Tag Archives: scottish weather

Doctor When’s Desert Danger and Hurray for Springtime

More Adventurous Time Adventures, for your enjoyment/eye-brow raising/confusion/scorn:

*

This time Doctor When opened the Time Machine door without hesitation upon arrival, and a blast of hot air enveloped them. They stepped out into blinding sunlight, and for a moment they were so dazzled they could only see white. Then it became clear that they stood amongst giant white sand dunes for as far as the eye could see.

‘This is rather convenient,’ the Chrononaut remarked. ‘We’ll be able to get dry.’

And indeed, their clothes began to warm immediately, and soon they were as dry as the few sun-bleached bones that were scattered in the sand. And after a few moments more they all wished they were underwater with the vicious merpeople again. It was far too hot, and they were all incredibly thirsty

‘What’s that?’ cried Tortellini, pointing to a patch of dull green suddenly visible before them, starkly contrasting against all the pale sand.

‘An oasis?’ Wilburforce wondered, having heard of such things on the rare occasions that he enjoyed a night in by the fire with tea and a good book, rather than his usual violence and mayhem.

Their steps quickened at the thought of water, but as they approached, they first noticed that the scattered bones were becoming less scattered and more concentrated in number.

‘When exactly are we?’ Cannelloni had the presence of mind to ask, knives in hand.

‘One thousand two hundred and forty-eight years, three months, two days, and eighteen minutes ago,’ the Doctor replied.

‘And that, hiding in the shrub? That’s what exactly?’

‘That would be a polar bear.’

‘I assume that’s our anomaly, then?’

‘You would be assuming correctly.’

The polar bear was not happy. He was far too hot, most of all, but also very confused. This was not something the polar bear could easily handle, and it made him very angry. So, whenever something came his way, the odd herd of camel-like beasts or such, he released that anger in the only way he knew how. Killing things.

So when the ragged band of humans arrived near his oasis, that instinct rose furiously within him and he immediately leapt forward. The chase made him even hotter, but he knew that quenching his thirst on their blood would make the discomfort worth it. They were slow, these two-legged beasts, but they had a head-start. It would not take long for him to catch up, he realised as he thundered through the sand towards them.

It was unclear to the polar bear why these creatures were rushing towards a tall, boxy object. It had an odd smell, but it was not food nor water. One had opened a section of it, revealing an opening like the mouth of a cave. He remembered caves, those dark and cool places to sleep. But he was nearly upon them, now, and gnashed his teeth in anticipation. One was within reach, and he reached out a paw to swipe.

But then it moved, too quickly, and the polar bear could not stop his headlong flight. Sand scattered as he was flung from his own inertia into the mouth of the strange cave and he hit the back wall with a thud.

‘Quickly now!’ Doctor When closed the door of the Time Machine.

‘But, Doctor!’ Tortellini exclaimed. ‘The polar bear is inside!’

‘Exactly.’ She opened a side-panel which revealed a miniature version of the dials and switches within. Buttons were pressed, levers were thrown, and the Time Machine seemed to implode on itself into nothing.

The Spaghetti Sisters clung to each other, horrified. Wilburforce stood sweating from the exertion beside them, staring in shock at the place the Time Machine had vacated.

‘We’re going to perish here!’ Cannelloni cried, turning on the Doctor. ‘What have you done?’

Doctor When was silent and merely shook her head.

‘Have you gone mad?’ she persisted.

‘I think you’ll find there was no “going” involved,’ the Doctor replied cheerily, checking her pocket watch. It was a miracle it still worked, after all their adventures.

‘But the Time Machine is gone!’

‘It is.’

‘So how will we get back?’

‘The Time Machine, of course.’

‘But it’s gone!’ the two sisters shouted in unison.

At that very moment, there was an expulsion of air. The Time Machine stood where it had been some moments before, as if it had never left.

‘And now it’s back,’ Doctor When remarked. ‘Shall we?’

