Monthly Archives: January 2015

In loving memory

If you’re one of the thirty-four (thirty-four!) people who follow me on Twitter, you will have seen everything that follows last night. For the rest of you, this all started with Colleen McCulloch.

When I was a kid, my parents had two books on their shelves that I particularly remember. One was The Thorn Birds, which I gather is something of a classic, both on the page and on screen. The one I actually read was Tim, about a mentally retarded adult (can we still say that? I genuinely can’t keep up these days) and his burgeoning friendship with an older lady. It’s mostly inoffensive, although there is an incident with a sausage sandwich that I still can’t really think about without feeling nauseous. It was made into a film in 1979, starring a very young Mel Gibson, along with Piper Laurie, who did not dress up as a man or lock anyone in the cupboard while she prayed over them. The sausage sandwich scene is mercifully gone and the ending is changed, but it really is quite good.

Colleen McCulloch was therefore a household name, at least in our house, while I was growing up, and it was with some sadness that I learned of her death a couple of days ago.  I also learned of a few other things I didn’t know: she spent much of the latter years of her life on a Pacific island to escape the pressures of fame, had an early career in neuroscience, and refused to write a follow-up to The Thorn Birds (as well as hating its adaptation). Tributes came flooding in, and obituaries were warm and generous in their appraisals.

Except, it seems, for The Australian. They opened their obituary with this.

Screen_Shot_2015-0_3182522c

This is, I’m informed by more than one source, fairly typical of the Australian media, who frown upon successful women. I don’t have the time to research this properly, but irrespective of cultural norms there is absolutely no way you can justify such a monstrous opener. I have never held with the “Do not speak ill of the dead” maxim (are we really not allowed to tell the truth about Thatcher? Osama bin Laden? Hitler?) but this is just ridiculous. The article led to a sea of acidic responses from corresponding publications (which was predictable; there is nothing any media outlet likes more than having a pop at one of its rivals), and before we knew it, #myozobituary was trending on Twitter.

Anyway, having composed my own version of one of these (“Despite being arrogant, acne-ridden and obese, he nonetheless managed to manufacture enough sperm to sire four children”) I had an idea, and one thing sort of led to another.

 

  But why stop at the first? I didn’t, although one of these obituaries is not like the others. See if you can work out which.   

Second Doctor  

 

Third Doctor

  Fourth Doctor  

Fifth Doctor

  Sixth Doctor  

 

Seventh Doctor

  Bagpuss

 

I didn’t do any more; I think we’ve taken this to its logical breaking point.

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Pun-tastic

There’s a lovely bit in Asterix and the Soothsayer where Getafix the druid, standing over his cauldron, turns to the titular Gaul and says “You know we never stoop to wordplay, Asterix…”. The gag that follows is typically groan-worthy, but the real joke, of course, is that stooping to wordplay is pretty much all they ever did in Asterix, when the Romans weren’t getting beaten up. Puns are abundant, from character names to chief Vitalstatistix’s assertion that “It’s our moral duty to return that child to its parents”, causing Asterix to remark “Yes, it’s a question of morale”.

Anyway, I was thinking about all this when reflecting upon the fact that here at Brian of Morbius, wordplay is pretty much all we do – well, that and scathing reviews, outlandish conspiracy theories and the occasional video. I make no apologies for being good at bad jokes. Nine times out of ten, the key in getting a bad joke across without having to contend with groans and grimaces (or, worst of all, complete silence) is knowing when to tell it. I’m never going to be Stewart Lee, but many’s the time I’ve managed to get a chuckle where none is really deserved simply by picking my moments. And the memes help. Why bother telling a joke yourself when you can get Photoshop to do it for you?

But even if I’m reasonably I.T. literate, I cannot for the life of me set up a simple network. There is another PC in the boys’ bedroom that I’ve fetched down from the loft. I just want a simple LAN, and my gosh I am struggling. They just won’t talk to each other. I am like B.O.S.S. in ‘The Green Death’, singing “Connect, connect, connect, connect” to the tune of the Brandenburg Concerto. And while it is a definite stretch to say that life mirrors art, it’s strange that just last week I was watching ‘The Krotons’, which also features the Second Doctor struggling with a computer.

