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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – October
Monday 1st October 2018 7:00 pm

This month I'm going to do something that doesn't take up as much time. I'm going to watch The Martian (film). I read the book last year, for Never Seen Star Wars, happened to notice this was on Film 4 a while back and it's now sitting on my PVR, taking up space. So I will watch it this month.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars September wrap-up
Sunday 30th September 2018 12:17 pm

This month I've been watching Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased). Last time when I watched something for Never Seen Star Wars I watched one episode and decide that was enough. This time I watched an episode of the original and an episode of the Vic & Bob remake, bought both sets of DVDs and watched all 26 episodes of the original and 13 episodes of the new. This, and work being crazy, is the reason I haven't posted much this month.

In other words, I liked it. I liked both, in fact.

Going between them, it was obvious how much more dizzying camera movement is in the remake. I think it's more obvious when going from old TV to new, but is also something my dizziness makes more obvious.

There's all sorts about the famous people in the remake, but there are some really famous people in the original too. I knew David Jason was in one, but failed to recognise him at first. He looked the same, just younger, but was doing an RP accent, which I was not expecting. I also failed to recognise Brian Blessed. I had to look up the name of his character and then pay attention to see who he was. Even then, I could sort of agree it was him only when his character started shouting, and I paid attention to the sound and not how he looked.

Nicholas Courtney and Roger Delgado were easy to spot. I spent most of an episode (When the Spirit Moves You) thinking one of the characters looked familiar. And when I looked him up on imdb I found he was Anton Rodgers - who I know from Fresh Fields/French Fields and May to December. Although these were twenty years later, and I haven't seen either since they were on TV, there was still something about him that was recognisable.

And then there's Somebody Just Walked Over My Grave. Wikipedia tells me exactly who Andrew Sachs plays, but he's just so different from Manuel that I wouldn't be surprised if that wasn't Andrew Sachs. And the gardener turns out to be Onslow from Keeping Up Appearances. Once I knew I could see a resemblance, but he doesn't look different in a shirt.

Famous people aside, I just generally enjoyed it. Quite a few of the plots were a bit samey and I liked when Marty got Jeff out of trouble by some means other than finding someone who could hear him. I liked that the remake did more interesting things with the whole ghost idea. Of course, it helped that by then they could do more special effects. I liked that the remake went a bit silly with the plots - but I also liked that the original was more sensible.

I found the friendship between Jeff and Marty was easier to believe at first in the remake, but that's because I know Vic & Bob are friends. I've seen them do Shooting Stars together. But I could see it in the original too, after a while.

I like that the remake gave Jeannie more to do (in the making of, Annette Andre does point out that The Avengers was the exception in those days). At first, I disliked having the whole thing about whether she'll get together with Jeff. But then I was reminded of something in the first episode of the original, where Jeannie says she doesn't see Jeff because Marty gets jealous (it sounds to me like Jeff and Jeannie are friends outside of their relationship with Marty). That would be really iffy in 2000, so I don't mind that they kept Marty's jealous side, but gave him a respectable 21st century reason for it.

In common with everyone else, it seems, I also really love the music.

So, 10/10. I wish I'd seen the original earlier.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – September
Monday 3rd September 2018 8:43 pm

This month I've going to watch Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased).

I've been meaning to, for years. I knew the premise before I saw the Vic & Bob version, which I watched when it was on TV. I think I liked it (I only remember Emilia Fox was in it an nothing else) and wanted to watch the original, but never got round to it.

So now I will.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – August wrap-up
Friday 31st August 2018 8:00 pm

This month I did something I hadn't even considered at the beginning of the month: I tried out hair styles.

While it was really hot I was putting my hair up every day and I got bored with doing the same old thing all the time. So I searched about on YouTube, found some hair tutorials and gave them a go. They were always harder to do than they looked and some of them I found didn't suit my hair. Some of them I had to practise. When it got less hot I looked up styles where you didn't have all your hair up.

I really enjoyed it. I don't think I've gone with the same style twice, except for practise. Doing my hair differently has made me feel different. And I've finally learnt how to do a french plait, which I always wanted to do when I was younger and never could.

