by Catriona Mills

Strange Conversations: Part Two Hundred and Forty-Four

Posted 2886 days ago in by Catriona

ME: That shower spray gets a bit cloying after a while, doesn’t it?
MY MOTHER: Which shower spray?
ME: Well, how many shower sprays do you have?
MY MOTHER: One in each bathroom.
ME: But they’re generically the same, right?
MY MOTHER: Well, what did you say?
ME: I said, “That shower spray . . .”
MY MOTHER: Right.
ME: “. . . gets a bit cloying after a while.”
MY MOTHER: I hadn’t noticed.
ME: (Sob)
MY MOTHER: Give up. It’s much easier if you just give up.

Strange Conversations: Part Two Hundred and Forty-Three

Posted 2890 days ago in by Catriona

NICK: You’re so cute!
ME: I know, right?
NICK: You’re cuter than a possum.
(Pause)
ME: You don’t like possums. You always yell at them when they rummage through the rubbish bin.
NICK: And then they wee on me, yes. But they are cute.
ME: Right . . .
NICK: But you’re cuter.
ME: Okay . . .
NICK: I think you’re over-thinking this.
ME: I think you’re under-thinking this.
NICK: You might be right.

Christmas-time

Posted 2890 days ago in by Catriona

I’ve been a neglectful blogger this past six months: I do know that. It would have been worse if I hadn’t had all those episodes of Doctor Who and Torchwood to live-blog.

Let’s put it down to a slightly stressful work situation and not allow it to poison our future relationship.

But I can’t promise it’ll get better over the next fortnight, what with travelling to Sydney for Christmas and New Year—a holiday that, frankly, I desperately need right now.

So I’ll leave you with some Christmas photos. I’m not saying this is definitely my last post for 2009, but, in case it turns out that way, at least the year ends with some pretty ribbons and sparkling lights.

Strange Conversations: Part Two Hundred and Forty-Two

Posted 2892 days ago in by Catriona

ME: Well, all cats are psychotic, and most of them are neurotic.
NICK: What?
ME: It’s our own fault.
NICK: Hmm?
ME: I said it’s our own fault.
NICK: Yes.
ME: I love these discussions we have. The free and easy exchange of ideas . . .
NICK: It’s the cut and thrust I like.

Strange Conversations: Part Two Hundred and Forty-One

Posted 2895 days ago in by Catriona

After watching the Iron Man 2 trailer. (Which is here. You should watch it).

ME: And what I love in this? Tony Stark is such a complete show pony.
And they really play that up.
NICK: Yeah. He’s a totally awesome character. They’re really nailed the core of the character.
ME: They have! Wait and see. You’ll see what I mean. And is that Mickey Rooney?
(Pause)
ME: No! Mickey Rourke. Damn. Shut up.
NICK: What?
ME: Don’t mention the Mickey Rooney comment. To anyone. Ever.
NICK: Oh. I didn’t even process it.
ME: Well . . . it never happened.
NICK: My lips are sealed.
ME: No need! It never happened. It was a mirage.
NICK: Indeed.

Strange Conversations: Part Two Hundred and Forty

Posted 2896 days ago in by Catriona

In which I explain why it’s Nick’s fault that I had nightmares, and nothing to do with that creepy episode of Warehouse 13.

ME: Yes, well, I had nightmares all night and, when I got back from the loo at 2 am, you were cocooned up on your doona, despite the heat, so I blame you for the nightmares.
NICK: Well, that could be my fault, yes.
ME: You must have been generating an enormous amount of heat.
NICK: I have to stop doing that.
ME: Yes.
NICK: Maybe I should put in a thinner doona cover. Not cover. You know. The inside bit.
ME: Doona?
NICK: Yeah.
ME: Idiot.

Strange Conversations: Part Two Hundred and Thirty-Nine

Posted 2897 days ago in by Catriona

The kind of conversation you have at midnight, when the relative humidity is at 75% and you’ve just thrown half-a-dozen soggy peppermint teabags into a bin that, as it turns out, is lacking a bin bag:

ME: Honey?
NICK: Hmmm?
ME: You really have two options.
NICK: What are they?
ME: You can remember to put bin bags in the bin when you empty it . . .
NICK: Or?
ME: Or I can smite your ruin upon the mountainside.
NICK: Is this a time-sensitive offer?
ME: Well, I’ve been asking you to remember for nine years.
NICK: I’ll think about it. I don’t want my smite ruined.
ME: No, I won’t ruin your smite, I’ll smite your . . . oh, go back to sleep.

Strange Conversations: Part Two Hundred and Thirty-Eight

Posted 2898 days ago in by Catriona

My mother versus my novel.

