Occasional Round Table

occasional round table
    round table
  • (legend) the circular table for King Arthur and his knights
  • The table at which King Arthur and his knights sat so that none should have precedence. It was first mentioned in 1155
  • a meeting of peers for discussion and exchange of views; "a roundtable on the future of computing"
  • The Round Table is King Arthur's famed table in the Arthurian legend, around which he and his Knights congregate. As its name suggests, it has no head, implying that everyone who sits there has equal status.
  • An assembly for discussion, esp. at a conference
  • An international charitable association that holds discussions and undertakes community service
  • episodic: occurring or appearing at usually irregular intervals; "episodic in his affections"; "occasional headaches"
  • Occurring, appearing, or done infrequently and irregularly
  • (of furniture) Made or adapted for use on a particular occasion or for irregular use
  • periodic: recurring or reappearing from time to time; "periodic feelings of anxiety"
  • (of a literary composition, speech, religious service, etc.) Produced on or intended for a special occasion
  • occasional(a): occurring from time to time; "took an occasional glass of wine"

George Baker 1931 - 2011
George Baker 1931 - 2011
Versatile actor and writer best known as Inspector Wexford in the TV versions of Ruth Rendell's detective stories Of all the television detectives of recent years, George Baker's Inspector Wexford, with his mature West Country burr, slight air of fallibility and occasional stubbornness, was the one who seemed to spring from real life rather than an author's fancy. Sometimes ponderous, sometimes wrong, always homely, Baker's Wexford had his affable ex-constable's feet firmly on the ground. The character, eventually a chief inspector, had a solid, believable family life. The actor, also a family man, had a hand in many of the adaptations that went under the title of the Ruth Rendell Mysteries. Whatever the combination of factors, it gave Baker, who has died at the age of 80 of pneumonia, his greatest success. Not that fame was unfamiliar to the actor whose career had got off to such a promising start back in the 1950s. The British cinema spotted his handsome features almost as soon as they loomed across the West End boards in Frederick Lonsdale's Aren't We All? (1953). Baker had the knack, as a character actor, of furnishing whatever roughly was needed – arrogance or timidity, charm or urbanity, fear or manliness, polish or menace. It was the same in films like The Dam Busters, The Ship That Died of Shame (both 1955), A Hill In Korea (1956), The Moonraker, Tread Softly Stranger (both 1958), Goodbye Mr Chips and On Her Majesty's Service (both 1969). He was a sympathetic actor because he knew how to seem to listen to the others. While in the West End he would be off to film at the crack of dawn and back in the evening for a play. Baker did not merely act: he co-scripted films, wrote for television and devised occasional shows for the stage. His BBC2 play The Fatal Spring, about the first world war poets Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon and Robert Graves, won a United Nations peace award, and Baker was justifiably proud of his skill with dialogue. To the playgoer, though, it was his Shakespeare which won him most respect, notably with the Old Vic (1959-61, including a tour of the Soviet Union). His Bolingbroke to John Justin's Richard II was rated "forthright, powerful and vindictive". His Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor, his Jack Worthing in Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest and his Earl of Warwick to Barbara Jefford's Saint Joan in Shaw's play were also good. Later, with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1975, at The Other Place, Stratford-on-Avon, continuing in 1976 at the Round House, north London, he was Claudius in Buzz Goodbody's revival of Hamlet with Ben Kingsley in the title part. Baker made everyone sit up. In a business suit he might have been a company director at a shareholders' meeting until he turned on a poisonous smile and, in the play-scene, staggered to his feet with a sickly leer as if to vomit. In between came the chance to run a regional repertory company, when, in 1965, Baker re-opened the fine Regency 300-seat Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmund's, Suffolk, from which he sent out the Candida Plays company on tours as artistic director. Weary of hopping from one West End part to another, he tasted the joys of taking to people what he believed was good theatre. It was rash, but it was also fun, and he did it for six years. The main signs of his continuing existence to be seen in the West End came from a transfer to the St Martin's theatre from Bury of Terence Rattigan's