Saturday, January 18, 2014

They get around

Remember a few months ago, when I blogged about seeing Parasight in Beeston? Well, here I am all settled in my new home in Belper, and the Railway pub down the road has a poster in the window saying they're playing there in a fortnight. I think I'll have to go along, since they've gone to the trouble of following me around the country.

Saturday 1st February, 8:30pm, come along and join the party!

Friday, January 17, 2014

House of Fools

Following the general theme of commenting on television programmes, I saw that the BBC website is wildly plugging Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer's new sitcom, House of Fools. Since I'll enthusiastically watch anything with Vic and Bob in it, they didn't need to entice me very much, but when I played the couple of clips that the BBC chose to show to promote the series, I was left thinking "Well, that's rubbish. How the mighty have fallen. A lame, uninspired, cheap sitcom, who would have thought it?"

But I decided to watch the first episode anyway, just to see how bad it was, and how completely my aging idols have lost the plot... and it was brilliant! Surreal and hilarious, just like everything the two of them have ever done, it's just that the BBC chose to take the few scenes without any jokes or slapstick silliness and highlight those as an example of their new show.

Why didn't they present the opening scene of the first episode? Vic strides into the room, singing (to the tune of Day Trip To Bangor), "Look at my glove, I think I'm in love with my mediaeval gauntlet! I'm happy to say that today, all day, I'll stride around the flat and flaunt it!" And he then has an imaginary fight, shouting "Prepare to die, Doctor Dolittle!"

A simple clip of those few seconds would have got me watching it in a flash, rather than very nearly giving it a miss. Does someone at the BBC just not understand what comedy is?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow

I'm seeing adverts for a new American version of The Tomorrow People and wondering whether I should watch it. I've never seen the original, but I did watch the previous re-imagining of the series, back in the early nineties. It was pretty terrible, but since American remakes are always entirely unlike the original they're based on, we might be on to a good thing here. On the other hand, the original original version is supposed to have been good...

The fun thing about the nineties version was the way that characters just disappeared. A new story would start and suddenly someone would be missing, and everyone talked as if the only Tomorrow People there had ever been were the ones who were still appearing in the series. It was quite disconcerting. It would be nice to get tomorrow-person powers, but not if they come with a sporting chance that you'll vanish and be erased from history altogether...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I should join a gym

I'm feeling restless - not cycling a long way home of an evening takes some getting used to. Perhaps I ought to find some other physical activity to get into. I should really just be memorising things, but I'm still not really in the mood...

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Woman In White's cousin

Reading The Woman In White, I can't help thinking of it from Magdalen's point of view.

Family relationships are a complicated thing in The Woman In White. Magdalen Fairlie is Laura Fairlie's cousin, who doesn't feature in the story at all, just getting a mention in the course of Mr Gilmore's chronicle of who inherits what in the case of Laura's death. We don't know anything about her, other than that her father died quite some time ago, and her brother 'was drowned at Oxford' at the age of 18 at some point in the past. She apparently isn't close to Laura, since there's no mention of her so much as attending Laura's funeral or dropping by to say hello when it turns out Laura isn't dead at all.

Here's what happens in the book from Magdalen's viewpoint - her cousin Laura is reported to have died, very sadly. Then some months later, she reappears in the company of a new husband, Walter Hartright, who explains that Laura's death was all part of a conspiracy carried out by her first husband Sir Percival Glyde and the evil Count Fosco, and it was actually someone else who died. The conspirators are both also dead now - Glyde accidentally killed himself while trying to destroy evidence of his illegitimacy and Fosco was murdered by a secret society for reasons unrelated to the plot of the book. Walter Hartright happened to be nearby on both occasions, but had nothing to do with their deaths.

All this is plausible as long as Laura is around to speak for herself, but then she is 'delicate', and Walter goes out of his way to protect her from talking to people if it might disturb her. If I was Magdalen, I'd find it suspicious. Especially since Walter is clearly very friendly with Laura's half-sister Marian Halcombe, and the two of them are always together while Laura's in bed with a headache...

Thing is, Magdalen stands to inherit Limmeridge House if it turns out that the whole thing is a scam on the part of Walter and Marian. If I was her, I'd be investigating, or else hatching a scheme to discredit and disinherit Laura. There should be a sequel.

Monday, January 13, 2014


The Premier League has been really exciting this season, hasn't it? It would be great if Arsenal managed to hang on to the top spot and beat the team everyone hates and the team everyone used to hate before Man City came along and became even more hateable.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Memory trophies

Oh, all right then, another blog tonight. I've put my trophies on the mantelpiece in my new living room, just to celebrate the fact that I've now got a mantelpiece. There was probably a fireplace and chimney there once, too, but now it's just a mantelpiecey framework around a blank piece of wall.

Still, it's interesting to look at the array of big impressive trophies and what they're for - for the 2004 world memory championship I didn't get anything at all (Andi having chosen to steal the official WMC trophy the previous year), the 2008 one is an amazingly puny little tiny glass thing that doesn't even say "world memory champion" on it, and the 2009 one is a medium-sized plain and boring-looking glass thing. On the other hand, the trophy for coming third in the 2010 championship is a really big and impressive tin trophy that looks good on a mantelpiece. Not as big as the colossal Memory World Cup 2004 trophy, which is the size of a house, or the really big gold thing for the notable feat of winning the speed cards category of the 2012 Memoriad, though.

As I've mentioned many times before, I prefer my memory competition trophies to be small and tasteful, mainly because I never have room in my bag for the big and ugly ones, but if you're going to put them on display like that as if you care about them (as opposed to putting them on windowsills and cupboard-tops wherever I could find a space, which was my policy in my last two flats), I suppose it's better if they look good, instead. Perhaps in future I can ask the memory competition organisers to award big metal trophies, and to deliver them to my house so I don't have to take the trouble to carry them home? I'm sure that'll make me popular.

The coolest trophy I've ever won is still the stylish and artistic coloured-and-sculpted glass thing from the 2009 UK Championship, though. That's the kind of thing that really does look mantelpiece-worthy!

In the pale light of the morning, nothing's worth remembering

I just haven't been in the mood to do anything today, and I blame the television - I haven't got my TV connected up yet, so the glaring absence of having the telly on in the background has made it impossible to do any work...