Monthly Archives: November 2009

Cultured children

The first time I was accompanied by both Offspring to an interview I was afraid the interviewee would suspect I didn’t have a babysitter. But it went well, and then someone I trust suggested that it was actually quite a good idea, and maybe I should do it all the time.

There is a certain charm in young people asking questions an adult might not think of, or want to say out loud. And after a while I discovered child labour, which in our case is taking photographs. Now I worry about not having any available children to take along. They grow up, the sneaky little things. So, then you borrow somebody else’s child, a bit like you might in order to use a Family Railcard.

I suspect this interviewing with child in tow, is my version of what the Guardian’s culture critics wrote about last month in G2. I felt less of a freak after reading Play it again, Dad. Lyn Gardner, their theatre critic, may have got it just right when she said ‘Regular theatre-going may not produce children that are any more cultured than their peers, but it can do wonders for relationships. Could it be that the family that goes to plays together, stays together, too?’

Hah, that’s it!

Who cares?

Well, that should prevent people from eating carrots ever again, and showers will be off too for a while, I expect. As much as Daughter had looked forward to this penultimate Doctor Who with David Tennant, she was not happy. I gather she dislikes zombies. I didn’t know. There’s lots I don’t know.

Robot - Doctor Who

The Waters of Mars was fun, I thought. I was interested to see what the good Doctor would do about changing history, or not. Going on about bikes. Claiming to hate robots (‘It only goes at 2mph.’ ‘Not any more…’)

It’s a bit late to start loving David Tennant now, isn’t it? He’s not bad.

(Photo © BBC)

Vampires, anyone?

I should have said yes. In retrospect, I know I should have grasped the opportunity – preferably with both hands – to come face to face with a fake vampire. Even Daughter was surprised to hear I’d been invited to the press conference with the New Moon vampires. Sorry, actors. But, I wonder if I’d have ignored it even if travelling to London hadn’t been slightly inconvenient that day? I think I might, because I’m not a teenager, and I have yet to understand the greatness of the Twilight saga and its films.

And I’m not a slave to Robert Pattinson’s charms. Opening any paper this week has informed me that everyone else is. Oh, well.

I will go and see the film. I’m fairly sure of that. With all the hoo-hah in the press, even I know that it’s out this week. Otherwise I wouldn’t have had a clue, let alone gone looking for the answer to my un-asked question. Book one is still sitting in a might-actually-read-this-one-day-in-the-next-year (or not) position. Maybe I should tell it not to get its hopes up.

I will be busy this coming week, so no telling when I’ll get to a cinema near me. I’ll want to avoid the crowds of wannabe vampires, though.

Endgame and Killshot

It’s tricky. I told the Retired Children’s Librarian that she had to persist with NCIS last season, when she found she hated the NCIS:Los Angeles spin-off. Too much shooting, she said, and I would guess she just wasn’t ready for so many new characters, when all she wanted was the ‘Gibbs family’. I pointed out that to start with, NCIS was itself a spin-off. Yes, she knew that, as a regular viewer of JAGS. And, I said, she would miss out on the continuity of the NCIS plot without LA.

But I’d expected her problem to be over once the two spin-off episodes were done with. It seems not. Not only do some of the regular characters appear in NCIS:Los Angeles, too, but plot lines and temporary characters move around, as well. So, after watching NCIS Endgame yesterday, do I need to phone the Retired Children’s Librarian and tell her she needs to keep up with the folks in LA, still?

Leon Vance

Because Endgame was an almost direct continuation of Killshot, from a few weeks ago. You can watch it on its own, but it helps if you’ve come across Leon Vance’s nemesis before. Kai became a much more rounded person on a second meeting, and I thought Endgame was good. And it didn’t end the way so many fans on Special Ops had predicted/feared.

Poor McGee didn’t have the loveliest of times, but he did really well, and we love him for it. And Mrs Vance is a force to reckon with. Great woman, and her hubby is lucky to have her. I think he knows.

Until NCIS:Los Angeles takes off properly, on its own merits, I suspect we’ll continue to have plots and characters crossing the continent. If only I could take LA seriously.

(Photo © CBS)

Rolf on my mind

He’d been on my mind for a day or two. Mainly, I think, because Rolf Harris had popped up disproportionately often on iTunes that day. I don’t mind, because I like Rolf. A lot. But then I walked into the local charity shop, just as one of the helpers was standing there pricing books that had been handed in.