The Sleeping Prince (1968), with Baker in the Laurence Olivier role of the Regent; and his tour of Christopher Fry's The Lady's Not for Burning (1971), led by Derek Jacobi, which reached the Old Vic. To have been out of the theatrical mainstream for such a period in mid-career was taking a risk, and in the early 1970s he started a business making training films. He even thought of giving up acting. But the RSC came to the rescue, and unforgettable, too, was Baker's corrupt Tiberius in I, Claudius (1976), the BBC adaptation of Robert Graves's novels about the Roman emperor Claudius that proved one of its greatest drama successes. In 1977, Baker played Ngaio Marsh's detective, Roderick Alleyn, in a New Zealand adaptation of four of the novels. The television work continued till, in 1987, he was Chief Inspector Fred Davy, deploying a fruity accent to Joan Hickson's Miss Marple for the BBC's Agatha Christie adaptation At Bertram's Hotel. While it was being edited at Ealing Studios, TVS producer-director John Davies was passing by, and he knew instantly that he wanted Baker for the role that was to be his triumph. From 1987 to 2000, 23 titles were filmed, in between one and four episodes each, with Baker supported by Christopher Ravenscroft as Inspector Mike Burden, and by Louie Ramsay as his wife, Dora. After it, there were still cameo roles in popular series – Coronation Street, Midsomer Murders, Spooks, Heartbeat and, in 2007, New Tricks. That year he was appointed MBE for his youth club fundraising a
Guinevere Fouroux doesn't argue with his clarification, though she watches him with undisguised fury as he rounds the table. When she can't see him any longer she faces forward, heart skipping again. Her eyes fall on his arm as he reaches over her shoulder, and she has the insane impulse to turn her head and bite. "I do not have a name, for that person," she says slowly. Again. Azazel Steig lips hovered right next to her ear as he whispered softly. "You're in the church's choir...correct? You like to sing..." His hand would draw back to rest on her slender, wounded shoulder. "Perhaps you'll sing for me...." And with a rather quick motion he would attempt to curl his fingers into that bandage and tear it free as his other hand came slamming down on the opposite shoulder to try and hold her as securely as he could in the chair. Guinevere Fouroux's eyes drift shut, his whispered words at her ear, soft as a lover's, only making her skin crawl. She feels his fingers at the edge of her bandage, and her heart skips a beat--she gasps sharply as it gives free with a harsh tear, her attempt to jerk away stilled by his hand clamping down on her other shoulder. "I'm telling you the truth," she hisses, breathing coming in a pant. "I've answered all your questions." Azazel Steig used his grip on her right shoulder to usher her closer to the picture, his voice still remaining disturbingly calm when he spoke. "A closer look Miss Fouroux......Just give me her name and you can be on your way, or you can continue with insisting you don't know her and I will continue asking, I can assure you, you'll grow tired of this before I will." Fingers of his other hand searched out for that healing wound, a feather light touch until they felt that brush of ruined flesh beneath them, and slowly would attempt to probe into the angry, healing mark. Guinevere Fouroux squeezes her eyes shut as he pushes her forward, her thighs, both of them now, screaming in protest. She blinks at the image, again, the darkened face peering back at her. "I can't tell you what I don't know," she says, voice tight and tense, but then it dissolves into a sobbing cry as he starts to dig into her wound. "Stop," she gasps, wanting to squirm out of his way but not daring to and making it worse. Azazel Steig's fingers continued to dig into the wound, attempting to reopen tissue that was starting to heal while keeping her forced forwards. "A single name Miss Fouroux...it's that simple and I'll stop." Probing tips curled in upon themselves, as if he could actually separate angry pink flesh further apart. Even as he continued with his sadistic work, his voice remained smooth as glass, except for the occasional strain as she writhed in his clutches. "Give me the name and all this will stop." Guinevere Fouroux tries not to squirm under his hand, to try to break free and make things worse. She wills her stitches to hold under his fingers, prays it's healed enough to not do irrevocable damage. "I... have... no... name... " she hisses, her voice thick with tears. She's tempted to give him false names, anything, with the vague hope it would make him stop, but resists the urge. She wouldn't cave. Wouldn't give in. (This took place during the recent raid, I'm just behind in posting!)

occasional round table
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