Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Horror dream diary: The Labyrinth

This is my account of a disturbing dream I had last night…

I was walking though dark London streets trying to find my way home. I didn’t know where home was or where I had been. I was dragging a large, wheeled suitcase and over my shoulder was a large bag containing my laptop.

Somehow I found myself within a labyrinth of dark, claustrophobic underground tunnels. They had a Victorian feel and wooden doorways and trap doors in the walls and floors led in hundreds of different directions. Gas lamps mounted on the walls flickered in the gloom.

Now and then a flurry of pale figures would dart past me, around me, hurtling through one door and into another, disappearing down different corridors. These diminutive, naked human forms scuttled on their way indifferent to me, an intruder.

I was soon alone, wheeling my suitcase along, trying to decide which door I should choose. Some slammed themselves open as I walked past, as if trying to entice me along a certain route – the same, brightly lit well-trodden paths that the others had taken. I was determined to find my own way and this meant that I had feel my way down sections of corridor that were in total darkness.

As I progressed deeper into the labyrinth, more doors would hurl themselves open for me, trying to force me to deviate from my path, and the further I went, the more violently they flung themselves open. It was as if they were trying to make me lose confidence in the route I was taking and force me to change my mind.

In a particularly dark and remote section of tunnels, I came upon a rectangular opening in the floor. It was partially obscured by a stack of books, but through a narrow slit I could see that there was a brightly lit room beneath and a figure was moving around within.

This is when things started to get seriously weird.

A hand burst through the opening and clawed at me, snatching at my ankles. My eyes somehow magnified the hand as if I was seeing it through a fish-eye lens. Distorted fingers thrashed for a few moments before giving up and withdrawing.

I walked on until I came to a locked door. I knocked and the door was thrown open by a middle aged rat-like gentleman dressed in a tired black suit and wearing a crumpled top hat. He invited me into his room. The floor was strewn with electronic equipment and piles of old clothes and books. In the corner a crude wooden staircase led up to the black void of an attic room above.

A blonde girl in her mid-twenties accompanied the man. She was dressed in a green and red frock.

At this point I realised that the bag I carried on my shoulder was empty. My laptop had vanished.

The atmosphere in the room was welcoming and I exchanged pleasantries with the unusual couple, joking with them that their appearance reminded me of characters from “Alice in Wonderland”, making particular reference to the man’s top hat. The man soon announced that he had to attend to some business elsewhere, and he left through the door that I had previously entered. I was alone with the girl who confided in me that her acquaintance was not the friendly person he appeared to be. He was a liar and he was evil. He was the one that had taken my computer, and he was setting a trap for me.

The girl led me up the stairs to the attic room where we searched for the laptop. We found it concealed under piles of rags. I retrieved it and as we climbed down to the lower room I heard footsteps echoing in the corridor outside as the man returned. I hurried down the last few steps and hid my laptop away underneath a bundle of clothes. The door was flung open and he entered, his eyes glaring with suspicion. The laptop was poorly concealed under the clothes, and I knew it wouldn’t be long before he saw it. I attempted to distract him by examining one of his electronic gadgets, asking him to explain its function to me.

I awoke exactly at this moment, and whoa... what a weird dream. What was the meaning of this dream? What would have happened next?

Any suggestions? Please leave a comment. I’m not on drugs or anything.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Recipe: DrGaz's Mexican Fajitas

Here’s my recipe for Mexican fajitas. Don’t be intimidated by the list of ingredients - the method is pretty simple really and gives excellent results. One word of warning, go easy on the lime. It’s easy to get carried away with them, and you don’t want the sauce to end up being too rich. For extra flavour, it’s best to marinate the meat beforehand (step 1), but this is not essential. If you can’t be bothered with this, just skip this step.

I would suggest that if you’re going to invest your time and effort into trying this recipe, always use the best ingredients you can get because it’ll be worth it! I personally don’t use packet mixes or tinned ingredients! Fresh is best.

STEP 1: Marinate the meat

  • 4-5 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper?
  • 1/2 cup balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander, chopped roughly
  • 500g. boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cubed. Alternatively 500g sirloin steak, slices into strips.

Method: This is an easy one! Just shove it all in a big bowl and mix it up. Then mix the meat in and leave it for a while. For best results, leave it in the fridge overnight, but an hour or two will be fine if you’re pushed for time.

