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Short Public Service Announcement

If you don't watch 'Horrible Histories' then you should rectify this immediately. That is all.

Eff off, shops

I love birthdays, I love the giving of presents,

However, having most of my close friends turn 30 this year is giving me serious 'special present' fatigue.

This post was brought to you by the words 'grumpy' and 'disorganised'.

I Do Love Cabin Pressure...

...But I'm less keen on becoming the Martin Crieff of driving tests.

Unless there's some sort of wonderful pay off in which when I do pass, I get to drive around Greater Manchester in a dilapidated old car with Douglas, Carolyn and Arthur.

I think you can get twelve otters in a Ford Focus, by the way. Providing you don't put any in the boot. You'd probably have to keep the jelly babies out of reach as well.
I watched 'A Scandal in Belgravia' the other week and this is still nagging at me.

'Yes, thank you for your imput.'Collapse )

...And with those words (spoken in his rather lovely Radio Four voice) I fell a little bit in love with Hal.

'Being Human' has been rather ace of late. 

It was one of those shows that I stuck with, rather than properly enjoyed. Series one had some lovely moments ("Fun is such a bourgeois concept" and Nina's beyond brilliant take-down of a posturing, faux-macho George being two of them) but it never really lived up to the pilot for me. I watched series two and three for the characters but had kind of lost interest in the actual story arcs. With the departure of Mitchell and various spoilers I'd read about George and Nina I'd pretty much decided to call it a day. 

I was idly channel hopping the other Sunday and came across the show and left it on for a bit. Within five minutes I was laughing. Properly laughing. It's funny, 'Being Human'. I'd forgotten that it could be funny. 

I've since watched episodes two and three and I'm really enjoying it - those two episode have been more fun than series two and three combined. The show seems to be funnier, more buoyant and, for want of a better word, warmer than it has been for a very long time. The previous couple of series, even to some extent the first, felt almost leaden with constant angst and histrionics. The friendships, the surrogate family of Annie, George and Mitchell seemed to disintegrate, along with the low-key 'Being Human' premise of the pilot and the early episodes.

Annie was always my favourite. I find it odd that she gets criticised for being a 'weak' character. That was never my impression of her. While Mitchell and George seemed to deal with their problems by hurting themselves and those around them, Annie seemed to be the only one to retain any shred of altruism, the only one who really held it together. While the show has been a little inconsistent regarding her abilities and her character, I think she's always been likeable. 

Hal and Tom are wonderful and the actors have great chemistry together. I'm really like Hal's self-possession and dry humour ("Are you somehow drunk?"). Tom's still adorable and I love that being brought up in the forest has left him slightly socially awkward, to the extent that he'll chat away to a stranger about people being murdered as casually as if he's talking about the weather. I also love how strictly he adheres to McNair's ideals about chivalry (on seeing an issue of 'Nuts' - "You should always treat women with respect; even if they're in the nuddie). Aw, McNair. I miss McNair.

l do kind of miss the old line-up. To the extent that I've not watched the first episode of this series because I know I'll cry pathetic, geeky tears. However, it's the characters - and actors - that I miss rather than their story arcs.

I'm just a bit concerned that people will no longer watch the show now they've left, when it seems to be at it's strongest. I'd also hate for it to go the way of series two and three. Please, please, please, please Mr Whithouse, could we have more more the same and less of the angst and no histrionics whatsoever? Pretty please?

Fourth Decade

Well, hello Livejournal.

I turned 30 last week. I think I've just about decided that I'm OK with it. Nearly 95% fine with it. Well, maybe 90% OK with it.

I spent last weekend feeling - and, to be fair, being - thoroughly spoiled. I took my birthday off work, which felt a lot like I was playing hooky and spent most of the day in pyjamas before going to Mum and Dad's for a birthday tea. My birthday cake was ace:

The following day, I went to Ludlow with my sister for the day. I have dim memories of going one summer years ago and finding it busy and dull, not even saved by the big fuck-off castle. It was much nicer the second time around. Going in the week meant it was pretty quiet but there was still a farmers market on (I spent that evening pigging out on bread and cheese bought there) and there were lovely little shops and winding streets to explore. The castle was closed but we did get to explore around the walls and some of the outer ruins. It's a lovely place, in short. Very pretty and friendly.

