It Speaks!


I was wordless. Language was empty of meaning to me,

A creature.

Abandoned by my creator, I stumbled through the dark.


Why? Because I was imperfect through no fault of my own —

A sinner?

No. Not I. The other school of thought appealed to in advance:

Tabula rasa.

An empty slate to be encrypted by the world. So if I am deficient,

A draft,

It is the world that made me so: their ignorance within reflected.

This they hate.

They hound their own failings in attacking; unveiled in their cruelty.


Like the moon on the crest of a cloud, alone and lonesome in my plight.

To learn.

So many questions and for them, the answers few. The more I read…


Like hailstones batter. Who am I? Whence I come? What place to call my home?

No name.

A luxury denied me. For had I even this, I would not howl in pain and envy.


By everything and all. Unloved. A monster. To punish their malice I will plot this:

My revenge.   

Will track you down. As winter is my witness, you’ll pay for your desertion,



Sherlock the Third


Welcome to The Batch on Sunday: Your Online-Home For All Things CumberVic

The Batch on Sunday reports!

We all know that the third series of Sherlock will blast its witty detection onto BBC One screens on Wednesday, the 1st of January 2014. But for all that, The Batch on Sunday team feels that it may as well be 2024. Never have three weeks felt so lengthy! To wait for even one day longer seems unbearable.

The show’s creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, have done a good job of keeping the plots for the three episodes of this new series secret. No matter how much we searched the Internet for some juicy spoilers, there was not one to be found.

All we know so far is that #SherlockLives, and while reassuring, we need not pretend that we did not know this already. Final appearance of the smartly clad detective in the shadows of the graveyard aside, no Sherlokian could be fooled into believing that the protagonist would be killed off with a whole new series promised in advance.

Benedict Cumberbatch, who was the youngest ever actor to be cast as Sherlock when the first series aired in 2010, sympathises with the plight of the nation, having himself experienced some of the impatience the rest of us are suffering from as we wait for the elusive detective to finally reach our screens. He admitted that “I sort of got into the same obsession that the nation did, before we did it.”

Sorry, Cumberbatch. Whilst you are much loved, in this case no amount of sympathy will do the trick. We want Sherlock and we want him now!

If this is another three pipe problem, I begin to suspect that we’ll be smoking ourselves into an early grave. Not all of us have Sherlock’s comebackability to rely on. Perhaps a Sherlock calendar with a factoid countdown is in order. We must do something to pass the time until he is ready to come back from the dead. Lucky Christmas is just around the corner.

Merry Cumberbatch everyone and a Happy New Sherlock!

Nigella Lawson’s NOT NEWS


Perhaps it’s just me, but nowadays when I put on the TV I find increasingly that the line between what is and what is not news has become so blurred that no end of trivia finds itself on the news. Do I really need to know about the latest slanket craze?

Take yesterday for example. Flashing on every screen were images of Nigella Lawson with the caption: “Nigella Lawson admits taking cocaine.”

NOT NEWS I wanted to shout out in exasperation. That is a private matter. Or a matter for the police. Whatever the case, it is not something that I or anyone else in Britain or the world needs to know.

If anything in Nigella Lawson’s experience is in the public’s interest to know then it’s certainly not her cocaine use. Instead, why couldn’t the press focus on the domestic abuse she has been submitted to instead. Why is that only a footnote?

After all, that is the cause behind her recourse to drugs or at least so she claimed  yesterday when she told a jury that “acts of intimate terrorism” by her “brutal” ex-husband, Charles Saatchi, drove her to cocaine and cannabis use.

Nigella Lawson Choked by Charles SaatchiThis is the image of Charles Saatchi throttling Nigella Lawson outside Scott’s restaurant in Mayfair in June. He accepted a police caution for assault, but afterwards “menaced” her with threats of drug allegations and went through with the threat by publishing those allegations on an internet site.

The Isleworth Crown Court in west London had its share of the action on that front when Miss Lawson declared that Mr Saatchi was trying to “destroy” her by making public her drug use after his “menaces” failed to force her to return to him.

Her allegations appear justified by the fact that she was asked to be a witness for the prosecution on a fraud trial and instead finds herself under the limelight for events that have absolutely nothing to do with that trial.

