Spoiling by the BBC

The BBC are spoiling me.  Really they are.


I had awaited, with breath bated, Christmas Day when I knew Matt Smith would regenerate into Peter Capaldi and we’d had a new era of Doctor Who.  The day was upon us and, due to it being Christmas Day and me having various Chrismassy/family things to do, I had to watch it on my tablet on catch-up later.

That was fine, I didn’t mind.  I just needed to watch it.  I’m a little unsure about the episode.  When the wonderful David Tennant transformed into Matt, there was a lot more action and tension.  Probably because this hand-over was spread over 300 years or so, that tension somewhat evaporated.


Still.  I enjoyed it.  It was a very different episode to the normal ‘Phoenix from the ashes’ we’re used to.  We saw The Doctor age, something that was, until now, unheard of.  I liked that touch.  It was, also, good to see the Crack back, and the Silence – though they could have been built upon.  I wonder if Clara‘s tears as she said goodbye to ‘her’ Doctor were real?  Capaldi’s first line (“new kidneys”) mirrored Tennant’s “new teeth”, which was a nice touch.  Let’s hope he can shine as bright in the Whovian Universe as his predecessors have.


When Eccleston reinvented The Doctor, I didn’t think anyone could fill his shoes, especially someone I’d only known from Casanova.  Of course, for me at least, David Tennant equalled Tom BakerMatt Smith had a very hard act to follow and did so very well, becoming a much more physical and madcap Doctor.


With Capaldi, we’ve returned to William Hartnell‘s age, the previous Doctors growing steadily younger, and we have a whole new slew of regenerations available inside him.  I’m pleased he began with humour, and I’m sure he’ll be able to bring a certain darkness we’ve not seen before.


So.  Doctor Who.  Cool.




I heard on the radio, after a multitude of ‘Coming Soon’ ads on the TV and the Many Happy Returns minisode on the Internet, that Sherlock is back on New Year’s Day!



This is the third, and I assume final given that Cumberbatch is now known worldwide thanks to Star Trek and The Hobbit (along with Martin Freeman – his Watson), series of the updated Sherlock series.  I have loved the series so far.  Really loved it.  From the comedic elements of dogging in the Hound of the Baskervilles to Sherlock’s sharpness and intellect.  And I thought the end of series 2 (no spoilers for those that haven’t seen it) was EPIC!


So, New Year’s Day, BBC1, 9pm, I know where I’ll be!


Oh yes, and there’s more.  I, myself, will be on BBC Radio Humberside from around 11:30am (UK) on Thursday January 2nd!  I’ll be interviewed by Blair Jacobs on my involvement with the wonderful Christmas O’Clock charity anthology and my writing in general.  Drop by if you get chance.  Their website is http://www.bbc.co.uk/radiohumberside.


Oh, and if only they actually did the episode where the Doctor comes to visit Sherlock and Watson, as per the little teaser trailer someone (I don’t think it’s official) has spliced together and scattered about the internet.  It looks SO good!


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Cannonballs Ahoy…!

“A cannonball,” she said.  “It could come crashing in through that window and we could all escape.  All except Jack Sparrow, of course.  He’s got to wait for his ship.”


“Who would fire the cannon?” I asked.


It was an interesting method of escape and one I’d actually not thought of myself.  Cannonballs were difficult to get your hands on in an asylum and I didn’t think the Black Pearl would chance by, there being a distinct lack of ocean and all.


“Well, maybe Captain Jack wouldn’t have to wait for his ship at all!  It might be out there waiting.  It might fire the cannonball for him to escape and we could get out too!”


I didn’t want to mention my previously mentioned lack of ocean.  It often didn’t pay to put to many obstacles in the way of her thoughts.  She’d freewheel through fantasies and ideas like a gymnastic jester, all tumbling arms and careening legs.


I also didn’t want to mention the lack of Captain Jack Sparrow and his mighty ship.  Surely they’d be cruising the Caribbean awaiting the release of the next sequel’s sequel’s sequel.  If she thought the good Cap’ain was here then I wasn’t going to say anything to the contrary.  I’d leave that to Contrary Maurice (invariably called Mary purely for the flow), who’d swear white was black and night was day even at noon in the middle of a snowstorm in December.


Besides, Alexandra, who didn’t really mind being called Alex but pretended she hated it (she’d always tip me a wink when she was raging at the latest victim to fall foul of accidentally abbreviating her name), came up with some mightily inventive escape plans and, one day, one of them might actually work.  It seemed she was the Recreation Room’s sole escape committee.  She was Steve McQueen, Donald Pleasance and that guy from Sapphire and Steel all rolled into one, and I bet she knew how to ride a motorbike too.


Alex (forgive me), of the deep red hair and deeper eyes, and of the laugh that was wicked, dirty and sly in equal measure, was my light on the darkest day.  When the screams were close to deafening me and the shadows were threatening to suffocate me, Alex was there to scatter my darkness’s minions like leaves on the wind.


I questioned her residency of the asylum.  She didn’t strike me as insane or a danger to anyone.  She was, simply, imaginative.  Perhaps she did live in a world a whisper away from this one, populated by imaginary ship’s captains and cannonballs that came out of nowhere, but that didn’t mean she was diddly-dolally.  It only meant she was eccentric.  Plenty of people were a little left of centre and some ran the country!


I asked her, once, in an attempt to ignore the curves that were difficult to ignore (even in the pseudo-scrubs we were forced to wear), what she would do if she was in charge of the country.


“Nothing,” she answered.




“We’re in a mess anyway,” she said, smiling her smile.  “Each party inherits the mistakes of the one before.  How can you do anything with a pile of doggy-do-do that’s been dumped by a hound the size of a country?”


