sensiblecat: (Default)

The Girl Who Waited is the first episode since RTD's tenure that has made me want to write fic. So here it is, just a little vignette from Rory's point of view, right in the final moment of the episode. It's my way of doing meta.

(959 words) Spoilers up to end of TGWW. Rating - Gen.
I've had enough. I just can't do this any more. )
sensiblecat: (Default)
I've never seen Stratford-upon-Avon look more beautiful than it did in the autumn light of the first morning of September yesterday.Read more... )
sensiblecat: (Default)
Beginning to wonder if I should start a new blog somewhere else. I just don't feel I self-identify as a Doctor Who fan any more. I don't dislike the show as such but every episode seems to take me further from the show I liked to talk, write, dream and meta about.

I feel cosy here and I like the company. I don't feel like starting over with a fresh blog, but I feel there's an awful lot more to me than being a fan. It seems kind of pathetic to hold on here for the good old days with David Tennant, etc, but I really can't be bothered to pick apart all the stuff that might or might not be going on with River Song.

I'm starting to work on my Twitter contacts and I'm not sure I want to link to a journal that's so openly fannish. Is it really a true reflection of the person I am anymore? Maybe it's time to move on from here and try something new.

What do others think? Anyone had similar experiences?
sensiblecat: (Fire)
I feel very relieved not to be living on the East Coast of America tonight.

May all of you awaiting the Big Storm keep safe. It was Dr Johnson who once said that when a man knows he is to be hanged tomorrow it concentrates the mind wonderfully. Times like this do, indeed, help us figure out what matters most.

My thoughts and prayers, such as they are, are very much with you. Good night, and may your God go with you.
sensiblecat: (Default)
I love Donna. I also love Rose, and back in the day I was pretty cool with Martha. It got me into all kinds of trouble. It seemed that I had to pick my ship and hate all the other ones. I even got banned from a couple of communities for writing very gentle fics about how the Doctor could have deep feelings for more than one person.

Ship wars are very interesting. One reason I'm not all that active in the Donna-centric communities is that you come up against so much Rose hate. It's spoiled a lot of otherwise brilliant fics for me, and it seems to be getting worse as time goes on. I've even heard it suggested in some quarters that in some way Rose was responsible for what happened to Donna, which I can only interpret as a way the writers deal with their entirely understandable feelings of disgust at RTD. Rose was special to RTD, RTD shafted Donna, therefore it was Rose's fault.

Read more... )Read more... )Read more... )(Apologies for formatting problems, I don't get this 'cut wizard' business at all, I'm afraid.)
sensiblecat: (grow your own 2)
Two activities have dominated the last couple of weeks - finishing my dissertation and making an awful lot of damson jam!

I have never known a summer like this for soft fruit. I think it's because we had a warm spring and the bees were out in force (no, they're not all aliens, that would just be silly). It took us weeks to clear our glut of cherries - not that I'm complaining! - and now the damson tree has obliged with about 40 kilos, fruit as big as plums. I can't bear to see such bounty go to waste so there's been a basket at the gate for several days inviting the neighbours to help themselves. Also I've been touring my friends trying to offload large baskets.

We had the kitchen revamped last Spring, and that's turned out to be a good investment. There used to be a comedian called Ken Dodd back in the 60s who went on about "jam butty mines" (For those who don't know these important things, "butty" is a Norhern English word for sandwich). Anyway, that's what my kitchen has been like. I've made 24 pots of magnificent jam and almost as much puree for the freezer. My Kenwood Chef fruit processing attachment has been working hard removing all the stones.

And we also have an awful lot of apples to get through. A rather unusual variety called James Grieve, lovely flavour but it doesn't keep or travel well, hence you never see them in the supermarkets.

