bay you’d never notice how windy and rough it was in the ‘outside world’.

    Back to things cinematic, I picked up a DVD of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon at a charity shop in Chch, it wouldn’t play on my laptop, so I watched it last night on our big flatscreen TV – and it needed that. I remember I was commenting on the effects of scenery in Impossible Astronaut and A Town Called Mercy, well it certainly applies to Crouching Tiger. It was much more impressive than I remembered from a couple of decades ago. Also, howcome nobody killed themselves in the spectacular swordfights I’ll never know – I know it’s all stunt work and the swords are plastic but the moves are incredible.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    – and I’m back to my Doctor Who collection, after a month. Last night I watched The Rebel Flesh/ The Almost People. A so-so episode (I posted a brief comment in the relevant forum, my post was #7 and the first for nine years, which kinda shows how much interest/controversy the episode had).

    The most striking bit of course was the ‘sting in the tail’ – the reveal that Amy was a doppelganger. Who the Doctor promptly zapped.

    Sci-fi (and fantasy) loves doppelgangers, clones, impersonations and ‘skin jobs’, none more than Doctor Who. Just thinking, there’s the Flesh Doctor and Amy in this ep. There’s the Tesseract impersonating people in Let’s Kill Hitler. There’s the two Amy’s in The Girl Who Waited. There’s Darla and Bors (Dalek ‘skin jobs’) in Asylum of the Daleks and The Magician’s Apprentice. There’s Prisoner Zero in The Eleventh Hour. There’s Heather in The Pilot. There’s the Autons and the Zygons. There’s – oh I give up, they’re all over the place.

    Anyway, A Good Man Goes to War next.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Just skipped over Night Terrors and The God Complex and Closing Time (not that they’re bad episodes, as such) and got straight to The Wedding of River Song. Which was just fan-tastic. And just sheer fun. I’ve posted more in the relevant forum.

    In real life – just had the heaviest rain I ever remember, big areas of West Auckland flooded. Auckland Airport got more rain in four hours yesterday afternoon (171mm) than the previous 24-hour record. Weather cleared for a while today and I went down to the little beach for a swim, there was a huge gully (made by floodwaters) in the sand at the back of the beach and a deep pool at the end of it (made a nice swimming hole) and the muddy flat bottom off the beach is now a sandy flat for about 100 yards. Our house survived undamaged except for a pebble garden at the back half of which ended up in the carport. More rain forecast for tonight but so far (it’s 1.30 a.m.) no sign of it. It’s out there somewhere, lurking.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @dentarthurdent saw the flooding on the news earlier. Hope your place remains flood free.



    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb Thanks. Our house is ‘one section away’ from the little local stream, on rising ground, so we’re fairly safe from floodwaters. Our neighbours nearer the stream got their garages / basements flooded though.
    What we do get is surface runoff from the sections above, at one point yesterday it was coming through a gap in the fence like a little waterfall. But following a storm decades ago where the water got under the bottom of our house wall into the basement (it’s a timber weatherboard house with just a fibrolite ‘skirt’ to ground level) we’ve built up a narrow garden around the uphill sides of the house which acts as a dam to deflect the water around it.

    But this has been an ‘extreme’ event that has flooded places that were never expected to flood. All the pipes and stream channels have just been swamped.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @dentarthurdent Hope you are ok and got though the dramatic weather without harm.

    Hope @everyone else is well  and just busy at the moment. there is not much news on the Dr Who front and November is still a long way away. I am assuming that filming this year’s specials would be underway by now.



    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Hi @janetteb Yes, I’m fine, thanks, and lucky enough to live on a moderate slope so safe from the numerous slips, also just far enough above the valley bottom to be above flood level.
    Blockhouse Bay, where I had a nice paddle at high tide today, the overflowing stream has carved a wide gully in the little sandy beach and spread it across the mudflats below – nice for paddling, though doubtless the Council will lament the loss of their beach sand; inversely Piha, where I tried swimming yesterday, the sand bottom was covered in waterlogged sticks and debris – hopefully the tide will clear those fairly quickly. But everywhere has been affected by the extreme weather. I think if you added up all the flood damage, landslides and washouts of the past month, it would equate to a medium-sized earthquake.

    I think almost everybody here in this forum has experienced really extreme weather in the last year or two.

