Thursday, 10 January 2013

The other Dr Who books I read last year, Part 2!

Here’s the rest of those Doctor Who book thoughts I promised last post.  Geeky fans, enjoy disagreeing with me!  

Oh and remember – major spoilers of most of these books!!!

  1. Dr Who: Four to Doomsday, by Terrance Dicks (Target original)
    (Not bad at all.  All the 5th Doctors seem to read a lot better than they watch.  It’s a slow not much happening story, about whether it’s better to be in your body or not, to be an android.  Whether feelings are good, or whether it’s better to have an android body and be adaptable and free from aggression, greed, ruthlessness, arrogance etc.  The lead proponent of the latter, the froggy Monarch, ends up being a Flesh Time person, in the body still.  Adric is not half so annoying to read as he is to watch.  I enjoyed this one
  2.  Dr Who: Psi-ence Fiction, by Chris Boucher (BBC Past Doctors Series)
    (Very interesting.  Chris Boucher invented Leela, so reading her thought processes – so different, were a joy.  Reading the Tom Baker Doctor was odd – it was as if Douglas Adams was there, but not quite.  Chris Boucher liked all his characters to banter intensely and comedically, all the time; with only Leela as foil.  The 2 police men, Bartok and Simpson were an act, winding up the Supervisor too.  The students Josh, Tommy, Ralph, Meg, Chloe and Joan were also constantly joking and needling and witticising each other.  Sometimes it felt natural, sometimes it didn’t.  The Doctor wasn’t at his best here; he was always several steps behind and confused.  And very much without and uncaring about Leela, which was a bit odd.  He was utterly distracted.  I can’t decide if this was expressed well, by use of the time anomalies etc, or badly.  The psi/paranormal elements of the whole book were very cleverly done, though I got lost with the cod science talk when it embellished further.  There were several ‘reverse the polarity’ type moments that confused me.  The reading minds and echoing, with the folding back and forth of perceptions was quite brilliantly and spookily done for Chloe in particular; and the scene with the isolation tank, the blood and everyone slipping over was quite memorable.  Again, I don’t think I will re-read this, but it’s a memorable story.  It was only harmed really, by the lack of a strong sense of the Doctor.  He sleepwalked through the whole story.  This wasn’t necessary.  It meant Leela was really the only wide awake character – in that sense this book showcased her.)
  3. Dr Who: The Bodysnatchers, by Mark Morris (BBC 8th Doctor Series)
    (Disappointing.  After the magnificence that was Deep Blue by the same author, I got all overexcited as to how good this book would be.  I could tell quite early I wasn’t going to really like it.  I don’t know if this is because I didn’t like the setting, or the Zygons, or the story line, or the very fleshy details just didn’t do it for me the way his last book did – or whether I simply had too high expectations…either way, I was rather bored and skimmed portions of it.  Happy to move on to the next, as the 8th Doctor only lives in fiction, and deserves a better chance to develop – but so far, I can see that this may be a slightly disappointing series all round; not a patch on the Missing Adventures or the Past Doctor Adventures…bit like my experience so far with the New Adventures: everyone so keen to be innovative and break the mold, they end up making it not feel like its part of the Who universe properly…which is an integral thing.  This isn’t to say that the depiction of the 8th Doctor or Sam was flawed at all, they seemed fine.  Except Sam is irritating me…)
  4.  Dr Who: Grave Matter, by Justin Richards (BBC Past Doctors Series)
    (This was extremely good fun.  Excellent portrayals of Peri and Colin Baker – spot on.  And got Peri to do more than just moan.  She was extraordinarily active, actually.  The idea of an alien life form that parasites into its host and heals the body but doesn’t control the brain till 3rd generation infection made for some interesting implications.  There were some good character portrayals also, and some sad moments – Liz Trefoil and Dave Madsen.  And the end, with the pale eyed seagulls going off to infect – or not? – the mainland – that was nicely done: gave me a ripple down my spine.  Overall, very good.  Not a keeper though, like the now fabled Deep Blue – but really only because I seemed to flag during the last third of the book, and couldn’t tell if it was me losing interest for some reason or being tired, or whether the book did suddenly start to drag.)
  5. Dr Who: Genocide, by Paul Leonard (BBC 8th Dr Series)
