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10th-Feb-2016 09:33 pm - R.I.P Sir Terry Wogan (1933 - 2016)

Someone commented recently on Twitter, Mark Gattis I believe it might have been, that 2016 has taken too much of our past already. For Brits, that has become even truer as news emerged last week that beloved broadcaster Sir Terry Wogan had passed away. I had no idea he even had cancer.

I don’t quite know how to explain Terry Wogan to people that don’t know who he is. He was one of our national treasures, a monolith of my past and of so many other people’s too. He was a long-time Radio 2 DJ whose breakfast show Wake Up to Wogan ran for over ten years before he did Weekend Wogan instead, both shows regularly scored enormous ratings and a hugely loyal fanbase, known as TOGS – Terry’s Old Gezzers or Terry’s Old Gals, until he retired in 2015. He presented a television chatshow Wogan (1982 – 1992) that amazingly and highly-successfully ran three times a week – unheard of for a chatshow in the UK, especially nowadays. He fronted hugely popular gameshow Blankety Blank (1979 – 1983). Most notably, from 1980 onwards he presented BBC’s Children In Need, a yearly telethon that raises so much money to help needy vulnerable UK children. While the evening’s ‘entertainment’ isn’t entirely for everyone (soap stars singing etc), the amount the telethon raises on a yearly basis is astonishing and it’s something Wogan felt very strongly about. He was the only celebrity ever paid a yearly fee for doing the telethon, a fee that was paid to him by the BBC and that he always donated to charity.

Tribute cartoon from The Telegraph newspaper - Pudsey, Children in Need's mascot, wearing a black eyepatch in tribute to Sir Terry rather than his usual polka-dot eyepatch.

He also, for 1971 to 2008, commentated for the UK during the yearly Eurovision Song Contest – if you’ve never seen it, my goodness, you need to. A yearly night of camp musical mania (usually marred by political voting so rarely do the songs that everyone likes win) and seriously good fun to watch if you’re willing to enter into the bonkers spirit. Wogan was able to make so many of us laugh as he sardonically observed the joyful weirdness on display. While Graham Norton does a wonderful funny job nowadays, Wogan is still the voice most people remember and quote.

He made me and my family laugh so often over the years. His was a wry but warm view of the world, cherished by so many. Tellingly, since his death, no stories have emerged of awful behaviour, nothing even remotely un-PC. All the stories have been of his generosity and his kindness and what a good friend he was, it’s been so wonderful to read and hear. He was enormously loved by friends, colleagues and fans alike. He gave so much to our island and was an Irish voice when that wasn’t the norm in the prominent mainstream media.

Here’s his goodbye when he stepped down from working on the breakfast show. Incredibly touching and classily done. Goodbye, Terry.

Title: And You're The Shaker
Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe
Characters: Steve Rogers/Bucky Barnes/Sam Wilson
Rating: T
Disclaimer: I own nothing,
Warning: Puppy play.
Summary: Bucky Barnes is living with Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson. He doesn't talk to them or interact with them. Until Sam leads the way on helping him, and Steve, find communication and contentment.

What Steve was seeing seemed impossible.Collapse )

Title: Ants Go Marching Again (At Last)
Fandom: Chikara
Characters: Soldier Ant, Worker Ant, Fire Ant, Silver Ant
Rating: G
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Summary: Soldier Ant is marching again, he's part of the Colony. But his friends still left him, he still hurt them, there's four Ants in the Colony now. His brains are unscrambled but that doesn't mean everything's clear and easy as orders for him.
Author Note: Set after the last 2015 Chikara event Top Banana.

the medal was a good solid weight over Soldier"s heartCollapse )

3rd-Feb-2016 09:09 pm - Gifts of Germany

My husband has returned to me from Germany! He had a wonderful extended weekend out there, taking in his beloved live ice hockey and football, drinking German beer and talking German to his friends. If he had his way, he’d live out there but there’s no way I’d be able to cope so he settles for going out there every couple of years or so, catching up with people and watching the teams he’s loved since he lived out there for a year.