MY MOTHER: So you have one copy for Jack.
ME: Yes.
MY MOTHER: And one copy for Hamish.
ME: Yes.
MY MOTHER: And one copy for Leigh.
ME: Yes.
MY MOTHER: And one so you can see what it looks like.
ME: Yes.
MY MOTHER: Well, you could have one for Jack and Hamish to share, one for Leigh, and one for me.
ME: I could have, but I didn’t suppose you’d be interested.
MY MOTHER: Why not?
ME: Well, you’ve never read anything else I’ve written.
MY MOTHER: Oh, but those were only Ph.Ds.
ME: Yes, I can see how that might be boring.

Strange Conversations: Part Two Hundred and Thirty-Seven

Posted 2899 days ago in by Catriona

ME: I have been so very bad about keeping up with the washing up, haven’t I?
NICK: Well, I wouldn’t say I’m a judgemental man, Treena.
ME: No, that is very strongly the flavour I’m getting from this conversation.
NICK: So I wouldn’t say bad, precisely . . .
ME: Sweetie, anything you add at this point would just be over-egging the pudding.

Live-blogging Torchwood, Season Two: Exit Wounds

Posted 2900 days ago in by Catriona

Dear Brisbane,

This weather? It’s ridiculous. Please stop it immediately.

Love, Me.

In other words, this is the last episode of Torchwood season two. So we’ll find out in about an hour or so whether or not they’ll be heading straight into “Children of Earth.” In a way, I really hope they don’t. I’m not quite sure I’m psychologically ready to live-blog that storyline.

According to the ABC, we have another episode of Hyperdrive next. No, wait: now they’re saying Torchwood is next! I’m confused by the station promos! They’re giving me conflicting information!

Hey, looks like they’re not going to “Children of Earth”! More on that later.

This episode contains violence, but no nudity or sexual references.

Monologue.

JACK: And Torchwood is ready.
NICK: Well. Sort of.

We flash back to last week’s episode, the explosive devices, and Captain John Hart. Not to mention Jack’s brother Gray.

We come back at the same warehouse, but the Torchwoodmobile is gone: John has taken it. And Tosh is reading Rift activity all over the city. And Andy rings Gwen, telling her—as he walks past blood splatters all over the walls—that they really need her.

The team splits up, with Jack going back to the Hub. Tosh says it’s a trap, but Jack says that he’s the only one who could control John—that’s why the Time Agency partnered them.

RHYS: Time Agency? Don’t tell me that’s based in Cardiff, too.

At the Hub, Jack walks in to loud disco music, which John claims is “their” song.

JACK: We don’t have a song. And if we did, it wouldn’t be this.

Jack asks John what he wants, and John says he wants Jack to know that he loves him. Jack scoffs, but John says, no: he really does love Jack.

Then he shoots him. With two automatic weapons. Many, many times. And we go to credits on Jack face down in a pool of water, as John says, “Because this? Is going to get nasty.”

At the police station, Gwen finds that the four most senior officers have been taken out by weevils. Andy objects to Rhys being there, since he says that this is a crime scene.

Rhys says that he’s keeping more secrets than Andy could possibly guess. Andy asks what he means.

RHYS: Like a Time Agency based in Cardiff?
GWEN: Oh, it’s not based in Cardiff.
ANDY: Great secret. I ask, you tell.

In another site, Tosh and Ianto (Tosh hopped up on Owen’s industrial-strength painkillers) are confronted by what the staff are calling “ghosts”. They’re men in robes, with scythes, who insist that Ianto and Tosh pray to their heathen gods, before charging.

But Tosh and Ianto shoot them, without flinching.

In a hospital, Owen takes down an alien who lives to eat, by distracting it with food. Don’t ask me to spell that alien’s name.

In the Hub, Jack comes back to life, chained to the wall. There’s much banter, naturally, about bondage and John’s previous sex life with Jack. Again, John taunts Jack with the fact that though Jack has all eternity at his command, he still won’t spend time with John.

John says that he’s localising the Rift storms, but when Jack objects, John electrocutes him through the chains.

Jack says that whatever John’s planning, he, Jack, will stop him. John says, “I hope you can.” But though Jack pulls against the chains, he can’t break free. So John says they need to go and make sure that they get a good view.

He drags Jack up onto the roof of a building that I can’t identify. And he electrocutes him again, when Jack objects. He opens comms, to talk to all the Torchwood employees, and tell them to get up onto the roofs of their buildings, or they’ll miss all the fun. Or, he adds, does he mean carnage? He always gets those mixed up.

