david tennant

May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favour

May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favour

And suddenly, somewhere in between Matplats and Badrums, your relationship is resembling that moment where Katniss and Peeta are about to eat the berries... and not in a dying for true love kinda way.

However.

There is hope. You can pass this test. Really really.

Cooking The Books

“When I read a book, I put in all the imagination I can, so that it is almost like writing the book as well as reading it - or rather, it is like living it. It makes reading so much more exciting, but I don't suppose many people try to do it.”  - Dodie Smith, I Capture The Castle

Today is World Book Day, and here is where I show my everlasting Geek Girl status by saying, in an annoyingly loud voice,

"Huzzah!!"

Because, more than anything else in the world, excepting perhaps the Man Who Vaguely Resembles David Tennant...

I love books.

Books rock. Like a rocky thing.

The quote from I Capture The Castle (which, not altogether surprisingly, is one of my all time 'can read again and again, never get tired of it, go to when I can't sleeps' favourites) sums up perfectly what books mean to me.

When I read them, I am a part of them, and they are a part of me.

Books are an escape and a fantasy. They are a way of living out our wildest dreams without leaving the comfort of our bed on a cold yucky winter morning. They're a way to drown out the snores and snarkles of the very large gentleman next to us on the long flight from X to Y. They are, when we are younger, often a way to make the best of what can be a scary place - the playground - when we don't quite fit in.

They make us laugh and cry. They make us look nervously over our shoulders to see if the bad man has managed to jump out of the pages somehow (I don't know about you, but this has not been restricted to my childhood. Hannibal Lecter's creator, Thomas Harris, and of course the ScareMeister Stephen King, have a LOT to answer for).

We cheer for the good guys. We take the second star to the right, and play Pooh Sticks with Christopher Robin. We know what Katy Did (or Didn't?). We watch the Little Women become bigger - with that tearful, tragic exception - and we go through the Wardrobe with Lucy, Peter, Edmund and Susan.

We return with the King and Samwell Gamgee. We listen to Atticus defend Tom with every fibre of his being, while Scout, Dill and Jem play at being Boo Radley. And we all know that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. Especially if he looks like Darcy.

We do these things time and time again. Why? Because books are magic. Even if they aren't inherently about boy wizards.

I gobble up books like they are my last meal as a condemned prisoner - it has been this way for me since I first started chewing on the corner of what was probably a very valuable piece of literary real estate. I become the protagonist of every book I read. I was Jo getting her hair cut off to raise money to get Marmee to March and I certainly resembled Pippi Longstocking far more than I would care to remember. I was definitely naughty Katy before she became good Katy, although these days I now understand more about her 'house of pain' than I ever would have dreamed. Jane Eyre's look of patient forebearing had nothing on me when I was in a snit. And as for The Wind In The Willows...

Definitely Ratty, with his dreams of the Wide, Wide World.

Although I completely get Toad's thing for motorcars.

The wonderful thing is, books are forgiving. They don't care whether or not you read weighty great classics on a daily basis. They just want to be read. The Collected Works of Pliny the Elder aren't going anywhere; if what floats your boat is vampires and werewolves and shifters (oh my!) then who cares? Pliny probably would have quite enjoyed them too, the old bugger. The point is to feed your imagination. George R R Martin has done a wonderful thing with Game of Thrones; he has brought reading not to a new generation of children, but to a new adult audience, and love him or hate him, as a reader you have to respect him.

I love books. It's that simple, and that complicated. And one day they will probably bankrupt me.

But by that stage, I will most likely be able to build a house out of them, I will have so many -

So at least David T and I will have somewhere to live.

And read.

Oh, The Places You'll Go!

You'll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You'll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step; step with care and great tact, and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left. - Dr Seuss.

Today is - or rather would have been, as he died in 1991 - the 110th birthday of Dr Theodor Geisel, otherwise known to generations of children (and the Red Hot Chili Peppers) as Dr Seuss. For Americans, Dr Seuss's birthday is now National Read Across America Day, an initiative on reading created by the National Education Association. And let's face it, who is more likely to make you want to hurtle through a book than Yertle the Turtle? If he's cool enough for Flea, then he's cool enough for me.

I had a long and lasting love affair with Dr Seuss's creations. You can tell from the amount of chocolatey smears on Ten Apples Up On Top, and the dog eared mess which Hop On Pop rapidly deteriorated into. I was a bit scared of The Cat In The Hat for some reason; I think he was a little bit too anarchistic for my neat and tidy brain. I wanted to go wild, but I think I was busy quietly wetting my pants waiting for the mother in the book to come home and CATCH THEM OUT, so the Cat's craziness was a bit wasted on me.

