Category: Uncategorized

What’s in a name?

You may have noticed that my username is ‘celestialteapot’ for both Twitter & my WordPress admin. Well…

When I first joined WordPress I signed up with ‘celestialteapot’ as my username. My original intention had been to blog about the science fiction books & films I read/watched, so I made my blog URL ‘starshipteapot’. After a short time I realised that I didn’t just want to write about sci-fi as I don’t really watch or read that much of these days so this became my general usage blog.

There was a brief time when I hosted the blog myself but it became an unjustifiable expense so it went back to being hosted by WordPress.

While all this was going on I’d completely forgotten I actually created the URL http://celestialteapot.wordpress.com

The last update on that URL was 2009.

I like to keep things together, all in one place and it makes little sense to be sitting on such a great URL.

So…this is my last post here on starshipteapot.wordpress.com – I’ve migrated the content over to celestialteapot.wordpress.com. If you happen to be a subscriber or have this bookmarked, might want to update that πŸ˜‰

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Well, it’s been some time

Not so long ago I intended to do regular things with this blog, like review the books I’d read and that sort of thing. At some point I will post the stories I wrote as part of my creative writing module as…well, why not? I posted my spooky story awhile back and I’ve been thinking about going back to it as while writing I was restricted by the word-count and based on my tutors feedback and other comments there was a lot more I could have done with it.

The good news is that after several months of casual & cover work, I’m now back into full time work as I start on a new show on Friday. I my OU module starts very shortly so I’m doing my best to get as much as the reading done. Struggling quite spectacularly with ‘Dombey & Son’, I am not a Dickens fan (although I do think the opening of ‘A Christmas Carol’ is one of the best openings to a story).

Anyway this is a bit of a non-entry, just a sort of “still alive” as I try to figure out what I want to do with this blog.

Stuck with Britain’s Worst Train Company

I am an unfortunate customer of Southeastern trains. I say ‘customer’ but I don’t actually have a choice in my rail service provider so I suppose I am a subject of Southeastern trains.

This year Southeastern have been crowned Britain’s Worst Train Company with only a 40% customer satisfaction rate. Southeastern hit back and said we’re only unhappy because we’re on the way to work. I’m usually unhappy I have to go to work using Southeastern trains, it’s only Wednesday and so far my train to work has been late every single day! It’s a surprise when things are actually running on time.

The biggest problem Southeastern trains have is their lack of communication. You don’t know if the train is delayed because the train is delayed or if all trains are delayed because of a bigger problem. Arriving at the platform to see ‘delayed’ on a much earlier train makes your heart sink as you now have to play the guessing game – is it just that one or is everything screwed? Should I start seeking an alternative route or is the next train going to be here? Do I risk waiting to see about the next train? If the next train does arrive do I still have enough time to get to where I need to be?

75% of Southeastern customers don’t bother to complain and of the 11% who do complain 55% of them are unhappy with how it was handled. I complained once about a journey which caused me to be very late for work (I only just made the start of the show) in response Southeastern gave me a voucher offering me Β£2 off a ticket for a future journey. At the time I was paying Southeastern Β£55 per week and a travelcard costs Β£7. I complained about this and only got a sorry you are unhappy letter.

This is supposed to be an age of communication, it’s even easier for companies to interact with their customer base and respond to concerns…unfortunately Southeastern are still trying to grasp smoke signals. Β 

In response to comments on my previous post

I wanted to respond with a blog post rather than individually because there are points I want to address.

Supernatural has been mentioned to me a lot and I don’t watch Supernatural, so can’t comment on what’s going on there re: queerbaiting, the second is I did a quick straw pole of the people I work with (4, two straight girls, a gay man and a straight man) and they saw queerbaiting as something that happens when straight men go out looking for gays to bash, or when a young attractive straight ‘twink’ flirts with gay men for attention. The second is closer to what I believe people are calling ‘queerbaiting’.

Sherlock is not and never has been marketed as a gay show. Shows which have and do use homosexuality to promote or improve their audience ratings should be rightly criticised, but Sherlock is not one of these shows. Sherlock and John were never going to be a gay couple, the writers have acknowledged a long held wink-wink-nudge-nudge belief by many people, not just Holmes fans, that they were a couple and they’ve done it in a way that does not feel homophobic or insulting (or at least, to me it doesn’t.)

People project their own interpretation on to the shows they watch and the books they read, Sherlock Holmes being a perfect example of this. On my bookcase I have many books analysing the canon, including one which argues that Sherlock Holmes was actually a woman (Mrs Holmes of Baker Street by Alan C. Bradley, which I’ve talked about here). People have read the character of Sherlock as asexual, as gay, as aromatic and many other things my spell check keeps underlining in red. In this instance, I see Sherlock as straight and his relationship with John echoes the relationship between Denny & Alan from Boston Legal – they are two very close men and Sherlock is in a way a celebration of male friendship. A comparable relationship would be the one between Meredith Grey and Christina Yang in Grey’s Anatomy.

I don’t seek out shows with gay content and having a gay character is not a good reason to watch a show (for me). I’m not defined by my sexuality and I don’t want to be, I don’t want people telling me to watch something because it has a lesbian in it, I want them to tell me to watch something because it’s good or entertaining. This preoccupation with finding queerness in shows concerns me as it ends up ignoring or missing the existence of many wonderful shows which are about gay people or feature gay characters, two recent examples being ‘Last Tango in Halifax‘ (written by Sally Wainwright) and the Swedish series ‘Don’t Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves‘.

Finally, I addressed my thoughts on Irene Adler in a previous post.

London Film Festival

It’s London Film Festival time! This year I have the money to attend, but not quite with as many films as I usually try to get in. As always, I went for the postal option as past experience as shown me that the BFI website crashes almost instantly the day priority booking opens and people get quite irate if they can’t get their film picks – as with every postal booking I don’t actually know if I’ve been successful with any of my bookings. Fingers crossed.

I went for:

Mystery Road
Gravity (out on the 9th November so not long to wait if I don’t get it)
The Armstrong Lie (quite keen to see this documentary)
Saving Mr Banks (closing night gala, not holding my breath but you never know!)
Kill Your Darlings (I do know I’ve got this one as I booked it online about an hour ago).

Will report back.

Royal Fail

I’ve been having a few issues with Royal Mail recently.

It started with getting “you were out” cards when I was actually in. I complained to Royal Mail as it was getting ridiculous that every Tuesday instead of my lovely Graze box I was getting a little red card. Eventually I installed a new doorbell, hoping that they might actually use that instead of ignoring the door knocker and just gently tapping on my reinforced steel door.

I’m looking at sorting out a portfolio of some of my photos so I ordered some prints from Snapfish (who I recommend, BTW). The package arrived and spot the deliberate error…

Royal Fail