And then the dissertation. Well, I finally printed it out yesterday ready to submit by 1st September. It's about how Shakespeare is portrayed in children's historical novels. Only 12,000 words so I had to make some choices. Mainly I look at Geoffrey Trease's Cue for Treason, written in 1940, and hence a prototype of the Elizabethan adventure with the Queen and Shakespeare and various shenanigins with traitors and such. And then what I call the coming-of-age novel, represented mainly by Susan Cooper's wonderful King of Shadows. It's fascinating how similar such stories often are to the boarding-school tale, with Shakespeare standing in as a benevolent Dumbledore figure. For quiddich match read performance, but you don't get a lot of Hermione characters unless they're dressing up as boys.

It's almost the end of my Shakespeare adventure. If all goes well, I'll graduate in December from the University of Birmingham. It's been a wonderful time, but also a great challenge. I'm rather amazed and proud of myself that I've persevered and managed to work at that intellectual level. The dissertation was by far the most difficult because I had to be so self-motivated. Going to classes, though also hard work, was a hugely enjoyable social experience that I shall miss a lot.

Finally, wonderful news about my son Tom, who is now reading Philosophy at Essex. He has won a prize for the most outstanding academic performance of the whole first year. Not bad for a boy with chronic health problems who couldn't get out of bed two years ago and was almost kicked out of school by a hardline Head of Sixth Form who thought it was all in his head. Also not bad for someone who was badly screwed over by the AQA (exam board), missed out on his first choice of uni when they missed out a section in their marking of his paper, and then they didn't even have the courtesy to tell him or his school when they remarked it and he got an A grade after all (He found out by accident when he went back at Chistmas to pick his certificate up).

I guess the moral of that is that if you are despairing about your own grades, or those of some young person close to you, hang on in there. Things sometimes have a way of turning out better than expected. Or, failing that, they could always pinch a TARDIS and scarper.
sensiblecat: (tealady)
Artist Dan Thompson started a campaign to get the riot-hit areas of London cleaned up - it already has 70,000 followers on Twitter. So many volunteers are turning up in Clapham and Ealing that there's not enough work for them all to do.

What a heart-warming story. I always thought the Blitz Spirit was a myth but there might be something in it after all. I particularly liked the story about Boris Johnson (Mayor of London) showing up to be greeted with cries of, "Boris, where's yer broom?"

BBC Coverage Here

Now let's start raising money for the small traders who have lost everything...
sensiblecat: (visscherglobe)
My son called me on the way up to bed last night, told me that most of London was going up in flames and I should put a kitchen knife under my pillow in case it spread to Manchester. Slight exaggeration, as it turned out, but the pictures coming through from all over London are very disturbing. My husband's brother and his family are flying back from Florida today to their home in Enfield, one of the first boroughs to be affected - and as if that wasn't bad enough, John (my husband)'s dad died on 31st July and tomorrow we are heading to Enfield for his funeral.

It's been an interesting few days. Hopefully, as he flies back from his holidays, Cameron will have time to reflect on what tends to happen if you cut the budget for inner city youth work by 75% and the police by 20% - oh, and he's scrapping the Careers Service, too. Seems to me that the situation has escalated way beyond any original flashpoint grievences now, but young people have a tough time these days. Doesn't justify any of this, of course, but it may help explain it.

BBC video feed here
sensiblecat: (doctor and donna)
AUTHOR: [info]sensiblecat 

WORDS; 2227


18 months since I posted fic - I can hardly remember how to do this!

A fixit, of sorts....

She’s sorry but she’s going to have to stop him. After all, isn’t that what she always does?

Read More
sensiblecat: (awkward moment)
I thought Christopher Eccleston was awesome as Nine, but I'm getting really fed up with his vague, holier-than-thou remarks about why he left  Doctor Who. This, for instance:

A purity or an idealism is essential or you’ll become– you’ve got to have standards, no matter how hard work that is. So it makes it a hard road, really.

You know, it’s easy to find a job when you’ve got no morals, you’ve got nothing to be compromised, you can go, ‘Yeah, yeah. That doesn’t matter. That director can bully that prop man and I won’t say anything about it’. But then when that director comes to you and says ‘I think you should play it like this’ you’ve surely got to go ‘How can I respect you, when you behave like that?’

