Has it really been two months since I last posted? Blimey. I can never think of anything to write about though, and it's more interesting reading about you lot than it is writing about anything that I've been doing.

Ran out of episodes of Lucifer, and have no idea when season four is likely to appear, but The Gifted came back, which sort of filled a hole. It's been brilliant again, but it'll be finishing soon, as it only has short seasons. Cold Feet has come back too, and I recorded episode one, but haven't watched it yet. Which is awkward, as it will soon be time for episode two. Can't seem to summon up the enthusiasm though. No more Doctor Who until early 2020, but I did remember the other day that I started watching Heroes season one a couple of years back, and didn't get past about episode five. So I suppose I could go back to that at some point. I was enjoying it. It's just a question of a: remembering, and b: being bothered to get the DVDs out.

Reading-wise, I've just finished a book on Irish history, which was pretty lightweight, but interesting enough. I've been wanting to read something on general 19th century Irish life for a while, since family history research showed me that most of my family seem to have come from there. I wish the rest was as easy to read about (Slovenian history tends to be swallowed up by Habsburg stuff, since Slovenia technically didn't exist until comparatively recently, and 'modern' Alexandria, despite being a multi-ethnic metropolis until the Suez Crisis, seems mainly the preserve of literary writing, rather than historical. Italy is a bit easier, if lacking on the history of ordinary people). It's nice getting a bit of historical context. Going in an entirely different direction, I'll probably read Neil Gaiman's take on Norse mythology next.

Beyond that, there has been work, trying to get stuff done in the garden, and Fandom Stockinging. 2018 came to a complicated conclusion, and I'm rather glad to have got it out of the way. Best book read in 2018? Either The Dinosaur Hunters by Deborah Cadbury, or Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. I would have said that the best album of 2018 was Who Sold The Moon? by Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, but apparently that came out in 2017. So... As Long As I Have You by Roger Daltrey perhaps. Best film would have to be Infinity War I guess, as it's the only 2018 film I watched. Although The Greatest Showman was released in the UK on Boxing Day 2017, so that nearly counts. Damn it, it counts. That's the best film of 2018 (and I don't make my book choices be from the year, so why discriminate!) And best telly is obviously Lucifer, although many hurrahs for the Thirteenth Doctor. Doctor Who has been so good this year.

I'm not sure if the orange lump on my lap is a cat disguised as a teddy bear, or a teddy bear disguised as a cat, but either way, it makes it very hard to type! I am being kneaded and dribbled on. And now I have to go and do stuff. Fandom Stocking reveals should be later today, so have a good time, everyone. And then it will be Festivids! Huzzah.

Bye.
swordznsorcery: (lucifer)
( Nov. 5th, 2018 20:17)
I keep forgetting to do this - and when I don't forget, I never seem to have the time. But I have watched things! And some of them aren't Lucifer. For one thing, how good is Doctor Who at the moment?! I'm delighted with the new series. Jodie Whittaker feels more like the Doctor that I grew up watching than any of the other New Series takes on the character. No "lonely god" nonsense. No super-powerful being. Back to being a cosmic hobo (albeit a really, really clever one). I like her gang lots, I like the group dynamic, and I'm having fun. Also, they don't seem to be trying to make each episode BIGGER than the last, and the music hasn't annoyed me once yet. It's remembered that it's only supposed to be incidental, and not a constant cacophony of howling voices. Huzzah. So I am happy about all of that.

Also, the other day I happened to look at a TV guide for the first time in about three years, and I saw that a channel called Talking Pictures TV were showing a 1954 film called It Should Happen To You. Not a very well known film, but it was Jack Lemmon's first big role, and it also starred Judy Holliday. So obviously I had to record that. I watched it at the weekend, and it was daft and entertaining, and very 1950s. Judy Holliday was wonderful. She's almost unknown now, which is terribly sad. Primarily a Broadway star, she only made a few films, because she died young. She really lights up the screen though. She's magnetic - and with a great singing voice too. I first saw her in Bells Are Ringing (1960), the film version of one of her Broadway hits. She stars in the film with Dean Martin, and I very much recommend it if it ever comes up on TV. Anyway, It Should Happen To You gave her a good opportunity to shine, and raise more than a few smiles.

