Friday, 31 December 2010
Saturday, 18 December 2010
Friday, 26 November 2010
How we turned out back garden from this...
... to this...
Speading the load
Water water everywhere
Trees and flowers
Sunday, 21 November 2010
Wednesday, 8 September 2010
Thursday, 19 August 2010
The premise of the show was the Dawn Porter - a straight woman - would see if she could understand lesbians, and see whether she was capable of becoming one herself.
So - rather than just ask herself the question "I'm a woman, do I fancy other women?" - she decided to go on a personal quest - complete with TV crew - to find out about lesbians and see if she was capable of falling for another woman.
Whilst Dawn herself seemed likeable enough, the show was beyond trash and at times went beyond patronising into the borders of offensive.
To investigate whether she was a lesbian, she moved into a house with some lesbians (did she think it was contagious and so she may catch it from one of them..?) and then went out to a lesbian bar to see what lesbians do on a night out. Apparently, lesbians like to drink, dance, chat and sometimes snog other lesbians - who'd have thought it..?
When one of the women in the club tried chatting up Dawn, she acted as though she'd been physically attacked. In her piece to camera afterwards, she seemed genuinely surprised that lesbians may want to chat up other women. If she didn't want to get chatted up by lesbians then making herself look pretty and spending the evening in a lesbian bar was probably a bad move.
At one point, she strapped down her breasts, put a lemon down her knickers and dressed like a man to see if that'd make her feel more like a lesbian. Yes, really.
And so the show went on. She took a job for a night in a lesbian club, and snogged a couple of women. But the show was starting to come to an end - her month long quest to turn herself into a lesbian was starting to look like a failure.
All of these low-budget documentaries have to end with an epiphany towards the end, and this one was no exception. In the last couple of days in the house, Dawn suddenly realised (decided?) that she was quite taken with one of the other women in the house, and they snogged and then cuddled up together. How convenient that she should find herself attracted to another woman at exactly the right point to make an interesting narrative.
The fundamental problem with this documentary was that it was trying to make something out of nothing. Our lovely Dawn was not a lesbian - spending a month living in a house with lesbians did not turn her into a lesbian and she found snogging other woman fun but didn't fall for any of the other women. Which is hardly surprising, given that she's not a lesbian.
So - you could say it was all harmless fun - and why do I care so much about a low-rent documentary. But I found the whole thing treated lesbians as strange, mysterious creatures who needed to be discovered and analysed. I don't think this was malicious on the part of the documentary makers, I think it was borne out of the desire - as I said earlier - to turn something really rather simple - "some women fancy other women" - into something more complicated. It's just a shame that nobody involved in the production of the documentary was able to stand back and say "hang on, is just just a little bit offensive"...
Saturday, 31 July 2010
Saturday, 5 June 2010
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
I’m currently in the process of having some things I bought online delivered. I say “in the process of” because the things in question have been given to the courier who are currently in the process of trying to deliver them to my house.
It always intrigued me how couriers could survive in what must be a very competitive market when they give very bad service to the people they are delivering to. But the answer is really quite obvious.
Couriers aren’t paid by the people who receive the items, they are paid by the people sending them. In the particular case I’m thinking about the couriers (the courier in case you care) only deliver on behalf of business with accounts. So how does that protect them from the normal effects of being crap at what they do?
Well, let’s look at my particular case. I bought something online. I bought it online because it was a good price, and the delivery charge looked reasonable. It didn’t occur to me to look at which delivery service they were using – and even if I had decided to look, I would only have been given a company name which would’ve then involved more online research to find the services offered by that delivery company. So, as most online buyers do, I simply bought my items and paid and presumed that the company I was buying from would arrange delivery.
As is often the case with this courier things went wrong with both the delivery and the courier’s follow-up to my complaint. Initially, I was shocked, and was ready to fire off letters and emails to the courier to vent my frustration but then I realised there’s little point, as the courier don’t actually care if I’m happy or not.
If I’m unhappy, I complain to the courier, but not being a customer of theirs I am not in a position to actually remove any business from them or seek any form of compensation. The courier company may receive the complaints, but their contract is with the seller, and in order for the seller to complain to the courier it would take me to complain to the seller, and the seller to pass that complaint onto the courier. This route is so round-about that only a very small amount of feedback will ever make it through.
So despite the courier being terrible at “delivering things” – which is the one and only thing they do – they are vaccinated if not entirely immune to the usual effects of providing bad service.