    This forum is very quiet at the moment, I too hope it’s not because everyone is too busy battling disasters to post.

    winston @winston

    @dentarthurdent  It is good to see you are fine and have got through the rain and floods that caused so much damage. It is frightening how much destruction that floods can cause.

    We had -20C days and frozen water pipes for a few days but that has ended and the pipes thawed out.Back to normal winter for awhile.

    I have been away from the site because I lost my brother last month, suddenly, to a heart attack. It was unexpected and very shocking and sad, especially for his children and 14 grandchildren. He lived on the other side of the country and I couldn’t get there in time for his funeral so it seems so unreal. He was my big brother, my only brother and we had many wonderful adventures when we were young. A sad start to the new year and one that has knocked me on my ass. Soon I will pick myself up and dust myself off but for now I am down.

    @janetteb  Good to see you too! The site is very quiet and we need some Who news to talk about. I am still excited about the new series and new Doctor but I will admit to feeling almost giddy over the return of the 10th. Can’t wait but I have to. My Who news is a new Tardis lamp I got for Xmas that makes the wheezing whoo whoo  noise when you open its doors.Inside is the interior of the 11th Doctors Tardis and it has a lampshade with him and Amy on it. I also got a soft and squishy Tardis pillow that has been my best friend these last few weeks.

    I hope you all have something or someone soft and squishy to hang on to.

    Stay dry

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @winston So sorry to hear of your loss. A number of us are getting to that age… I have an older brother back in Australia with serious medical issues, and I confess to being slightly apprehensive each time I turn on my email in the mornings.

    But I can report the discovery of new Who news! I am about to post it on the Spoilers page for those who are game.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @winston Sympathy for your loss for you and your family.

    Your Christmas gifts sound lovely. I did not get any Who related merch’ this season but instead got a Babylon Five figure, the last bit of b.5 merch’ in the shop. It is my favourite character, and the actor passed away last year so it especially meaningful for me. I am currently looking for a Dr Who calendar for our youngest to replace the one we got him last year. Unfortunately I don’t think I am going to find one locally so will have to go online.



    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @winstone I’m sorry to hear of your loss. As @blenkinsopthebrave noted, many of us are at the age where people around us keep dying. It’s disconcerting and rather sad. In my case, my relatives back in England are not so numerous now… of course there’s a younger generation but that’s not quite the same thing. I’m not sending quite so many calendars at Christmas as I used to. If Mrs D and I are going to go visit the rellies once more post-Covid, I’d better pull my finger out and book something soon.

    Enough of that, it will be interesting to see Ten again in the Doctor role, and how they’re going to handle it, plot-wise. Flashbacks? (Is there such a thing in Time Lord universe? And how do we measure it?)

    nerys @nerys

    @winston I’m so sorry to learn of the death of your big brother. It’s very understandable that you are feeling down. We have such a shared history with our siblings, one like no other. You will heal on your own time … however long you need.

    As others have noted, we are at that age when death will be a more constant companion than it once was. Hard to accept, but here we are.

    syzygy @thane16


    we’re terribly sorry to hear of your loss & condolences from all us Christensan’s here in Aus. It’s awful that it was so quick and unexpected. That you couldn’t make the funeral either as it was so far away also.

    All our love. ❤️❤️😢

    syzygy @thane16


    yes, it’s a difficult situation when we are living so far away from our close family. If there’s anything we can do, particularly as we’re in Brisbane, please let us know.


    winston @winston

    @blenkinsopthebrave @nerys @thane16 @dentarthurdent and @janetteb     Thank you all for your kind words. My stepfather used to annoy me by saying “life is life” as an answer to many things, but I was young and stupid then. Now I know he was right, loss is an unavoidable fact of life and we must carry on because what is the alternative. Life is indeed life.

    There have been many great conversations going on while I was away and I am going to go read them and catch up with the rest of you.

    @dentarhturdent ,I am glad the Gabbie didn’t hit as bad as forecast but it still looks like a lot of damage was caused. Good to see you got through it safe.

    @thane16  Thank you to both mother and son. Your weather bomb sounds like it was scary and sudden! Good to see the whole family are fine.

    stay dry

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @winston Gabrielle (and the extreme rainstorm two weeks before) didn’t hit our house badly (though Gabrielle did have a go at me personally 🙂 but others weren’t so lucky.

