Review 2006

Alan from Environment of Mind asks:
Given that Casino Royale is at the cinema at the moment - just how many girls has Bond been with? How many can you name (characters)?

Review 2006 It depends upon your definition of 'been with'. In reality Mr. Bond has only given his heart and had anything close to a serious relationship with two women - Tracy di Vicenzo (Diana Rigg) in On Her Majesty's Sectret Service and Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) in Casino Royale. Given the fate of both of them, the rest of woman kind should probably be pleased that James isn't the most monogamous man in the secret agent world and if I was (a) female and (b) a Bond Girl, I'd be quite pleased that he was out of the door the following morning (if he waited that long).

If on the other hand the question of how many women 007 has actually been to bed, space capsule or life raft with is far more complicated. Apart from anything else you're working on the assumption that there has in fact only been one character in all of the films when the latest perceived wisdom is that each of the different actors played a different man, James Bond being a code name or persona which is adopted when they enter the service to protect their real identity - rather like M.

Evidence for this includes the moment in On Her Majesty's Sectret Service when George Lazenby breaks the forth wall to exclaim that 'This sort of thing didn't happen to the other fella' and that Lois Maxwell was playing Miss Moneypenny right through to the mid-Eighties, even after young Roger Moore has joined the series - and in the new version that M is still be played by Judi Dench. Just don't get started on the Felix Lyter implications. This theory is endorsed by Lee Tamahori, the director of Die Another Day (who even tried but failed to get Connery to cameo in the film as the earlier Bond), but rejected by most fans because Bond's wife Tracy is referenced in later films and even during the Moore era.

On the assumption that it's all one fella just how many women has Bond slept with and who are they? On a film by film basis, for those who are taking notes, here are the girls Bond bonded with. Given that most of these films were PG rated in the uk, remember most of these trists are implied and so the moment of consummation is by no means certain. The following list is probably riddled with errors since its based upon hazy memories of watching the films when they were broadcast for weeks on end on ITV a few years ago, supposition based on Wikipedia entries and other web searches. So, using the imagination of a school boy and assuming that Never Say Never Again and the original Casino Royale and don't count:

Dr. No . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Honey Rider, Miss Taro
From Russia With Love . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tatiana Romanova
Goldfinger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pussy Galore, Dink
Thunderball . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dominique "Domino" Derval, Patricia Fearing
You Only Live Twice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Aki, Kissy, Ling
On Her Majesty's Secret Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tracy di Vicenzo, Ruby
Diamonds Are Forever . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tiffany Case, Plenty O'Toole
Live and Let Die . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Solitaire
The Man with the Golden Gun . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mary Goodnight, Andrea Anders
The Spy Who Loved Me . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Anya Amasova (Agent XXX)
Moonraker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Holly Goodhead, Corinne Dufour
For Your Eyes Only . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Melina Havelock
Octopussy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Octopussy
A View to a Kill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stacey Sutton
The Living Daylights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kara Milovy
License to Kill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pam Bouvier
GoldenEye . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Natalya Simonova
Tomorrow Never Dies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Paris Carver, Wai Lin
The World Is Not Enough . . . . . . Elektra King, Dr. Christmas Jones, Dr. Molly Warmflash
Die Another Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Giacinta 'Jinx' Johnson, Miranda Frost
Casino Royale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vesper Lynd

Thirty-five -- or on average, 1.75 girls per film.

One of the genius elements of Casino Royale is the three dimension relationship that Bond has with the new generation of Bond. Unlike previous films, neither simply rolls into bed with him -- he has to work for their hearts and they're given some solid motivation as to why they might. But equally they're far more rounded than before -- we find out a startling amount of information about them which means we care about how Bond affects their lives. We see the effect that witnessing Bond's necessary violence has on Vesper who simply runs away and hides. Just as we all would I suspect.

Review 2006

Ian from Art In Liverpool asks:
Why can't Liverpool FC win away from home?

Review 2006 Not too long ago, perhaps a couple of years, I discovered that teams play each other at home and then away in the same season. In other words, they play each other twice. Also, until about ten minutes ago I wouldn't be able to tell you the name of the Liverpool manager, although I know that someone called Steven Gerrard is in the team. This should signal that in fact I'm the last person who should be answering this question. Ask me for the full cast list of the late Robert Altman's film Short Cuts, I'm there. Why Mission: Impossible III was something of a disappointment for the studio, I've a few ideas. But football? Other than internationals and when it's impossible to ignore I haven't paid much attention since Everton were beaten by Manchester United in an FA Cup final in the 1980s. That was quite enough of that kind of pain thank you.

