Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dinner With The Folks

I get back from Glasgow and we go out for a meal at my parents' favourite Turkish restaurant. We go there about once a year and it's a treat my parents talk about every time they discuss a London visit. "Ooh, the bread!" my mother will often gasp fondly. They used to dream about going back to Turkey. Now they're so old they simply dream about a Turkish restaurant in Mornington Crescent.

Well, they're never going back there again.

The nice thing, the lovely thing, about them being so old is that, after a lifetime of not making a fuss, they've finally started complaining. We were halfway through our starters when waiters descending, snatching their plates away mid forkful. Dad and I looked stunned. My mum turned around, bless her, and yelled, "Bring that back and then just piss off."

She will clearly be a terror in the care home.

The manager arrives a few minutes later and offers by way of justification, "But so many of our customers are in a hurry to get to Koko...."

To which I yell at him, "My parents are over 70, do you really think they're going clubbing?"

He shrugs. On the walk home my mother says "I have never been clubbing. Do you think I should enjoy it?"

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Parents in the City

My parents are staying in my London flat while I'm away. They've kind of moved house but are camping in their motor home before they can move into their new place (apparently they will live somewhere near a shop, which will be novel for all concerned).

Besides doing what my parents normally do when they're in residence - scouring the place from top to bottom and rearranging things which shouldn't be touched, they're having a bit of local trouble. The last week or so we've had a new, rather nasty group of drugs dealers who hang around beneath the window. I've told my parents to call the police if there are any problems as they're just tiresome.

Last night the drugs dealers beat up a client outside. My parents did not call the police as they did not want to cause a fuss. They are shaken by it as "his screams just went on and on till your Dad turned off his hearing aid". I am quite cross with them.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Bad Taste Boyfriend

My thoughts turned to Tom Daley, as they do frequently (His growing up is the gay version of Emma Watson Syndrome).

AFFECTION UNIT: *tuts* You know his Dad's just died.

ME: Oh :(

AFFECTION UNIT: Still, this means he'll be looking for a father figure....

Thursday, June 02, 2011

When Bad Things Happen To Good Daleks

Many years ago, when I looked after the Doctor Who website for the BBC, we had a Dalek. First of all, it was a battered original prop that the lovely BBC Visual Effects man Mike Tucker found for us, but then one day a department called BBC Heritage asked to borrow it for an exhibition and then refused to give it back. Eventually, they offered to return it if we paid for 18 months of storage fees. We said no. They probably melted it down.

In 2005, we moved offices and it was decided it would be nice if we had another Dalek. Luckily, Mike had just finished building a Dalek for the new series and had various bits of the original props that had been used left around:

So, we paid for him to assemble them into a beautiful original Dalek. It turned up and was very much adored. Our department was supposed to provide a perspex case for it. Or a plinth... or... well, discussions rumbled on and a plinth never arrived.

Then I moved to Wales and would occasionally visit the Dalek. One morning the finance department were trying to fit their fattest member into the Dalek (To chants of "You can do it Mehmet!") Sadly he couldn't, and the Dalek never quite recovered. I mentioned a plinth again. Partly out of concern for poor Zeg and partly because it's quite funny saying "Dalek Plinth". Try it.

I felt sorry for the poor thing. It was, after all, a real Dalek prop. And lovely. But now looked a bit sad.

I left the BBC, and the department itself vanished soon after, but the Dalek remained. In a corner of a kitchen. Sadly. Probably the only original prop still in the BBC's hands.

And, er, how is it being cared for? There are, naturally, lovely corners of the internet devoted to guessing the fate of the BBC's Dalek props. They are assembled using care and concern and detective work.

I just used Facebook: