FOWC: Doctor

Doctor Who?

I couldn’t help it. When I see the word, the first doctor I think of is the Doctor. “Doctor who?”, you ask.

People all around the world now know this British sci-fi show. It originally began in 1963 and I am old enough to remember the First Doctor, played by William Hartnell, his granddaughter Susan and her teachers Ian and Barbara who became curious about her and followed her home one day only to see her disappear into an old Police Call Box.

Me in Scarborough, England 1990

The original program was made for children’s television and by today’s standards, it looks very cheap and corny with model space ships and costumes that could have come from a theatre prop box. However, I know I was not the only six year old to be found hiding behind the couch when the Daleks appeared. They were so scary, not so much the way they looked but they were so damn mean! They hated everybody and everything that was not a Dalek. I didn’t know the word xenophobic back then but that’s what they were. When they exterminated someone it looked horrible, the poor victim was transformed into a negative image.

When the decision to replace William Hartnell was made the show’s writers came up with an idea that I think was quite unique at the time. Regeneration. It cleared the way for many different actors to play the same character but keep continuity. Each Doctor’s personality and look was different but he was still the same Doctor. As we left England around the time that this happened and I didn’t see Doctor Who again for a long time I was unaware of this and simply didn’t understand what had happened. That was not the proper Doctor Who as far as I was concerned. I didn’t see the Patrick Troughton episodes until I was an adult and never did see them all. I wish I had now.

I started to watch the show regularly during the seven-year run of the Fourth Doctor, played by Tom Baker. I still enjoy those old episodes. I managed to see most of his predecessor’s episodes. The Third Doctor was Jon Pertwee whose episodes were largely earth-based. I guess the BBC was trying to keep the budget down. A lot of stories were based around UNIT with regular characters Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart, Doctor Harry Sullivan, Captain Mike Yates and the then Corporal John Benton as well as the Doctors companions Jo Grant and Sarah Jane Smith.

Dalek “Exterminate! Exterminate!” photo by Naomi

After Tom Baker’s departure the Fifth Doctor, played by Peter Davison took over. I liked him but I did not care for the Sixth Doctor played by Colin Baker, so after a few episodes, I stopped watching the show and didn’t bother with the Seventh Doctor, played by Sylvester McCoy. At the end of 1989 Doctor Who was cancelled, seemingly never to return.

I should mention that two Doctor Who films were made in the 1960s starring Peter Cushing as Doctor Who. They were “Doctor Who and the Daleks” 1965 and “Dalek’s Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.” Daleks were huge in 1965. These films are not considered part of the Doctor Who backstory and that’s why I was dubious about the Doctor Who film of 1996 that featured Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor. Movie Doctors are not the real thing to me.

The Tardis photo by Naomi

Then in 2009 the reboot series arrived, now aimed more at adults although not so adult-themed as it’s spin-off Torchwood was to become. I wasn’t sure if I’d like it but after watching Christopher Ecclestone for about ten minutes I decided that I did. I notoriously dislike having to get used to a new Doctor but after getting used to them I did like Doctors Ten, Eleven and Twelve. David Tennant (Ten) will probably always be my favourite. Matt Smith I initially thought seemed too young and Peter Capaldi too old but his Scottish accent won me over.

I am currently on hiatus from watching Doctor Who though. I thought that as he is only supposed to regenerate 12 times Peter Capaldi might be the last Doctor but when he left the showrunners decided to cast Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor. There have been Time Ladies in Doctor Who in the past but I didn’t see why they needed to make the Doctor a woman. I had seen it coming with The Master/Missy and had not liked that character. It seemed as if the writers were just casting a woman to be PC to me and I decided that I would skip the unlucky Thirteenth Doctor and if there is a Fourteen maybe I’ll watch again.

Whole Town Garage Sale 2019

My Garage Sale Finds

Well today was one of my favourite days of the year. Whole Town Garage Sale Day. I love it and hate it when I have to work that particular Sunday. In fact nothing pisses me off more than missing out on this day. Today there were 16 sales listed on the town map that you can purchase at the Bargain Centre for a dollar. It’s very handy as you can plan your route out a bit. I did all the side streets first and then the main street as there seem to be less stuff on the High Street this year, Some people were only taking the opportunity to move on their children’s outgrown toys and clothes while others had a lot of plants. I was lucky to find a lot of people with used household goods and retro items. I always go for the retro items. I try to get out early enough as I have to try to beat the local antique dealer to the best items. He goes around in the morning and opens his shop up just before lunch time. As for myself I did quite well. I emptied my wallet but ended up loading Wazza up. So here is what I bought today.

