Summer break is here…now what?

Well seems like I haven’t been writing much lately, well not for fun at least. I started my Gender science studies at Södertörns Högskola last winter and have up to now actually been really busy. That’s all fine and dandy except I miss being able to read and write what I want, I’m just too tired while in school. Now however the summer break is here, so I guess I’m going to try and write some more at least when the weather is bad.

So what is the current projects? To be honest they’re mostly a mess of things I like to do. As a booklover I probably will be reading a  book or two this summer. Right now I have a few choices: Murakami’s 1Q84 series, Jelinek’s Pinsessdramer (roughly translates too, Princess Dramas, couldn’t find the English titel), Connel’s Gender in World Perspective (yes I am a geek I read schoolbooks that I find interesting), P.D Martin’s Kiss of Death (lent to me by a thoughtful friend) and of course my elephant in the room John Galsworthy the magnificent author so worthy of analysis; I first and foremost would love to finish The Dark Flower, but ultimately all of his works.

This is not all I like to do this summer, I also have lots and lots of writing (mostly novels) I’d love to do but can’t find inspiration or time to do. Maybe most importantly I need to get my Ball Joint Doll’s (BJD) story viral on the web. I have promised them that for so long and as all BJD owners know they don’t take kindly to waiting. Especially not mine they seem to have very impatient moods, I only have two but they’re as lively as ever. Very inspiring to a wannabe writer like me… and annoying of course.

My Ball Joint Dolls Isaac and Nemesis, they look as smug as their personalities in this picture.
My Ball Joint Dolls Isaac and Nemesis, they look as smug as their personalities in this picture.

So that’s it for now. Guess I’ll go start on my projects… as I am procrastinating at this very moment.

Doctor Who, Quick Reads, Magic of the Angels by Jacqueline Rayner.

A very personal review. 
The cover for Magic of the angels.
The cover of Jacqueline Rayner’s Magic of the angels.

Quick Reads

So how is it I as a literature student am reading and reviewing a Quick Reads book? Well first of all I am a huge Doctor Who fan, I simply love that not making sense world of the Doctor. Second I just happened to find this book when I was on vacation in London in June. Thirdly I have no problem with Quick Reads, even I like a short and well written book. If I am honest I think anyone disregarding text because it’s easy to read is a moron. Some might argue that this is a child’s book and I am not going to go all defensive and argue the opposite, sure this book is suitable for children but it’s not meant to be only for children. The people behind Quick Reads describes their aim as: “ Quick reads are brilliantly written short new books by bestselling authors and celebrities. Whether you’re an avid reader who wants a quick fix or haven’t picked up a book since school, sit back, relax and let Quick Reads inspire you.”

In my opinion the Quick Reads do just what they say, because even as a experienced reader and scholar I did enjoy this story. It’s well written, not easy exactly, just more focused to the point of the story and it uses far less words, but it gives a lot of emotions. Just like poems it’s short as to sense of the number of words used to describe something but the emotion and action of the story is still very vibrant. The story is told with a lot of “free space” for the reader to imagine things, you don’t get force fed a view or feeling from the narrator or the characters, instead you get clues to how each of them might feel and view certain events. It’s a style of writing which I would love to master but am very far from doing. It lets the reader be involved and sets the imagination and the brain at work. You get the frames of a story but you’re not being told all of it, some things just happens inside your head. If you are like me and have a very vivid imagination, this sort of books is certainly something for you.

The story

So what about this particular story then. The first thing that appealed to me was of course the cover of the book so let’s look at that. First of all it has the picture of the 11th Doctor, who happens to be one of my favorites, beside him is his companions from the 5th och 6th series (on TV), Amy and Rory, at this point I am intrigued. Below the picture and the Doctor Who logotype we have another favorite of mine, the enemies known as the Weeping Angels. Well that’s good enough for me to spend 1.99£ (22 Sek) on a book. So what is the story then? Well shortly you might say this story is about a cheating magician who does anything to be famous. The Doctor and his companions are sightseeing in London and they happen upon the magic show of Sammy Star. After watching his famous graveyard trick the trio realizes that this trick is much more than a trick and that the old women that was sitting in the row behind them is somehow linked to this mystery. So Rory sets off being a good nurse while the Doctor walks into danger and Amy follows him, pretty much as usual.

