Archive for November, 2013

Doctor Who is a Sagittarian Rabbit – Who’d Have Know That…

November 23, 2013

Today is the birthday of the great and wonderful and utterly unique Doctor Who, who took to the airwaves this day in 1963. For all of those interested this makes the Doctor a Chinese Rabbit and a Western Sagittarius. An interesting combination and one you, no doubt, had hitherto not considered.


It is interesting that 23 November is just inside Sagittarius, which is a wholly good thing, given the cheerful and optimistic view that Sagittarians bring to matters, to wit, the Doctor always believes there are solutions and that he will win. And he’s right. The Sagittarius cheerfulness and joviality can be a bit annoying at times. Also consider that this is the sign that loves travel. Well is this not one of THE defining characteristics of the Doctor – have Tardis, will travel?

Imagine if he had been a brooding Scorpio, a secretive, but sexy (children’s TV?) dangerous Galifrean? Perhaps Tom Baker or David Tennant could have pulled that off, but the others? True the Doctor is wearying for his many companions, his energy and constant movement is more akin to Sagittarius than Scorpio, as is his ability to see the best in all, even his mates and make them feel as if they’re missing out if they’re not along for the ride. Sagittarians are known for good times, for shooting at the stars but being firmly rooted in reality, even if that is the relative unique reality of being a Time Lord.

tom baker

And what of being a Chinese Rabbit? That doesn’t sound too auspicious does it, but consider who else is a 1963 Water Rabbit: Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, George Michael, Quentin Tarantino, Michael Jordan. Not too shabby, eh? Handsome and most talented men, all of them: if not a bit quirky and utterly unto themselves. Is the Doctor not like this – handsome in some lights, most definitely quirky and utterly himself?

The Rabbit is clear sighted and quickly spots dishonesty in others. They work very hard, but you don’t always see it. How often do we see the Doctor apparently goofing off, only to reveal that he has actually been doing/spying/noticing all manner of things? And where did the Sonic Screw Driver come from? His fiddling and tinkering and there in the midst of play was the best little, most unassuming weapon in the universe.


Rabbits can be unsentimental and quite tough when it comes down to business – well the Doctor has vanquished many of his enemies across time and space, repeatedly. How many Daleks, Cybermen, Sontarans and Weeping Angels are there in the universe? Not to mention an assortment of other nasties including Davros, who just won’t die, or the Master, who really was quite deliciously evil, most especially when he was John Simm. Yes, indeed Doctor Who was banned in our house because of these horrors when my mother found my pathetic, useless woos of a brother cowering behind the couch. I missed the Cybermen quite seriously there for a while.

the master

Rabbits also like long relationships and make good partners. Well, we know the devotion the Doctor has shown to his companions over the years – Sarah Jane, Jamie, the Brigadier, Leila, Romana, Rose, Amy, and of course K9. And the heartbreak when some of those affairs have come to an end. It must be tough having two hearts and living forever, even in different bodies.

And today, the Doctor is 50. That’s quite an achievement. I’ve been with him most of the way and remain true and am ecstatic to discover after all this time that he, like me is a Sagittarian – it only deepens the bond. I confess my favourite remains Tom Baker, but closely followed by David Tennant, Peter Davidson (who is forever Tristan from All Creatures Great and Small) and Patrick Troughton.

What will the new Doctor, Peter Capaldi bring as a 55 year oldie, who is an Aries Dog, who is amazingly the same age as the original Doctor, William Hartnell. Oh, how 55 has changed these 50 years. How will Capaldi’s astrological mix merge with the Doctor’s? We can but hold our breath and wait and see. Ah, anticipation…


Happy birthday Doctor Who, may you have very many more. (Doctor images courtesy Google Images)

An Allegory: The Cowboy and the Idiot – Part 1

November 9, 2013

Once upon a time in a place that could be nearer than you think and not so long ago as you’d like, an old cowboy looked around the town and wondered how the new sheriff was going to cope. The town was still a bit rough, a bit ragged around the edges despite the years and the various waves of change sweeping through, but its heart was in the right place and most of his work was done here.


The new guy was less than prepossessing to say the least. Crueler people, and there were many in the town who cheerfully called a spade a spade and a fool an idiot, would not find it possible to see what it was that had elevated this man. The cowboy looked at the sheriff, peered into his pale watery eyes, failed to find a chin, or anything defined about his face. His complexion was pale; pasty really, and his hair was mousy and dirty-blond under his new black ten gallon hat that sat uncomfortably on his head. His colourless lips quivered over his over-bite and the cowboy was put in mind of a blobby jellyfish. How would he survive in the heat of this place?

‘You’re one of my heroes,’ the sheriff said to the cowboy.

The cowboy nodded. He was used to being admired. But not liked very much, well by a select few but that didn’t matter: he had a job to do and all that mattered was that he did it well. He looked to the horizon, to where he needed to be sooner rather than later, to where his new boys were waiting for him.

‘There’s a lot to be done,’ the sheriff said looking around the dusty town, at the saloon, the bank, the store; down the street to where the church sat, seeming to watch over them all. He didn’t really like that he would be able to see the graveyard from his desk. ‘Will you be staying long?’

The cowboy shook his head. ‘Need to be moving by the morning. Be out of your way then.’

The sheriff’s hands shook a little as he rested them on his skinny hips, standing with his legs astride in what he hoped was a dominant pose. ‘I thought you might be around for a bit so we could chat. You know, shoot the breeze about how to tame this place, make it the promised land like the boys at home want us to, like those other places are.’