    (This was the most thought provoking Doctor novel I’ve read so far; and was thought provoking for ANY novel.  Would you want to save the human race if you found there was a timeline where we ended up not in charge, and the creatures that were here instead of us…were better, kinder, nicer – more deserving, less destructive??  It just gets more complicated from there.  Neanderthals, an insane UNIT person called Jacob, who is a bit of a sociopath and a misanthropist.  Jo Grant, but older and wiser, subsidiary characters (Rowenna, Julia, Axeman, Mauvril) killed off like there’s no tomorrow; and tomorrow was exactly what they were ALL fighting for.  And Kitig, the Tractite: one of the most memorable figures I think I have ever read in a book: left at the end to carve messages in rock for the rest of his life, because it was the only right thing he could still think to do.  A character who found his life, his entire peaceful civilisation was built on a terrible lie, but found a way to live the rest of days with lonely integrity.  This was a very serious book indeed.  And a very sad one.  I won’t be keeping it, as though I loved Kitig especially, gentle Kitig – I would never read this emotional and moral mind wrencher again.  It ended as it began, characters having committed acts in moments of terror and war, asking an unconscious Doctor: ‘I need to know.  I need to know if it was possible to have acted in a different way.’  So sad.  This is also the book that ends on the strange note of hope that a wish from a horse causes a tree to create the multiverse…)
  6.  Doctor Who: Kinda, by Terrance Dicks (Target original)
    (Again, read better than it watched.  Though still rather disjointed.  As if the idea hadn’t quite been fleshed out enough.  Or pieces of it had, but others not.  The Mara boy was a scary thing.  Hindle and Sanders are quite memorable. ‘You can’t mend PEOPLE!’)
  7.  Doctor Who: The Well-Mannered War, by Gareth Roberts (Virgin Missing Adventures)
    (This started off extremely well, with strong imagery and a very strong sense of the Douglas Adams era, in terms of witty banter.  It sustained until about 2/3 of the way through, then started to flag – or I did.  Not sure.  I ended up pleased to finish.  I didn’t realise it was the last in the series of the Missing Adventures, and sends them off to be fictional characters – its clever, neat and a good end.  Though sad.  This was very good indeed.  Just a bit tiring here and there.)
  8.  Dr Who: War of the Daleks, by John Peel (BBC Eighth Doctor Series)
    (Very convoluted.  Chayn was a good character, and it was far better than the other John Peel book I read.  I wasn’t convinced by Davros though.)
  9.  Dr Who, The Scripts: The Power of the Daleks, by David Whitaker, ed. by John McElroy
    (This will seem like an extremely stupid comment bearing in mind I just read a *script*: but it was very talky.  I had trouble differentiating between the characters, because I haven’t seen this serial – this was the actual reason I started collecting ALL the Who books: because I hadn’t seen Troughton as a Doctor and felt I was missing out.  It has lead to this whole, huge addiction.  The daleks were as annoying as usual, but more intelligent, which I appreciated.)
  10. Dr Who: Heart of Tardis, by Dave Stone (BBC Past Doctors Series)
    (Ambitious.  Very oddly written.  A very exuberant style it took a while to get into.  Some sentences were a clause by a comma too long; difficult to explain.  And I’m a great fan of long sentences.  Aleister Crowley was in it, K9 had a cameo at the beginning; but there is nothing to really stick in the mind, other than the love and enthusiasm of the writer, and one image: the soldiers, with various Tarot cards, baseball cards and magickal symbols on their uniforms to protect them.  That was oddly vivid.  Well; most of it was very vivid, but like the snobbery of the first Romana, it got a little tiresome after a while.  The focalisation of Victoria was an interesting choice.)
  11. Dr Who: The Highlanders, by Gerry Davis (Target Original)
    (Sort of fun.  Like a lot of the Dr Who’s, I was enjoying it a lot to begin with, but then it seemed to sag a little near the end, so I got a bit bored and was happy to finish.  I wonder why so many of the Who’s are like that – the new ones and the old ones?  Stanley would say it’s because of the lengthy episodic format – that the stories had too much pointless running around built in to them.  He may be quite right; I’m not sure.)
  12. Doctor Who and the Visitation, by Eric Saward (Target original)
    (Richard Mace ran away with this story, both in the TV version and the book.  It’s an interesting story, if bitty – but a lot of Dr Who’s fall foul of that, because of the episodic structure, and that way they had of separating the companions from the Doctor in order to have more than one storyline going at a time.)
  13.  Doctor Who: The Mind of Evil, by Terrance Dicks (Target original)
    (Enjoyable and strange.  The Master is his grumpy unfathomable usual self; the Doctor is thoughtful and petulant, and Barnham dies tragically.  You forget how many deaths there are in Doctor Who, you know.  Many.)
  14. Doctor Who: Timewyrm Apocalypse, by Nigel Robinson (Virgin New Adventures)
    (Hmm.  It started off having strong echoes of The Krotons; then was interesting for a while, then just longwinded and confused.  Overall, I would describe this as patchy and muddled.  A lot of the Dr Who new books have this problem: they seethe with ideas, but there is too much in one place, and either plot coherence suffers, or characterisation; or both.)