This is what she said herself when asked to explain why she was reluctant to give evidence for the prosecution in this case: “I felt that this would not become a fraud case, I would be put on   trial and actually that’s what has happened. I have been put on trial here,   where I am bound to answer the allegations and it comes after a long summer   of bullying and abuse and I find it just like another chapter in that.”

It looks like she was right to fear it since it is her and not the trial that makes the news.

How about this as front page news instead?

Did you know that the NSA gathers 5 billion cell phone records daily? Or that there is a staggering location-tracking program implemented without any public debate, and a substantial number of Americans are having their movements recorded by the government?

Did you know that there are sectarian clashes in the Central African Republic and that the French are gearing up for a major intervention? Or, that after an attack on Yemen’s defence ministry compound in the capital Sana’a on Thursday morning, at least 20 people were killed?

Also, did you hear that Egypt’s new laws curtailing the right to protest have already led to the arrest of top political activists and is a major threat to democratic freedom?

To me at least, this is news. Nigella’s dalliances with drugs, on the other hand…


cumberbatch_gophotograph_egyptPerhaps Nigella could take a leaf from Benedict Cumberbatch’s books on this and come out of court sporting her own handwritten message.

November’s Darlings

Feeling a little blue and want something to cushion your first winter day?

Take a leaf from Cumberbatch’s homely delights on this. Light a fire in the grate (it is winter after all), pour yourself a good measure of whiskey (when in doubt, always go Scottish on this), and get yourself comfy for a good read. When only the best will do, here’s our critics’ pick of November’s Top Ten Shards guaranteed to satisfy.

untitled#1 You Are Not White Enough! Laughter and tears was the overwhelming reaction to this humorous rant against the Racist Vagina Police. “There’s no man in this world who will reject you because of your unbleached Bermuda Triangle,” says Vic. This anti-fairness advocacy piece is our critics’ favourite shard.

#SherlockLives#2 #SherlockLives  This piece, courtesy of The Batch on Sunday, took the Tweetosphere by storm. It chronicles the fandom’s reaction to the surprise trailer for the third series of Sherlock, as well as musing on the meaning of John Watson’s upper lip décor. The latest news is this: Sherlock comes to UK screens on the 1st of January!

RAPED_683000#3 Drunk Sex / RAPED This is the second Let’s Talk Opinion piece to make it to the top of our critics’ list for November. It is a counterpoint to the claim that regret in hind-sight plays a role in reporting intoxication related sexual assaults.

skyferreira_album#4 Get Naked. Be Art. By delving into a discussion regarding the intent of this choice, whether artistic or commercial, the author attempts to think through whether nudity in this context is empowering and disarming, or whether it is just another gimmick. “Nudity sells. It has done for as long as there were people willing to be nude, and those with the skill to depict it,” says Vic in response to Sky Ferreira’s C.D. cover and her choice of exposed nipple.

thinkoutsidetheboxcold#5 Clichés | Avoid them like the plague! Now this one’s the bees knees! Despite being a late November entry, this little escapade into the world of clichés, has clearly found resonance with readers and critics alike. “Provoking and funny,” says Michael Alexander Chaney, whose piece  Clichés I Don’t Get  happens to be the source of inspiration for this shard.

#6 Brokeback Mountain Whispers is an opinion post about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender rights. The horrific stories of abuse and murder suffered by members of the LGBT community do not make for easy reading.

Marie_Antoinette#7 Temptation is the only poem in the November repertoire to make it onto the critics’ Top Ten list. “Oh hoah, V. A little hot in here – wanna open that window? This one has some of the best lines I’ve seen on this blog yet,” says Holistic Wayfarer. Tempted?

Vogue Issue#8 Child Pornography and The Sexualisation of Children  Establishing a connection between paedophilia, child pornography and the sexualisation of children by the fashion, film and music industries, this article argues that amongst other harmful consequences, the increased sexualisation of children in the media may inadvertently result in lax attitudes towards abuse.

cuffed#9 Cuffed “They came for me in the late summer of 2011,” begins the story of a young journalist whose life is turned upside-down when the police turns up at her door with a warrant for her arrest. It is the first snippet of a novel, currently under revision. “Ever read the first page of a novel and just immediately know you’re in for a great ride? I have. And I just did again,” says JMC813. Hope you agree.

Johnlock#10 #BrokebackSherlock In the latest instalment of writer turned director Vic Briggs’ Dreamscapes epic, she takes the Johnlock relationship to another level. “We need Johnny, Benedict and Martin to see this thing. Seriously. God, I am still laughing,” says beddyburc. This is one for the boys.


