miss_s_b: (Mood: Miserable Brian :()
Just over three years ago I posted this. Roz has now gone to join his mum. They'd better have some decent ale up there or there'll be hell to pay.

I'm going to be a bit fragile for a while, guys, and if you know my dad, don't say anything because he's not that kind of guy, but if you see him in the pub buy him a pint, yeah?
miss_s_b: (Mood: Miserable Brian :()
Towards the end of the year 2000 I was working in a pub, and we had a regular customer who always came in after work, and sat in the corner with a book. We used to talk about books lots. He tended towards the SF&F side of things, and was fun to chat to. One time he came in and the book he was reading had a bright red and yellow cover, and I said to him "isn't that a kid's book?" and he gave me the CS Lewis quote.

The book was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. He lent me the first one in the series so I could check it out. I devoured it, immediately went out and bought the other three, devoured them, and then went on the internet to find like-minded people to talk to about it because OMG awesome books!

I found that the best Harry Potter forum was the Warner Bros one, because they were in the process of making a film of the first book. I found that there was a REALLY long thread about the actor they had cast as Snape, and I went to read it because I remembered him being the thing that'd made Robin Hood Prince of Thieves worth watching, and Snape was my favourite character in the book. It was titled "Anyone here like Alan Rickman?". The people on that thread were almost all women, and all witty and erudite and amazing. I registered and joined in. The thread got to 776 pages before the first time WB deleted us. We chatted about Alan's films, but we also ficced and RPed, all on one great big long thread on a forum. Eventually, after the WB had deleted us a few more times - for reasons I can absolutely understand, looking back - we went and set up our own forum...

Without Alan Rickman:
  • I would not have met all the amazing people who populated that thread on the WB, some of whom are still friends 15 years later.
  • I wouldn't have my screenname.
  • I would not have learned code to set up that website and forum.
  • My ex wouldn't have got involved in setting up internet communities, which is how he now makes his living.
  • I wouldn't have migrated from forums to Livejournal at the suggestion of [personal profile] missdiane, would never have started blogging, would never have met [personal profile] matgb.
  • If I hadn't met [personal profile] matgb I would never have become a Lib Dem.
  • [personal profile] matgb and I would never have started The Alan Rickman List, or if we had, in the vanishingly small set of circumstances that we had met and fallen in love anyway, it would probably be called the Sue Perkins list.
  • Without becoming a Lib Dem, I wouldn't have met amazing people like [profile] sassyscot and the Divine Ms Duffett, and Alisdair.
  • [personal profile] anisiriusmagus and I wouldn't have got chatting about other films (I'd never have met her), wouldn't have decided to watch Tales From The Crypt together one night, wouldn't have gone in search of like-minded Zombie Mr Grimsdyke fans, wouldn't have found the BHF, and wouldn't have met her current partner or [personal profile] magister.
  • I would never have RPed, never have publicly ficced, never have gone in search of fandom communities for other stuff I liked, without first having had the experience of that first, one, amazing fandom community.
  • I wouldn't be here. None of you reading this would be reading it.

You might well think that Alan Rickman therefore has quite a lot to answer for. I think that my life would have been unrecognisable today if it hadn't been for Alan Rickman.

So, yeah, Bowie going earlier this week was devastating. This? This is worse. It's going to take me a while to process. But I'm so totally going to watch Galaxy Quest tonight.

And, you know, if after Lemmy and Bowie and Rickman you've had enough: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/support-us/donate - give what you can.

♤ RIP Lemmy ♤

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015 01:25 am
miss_s_b: (Mood: Miserable Brian :()
(that's Rock in Power. I can't imagine Mr Kilminster resting in peace)

I'm never going to forget that gig, or having to sit at the front in lecture theatres for two weeks after it. Thank you.
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Lee)
The inevitable campaign to get a track by a beloved deceased person has started, and Twitter has decided that the track we should go for is My Way. Buy it on amazon here, or Google Play here, or iTunes here.

If you're a proper tightarse, listen to it a few times on Spotify, that counts, but not as much as actually buying it, so listen to it LOTS.
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Lee)
I hoped I wouldn't have to write this so soon. But then whenever it was it would be too soon. This is one I never could have been prepared for, even knowing how frail he's been the last few years. We'll not get a new Christmas metal track this year, but at least he got his wish of living to see all of the Hobbit films come out, and if there's an afterlife at least he'll get to see his best friend again now.