STEP 2: Make the salsa

  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 smallish onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tbsps. fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped, add more if desired (wear rubber gloves)
  • 2 Tbsps. fresh lime or lemon juice

Method: Combine all ingredients and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl and set aside for 2 hours.

STEP 3: Make the fajita sauce

  • 6 large flour tortillas (and some aluminium foil to bake them in).
  • 2 tsps. olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 350g. tomatoes, skinned and chopped.
  • 85g. green chilies, drained and chopped (wear rubber gloves)
  • 2 Tbsps. coriander or parsley, minced
  • 1/2 tsp Salt.
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice


  1. Heat oil in a frying pan over a medium heat.
  2. Sauté chicken 8-10 minutes or until browned.
  3. Add onion and garlic and sauté until the onion becomes transparent. Ensure that garlic does not overcook.
  4. Stir in next 7 ingredients.
  5. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.
  6. Cover pan and reduce heat to low.
  7. Simmer 20-30 minutes or until meat is tender.
  8. Stir in lime juice.
  9. Serve wrapped in warm tortillas with salsa.

A good variation of this is to line up 4 or 5 filled fajitas in a oven dish, dress with salsa, sour cream and grated cheese, and bake at 180 degrees C until the cheese has started to brown.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

DrGaz’s House of Horror

A few years ago I had the pleasure of working for a technology company that was based in a 19th century manor house in Essex (pictured). One day I was chatting to the receptionist, who gave me the following account of how she’d once seen a ghost there:

“I was sitting at reception one winter afternoon, just before Christmas. It was approaching the end of the day and the light outside was fading. As I sat there in front of the PC, I could feel that someone was watching me. I turned around to see a young girl staring at me incredulously. I’d say she was perhaps in her late teens, and was dressed in a maid’s outfit. She had curly, golden hair. She peered at me and my computer for what seemed like a very long time before turning to study the Christmas tree in the same way. She then turned her back on me and walked straight through the wall. The whole experience lasted for about a minute”.

A pretty intriguing little story I thought. I took a look in the room behind reception, and there was a doorway exactly in the area that the girl had supposedly walked though. It was sealed off and paneled over on the reception side.

I found out later that there were all sorts of ghostly rumours about the building. Artifacts from as far back as the Bronze Age have been found on the site indicating that the area had been inhabited for a long time before the manor was built. The manor itself started life as an 18th century farmhouse. Over the years it was extended and embellished, gradually mutating into a mansion. Some of the original farmhouse exists at the heart of the building. These areas are reputed to be the most haunted, the focus being a particular corridor at the centre of the mansion.

Naturally, I didn't stay too late for overtime.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

BBC Video review: The Daleks (1989)

Below is a review of the original BBC Video release of "The Daleks". I wrote this for a Doctor Who fanzine that I edited in 1989. Back then I was a 15 years old member of a DWAS (Doctor Who Appreciation Society) Local Group. I thought it would be fun to share this with you. There's more to come if you're very lucky!

"Having now seen this video, I have to admit that it has become one of my favorite BBC video releases so far. I was amazed at watching the story in such excellent quality. I have seen it once before in extremely bad quality before it was released on BBC video and I didn't enjoy it so much. "The Daleks, in fact has become one of my favorite Dalek stories along side Revelation, Resurrection and Genesis of the Daleks.

I can picture how watching this story back in '63 must have been like (remember, no one had ever heared of the Daleks before then). I bet viewers must have literally forced themselves to watch episode 2 to find out what Barbara has screaming at (the scream that “launched” Doctor Who, no doubt!) and discover what the hidden menace was which lurked in the metal corridors of the mysterious alien city.

The Daleks in this story are absolutely brilliant - far more harsh and cruel than they are today. The Daleks were better. They looked more sinister and alien when they were smaller - as if there wasn’t an actor simply pushing the casing around a studio from inside. Ray Cusick's designs for this story, the Daleks and their city - both inside and out were absolutely faultless.

The acting in this story was superb. William Hartnell made a great Doctor, now one of my favorites. All the other characters in this story were convincing and played well. Incidentally, the theme in the earlier years of Doctor Who, the historical/educational theme worked very well. Perhaps it should be brought back!

Of course, I have one thing I'd like to say against this release - not the story or the acting or anything on that side but, of course the price. They could have released it all on one tape for around £9.99, couldn't they?

Anyway, "The Daleks" is definitely worth buying. One other thing, though, I don't think it's worth quibbling about the bits which were cut from the story. It's only seconds which are totally irrelevant to the plot. Even though, I do think that the BBC have been a bit naughty by saying that the story is totally un-cut when in reality it is.

