If you've stumbled across this journal, the likelihood is that you actually already know me in some respect. If not, I'm currently a PhD Candidate in English at La Trobe University Melbourne, Australia, and I'm also a writer (you can check out my publication credits here) and editor. My academic background is in History (Classics, mostly) as well as English, and my PhD is combining historical research about women in colonial Victorian Asylums with a lesbian historical novel.

I live in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne with my incredible wife, whom I usually just refer to as E. We're legally married under British law (I'm a dual citizen) and hopefully it won't be long until our marriage is recognised in Australia as well.

I'm a feminist, a socialist and, more importantly, a Slytherin ESTJ. I am deeply in love with music and musical theatre, books are like air to me, and Britcom has gotten me through all the worst things in my life. I love travelling, but I mostly just go back to the UK. Or else Canada or Denmark to see my closest friends, who annoyingly live in the wrong hemisphere. Video games are kinda vital to my mental health and I am quite ridiculously obsessed with Dragon Age right now.

In moving from Livejournal to Dreamwidth for good, I've decided to make this a more public place than my Livejournal ever was. The old stuff on here is all private, at least for now, but new entries will often be left unlocked.

Meeting new people is always cool, but I am notoriously slow to reply to comments and never as good as I should be at leaving comments on my friends' posts. Apologies in advance :D

(no subject)

Jun. 28th, 2017 04:57 pm
tara: (TOS: Kirk has a gun and tight trousers)
It's all very well saying, "I shall update at least weekly!" The trouble is finding something interesting to talk about when your life is all PhD research and house hunting. We're still awaiting the s32 for the flat I talked about last week, and nothing else interesting has come on the market. I know that winter is traditionally a slow time for real estate, but it really sucks when you're desperate to buy.

I spent last night in Warragul with Mum and Tricky. When I got there, they weren't speaking to each other after a very barky morning ;) When Mum is cross with him, Trick always sits by me with a look of "See, Tara's not mad" on his face, which is very manipulative of him and very smart :D

I have been enjoying being back playing Dragon Age. I'm not loving aggressive Hawke and am very glad that I'm playing a female character for this run-through because I have issues with aggressive men and really don't want to be playing one. Still, I want to try all of the personality types once and I shall play sarcastic Hawke forever once this run-through is done. I have definitely decided to romance Merrill, because she just works better with this Hawke, although there is zero sign of Hawke getting anywhere with that yet and I'm about a third of the way through act two. It's very different to romancing Anders, who basically throws himself at you, or Fenris, where there are heaps of flirt options to choose. Still, Merrill has the best accent of the lot of them, so she's worth a little more work ;P I feel very accomplished because I already have Fenris at 100% friendship, which is no mean feat when you're playing an aggressively pro-mage run with a blood mage Hawke :D

I'm also watching quite a bit of The Bill right now, because it's like a warm blankie to me. I've watched through s1-3 and started on s4 last night. I am a bit sad at the moment because s4 means no more Galloway and he's one of my favourites. Oh well, eventually he will be reborn as John Boulton... and then messed up by the dreadful character changes at the end of his run.

We're also watching Next Gen s3 together at the moment, so I have lots of special interest support right now at least :)


Jun. 21st, 2017 05:04 pm
tara: (Marvel: Pietro Son of M)
So the place I spoke about last entry? Turns out it was completely full of bees. Bees that were on fire. At least four different types of building defect, including sub standard fire safety, which was an excellent thing to read (not) just after the awful tower block fire in London. Despite this, we put in a low offer, which allowed for us to set aside lots of money for upcoming levies, and this was rejected. I am kind of glad of this, because I have never seen a property with so many bees, but E is sad because she really loved the place. And it was a very nice place. We just probably would've burnt to death in it after it fell on top of us and crushed us.