    To fill in the picture – two weeks ago Auckland experienced the most extreme rains ever, but little wind, massive flooding everywhere (including places that had never flooded before), many slips from the sodden ground, huge areas flooded and many houses lost and roads blocked or subsided in slips. As I recall the Coromandel peninsula and Northland also got a hammering.

    Then Gabrielle arrived. When I said ‘not as bad as forecast’ that was just my personal impression – at our house, the rain was merely heavy (not a ghost on what we got two weeks before), this time with strong winds, BUT Gabrielle was a widespread storm causing massive flooding, slips and wind damage from Northland (again), past Auckland, the Coromandel (again again) and right down to the East Coast and Gisborne and Napier – Hastings. It’s the most damaging storm ever to hit New Zealand, partly because the damage is so widespread (normally damage like that is confined to a single region). In Auckland itself the flooding was significant (but not like two weeks before) but there were many new slips and trees brought down – I went to drive to Piha for a swim yesterday (the weather was fine), never got there. By the time I got to the Piha Road I’d had to make three diversions around closed roads, and the Piha Road was closed to all traffic except emergency vehicles. And there were orange cones around small slips and fallen trees all over the place, too many to count. And it’s like this over half the North Island.

    janetteB @janetteb

    It is so quiet here at the moment. I simply had to post something, a shout to break the silence. Hope everyone is ok.

    I am sorry I have no news Dr Who related or otherwise. It has been very quiet here too. the S/O has been laid low with toothache for the past couple of weeks, kids are doing what kids to, going to school/uni, looking for jobs etc and  I am doing the referencing for the social history which involves a lot of swearing and shouting.

    Meanwhile we have not been watching any dr who at all. we watched one episode of Andor but could not hear what was being said, maybe due to bad speaker positioning or sound levels.  Still watching the Star Wars tv series does give me hope for the future of Dr Who. Hopefully they have learnt that put someone who is passionate about the show/series and it is far more likely to be good.




    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Hi @janetteb I was wondering when somebody would break the silence.

    I’m in Christchurch, far from my Who DVD’s. Been having dramas though – at 4a.m. on the day I was due to fly down, I woke with a pain in my left side, didn’t really feel like a heart attack but after an hour of wondering what it could be, I rang Healthline to check the symptoms, they promptly transferred me to 111 who promptly sent an ambulance (!) Anyway the two charming young paramedics gave me an ECG parked in my driveway, that showed all normal, they wanted to take me to hospital for blood tests to confirm it wasn’t cardiac but I respectfully declined (because travel bookings) but promised to see a doctor immediately when I got to Christchurch.

    So in Chch all docs were booked up so I went to a 24-hour A&E clinic – spent all day there being tested (the staff found me a comfy armchair to wait in, and offered me painkillers from time to time) – had an ECG, blood tests, two X-rays and an MRI scan – diagnosis kidney stones. The whole day cost me just $70, thank you public health subsidies. So now I’m snacking on painkillers and I’ll see my quack back in Auckland if they’re still going on in a week.

    Your S/O’s toothache – I feel sympathy for. I’ll take kidney stones (so long as I have a good supply of drugs) any day. Can he get to see a dentist? Dentistry has improved out of all recognition since I was young. Then, going to see the dentist was the most frightening thing I ever did. Now, I go for a check-up without a second thought.

    Other than that, weather’s been mostly fine and the sea is nice and warm, the swimming’s great.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @dentarthurdent Hope the kidney stones are dealt with soon. Dr Who also works as a good painkiller one i Have used many a time.

    The S/o did see a dentist who quoted $5,000 for root canal and crown. He opted to suffer it out and hopefully see a more affordable dentist in Vietnam next year. Might end up costing as much but that includes a holiday. We went to a dentist in Ho chi Min a few years back and he was affordable and superior to any dentist I have ever visited in Oz.

    it was never the dentist that frightened me, only the bills. If only dental was covered by public health, and veterinary.  (We have an aging cat with health issues.)





    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb Dental work isn’t covered by the national health system in NZ either. The one gap in the coverage. It does show how far dentistry has come when I’m more worried by the possible bill than I am by fear of the ‘procedure’. Did your s/o try ‘shopping around’? – not all dentists charge the same. I feel a little bit apprehensive for him, that sounds like a long time to have toothache.

    nerys @nerys

    Dental and eye exams are not covered by the provincial health care system in Nova Scotia. (Canada’s system is funded federally, but administered by the provinces. So each province has a different health care system.) Fortunately we have private insurance through my husband’s employer, and it covers dental work and much of what is not covered by the province. So we are very lucky in that way.

