Second Season of ‘The Fall’

I really liked the first season of ‘The Fall’ because it seemed different from other crime dramas. I thought Gillian Andersons character was fantastic. Sexy, yet utterly brilliant. Jamie Dornan gave a good performance as a serial killer trying to live a normal life. It was enjoyable (though not very terrifying for me). M was scared witless by the first series – but I’m not surprised.

I was really looking forward to the second season. We got to see it a little early in Ireland (absolutely shocking, I know). So I’ve waited until the UK caught up before fully expressing an opinion to friends. Well, I did say I didn’t like it – but these are some of spoiler reasons why:

  • How are they coming back to Belfast after only 10 days? I thought the last season ended with a nice “I’m done, I’m leaving, you’ll never catch me…muharharhar” when in fact he’d only taken his family on a little holiday to Scotland. Did I miss something?
  • Does it seem like Gillian Anderson’s character, Stella, has taken a little too much Valium?
  • When Mr Killer Himself is on his way back to Belfast on the train, and strikes up a conversation with the woman sitting with him. Who in their right mind just bats her eyelashes and smiles demurely at what is (quite frankly) a crazy psycho killer?? “Do you think I’m him?…[draws beard on e-fit]…does it look more like me? See? Do you live alone?” What woman in her right mind is not going to think “Uh oh, nutter” and get away as quickly as possible?
  • In the first season a lot of planning went into the murders. But in this season he seems to turn up in houses at will. Did he do a breaking and entering course while on holiday? Also he was very careful in the first season and now all but admitting it’s him to his ex-babysitter?
  • Finally when he broke into the house at the end. “Who are you?” says the little girl…really? REALLY? Not going to run to her mum screaming? Just becomes best friends instantly?

These are all questions I asked myself while watching it. It breaks the illusion for me. I just don’t think it’s as good as the first season.

Peering into the past

I’m not quite sure how it started, but with Remembrance Sunday I started to think about the Grandfather I never met. Not that he died in any War, just a couple of years before I was born. My other Grandfather worked in the Shipyards at the time so very much a protected occupation. The only service he talked of was after the war and his National Service in Egypt which he hated and apparently made the lives of Officers miserable.

Anyway, I started looking at the one I never got to talk to. There is so much information now right at your fingertips. Generations down the line we’ll be saturated with information about our ancestors, but there’s something rather nice about peering into the past and peeling back the layers.

I found out he was just too young for World War One and was heading for middle-age with World War Two. So he ended up joining the Home Guard – an Anti Aircraft Battery. Apparently these guys were quite well regarded around the country. Not at all like Dad’s Army. I managed to track down my Grandfathers ‘Sign on’ papers in the National Archive. That was quite something as it was in his own hand writing. I sent it to my Dad and asked him about it. He said my Grandfathers Battery was credited with shooting down the first plane – so I had a search and he was right!

“The first kill credited to an AA battery manned by the Home Guard was that of an enemy bomber which fell to No 110 Battery on Tyneside. This had such an admirable effect on morale that Battery Commanders, subsequently had trouble in preventing men not on duty, from cluttering up the site when the sirens sounded.”

Fantastic.

I started digging a little further back through the Census. I had the names of all the Brothers, Sisters, Uncles, Aunts and have found some marvellous sites where people have already down a lot of hard work.

I didn’t realise my Great Grandparents were both Scottish, from Shetland (“Oh yeah I remember they were both Scottish”… said Dad….). I knew the name Shewan was popular in Aberdeenshire, and it originated in Shetland. But I had no idea it was that close from a generation perspective.

So I started digging a little more, and finding other wonderful sites. Then I found something which quite frankly blew my mind. Pictures of a Great Great Aunt and a Great Great (maybe Great) Uncle. Clara and Magnus.

wpid-Photo-20141113224436.jpg

How brilliant! I’ll dig a little deeper. It’s fascinating but a lot of work.

Udemy seems like a good thing

Truth be told I probably have too many personal projects on the go right now. But I’ve always thought if something interests you then have a good hard look, or give it a go.

I somehow found out (I think by email, or through Twitter) that Udemy were having a Sale on courses. There’s only a couple of days left but it’s current 65% off.

I saw it as a bit of an investment so I bought courses in Ruby on Rails, Web Development and iOS and Swift.

Why? Well it’s been about eight years since I was heavily into any kind of development. I think Rails has changed half a dozen times since then. I also don’t have a photographic memory – so anything I knew about PHP, MySQL, Rails, Python etc, etc, etc is nothing but a hazy memory.

But why learn? I use a number of applications daily (web and iOS) that do the job, but I feel they’re over complicated. I want simple. As an example of some of my thoughts:

  • A CMS or WP Template that is damn simple and doesn’t have a lot of unnecessary crud
  • An iOS app where I can update the site without having to select a billion different options. Write and Publish.

There is at least one other project that would benefit from me having that detailed knowledge again, So it’s win/win.

Now for a little bit of time and effort cost from me.