Daily Archives: Sunday, 28th Aug 2011

No drinking

Superb placement of a legal notice:

Alcohol Free Zone

Alcohol Free Zone

Yes, I know they mean “no drinking on the street”, but having the sign right outside a bar has a certain incongruous charm. I particularly like the detail that there’s a board advertising special offers in the bar propped up against the post…

That’s not very nice

I had a quick look around the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art today, where I saw some work that was at least interesting, and some more that was kind of impressive but not all that interesting, but mostly I saw this sign:

Fire Exit: Staff Only

Fire Exit: Staff Only

While I’m pretty sure it doesn’t mean exactly what it says, I think somebody should work on that…

Weight and Stuff Report – 28 August 2011

Update: I forgot to include the gmap-pedometer map of my walking route, which shows I did over 2.5 miles. There was more than that, but I didn’t try to record the path I took around the shops.

Down again today. I seem to be oscillating a bit at the moment. Still, never mind…

I woke up quite early this morning, and decided that as it was a moderately nice day, and the weather forecast was pretty good, that I’d do something I’ve been meaning to for ages. And so I did. I got myself to Newcastle station in time to catch the 9:45 to Middlesbrough[1], which after some shenanigans involving three trains arriving fixed together, left just a little bit late.

My main reason for going was to get some pictures of the quite marvellous Transporter Bridge, which is celebrating its centenary this year. Well, I don’t think it’s doing much celebration itself, what with being a bridge and all that, but various things are being done to mark the occasion.

I had hoped to ride across the bridge to get the full experience, but it closes on Sundays so mad people can jump off the top of it with elastic ropes tied to their legs. If I’d realised that was going on, I’d have taken a longer lens, but I think I’ve got some reasonable pictures. I took some pictures from the side, then moved around to the bridge entrance, where there seemed to be a large number of fire engines. Yes, the fire brigade were doing a rescue exercise – the bridge pontoon thingy was stopped a short distance from the shore, and two cars were stuck on it, having apparently collided. Using a really nifty hydraulic thingy, firefighters, paramedics and equipment were moved onto the platform, and a rescue was achieved. Fascinating stuff, pictures to follow, etc. The clues that this was an exercise rather than the real thing were numerous:

  1. No actual ambulances standing by, just a control vehicle
  2. Lots of senior fire and police people taking notes
  3. The cars were very old
  4. The “casualties”, quite apart from getting up and walking away after being rescued were wearing what looked suspiciously like uniform shirts.

After that, I wandered around the dock thingy and investigated a very large and quite cool bit of sculpture, a really odd-looking building under construction and a very shiny college. Then I paid a visit to MIMA, where I failed to be impressed much by the art on show, but I did see something of interest. And finally, I had a wander around the shopping area, had a coffee then got the train home.

At least one post full of pictures will follow, but for the moment, here’s a peek at the Transporter Bridge through a bit of derelict wall

Transporter Bridge

Transporter Bridge

[1] Well, it was going all the way to Whitby[2], but that’s a trip for another day.
[2] And I only saw two goth-types getting on. Must be the closed season for Dracula fans…

Doctor Who – Let’s Kill Hitler

OK, now that was serious fun. From here on, I’m really not going to attempt to summarise the stories, because with so much insane stuff going on, even a summary would end up being a mind-bogglingly long thing. What I will do is have my usual mutter about where things are going, how things are developing, and mention some of the best bits.

Like a lot of people, when I saw the title of this episode flash on the screen at the end of A Good Man Goes To War, I hooted. Then spent a fair amount of time wondering just how Steven Moffat would involve Hitler in the Doctor’s search for Melody Pond, the daughter of Amy and Rory.

Being Steven Moffat, he did it quite nicely. Hitler and the supporting Nazis are more of a distraction to the main part of the story, though Rory did get to punch the dictator and utter the magical line

Shut up, Hitler!

The main point of the episode was a quite unexpected reveal of where Melody had been before she became River Song, and how Amy and Rory hadn’t missed out on her growing up after all. It’s the kind of thing that makes me wonder how much of this Steven had worked out years in advance, and how much he, well, makes up at high speed with extreme brilliance. I’m tending towards the Master[1] Plan theory, but there are always doubts…

Other high spots included the revelation that the “State of Temporal Grace” which an earlier Doctor alleged existed in the TARDIS and prevented guns from working[2] was indeed a lie. A clever lie, the Doctor insists, of course.

And then there’s the big point – how Melody Pond, conditioned from birth to kill the Doctor, changes and starts on the road to becoming the River Song the Doctor first met in that library, and how she got that nice blue spoiler-ridden diary she always carries…

And I haven’t even mentioned the transforming justice machine full of time-travelling miniaturised agents and homicidal robots. That was fun.

All in all, a great opener for the second part of the series. Lots more madness, scares and fun to come, and it’s all going to somehow lead back to the lake and that impossible astronaut.

[1] No, not him. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see him again
[2] Disproven on several occasions