In order for my bad experience to have an effect on the courier’s business, the seller I use would have to receive a large number of complaints and would have to have the time to collect the information and pass it onto the courier. The default reaction of anyone waiting for a parcel is to contact the courier direct, and I guess only a small proportion of those who do so will also contact the original vendor.
With my experience of the past few days, I’ve made a mental note not to order from any company which use this particular courier as the delivery courier. I do so mostly for my own sanity rather than because I think it’ll make any difference. A quick Google for this courier will show you that I’m not the only one with problems but given that it seems the courier have never been any good at delivering things and they are still around and thriving as a business it seems as though in some industries it is perfectly possible to have just one function as a company, perform that function very badly indeed and yet still survive as a successful company.
Sunday, 9 May 2010
I collect coins and banknotes. Yes, I am aware that makes me “a bit sad” but I like it. One thing I find fascinating are the mistakes. The errors. The coins and banknotes we were never meant to get our grubby little public hands on.
Mistakes in bank note printing are quite common. The paper flies through the machines at an incredible rate, and folds and other problems with the paper are quite common. Notes are often miscut, meaning large blank paper flaps remain on the side, for instance.
Below is a photo of a UK fiver showing a slightly rarer error. Both the design from the front of the note and the design from the back of the note have been printed on the same side. The most likely cause of this is that one sheet of banknotes fell on top of another before the ink was fully dry.
Errors in coins are rarer. Coins are generally pressed one at a time from blank pieces of metal of the right size. The lack of flexible paper and post-print cutting makes mistakes rarer than with banknotes – but that doesn’t mean that don’t happen.
Let’s start with a well-known example. In 2008, the design of UK coins changed. As part of the change, the date on the 20p coin was moved from one side of the coin to the other. Some coins were produced with both front and back without a date. Of course, these coins were never meant to end up in circulation but it seems that a rather large number of them did. It’s perfectly possible to find one of the coins in your change. Don’t get too excited though, talk of them being worth “thousands of pounds” is rubbish – a shiny, unscratched example will probably get you around £70 at the most.
But the 20p isn’t the only time a mistake has been made at the mint. And sometimes the errors have nothing to do with the wrong dies being used.
Coins are made from blank pieces of metal, the right size for the coin, but without the design on. These fly into a machine which stamps the familiar design onto the coins. But this process doesn’t always go according to plan. The quality control at the mint is very good, and most of the time, any coins which aren’t perfect are found and destroyed before reaching circulation, but that’s not always the case.
The picture above shows a 3d from 1956. It seems that another piece of metal got in the way during the pressing process, and so there’s a circular chunk missing from one side of the coin.
But sometimes something even rarer can happen. Look at this 2p from 1979.
Do not adjust your sets. There’s nothing wrong with the colour in that picture. The 2p piece you’re looking at is actually silver. It’s made of cupro-nickel rather than the usual bronze. From the 1990s onward, 1p and 2p coins were minted in steel and then plated in copper, but back in 1979 they were made (or supposed to be made) from solid bronze. So how did that happen?
Well the Royal Mint here in the UK doesn’t just make coins for the UK; they make coins for many countries throughout the world under contract. The best guess here is that a blank normally used for a non-UK coin the same size as a 2p – but made from cupro-nickel accidentally found its way into the hopper of blanks destined for 2p pieces. The resulting error didn’t get picked up by the Royal Mint, and the shiny silver 2p made it out into the wild.
So don’t think of collecting coins as simply memorising the designs of the UK pound coin for every year since 1983 or trying to get a complete set of sixpences. Think of the more interesting items which give an insight into how money is made and why you should always check your change – you never know what you may find!
(All pictures are of items from my private collection – don’t reuse without permission – thanks! D.)
Saturday, 8 May 2010
I was waiting at Euston station for a train yesterday. The train was delayed. I would say “as is typical” but in fairness to Virgin Trains, the service from London to Chester is usually pretty reliable.
Anyway – waiting for the delayed train, I was standing with the rest of the world staring at the departure board trying to guess which of the incoming trains shown on the arrivals board would become our outgoing train so I work out which platform I should be edging towards. Having a pre-booked seat reservation didn’t stop me from thinking that getting on the train sooner rather than later would somehow speed up my journey.
Two guys were standing next to me. From the way they were interacting, I’d say they were probably workmates who both happened to be getting trains from Euston around the same time, so had travelled there together. They were talking very loudly, and so even had I wanted to, avoiding hearing their conversation would’ve been somewhat impossible.