My beloved Top Of The Pops repeats have hit a low point - Chris de Bleurgh at number one forever with Lady In Red. Impressively, it's even worse than I remembered. And, just to make things even worse, they let him sing it live, just him and his piano. Seriously, it's what the fast forward button was invented for; although the iPlayer doesn't really do fast forward. They should look into that, just in case he's ever in the charts again. More seriously, all this means that we've arrived in August of 1986. I'm starting secondary school any time now. This is extremely disconcerting. Some things you really don't want to live through again, even obliquely.

Not reading much lately. I've been sorting through some books to see what I can get rid of, so I've been sort of re-reading a few old ones. Currently half reading Shadowmancer, by GP Taylor. It's definitely going in the jumble box!

Mostly though, I'm still watching Lucifer. Loving season three. It got an increase in episodes, and they decided to use them by going old school, and doing a bunch of standalones. It gives the support cast more of a chance to shine, and they've come up with some brilliant little detours from the main plot. The field trip to Las Vegas was wonderful, and there was also a fun flashback episode, showing Lucifer's arrival on Earth, pre-series. The internet doesn't seem to enjoy it all nearly as much as I do, as not every second of every episode is spent focused on The Ship, but whatever. I don't think I'll ever understand modern telly viewers.

I'll leave you with some Lucifer fanvids, as I found a vidder on YouTube who makes awesome ones. Probably some mild and non-specific spoilers (or possibly whacking great ones, depending on your outlook), so approach with caution if you're thinking of giving the show a go. Or just watch them anyway, as they're brill.

Bring Out The Bad (a compilation of the show's sillier side, as well as some drama):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysjYrEIruuw

A Little Wicked (a celebration of the glory that is Maze):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wu5Q0SW0yk

I Like Trouble (in which there is trouble):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmXhGaeH8IE
I decided to have a Lucifer re-watch to celebrate the show not being axed anymore, but woe is me, for I have finished season one. Season two is actually better, so it's not the tragedy that it could be - but my sister has borrowed season two, hence the woe. I shall have to wait, and stare wistfully at a screen that is sadly devoid of Luciferiness.

In the meantime though, I was looking through some stuff, and I discovered the Thirty Day Music Challenge that I started rather a long time ago (May 2017, making it a very badly named thirty day meme). So here's another bit of it.

Day Nineteen: A song that makes you think about life. Because it says a lot, and it's also pretty awesome, here's Foreign Sand, by Roger Taylor.

Day Twenty: A song that has many meanings to you. This one came along at a complicated time. I like it as a song, but also for what it's about. Also stuff. One Last Breath, by Creed.

Day Twenty-One: A favourite song with a person's name in the title. Could have come up with a dozen of these, but I decided to go with this, because it's fab. Eric The Half A Bee, by Monty Python.

Unfortunately, Day Twenty-Two is "A song that moves you forward", and I have no idea what that even means, let alone which song to choose for it. So it could well be another six months before I get to that one. I suppose I could go with Chris de Burgh's Lady In Red, as that's a song that always moves me towards the off switch? And that's usually forwards. We'll see.
swordznsorcery: (lucifer)
( Jun. 18th, 2018 21:18)
It is Monday, and - marvel of marvels - I've actually remembered to do this. I've even watched something, so it's not just books.

Reading's been a mixed bag lately. I've been reading this trilogy on and off. It's called the Riftworld Trilogy, by Raymond E Feist, and I started it last year I think. I seem to have missed out on most of the famous fantasy series, so I thought I'd try one where the books aren't nine hundred pages each. Books one and two were great, and I raced through them. Book three turned out to be a turgid wasteland. This is the first in a whole series of trilogies by Feist, which is a little daunting to say the least, especially if the others are likely to be more of the same. Still, maybe one day.

I followed that up with a Blyton, as I found one in a charity store last month, and couldn't resist. It was one of my favourites of hers when I was very small, called The Adventure Of The Strange Ruby. It's a great fun adventure about a brother and sister who go on holiday to Swanage, and rescue some kidnapped twins. There's abandoned mansions, and sinister statues, and casual racism, hurrah. I love how the children's mother has to go away and look after a sick relative, so she just pats the kids on the head, and tells them to go off and camp for a few days. Blyton is the antidote to over-protective parents - which is kind of ironic, given that the children in her books spend most of their lives a: talking to strangers, and b: getting kidnapped. But there you go.

