Sunday 30 June 2013

James gained Games Day tickey (-10 to finances)

I haven't been to Games Day in years, I think 2007 was my last one. As part of my recent hobby renaissance (which will involve some painting soon, I promise, since just saying I was starting a Tomb Kings army got 110 page views) I thought I'd take a chance and pick up a ticket.

I love the gaming tables the stores make for the event, they're always so inspiring. I remember some crackers: a Vespid colony that was all raised platforms over a board painted to look like sky; a 3D Necron Tomb board; the Dreadnoughts versus Orks Battle For Gate XIX. This time I will even take my camera so I have half a chance of remembering some of the great ideas I end up with from looking at the boards.

Plus the Golden Demon painting competition, of course, which is always full of such brilliant conversions. I love converting minis, its probably my favourite part of the hobby, making something fun and different.

There's also one other thing that's at Games Day: the Forge World stand. Forge World has some fantastic ranges but the sheer embuggerance of ordering them online (you can't even do it from the store!) tends to put me off but maybe I can take advantage of the opportunity and pick up a few kits. Not sure what I'll be picking up but their Death Guard range appeals.

This will mean a little economising (expensive, these resin kits) but that's all to the good. I've been meaning to examine my expenditures for a while, not least of which my comics pull list but we'll get to that later. I'll definitely be writing some army lists in preparation so I can buy exactly what I'll use and not a penny more.

Saturday 29 June 2013

Amber Benson IS the Doctor

Yesterday's theoretical ramblings dealt with, let's talk candidates. As the title suggests my female Doctor fantasy cast is Amber Benson. Oh, don't get me wrong, I wouldn't say no to Helen Mirren-- Ah, no, wait, that came out wrong! Well, a little. (*adjusts collar, takes a deep breath, returns to the point*) Anyway, as the title suggests ideal female Doctor fantasy cast is Amber Benson.

Now, my main exposure to Benson's work was as Tara in Buffy The Vampire Slayer but I've seen bits and pieces of her other work, both later and earlier so I know she's got range. What's more, in Buffy she demonstrated a particular skill I think she'd be able to play on as the Doctor: she is very good at seeming small.

Seriously, Amber Benson is a tall woman but watch most any episode of Buffy and you'd swear she was about the same height if not shorter than Sarah Michelle Gellar, who is not a big woman (which was sort of the point). Throughout her time on the series Benson is kept on the peripheral of scenes, a good visual metaphor for Tara's self-confidence issues and when she is the main focus of the camera it's so she can do something important.

This is all very similar to how Patrick Troughton's Doctor was shot in a lot of his surviving material. That's how I imagine Benson's Doctor would be: hiding in the corners of the worlds she visited, leaping to the foreground in moments of crisis. I also have to admit that the photo I found to head this post looks like a pretty good prototype for her Doctor costume: bit mismatched, sleeves don't quite fit, swap in some historic band t-shirts to match the eras she's visiting, it could work.

Friday 28 June 2013

Thoughts on a female Doctor Who

It was wishful thinking, I know, but since the Doctor Who Christmas Special was due to start filming this month I was hoping Doctor Who Magazine might lead with the traditional “... IS The Doctor” cover.

I am kind of hoping for a woman, truth be told. Not in an “it'll solve all the sexism problems of the series” sort of way (it won't) but in an “it might be fun” and “Helen Mirren is interested and I'm not insane” sort of way. The DWM news page offers a few interesting candidates: Billie Piper (utter fantasy, that one); Olivia Coleman (could be interesting); Sue Perkins (never seen her act but she's got good comic timing, plus baking skills); Jennifer Saunders (action Doctor!) and Miranda Hart (my mother, big Call The Midwife fan, approves); and, of course, Mirren.

And to all appearances the idea of a female Doctor is being seriously considered.

There are objections to a female Doctor, some good, some bad. The bad ones boil down to “The Doctor is a man, so there!” and, yes, he has always been played by a man. He's also been symbolically represented as a phoenix, an angel, Odin and a Northerner (less symbolic, that last one). Logic of the existing body is not a good argument here.

There are good arguments against feminizing the Doctor, though. The DWM editorial quotes Claire Budd of The Independent:

“As feminists we are always asking men to change, to be less aggressive, and to value equality. The idea of feminists arguing that we should take away the only male role model that appears to use his brains rather than weapons or fists seems rather alien to me.”

