Doctor Who: Series 1, revisited

My eldest son, Daniel, is back from University for a last holiday before his finals. He’s spending the time with a blend of revision and watching Doctor Who. He’s making his way through Series 1 (2005), the series that launched New Who, with Chris Eccleston in the title role.

It’s really good.

Continue reading


Here’s what post-truth politics looks like

I came across an extraordinary short (18 seconds) video, which I will transcribe:

Krishnan Guru-Murthy: The Conservative MP Ben Bradley is in the House of Commons. He voted to Remain, then became a Brexiteer, then voted against the deal, then voted for the Deal, then said he’d struggle to back the deal again, but now says he will back the deal. Ben Bradley, why do you get to change your mind?

Ben Bradley: I haven’t changed my mind.

Continue reading

What I’ve been listening to in 2018

Here is a YouTube playlist of my now-traditional top-ten list of the albums I’ve listened to the most in the previous calendar year. (See this list of previous entries.)

I listen much more to whole albums than to individual tracks, so each year I pick the ten albums that I listened to the most (not counting compilations), as recorded on the laptop where I listen to most of my music. (So these counts don’t include listening in the car or the kitchen, or on my phone.) I limit the selection to no more than one album per artist, and skip albums that have featured in previous years. Then from each of those ten objectively selected albums, I subjectively pick one song that I feel is representative.

Here they are in ascending order of how often I listened to them. Continue reading

Etch-a-Sketch ruined castle

For some reason, in the autumn of 2010 I decided to draw a ruined castle on an Etch-a-Sketch. I just stumbled across a photo I took of the drawing, and quite liked it, so here it is.

Asking Mark Harper to back the Wilson/Kyle proposal

Poor Mark Harper. As my democratically elected representative, it’s his job to read what I write to him. I last wrote back in early December, and rapidly changing events have led me to write again. Here’s the letter:

Dear Mark Harper,

I am sorry to write to you yet again about Brexit — this must be at least the fourth time, more likely the fifth, and I assure you that I want this to go away at least as much as you do. But you will recognise that since my last letter, sent on 8th December, the circumstances have changed dramatically, and not for the better.

Continue reading

“Why’s it taking so long? We should just leave!”

I’m not going to advocate remaining in the European Union in this post[1]: I just want to address one specific thing that emerges from the present omnisuperubercatastroshambles+++, and that is the understandable impatience about Brexit that we hear a lot in vox pops: “Why’s it taking so long? We should just leave!”

‘We should have left on the day after’: Colette Rayner in Hastings. Photograph: Martin Godwin for the Guardian.

Here, through the medium of parable, is the reason why, even though we may well leave the EU, we’re not “just leaving”.

Continue reading

The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos: too late, had your chance, muffed it

Honestly, I am getting tired of writing these reviews. I bet you’re tired of reading them, too. The good news is that this is for the last of the present series. The bad news is that I still have the New Year special to watch and write about (though the mentions that I’ve not been able to avoid seeing out of the corner of my eye have suggested that that might be rather better than the series proper).

Anyway, here we go.

Continue reading