Sounds just like the usual story? Well on the surface it might seem just a simple thing with no real substance just a bit of nonsense. Well any good Doctor Who fan would know that the most important things are the usual things and the nonsense. Underneath this seemingly simple plot there’s actually a lot of critique at our society. One example is Amy telling us that she don’t like when people speak rudely to anyone who don’t deserve it:

“The woman in the blazer stood up. ʻJust ignore them,ʼ she said to Amy. ʻMrs Hooper! Mrs Collins! Be quiet now! You’re getting on this nice young girl’s nerves.ʼ ʻOh no,ʼ Amy replied. ʻThey’re not getting on my nerves.ʼ She didn’t like to hear people being spoken to so rudely, when they’d done nothing to deserve it.” (p. 19)

This scene is in the theater with the old ladies, who turns out to hold a key to this story but this is not known only implied as yet in the story. This comment reflect the ageism that exists and it speaks well with young people as they are well aware of the feeling of not being listened to. The author has written in a bridge between ages by combining a universal feeling of not being taken seriously and at the same time established that there is some who do listen, people like Amy. It’s not criticism in your face but by no means unimportant. It gives certain morality to this story and to the character of Amy. The theme of this story also hold somewhat of a morality as it is about being famous by any means, even those you scarcely can imagine. Sammy Star is prepared to risk all and young women’s lives just to be on TV and be famous. Even though it’s a bit ironic that TV-series characters talk about the consequences of wanting to be on TV at any cost, the moral of this is beautifully written into the story.

Structure and narration

This story has an“all knowing narrator” which I usually don’t like as they have a nasty way of giving you too much guidance, but for some stories they do work. The use of this (all knowing) guiding sort of narrator is rather often associated with children’s literature and is perhaps the reason why some people dismiss such literature as childish. I rather think that sort of narrator is necessary in children’s literature because they do not have the same capability as adults to keep things objective (some people argue they lack the notion of ego). They don’t automatically think this is the view of only this person and therefore sometimes it is necessary to have a guidance (it is used in adult fiction as well). Another reason why I think this narrator is necessary is the use of multiple main characters. To narrate from the I of three people that interact with each other and other characters would be unnecessarily tricky. Sometimes however I think this way of writing gets a bit stale and impersonal, I as a reader get the feeling of only scraping the surface, from above or at least from outside. However in this story when we already know the characters through other books, the TV-series and radio it’s not a big issue. Which only goes to show that different styles of writing depends on the situation and the story. If you write about the situation/actions and not the people this is very effective style, but if you like Dickens for example want to present a character and then the story seen from this/these character(s) this style would not do.

My view

So come on what did I think of this book? It’s surprisingly interesting and challenging, not in words and actions but to the imagination. It’s actually one of the better contemporary books I have read in a while. Sure I feel like the style is a bit stale and sometimes the pace is very slow, but I feel like that very often especially with contemporary literature. I think if you buy this Quick Reads it gives you what you payed for. It’s short, entertaining and well written (good spelling and grammar is a rarity these days). I think I shall have to read some more books aimed at youths because they seem to offer more freedom and chance to imagine than any of the contemporary books for adults, where everything needs to be explained in every gory detail, it’s sickening. I sincerely enjoyed reading this, and you can not beat an Doctor Who adventure with the Weeping angels very easily. Will I read another Quick Reads Doctor Who novel? Of course I will.

For purchasing this book:

Sweden (What happened there? Are you actually waking up and smelling an interest in the Who universe?)

http://www.adlibris.com/se/product.aspx?isbn=1849902860

UK (Worldwide, or at least anywhere with access to Amazon)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Doctor-Who-Angels-Jacqueline-Rayner/dp/1849902860/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1347033945&sr=1-3

 

 

London part 1-Doctor Who

Yes so I went to the “motherland” for a visit. I might be born,raised and live in Sweden but the heart, the heart is in Britain and most certainly a big chunk has landed itself in the north part of London. I fell in love with Britain so long ago I can’t remember when but I have always had a love for the British way. I know it’s silly most of the time and they have done some very horrid things in the past and present but if people still can love American then I can love Britain. Love is without logic and reasons so I suppose I won’t find any, all I know is that I feel at home on the other side of the North sea.

North London, St Pancras view over Euston road

This will be part 1 of my visit which will not run with time as time is a tricky thing as my hero might say. I decided to make it different parts of the experience instead. So number one is more or less self writing isn’t it, of course it’s Doctor Who.