Then I read a fabulous book called The Dinosaur Hunters, by Deborah Cadbury, about the early years of palaeontology, and the gaggle of eccentric English amateurs who first discovered dinosaurs, and invented geology and uncovered evolution in the process - much to the consternation of those of them who were also vicars (vicars had education, money, and leisure time, and were the backbone of early geology). I've been hearing wonderful things about this book for years, but have only just got around to it, and I'm glad I did. Absolutely brilliant. I've moved on to a potted history of Alexandria now, which is family history stuff. Fascinating city.

Viewing-wise, I've been catching up on RTD's A Very English Scandal. It aired on the Beeb some weeks ago, but I never remember to actually watch the telly these days. It's up on the iPlayer for another few weeks (and comes to BBC America at the end of the month), and I heartily recommend it. Terrific performances, a lovely thread of black humour, and for once Murray Gold didn't make me want to throttle him. Lovely costume and set design too, perfectly recreating the naff decor of the sixties and seventies, and also the frequently inadvisable moustaches. If you haven't seen it - see it.

Also still watching the Top Of The Pops repeats, which is highly compulsive, but frequently inadvisable. We're heading into autumn of 1985 now. I've had Feargal Sharkey singing A Good Heart in my head for the last forty-eight hours, and I may need to hunt him down and exact revenge.

And Lucifer got saved from cancellation! Huzzah!
swordznsorcery: (sleepy team)
( Dec. 30th, 2017 21:47)
Nicked off [personal profile] liadtbunny, mainly because I have to post more, or I might just forget how.

Your main fandom of the year?

In the sense of fandom meaning something that you take an active part in, other than merely watching the source material, none. I don't seem to do that anymore. I do belong to a Doctor Who forum, but I only hang out in the bits where nobody ever talks about the show, because fans are frequently best avoided. Since the IMDb forums were decommissioned, I haven't really done a lot of fandoming at all.

Your favourite film watched this year?

It might have to be Guardians of the Galaxy II (2016) by default, simply because I can't remember watching any other films this year. I did watch Scared Stiff (1953) and Living It Up (1954), to celebrate Dean Martin's hundrdth birthday back in June, but those were rewatches, and I'm not sure they count.

Your favourite book read this year?

Ooh, tough one. I'm split three ways. Possibly West With The Night, by Beryl Markham, a beautifully written memoir of the early days of commercial flight in Africa, or possibly Golden Hill, by Francis Spufford, a brilliant story set in the early days of the European settlement of North America, or perhaps Ivory, Apes & Peacocks, by Alan Root, a wonderful memoir about the early days of wildlife filming, mainly in Africa. Really not sure I could choose. Early days seems to be a theme, doesn't it!

Your favourite album or song to listen to this year?

Who Built The Moon?, by Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, is definitely my album of the year, in terms of new stuff. Last.fm tells me that the album I've listened to most this year is Queen's Greatest Hits I, and that the song I've listened to most this year is Gerry & the Pacemakers I Like It. Neither of which exactly screams 2017!

Your favourite TV show of the year?

Tough choice between The Gifted (new for this year), and Lucifer, which I think was last year's winner. The former is still getting going, so the latter probably wins again. Agents Of SHIELD is very good again this year, but I'm not voting for it until somebody turns a sodding light on.

Your best new fandom discovery of the year?

The Gifted. Great series. Looks certain to be axed, apparently (now there's a surprise). Meantime it's terrific though, with a fine cast.

Your biggest fandom disappointment of the year?

Maybe Guardians of the Galaxy II. I enjoyed it, but it pales in comparison to the first film, mostly because they have this great gang, and they split them up for most of the film. The bits with Rocket and Groot were brilliant, but the stuff with Peter and his father dragged. Still a good film though, mostly.

Your fandom boyfriend of the year?

Baby Groot. Baby Groot may be the greatest thing ever to happen to film.