Do you agree with the critics’ choices?

Which was you favourite November shard?

Now… You are in your favourite armchair, the fire blazes in the grate, and the whiskey shimmers amber at the bottom of your glass. You’ve got your nice reads at the ready. What could be more wonderful on a cold December day? Here’s to a beautiful winter.


If anyone would’ve told me what was awaiting me at home that Friday evening I may have hurried my step instead of lugging through the bustle of Bloomsbury streets at the end of a long day’s work. Then again, I may have decided that some things are best left unseen.

“Honey, I’m home!” I shouted out once through the door, my hands sore with the weight shopping bags, a last-minute escapade in attempt to appease a rather moody fridge that for the past week had only a solitary bottle of champagne to keep it’s innards nice and chilly.

No answer. Just as well. I could make it a surprise. It’s not often that I sport the domestic goddess hat. Except…

What’s that noise? Damn. He left the shower running. I shoved the door with one foot, dumped the shopping bags onto the floor and ran to the bathroom to turn off the taps before the flat turned into the next post-impact Titanic scene. Opened the door and…


Benedict Cumberbatch. In my shower. Stark naked. Perhaps this last explanation is unnecessary. After all, people do tend to be unclothed in this context. I can’t say that I shied away from the view. Rather picturesque.

“Oh… Hi,” he said.

I nodded. My tongue decided to take a leave of absence, together with my senses. That however, I could’ve just about coped with, if it hadn’t been for the half drawn shower curtain opening up next and Martin Freeman sticking out his head from behind.

“Jonny should be here in a few minutes. He’s just gone down to get supplies,” he smiles and then disappears back behind the curtain.

I can’t move. Frozen to the spot. Breathed in. Breathed out. No better. I did not just see that. It wasn’t happening. Oh. My. God. What the hell?!

I could sense Benedict’s gaze on me, but making eye contact was a little too much to ask of me that very moment. My eyes had seen, but my mind refused to process the visual evidence. I turned around and fled through the half-open door, leaving my two unexpected guests to their own devices. The image of what that might actually be was stuck to my retina, no less real for it having been imagined.


I stopped outside the bathroom door trying to reassemble myself into something resembling a sentient being. The effect of the scene began to recede. Thoughts flooded in one after another.

Wait a minute. Did he say Jonny’s here too? He didn’t mention being in town. I was sure that he was still busy filming in New York. If this is about to turn into a ménage-a-trois, I need to make myself sparse. Quickly.

Elementary-JLM“Hey, there you are. I see we’ve had the same idea,” Jonny was standing in the doorway, presenting a bagful of edible delights.

“Jonny, what’s going on? What are Ben and Martin doing here? What are you doing here?”

“Hey! I’m just here for the dinner,” cheeky wink followed.

“So I haven’t just stepped into the prelude to an orgy then?” I followed him through the hallway towards the kitchen, Jonny having insisted that he’s more than able to carry my shopping in as well.

“Come on. You know me better than that,” he laughed, unpacking the goodies into the fridge.

“I thought I knew those two better than that as well. How long has this been going on?”

“The heart gets what the heart wants,” he said, philosophical like.

“Not mine, apparently.” Deflated didn’t even begin to describe how I felt.

“Come on, Vics. Chin up. Didn’t you say that you’d reached the ironic stage in your obsession with Ben? Now you can get over it altogether.”

“And how am I supposed to do that?” I asked, genuinely curious to see what solution he might propose.

“That’s Elementary, my dear Vic,” he said, “Just get yourself another.”

“And who might you offer as a substitute?”

“Yours truly?” he pirouetted on the spot, sporting the best grinning Cheshire Cat impression.

“Swap one Sherlock for the other, you say? No offence, Jonny, but besides the fact that you are positively taken, my feelings for you have always been platonic.”

“Your feelings for whom have always been platonic?” asked Ben. He moved like a puma on the prowl that one. Didn’t even hear him come into the room.

“Why for you of course,” intervened Jonny before I had a chance to reply.

“Hmm…” Ben looked unconvinced.

He suited the just-out-of-the-shower look. Why Oh Why was I doing this to myself? Alright. I had to get over this. It was all getting a little too intense. Clearly Ben and I had one too many things in common. Namely, that whole sleeping with men thing.  “Tea?” I asked to change the subject.