The others recoiled in fear as she opened the door, but the interior was polar bear-less.

‘I merely instructed the Time Machine to take the poor creature back to a habitat to which it would be more suited. There was no reason to let the beast suffer needlessly,’ she explained, waving them inside.

‘You could’ve mentioned that before,’ Wilburforce grumbled, his civility momentarily shaken by yet another near-death experience.

‘Many apologies,’ the Chrononaut solemnly said, ‘I suppose I thought it obvious. Onward?’

*

I’m expecting there to be only one or two more installments left to write, depending on how verbose the ending gets.  Then I can put TATAoDW aside as a completed project!  How fabulous.

In other news, I’m very excited that spring is becoming more and more imminent here, as noted by the above header picture taken yesterday.  I love seeing flowers in February!  Back in Boston, we were lucky to see any signs of spring before late March or April most of the time.  And then you have one or two glorious weeks of spring before it all becomes far too hot, and then you have summer for the other half of the year.

Ah, I love Scotland.  Much more sensible.

Apocalypse, Part 2, and An Ode Most Deserving

Ok, so just after posting my spiel about the apocalypse, we found ourselves in a rather apocalyptic situation:  FLOODING OF ALL THE ROADS EVERYWHERE.  We were driving from our village in Fife to see The Husband’s family in Perth.  What is usually a 30-minute scenic journey became an hour and a half of white-knuckled danger (with subsequent adrenalin high and slightly hysterical laughter!).

It’s the typical problem of snow that hasn’t really melted, plus torrential rain and wind.  Drains aren’t clear, rivers and lochs break their banks, and driving becomes much more of an extreme sport than you’d bargained for.

But through it all, there is a hero of the hour.  And this is for her:

To Our Tiny Purple Car

 

Edna scoffs at danger –

Ha! She fear it not –

When hills are steep

And ways are fraught.

 

Every peril in our path

From snow to mud

Rain, potholes, ice

And the latest – flood!

 

We saw the road ahead

Choked by nearby loch

Its waters run over-ground

But Edna laughed and mocked.

 

Call this a flood?!

She seem’d to say

Her engine roaring

Like a lupine bay.

 

And indeed, like a puddle

Over which we soar’d,

Past loch, hill and field

and through a nearby ford.

 

Ahead a sign warns:

Flood! and others heed

By slowing to a crawl

But not our steed!

 

Aha! She cries

Revving high

While others crawl

Edna flies!

 

Across this inland lake

Others stop and stare

Too timid by far

Too afraid to dare.

 

But Edna, laughing still,

Says, You Dolts and Fools!

Your chassis is taller than I

To take you across these pools!

 

And thus we exited

Back onto drier street

Shaming those onlookers

Into attempting the same feat.

 

And so my advice to you,

If the Apocalypse is truly nigh:

Find yourself a Nissan dealership

And a Micra you should buy.

True story.

To Our Tiny Purple Car

 

Edna scoffs at danger –

Ha! She fear it not –

When hills are steep

And ways are fraught.

 

Every peril in our path

From snow to mud

Rain, potholes, ice

And the latest – flood!

 

We saw the road ahead

Choked by nearby loch

Its waters run over-ground

But Edna laughed and mocked.

 

Call this a flood?!

She seem’d to say

Her engine roaring

Like a lupine bay.

 

And indeed, like a puddle

Over which we soar’d,

Past loch, hill and field

and through a nearby ford.

 

Ahead a sign warns:

Flood! and others heed

By slowing to a crawl

But not our steed!

 

Aha! She cries

Revving high

While others crawl

Edna flies!

 

Across this inland lake

Others stop and stare

Too timid by far

Too afraid to dare.

 

But Edna, laughing still,

Says, You Dolts and Fools!

Your chassis is taller than I

To take you across these pools!

 

And thus we exited

Back onto drier street

Shaming those onlookers

Into attempting the same feat.

