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The Titfield Thunderbolt Hue and Cry Whisky Galore The Man in The White Suit Previous Previous Next Next
Christmas - The Titfield Thunderbolt
Heisenberg might have stayed here
qatsi
qatsi
Christmas
There were still no buses to Burghfield on the 23rd December, so we set out to Mortimer on foot. According to Google Maps, we took a 3.7 mile route that was expected to last about 1 hour 10 minutes. In the event I reckon it was closer to an hour and a half, not bad given the conditions, and the fact that Mrs Q kept stopping to take photos (no doubt very nice but my mind was on catching the train so that I would make my connection in London). First Great Western 1, Reading Buses 0. In fact the trains were running quite smoothly all the way up north; when I arrived there was about six inches of snow and the platform hadn't been gritted, just to make it feel like home.

Christmas itself was pretty much like any other year. Having almost cleared a pile of unread books from the shelves over the year, that has been well and truly replenished (in fact this includes one book that was a birthday present that got sent to my parents and then we never got round to meeting up). The television was generally excruciating, though Christmas Day itself wasn't too bad. I didn't have particularly high expectations for Doctor Who or Poirot and they were fulfilled. In the first case, I just don't like the way RTD gives the Master all these insane powers; if Anthony Ainley was King Rat, then John Simm is King Rat on steroids. And it did seem rather slack and didn't need to take an hour; not a good omen for the one-and-a-quarter hour New Year's Day slot. Bernard Cribbins was, of course, the best thing in the programme. I do hope the picture of him standing in front of a war memorial with his revolver isn't a hint of his destiny. June Whitfield was probably the next best thing in the programme, even though it was really a reprise of Gran in Ab Fab. Timothy Dalton - shall we call him Borusa? - implanted RTD's epic of epics with gravitas that can't be taken seriously; the High Council of the (new) Time Lords looks remarkably like the Senate of the Republic. It's all gone downhill since Alec Guinness left. In the second case, I think my father probably got it right when he said that Christie's stories based on archaeology do seem to be especially esoteric - though uitlander will of course be an expert witness for the psychological flaws of archaeologists. In my opinion, the best thing on television over the break was probably the episode of James May's Toy Stories in which he and Oz Clarke attempted to lay a 16-mile train set in Devon.

After perhaps a day too long, I caught the train back, which was delayed due to frozen points somewhere near Glasgow. I missed my connection in London, but caught another train only a few minutes later which was still in good time for the limited but functioning Bank Holiday bus service (still, an improvement on a year or two ago when there was no Sunday service at all). The snow has almost entirely cleared, though where it was piled up, some still remains.

Now, a few days of not doing anything in particular. I am looking forward to not having to return to work on 2nd January; even if I don't stay up for New Year, there will be fireworks to be endured, so a weekend should be just the thing. So long as there isn't more snow.

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