You’d think, from that fizzly out bit there at the end, that I would stop reading now, and go and do something else, since I am either really enthusiastic about these books (Genocide), or just irritated (that last one), and that the variability of the quality would be putting me off.  But it isn’t.  I’m quite happy to keep on exploring this character and his companions through the minds of a hundred others.  Rarely does a character reach so far, and touch so many.  And prompt so many strong feelings and desires for him to carry on and on forever.  Stanley finds this one of the most annoying things about fandom of Dr Who – that they just won’t let him go, they always want more.  But then, Stanley’s mind functions in stand alone mode, a lot.  I am a person who loves a good series of anything – that’s why I get through far more TV series of things than I do films, though I love film too.  I just cannot resist knowing characters I love will be back again and again, being tested and developing in different ways.  I love feeling they are friends.  And I see more of recurring characters than I ever get to of my actual friends!  By the way – I Do Not Care if that sounds sad!!  So I will carry on reading.  I’m reading a Peter Davison Target at the moment, Black Orchid, that I liked as a strange and quirky historical when I first saw it last year; the fact it was only 2 episodes means the book is more fleshed out than most Target space allows; though most of that extra space so far has been devoted to cricket!!  (Stanley made a face when I said I was reading that one – I think he thinks I should read Pertwee, Tom Baker and Troughton and that’s that!) 

More reviews later in the year then.  See you soon!

Monday, 7 January 2013

All Those Dr Who Books I Read Last Year, Part 1

Well, here’s the first half of that post I promised you – my rambly thoughts on all those Dr Who books I was consuming at a rate last year.  I was a bit astonished, on going through my books read doc to see I had read 24 of them (all over the original Target TV tie-ins, the Virgin New and Missing Adventures, and then the BBC Past Doctors and Eighth doctor series).  To the point where I thought I’d split the post in 2 for you, as otherwise it would be wicked long.  And you might get even bored-er than you’re bound to anyway, unless you’re a Dr Who fan and care about other people’s thoughts on the books…at which point I say to you: this post and the next will be most boring for you if you aren’t a fan, so come back after these ones, when I’ll talk of something else.  I have a Things That Annoy Me Part whatever brewing (not a massive rant, just a bit of a bemused befuddle), so that’s what’ll likely come after these.  In the meantime, here’s my thoughts on what I read.