    @janetteb I hope that your husband’s toothache can be resolved soon. @dentarthurdent I hope that your kidney stones pass uneventfully. The pain seems to be different for different people. My mother-in-law said she preferred childbirth to kidney stones … so that tells you how painful hers were.

    After a largely snow-less winter, we are seeing snow in March. Today will probably bring us our biggest accumulation, thanks to a nor’easter sweeping through. Happy I don’t have to work today!

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @nerys Thanks, mine aren’t too bad, and moderate painkillers are working quite well. Probably depends on the size of them.

    I’ve only had stones once before, and it was lower down just above waist level – I can’t remember if kidney or something else. I was out walking, just made it back to the car and drove home in some pain. That was the only other time I’ve rung 111 (the emergency number) for myself – by then the pain had receded but I was afraid to drive through town to hospital in case it returned in traffic. I got transferred to a paramedic who listened carefully to my symptoms, recommended I take paracetamol/ibuprofen and drive myself to the nearest clinic – which I did successfully. Saved an ambulance, quite rightly.

    Hope your snow behaves itself and doesn’t turn into a blizzard or something. The weather this year has been insane.

    nerys @nerys

    Today is sunny and bright! We have more snow on the ground this morning than I have seen in a while (probably since 2018, which is confirmed in my snowfall photos from that year). I’m guessing that we got between 20 and 30 centimetres total. It’s the first time I can remember an 11-hour snowfall, which is how long this lasted. Fortunately the wind was minimal, and the power stayed on!

    winston @winston

    @dentarthurdent  I can only offer a sympathetic “ouch!” I hope you get better soon but until you do ,enjoy your painkillers. We are so lucky to live in reasonable countries that recognize that affordable healthcare is a human right. get better.

    stay sane


    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @winston Thanks! I’ve been enjoying a smorgasbord of painkillers – codeine, paracetamol and diclofenac (not all at once!) I’m back in Auckland now, been driving all day (400 miles from Wellington), I’ve just realised I haven’t felt the pain since I took some codeine this morning (and the codeine should have worn off a while ago). Now activity – walking, driving – tends to mask the ache anyway. I’ll know when I try to sleep, if it creeps back. But as ‘stones’ go, I think this one counts as mild to moderate (at worst).

    And yes the affordable healthcare thing is marvellous. Means I don’t have to think of the financial implications if I have a symptom.

    But anyway, I’m now reunited with my Doctor Who DVD’s. Rings of Akhaten is the next story, I didn’t rate it all that highly last time round, maybe it was just a bit space-opera after Bells of St John (which was brilliant). Akhaten reminded me strongly of a typical Farscape episode – all the aliens in the market were pure Henson. And – logistics problems (or problems of scale) – how could they cross from one planet to another in an unpressurised speeder? How did the singing work (no sound in a vacuum)?. Did I miss something? (And yet, the idea of peoples’ consciousness – their identity – being wirelessly sucked into a computer network in Bells of St John didn’t even make me blink. As always, my threshold of credibility is variable, arbitrary and possibly fractal).

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Well, Rings of Akhaten was just as (un)impressive as first time around, sad to say.

    Aside from some vague clues relating to Clara’s origins.

    Cold War, on the other hand, was a vast improvement, solid work by Mark Gatiss. I just relaxed & enjoyed it. I posted a couple of random impressions on the relevant thread.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    And Hide was excellent. On re-watching, a number of things that were a bit vague or confusing before, have resolved themselves.

    Missy @missy

    I could not resist this! Bound to offend someone 🙂

    I used to think I was pretty much just a regular person, but I was born white, into a two-parent household which now, whether I like it or not, makes me privileged, a racist, responsible for slavery and genocide of Aboriginals, etc.

    I am a fiscal and moral conservative, which by today’s standards, makes me a fascist because I plan, budget, and support myself.

    I went to a good school and have always held a job. But I now find out that I am not here because I earned it, but because I was “advantaged”.

    I am heterosexual, which according to some folks, now makes me a homophobe.

    I am not a Muslim, which now labels me as an infidel.

    I am older than 70, making me a useless eater who doesn’t understand Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat.

    I think, and I reason, and I doubt most of what the ‘mainstream’ media tells me, which could make me a right-wing conspiracy nut.

