Hello, and welcome back. I hope we are all in good spirits this side of the New Year revelries. I was thinking about a subject for today and I really wanted to discuss Dr. Who but, on the other hand, I wanted to update you on my cushion cover progress. Then the two ideas came together in my mind like galaxies colliding and I thought “Momentum!” As I was in the bath at the time, this really counts as a “Eureka!” moment.

After the brief break at the end of December to work on my socks, I’m astonished to find that I have been raring to get back to my stitching. I don’t know if it’s that easy to tell from photos, but I am making great progress on this long-standing unfinished object and I’m at the stage where I feel I really could get it finished in the next couple of months. One thing that has helped enormously is that I’ve stopped caring how accurate I am with my colours. So long as the dark areas have darker shades and the light areas have lighter shades, I’m pretty relaxed about it all.

Two UFOs

When I got my hairdryer out, I saw the box containing yet another unfinished object of days gone by – a kit to fold little paper lanterns for a string of LED lights. Yes, apparently having a barely-started craft project stored in the same box as my hairdryer counts as commonsense chez Pamela. No, I don’t use my hairdryer so frequently that the project is coming to my attention every day – I use a hairdryer about once every two or three months. I hate blow-drying my hair, although I love how my hair feels and looks when it’s blow-dried; thus my assertion that if I won a sufficiently large sum that I no longer needed to concern myself with my spending, I would never wash and dry my own hair again. Anyway, enough about hair. After a momentary lapse where I thought I should finish the lampshades, I decided this will be another project to abandon, and I can use the bare lights in my “hygge home” display to help me through the dark months.

Going back to my cushion cover, I think this is a craft project that proves the importance of momentum. For so many years it was very easy to leave this sitting in a corner and to ignore the occasional twang of guilt; picking it up and getting started again seemed a gargantuan task akin to setting my back against an enormous rock and trying to get it moving. But the oldest project, like the largest boulder, gathers momentum once it is set in motion and it becomes easier to keep it moving forward. The results, being able to see areas turning from the printed colour to the stitched colour, finishing little patches and choosing which bit to work next, provide the impetus to keep picking it up and working on it. And the more I pick it up and work on it, the more results I see. Momentum breeds results which breed momentum.

So, Dr. Who?

I’ve been watching Dr. Who almost all my life; I go back to the First Doctor, although I barely recall that era. Yet I have been struggling for a few years now to find enthusiasm for the show. I think partly this is because I am no longer in the demographic that programme makers are targeting; the baton has been handed on and it is up to others now to provide the audience. Like Ulysses in the poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, I am expected to retire from activity and ponder past glories into my dotage. But I still want to enjoy Dr. Who and I wonder what it has been about recent offerings that has not quite worked for me. I’m not overly fond of the current imcumbent of the role, but that’s not the important thing because the role of The Doctor and the stories that Dr. Who tells are bigger than any single actor playing the part.

I could lay the blame for my lack of engagement at the door of the stories, production, or direction of the series and those areas certainly contribute to my feeling that I’m not the target audience, that my expectations are out of date. Yet it’s not really the crux of the matter. What is lacking is momentum! I don’t care about the series because there are so few episodes produced now that each season is over before I’ve had a chance to become engaged in it, and then it’s two years before the next season airs. Regular exposure to the characters engages our interest, makes us care. I know that current conditions make production of TV programmes hugely difficult, I expect disruption, shortened seasons, difficulties. However, the production of Dr. Who going back to Matt Smith’s tenancy and earlier, has been a long slide from 13 episodes a year to 10 or 12 episodes every two years and the long breaks between seasons have wrecked any feeling of momentum. I wish there was some way that the BBC could build that momentum again and help me to care about the characters and stories that it’s spending so much money to create for me.

I do keep turning up to watch the series, although I’m invariably disappointed at the end of each episode. I am always on the brink of abandoning it, although to date I’ve avoided taking that step. I do wonder how long it will be before the Dr. Who boulder finally loses momentum and grinds to a halt, for this fan at least.

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