I'm going to be a bit delicate for a few days, guys. The grumpy old Tory sod was someone I've worshipped since I was six. It'll be a few days. Thanks.

RIP Charles Kennedy

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015 09:11 am
miss_s_b: (Mood: Bugger)
Everyone in the Lib Dems (and many beyond) is feeling this one, and I'm no different. Like many others in the Lib Dem family, I couldn't call Charles Kennedy my best friend, but he meant a huge amount to me none-the-less. My first conference I went as a steward, because if you work conference you get in for free. One thing that most people outside the party (and even many people within) might not know is how Charles was revered among the stewards at conference - because even when he was leader and always after he always made time for a stewards' thank you party, and he didn't just stick his head in, he really had time for them and was genuinely grateful for how they made conference possible.

So my first conference, having worked my arse off at the least popular stewarding post because I was the n00b, I went to the steward's party. And was welcomed joyously by Charles. And every conference after he always said hello, and remembered my name. A couple of times we'd end up in the smoking zone having a companionable rollup. My second autumn conference we went back to Bournemouth and I'll never forget being sat on the wall by the Marriott Highcliff with Charles, kicking our feet and smoking a fag apiece like naughty schoolchildren behind the bikeshed and chatting about nothing much. I was - still am, really - nobody in the party. But Charles didn't give a rat's arse about who he was supposed to talk to.

He was a witty and inspirational speaker. He was a principled Liberal, and he stood by those principles even when others condemned him for it. But I'm going to remember that man who always had time for others, no matter how low down the pecking order they were. If you judge a man by how he treated those society considers less than him, then Charles Kennedy was a King.

My thoughts today are with those who knew him better than me, but also everyone else whose life he touched in little ways like mine. We've lost a good one.
miss_s_b: (Who: Three (Polarity))
Top trolling, Mr P, having it in Lancashire.
Top trolling, making sure we had to hike up a bloody great hill to get there (Mr P was very fond of a hike over moorland, especially if it had a pint at the end of it).
Top trolling, stipulating the 1655 Book of Common Prayer service that the vicar was clearly unfamiliar with and kept stumbling over.

And well done for picking Jerusalem, which both me and Dad could boom out in our sleep.

Requiescat in pace, Alan Petford.

miss_s_b: (Britishness: Tea)
I got the train into Bradford to go to work today. I get the train into work a lot. Sometimes it's late, and I gripe. Sometimes it's full, and I gripe about that too, especially if it's a smelly ancient Pacer. Sometimes it's empty, and the seats are nice, and I get a table to myself. Sometimes I get the sexy driver with the long hair and beard*. Sometimes I have chats with @NorthernRailOrg on twitter**.

Today is the first time I have ever been on a train that hit a person.

Bradford Interchange's platforms are all bay platforms, so I usually try to sit as close to the driver's cab as possible, to minimise the number of people I have to squeeze past when I get off the train. Today I was sitting at the nearest table to the drivers' cab. I was playing a game on my phone, and intermittently glancing at twitter and email. There had been a lot of emails in the morning because of an administrative error causing problems for one of my members who is attending Lib Dem Conference next month. I was checking to see if things were getting sorted out. I wasn't really paying attention to the train. The train just was.

Then there was a noise like crump and the train jerked. I think I swore. I looked across at the two girls sitting at the table across the aisle from me and was about to say what the hell was THAT? when a human body described a graceful arc past the window we were all three looking at.

Suddenly talking seemed a bit pointless.

The train pulled up and stopped for a while then took us in to Bradford. I texted someone I knew was in Bradford, because I needed a friendly face. As I got off the train I tried not to look at the dent on the front of it, but I couldn't help myself. It wasn't that big a dent, really. Not for a human life. There was a dead pigeon too, stuck to the rubbery bit which I don't know the name of on the front of the train.

The person I texted met me at the entrance to BDI and gave me copious hugs. They were very necessary hugs. He's a good hugger anyway, but today those hugs were especially appreciated. When you've witnessed a thing like that, any form of human contact is good, just to confirm that you're still alive and that people care about you.

And then I went to work. Because you've got to carry on, haven't you?

I have since heard that the incident was a fatality. I hope that the person who was hit is at rest, and that their family are coping, and that the driver of the train is OK, because Cthulhu knows that's got to be a horrible thing to happen to you at work.