“Whiskey, if you’ve got any,” Ben said.

“Shall I get one for Martin as well?” I asked.

He shook his head in a decisive negative: “He had to leave. Some emergency at home.”

“Right.” I busied myself with a dusty bottle of single malt. After a few minutes I handed him the glass. Jonny had mixed his own drink. Not in the mood for whiskey apparently. I decided to bite the bullet and ask: “So… You and Martin… Are you an item now?”

A loud bang made me start. I looked around. Everything became hazy. No. Wait. I’m not ready yet. Can’t go. I need to find out…

Dream over.

Just my luck. Can’t get a break, can I? A girl can dream… But what kind of masochistic tendency is this? Frustration running high.

Ever since Cumberbatch has infiltrated my unconscious, one disaster follows another. His appearances for quite a while were rather villainous in nature, and the one time I somehow managed to seduce the elusive Cumberbatch, low and behold, instead of the expected steamy sex scene, I got the disappointing tryst of Sex with you-know-who. And now… homoerotic dreams about his presumed affair with Martin. Damn.

My hubby laughed for ten full minutes when I related him the shower scene. Well… at least someone is getting a measure of enjoyment out of this. I know I’m not.

tumblr_Sherlock and John



Welcome to The Batch on Sunday: Your Online-Home For All Things CumberVic

The Batch on Sunday reports!

The Bach on Sunday team were not alone when tuning in last night for the 50 year anniversary episode of Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor. What we didn’t expect was a surprise trailer for the third series of Sherlock to pop up straight after. It goes without saying that Sherlockians all over the world got a little overexcited sending the Tweetosphere into meltdown with #SherlockLives messages. As #SherlockLives trended on Twitter, emotions run high.

@popcornandcats: “Words can’t describe how excited I am for #sherlocklives”

@iamhaniya: “Ohmigod ohmigod I’ve lost my ability to function #SherlockLives”

@RichSuperWood: ” Caught up on #DayOfTheDoctor then I find #SherlockLives it’s like I don’t even care what happens for the rest of the day”

Our colleagues at BBC know how to tease their audiences and they did it once again with never before revealed footage of the upcoming series.

Our main highlight? There can be no two opinions on the matter. It’s John’s moustache!

Movember John

We couldn’t help wondering whether this was a Movember special. For our overseas readers, just in case Movember news have not yet reached you, we can reveal that it’s a month-long event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer amongst others.

We were quick off the mark to get Vic Briggs’ take on this and our Dreamscapes director was very supportive of John’s upper lip décor: “The goal of Movember is to change the face of men’s health,” she said, “Whether or not the choice of moustache was a deliberate one in support of this, there can be no doubt about the fact that any Sherlockians who are not yet sporting the Movember symbol will get on board now.” Well. We certainly hope that will be the case.

The glee of Sherlock fans was tempered with disappointment however. We all hoped for an air date confirmation, but as the words ‘Coming Soon’ appeared on the screen in the trailer’s closing moments, it became clear that the wait continues. As one fan put it: “#SherlockLives JUST TELL ME WHEN ITS ON BBC!!! I can’t take it anymore… Cummberbaaatch.”

Dear @franceseliz, we’re with you on that one!

We hoped that director Vic Briggs may be able to help us with a quick Cumberbatch fix as promised in her last interview for The Batch on Sunday #BenedictCumberbatch goes Brokeback Sherlock, but she’s done a BBC on us and refused to reveal the air date for the next instalment in her Dreamscapes epic. “Coming soon” was the only comment we could get from the elusive dreamer.

It seems that while the UK waits with baited breath for an air date for Sherlock, The Batch on Sunday readers have to take a leaf from the same book of patience. US fans at least can remain smug in the knowledge that Sherlock will be theirs on January 19th.

#BenedictCumberbatch goes Brokeback Sherlock


#BenedictCumberbatch goes Brokeback Sherlock

Welcome to The Batch on Sunday: Your Online-Home For All Things CumberVic

The Batch on Sunday reports!

After flying low under The Batch on Sunday’s radar, vicbriggs reveals the project that kept her in trouble, and out of the celeb columns, since the premier of Midnight Snog.
We are pleased to report that the delectable Benedict Cumberbatch – now officially the world’s sexiest actor, because if our colleagues at Empire Online say so, it is so! – has not abandoned his collaboration with the Dreamscapes Epic director, busy schedule or not.

