Doctor Who s10 e10 : The Eaters of Light.

The Imperial Roman Army. Legio IX Hispana. 

Subject of ‘The Eagle of the Ninth’, a famous historical novel by Rosemary Sutcliffe and interpreted and re-interpreted since. 

I previously read and enjoyed ‘The Last Legion’ by  Valerio Massimo Manfredi, however, it linked into the legend of Arthur and had other tales to tell. 

The movie ‘The Eagle’ in 2011 was based on Sutcliffe’s book.

Now, the truth or otherwise of the disappearance of the Ninth Legion in the North of Scotland isn’t exact historical fact and pieces of artifacts show the Legion in what is now the Netherlands in the mid second century, around a century later.

It wasn’t unknown for a legion to be raised again after being annihilated, but, the Roman Army was cautious about the bad luck associated with defeats. It may or may not have been a direct continuation of the IX legion that landed in Britain.

Caledonia, as it was called by the Romans, was subject to a fair bit of Roman activity. 

Ultimately, it was never truly conquered in the way it’s province of Britania was. However, their control of the rest of the island did influence all the tribes on the island and also influenced and controlled trade.

The history and archeology are unfortunately sparse in terms of what happened with the Romans in Iron Age Scotland. 

There’s a lot of maybes to the history and, of course, modern settlements and roads have followed  over the Roman’s initial paths.

One day, there may be an answer about the Ninth, but it’s plight leaves it open to storytelling.

And that’s what Rona Munro did and did well with ‘The Eaters of the Light.’

Bill and the Doctor want to know it’s fate. As ever, the Tardis delivers them with Nardole and the team investigate. Bill goes off one way and the Doctor another. 

They come across Romans and Picts and eventually bring them on side to fight a beast that comes from a portal in the broch or cairn built into the ground. 

The beast destroyed the Ninth and was released by the young pict sent to guard in case it came. Which leads to a few Romans hiding from it and a few Picts hiding too.

A tale about the invasion of a land and the desperation in defending your culture from change leads to a need to cooperate to survive.

‘Survival’ was Munro’s last Doctor Who tale, for another Scottish Doctor and the end of the original run of Who before the 2005 revival.

The guest cast was young and did well, we had a few good lines from Nardole and The Doctor back toward the edgy grumpy one of Series Eight.

So grumpy that he’d sacrifice himself to guard the portal to ensure the beast doesn’t return but Bill sensibly whacks him with a Mirror. This shows she’s beyond Professor and Student relationship and clearly now knows what’s best for him.

Why grumpy again? Possibly as he’s let Missy out of the Vault after rescuing Bill and him from Mars. He wants to believe that she has changed, but as ever, cannot be sure of his fellow Timelord and ‘friend’.

We are reminded in the last five minutes of the edges that The Doctor and Missy occupy together, their shared knowledge, their past friendship. 

His fascination with Earth and her sceptical attitude to his do-gooding. We are almost back at where they were with each other in Series Nine just before Skaro and Davros.

Obviously, the Vault and the Doctor’s Oath are factors. He saved her life, she said she’d change.

It’s 8/10 from me. Capaldi, Mackie and Lucas were fine as usual. Dialogue and character dynamic working well and again keeping up with the high points of series ten.

The episode’s effects worked and the beast resembled ancient stone art. Not a dragon, not a beast, tentacles and a wolf like movement. I even enjoyed the talking crow.

A pity it wasn’t filmed in Scotland, although the Welsh countryside was convincing enough though and it worked. 

We are now onto the build up to the series finale. I think we are building to what exactly Missy and the Doctor have. 

She was in tears and moved toward him, he moved backward but did clutch hands with her. It’s a complicated relationship and questions can be asked on their past and where exactly they stand.

We’ve seen John Simm and the question is now as to how a multi-master tale can be pulled off. 

There’s much to anticipate.

