Smaller on the inside

Continuing my attempts to make myself look prehistoric by wallowing in Doctor Who nostalgia from the 1970s, here’s a fantastic little tin that my Mum brought over recently (in her continued attempts to rid the house of all our old tat…)

Click for bigger versions and just admire the time and care that’s gone into crafting this jewel in the crown of merchandising. I’m thinking the illustration alone must have demanded at least half an hour and a tube of Pritt Stick.

Here’s the bit they would look at on Antiques Roadshow to confirm its provenance:

Apparently BBC Enterprises took the bold decision not to disown it. I do have a nostalgic fondness for the old girl, though.

What’s it got in its pockets?

For reasons best known to my brain I’ve become fascinated by the new UK coinage in which each coin is a circular section out of a larger image.

Specifically I’m interested in the fact that I’ve still only seen 1p, 2p and 5p coins. Is this just brownian motion in action? Are there so many more of these coins compared to the others? Are the higher denominations simply not out yet? Is it because I live in The North where civilisation frays at the edges? Are you all hoarding them?

This calls for a poll. Which of these new coins have you actually seen?

Enquiring minds need to know.


Novelist David Mitchell somewhat disconcertingly does The Guardian‘s equivalent of one of those non-interviews you see in the sidebar of cheap TV guides or old editions of Smash Hits. In it he states: “I’m a big Doctor Who fan. I’ve bought the box set and worked my way through the entire oeuvre. David Tennant is my favourite Doctor; he is brilliant.”

His next novel is apparently set in the 18th century. I enjoyed Cloud Atlas, but not enough to read anything more by Mitchell in the near future, I think. I feel like a bit of a novel-reading fraud at the moment. I’ve only read three books this year, four if you count December: River of Gods by Ian McDonald, Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link, and Coalescent and Exultant by Steven Baxter. I’m currently on Barbara Hambly’s Circle of the Moon, before heading back to Baxter’s Transcendent.

My wife, meanwhile, has ploughed her way through: Timothy Zhan’s The Green and the Grey, Robert J. Sawyer’s Calculating God, Mary Gentle’s Ilario, Nick Sagan’s Edenborn, Neil Gaiman’s Fragile Things, Eleanor Arnason’s Ring of Swords and A Woman of the Iron People, C.J.Cherryh’s Deliverer and Port Eternity and Hal Duncan’s Vellum. She’s currently on World War Z. Ten books since the start of January. Mind you, she said Vellum almost did for her.

I’m well aware that there are those on my Friends List (*cough*Coalescent*cough*) who’ve probably read another couple of novels in the time it took me to compose this entry. To which I have to wonder: how? Is there some ancient art of time dilation that everyone is hiding from me? You can tell me if there is. I promise to use it only for Good and not get involved in any time paradoxes, valuable life lessons or exciting adventures with dinosaurs.

Thought: maybe if I spent less time posting rubbish like this and more time reading…

Trivial things

Some geeky things, just because. (Mainly because I’ve spent 6 hours today doing a report for work, and I’m punch drunk.)

Via random_reality this Cylon picture is just excellent. Yes, even better than Cylon and Garfunkel.

I earned extra Geek Points today for seeing the headline Momentum gathers for IMF shake-up and assuming it referred to Mission: Impossible. Am so sad.

Anyway, I must go now as Seen Been’s first new Sharpe for nine years is on in a few minutes. Sharpe is one of those things that’s crap, but we always end up watching it anyway. Because we are so geeky.

Things I didn’t know

You know how sometimes you suddenly realise you’ve been missing something that everyone else just took for granted? I never realised until yesterday that the reason George Bush is nicknamed “Dubya” is because it’s a skit on his middle initial, “W”. I just assumed it was some crayzee American nickname, or something. I’ll get me coat.

In other news, I’ve just learned that Apollo from Battlestar Galactica had a recurring role as “Archie” on Horatio Hornblower. This is so inherently unlikely that it’s as if different worlds are colliding in my brain, but it’s true. Weirder still, he was in Peak Practice.

So, is there anything else I should be told before I’m allowed to re-enter polite society?