Three Saturdays

Not updated this again for ages. Dum de dum. Things have been ticking over, issue 2 of my comic (supposed to be cover dated March – April) is still not finished, but ought to be tomorrow. Only the editor’s page and a map to do!

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EXTERMINATE!

Also Doctor Who is back on, but I missed the start of the episode just gone >.<, I notice it appeared to show a prosperous India of the future, with it’s own space programme. I notice that this prosperous India of the future was still full of ethnically Indian people, though. I remember some “leaked episode synopsis” that was doing the rounds before the last series, which suggested there would be an episode set in Japan in the 2170’s. I bet if the BBC had actually made that, the Japan of the 2170’s would still be populated entirely by ethnically Japanese people.

Of course, in my own comics, scenes set on the future Earth will have, say, a mostly black guy (‘pure’ races will be rare hundreds of years in the future) named Vladimir Rodriguez, who comes from Tokyo and mainly speaks Japanese. Just to ridicule this “mah effnic origin” disease that the yanks are into, which is infecting Britain at an alarming rate.

But enough of that. Two saturdays ago (or 1 week BDW) we had a huge storm. There wasn’t much visible lightning, but the thunder was just a constant rumble, it sounded like when you are videoing something and the wind blows against the microphone. I did capture a bit of footage, some of the thunder and some of the rain.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wj_DpbIINUQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXJEKD_oetc

There had also been hail before that, I got a few photo of that after it had finished.

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There was also cool-looking clouds and sewage coming out of the drains, which somebody drove through really fast with their window down slightly, lawl.

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Anyway, on the second of these saturdays, I trolled into Cambridge to see my friend Asha. Except (as usual) she took forever to get ready (it was literally like all day). So Instead I wandered around Charity shops killing time. So, lets just turn this into a haul post!

The best thing I got was this:

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Grummock yer parts…

It’s a tape of Round the Horne , the greatest radio comedy ever! It’s where Julian and Sandy, who I’ve just noticed I never posted about (to my shame, got a CD of them ages ago), come from. Anyway, it evolved out of another show called Beyond our Ken (the host of both was Kenneth Horne), but was a lot funnier.

Anyway, this box contains 2 tapes, which are supposed to be the third set of four episodes. But one of them is actually from the tenth set, but as the show had got into it’s stride then I won’t complain! Anyway, aside from Julian and Sandy (polari-speaking queens who did a different, innuendo-laced, job each week)

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‘Evvy Metal

I also got this, for the amazing price of 10p. It’s an old demo tape by a band called Jackal, probably from some time in the 80’s, or maybe early 90’s. The paper insert appears to have been produced on a photocopier, and the red has been hand-coloured. An (admittedly vague) search of the internet has failed to turn up any reference to a metal band called Jackal, so I assume they are long since defunct. Shame, the music is actually pretty damn good (in fact, better than some early thrash which was signed by big labels – like old Testament – which all sounds like it’s recorded in an echoing empty room).

Also, I have been looking at Danny Choo, and his other site called Figure FM, recently. A lot of people were posting pictures of their “otaku rooms”, awash with manga, anime DVD’s and figures. I wanted to tart up my own otaku room a bit, though of course I am an otaku by the Japanese definition and not the foreign one XD. I needed some models to display – no, not anime figures! I’m an otaku for old British culture, and that means…

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Airfix!

I’d seen this set advertised in Commando a few times. You get two planes and a display stand for yer money. I got that one because “jet planes are easier, they’re just pipes with wings on” and also having an Argentine plane would be a bit “weird”. I presume the standard Douglas Skyhawk kit Airfix make comes with 1960’s US Air Force decals. I’ve not started to make this yet, though. As it will be displayed I want to get it right, so got a ‘simpler’ kit to ‘practice’ with. Of course I made tons of these as a kid (I also did a bunch of cheap foreign kits which never got painted, bright green ME109 ahoy!), but I usually just slapped on single coats of paint, glued on the decals (paper and all) and then they got broken and chucked out XD.

Oh yeah, the display cabinet itself, well I got that (along with some other bits) a few weeks ago when I went to Ikea. It’s a Detolf cabinet, which nearly all the otaku rooms on Danny Choo have XD. I have stuffed it with various odds and ends at the moment, but they’ll be gradually replaced by Airfix planes and ships (got my eye on a huge Golden Hind, but that will be tough to build), Gundams and a few (and I mean a few, possibly two XD) anime figures XD.