There's another place that we saw last weekend that I think would be a very sensible option. It is not our dream home but, let's face it, we're never going to get that for our bottom-of-the-market budget anyway. It is significantly below budget, and it's right near a train station (and a LIBRARY) and only a few years old so, apart from the defects that go hand-in-hand with any Australian property built after about 2000, we shouldn't have to do a damn thing to it. Worst issue is that it's up 2 flights of stairs, which my body will hate, but it has a sexy kitchen, which should partially make up for that ;p So now we're waiting on the s32 for that property. E is not particularly enthused about it, but I am quite enthused about the extra disposable income that we'd have with half the mortgage we'd get if it were top of budget ;)

I'm still in at PROV three days a week and it's a hard slog, because there's a lot of boring stuff and squinting at awful handwriting to get at the occasional interesting story. But the Ritalin helps and so does playing music through headphones, which also blocks out the noise of the other people there. I need to fiddle with my website to add a research section and hopefully start to post some interesting stories there, because there's a huge emphasis on an online presence these days for academics. To that end, I've also separated out a private twitter because my nonsense about TV shows is probably best kept away from my so-called professional twitter.

Stayed in Warragul last night, so I had my mum-and-Tricky time which was nice. Tricky is a very old boy now so I am trying to get as many Tricky cuddles in as possible these days. I love him so much.

In excellent news, I have just started a new game of Dragon Age 2, my first with a female Hawke. I am also playing as a mage and as an aggressive Hawke for the first time. Not sure yet whether I'll be romancing Isabella or Merril - will depend which works better with my Hawke. Will romance the other one next time anyway :D

Speaking of Dragon Age, it was our first wedding anniversary on Saturday and E got me the Dragon Age tarot cards I have been coveting enormously forever. I have zero idea how to read tarot but the art is incredible and I like the idea of learning how to read the cards because I think they're a great way to tap into your subconscious and help direct your thoughts for decision making. So that will be an upcoming project. The cards are v v pretty, as is my wife. I very much like being married to her :)

Oh! And on Saturday night we saw Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. at the Malty. I got the tickets for E's Christmas present and it wasn't an excellent choice given that we both liked the beginning and then liked it less and less as it went on, but it's always nice to see theatre even if it's not 100% yay.
My resolution to journal more and keep up with DW has not been going so well, thanks to house hunting taking up all of my energy and brain space. However, I have been told (more later) that I should really be going back to regularly journaling as a way of sorting out my thoughts and decisions so I will try harder to do so from now on.

Firstly, house stuff: Oh god I am so over it already. I can't handle real estate agents and not knowing where I am going to end up and it is all just so stressful and terrible and ugh. There is a place we really want, though, and we're waiting on a section 32 to make sure it isn't "full of bees" as E puts it, and then we will send things off to our lawyer and make an offer and hopefully they accept it and all this can be OVER. That said, we're still waiting on mortgage pre-approval so that is also a thing. I do not like house hunting. I do not like it at all.

Secondly, this isn't something that I have told many people about (um, three, other than E and Mum, I think) but I had an autism assessment a few weeks ago. Basically, this year I have put a focus on Getting My Shit Sorted as much as possible, hence the ADHD assessment a while back and now the autism assessment. The latter was v.expensive, which is why it took so long, but I ended up using all my savings on it (and some credit card cough) because I just wanted to know finally, one way or another. Anyway, it turns out that I am a total Aspie (not that they use that term officially any more) and I am so autistic that she wasn't sure whether I was level 1 or 2 and she's pretty sure I'd be 2 if it weren't for Mum and E basically helping me to be more 'normal' ;p One of the things I was worried about with getting assessed was that it would end up being a borderline call, so I'm rather glad that it ended up being a very clear cut case.

So basically a lot of the things that I have always struggled with and done wrong are because I am autistic, not because I am evil. That will take a long time to come to terms with, but I'm hoping this diagnosis will eventually help me to hate myself a little less.

The psychologist agrees that I have co-morbid ADHD, but thinks that the bipolar is actually just autism. That makes sense to me, and the important thing is that the bipolar meds help me, not what they are prescribed to help.

