Sunday 2 April 2017

A little catch-up

It's been a pretty good week off, apart from the oppressive virus that has infiltrated my system. Understandably, I think, I'm not overjoyed to be dragging myself back to work tomorrow. However, it has been a fun few days. Suz and I spent last weekend in the West Country with her family, and then I spent the middle of the week helping my mum and my sister out with some stuff. Thankfully all pretty chilled, aside from the heavy lifting. I found time to take in the new Power Rangers movie, which I expected to be complete rubbish but I actually quite enjoyed. I've set up a Limitless card for the Odeon, so I'm planning on taking more time in the cinema. It's all about finding the time, of course.

This weekend, Suz and I went over to Dublin for a couple of days to stay with some wonderful friends. Suz has family from Ireland and has been over to both Dublin and Belfast a couple of times, but this is my first time. I've actually seen quite little of the British Isles, having spent a long while making longer trips abroad, so some little trips to Wales, Scotland and the two parts of Ireland are much overdue. As well as getting to spend some quality time with friends, we got to do a nice bit of touristy sightseeing. Our friends live in Ranelagh, which is in easy walking distance of the center of town but so quiet in itself, A really nice spot to stay. On the Friday we wandered about town and then took the tour bus up to Dublin Zoo, which is an impressive place and the third largest zoo in Europe, within the gigantic Phoenix Park. It's where they bred the legendary MGM lion named Slats. The history of the zoo is rather exploitative, which is par for the course for such institutions, but nowadays it has a focus on conservation, holding many critically endangered species. I was impressed with their great ape enclosures - they have chimps, gorillas and orangs and they all have free reign over a large open area. The elephants were hiding though.

We did plan to do the Guinness factory on the Saturday, but I wasn't feeling great and really needed an easy one, so instead the four of us had a jaunt into town. We went to Dunne's department store, and got lost in The Largest Lingerie Department in Ireland, in tribute the legendary scene in Father Ted. I did learn that Guinness is not black, but very very very very very very very very very dark red. Considering how much of it I've drunk over the years, I'm surprised I'd not noticed before. While we didn't make it to the Guinness factory, I did drink a significant quantity of the stuff, which I think is medically sound as I am suffering from mild anaemia. It really is better over there. We also spent some time in the National Museum of Ireland's archaeology site, which is the huge building on Kildare Street. It's full of remarkable prehistoric artefacts going back to the Paleolithic. The Bog Bodies exhibition was fascinating and quite chilling. Suz spent time in the Ancient Egypt exhibition, but I was still creeping around the corpses. I definitely plan to go back to the city to see more of it, particularly the Natural History Museum or "Dead Zoo."

Worky-wise, I have a ton of reviews I've been planning to write, both for here and Television Heaven, so expect some of those fairly soon. Nine Lives, the charity anthology featuring the Richard E. Grant version of Doctor Who has gone to the printers, and includes my story "Frozen in Time." I've also been asked to contribute to the second volume of Time Shadows, which I'm pretty excited about. The first volume was absolutely excellent and I'm very pleased to have been chosen from among the many submissions. I hope to find time to write up some of my own fiction ideas that I've been mulling over for a while, both fanfic and original. Before that, there's still work to be done with CP Studios on both Doctor Who and The World's Greatest Detective, the latter of which is assembling an impressive cast.

Also, in recent news, a carnivorous mushroom has been discovered down the road from me. So that's cool. 

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