I decided to check with some experts. The Liverpool Echo have a regular section in their sport pages called The Jury and as luck would have it on the 16th November the question that four men in the street pondered was 'Why the contrast in the Red's home and away form?' Jimmy Pilnick from Huyton said: 'It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out why our away form has been awful. If you don't score goals and give soft ones away you won't win matches.' Damian Smith also from Huyton suggests that the team lacks a winning spirit: 'There are several new players struggling to make an impact and all of our away games have been difficult, but too many players accept defeat far too easily.' Ian McHale from West Derby agrees: 'Our 'big game' players have performed like cowards [?] we play to cautiously away and just sit deep and try to nick the first goal.' David Beattie from the Wirral doesn't seem to know either. In fact none of them really do, or address the question at all really other than that Liverpool aren't scoring enough goals. Right.

I cast the (football) net wider and more scientifically. I googled "Liverpool" and " away form" and discovered that when Liverpool failed to beat Middlesborough away from home it was despite a suggestion from manager Rafa Benitez that their performance would improve because 'maybe we will now be playing against teams away who don't have the same quality as the ones already faced'. Something was made of the fact that Steven Gerrard had been restored to his favourite position of central midfield. But it was all for naught as they benefited from a single point from this nil-nil draw despite many chances. I took a look at their previous form and in fact noticed that indeed despite some excellent wins at home, away, at least in Premiership games, their showing is shaky. Oddly, however, if it's a cup match, something perhaps with the more immediate goal (so to speak) of accessing the next round the form improves, particularly in the Champions League were they struck an excellent victory against Bordeaux. I'm beginning to sound like the late Kenneth Wolstenholme -- and I know who he is.

Quiet why they generally persist in winning at home for all that, who can say? All of the comments of The Jury would be valid if their whole form stank but there they are at the back end of October with four decent wins facing the real Kop then just a fortnight later going down three-nil to Arsenal (is that the right terminology?) But I can also see something of what Benitez meant - their home opposition has been generally weaker than away. Which suggests another option - that actually Liverpool aren't the team they were last season. For whatever reason their heart simply isn't in it, that their recent crop of players lack experience and possibly stamina, and that they're in a spiral to the middle of the table. What's to say in the New Year when they're playing the likes of Man Utd at home and Reading away the question won't be reverse to 'Why can't Liverpool FC win at home?'

What you have to love about football is that after reading a few paragraphs of someone else's ideas and a match report anyone can become an expert and have an opinion which can be argued against but I would suspect might be just as valid as that from someone whose followed the game much more closely and the gossip which surrounds it. I think the only answer you can give is that actually no one knows really. Not the fans, the pundits, the journalists, the manager or the players themselves. Or for that matter the people who call the phone in shows on local radio I always seem to end up listening to when I'm in a taxi. There are just too many variables, too many personalities, weather conditions, traveling conditions, emotions involved to give any kind of valid answer. But I can see the fun to be had in guessing.

Review 2006:


Review 2006 A couple of week's ago I applied for a job as a researcher at Schott's Miscellany. I didn't get an interview, but I did receive a lovely rejection letter, written and signed by Ben himself which makes it all the more heartbreaking that I wasn't given the chance. But something that struck me whilst filling in the lovingly crafted application form was that one of my loves is answering questions, either personal, or on topics that require research.

What I proposed for Review 2006 was that you send in a question. Any kind of question would do but there were five categories:

(a) Personal (egotistical). A question about something that has happened this year or something I've written on the blog that you've wondered about but were too afraid to ask.

(b) Trivia. 'How big is the moon?' or 'How fast is the fastest thing that's ever been fast?' that kind of thing.

(c) Review. What do you think of this album/film/book that I like?

(d) Opinion. See if I can work out something you've been ruminating on. 'Why do people who get on buses always stand near the door when others are patently going to get on after them and they'll be blocking the way?' That sort of thing.

(e) Advice. Dear Stuart, I wonder if you could give me advice about this problem I've been having ...

Basically a question about anything.

As it turned out this would be come less of a review of the year than an audit of my life with a whole range of tricky questions about who I am now along with everything else. So this is going to be a revealing ride if you'd like to join me.