The journalling thing is something she recommended to help me become a little more mentally independent from Mum. The best thing, though, is that she said that my special interests are therapy, and that I should make sure I spend time engaging in them. I currently feel so guilty when I do the things I really love, even though I know that my mental health is 1000 times better when I allow myself to indulge in my comfort stuff, so it's nice to be told that I have to watch Britcom or play Dragon Age or whatever.

I'm probably going to have a few further sessions to help me with emotion regulation, but I can't deal with that while house hunting is going on, so I'll arrange it later.

So yes, that's my big news.

(no subject)

May. 9th, 2017 09:55 pm
tara: (Sweet Valley: Double Love)
My meeting with my head supervisor went well last week, so I have a firm topic, hurrah! I also have a to-do list a mile long of things I need to have done before my next supervisor meeting at the end of the month. Eep. Sue is quite high up in the uni system and therefore really on top of all the red-tape and timelines side of PhDs, which will be invaluable, I'm sure. Right now, I'm focussing on some secondary source reading, alongside scary things like plotting out my novel. The critical element, I'm fiiiine with. The novel is terrifying.

Not a lot of other news. I have been low-grade sick for a while and it seems to finally be going a little further than "oh I feel unwell" and into "hi I have a blocked nose and sinus headache". In another three or so weeks it might actually develop into a cold. Not the flu, though, because I had my flu injection today!*

Things we have been watching lately: iZombie s1 and Twin Peaks. The latter is a re-watch for me, ready for the new season that's about to come out, and E is being very magnanimous in putting up with its slow reveal and peculiarity. I've also been re-watching all the Carry On films. They are silly and relaxing and that is what my exhausted brain needs right now.

* I realise that this isn't actually how it works and that, knowing my luck, I will get a strain of the flu that the jab doesn't cover me for.


May. 1st, 2017 09:49 pm
tara: (TOS: Kirk Spock & Bones confer)
So I think I have a firm, specific PhD topic! I shall confirm when I see my supervisor in person on Wednesday (and I finally AM meeting her in person), but both supervisor and co-supervisor said that it looked good in email form, so fingers crossed. If all is well, I shall be looking at female agency in the discharge process from Victorian asylums, 1880-1910. Ish. One of the reasons I've chosen this topic is that it's extremely scaleable, and the dates at the moment are only there as a guideline to the records I'm going to be looking at. I'll work out a final date range once I have a better idea of what's on file; I want to include the most useful records.

I have been creating a database (and learning how to use Access in the process) ready to house all the different sets of demographic information contained in the various case-records. I don't know what of that I'll end up using, but better to deal with these things once, instead of having to endlessly re-copy material and spending ten times as much time at PROV as I really need to.

In other news, E's flat sold on Saturday, so it's on to the next step of investigating a home loan. This is exceedingly adult for someone like myself who is permanently stuck at a maturity of about thirteen.

Birthday 2017

Apr. 18th, 2017 11:57 pm
tara: (TOS: Uhura noble)
'Twas my birthday yesterday. In my early thirties, I struggled quite a lot with getting older. It probably didn't help that so many of my good friends are significantly younger than me. Recently, however, I've begun to appreciate the benefits of being in my late thirties. The biggie is that I've suddenly gained the ability to stand up for myself. Apparently it's true that women become more assertive in their middle age! The other thing that I've noticed is that I'm starting to slide into the category of Too Old To Be Visible To Men, and I am a big fan of that.

The latter thing is boosted by my being overweight. It's funny, because I have struggled so much with accepting my weight for my entire life, even when I've been significantly underweight. Now that I'm properly overweight, I'm generally not too worried. I know that the extra weight is the side effect of me looking after myself. I can be stout and not-suicidal, or an average weight and wanting-to-die. When that's the choice, it seems a pretty easy one. And I will totally wear jeggings in public because my comfort is more important to me than strangers being horrified by me being plump and comfortable.