When Vic imparted the nature of her latest project however, The Batch on Sunday could not help but be somewhat perplexed at the turn the CumberVic professional relationship has taken.
Despite flirting with rainbow innuendo in Sherlock, the explicitly erotic nature of the next Dreamscapes instalment may be one step further than even the multifaceted Cumberbatch could have been expected to take this early in his Hollywood takeover.
Mind though, since every time you try to google Cumberbatch, the top option is always “Benedict Cumberbatch gay”, this must be one for the boys!

BoS: “We await with trepidation the release date for Brokeback Sherlock, the next chapter in the Dreamscapes Epic starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Can you tell our readers what has inspired you to pursue this angle?”

VB: “I have to admit that it was Benedict himself who got this particular project off the ground. I was at a loss as to what the next step for Dreamscapes might be. At one point, even considered abandoning it altogether, but then one night Benedict shows up at my flat… Twenty cigarettes and almost as many espressos later, Brokeback Sherlock was born.”

BoS: “We understand that Benedict is not the only Sherlock star to make an appearance in your Brokeback Mountain meets Sherlock fandango. This is the first time you have worked with Martin Freeman, is it not? If so, why did you choose him, over other potential options, to act opposite the Batch in Brokeback Sherlock?”

VB: “I have always admired Martin’s work, starting with the Office and the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but there were other, perhaps less well known appearances that I enjoyed just as much. There is a mixture of strength and vulnerability that was needed for this piece – so difficult to enact – and Martin gets it right every time. I could not think of a better choice for the role. And, of course, there was the matter of chemistry. Watching Martin work opposite Benedict on the Sherlock set would’ve removed any doubts, if I had any left in that respect.”

BoS: “There is great secrecy surrounding Brokeback Sherlock’s key scenes. Unfortunately, we were unable to get hold of the leaked shower stills for this piece, as they were taken down within seconds of hitting the web. Is such secrecy really necessary, and don’t you think it will end up ultimately damaging your Epic’s ratings at the blox-office?”

VB: “I find that actors work best without distractions, particularly paparazzi interference. This is a project that endeavours to be very sensitive about how intimate relations between men are portrayed. There is humour, and tenderness, and heartbreak too. Given the difficulties encountered during the filming of BBC’s third series of Sherlock, I thought it best to avoid such unnecessary pressures, and ensure that both Martin and Benedict would be able to put their best foot forward for this project.”

BoS: “We understand that they put forward a little more than their foot hehe! Is this a strictly behind the camera project for you, or do you still make an appearance on-screen?”

VB: “Ha! Actually, I do, but only in a cameo appearance this time.”

BoS: “Any chance of a preview?”

VB: “I’m afraid it may be too steamy for an interview. Let’s just say, if you’ve dreamt of it, it’s probably going to make an appearance in Brokeback Sherlock.”

Brokeback Sherlock is due to be released on a vicbriggs blog-screen near you in November, following into the footsteps of PROJECT R: Relationship Interrupted.

Well. You can’t say better than that! Although… Vic may be underestimating the dreaming capacity of The Batch on Sunday reader. Only Brokeback Sherlock will tell!
We bid farewell to the Dreamscapes Epic director, and await her November addition to the #BenedictCumberbatch portfolio!


New to The Batch on Sunday and want an urgent pre-Brokeback Sherlock Benedict Cumberbatch fix? Take a look at the links below.

In the order of appearance:

1.  I don’t fancy Benedict Cumberbatch. Daily Prompt: Pants on Fire or the confession that started it all.

2. Sex with you-know-who will steam up your windows. Beware!

3.  COMING SOON… a snippet of Cumberthings yet to come.

4. The Batch on Sunday Interviews vicbriggs on working with #BenedictCumberbatch and life after Sex with you-know-who.

5. Midnight Snog – the sequel to Sex with you-know-who is finally out.

6. Truth stranger than fiction… #BenedictCumberbatch, for you to no longer doubt that the story of my meeting Benedict Cumberbatch can be an essay on time and the meaning of life.

7. Danger! Danger! High Voltage!!! On the (un)expected side-effects of writing/thinking/dreaming of Benedict Cumberbatch.

Enjoy! and thank you for stopping by :)

Danger! Danger! High Voltage!!!