I seemed to be doing Jon Pertwee’s era in order, and Sylvester McCoy’s not in order, and Peter Davidson again, in order.  In terms of the Target original books.  The Missing Adventures and BBC Past Doctor series I am just reading whatever grabs me as they are all standalones.  The New Adventures and BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures I am reading in order as they are the further adventures of Sylvester and Paul McGann respectively.  Those last 2 I am finding most interesting, as they are Doctors existing mostly in fiction; so I am intrigued to see where the writers/fans take them.  Oh, and there’s a stray Big Finish Audio book in there too…


  1. Dr Who: The Curse of Fenric, by Ian Briggs (Target)
    (Original tie-in. This had so much more in it, here and there, than the actual story, and made clear several things that weren’t, because Fluffhead kept burbling through the plot when I first watched it.  I liked the addition of the Bram Stoker letter, the El Dok’Tar story (explaining the chess thing that makes no sense otherwise), and the epilogue set in the past.  For something written rather ordinarily, for the most part, this had shining little gems of lovely phrases here and there.  Not flowery at all, just very lucid and emotional.  ‘She wanted to taste his taste’, a thought of Ace’s while looking momentarily at Sorin.  There was a little more to it, but I forget.  But some lovely bald images of an emotive kind.  And men think they are all about sci-fi and guns and military things.  Ha.  They are as warm as we are; just as we are as hard as they can be.  The differences are of degree in each person, that’s all; and not by gender – by temperament.  This was an interesting read.  I’m a bit in love with Sylvester McCoy’s doctor; and I love Ace, she bounds with so much different energy, she’s all possibility.)
  2. Dr Who and the Auton Invasion, by Terrance Dicks (Target)
    (Loved this.  Crisp clean style, and Jon Pertwee’s confidence and easy manner replicated perfectly.  I had a real sense of Lethbridge-Stewart too.  The auton attack at the end is fleshed out; I felt rather tense and worried by its effectiveness.  The character’s thoughts were nuanced.  Very good indeed.)
  3.  Dr Who and the Cave Monsters (Silurians), by Malcolm Hulke (Target)
    (For some reason this was a real slog.  I felt like I didn’t enjoy it as much as I could have, though it was a fascinating idea.)
  4. Dr Who: The Sirens of Time (Big Finish Audio Book), by Nicholas Briggs
    (This started badly – stupid accents, hints of Nazi’s, an old hag, and Sylvester sounding confused and vague and not like himself.  But it picked up with Peter Davison’s segment set in WW2, and then Colin Baker really did sound like himself.  This was the first time I have listened to an audio book for ages: I didn’t picture everything as I thought I would; and I didn’t concentrate alone as I thought I would.  I listed books for sale on Amazon whilst listening.  I feel this is a rather poor start to the series, but I can see how the medium will lend itself to Doctor stories – things with place atmosphere should work a lot better – as should single Doctor stories work a lot better; and we need assistants, to make it ensemble based.  I am happy to keep going and try the next.)
  5.  Dr Who: Castrovalva, by Christopher H. Bidmead (Target)
    (Lovely book.  Where I sort of learnt about recursion.  Enjoyed Nyssa and Tegan in the reading far more than I ever did in person.  Enjoyed the Doctor, and indeed, all the characters much better [the Master being as silly as usual].  10/10 – for such a peaceful read, a lovely way of expressing himself, this writer.)
  6.  Dr Who: Ambassadors of Death, by Terrance Dicks (Target)
    (Reads better than it watched.  Jon Pertwee’s doctor reads very nicely.  I felt like I learned a tiny smidge about isotopes.  Its strange – I definitely had something more to say about this one, but its gone right out of my head.)
  7. Dr Who: Pale Blue, by Mark Morris (BBC Past Doctors Series)
    (‘We are Xaranti.’  Enormously enjoyable.  It was basically just like reading a horror, when I was adolescent again.  The touches of despair, depression and vividly described gore and terror, as well as the quick character sketches that are nonetheless spot on.  It was so odd – as I wasn’t expecting a horror.  But it was a horror with a ‘how dunnit and how to solve it’ element.  Provided by the Doctor.  Who was very well written, all his quirks and tics were there, recognisable.  Tegan was as brave and bolshie as usual, and Turlough characterised interestingly, as a total coward – yet I would have done everything he did, and I don’t think *I* am a TOTAL coward!  The horrible bull spiders and their huge black eyes and quills were very vivid indeed, as was the 70s seaside background.  It was interesting that the whole infection turned out to be a thought virus, so was easily disposed of by psychological trickery by the Doctor – tap water as a cure – when the apocalyptic proportions of the problem were starting to worry even me.  This was a very odd, and very well done book.  It felt like Dr Who, but at the same time it didn’t – so long, and involved, and adult in themes and imagery.  Confusing in that sense.  But I loved it.  Great also, to see Benton, Yates and the Brigadier.)