I have a wife who loves me the way I am; all other opinions are irrelevant.
First TPC show of the year yesterday. West Side Story is so full of standards that it can feel a little old, but Gale Edwards did an excellent job of revitalising it and giving it new energy. Most importantly, Gareth Keegan was amaaaaazing. His voice gets better every time I see him. Anna O'Byrne was great as well - I love how operatic her voice is. Best surprise of the day was the announcement that Deone Zanotto had laryngitis and therefore Anita's songs would be sung by Amanda Harrison. Pretty sure that's the only time I have ever been excited by an understudy announcement ;p Deone did an incredible job of dancing/acting given how sick she was, though.

The only disappointing thing about the show was Sean Mulligan as Riff. His vocals were fine, but he acted the role in a real camp-gay-Broadway kind of way that did not work for the character at ALL.

Other things I am doing: watching too much Love Island and playing too much Marvel Contest of Champions.


Feb. 23rd, 2015 11:44 pm
tara: (Guns n' Roses: Axl & Slash)
Because I don't ever do what I should, healthwise.

Soundwave this past weekend. I got to spend lots of time with Viv, yay, and BRIEFLY saw Hails and Diane.

Day One

Just went in for Slash and Fall Out Boy. Saw a bit of Marilyn Manson, because he was on before Slash. I don't like his stuff, never have, so meh. His band were decent but he was really unfit-looking and completely unengaged.

Slash was brilliant, obv. He didn't speak at all this time, which is a first for the times I've seen him. He usually manages to at least say hi or thank you ;) Usual kind of set, finishing with Paradise City, as always, but there were added confetti canons, which was unexpected. Very One Direction of him. I've seen him so many times now that I don't freak out as much.

I got to sit/lie down for FOB, yay. They did a solid set and played plenty of stuff I knew, which was good given that I'm not up on their most recent stuff.

Day Two

Got there for most of Gerard Way's set. The sound was AWFUL, though. Viv had nabbed excellent seats for Stage One, but it meant that we were watching Stage Two groups on the screens, and with the dodgy sound it made for a very uninspiring set.

Next were Steel Panther, who I am now in love with. In the car on the way back, I said that they were everything I'd wanted Rock of Ages to be, and just yes. Loving satire is the best kind of satire. And they kick arse musically as well. <3 Hair Metal <3

Then Antemasque. I don't know their stuff and I was off getting food for a lot of their set, but they sounded pretty good.

Incubus were really solid and professional. I'm not an enormous fan but I like their stuff and was pleased to see them. Strong performance.

Soundgarden were one of my drawcards for the festival. I've liked them for ages and they've still got it. I'd found a set list from the Adelaide Soundwave on Saturday, and it didn't have Black Hole Sun, so I was resigned to that, and then they played it, yay! It's on my list of best ever rock ballads :D

And then it was Faith No More, who I've loved since 1993 and I've never managed to get to a gig before yesterday. They were SO good. Goddamn, how Mike Patton still manages to do what he does with his voice after putting it through that for so long, I do not know, but I am glad. I saw him a couple of years back with Tomahawk, but it was nothing like seeing FNM. They did a stack of my favourites, and just yes.
I went to Les Mis again on Friday, and dragged E along with me, because it was about time she saw my favourite show ;) Once again, most of the cast was amazing. In particular, Hayden Tee had kicked it up a notch. Last time he was very good in the first act and great in the second, and this time he was excellent all the way through. And Kerrie Anne Greenland was just brilliant. Any vocal issues from the first time were completely gone and I just love love love her Eponine. Lara Mulcahy was on as Madam Thénardier this time and she was very good. We had Ben Jason-Easton on as Gavroche and he was fantastic. Marius still rubbish ;p

On the downside, I realised that I hate the direction. Hate it. It's not just the staging stuff I talked about last time. It's what the actors have been told to do, and how they've been told to sing (or shout) and the phrasing that the songs have been given. And I don't understand why it's so bad, because supposedly this is meant to be based on the new version that's being performed in London, and directed by London directors, but I can assure you it's not the same. I had the thought while watching it that it feels like it's been made more like the film. I haven't seen the film, because Russell Crowe as Javert, but I know that the focus was on emotion instead of perfect singing. And that's the only reason I can think of for having Simon Gleeson (with HIS voice) shouting so many of Valjean's lines, and for having Patrice panting so much as Fantine (and Kerrie Anne in 'Little Fall or Rain', too) that it distracts you from the song. E found it all a bit hammy, and that just says it all really, because the MUSIC gives you the emotion and the direction should be really subtle or else it stops being a tragedy and starts being a pantomime.