The taller and younger of the guys was talking about his girlfriend. Apparently she had decided that she needed to lose weight, and he started by saying how he’d told her that she looked fine the way she was, and that she didn’t need to lose weight. That made me warm to him.
He did, however, follow up that modern sentiment with … “cos thin birds have small tits and I told her that I like her tits really big”.
Wednesday, 31 March 2010
Last night, we went along to the Channel 4 Comedy Gala. It’s been recorded and will be on TV next Monday evening.
There were a LOT of stand-up comedians on the bill. And I mean a LOT. Each of them was given around five minutes and as you’d expect, some tickled my funny bone and some didn’t.
But as this isn’t a review – I shall limit myself to saying Bill Bailey and Michael McIntyre good – but that was expected. Lee Evans not as annoying as I’d feared and actually quite funny.
More interesting was to note the same formula used by so many of the comedians on the bill. Before we look at the formula itself, there’s a few things you need to know about the gig.
- It was in the O2. That’s a very big venue.
- To get onto the stage, the acts had to walk up a few stairs
- The gig was in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital
Armed with just those three facts you could reconstruct the set of many of the comedians on the bill. So let’s do that.
First, walk up the stairs.
If you trip on the stairs, make a joke about how that wasn’t intentional and how it all could’ve gone badly wrong.
If you aren’t the fittest person in the world, make a joke about how walking up the stairs was hard work.
Stand still for a minute and look out into the crowd. Then utter an expletive and say how big the room is. (Almost everyone except Lee Evans did this!).
To get the crowd on side, ask if they’re having a good time and make a joke about how long the evening is. (Again – almost everyone except Lee Evans)
Maybe riff a little about the fact that the O2 used to be the Millennium Dome. It’s sponsored by a mobile phone company, so if you have some jokes about call plans or text messages, now’s your chance.
Then go into three minutes or so of your own material – maybe throwing in a few references to children or hospitals if you want to be topical.
If at any point you start to lose the crowd, either talk about how great the cause is. (Cue applause)
Or failing that, talk about how intimidated you are by the size of the room and how happy you are that you are getting through your set without dying. (Yes, one of them really did spend a proportion of their set doing just this…)
Finally, say what a great night is ahead of the audience, say thank you for coming and leave the stage.
Of course, as the evening drags on, you can start to turn the “length of the show joke” into “don’t worry, you can go home soon”.
If you’re feeling subversive, you could say that you’re not going to ask the crowd if they are enjoying the evening, as so many other people have asked that.
Now, I realise I’m starting to sound miserable at this point. Don’t get me wrong; I had a cracking evening and spent most of it laughing. But there are two ways of looking at comedy – analogous to two ways in which you can listen to music.
I can listen to a song and get caught up in the emotion and the sound and the mood. Or I can listen to a song and count the beats, listen for the chord changes, listen for the breaths on the vocal track and take it apart.
The first can be a moving experience. The second can be an interesting experience.
Last night, at the gig itself, I was moved to laughter. Right now, I’m being interesting.(*)
But is there a connection between the two ways of looking at comedy? I think there is. And my reason is that if I think of the acts who still stand out in my mind from last night, they are the ones who didn’t stick to the script. Or who subverted the script.
Shappi Khorsandi gave five minutes of well-rehearsed and good material.
Michael McIntyre was gifted with following Katie Price and Alex Reid on the bill which would provide anyone with enough material to fill five minutes, but still delivered some great and original material of his own.
Bill Bailey provided a brilliant musical opening to the second half.
And – much as it pains me to say this – Lee Evans was actually very funny. Obviously at home in such large arenas, he knows how to connect with a large crowd.
Given it was a charity gig – and that nobody was truly awful – I think it’d be wrong of me to pick out some of my least favourite acts and at an evening with so many comedians on the bill some are bound to resonant with my sense of humour more than others.
I would recommend watching on Monday though – but if you want to see what I mean above – buy the uncut DVD coming out later in April. It’s for a good cause after all…
Monday, 22 March 2010
I’ve read a lot of “popular science” books. Put me in a book shop and I’ll be headed straight for the section filled with books called “Shrödinger’s Something” and have a picture of a cat on the front. (*)
Time – and a lot of reading – has lead me to believe that many authors mistake the readers of popular science books for idiots and seem to think that making the science simple involves aiming for a simple readership. To think that way is folly – most people pick up a book on quantum theory or relativity because they want to understand it – not because they want to read tabloid-style rantings about time travel and clocks slowing down in fast planes. I’ve got a particular book in mind here which was so dire I was screaming at the pages during the last chapter…
The problem with most popular science books – and many science documentaries on TV – is that they aren’t created by people who understand the science. If you want an accessible depiction of a scientific concept then find a scientist who understands and let them explain it to the target audience – whatever you do, don’t find some actor from Hollyoaks and give them a script to read out.