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The full thing. All that crap next to it is a stack of Roy of the Rovers which desperately needs gaps filling, putting in order and binding into 6-monthly books. Anybody got a spare grand?

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Some Lego stuff, including the Lego Felney characters, from when I had a regular webcomic (ha!) and the scanner broke. Also some limited edition Corgi Minis, a limited edition Lotus F1 model (now very battered and with sun-faded stickers) and some other bits.

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A Download Festival programme, a Star Wars toy, more lego (“FW Devil 1” is a ship of my own creation called a Slasher), some Judge Dredd cards that the Megazine gave away, my Camcon wristband and some bijou statuettes.

And so on to today. Today was the second day of “Open Cambridge”, an event I also went to in 2010. Basically various colleges open up certain seldom-seen parts to the public for free. Lots of guided tripettes also take place around the city, but those were all fully booked months ago. Anyway I made a list of small libraries in colleges that I wanted to see and trolled around, only to find that this year’s Open Cambridge had a slight difference, namely, it was shut! Still I did go to the Whipple Museum (which is open to the public all the time anyway) and to the Sporting Christ’s exhibition, in one of the libraries there (which, it turned out, is a separate exhibition running for the duration of the Olympics and a good month and a half either side to boot XD).

Buut before that, I went into Ely and got a simpler Airfix kit, from the “City Cycle Centre”, an independent toy and hobby shop (with a side of DIY and, of course, cycling). I used to go in there a lot as a kid, but then we called it Zaskies, for some reason. It used to sell these wicked cap guns that looked almost like real rifles and shotguns, you wouldn’t see that these days! Anyway, up the stairs and round the corner used to be the Airfix (well and Revell, Tamiya and so on), Warhammer and Hornby department. These were all still in roughly the places I remember, but are now bigger(!) than they were when I was a kid. The back wall has also been knocked through and a load of other rooms (perhaps store rooms or other shops before) have now been incorporated into the main shop. Anyway, which simpler kit did I buy just to get my eye in? Which do you think?

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Can’t beat the classics!

… Mind you, if they’d had a Red Arrow I probably would have got that XD. It was £8, though the same sorts of kits in Model Zone (where I got that Falklands set) are only £5.99, you have to support these independent shops or they’ll disappear!

After that I trolled off to Cambridge, to be disappointed XD. Still I couldn’t resist the Haunted Bookshop, and bought a hardback, cloth-bound prospectus for a girl’s boarding school. Like you do. There’s an inscription dated 1943 in it, but I should think the book itself is older, from before rationing, because the paper is lovely, thick and glossy. It has a great many photos, which will be useful reference material for illustrations in my own boarding school story, Xin Zhou’s Schooldays – the first chapters of which will appear in the Red, White & Blue issue 2, erm, eventually!

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The Olympics are great, aren’t they?

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He’s already got the knighthood, what the hell are we going to give him now?

It’s brilliant when the Olympics are on, especially when they are “at home”. Every radio, TV and computer you pass has some event playing on it. You can linger and discuss the chances of teams. It’s always a conversation starter, “did you see the tennis final?” and so on. It really brings people of all nations together, especially in a cosmopolitan place like my work, and Cambridge in general. People talking about the respective merits of their country’s athletes, and what sports their country is strong at (Ethiopians for distance running, tier “high altitude training” is their lives XD).

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It’s also a chance for more obscure sports to shine. Back in the good old days you had Grandstand on TV every week, showing the highlights from all kinds of sports – equestrian, shooting, diving, swimming… These days if you want to see them you have to pay for satellite and watch obscure channels, or else wait for the Olympics! At least in the Olympics the very best athletes are competing, sports you normally don’t give a crap about, like Basketball, become must-see events with nailbiting knockout rounds. It’s like the World or European cup on an immeasurably bigger scale, and for people who don’t like football, too!