But, yanno, Simon and Hayden and Kerrie Anne and Trevor are worth sitting through the direction. Tee's 'Stars' and Gleeson's 'Bring Him Home' are worth the ticket price alone.


In other news, I was checking the spelling of Lara's name, and typed Laura instead and I do not think this is the person I was after ;D I do like her doggy, though.
Show Boat

I haven't seen Show Boat performed before, despite it being one of the classics. I have the OBCR on record and 'Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man' is one of my favourite songs to sing, but I knew nothing of the plot. And wow was it depressing. Not your usual sort of cheery Hammerstein and Kern offering at all. I found the music very interesting, as well. When you see it up on stage, you realise just how much of a mix of styles there is. I enjoyed it, personally.

The best bit, though, was Gareth Keegan. Everyone is familiar with my ravings about him by now. But I've never heard him sing something so classical as this was and just WOW. E said when I was discussing the show with her afterwards that I sounded like a proud parent, and I do have a weird thing where I feel proud of him for coming so far in his career and so excited about how far I think he's going to go. And I am determined that he must play the Phantom, now ;p There were several notes in Show Boat that were almost like he was channelling Crawford.

Alinta Chidzey was amazing as well. I've not heard her singing so classically either (some of the songs were basically light opera in terms of how they were performed) and she hit it right out of the park. Christina O'Neill is always great, and she continued to be great in this, although I was disappointed that she wasn't in it more. Eddie Muliaumaseali'i was fantastic as Joe – his 'Ol' Man River' really anchored the production. Glenn Hill was a bit nothing-y as Frank, but I really enjoyed Nicole Melloy as Ellie May.

All up, it was a great production, and it really feels like TPC are back on track after a couple of disappointing seasons.

Match Girls

Recently, I also saw Match Girls, by Ephiny Gale, which was produced as part of the Monash Container Festival. It's a darkly quiet piece, collecting monologues with brief moments of interaction between the three actors playing the main and minor roles. There were difficulties caused by a cast member dropping out, which meant that the role of the Queen was divided between two actresses – Natalie Pharaoh and Ephiny herself – at the last minute, and they both did very admirable jobs that would have stood up well regardless. Maria Roitman is always a delight to watch, and she added warmth and subtlety to the Witch, while Nicola Mason added a lightness to the play that was very appropriate to her role as the Light Princess. The direction by Zahra Shah captured the many layers of the work well, and her set design was perfect for the intimate space.

Les Mis

Jul. 26th, 2014 11:09 pm
tara: (Les Mis: One Day More)
I am horribly behind with just about everything ever, and I really must reply to LJ comments and read my flist. Yes. That is how behind I am. I always read, even if I'm not replying.

In the meantime, though, I went to Les Mis in Melbourne for the first time in about 24 years last night*. It was my ninth time seeing it, but seven of those nine were in London. I went with Keith, who has never seen it live, despite having seen pretty much everything else, so it was a fun combination of a first-timer and a raving fangirl ;p

Okay, so, the good stuff first.

Simon Gleeson is amazing. Simon Gleeson is always amazing, but he is particularly amazing as Jean Valjean. I wanted him as Javert, but I am so not going to complain about Valjean, especially after that turn. I need to take E to see the show, but I need to do it on a night he's not likely to be replaced.

Hayden Tee is very good as Javert. Javert is my make-or-break for a production and he did it well. I think he was better in the second act, and his Suicide was amazing, but his Stars was very capable as well. No chills, though.

