Posted in films & DVD, Science fiction, Television

The Horror of Fang Rock

I have recently watched the creepy and atmospheric gothic Doctor Who episode Horror of Fang Rock. It starts after the TARDIS lands on the island of Fang Rock off the south coast of England in the early years of the 20th century. So the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) and Leela (Louise Jameson) decides to investigate a creepy Lighthouse. Upon arrival the Doctor discovers the dead body of one of the keepers, Ben. The other two keepers, old superstitious Reuben and the keen young Vince Hawkins, mention a strange light which recently fell from the sky near the island and that the Electricity Generator powering the Light keeps failing for no apparent reason. Reuben thinks the mythical Beast of Fang Rock, which reputedly once terrorised the lighthouse is responsible. The Doctor thenDiscovers a curious electrical anomaly which has killed many fish nearby.

Then after another mysterious power failure A luxury yacht runs aground on Fang Rock. The four survivors are brought to the lighthouse: the bosun Harker; Colonel James Skinsale MP; the owner, Lord Palmerdale; and his highly strung secretary Adelaide Lessage. It eventually transpires that some of the crew of the yacht are up to no good and are smuggling diamonds. Later Harker and the Doctor retrieve Ben’s corpse and the Doctor suspects an alien May be at large on Fang Rock. Reuben then mysteriously disappears and then reappears later on a changed man. Then Palmerdale and Harker are found dead and the Doctor suspects that Reuben may have been possessed by an aggresive alien life form. Reuben’s body is then found and the rest of the crew face a fight for survival as they are picked off one-by-one.

The alien reveals itself to be a Rutan, an intelligent amphibious alien whose scout ship crash landed in the sea and that it is trying to summon its mother ship. It also reveals a rather sinister plan to turn Earth into a base From which The Rutans can launch a counter attack against their sworn enemies The Sontarans. So the Doctor and Skinsale think of a plan to defeat the Rutans, Sadly though, Skinsale is killed by the Rutan while he and the Doctor are working on something to defeat the Rutan Mother Ship.

Posted in books

W.B. Yeats

The Irish writer & Nobel laureate William Butler Yeats was Born 13th June in 1865, he was one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments, in his later years he served as an Irish Senator for two terms. Yeats was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival and, along with Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn, and others, founded the Abbey Theatre, where he served as its chief during its early years. In 1923 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature as the first Irishman so honoured for what the Nobel Committee described as “inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation.” Yeats is generally considered one of the few writers who completed their greatest works after being awarded the Nobel Prize; such works include The Tower (1928) and The Winding Stair and Other Poems (1929). Yeats was a very good friend of Indian Bengali poet Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.

Yeats was born and educated in Sandymount, County Dublin, Ireland, but spent his childhood in County Sligo. He studied poetry in his youth and from an early age was fascinated by both Irish legends and the occult. Yeats grew up as a member of the former Protestant Ascendancy at the time undergoing a crisis of identity. While his family was broadly supportive of the changes Ireland was experiencing, the nationalist revival of the late 19th century directly disadvantaged his heritage, and informed his outlook for the remainder of his feature in the first phase of his work, which lasted roughly until the turn of the 20th century. His earliest volume of verse was published in 1889 and those slow-paced and lyrical poems display debts to Edmund Spenser, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and the Pre-Raphaelite poets. From 1900, Yeats’ poetry grew more physical and realistic. He largely renounced the transcendental beliefs of his youth, though he remained preoccupied with physical and spiritual masks, as well as with cyclical theories of life. After a successful career Yeats sadly passed away 28 January 1939.

Posted in Events

Trooping the Colour

imageThe annual pageantry and splendour of the Queen’s Official Birthday Parade or Trooping The Colour took place Saturday 13 June 2015. Trooping the Colour Marks the official birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and is believed to have been performed first during the reign of Charles II and in 1748 it was decided that the parade would be used to mark the official birthday of the Sovereign and it has been an annual event since 1760. The year 2015 also marks the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo where the Grenadier Guards played an important part in the victory and earned their name. This year The Welsh Guards also celebrate their 100 years anniversary and to celebrate they were manning the Escort to the Colour and were presented with new colours which were received by Lieutenant Ed Clark to mark a hundred year since their formation.

The event was attended by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, who left Buckingham Palace at 10.45am and rode down the Mall in the Ascot Landau drawn by a pair of matching grey horses From Buckingham Palace down The Mall, through Admiralty Arch and onto Horseguards Parade. The Sovereign’s Escort, consisted of troops of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and the Mounted Bands, The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals, accompanied by the Massed Bands of the Household Cavalry

Prince Charles Prince of Wales, took part, and this year celebrates his 40th anniversary as Colonel of the Welsh Guards, he is Colonel in Chief to many other Regiments. Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, who is Colonel of the Blues and Royals also took part as did Prince William Duke of Cambridge, who is Colonel of the Irish Guards. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry meanwhile arrived in a coach behind the queen. Prince Andrew, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie also arrived from Buckingham Palace in a carriage. However Prince Edward and Sophie Countess of Wessex were absent because they were attending another Royal engagement.

The Welsh Guards were joined by the Royal Household Cavalry, Coldstream Guards, Scots Guards, Grenadier Guards, Irish Guards, Royal Life Guards, Blues and Royals, Welsh guards led by lieutenant Giles Harris, The mounted Kings Troop led by Major Craig Hallett, the Royal Horse Artillery the Foot Guards and The Mounted band. The Household Cavalry, Royal Horse Artillery, and Foot Guards are among the oldest regiments in the British Army and have served as the personal bodyguards of the sovereign since the monarchy was restored in 1660. Others Who took part in the parade included Colour Sergeant Charles Hancock, the Major of the Parade was Major Tom Parsons and the Regiment Sergeant wasMajor Paul Dunn. Other dignitaries in attendance included Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha Cameron, deputy Prime Minister and Defence Secretary Michael Fallon

The Massed bands played many tunes including The National Anthem, The Welshman, Les Hugenots”, which has been played since 1871, the Quick march “Canatex”, March of the British Grenadiers, Escort to the Colour, Grenadier Slow March, Welsh Guards Slow March Coldstream Guards slow March, Lord Wellington’s March, Toc-H by Joseph Mansfeild, Grenadier guards Quick march, Scots Guards Quick March, Coldstream Guard quick march, Precious Glory by Gottfried Piefke, Men of Wales by Archie Ellis and Men of Harlech.

After the Trooping of the Colour the royal party made their way back through Admiralty Arch, up TheMall and back to Buckingham Palace. On her return to Buckingham Palace The Queen took the salute as the Guards Divisions marched past. The Changing of the Guard ceremony then took place with the new guard being formed by the men of the Escort to the Colour. This was followed shortly afterwards by four generations of the Royal Family including Prince George who was making one of his first Royal Appearances appearing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to witness the flypast which was shortened due to inclement weather. After the Flypast by The Red Arrows, The Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery also fired a 41-gun salute in Green Park. (21 gun salute to mark the Queen’s official birthday and another 20 gun salute because it takes place in a Royal park.)