The 231163 Diaries: Samuel H. Reynolds.

That Day  This diary entry is hand written by Samuel H. Reynolds (1892-1977) found in a collection of photographs, letters, diaries, and other materials pertaining to the Quigley and Reynolds families of Bellefonte PA and Lancaster PA which is available at  Glancing through the materials they don't seem to have been a particularly remarkable family.  Perhaps an author in their past.

We're beginning with this entry because it highlights what might be revealed as this entries are collected together.  That what seems like a seismic moment, the assassination, so often portrayed in film and television as a moment when the country and world stopped will have been for most people just something which happened in the background of what was otherwise a fairly routine day.

Mother died.

Party cloudy.  Rain. -

At N. Y.

Up at 7.35 after being up most of the night with Mary. Breakfast. Worked in apartment on accounts and dishes. Mary and I had luncheon in apartment. Worked on checks. Mostly on radio and tv about President Kennedy's death and memorial services. Paid some bills and shopped at A&P and got loaf at Delicatessen. Mary and I had dinner in apartment. Really quite nervous - anniversary of mother's death.

Except as you can see it wasn't a routine day, not really.  At the top, Reynolds has noted it was the day of his mother's death and in reading we realise its an anniversary and he's still taking it very hard so what looks like a routine day could be interpreted as someone getting on with things, keeping busy.  Most of the entries I've seen are just the incidents - this is a rare moment in which he records his emotional state.

The 231163 Diaries:

That Day The 311163 Diaries is a new blog project which will collect diary entries and other materials written by various people from across the world describing what happened to them on the 23rd November 1963, the day Doctor Who was first broadcast and the day after US President John F Kennedy was assassinated.

Watching a documentary about the photographer Cecil Beaton recently, a man who kept detailed diaries throughout his life and published them pretty unvarnished, I wondered what he might have written on various days about world events, given how outspoken he was about his own acquaintances.

That led me to consider whether any of those acquaintances did the same and if they'd also talk about meeting him. perhaps at parties in the same way.  That sounded like an interesting project, but would require me to read enough of these various diaries to find a correlation.  Plus I hate reading about other people's parties.

Which then led me to wonder if I shouldn't just arbitrarily choose a date and then find lots of diary entries for that date and see if any of the people wrote about the same thing.  But it had to be date which I had vested interest in which is why I ended up, less arbitrarily, choosing 23/11/1963.

Did any of them watch the original broadcast of Doctor Who?  Probably not.  But they might mentioned the seismic event which occured the day before, offer some insight into the successive hours, how it affected their families.  A day later will have given people time to consider their feelings.

Most of the material will be collected from published sources but if you have any family documents which you think might of interest do get in touch through the usual channels.  My email address is  You might like to write your own explanatory text to go with it.  Let's see how far we get.  First entry tomorrow.

Think of one dramatic event from your life (an accident, a fight, a loss) and write the event backward.

462 The meal was fine, I think.

Was this something they did often?

Why me?

Describing what happened to her helped, especially since the whole incident seemed so strange.

I was still quite shaken when I met my friend in Warrington.

So when the bus came, I clambered on and continued the journey, on to the train too.

Even in the late 90s, I'd learnt to just carry on where possible.

But I didn't feel the need to cancel the evening.

The pain in my throat from sobbing didn't help.

My eye socket, lip and cheek were already beginning to hurt, the latter from my teeth scratching me on the inside of my mouth.

I cried as the shock overwhelmed me briefly.

I slumped against the inside of the bus shelter.

Across the road and up the street, I could hear them still laughing.


They ran away.

Which I wouldn't even know how to.

Perhaps they were expecting me to punch back.

Their turn to be surprised.

Then to make full use of my size at that time, which was considerable, and with arms stretched burst at them, roaring, making sure not to touch them.

My first reaction was shock.

He seemed surprised.


He'd punched me.

In the middle of my face.

His fist made contact.

Then one of them began shadow boxing with me as the wall, all three of them laughing.

I froze.

I'd been in similar situations of bullying at school and this took me right back there.

Despite being shorter and at least ten years younger than me and at least a foot or two shorter, they were intimidating, with their crew cut hair and tracksuits.

They stopped and stood around me, my back to the glass wall of the shelter.

Eventually they reached me, but didn't walk past as I'd hoped.

"Go on a diet."

"Fat bastard."

True it was most often people shouting at me from car windows, so brave, but sometimes it was passers-by in the street.

Usually in these situations and it wasn't unusual at that time, I simply ignored it.

"You fat bastard" that sort of thing.

They'd already begun cat calling me as they approached.

I'd watched them walking towards me from up the road, in the direction the bus was due to come.