Kerrie Anne Greenland was delightful as Eponine. Look, vocally she could have been a little better, but I loved what she did with the character and she looks like a young Eva Green.

I am not sure about Patrice Tipoki's vocal style for Fantine, and I was really missing a true belt in IDaD but I did really like her acting and she looked so young and vulnerable which is good because sometimes you end up with middle-aged Fantines and that's just weird.

Trevor Ashley and Octavia Barron Martin (understudy) were great as the Thenardiers. Ashley: to be expected. But Martin was fab. God I want to play that role.

Chris Durling could've been vocally better as Enjolras, but he looked the part so hard that I forgive him ;)

Luke Joslin did a very good job with what he was given to work with as Grantaire. (more on that later)

Okay, so, the lesser bits.

A Marius, a Marius, my kingdom for a decent Marius! God, they're so often awful, it seems. Euan Doidge is not awful (his ECaET wasn't too bad) but he's just not up to scratch vocally and he was so awkward on stage. He looked like an amateur up there. Marius is a completely wet character at the best of times, so when you have someone who isn't bothering to act, it's just eh. And he ruined the most shivers-down-the-spine line in the show: "My place is here, I fight with you." (Okay, maybe it shares that title with "One more day before the storm." That line is why you need an Enjolras who kicks arse vocally as well as being charismatic.)

The staging of the second act is awful. Okay, so this is the FIRST TIME EVER I've seen a production of Les Mis without a revolve (concert versions aside). IT NEEDS THE REVOLVE. Look, in the first act, they did a good job of doing things without it, but the barricades bit was awful and they ruined the most powerful bits of the whole damn show. spoilers )

It went beyond that, too. They had projections on the back of the stage and they weren't noticeable really in the first act, but they were awful in the sewer section. Instead of the usual great use of lighting, it was very distracting music-video stuff in the background. Javert's death suffered from that too.

THERE WERE NO CHAIRS IN EMPTY CHAIRS. Seriously, it was the weirdest thing. There were tea lights. Tea lights. Ditch the friggin' candles, and bring back the damn café.

The other thing, although it's really not as big as the staging, is that they didn't have the amazing characterisation stuff with Grantaire and Enjolras that they've been doing in London in recent years. It's been such a highlight for me the last few times I've seen the show, and it's great at bringing more of the book into the musical and actually making the students less of a blob and more like individuals that you actually care about once the barricades happen. Grantaire (in the book and London) is a sceptic and a drunkard and the only thing in the world that he believes in is Enjolras. And Enjolras is charismatic but flawed. You bring their story into the show and you add a whole other level to it. So it was disappointing that it wasn't a thing here. Instead, they contrasted Graintaire and Gavroche, which worked nicely, but damn that interplay they have between all the students in the current London production is just so good.

Look, for non Les Mis nerds, it's an excellent production. Seriously. It's definitely worth seeing. I just would've staged it differently myself.

* To give an idea of how long ago that was, and how amazing those first Australian casts were, original Aus cast had Normie Rowe as Valjean, the best ever Javert in Philip Quast, Debbie Byrne as Fantine, Simon Burke as Marius, Marina Prior as Cosette, Jodie Gillies as Eponine, Anthony Warlow as Enjolras, Barry Langrishe as Thenerdier and Robyn Arthur as Madam Thenardier. By the time I saw it in Melbourne, it was John Diedrich as Javert (alas! would love to have seen Quast in the role live), the amazing Sylvie Paladino as Eponine and Peter Cousens as Marius, along with some other cast changes. This show is an absolute star-maker in musical theatre, and I've seen that happen in the UK as well.

Games Owned

Jun. 2nd, 2007 03:42 pm
tara: (Default)
List of all video games owned - for my own reference. Those with an asterisk have been completed using my copy. Those with a plus sign have been completed elsewhere.