So I'm giving it 10/10.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars July wrap-up
Monday 30th July 2018 7:20 pm

This month I watched The Americans. It's a series that was recommended to me years ago, back when there wasn't too much of it. Now there's loads of it.

It's about two Russian spies who have been living in America as Americans for years. They have children who have no idea their parents are not who they saw they are. I only saw the first episode and as far as I can tell these spies are sometimes amazingly good at their job and sometimes so awful I wonder how they've got away with it. I read somewhere that it's not about the spying, it's about their relationship, which was more interesting than the spying aspect.

I found it was all right, but I could take it or leave it really. I wasn't desperate to watch another episode. I saw a vague summary somewhere about some of what happens with their relationship in future series and that seemed like enough information really. I think knowing that there was a lot of it was part of what made it easier to not be bothered about watching more.

I'll give it 6 out of 10.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – June wrap-up
Saturday 30th June 2018 8:52 pm

This month I was listening to The Greatest Showman soundtrack. Which I ended up listening to twice. I listened to what I thought was the first few songs earlier in the month, then finally got round to listening to the rest this week. And it turned out I'd listened to all but three. By the time I'd listened to those I couldn't remember how the rest went, so I listened to the whole thing again today.

And I quite like it. I certainly didn't mind listening to it all twice. I have heard one song before: Rewrite the Stars. I liked the last song best: From Now On, mostly because it didn't sound the same as all the others, at least at the start.

Listening to it today I discovered the playlist I'd bookmarked on YouTube included videos with two of the songs. So it gave me a bit of an idea what was going on in the film - the song themselves gave me no idea. And I didn't realise until then that it was a film - I'd thought it was a stage musical. Despite it saying it's the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, which you'd have thought would be a clue.

I want to see the film now, to see how these songs all fit in. Although I feel like it's really popular among teenagers (I don't know where I got this impression). Maybe next year's Never Seen Star Wars should just be a film every month.

Overall I give it 8 out of 10. I would listen to those songs again.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – June
Monday 4th June 2018 9:11 pm

June is a busy month, so I'm going to listen to an album. Last year I chose the one that was top of the album chart. This year I considered the album that was top when I was born, but that would give away my date of birth. And I didn't much fancy it. But the current top of the album charts sounds interesting: it's The Greatest Showman soundtrack.

I've never heard of it, but I like songs from musicals. But I'd never thought of sitting down and listening to one, unless I knew the songs from it. So this will be different for me.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars May wrap-up
Saturday 2nd June 2018 5:34 pm

This month I was reading Jeeves and Wooster. My sister gave me Carry On, Jeeves. It turns out it's actually a short story collection, the first of which is when Jeeves first starts working for Wooster.

The trouble with it was that each story was very similar: One of Wooster's friend's has a problem, Wooster can't solve it, but Jeeves always can. It meant I could only really read a chapter at a time because otherwise it got quite samey.

The good thing about it was that I could just sit down and read a chapter and that was a whole story. Also, I enjoyed them. I liked all the slang that Wooster used (and Jeeves didn't). It gave a good sense of his character.

I am going to read more. My plan is to take one back and borrow another every time I visit my nephew. And also watch the series with Fry and Laurie because it's impossible to read without picturing them.

I'll give it 10/10.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – May
Monday 7th May 2018 3:16 pm

This month I'm going to read a Jeeves and Wooster book. I know my sister likes them and I've been book shopping with her before where she's tried to persuade me to try them. And I can't remember any more why I wasn't keen. I haven't seen the Fry & Laurie version, just clips, so I don't really know what to expect.

I have borrowed the first book, Carry On, Jeeves, from my sister. It's red, which I like. Although obviously the colour of the cover doesn't affect the contents.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars April wrap-up
Sunday 6th May 2018 2:11 pm

Last month I watched The Death of Stalin. I saw the trailer ages ago, liked it, then failed to see it at the cinema. Turns out that was ok because I didn't like it as much as I thought I would.