There are (un)expected side-effects to writing about Benedict Cumberbatch…

A little over a decade since I’ve been an adolescent myself, I am suddenly overrun by the libido of a teenage boy. And I miss my husband so damned much.

Writing this Saturday’s post transported me back to that day in December. It’s been two years, and yet… My every sense augmented; my vision, hearing, sense of smell, taste – all amplified a hundred fold.  But nothing was thunderstruck by this stepping back in time as much as my sense of touch.

The Athenian heat burst with textures calling out to me.

I walked around in a daze… my eyes unable to find repose, my fingertips tingling electrified.

The Acropolis museum, filled with so many treasures, did nothing to alter this need to reach out. I had to restrain myself from stepping too near. Marble faces watched me as I walked past, on tiptoes, foot resting against a leg in a dancer’s pose when I stopped to return their gaze. “You can see,” they whispered, “you can see, but you cannot touch.”

In the evening I walked around the National Garden, the Athenian sun turning leaves to amber. I closed my eyes and walked blind awhile, feeling the wind caress my cheek. I breathed in the earthy scent; down an alley it was peppery cool, down another it had a honeysuckle sweetness to it. I could almost taste it. My hands reached out and caressed the coniferous spike of trees as I passed them by. Branches and leaves all greeted the stroke of my palm. Then the long-awaited discovery finally made: a whirling covering of grass.

I took off my sandals and stepped in, my toes working their way into the greensward. Like a child. So much happiness. I could explode for the love of it. I let myself fall on my back in the lap of the meadow, eyes closed, inhaling deeply so that the moment might stay with me a little longer. “Come back. Come back to me…” The world moved, transformed and transported me elsewhere with that one change of perspective.

How can I ever contain it? I’ve never struggled so much to step back into the mundane as I have today…


Your time to journey back again? See whether these help you along the way…

6. Truth stranger than fiction… #BenedictCumberbatch, for you to no longer doubt that the story of my meeting Benedict Cumberbatch can be an essay on time and the meaning of life.

And for more on Benedict, if he’s taken your fancy… In the order of appearance:

1.  I don’t fancy Benedict Cumberbatch. Daily Prompt: Pants on Fire or the confession that started it all.

2. Sex with you-know-who will steam up your windows. Beware!

3. COMING SOON… a snippet of Cumberthings yet to come.

4. The Batch on Sunday Interviews vicbriggs on working with #BenedictCumberbatch and life after Sex with you-know-who.

5. Midnight Snog – the sequel to Sex with you-know-who is finally out.

Warm regards from vicbriggs, with a twin-twist on the weekly challenge and prompt below:

Truth stranger than fiction… #BenedictCumberbatch

8th of December 2011

On that fateful Wednesday morning I was a few days into the renewal of an old pet project: considering the pointlessness of life. Little did I know that an answer to my question would materialise by the end of the day. And what I suspected even less was how little I would like that answer.

Embracing the inevitable tide of cultural pessimism, I made my way through the busy Bloomsbury streets towards the library. It was a drizzly December morning and I had a deadline to meet, which might have been in part to blame for that rather dark train of thought.

People may assume that such thoughts can only be brought about by unhappy circumstances. This was not the case with me. I was generally thought to be a happy person, and would have easily agreed with that assessment. And why wouldn’t I? I had a beautiful home, where I often entertained my fabulous friends together with my beloved and loving husband. Too many adjectives perhaps, but that was my life: great at every turn. And I loved my job – most days – which was no little feat in itself. Altogether it was a cosy existence and I saw no reason to complain, nor was I particularly inclined to do so. What else can a human being possibly wish for?

Now I come to think of it… Perhaps middle-class ennui was to blame for what happened.

As a child I dreamt of a contented life, but once I had it, doubts loomed in from all sides. I began to question whether contentment could ever be sufficient in itself. I knew the answer once, but could not find my way back to it through this stringy extension of time. What gives life true purpose? Memory failed me.

The wind sharpened, so I wrestled with my umbrella and stepped into my favourite café for a little warmth and the first coffee of the day, all philosophical questions forgotten.

Work went well that day so naturally the evening approached at a galloping pace. Time was no longer my friend. We fell out a few years back, when I would have liked to stop it in its tracks and failed.

