"Trust me, I'm a doctor..."
You are the first Doctor! Oh, you can be a bit
cranky, that's true. And your ego can be a bit
of a put-off at first. However, underneath that
sour demeanor is the heart of a true hero! Your
compassion for your fellow beings knows no
bounds, and you'd happily sacrifice your life
to save another.
Which Doctor (from Doctor Who) Are You?
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Well, not exactly... (but you can drop the 'sacrifice' bit, mate!)
- But who IS this intrepid time-traveller, faerie godmother and 'samovar warrior' known as 'Doc M'?
Mission Statement/Author Note:
"The only way to atone for being occasionally a little over dressed is by being always absolutely over educated."
Oscar Wilde, 'Phrases and Philosophies for the use of the Young', Chameleon, Dec 1894
- Who shall sound the Silver Whistle?
- Who'd say I'd not, I would sound it,
Who 'd say I'd myself not sound it...?
Despite an outwardly normal home-life in East Yorkshire, Stirlingshire and Fife, I was never exactly mainstream: by 14 I was a confirmed Beardsleyite. An unapologetic Æsthete, my first independent purchase as an undergraduate was a peacock-feather fan, the handle of which I covered in black velvet, adorned with a gold tassel (I have it still). I also still have a Japanese vase full of peacock feathers. Yes, I'm a '90s person - an 1890s person! Too tall to be an official Time Bandit, I became a historian and art historian. Regular employment proved elusive for some years, despite considerable efforts, and has once more slipped from my grasp after 3 years working in arts/heritage co-ordination.
But in the intervening decade... My own sense of being embattled in the war against utilitarianism and 'Mundania' (especially in the Thatcher years, when I began to feel that I was living in exile in a country I no longer recognised as home) fuelled the idea of setting up - as a kind of metaphor - a rescue-centre for historical flotsam and jetsam on-line. For Whistle-World, I gathered up the improbably-chivalric-but-real, the immortally wounded, and even the occasional fictional literary or film character; slung them over my metaphorical saddle-bow, and gave them lots of TLC. Besides my 18C soldiers, to whom Whistle-World owes its name, you'll also find among my patients some dashing mediæval knights, the odd(!) consumptive artist, a joli laid (all right, if I'm honest, Concorde-nosed and sour-looking) cavalry expert, a doe-eyed, much-abused Russian prince, a duelling poet, & c. My motives are entirely honourable, however, as I'm an AVEN-lady (see the pretty spectrum bar below). Admiration of virtue and beauty is free.
Poets I love: the Occitan trobadors, Lorca, Rilke, Yeats, Villon, MacLean, Lermontov, Mandel'shtam, Tsvetaeva, Villon
Films I love: swashbucklers, Istvan Szabo, silents by Alla Nazimova, Erich von Stroheim and the German Expressionists, Powell & Pressburger (especially The Red Shoes, which has one of Cinema-land's most inspiring and - at least according to my values - loveable heroes), Thorold Dickinson, Max Ophüls, Sergei Eisenstein, Baz Luhrmann, Peter Jackson. For the past few years I have also had a major penchant for Adrien Brody, who definitely needs to swashbuckle more...
Speaking of which...
I am Cultural Attaché to the Ruritanischer Widerstand im Exil (Ruritanian Resistance in Exile) - a small group of swashbuckling literary subversives who read the Anthony Hope novels differently.... After all, yrs truly can't resist intervening when a 20-something left-wing tubercular brunet ends up on the wrong end of a sword... ;-D It's also easier to be optimistic as a political subversive in a fictional realm...
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"...an ashy clinker from the long dead fires of Bohemia."
Quentin Crisp, The Naked Civil Servant