Your fandom girlfriend of the year?

A tough one. I think Maze from Lucifer won last year, and she probably wins again, even though she was off filming something else for much of the first half of the present season. AWOL or not, she's Maze. Not only would it be hard for anybody to beat her, but if they did, she'd kill them and me in pretty short order. And with a really funky knife.

Your biggest squee moment of the year?

I believe we covered this extensively last year, but I Do Not Squee. However, Baby Groot. Because Baby Groot. Doing absolutely anything. For example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g94CPc3nb4Q

The most missed of your old fandoms?

Sleepy Hollow :(

The fandom you haven't tried yet, but want to?

None that I can think of. There's nothing that tempts me, I don't think.

Your biggest fan anticipations for the coming year?

New New Who, I guess. Chibbers and Thirteen both. I like Moffat, but it should be good to have some new blood, and although I like Capaldi a lot, I don't know that he's been used especially well. It's a constant strength of the show that it allows for big change, and this feels like the right time for some of that change. Of course, it might all go horribly wrong, but we shall see!
swordznsorcery: (sleepy team)
( Jan. 20th, 2017 16:49)
Prompt #25: Quote IV:

"The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater." ~ J.R.R. Tolkien


Title: None
Fandom: Sleepy Hollow
Rating: G
Characters/Pairings/Content Warnings/Notes: Spoilers for end of season three.


The apartment was cold and dark, the steady creep of mildew adding its own special scent to an already heady cocktail of dust and damp, and rotting rubbish borne upon a pervasive draught. Crane sat alone, staring at his one, sole ornament – a photograph of Abigail Mills. Even here, in such different surroundings, her absence cut as deep as any physical wound. Nonetheless, he smiled as he looked at her picture. She was gone these several weeks, but somehow he still seemed to feel her beside him. Now more than ever, she was the light that guided his rootless heart.


Title: None
Fandom: Lucifer (TV)
Rating: G
Characters/Pairings/Content Warnings/Notes: None specifically, though references Lucifer/Chloe.


Somebody – one of the Brittanys, he thought; one of his myriad lovers, at any rate – had once asked him about the preponderance of black in his life. The black suits; the gleaming black piano; the sleek black Corvette that turned so many heads in the City of Angels (the City of Fallen Angels, increasingly). He didn’t remember answering, although he thought that he knew what the answer was. Darkness – a deep, Stygian black – was his friend. So why now was there a flicker of light glowing inside him, threatening the familiar shadows that were all he had chosen to know?
swordznsorcery: (Default)
( Dec. 31st, 2016 20:48)
Obligatory end-of-year post. I was going to do the meme that everybody's posting today, but it's got too many questions! I get bored after answering about ten. So instead I'll point you at this rather wonderful 2016 song, which nicely sums up everything we've all been thinking. Not safe for work; but then it probably couldn't have been. It's tempting to hope for better for 2017, but bearing in mind that Trump hasn't even come to power yet, my natural tendency towards optimism is currently feeling a tad wobbly.

2016, then. The good bits. Best telly (other than the mothballed old stuff that I usually watch) has probably been Lucifer. I heartily recommend that one to most of you. Season one was fun last year, but season two has been terrific, and Tom Ellis is a revelation. Here he is (in character) belting out a jazzed up version of All Along The Watchtower.

Best book... I wish I could say the final Temeraire, but it seemed a bit of a damp squib, somehow. Mind you, my expectations were probably set a bit high. Instead I think I'll go with The Tyrannosaur Chronicles by Dave Hone, because tyrannosaurs. Basically he wrote the book I've been wanting since I was about four. Now all I need is for somebody to write similar ones for all the other types of dinosaur! And Dimetrodon while they're at it. And listen! The first fireworks of the evening.

Best music is an awkward one, as I don't listen to much modern stuff. Lee Mead put out a new album earlier this year, called Some Enchanted Evening, which I like a lot. Nice to see him doing some old standards, as he always was good at them. And Holly Johnson had a new single out this year called Ascension, which was good. Even if did come from the Eddie the Eagle film. (Sorry, I grew up in Cheltenham. I have an Eddie the Eagle allergy.)

