Ziva must die

Surely?

Unless Gibbs – and then all the rest of the team – were having a Pam Ewing moment this week, NCIS needs some credibility here.

I was going to watch Bull, but came to the conclusion that he could be my reward and I’d better get NCIS over with. So I did.

Well, Gibbs was a lot Gibbsier than of late, which I suppose is a good thing. The newer members of the team who had never met Ziva were reasonably good as well. As was poor Palmer, down on the floor. But McGee has not improved over the summer.

Cote de Pablo has clearly forgotten how to act Ziva in the six years she’s been gone. She at least has experience of her character, whereas neither scriptwriters nor directors have to have been around all that time, so legitimately know very little about former Agent David.

The plot – ‘to be continued’ – has quite a few holes in it. But if Ziva is not killed, any writing out of her character will need to be convincing. After all, how is DiNozzo, and Sr, going to change their lives around again? DiNozzo is busy as Bull, and the whole gang really can’t just come back to the Navy Yard as though nothing has happened.

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Dry and sunny

On more recent occasions we have opted to shop, or merely browse, at the Scottish Antique & Arts Centre outside Doune, and then got in the car to have tea somewhere else.

But then, it can be nice to sit down with tea and cake after a successful shopping expedition, and it was a warm and sunny afternoon, so Daughter and I trooped into Café Circa. Usually the eats are fine, if a little expensive. The service tends to be off-hand, but you can prepare yourself for that. So to be told it was so late we could only have coffee and cake – i.e. not lunch [at quarter to four] – was not as friendly a greeting as I’d have liked. And with only one table occupied, I’d have liked a ‘better’ table for the two of us than the small one they led us to.

As the nice looking coffeecake turned out to have chocolate in it, I ordered a scone, which usually is a very reliable item at Café Circa. Strangely, it was pointed out to me they also had Banoffee pie. Daughter ordered a Victoria sandwich.

We tucked in, while the staff cleared the decks and began to put things away and cleaned the floor. (It was still half an hour to closing.) The scone was dry, and the butter and the tea did nothing to revive it. The cake was also dry, and the butter-cream so sickeningly sweet that Daughter gave up. I had a taste, and it was overly sweet with a nasty, artificial flavour.

I had no intention of complaining, but as the girl who took my money actually asked, I said it was ‘quite dry, actually.’ She was sorry to hear that, said it was fresh that afternoon, and left it at that. I didn’t want money off, but it’d have been a nice gesture.

I’m wondering now if the Banoffee pie suggestion was meant to be a tastier option, or if it was another item they desperately wanted to shift before the last customer was broomed away. It’ll be some other café next time. Or we just go home.

Not love, actually

Geneva is very beautiful. So why have I had problems falling in love with it?

After four years of travelling to Geneva – to visit Daughter after she moved there – I haven’t really taken to it. Yes, once you get to know it a bit, and you know to turn left when exiting airport arrivals, and you can find your way around, and you know to say bonjour all the time, except when you should say bon soir, it feels, well, familiar, on a limited basis.

And it looks so good. The lake. The mountains. The jet. Lots of things look good. The view from Daughter’s balcony of the steamer on the lake.

I kept thinking the love would come at some point, and then I realised Daughter was about to leave and I still didn’t love it. Nothing had popped up that was love. Like a little, yes. Because it’s beautiful.

The penny finally dropped, just before what I think might have been my last visit a few weeks ago. Geneva is like Karl in Love Actually. That impossibly handsome man, who nevertheless left me totally cold. Because good looks do not equal love. I’d prefer Gavin, the PM’s bodyguard, who sings Christmas carols so beautifully.

It’s funny, though, because you can fall for a place, even in the first minutes there. Take Llandudno. Or you love the place because you belong there, or you’ve spent much time there and learned to love it.

And it doesn’t help how many times the Swiss say they don’t speak English – is it possible to go through school in a western country and not study the language for at least a few years? My non-existent French does not suddenly spring into full-on French when they say no. The wise among them then decide that their English might be poor, but not as bad as the French I don’t speak. I was informed at school that they all speak German, too. Seems not.

