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Paul Cornell and shoes!

Yesterday evening, I ventured along with nalsa, big_daz, myfirstkitchen and two other folk (who are probably on LJ but I don't know their usernames) into the remarkably friendly and agenda-free territory of the University Chaplaincy, for the sake of an audience with Doctor Who writer, Paul Cornell. We got there a bit early, so had time to settle down with free cups of coffee amongst the bean-bags, and chat to Paul (whom myfirstkitchen already knew) while we waited for the talk proper to begin.

And an excellent session it was, too. The rationale behind the evening, and its Chaplaincy setting, was that Paul has variously been described on internet profile sites as 'Christian', 'Wiccan' and 'Christian - other', so he was going to talk to us about his faith and his work, and how the two intersect. And the topic did surface every now and then, both in his initial chat, and in the questions which followed. Basically, the low-down was that he'd been a practising Wiccan as a student, but had later moved towards a very non-evangelical form of Anglicanism, while still feeling that all the things he'd seen in his Wiccan group were good and fine things, and admiring the very self-aware stance amongst the Wiccans he'd obviously encountered about the origins of their practices. He used words like 'ecumenical' and phrases like 'different paths towards the same central truth' quite a lot, and also frequently stated that religious people 'shouldn't be in charge', and that what he really liked about Anglicanism was that it was all about having cake (directly referencing Eddie Izzard) rather than telling people how to behave. So, in summary, impossible not to respect, really. Regarding his work, he talked about how and where he had approached religious issues, particularly in his novels, but also in his Doctor Who stories, and basically said that he felt as a Christian that it was something he should tackle, from all angles, in his creative work - not for the sake of converting anyone, but rather because it was an important and compelling drama that he wanted to explore.

But there was plenty of room for non-religious questions, too - in fact, probably 75% of the evening had nothing in particular to do with religion. Rather, he talked about what fandom meant to him, the issue of the Doctor becoming a sexual (well, at least a romantic) being in New Who, how he'd become involved in writing for the new series, the writing process, the success of the new series, who his personal favourite Doctor was (Peter Davison, followed by Sylvester McCoy), what moments he felt best revealed the character of the Doctor (when the Master was dying in his arms at the end of 'Last of the Time Lords'), and of course also his various other projects involving novels, comics etc. With plenty of laughs and good humour along the way. He said nothing specific about future Who episodes, but did say he felt his involvement with it 'wasn't over' - so I think we can look forwards to more scripts from his pen in the future.

Plans to drag Paul to a pub afterwards at the end of the evening were thwarted by the fact that the poor guy had to drive all the way back to Faringdon (nr. Oxford), ready to wake up the next morning at 5:30 and drive to Heathrow for a flight to a convention somewhere in North America. Instead, we listened politely to the Chaplaincy team's announcements about upcoming events, and then departed homewards on our various buses. It was only this morning, looking at the leaflet I'd had pressed into my hand as I left, that I realised the discussion evening they had been plugging for the film Children of Men included not just discussion, but also a free showing of the film beforehand. And since I haven't seen it, and always really meant to, and I know they've got a pretty decent big (if slightly wavy) projection screen in there, and they are only 50m away from my office after all, I think they might actually get me back through their doors again to watch that. Tuesday November 13th at 7:30 pm, if anyone wants to join me - and you don't even have to pre-book tickets this time. Just turn up!

Finally, while I'm writing, I also want to rave about my fantastic new shoes! Behold their shoey goodness:

I knew I liked the look of this pair before they arrived, as I have always had a particular preference for chunky platform ankle boots of this kind. They're not always easy to get hold of, as fashions come and go, but if they were, I would basically be wearing shoes with soles like this all the time. They strike an excellent compromise between being stompy and yet also wearable to work and between giving extra height and yet not forcing you to walk around uncomfortably on tip-toe all day. But it wasn't until this particular pair arrived and I tried them on that I realised just how damn comfortable they are. For such chunky shoes, they are actually incredibly light - almost bouncy, even - thanks to their rubber soles, and they also have lovely soft pads inside for extra cushiony comfort. So they feel practically like tripping around the place in baseball boots, except with added bounce and height. I am already calling them the Boots of Power, and enjoying every step I take in them.


( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 31st, 2007 10:43 am (UTC)
Stompy boots feel so empowering. :-)
Oct. 31st, 2007 10:49 am (UTC)
Definitely! Much like your wedding boots - I was very impressed by those in the photos. :-)
Oct. 31st, 2007 10:44 am (UTC)
I nearly made boot-admiration comments yesterday, you know. They are very nice. Re: Children Of Men - I may come. After all, who can fault the enthusiasm of the man we know only as "Dick"?
Oct. 31st, 2007 10:51 am (UTC)
Indeed! Or his button-badge collection. I'll get back in touch nearer the time to arrange meeting up - but like I said, you can just walk in to this one, so we don't need to do anything complicated with tickets or whatever.

