Watching a Doctor Who DVD the other day, the flatmate – who isn’t really a fan – joined and was caught up in a documentary on the late Ian Marter and his writing of the Target novels. In it Elisabeth Sladen was visibly moved by remembering him and Chris was touched by her affection and obvious sense of loss. “Oh bless her,” he said. “She’s so lovely.” And I couldn’t help but agree.
Tuesday night he looked up from Facebook on his iPad. “Sarah something on Doctor Who has died?” he said. “What’s that about?”
I checked my own Facebook and twitter and just froze. “Oh Christ,” I said. “It’s Lis Sladen.”
He sat bolt upright, like a rabbit caught in headlights, and put his hand to his mouth. “No!”
We barely spoke for the next half hour. Such was the shock at hearing of Elisabeth’s death. It was, frankly unthinkable.
I am still stunned by the news even after all this time. And so it seems are much of the country, young and old. Her portrayal of Sarah Jane was a tour de force: it was warm, genuine, heartfelt; a mix of believable terror, bravery and humour.
And from what I saw of her in documentaries and commentaries, Elisabeth also shared those qualities. A view borne out by what I’ve heard from friends who met and worked with her.
Elisabeth Sladen was a true one-off who illuminated so many lives either through her performances or in person, and she will be missed by so many. My thoughts go out to her family and friends and colleagues. And to those children now struggling to understand that the star of their favourite show is no more. Even I, as immune to death as I seem to have become, can’t wrap my head around it.
Still so young, and with so much left to give. Rest in peace Elisabeth, and thank you so much.
Been a long while since I blogged, been largely too busy if I’m honest. And – for the most part – not in the good way.
Thus far 2011 has been something of a strain. I started a new job in January, somewhat recklessly heading back to a company that worked me into the ground last time I was there, but this time doing something rather different. I kind of felt I’d done “support” after 9.5 years, and the opportunity came back to become a trainer of software instead.
So yeah… me, in a room, with a captive audience, being paid to swan about and pretend I know about stuff.
It’s ideal isn’t it?
But it has thus far necessitated two trips out to Burlington in Massachusetts: 7 and a half weeks all told in an area which had, at the time, fairly dramatic weather. (We were snowed in to the hotel twice.)
Still, I appear now to have been “approved” by the company and have actually started training clients, which I have to say I do rather love.
Less good is the insane quantity of admin and uncertainty that goes with it, but the core part of the job is enjoyable. And my boss is fabulous so that’s good too. (We both started at the same time so are just guiding each other through the whirlwind, which is nice.)
And while I was out there last time, my remaining grandparent had a stroke, became gravely ill and died. His funeral last week was a rather affecting affair. On the plus side it was very well officiated by my dad, my brother did an excellent reading, and it was nice to meet members of the family who I haven’t seen in decades. Still a sad occasion, though.
In other news the flatmate and I are not extending our tenancy in Streatham. The boiler has finally driven us past the brink of insanity and when we were told we had to sign up for another year or go we started to look elsewhere.
Which of course has left us at the mercy of the general uselessness of letting agents. And trying to fit all this in amongst the work and travel and bank holidays and so on is proving a strain.
Today I had forty cardboard boxes delivered. At the rate Chris and I are going we may be fashioning them into a house until we find somewhere better. Oh well!