Wednesday 10.06.13 in which I debate whether Gallifreyans can change sex and other guff.

Hello, Readers.

I don’t know whether it is the news of the dubious future of Xanga, where I have had a presence in one form or another, for over a decade, but I have not had an inclination to write anything at all. That’s not to say that I haven’t garnered subjects in my head from time to time, but when it has come to the act of pressing fingertip to key I have found it impossible to be motivated. There is no connection between what is in my mind and the wish to see it in printed word forms on a screen.

So, let’s steer clear of the Xanga debate except to day that I have set up a place at WordPress, which seems okay, but which I have yet to use properly, and turn to more pressing matters such as who will take over from Matt Smith in “Doctor Who” now that he has announced that he is to regenerate in the Christmas episode. Speculation in the media is rife and, of course, the old “will it be a woman?” subject has raised it’s gnarled old head again just as it has ever since Tom “Fourth Doctor” Baker mischeviously wished his successor great success “whoever he, or she, might be…” The Doctor can not regenerate into a woman. There are Time Lords and Time Ladies: if a Gallifreyan character is “born” as a male then he stays that way throughout his regenerations. Similarly it seems, through the show’s long history, that if a Time Person is “born” white he or she stays white, if they were black or oriental in their first persona then they remain so through their regenerations.

Should show-runner Stephen Moffat experience some sort of mental flip and cast a woman, then I will stop watching the series. That’s not me being sexist, that’s me being loyal to a character: the Doctor may look and act differently each regeneration, but he is in essence the same person at heart(s). There is no Trill-like symbiotic presence to bond with a different host (and how strange that on-screen Dax managed to bond with two pretty females in swift succession rather than a middle aged man as previously but never seen.) Years ago I stopped watching when Colin Baker was cast as the Sixth Doctor because the character was so altered as to be a different person. It didn’t last; the Sixth Doctor mellowed and in the subsequent audio stories from Big Finish is much more Doctor-y and as Colin Baker would always have preferred to play him.

So, who will play HIM when he regenerates? Many names have been bandied about and the BBC have denied the Sunday Telegraph’s claim that they offerred the part to Rory Kinnear, recently seen in “Skyfall.” Personally I’d love it if it was Russell Tovey, but I suspect he wouldn’t want to be tied to one part for so long. My speculation is that it might be one of the two male leads from the recently-cancelled Merlin, perhaps Bradley James, who played Arthur or Colin Morgan, who portrayed Merlin himself. In my opinion Bradley James, although very handsome, is not a good enough actor to bring it off. He’s a perfectly serviceable actor, but I don’t see enough depth in his performances to bring to a character like the Doctor whereas Colin Morgan has that slight other-worldliness that Matt Smith has and the acting skills to go with it. I’m unlikely to be right in any case. Despite the fact that the media is reacting to the news as though Smith rang the BBC one morning and said, “Well, lads, it’s been fab but I’ll only do up to Christmas,” the reality is more likely to be that he gave his notice in many months ago and that the Twelfth Doctor has already known who he is for a very long time.

What may happen to the character in his twelfth incarnation? The series has a tradition that as Gallifreyans proceed through their regenerations they are prone to corruption and the likelihood that they will become evil versions of their former selves. Indeed, this has already been seen with the Doctor himself: the character of the Valeyard during the “Trial of a Timelord” series in the 80s turned out to be a baddie-future-regeneration of the Doctor. The Valeyard was even mentioned in the last episode of the most recent series as the Doctor and Clara had to confront all the past versions of himself. And then there’s the sticky situation regarding the number of regenerations that a Time Lord has. In the 1996 the Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) states that a Time Lord has 13 lives. This means that the next time he changes should be the last time – after that he will die when his time comes. But, lest we forget, we are in the realms of science-fiction where anything can, and does, happen. During the action of “The Five Doctors” the Time Lords promise the evil Master another regeneration cycle if he helps them (and he’s already been through, and rather gruesomely beyond, his generation cycle and is then inhabiting someone else’s body.) If the programme is still making money for the BBC and still gaining success around the world (especially in the US) then it won’t be the Time Lords that grant the Doctor a prolonged existence, it will be the Grand Council of the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Let us leave the fantastic worlds of science fiction and television behind and return to reality.

Today Drew has driven up to Birmingham to attend the funeral of his uncle, his father’s twin, who died a couple of weeks ago. He looked very smart, driving away in his suit trousers and a tie, but although he will get to see some relatives he rarely sees and one of his nieces who he adores, naturally it is not an experience he is relishing. Since his parents died he finds funerals very difficult. I hope he is okay, but he will be home tonight and we spoke (eventually after various phone problems) when he had just reached Birmingham. The Girls are behaving better than I had hoped in his absence; Charley has spent most of the morning asleep, which is usual for her because she’s not a morning girl, while Lola has not been as hysterical as she sometimes is. I think this is because I’ve been busy doing houseworky things and Lola has followed me about so she hasn’t had time to dwell on Drew not being here. Long may this continue, because there are times when her neurosis is hard to cope with without losing your temper.

We had a very nice weekend. I had both Saturday and Sunday off work, which was good. Our neighbour, a lovely lady, was having an “open day” at her house on Saturday, which she has recently sold. We assumed this was so that her (many) friends could pop in to wish her farewell but it turned out it was actually her 70th birthday too. After doing some much needed shopping we and The Girls took a good luck card and a bottle of wine and knocked on her door.