As it turns out, he means carnage, as he explodes bombs all over Cardiff, to the horror of Tosh, Ianto, Gwen, and Owen—not to mention Jack, who drew himself up in time to see the explosions. But even as he objects, Jack triggers a Rift opening, and takes Jack away with him.

This leaves Gwen in charge. She wants to know the extent of the damage. Tosh says that there were fifteen major explosions, taking all communication networks offline.

Of course, they’ve also damaged the local nuclear station. (Which really just reminds me of Plan 9 From Outer Space, which managed to be anti both nuclear power and anti solar power.)

Gwen wonders where Jack is, and we find that he’s still in Cardiff—in 27 AD. John shows Jack that there’s a bomb bonded to John’s arm, as well as something that allows “him”—whoever “he” is—to monitor John’s every word.

JACK: He has me doing everything he says. I’m not my own man, Jack. I thought you’d notice. But no: you’re so selfish. As though I want to blow up your stupid city, when I could be experiencing seventeen different pleasures in the Lotus Nebula.

He tells Jack to run, but Jack says that it’s the oldest trick in the book—just as Jack hears someone calling his name. He swings around, in a gorgeous slow-mo shot, to see his brother walking towards him against the sun flare on the lens.

They embrace, until Jack says that he’s sorry—and Gray says it’s not good enough, and stabs Jack in the belly.

As Jack falls, Gray tells John to get a shovel.

Back in the present day, Gwen mobilises the police force, and Tosh and Ianto realise they have to work on-site to restore basic requirements.

In Cardiff on 27 AD, John is binding Jack, as Gray tells Jack that the creatures in question, the ones who over-ran the Boe Shane Penisula, live to torture, that he lived for years among corpses, hoping to become one.

And he has John bury Jack alive, in Cardiff, in 27 AD, so he can choke, and die, and come back to life for the next two thousand years.

John throws his ring into the grave on Jack’s chest—when Gray challenges him, he says it’s of sentimental value—and fills in the grave, before Gray rematerialises in the Torchwood Hub.

In the police station, Gwen breaks down a little, and Rhys gives her a lovely pep talk that prompts her to ask “Will you marry me again?” When Tosh says that Gwen needs to get back to the Hub, Gwen says she can’t leave the police station, but Rhys says she can: they’ll be fine.

Back at the Hub, Gwen comes face to face with John, and, not surprisingly, draws a gun on him, and tells him to get on his knees.

JOHN: Honestly, it’s all sex, sex, sex with you people.

But he agrees, and then tells Gwen about the bomb, about Jack being buried alive, about Gray.

Gwen asks, quite rightly, why she should believe John, and he tells her something of Gray’s history (and, by extension, something of Jack’s history). He says Gray saw him as the rescuing hero, so it took him (John) too long to realise that Gray had learned terrible things from watching the creatures at work.

At that point, John screams, as the bomb molecularly bonded to his skin unbinds. He says that, apparently, he didn’t have to come back after all. He could have gone to anywhere in the galaxy. But he does tell them that they can track Jack through the ring that he threw in the grave—just as Gray triggers some noise that drives the weevils mad, making them attack people in the street.

Ianto and Tosh can’t make it to the nuclear power station. But Owen, helping at the hospital, says he’ll go: he’s king of the weevils, remember.

John is still trying to find Jack, who is not where he should be, as they’re ambushed by two weevils, sadly while separated from their guns. But Tosh and Ianto arrive in time to shoot the weevils—as Gwen, Ianto, and John are dragging them down to the cells, Gray locks them all in and blocks their comms.

Owen, in the nuclear station, tries to convince the last remaining member of staff to leave the station. She doesn’t want to, but he talks good talk, Owen. I secretly kind of like him this season.

The talk is just talk, though. As the staff member leaves, he frantically contacts Tosh, who tells him that the reactor has already gone critical, but that she can help him.

That, of course, is before Gray turns up and shoots her in the stomach.

Owen asks for her repeatedly over the comms, but she can’t talk. She reaches for the comm, but Gray, asking her to describe death to him, kicks the comm down the stairs.

Then Gray hears a knocking noise, which he follows. Owen says, “Tosh, are you there? I need your help, babe” as Tosh begins the long, slow process of dragging herself down the stairs to the comm.

And Gray, following the knocking sound through the Hub, finds Jack inside the Torchwood vault. Jack, it seems, was buried in a twenty-foot grave, and found by Torchwood. They’re horrified, since he’s supposed to be on assignment for them. He’s horrified, because he’s crossed his own timeline. So he asks then to freeze him.

And he says to Gray, “I forgive you.” And walks away. Gray follows him, demanding that Jack talk to him. But Jack says no: he gave Gray absolution, and now Gray needs to give it to him.

