I missed the pilot for the new series of Dr. Who last week because I was in Blackpool, so was ecstatic to switch the television on this afternoon to hear familiar sounds of the dahn-dah-dahn-da-dahn whoo-ooh theme tune as if they had never left.
Well. I bloody love Russell T. Davies. The series is just... Dr. Who and more. You can really see the affection he has for the character and his universe, as well as his little geeky asides for fans of the series.
Today's episode dealt with the inevitable end of the world. It was funny, clever and the actors-- even pop minx Billie-- were great. And at the end, I found myself kind of choked when he detailed the relative brevity of man's existence on the earth... indeed, the ethereal earth itself. Raw emotion in Dr. Who? Brilliant.
Next on the TV schedule was a brilliant programme that takes a masterpiece and analyses it in full detail. This week, they picked Eugene Delacroix's raw and bloody Liberty Leading the People, one of my very favourite paintings ever. Liberty was described as "vulgar" and a "poissarde" (fish wife) by critics of the time, but she has stood the test of time to become Marianne, the symbol of France, and of revolutionaries everywhere.
Eugene Delacroix sounded rather dislikable, though. He abhorred revolutions (well, by the time of the 1848 uprising) and was described by Alexandre Dumas (snarky git) as a "coward" who looked out of place amongst the genuine revolutionaries. Ah, well.
Everything was sobered up a little by the news that the Pope has died. You know, I had a lot of issues with some of his views-- abortion, the direction of Europe and especially the absurd "gay conspiracy" that was going to turn Europe into hell, or some such nonsense. (Actually, I very much wonder if he even came out with these words, or if they were attributed to the ill man by others seeking their own anti-gay agenda.) On the other hand, he was against the Iraq war, and told Dubya and Blair that their policies went against the Church, no matter their feeble excuses. He himself is remembered fondly in Liverpool for his visit to the city in the eighties. But no matter. In the end, his death was sad and the sight of Catholics crowding the Vatican and churches worldwide, united (for once) in prayer... it really touched me.
I just hope that his successor will be moderate and not that twatty Pinochet-sympathiser some are championing. And please, please counteract his views on abortion and homosexuality. Because really, your excellence, there are bigger things to think about than worrying about who loves whom. Requiescat in Pace.
Good Friday. No work! Ho hum. This morning, Mary was all, “let’s have a barbecue!” in celebration of the blue, blue skies and general non-working.
It was only as we were getting things ready that brother helpfully remind us that oh noes!!1! We don’t do meat on Good Friday. Bah.
We had a nice salad, hummus and seafood spread instead. Then there was religious stuff, which I don’t want to talk about. We settled down in the afternoon to watch one of the religious epics or talks they always have…except this year, they didn’t. The BBC was showing Mulan, for God’s sake!
Pretended not to want to watch Mulan, but slipped tape in recorder for later. Even the God channel on Sky had some fecking televangelist, who may interest people like Anne Rice, but invokes fury in me.
I decided to kill two birds with one stone and go for a long walk as the sun set instead, because that’s the time when I can think most clearly; when I can meditate and be Alone. The woods were covered in daffodils, and also evil midges. Had to drag the dog away from trying to eat a dead rabbit and, strangely, a dead hedgehog in the Field of Death en route. Golden sunlight filtered through the trees. I paused at one old tree, absolutely massive and enduring and what must have been centuries old. Some Chav had carved their initials into the trunk.
The sun was setting on the horizon as I muttered some prayers and just felt… the essence of self lost in the sunlight, in the sense of history and continuity and spirituality around me.
Then I made my way back, full of all this nice karmic attitude. Lasted for about five minutes, when had to shout at local idiots trying to smash the bus stop in and pick up about twenty chocolate, crisps and cigarette wrappers morons had thrown along the field and hedgerows. People suck, man.
I’ll get this Roman Catholic thing right one day, you know.