My nobe is so stuffed I was weeping freely on the bus this morning, and good heavens, I was only reading "The Sword in the Stone". It's been ages (read decades) since I've touched it, so it's oddly familiar in some parts, and weirdly new in others, rather like watching back some tv show I watched as a kid. What has really amused me though, despite the streaming eyes and soggy tissues this morning, was that the folks who threw together Merlin have obviously read their TH White.
Because while the story of Arthur isn't set in stone by any means, and the old chronicle tradition was pretty much re-written, re-imagined and re-jigged by euro-scribes and the like in the medieval years, and that's without even referencing what the romantics and Victorians did to the story, never mind the 20thC. And you'd be surprised at some of the versions, like hard core Ken Loach femisist tracts popping up in the 1840s, not to mention the politics of Camelot as described in Twain. There's even a Victorian era tale where Gwen is, horrors, a commoner who falls for Lancelot long before she ever gets that royal ring on her finger (traditionally though, Gwen is such a WAG. Merlin as Footballers Wives? Please, no...)
Anyhoo, thems wot does Merlin, or the art dept at the very least, have cast their eyes over a page or two of TH White, I'm sure of it, because I'm only a wee bit in and I've already ticked so many things. I mean, there are so many versions of the Arthur story (was also giggling over pre-raph images were the boys are even prettier than the girls, because that never happens now, of course) so for what's on screen to follow what's on the page so closely, well, it makes me think the books just night have been looked at during development. Not in plot or character, but definitely in look and feel. Yeah, there's a lot that feels oddly familiar. Or is it the other way around?
Certainly I've been waiting for a show like Merlin for a long while. In fact I'm getting a lot of long delayed treats this year. It's like the universe is an old Aunt who thinks I still dig the same things I did when I was fourteen. Well, yes, but it's a bit different now. Not that I'm not very grateful, oh yes, better late than never, I always say. But it's still kinda weird. Kinda Ashes to Ashes-y.
Thurs: I shoulda known better than to question the universe. Within half an hour all my plans, hopes and dreams had been scuppered in a multi-pronged attack. Business as usual again. Why should you care? Because if I get moved again it may take me ages to get the Brit news up and running again as I seem to have less and less means and opportunity everytime and I'm not sure I can squeeze another spare second or drop of ingenius deviousness outta this old stone any more. Basically, if they move me out to a desk in the corridor next to the toilets there just won't be any tawling of the presses any more. Nor will I be able to work, but that is unimportant, apparently, to my overlords. Also, stuff I had tickets for next week got cancelled. Buttery fuck, to quote Mr Fry.
Oh well. I did pop out for some fresh air (not that my nasty cold is letting me breathe right now, but it's the thought that counts) and bumped into a friend. We compared copies of "The Once and Future King" and snap! Considering my copy came from Seattle (I love you!), that was fairly funny (theirs was purchased yonks ago in Katoomba). I've got them onto all things Arthurian now, and being the compulsive folk that they are, this means ploughing through Malory and Bullfinch as well as Cooper and White. Not quite a Merlin pimp, but at least I have a "Sword in the Stone" book buddy, and one very close at hand. Happiness (even though I will be examined on it later, as in White and Malory, the differences and deviations as well as the obvious use as a source material: discuss). Anything that isn't a work discussion is yay, and this is gold plated yay.
Also had another lovely, lovely mystery parcel arrive on the doorstep yesterday. An entire box of easter eggies, as it turned out. I tried to ring through my thanks but had to hang up on them abruptly as the whole yard was suddenly lit up with lightning and I freaked. I know, all class me. I did ring them back on the mobile later to apologise, but you know, not a lot of come back from hanging on the folks who gifted you chocolate, but jeebus, the lightning, man.
It was pretty full on and I'd send you to an url but there ain't one. Oh well. Despite all that going on I gave up on telly and had a very early night cause I felt awful. Still feel awful, but upgraded to just miserable now.
I have been watching Maverick, though. The one the other day, it shoulda come with a Fake Irish Accent warning. Seriously, it was bad, so very, very bad and then Roger decided to get into the act. It was not pretty, I can tell you. Oh dear.
They should really have a Fake Irish Accent warning, you know, like a little shamrock icon popping up or something. If I were Irish, I'd be seriously non plussed.
Speaking of fake accents and Irish boys, I did dig out the latest box set of Dr Who, and a load bearing box set it was too (bit backlogged, shall we say) and watched Midnight. Oh, you pretty emo young thing, you. The commentary was all RTD on how wonderful RTD is (purlease) but DT managed to slip in a few tidbits like Mark Gatiss sending young Colin a bitchy text cause Col got a Who on his second go and Mark had to wait twenty years. Heh. But then I just watched the episode proper, and it grows less annoying with every viewing though it feels like every bus trip I've ever been on in the UK - smirk - but Colin is pretty and over doing the surly teen just a tad and DT actually has to shut up for a bit (oh nos!), so it's not without its appeal.