  8.  Doctor Who: The Eight Doctors, by Terrance Dicks (BBC 8th Doctor Series)
    (Very good.  Enjoyed the clever idea of giving the eighth doctor padding and a timeline to enrich his character, by having him meet each of his predecessors.  The Tom Baker interlude was particularly good, with Romana II – I enjoyed it more than watching the actual adventure it was associated with!  Each doctor was visited while in the middle or at the end of a famous adventure associated with him, and helped a bit by the new doctor who was regaining lost memories – courtesy the Master – as he went.  It was a good device.  My only problem was that by the end the 8th Doctor seemed like a super-being of beauty, wisdom, fighting skill and one liners.  I wasn’t quite sure of his personality – I wasn’t visualizing him.  I think I need to watch that execrable film again, to get a sense of him, for visualizing – as that is the joy of reading these books, the fact that you can SEE the doctors, each of their vibrant and different yet similar personalities interacting so stylishly and cleverly and rightly, with situations…if I can’t see and feel him, there will be a problem with this series.  But we’ll see.  Happy to go on.)
  9. Dr Who: Timewyrm: Genesys, by John Peel
    (Out of all the Dr Who’s I have read so far that are modern and non canon, this has been the weakest.  A very dodgy idea indeed, starting a series with a 4 book set, and making the first one set in a historical time period that’s…not the most readily fascinating in terms of characters.  And a very bad baddie [which means I was bored with her very quickly indeed].  Ace was characterised ok, but said things I don’t think she would have said [or known].  Sylvester was accurately done I felt.  It dragged all over the place and I ended up skimming toward the rear of the book.  I am only reading on because Terrance Dicks is next.)
  10.   Dr Who: Inferno, by Terrance Dicks (Target original)
    (Read much better than it watched.  It had a strange sad, claustrophobic feel, but all by implication, since it was written in a very to the point, upbeat Terrance Dicks-y way…a clever feat.  Specially when one whole world vanished at the end, yet I wasn’t left feeling sad at the waste and the sacrifice, etc etc.  Sutton, Petra and the Brigadier in his scarred and eye-patched incarnation came across particularly strongly.)
  11. Dr Who: Vampire Science, by Kate Orman and Jonathan Blum (BBC 8th Doctor Series)
    (2nd in the series.  Harked back a lot, to the TV movie.  Caroline felt like a reconstituted Grace, in many ways.  Whilst there was a lot here I liked: the characterisation of the Doctor was nicely done, Sam being a bit less cocky and getting stuffing knocked out of her a bit, also nicely done, some scenes, especially the Doctor and the kittens in his pockets and his enthusiasm, his thinking…there was also quite a bit here I didn’t like: the incredible Americanisation of the whole thing, as if the series, this very English series, was moving wholesale over to the States, that’s how it felt.  The characterisation of the vampires – Abner and Slake in particular, very tired, very done and been there in Buffy, Angel and loads of other American shows and books.  I appreciate this was in an effort to update them and place them within our culture of the early 2000’s and mock it…but still, been there, done that: ‘bored now’, as Vampire Willow would say.  It’s odd, I enjoyed this book and looked forward to reading it – but equally:  I sold it in a heartbeat when I was finished.)
  12. Dr Who: Timewyrm Exodus, by Terrance Dicks (New Adventures)
    (This was way stronger than the first volume in the series.  Terrance Dicks got hold of a stupid villainess and effectively shut her up and stuffed her in the head of a real villain [lets have a ponder on the word villain], and then added War Lords to the plot, while zipping in and around and before and after WW2.  The Festival of Britain, alternate ‘what if’ timelines, and allsorts of characters were confidently covered: Goering, Himmler, the Gestapo, the SS, Martin Bormann, Hitler himself etc etc.  The idea of a black magic coven around Hitler.  The best thing about this novel was the pitch perfect rendition of Sylvester McCoy and Ace.  Not a foot wrong…(except her fainting, twice; and Sylvester carrying her off over his shoulder at one point, which felt impossible given his size, though oddly I believed the bit where he hauled her into the Tardis just from holding her hand when she was hanging in air).  Again, I’m selling it.  Through the first half of the novel, I thought I wouldn’t, as it was so perfectly done, but by the end I was a bit fed up of Nazi Germany, and I don’t think I will re-read it, so I’ll send it out into the Dr Who universe, and see who else catches hold of it. [Timeferret, probably, hopefully –he’s my best customer on ebay for Dr Who books…])

