Manx SciFi news

When you see the line:

The Dalek was built by Robin Burchill, 18, from Bride, and was being operated by his girlfriend Nina.

in a news story, you just have to delve deeper.

And not do any obvious women driver jokes.

Basically, it’s the story of a bloke who builds Daleks in his spare time, whose most recent Dalek:


broke when it hit a pothole on (FTTH-free zone) Ramsey Promenade in the Isle of Man.

[sad trombone]

This isn’t “news”. I’m pretty sure this sort of thing happens worldwide on a daily basis.

Says Robin:

Upon completing my Dalek, I decided to take it for a test run on Ramsey Promenade. We decided to take it from the promenade over to Mooragh Park as there were a few more people over there, when crossing the road towards the park’s car park driveway, the Dalek fell into a pothole.

A test run for what? Are you planning some sort of invasion, Robin? Why go towards the people, Robin? People are scared of Daleks. I’ve seen Doctor Who – those wheelie bins with laser guns are dangerous. Were you putting some sort of evil plan into practice here?

Unfortunately, when the Dalek hit the hole, it caused significant damage, its head came off, its eye was smashed and the dome suffered a nasty gouge. Robin said both of these were quite large and fairly costly repair jobs.

Both three of them? Right.
But wait for it, folks…

He said that he had contacted Ramsey Commissioners to inquire about compensation, as the road had remained in a state of disrepair for a while.

Worth a try, I suppose. I wonder if they took the claim seriously?

Robin said: “I have to this day received no response. I imagine they did not take my claims seriously.”

Ah. Right.

Ramsey Commissioners told the Manx Independent that they had not heard about an incident involving a Dalek.

And it’s really the sort of thing you’d probably remember, isn’t it?

Robin says that he is more concerned about the possibility of an elderly resident crossing the road on a mobility scooter and fears they could be injured.

Of course you are, mate.
And you were going to put your compo towards that, weren’t you? Not towards building another bloody Dalek or anything.

Ain’t no compassion like faux compassion.

Bleakly Californian

OK. Bear with me. This all started when I saw this photo posted on Facebook:

Look, it’s a good photo. There’s drama, there’s atmosphere, there’s strong contrast; you’re drawn into the image. What’s the story here? Who is the girl? Why is she there? I like it.

Immediately, I had other questions though.

Firstly, WHO ON EARTH names their hotel Bleak House? Do they know what “bleak” means?

a bird’s horny projecting jaws; a bill.

I’m sorry. I have to press really hard to get the L key to work sometimes. So et’s try that again.

I am aware that in the Dickens novel of the same name, the Bleak House is actually far from bleak, but firstly, this isn’t that house, and secondly, how many people have read that much Dickens?

Can you imagine telling your friends that you’ve got two weeks booked in Ramsey (which is surely bad enough, anyway), before then elaborating and telling them that you chose to stay at a place called “Bleak House”.

Really? Were Superb Hotel, Lovely B&B and Entirely Pleasant Lodgings all booked up then?

No. Given the huge – near infinite – range of potential, positive-angled guest house nomenclature available to the proprietors, this seems like a bit of an own goal.

And then there’s the caption. That’s a misquoted lyric from The Eagles’ Hotel California, isn’t it?

Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back to the place I was before
‘Relax’ said the night man,
‘We are programmed to receive.
You can check out any time you like,
But you can never leave!

I know I’m being a bit picky here, but wouldn’t a line from… well… Bleak House be rather more appropriate here?

And I am bored to death with it. Bored to death with this place, bored to death with my life, bored to death with myself.

OK. Perhaps not that one.

Fairy-land to visit, but a desert to live in

Better. Very Ramsey. Apart from the fairy-land bit.
But this one fits perfectly, I think.

As all partings foreshadow the great final one, – so, empty rooms, bereft of a familiar presence, mournfully whisper what your room and what mine must one day be.

In fact, I’m reliably informed that this was exactly what many paying visitors muttered on those very steps, when Bleak House was still an operating business.