Tuesday, August 12, 2008


TV Delivery Good; Cyclists Bad

Not, perhaps, my greenest headline, but a reflection of my day. I’m sitting here watching the television. Well, not the television, technically, but the box it’s lurking in. Or rather looming in, as it’s quite a large TV set, with even the box for its stand pretty humungous. Having rented a big telly for years, we finally decided it’s much cheaper to buy and so I recently accompanied Richard to John Lewis for ninety minutes of merriment with a man from Grace Brothers as we decided on a set and he pretended to know how to operate their order system. Having gone in firmly determined on one size, naturally we ended up getting one slightly bigger, and since then Richard has been worrying that he’s gone mad (don’t worry, he’s as sane as ever). It’s that perennial problem; in the shop, they’re all enormous, so you think you’ve chosen one that’s quite reasonable, but get it home and suddenly you wonder how you’re ever going to manage it. Anyway, in preparation last night, we unplugged all the many attachments to our big old set and it’s now stuck behind a chair, blocking off all access to Richard’s computer. This means I have two televisions in front of me, but neither presently able to display moving pictures, and I feel strangely bereft.

On the other hand, both the guys who delivered the new TV were very friendly, and both were very admiring of our slightly extravagant DVD collection. Much as people who enter the TARDIS invariably exclaim, ‘It’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside!’ our visitors tend to marvel at how such a small flat can have so many DVDs and videos crammed into it. These guys were not only friendly, helpful and quite good-looking, but picked out four TV shows in particular to enthuse over – as it happens, two of my favourites and two of Richard’s, so if we’d met them socially, we’d have got on very well. Unfortunately, when their van drew up outside and I bounded down the stairs to direct them up to our flat, one of them asked if I could manage the stand (it taking two of them to carry the TV). It’s rare that I succumb to the temptation to act macho, but I’m afraid I did earlier. I’m not exactly Mr Muscle, but I said I could carry it, and when each time I put the box down I was asked “Are you sure you’re OK with that?” I naturally said “Oh, yes, fine.” So both my wrists and my back are now rather painful and I’m thinking it’ll be a while before I pretend to be He-Man again.

In the absence of a working TV, and with Millennium lying on top of the crate and dreaming of Casino Royale, I’ve been looking at a few alternative sources of entertainment on the computer (no, no, missus). Good find: thanks to Mr Whyte for pointing me to a bittersweet Torchwood / Narnia crossover story, which amazingly makes me feel more positive towards both franchises. Bad find: my favourite home-made Doctor Who trailer has been removed from YouTube. Bah! So, dear reader, if at any stage you happen to have nefariously downloaded, recorded or otherwise ripped off a trailer for The Deadly Assassin cut in the style of The Matrix trailer, could you let me have a copy, please?

In more significant Doctor Who news, the series’ two nominations for this year’s Hugo Awards have come first and second respectively. Hooray! Steven Moffat’s Blink won the award, with Paul Cornell’s Human Nature the runner-up. I have to admit, I’d have far rather had them the other way round, and not just for Buggins’ Turn (Steven now having swept the awards for three years running) – for me, Human Nature was truly outstanding, even better than the book, and one of the best stories in forty-five years of Doctor Who, let alone last year. Blink was good enough and much better than the Annual story it was based on but, though I know very many people rave about it, for me it wasn’t a patch on Steven’s previous winners The Empty Child and The Fire In the Girlyplace, let alone Human Nature.

Getting out of the flat for a break after the delivery arrived, I walked under to Greenwich to get my hair cut – long overdue, and tomorrow we’re seeing my Mum and Dad for dinner, which means family photos. Tragically, while waiting I saw a picture in a paper of the most fantastic sarnie, after which tomorrow’s dinner will struggle to compete (a trip to Staffordshire seems very tempting). Now, I like walking through the Greenwich Foot Tunnel, but I have to admit to one pet hate. There’s not a lot of space there, there’s a curve to it that doesn’t aid visibility, and there are great big signs everywhere forbidding cycling. So what do cyclists do? They glide at great speed, a menace to all around and in front of them, either clinging to one side of their bike with one foot perched on a pedal or sitting astride but with their feet dangling away from the pedals. I think this is what’s called honouring the letter rather than the spirit of the law, but as far as I’m concerned, some maniac speeding towards me on a machine over which they have less control than usual doesn’t make me feel indulgent. I don’t usually carry a brolly, but I always feel the need for a particularly indestructible one on these occasions, just right for jamming into spokes. That, or carrying a supply of small, adhesive explosive devices. Grr. Oh yes, and then they cart their bikes into the lifts at the far ends and take up all the space. Gits.

Richard has now got in and is looking for a screwdriver. Wish us (mainly him, as I’m unlikely to do blokey stuff twice in one day) luck.

Special points on the coincidentatron for the friend who rang this morning to tell me that he’d just had a TV delivered from John Lewis…

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Oooh, new telly! Just read the more recent posts as well - shame on boxclever.
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