And thanks about the boots!
Oct. 31st, 2007 10:57 am (UTC)
I fear the boots of power! they are indeed mighty :)
Oct. 31st, 2007 11:08 am (UTC)
They Stomp upon the Unworthy!

(But don't worry - you are entirely Worthy and shall be Saved!)
Nov. 1st, 2007 06:31 am (UTC)
Hurrah ;)
Oct. 31st, 2007 11:19 am (UTC)
Oooh! Children of Men! Sounds great, and I meant to see it for ages! I'm there.
Oct. 31st, 2007 11:27 am (UTC)
Excellent! You can't knock a free screening really, can you? there'll be a discussion session afterwards, which will presumably focus in particular in religious themes in it. But judging from last night, I think I can say pretty safely that it won't be preachy or evangelical.
Oct. 31st, 2007 11:22 am (UTC)
I thought you seemed a bit taller last night :-P

It was a most splendid evening- thanks for sorting it. I thought it diplomatic to ask PC about the Classic Series rather than the series as a whole as he might be working on it again sometime soon.

Children of Men is an excellent film- I'd certainly recommend seeing it.
Oct. 31st, 2007 11:30 am (UTC)
I'm glad you asked, too! I think everyone wanted to. :-)
Oct. 31st, 2007 11:24 am (UTC)
Oooh where did you get the boots?? I want some!
Oct. 31st, 2007 11:30 am (UTC)
Ah, well they were from eBay, so I don't know how easy they'd be to get new. The make was Milano Moda, if that helps at all.
Oct. 31st, 2007 11:28 am (UTC)
I love those boots. I need thick soles for my poor chilblains.
Are there anymore?
Oct. 31st, 2007 11:32 am (UTC)
Thanks! I got them off a private seller on eBay, who seemed to be selling them because they were too narrow for her. So I presume they were in the shops relatively recently, but I don't know where you might find more. If it helps, the make is called Milano Moda.
Oct. 31st, 2007 11:48 am (UTC)
It really was a lot of fun last night! Many thanks for the heads-up.

I'm unsure about Children of Men. Not so much the film; I imagine the post-screening debates could get a little out of hand. CoM has some serious religious symbolism going on and having a Christian group dissecting that might become wearisome.
Oct. 31st, 2007 11:58 am (UTC)
Well, I'm willing to give it a shot. I didn't get the impression last night that they would be too wearisome about it, and in a funny way, even if they were, I would find that kind of fascinating in itself.
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 31st, 2007 01:27 pm (UTC)
No, I haven't read the book either, although I'd gathered the two were quite different creatures. If I had the time I'd read the book before the film screening, but I don't think it's realistically going to happen!
Oct. 31st, 2007 02:03 pm (UTC)
I found the movel of "Children of men" very hardgoing, but didn't like the film either. I thought it was a fantastic idea, but the novel was overly verbose and didn't like the film very much, thinking it rather trite. Especially the scene with the army and the baby at the end... I found Michael Caine especially irritating in it and not how I'd imagined Jasper at all. I thought I didn't like the film because i'd read the book first, but took the bloke along and he didn't seem to like it either.

I realise I am in a minority however.

Oct. 31st, 2007 01:24 pm (UTC)
That would be an ecumenical matter
He used words like 'ecumenical' and phrases like 'different paths towards the same central truth' quite a lot

Paul Cornell as Father Ted I can see it.
Oct. 31st, 2007 01:24 pm (UTC)
Re: That would be an ecumenical matter
But punctuate that I can't do
Oct. 31st, 2007 01:28 pm (UTC)
Re: That would be an ecumenical matter
Oh yes, there were a few impressions involved along the way! Father Ted, t'be sure, but also Russell Davies! :-)

BTW, the CDs I promised you were posted this morning, so should reach you shortly.
Nov. 1st, 2007 11:58 am (UTC)
Re: That would be an ecumenical matter
Got them this morning. Thanks!
Nov. 1st, 2007 12:23 pm (UTC)
Re: That would be an ecumenical matter
Great, thanks for letting me know. Hope you enjoy them!
Nov. 3rd, 2007 02:09 pm (UTC)
Heh, I went to a friend's house for dinner a few months back, and Paul Cornell was one of the other guests. They all started talking about fandom so I went into my I Hate Fandom And Particularly Filk rant and which point my friend said, aghast, "Don't you know who this IS???". So I said, "No. Sorry, are you famous or something?" It was all very funny and I think probably quite refreshing for Paul :)
Nov. 3rd, 2007 03:06 pm (UTC)
Ha, yes! Filk is distinctly unnecessary. :-)

I don't think Paul Cornell is at all pretentious about fandom, though. In fact, I'm pretty sure he would have enjoyed hearing your non-fandom perspective.
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )

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