I think that it's worth the BBC releasing more of these earlier black & white stories on BBC Video. My suggestions are "Edge of Destruction", "The Time Meddler” (definitely), the pilot episode and "The Tribe of Gum" with it, the “Dalek Invasion of Earth” and possibly a few more Troughton stories, perhaps".

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Hot Babes of Destiny

This is my latest YouTube effort, and it seems to be doing OK at the moment with quite a few hits. You can view the video above, or by clicking here to go to it on YouTube.

"The Hot Babes of Destiny" is a semi-finished techno tune that I knocked up on Garageband on the Mac. I quite like it, actually. The video is a bit of an afterthought though; just some cobbled together TV footage of some asian girls prancing around.

It's just about to crash the 800 hits barrier after being online for about a month. This is incredibly crap by most YouTubers' standards, but spectacularly amazing for me, given my poor track record in getting anyone to look at my videos.

I suspect that the viewing figures are more to do with me including tags such as "sexy", "hot" and "girls" in the description, rather than people flocking to witness my musical talent. The fact that in 800 hits, no bugger has left a single comment or rated it indicates that this is proably true.

Well I like it, anyhow.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

DrGaz's wonderful collection of avatars

For your viewing pleasure, here is a modest gallery of my wonderful avatars as featured on my "Outpost Gallifrey" account. Use them and abuse them as you will.

DrGaz's first ever post

Whahhey folks! Well now, here we are then. DrGaz has got a blog and he's up and running with his first post!

I wouldn't say that Blogger.com has blown me away so far. I've had an excruciating experience with it over the last couple of hours to get this page looking like this. Yes folks, I went to extreme lengths to get the lovely Halloween colours of the title bar. I frantically fought with the software to get the "DrGaz's handy links" section working properly, and I bloodily battled with blogger.com to upload a picture for "DrGaz's Avatar of the week". I was unsuccessful with the latter, which is why you can't see it. Maybe I'll try again tomorrow*.

That's about all for now folks. I hope this first post has titillated you in some way, and has whet your appetite for more of my fascinating musings.

*Well I tried again the next day and got somewhere. In the end I just got rid of my silly personalised colour scheme and went for a default template!

Monday, January 01, 2007

DrGaz's Guestbook

Horror Dream Diary - Index

Welcome to my HORROR DREAM DIARY. This is a nightmare diary that I keep featuring a selection of my most terrible dreams. Generally I have no idea what they mean, other than maybe they are mirroring confusion and stresses in my real life. Any theories are greatly appreciated so please leave a comment with any ideas...

The Man in the Chair (18th June 2008)
A disturbing night time visitor to my bedroom

The Haunted Apartment (9th December, 2007)
A dream about living in a haunted apartment.

My Gran's Remains (10th September, 2007)
A recurring dream about the desecration of my grandmother’s remains.

The Grey Man (1st September, 2007)
A ghostly encounter.

The Human Abattoir (27th June, 2007)
A camping trip goes wrong and I end up in a sinister remote factory.

A House Without Windows
(13th June 2007)
A windowless mansion and its strange occupants.

The Cabin (26th May 2007)
A bleak landscape and a strange remote cabin containing an ominous message to me.

A Dark World (19th May 2007)
Messages from the dimension beyond and people in the walls controlling our minds.

Final Resting Place (7th March 2007)
A premonition of my own funeral.

The Interrupted Ritual (3rd March 2007)
Blues legend Robert Johnson performs satanic rituals. Men in black appear and a poor little dog that bites the dust.

The Labyrinth
(30th January 2007)
A trap is being laid for me deep inside an absurd world of dark subterranean passages, full of fleeting human forms and slamming doors.

External links - Links to other peoples dream diaries.

Cybernetix - A Doctor Who fanzine.

Cybernetix was a fanzine that I designed and edited in the late ‘80s when I was a fully fledged member of the Cardiff Doctor Who Local Group.

Please click one of the covers below to read more!

Since I began this blog I have realised that over the years I have produced plenty of material (graphics, artwork, written etc) that has sat in drawers for years gathering dust. Cybernetix is one of them, and not having seen the light of day for almost 20 years, I thought I’d attempt to put the material online. In the light of the recent resurgence of popularity of Doctor Who, it seems worthwhile, as I’m sure there may be plenty of people who might want to read it. As far as I’m concerned that’s great! I went to a lot of effort as a kid to make these fanzines. It was a real labour of love, and sadly there was limited outlet for them - only perhaps 15 or 20 copies were ever made of each issue. With the advent of the internet and the wonderful text recognition tools of Adobe Professional, putting the material online has been relatively easy.

