Monday, March 31, 2014

At Abbotsford Convent

Below you will find a Doctor Who fan fiction I wrote on the train. It is inspired by one of the creatures in the series but doesn't feature any of the main characters.

Walking through Abbotsford Convent at night is not a scary thing. It has been repurposed and renovated into an outdoor cinema, a restaurant and a bar. People fill the spaces with their laughter and conversation. There is nothing to frighten you in Abbotsford Convent.

              I blink.

              Silence descends, the people are gone. Empty chairs and half-drunk beers are all that occupy the restaurant now. I walk towards the cinema and bar listening intently for the sound of a crowd. I round the corner. Nothing but rows and rows of deck chairs littered with blankets and bags as if everyone has gone to the bathroom at once. An old film begins to plays on the big screen.
              To my left is a corridor. A narrow tunnel through the building to the other side. Framed by the tunnel is a square of grass and a small stone bench haloed by the last light of the day.
              I walk through. When I emerge I raise my hand to block the sudden sunlight. When I drop it there is something else behind the bench. I don’t know how I missed it before, but the most beautiful statue of an angel stands before me, her hands raised to cover her face as though in tears.

              I smile… I blink.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Not a Christmas Post: Thoughts on Apathy

So there are only seven days till Christmas and what have I got for you? A post about how nobody in the world cares about anything ever. If there’s a more seasonally appropriate topic I don’t know what it is.

Lately I’ve been thinking about apathy.

Definition of apathy

  1. Lack of interest or concern, especially regarding matters of general importance or appeal; indifference.

2. Lack of emotion or feeling; impassiveness.
Apathy and Her Ring and Her Razor by Kira Leigh
I won’t pretend to be well read on the subject and I’m certainly not a scholar, therapist or expert. I just like to read and think and theorise and that’s what I’m doing here.

Apathy seems to be a growing concern in Western society particularly in the generation known as Y (of which I am a part). An apathetic attitude can be caused by a number of things including inundation of negative stimuli or a sense of helplessness. Both these things, I believe, affect the world today. Never have we had so much access to information and it cannot be denied that the majority of the news is made up of devastating, violent, and horrific events. (No wonder the rest is tabloid entertainment, we need the reprieve.) With so much war, domestic violence, animal cruelty, destruction of nature, hate, rage, etc., etc. being broadcast 24/7 it’s only natural that we feel unequipped to help. And if we can’t help, if we can’t change the situation than isn’t all that negativity too much to cope with, wouldn’t it be better to just shut it out.

I’m beginning to think apathy has become our go to tool for self-preservation in an overwhelmingly damaged world. I hope one day soon we can bring ourselves to care again, or better yet believe that we can affect change. Maybe I’ll start by listening to the sad stories people want to tell me and turning on the news instead of flicking to repeats of the Simpsons.

Do you believe apathy is a problem? How can one person make a difference?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Doctor Who and Peter Pan

I only began watching Doctor Who part way through this year. Last night’s 50th anniversary episode ‘Day of the Doctor’ was truly stunning and I have now begun my slog through the last seven seasons (as far back as I dare go) so I may be fully prepared come the new season and the new Doctor.

What has struck, and most fascinated, me about the Doctor is his remarkable similarity to another clever boy who never grew up. From what little I’ve seen there seems to be and ongoing theme of growing up in Doctor Who and the man himself shares a lot of characteristics with Peter Pan. Remember I’m operating on limited knowledge and assumptions before you read on. I’ll probably check back in on this topic once I’ve finished catching up.
1.       The Doctor doesn’t want to grow up: Taking it a step further he seems be purposefully getting more immature as he gets older. It’s no doubt a cover for the darker things that lurk beneath but still. This was highlighted in ‘Day of the Doctor’ when John Hurt, portraying a younger Doctor, when confronted by two other versions of himself, around four hundred years older, and calls them kids never imagining them to be much older hims. And later, too much laughter, when the most recent Doctor describes the situation as ‘timey wimey’ and John Hurt scoffs.

2.       Companions: The Doctor has his companions, many and varied as they are, and Pan has his. Both inevitably outgrow their mischievous immortal friend and say their bitter sweet farewells, or in die in some cases. The Doctor offers all of time and space and Peter offers Indians, Pirates, Mermaids, and never having to worry about grown up things again. It’s too good to pass up but I imagine their usually running away from something (unsatisfactory life, fear of an uncertain future, the usual) not to it. The Doctor and Peter Pan are just tools for procrastination but ultimately can’t give them what they need and have to let them go.

3.       Spirit of Mischief: The Roman God Pan is a mischievous faun with a set of pipes who loved tricks and deception. Peter Pan is a cheeky little boy with a set of pan pipes. The Doctor is a nutter with a sonic screwdriver. OK maybe not a nutter I apologise, I love him too. There’s a sneaky twinkle in each of their eyes. There’s also something sinister and deadly and so so sad in them as well. We know from our vampire feels that immortality can be lonely beast and Peter and the Doctor don’t even have others of their kind to talk to.

4.       The Romance Thing: We’re all a little bit in love with him aren’t we? Our Doctor. And don’t you think his companions are too, some more obviously than others. His relationship with a few of them remind me of Peter and Wendy. Wendy loves Peter, and he loves her in as much as he can, but he can’t love her way the she needs/wants him to, he’s just not old enough to be capable of it. The Doctor is old enough and then some. His barrier to loving back may come from the divide in species or something more personal or internal but there is a barrier. Yes on occasion that barrier slips, River Song for example, but in most cases he can’t love them the way they wish he could and eventually, as in the point above, he has to let them go so they can find someone who can.
Wendy: "Oh the cleverness of you." And "Peter, you won't forget me will you?"
Clara: "Run you clever boy, and remember."

This is all I have so far in theories, let’s call it an essay plan and in seven seasons time maybe I’ll come back with an essay. In the meantime please offer your thoughts on the Doctor, Peter Pan and all that stuff in between. I’m off to watch some tellie.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What Time is it....


It's a bit of a trend at the moment isn't it. Toys and games are everywhere. My brother put me onto this brilliant cartoon late last year and I'm currently going through a re-watch. I have also caught the drawing bug again and thought I'd try out drawing Adventure Time style. In my search for reference material and found some truly stunning fan art as well as images by the artists that create Adventure Time. Here are some of my faves.

By Suihara
 Adventure Time makes a lot of references to classic anime so it's only natural that people would love drawing the characters in classic anime style.

By Matthew Ethan
 This realist illustration style is a fascinating take on the completely unrealist subject matter.
By Dave Perillo

By Bobby O'Herlihy

By J J Harrison

Friday, October 11, 2013

Picture of the Week

I haven't done a Picture of the Week post since January 2012. Shocking I know, especially since it's the easiest post to do, as such I thought I better make this one a twofer.

The Magic Cup by Arthur Rackham, 1908

From the Secret Garden by Charles Robinson, 1911

What interests me here, and the reason I put these two images together, are the similarities in imagery and composition despite the different subject matter and artists. The vegetation in the back ground, young girl's looking down into a body of water, even the goblins and cup in Rackham's piece remind me of the cherub and fish fountain in Robinson's. 

I found both these pictures on one of my favourite boards on Pinterest, Illustration Station by Fiona Lusby.
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