He very sweetly bought me some gifts, because he’s a nice husband. He got me a jar of caramel mustard – I am a big eater of chutneys and mustards and have never tried caramel mustard so am quite excited. He also got some Ritter Sport chocolate for us to share, his favourite chocolate that they only do limited selection of flavours over here so he always stocks up when visiting Germany. And most unexpectedly, he got me Highlander: The Series Series 1 on DVD.

The caramel mustard and the Highlander series 1 DVD boxset

I have a long love affair with Highlander: The Series. I started watching what episodes I could find online about ten years ago and found them particularly comforting when everything in my family was going aggressively badly. It became a series I relied on. Yes, not all the acting or the special effects are brilliant but I adore the characters, especially everyone’s favourite immortal Methos and most of all, the character Darius, played by the late Werner Stocker. Like many characters in Highlander, he was to be killed off and then used in flashbacks, which the series used in every episode, the plus of featuring immortal characters means rich pickings of historical settings and uending interesting moments to explore. But tragically, Stocker died before they could even film his death scene. So Darius only features in six episodes but is often mentioned by others, even in the very last series of the show. His character always stuck with me, the bloodthirsty general who became a monk. I would have loved flashbacks to who he’d been before we first met him, the general who’d nearly conquered the world. Would we have seen him and Methos meeting up? More of his interactions with Duncan in the past? With other beloved characters like Fitz, maybe the Watchers?

I’ve always been an easy crier, too easy when I was younger, any moment of high emotion and whoops there go the waterworks. But when things were going so very badly in my family, I found to my numb horror that I couldn’t cry about them, I just couldn’t. I was entirely numb about the whole thing; some internal switch had gone off to subconsciously protect me probably. So I would watch a Darius episode and would finally find myself able to cry about the loss of Werner Stocker, as well as watching Xena episodes and crying about the loss of actor Kevin Smith. It became something very meaningful to me, a weird kind of therapy. As a result, Highlander, particularly the first series which is the only one to feature Darius, means a lot to me. Unfortunately, it’s not available on DVD in the UK; it never has been, so my only avenue is to try to buy a version from another country, choosing one with an English language audio track of course. Before in Germany, I’ve found other Highlander series but not the first one which I wanted to buy first. Anthony dashed into a DVD store while he was in Hamburg and bought it for me. He’s no fan of the series at all but he still bought it for me. I am so moved by this, it’s really quite difficult to put into words.

So when he’s at hockey one day soon, I shall watch ‘Band of Brothers’, the first episode to feature Darius and probably shed a few tears and really, really, enjoy a Nineties TV show that’s hokey, earnest and wonderful and never fails to make me smile – though don’t get me started on the series five finale. There’s few shows that give me tingles like it. I cannot wait to hear “The legend has it that Darius killed a holy man at the gates of Paris...”

Title: All Those Rippling Circles
Fandom: Chicago PD
Characters: Jay Halstead, Erin Lindsay, Adam Ruzek, Alvin Olinsky, Kim Burgess, Greg 'Mouse' Gurwitch, Antonio Dawson, featuring some Jay/Erin and Adam/Kim
Rating: G
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Spoilers: Set after 3x10
Summary: Camille Voight casts a long shadow. The team think about her, those who knew her, those who didn’t.

“You know, sometimes, a lot of the time, I forget Voight was married.”Collapse )

31st-Jan-2016 03:21 pm - Baking blitz
It's been a bit of a baking blitz here. First, I baked Kentish hop pickers cake, a soft moist fruitcake basically. I baked one last year and liked it. This year I made it specifically for a friend's birthday and smuggled it into last week's wrestling show for a couple of people to enjoy there, smuggled it in in little tinfoil parcels because security can be snippy and it worked. People were kindly appreciative and the birthday boy really enjoyed it so I was very pleased. It's definitely one of my favourite cake recipes, it's so tasty and delicious. I've got a feeling it'll be a yearly bake.

