November 14th, 2014

I defy you to read Twinsters without getting at least slightly misty-eyed.

Pretty much the definition of a feel-good story -just as long as it doesn't take an Orphan Black twist somewhere down the line.

(Also, that's a very neat interface they've got there for highlighting which person is 'talking' as you scroll down through the story.)

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"To bring up one son to be prime minister may be regarded as a misfortune, to bring up two looks like carelessness."

October 2nd, 2010

Inspired by the Miliband brothers' battle over the leadership of the Labour Party, Howard Jacobson reflects upon life as the older brother:

So why, then, did [my mother] have a second child when I was perfectly happy enjoying sole possession as the first? All right, I wouldn't be prime minister. But couldn't I go on being lord chamberlain in my own house? I have already, in this column, described the details of my brother's invasion of my territory. Suffice it to say that one minute he wasn't and then he was, that I had been banished from my mother's sight for a week because I had the measles and when I returned she was holding him up in the front window for me to see – triumphantly, as though he were the FA Cup – and had forgotten my name. What happened over the next 10 years was what always happens. I pretended to love him and when no one was looking tried to kill him. It would have been the same with the Milibands, though they had a Marxist philosopher for a father whereas ours was a children's magician; so that while David was trying to brain Ed with wage-labour and capital, I was sawing my brother in half.

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Parenting, Gallifrey-style

April 25th, 2010

Nicholas Lezard on parenting and Time Lords:

Doctor Who with the children. This is an emotionally charged time for the divorced father. When people started tossing around phrases along the lines of "Russell T Davies has brought back family Saturday evening TV viewing", I wonder if they appreciated the importance of what they were saying. Like Davies – who's almost exactly my age (albeit with rather more achievements) – I grew up with Doctor Who, and can remember Patrick Troughton as the Time Lord (1966-69). I went a bit meh about the show after Tom Baker dropped out, although I respected Peter Davidson's cricket jumper, but by then I had other things on my mind: few girls were going to be impressed by boys who watched it.

But when I had children, I became interested in what they might like, so when Davies brought the show back I was delighted that my then nine-year-old daughter, on seeing the first teasing posters with Christopher Ecclestone and the Tardis, said they thrilled her without her exactly knowing why. It was then that I began to suspect that what Doctor Who is about is not so much time and space travel, as modes of alternative fatherhood. […]

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