We were watching Gideon's Way a few weekends back and it was an episode where the old buggers murder the lodger and brick him up in the wall and the old bastard is telling the missus they can never move and we're like, yeah, cause it what oif someone decidec on a spot of home reno, eh?
Then we hit upon it, the soloution for British tv and the terrible times it finds itself in: don't axe shows, just mash 'em up.
I mean, that episode of Gideon's Way? Totally the set up for Changing Rooms meets Waking The Dead. "Well, this wall is just going to have to come out....Arrrrgh!"
So, to be helpful, we tried to think of others. Maybe they could bring back Pie in the Sky, only cast Gordon Ramsay: F-ing Pie in the F-ing Sky.
Then we thought Torchwood could join the Antiques Roadshow, as they're always dealing with alien knick knacks. Sample dialogue:
"Well, it's a fairly ordinary Welsh dresser, but the doorway to Narnia will naturally up the price you could expect to fetch at auction."
"Where exactly did you get this sarcophagus?"
"It's an unusual stone hand. Where did you find it again.....Eldrad must live!’"
"I'm afraid it's not an original Chinese cabinet, I think you'll find it's a cheap knockoff from the 51st century..."
"It's funny how that Chinese doll's eyes follow you around the room...yarrrgh!"
"What an unusual plastic doll....yarrrgh!"
And so on and so forth. We could go on for hours, and have.
Meanwhile, as the inbox is quiet and I've no interest in chasing work today (nor looking at the too hard tray), I forgot to tell you about my shopping trip on Tuesday afternoon. Well, actually it was a Drs appt, but since I had to go through the old town that used to be my stomping ground I figured why the heck not?
It used to be full of British immigrants, I remember the butchers there looked so exotic, with all those weird British pies and sausages in the window, but my mother wouldn't have any in the house. No, her horrid cooking and Woolies sausages, which are the worst ever, and burnt at that, were good enough. So she reckoned. I swear, if I had a time machine, I'd be in the door of that butcher shop, just to see what the pies were really like. That's me. Bugger history, it'd be all about the pies.
But I digress. It's now all Chinese on one side and Korean on the other, so it's a good place to shop for fruit and veg, BBQ duck, cheap plant pots and the odd bit of exotica. I'd forgotten my shopping trolley, but no matter, I bought another, this one rather jauntily striped like a 60s beach umbrella. I kinda heart it. And you know when I first started dragging my el cheapo trolley there on shopping trips everyone stared, totally stared, but now everyone has one. Sheep.
Forgot my hat too, so I bought one. There should have been some LED display that said "It was the only hat in the shop", and, being Chinese, there probably was a button to set it off, I just haven't found it yet. World's lairiest hat, seriosly (I meant to post a photo but left my camera at home, sorry). I mean, who decided to make a pork pie hat out of old 80s Hawaiian shirts? And lined with old pyjamas, I might add. I'm all for recycling, but...
After my long walk to the doc and back, in work shoes, I had mucho de blisters, so I bought some very, very fetching bright green unlicensed Minnie Mouse slippers. Okay, seriously going native now (and dammit, they're comfy slippers, will use them in back garden).
So I bought some cheap paperbacks, some fruit, a tacky blue windchime (because the parrots have declared war on wind chimes), some pots (because the parrots have discovered they can, in fact, kill plastic pots as well as ceramic ones) and some buns. I was tasked with finding buns to go with the soup that night and as I'd been nil by mouth all day I was a touch peckish and there before me was one of them Chinese bun emporiums. Of course, the thing to remember with Chinese sweeties is they never taste like they look like they should and crashing disappointment is almost always a given, but no. The pork buns were most excellent and the green tea and red bean bun (yes, I fell for the exotic again) was very nice with a cuppa for afters. So I'm all bunned out now (though I heard himself went back and bunned up again - those pork buns were really something).
Yeah, I stuck with the Chinese side, mainly cause that was where I was catching my bus home, no other reason, I was just wandering in and out of stores on a bit of a dog legged detour back down to the bus stop, dragging my squeaky stripey shopping trolley behind me. Oh yeah, on my suburban deathmarch under the baking hot sun I also picked up some discarded frangipani offcuts that someone had left on the verge (and there for the taking, via the rules of the verge). Dunno if they'll take but what the hey, eh?
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