I frowned, unable to answer.


“I’d let the people decide.  Pumps or heels.”


“Pumps or heels?”


“Yes, I’d let the people decide which was best when the Enterprise came down to beam us out!”


She said this in a tone that implied the word ‘Silly’ was silently added to the end.


Alex for PM, I say.  Let her sail around the coast in the Black Pearl firing cannonballs at anyone who wasn’t carrying a pooper-scooper.


Works for me.


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Someone’s Stolen Christmas!

You’d Better Watch Out


You’d better watch out

You’d better beware

You’d better not shout

You’d better take care


Cos someone’s

Stolen Christmas

This year


The elves are about

Searching everywhere

To find out who could

Ever really dare


Cos someone’s

Stolen Christmas

This Year


They’re hunting down the culprit

To see who it could be

They’re finding who’s

Been good or bad


And it could be you or me….


But it’s getting close

To Christmas Day

And they just can’t find

Who took it away


Cos someone’s

Stolen Christmas

This year


So if it occurs

That the thief isn’t found

Christmas just won’t be

This time around


Cos someone’s

Stolen Christmas

This year


The elves are really trying

But can’t figure it out

And if they don’t solve it in time

This year we’ll have to go without


It’s not looking good

They’re scratching their heads

Now they’re giving up

And going to bed


Now Christmas

Isn’t coming

This year!

Originally found in my book Rudolph Saves Christmas, a little something for your enjoyment!

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Christmas is coming…

Christmas is coming.  The goose is getting fat, but I eat turkey, so I’m not too fussed ’bout that.  I’m waiting for the snow to fall and the temperature to drop, for the river outside my house to freeze and the world to come to a stop.


And though the ducks will walk on water and the air will be just biting, I’ll be fine with pen and paper, as long as I am writing.


This time last year I was in good cheer, for my second book was done.  It all had raced in such a blur, but now the race was won.  And since back then, I have been blessed with reviews so very fine.  My so long journey went so fast, and my books can surely shine!


Now Christmas is coming once again and more books I have in store, like Zits’n’Bits and Rudolph, and soon so many more.


I love to write, creating worlds no man has walked upon, and to take a reader by the hand and share with everyone.  I also love to find myself taken by a writer’s hand, and led to places far and wide, discovering whole new lands.


I guess that on my Christmas list, I’d ask for a few more hours.  For writing, reading, marketing you need some special powers!  Just a couple, five or so, more hours in the day and I might get to do the things that keep on slipping away.  Work and life and family I thoroughly enjoy, but to fit it into 24, I’d have more me’s to employ!


But so it is and such is life, it only makes us stronger.  But, Santa, if you’re listening, can you make my days a little longer?

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The Cats Pyjamas Burlesque



In a previous post I’ve gone into the history of both the term and the show because of an evening spent at the Yardbirds Rock Club in Grimsby.  I told of how my wife and I had a great night, though the first half was better than the last.


Well, Saturday brought our second foray into the world of wonder that is Burlesque.  I can safely say both halves of the show, performed by The Cats Pyjamas Burlesque Cooperative, where equally excellent.


We almost didn’t it make on the night.  Our babysitter told us, at the last moment, she had pleurisy.  Even without the fact our youngest is prone to chest infections and at risk from pneumonia, we couldn’t let her still come.  For a while, we were pretty much stranded, then my mother-in-law stepped into the breach and agreed to babysit.  Yay!


It wouldn’t have been so bad but we were meeting friends – burlesque regulars – there and they’d sorted the tickets.


I’m currently experiencing severe back pain, so getting dressed in my tuxedo was an unpleasant experience for me and probably quite funny for anyone else!  Yes, a tux isn’t my regular attire when visiting the Yardbirds, a brilliant (as I’ve attested before) place for a great night out, but the theme was James Bond – and I look good in a suit!


I wasn’t looking forward to standing all night as the pain in my back gets more intense when I stand still, but hey ho.  I wasn’t going to let it spoil the night.


We arrived about 15 minutes before the show was due to start.  Enough time to pick a spot and get a drink.  There were plenty of people in suits and dresses, looking very smart and glamorous.  One guy was dressed only in tight swimming shorts and another had an amazing costume based on whichever Bond film featured New Orleans voodoo (who do you do what remind me of the babe).  His outfit and makeup was brilliant.


One of the things that made the previous show we’d been to so enjoyable was the host, Snappy O’Shea.  She has a great repertoire and rapport and is fast and sharp.  She consistently had everyone laughing and this night was no exception.  Snappy’s quickfire routine was spot on the mark and had all of us joining in.


Last time, there was a large humour portion to the show.  They had the 50 Shades of Beige and the lollipop lady and more.  SOOO funny.  This time, the humour part of the dances was put aside to encompass the ‘Double Oh Heaven’ theme.  There were still laughs aplenty thanks to Snappy and her wonderful relationship with the dancers and stage people, such as Stormy, but the acts themselves were more classy and demure, in the main.  To a certain extent, I did miss this, but the dancers definitely made up for it.  They were beautiful and made sure we had something great to watch.  Each deserved their applause and cheers.


Special mention must go to Kiki DeVille, the Australian singer who opened and closed the show, and popped up (ooer missus) a couple of times between.  She was a fab singer, and her songs were brilliant.  We really felt for her poor wet, hot, bald pussy – the poor cat!


I didn’t win on the raffle this time, but, thanks to Snappy and the delightful Busty Goodrack (Kerching!) I didn’t seem to mind!


All in all, a brilliant show.  I’m looking forward to February 8th, when the Valentine special is on.  I’ve seen a good few acts at the Yardbirds, and it’s a great venue.  The Cats Pyjamas most certainly is the dog’s bananas!

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