Archive for May 2012


I have been a Trekki by proxy since I met my husband nearly eight years ago.  Until then I had occasionally watched the original Star Trek but hadn’t really paid attention to it at all.  For nearly a decade I have watched Captain Janeway attempt to get her crew back home after being thrust across the galaxy by an alien entity and Jon Luc Picard managing to maintain an air of being in complete control of his whole being in his quest to find new species across the universe.

My initial observation of the cult series was that it was a soap opera in space, dealing with various social issues using various aliens whose whole identity was based on stereotypical core beliefs. We are given an insight to our own species through Data (an android) and Seven of Nine (a reconditioned Borg), who spend their lives exploring humanity in their quest to develop human characteristics. Deanna Toi is the ship’s councillor, her qualification for the job seems to be that she is half human and half Betazoid, which grants her the privilege of being empathic so she can sense what is wrong with you and manages to sprout out clichéd psycho babble.  The crew of course tend to discuss their real problems with Guinan  the 700 year old bar maid, played by Whoopi Goldberg, who serves synthetic alcohol that doesn’t make you drunk.  If you do want to get drunk you need to befriend a Ferengi, who will smuggle some highly potent illegal Romulan ale on board for you.

I have detracted from my original question which asks if the Federation of Planets has censored the literature its citizens can read.  For non Trekkis who have stuck with this post (thank you) the FOP is a bit like the EU but they don’t have to worry about currency because money doesn’t exist in the twenty-fourth century.  Every single author seems to be on the banned list except for Charles Dickens, Herman Melville and Shakespeare, who is not strictly an author.  Dickens is referred to in the Wrath of khan, where Kirk starts reading ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ and in Nemisis when Picard was in the Nexus, his dream family are reminiscent of the Crachits in ‘A Christmas Carol”, expect they are not quite as poor, .  In the film First Contact Picard is compared to Captain Ahab because he is willing to risk everything to kill the Borg.(The Borg are unsightly creatures who mass murder species to make them as ugly and cumbersome as themselves and become part of the ‘Collective’).

I find it very peculiar that in a total of eight centuries there haven’t been any authors to rival Dickens and Melville.  Is this because literacy deteriorated so drastically that no one could write any more?  Maybe holodecks caused the demise of reading because you could live your own fantasy in your virtual world without having to turn a single page.  Or did the FOP select these particular authors because it helped their citizens to accept the place in society and to strive to succeed in their quest?  All Starfleet graduates seem to have developed the ability to control themselves so successfully that there is very little room for creativity.  Picard – bless his cotton socks only knows the song Frere a Jacque because he is French.

Any way I must ‘Boldly go’ and split my infinitives and make a cup of coffee, if you are an enraged Trekki please feel free to add any comments about my observations.


Through my three year journey as a parent I have discovered that there are moments that require a certain degree of patience and skill that is reminiscent of the practical tasks in The Krypton Factor.  This was brought to my attention today when my parents gave Alistair a wonderful pop up tent for his birthday.  Popping it was simple and quick, as it said on the box, however unpopping it involved three adults taking it in turns to wrestle it back into a bag that seemed too small – the whole effort was compounded by an interfering three year old who was convinced that he could do it.  In the end we managed to make it small enough to fit in the box with a third of it sticking out.

I have decided to make a list of the challenging practical tasks our little darlings expect us to conquer every day:-

Unpopping a pop up tent – as mentioned above.

Summoning a helium filled balloon from the sky – we have resorted to informing Alistair that it has gone up to Santa Clause to be made into presents.

Bringing the sea back in when the tide has gone out – we live near an estuary that is normally marsh land but looks like the sea when it is the seasonal high tide, Alistair calls it the seaside and loves to paddle in the shallower part of the water.

Resetting the television settings after your little monster has fiddled with the remote control –  often the screen setting is zoomed and the television doesn’t recognise the Free view box after my son has pressed all of the buttons.

Changing a nappy when they are squirming like a box of eels –  I had to stop using the raised changing table when my son decided that it was a good idea to roll over and attempt to stand up on it.

Cleaning teeth with a little tongue sticking out – my son likes to stick his tongue out when I help him clean his teeth and only open his mouth wide enough to poke the brush in a little bit.  I get round this by telling him that he can’t eat chocolate if he doesn’t clean his teeth.

Sorting out jigsaw puzzle pieces from a set of ten puzzles – whoever invented boxes filled with lots of different jigsaws in them that are to be sorted by the pattern on the back was obviously having a laugh.  Of course the parent has to spend hours sorting them out – I even made little boxes with labels, numbered the pieces on the back and identified the corresponding picture to make the whole jigsaw puzzle straight forward.  Where are the pieces now? – All mixed up in the big box after Alistair insisted that we kept the completed jigsaws in the box and then promptly shuffled the pieces as little ones do.

Drawing pictures of teddy bears at six o’clock in the morning – this is where I admit to my naughty parent antics.  When we are woken up very early to the wailing of our darling son we put him in the high chair with milk, crackers and something to play with while he watched Cbeebies.  Sometimes he would do drawing but liked me to draw pictures of teddy bears for him before I went back to bed.  Fortunately he is so fed up of Cbeebies now that we rarely have to do this – phew!

Making vegetables as attractive as chocolate – I’m still figuring this out but my wonderful child minder has got it cracked and I still give him purée in the  suck packets as well as him eating fruit so we are getting there.

Applying sun cream on a runaway child – this involves a quick slight of hand to get it on his face and squeezing a dollop on to his hand so he can do it himself and of course cheating by making him wear long sleeves and  trousers.

Putting a rigid toddler in a car seat –  this is especially embarrassing when he is screaming his head off and people pass because my car has the words, ‘Children’s Entertainer’, plastered all over the car!

Well these are a few of the challenges that I managed to attempt with with varying results.  I would love to hear other challenges people have overcome in this wonderful world where toddlers make you look very unsophisticated and silly – which for me isn’t difficult!

I love this it is so true 🙂


I just wanted to pay my respects to the author who managed to personify a tantrum beautifully 😦

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May 2012

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