Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

oh, you pretty thing

Thursday, 14 April 2005
green check and  grey tabby
green check and grey tabby,
originally uploaded by Mags.

Sébastian Schrödinger is settling in now. After three and a half weeks he finally wandered over and padded my lap a bit, although I suspect he was after the malted milk biscuits I was eating. Other highlights have included his 180 degree, vertical takeoff spin which caused me to laugh for about five minutes and his overexcitement on the sofa arm which caused him to fall off whilst chasing a bit of funfur string.

He’s had his first visitor when ladylark came to stay for my birthday. This disgruntled him due to the fact his bed in the attic was moved and then occupied. He’s got over that though and made a nest in the bedding.

He’s also had his first trip to the vets and his first course of antibiotics. Cat acne, apparently, is the name for when their chin goes all manky. To my amazement he yummed down his little pink antibiotic pills in with some wetfood every day so I didn’t have to refresh my Cat Pill Martial Arts skills.

And, as of this week, I’m carrying him out into the garden to give him a look around. Naturally, after three weeks of obsessively staring out the window at the birdies etc., he gets nervous as soon as he is outside and has to be taken back in. Another week or two and he’ll be allowed out on his own.

Shurely Shome Mishtake?

Tuesday, 12 April 2005

The Guardian used to be noted for its typos (hence its nickname of Grauniad), although I think the Independent is currently worse. But this phrase, from their coverage of the funeral of Pope John Paul II, struck me as a little, er, unthought through:

“The funeral service for the third-longest reigning pontiff in more than 2,000 years was a religious occasion of the first order.”

Now, theologians and/or Catholics can correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t Saint Peter the first Pope? And the Pope is the head of the Christian church? So assuming Peter only became Pontiff after Jesus Christ was crucified, died, rose again and ascended* and not counting all that subsequent faffing about writing letters etc., surely he couldn’t have been Pope before, ooooh, 33AD. It’s currently 2005AD. So how on earth can John Paul II be the third longest reigning Pontiff in more than 2,000 years?

Meanwhile, an Irish online bookie has had to remove one of their potential runners for the new Pontiff after the Washington Post took them at face value and suggested their readers could put a 1000/1 bet on Father Dougal MaGuire of Craggy Island becoming Pope. (media Guardian link – reg. req.). Ah, gwan.

Dougal: God, I’ve heard about those cults Ted. People dressing up in black and saying Our Lord’s going to come back and save us all.
Ted: No, Dougal, that’s us. That’s Catholicism.
Dougal: Oh right.


* assuming there really was a Jesus Christ and/or he did all that business.

edited to correct schoolgirl error – you can tell I was more interested in Thomas poking about in the stigmata and John off on one than the rest of the New Testement.

Salut! M’aidez?

Monday, 11 April 2005

Salut! Dans Mai, Kelly et moi etre en vacances dans Paris. Je suis une hotel dans le Rive Gauche et les billets pour le eurostar. Mais nous etres dans Paris pour duex jours. Je suis végétarienne, mais je mange aux produits laitiers et oeufs. Kelly mange viande. Est-ce que vous pouvez me conseiller cafés et restaurants?

Je parle un petit peu Francais. Un petit, petit peu.

In fact, I had to look half of that up* and even then I suspect it is closer to Franglais than French, so answers in English would be most welcome! Also, suggestions for cool things to see and do in Paris at the start of May, on a Saturday evening or anytime on the Sunday, would also be welcome. I’m already thinking of the marches dans les quais as last time I was there I saw lots of things I wanted but had no money…

*the favourite thing I have found so far in the dinky phrase book is “I am single” which tragically translates as “Je suis célibataire”. They never taught me that during schoolgirl French classes…

It’s the End of the World As We Know It

Sunday, 3 April 2005

This was originally a post on alt.drwho.creative, way back in 1999. Re-posted in all its (lack of) glory as someone mentioned thinking of it when the trailer for episode 2 of Doctor Who was run (“welcome to the end of the world”).


In response to Robert’s challenge, here is a drabble that contains both the world’s end and the Doctor being unconcerned.

I make no apologies for being London-centric in it…


It’s The End Of The World As We Know It
by Mags L Halliday

‘Well,’ the Doctor remarked dispassionately, ‘This is it.’