It's a complex question and I concede that the Doctor may (under the right writer) be a more positive feminist force as a man than he could ever be as a woman.

I just want a good actor who'll be able to follow Smith's, one of my favourite Doctors of the lot. Can anyone tell me Helen Mirren wouldn't kill in the role?

Wednesday 26 June 2013

Deathwatch background 1: Kill-Team Germanicus

Because each and every Deathwatch Space Marine originates from another chapter I have to decide what I'm doing with these models before I build them so I can do some little conversions to reflect their origins. Having leafed through various Space Marines codexes, How To Paint Space Marines and the two Imperial Armour: The Badab War volumes I've come up with this composition for my first Kill-Team:

Brother-Sergeant Yehven Gemanicus of the Novamarines
According to IA9 the Novamarines have very strong ties to the Deathwatch, being fanatical xenophobes themselves. The Novamarines are good, old-fashioned second founding Ultramarines successors, hardline Codex. They also have a nice background where they imitate the names and manners of the Ultramarines but come from a tribal world. I wonder if I can freehand some tribal tattoos on the model's face?

Brother Mannheim of the Raptors (assistant squad leader)
So if I have a hardline Codex Brother-Sergeant he needs an unconventional thinker for an executive officer to provide dramatic tension. The Raptors are Raven Guard successors used to working behind enemy lines as insurgents rather than in open battle. Since Kill-Teams tend to operate independently that's a good experience to have around. Another good painting challenge will be painting the alabaster skin of a Raven Guard successor.

Brother Morden (Black Shield)
When I read about Black Shields in the Deathwatch rulebook I knew I had to include one. I'm not sure what sin (of his own or of his chapter) he'll be atoning for but its one model where I don't have to do any fiddly freehand, at least. I have a spare bare head from the Dark Angels Company Master that looks particularly sullen that I can use for this character (I think the whole of this first Team will have bare heads to give them character).

Brother Orten Fryzer of the Doom Eagles
I have this odd affection for the Doom Eagles. There was a time when GW tended to shy way from using big factions in its fiction and back then the Doom Eagles were the go-to choice for “generic Space Marines”. In time the Ultramarines took that mantle but I still remember the Doom Eagles fondly, sullen bastards that they are. The unit needs a doomsayer, as well, a sort of cross between Dad's Army's Private Fraser and Game Of Throne's Dolorous Ed Tollett.

Brother Jason Carmilla of the Angels Encarmine
I've got lots of spare Death Company parts so having a Blood Angel about the place makes sense. Of all the Blood Angels successors the one that appealed the most were the Angels Encarmine: restless and twitchy, forever in motion. To me that makes me think the Black Rage is closer to the surface than in the other successors, born out by the idea that they have a larger than usual Death Company.

Brother Jago Sekker of the Fire Hawks
This one is less for the background of the chapter than for the fact I want to paint the flames on the shoulder pad like in the IA examples. I also like the brownish orange of the rest of the armour and I'm wondering how I'll achieve it for that shoulder pad.

Brother Stanak Sondar of the Sons of Medusa Megeara War Clan
Yet another Badab War chapter because I love the Badab War books. The emerald green on the shoulder pad should be a fantastic challenge and I wonder how many cybernetic parts I can kitbash together for this one.

Grey Hunters Aemar Badstar and Gunnar Gunnar Lionsbane of the Space Wolves
Space Wolves join the Deathwatch in pairs so if one falls the other can take his saga back to Fenris. Badstar is going to be the younger of the two, newly elevated to he Grey Hunters, whilst Lionsbane is a veteran just a step or two down from being a Long Fang or Wolf Guard. I have an idea that Lionsbane gained his name by winning numerous honour duels against Dark Angels champions, there's a shoulder pad with a Dark Angels rosary on it that I might give him, a token of victory from one of those duels so naturally...

Brother Renniel of the Angels of Vengeance
Of course there has to be a Dark Angels successor in the unit and he has to be one that Lionsbane has defeated in an honour duel. Of course he'll also have to work closely with Lionsbane again and again just for the comedy of it.

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Mandatory lost episodes wish list

And my grand run of being behind the times continues. In brief: sometime in the last week or so a random African television station (sources conflict on it being Ugandan or Nigerian) sent the BBC three tonnes of old film canisters sold to them by the BBC in the 1960s. Rumours abound that this haul contains many, many missing episodes of Doctor Who. One source estimates as high as 90 of the 106 missing episodes.