And yesterday, I tried out a recipe my sister passed onto me - a mug cake made in the microwave. You stick all the ingredients in a mug, mix 'em up and stick it in the microwave for a minute. And out comes a crumbly moist sponge, the science of that sort of boggles me. This was peanut butter mug cake and is so ridiculously sweet, wow. I couldn't have it every day. I crumbled some chocolate on top as I love the combo of peanut butter and chocolate and it melted beautifully into it, tasted so good. My sister says there's a ton of different mug cake recipes and she's been enjoying working her way through them. I've said she should compile them into a cookbook - students would love them. I'm going to make a peanut butter one for the hubby when he's home tomorrow most likely. It's what you'd call a treat, definitely not an every day dish. But so very very nice.

Title: It's Who You Know
Fandom: The A-Team
Characters: Charissa Sosa, Amy Amanda Allen
Rating: G
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Summary: Charissa Sosa is trying to catch up with the A-Team before the CIA do, but Face isn't answering her calls and just how is reporter Amy Allen getting so many details about the team's activities? Time to find out.
Author Note: I wanted to explore how the awesome Amy Amanda Allen from the TV series might fit into the film. And here we are.

"Amy Allen, I"m here about the A-Team."Collapse )

Title: Talk Canada To Me
Fandom: WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment)
Characters: Sami Zayn/Adrian Neville/Tyler Breeze
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Summary: Adrian Neville and Tyler Breeze visit Sami Zayn in the cold of Canada and bring the road, the life he's missing, to him. Most importantly, they bring themselves.
Author Note: Set before Sami made his wrestling return from his 2015 injury, so set late 2015.

He seriously hoped it would fade; hesitancy wasn’t going to help him in the ring.Collapse )

25th-Jan-2016 06:35 pm - A new year's wrestle

Day two of our London adventures this past weekend – the first London wrestling show of the year. Delightful again to be in the company of Progress Wrestling. Travel was a bit of a bear thanks to rail-replacement bus services on one leg but we got into London with plenty of time to wander round. Anthony bought a coffee and we witnessed an ambulance helicopter land in Trafalgar Square which was quite something.

The show itself was full of amazing matches, several incredible ones, and some vivid moments that we’re all still talking about. Firstly though I was sad to notice that unlike usual, none of the wrestlers were selling merchandise before the show or during the interval. Very unusual as merchandise sales are a way for them to really make money. I was sad as it also meant I didn’t have a chance to chat to any of them or even be brave enough to ask for a hug. I hope it’s not a permanent situation! Anthony and I got to use our season tickets for the first time, presenting them to the ticket girl so she could tick our names off her list. We’re storing them in a safe place too so that we don’t lose them! That would be a massive disaster.

Other non-match notables – a collection was taken for Kris Travis, the wrestler facing stomach cancer for the second time, to raise money for the hospice that’s been looking after him and to raise money for the cancer charity he’s been heavily involved with too. Also people had a chance to buy raffle tickets to win a handmade customised teddy bear, themed around Trav. Maxi makes amazing bears, for sick kids, and this one was awesome. The crowd raised over £600, it’s so great that things continue to be done in Trav’s name as he’s now too sick to attend shows. I see another company is doing another wrestling show all in aid of Trav too. There were cards to sign as well; I do hope they make him smile. Also the new ring canvas was in place, the one that fans raised money for by donating money that would get their names printed on the canvas. Our names are present and correct, though Anthony wants to know why his name didn’t come first as it does alphabetically – my response, I paid for it, so I come first ;)

As for the matches, we were treated to some beauties of course. A Natural Progression series Quarter Final was replayed as Sebastian, who originally went through to the Semi Final, now can’t make the relevant shows. So we had Damian Dunne vs Tyler Bate, both brilliant wrestlers. Tyler got a huge reaction as he was so loved in his first appearance with Progress late last year. The reaction to Damian was much more muted, a shame as he is a cracking worker though isn’t well known to a lot of Progress fans as he works mainly in Fight Club: Pro and Attack. He’s a friend of a couple of my friends, one of whom was sat front row and prepared for him to mouth off at her as he made his entrance, he’d been teasing her about this earlier online. Anyway, the match was really good; the two of them have faced each other a lot elsewhere so already have a rhythm and flow together. Tyler is so lovable, 18 years old with thighs like treetrunks and a build and look like a circus grappler, it all just works. He’s so genuinely pleased when we all sing along to his theme song – ‘Sledgehammer’ by Peter Gabriel, so perfect. Damian is great at the arrogant villain, not interested in the crowd’s reactions. It’s not a vivid character, which may account for the muted reaction. It was a shock that Damian won considering how popular Tyler is with fans but then Tyler may already be booked up this year and it’ll definitely be good to have Damian back again. Also Tyler got another huge reaction after the match and co-owner Jim Smallman let us know that he was sure it wasn’t the last we’d seen of Tyler.