Sam looked about. People hurrying through the streets, crowding round the tube station. A group of women ran, shrieking, across the road, dodging through jammed traffic. Like any typical Friday night in London.

‘Are you sure?’ she asked. ‘It seems so…ordinary.’

The Doctor shrugged. ‘You asked to see the world’s end, Sam.’

‘I wasn’t expecting this, though.’

He put his hand on the brass door handle. ‘Come on, let’s have a pint,’ he suggested.

Sam gave the pub sign a final glance as they walked in, re-reading it: The World’s End, Camden.


(note for Americans and other aliens: there is a pub in Camden called The World’s End.)


I didn’t say it was any good.

The thing about drabbles is they seem to encourage ‘sting in the tale’ stories (at least in me), despite the brevity. Or perhaps because of it. You can’t write good emotional depth to a strict 100 word count, but you can get in your ba-boom-TISH pun. I do think they are fantastic as an exercise for learning how to rewrite for brevity. Like prose haikus they demand thought and consideration about what words to use.

Judi Was a Punk Rocker

Saturday, 2 April 2005
The Organ at Mr Wolfs
The Organ at Mr Wolfs,
originally uploaded by Mags.

I’m still feeling slightly at odds, as if time is all out of joint. It’s not just the fact we seem to have time-slipped back to 1978/9 – what with Pope dying, Doctor Who on TV on a Saturday night getting ratings above 10 million (and with the lead actor tiring of the role and a new pretty young thing lined up to replace him), four day weeks and ITV going on strike – but that the clocks have changed and my life has yet to settle into the summer pattern.

On Wednesday I ended up till 3am on the now temporarily closed OG forum, waffling about the Eccleston news. Got up as usual on Thursday, did a full day at the office then went to Bristol to see some bands. I really should have got some more sleep.

It was the first time I’d been to the gig at Mr Wolf’s Noodle Bar. We got there in time to sit about having some noodles whilst the bands did their soundchecks. First up was a band whose name I didn’t catch and which consisted of a girl on drums and girl on guitar. They took turns singing, and the lead one had a rather cute diffident air as if she knew they clearly weren’t a slick act. They also did a cover of a Ramones song, which is always good to hear.

Next up were the Playwrights, another band unpopular releases 7″ singles by. These guys are pretty slick and have a variety of pace to their songs (not to mention a cornet – not a sound normally heard in low-slung guitar cirlces). The Organ, who apparently have a good NME write-up, have got the look of a band the NME would love, a good voice etc. But no one song by them stood out as anything special and all seemed to be at the same speed.

I took photos, but I’ve now decided that I should take all gig photos with my moto as then the poor framing, focus, composition etc has a certain lomo style to it whereas stuff taken with the nikon just looks crap.

over-excited yet?

Saturday, 26 March 2005

OMG! It’s for real. It was Doctor Who and it was on my TV and it was funny and sly and silly and brought tears of joy to my eyes.

I am such a sad fangrrl.

Er…I’m not going to be revealing big spoilers, but anyone from overseas who wants to avoid everything? Look away now.

I have had report of a FOAF having to take her young son outside afterwards and show him how the wheelie bin was not alive. Which is exactly what Doctor Who ought to be doing: injecting fear and wonder and a sense of life into the world, making the mundane marvellous.

This is a Doctor Who rooted in a world we know; estates and routine jobs and going down the pub to watch the footie. It’s that which makes Doctor Who marvellous. I’m resisting the ‘Yeti in Tooting Bec’ line but it is the idea that things that you don’t even register in the everyday become thrilling and sinister which is what makes the show different and, to me at least, appealing. I do wonder if that’s why so many of the Doctor Who authors I know have read a lot of Philip K Dick; an author who would set up a world, then overturn it.

I’m also 2/3′s of the way through a bottle of red, opened either to celebrate the return or drown my sorrows over it. I do have some negative thoughts: I can live without insistant tinny drum and bass over dialogue scenes. There’s a scene involving a conspiracy theorist which doesn’t have the dumph-dumph-dumph running underneath it and which worked far better as a serious scene of forboding than the other expositionary pieces.

But, overall, put me in the over-excited cataogry and let me run about squeaking with giggles. More wine! More Pringles! Rewind the tape and watch it again!

And there’s a historical in two weeks time: I may become incoherent.


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