I am trying desperately not to believe this wildly exaggerated bit of wishful thinking but hoping against hope that two or three missing episodes come to light. Two or three film canisters out of three tonnes doesn't seem too unrealistic to me. On these occasions it is customary for fans to list the things they'd like to see if there are lost episodes hidden in there:

Are Susan and Ping-Cho as shippable as they seem in the Loose Cannon reconstruction? Seriously, every shot of them the reconstruction team managed to find have them hugging, standing close or (and this is the kicker) snuggling together in bed. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a Ship that sails itself.

More extant Sara Kingdom could only be a good thing.

Victoria kisses Jamie when she leaves in Fury From The Deep, you can hear it on the audio, but is it on the cheek? Lips? Forehead? (Okay, that last one is impossible given the size of Deborah Watling).

Is the rest of The Savages as subtly directed as that final clip when Steven looks back longingly before disappearing into the Elders' city?

Troughton. Lots of Troughton, please. Troughton is amazing but his performance is so physical and so little of it survives.

Any extra episodes with the Ben-Polly-Jamie companion dream team please. Yes, I know the dynamic never really worked but I have an irrational love for that team.

The dance number in The Celestial Toymaker.

And finally, if there's one story I'd like back in its entirety Tomb Of The Cybermen styles, I'd plug for The Myth Makers. Its genuinely funny, full of cracking performances, one of those rare late-Hartnell stories where he seems energised by the script and has a fantastic switch of tone in its final, apocalyptic episode.

Monday 24 June 2013

Thoughts on A Dance With Dragons

(Game Of Thrones/A Song Of Ice And Fire Spoilers up to the end of A Dance With Dragons. Anyone purely following the TV series should come back in... oh... four years or so assuming Dance is done as two seasons.)

I think the problem many people had with this novel, myself included, is the weight of expectations was against what we got in the end. This book was six years in the making and most of the plots it picks up are even older, dating back to A Storm Of Swords. I guess we all expected resolution, we knew it wasn't the end of the series but we had Dany ruling a city, Jon leading the Night's Watch and Bran beyond the Wall it felt like we were moving into the endgame.

What we got is more a transitional novel with pieces still in motion, moving towards the endgame but not there yet. Danaerys, Jon and Bran's plots all pick up with them learning to cope with their new positions rather than leading a charge from those positions. Against all those years of expectations it can be a bit of a disappointment but once I started to take the novel for what it was, an overdue and weighty transitional phase, I started to get into it.

The Tyrion chapters are a joy, of course, especially after he hooks up with Jorah Mormont which just gives us the best sort of comedy: two people who hate one another trapped together. As much as I enjoyed those chapters, though, I would bet you cash money we'll not see the dwarf mummer Penny on TV as she'll just get in the way of Peter Dinklage and Iain Glen squabbling. We might see her at Joffrey's wedding next season for the mock joust but aside from that I reckon she'll end up on the scrapheap of adaptation alongside Strong Belwas (“Strong Belwas needs milk,” best line in the novel).

The only chapters I found at all trying were the Danaerys ones not least because she spends too many of them banging her head against various brick walls: dragons that won't listen to her, enemies she can't identify, killers she can't find, a prophecy she doesn't understand, a man she can't allow herself to shag. Dany's story has always been about hardship but it's also been one of escalating victory, just look at how all three TV seasons have ended. There's also the odd way in which her plot doesn't so much end as stop. Most of the characters in this book come to some moment of resolution or a decent cliffhanger by the end but Dany (and the whole of the Meereen plot) takes steps towards resolution but stops just shy of it. Obviously this will be picked up in The Winds Of Winter but since we're years away from that even now it seemed like an odd end point.

The second half of the novel, the half that follows on from A Feast For Crows, has a few gaps. We get caught up with Arya, the Sand Snakes, Cersei and Jamie. Sam Tarly, Sansa and Littlefinger remain out of the picture, which is a pity.

The one that rankles somewhat is Brienne. When last we saw her in Feast she was about to get herself hanged. She appears in Dance hail and hearty at the end of one chapter to drag Jamie off somewhere mysterious and then she never appears again. No explanation of her survival, of what agenda she's working to or any more information on her would-be executioner. After a six year wait with that cliffhanger a little resolution would have been nice, some might even say polite.

