Saturday, July 28, 2012

Vale Caroline John and Mary Tamm

I've been a great fan of Dr Who ever since it started so I was saddened to read of the passing of these two very talented women especially after the passing of Elisabeth Sladen just over a year ago.

Caroline John played Dr Liz Shaw in 1970 opposite one of my favourite Doctors, Jon Pertwee. (The Pertwee link is a bit effusive but it has some interesting information about his career.) What I loved about Liz Shaw was that she was a highly qualified scientist whose function was much more than to be a damsel in distress who screamed a lot. Very much the Doctor's intellectual equal, she was also a member of Unit, the military unit set up to deal with unexplained events. I was very sorry she was written out after a relatively short time.

Mary Tamm played the Timelord, Romana, opposite Tom Baker before Romana regenerated and Mary Tamm was replaced by Lalla Ward. Romana was another intelligent, feisty, female companion. Beautiful, cool and very much in control, Mary Tamm's Romana didn't let the Doctor get away with doing whatever he wanted, something he was/is very fond of doing. She was another companion I was sorry to see go.

Both Caroline John and Mary Tamm went on to successful careers post Dr Who. They will be missed.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Our Animal Family

A rush of paws, a frightened yelp and a very worried little dog is standing near the middle of the family room while an initially self satisfied but now looking a little guilty Puss is strolling casually around on the opposite side of the room pretending nothing happened. He apparently jumped over her and scared the wits out of her. Poor wee dog. She's gone over to him now and they're rubbing noses so all is forgiven.

Puss does not like having his photo taken.

Little dog, on the other hand, poses sweetly as soon as a camera appears.
And posing

And posing

And if you don't notice her immediately, she stands in front of you and the camera. I'm not sure what she thinks is happening but she just has to be part of it

It's interesting how the two rub along. Doggie is a worrier, Puss is ( as a result of his traumatic kittenhood) very nervous but because he has been brought up with her since then he has adopted a lot of doggish behaviour so rubbing noses and sniffing each other are very much part of the way he lives his life. As well, one of his favourite games is fetch. Just like the dog he brings things to be thrown and then brings them back. It doesn't stop him playing cat games, of course. Chasing lights and shadows and ambushing are very popular too as is teasing the dog.

For the most part they get on well. They remind me of a bossy older sister who wants everything done correctly and a naughty little brother who likes to push her buttons and sometimes oversteps the boundaries.

Given how traumatised Puss was when he came to us his occasional misdemeanours are forgivable. He's turned into a good natured, affectionate cat within the family although he is still terrified of strangers and a loud noise will send him under the nearest bed for several hours.

What prompted this post was a letter to the editor in our local paper where a woman had written a lengthy diatribe about how cats and dogs should not be let into the house because they carry diseases. It was full of inflamatory statements, most of which were incorrect. Personally, I feel sorry for her - and even more for any dog or cat she ever owns. She will never know the joy of being greeted by a creature who loves you unconditionally, who sees you as the most important person in the world. I wouldn't miss out on that for anything.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Olympic Overload

So this may verge on heresy in Australia but the Olympic Games have not even started yet and I'm getting fed up with them already. Before you all jump on me I like watching the Games, I like to see talented sportspeople competing and I've already signed up for pay TV for the duration. What's annoying me is the coverage where athletes of all sports are being interviewed and are telling us about how they are driven and they work hard and that's how they get to represent their country. The implication is that anyone who made the effort could achieve greatness - and that, my friends, is hogwash. Even an athlete successful in one field would not necessarily succeed in another no matter how hard they tried.

The truth is that while we could probably all improve our fitness by regular exercise, successful sportsmen and women are actually physically different than the rest of us. That they build on that is a tribute to them but without that characteristic predisposing them they would not become successful. As a reality check just look at any sport and you'll see that all the competitors have a similar build and body shape. For example you won't see a female gymnast with a chunky, over muscled build so a young woman who desperately wants to be a gymnast and doesn't conform to the body shape will never succeed no matter how hard she works. You won't see a man who is 5ft 2 inches playing basket ball either or a very big busted woman in athletics or swimming.

So let's stop this nonsense about how it's all down to the work and accept that we are looking at people who have a unique physical quality, that they do work hard to capitalise on that quality and their performance is a pleasure to watch without everyone else having to be told that the reason they can't do it is because they don't work hard enough.

*Ducking* for cover.