Best film is another awkward one. Pretty sure I've only seen one 2016 film this year, which was the live action (well, mostly CGI, actually) remake of The Jungle Book. Fortunately I absolutely loved it, which is just as well, as I guess it wins by default. Trailer here.

Looking back at my list, I see that the first book I read in 2016 was Immortal In Death by JD Robb. Sounds frighteningly prescient for the year that was to follow, so if all of that was in any way my fault, I apologise! Last book of the year was Is There Life Outside The Box? by Peter Davison. Less murder, more jokes. Also, a special pair of sentences for you, [personal profile] thisbluespirit! On page 196: "I was keen to make The Last Detective; it reminded me of a show I'd watched as a teenager called Public Eye that starred Alfred Burke. With its easy pace and gentle humour and world-weary central character, it had been a success for many years." (Yeah, he's not in love with punctuation. Sorry about that. ;) The index, however, is a thing of beauty.) But see! All you need to do is abduct Peter Davison, and extract the missing episodes from his brain! This is a faultless plan for 2017.

Um. And I shall leave it there. Happy 2017, everybody. Let's try to keep the NHS; try to stop Trump inadvertently starting a nuclear war with China via Twitter; and, I don't know. Hope that Trump takes his head off, and reveals that he was Hillary Clinton all along? Well, it's a thought.

See you in January.
I know, I am a very bad poster. I've been trying to keep up to date with you all, but I apologise for the lack of comments. I don't seem to have had the brain for it recently. November was a heck of a month! But now it's December; and hey, Donald Trump hasn't blown us all up yet. Not necessarily for lack of trying.

So, what's been going on. Well, it got cold. I'm still sulking about that. I was mostly working outside this summer, and the back of my neck went the sort of colour likely to get it kicked out of the country by UKIP. It's well on its way back to its old, boring shade now though. Woe. I complained to my mother about how dull and pasty we are, but she did point out that it would have caused all kinds of problems with my father if I had come out a different colour. Which is true. But still.

In fandomosity, Laramie continues to be entertaining. Lucifer has become gloriously unmissable. I'm still occasionally watching episodes of Simon & Simon, because it is indeed the series that never stops. I've also started watching Heroes. I missed it when it first aired (can't remember why); and then everybody seemed to agree that seasons two and three were terrible, so there seemed little reason to start. I found season one for a quid in a charity shop recently though, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. And hurrah, it's fab. Or at least it currently is. I think I've seen four episodes. I see that episode four aired in October of 2006, so I'm only ten years and two months behind, which is quite good for me. Current thinking: Peter Petrelli needs to die, and quickly. And somebody get him a haircut, for Rassilon's sake. Suresh rocks though. Sadly it seems that Aramis will be mostly wielding a paintbrush rather than a sword, for verily there is no justice in the world. *heavy sigh* And Hiro is pretty awesome.

I say it's fab, and it mostly is, but it has made me think. As it started, I was quite impressed with the diversity of the cast. To begin with. But whilst the guys are all colours and shapes, and are professors and techies and go-getting politicians, etc, the women are both petite blondes. And one's a stripper and the other's a cheerleader. Hmm. (Incidentally, thank you all, for I probably wouldn't have noticed that once upon a time, and I do think it's better that it should register).

In the news today, I see that Peter Vaughan has died. This makes me sad. Partly because he was a larger than life character actor (ninety-three years old!), whose career spanned all kinds of things. But also partly because that pretty much leaves Colin Jeavons as the lone surviving Adam Adamant Lives! enemy; of the existing episodes, anyway. Chapters are always ending. C'est la vie, I know, but it doesn't hurt to be a little wistful.

As a parting shot, courtesy of the excellent @Trundles_bot on Twitter, have a link to a .pdf of the Blake's 7 1981 annual. Hilarious costumes abound! If you're on Twitter, I very much recommend following @scorpioattackb7, incidentally. They're doing a weekly episode review, with some fabulous publicity shots, and snippets of background information unearthed from all sorts of places. It's a fascinating read. Up next is "Orbit", so prepare for Christmas to be ruined all over again when they hit "Blake" in a matter of weeks!

Um. Yeah, that's about all. Bye.
.

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