Monday, June 18, 2007

Epilogues and Interludes

So, long time no blog. There is a reason why. I've been ill.

I've left Leicester Uni now and am now a researcher at DMU. It's a bit of a culture shock (though see below again). The office I share is akin to the one in Leicester - out of the way, away from the academics and a little cluttered. Everyone seems really cool. It is pretty convenient if I need to buy something in town in a rush..

Anyroads, back in late May I had a nice series of leaving events. I spent my last week or so in the Loaded Dog shooting pool with the guys or in the Redfearn when not packing or wrapping things up nicely. The staff at Leicester Uni signed a card and got me a bike as a leaving present - which will be handy for commuting between sites. I shall have a picture of them all assembling it here shortly.

The saddle (still) needs adjusting as no sooner did I triumphantly cycle away from the department than it tried to tilt to a rather odd and uncomfortable wedgee-inducing angle in the middle of Victoria Park. No Stuarts were permenantly harmed or rendered infertile in the making of this anecdote.

As to my arrival at DMU (a day early, I was being paid by Leicester Uni and yet attending this day as it was the last one the expert could attend) I had a fairly intense training session on the code of the package I will be developing, going from 9am-6pm and followed by a curry and drinking, meaning it was 9:30pm by the time I got home.

Unfortunately since then my stomach and various other things have decided to throw a nervous reaction to my change in working environment. I was my usual Jedi-like cool but began to notice that my first week of work was spent half-asleep at best (I even forgot my contract on the first day after having left it out the night before to slip into my bed), going to bed at 11pm and waking up around 5am exhausted. My second week saw me have to take a day off work to try and finally shake this off. I looked so bad the doc gave me sleeping pills, which I'm sure are not actually helping as rather than feeling tired from not sleeping I felt drowsy. For example I had to leave the pub yesterday at 6pm as I was falling asleep.

Not fun. Still haven't really had a decent 8 hours kip since the end of May, but I am starting to feel better.

Anyroads, while all this was going on the nice chaps at Leicester Uni took me for a leaving meal at El Apperativo (which alas Claudia is not as good as La Tosca IMHO). I gleaned several pieces of information on things in Charles Wilson 303 post-Stu.

There's a possibility I will hopefully still be occasionally poking around Leicester Uni next year teaching Information Management (i.e. Word and Excel) part-time.

So other than sucky health problems, a total lack of sleep and generally being a bit irritable things are going well.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Dr. Stu returns from the void to talk about Dr. Who

Expect a deluge of bloggage shortly.

For now I'd like to say Human Nature was without a doubt the best Tennant-story yet for me. From the sketchings of all 10 incarnations of the doctor, the cricket ball, the epic and yet non-violent ways of dealing with the evil-doers and the fact for once the historical period was not white-washed BBC PC-land really worked for me. Finally someone was rather rottenly racist to Martha who gave as good as she got (albeit when said pompous schoolboy had exited scene-left).

I still have a hard time envisioning the original 7th Doctor novel, with Sylvester McCoy playing tongue-hockey to the Jessica Hynes character. McCoy's doctor was not a lady's doctor thankfully. Nonetheless this romance worked far more than the one in the Girl in the Fireplace. Mind you in my book a courtesan is a courtesan, not some glamorous role model.

Overall this season has been an improvement on the last. It's more science-fiction than soap this year. Martha's family (especially her mother) seem more integral to the plot than Jackie, pizza, chips and her quest to grab a bloke ever were. And they're far less irritating - the mother's fear and loathing of the Doctor are pretty understandable. Doubtless they're going to pull out the footage of the Doctor killing a pretty similar looking girl to Martha at some point - according to Martha's myspace account her mother was pretty upset when the cousin died in Doomsday.

This season the Doctor has seemed more vulnerable and the various challenges have taken him to the edge. In short, he's scared, which is good. In Season 2 he and Rose swanned about various places, wise-cracking while people were savaged by werewolves and like, seemingly unphased by anything (except possibly in the Impossible Planet but that contained the cringe-worthy bit at the start where they burst out laughing at the possibility of immediately fleeing in the Tardis) and always getting off scott-free. Let's be honest, Doomsday wasn't really a suitable payback for their cockiness.