  1. Vintage Potty Chair for Vanda’s dolls
  2. Ideal baby doll and pushchair for Vanda
  3. Vintage General Electric hair dryer for my appliance collection
  4. Nest of tables for our new house
  5. Brass “Toilet” & “Bathroom” door plates for new house
  6. Vintage teddy bear for me
  7. Two vintage bottles for bottle collection
  8. Small cabinet for new house

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    I had such a good day today. I got some good bargains. I had gone out setting myself a limit on what I could spend and I stayed well under it. The nest of tables will probably get painted in a nicer colour. I’ll discuss that with Vanda later. The potty chair will probably get restored and possibly get some pretty baby type transfers put on. It should be painted in bright cheery colours since it is for a tot. Vanda will clean and tidy the doll. It has an issue with its eyes. I think someone has coloured over them. It looks rather surprised. Anyway that is up to her. It has an old vintage outfit on which is rather nice. I had a nice chat with several friends I met enroute around the town. I was surprised to see a couple of people since I didn’t think they went to garage sales. Others were just out for the fun of going around for a look and others were hitting the trail trying to find certain things. I met a few friends who were of course having their own sales and I was happy to be able to buy something from most of them.. The only disappointment was not getting a nice cake from the market. Even though I got there about fifteen minutes after they started I missed out on the best cakes. There was only ginger or pineapple bars left and I wasn’t too keen on them. There was a sausage sizzle outside so got one with sauce. Come lunch time it was time to head home and get lunch and walk the puppy dogs. 


What To Read

I first wrote this post in October 2013 for a WordPress Daily Prompt on choices. I still read books so I decided to dust it off update it and run it again as most of you won’t have seen it. I had about half a dozen views a week back then if I was lucky.

How do I pick what blogs or books to read?

Whether it’s books or blogs the thing that always gets me to read it is the hope of being entertained. If I see the name of a writer whose work makes me laugh or who tells a good story I will be eager to read what they have written. I enjoy the humourous take on everyday life that I find in some of my favourite blogs but I also like those who share their knowledge and passions. I have learned a great deal from my fellow bloggers about writing and photography.

If I don’t know the writer I’ll look at the subject matter, if it is  non fiction is it about a subject I’m interested in? Is it relevant to my specific interests? For example I like cricket so I’ll read biographies of players but  I wouldn’t read a book about the laws of cricket or a blog giving an interpretation of the LBW rule unless the writer made it funny because I would get a headache!

Biographies and Autobiographies.

Is the title appealing? An intriguing title will at least get me to read the first few paragraphs to find out more. Sometimes it turns out to be not what I thought it would be but sometimes it will turn out to be a good read.

Fiction is a bit trickier to choose than non fiction. When I was at school I often used to enjoy the fiction extracts in my English text books so much that I would search for the books they were from in the library.

I don’t like to read books with  excessive violence or bad language, so as well as reading the plot outline, I will usually skim through a book trying to get a feel for it before I settle down to read. There have been many books which promised to be good stories that I’ve walked away from because they were just too graphic for me.

Sometimes I read something because a friend has recommended it or I’ve read a favourable review but only if I think it sounds interesting myself. If I have enjoyed a film that was based on a book I may decide to read it but I won’t read best sellers just because it is trendy to say you have read it.

True story

I think a lot of people must do that. In our book room at the Op Shop we have at least three copies each of “Fifty Shades of Grey” and its sequels. It seems to be by far the most often donated book we have. (I haven’t read any of them.)

Recently I have started to listen to audio books and I found that the reader makes a big difference to my enjoyment. “A Christmas Carol”, by Charles Dickens is a favourite story of mine but the main reason I bought the audio book was because Sir Patrick Stewart was reading it and I love his voice. Likewise Stephen Fry is exactly the right person to read the Harry Potter stories. One of my first audio books was “Deep South” by Paul Theroux. I have read several of his travel books and I understand his style but I had a lot of trouble listening to the book. It was partly the book itself, it was long and I’m afraid I fell asleep a couple of times. I just didn’t enjoy the narrator’s voice though. I decided that in future I will stick to reading the books.