Subverting Democracy, a tale of elections, the media and a Tory leader that’s went too far. (Scottish Politics)

In one of my last ‘politics’ blogs, https://chicgibson.wordpress.com/2017/06/11/1243/ I had a few days of stupidly high numbers and this particular paragraph below, ended up being visible snipped away from the rest of my writing (which to be fair was dull and statistical in the main). I sort of shrugged at seeing it come back to me on my twitter timeline.

It’s tough when the Tories out-bastard you. They certainly did and the good people of the north east of Scotland may need reminded about Free Prescriptions, care for elderly, university tuition etc etc as clearly they’ve taken heed of a distaste for a second referendum but might not know why it’s needed.

I was stunned by that, but my ‘orphan paragraph’ had a real kernel of truth I guess.

On the back of the Election Results, Gerry Hassan produced a piece for http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/ that was incisive and spared no punches in terms of looking into the SNP performance at GE 17. I agreed with many of the points that he made and it developed much better points and conclusions than I did.

The SNP have only been in office for ten years. The Labour Party dominated Scottish politics for fifty years. It hasn’t taken long for the sheen to go off the SNP. How it responds will tell whether this becomes a major crisis and retreat, or one which it can manage and bounce back from.

Underlying all of the above is the missing ingredient in the SNP’s politics and independence offer. There is no coherent national project about Scotland’s future. The party has invited us to just trust them and believe everything will be alright the other side of independence. It was never good enough. This is transparent now.

An independence referendum looks extremely unlikely for the next few years. That gives the SNP and Scottish politics a breathing space to develop a different course. It should be one which is based on the principle of ‘Build it and they will come’. Mark out the territory, policies and detail of a self-governing and independent Scotland and start out in its direction of travel. But that requires a different SNP and leadership which has until now shown no interest in a politics of the long-term or of developing a truly ambitious strategy.

http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2017/06/13/build-it-and-they-will-come/ is the piece and I think it’s a difficult read for anyone supporting or advocating independence for Scotland. There’s much to chew on and much to think about.

The article, though, produced a quite brilliant response in the comments section from Alan Bisset, himself a noted columnist and author.

5. There is a grievous democratic outrage being perpetrated before our eyes which no-one in the media (nor, for that matter, an exhausted SNP) is challenging. 

The mandate for indyref 2 is now cast-iron, having been voted for by the Scottish electorate in 2016, passed by a majority in Holyrood, and now triple-locked by the fact of the SNP winning a majority of Scottish seats.

 If we are being told that is not enough to secure indyref 2 then we are being told that the Scots have no democratic means of bringing about self-determination. 

On what possible basis is Ruth Davidson being allowed to get away with a statement like ‘indyref2 is dead’ when the Unionist parties COMBINED could not reach the SNP’s total of seats and a bill has *already been passed by the Scottish parliament*. Simply because the SNP secured 35/59 seats in a UK election instead of 56/59? Is no-one else alarmed by the grave repercussions here for Scottish democracy?

Now, our ever-reliable Scottish Mainstream Media (by that I mean Anti-SNP) produced a few bits and pieces like this after the General Election results:-

The Scotsman:- ‘She told the BBC: “But there was one big issue in this campaign and it was Nicola Sturgeon trying to run through a second independence referendum in March and the country’s reaction to that,” she said. “I think we have seen the country’s reaction in the number of SNP seat’s falling. Indyref 2 is dead.” Ms Davidson added: “Now it’s time to get back to what matters to the people of Scotland – that’s sorting out our schools, growing our economy and looking at our public services.”

http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/general-election/scottish-tory-leader-ruth-davidson-indyref2-is-dead-1-4470791 

Here’s how that piece looks


Now, some might say that The Scotsman isn’t as rabid as either the Scottish Daily Mail or the Scottish Daily Express are, but I’m still not much of a fan of it apart from it’s transport correspondent’s work.

Getting back to the point, Ruth Davidson had herself a decent election and with an increase in Tories from 1 to 13 has even been described as ‘winning the election‘ by the BBC Scotland politics correspondent. (It’s a staggeringly inaccurate and obtuse statement in my opinion though)

But with interviews, media attention in both UK and Scottish media, it then looks like this.


