TV: Russell Tovey – One Good Mug

Good Mug, originally uploaded by Thoroughly Good.

It’s not often I feel the need to write an email to Russell T Davies, outgoing bigwig from Doctor Who but reading the latest Doctor Who related story I’m feeling suitably motivated.

According to the story, Russell T Davies has expressed who he feels would be good to be the next time-lordy chappy in Doctor Who. The man Davies speaks of is Russell Tovey.

I could email Davies to express my thoughts and feelings about Tovey (although I figure Davies is probably a little overrun with emails at the present time), so I’ll just express my gut reactions here and now in an absolutely-not-gushing-or-sycophantic kind of way.

In short … we like Tovey we do. Get Tovey to do the role. Go on. Get him to do the role.

Church sermon

Was I suffering from a hangover? Was I tired? Was I coming down with some hideous end-of-the-Proms cold brought on the sudden realisation the season was at an end and I could finally breathe a sigh of relief?

I should really have been paying closer attention to the responses I was meant to be participating in during the baptism service of the newest family member. I found it difficult to focus on the words printed in the order of service, whatever the reason for that was.

Father Joe was conducting the event for a reasonably large crowd of family members (there were two baptism running concurrently). It was the second time in the space of two months I’d found myself in a church.

I could participate in the responses but somehow didn’t feel comfortable doing so. I might have been happy to bob up and down at the Last Night of the Proms the night before, but I was hesitant saying the Lords Prayer. I just couldn’t bring myself to say it. If I didn’t believe it, how could I recite it? I’m a stickler, no doubt about that.

Father Joe was unexpectedly engaging and reassuring when it came to his mini-sermon mid-way through proceedings.

He drew attention to the gurgling and crying babies in the church. Don’t be irritated by them, welcome them into your lives. All children are welcome in God’s home. After all, that was the reason we were there anyway.

He expanded the point further, adding that when the children are crying in our lives, or in our homes or, indeed, anywhere near us, we shouldn’t ignore them. We shouldn’t tell them they shouldn’t cry just because it’s irritating or seemingly not appropriate to the surroundings they find themselves in. Allow them to express themselves. Engage with them. They are a part of the home, a part of your life.

Father Joe’s platitudes were, to a certain extent, lost on me. I have no children nor have the desire to father or parent any.

Still, his sincere delivery and engaging tone made me listen to his every word and left me thinking about the children I know and those I don’t.

Whilst the religious significance of his words still remains lost on me, the humanist implications of his sermon haven’t been.

Whatever it was I was suffering from before, during and after today’s family baptism, I’m left with the very strong thought that more of us should think more about those children around us who could well be trying to attracting our attention.

What do they need ? And can you help them?

(The picture above is the stained glass window I spied during Father Joe’s sermon earlier on today.)

Prom 76: Loved It

Prom 76: Loved It, originally uploaded by Thoroughly Good.

A day of roll calls, queuing, walking, standing and a bit more queuing and I’m pleased to announce that I have, finally, attended my first-ever Last Night of the Proms.

I did tut and moan about the lady in the second row who coughed seemingly uncontrollably during the Beethoven piano-thing, initially refused to bob up and down because I thought I’d look like a twat and did get ridiculously excited when the Ulster Orchestra appeared on the screens inside the Royal Albert Hall. Believe me, it was one very special evening.

Roger Norrington’s speech was brief but the poem he read was unexpectedly touching.

The journey home provided a bit of a wake-up call, however. Seeing some people on the tube train home with Proms in the Park tickets hanging around their necks, I ventured to ask how it was in Hyde Park. “Fantastic!” replied one of the girls I was speaking to.

“Did you see the Hall from where you were?”

“Yeah,” she replied, “there was a live feed on the screen in the park. But we weren’t really interested in the toffs in the hall.”

Prom 75: Roll Call

Prom 75: Roll Call, originally uploaded by Thoroughly Good.

I have to admit that I wasn’t concentrating on the Beethoven 9

in Prom 75 especially closely. My mind was on other things.

There are special arrangements for queueing for the Last Night

of the Proms (Prom 76). Those queueing arrangements begin at

4.00pm the day before, which also happens to be the day for

Prom 75.

Consequently I turned up at the Albert Hall for 5.00pm, got my

name on a list of names for the Last Night of the Prom queue on

the strict understanding I turned up for a roll-call outside

the Hall at 10.15pm that night. After that I’d be required to

attend a roll call on Saturday 13 September at 10.00am and then

another at 3.00pm. I know all of this because the helpful

Albert Hall staff handed me an A4 page of instructions. It does

make for quite dry reading.

So having attended the first roll-call last night after Prom

75, I can now confirm I am sick of queueing and arrangements

and lists and having my name called out.

Not only that, I can now absolutely confirm based on personal

experience alone that gaining entry to the Last Night of the

Proms is considerably more difficult than getting into the

Eurovision Song Contest.

Still, at least I have the prospect of watching a mate play the

trumpet fanfare from Belfast live in the second half of

tonight’s Prom. Over the past three years I’ve watched him do

that on TV at home. Tonight I’ll see him on a massive screen in

the arena.

That’s surely worth all the roll-calls.

Prom 74: Orchestra de Paris / Eschenbach / Mahler 1

I was originally intending to cycle from London Charing Cross to the Royal Albert Hall this evening. I’ve been working from home today (it’s worth stressing that when I work from home I really work from home and certainly did so today) and as a result looked forward to cycling. It would be a bit of a break. I’d get an endorphin rush before the concert.

As it was, I found I’d left the house too late. I got to Hither Green station in time for the 1826. I panicked slightly and then thought about the opportunity to get a few more pages covered of the book I’m reading and ended up leaving my bike at the station.

By the time I found myself sitting in my seat minutes before the concert began, I was feeling quite justifiably lucky.

My walk up from South Kensington tube resulted in me bumping into a handful of people who happened to have tickets to a box in the Grand Tier. “There’s a spare seat Jon, do you fancy joining us?”

I did think long and hard about the season ticket in my pocket. What would the Prommers say? Would I be able to look them in the face? Two nights in the Grand Tier in one week?

The best course of action seemed to at least cast an eye over the arena and see where I would end up standing and/or sitting.

My position was quite far back. I made a quick decision. The Grand Tier seemed like the best option, especially given that I knew it was the one next door to the Tv commentator’s box-thing. If I didn’t enjoy what I heard emanating from the stage, I could at least look on Grand Tier 41 and dream a bit.

It was a good decision. The auditorium wasn’t too packed – I’m sorry to confess that I prefer it when there’s a few empty seats in the Royal Albert Hall – and I really enjoyed the concert. I heard a few clinking of glasses during the Mahler and one person in the stalls seemed to get strangely excited at the end of one of the movements, but that’s OK. They were enjoying themselves too.

It’s Beethoven 9 tomorrow night. Seems like the most fitting thing to listen to at the end of the season.

Prom 74 via the BBC iPlayer