I have the urge to contact everybody that I love and tell them all that I love them and how valuable they are to me, but that's impractical and they'd probably just call me a soppy bugger anyway.

I'll say one more thing. The next time I am umming and ahing about doing something, and the person who has asked me to do it says to me Oh go on, you could get hit by a train/bus tomorrow... I'm going to have some pretty mixed feelings about that. Life is short, and should be grabbed with both hands; this is an idea I am fully on board with, and today has renewed my determination to do just that. But every time someone says that now, I am going to see a train window, and a horizontal human body curving past it in slow motion...

*Not that I have a crush on a train driver. Nope. Not me O:-)
**often enough that I can usually tell when Tim or Lindsay is the one manning the twitter account, because those two are the ones I talk to most often.

On Rik Mayall

Monday, June 9th, 2014 04:33 pm
miss_s_b: (Mood: Bugger)
There is much talk on twitter right now of Alan B'Stard. Of Lord Flashheart and The Young Ones. Of the Comic Strip and Drop Dead Fred. Of Bottom, even...

But this is where I fell in love with Rik Mayall:

I was 8 when they showed that. Just the right age, I think.

Rest in peace, Rik. I hope Mel Smith's waiting for you with a bloody great glass of something.

Kinda Lingers, Mel

Saturday, July 20th, 2013 02:59 pm
miss_s_b: (Mood: Miserable Brian :()
Another mainstay of my childhood has gone to the great green room in the sky.

RIP Mel Smith.
miss_s_b: (Politics: Democracy)
And thus I am taking some time away from the internet - twitter, blogs, the lot - until it calms down. I have no wish to get in between people gleefully installing Thatcher Memorial Dancefloors and people pompously taking the moral high ground and sneering. I'll wait till the next big news story is announced and the mayfly attention of the internet moves to that before I come back, just for my own sanity.

I suspect I'll be doing the same again as and when her funeral is announced, too.

miss_s_b: (feminist heroes: river song)
My mum's mum passed away before I was born, but I still grew up with two grannies. My dad's mum passed away a couple of years ago, but I still had granny P. Granny P was my dad's best friend's mum, and she was as much my granny as any blood relative could have been.

She was born in 1922. In the second world war she was a meteorologist in the WAAF, She saved the lives of many pilots at Thornaby airfield by spotting unfavorable conditions before anyone else, and after the war took up teaching, but this was all before I knew her.

I remember a white haired lady who laughed lots, loved a good time, and made a mean gooseberry fool. I remember going up into her attic as a child and marvelling over her collection of curios from all over the world. I remember her cats, especially Honey P. And as I got older I remember innumerable "educational" trips to museums and places with interesting architecture and natural beauty spots that somehow always ended up in a pub lunch and uproarious laughter.

She loved to travel. She had friends everywhere. And she drove like a maniac. There was no experience more exciting than hurtling down single track country lanes in a car with granny P, singing along to the radio.

I also remember intellectual jousting with her, a proud Thatcherite, with my nascent left-leaning liberalism. And even though neither of us ever backed down, somehow this always ended up with laughter and hugs too.

Granny P leaves three biological children - Roz, John and Tina - and many more who considered her mum or granny. Her funeral was today and we sang her away to the Beatles and then we went to the pub. She was a Thatcher-loving Tory cat lady, and she was my granny, and I loved her.

Rest in peace, Granny P. The world's a poorer place without you.
miss_s_b: (Music: HiM)
I don't often do these subject-per-day things, but I'm making an exception today because of the passing of a magnificent musician. Jon Lord, of the mighty organ, has passed away. I hope he'll be reunited with his good friend (and another of my great heroes) John Mortimer when he gets to the other side.

RIP Caroline John

Thursday, June 21st, 2012 12:58 pm
miss_s_b: (Feminist heroes: Liz Shaw)

Caroline John: 1940 - 2012

I have been having a bit of a cry to myself this lunchtime, after the official BBC Doctor Who twitter account confirmed the passing of one of my favourite Who alumni, Yorkshire lass Caroline John.

Losing Liz Shaw in the same year as Sarah Jane Smith is a total kick in the teeth for all Who fans, and feminist ones in particular. Acerbically humourous, intellectually brilliant, and personally confident, Liz Shaw was everything I wanted to be when I grew up. She was a proper scientist, too, both full of old learning and open to new learning, both sceptical and curious: in these respects she is streets ahead of her namesake in a certain recent movie.