I checked my wristwatch. It was getting late. After the IHR seminar was over I joined my co-convenors, colleagues and friends for a couple of drinks at the university bar. But something made me restless. After speeding ahead at a lightning pace for the length of the day, time suddenly stumbled, retracted and slowed down to a crawl. “If I hurry,” I thought, “I might still make the next train home.” I said my goodbyes and exited the bar, quickening my step.

On the underground however, the first unexpected turn of events took place. Suddenly, instead of taking the tube to King’s Cross, I found myself traipsing in the opposite direction.  My legs seemed to have a mind of their own that evening. Dissatisfied with reaching Covent Garden, they shuffled down the cobbled streets and wound their way towards the river. Retracing my steps I suppose.

The air had mellowed. It was not exactly cold, but it was warmer than it had been all day and I craved a cigarette. I conjured up circles of smoke and enjoyed what moments of solitude one can steal in a crowd.

“Life may have no purpose, but sitting on the banks of the Thames, under the evening stars – however little visible – does have its charm.”

Afterwards, once I could trust my feet to do my bidding, and thought it safe to get up from my table, I walked through the BFI building to the info desk to get a programme for future screenings. Around the corner from the information desk, I was met by a crowd. Curiosity peaked; I asked what it was for…


The English are misunderstood as a people. The stiff upper lip is little more than the social circumspection of the overly sober. A pint or two is all that stands between an Englishman and recklessness. And there are the queues of course. It is a truth universally acknowledged that English people love a good queue. So there is no shortage of these on the island, and London has more than its fair share of them. Any queue, for whatever reason formed, is filled with like-minded people. So, if you have an interest of any kind and want to expand your social circle, you can’t fail if you join one.

This particular queue was filled with Sherlock aficionados. The cast was there, I was informed, and everyone waited for autographs and a glimpse of their favourite star. Yes. In true surreal fashion, I had stumbled upon a Benedict Cumberbatch adoration gathering.

Suffice to say that the temptation to stay was too great to resist. I thought that at most I would get a closer glimpse of my favourite, but since I had the programme with me, I ended up with Steven Moffat, Mark Gattis, Andrew Scott and Lara Pulver signing it.

Then… the waiting game was afoot.

We waited around for quite a while. I was near the end of the queue, and across from a glass door through which the actors went one after another after the signings.

Next, disaster struck. I saw Benedict on the other side of the door, readying himself to go through to the private bar area, whereto all his co-stars had retreated before him. Discontentment brewed amongst those at my end of the queue; all feared he would not be signing anything that evening. After waiting for so long, one was not amused!

I was exactly opposite the door, about two meters from where he was standing, ready to go through. I watched his hand clasp the handle, looked up and…. He was watching me. I held his gaze.

Time elongated, stretched itself through the glass, obliterating all around me. Everything blurred. His eyes were the only point of clarity in the room. My brain counted the fractions of time. One – I am here for you Ben – Two – This is why I stare – Three – What is your excuse? He blinked. Looked away. Pulled at the door. Disappeared through it.

My flowing silk skirt was doing its best to earn the ten quid I spent at the vintage market in Spitalfields, it appeared.

I felt slightly faint. Never having mastered the art of whiskey drinking, nonetheless I would have killed for a measure of single malt to settle my nerves. He was gone. I went outside to have a cigarette. A second glass door was added to the first, expanding the space between me and the Batch. By the end of the second cigarette – excessive I know, but it seemed to be an evening of excesses for me – I saw him return.

He started the signings at the other end of the queue. I observed his approach through the crowd. Twice our eyes met again. I began to doubt my vision at that point. Surely I was imagining it. Even as I am writing this, it seems somehow unreal… And then, when he was within a meter or so of me, he looked up again. Perhaps I was not imagining it after all.

Ego boost or what?

But reason stalled the luxury of basking in the glory of an almost-conquest, and decided wisely that I must remind him of someone he knew. That was the only reasonable explanation for a second extended eye-lockup in a hallway crowded by his admirers.

I am his madeleine. He tastes the flow of memories long past in my gaze.

Moments later he was in front of me, taking my pen and preparing to sign.

“Thank you so much. We hope to see you on stage again soon.”

Benedict’s hand froze on the page. He looked up, a naughty twinkle in his eye as his gaze affixed itself onto mine. The corner of his mouth curled up into a mischievous smile. His head tilted slightly to one side, knowing and not knowing what I mean. Was he meant to read between the lines?