 

Those of you unfamiliar with the Second Doctor but familiar with Sherlock may recognise this catchphrase from its use in ‘A Scandal in Belgravia’, which opens the second series and which features Benedict Cumberbatch infiltrating a Middle Eastern terrorist cell just because he can, before rescuing Irene Adler from certain death.

So I wondered whether this might work better if we were to use Troughton’s eyes and Victoria’s face, and –

 

– well, “no” is the answer. The top image isn’t too bad, but dear God, Victoria’s head looks like it’s been awkwardly glued on to Lara Pulver’s burka-clad torso (which, of course, it has, metaphorically speaking). I think I’d better put this one down to experience, and it is here purely for the purposes of scholarly integrity.

Still, the idea of classic lines of dialogue given a new lease of life has intrigued me for a while, and hence the following.

 

There will be more at some point, but not today. I’m all punned out.

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Still Alive

If you aren’t familiar with Portal this will probably go over your head, but here’s my alternative conclusion to that series six episode.

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No jacket required

The_Kingmaker_cover

I’m not saying ‘The Kingmaker’ is typical of the Doctor Who Big Finish audio dramas. Nor is it, perhaps, the best introduction to Peri and Erimem if you’re unfamiliar with either. But if you have a couple of hours to spare, and the iPod playlist is looking stale, you could do a lot worse. I haven’t laughed quite so much in a long time. The anachronisms come thick and fast – there are gags about spoilers, concussion and commemorative mugs. Davison is clearly enjoying himself, while Caroline Morris gets to serve drinks in Tudor England and break a publican’s arm. Arthur Smith turns in an amusing guest turn, and Peri, in particular, has some wonderful scenes (which should surprise no one, give that her husband wrote them).

One particularly amusing sequence in ‘The Kingmaker’ sees the Doctor communicate with his companions – stranded two years in the past – with a series of letters, each one designed to be opened “directly after the last one”. The whole thing is rather like that scene in ‘Curse of Fatal Death’ where the Doctor and the Master travel further and further back in time in order to bribe the architect of the building in which they’re standing, an unfortunate series of events which culminates in the Master spending over nine hundred years in a sewer. Curiously, however, said notes were delivered by someone who was clearly supposed to be to the Ninth Doctor – a character that Fountain wasn’t told that he had to leave out – with no one noticing the inclusion until the thing had been shipped.

This is Joss Ackland in the second Bill and Ted film. If you've seen it, you'll know why.

This is Joss Ackland in the second Bill and Ted film. If you’ve seen it, you’ll know why.

If you’re wondering why I’ve mentioned this, you should know that Big Finish are barred from dealing with certain plot lines or characters, or entrance and exits stories – which is why, nearly thirty years after ‘Terror of the Vervoids’, we still don’t know how the Sixth Doctor met Melanie. They’re also barred from talking about anything post 2005, in case it messes with the series continuity. (Continuity is still a relatively recent thing, in the grand scheme of things. “We didn’t have a series Bible,” Terrance Dicks is fond of saying, proving that if there were no Ian Levine it would be necessary to invent him, and then lose him before rediscovering him and then bitching about it on Twitter.)

Of course, if challenged, it’s possible to contest that the “Northern chap with big ears” was actually the Eighth Doctor, given that he carries a trace of a Liverpool twang (unlike Tom Baker, who does not). Or perhaps – oh, I don’t know…

(If this strikes you as ridiculous, I feel it my duty to make you aware that there is fan fiction that features the Second Doctor meeting up with Noddy and the gang, before helping to find Bumpy Dog by playing his recorder.)

You have to feel a bit sorry for the Eighth – and for Big Finish in general, come to that. There they were, gearing up for the end of the Time War, by having the Doctor lament that he was about to do something terrible. He even got the leather jacket. The next thing you know, John Hurt is running around Gallifrey, blasting holes in the Arcadian walls and trying not to eat the cornbread. Presumably the jacket went back in the wardrobe, and the “terrible thing” turned out to be a re-recording of ‘Doctor in Distress’.

Luckily, the jacket is not mentioned, otherwise you’d have a potential continuity error, and we all know what happens when jackets turn up where they’re not wanted.

5_-doctor-2-appears-jacket

“The thing with Moffat,” says Gareth, “is that I couldn’t tell whether he did that, turning continuity errors into plot points, or did it deliberately as an important “clue” for later on, but which is so minor as to be pathetic. He often seemed to make a big thing out of tiny “clues”, while at the same time ignoring massive foreshadowing because the build up and suspense was more exciting than the resolution.”

