The World Has Lost Some Sparkle

There are but a few comedians in the world that always make me erupt into raucous laughter. Rik Mayall provided my with that (guilty - not always PC) pleasure - always pulling the corners of my mouth into a smile.

During my university days there was the Not the Nine O'clock News crew, French and Saunders (during my early working life) and Rik Mayall. Irreverence was allowed. Satire celebrated. Intelligence and wit encouraged.  I was carefree. Happy. At Peace.

There are few bright lights who, by their comedic ingenuity (or by sheer ridiculousness), can bring a smile to my face even in the midst of sorrow. This week one of those lights was extinguished. Rik Mayall provided my generation (and beyond) with a happy - albeit wicked - glint to our eye.

He entertained us in The Young Ones (and Cliff Richard's Living Doll), Blackadder, Bottom,  Drop Dead Fred, and Grim Tales. He featured in many movies and other television shows including Miss Marple, Jesus Christ Superstar (2000) and apparently played Peeves in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (having had the scenes cut).  Now that I would have loved to have seen!

I will remember him - either in pyjamas and dressing gown, striped green suit, a silk Elizabethan gown, or with badge-festooned lapels and baret. I will remember him with a smile on my face, even as the tears fall down my cheek.

Sleep well, Snotface. I will miss your hijinks.

Reluctant Admissions on Social Media

I have often lamented about social media and its apparent effect on declining communication skills, the lack of etiquette and unrealistic expectations of those who follow it slavishly. Studies have shown that too much time on Facebook can be associated with increased depression, (1)(2) -  let alone trying to actually talk to someone who is eagerly texting... sometimes the person sitting right next to them. (seen it firsthand!)

Yet the internet can be an invaluable source of information at our very fingertips (if we don't believe everything at face value, checking our facts as we were taught in high school or university). I often use its convenience to access online libraries (Just today, I found a pdf of 'A Yearbook of Surgery 1883'  and contemporary maps - perfect  information for my novel in progress!) and museums. Just the thing when I can't just nip over to Europe or America to check them out.

I am grumping as I am still stuck at home with bronchitis and laryngitis. I have been forbidden to talk much and instructed to rest.  This is now day 3. The only real faces I have seen is that of my immediate family; I am about to go stir crazy, starved of human interaction... except for the (talk-free) social network on the internet. Today I am glad for technology. I can talk to friends without disregarding my doctor's advice.

Yesterday and today I was supposed to be at a work conference. I am sure they did not want me sitting in the room, my hacking cough drowning out the speaker and spreading untold nasties to all within a few metres of me. I would have had to get a lift my my Dearheart as much of the medications carry the warning: 'May cause drowsiness. Do not operate machinery.' I have been, as I call it, 'not the responsible adult'. Yet another reason not to show my face in the professional arena. It could be most embarressing.

Tomorrow I had planned to don my Donna Noble costume and wonder at the myriad of costumes that showcase some of the amazing imagination and creativity of humans; instead I will have to live vicariously via photos (on said internet social networking) for the next few days. It is unlikely I will be able to attend Sunday as I have now succumbed to the 'Attack of the Sneezes'. My Dearheart will be there both days while I am languishing in a cloud of expectorant with a barrage of medications at my beck and call.

I do hope someone posts some photos.

G'Kar94

Art/Photography Bit: some fan art I did in 1994. (Babylon 5)

B5 2 MV3 98Costume Bit:  Since I can't go to the Ball, as it were - here is a flashback to Fan Cons - 1998 Multiverse 3 Melbourne - our Babylon 5 costumes (made by me)

Writing Bit: rewrite of The Guest Upstairs is completed.

1. http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/facebook-is-not-such-a-good-thing-for-those-with-low-self-esteem.html 2. Gutenberg University Study - https://gupea.ub.gu.se/bitstream/2077/28893/1/gupea_2077_28893_1.pdf

Why I Wore a Red Poppy on Remembrance Day.

Yesterday, I proudly wore my red poppy.  It is the symbol of Remembrance Day,  11th November.  At 11.00 am I observed a minute silence. To remember them. Not a war. Not the fighting, but them. The men and women who stood up to serve, not the politics of their country, but their families, their friends and the people. They gave their lives to protect us.

If I had my way, no one  would be sent to fight other human beings.  If I had my way, the families would not have to deal with the loss of a son or daughter, a husband or wife, a father or mother. Ever.  But I don't have that power.

We cannot deny the fact that it happened (and still happens). We cannot (or should not) rewrite history to please ourselves. We don't have to like it either. We must learn from it. So I remember.

"At the rising of the sun and the going down of the same. We will remember them."

The poppy serves as a focus for remembering. However it should not be for just one day. For one ceremony nor for just one minute's silence. We should remember them every day. We should remember that we are all live in this world. Then maybe we could embrace each other and try to understand our differences.

When I wear my red poppy, it is not to glorify war but is in the hope that one day we will not repeat our past mistakes and work out a way to prevent such tragedies. We need to learn to live together on this planet. It is the only one we have.

I wear my poppy; lest I forget.