Showing posts from 2018


Last week's episode of Doctor Who - Rosa - drew me in like no episode has for a long time.  The last time I watched an episode which made me think so much was The Girl in The Fireplace and that was quite a few years ago.  I've been enthused with praise for the episode ever since last Sunday, and although everyone I've spoken to thinks it was "OK", at least, I don't seem to find many people who share my enthusiasm. And that got me thinking - what was it about that episode which I enjoyed.  Enjoyment is maybe the most subjective thing there is, and so those who didn't enjoy it much as I do aren't wrong, and I'm not trying to convince anyone.  I'm simply sharing without judgement, as I always try to do. But whilst writing about the episode, there was another ever-present thought swirling around me.   In writing about how much I enjoyed the episode, I am very conscious that I'm a white person writing about how bad racism is, and

A Sober Year

It's now been just over a year since I quietly stopped drinking alcohol.  I'm not the first person to stop drinking, and I won't be the last, but making the decision not to drink alcohol has given me some insights into alcohol, and how people view it - and how people view those who don't drink it. Before I stopped drinking, I didn't drink that much anyway to be honest.  I certainly wasn't someone who drank much in latter years.  Back in my University days I could put away a whole bottle of Baileys, a fair amount of vodka and still not have a hangover the following day.  It was one of the few benefits of youth.  In fact it wasn't until my twenties that all those years of vodka started to catch up with me, and I started to feel what a real hangover could be like.  I started to get home at night and lie in bed watching the room spin around me, close my eyes to make it stop only for the spin speed to increase.  I just knew then that I'd regret it in

Defending the Rose

Last night, I went to the theatre with some friends to see Knights Of The Rose.   We bought the tickets when we saw the song list and couldn't resist it.  But then as the day of the show grew closer I started to read reviews, and let's just say they weren't great.  In fact they were mostly awful. Well, let's be a little more specific; the reviews were universally terrible. I started to become concerned. The main concern of the reviewers seemed to be that the show was unknowing.  They suggested that whereas shows such as We Will Rock You and Rock Of Ages were ridiculous, they revelled in their own pomposity and broke the fourth wall to let you know that they were in on the joke.  No such fourth wall breaking here, and there was a clear thread in all the reviews that the show didn't know how silly it all was. But we had tickets, and so we turned up at the theatre and chatted beforehand about just how bad this could possibly be.  And we braced ourselves and

Feeling Hot Hot Hot

I've not written much in 2018.  I didn't write much in 2017 either, I don't think.  I guess the world has turned into the kind of place where there's no much fun to be found.  With Donald Trump and Brexit it's hard to find anything to laugh about, really. But you know, one has to keep waddling forwards into the future.  Face it with a grin. I'm never giving in.  And all that jazz. So, it's been sunny.  Too sunny.  The garden looks like someone's been out with a magic hoover and sucked all the green away.  The lawns are a torched shade of brown, although the hot weather has been great for this year's mulberry crop and the apple tree which collapsed last year has put on an astounding amount of new growth this year. It's hard to know how to keep cool in this weather.  I'm not someone who's comfortable going out and about in skimpy outfits, and so it tends to be polo shirts and jeans for me, which doesn't really help with the whole

I wish I could speak French just like I can play piano

I talk a lot on Facebook about my inability to speak French.  It's not from a lack of technical ability, but from a lack of comfort in speaking French out loud.  A lot of well meaning people try to tell me that I "should just try" and that "it doesn't matter if you make a few mistakes" but that's missing the point, unfortunately. Comfort in doing something is not always directly proportional to technical ability.  For some people, they can head over to France after a few lessons and take delight in ordering in a restaurant or buying something in a shop.  That's just not how I'm wired, and it's not something I'm ever going to be able to do. Or so I thought. Something struck me the other day whilst I was playing the piano.  We recently bought a piano for the house - I know, cool, eh? - and I quite often wander into the music room and plonk myself down and play and sing a couple of songs whilst waiting for dinner to cook in the Aga.