The story of a Tory revival is, of course, noteworthy and due attention. 

But.. Indyref2 is dead ?? 

Okay it was 45-55 in Indyref in 2014. 

2015 saw 56/59 seats go SNP at Westminster.

2016 saw the SNP take 59 constituencies at Holyrood

The Brexit Referendum was 62% Remain in EU

2017 General Election 35 seats out of 59.

I’ve been over the factors for that in ‘An Ice Cold Take’, the purpose of reminder is that it’s relevant to Nicola Sturgeon’s Triple Lock on holding a second referendum. 

We have the Holyrood 16 result , 62% Remain in the Brexit vote in Scotland and 35/59 seats at Westminster, as well as a conclusive vote for a second referendum in the Scottish Parliament.

Now, Ruth Davidson may not like it, the mainstream media may not like it, but that’s enough democratic input to have a Referendum on Scottish Independence once Brexit is a known quantity. (Irrespective of Theresa May’s survival)

What Davidson is trying to do is play down Holyrood. 

If [the Tory Party] sometimes seems English to some Scots that is because the Union is inevitably dominated by England by reason of its greater population. The Scots, being an historic nation with a proud past, will inevitably resent some expressions of this fact from time to time. As a nation, they have an undoubted right to national self-determination; thus far they have exercised that right by joining and remaining in the Union. Should they determine on independence no English party or politician would stand in their way, however much we might regret their departure. What the Scots (not indeed the English) cannot do, however, is to insist upon their own terms for remaining in the Union, regardless of the views of the others. Baroness Thatcher – The Downing Street Years. Via Arc of Prosperity 

Immediately above is what I call the Thatcher Doctorine, I wonder if subverting the role of Holyrood and the elected first minister is something that even she would balk at.

Elected MSP’s had a vote and the result is a mandate for a second referendum. No ifs or buts. That is our democratic system through our devolved parliament.

It’s not about winning headlines, it’s not about photo shoots at Stirling Castle with ‘your’ MPs, it’s not about visiting Downing Street for Cabinet, it’s not about being a privy counsellor, it’s not about preaching on rights to Theresa May and the DUP as they create an unholy coalition.

Davidson has even been touted as controlling those thirteen MPs, those saying that have clearly forgotten the legendary ability of the Tories Whips office at Westminster.

So there we are. Democracy subverted. By a Tory of all things.

(It makes sense when you know ‘Ruth Davidson Tank‘ is a Google top hit when you search her name)

Project Vanilla. (Scottish Politics)

I’m at a point where I’m not keen to be wound up in the next political argument, which is shaping to be about a soft Brexit.

I didn’t vote for Brexit. I sure as hell didn’t vote for Tories. I didn’t vote for Tories doing deals with one side in Northern Ireland and I didn’t vote for any bullshit like Austerity, Benefit Sanctions or Motability being taken off disabled people.

So. This. A series of simple messages.







Plain speaking. No graphics, no colours or fancy stuff with layouts or logos. I’m pissed off enough to think about throwing these on Twitter but I’ll mull it over. Just one point per image might work better in big letters.

Anyway. Simplicity would be lovely. Other stuff occupies my mind too.

Fin.. 

Post Meltdown (Aspergers )

My wifi plays up when kids are here. Too many devices probably. Everything is okay when I’m myself.

My TV remote doesn’t work properly in living room, my autie son broke it as a toddler. I rely on an Apple TV box to rely iplayer to watch any TV.

 My ex moved the TV three times, wired up TV things in bedroom and kitchen that I never wanted and basically the result is I can’t watch conventional TV and neither can the kids. Things were okay until I couldn’t afford sky anymore.

We rely on the BT hub router wifi thing. But when boys are here it goes down two hours at a time. I’m continually told it can’t be their iPads it must be my router.