In Sweden Doctor Who is a subcultural phenomenon since no big channel has taken the series on, SVT(Swedish public service channel)showed the first series (2005) on Fridays at eight(horrible time in my mind) and then the second series was never aired to my knowledge. Torchwood on the other hand aired on another big channel and Sarah Jane adventures aired on the childrens channel at odd times but no more Doctor Who. For me SJA is okay but I didn’t like Torchwood and I really love the Doctor before all other spinoffs so I actually had no choice as not even BBC entertainment (which I pay a lot extra to have) aired the doctor until far later I had to go on the webb.

Doctor Who is a big thing in British television history but also at present inspiring people all over the globe except where I live (a lot of fans here though but no national thing like in the UK and US). I confess I have downloaded all of the Doctor Who episodes I had no choice if I wanted to see them in reasonable time. There’s no legal way to watch it through BBC outside the UK, though my conscious is clear I have almost all the DVD boxes ( I haven’t bought the second series yet but I do have several of the classical series as well), and lots and lots of merchandise. In conclusion I go a bit Doctor Who crazy when I go to London. This is the result of that.

First of for any of you Doctor Who fans there’s a Tardis or a police box (for those boring none childish people) standing outside the Earl’s court underground station. Unfortunately it was raining when I was there but here’s a pic anyways.

Me and the Tardis

Secondly for a Doctor Who fan is to visit some of the many seller of Doctor who merchandise. I shall start with the biggest which is the Forbidden planet megaste. They’re big so they have most things for reasonable prices and some real expensive exclusives and awesome collectable items. I can just browse that shop for hours to look at all the cool figures(on display that I can’t afford) and fun stuff they have a lot more than Doctor Who stuff but I mainly buy Doctor Who items since a lot of the classical collection can’t even be shipped outside the UK.

Forbidden planet megastore 179 Shaftesbury Avenue London

I love Shaftesbury avenue not just because it houses Forbidden planet but because it’s full of fun shops and it’s off the big shopping streets but still smash in the middle of the city. A lot of silly things is hidden away in this back street well worth while to visit. When we visited late June they had a lot of steampunk on display if that ticks your boat and you’re in the area or thinking of visiting London it might be worth your while. This two storey shop always gets a donation from me.

To spice up my Doctor Who shopping I thought it was about time I went and visited the Doctor Who shop which is located in Barking road 39-41 Upton Park near “Boleyn Ground” for those of you who know your English football. Well it’s not exactly just a shop it’s also a museum filled with costumes and things from the series. For those hardcore fans out there this is most certainly worth 3 £ to see. The shop is full of wonderful things both old and new and of course it’s decorated accordingly. It has to be seen not described it was overwhelming to actually walk in a store dedicated to something as fun as the Doctor Who series. Costumes and merchandise I though was long gone was in fact in a shop in Upton park.

The Who shop window 39-40 Barking road Upton Park London

Needless to say I have shopped some Doctor Who stuff and I was delighted to find another Sarah Jane Adventure action figure and I had to buy it in memory of Elisabeth Sladen who passed away earlier this year. I though I’d never find them again but that’s the beauty of a place like The Doctor Who shop that it has a lot of things both newer and older(not always second hand). It’s more expensive than Forbidden planet but they are a megastore chain this is as far as I know a single shop so that is to be expected. Still worth a look who knows you might just find some of your favourite and unusal things here.

The third Doctor who thing to do would be to visit some of the shooting sites in London but I actually didn’t get around to that and anyway I had to drop of all of my shopping at the fabulous hotel we stayed at. Also the persistent heat wave and my cold stopped me going about Greater London. Perhaps that was a good thing, I think it might have been to much of Who things to dedicate my whole trip to this TV series. Next time perhaps, I have to visit Canary Wharf for one thing. Not to mention Cardiff, can’t be a true Doctor Who fan without going to the capital that brought us so many hours of Television entertainment and quarry planets.

That was it for part 1 and until next time.

” I wear a bow tie now, bow ties are cool”.

“Jellybaby?”

 

P.S

The loot will be getting it’s own post later.

Look at some of the cool stuff at The Doctor Who shop museum

 

 

New loot…from Napalm records

Today I got some new “loot” that I ordered from Napalm records. It was the new Alestorm CD named: ” Back through time” and of course I could not be having the normal version I had to order the one with the Captain Morgan bobblehead figure. I indulged myself this time as Alestorm is Pirate metal which is highly suitable for someone with a persona called Skunkpirat(e).

Alestorm's" Back through time" CD

I also bought the new Alestorm Hood which kicked ass of course. All in all very pleased with my loot.