    I am proud of my heritage and our inclusive culture, making me a xenophobe.

    I believe in hard work, fair play, and fair reward according to each individual’s merits, which today makes me an anti-socialist.

    I believe our system guarantees freedom of effort – not freedom of outcome or subsidies which must make me a borderline sociopath.

    I believe in the defence and protection of my nation for and by all citizens, now making me a militant.

    I am proud of our flag, what it stands for, and the many who died to let it fly, so I stand during our National Anthem – so I must be a racist.

    Please help me come to terms with the new me because I’m just not sure who I am anymore!

    Funny – it all took place over the last decade!

    If all this nonsense wasn’t enough to deal with, now I don’t even know which toilet to use… and these days I gotta go more frequently!







    janetteB @janetteb

    Hi all. It has been quiet around here of late. Must be the long Dr Who drought.

    I was looking for The Sofa but could not find it. Are we sans sofa?

    Was feeling a bit down tonight for no reason whatsoever other than the weather having taken a doleful turn and reading that we might be in for a killer La NIna summer, exacerbated by Global Warming. We are planning on establishing a vegie garden this winter, depending on the removal of a peppercorn tree but if we have a super hot summer nothing will survive. But I am digressing. The point I was going to make is, having been watching various Star Wars series the S/O put on Dr Who which we have not watched for at least six  months, and I had forgotten just how much I love it, even one of the lesser episodes. Just that theme music is enough to lift my spirits.




    winston @winston

    @janetteb  I know what you mean, when I hear that music I can only think of the Doctor and start to feel excited and happy. Very few things can entertain and take me away from my worries like this show. I don’t know why but I am glad I found it.

    Lately I have been embracing my inner nerd and have been trying to watch all the Marvel Avenger movies in the right order. There are so many movies that tie in together and it has been fun watching them all. We have Ant Man next and then Avengers Civil War I think. I love a super hero I guess.

    Spring has come to my area in a big way. It was 25C today and that is …stupid! I think we will have a very hot summer and I will plant for that and drought. What scares me are the intense storms that come with that heat. We have taken down 4 trees in our garden in the last week because they were too near the house and have become dangerous. I planted them all 40 or so years ago and it was really sad to cut them down. I can’t even look in that direction because it upsets me. I will plant new trees to replace them ,but ,by the time they are big enough to give good shade or  cause damage I will be gone. Climate change is all too real here.

    I hope you can get a garden in as it is so nice to eat your own veggies and cheaper too. By the way .what is a peppercorn tree? Does it grow peppercorns?

    stay safe

    janetteB @janetteb

    @winston I feel your pain regarding the loss of trees. It always saddens me to see a tree removed and I hate the sound of chain saws. For that reason we have kept the peppercorn this long. It is a lovely tree, but but, it has many many problems, roots getting into drains, white ants, and it sucks out all the moisture from the soil. Interestingly they sell them as ornamental trees in Victoria where perhaps they are less of a problem due to the cooler climate. Here in South Australia they are considered a menace. They are originally from South America and not related to actual pepper plants. This is the best image I could find for one. Ours has given us a lot of shade but the neighbours complain about it with good reason and sadly its time is up. In its place I will pant fruit trees and a carob which is smaller and more manageable.

    I am not so keen on the Avengers movies but last week we went to see the D&D movie which is of the same ilk essentially, lots of action. It was fun. We have also been rewatching some Studio Ghibli movies after the boys bought me the toy of the cat from Kiki’s Delivery Service for my birthday. He sits looking over our dinner table now.





    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb @winston Hey! Life exists in the forum! I too hate the sound of chainsaws (also leaf-blowers and weed-whackers, if they’re powered by obnoxious little two-stroke engines). But chainsaws particularly, because it means some tree is getting murdered. That said, I have a chainsaw, but an electric one. I think there could be good reason for banning all petrol-powered garden hand tools in built-up areas, without a special permit.

    And I have had to get trees cut down – some planted by the previous owner when he built the house. A row of ironwood trees (casuarinas) that got too tall – maybe 20 metres. That left a huge acacia (wattle) that overhung the lawn and the back boundary, for years I would be a little apprehensive when the forecast was for strong winds, eventually I bit the bullet and had it cut down. I do feel a sense of relief now. All the other trees around the boundary are not big enough to do more than minor damage. There are a couple of really vigorous lemonwoods (pittosporum) that I planted in place of the casuarinas, they’ve grown to about 10 metres – not enough to worry me. But after I had the acacia cut down, little acacia shoots started sprouting all over the garden, I would never have thought its roots extended that far.