It went off this morning. My phone or iPad gunges then the kids start shouting and running about and then wanting me to fix it.

I tried calling BT an hour ago. I got a local accent at first, then the call was passed to India. I had to slowly say problem and then recite my phone number. Clearly the call passing doesn’t say where it came from.

I got upset when they insisted on my details. I shouted and screamed that I just wanted help, that their questions were not help.

I upset my youngest son. He ran away from being in same room.

I tried one more time but just screamed again at the call being passed.

I can’t do phone calls anymore. I’m angry at myself. I’m in a post meltdown calm stage and I’m sad, upset and quiet. 

I’m upset I’m scared my downstairs neighbour will call police on me again for shouting and I haven’t fixed problem.

The DWP claim I don’t have anything wrong with me though. I’m worried BT will cut me off as I screamed.

An ice-cold take on GE17 in Scotland (Scottish Politics)

I’ve no enthusiasm for writing on the June 2017 General Election, so this is going to be ‘A Cold Take’, I want to be dispassionate and factual as far as I can.

Let’s start with the Map. It was 2015’s favourite image for the Yes community.

Not as fun in 2017. Tory gains in Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway and much of what was Grampian Region together with the clumps of Stirling and Ochils and South Perthshire are obvious. 

There’s red for Labour in Fife, Lothians and Glasgow. Orange Lib Dem gain in Caithness and Sutherland. 

It’s not one the SNP will enjoy, the constituencies lost are large territories when seen in a map graphic. 

Another comment to make is the merged blue of the borderlands.


Next up, the change in vote share from 2015 to 2017. 

Obviously to lose seats The SNP are down and again obviously, the Tories are up. 

There’s a small gain by Labour and a small loss by the Lib Dems.

But, and this is the ‘no shit sherlock’ bit, 13% SNP loss and 13% Tory gain.

 A switcheroo? Possibly, but did 13% of SNP voters go directly Tory? 

Some, might want you to think that. I wouldn’t. 


Here’s Turnout. Generally the darker, the more it was.

 Look at central Scotland diagonally upwards from the crook of Galloway to the outcrop of Fife. All lighter colours.

I’ll admit to disliking these hexagons, but across much of Scotland the turnout was down, as in grey, and in some areas really badly as in black. 

It doesn’t match the actual geography well but it tells the story better than the physical map coloured up.


This baddy shows the seats that changed hands. It’s not dissimilar to the first map, but it’s clarity is in showing the wins/losses. 

The SNP did hang onto a lot of seats. Tory gains are big in area, Labour gains are threatening Glasgow and Edinburgh, and the Lib Dem ones seem rather random.

Key points from all those maps and graphs.

  1. The SNP lost 21 Seats
  2. The Tories gained 13.
  3. Labour gained 6.
  4. Lib Dems gained 3.
  5. Scottish Turnout 66.4% 
  6. UK turnout 68.7%
  7. SNP largest party 35/59 seats
  8. SNP took 38.9% of votes

So, that’s the inconvenient truths out the way, most important is that turnout was down across the country. 

One example is Glasgow North. Paul Sweeney won the seat with 242 votes on a 50.3% turnout. 

Contrast with Ian Murray holding his Edinburgh South seat on a 74.1% turnout. 

Some others..

East Lothian 70.6% Labour Gain.
Aberdeen North 59.2% SNP hold.

Aberdeen South 68.5% Tory Gain.

Aberdeenshire West 71.2% Tory Gain.

Coatbridge etc. 63.3% Labour Gain, Majority 1,586.

Airdrie and Shotts 59.2% SNP hold, Majority 195.

The script from me here is:-

  1. Motivated versus unmotivated voters in a constituency, see Aberdeen North and South and the shire part seat.
  2. Targeted gains by parties 
  3. Narrow SNP gains AND losses
  4. Labour’s defence of Murray in Edinburgh on a higher turnout and unexpected win in Glasgow on a near 50% turnout 
  5. Lanarkshire on a knife edge, a swing one way is a hold, another is a Labour Gain.