The new Alestorm Hoodie picture of the front.
The new Alestorm Hoodie picture of the front.

As always Napalm records provide efficient, reasonable priced and personal service. Their clothing is not the most cheap but on the other hand the print on their clothes are top quality so for reasonable money you get good gear which is a hell lot better than most “Gothic stores”. Just the fact that they always seem to write personal notification is something that I cherish, I know their not the big business but still it wins in the long run. Never had any trouble with them and no reason to give anything but good reviews.

Alestorm hoodie details.

Above picture show the details of the hoodie. Left picture is the front which is the same as the CD, right picture is the back which is a most ghostly ship. How can you not love that?

Last but not least I must include a picture of the figure.

Captain Morgan bobblehead.
Captain Morgan bobblhead

This concludes the loot for today anyway…. Who knows what the summer might reveal.

A big CHEERS! to all of you pirates and metal lovers out there I salute thee with Irish ruby water! ( or as it is more commonly known Magners Berry).

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School’s out for summer..

So this was the last day of school for the summer but it also marks the first year completed, it feels nice.  It has been a good year and I have learnt a lot of things and met new people as it should be really. Perhaps I have surprised myself with good grades but that just adds to the reward at the end.  I have had the best start I could ever ask for now it’s up to me to complete the rest as good as I can. Right now though I’m going to slip into vacation mood because for once I feel like I deserve it.

As much as I had hoped to be only happy for the day I also must continue this documentation of people passing away. This time it’s Roy Skelton that has passed onto the other side. For me he’s known as Daleks, Cyberman and Krotons in the classical Who series.

Daleks from the episode Revelation of the Daleks (1985)
Daleks from "Revelation of the Daleks" (85)

I have been watching classical Who as a search for better understanding of the series and so the connection with this loss was vivid in mind. Seems a lot of the old faithful gang is leaving us with a cultural void that’s in my opinion not filled. I feel that culture is extremely underestimated and is taken very much for granted. I don’t think many people realise that those things you grew up with watching is forming your life and choices. No matter what it was that stuck with you it will be there always. Culture is so much more than the usual snobbery. Why should so few tell us others what culture is?

I see no reason for that. It’s very much like religion a personal matter, something only you know. Some people share interests and some don’t.

I have to end today’s post with the quotation from my song of the day: Tyr- Shadow of the swastika.

You can shove the sins of your father where no light may pass

and kiss my Scandinavian ass”

New somewhat crazy header

I had to do something creative so I dusted of some of the acquired knowledge about adobes Illustrator to create a very simple but definitely me header. I think that those of you who follow rules will find this utterly wrong, as it is I am a pirate so I don’t listen to rules in that way… Guess they’re actually guidelines..

I am pleased with my header because it reflects the madness within and are as undefined as I am. Though there’s one vital pattern and that is the representation of some of my favourite things (as it should). I can’t abide those none personality default settings for very long (although I must say there’s a lot to chose from with wordpress), sometimes you got to break the pattern and just do something else. I am very much like that so why shouldn’t this journal be just like that?

I write what I want and I create what I want…

Ah well that’s enough creativity for Friday night…

Another great actor has passed away…

Another of my favourite English TV-actors has passed away. This time it’s the unforgettable Edward Hardwicke or as I know him Dr Watson that has left us.

from the Granada series Sherlock (Jeremy Brett) and dr Watson (Edward Hardwicke)

I loved the Granada Sherlock Holmes series with Edward and Jeremy Brett. I used to think it was because it was the one I grew up watching but it’s still by far my favourite. I like the interaction between Edward and Jeremy they seem to me very proud to play these roles and do so very much as I imagined Holmes and Watson. Which is so far from today’s “perfect” people.

I had already thought of rereading the books this summer because I’ve had enough of “modern” mystery books they lack a certain well mystery to me. Ok I do have modern favourite mystery writers like Denise Mina but somehow I always end up with those old fashioned books. I tried to modernise my reading but somehow I always end up reading the old classics anyway. I suspect it might be time for me to realise I am a boring old person that actually like those kind of books and read them with great pleasure.

I think this is an apt time to plan another visit to Baker street 221B it’s some time since I was there last. It might be the cutest and most fun museum I have ever had the pleasure to visit. I heartily recommend it and why not take a stroll down Baker street it’s jolly nice if the weather permits.

The Sherlock Holmes museum

 http://www.sherlock-holmes.co.uk/  (the museum home page)