As to the new characters introduced in this book I rather liked them. Quentyn Martel might not be as interesting as his bastard cousins the Sand Snakes but we get a good tour of Old Volantis out of his group's adventures. His story definitely meets with resolution which makes a nice difference from the other characters who find themselves in Meereen. Griff and Young Griff interest me more (yes, I know there's a spoiler warning but I don't want to say who they really are in case someone ignores it) and heartily look forward to seeing where they go in The Winds Of Winter.

Which brings us to why it took me so long to read this book: there's no sense of urgency to it. The last interview with Martin I read predicted that Winds would be out in 2015 at the earliest. I really enjoy this series, I really enjoy Martin's writing, but it is a very long book and giving someone lots of time to finish a task usually encourages them to leave it for a while hence this being probably the most delayed review of the book going.

Tuesday 18 June 2013

Warhammer projects 2: The Deathwatch (or "Stupid connection-making brain")

It was the Jon Snow chapters that did it, of course. There is a strange connection in my mind between A Song Of Ice And Fire and Warhammer, most likely because I've done so much painting with Game Of Thrones on in the background. Usually it makes me want a Chaos Warriors army: Khornate and all-mounted (can you guess who my favourite character in the first season was?) with lots and lots of Marauder Horsemen on the flanks of a solid centre of Chaos Knights and Skullcrushers.

This time it was reading the Jon Snow chapters as I was considering a Space Marine army that led my brain towards the Deathwatch, the elite alien hunters of the Imperium of Man.

The thing about Space Marines is that I can never decide which chapter to collect. Many moons ago I had my own-brand Marines called the Guardian Pilgrims, an off-shoot of the Black Templars who defended a series of holy sites. Since then I've turned my hand to collecting Exorcists, Flesh Tearers, Space Wolves 13th Company, White Scars (very small, that force, just one model) and Novamarines but I could never settle on just one chapter with so many others have such great background.

The beauty of the Deathwatch is that they recruit Marines from practically every loyalist chapter in existence (plus the Dark Angels) so if I'm struck by a momentary craze for a particular chapter I can paint one and be done with the idea.

I have a few ideas to start: a Novamarine Kill-Team sergeant; a Black Templars shoulder pad that would work pretty well for an Imperial Paladin; another pad from the Death Company box that would work for a Blood Drinker; an anti-social Imperial Fist Kill-Marine. The possibilities are enormous.

First job is to order a couple of Deathwatch conversion kits so I can assemble my first Kill-Team and some character classes.

Monday 17 June 2013

A Dance With Dragons (take 2)

Spoiler warning: for TV followers of Game Of Thrones I mention events from the first quarter of A Dance With Dragons so come back in... oh, three years and it should make sense).

Over the weekend I started my second attempt to read A Dance With Dragons. When it first came out I bought the hardback and got about halfway through before giving up. I'm not entirely certain why I gave up when I did (though I remember being a bit bored with some of the Danearys chapters) but I think it might have had something to do with the weight of the book.

You see I get a lot of my reading done at work during my lunch break. Anyone who bought the hardback of A Dance With Dragons will understand why I might have got tired taking it to work every day. To use a favourite phrase of my father the thing is “bastard heavy”.

So those are my main memories of the book: heaviness and a major storyline that I found dull even when it asked me to imagine Emilia Clarke naked.

The second time around I'm glad to say that neither of these impressions seem all that accurate. The Dany chapters are a little slow compared to her storylines in previous books but this time I'm actually enjoying watching her learn statecraft whilst Barristan Selmy scowls in the background and Zaro Xhoan Daxos (he's the richest man in Qarth) exhibits previously disguised homosexuality.

Meera and Jojen Reed are also a lot less annoying now I have their television counterparts to imagine. I don't know why I took again the Reeds the moment they were introduced in the books, it's just one of those irrational things, but the TV versions made me like them.

As to the weight problem I decided to splash out a little and get myself the Kindle edition of the book, which might seem wasteful but the hardback seems to have gone walkabout (probably leant it to someone) and I am determined to read it since my friends and co-workers keep having to pause and censure themselves when they start talking about the series. I probably know more of the plot from the moments when they couldn't stop themselves in time than from actually getting halfway through the bloody thing first time around.

That said I do like that this is a series that I can enjoy as a social experience like with Harry Potter back in the day.