We can talk politics to the interested. 

Truth is a long campaign when added with the local council elections probably didn’t make people want to bother. An eight week long campaign all told.

We know the Tories were biggest gainers, but hey, who called it in first place?

Defending Seats is a harder task than gaining. People are motivated by change. Not so much by keeping in the guy you have.

Tactical Voting played a part. Labour and Lib Dem voters came out and voted Tory. They were as good as told to. No need for tactical Voting wheels.

The graphics used by the Tories worked. They weren’t always strictly the situation, but the public grasped that they could make their dent in an incumbent SNP seat.

I, called it wrong before Thursday night. I didn’t think there could be more than 10 losses for the SNP.  I thought the exit poll was a stinker, I was way wrong.

The obviously noisy seats were ones that Labour, Tories and Lib Dems were after. The ones where the activity was greatest and resources were thrown into.

Labour may have benefited from Jeremy Corbyn’s appeal which is ironic given Ian Murray refusing to serve in his Shadow Cabinet and the mainly Blairite leadership in Scotland opposing him. The ‘for the many’ slogan appeared in Scotland in a photo opportunity after the Election.

For me the ‘ failure’ from the SNP and loss of seats was for these reasons.

  1. Timing of election. The GE followed hard on the Council elections and the party had its eye on both elections.
  2. Opponent targeting. The Tories clearly have software and data and used it well. They went for bang for buck. It wasn’t entirely opportunist, but they had benefit of knowing when election would be and they used it.
  3. Corbyn effect. He attracted soft ‘yes’ voters. It changed some seats and dented majorities in others.
  4. ‘No second referendum’ – it played louder than a message on Brexit or the competence and ability of the SNP MP group
  5. The echo chamber of social media. Again, SNP supporters and Yessers hear each other very clearly but not the whole noise pattern. 
  6. Turnout. Grass roots canvassing got lots of sentiment on the doorsteps, but didn’t work to make voters come out. In some seats this was disastrous and particularly reflects in the turnouts in the central belt of Scotland. 
  7. Resource. Targeting seats to defend is one thing, but big hitters like Angus Robertson, Alex Salmond and John Nicholson were targeted by the SNPs opponents and tumbled. In contrast Alistair Carmichael and David Mundell held on against good candidates.

I’m not an SNP member. I’ve no reason to sugar coat it and hopefully I’ve been truthful and useful in my analysis.

The key seems to be find a clear message, stick with it. Analyse each seat, get turnout.

It’s tough when the national media do leader interviews based on competence in devolved matters.

It’s tough when Labour come from dead to having an appealing socialist message. (Stealing a few policies)

It’s tough when the Tories out-bastard you. 

They certainly did and the good people of the north east of Scotland may need reminded about Free Prescriptions, care for elderly, university tuition etc etc as clearly they’ve taken heed of a distaste for a second referendum but might not know why it’s needed.

Personality attack aren’t nice, but there’s a cult of nicknames around the First Minister as there was with her predecessor. It’s not nice, but being nice doesn’t get you what you want.

The Tories weren’t slaughtered on Brexit. Weren’t slaughtered on the effects of losing EU membership and weren’t slaughtered over Benefits and the uncaring society created since 2010.

Labour weren’t slaughtered on being a shambles for the last seven years. They weren’t slaughtered for being unionist. They weren’t slaughtered for meekly accepting brexit.

In a Westminster election, the SNP aren’t a party of government. There’s no record to defend, no case to answer. If people aren’t happy, it’s the Tory Government. If they’re unhappy on a devolved matter, well you’ve mitigated the Tory cuts.

I’ll admit my disappointment and my surprise at the results.

If there’s another election in October, Plenty can be gained, it’s there to take back, but get your voters out and motivated. Target. 

Drive at Labour and Tories on their failings and inconsistencies. Defend Scotref robustly. What other option is there if the bananas brexit referendum is to be applied?