Does it never occur to him that comments like that make Tennant sound like a total whore? One thing I've always liked about Tennant is that he never, ever, disses others in his profession, not even by implication. It's a rule others would do well to follow.

Or am I just over-reacting to what is, after all, just a silly little TV show? Maybe.
sensiblecat: (made of win)
Oh damn you, David Tennant. Just when I was growing old gracefully and getting over you, I had to go and see Much Ado and fall in love with you all over again!

Read more... )
sensiblecat: (Doctor Rocks)
Every year the city of Manchester hosts an international arts festival which is remarkable for consisting entirely of premieres, many of them quite high-profile and therefore high-risk. Last night I went with my son to Damon Albarn's "English Opera" about Dr John Dee, the remarkable Elizabethan magician and mathematician who was, many believe, the prototype of Shakespeare's Prospero and Marlowe's Faustus.

Read more... )
sensiblecat: (together)

[ profile] kilodalton  is doing a terrific meme on the D/R relationship now and I’m getting sucked in after quite a lengthy break from life online. Is it just me, or are we seeing something of a revival of interest in the D/R ship right now?

Read more... )


sensiblecat: (Default)
Ooh, Arthur Darvill as Mephistopheles at the Globe. Getting quite excited about this!
sensiblecat: (doctor's wife)
In many ways the finale was a wonderful episode, and yet somehow the very things that were brilliant about it added to the frustration. Read more... )
sensiblecat: (little amy 2)
Hands up if the name Mary Whitehouse means anything to you? Read more... )
sensiblecat: (Shakespeare Chandos)
I'm back from Stratford, and my first production at the new RSC Theatre, where I managed to break a seat. It literally fell apart in my hand as I tried to push it up to let people get past me. I was whisked away into a very expensive stalls seat before I could manage to tweet about it! Not that I would have done - but the RSC didn't know that.

To be honest, I'm a bit meh about the new theatre. It was done on the cheap, and it shows. There aren't enough loos, and the seating is flimsy, uncomfortable and unsuitable for anyone over a size 20 - and believe me there are a lot of people who go to the RST who'd fit that description, and that number is likely to rise in the future. Worst of all, you have to pay nearly £50 (on a Saturday evening, at least) to get a seat where you really feel part of the action and can see everything significant that's going on.

The RSC is our national artistic place of pilgrimage, and I feel genuinely saddened that the remodellers didn't do a better job. Okay, so they put up a swanky tower, but it's a safe swanky tower - we aren't talking the Guggenheim or Pompideau Centre here, and I wish they'd either gone for something with that degree of boldness and flair, or done a good job restoring what they already had.

I saw The Merchant of Venice, an interesting production that substitutes Vegas for Venice, dollars for ducets and (I kid you not) Elvis for Launcelot Gobbo. The Elvis impression was actually very good. The first half is all fruit machines and television game shows, blackjack and crap. I see what they were going for with Portia - they make her into a Southern Barbie doll and the caskets rigmarole becomes a game show called Destiny. And then, when she gets the man she wants, it turns out she's been dumbing down, and she takes off the wig and the kitten heels because she thinks she's found someone who'll appreciate her for herself. It turns out she's mistaken by the end, and the wig goes back on.

It's an astonishingly cynical play and yet it contains some of Shakespeare's most sublime romantic poetry (I'm thinking of "How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank"). That glorious scene, which equals and maybe even surpasses the R&J balcony scene in my estimation as the most romantic in Shakespeare, is actually sandwished between a hideously cruel and disturbing trial scene ending with Shylock's total humiliation and forced conversion, and a blazing four-handed row because the women find out the men have given away the tokens of love they swore to keep for ever. It's almost as if Shakespeare is going out of his way to be audacious and prove that he has the genius with words to do absolutely anything:

What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
That he should weep for her? What would he do,
Had he the motive and the cue for passion
That I have? He would drown the stage with tears
And cleave the general ear with horrid speech,
Make mad the guilty and appal the free,
Confound the ignorant, and amaze indeed
The very faculties of eyes and ears.