A montage of fanzines that I designed & edited. Click to enlarge.

Anonymity of contributors
In an attempt to protect people who wrote for Cybernetix, who might not appreciate their work colleagues discovering they were one a Who-nerd, I have adjusted the names of the contributors (e.g. John Smith would be credited as J.S. If you were a contributor who doesn’t care about the anonymity I have given you, please get in touch and I will gladly restore your full name where applicable.

DrGaz's Personal TARDIS

Weclome to my very own Doctor Who section. Here I invite you to please step into my own personal TARDIS and explore the Whoniverse from my own perspective. This page indexes all the posts that I've ever written relating to Doctor Who.

The SEVANS Daleks vault
DrGaz's Sevans Daleks, readers' Daleks, pictures, facts, links etc. If you have any info about Sevans Daleks or any pics of your own Sevans Dalek, please send me them to be included!

My Doctor Who related sketches & drawings
Artsy things that I've done over the years relating to the series.

My Doctor Who music
Including the world famous "Judoon Song" and "Doctor Who's Oompah Extravaganza"

Gaz's Doctor Who miscellanea
Miscellaneous Stuff about Doctor Who. Things that don't fit into any other category.

Reviews and articles
Various things that I've written about the series over the years.

Cybernetix - my old fanzine
Done in the '80s when I was a teenage Who-nerd and fully fledged member of the DWAS Cardiff Local Group.
About Cybernetix, Issue 1, Issue 2, Issue 3, The Special?

The DWAS Cardiff Local Group (coming soon).
Memories of my time as a member of the Doctor Who Cardiff local Group (1988 - 1992), which went on to become the SFFC (SF Fantasy Cardiff). This section includes some stuff about the Cardiff-based Doctor Who convention, Carousel '89, and group fanzines such as The Global Times, Global Communications, Cybernetix. and CSO

When DrGaz met Dr Who (coming soon)
Accounts of all the exciting times I've met stars from the series.

DrGaz's RED HOT Wholinks (coming soon)
I take you on a journey around the creme de la creme of the Whoniverse.

...or just click here to view every post I've written relating to Doctor Who.

Sevans Daleks - Links

Here are a list of links to websites that feature Sevans Daleks. It is by no means complete, and if anyone has a link they's like to add please get in touch by email or leave a comment and I'll add it.

Don't forget, if you have pics of your very own Sevans Dalek that you'd like included in my ever explanding Sevans Daleks section, please get in touch!

DrGaz's Stuff
Yours truly's offerings on the subject.

The sevenzero.net Toyroom
This contains information and pics of Doctor Who toys from over the years. The above link is to ones from the 1990s including the Sevans Daleks / Davros.

Richard Who
Richard Who is a Doctor Who collector's website for the hardcore. Many of its members own Sevans models.

An index of Doctor Who minatures. This features some of the Sevans kits.

Some pics of Sevans Daleks. The page also features pics of other mini Daleks such as the comet model.

Richard Piper
Davros, Movie TARDIS, TV Dalek, Cyberman

Dream diaries - Links

Here is a list of dream diaries. If you have anything you would like added, please post it as a comment and I will add it to the main list.

DrGaz's Horror Dream Diary
My very own nightmare diary.

Wikipedia list of dream diaries
A list of published works. It contains some notable authors such as Franz Kafka and Graham Greene.

Pixie Tail - a dream diary

Cynthia Blue's online dream diary blog.

Po Shan Cheah's dream diary

Adele Prince´s Dream Diary
Adele Prince is an artist who shares her dream diary, including brief interpretations of the symbols. This is a nice example of a dream diary for beginners.

Craig S Johnson´s Dream Diary
Dreams from June 2001 through today. Great thorough descriptions.

Diary From Lucid Dream Camp
Actual diary from a participant in lucid dreaming expert Stephen LaBerge´s workshop.

Dragon´s Dream Diary
One of our members has graciously given us permission to view their dream journal. This is one of the best examples of journaling I´ve seen.

Lisa´s Dream Logs

Willa´s Journal
Well organized dream journal and blog as well as inspiring personal articles.

Geoff's Dream Blog
Some really silly stuff here!