It wasn't laugh out loud funny, but it was silly. The biggest problem I had was that although they introduced everyone by slowing the action and putting up their names and positions, I immediately forgot their names. So when they were plotting against one of them I was confused about who they were plotting against. And I just found it a bit slow.

I'll give it 5/10.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – April
Tuesday 3rd April 2018 8:03 pm

After finding last month a bit busy trying to fit everything in, and the Commonwealth Games starting this week, I'm going for something that doesn't take too much time. I'm going to watch a film - specifically The Death of Stalin. It's an Armando Ianucci film that I wanted to see at the cinema, but I didn't realise was only going to be at my local cinema for one weekend. I thought of it every time I watched an episode of Discovery, because it's also got Jason Isaacs in it.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars March wrap-up
Sunday 1st April 2018 8:25 pm

This month I was learning AngularJS. Although it turns out to be more complicated than that. Version 1 is called Angular.JS, version 2 and above is called Angular. I googled to find a free course and ended up at codeschool. Mainly because they started by telling me what it's for. So I now know some Angular.JS and have established it's no use for work or me. It's okay, generally, but I'm not sure what all the excitement is about it.

Now I'm found an Angular course. Apparently it's quite different, but the basic principles are the same. And hoping at some point I'll discover what's so amazing about it.

In terms of learning it, it's so far not been massively different from any other programming language I've tried - I don't really learn it until I try programming in it. So I'll give it 6/10.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – March
Thursday 1st March 2018 8:17 pm

This month I'm going to learn AngularJS.

It was frustrating me a bit that work has been so busy with project work that I haven't had time to do any programming. My programming to do list never gets shorter. And then I remembered years ago I was just starting on jQuery and I was talking to someone who was starting on AngularJS. Both of these are programming languages that could be described as Javascript (a programming language) with knobs on. This person said that Angular was better and that was pretty much the gist of the conversation from what I remember.

Having looked it up, I discovered that actually although they're both Javascript with knobs on, they're different knobs. With similar grammar but different words. I'm not sure how much I can learn in a month, given how much (little) French I (re-) learnt in a month, but I won't know until I try.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars February wrap-up
Wednesday 28th February 2018 9:29 pm

This month I've been listening to podfic. To find some I started off with the podfic tag on AO3 and put in a few fandoms that came to mind as unlikely to give me too many works to wade through. And then a bit of googling found me [info]podfic-love. Between the two I downloaded a few things from a few different fandoms.

I started with the shortest one I found and although I got to the end I lost interest. I ended up going to the original fic to read that to see what happened and it didn't grab me either. I tried another, didn't get very far through and was tempted to stop there. And I was struggling with the American accents. You can't tell what accent the podficcer has before you try and I find American accents really hard going on audio, for some reason.

But then it got to last weekend, I thought that it's close to the end of the month, I've got a load of podfic downloaded and I should try some more. It's just as well I did because I came across two I enjoyed!

(if you knew what i know) [PODFIC] by bessyboo
Fandom: Sarah Jane Adventures
Relationships: Clyde Langer/Luke Smith
Summary: And it really isn’t Luke’s fault that his best friend has a hugely inappropriate and aching crush on him, so Clyde should probably stop taking it out on him.

This isn't a fic I'd normally have read because I don't ship Luke & Clyde. And I wasn't sure about listening to someone with an American accent read it, because SJA is British. And yet I liked it anyway. I think it helped that it wasn't a strong accent. The only weird bit was the pronunciation of biro - I only knew what the word was supposed to be from the context.

[PODFIC] Not Exactly a Ring by kerravon
Fandom: The Librarian (Movies), The Librarians (TV 2014)
Relationships: Charlene (The Librarian)/Judson (The Librarian)
Summary: Author: "Charlene had always thought she was ready to give her all when the time came to protect the Library. Some things, though, there really is no way to prepare for. Giving her heart and soul to seal the Library doesn't turn out quite the way she expected, and Librarians, to a body, have the worst senses of timing in the universe. Judson/Charlene, tag to episodes 1x01 and 1x02."