I was so delighted to get to see FSU wrestle again – the team of Mark Andrews and Eddie Dennis, who haven’t teamed together in Progress since January last year. They seemed so pleased to be teaming together again, FSU are the reason I became a Progress fan in the first place so I have a lot to thank them for. They faced the awful Origin for the tag titles. El Ligero continues to be hilarious in his villainous role, really finding his niche with not being serious and angry but obnoxious and mocking instead, it’s really wonderful to watch his reactions, and Nathan Cruz is a brilliant heel character, so good at getting under the skin of fans. They insist that Jim announce how many titles they’ve won between them, El Ligero sat on the top turnbuckle and rested his feet on Jim’s shoulder, things like that, amazing. They won by using one of the tag title and I can only hope they lose eventually this year to the London Riots. And I really want more FSU in Progress, they make me so happy. Please?

The Women of Progress match was outstanding – only the second women’s match to feature on one of the main shows. I only heard one awful lecherous shouted comment so that’s something. The women in question – Dahlia Black, Toni Storm, Jinny and Pollyanna – all did a wonderful job in getting their characters across and the crowd invested in their work. Dahlia had her boyfriend at ringside TK Cooper and Jinny had her PA Elizabeth there so there were plenty of shenanigans. The simmering tension between Jinny and Elizabeth got stoked again as Jinny pushed her around and ordered her to cut Pollyanna’s hair which Elizabeth refused to do so Jinny did it herself. But Elizabeth still helped Jinny win, after TK Cooper punched Pollyanna in the face and Jinny took advantage as Elizabeth took care of the others. Dahlia and TK as the very PDA couple were hilarious and Toni Storm is adorable and bouncy – she’s Tyler Bate’s girlfriend so the chants for her were chanted to the same tune as the ones for Tyler which was a nice reaction by the crowd. Jinny is brilliant as the disdainful vicious fashionista and Pollyanna so loved by the crowd for her fierce badassness. There was an amazing moment when all four of them did submission moves on each other at the same time that got a huge reaction. More great storytelling, great wrestling, I really hope it’s not the last we see of the girls on the main shows. The crowd respected and loved their abilities, on the ENDVR shows they are of course awesome but they deserve the Ballroom too.

Zack Gibson and Mark Haskins had one of the matches of the night for the number one contendership of the Progress Heavyweight Championship. Haskins had fought a hellacious match the night before against Kenny Omega in another promotion and as a result had a shoulder strapped up and a noticeably black eye. They still managed to have an amazing physical hard-hitting match. The crowd were so involved and it was amazing to see Haskins, who spent years as a reviled villain, now so cheered and loved by the crowd, no longer the guy who cut promos on the fans, hating them. Now he does all his talking in the ring and to experience him being so loved, it was amazing. The match was structured around how much Gibson could beat Haskins and how Haskins could not be defeated. Gibson will always be an amazing heel – the Liverpool fan with the strong Scouse accent, a brilliant wrestler but so easy to hate as he tells the crowd to shut up. Ultimately, Haskins won to a huge reaction.

