Saturday 29 September 2012

Visions of Cornwall

Just a few photos from our holiday in Cornwall back in July  -  was it really that long ago?

We were lucky enough to be away for probably the best week of an extremely dismal Summer. But then, the sun shines on the righteous :-)

The first three pics were taken from the cliffs above our campsite in Bude  -  our first time there but we'll definitely have to go back sometime.

Tintagel, home of Arthurian legends... and many tourist-trap/hippy/New Age shops ( not pictured )

Hartland Point lighthouse


Otters in Bude, donkeys in Clovelly

Sea mist rolling in across the beach at Clovelly

And a cream tea in Boscastle to finish...

Tuesday 25 September 2012

Teen Titan

Happy Birthday to James! A teenager at last!

Here we are at Cardiff's Doctor Who Experience last Sunday, surrounded by Daleks and cool Anthony Dry artwork.

More pics to follow...

Tuesday 18 September 2012

I'm back...did you notice I'd been away?

We've finally had our PC fixed so I might be able to get back to whatever passes for normal around these 'ere parts. I'm very conscious of the fact that I'm two weeks behind on the Doctor Who reviews
( I know, I know... no-one's forcing me to write this stuff, but I do feel like some kind of slacker ) and I also have a handful of film and gig reviews and totally self-indulgent holiday snaps to post as well. For now, here's some assorted randomness...

Wednesday 12 September 2012

It was 20 years ago today...

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful wife, Sarah! It's hard to believe it's been 20 years since the "Big Day" - time flies when you're having fun :-)

I just thought I'd share the beautiful words she wrote to me in my anniversary card which, I admit, brought a tear to my eye:

Over the years we've shared so much.
You've always been by my side, there for the laughter and the tears,
there for the highs and the lows, there for the good times and the bad.
We've helped each other and stayed together,
stronger now more than ever.
Come what may, I know we'll make it through whatever the future holds for us.
I'm glad I said "I do"

I can't add anything to that except to say "thank you Sarah, I love you!"

( OK, I promise to return to the usual, inconsequential nonsense on this 'ere blog as soon as I can. Indulge me... )

Saturday 8 September 2012


Team GB are still working wonders in the Paralympics, with 17-year old Ellie Simmonds ( second from left above ) proving to be a real inspiration with her haul of two golds, one bronze and one silver. Congratulations to all the athletes, heroes all!

My previous post on the 2012 Olympics has stacked up over 2500 pageviews in just over a month which is probably some kind of record for this 'ere blog... and entirely down to the athletes and not to my blogging skills... which mostly consisted of drooling over pics of Jessica Ennis and Victoria Pendleton ;-)

In celebration of these awe-inspiring athletes here's a classic by The Skids from their second album, Days In Europa...

Tuesday 4 September 2012

Doctor Who: Asylum Of The Daleks ( review with spoilers )

Asylum Of The Daleks is a big, bold, surprisingly dark story to launch the new series of Doctor Who. A galaxy ( at least ) away from glossier, Earth-bound fare like Partners In Crime or The Eleventh Hour, it immediately immerses the viewer in the madness of the Daleks and the marital problems of the Ponds.

The Doctor, Amy and Rory are all abducted by the Skarosian mutants, whisked away to a space-station and summoned to the Dalek Parliament, where the Prime Minister ( Dave Dalek? ) enlists them at gunpoint in a mission to infiltrate and destroy the legendary Asylum Of The Daleks. This is a planet-wide dumping ground for the most insane and unstable of the pepper-pot-shaped fanatics and only The Predator ( aka the Doctor ) is capable of carrying out the raid.

Down in the Asylum the Time Trio have to face versions of some familiar Moffat tropes: reanimated corpses, memory loss, infantile jibes at the Doctor's features... as well as some old school body horror, straight out of the Eric Saward era...

This is an atmospheric, creepy episode which goes some way to restoring the Daleks to their position of ultimate Who-foe after a couple of ill-judged stories. It's good to see that the production team have back-pedalled a bit and reintroduced the bronze, 2005-vintage Daleks and given the "Tellytubby" models a darker paint job. It's also a treat to see some "classic"-era Daleks lurking in the Asylum ( especially the Special Weapons Dalek! ) even if they're not quite as prominent as the pre-publicity led us to believe.

Matt Smith is fantastic as ever, again reminding us that his characterisation of the Doctor is at its best when he's being quiet and subtle and conveying a universe of hurt mostly with his eyes. Karen Gillan has a big, going-for-the-Bafta moment... which doesn't quite convince, to be honest. The Ponds' relationship problems apparently stem from her inability to have any more children, following the events of Demon's Run and the birth of Melody/River. But, as in last year's Night Terrors, I found myself asking why the characters can't just adopt or foster children? It might not be so "dramatic" but, out in the real world, there are hundreds of children needing loving families, and to reflect that in a family-friendly show could be both appropriate and touching. But unlikely...

Of course, the big surprise of this episode is the first appearance of Jenna-Louise Coleman, who brings a wide-eyed but confident joie de vivre to the part of Oswin... until the truth about her existence is revealed and she sacrifices herself to save the Doctor and her own soul. It's going to be interesting to see how JLC will return to the show at Christmas: will she play an ancestor of this character or will she be reborn through Moffat-patented wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey plot magic? Time will tell. I'm definitely looking forward to her Tardis debut and, hopefully, to a companion who doesn't scowl quite so much. Sorry, Amy...

Anyway, I'm going to award this episode:

Four Out Of Five Bow Ties ( or Sink Plungers )

Sunday 2 September 2012

Jenna-Louise Coleman

( Spoiler alert! Please look away now if you haven't watched Asylum Of The Daleks yet... )

Steven Moffat managed to yet again pull the metaphorical rug out from beneath the feet of Doctor Who fans by including new star Jenna-Louise Coleman in the first episode of the new series... three months before we expected to see her. And, in the words of Stevie Wonder, isn't she lovely?

Jenna looks stunning in her little red dress ( bit of a '60s Star Trek vibe here ) and gives a flirty, sweetly cocky performance as computer-hacker-with-a-twist Oswin. It remains to be seen how her character will reappear at Christmas, if indeed she can play the same character after this episode's tragic twist. And... is she really going to be called Oswin? I mean... Oswin?? Various spoiler sites are claiming the character's name will be Clara, with "Oswin" apparently being the surname. Let's hope so...

I'll hopefully have a review of Asylum... on here very soon, but I may have to re-watch it first to get my head round the various twists and turns :-)


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