Tag Archives: Terry Pratchett

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

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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..?

Facing Extinction

You couldn’t say that in connection with just anyone, but with Terry Pratchett it sort of works. It is no less awful, but it is the truth. We all are, of course. It is not right to presume that Terry will have an early need for that gravestone, the inscription of which he was discussing with his assistant Rob on the programme Facing Extinction.

Which we watched almost eight months late. That’s the danger of recording programmes because you don’t have time. You forget. Terry forgets very little, and it was a different lack of time that led him to travel to Borneo to visit the orangutans once more. Before it’s too late. For them. Or for him. For us.

Anyway, the title of the show was pretty apt in all its awfulness.

Terry really wanted to meet Kusasi again; the large, old orangutan he met in the mid-1990s. That’s the thing with Terry. He likes the most diverse things in this world, and thinks about them more than most. We should all think more, about more things.

He was a bit wobbly on his legs, and I found myself thinking he’d make the perfect travelling companion for me. Wobble together, kind of thing. But other than that, you wouldn’t know about the Alzheimers if the BBC didn’t ram it down your throat all the time.

(Which reminds me of the tale Neil Gaiman told in Manchester last month, about Terry phoning him for some help with writing his biography. Neil suspected the worst, but in the end the answer to the question Terry had called about was such a minute and unimportant detail, one which most ‘normal’ people wouldn’t necessarily remember, either. It was whether the two of them walked down 42nd Street in New York. Or 43rd Street.)

The day we watched I’d been reading Terry’s new Discworld novel, all about trains, and I was feeling very into trains, travelling, and Terry. And within hours, I’d received – by weird coincidence – an invitation to travel on a steam train with Terry. The sad thing being I had to say no…

Facing Extinction - Terry Pratchett and Rob

But you know, it’s the way all sorts of stuff just coincides. Weird. And it’s rather lovely to see how Terry and Rob get on. Rob didn’t know he’d be tying his boss’s shoelaces when he got the job. Just as well, or they might have looked for another type of assistant.

This was very much a feelgood programme, despite the disappearing rain forests, the poor orangutans, the oil palms and the illegal trade in endangered species. It’s the way Terry Pratchett considers everything and everyone. It’s the way he considers himself lucky. It’s the way he makes the rest of us feel.

As to why I delayed watching this for so long… I don’t have a good excuse. We have all delayed doing far too many things for far too long. Hopefully it won’t be too late for the orangutans. And hopefully we’ll have Terry for many years still.

Angels

Wall angel

Should I be concerned? Even worry? There are an awful lot of angels here now. And you know, I used to think they were nice. ‘People’ to be trusted.

From this point of view it was unfortunate that I read L A Weatherly’s Angel last week. Her angels being of the not very nice kind, I now find myself eyeing the angels in my house rather differently. Might not be as benevolent as I imagined. Not even mostly harmless.

And Christmastime is when they appear. They hadn’t arrived when I blogged about Angel the book last week, but now they are here in force. On the other hand, this ‘beanpole’ looks so very sweet and innocent. Doesn’t she?

GM Angel 2

GM Angel 1

IN Angel 1

HG lookalike angel

The one at the top of the tree has always struck me as sweetness itself. Likewise her sister creature further down the tree.

Friend Pippi’s hand-tatted angels, with and without body, look serene and kind. The Daughter (younger version) lookalike from the furniture giant may have a hole in her head, but is otherwise quite angelic. If that’s not a stupid thing to say.

I noticed the same Daughter had positioned the little dumpy CW-shaped angel in the white tutu near my chair, so that she and I can stare at each other. Her wings are ridiculously tiny and will fly her nowhere.

The tree at CultureWitch Towers has a dozen angels, if not more. We never had angels when I was young, so I wonder if it’s fashion, or maybe the foreign influence of living in a strange country. Very strange. (But nice!)

Perhaps I should simply ignore the badness of Lee’s fictional angels? There are other angels in books. Philip Pullman’s are fairly nice, and on the side of good. Neil Gaiman’s and Terry Pratchett’s angels in Good Omens are a little bad, but not in a terribly unpleasant way.

