Doctors and Patient

Well!  I have rarely seen an episode of Dr Who which bored me, but I have to say last night’s was 45 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.  Hm – how DO you get time back?  If I was a time lord (or lady) I guess I could go back in time and live it all again, like Hermione in the third Harry Potter.  You can buy those time-turner things on the internet and I strongly suspect they don’t actually do what it says on the tin, though if they did, we’d all get very tired.

Which was the precise subject of the episode before last, in which an app called ‘Morpheus’ could be implanted in the brain and override the need to sleep.  That was an excellent episode, as was last week’s in which Clara died.  But this week’s!  I couldn’t follow it and eventually I lost the will to understand and even to live.  The major problem was that the Doctor had no companion and therefore had to spend the entire 3/4 hr monologuing.  That was bad enough, but on top of that he spent 7000 years in hell (I know how he felt) having to repeat actions over and over until – well, I’d lost track by then so I don’t know exactly what he had to do but he had to do it and then he could get back to the Tardis which was encased in some kind of material harder than diamonds and ……….. zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.  I sincerely hope next week’s story is better.

It’s been quite variable, I think, this season.  I’ve liked some episodes and hated others.  I wasn’t at all grabbed by the Zygons, though I did like Mark’s joke ‘let Zygons be Zygons.’

Apart from that I’ve been watching just about everything available on the iplayer.  For yes!  I have been quite poorly.  Two weeks ago I was prescribed both antibiotics AND steroids and after that I had to get another lot of antibio’s which I am just now finishing.  Then this week I’ll have to go for a chest x-ray just to check there isn’t anything else wrong.

Hey, ho.  That’s life I guess.  Incidentally, where does the idea come from about eternity being like a mountain of sand from which a bird removes a grain every thousand years?  I remember it from James Joyce but I think it’s a reference to something else.

TTFN.  I still haven’t been on Facebook…

Kirk out

King Richard, Prince Harry and Betelgeuse

So this morning Mark turns to me in bed and says, ‘Betelgeuse is due to go supernova someday.’  This is at a point where I am barely conscious and when any normal human being would be mumbling incoherently instead of bombarding their partner with astronomical facts.

What I thought he said was that Betelgeuse was due to go supernova on Monday.

‘What time on Monday?’ I asked, thinking it’d be like an eclipse and we could go out and view it.

‘Not Monday!  Someday!’ he corrected me.  ‘Of course,’ he continued, ‘it might already have happened.  It could have happened 600 years ago and we’d only be seeing it now.’

There was a pause while we digested that fact.  Or at least, he digested it.  I went back to sleep.  ‘Just think!’ he enthused, ‘it could have happened while Richard III was being killed on the battlefield!’

Now there’s a thought, and it sent me in two different directions.  First, about the speed of light, which totally does my head in when you think of how unbelievably fast light travels and then how long a light-year is and then put the two together and think of 600 Earth Years!!! in terms of light years – you just can’t comprehend it.  It’s like that awful sermon on hell in James Joyce’s ‘Portrait of the Artist’.  It gave me nightmares when I first read it:

‘– Last and crowning torture of all the tortures of that awful place is the eternity of hell. Eternity! O, dread and dire word. Eternity! What mind of man can understand it?… And remember, it is an eternity of pain. Even though the pains of hell were not so terrible as they are, yet they would become infinite, as they are destined to last for ever. But while they are everlasting they are at the same time, as you know, intolerably intense, unbearably extensive. To bear even the sting of an insect for all eternity would be a dreadful torment. What must it be, then, to bear the manifold tortures of hell for ever? For ever! For all eternity! Not for a year or for an age but for ever. Try to imagine the awful meaning of this. You have often seen the sand on the seashore…  Now imagine a mountain of that sand, a million miles high… and imagine that at the end of every million years a little bird came to that mountain and carried away in its beak a tiny grain of that sand. How many millions upon millions of centuries would pass before that bird had carried away even a square foot of that mountain?… Yet at the end of that immense stretch of time not even one instant of eternity could be said to have ended….

One of our own fathers I believe it was) was once vouchsafed a vision of hell. It seemed to him that he stood in the midst of a great hall, dark and silent save for the ticking of a great clock. The ticking went on unceasingly; and it seemed to this saint that the sound of the ticking was the ceaseless repetition of the words – ever, never; ever, never. Ever to be in hell, never to be in heaven; ever to be shut off from the presence of God… ever to suffer, never to enjoy; ever to be damned, never to be saved; ever, never; ever, never. O, what a dreadful punishment!’

There’s more of this stuff, about thirty pages more, and probably not too dissimilar from the kind of stuff they used to preach to children.  Imagine it!  You’d be locked up nowadays.

Anyway, where was I?  Oh yes, on Betelgeuse.  And, Richard III being the last English King to die in battle, this set me thinking about how it would be a good thing if politicians could actually lead the armies they so glibly send off to fight for their country.  Perhaps they wouldn’t be so keen to go to war if they actually had to wage it themselves.  Instead of which we have Prince Harry going off to fight in Afghanistan – and of course he won’t be allowed to be in any actual danger so that will make a greater headache for those around him.

OK that’s it now.  I’m going back to sleep.

Kirk out

Don´t say you don´t…

…get value for money on this blog. Yes, another poem! This one is a poetic version of the short story I posted earlier, Spiral Stair.

Spiral Stair

Pink bedclothes, flowered wallpaper oppress

I long for poverty, turn to the view;

He, showered, says “Cathedral”, goes to dress

Down on the street, the word acts as our cue:

“Dimly lit” – words flicker, and go dark

I search for messages among the dead:

Nothing. My need grows sharper; calling Mark

“I have to climb the tower; clear my head”.

This spiral stair like hell goes on forever

the spine of some rough beast our steps will waken

I, Sisyphus, still hoping to be clever

but finding every thought already taken:

at last, a burst of light: the parapet

I lean and gaze: I’ll cheat this karma yet.