I think that one was almost certainly deliberate, but if it wasn’t, the conversation would have gone something like this –

“Steven? Here are the rushes for scene 37.”
“Shit. He’s still wearing his jacket.”
“Oh dear. I’m surprised no one noticed that.”
“How did it happen?”
“We’ve got this intern production assistant.”
“Memo for the next meeting: no more interns.”
“She’s the exec’s niece.”
“She could be the Queen of bloody Sheba for all I care; I can’t have cock-ups like this on my watch.”
“How are we going to fix this one, Steven?”
“…Hang on, it’s just given me an idea.”

Anyway, Gareth and I have spoken on various occasions – and I’m sure I’ve mentioned it here – about that scene in ‘Parting of the Ways’ where the Doctor is on the floor of Satellite 5, frantically assembling things out of cables and bits of circuits. I like it because, for just about the first and only time that series, Eccleston really felt like the Doctor. And perhaps with that in mind, I did this for Emily’s birthday card.

Card

Yes, Emily is in a pram. Except it’s a shopping trolley. I got the legs wrong and damage control was needed. I’m a rubbish artist, but it’s quite fun being a loving husband.

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Doctor Who does Kraftwerk

Picture the scene. The corridor was only painted an hour ago, but Edward is currently running up and down the same bit of it over and over again. His somewhat prodigious older brother is trying to solve a mathematical puzzle, while the others run away from poorly rendered monsters and I contend with a dangerous predator that unfortunately resembles a cute furry animal. Our house is basically a 1981 Doctor Who set.

In the meantime, for no reason other than their current omnipresence on my iPod playlists (plus this), here are some hastily assembled Doctor Who / Kraftwerk mashups. Some are better than others, but all are mine.

(I really didn’t intend for that last one to show the regeneration cycle from the War Doctor through to the Eleventh, but it just sort of happened that way. Happy accident.)

 

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Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?

Yesterday I picked up my car from the garage, after they had fixed the heater. Here’s my World of the Strange moment: the dashboard clock was running six minutes fast when I took it in, but is now running three minutes slow. I therefore conclude that the car has somehow gone back in time. This would account for how they could afford to charge me for two and a half hours’ labour despite the mechanic’s insistence that “the job actually took five”. He wasn’t saving me money, he was actually ripping me off.

The Back to the Future parallels are obvious. But a similarly mundane form of time travel takes place in Donnie Darko, a film I’ve never really understood, building up over a couple of hours to the revelation that the hero has to have a plane fall on him so that he won’t be a total dickwad, and that the spectral rabbit is actually a guy in a Halloween costume. Oh, there’s probably more to it than that, but I couldn’t be bothered to find out. Mulholland Drive made more sense, and that was a David Lynch.

It’s seminal, supposedly, but it’s not one you show to the kids. I’ve even avoided showing them any pictures of the rabbit, which is frankly creepy (pun intended). You can’t wrap them in cotton wool, and a little gradual exposure to scary stuff on a bit by bit basis does no one any harm, but there are limits. I am still dealing with the fallout from Raiders of the Lost Ark, Joshua forever telling me I was an irresponsible parent for showing him the face melting scene. “Most kids,” I countered, “most normal kids, would be telling their friends that their father was really cool for letting them watch a highly unsuitable film WHICH WAS LABELLED AS PARENTAL GUIDANCE.”

This reached a head last weekend when we watched ‘Dragonfire’ – a story that features one of the most bizarre cliffhangers in the history of Doctor Who (more on that in a future installment) and a recreation of the end of Raiders, when Edward Peel’s face melts. It’s mercifully brief, but it scared the pants off me as a kid, and Joshua was hiding his face in his hands, which is more or less what I expected. It wasn’t until a few days later that it came up again.

“Daddy? I know what I want for my birthday.”
“OK…”
“You’ll like it.”
“Is it scientifically plausible?”
“Yes.”
“Does it exist beyond the blueprint stage?”
“Yes.”
“Is it legal?”
“Yes. It’s the thing that man’s using on the wall.”
“You want a wallpaper steamer? What on earth for?”
“I wondered what happened if you held it up against someone’s fa-”
“You are SO NOT HAVING ONE.”