She held up two Rolf Harris hardbacks, in a helpless sort of fashion, and asked ‘who’d want to buy them?’ Since she wasn’t talking to me, I didn’t say that I wouldn’t mind (except I already had one of them), but I felt it was a little rude and ill-informed. The other helper muttered something about not having a clue, but she had really liked him when he was on television.

I expected her to say how lovely Rolf was on Animal Hospital, since it seemed at the time as if half the country was watching. What she had liked however, was ‘when he did those clever pictures’ on his show. That was a while ago. They were still talking when I left, not sure whether they’d simply chuck the strange books out. I was happy to see they had actually put Rolf in the shop window, when I next walked past.

Having thought that Rolf would be close to being labelled a National Treasure, these ladies really surprised me. I’m old enough to have watched the Rolf Harris Show in the 1960s. Us Swedish peasants didn’t have much to watch in those days, so his show on a Saturday night was eagerly awaited.

Then it was quite a jump to Animal Hospital, but that, too, was something not to be missed. And in my Rolf Harris revival mode I bought several CDs with his songs, which now shuffle merrily on the iPod. We went to one of his concerts, bought all the merchandise, so now Daughter sleeps in those t-shirts with Rolf’s art on. The old witch has his autobiography, and a couple of other books.

So I don’t really understand the attitude of the ladies in the charity shop. Misguided, I suppose.

Fog follows fireworks?

Once I’d convinced myself that it was a squirrel pecking on my bedroom window, I got up and drew the curtains, to find fog, but no squirrel. (It was a bird in the attic, so I was close.) ‘Fog’, I thought. ‘Yes, of course, it’s the 6th of November. Has to be foggy.’

The Resident IT Consultant was banging and chasing the poor bird, which meant he obviously wasn’t out buying the morning paper, so I settled down with a magazine and my Weetabix. The first page I turned to had the whole story of the fog at Lützen on November 6th, 1632, when King Gustav Adolf of Sweden died on the battlefields in the Thirty Years War. Witchy, or what?

So, maybe fog is formed in the aftermath of lots of gunpowder? We certainly had a surplus of gunpowder in the air the night before the morning of the non-squirrel. Bet Lützen had lots of gunpowder, too.

The magazine went on to show a picture of the Gustav Adolf pastry which Gothenburgers eat on November 6th. The people of neighbouring Borås also eat pastries, as both towns were founded by good old Gustav Adolf. He wasn’t that old, actually. Only 38 when he died in the fog. And he was the father of Greta Garbo, so to speak, since she played his daughter Queen Kristina in the film.

Gustav Adolf church Liverpool, by Kristoffer Morén

This brings us neatly to church. My church, the Gustav Adolf church in Liverpool. In a few weeks’ time we will celebrate 125 years of worship at Gustav Adolf, which could soon come to an end. I’ve blogged about this before, but it seems that things are suddenly worse than we thought. Again. The ‘powers’ in Uppsala still believe they have the right to sell the church and kick us out.

That’s despite Liverpool City Council telling them that they can’t. And even if they are allowed to, who would buy a church in the current climate? It must remain a church, because it’s listed. Before, it seemed as if all that Uppsala wanted was to make money. Now they can’t possibly expect to make anything much from a sale, so I’ll have to assume they simply want us out. We are a thorn in their Christian sides.

Fittingly, the church has just started a blog to cover the story of our possible future. Let’s hope we have one.

(Photo by Kristoffer Morén)

Outlaws and In-laws


Good thing we finally know what Gibbs did with the blasted boat. Not that I really believe he could get it out even in two pieces. But it’s fiction, isn’t it? And if it wasn’t, we couldn’t have all these plots that implausibly involve the same people over and over. But we like that, because it carries the development of the characters forward.

Damon Werth

Outlaws and In-laws was one of those Gibbs centred episodes that the DiNozzo/Ziva fans can’t abide. At least that’s what it looks like on the fan forum discussion board. Oh, well. At least we were reunited with a few characters from the past, and not all of them related to each other, either. I like Damon Werth better with hair, is what I’ll say.

If it wasn’t for the fun we get out of Ziva’s little language mishaps, I’d want to point out that they are the wrong kinds of mistakes. Us foreigners make lots of them, but tend not to get all the complicated syntax right, and then fall on stuff like sitting on babies, once in a blue lagoon.

I gather that Gibbs’s living room which we saw for the first time (just imagine; the man actually has a living room!) has already been dismantled again. Shame, because I think lots of us want to see more of the private Gibbs. How can the man not have a lock on his door?

Gibbs and Franks

The end was fun, and leaves some hope for the lonely people in this world. Not that Ziva is supposed to understand this, but I’d love to be a fly on the wall in that place.

(Photos © CBS)