I downloaded this one because I thought it sounded familiar - turns out I read it, back when The Librarians first started. So I knew I already liked the story. The American accent was stronger in this one, but it seemed to fit the fandom and the characters. Even if I kept laughing every time "library" was pronounced with three syllables. I think in the episodes I'm distracted from dwelling on it so much.

I've concluded that to like a podfic I have to like the fic and like the voice. With the former you have the summary to go on, just like fanfic. But there's generally no clues about the latter. And even then I'm clearly still fickle and don't know what I want. And although I can see times when it's useful to listen to podfic, they're the same times when I listen to podcasts. Except that podfic you have to concentrate on more because it's easy to miss things and then be completely lost. So despite having enjoyed two podfics, I don't know that I'll listen to any more.

I'll give this a 7/10.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – February
Thursday 1st February 2018 7:15 pm

This month I'm going to listen to a podfic. I've never tried one because I hate being read to. I tried an audio book once and it drove me mad how slow it was and how much faster it would be to just read the book. But then I liked Jamie reading Belinda Blinked in My Dad Wrote a Porno. But I know podfic is a thing and I'm going to try listening to one.

Does anyone have any recommendations in fandoms I might know? Or know where I can find podfic recs?


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars January wrap-up
Wednesday 31st January 2018 6:28 pm

This month I've been listening to the My Dad Wrote a Porno podcast. The premise is that a bloke called Jamie has a dad who wrote under the name Rocky Flintstone, a book called Belinda Blinked. Each week he reads a chapter, with comments from his friends, James and Alice.

And I've listened to the whole book in a month.

The book itself is self-published and you can buy it on Amazon. But it's awful. The way Alice described it is the way I feel about listening to it: between episodes I was keen to get to the next one, but as soon as I start I wonder why I'm putting myself through it.

The sex is written by someone you'd assume had never even seen a naked woman, let alone had sex with one, if it wasn't for the fact he has a son and therefore disproves that. It's definitely someone who doesn't understand anatomy at all. Quite apart from the sex, the dialogue is awful, the punctuation is awful and the plot is non-existent (so by definition is the only part that isn't awful).

If I was reading this book myself I probably would have made it to the end of the first chapter because I couldn't believe what I've reading. But there's no way I'd have made it further than that. It's the comments from Alice and James (and Jamie) that really make it fun to listen to. They point out the particularly awful bits in a way that's funny.

The best thing is that there are two more books worth of podcasts for this, so it'll keep me going for a while. I'm giving it 10/10.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars December wrap-up and 2017 and January
Thursday 28th December 2017 2:51 pm

I thought I'd get all this in one post, rather than do three separate ones.

This month I watched The Night Manager. I saw three-quarters of an episode and had to stop there because I was too tired to finish it that night. I came back to watch the rest the next day and my main thought was "do I have to?". Which tells you what I thought about it... I did finish the episode and then decided it meant I didn't have to watch any more. So I didn't.

I can see why people would look like - it's all about intrigue and who's up to what and if they're going to get their comeuppance. However, I didn't think much of Tom Hiddleston and really hated his character (the eponymous night manager). And looking at the blurbs for the rest of the episode, and given what had happened in the first, I suspect he was not going to get what I felt should be coming to him, and so I was going to be disappointed.

At least not watching the rest of the episodes has saved me five hours of my life. So I'll give it 3/10.

In summary this year I have done the following:
January: Instagram 6/10 (but given how much I've liked it since then, I'd increase it to 8/10 if I was scoring it again)
February: The Martain by Andy Weir 8/10 (I still need to watch the film)
March: Aldi 5/10
April: Rock Choir 8/10
May: Rogue One 2/10
June: Divide (Ed Sheeran) 7/10
July: Re-learning French using apps 7/10 (I should really get back into this, so I can be ready for Paris 2024)
August: Yoga 2/10
September: Morris dancing 10/10
October: Netflix 5/10
November: Avocado 3/10
December The Night Manager 3/10

I am going to carry on doing this next year. This year I purposely did things that were different. Next year I'm not going to make it quite so hard and just make it whatever I feel like. Having said that, in January I'm going to do something different: listen to "My Dad Wrote A Porno". Partly because as a result of needing background noise when Missy died, I got through my podcast backlog. So now I have time to add another for when I run out of current ones. I have heard of it and heard bits of it and it sounds like fun.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars November wrap-up and December
Saturday 2nd December 2017 7:24 pm

I'm putting both of these in one post, as they're pretty short (and late).

