Tuesday, August 26, 2014

North Atlantic Tweety Organisation

It seems to me that this message from out masters implies that they do not have a very high opinion of members of the public's attention spans.

Monday, August 25, 2014

close call

I was just walking out the door to the quiz, when I remembered I  hadn't written anything here today.

That is rare enough an event to serve as today's post.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

this kind of thing is my punch bag baby

I went to Bikram Yoga this morning. Facebook has told me that Floyd Mayweather did it this week as well in the run up to his rematch with Marcos Maidana in three weeks time, thus confirming once more its unlikely badassery,

The 8am Sunday session won't be an option for me once the rugby season starts again in a fortnight as I will have duties getting the Bomber to 10 o'clock kick offs.

He's still asleep at the moment. In two weeks time he will have waking up duties as well.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

making good

When I went home yesterday lunchtime I was astounded to find the Bomber repairing his jeans with needle and thread. He learned to sew when they were doing fabrics in art apparently. This is all to the good as far as I am concerned. I certainly can't do it.

I can, however, do chicken and sweetcorn quesadillas, so that is what we had. This morning - my Riverford fruit and veg box having delivered blueberries - we will have them in pancakes served with bacon and maple syrup. It will be as if he is still at IHOP in Orlando.

Friday, August 22, 2014

round house

Ever since the Bomber did it I have thought it would be a good idea for more girls to learn muay Thai.

Quite seriously, this sort of thing would have taken the spring out of the step of the guy I tried when I was on jury service in very short order.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Tim Vine

“I’ve decided to sell my hoover... well, it was just collecting dust.”
Tim Vine has won the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award in Edinburgh for the second time and talks here about the work that goes in to polishing his one liners.

Back in the day when there used to be comedy in G-Js (and when G-J's was even open) he was one of the comedians who came along testing new material away from the spotlights and television cameras.

He was great even though all he did was read through a huge pile of jokes (in a notebook or on cards? I can't remember) ticking ones that went well, occasionally jotting a comment on efforts that could have gone better, and drawing a line through the failures.

"Exit signs, they're on the way out."

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Ben and Rayburn
The Bomber is back from  Florida and sleeping the sleep of the just after flying through the night to Heathrow. I will have to stock up on fun size confectionery, mango juice, Weetabix chocolate chip crispy minis and the other cornerstones of a nutritious breakfast that I don't really have much call for when he is away.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Whisper it from the mountain tops

We are pleased to announce Whispersync for Voice, a new way to enjoy your Kindle books.

You can now read a Kindle book and pick up exactly where you left off with the professionally narrated audiobook from Audible. With more than 25,000 audio companions to choose from, you’ll never have to put a good book down.
Nice one Amazon. I used to dream of a service like this when the Bomber was small and I read him Harry Potter when he went to bed. Nowadays we could carry on in the car on a long journey, driving down to Wales perhaps.
Got a Kindle Fire HD or an Android device? If so, you can also read and listen simultaneously with real-time highlighting. It's called Immersion Reading and that's what it does: Immerse you in a story by narrating and highlighting the text as you read. It sparks an extra connection that boosts engagement, comprehension, and retention, taking you deeper into the book.
That would have been handy when he was learning to read.

My Dad left his reading glasses at home this weekend when he came up to visit me, and picked up an off the shelf replacement in Sainsburys. I fooled around with them as well and was surprised to see that they sharpened up my vision. Whispersync couldn't come too soon.

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Congestion Charge

I went online this morning to pay the Congestion Charge after taking my Mum and Dad to Paddington on Sunday yesterday so that they could take the train back to Cardiff.

However, not only is "the Congestion Charge is an £11.50 daily charge for driving a vehicle within the charging zone between 07:00 and 18:00, Monday to Friday" it turns out that by crossing at Vauxhall Bridge and driving on the edge of Hyde Park I stayed exactly on the border and wouldn't even have been liable for it on a weekday.

The charge was introduced on 17 February 2003, which gives an indication that surprises even me of how often I drive into town.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

sixes and sevens

My Mum and Dad were up visiting me in London this weekend so I took them along to the first day of the World Club 7s at Twickenham on Saturday, thinking that Dan Fish (my father's sister's great grandson) might be turning out for the Cardiff Blues after he  got six tries for them at Stoop last week in the Premiership Rugby Sevens.

As it happens he wasn't. He played for the Blues "proper" 15 man side against Exeter on Friday and Cardiff  put a more junior side out at Twickenham.

Not all the teams are familiar so here is a breakdown of where they are from:
Auckland Blues - New Zealand
Vodacom Blue Bulls - South Africa
DHL Western Province - South Africa
Buenos Aires - Argentina
NSW Waratahs - Australia
New York - USA
Seattle - USA
Cardiff Blues - Wales
Kuban Krasnodar - Russia
RC Enisei – Russia
Gloucester – England
Harlequins – England

It was a great day. At first i thought Cardiff might be hopeless as they got beaten by Buenos Aires in their first game, but I wasn't giving enough credit to the Argentinians who went on the win the whole thing today. while Cardiff won the plate.

The real revelation for me though was seeing two Russian teams and two teams of Yanks playing wonderfully expansive and entertaining games and doing very well overall. If you had told me that a few years ago I would have thought you were off your head.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A froward man soweth strife

Appeal typeCrime
Incident Date11/08/2014
Incident LocationKings Road, SW19
DescriptionDetectives investigating a violent aggravated burglary in Wimbledon which left a man with significant facial injuries, have today, Friday 15 August, released new CCTV images of an outstanding suspect fleeing the scene.
The footage, taken about a minute after the attack, depicts a panicked suspect fleeing through Wimbledon Theatre car park, at a point where he is removing surgical gloves which were worn during the crime.
This is the last moment he is picked up on CCTV.
Anyone with information is urged to call the incident room on 020 8649 3159; Or if you with to remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
That is too close to home. I must have parked in the Theatre car park a thousand times myself. There are more horrible details in the Telegraph here if your stomach is strong enough.

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Tragic Gift that Keeps on Giving

The conflict in Iraq started a century ago. One hundred years ago on June 28, to be exact. So did the civil war in Syria. Along with Russia's dismemberment of Ukraine. The bloody collapse of Yugoslavia. The disastrous Soviet experiment. And the enduring fight between Israelis and Palestinians.
All of these conflicts, and much more, grew out of World War I.
This is a very provocative piece, but I think that there is a lot to be said for it.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

put your lips together and blow

Hearing of the death of Lauren Bacall yesterday took me back thirty odd years to an afternoon I bunked off from Chemical Engineering in Uni to catch a double bill of Angels With Dirty Faces and To Have And Have Not that the American Studies department were putting on.

Also dislodged is a memory of Burt - a friend from when I lived in Whitton, who worked at Heathrow airport with VIPs - telling me she was the friendliest and most charming celebrity he ever escorted.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

So that is what Vine is for....

"The Best Cross What Has Ever Been Done In Wales"

Intellectually I know that the world's most expensive player, Cardiffian Gareth Bale, turned out for Real Madrid in a cup final in Cardiff City's ground yesterday, but I still find it difficult to believe.