Fortunately, Brian Cox has appeared as our saviour in the mire of dull science writing and presenting.
I’m just about to finish reading Why E=mc² and it’s a fantastic book. And even though we’re only halfway through “Wonders of the Solar System” it’s already astounded me with both the imagery and the presentation.
Let me illustrate my point with an example. A week ago Saturn’s rings were the focus of “Wonders Of The Solar System” and in particular the gaps which appear in the rings. Mention was made that moons are responsible for the gaps. And that’s where most documentaries would’ve stopped. Not this one.
It was a joy to hear orbital resonance being explained. There was no hand-waving here, but an actual explanation of how moons outside the ring system can create gaps inside the ring system because of resonances between their orbital period and the orbital period of the particles which make up the rings. Proof that it is possible to present the truth of science without making it either inaccessible or patronising.
I can recommend the book for exactly the same reason. The maths is presented and a derivation of “E=mc²” is given in the book.(**) Even if you already understand Special Relativity, the Standard Model and the idea of spacetime curvature, you will still enjoy reading this book. Trust me. You will. Oh and watch “Wonders of the Solar System” on Sunday Evenings – you won’t be disappointed!"
* Brian Cox’s book does have a picture of a cat on the front but Schrödinger is not mentioned in the title.
** OK, it’s a bit of an approximate derivation but if you have a maths background you have enough information in the book to make it rigorous…
Monday, 8 March 2010
Everyone sees the world differently. A shining example of modern architecture to one person may appear as a monstrous carbuncle to others. This is how I see the world.
I was sitting in a café having lunch on Sunday, and there were four stools lined up against the wall opposite. They were not spaced equally. You may ask why I was looking at the spacing of the stools and the answer is that I wasn’t looking at the spacing specifically – I was merely glancing at the stools and the asymmetrical arrangement leapt out at me.
The imperfect arrangement of the stools looked wrong. No – it didn’t look wrong – it felt wrong. It was wrong.
It’s not an obsession with neatness – anyone who knows me will tell you that’s something I don’t suffer from – but simply something in my brain which tells me that an asymmetrical arrangement of stools is wrong.
There are other examples. Hanging clothes out on the line on holiday once, I noticed that I was ensuring that identical clothes pegs were used on each sock from the same pair. This wasn’t a choice for aesthetic reasons; do have mismatched pegs on a pair of socks would just feel wrong. Uncomfortable. Unacceptable,even.
Whenever I buy a new pair of shoes, I am faced with a dilemma. The laces are quite often not threaded and before you wear the shoes you have to lace them up. The lacing of shoes is not symmetrical and so the question in my mind is immediately whether the lacing of the left and right shoes should be identical – or mirror imaged. You may laugh – in fact I can hear that you are – but to me this isn’t an idle thought. It matters.
I count roast potatoes for dinner. Every guest must get the same number of potatoes on the plate. I don’t count the peas; but I do count the spoonfuls of peas.
I’m writing this on a train, and we’re currently speeding through Burgess Hill. On the right, I have just seen a house with an asymmetrical roof. I couldn’t buy that house. It would be too uncomfortable to see the mismatched roof every time I came home.
I’m a scientist by nature though I think my love of science is a symptom of my obsession with symmetry and numbering rather than the cause. Logic and order are at the heart of scientific thinking, and I think I feel at home there.
You may ask how I can appreciate art, if symmetry and order are important. I can – and do – appreciate art. The composition of the painting or the piece of music may be asymmetrical, but that’s fine. What wouldn’t be fine would be if the art gallery had hung the painting unevenly.
I know other people who think the same way as I do. It can’t be that unusual. But surely not everyone sees the world like this.
I don’t hold with the modern obsession with labelling every behaviour or way of thinking as a “syndrome” and trying to analyse – and indeed change – it. I certainly have no idea to change the way I think, I quite like my ordered and counted view of the world. But I’m curious if anyone else sees the world like this – or does everyone think this way and yet nobody talks about it?
There’s been a lot in the press recently about one of the James Bulger killers who’s been taken back to prison for breaking the terms of his release.
Also, stirred up by the tabloids, there have been increasing calls for him to lose his anonymity and face trial for these new charges under his real name. There have also been people who really should know better claiming that the charges against him should be made public.