Her short time as a Who companion (she only did one season, before being dropped in favour of Jo Grant, who was far less threateningly smart) had and has a huge amount of resonance for me; from her first appearance in Spearhead from Space where she puts the Doctor in his place with great aplomb to her cameos in The Five Doctors and Dimensions in Time she owned the screen and claimed my heart.

I wish I had had the opportunity to meet her and tell her how much she meant to me.
miss_s_b: (Default)
I am slightly too young to remember Sarah-Jane Smith's original run in Doctor Who. Nevertheless, by the time of School ReUnion, I had seen enough reruns and videos and DVDs to be familiar with her, and when she got her own series, I watched it, with my daughter, mostly out of curiosity at first, but then with growing fannishness.

Here was a TV show in which the protagonist was a middle-aged single woman, saving the world over and over with the assistance of a bunch of misfit and multi-ethnic kids. And she was good. And Holly adored her - enough to demand having her hair cut the same way. This was Lis Sladen doing for my daughter's generation what she'd done for kids thirty years before: showing them that actually, girls CAN save the world, and save their loved ones, and treasure their lives, and they don't just have to sit in a corner and scream and wait for a man to save them.

Lis Sladen gave my daughter someone to look up to (literally), and although she has now populated her list of heroes more widely (Batgirl and Hermione Granger and Liz from Hellboy are the top three at the moment, but that's bound to change), Sarah-Jane will always have a special place in her heart. And mine.

Holly and I had a little conversation about Lis Sladen tonight. And we hugged, and had a little cry. And then we introduced Holly's new Harley Quinn action figure to Morbius. Because she is seven...

Thank you, Elisabeth Sladen. In the grand scheme of things, the difference you have made to my daughter's life might not mean very much. But to me it means a great deal indeed, and I will always be grateful and always remember. My thoughts are with your husband and daughter tonight; I hope that the love I have seen poured out on the internet tonight is some small crumb of comfort to them.

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Death and taxes

Monday, February 7th, 2011 09:29 am
miss_s_b: (Britishness: Tea)
Yesterday I learned that one of my regular customers at work had passed away when I was off sick. Geoff was in his nineties, but very fit. He would come in every sunday, on his bike; a little unsteady on his pins when walking, but fully at home and at speed when cycling. He was one of the few customers who would get automatic hugs when he was leaving, and I shall miss him.

The other death of note is, of course, gary moore. I'm composing this on my phone, so embedding a load of you tube videos is difficult, but imagine at least Rosin Dubh, Out in the Fields, and Parisienne Walkways here.

And so to taxes... Top of this week's Pravda Golden Dozen is a post by someone earning three times what my entire family does complaining about how he is part of the squeezed middle and being adversely affected by coalition policy. I do actually have some sympathy for him, which is why I'm not linking to the post, but I think he was foolish to post without more consideration of how high his income actually is. The reason I mention his post is that it's a perfect illustration of something which we, as politicians, should bear in mind a hell of a lot more often: most people genuinely believe that they are normal. Thus people who are earning more than 90% of us do can genuinely believe themselves to be part of the squeezed middle, and people who are actually poor will vote for parties who would hammer them. As a liberal, my instinct is to educate so that people are more informed and hopefully this effect will be lessened, rather than exploiting it as, labour and tory do, but as a cynic I'm not sure how effective that would be... And of course, our glorious leader's cack-handed alarm clock britain bollocks was an attempt to exploit this very phenomenon, so perhaps I'm alone in wanting to cure people of misconceptions.

(composed on my n8 with swype keypad, so coding is non-existent, and typos may be rife).
miss_s_b: (Mood: Miserable Brian :()
Pete Postlethwaite is one of those British actors who you'll know the face of, even if you don't know his name. He's been in lots of very good films: Amistad, The Usual Suspects, In the Name of the Father. He passed away today after battling with cancer for a long while.

The reason he means a lot to me, personally, though, is his performance in the film Brassed Off. Brassed Off was initially marketed as a RomCom. And, to be fair to the marketers, it probably starts out that way. But it's so much more than that. If you've ever wanted to know how it felt to be a Yorkshire person in the late eighties/early nineties, if you've ever wondered why I struggled so hard with voting for the coalition we're now in, and why my fear and hatred of a Tory government is as blood and bone deep as it is, you should watch this film. But take some tissues. Sure, it starts of with dry Yorkshire wit and giggling over the RomComness between Ewan McGregor and Tara Fitzgerald... But it gets less and less funny as it goes on. It's the raw wounds of a county and a community laid bare for all to see, and Postlethwaite is the centre and heart of the film.