Vintage Wrecks at Willow Court

Another Trip to Willow Court 

During my holidays in August my friend Phillip and I went to Willow Court New Norfolk.It’s a place I love to go as it has antique shops, interesting gardens, a nice cafe and lots of old wrecked vintage cars awaiting new owners to restore them. I always feel both sad and excited to see them. Sad because they are in such a state of disrepair and excited because I love to see old vintage cars anytime. I’m really into old stuff so I just love Willow Court. For those who don’t know Willow court used to be a hospital. I’ll leave a link at the bottom of the page because it does have some very interesting history of its own. Now onto the cars. I hadn’t been here in a long while so there were a lot of different cars, trucks and buses including the AC DC tour bus I posted a few weeks ago. After visiting the two antique shops and having a nice cuppa in the cafe I walked around and got photos of most of the vehicles, mostly the ones that interested me. In some cases there was more than one of the same make. So here is my slide show of the many vehicles there that Saturday in August.

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Here are a few links to check out if you are interested in Willow Court or antiques in general or maybe just check out the cars. If you do an online search you can find plenty to read about Willow Court and the old Derwent Hospital.

Snapshot Sunday

A Dalek on a Winter’s Day

Well I suppose even Daleks feel the cold and it was quite cold the night I went to the QVMAG museum in Launceston to see the dinosaurs. After we had seen them we wandered around for a bit before deciding to go and look at Jupiter and Saturn through the huge telescopes on the lawns outside. On our way we passed this fellow rugged up for a cold night also. I thought he should have had a glove for his plunger too.


Mural at New Norfolk

Real Street Art V Graffiti

Now something I do not accept as art is graffiti. I hate seeing paint plastered over the sides of buildings, under bridges, on buses and trains, at railway stations and so on. People try to defend it saying it is street art. Vandalism is not art and there is no place for it in society.

I was in New Norfolk recently and we came across the back of this building which had been painted probably by an artist with these colourful murals. I was very taken with it and thought it looked fantastic. I expect they were having trouble with graffiti artists messing up the back of their business and got sick of cleaning it up. It would be a great shame if someone messed this up. I would much rather see this than so called street art everywhere. This is much better than the boring grey besser blocks too.


A Night at the Museum

A Trip to “The Queen Victoria Museum” or QVMAG

While I was on holidays with my friend Phillip we decided that we would go to the Queen Victoria Museum in Launceston to see the dinosaur display. We had seen a poster about it on a wall while we were shopping in Launceston one afternoon. When I told Vanda about our plans she mentioned that they were having some special night openings that we might enjoy. This appealed to us as we like going out at night and let’s face it there isn’t much to do anymore unless you like current movies or fine dining. Phillip and I are not into either so it’s a band if we are fortunate enough to find one or a pub meal and the pokies. We embraced the chance to do something out of the ordinary.

Years ago now we had wanted to see a display of dinosaurs and jumped into our car to go to one we thought was in a place called Mount Monster. It was a long drive and we did not see any signs pointed towards the dinosaur park we had heard about. We drove on several kilometres and no dinos to be seen anywhere. We would have been happy with just one in the end but we had to abandon the idea entirely. After driving what must have been close to one hundred kms from Adelaide it suddenly hit me that they had really meant Mount Monster was some ruddy great hill and not a dino park at all like Phillip had been told by some friends. Well we had a nice drive and a laugh about it at least. The day was not wasted. So fast forward nearly thirty years and we finally got to see some.

Well I have to say we were both very impressed. The dinos moved and roared and really looked authentic. They even blinked. They had done a wonderful job in creating them and making them move. Below is a slide show of the dinosaurs. I apologise for not knowing the correct names of the dinos. I did not write them down.

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There was a lot more going on at the museum apart from the dinosaur display. There were telescopes outside and we were able to view Jupiter and Saturn. I was amazed that I could actually see the rings around Saturn when it was billions of miles away. The astronomers said they were hobbyists and were only too happy to answer any questions put to them about their interest. It was a full moon too so we were treated to the beauty of the moon as well since it was a very clear night. It was freezing queueing for the telescopes so we went to the cafe inside the museum afterwards and treated ourselves to hot chocolate and cake.

Other things going on were lectures on the stars and science and planetarium shows. I would have loved to have seen the Apollo 11 display but it was not on that night and since Launceston was 113 km from my house I did not want to drive back again as we had already been there for shopping and the casino. I should say that all of this was for National Science Week and was well worth the long drive there and back. Below are some images of the program I saved from the event for anyone who would like to see what else was on at the museum during National Science Week last in August of this year. I think you can just about read the little writing on the program.