You can assume though that I haven't quite got enough questions for the whole month, so please please please drop off any questions that occur to you in the comments to this post or via email to as soon as you can. In the bizarre event that I get more questions than days I'll double up and try and answer them all -- so don't fear that 'slots' aren't available or whatnot.

Thanks in advance. Now let's begin. Here are the questions I've already answered ...

Why can't Liverpool FC win away from home?

Given that Casino Royale is in the cinema's at the moment - just how many girls has Bond been with? How many can you name (characters)?

If you could have your own total fantasy life, what would it be like?

Whenever I think of doing something like a blog, I always worry that anything I write would either sound really pretentious or be very boring. How do you handle those fears and just write?

Throughout most of The Empire Strikes Back, the Millenium Falcon's hyperdrive is not working (should have gone to Kwik Fit!) so it can't travel faster than light! However, there is a point where they travel from the Anoat System to the Bespin system. Separate Star systems would never be less than a couple of light years apart (I presume!), i.e. at least two years travel even if they could attain just a tiny bit less than light speed! It clearly doesn't take them this long, so is it some sort of 'worm-hole' or curved universe phenomena that they utilise to accomplish their trip? I simply must know! :) Thank you!

You might have covered this before, but, why Stuart *Ian* Burns - and not just Stuart Burns? And, if I can squeeze in another related to that, how do you feel about people who spell it "Stewart"?

I only thought of this last night, but I'd be interested to read your musings on the adverts shown on the programmes you watch a lot. There is a point. They must be aimed at a certain type of audience, the people they expect to be watching, but they're often wildly off. What's sort of person do they think you are, and what can be the logic behind those decisions?

Have you ever found the one true love in your life, but not been in a position to do anything about it, for whatever reason?

Why do people say "cheap at half the price" when they mean the full price is also, well, cheap? Makes no sense to me!"

Of all the trivia that you've blogged or read over the years, which bit sticks in your mind the most, and why?

What's the major problem with Torchwood and can Russell T Davies fix it or is it a lost cause? Can a showrunner really run two shows at once?

What one question, if asked, would you be most inclined to answer with a lie - and why?

I've kindly been given a subscription to LoveFilm and while I have a few things I'd like to see I want to make the most of the opportunity and see films I wouldn't otherwise. I have a largely uneducated interest in foreign film, particularly French and Italian - any recommendations? No horror please, just interesting and beautiful films you think are worth watching.

What do you feel provides the human race with answers, closest to the truth, Science or Religion?

What are you most afraid of and why? What have you done to overcome your fears?

Can you explain the appeal of Keira Knightley?

What's the next new thing that's being talked as something that's going to 'revolutionize' our lives in say 6 - 10 years time? It can be in any sphere you like.

Now that it's all done and dusted, what sequence would you recommend watching the six Stars Wars films? Although I've tried, I still can't watch them in I,II,III,IV etc order ...

Next Saturday, I'll be back in Liverpool for the day, with my girlfriend. One of the reasons for the visit is so that she can get a better feel for the city because we're thinking of moving there. So, can you tell me where the hidden cool and interesting bits of Liverpool are?

Who's your favourite and least favourite Doctor, and companion?

Have you ever had any kind of casual/one of experience with a member of the same sex? Even if just a suppressed crush on an actor or musician etc?

People say money can't buy you happiness. I find this an over simplification of a complicated argument. What is your point of view?

What is the significance of the Wolf in American Indian teachings?

What are your views on the pedestrianisation of Norwich city centre?

What is your favorite film and why?

Which bit of trivia about you would you like to be remembered by?

BBC4 have just given you carte blanche to create your own TV evening from 7pm-2am. What do you show and why?

Do you think any of the cultural stereotypes about English people are true?

Why is Doctor Who so disappointing all of a sudden? Is it down to age?

Would you stop writing your blog if your stats told you there were 0 readers?

Which famous 5 people, dead or alive, would you invite to a dinner party. What would you eat/drink? What entertainment would you lay on for the 6 of you afterwards?