Postlethwaite got more and more politically active as he got older. An environmentalist and a humanitarian, he used to turn up at film premieres on his pushbike. I admire his principles, and his commitment. But most of all, I admire his Danny in Brassed Off.

Rest in peace, Pete.

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miss_s_b: (Mood: Miserable Brian :()
From Forbidden Planet to Dracula: Dead and Loving It.
From Airplane to Police Squad.

So many classics, so much stuff to love, so many roles taken that Christopher Lee turned down because he didn't understand the scripts.

Rest in peace Leslie.
miss_s_b: (New Rock Boots)
Good News - mum got out of hospital in time to go on her holiday to Cornwall with Holly
Bad News - I am Hollyless for AGES now :(

Yesterday was a bit of a weird day. We got news that one of the regulars at the pub had passed away, so the mood was a bit fragile. There were some tears and hugs when Bob came in to give us the news. Imogen and I both seemed to have the same reaction to this: clinging on to Things That Are Normal, becoming a tight double act behind the bar. This resulted in lots of amusement with various other groups of customers. I suspect that this is what Kenny, aka Mr Moustache, would have wanted. He was a very wry man, and I shall miss him.

Inevitably, after 8 hours of this, I needed a beer, and that beer led to another beer, and so on...

I am slightly hungover today.

Anyhoo, best code the next category of blog awards...

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miss_s_b: (Gashlycrumb Tinies)
Edward Woodward has died :( He was the star of a lot of things, including Callan and the fabulous (and surely due for a rerun?) 1990, but I will, of course, remember him most fondly for this:

Sergeant Neil Howie has finally lost his fight against the inevitable, I guess. Condolences to his family and friends, and I think we'll be having a little screening of The Wicker Man tonight.

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miss_s_b: (Mood: Miserable Brian :()
I don't know what to say about this. Keith is and was an inspiration; full of enthusiasm about food and drink (and The Stranglers); a man who lived life at full tilt, and died not knowing what an inspiration he was. That he thought that people aren't enthusiastic about cooking any more is the saddest thing of all.

In these days of relentless pressure to conform to government-prescribed five a day and 21 units, Floyd was unpalatable for modern TV. But, for me, nobody came close to having his joy and love for fabulous ingredients, well-sourced and simply cooked.

RIP Keith. Tonight I'm going to get rascally drunk and cook something in your honour.

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Thursday, June 25th, 2009 11:28 pm
miss_s_b: (Blogging: Dreamwidth/LJ - Make Love Not )
I know what I forgot! Answers to yesterday's quiz: The trufax was, of course, that the first album I bought with my own money was Sheer Heart Attack. For reference, the first vinyl I bought was Trash by Alice Cooper and the first CD Countdown to Extinction by Megadeth. My favourite song of all time is the Ballad of Dwight Frye by Alice Cooper, I have owned five dogs (Shadow, a female black and white short-haired collie; Sheba, a female black labrador-cross; Gollum, a male black labrador cross; Byron and Roxy (still extant). I have eaten sheep's brain, but I didn't enjoy it; I dyed my hair black to cover up the blue when I went back to work in Morrison's in the vacations from uni, and my favourite beer is Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby.

Can I also say just how proud I am of my f-list? TelegramSam and Gina and Daze had a long and interesting discussion in the comments while I was away from my computer, and although all three had strongly held feelings, they remained mostly courteous and came to civilised agreement. You guys rule.

And it appears that Michael Jackson actually is dead. Am I the only one who is far more sad about Farrah Fawcett?

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D beat me to it...

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008 01:07 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
... here, but I'ma say it anyway:

* big hugs for T *

28 is no age to die, is it? It always freaks me when someone younger than me dies. This is no exception. Have had a bit of a roller-coaster of an evening, all told*. Once more I am left wondering how I coped without Mister Mat to hold my hand and hug me and put old Who on for me...

ETA: Bwahahahahahahahahha one of the bad creatures in this appears to be called Cervix, and someone just said "Excellent Cervix!"

* you don't want to know, really. It was all a bit silly and nothing any of you could have done anything about, and it's all sorted now anyway.

About This Blog

Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.

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