I can understand the anger in this case. I can understand how emotional it is. But I disagree entirely with the notion that anyone not involved in the case has any right to know the nature of the new charges. We may want to know – and indeed I’m sure everyone is curious – but that does not in itself give us the right to be told.
Everyone in this country has the right to a fair trial for every offence of which they are accused. The fact that Jon Venables has already been found guilty of a very serious – and truly horrendous – crime previously does not remove his right to a fair trial this time around.
If he were tried by jury under his real name, there is no way he would be guaranteed a fair trial. No matter how disturbing we find the Bulger murder not how we feel about the punishment the two killers have received, the right to a fair trial for this new charge should not be up for debate.
Emotion is a very powerful thing, and the Bulger case obviously stirs up emotions in anyone who reads about it – but perhaps the people who need to make the decisions in this case are not the ones who are emotionally involved. James Bulger’s mother is understandably upset, and may feel that – should Jon Venables be found guilty of the new charges – her suggestions that the killers were released too early was justified.
But right now, Jon Venables has not been found guilty of any new charges. The priority now should be to give him a fair trial for those charges. Any raking over the coals of the previous case in light of the new one should only be done once we know whether he actually did what he now stands accused of.
Sunday, 7 March 2010
I’ve waited a week or so before writing this, just to ensure that the sheer delight from seeing Lady GaGa at the O2 didn’t fade with time, it hasn’t.
I should declare now that I’m a Lady GaGa fan. She’s completely nutty, but I like that in a pop star.
The show at the O2 was even better than I had expected – and my expectations were pretty high.
There was a Rolls Royce with a piano under the bonnet, a fountain which shot flames, a grand piano which set itself on fire and of course the huge monster which she killed by shooting sparks from her breasts. As you do.
But, amongst all the silliness, every song was sung live, with a live band. She spent the whole two hours in fully choreographed dance routines. Not only can she sing, she can play the piano and she writes almost all of her songs.
I’m sick and tired of modern pop stars who seem to think a concert involves prancing around with a few dancers whilst someone back stage presses play on your latest CD and you move your lips in time to the music.
It’s often claimed that you can’t sing and dance at the same time. Not true. Admittedly it’s hard to sing well whilst performing an energetic dance routine – but it is definitely possible.
I’m also tired of pop stars (and rock stars) who seem to think that if you lack any musical talent you can make up for it by drinking a lot and saying controversial things. If I pay 50 quid for a concert ticket, I want to see an artist who’s sober enough to remember the words and I want to see them give the best performance they can.
And this is why I love Lady GaGa. You can see from watching her perform that she spends many more hours in the rehearsal studio than she does in the bar, and that’s how it should be!
Sunday, 14 February 2010
It’s been a while since I’ve written in here. No particular reason – nothing sinister, nor anything exciting, I’m afraid.
Since I last wrote in here, I’ve bought a duvet cover, had the nicest meal I’ve ever had in a restaurant and been to Windsor Castle – what an exciting life I lead, eh?
At least spring is on the way. Pottering around in the garden, you don’t have to look too hard to see the daffodils and crocuses starting to peek up through the winter mulch. The snowdrops are already out in full force in some parts of the garden.
The other day, we spent a morning wandering around RHS Wisley in the cold. “Why?” you may ask. Well gardens at this time of year are rather dull. So, we took a trip to Wisley to see how the RHS manage to keep the garden interesting at this time of year.
Unfortunately, the answer seems to lie in dogwood and hellebores – neither of which we have the space to add into our garden just for a splash of winter colour.
So, I guess we’re stuck with a garden that’s all brown and sticky (*) at this time of year
(* sticky = containing lots of sticks)
Monday, 11 January 2010
The end of a decade is usually a time for reflection. Working in the mobile industry, I’m surrounded by phones and read lots of blog postings about how mobile phones have changed, and how the iPhone brought to the public consciousness the idea of adding applications to a phone to add functionality to it. But the mobile phone itself has changed other things in our lives, which have changed the way we interact with people in more subtle ways.
For instance, almost all of the time, you see the number of the person calling you when you get a call these days. And pretty often, they’ll be in your contacts, so you’ll actually get to see who it is. I’ve become so used to the idea that you know who’s calling you before you pick up the phone, I can hardly remember the sensation of picking up the phone and saying “hello?” without knowing who is on the other end.