Games )

DVD List

Jun. 29th, 2006 11:41 am
tara: (Default)
List of all DVDs & Blu-Rays owned - for my own reference. For videos, see here.

DVDs & Blu-Rays )


Apr. 9th, 2003 09:12 pm
tara: (Default)
Dude, Richard Herring almost broke me last night.

I laughed so hard, I came this close to throwing up.

No exaggeration.

If you're in Melbourne and interested, the show's called "Talking Cock" and it'll be on 'til the end of the Comedy Festival


Mar. 30th, 2003 02:03 pm
tara: (Default)
It would be nice if I could arrive home from Warragul to find my bedroom relatively free of cat hair.

As it is, I have enough to stuff an elephant.

If I were so inclined.
This has all been pieced back together from mentions in journal entries and the occasional physical ticket, so is extremely incomplete as a consequence.

Books Read 2002 )

Movies Watched 2002 )

Television Watched 2002 )

Games Played 2002 )

Theatre Attended 2002 )

Concerts Attended 2002 )

Comedy Events Attended 2002 )


Nov. 17th, 2002 09:50 am
tara: (Default)
See, the best thing about planning a trip to Canada and the US is that I am realising how faulty my US geography is.
Dude, I could have sworn New England was over near Seattle *g*
What are the youth hostels like in the U.S and Canada? Are H and I likely to be murdered or eaten by rats, or are they actually very decent, like the hostels in Europe?

(Yes, we are going to be invading your countries. Apologies in advance.)
Okay, this will sound very silly, so I warn y'all ahead of time.

Last night, I felt truly happy for a while. And it wasn't because of people I care for, or an exciting event, or anything like that. It was because the Bill was actually good.

Okay, for that to make sense, I think I need to fill you in on the background.

I've been watching The Bill since the very beginning. I was a very tiny kiddie back then, but it was one of my father's favourite shows, and I'd sit in the lounge room with him every week to watch it. When I recently bought some s1 videos, I was surprised at how much I could remember of the episodes, given my age when I initially watched them.

In my opinion, the best periods for The Bill were the first couple of seasons, and then the period when CID rocked and was filled with such fantastic characters as Rod Skase, John Boulton, Tom Proctor, Tosh Lines, Jaaaack Meadows, Chris Deakin etc etc etc. Of course, if you know anything about the Bill, you'll know that the only one of those characters who's still there is Jaaaack. And his hair's gone now, so I'm not sure if he is able to be as Jaaaack-y.

And with the loss of those characters, which began to happen *before* the actual departure of John Boulton, when the writers decided that he was actually a Big Pussy, rather than Well Hard, so began the downfall of The Bill.

The plot lines became trite and relationship based. We were subjected to The Dave And Polly Melodrama and the changing of Tony into a completely unrecognisable prick. Most of the best characters left, and were replaced with people like Debbie bloody McAllister. Sure, a couple of changes were Of The Good. Chandler is far more interesting than Brownlow ever was. Paul Riley is cute and laconic. Kate Spears is gorgeous. But the story lines faltered and failed.

And, for the first time in my life, I contemplated Not Watching.

Last night's episode in Australia was the concluding part in the Britanniamania arc. The first of the four episodes didn't grab me particularly, mostly because it was concerned with setting up the premise and the undercover roles. But then bang - bang - bang - three absolutely BRILLIANT episodes that left my heart pounding and my mind spinning.

Britanniamania was dark. It was powerful. At times it was a little scary; at times it was hilarious. We delved into characters, not through The Bloody Obvious, but rather through their actions. And it was good. I watched and I absorbed and I cried a little in the end and I Loved The Bill All Over Again.

And that means a lot to me. It's only a television show, but it's also a constant I've always had in my life, right back from when I was only... what?... four?

And if it's good, then it makes me bloody happy. Because I feel like a part of me is whole again.


Congratulations Sth Korea, BTW. Fantastic game last night, and you should have seen me trying to barrack at a volume that wouldn't wake H. Not sure whether I succeeded when they kicked the golden goal ^_^

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