Fox In Socks on the other hand... let's just say that still has a place in my memory worthy of going straight to the pool room, as Darryl Kerrigan from The Castle would say. As for Green Eggs and Ham, the mild hysteria that induced would be worrying in an adult, because I'd assume some form of illegal substances were involved in the high pitched laughter and repetition of 'I DO like green eggs and ham!!!'.

Possibly the aforementioned green eggs. Or mushrooms.

He was a complex cat, old Theodor. By no means perfect; in fact I was a bit shocked by his fairly yuck attitude towards the Japanese during the second World War (although he did redeem himself to a large degree). He wasn't above pushing political or religious messages through his books, but then again he's not the only children's author guilty of this (hello C.S. Lewis as an outstanding culprit of the latter). But he achieved what many an author, and almost more to the point, many an overwhelmingly frustrated parent and teacher, has not -

He made reading fun. And so, kids read. And they kept reading. And they remembered more than the nonsense; they remembered the lessons.

Because what a lot of people tend to forget is this. In amongst all of the Hortons and Grinches, Loraxes and Cindy Lous, Seuss had some fairly profound messages which serve us well as adults. How to enjoy the journey. How to not be selfish. How to be ourselves.

How to fall in love.

And this is why I will always celebrate my Seussosity. Because it is the things I have carried with me, 30 years on, which make me happy to say 'do I like them Sam I am?' and grin like a maniac when someone equally weird, and who vaguely resembles David Tennant, knows what I am talking about.

For we're all a little weird, and life's a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.

That's what the Doc said, anyway.

I'm willing to take it as gospel.

The Answer Is...

Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew When I bit off more than I could chew And through it all, when there was doubt I ate it up and spit it out I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way.

- Frank Sinatra.

I have been attempting to start this new blog - which may I add, is now permanent - since I actually turned 42. But due to 2014 starting with mosquito borne illnesses, a fractured wrist and what could be considered the return of the Plagues of Egypt (on a personal scale) - it has taken a little longer than anticipated.

Nevertheless.

In tribute to Douglas Adams -

I may, perhaps, have found the meaning of life, the universe and everything.

It really is 42.

Last year was all about ticking things off a list. As it turned out, the things I eventually saw as 'achievements' were perhaps not those that I would have expected at the start of 2013. But they ended up being far more profound, and far more difficult, than I could ever have anticipated. So. To all those who loyally followed the41steps, here is my 'Year of Wonders' - make of it what you will. Not quite 41 things, because I don't want you to fall asleep!

1. Survived cancer.

2. Decided I hadn't had enough, and had another go.

3. Managed 3 countries in 3 days. With several buckets of champagne.

4. Got the Dread P back safely from some serious buccaneering. 

5. Moved states. 

6. Moved states again. 

7. Stayed loyal to the Tahs.

8. Remained an idiot (see above).

9. Co-launched an amazing online magazine. Pride. 

10. Made some serious mistakes. 

11. Made more mistakes. But not the same ones. Win. 

12. Sat in the middle of a dam on a mattress. It worked out OK. 

13. Wrote like a maniac.

14. Didn't give up.

15. Fell desperately in love. With someone who may vaguely resemble David Tennant.

I think that's enough to be going on with. Especially points 1,2... and definitely point 15.

I hope that those who have stuck with me throughout the two incarnations of my blog so far continue to do so. I love writing. It is a part of me. And this year - well, it's going to get bigger than ever.

Once I recover from mozzies and muddled bones.

Huzzah.

 

 

My Funny Valentine

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On Valentine’s Day, the Spirit Club plastered the school with red streamers and pink balloons and red and pink hearts. It looked like Clifford the Big Red Dog ate a flock of flamingoes and then barfed his guts up.

— Carolyn Mackler, Vegan, Virgin, Valentine

 

I am, and have been for many a long year, a very definite naysayer of what has to be the biggest Hallmark Holiday of them all. This is mainly because I hate the whole idea of proscribed love, and having to express it on a certain day and in a certain manner, or otherwise you will be mocked and shunned by the rest of society.

So to teddybears holding love hearts, and single red roses... I am afraid I say 'bah, humbug!'

Or whatever the Valentinian (word?) equivalent of Scrooge's Christmas message may be.

But.

By the same token, there is nothing wrong with taking a time out to say what you feel about the person you care most about in the world. And for some people, the only day of the year when they are able to express that is Valentine's Day. Whether through shyness, or reticence, or simply being a typical boy (you know it's true) - most of the time, romance gets lost in translation, or more typically in work, work, sleep, work, kids, work, sport, drinking with friends... you know.

Life.