Three teenage boys approached me.

So I waited and waited and waited.

It was the early evening, so the buses into town were infrequent and I must have just missed one although it was difficult to tell because the timetables in Liverpool are usually nothing more than an approximation of when the buses will arrive.

All on expenses.

She invited me along to be the shadow person who often appears in reviews and to justify ordering more food from the menu so she would have more to write about.

An old pen pal from college who had just begun working at a local newspaper, I think as part of her employment experience on a journalism course, had been given the opportunity to review a Greek Taverna in Warrington.

This is the story of the time I was punched in the face by a total stranger.


Blog! Zoe Margolis who back in the day was Abby Lee from Girl With A One Track Mind has uploaded her annual blog post. Parts of it resonate:
"Depression, and its close friend anxiety, are daily uninvited gatecrashers to the party that is my mind; whilst I generally do a good job in hiding my suffering in public, privately I’m struggling with it, and these impact my ability to get stuff done. This is nothing unique to me, I know."
My trick is to talk about it, but I know that's not always possible. Take care, Zoe.

Quatermass and the Pit, Take Two.

TV When watching dvd releases of programmes which were originally broadcast live, can we be sure that what we're enjoying is the programme as it was originally seen by the initial viewership?

Perhaps not according to this essay from Olive Wake at British Television Drama about the practice at the BBC in the 50s and 60s of rerecording material to replace fluffs and problems which may have crept in during the live broadcast to be edited into the mastertape for repeat broadcast and international sales.

So the dvd release of Quatermass contains a mishmash of live broadcast and rerecorded scenes:
"A document I uncovered in BBC files while undertaking unrelated research confirmed that Cartier practised re-recording on at least one episode of the next Quatermass serial, Quatermass and the Pit. A short letter confirms details of an extra payment due to actor AndrĂ© Morell for his participation in “retakes for the telerecording” of the fifth episode of the serial.3 In this case, there was no scheduled repeat of the production but in view of its prestigious status, following the success of the two previous Quatermass serials, there was a much greater chance of later repeats or of foreign sales than for most programmes, which would likely have been reason enough for re-recording to be practised. A repeat was eventually screened by the BBC a year later."

My Favourite Television Moment of 2017.

TV The Good Place. You know the one. Even if you've managed to remain spoiler free, you know that something extraordinary happens and even if you know that you're not at all prepared when you discover exactly what that is. Truthfully, there were a couple of other candidates, Audrey's dance in the Twin Peaks revival (which is a film apparently so doesn't count here), John Oliver roasting Dustin Hoffman (which was a camera phone clip so probably doesn't either) and the very recent "Oh brilliant!" (which I'll be considering at length in the new year).

The Good Place is special.  Like All Along The Watch Tower or The Red Wedding, it upends the viewers expectations of the kind of show they're watching by apparently throwing out its entire premise.  The effect is rather like if the characters in FRIENDS got to the end of the first season and were seen to wake up in suspended animation chambers and we discovered they were actually on a deep space mission and the sitcom New York we'd been watching was a simulation.  Ross and Rachel were already married, Chandler and Joey were partners and Phoebe was the Captain.  Or something.

As has numerously been said, the reconfigured show continues unabated and with an even clearer character through line and benefits from its unpredictability aided by a superb cast who're able to inhabit the various degrees of memory and experience and demonstrate the subtle differences at each turn.  But I'm trying to keep this spoiler-free which explains the lack of close analysis.  Except to say that when the history of television in this period is written, The Good Place should be seen as one of the pinnacles of its form.  God know how they're framing it in academia.

Predictions 2017.

That Day We reach the time when I assess how well I predicted the ups and downs of the year and look forward to the next. Here we go again:

The Mutya Keisha Siobhan album is finally released.


Tim Supple announced as new creative director of Shakespeare's Globe.

No. But I'm very pleased with Michelle Terry as the alternative. Wow. Zero marks.

New female Doctor emerges at the end of the 2017 Who Christmas special.

Ding, ding, ding, ding. Also to point out that my prediction for 2016 of Moffat and Capaldi leaving was also true it just hadn't been announced yet so I'm retrospectively adding an extra half mark to last year's predictions. One mark here though.

Trump doesn't complete the year as President.


Brexit cancelled.


One mark. Which is pitiful. Any way, sod it, let's carry a couple of things forward. I still believe 2018 will be the corrective to all this madness.

Trump doesn't complete the year as President.

Brexit cancelled.

MCU based Fantastic Four film announced.

The Doctor Who omnirumour is true.

A new Shakespeare play discovered.

All of which sound as unlikely as the others ...