Joshua and I may have enjoyed ‘Dragonfire’, but Edward has seen more episodes of old Doctor Who than the other three put together, despite being only a year old. His current thing is dancing to the theme music, although Edward dances to any music, even if it’s the Mavericks. Still, one might possibly say he’s over-exposed. When I’m not sorting laundry in front of ‘Enlightenment’, I’m clearing up the kitchen to the sounds of Big Finish. There will come a point, I assume, that there is a cognitive shift when he starts to actually understand what he’s looking at, and I will have to switch on Thomas the Tank Engine instead, but until that day, I’m making the most of things.

Edward and I have a self-enforced Doctor Who break every Friday when we visit the local children’s centre. Almost. What else, may I ask, are you supposed to do with glittery Play-Doh?

Play-doh Dalek

“I was just watching some bonus features on the ‘Greatest Show In The Galaxy’ DVD,” said you-know-who, “and saw a rather poor Victoria Wood sketch.  There’s a bad-quality version on YouTube:

“Your Play-Doh,” he concluded, “looks like the monster in the sketch!”

It’s supposed to be a Dalek, but I did it in about a minute and a half in between fishing bits of Play-Doh out of Edward’s mouth. What’s her excuse?

Dodgy-looking monsters are par for the course, of course, when you have next to nothing to invest in the manufacturing process – and when you’re viewing events some thirty or forty years after the fact. It’s very easy to laugh at the bubble wrap sleeping bag monsters in ‘The Ark In Space’, until you remember that bubble wrap was a relatively new thing in 1974, meaning your average ten-year-old wouldn’t have known what they were looking at. Or they did, and they didn’t care. “I get a bit impatient when people say ‘I loved watching Doctor Who because of the shaky sets,'” admits Colin Baker. “No you didn’t, you liar. You watched it because you believed it and you were scared.”

Sometimes a little creative thinking works wonders. The unconvincing monster about to feast upon Romana’s during the sacrifice scene in ‘The Power of Kroll’ is, of course, a man in a suit, and Robert Holmes gets round the obvious shortcomings by having the Doctor reveal him as, indeed, a man in a suit. When a slightly chagrined Romana asks him how he knew, the Doctor shrugs dismissively: “He probably looked more convincing from the front.”

At least there was a bit of variety back when Baker was romping around the universe. These days it’s always the same bloody creatures, irrespective of context.

Anyway, as we returned from the children’s centre the other day we popped into the Co-op along the road, and amidst all the Creme Egg displays I discovered that Bassetts are, rather sensationally, producing Jelly Bunnies for Easter.

So, you know, obviously.

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Doctor Who and the Misplaced Consonants (Part One)

We were talking just the other day about the Biblical creation story, and this reminded me of something that happened a few weeks ago: a Facebook discussion I was reading included a comment from a pastor who said he’d once heard someone read (by mistake, one assumes) about “the spirit of God hoovering over the surface of the waters.”

“You make the jokes,” I said, “and I’ll do the pictures.”

 

Graham Rawle,” said another friend of mine, “is twitching in his armchair, and preparing to lawyer up”. To which I responded “Look, I don’t take any credit for the gag, just its visual execution…”

Anyway, it occurred to me that Doctor Who is full of similar silliness, if you have a list of story titles and a good dictionary to hand. This entire blog was built on a pun – I’ve talked before about possible alternatives for its title, and remain convinced that a good deal of the weary travellers who stumble in here (welcome to you, weary traveller; mind the dog poo) are those who have been searching for ‘Brain of Morbius’ and just got their litters in a twest. Meanwhile, those of you with a few minutes to kill could do worse than check out the Unused Monsters entries. (If anything is liable to provoke the oft-heard and generally loathed remark that I have too much free time, it’s stuff like that.)

But today on Brian of Morbius we launch a new series, which shall be updated as I do them. (There is already a queue, and I haven’t even touched the post-2005 episodes yet.) Rules are simple: the addition of one (and only one) letter to a given word. This is the exact opposite of Graham Rawle’s series, of course, but that’s partly the point. Suggestions are welcome, although I am not short of them for the time being.

 

1. Pyramids of Marks

 

2. The Leisure Chive

 

3. The Wedge of Destruction

 

4. The Twine Dilemma

I sent the last one to Colin Baker, who tweeted back “Pedant alert – misplaced vowel?”