The cowboy almost smiled. ‘No. It’s time for your sort of law enforcement, you were elected to sort out this place, so you need to begin as you mean to go on. I’m not the sheriff, just a lone cowboy doing his best.’

The sheriff allowed himself a smile. ‘Ah, Mick, you shouldn’t under-rate yourself. Between us we’ll turn this county around and show those boys back home in the big smoke how to run things. And then, who knows what triumphs will follow?’

The cowboy nodded. ‘Yep. We’ll make a difference. But you here, in your way and me out there in the wilds, in my way. From time to time our paths will cross but for now I’ll let you settle in and get the measure of the town yourself.’

The cowboy gave the sheriff one last look up and down and wondered what would become of the place. How aligned were they? Could this weed of a man make a difference or was he just bolstered by his devoted supporters and his own rampant ego? Mind you, as the cowboy well knew, a big ego could take you a long way. If he was to give the sheriff any advice it would be to trust his own instincts, not to listen to the nay-sayers and especially not the hedonistic, ne’er do wells in the saloon. If he had his way the whole place would be blown sky high. This land, this hot, dusty inhospitable environment was a place for work, hard work and no shirking. It was a place for devotion, for determination, for sacrifice and courage. He knew these things as truth and expected others to come to that truth as well, willingly or not. He knew his single minded approach to law enforcement, his own maverick brand of justice was the right thing. He guessed that as the new sheriff was a fan then he would be in accord with the cowboy and they would make the land over in their own image.

wyatt earp

The idiot watched the cowboy fade into the sunset and felt a shiver of determination wash over him such that he stood a little taller in his shiny new boots and stretched his giblet neck to assume an altogether bigger posture. He would shake this town up like nothing on earth. He knew, as sure as eggs were eggs and the sun rose in the east that this town was gonna change. He smirked, as he was wont to do, these townies hadn’t a clue what was coming. He knew what he wanted, and this place bore no resemblance to the sort of town he wanted.

For a moment his vision glimmered in the heat: he saw the golden age, a place and time when the world was as he wanted, where it was just like where he grew up: where things were good and right. He would have that time again. (Images from Google Images)


Be Yourself

November 2, 2013

Sounds simple, doesn’t it, just be yourself. It’s advice given when seeking jobs, do all these things and be yourself. But what if being yourself doesn’t work, doesn’t advance the cause? What if being yourself is the hardest thing you do?

Of course, trying to be someone else is harder, is quite a foolish pursuit, a sure fire path to doom and disaster, to failing relationships, feeling utterly fraudulent in everything you do, confusion and some degree of madness.

But, how, in the words of Judy Garland can you “Always be a first rate version of yourself not a second rate version of someone else”?

Judy garland

Ask yourself how well do you really know yourself? How comfortable are you with you? Are you just a reflection of what other people want – at work, at home, in love? Who are you?

Many of the troubles with have with self-hood (?!) is that we are shaped by others, by what they say to us and about us and how they react – smiles or frowns, included or excluded from the party; told you’re somehow inadequate in many varied and creative ways – subtle and hard to spot or obvious and cruel. From the earliest moment our behaviour and sense of self is shaped by others, especially our parents and family, and then our friends; not to mention our physical circumstances – where we live, how we live, society, culture and religion all play a part in who we become.

Hopefully our rough edges are smoothed off by their care and love and we blossom into someone others cherish and someone we quite like ourselves.

Ask yourself then – do you like yourself, are you comfortable in your own skin?

The answer to this will change over time but hopefully there are stages on your travels where you stop and say, yes I am happy, I know who I am and I like it. I had a moment like that around 36-37, when I realized there was no-one else I wanted to be and nowhere else I wanted to be. It was a good moment.

Being yourself can be dangerous, it carries risks of being excluded, of being on the outer, of not fitting in. This can be especially true of those who do not fit the expected norms of their society – being gay is still a big issue for many. But looking different and thinking differently also put you apart from others. Yep, for some this is not an issue and my point is really, if you’re happy and you’re comfortable in your skin and your life then go for it. But if you’re not?


Signs that you’re not yourself

You want to please others more than yourself

You try to fit in but never quite manage it

You let others criticize you more than praise you

You don’t know what you really like, what you would do if you could do anything

You feel guilty/uncomfortable if you disagree with others, if you want your own way

You’re always looking for the next trend, the next change to see if that suits you

You think other people’s character traits are more impressive or worthy than yours

You spend too much time wishing you were someone else

You always put other people’s needs and wishes first


How to be yourself

Spend time alone – just with yourself and no-one else at all, explore the things you like doing – experiment if you need, get used to your own company, see what you like about yourself

List your qualities – good and bad – check with someone trusted if you’re not sure what your best or worst traits are – and then do something about them

Enhance the good bits – develop yourself

Learn to accept the less attractive side of yourself – diminish where you can; but accept and acknowledge your faults as it is essential to knowing yourself

Learn to step back from your situations – ask yourself why you are doing/feeling what you are – because you want to or because you feel you have to???

Accept your imperfections and that change is part of life

Be with people who in Mark Darcy’s immortal words “love you just the way you are”

Develop your own style

Be less worried about what others think of you – be more concerned about what you think of them – why are you wasting your time with people who don’t appreciate the wonders of you?

mark darcy

The only knowledge is self knowledge. The only way to love and accept others in all their glorious mess is to love and know yourself first. It’s never too late to look at yourself and see if you fit in your skin and make sure that you do. (Images courtesy Google Images and Private Collection)