But it is beautiful there. And I’m glad I’ve been. It’s just not love.

Lake Geneva

Poor Elvis

I struggled to think of something to watch on television the other night. I was alone, and could do what I wanted, but suddenly I could think of nothing. Dug out an episode of NCIS from last year, to see whether it was as bad as I remembered.

Then, as it ended, and the television turned onto BBC Four again, I discovered a sad old man playing the piano and singing. He looked a little like Elvis.

It was Elvis.

It looked like the programme was just starting, so I remained where I was, deciding I could watch this. It was really sad. Enlightening, too, but mostly sad.

I’m an age where Elvis always existed, and while I liked his singing, I had despised the way he kept embarrassing himself towards the end. That’s the folly of youth, for you.

Now I know what happened to him, and how this handsome man went downhill so fast in the end. I vaguely knew that the ‘colonel’ was not good for him, but had not really grasped quite how not good he was. Seems like Elvis was a slave, and like all slaves he clearly had a breaking point.

Having ignored most of the ghastly films, I was unaware of the effect these had had on Elvis. I mostly remember the music after, for a few years, before the poor man was made to perform like a monkey, day in and day out.

It’d be wrong to say it was an enjoyable programme, but it was good. Now I know better. And I was happy to ‘meet’ Roy Hamilton, Elvis’s singing hero. Perhaps I ought to find more accidental programmes.

As for pacing ourselves…

I suppose it wasn’t bad that we lasted nine days? Good Omens was great enough that there was a limit to how long we could string it out. (I suppose we could always watch again.)

Good Omens

But as a friend said on social media, she hadn’t really seen much chat about Good Omens. Not like there always is for certain other television shows or new films. Whereas she started a bit of a discussion with that, it was still tame, and a few people didn’t know it was on, or what it was on. (That seemed to go for the religious people of America, as well, as they wanted Netflix to ban it…) And someone doesn’t like Terry Pratchett or Neil Gaiman.

We do, though, and we enjoyed all of it. I especially felt that Martin Sheen was Aziraphale. Whereas David Tennant as Crowley was mostly the Doctor, but that’s fine. There wasn’t really anyone I objected to, and you know how unusual that is. As for Dog, he was a lovely hell hound. Or was it the other way round?

The question is, watch again, or read again? I mean, in which order? Come to think of it, Son has the book. I might have to get my own copy, not in the slightest signed by either Terry or Neil.

It felt like a long wait, but now that it’s here I marvel at how they did it so fast. I think Neil hadn’t written the script when the news was made public at Terry’s memorial service. I hope Terry is satisfied with it. With an Aziraphale like that, and Dog, he surely must be?

Good Omens

A good omen

Good Omens

It’s a good start. We watched two episodes of Good Omens on the first day, and we like it. One shouldn’t be greedy and watch it all, but this was a cheering thing.

I’d not been able to think ahead, as to whether Michael Sheen and David Tennant would be right for the roles. They are, though. I remember only enough of the details of the book to know that this is good and fun, and not so much that any dreadful discrepancies are able to howl at me.

But then, do you get those when the script has been written by [one of] the authors?

Now, how to pace ourselves a little..?

Oh, Bull!

How could they? I was all poised to say how much better an ending to the current season Bull could offer, when it turned out they couldn’t.

Well.

Dead child as the problem of the week, followed by more baby trouble in the office.

While it was fun to see little Benny attack his much larger boss, and while his reasons are admirable, this is not realistic. The same goes for Marissa’s baby plans. Much as I dislike her husband, this was not the way to deal with their baby dreams.

As for Bull and his lady friends, I prefer Diana to the ex-wife. I know they look identical, but everyone needs to grow up. Here’s to hoping the scriptwriters can deal with the cliffhanger nice and quick when September comes. Especially if you consider the child issues and the NCIS finale as well.