Links for 2006-11-29 [] - Rmail

  • Radar:Lindsay Lohan's "adequite" eulogy to Robert Altman
    "Please just take each moment day by day and consider yourself lucky to breathe and feel at all and smile. Be thankful." "But treasure each triumph as they come."
  • "I'm gonna live each day as if it were my last. "
    Lohan's eulogy reminds me of Miranda July's opening speech in 'Me and You and Everyone We Know'
  • Digital Spy US TV News: BBC World tops O'Reilly among decision makers -
    "BBC World's news coverage is more popular than key programmes on America's cable news channels among key decision makers, according to new research."
  • Frizz: (Dis)connections
    Melissa discovers a whole section of her family that she never knew that she had. Amazing stuff.
  • Quick Stop Entertainment: 10 Quick Questions: Corri English
    Upcoming actress consents to email interview -- is sent a bunch of blatantly sarcastic questions -- gives as good as she gets. Why can't all interviews be this fun?
  • BBC Press Office: BBC One commits to nightly pan-UK show
    Once it had bedded in, 'The One Show' became a very engaging way to spend tea-time, the random approach to content, juxtaposing wildlife and consumer reports coming across as TV microcosm of daytime Radio Four.
  • Second Flight: Back to the Vortex II: The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Doctor Who 2006
    I was flicking through this in World's Apart today and noticed my name's in the acknowledgments again which is a lovely surprise but also means I shall have to buy the thing just see if I'm quoted or why it's there. Thanks for the mention Shaun.
  • Josef Koudelka, Prague, 1968
    Amazing shot which seems like the photography equivalent of breaking the fourth wall in film.
  • Bloggers Blog: Pulitzer Now Allows Blog Submissions
  • Him here. Him there.

    Life My first Job Seeker's Allowance interview was today and went much more smoothly than I could have imagined. I'll need to fill in a diary of everything I'm doing to find a job, which needs to include at least three entries a week, although as I enthused to my case worker about everything I was doing (at one point I may have asked 'Do you know what an RSS feed is?') she seemed pretty pleased. My next review is in thirteen weeks, which sounds like a good deadline to me.

    Review 2006: 11/31

    Review 2006 As you can see the questions are trickling in for Review 2006 and I think I've enough until into next week, but it's still looking a bit worrying if I'm going to keep to targets. There are a couple I want to answer later in the month for various reasons, but if you're wavering please, please (hands and knees) get them in as soon as possible ...

    Links for 2006-11-28 []

  • Don’t Look Now, Mr. Bond
    Delicious comparison of one of the sections of 'Casino Royale' with 'Don't Look Now'. Also rationalises the new Bond film perfectly with: "There almost seemed to be five short films to watch between the pre-title sequence and the eventual epilogue.", which somehow improves my appreciation of the film. It's an action picture, Jim Jarmusch style.
  • 07973100194
    I received a missed call on my mobile earlier from this number. It's apparently Orange, autodialing from a call centre then cutting off because there isn't an operator available to speak. Apparently it'll continue for ages now until I actually speak to
  • Cinematical Seven: Robert Altman Movies
    Includes 'The Company' another on the list of films I love but everyone else in world seems not to. And 'McCabe & Mrs. Miller' in which the reverse is true. Subverting the western? Err, thanks.
  • Strange Attractor: Adopt early, adopt often
    Suw Charman wonders about business's slow take up of new technologies.
  • Behind the Sofa: Αυτό δεν είναι μια κατάλληλη αναθεώρηση. Ακριβώς μερικά περίεργα σχόλια.
    The fate of this episode of Torchwood rested on the shoulders of one actress. Gosh she was great. Pity about the rest.
  • Liverpool Confidential: Starry, starry nights
    Angie Sammons reviews The Everyman Bistro: "Your food is ladled up onto a plate, lashed into one of two stainless steel appliances and zapped by radiation before your very eyes."
  • News Askew: Clerks II review
    Not to be released here until NEXT FEBRUARY! Must not buy region one. Must wait for PAL goodness.
  • 'It's on random...'

    TV BBC Four's Random Quest, an adaptation of John Wyndham's cast Samuel West as a man stepping into a parallel dimension and a new life. By not dwelling on the pseudo-science, adaptor Richard Fell is able to emphasise the romance of the happening, and the possibilities of waking up with a wife (Kate Ashfield) that is both your own and not. Seemingly influenced by Tarkovsky (particularly in costume and set design), this was still very good fun, particularly in the moments when the geo-political difference were emphasised -- President Rice was in peace talks in the Far East and Prime Minster John Smith is passing the drought portfolio to Junior MP Tony Blair. If only.

    Not many.