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Of course, the Olympics do have their detractors – the fucking reds. It’s hilariously ironic that this great event, which gets everybody talking about the same subject, causes people to walk with a spring in their step and which sparks off friendly conversations between people of all different nationalities is anathema to the Marx-lovers. They are always banging on about “uniting the people”, yet when something actually does all they can do is complain about “flag waving”, lament all the speed cameras and wet hostels the money could have been spent on, and start calling sport “simulated war”. They are out of touch, their ideology is a discredited anachronism. They have no answers.

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I’ve not watched the opening ceremony yet, but by all accounts it was brilliant. Sensible people said it was brilliant, and reds said that it was a farce, a waste of money and that the tribute to the NHS was pathetic. One red of my acquaintance even went as far as saying that, instead of the NHS, they should have used something that “the British people are proud of”. Hilariously out of touch. A yank red then went on to say that a tribute to the NHS implied that Britain was the only country with ‘socialized medicare’. Hilariously out of touch. With recommendations like that, I can’t wait to iplayer it… as soon as I’ve finished backlogged blog entries, comic-making and sorting out my comic/book/horror film collection (again! more on that when it’s done).

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Oh yeah, I still have plenty of actual sport to iplayer too. I watched the women’s 56kg weightlifting, and very good it was too. The German competitor was hilarious, she screamed as she lifted, then people started screaming back, so she played up to it XD. She couldn’t manage to lift her heaviest weight either, but took defeat in good grace. Oh and of course our own Zoe Smith set a new British record at only 18, one to watch in 2016! The other day I was lifting 25kg bags of dishwasher salt one at a time, staggering about with them, feeling like my arms were being ripped out. Puts things in perspective! I also started watching the lighter weight women’s weightlifting, because the eventual winner looked cwute. I also want to watch the women’s 10m air rifle, the first event for which a medal was awarded. And after that, I’ll catch up on the events of day 2… XD. I hope the BBC keeps their catchups online for a long time, or else releases a DVD box set.

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One thing I wondered, though, is where the hell Rugby is? And Cricket… though there is an international competition going on at the moment. Mind you though, if you had Rugby you could make a case for American Football, which only the cheeseburger chuggers give a shit about, so they’d win it all the time. And if you had cricket, why not baseball, which only the cheeseburger chuggers and, er, sushi snackers(?) give a shit about, so they’d win it all the time.

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But didn’t Olympics used to have “exhibition sports”? One ‘unique’ to the host country that other nationalities were welcomed to try? Surely for Britain Rugby or Cricket would have been ideal! Or, if not those, how about a knockout tournament of rowing eights on the Oxford / Cambridge course? I can understand them having the ‘proper’ races on a ‘fairer’ rectangular lake, but ‘not serious’ races on the Thames would give millions upon millions of people a chance to watch at least one event for free (the course goes for bloody miles). And of course how more “London” can you get than constant racing on the Thames for the duration of the games? Terrible missed opportunity, that.

It’s really strange, right…

…though I have read loads of Victorian/Edwardian detective stories, and hundreds of Sexton Blake tales, I’ve never read a proper story about the daddy – Sherlock Holmes!

I have read this:

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Great cover!

Which is an unofficial tale, both in the Holmes canon, and also an unofficial “alternate” sequel to Prisoner of Zenda. Apparently the real sequel, Rupert of Hentazu, was a bit depressing – in this version, Sherlock Holmes rolls in and puts everything to rights, allowing the king to rule happily ever after (or whatever, I’ve not read either of the Zenda stories yet XD). I’ve also read a few stories in this:

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Crap cover!

But that’s all fanfic. Of course, today “fanfic” generally means “furry yaoi”, but this is old fashioned fanfic – which was published in enthusiast’s magazines. That meant it had, to a degree, an editor calling the shots, and so very little furry yaoi slipped through the net. These stories are pretty good, but they aren’t by Sir Conan-Doyle!

But then today, I saw this for a tenner:

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How could you say no?

It’s a bit of a block:

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The most recent other book in my collection with coloured page edges is from 1967!

But the grand, lavish binding does the contents justice. Either way it will fill up plenty of work break times. And I’ve taken bound volumes containing 3 months of The Boys’ Friend Library before, those are almost cube-shaped! Sherlock Holmes is a character other people at work will have heard of, too. At the moment I’m reading The Schoolgirls’ Own Annual 1940 at breaktimes. I have no shame.