    Janette, ‘On the Sofa’ is ‘closed to new replies.’ I’m not sure why.

    I’m sporadically re-watching my way through Doctor Who, most recently The Day of the Doctor (what’s not to love?). And I also just watched my way through Sherlock. That series really rewarded paying attention, you could tell the producers had taken their time to get everything right. But it was full of surprises. I was *not* expecting the way Holmes dealt with Magnusson at the end of Season 3…

    winston @winston

    @dentarthurdent and @janetteb    Tree lovers assemble!  It is sad to see an old friend get cut down even if it is for a good reason and unfortunately we are not done yet. We have a big maple tree and a black locus that the electric company have marked for removal but they will do it at no cost so that’s one good  thing. Both trees are lovely and provide lots of shade and homes for birds but they are too close to the wires. The really sad one will be a huge ash tree that was here and old when I moved in over 40 years ago but we have an invasive beetle called  the emerald ash borer and it has finally attacked my poor tree. My kids climbed that tree and had a swing hanging on it and it has housed more birds than I could count.

    Thousands of ash trees just in my area have died or are dying adding to the massive losses to farming and storms and developers..The country side doesn’t look the same. My 92 year old father in law actually closed his eyes as we drove through an area being slashed and cleared for new homes. We have a premier who is having a love affair with developers to build “affordable” houses that only cost $750,000 ,but that’s a whole other rant that I will save for another day.

    Because my life seems very chaotic right now I am drawn to favourites like Doctor Who and the Avengers etc. for pure escapism and comforting sameness. I don’t know if that is a word but I like it. I also rewatch Poirot and  Sherlock even though I know who done it. I just watched the Eleventh Hour and fell in love with the 11th doctor, Amy and Rory all over again. Good stuff!

    Take care

    winston @winston

    @dentarthurdent  I forgot to say that I totally agree about nasty two stroke engines and leaf blowers. They are loud and stinky and bad for the environment and loud. For goodness sake pick up a rake. Wood chippers make a sound that crawls up my spine and burrows into my brain.

    take care

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @winston @janetteb Well I can claim to being a literal tree-hugger. When I had heart surgery (they take a chainsaw to your breastbone for access, I’d never wondered about it before, just assumed they pressed a button and a panel in your chest slid open like all good androids), they wire it back together afterwards and it doesn’t hurt while its mending except when you laugh – or cough. A nurse showed me how to grab a pillow and hug it tight thus relieving the strain and pain. Of course, going for recuperative walks, there was never a pillow handy so if I felt a cough coming on I would just run to the nearest tree and hug it tight. Or power pole.

    We have 110kV power lines above one boundary so the casuarinas on that side are still there – the power company come and trim them every year so they never grew tall enough to be a threat, either to the power wires or houses. At one stage they warned that people would be charged for this but they never did, maybe too many people objected.

    Re not looking, there is one place I will never visit again. (Digression – when ‘Hercules’ and ‘Xena’ were being made here I made it a hobby to track down their filming locations, just because I could, I love maps and scenery and it was fascinating ‘detective’ work. Also, it got me started on my hobby of walking up bush tracks). And one place I found was Woodhill Forest at Muriwai, in particular Cable Road (a forest track) and the nearby Okiritoto Stream which meandered through the pine forest – it was a magical spot. You could wander along the stream bank with the tall pines above you, like a natural cathedral. Eventually, being a commercial pine forest, that ‘block’ was logged. I know this because I read it, I have never been back and never will because I want to remember it how it was, without overwriting my memory. It’s still forest and doubtless covered in healthy young trees by now, and in maybe 30-40 years it will be like it was, but I’ll never see it.

    Back to Doctor Who – just watched The Time of the Doctor. It failed to engage me the way Day of the Doctor did (though I liked Tasha Lem of the Papal Mainframe). But seeing the Doctor in old age never appeals to me. I must be age-ist, I much prefer watching non-decrepit people. I’ll be real fun in the retirement home. (By some quirk our TV keeps feeding me adverts for ‘funeral insurance’ and retirement villages). Never mind, next ep is Deep Breath, introducing Twelve, and for some reason I find a bedraggled and furious Clara incredibly attractive.

