Sunday, 27 April 2008

Good Karma

Somebody sent me a good karma email this week. It is full of good advice and sound wisdom, and apparently the more people you pass it on to, the better your own karma will become. She who sent it to me doesn't understand how it can possibly work, that you get better and better karma as you send it to more people. I don't know why, it makes perfect sense to me. Where it falls down a bit is that claims that all one has ever hoped for will take shape if you send it to fifteen people or more.

Whoever wrote that clearly doesn't know just how hopeful I am. I hope for many things, including an end to the guilt I have to endure when driving my car, solutions to the problem of global warming and peace in our time. And when these problems are solved - along with my more mundane and personal ones, like finding employment and a life partner who lives to clean and encourage, without wishing for payment or even excessive praise - I expect to feel a little sad that I will have saved the world and that nobody will ever know. Except you lot. So when it all starts to go right, remember this and think kindly of me.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

The High Price of Tea

I have spent the last few days on a Bed of Pain. The bed itself was fine - I have laboured long and hard to make sure that I have the most comfortable bed in the world - but I was languishing in Pain on it.

I was Suffering from migraine. Or not, medical opinion varies. It was a one-sided headache which made me feel nauseous, but (on this occasion) without accompanying funny coloured lights (which was a mercy. If somebody had told me when I was eighteen that I would not enjoy free coloured lights with different coloured borders hovering around in the air, I would not have bought it. Life is a very chastening business.) Anyway, my doctor is completely unconvinced and says I suffer from tension headaches, and so I am driven to Home Remedies - depriving myself of tea, coffee, chocolate and cheese. The last three really aren't an issue - I dearly love cheese, but shouldn't eat it anyway because it is implicated in the fact that my cup size has gone up four letters in the last six years, or in other words, it maketh me porky. But tea - crumbs, tea.

My morning pick-me-up, my eleven o'clock shot, my refreshing lunch-time brew and my home-time treat. I am so dull these days I am nearly flawless - and now, my only vice, my favourite fix! to be so cruelly deprived of almost my last remaining pleasure! Two days of moaning into my pillows was enough, though, and now my new vices will be liquorice and orange teas - and possibly, later in the month, peony and other weird flavours. Four weeks without tea; can this be sustained without descent into madness? I shall have to see, for I can lose no more of my life to the misery of the migraine if it can be prevented. I have not had a cup of tea since Friday afternoon; three days down and twenty-five to go. Bye bye to tea. Hello to Rude Health.


Well, I was wrong - the Nancies had to snog somebody, but it wasn't Capn Jack. Poor guy must be all smooched out from Torchwood. They had to snog a Joseph. He was sweet and didn't mind that Keisha had been eating onions.

Finally said tarah to Tara, who sang rather craply throughout, and then opened her larynx and sang a blinder on her way out. Was she nobbled, I wonder; she was criticized for being "pop-py" - they meant that she sounded like a pop singer, not a red flower - but what she had to sing was "I Can't Live (If Living is Without You)" and "Let's Hear It for the Boy" - the definition of pop. Did she misguidedly choose these songs for herself? I think not - I smell stitch-up here; but then - that would be the all-controlling BBC, the unelected representative of The People and What's Best for Them.

This year's contenders are all excellent singers - the Irish leading the way with three of the final nine, all lookers and two about nineteen. Meanly, I find myself hoping that one of the older ones gets the role - Rachel or Francesca or Sarah, who have been living in London pounding pavements and going to auditions and living off crap jobs for five years - simply because the 17/18/19 year olds have had such an easy time of it so far. Niamh is pleased that she's cooking her own sausages and doing her own laundry - a proper achievement for a 17 year old to pique herself on, but not a life story to make you feel that she's earned a plum role in the West End. As for Jessie, a coltish copper-curl-tossing Irish colleen, it doesn't matter that she can't act for toffee and giggles like an idiot when she has to try, because ALW can barely stay in his seat for praising her. Is he harping on about her accent, which is at least as strong as Simona's? Funny that.