In November I ate avocado. I'm very glad I chose something that was quick to do and I got it done towards the beginning of the month. I had a teaspon-full, in case I didn't like it. Close up, I wasn't convinced about the colour or the look of the texture - it didn't really look natural. But the taste wasn't at all what I was expecting. I was expecting it to taste strong, but in fact it didn't taste of anything. I wasn't keen on the feel of the texture either, but thought maybe I could get used to it.

And then the aftertaste hit. I thought about writing this post at the time and perhaps I should have done because all I can remember is that it was strong and awful. I ate something else to take the aftertaste away and it didn't work. So I concluded that a teaspoon of avocado was all I needed to eat and I really don't get the appeal.

I'll give it a 3 out of 10, because parts of it weren't too bad.

In December I'm going to watch The Night Manager. It was on TV ages ago and all I know about it is that it's good and it has Tom Hiddleston in it (because anywhere his name is mentioned it has The Night Manager in brackets after it). I did go to watch it after it was on, but all the episodes except for the first were on iPlayer and I got the impression this was something best watched in order.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars – November
Wednesday 1st November 2017 7:34 pm

This month is always a busy month: work is busy, all the things I do regularly in the evenings are on every week, there's loads on telly to keep up with, and there's Yuletide to write. So this month I'm going to do something quick and easy.

I'm going to try avocado.

Someone on the radio series tried coffee, so there is precedent for just trying a food or drink. But it's something in the news as a lot of people (specially younger people) are eating. I keep seeing people eating it at work and I wonder what it tastes like. Also, some time ago I tried different fruits to try and increase my fruit eating repertoire, but I never did get round to trying avocado.


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I’ve Never Seen Star Wars October wrap-up
Tuesday 31st October 2017 9:46 pm

This month I've been using Netflix. Although it hasn't been for the whole month. The idea was to watch all of this set of Discovery episodes during the free month. Which meant that I've only actually had it for a week and a half.

So far I've watched Discovery and scrolled through some other stuff to see what was on there. It seemed to be mainly American stuff (didn't look to see if it was new episodes or all a series behind because it wasn't anything I was interested in), and old stuff. And some films, which surprised me - I thought Netflix only did TV. So for £6 (or more) it's pretty disappointing. I had to make an effort to find something else to watch because I felt that just watching Discovery wasn't enough of a test.

I half-like and half-dislike the fast forwarding. As you go it shows you screenshots, but there's no way of telling how far apart those screenshots are. I think fast forwarding and rewinding are at the same rate, which makes it hard to go back when you overshoot. But I can't tell. I'm used to my PVR where I can just press buttons to go forwards 1 minute and backwards 10 seconds.

It does keep track of what you've watched and how far into it you are. So you can get partway through something and then come back where you left off another time. And if you stopped at the end of an episode then when you go back it offers you the next one. It even works out that you've finished something if you stop at the beginning of the credits, which I was quite impressed by.

I set it up on my computer, added Discovery to "My list" so when I went into it on the TV, all I had to do is to select it, so that was easy.

So my experience was ok - it wasn't an amazing thing I have to have. It's useful that it's there for things that are only on Netflix (eg Discovery). I can understand why some people only have it and not a TV licence, given that they're very similar prices. But I definitely couldn't forego watching all the things I am currently watching on TV, the ease of watching from my PVR rather than Netflix, not to mention that you can't watch sport on Netflix!

I hate that I have to get it in order to watch Discovery. But at least it's available to watch - I don't have to have Sky for example, which is a lot more work and a lot more expensive.

All in all, I'd rate it a 5 out of 10.


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