    Life I began the process of signing on for Job Seeker's Allowance today for the first time in about four years. The process is far smoother than four years ago too -- where once there was massive and massively complicated form that needed filling out whilst in the Job Centre with the hustle and bustle happening about, now everything is done over the phone, with a callback for all of the fiddly financial bits and appointment making. I'm willing to temp, I'm willing to travel and I'm willing to work between Eight and Eight, although shift work is ok too. Most amusing moment? When asked what I want to do. 'Something in the film and media industry. Jobs in film journalism, film archiving, film marketing, film education anything in that area really.'
    'We don't get many of those through.' Said the man from the Job Centre.

    Links for 2006-11-27

  • Britney Spears reviews Sophocles' 'Antigone'
    Auctioning off her high school essays for charity at Christies. I think we've all had 'Watch your spelling' and 'Write more neatly' at some time haven't we?
  • Fibreglass Boats for sale
    The upturned boats from St Luke's Church are up for sale at £50 each which seems very reasonable. If I had (a) a garden and (b) a garden, I'd be there. Sounds like the perfect picnic furniture...
  • "Let's face it. Unless there's a web site called "," we're out of luck."
  • More Torchwood?

    TV Have Doctor Who and Torchwood been recommissioned?

    "Mark Thompson said the BBC Wales-produced dramas were a fine example of the "sexy and modern" programmes the regional offices should be making for the network. [...] Mr Thompson believes both series will run and run."

    Or is it the kiss of death? [via]

    Greeks Bearing Gifts.

    TV As the endless shots of the Cardiff ring road passed by at the climax of Greeks Bearing Gifts I decided that I couldn't possibly review the episode this week on the basis that I've probably lost my sense of objective and because I'm not sure the series is going to get any better and that frankly there's nothing more to be said other than if Toby Whitehouse, who turned out the gorgeous and gut-wrenching School Reunion for Doctor Who this year can't work his magic on Torchwood, then it's more than likely that the series cannot be saved. Plus Sean's managed to eloquently set out any or all of the criticisms I might have.

    Then I picked up the Metro this morning and read the four-star verdict of their tv reviewer Keith Watson. After a plot describing preamble he says: "Much more than just a Dr Who spin-off, Torchwood works because it mixes its sci-fi with human vulnerability and a random approach to plotting that means you're never sure you they're going to bump off next." Then he suggests that Owen is obviously gay and the Jack should have copped off with him (or words to that effect).

    Knowing that actually the business of reviewing television can be a fairly nebulous activity particularly in the popular press, the last thing I want to do is criticize someone getting paid for something I want to do for a living. But having watched the same programme I wouldn't class the characterization in the show as including human vulnerability - and despite Watson's inference, the interpersonal relationships on show in Dr Who were far more realistic - or at least had a logic to them and rang true.

    On the basis of last night's episode, Gwen seems infested with the illogical behaviour virus that Owen's been a carrier of since the beginning of the series, not that I'm trying to imply anything. Although she's under the medic's spell (I still haven't discounted the administering of that love potion from episode one) it seems completely wrong that the moral centre she exhibited in the opening episodes would be cast aside when she watches Owen bullying Toshiko and doesn't say anything.

    The main element that is sorely lacking from the series is romance - even though the real highlight of last night's episode was Daniela Denby-Ashe's rum performance as Mary, this was yet another sexual predator in a series that has already had about six of them, one of whom is a main character. How much more interesting if Tosh's romance had been something normal and above all realistic, her partner being someone whom the audience could also be in love with, so that the betrayal would have resonated more with us too.

    With the teaser, the show revealed far too much information up front, making the outcome guessable, surprises non-existent. If Mary had been a bloke, she would have had a moustache to twirl - obviously evil from the moment she appeared next to Tosh at the bar and so the episode turned into a waiting game for the penny to drop. Whilst it could be argued that Tosh is obviously happy for the attention (as any of us would I suspect from someone looking like that) given who she and who she works for, and how much the job apparently means to her (as she explains in every actors nightmare - the acting pissed scene) can we really believe that she'd be so easily seduced.

    Once again, it's a wonder what this lot are doing in the jobs that they have. Once again I wonder if there's going to be some reveal in a later episode that in fact these aren't meant to be the best of the best and that they've been specially selected for their unprofessionalism as a cover for an even less public, more mysterious organization, the real Torchwood, that they're the middle people between UNIT and that. Which would explain why everyone seems to know who Torchwood is even though no one seems to know what Torchwood is.