Dr Who was really good. Why it was called "The Fires of Pompeii" instead of "Written in Stone" is anybody's guess, but even through the dark mists of pain I enjoyed it. What splendid fun it is not to have a soupy tweeny girl in lurve with the knobbly kneed doctor, but instead the voluptuous Donna giving voice to More Estuary Indignation at every turn. She even makes him cross, which is fabulous. Loving it loving it loving it.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

An End to The Torcher

Torchwood finally bowed out on Friday night - much to our collective relief, no doubt. It was, however, an enjoyable episode, with lots going on, and The Other Coat (Captain John) much in evidence. He blew up lots of bits of Cardiff, gave Jack a ring while burying him alive, and did lots of "business" - actor-speak for picking things up and faffing about with them to indicate mental state or give the audience something to look at. It was all good fun. He also strung Capn Jack up by his arms and didn't support his feet, but Capn Jack refused to be suffocated as he actually would, and continued chatting away like a good'un.

As usual, the best bit was after the show, when the BBC aired "Torchwood Confidential". It is always a tad creepy when the Beeb does its little panegyric love-ins, but TC is so far up its own bottom that it is worth watching just to listen to one's own involuntary yelps of disbelief.

There are No Women on TC. No women apparently write or produce on this show, and the men only communicate by email. Or maybe they pretend only to communicate by email to show the viewing public just how cool and techno-literate they are, because this lot are spods. Not the semi-cool geek-types whose spoddiness is generated by insane intellectual passion rather than social hopelessness, like Gareth "okay, I may be geeky but I have a black Fred Perry polo shirt, you know" Malone off the choir; no, this lot are the more oafish, not-quite-outstanding-at-anything-so-we-hang-round-in-a-gang lot who probably still deal out dirty looks and snide remarks to the true geeks. They are marked out by their love, not for their craft, but for their self-importance. The beating heart, one suspects, of BBC production.

They talk a lot about how "difficult" it is to kill off a character, but what they say doesn't ring true. They don't care about these characters, surely? If they care, why are they so cardboard? And oh good Godfrey Cambridge, there it is. The characters are cardboard because they reflect the production team. No girl would aspire to go out with one, no single individual is permitted self-knowledge by the remainder of the pack, No One Is Greater Than The Show; they are the Stalinist State perfected through the prism of the English Public School System; socio-emotionally and intellectually foetal to a man.

The girls - who front the series - put in an appearance. Apparently the tears Gwen cries in the show "are real tears". Are we supposed to be impressed by this? One is reminded of Laurence Olivier suggesting to a fellow thesp. that he "try acting". The dangers of confusing reality and fantasy are well documented, but here is one of the less publicised ones - that of making fantasy pointless. After all, the art of drama is to fake it.


How I enjoyed Dr Who! I type this with some astonishment, as I didn't enjoy the last series to the point where I couldn't be bothered to watch it. I have intensely disliked both the last two assistants; the worst thing was that they both Loved the Doctor, and that really isn't right, especially when he is David Tennant. No working relationship can survive interplanetary breeding programmes, as evidenced by last night's ep. Happily, Catherine Tate is here, and we are all much happier now.

Catherine Tate is not a creature of heart-stopping beauty. She may have a wealth of auburn hair and eyes you could lose your soul in, but she is also a woman with an unfashionably buxom arse and the accent of true Estuary Outrage. Instead of being a show pony, she is a quick-witted funny feisty woman, who can also act. How on earth did she end up on Dr Who? Let us all praise the Powers That Be, who have sent us a lovely Goddess to use her own wit and elan to rescue us from the tedium of poorly pretended hanky-panky yearning fests that this once-classic show has been in danger of being swallowed by. If the Doctor can avoid being Tinkerbell in a cage needing all the world to believe in fairies, this series could yet be a watchable thing. Yippee!