The Week in Womble aka How to Cat-ra my attention


Ok well over a month since I last posted.  The last six weeks at work went well but involved quite a lot of long days and on top of this the UK train system decided to declare an extreme autumn to everyone’s surprise which has meant my trips home are usually involving filling in delay repay claims and sighing.  Reading was annoyingly curtailed as was much else.  House sale number four is looking however likely but I will not believe until I have confirmation of dates but let’s hope the next week’s update gives us some great news.

I have finally had my first week off in four months and promptly fell on the sofa with a very bad cold, but this allowed me to finally redecorate the blog!  (Please let me know what you think) and I shall be spending a bit of this weekend now I’m feeling better doing all my xmas preparations.  Happily, after that is just one more week in work and then off for pretty much all the next fortnight!  Hopefully normal weekly womble service will resume now I’ve had a bit of a rest

Other Media

Television –

Doctor Who – I really enjoyed this season so may have more to say over Xmas when I’ve had a chance to do one more rewatch.  But overall, I think this was exactly what the next incarnation of Who needed to do

She-Ra – As is widely known I tend to miss the latest television and rarely binge watch.  Unless however I accidentally pressed press on the new Netflix incarnation of the show and it is GLORIOUS GENIUS.  Coming from Noelle Stevenson who gave us the great Nimona and Lumberjanes graphic novels it is fizzing with a modern approach on how women look, relate to one another and diversity.  The centre piece is the dissolving friendship between Cat-Ra and She-Ra who grew up together but cannot believe the choices each made.  The first few episodes set the scenes nicely for the world but there is an episode where there is a party of princesses that in the original series would have been very boring and twee but here sparkles with how these characters love and hate each other.  Women come in all shapes and sizes and no one feels a 2-dimensional character - hunt this down and watch it.

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries – I bit the bullet and watched the last season.  That feeling of an ensemble cast who know how to play off one another was very strong here.  Funny, stylish and intelligent I really do miss not having any more to watch.

Gotham (season 3) – I quite liked what this show has managed which focuses on Gotham before the arrival of the caped crusader.  The first two seasons seemed to realise that Jim Gordon is very boring, so they quickly switched to the origins of the villains who are fascinating.  Sadly, in season 3 they try to give Jim a tortured hero’s journey and instead he felt more a sub-Jack Bauer speaking every more gruffly to show he is dark and tortured.  The highlight of the year though is the development of young Bruce Wayne and in particular his Butler who is Sean Pertwee playing the role of his life as Cockney military trained snarky butler (the cockney slang is a beauty). 

Films – Actually managed some!!

The Meg – Jason Statham versus giant prehistoric shark.  Largely quite a good experience but does pull it’s punches so not up to the same scary standards as Jaws but it’s fun.

A Matter of Life and Death – David Niven is a WW2 pilot who falls in love with the voice of a US air traffic controller.  Unfortunately, his plane is on fire and about to crash.  Due to a mistake by the person supposed to collect his soul Niven finds himself with extra time and then a court case in heaven to fight for his life.  Its weird, beautifully shot (heaven is black and white, but the real world is in colour)’ its mocks the British empire’s ability to cause pain to other nations and it’s about moving on past war.  Very unique and well worth hunting down.

Podcasts –

Start the Week – I’ve been loosening to a very simple radio four format show.  Four loosely connected guests talk about a subject.  Looking at science, history and social politics can be quite an interesting discussion but can also contain Andrew Marr trying to show he knows better...

99% Invisible – The last two episodes of this really should be tracked down.  Young artists build a condo within the mall that took over their neighbourhood and a haunting discussion about how the residents of New Mexico looked at their history and treatment of the indigenous population.

Pseudopod – I’ve been meaning to listen to this for ages.  Often presented by the amazing Alasdair Stuart a short horror story is read by a guest artist.  Really impressed with the quality and variety of stories used.  And with over 600 episodes I’ve plenty to catch up on.  If you enjoy a podcast scare, try this.


What I read

-          The Wicked +The Divine by Kieron Gillen Vol 7 – further revelations over how the saga of the gods evolved but still feels sadly like it treads water.  I want to see how this ends!!

-          Burning Sky by Weston Ochse – Reviewed - unusual military horror story

-          Her Smoke Rose Up Forever by James Tiptree Jr – Review to come – another great choice for the Lady Vaults Goodreads group

-          Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri – Reviewed – one of the best debuts I read this year – READ IT!

-          Locke and Key Vol 2 by Joe Hill– Yep, I’m now hooked into this spooky horror mystery graphic novel

-          Lumberman’s Vol 9 by Shannon Watters – This time with added Roller Derby (genius)

-          How Long ‘Til Black Future Month by N K Jemisin -Reviewed– the short stories in this are genius – READ IT and BE AMAZED

-          The Blue Salt Road by Joanne Harris – Reviewed – gorgeous story-telling about a selkie trapped with humans and illustrated by the great Bonnie Helen Hawkins. Perfect winter reading

-          City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab – Reviewed - Ghosts, Edinburgh and Schwab’s amazing writing what’s not to love

-          The Loosening Skin by Aliya Whiteley – Reviewed – A novel that brilliantly looks at love, relationships and the acceptance or not of change – READ IT and you’ll never forget this one

-          Paper Girls Vol 5 by Brian K Vaughan – The mysterious time travelling story continues with revelations and yes more mysteries.  Intriguing.

What I want to read next

-          The Dark Vault by V E Schwab – One of her earliest works re-issued at last

-          The Winter Road by Adrian Selby – A new fantasy series

-          The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay - a new horror story (perfect for Xmas)

-          Europe at Dawn by Dave Hutchinson – will there be hope?