I have a variety of ways of saying “hello” depending on who’s calling me. There’s a “hello” for people I speak to regularly, a “hello?” for people who’ve withheld their number and a “hello!” for people I’ve not heard from in a while. It wasn’t too many years ago that “hello?” would’ve been the only one available to me.
Of course, the advent of mobiles has also given us the ability to check which of our friends are currently underground – a skill we had not even dreamed could be useful until we realised that it tells us whether someone we’re standing out in the cold waiting for is still on the tube, or is wandering lost around the vicinity.
The use of mobiles in public places has also given us the opportunity to hear the voices of strangers in a way we never used to. People used to sit silently on trains and buses, staring into space or down into a newspaper. The fact that they are gossiping away to friends may be annoying, but it does allow you hear whether they are well spoken or not, whether they have an accent and often which country they are from. Celebrities have also become more recognisable; many of the times I’ve seen a famous person around London it’s been the voice which has alerted me rather than seeing them walk past.
The advent of the internet into our lives has also brought with it the idea that having conversations with strangers is normal. We seek advice and chat from people who we’ve never seen except for a tiny picture on their Twitter page or a comedy photo of them wearing a hat which they’ve chosen for their Facebook photo. The moments of being out and about and seeing someone who you think you recognise from their Twitter photo were unknown only a few years ago, and now it happens to me a couple of times a year.
Only the other evening, I was at a BBC radio recording and saw someone who looked a bit familiar. I realised that he looked like the picture on Twitter on someone I have followed for a few months and exchanged a few messages back and forth with. What’s the etiquette in that situation? Do you go up to them and say “hello, I think I may follow you on Twitter”. Of course, the fact that following on Twitter is not always mutual means that they may not be following you, and so have no idea who you are. To go up to them and say this would be to confirm status as a “stalker type” I think.
So what do you do? Do you send them a Twitter message to say “hello, I think I saw you the other night?” – it’s still a bit weird, but at least you’re enquiring from a safe distance rather than invading their real life in a way they may not appreciate.
In case you’re wondering, I’ve done nothing. I didn’t say “hello?” to him at the recording, nor have I sent him a Twitter message to see whether it was him I saw the other night. Maybe I should – what d’you think?
Wednesday, 6 January 2010
2009 was notable for the fact that nobody particularly famous died over the Christmas period. Every year, there seems to be an expectation that at least one or two famous people will die during the Christmas holidays. That got me thinking. I’m pretty sure that people die every day of the year, but statistically, just how many famous people would you expect to die during the Christmas holidays?
According to the figures I found online, around 1% of the world’s population die every year. Let’s presume that figure is the same for celebrities as for the population in general.
Secondly, we need to know how many famous people are there. There are around 30,000 entries in Who's Who. If we presume that a quarter of them are “famous” but that we can think of the same number again of people who are “famous” but aren’t in “Who’s Who” – the kind of people who are on Celebrity Big Brother, for instance, then we end up with around 15,000 famous people. Feels about right to me.
So, combining those two, we would expect around 150 famous people to die each year. That’s around one every two and a half days.
If we presume that “The Christmas Holidays” last around a week, then we’d expect two or three famous people to die in that period every year.
And that’s what we get every year…
So, maybe those people who’ve been saying that it’s unusual that no famous people died over Christmas is “unusual” are right. A quite bit of statistical fiddling tells me that the chance of no famous people dying in any given week is around 5% and so only around once every twenty years would we expect every famous person to survive Christmas unscathed – and that sounds pretty rare to me.
Friday, 1 January 2010
2009 wasn’t a great year. I don’t seem to be the only one saying so, either. But still it’s gone now, and although the whole concept of numbering the years is arbitrary, the reset of the annual clock to 1 does give an opportunity to draw a line and make a few changes.
So far, 2010 has been “cold with a flutter of snow” but I expect there’ll be some sunshine along the way at some point.
In the summer, our local station reopens again after nearly three years (East London Line Extension) giving us direct access to Dalston, Croydon and Crystal Palace from our local station. Lovely. That’ll be useful, then.
But before that, we get the second part of Doctor Who: End of Time – starring a blonde John Simm as a rather deranged Master and Timothy Dalton as a spitting Time Lord. I actually enjoyed the first episode on Christmas Day, my only concern is that in order to undo the “Master Race” thing, there’s going to be a reset and we’ve had a few too many resets in recent years and it’d be nice to have a story with resolution rather than simply rewinding time to the beginning of the story again.
So, that’s my view of 2010 so far. A blank slate of a year with a new Doctor in the TARDIS and a new local train service. My only hope for the year is that many things happen more interesting that both of those…