Sunday, July 23, 2006

It's the holidays! Hurrah!

Term finished on Friday, so since then I have done nothing apart from read 3 girlie novels (great for putting the brain into neutral) and look piteously at A to get him to put the kettle on again.

Loads has happened since my last post and I'm not quite sure where to start, but here goes.

A couple of days after my last posting, A and I went to see Jasper Fforde at a talk and book signing in Manchester. He really does have a sense of humour that resonates with mine (when it can surface) and A found him funny enough to pick up The Big Over Easy. He's not read any fiction since our holiday to Lefkas 15 months ago, so that's no mean feat.

A couple of days after that, A frightened the life out of me by fainting at bedtime (I wish I could say it was my sexual allure, but sadly, no...) One minute he's having a wazz in the dark, the next there's an almighty crash, then silence. I shot out of bed and turned the main light on, to find he had fallen backwards perfectly and was lying across the en-suite threshold, looking at me as if I was a loon. As far as he was concerned, he was very tired and horizontal, so therefore he was in bed - why on earth would I be asking if he was alright?

Last weekend we went to a wedding in Wigan, with the reception venue the JJB Stadium (the bride's a rugby league fan). The groom's father is related to A's mother and sometimes says very funny things entirely unintentionally. This time it was a comment to the Catholic priest who officiated the ceremony: "Very nice service, Father, and not too religious..."Cue much coughing as I try not to laugh out loud.
During the reception, A and I took time out to admire the silverware and A discovered a hideous error, he thinks. Whatever this trophy was (and I'm fairly certain it wasn't the Challenge Cup, because Wigan won it for several consecutive seasons in the 80s and 90s an the plaques don't match), the one for the 1987-88 season proudly declared the winners to be Wigan RLFC and the captain to be E Henley.


Even I know that the king of Rugby League at that time was one of the best ever players the world has seen - Ellory Hanley of Wigan.

For the price of a replacement plaque...

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Doctor Who v. His Dark Materials???

What a fab finale in last night's Doctor Who. I loved it. But today, I was struck by something startling. I was trying to re-tell it to my Mum - the void, the parallel worlds, the "void stuff", the final separation (including that heart-wrenching part when the Doctor and Rose both put their hands on the wall where the breach was) and I was suddenly struck by all the similarities to parts of The Amber Spyglass, the final book in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy (fantastic, if you haven't read it. A great story and beautiful prose)

Now it's about four years since I read it and I'm too lazy to crawl over the tip that is the office to check finer details, but this is how I see it.

The Doctor used the 3-D specs to see the "void stuff", which was a bit like energy from the void that attached itself to anyone or anything that had crossed it. The woman (Mary? I think so anyway) used the Amber Spyglass to see lots of gold coloured particles that were invisible to the naked eye - I can't remember if it was coming from the holes between the worlds or disappearing into them, but the holes needed to be sealed, because everytime someone traveled between world it weakened the whole fabric of the worlds. (sounds familiar?)

The Doctor was the only one who could seal the breach forever, but to do so, he had to do it from Earth and therefore needed to separate himself permanently from Rose (okay, she had other ideas, but you know what I mean!) In HDM, Will was the only one who could seal the holes, but he could only do it from his world and had to leave Lyra behind in hers.

After the breach was sealed, the Doctor and Rose each stood on their side of the wall, trying to feel the connection still. Meanwhile, Will and Lyra try to keep their connection alive (to themselves at least) by sitting on the same bench in their own Oxfords.

Am I imagining all this?

Doesn't detract from either Doctor Who or His Dark Materials though - both were utterly brilliant and I sobbed piteously at the end of both of them...

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Friday Night Movies

A and I watched The Breakfast Club last night. A loves it, he went through a real phase of Brat Pack movies, but I've never seen it. Not even a trailer! How sad is that - here I am, a bona fide child of the Eighties and I've never seen The Breakfast Club. Needless to say, I really enjoyed it - much more depth than I was expecting!

Relaxed Felines

There has been a noticeable difference in Lilly and Stella over the last two days. I hadn't realised how much the catflap issue was traumatising them until it got resolved and the pair of them are back to their usual selves.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Vortex is Open

...or something.

Having ascertained earlier this week that there was indeed a problem with the catflap (magnet clicked, lock didn't actually unlock, therefore flap wouldn't flap), A and I resorted to high end technology to fix it.

Yep, we taped the snicket down with parcel tape.

I then spent an undignified ten minutes with Lil and a tin of tuna, finally posting her through the catflap back into the house to convince her that it worked.

Have you ever tried to post a 6 kilo cat, in fact a reluctant 6 kilo cat, actually a downright hostile 6 kilo cat through a small space?

Wouldn't recommend it.

Dignity is lost by all involved.

And the hot weather slows the healing process down...

Anyway, she and Stella have carried on behaving as if it's still only available to go out. Psychological warfare on their part?

Maybe, but who cares? In the last 12 hours, they have both gone out, then come back in, through the catflap.


Sunday, July 02, 2006

Lost in a Good Book

Really, this is a misnomer for this post, because it's about 3 years since I read Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde. I love his Thursday Next books and when I discovered them, I read the first three (The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book and The Well of Lost Plots) in quick succession then kicked my heels, waiting for Something Rotten to be published in July 2004. They are very quirky and Fforde treats his readers as intelligent, well-read beings (without being condescending at all) which makes me feel great when I get the jokes. I went to a talk and book signing he gave in Manchester in July 2004 when Something Rotten was published and his sense of humour tickled me no end.

However, in all the fuss of changing jobs last year, I completely missed the publication of The Big Over Easy, his first book in the Nursery Crime series. But I found it last weekend and I finished it yesterday. Cracking (excuse the pun!) Another great read, although Jack Spratt's Reading is not as different from our world as Thursday Next's Swindon. As a Thames Valley girl, I love the fact that he uses Swindon and Reading as locations, showing how dreadful they are, but with great love and respect.

If you have a chance, read one if his books. They are probably unlike anything you have ever read before...

Flap Update

I think we are being taken for a ride.

Over the weekend, Stella has successfully got in through the catflap, thereby proving that it still works. Lil, however, has singularly failed, although she did make a half-hearted attempt yesterday. It could be that she has a problem with her jowls and they obscure her magnetic mouse somewhat, but I'm not convinced.

Grand ideas for retraining have failed due to despondency over yesterday's footie and lethargy due to today's extreme weather. Sadly, a thunderstorm wasn't enough to make Lil try to get in since the elderflower provided a more than adequate shelter.

Ho hum.