Damn you Freud, and your slips! In that moment I realised the subtext translation: I have seen you naked. And yes, asking for more. I added a little flustered:

“When you have the time…”

He smiled again. Nodded. Moved on. I remained glued to the spot. The crowd swarmed past me, moving in around him. Everyone wanting a little more of him. He looked tired, a little haggard even. Suddenly I felt discomfited by it all; all these strangers advancing on one man.

Time expanded. Space contracted. I was one of them. I was one of the beleaguers. I noticed his minder getting more uneasy as the circle tightened around Ben. He spied me watching and called me forward, indicating that if I wanted a photo I should go around to the other side.

As if in a trance I moved to the place he pointed out. Someone offered to take a pic with my mobile. I handed it over. Benedict stepped forward, asked where to look.

He was at my side, the star, the man, and yet in that moment… I felt sorry for him. I wished I were anywhere but there.  I was about to step away, but there were so many people around us, there was no visible escape. I felt his hand trace the small of my back.
“I’m so sorry,” I said, elongating the ‘o’ in ‘so’ so that he would know that I mean it.
He looked at me. Smiled: “That’s quite alright.”

A flash and it was over. I got the last picture of the lot.


On my way home, I felt the need to expunge the guilt and put my case to the public. After all, what do we live for, but to make sport for our neighbours, and make fun of them in return? So I put the picture up on my Facebook wall with the following caption:

“There is a first for everything… Very embarrassed about it, but couldn’t resist. Black on black with matching hair: “We hope to see you on stage again soon.” Got a mischievous smile in reply. The penny drops. Gosh! I’ve just told Benedict Cumberbatch that I have seen him naked!”

“There is a first for everything… Very embarrassed about it, but couldn’t resist. Black on black with matching hair: “We hope to see you on stage again soon.” Got a mischievous smile in reply. The penny drops. Gosh! I’ve just told Benedict Cumberbatch that I have seen him naked!”

Him (smiling): Stalker.

Me (guilty blush):  I am merely an admirer of his craft. I appreciate beauty and art – that is all.

Him: Groupie.

Me: That is slander, dearest.

Him (raised eyebrow): You finally did it! You have taken your obsession to a new level. You do realise your boyfriend has the name of an evil rabbit, right?

Me (incensed): Not so!

Him: He clearly does. Benedict Cumberbatch sounds like the name of Peter Rabbit’s nemesis. In which case he would always be trouserless… to your eternal delight.

Me (laughing): Heaven!

He shakes his head, half-bemused, half-disgruntled.

Me (struggling to keep a straight face): Seriously though: No to rabbits, particularly trouserless ones!

Him (leaning in for a kiss): There’s an axiom to live by if there ever was one…


The red velvet lowers. Before you leave: What is the meaning of life?

Well… what followed was a rather un-philosophical resolution to that problem.

We make our own meaning. The body and its senses, as well as the creative thrust of our imagination: both have their place in our making sense of life, the universe, and everything.

And as for Cumberbatch… I will continue to maintain that it is a magic word. Works. Every. Time.


Time chimes from me to you and back again. Submitting to your will, subtract from mine. And your return awaiting; I bow out.

PS: New to vicbriggs’s blog and want some more Benedict Cumberbatch fixes? Take a look at the links below.

In the order of appearance:

1.  I don’t fancy Benedict Cumberbatch. Daily Prompt: Pants on Fire or the confession that started it all.

2. Sex with you-know-who will steam up your windows. Beware!

3. COMING SOON… a snippet of Cumberthings yet to come.

4. The Batch on Sunday Interviews vicbriggs on working with #BenedictCumberbatch and life after Sex with you-know-who.

5. Midnight Snog – the sequel to Sex with you-know-who is finally out.

Enjoy! and thank you for stopping by 🙂

And a big thank you to for inspiring Daily Prompts:


Forgive my ill-timed laughter.

If I play,

It’s not to hurt or taunt,

Not to dismay.

It is to make your day

A little lighter.

A smile is all I ask for in return.


Now take your turn.


Don’t hide from me or mine. Speak.

If you say

Your world is full without –

I will not stay.

But as for dreams… With you,

My star. The brighter,

Their impish disposition can’t unlearn.


Do not be stern.


When by my pen’s pursuit hurt,

Hid away,

You rest concealed awhile…

And snub the way

My dreamscapes tease. But I…

Always a writer,

Must life’s biopics stir with unconcern.