I always find it awkward to meet new people, although I get over it fairly quickly, but the arrival of the Girls elicited more attention than we did. Lola was very over-excited and wanted to meet everyone all at the same time, so I had to hold her on my lap until she had calmed down. Charley was not at all sure and did not really relax. Unfortunately she took against our hostess’s sister, why we will never know although she does possess a passing resemblance to both the woman who cuts the dogs’ hair and my Mum’s cousin, who Charley has never liked. But this dislike of the sister extended to Charley trying to nip her on the leg as she walked past even though she (Charley) was sitting on Drew’s lap. She has never tried to bite anyone before! Fortunately this incident was laughed off by everyone except Charley who did settle but not without keeping her eye on her perceived nemesis and the occasional grumble. We took them home in the end, though, which Lola was cross about but which meant we were able to relax.

In the end, having been wary of feeling a little out of place, we out-stayed everyone save the sister who was staying there and got home, slightly merry but the right side of a bowl of soup each, after midnight! It had been a very pleasant evening indeed, and nice to meet lots of new people despite my shyness.

Sunday was not the bright and sunny day my parents had hoped for as they had invited the two of us, the Girls and my brother’s family round for lunch to celebrate Mum’s birthday earlier in the week. Disappointingly my sister-in-law wasn’t well enough to come but the rest of us managed to enjoy ourselves. The original intention had been to eat outside, but the chill put paid to that so Mum layed out a buffet lunch in the dining room and we all trooped in and out as often as our appetites required. It was a lovely spread, of course, and I ate far too much. I’d like to think that the walk some of us then took in the nearby park wore off some of the extra calories, but I doubt it. (It was during this walk that my youngest nephew sagely informed his older sister that if anyone should be able to pooh in their trousers then it would be Father Christmas, because he’s magic and he could magic himself some clean ones on!)

Dad, my brother and my oldest nephew stayed behind to watch some sport or other on telly, so it was Mum who accompanied the other two to the playground in the park while Drew and I took the dogs for a walk. We met up after about 40 minutes and strolled back to the house for “surprise” birthday cake (that everyone knew about, particularly Mum as she had bought it) and some drawing and colouring in before Brother decided it was time get back to Sisterinlaw. Drew and I stayed for another hour but then left Mum and Dad to watch the Montreal Grand Prix in peace, and came home for tea.

Work-wise things are much better. Finishing at half one in the afternoon is bliss and so far I’ve been asked to go in early for all my late shifts, so I’ve been finishing at a reasonable hour. After today I have 5 shifts in a row, but I really don’t mind about that. I have learned two relevant, and interesting facts this week: another hospital is reviewing its 12 hour shifts on its elderly wards and the one ward where the Matron claims everyone is happy with the new shifts is not happy at all: I worked with woman yesterday who left after 6 months on there so she could return to working short shifts on the pool who informed me that the staff on there are anything but happy! Of course, as we suspected, the three month trial period has not resulted in anything and in fact has been extended to six months! And “they” wonder why we don’t trust them.

Ah well. I’m going to try posting this on WordPress as well.


Snow In The Afternoon

Hello, Dear Readers.

Well, yesterday afternoon we finally had the snow that the weather forecasters have been warning us about for a week or so. Parts of the country have had at least ONE WHOLE FOOT of snow and we got…. about one centimetre, if that.


I like snow, you see.

In fact I like extreme weather conditions (extreme by British standards, that is) because you cannot help but be reminded how no matter how thoroughly humans might surround themselves with technology there is no escaping the machinations of Mother Nature. My parents were always amused by the way my usual reluctance to leave the house would vanish if there was a thunderstorm, gale force winds, fog or snow. And I’m still like that; I love nothing more than leaving the house at 6.30 in the morning when the fog has come down or if it’s belting down with rain or when a ton of snow has been deposited overnight. I should point out here that I’m equally as happy to walk to work of a morning during the summer when the sun is already out and the air has yet to be tinged with the smell of petrol from the morning traffic.

By mid-morning yesterday’s snow had vanished where the sun had hit it, just clinging to the roofs of the houses opposite and the bonnets, roofs and boots of the cars still in the shade. What an anti-climax. I felt sorry for the child I heard yesterday saying to her Mum that she was going to use left-over Christmas wishes to wish for there to lots and lots of snow while she was asleep so that she could make a snowman. She must have gone eagerly to her window this morning hoping to see a winter wonderland and instead been confronted with a damp, slushy disappointment. However at about half two this afternoon I looked up and noticed that it was snowing quite hard and this time it was laying. I found my camera and took some photos out of the windows. Lola followed me upstairs and sat on the bed looking at the snow falling through the blind.

Our car (it’s actually more of a terracotta colour than this photograph shows.)

The view down the street.

Our cold car, Fennella the Ford Fusion.

Lola watches the snow intently.


There is a video of her grumbling away and eventually barking at the snow, but I can’t get Xanga to upload it, which is really annoying.

There will probably be more snow overnight although I’m not sure how much. I’m on the early shift tomorrow which means I shall be up at 5am and leaving the house at 6.30 when it will still be cold and icy! By then there will be frost and freezing fog as well as the new snowfall. I’d better attach the crampon thingies to my trainers before setting off (and hope I get to work still wearing both of them, unlike last year when I arrived at work walking rather lop-sidedly.) It could be an eventful trek.