    I've even got a nagging feeling that there's some giant metatextual joke going on rather like the one being played by that arts documentary series on Channel Four in the late nineties, Art is Dead, when present Muriel Gray revealed at the end of the final rather heated discussion programme that all of the artists were fake (especially the one who picked up and displayed roadkill) and that they were actually criticizing the nature of art criticism. Or even that everything is going on inside Jack's mind accounting for all the darkness and discrepancies. I doubt it is any of these things. I think it's just that it's deeply average.

    I can't understand the country mile between a large proportion of the fan reaction to the series and elsewhere. I could say that some see it for what it is and everyone else is in denial, but again I don't think that's fair, although I have read some fan criticism which amounts to making excuses for something that they've obviously inherently been disappointed by. It is eerily similar however to the phenomena that Mark Lawson identifies in The Guardian -- the print media were extremely positive about Robin Hood in its opening few episodes in sharp contrast to the internet reaction.

    The ratings are holding up despite the timeslots and repeat showings which means someone must be enjoying it for what it is, rather than just tuning in hoping that it'll get better and exhibit the same vim as the opening episode. But I do wonder if they did turn out a great episode I'd actually notice, or if I'd still be looking for those pesky flaws. On reflection the closing scene in which Jack consoled Tosh was very nice, Barrowman demonstrating that he's still very good at genial - and I had empathy with Sato for the first time in the episode. Perhaps I'll try to tune in next week without preconceived ideas and see were that gets me.

    And try to ignore the fact that Owen is being a twat again.

    Revealed and illuminated

    Life This past couple of months I've been working as an invigilator for the Liverpool Biennial. It's not something I'd done since I was university first time around, at The Henry Moore Institute, but it's interesting how, like swimming and riding a bike it's not something you forget how to do. Although by appearances it seems little more than standing in a gallery space making sure the public don't touch anything, there really is more to it than that.

    You're essentially presented with an exhibition of which you know nothing, filled with objects, each in their own obscure little worlds and have to become an instant expert. It's a challenge and in this particular venue there were many different groups of exhibits and I have to admit I engaged with some more than others and so found it easier to remember the details of those. Generally, knowing the broad information was enough - sometimes the details would blur or confuse the message. You'd try to make sure that message wasn't garbled though - or god forbid that you'd actually be making things up. But then you'd wondered if the visitor would know the difference.

    This was important, because you were meant to interact with the public, try to help them get the most out of their visit - this I enjoyed very much because more often than not they'd suggest something I hadn't thought of and increase my knowledge. But you have to be careful not approach people who simply want to be left alone, be sensitive to those who want to make up their own idea or just aren't in a talking mood. Usually if they were interested in interacting, they'd ask a question. Sometimes I'd feel sorry for them, because having not spoken to anyone for a time I'd get verbal diarrhea and they'd get the lot and it wasn't always possible to see when I'd said enough and they were just being polite.

    There are the moments when there isn't anyone around, sometimes for up to an hour, and that give you time to think. The problem is, that gives you time to think and your mind wanders and not simply to the simple things like groceries or important phone calls. In the long, dark wait between visitors, whole life moments can become amplified, future plans made and embryonic hopes dashed. You'd talk yourself in and out of all kinds of things as the daydreams drift past. Sometimes you'd do anything to talk to someone, anyone, hopefully not yourself, although that can happen.

    The sweetest moments were always late on, just before closure, after dusk when the night had drawn in. Autumnally, that meant the bright sunlight, showers and the possibility of rainbows. As the winter and early darkness gripped, standing on the roof you could see the two cathedrals illuminated and the bright yellow question mark over Wirral across the Mersey, the rest of the city becoming a light show filled with imaginary details. In one of the spaces, shapes and angles, simply grey during the day gained a mysterious quality as the sun was replaced by electric, unreal, artificial light. It was like standing in someone else's dreams, a feeling I've only had once before in the city centre at three in the morning when I was very young.

    Last night there was a party to mark the end of everything. Not since the Commonwealth Games have I been somewhere were everyone was collectively finishing rather than just me running out at an opportune (inopportune?) moment. Once again I tried not to say goodbye, just take care and until next time. Some friendships were made I think (I hope) and it was another great experience to add the list of experiences I always hoped I'd have in life.

    Onwards to the next thing then.