Tuesday 11 June 2013

Warhammer Projects 1: The Zandri Blackshields

I mostly “retired” from playing Warhammer a few years ago. I kept up to date, played a few games with old armies (my ever-trusty Vampire Counts in the main) but I fell out of love with the local gaming club scene. There were too many gits, quite frankly. I met lovely people through those clubs but for each fun, friendly game there were many more against overly-competitive, foul tempered rules lawyers.

A few months ago the local GW (and, I'm lead to believe, many more across the country) stopped running games nights. I have to say I approved, mainly because I just wasn't enjoying them anymore. At the same time my friend Dave moved into a larger flat and decided he had room for a gaming table. It started out as a gaming group of three: me, Dave and my best friend Matt and others have joined since.

Playing against friends is so much more fun than trusting random strangers not to be annoying. However, the Vampire Counts have started to get a bit samey and predictable and I don't feel like expanding the army so I've decided to start a new one. Back when the new Tomb Kings book came out in 2010 I splurged on some of the newer box sets and a battalion, they've been sitting in a cupboard ever since. Just one of those impulse buys gamers make and then never get around to.

Its time to get around to it now and the inspiration for this is a little box out on page 36 of the Tomb Kings army book about Amanhotep the Intolerant:

“During the time of the Desertblood Crusades, a regiment of Bretonnian Knights returned fro Nekehara with the remains of what they believed to be Duke Cheldric, a hero whose daring quest into the Land of the Dead was the sstuff of legend. However, the Knights had actually returned to the Old World with the mumified body of King Amanhotep the Intolerant, who awakened after unknowingly being paraded up and down the length of Bretonnia and carried across a score of battlefields by zealous Battle Pilgrims. Amanhotep's wrath was great indeed, and he singlehandedly slaughtered the inhabitants of dozens of towns before returning to his sarcophagus in Zandri.”

I love a good villain, me. I also have this image in my head of an undead, embalmed Victor Meldrew. He's also from Zandri. There's also a mention on page 17 under the heading “Legions of Legend” to “the Zandri Blackshields” which seems a simple enough colour scheme to give the army a nice, unified look.

I also have to do some work to get my painting skills back up to scratch so a simple palate of bone and black seems a good place to start.

Monday 10 June 2013

Two important points about first aid

For the last six years I've been working as a first aider, trained and duly authorised by the British Red Cross and other organisations. Every once in a while one of my friends will get the chance to train in first aid themselves for their work and they ask me if I have any advice.

I tell them that there are two things you have to accept about becoming a first aider.

The first thing is one day, probably through no fault of your own, you may end up watching another human being die. I've been lucky, myself, treating minor cuts and bruises and burns and concussions. I've yet to be there for anything where a person has died but I have known people who have. I had to be aware, and I was going in, that some day it could happen, especially since I'm not only a first aider at work. Law and morality requires that if I see someone injured out in the world I have to help and it could be anything: motorcycle accident, stabbing, anything.

I'd do my best, follow the manual to the letter, but at the end of the day (as my last instructor put it) there are limits to what the human body can survive and no amount of effort is going to save them.

But you can't let it affect you. You have to sort of switch off the fear of failure otherwise it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. It's a delicate balance and no one knows how they'll react when the moment comes. I don't know, I can only hope for the best and keep in practice so if the worst does happen I'll be able to say I did absolutely everything I could.

The second thing is that the badge isn't designed like a normal badge with a normal safety pin arrangement on the back. They're designed like earrings and sometimes the back bit will fall off in your shirt, the badge will stab you in the tit and dear God it hurts!

And that's my advice.

Oh, and the regulations generally say check the contents of your first aid box weekly. Bugger that, check it daily because people will raid it for their bathroom cabinet when you aren’t looking.

Sunday 9 June 2013

A redemptive reading of Up Pompeii

Up Pompeii is one of my favourite bits of comfort food television. It's fun, frothy, undemanding and funny. It is also a classic example of the 1970s tits-and-bum farce model of comedy: sexist jokes, heaving bosoms, short skirts, tacit approval of male promiscuity whilst disapproving of the same behaviours in women and everything moderated purely towards the male gaze.

You can understand why this would be problematic. This is not an admirable piece of work as I've described it, in fact liking it goes against more than a few of my personal politics. So I've decided to adopt a redemptive reading of the series and it is this: it is actually quite subversive in its use of sexuality.

