Tag Archives: Christmas

Dumbing down?

What kind of a start, I mean, ‘Christmas’ episode, of Doctor Who was that? Apart from the possibly meaningful release of lots of new Daleks, it was mostly mush.

I’m all for feelings, but then I want to feel those feelings; not having them spoken about as though we need stuff explaining to us. It was all touchy feely, with few resolutions.

Captain Jack eyed up several of the Doctor’s fellow travellers. Why? And what was he doing there? His brief stint a year ago was OK. A bit fun. But this felt pointless, and I say this as a fan of the good Captain.

So we’re losing two companions. I’m not impressed by the advertised replacement, but as Daughter said, we’ve generally liked them once they get started. Let’s live in hope.

But it felt vague and bland. The bright spot, surprisingly enough, was Chris Noth. I almost felt as if I was meeting a much missed old friend. Let’s have him back. He was camper than Captain Jack.

And what’s with this season’s Christmas University Challenge? Those were no celebrities or famous people. Mostly. They were people doing jobs after having been to university. Mostly. Despite the questions feeling somewhat dumbed down, I was intrigued by what these people don’t know.

Geography is one subject they didn’t pay attention in. But let’s go for Svalbard at all times. Has to be right at least once. And and, I’m so old! I must be. There are things one knows through having lived through a period when those things happened. The man who graduated in 1967 turned out to be valuable. As did anyone with a useful hobby. Like an interest in football.

I did find I could cheer the Courtauld Institute team, though, and we loved Kate Fox from Loughborough. Hers was not just a funny face, but there was knowledge behind it.

And I have to say we did not dumb down at all, having our nut turkey and brussels sprouts accompanied by the Downton Abbey film. Good food and good trustworthy entertainment with the right amount of tears, even on a second viewing. And the dowager duchess will lick the stamps herself!

Wishing you a

Happy Christmas, and a New Year!

NCIS – The North Pole

We saved this ‘Christmas episode’ of NCIS until the one who hadn’t yet caught up had departed, and while we could still muster up some Christmas cheer. Except, well, yes there were Christmas decorations. But it was not cheerful.

And either I’m getting old and slow, or the scriptwriters are upping their game considerably. I didn’t see much – any – of this coming. Despite me noticing the staircase as being a copy of Gibbs’s and wondering if it was going to be used in the same way again, seeing as Ziva was back. Again.

Well.

And there was a decent red herring, as well as a really strong clue, had I actually been awake for the first half of the season. I suppose most of us fell for that double bluff.

It’ll be interesting to see where they can go with the fallout from this. They could ignore it, and continue as if nothing had happened, as on other occasions in the past. Or not.

The card

Wishing you a very Happy Christmas!

Christmas tree

NCIS: Los Angeles back-to-back

What kind of rubbish is this?

I left NCIS: LA a few weeks before Christmas, because I was busy and because they ceased to excite me even slightly. So the episodes started piling up, waiting to be watched, but I was in no hurry, and it was only a lull in life in general that got us going, watching three episodes this last week, ending with the Christmas one.

Even this close to February, I can be a sucker for a Christmas episode; a little too sweet and a bit soft. But this was ridiculous, and not eased by the team drinking to Hetty and Granger.

While not averse to some team romance, there is too much of it, and it is too silly. Our previously normal people act like idiots over extremely minor aspects to life and love. OK, I know not everyone can be Gibbs of over ten years ago, but the restrained way he and Hollis Mann conducted their affair is to be admired, and copied.

And the crimes! There isn’t much to them, and they might not be ‘easy’ to solve, but some of the clues are obvious, but the agents still labour over them forever.

As for their succession of bosses, they ought to be embarrassed. Retire Hetty in an official way. There is no reason not to. Mosley, well, I don’t know. But she’s not there, is she? Ochoa? Nice looking. Too nice. Rogers could be good, but they are not letting him. He could be a new Granger if he hadn’t been made to look like a fool.

Is there a reason to continue watching?

And for anyone who thinks I like nothing, I do. The green booths in Deeks’ and Kensi’s new bar look fantastic!

From me to you

Happy Christmas!

Postbox in snow

Christmas card 2017

Christmas card

Happy Christmas!

Tidings of Comfort and Joy

I was lacking the Christmas peace I craved. When not even the three tenors helped, I resorted to Roger Whittaker and his Tidings of Comfort and Joy. The 22-track selection, which came on LP and cassette. Not the short measure of the CD.

When I’ve not listened to music for a while, such as during the gap from one Christmas to the next, I fear that something won’t be as good as I remember it. But Tidings of Comfort and Joy is every bit as excellent as I discovered that first January after I’d bought it, more than 25 years ago. It was so wonderful that I gave myself special dispensation to listen to it even after the tree had been taken out, and for a couple of weeks mid-January I listened intensively.

Now I’m back doing the same thing, only at the ‘permitted’ time, as it’s still before Christmas. I find that a half hour or so last thing before bed sets me up feeling nice and calm.

It’s not only Roger’s voice. It’s the songs. Some are the same songs ‘everyone’ records, but others are less clichéd, giving me that little bit extra.

Red River Valley

It was an oblivious kind of torture. I never meant to plague my uncle, nearly driving him crazy. I was merely being seven years old. And oblivious to anything but the latest EP I had found in his home.

It didn’t belong to him. Obviously. No, this deliciously red-coloured EP must have been bought by Eldest Cousin, and once discovered by me as we visited over the Christmas holidays, I played it. All. The. Time.

Hence my poor uncle’s despair if he had to listen to it One. More. Time. I heard him, but I still played on. It was so good.

The best of the four tracks was Red River Valley. Except that’s not what it was called in Sweden where it went under the slightly outlandish title Vid foten av fjället, sung by Sven Gösta Jonsson. He was labelled The Rocking Sami, and he performed wearing traditional dress. And he was lovely! I was a fan for quite some time (he now comes across as more mediocre than I was aware of at the time).

And then one day, many years later, I discovered there was a version in English as well! Lots of them, really. My own personal favourite is by Roger Whittaker, but any version will do.

Christmas card

Advent candles

Wishing you a Happy Christmas!