BW shaped angel

Though I always felt a bit uncomfortable with the angel in David Almond’s Skellig. Might be just me. Tim Bowler has several characters with that same angel feel to them, though I don’t think Tim actually says they are angels. A bit scary, though.

IN Angel 2

And then there is my bathroom radiator…

(This post co-published with Bookwitch.)

Would you like trains with your pasta, sir?

When the lovely Clare from Random House took me out to dinner last winter, we went to Carluccio’s at St Pancras station. I had never been, which shows what a country bumpkin I am. Though I do recall buying an early train ticket from the now boarded up original ticket office.

It was winter, and although it’s under a roof, we didn’t sit outside. I noted – in that sieve I call a brain – that I should really make a point of taking Son there for a meal. What could be better for a train nerd than to eat pasta at the end of the tracks? But the likelihood of the two of us being there at a suitable time seemed slim.

So it was only as he was searching online for a choice of dinner venues near Euston the other evening, that my memory kicked in and I told him to forget all that because we were going to St Pancras to look at the trains. And we did.

As luck would have it, the restaurant was packed to the gills, but had one free table for two at the fence, with a good view of Eurostar rolling stock. He had ravioli with parmesan, black pepper and trains. He also taught the (Spanish speaking?) waitress a new word. ‘Fire away’ was what he said to her offer of black pepper, which made her back off, so he had to explain that it means yes. She was grateful for her new knowledge.

I may have come late to Carluccio’s, but I like it. The dishes aren’t the same pasta dishes you get everywhere. And they do coffee ice cream. Have you chocolate eaters any idea of how much I crave dessert and cakes that contain no chocolate? Something with an adult taste. I’m no coffee drinker, but I reckon this ice cream could be mistaken for coffee, were it not for its round shape and the low-ish temperature.

My first time eating at St Pancras was the day before I met Terry Pratchett. This recent St Pancras eating experience was the day before I met Terry Pratchett again. Nice pattern to it. And all the work of Clare.

The Beast Below

That would be the Terry Pratchett style creature, then. And above him a community much like the Glasgow in Julie Bertagna’s Exodus, except this one was the whole country. England, not Scotland, obviously. They do their own thing these days. And could the scriptwriters really have known that this would screen just at the time a new election has been announced?

Amy and the Doctor

When you see the Demon Headmaster, you know what he’s going to be like. Every time I tell myself he’s a vegetarian, so must really be quite nice… And speaking of schools; do school children of all centuries have to be dressed in our style of school uniform? It’s just not likely. Is it?

Lift problems, Doctor Who

I do hope nobody with a lift phobia was watching this evening’s Doctor Who. It’s your worst nightmare, or pretty close. Though I suppose that was the intention. Queen Liz appears to have been informed of every detail about the Doctor, down to a quote about his hair, which I’ve already managed to forget, but it was apt.

Queen Liz, Doctor Who

Personally I enjoyed this episode, but having looked at Facebook very briefly it seems it didn’t meet with everyone’s approval. When will people realise it’s a children’s programme?

(Photos © BBC)

Terry Pratchett platform at the National

I could smell Marmite. I’m sure of it. I looked around me in the Olivier stalls, hoping to catch the Marmite in action and frown a little, but the only thing I caught was a salmon salad in the row in front of me. Either it was a Marmite fed salmon, or the Marmite was elsewhere but so pungent that it made itself noticed all over.

Yesterday’s platform event with Terry Pratchett at the Olivier just before the evening performance of Nation was well attended, and people just love Terry. He was in good form, considering he’d already sat through at least four interviews, and had had barely time to be fed. Terry could have done with the salmon, I’d say.

On stage he was interviewed by Sara LeFanu, who got her dates and facts a little mixed up, but not about anything major. The drawback with a platform event featuring two people ‘in conversation’ is that the audience only gets half as much as they do with someone talking directly to the audience. I realise this suited Terry better, but we would all have loved more.

And although this was about Nation as a play, once Terry and Sara had talked about the background for the book, the Q&A session with the audience was almost exclusively about Discworld. Audiences tend to go really quite deaf when it comes to this kind of thing. They are asked to stick to certain topics, and then blithely go on about whatever is nearest to their hearts, anyway.

But it was good, with very heartfelt applause as Terry left again.