 

And so my advice to you,

If the Apocalypse is truly nigh:

Find yourself a Nissan dealership

And a Micra you should buy.

Doctor When’s Most Important Mission, and the Mysterious Ingeborg

Continuing from yesterday’s excerpt, which had its beginnings on Thursday’s post:

*

‘I have a Most Important Mission,’ the Doctor began, settling herself to face the others. She flipped her coattails out of the way before perching upon a corner of her laboratory table, and let them take in her formidable appearance. Doctor When wasn’t particularly large or menacing as such, but her intensity of expression emanated through her clothed form, dressed as it was in a lace-cuffed shirt and smart waistcoat beneath her signature tailed coat, down through legs clad in finely-tailored jodhpurs and tall leather boots. Every atom of her person was imbued with most certain purpose. ‘It is such: to find Ingeborg.’

The last was pronounced with such precision and determination that the three gathered toughs merely stared at their new employer for a moment. Then Macaroni (as she was being called today by her sister Lasagne) spoke up:

‘Who’s Ingeborg?’

‘Aha!’ Doctor When lifted her index finger, as if a sudden epiphany had just blossomed in her illustrious brain. ‘The question is: what is Ingeborg!’

When it seemed no further exposition was forthcoming, Lasagne decided to bite on her sister’s behalf, ‘Very well, what is this Ingeborg?”

‘Indeed,’ Doctor When nodded gravely, as if by asking the question this particular Spaghetti Sister was offering an answer in its own right. ‘All I know is that my dear old classmate and rival, Doctor Inga Ekstrom, has let loose this Ingeborg into the aether of time-space where it’s wreaking untold chronological havoc. My mission, and by extension yours, is to locate said Ingeborg and stop it from doing further harm.’

‘Pardon, Doctor,’ Wilburforce spoke up with unexpected civility for a man, Dwarf or otherwise, with his violent history, ‘but how exactly will we locate this Ingeborg in all of time-space?’ Even he, as untutored as he was in the arts of the Chrononauts, knew that time-space was infinite, a concept which boggled his mind in an unpleasant fashion. Normally such unpleasantness was followed by pain, usually of his making, and he unconsciously clenched his fists.

‘Aha!’ Doctor When repeated her earlier exclamation, and suddenly a riding crop appeared in her hand. She leapt from her perch and strode over to the blank face of a double-sided chalkboard, flipping it so that a complex diagram now faced the queer assembly. ‘This is time-space,’ she pointed with the crop for emphasis, ‘with its four dimensions: the three spatial dimensions plus the temporal dimension of time. We must follow the distortions currently present in the very fabric of time-space,’ here she pointed to an anomalous bend in the diagram, ‘where it can only be assumed the Ingeborg has performed some mischief or other.’

‘How do we find such a distortion?’ Macaroni asked, pursing her lips in contemplation.

‘That’s one of the varied pursuits my Time Machine is capable of. I have programmed it to locate and bring us to each distortion in turn, where we can search for clues to Ingeborg’s whereabouts.’

‘And once we find this Ingeborg?’ Lasange added her query.

‘We find a way to either shut it down or destroy it,’ she waved the crop in the air emphatically. ‘And I can only guess that dearest Inga won’t be inviting me to her Christmas Luncheon this year.’

*

We’re currently in the grip of rather freezing temperatures, which meant that my ancient little purple car (her name’s Edna, like the elderly lady she is) failed to start yesterday.  After two mechanic visits and a tow later, she roared back to life!  We may have literally cheered.  In this little village in Fife, having a car is pretty damned essential.

Anyway, as it’s so damned chilly there’s really not much else to do but sit around and write.  I suppose this is a good thing!  Only it really means that I’ll be spending most of my time procrastinating/slacking off/bothering The Husband as he tries to get things done.  Oh well, at least I got the above excerpt written this morning, so that’s something.  Something that means I feel perfectly justified in slacking off – huzzah!  *Goes to poke The Husband*