Be clear, consistent, go beyond the TV and papers. Don’t trust Twitter as a medium. Use data. Use maps, use numbers.

Here endith my chill.

Doctor Who s10 e9 – The Empress of Mars

Standalone Fun with nods to classic Who.

Mark Gatiss. A Renaissance Man of our times, one of the League of Gentleman, comedian, writer  for TV and otherwise, co-creator of BBC’s Sherlock, actor, Mycroft Holmes in Sherlock, Tycho Nestoris in Game of Thrones and huge Doctor Who fan, writer and contributor.

‘Sleep No More’ of the nine episodes that he has written for NuWho, was experimental, different and interesting using a ‘found footage’ format to tell a story in a different way. It also carried criticism from fans as it wasn’t easily accessible and thought confusing.

‘Empress of Mars’ is a delight in comparison. A romp, an episode with Victorians on Mars, led there by a servile Ice Warrior (or so it seems).

This episode played to the strengths of Capaldi and Mackie, we were drawn into the tale straightaway with no reference to the preceding mini-arc of the Monks. We have 1881, ‘God Save The Queen’ written on the Martian surface and an amusing opening in the NASA control room. 

British imperial redcoats getting to Mars finding it barren, but being used by their servant ice warrior to find his hive.

Our Queen of this story is the Ice Warrior Queen, who is woken and disturbed by a squaddie seeking loot. The most intriguing lines of the episode are when the Queen seeks Bill’s opinion as a woman.

Neville Catchlove was our Victorian antagonist. What a name. His greed and willingness to disregard his commander almost gave us Victorian Soldiers fighting the Ice Warriors, before The Queen, The Doctor and Bill diffuse the situation. Although that’s after Catchlove locks Bill and The Doctor up and that pesky sonic screwdriver still can’t deal with wood.

We also have questions of the superior tone used by the Victorians with Bill, a black woman and their treatment of the Ice Warrior that led them there as a servant.

The Doctor engages, tries to advise and tries to save the Soldiers from themselves and the revived Ice Queen and her Warriors. 

It’s not a case of The Doctor automatically being there for the humans, but he’s stuck with them after the TARDIS disappears with Nardole. Again the Twelfth Doctor won’t intervene for human stupidity, but rather for both species, which is consistent with his earlier grouchy appearances in Series Eight.

The references to classic who abound, Ice Warriors, also placed into NuWho by Gatiss on a Russian submarine. Monsters of the 60’s and 70’s most memorably with the Third Doctor on Peladon. Alpha Centuri, an alien Ambassador from well, Alpha Centuri, voiced by a 92 year old actress, Ysanne Churchman, who had played the character in the seventies. 

There’s a Queen Victoria portrait with Pauline Collins’ likeness as from Tooth and Claw in the Tenth Doctor’s adventures too. The Tardis previously went haywire around Ice Warriors in the Third Doctor’s first visit to Peladon in 1972’s Curse of Peladon. (Being a saddo and a whovian, I’ve seen that on DVD..)

It’s a standalone episode and it delivers. 8/10 from me, a return to form after the slight disappointment of Lie of the Land. 

My questions

The Tardis disappearing with Nardole and returning with Nardole and Missy. Nothing is linear, necessarily, in time and space.

Victorians on Mars in 1881. Yeah that’s a hell of a rocket, even with Ice Warrior help.

Missy? Did she save the day? Did she save Nardole? Did he seek her help with the Tardis malfunctioning? Why did the Tardis malfunction? What did Nardole and Missy do between leaving and returning to Mars?

And what of those Monks?

These may be questions resolved in the series finale episodes, I do feel the Monks will return and I have a suspicion that there’s another classic who nod in their reveal.

As for next week, Rona Munro is another writer who has written Who before. Although, it was ‘Survival’, the Seventh Doctor’s final adventure before the show was terminated by Michael Grade and the BBC’s corporate morons of the late 1980’s. Somewhat brilliantly though, we have our Doctor returning to Scotland, well Caledonia more correctly, and a tale of the missing IX legion..

