New Hits Friday…uh, Saturday: 28th December 2018

No proper new hits in the chart this week, because most of the ‘new entries’ are actually re-entries of Christmas songs from previous years! A couple of them are actually marking their very first time in the Top 40, though, so let’s have a look.

Darlene Love – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

This was first released in 1963, but never charted in the UK until Christmas 2016, when it reached #74. It charted again at #77 the following Christmas, but it was only this week that it finally hit the UK Top 40 at #22!

There’s no video for this.

Katy Perry – Cosy Little Christmas

This is a brand new Christmas track for 2018, so I expect it will become a feature of the music channels around Christmas time in future years. It’s kind of cheesy and I expect it will take me a few years to warm to this one.

There’s no video yet.

The Jackson Five – Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town

Originally released in 1970, but this is the first time it’s been in the Top 40!

There’s no video for this one either.

Most of the Radio 1 chart programme from yesterday was taken up with the chart of the year, so I’ll make a few observations about that once the final official 2018 chart has been confirmed by the Official Charts Company on New Year’s Day!

It’s got to that ‘constant fullness’ point

Geth and I were attending Mum and Dad’s annual Christmas music session today, so there was a lot of nice traditional music drifting through the house, and a lot of nice food to eat. After yesterday’s scales result, though, I was careful not to have too much of it!

Looking forward to a nice quiet day tomorrow, not to mention hopefully starting to feel less bloated!

OOTD 28th December 2018
OOTD: still in my comfy winter jumpers. Jumper Faber (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Darlene Love – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
Arctic Monkeys – I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor
Dua Lipa – New Rules

And a couple of bonus tracks that Geth was humming earlier:

Traditional – When Johnny Comes Marching Home
Dusty Springfield – I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself

TV Review: Doctor Who: The Witchfinders

I was a bit dubious about this one, ’cause I thought it looked like a bit of a grim, depressing historical, but it was actually really enjoyable.

The Doctor and friends arrive in early 17th century Lancashire to find witch trials happening on the orders of a suspicious landowner called Becka, the widow of the previous landlord.  Things get worse when King James shows up on his own crusade against witchcraft and has no time for the female Doctor, meaning she ends up getting tried as a witch.  The strange happenings turn out to be the work of some aliens (the Morax) imprisoned under Pendle Hill, who were released when Becka tried to chop down a tree that was blocking her view (it was actually a lock).  The Doctor eventually traps them again and releases the bodies they were possessing.

There’s a lot of interesting stuff going on here.  The Doctor starts off by stating her very firm rule not to interfere with history (a nice callback to The Aztecs!) then immediately breaks it by trying to rescue an accused witch.  It’s also fascinating how the writing manages to elicit some sympathy for Becka, rather than just making her a straightforwardly evil villain.  King James is AWFUL, but wonderful to watch!  He’s played brilliantly by Alan Cumming – conniving and camp with a crush on Ryan.

This is the first time we’ve seen the Doctor actually suffering from not being taken seriously in female form, despite the fact that this series has already visited Earth’s past a couple of times.  It’s welcome that it’s finally been addressed, but it’s a bit overdue.

I love that they set the episode on Pendle Hill, the home of English witchcraft!  I’ll remember the aliens buried under the ground next time I’m running up the hill during Pendle parkrun.

Graham has all the best lines, as usual (‘Ezekiel.’  ‘Tarantino.’), but it’s yet another episode that’s very light on the companion characterisation for Yasmin and Ryan.  Somehow, I don’t think that’s suddenly going to change at this point in the series.

Back to the present day next time!

New rules

I was up early this morning for a nice brisk walk to Slimming World, where I found out I’d put on an obscene amount of weight that I don’t want to talk about. Mum reckons it might partly be the scales at the group I go to during Christmas, though, ’cause the same thing happened last year.

Anyway, it spurred me on to cook an actual healthy SW-friendly meal tonight, so Geth and I had a delicious pasta dish. There are some new rules for the Slimming World plan that have come into force this week (everyone is being given an updated book), and the main change is that you can now have two Healthy Extra A choices. I’m slightly dubious about this (I don’t drink coffee every day or have cereal that often, so on non-coffee days I’m likely just to end up doubling my cheese portion, and that can’t be right…can it?), but I’m going to give it a go over the next few weeks and see how it works out.

The rest of the day has been nice and relaxed with lots of background music from Geth’s videogames!

OOTD 27th December 2018
OOTD: slightly inept weigh-in outfit (I’d run out of clean leggings, and I’m sure the jeans didn’t help my scales result – this is what happens at Christmas when I can’t remember what day of the week it is). Jacket unknown brand (estimated vintage 1990s, bought at vintage shop 2003), jeans Vivid (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas?
Duran Duran – Hungry Like The Wolf
Captain Sensible – Happy Talk

Phone Box Thursday: Upper Street, London

It’s our last phone box post of 2018, and the last in the series of phone boxes from Islington for now!

Red phone boxes
Red phone boxes, Upper Street, London, 18th November 2017.

(Coordinates 51°53’60.4″N, 0°10’36.5″W.)

You can see from the background that these ones are part of a ‘red phone box/red postbox’ double feature, which is always nice.

We’ll move somewhere else for our first phone box of 2019!

TV Review: Doctor Who: Kerblam!

I’m finally catching up with my reviews of the most recent Doctor Who series in preparation for the New Year’s Day episode!

The Doctor and friends go undercover at the distribution centre for the Kerblam! company, which is a brilliant takeoff of Amazon.  They discover that the employees are disappearing, and at first it appears to be the work of the creepy company robots that are everywhere, but it turns out to be a plot for an attempted terrorist attack to protest against robots taking over human jobs by a disgruntled employee who has faked his way into the workforce.

There’s a lot of really cute touches in this episode:

  • The Doctor tells her companions not to be ‘robophobic’ when they point out that the robots are creepy.
  • The last time Ryan had an employee leg tag was when he used to work at ‘Sportstack’, which is a nice sly dig at Sports Direct.
  • Humans are only employed at all because the company has to meet a 10% quota of ‘organic’ workers!
  • It’s explained that humans were too busy staring at their phones to notice the robots gradually taking over their jobs.
  • The deadly gas that’s going to kill everyone is contained in the bubble wrap within the Kerblam! packages…’cause nobody can resist popping bubble wrap, right?

It’s another episode that’s fairly light on characterisation.  Graham and Yasmin get some nice moments where they bond with the human employees at Kerblam!, but on the whole, there’s not many opportunities for the companions to shine here – it’s the Doctor’s episode, really.

A historical episode next time!

Makes a change from Christmas music

I’ve had a nice quiet Boxing Day.  Geth has been playing Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and so I’ve had that as background music while getting on with my writing and reading today.  Looking forward to another day of the same tomorrow!

OOTD 26th December 2018
OOTD: back in the comfy jumpers for Boxing Day. Glasses Emporio Armani (2017), jumper Jac (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Levellers – Elation
Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus – Nothing Breaks Like A Heart

2018 Ciders #69: Westons Vintage Cider

Double cider posts today so I can get them all finished by the end of the year!

I had this cider in Colne the other weekend when we were visiting for Geth’s mum’s birthday.  My sister-in-law’s father-in-law, Michael, gave me and Geth some beer and cider as a Christmas present, and I made sure to drink all the cider while I was there so that I wouldn’t have to carry it back home.

Westons Vintage Cider
Westons Vintage Cider.

Westons Vintage Cider is 8.2% vol.  That’s pretty potent, and so my brain was fuzzy after just half a bottle.  It had a lovely ‘real cider’ taste though.