Hamlet, Act 2 Scene 2

(Anybody else remember David Tennant fixing his stare on the audience a few lines later and saying, "Am I a coward?")

It sounds very odd, but the RSC did the whole Moonlit Belmont scene, complete with its discussion of sweet music, over a soft background of Elvis singing "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" and the wall between high and low culture just came crashing down. Shakespeare was doing the same as the King, he was lulling us into the illusion of a happy ending by using every device in his artistic armoury. He was to words what Murray Gold is to music.

Anyway, back to The Merchant. I don't think it quite worked, though it got very much better in the second half and they were brave to tackle such a problematic play. I liked the way that they got it clearly across that it's his daughter's treachery that breaks Shylock and drives him to his revenge against Antonio. That's another awkward thing about the final scene, and Jessica's a thankless part, but here we saw her collapse inside when she was given the triumphant news of her father's fate - she knows what she's done and she'll never live comfortably with herself afterwards, and I think that's right. But (correct me by all means if I am wrong) I had real problems visualising Las Vegas as an anti-Semitic society, and that was something even Patrick Stewart's performance didn't overcome. I thought he was very much better as Claudius back in 2008, probably because that production had a much tighter ideological focus than this one.

Was going to talk about DW, but I think I'll keep that for another post.
sensiblecat: (doctor's wife)
The BAFTA's always been the case that DW tends to get overlooked because it picks up Welsh BAFTAs, and that seemed to be happening here, though I still felt it was being eclipsed by Sherlock and wondered if critical backlash is working its way through. I never really expected Matt Smith to win the Best Actor award, in fact I would have been horrified if he had, but I was expecting Benedict C to pick it up. BC's expression when the stage was taken over by a hoard of chavs from The Only Way is Essex was priceless! Anyway, brilliant to see such a nice, genuine guy as Martin Freeman do so well. (I have no problems whatsover with DW being eclipsed by Sherlock, BTW. Quite the reverse).

Couple of other DW-related things struck me. First, maybe because Scotland has its own BAFTAs, I was quite surprised that Single Father wasn't mentioned at all. And when they did the tribute to those we lost in the previous year, lovely to see Lis Sladen but couldn't they have picked a clip with the Brigadier in it as well?

Catherine Tate was there with her young daughter (who is very like her physically) - I thought that was very sweet.

The Doctor's Wife has made me interested in Neil Gaiman's other creative work and it seems that the Sandman series is the place to start, so I've duly started to work my way through Preludes and Nocturnes. I've never read a comic book or graphic novel before, other than the odd DW story in the magazine, so it seems rather odd to be starting now in my fifties. However, Sandman has a somewhat atypical audience - at least 50% female, apparently, and of those a fair number who have never read anything else in the genre.

It takes a while to get over the very dark horror. I've read that this does lighten up somewhat later on and that in some ways P&N isn't the best one to start with anyway - Gaiman isn't entirely happy with it, but the continuity is so complex to an outsider I've decided to stick to the publication order as far as possible. I'm intrigued by the many elements of myth that he incorporates and Morpheus/Dream does become a sympathetic character when you find out how badly his long imprisonment has affected him. So, not giving up yet (I like the idea of Death as a perky Goth girl kicking him up the backside, too - don't these English fantasy writers love to deconstruct the old Grim Reaper, and has anyone ever done a PhD on Pratchett vs Gaiman's concept of the character?). Would be interested to know if anyone else has tackled the series...

Also had a very spoilery thought about how The Almost People could tie into the series half-finale... it concerns a rumour based on the IMDB cast list...

Read more... )
sensiblecat: (Hollow Crown)
The artistic challenge that this series has faced, more than any other in New Who, is the tension between producing strong stand-alone narratives and building on the themes that will feed into the narrative arc as a whole.

Read more... )


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June 2012

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