“Indeed it is,” I said. “It’s just that calling the series Misplaced Vowels made it sound like a set of medical blunders…”

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The Creation, Mister Maker Style

Well, it is a Sunday.



I haven’t done a video in ages. There was a flurry of activity in the first part of the year, amidst all the old Who watching and trips to the job centre. Somewhere along the line there was an acknowledgement that freelance writing is what I do now. Since then, any time I’ve not spent child-caring has been mostly working on a portfolio, or generating all those memes that occasionally do quite well on the internet. When the novel is finished, I will go back and look at a few of the dozen or so projects I’ve got stewing. But this one? Well, this one was Josh.

We have made it a rule to try and attend our local church on a Sunday, whenever we can – they’re following a thirty week series called The Story that takes you through the Old and New Testament, or at least the Hebrew-centred bits of it. The resources are a condensed version of the New International Version of the Bible and a selection of children’s adaptations. There are also DVDs and YouTube clips, at least some of which contain those time-lapse painting things that are always great fun to watch. Services with our children can be a minefield: the church is extremely accommodating, and there’s no judgement or criticism, only wide-armed acceptance and great love, but we often have to take at least one of the boys outside to calm down. Throughout all of this we are determined to stick to it, because if we can’t teach them to behave in public, who will?

Still, there are some weeks when you don’t make it, and on this particular Sunday, the day after our London visit, everyone was exhausted, so we had a quiet morning at home. And that was when Josh – who, like most nine-year-olds, is normally ensconced in front of Minecraft or CITV – surprised me, largely by showing that he’s actually been listening during those fidgety children’s talks. I’d not been up long that morning when he revealed that he’d spent about an hour on Mister Maker’s Magic Paintbox. Mister Maker, for those of you unfamiliar with him, is the onscreen persona of Phil Gallagher, a sort of Mark Speight on Prozac who dashes around manically preparing a series of artistic creations. He has a talking cuckoo clock (with no cuckoo), a gigantic arts and crafts cabinet and a huge following in the Far East. It’s a far cry from the leisurely paces of Tony Hart, but the boys enjoy it, as do I.

Anyway, the joy behind the Magic Paintbox is its replay function, in which you can spend a while making an image and then review the drawing process in all its sped-up Flash-based glory, while Mister Maker himself shouts encouragement in the background. And when Joshua – completely unprompted – told me he’d made this story of the creation of the Earth, I knew it was too good to just leave on the website. It was a story we had looked at very recently, as part of an Advent series that starts with the fall of man and ends as Mary and Joseph bed down in Bethlehem – it’s impossible to really appreciate the Christmas narrative without its wider ramifications, just as it’s impossible to really appreciate that iconic closing scene in Dirty Harry until you’ve watched it in context, or appreciate ‘Memory’ unless you’ve actually seen the whole of Cats. What struck me about this was how Josh had managed to get the whole narrative in there, and all the important points, while retaining an attention to detail that I couldn’t have managed at all. Suffice it to say that he’s a far better artist than I am.

I ripped the replay video from the web using Movavi Screen Capture, which I knew would come in useful someday, and then Josh recorded his narration on my phone. We knew it would work better with music, and The Truman Show – a deeply religious film on many levels – seemed an obvious choice. While I was uploading this to YouTube, Daniel was working on his own video, which I really ought to finish at some point, once I can work out what to do with his narrative. I may not get the chance to do videos much these days, but my children have, it seems, inherited their parents’ creative spark, and the knowledge that we did at least one thing right makes all the fighting and squabbling and sleepless nights utterly worthwhile.

And on that note, we’re off to church.

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Je Suis Charlie

Generally speaking, I stay out of politics online. It gets you nowhere. It is a person having their say followed by another person having their say and not really listening to what the first person had to tell them. You do not post on Facebook forums and political websites to have your mind opened; you go on there to sound off. And it is in two minds that I even touch this. Events in Paris have left me appalled – not shocked, alas, because nothing does these days – but even despite the show of solidarity from cartoonists, any sort of statement on my part feels a bit crass.