And that is where I have come to see the value that V Day holds. It's a chance to break out of the ordinary. To actually have a valid reason to stand up and say 'I love this person, they mean everything to me'. I suppose the sad thing is that an excuse in the form of an official day is needed for this to happen. That we are all too busy, or tired, or shitty, or lacklustre, to make the effort on an 'everyday' day.

2014 has so far been a remarkably craptacular year. I can't see that Valentine's Day is going to hold anything particularly special in many ways (if it holds a bear holding a heart, then there will be a brand new Massacre to join the history books. Just as an aside). But one thing I can say, which is special to me, and which is 2014's saving grace - and which makes every day a gift as far as I am concerned;

I wake up being told I am loved by the other half of my heart, and go to sleep the same way.

That, to me, is what Valentine's Day means.

Have a happy day. I hope it is filled with bacon roses, if that's your thing. And guys who look vaguely like David Tennant, if that is your thing as well.

I know it's mine.

Go West

“We must dream our way”

— Pablo Neruda

Before you start reading this blog, you should be advised that it isn’t anything to do with The Village People, or for that matter The Pet Shop Boys – although you may, after reading the title, end up with said song stuck in your head for hours. 

No, this is about how, despite a certain person – that would be me – stating very early on this year something along the lines of ‘I am never moving again, hell will freeze over before I ever pick up another Port-A-Robe, I am going to stay here until I go mouldy’ yada, yada, yada...

I suddenly find myself sitting amongst the chaos of a new house in Perth.

Sorry – make that a new home.

This would be courtesy of fate, kismet, whatever you wish to call it, which appeared some time ago in the shape of a person who looks vaguely like David Tennant (not the only reason I find him irresistible – really) and has impelled a move, sadly not by Tardis, across state borders and time zones.

Many people would not have been aware I was even contemplating said move, let alone that I have made it. This is because it was personal, and complex, and fuelled by reasons which were hard to discuss – and yes, included the fact that long distance love, whilst sounding intensely romantic, is in actuality intensely difficult and frustrating.

So Osky the Spy and I shrugged our collective shoulders and started packing. Well, I did – he exercised his right to use his considerable vocal power.

I think the lambs have stopped screaming.

On this bright and sunny (very early) Perth morning, after an exciting Saturday night spent with the drill, a glass of wine or three and – not surprisingly as a result – colourful language as we realised we had stuffed up the IKEA instructions for the third time, I am tempted to turn said new home into a Zen temple. It would mean no unpacking! Plates – we don’t need plates! Glasses – meh. Doona covers – oh, hang on, that’s my favourite... and that’s my favourite too... and that one. Bugger it. I like stuff too much to be a minimalist queen. 

Perth doesn’t know what’s hit it. I suspect the Person Who Vaguely Resembles David Tennant doesn’t either.

But he does know how much I love him.

I wouldn't move to the wild, wild West for just any Time Lord.

But I will not be going for the Force. Or the Eagles.

That's a promise.

On the Tardis. 

 

Beam Me Up, Scotty

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

— William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Today is World UFO Day. I wasn't aware of this until earlier this morning, when I was reliably informed by the Panda in our daily phone idiocy that yes, July 2 is an extraterrestrial event, with close encounters of all kinds a longed for possibility. 

This got me thinking about what is out there - if anything. And if there is something or someone cruising through the galaxies, it begs the question: 

Why would they come anywhere near us? 

I love Dr Who, although the Daleks scared me silly as a kid. What I never can understand though is this; despite having a whole universe to play with, he spends all of his time footling around on Planet Earth. Think about it - there are skies and skies to choose from, and yet he is bumming around watching a fairly ordinary race try to self-destruct on a daily basis.  

Personally, I'd be off on the equivalent of Planet Las Vegas getting my Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster on. 

I think that the reason we've never (officially) had confirmation of other life forms out there is because they have taken one look at the mess we have made and said 'thanks, but no thanks' - or however you say it in Venutian - or as the case may be, Martian (by the way, if men are from Mars and women are from Venus, how did we end up here together?). 

Don't get me wrong; I would love to know that there's life out there, even if it's not as we know it. But I really do think that if there are higher beings, then they would think 'what the hell?' and do as the Vogons did and bulldoze the Earth for an efficient transportation system.  

Perhaps I am being too harsh. Perhaps this is just Tuesday morning cynicism, and in an hour or so when I have had more coffee I will be in love with the human race as a whole once more.  

Either that or I will keep watching last night's Q&A and decide to crawl back under the doona until politicians don't exist. 

Now there's a thought. Aliens with enormous weapons of which we have no knowledge - we welcome you to our world; on one condition - when you leave... 

Take out the rubbish. 

Or should that be Ruddish? 

And I am off to drool over David Tennant (as usual) and imagine him taking me away from all this...