And that’s it for Part 1.  I think Fluffhead will wake soon, so hopefully Part 2 tomorrow, or later this week.  See you soon, bookish Who fans, who are still reading when everyone else sloped off to the pub or something!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

The last of last year

Its funny, now its gone, I want it to be completely as if it never was.

I found 2012 was a year that started full of promise, went quickly downhill, and then became very very strenuous.  It ended very badly - with upsets for both Stanley (at work) and my mother (a very bad car crash).  Little Fluffhead spent fully a quarter of the year being solidly unwell - first a patch in February-April, then October through to late December.  I don't think of him as sickly, AT ALL - he bounds with energy, curiosity and general sturdiness (he bounces back quickly from all his many bumps and falls from ricocheting around the place at speed).  Yet he took ill with one virus after another for those periods last year.  In some cases he took us with him; in some cases it was our giving them to him.  But either way, the small Fluffhead was a poorly bean for more of the year than was comfortable for anyone.

For those of you who want to know, mum was coming down to see me for Xmas.  This was partially to get me out of going to the in-laws for Xmas.  I find Xmas - increasingly - a horrendously stressful time.  Add to that travelling, being in a place not your own for a few vaguely defined days without end, and being forced to be with people for 24 hours a day and SMILE ALOT, and I was determined to stay put.  Fluffhead was still unwell, this I stressed.  I also stressed that I had discovered Saint Mum was going to be alone for Xmas.  This was quite true - due to a scheduling mistake I had thought she was off to my exhub's for the duration.  Not so.  I asked her to come here.  So I feel like what happened next was my fault, however incorrect that may be.

She was driving in the deep wet and deep dark (2 conditions under which she hates to drive), and got as far as Sevenoaks before she had a sudden brake problem.  This car, I emphasize, she had had for less than 2 weeks.  She had just part exhanged her last one as now too big for requirements; too expensive to insure etc.  She had taken out a bank loan she could ill afford without payment protection (because they won't give it the over 70's - she's 71) to cover the rest of the cash needed.  But the brakes failed, or water got in the pads (this is likely, I am informed by drivers - I'm not one).  She ended up sailing into oncoming traffic going in the opposite direction, trying to steer out of a skid, and hit another car headlong.