But Doctor Who has always been a political animal, whether it was the staunch environmentalism of ‘The Green Death’, or the political satire of ‘The Sun Makers’, or the anti-Thatcherite condemnation of ‘The Happiness Patrol’. And even without the heavy-handed lampooning of ‘Aliens of London’ or the nod to the Falklands in ‘The Christmas Invasion’ the very show is, in itself, quietly political. That’s what science fiction does, after all: it enables you to deal with contemporary themes with sufficient detachment to avoid too much fallout. The Doctor goes to planets where the populace are oppressed by regimes and destroys them (before conveniently vanishing into the time vortex so that someone else can do the cleaning up). When a peaceful system is threatened, he deals with the hostile takeovers on a daily basis. Above all (and despite a penchant for casual genocide) he abhors violence; the end does not justify the means. Would he negotiate with terrorists? Probably. He has. But he would not for one second condone their actions, nor the deplorable atrocities that occur in the name of organised religion – all sorts of organised religion – across the world. He’d fight – in whatever capacity he could – for freedom: individual freedom, of course, but also freedom of thought, freedom of belief, and freedom of expression.

Anyway, today? Just this.

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A plethora of Who-related goodness (2014 edition)

If you’ve been here for a while, you will remember that I while ago I wrote a less-than-complimentary piece about the new range of Doctor Who action figures – a creative move to a smaller size that results in set incompatibility with the larger figures (unless you want to do some sort of Hobbit story, or a stop-motion adventure about a shrinking Doctor), not to mention colossal loss of detail. On the one hand it’s great, because I no longer spend cash we don’t have on the new stuff. On the other hand I don’t have a Twelfth Doctor – or a Clara, for that matter.

Still. Who’d have thought there were so many five-inch figures we didn’t have from the original waves that I actually wanted?

Christmas_2014-5

The games and books all came from other people, but we bought the figures. For the boys. Honest. Unfortunately I took this in a hurry and you can’t see Lilith, the Carrionite from ‘The Shakespeare Code’, nestling behind Brannigan, the cat person from ‘Gridlock’. She has a little difficulty standing upright, and is thus supported by the television set containing the Wire, which came along with the faceless grandmother. The Smiler’s head rotates, and Doctor Constantine’s changes altogether. Oh, and the Daleks are, from left to right, the Emperor’s Guard Dalek from ‘Evil of the Daleks’, the Supreme Dalek from ‘Day of the Daleks’ and the Saucer Pilot Dalek from ‘Dalek Invasion of Earth’. (Gareth will tell me if I got that the wrong way round.)

Full-size figures aside, Thomas got the Doctor Who Adventures advent calendar this year, which came in handy when we were decorating the Christmas cake.

Christmas_2014-4

“We should have used a larger TARDIS,” Emily said, “except it won’t fit now. You’ll have to get in quick next year and stick it on as a centrepiece before they can put other things on.” Honestly, she’s obsessed.

The full line-up, if you were interested, is here.

Christmas_2014-3

The Weeping Angel and Silurian at the back weren’t part of the calendar; they were two of those build-it-yourself monsters that came with a previous issue, and that I always dread opening because I can never get them to stay together, and you always lose bits. Nonetheless the effect here is rather like one of those photos of colossal families, the sort that the Daily Mail love to hate, unless they can’t actually find anything bad to say about them.

Anyway, this – and the Minecraft stuff – kept them quiet for a couple of days while we drank port and caught up with Holby. After the first lot of festivities was over and I’d managed to weasel out of showing the boys ‘Last Christmas‘ by telling them it was “too complicated, too scary and you don’t really learn anything new”, we high-tailed it down to Shropshire for New Year. The previous week my mother-in-law had showed me a wonderful hand-knitted Nativity (knitivity?) set that a friend of hers had produced, all featuring brightly-clad characters, including a wise man who bears more than a passing resemblance to the Sixth Doctor.

Christmas_2014-1

So while we’re on that, I should also mention that my brother-in-law and his family and also gave two of us cheese bakers this year, and I have accordingly named them Tom and Colin.

The rest was Muppets and jigsaws and dried fruit, so I leave you with something not entirely Who-related: a joint of beef we ate on New Year’s Day that I thought looked a little like an Arrakis spiceworm, which led to this.

Christmas_2014-6

I’ve only seen Dune once, but it’s a David Lynch, and therefore it resonates. It resonates to the extent that the last time Joshua watched Rango I had an eyebrow-raising moment when we heard Ned Beattie’s ancient turtle explain to Johnny Depp that if you “Control the water, you control everything”. To which I distinctly remember thinking “No, I’m pretty sure it’s the spice…”

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