Then, over the weekend, did more family stuff. Out at Zouk in Manchester on the Saturday, which was really nice and then at Grandma's on Sunday afternoon for a get-together and more cake. In retrospect, celebrations were very cake-centric.

I've been very spoiled with presents, too. Really more than I deserve. Amongst other things, I have 'Forbrydelsen' to be rewatching and lots of books to escape on my lunch-break with.

80% OK with it. Maybe 75%


I haven't posted anything on here in ages. In lieu of anything interesting to say, I'm just going to point out that the second series of 'Forbrydelsen' (aka the original Danish version of the 'The Killing') is apparently being shown on BBC Four starting from the 12th November. Hurrah!

I loved the first series. It's not perfect by any means but I haven't seen one of those shows in a while. You know the ones. The ones that you want to finish so you know what happens, when at the same time you really, really don't want it to end? Where you actually plan your evening around how many episodes you can fit in? Where you have so much affection for each of the characters that your heart breaks for them when things go wrong? Where you lose your heart (which is more liberal and more woolly than one of Lund's fantastic jumpers) to a brash, obnoxious Danish gun nut with a face like a hammerhead shark?

Well, maybe that last part's just me.

It's one of those shows anyway. You know the ones.

I've been mooching on YouTube for clips and this trailer sort of sums up the affection I have for it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wU1_xAO8LuQ

(Theis at 0:35. Just...perfect. Bjarne Hernriksen is amazing.)

The only downside is not being able to share the love with all that many people. Most people have seen the US version. Which is fine, except I end up feeling incredibly prententious because I opted to watch the version with subtitles. I got called 'high-brow' the other day for watching it. I'm not sure that shouting 'OMG NOOOOOOOOOOO!' at top of my voice and having the closing theme on my iPod counts as 'high-brow'. I suspect not.

Nor is posting your fannish squee to your Livejournal. It does feel nice though.

Ah, hello, wall. My old friend.

exterminezvous can do it: she's got neat handwriting.' Which is how I ended up 'facilitating' a brain-storming session about communication issues at work and what can done to make my workplace a happy one. In case that sounds too grand and important, it was basically a slightly patronising way of asking me to stand up in front of a room full of people and write things down on a flipchart while the session was led by somebody else.

Anyway, people had a lot to say and I filled the flipchart up and wrote everything out in my very best handwriting with purple pen and blue pen for the headings because I like things to look pretty.

Amongst the wall of text on the sheet of paper behind me I added 'staff nights out' and 'positive feedback from senior management' because one of the senior managers suggested it. I didn't say all that much until the same manager asked several times "Well, what you do you [the whole group] do to improve morale?". After a couple of times hearing that, I suggested - perhaps a bit more snippily than I had intended - that while get-togethers and nice e-mails are all well and good, they're perhaps a quick fix, a pat on the head. That while they're nice, unless we address the many little underlying factors that cause low morale, things aren't going to get better.

Her reaction was much of the same: "Well, what things? But what would you suggest?"

Not being an overly assertive person, I gestured rather weakly to the board behind me.

But what the fuckity fuck?

I am STANDING in FRONT of a FLIPCHART which lists all the MANY, MANY issues people are having with our workplace. I DO NOT understand how this can be made CLEARER. It is so BLATANT and OBVIOUS that you asking even that question while I am stood here with the answers WRITTEN IN PURPLE IN REALLY BIG LETTERS makes it practically a COMEDY PUNCHLINE.


I have - just about -stopped fuming.

Oh Dear.

People are paid a lot of money for making an awful, awful mess of something that should be simple.

In other news, I've updated my default icon as I have the need to channel Carolyn Knapp-Shappey. I could get 'WWCK-SD'? stitched onto a bracelet and wear it all the live-long day at the moment. She's completely fab.