The format of the series is thus: it is 79BC and Frankie Howerd plays Roman slave Lurcio, your typical sex comedy protagonist: randy, lascivious and utterly incapable of getting his end away despite going to hugely convoluted lengths to seduce women. He is owned by a similarly sex-obsessed family: lecherous Senator Ludicrus Sextus (Max Adrian in season one, Wallace Eaton in season two), his similarly unfaithful wife Ammonia (Elizabeth Larner) and their children the fey, virginal Nausius (Kerry Gardner) and breathless, poly-amorous daughter Erotica (Georgina Moon). The average episode involves Lurcio and at least one other of these characters trying to have sex with someone then being thwarted by circumstances and/or the intervention of the other characters, “hilarity ensues”, you know the form.

So far so conventional. Series writer Talbot Rothwell actually wrote the lion's share of the Carry On films so the tits-and-bums approach isn't that much of a surprise. The redemptive reading comes from the lead actors:

Frankie Howerd and Max Adrian were gay, you see, and this would not have been unknown to Rothwell. Neither of them may have been out in the modern sense but neither were closeted in their professional lives. Adrian himself was out to the acting world at least as early as 1965 (when his orientation caused some friction on the set of the Doctor Who story The Myth Makers, in which he was excellent, by the way).

So what we have is a series anchored by two homosexual men (at least in the first season) acting out the worst stereotypes of heterosexual men for laughs. They are also shown to fail constantly, which is the point of farce: the narrative is both on their side by presenting them as the heroes of the piece and against them because it is forever making them suffer. Add to this the fact that Nausius can easily be read as closet gay (“Yes, they had them in those days, too,” Howerd confides to camera before reading the first of Nausius' many awful odes) or in denial: constantly pursuing woman but with no idea what to do with them on the rare occasions they don't tell him to sod off.

The thing is that Nausius is actually quite a nice, sensitive person. This being a farce that means he is almost always cast as a foil either to his father or to Lurcio in some scheme or other (including the compulsory crossdressing subplot when the two older men need to find a vestal virgin in a hurry) but of all the characters in the show he is the only one who ever acts heroically. There are a couple of episodes that have him disapprove of slavery and one where he even frees two slaves (woman, naturally, that he has “fallen in love with”). He's also very open about his feelings when the rest of his family are constantly lying to and cheating on each other.

So we have a comedy about two morally bankrupt straight men where the narrative constantly punishes them for their actions and the only character who treats women at all as people (even if incompetently) is the only one who can be read as gay.

That's a reading I can live with and that settled I can sit back, relax and enjoy the more obvious good points of the series: Howerd's rambling monologues; Willie Rushton's heavenly interjections as Plautus; Max Adrian's gasping; the terrible odes (“get ready for it...”); the anachronisms (“... and if that doesn't win a BAFTA, nothing will!”); and, yes, if am honest, the dresses Elizabeth Larner has been poured into (inefficiently, if you get my drift).

“Greetings, good citizens. The prologue...”

Saturday 8 June 2013

Let's start this thing

“You can be gay, straight, Chinese. Those are the three types.”
- Ross Noble

“There are worlds out there where the sky is burning; where the sea's asleep and the rivers dream; people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's evil, somewhere there's injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we've got work to do.”
- The Seventh Doctor

“It's a long story. No, actually, it's a short story: he did something dumb.”
- Kermit the Frog

“It's all in the mind, you know.”
- Wallace Greenslade

Best to get it out there straight away: I have one of those butterfly minds, flitting from obsession to obsession and never settling for long. I go back and forth but there are some old standards that should mean this blog will have some constants, some content and maybe even one or two readers: comics, Doctor Who, Warhammer, classic comedies, feminism.

There'll be some smut, as well, best to admit that one up front as well. Sex and sexuality are sort of hobby horses of mind so the odd spot of NSFW will creep in, heavily signposted. And no, I don't see any conflict with the content of this paragraph and the end of the last one. If I'm defined as any sort of feminist it would be as a sex positive one because, frankly, I am quite positive in my opinion of sex.

On the personal (less interesting) level I'm hoping that starting this blog again will get me back into the habit of writing. Writing is by far my favourite hobby and I don't think its a coincidence that shutting down the original version of this blog coincided a very dark time in my life. So there may be some catharsis going on in the margins, just so you're aware.

Don't worry, the moment I notice anything cathartic going on I'll slip you some smut to make up for it, I'm a generous sort of guy.

Don't worry, thus concludes the wanky introductory post, next up: content that might be passingly interesting. Well, you never know.