Gray will not. He says everything is Jack’s fault, that he prayed for death because of Jack, the favoured son, who will live forever.

And Jack says that he knows it’s all his fault, as he chloroforms Gray, and cries over him.

In the cells, John manages to recall the weevils.

And in the Hub, Tosh grabs the comm, and manages to restore power in the nuclear station. She sounds breathless, and Owen asks if she’s hurt. But she says it’s just her arm, and that she’s sorting out another painkiller—which she does by stabbing herself in the leg with a hypodermic.

But Tosh realises that there’s no way to stop the meltdown. All they can do is contain it, by channeling the flow back into the room that Owen is in. He should have time to get out.

Tosh, during all of this, is bleeding and wincing, leaning up against some over-turned medical equipment.

Jack manages to free the others from the cells, whereupon there’s some promiscuous hugging, though John doesn’t get one.

Owen manages to contain the meltdown, but Tosh tells him to run, because a power surge is triggering an emergency shutdown. And he runs, but the door slams in his face.

He screams to Tosh to help him, that he’s not going to die again.

TOSH: Please stop.
OWEN: Why should I? I’m going to rage my way to oblivion.
TOSH: Please stop, Owen.
OWEN: Why? Give me one good reason why I should?
TOSH: Because you’re breaking my heart.

Whimper.

He ask Tosh what’s going to happen to him. She doesn’t want to describe it, because what will happen, basically, is that his body will slowly decompose as he watches. Tosh says that it’s all her fault, but he says no: she’s saved his back so many times, right back to his second week, with the space pig. (A call back to “Aliens of London.”)

OWEN: We never did get that date, did we? We sort of missed each other. My fault. I never noticed till it was too late. I’m sorry.
TOSH: Me, too.

Whimper. Sob.

The meltdown starts.

It’s really, really hard to live-blog while you’re sobbing.

Owen fades into a blur of white life. [I’m going to leave that, though I actually meant “blur of white light.” Yet “blur of white life” seems strangely apposite.]

And Jack bursts into the room, to find Tosh bleeding on the floor. She tells them that Owen’s dead, that she couldn’t save him.

Jack and Gwen huddle over Tosh, who is looking horribly pale and sore by this point.

She doesn’t talk, just stares at Jack as she dies.

And Jack is weeping.

And Gwen is weeping.

And I’m weeping.

And Nick’s weeping.

We don’t see Ianto’s face, but I assume he’s weeping. Everyone else is.

As Cardiff recovers, Gwen lies on the sofa in her apartment and weeps in Rhys’s arms. Jack, in the Hub, cryo-freezes Gray, though John says that Gray isn’t going to recover in a hundred years. Maybe, he asks, death will be the release that Gray needs? But Jack says there’s been enough death.

John points out that Jack didn’t struggle when John buried him, and Jack says it was his penance. Then he freezes Gray.

John says he’s heading off to bits of the planet he’s never seen before, but before he goes, he kisses Jack on the cheek, and says, “I’m sorry. For your losses.”

He walks away.

Ianto logs Owen out for the last time, as Jack puts away Owen’s white coat.

Gwen packs Tosh’s glasses and other effects, as Ianto logs Tosh out for the last time. But doing so triggers a last message that she has left on her machine.

TOSH: So, if you’re seeing this, I guess this means I’m, well, dead. I hope it was impressive, not crossing the road or an incident with a toaster. I just wanted to say, it’s okay. Jack, you saved me. You showed me the mysteries of the universe. All the wonders. And I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. And Owen—you never knew. I loved you. All of you. And I hope I did good.

Jack says that now they go on. Gwen she’s she doesn’t think she can, not after this. But Jack says she can: they all can.

“The end is where we begin,” he says.

And they say that’s the last episode of Torchwood, so I’m guessing they’re not heading straight into “Children of Earth.” I have to say, “Thank goodness.” I don’t think I could cope with that.

But, when they air it, I’ll be here, weeping and live-blogging, as usual.

Botanic Gardens 5: Things That Are Not Plants

Posted 2901 days ago in by Catriona

Botanic Gardens 4: Leaves

Posted 2902 days ago in by Catriona

Botanic Gardens 3: Light and Shade

Posted 2903 days ago in by Catriona

Botanic Gardens 2: Flowers That Are Not Red

Posted 2904 days ago in by Catriona

Strange Conversations: Part Two Hundred and Thirty-Six

Posted 2904 days ago in by Catriona

NICK: Then we can have chocolate-coated almonds.
ME: We still have chocolate meringues.
NICK: Eh, you can have those.
ME: Didn’t you like them?
NICK: I liked one of them.
ME: Which one?
NICK: The first one.

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