Rob Lynch, of the London Riots, faced Michael Dante, of the Summerian Death Squad – the winner would get to name a stipulation for the match the two teams are going to have at Progress’s Anniversary Show in March. It was a bruising big man match, awesome to watch them compete over who could hit harder. Also a moment when Dante just laughed and laughed, asking Rob if that was all he’d got, was genuinely unnerving. As his tag partner Tommy End usually does all the talking, this was something different. Lynch won eventually and named the stipulation – Tables, Ladders and Chairs. We reckon Tommy will win against JD next month – to name the second and final stipulation – and it’ll probably be that whoever loses has to split as a team. It’s going to be a war and I hate it because I love both teams – the SDS, the powerful cultish hitmen who work for the Illuminati, so dark and utterly compelling, and the Riots, violent thugs who were hated for so long before becoming so beloved by Progress fans. Ultimately, I reckon the Riots will win because they need to go after the tag team titles and SDS, maybe they’re done in Progress for now. I hate that thought because I find their characters so entirely inspiring and intriguing, seriously I could write fic for days. But they are still doing work in ICW and wXw and maybe they need a break from Progress or Progress needs a break from them.

We knew the main event would be spectacular – Will Osprey defending his Progress Heavyweight Championship against Marty Scurll in a No Disqualification match. And it was. The two of them have tremendous chemistry – they recently fought at RevPro to great reviews – and the crowd mostly adore Will but Marty is a Progress original, we’ve seen his development, he’s always been one of ours, even as he strives to be hated right now. So there was a really interesting atmosphere. Will, even as champion, is positioned as the underdog, an uncomplicated hero character, young and high-flying, generally happy and smiling and spectacular in the ring. Marty has been a loony villain for a while though only last year tried to seriously become hated, before he’d been a lovable ass, villainous but still easy to love. Now he’s really trying for the hate, vicious and scheming and quite mad with wide staring eyes and still so difficult to hate. They really brought it – Marty used a whole host of umbrellas against Will, both of them went through tables (the commentary table up on the stage was destroyed for the first time ever) and the match ended with Will having his hands cuffed behind his back and Marty whaling on him with a large umbrella. It was a genuine shock to see Will lose the title –he won the title after a 2 year story against Jimmy Havoc, in an epic story I can’t ever see being bettered. But as Anthony reminded me, not every story can be like that, in fact most title changes aren’t. And since winning last year, Will has defended the title in an incredible run of matches, all highly regarded and admired, and Will himself has been cited as one of the most exciting talents in wrestling. I’m sad he’s not champion but know he’s going places very quickly – he’s only 22 years old and he’ll only be developing further. And I am pleased for Marty for all the hard graft he’s put into evolving his character and how much he’s improved over the past year. The era of the Villain begins. Who will knock him off his perch? I hope we’ll see him face best friend Zack Sabre Jr again, it’d be amazing I know, but after that...Tommy End maybe? That would be astonishingly good.

I got to see my beloved friends who I haven’t seen since November. I miss them so when I don’t see them. Got introduced to the boyfriend of one of them – awww, they’re a cute couple – and got to present commentator RJ with a piece of fruit cake that I’d smuggled in for him. I actually smuggled pieces of homemade cake in mostly for our friend Chris whose birthday it was but had told RJ I’d get some for him too. There’s always a few rotten apples, usually drunk ones to be honest, but mostly, it’s a top community to be part of. I love seeing my friends and talking to them, catching up about everything, even making new friends too, being way more social than I usually am in a place where I feel so comfortable and at home. I feel like I can keep being brave – even though there wasn’t a chance this time as no wrestlers were selling their merch and therefore were not accessible. Next time? I do hope so.

I had a whacker of a headache by the end of the show – I don’t think I hydrated enough oddly – and the overstimulation too maybe. Of course the train was late, then the rail replacement bus wasn’t going to the close station we can walk home from so we got a coach back to another station and got a taxi from there as Anthony sweetly wanted me home and sleeping. It was another tremendous wrestling date day, which included spending time with some of the friends I love the most. I hate that I have to wait until March for the next one. It’s a bit addictive, just a tad ;) Hopefully we’ll get to go to many other shows this year, especially once the hockey season is over by the end of March.

22nd-Jan-2016 10:23 pm - Fic: Temporal (MCU, Pietro/Darcy, G)
Title: Temporal
Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe
Characters: Pietro Maximoff/Darcy Lewis, Wanda Maximoff, Natasha Romanov, Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson
Rating: G
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Spoilers: Set after The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Makes changes to a bit of canon though.
Summary: Pietro Maximoff does not completely trust SHIELD; he is intrigued by Darcy Lewis.

This was home now.Collapse )

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