Back at home, I was experiencing a cautious feeling of relaxing into Christmas.  I was in the kitchen - just like you left me, after my last post - trying to sort out the dry stores in the kitchen cabinets.  I actually put on Christmas carols on the CD player.  I had been having a feeling of doom and wrongness about Christmas.  But I had been trying to ignore this as my own delectable brand of paranoia and anxiety; the inability to let myself think anything good will happen.  Especially as so many bad things had happened that year.  I was cleaning, washing up, listening to 'Good King Wenceslas...' when Stanley popped his head around the door to tell me a private number kept ringing my phone.

I have never been able to get my phone off the factory settings of only ringing twice before going to voicemail.  So I never would have got to the phone, it being in another room.  Anyway, it rang again as he gave it to me.  And I had that call people dread.  'This is the police.  The Kent Police.  I'm calling as your mother has asked me to.  Now, don't worry, theres nothing to worry about...' - before telling me the car was a right off, my mother couldn't breathe properly and had chest pains, hence him calling, not her.

I descended into panicky tears before the call had even ended, just thinking of the car (I knew that she would be thinking the same thing once her mind came back to her).  People have said to me that I am odd:  I am spending alot of time worrying about her car, when she was lucky to be alive.  (She told me a few days later, that the car smoked and she had to be pulled out from the airbag squash by passers by; it was almost filmic.)  These people think I am strange to worry for her car, her finances.  I should just be happy she is alive.

Put it this way.  Of course I am happy she is alive.  If she were dead, I would have lost one of my bestest friends - one of my most annoying, dearly loved, kind friends.  But she is NOT dead.  I immediately moved on from that, and realized, that like Fry earlier this year, the loss of the car will severely affect her life, her resources, her employment (she needs the money, so she still works).  I'm not going into it all - the conversations have already been had.  But the impact on her life would be enough that I worried and felt for her.  And that was where my mind straightaway went.

But speaking of feeling...she was in very bad pain, sitting wanly on my sofa for the next few days, unable to lie down.  (Christmas was a damb squib, and I am not going to say it was marvellous to anyone that asks: it wasn't, it was dreadful, the worst I ever remember, worse than when dad died, because I was watching someone I love SUFFER and couldn't help them, really.  My Aunt Pat asked me after Christmas if my Xmas went well - she had been the one who brought mum back from the hospital she eventually got taken to, Farnborough, so I was amazed at the question.  She herself survived a brain tumour this year, so obviously SHE will have a wonderful Christmas - and she seems more healthy than ever; and is a naturally wondrous and cheerful person.  But the LOOK she gave me when I said Christmas had been utter shite.  I found it quite funny.)

So it turns out the reason for this excess pain was that Farnborough Hospital did not notice mum had a badly broken collarbone.  I will be having words with them.  She now has a sling, is in less pain (though bloody hell; it MUST be awful, nonetheless?), and sleeps a bit.  Apparently in 6 weeks she should be healed.  She will always have an uneven lumpy collarbone on that side now, but she doesn't care (she has always hated her collarbone for some reason and always dresses to cover it - so no change there, then).

I tell this story so I won't tell it again.  I love mum SO much, and it was all beyond stressful.  Obviously, for her, more than anyone else!  But I hope she will mend, she will heal, and be her vigorous and amazingly fit self again soon.

One good thing: she has resigned her HORRIBLE job working for a mental health part of the NHS as a result of this.  A more toxic working environment is only suffered by Stanley - and we hope to be able to rescue him this year.  By less drastic means than bone breakage and wreckage, obviously.

So that is that.  Bye bye 2012 - I hated you increasingly, and you will never come again, to hurt people I love and upset me.

Long live 2013 - which doesn't sound best lucky, does it?!  But an improvement would be a good thing :-)
I'll post up all those Dr Who book reviews soon.  Get 2013 properly going - my posts will be small for some while - I have no good Saint Mum to babysit anymore; and Fluffhead does not begin nursery till the last quarter of this year.  Who knows how much you may or may not see of me.  But lets hope its a good seeing of me, however often or not it turns out to be.