I’ll look forward to ‘The Eaters of Light.’

Oh, and on reveals, we’re getting closer to the filming dates of the 2017 Christmas Special and possibly the last episode featuring Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor, there’s buzz that show insiders know who the next Who is.. we’ll see. Steven Moffat loves a misdirection if nothing else.

A date and a time (Aspergers)

It’s came in. I have a date and time for my PIP hearing. I’m the usual, anxious, worried, scared, at times terrified. 

I have looked and looked away from the screed of papers. 

I’m writing this on the train, my head has been full. 

I picked the one with ten minutes to go, so I could sit with my bag of food shopping, my rucksack. It’s a better evening than morning so I’m carrying my jacket

I feel warm and sweaty. It’s too hot for me. I’m carrying stuff. 

I’m out of sorts. 

I’ve been uncomfortable walking along Argyle Street from the shop I got food in, I hated how busy it was and all the people and all the eyes. 

I’ve hated the noise of buses on the streets and music coming from the shops. 

I tried avoiding a chugger with ‘sorry bud’ said loud and clearly. 

I’m not enjoying people getting on the train and acting in their demanding way for a seat, especially those walking through the train and coming from behind me and setting off the doors between carriages. 

I’m trying to look away from people I’m willing the train to move, bleeps to go on the outside doors. So I can be a bit less stressed for ten minutes.

The doors close, I feel the air pressure change. Two men are talking 10 metres away at the doors, I’m hearing every word.

 I’m feeling every movement as the train crosses the x’s of the points. 

A family burst through the doors behind me luggage and noise and a women lurches near me with her hair and her smell. I lean away.

The papers from the DWP imply I’m not that bad and things are okay as I’m capable of driving.

A mobile rings on the carriage it’s an insistent grating tone that distracts me, then another different one. 

The train lurches at points at Shields Junction. I’m sweating now. 

I have to move again in my seat as someone is coming right at me to work those doors. It’s like his arm is reaching at me. I’m trying not to react.

I’m not happy, I want this over.

 I have too much stuff with me, Those men keep talking and talking and talking.   

The door again, the same guy coming back into this carriage. The same things as I hear/feel/notice movement.

Hillington. Over soon. The fields now outside. Yellow, must be rapeseed. 

He’s standing again. Why? 

They’re talking. Almost Paisley!!

I’m off. 1757. Phew. I’m standing, breathing.

 I want the train away, the crowd getting off here away. 

I message my daughter. Put everything together and go. 

I walk from the station, people doors, moving around, getting out.

The street, cars zooming past. I feel the rush of air, if my feet are still, the vibration too. 

I’m tense. I want to cross. It’s three lanes, an old wide street made one way. 

I get across, keep moving, there’s a women taking stuff out the Tattoists to their bins, I’m going sideways a bit to avoid her when she comes back. 

I’m past her and away thinking how I think and what I do and what I’ve started writing.

I get to the other crossing point, traffic flowing but a buzz in the air, a helicopter, black one. Lights change I can cross. I stop and take a picture (for you).


I keep going, the buzz is still as loud, rotors. It’s stationary in one place in the air. I want it to go.

 I get near the park, the pavement is narrow and a girl is coming the other way towards me, I speed up, get to wider bit, go through the park.

Helicopter, Fountain, kids playing, people talking, birdsong, trees swaying and the noise of their leafs moving in the wind. Road cars, noise, a truck over a drain over. Clank. 

I’m out the park. Nearly home. The helicopter moves slowly. Still the noise and buzz and loudness.

The outside door, moving my jacket and feeling for keys. I keep reaching in same pocket, I sway, bags. 

Finally keys. 

In and up. Door open door closed. 

Bags down, sweaty shirt off over my head. Shows off. Feet. Ooh.

Then the letter for the tribunal and it’s date and time. They think there’s nothing wrong with me…