    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    Lol visualising you running to what I would call a telephone pole to hug it to ease coughing pain made me laugh as I well remember my own post open heart surgery recovery from a few years ago and having a cushion available for when I coughed and if I was out in the car (as a passenger) with the cushion to provide padding against the seat belt.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @devilishrobby What surprised me was how quickly I ‘recovered’. I’d expected to be in hospital for weeks, I was out in a week. I think the day after the operation, or maybe the next day, I was able to shuffle to the toilet unaided.
    Actually the whole experience was – not unpleasant. I had a nice comfortable bed in a light airy room, and I could just lie there totally lazy without the usual guilty feelings that I should be doing something useful, which was a novelty to me.
    The other thing that surprised me was, I think I was on morphine the first day, methadone the next, and after that – paracetamol. Who would have thought it would be so effective?

    Doctor Who – I just watched Deep Breath. Love it, it more than makes up for my mild disappointment with The Time of the Doctor. I’d quote some favourite lines from it but really I’d just have to list the entire transcript. I thought that Twelve’s initial confusion manifesting itself as being unable to tell people apart was funnier than Eleven’s inability (in Eleventh Hour) to find anything he liked to eat.
    “Oh, you two. The green one and the not-green one. Or it could be the other way round, I mustn’t prejudge.” And “Oh, you remember, er. Thingy. The, er, the not-me one. The asking questions one.” I’m personally bad at names and faces so I know how Twelve felt – but it was much funnier when he does it.

    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    @dentarthurdent the same here they had me sitting out in a big chair the afternoon the day after my op despite still having 2 chest drains. They had me walking the next morning and going to the toilet and back by the end of the day and I was actually discharged home to finish my recovery on day 5 postoperative similar you. I had been told I was probably going to be in hospital at least 7- 10 days post valve replacement. I think the worst  thing was when they pulled the temporary pacing wire out it was a horrible sensation.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    Ah, I think I escaped having one of those pacing wires. I don’t have a pacemaker, I just had a defective valve that they repaired in situ with a new valve seat. The biggest pain for me was being on rat poison** for the next six months with weekly blood tests. (**Okay, warfarin).
    Still, we live in fortunate times in that respect, a generation earlier I would have eventually just quietly died.

    Enough of that! I just re-watched Deep Breath again, for some reason I underrated it first time I ever watched it, but now I think it’s a delightful episode. The Paternoster Gang are always entertaining, particularly Strax’s efforts to be a butler. “May I take your coat?” [Clara:] “Not wearing a coat.”
    “What’s all that?” “Clothes.”
    “May I take your clothes?” “Probably not.”
    “Are you wearing a hat?” “It’s hair.”
    “No, I think it’s a hat. Would you like me to check?”

    Into the Dalek next…

    janetteB @janetteb

    Some sad news for those of us who have been around here for a while. I was looking through my tabs while talking to an old friend on the phone and noticed that Ichabod passed away earlier this year.  I had noticed that she has not posted for a while. For those who are not aware Ichabod was a sci fi writer who had won numerous awards including a Hugo. I have been intending to look for some of her work, hence having the Wikipedia tab open.  I think she told us her actual name at once stage when she talked about her writing. You can read about her here.

    I always wonder what had become of members of our community when they stop posting. Hopefully everyone else is fine and just busy with R.L. I look forward to seeing some old faces on the Forum when Who’ returns to our screens and some new ones too.



    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @janetteb ‘Silence will fall.’ It just seems an apposite quote.

    Modern communications put us in touch easily with people on the far side of the planet, but if we’re not here to operate our end of the link, we just – go quiet.

    It’s slightly sad, that. We all have an instinct for closure, to know how the story ended, but mostly the Internet doesn’t provide a mechanism for that.

    Sorry for the melancholy, I’d better watch Robot of Sherwood for a bit of silliness to cheer me up.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @dentarthurdent Robot of Sherwood will do that for sure..



    winston @winston

    @janetteb   That is really sad news for sci-fi lovers and for us here. She always had great bonkers theories that I enjoyed as well as giving us the other side(the writers point of view) of the episodes we were discussing. I will miss her opinions and the occasional time she got feisty. Farewell Ichabod.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @janetteb, @winston

    That is very sad news about @ichabod. She had wonderful posts on the site. I confess to being completely unaware of her background, but will definitely search out her published work.

    Vale @ichabod

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