Wednesday, September 17, 2014

We've had this date with each other from the beginning

A Streetcar Named Desire was broadcast live to cinemas around the world last night. I went to see it in the HMV Curzon and very good it was too. I think I will be attending more shows.

“They told me to take a streetcar named Desire and then transfer to one called Cemeteries and ride six blocks and get off at - Elysian Fields!”

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

What I'm really talking about is my brand new pair of butterfly roller sakes

I find Ray McGovern chillingly plausible if you have got two hours forty to spare.

We won the quiz again yesterday after coming fifth (fifth!) the week before, but I think that last Monday's questions were set by a secret group of reptilian humanoids called the Babylonian Brotherhood. Who else would remember a Don Johnson single from the 80s or know that Brazil had had a monarchy?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Mark, Marcus, Magic

I went along to Mark's Cocktail Hour gig in the West End last week. He is a man out of time. Generally smartly dressed in a jacket and tie, and living to tinkle the ivories and croon the great American song book with his jazz trio. He should have been a Joey Bishop or Peter Lawford level member of Sinatra's rat pack to be honest.

It was fun. Often in the past the cabaret has been ruined by wanna be stand up comics; damaged and needy individuals who have been told that the way to boost their self respect and earn the respoect of others is to get up in front of a crowd of strangers and start hurling insults. This time we had some good sketches and a close quarter magician which was much better.

Mark's trio was also enhanced with a horn section that included (be still my beating heart) the son of the Bonzo's Vernon Dudley Bohay-Nowell on trumpet.

I also bumped in to Marcus, who I only see every few years, though it seems more often as he has such great stories (I feel that he is with me in spirit when I steal them and tell them to others as if they are about me). I asked him if the film he was working on with Noel Clarke the last time we met made it out of the starting blocks. He smiled modestly and admitted he was the co-producer of Storage 24 which took $72 (£44) dollars in the US box office, making it the lowest grossing film of 2013.

You are only allowed to snigger if you have had the gumption to get a feature film made and released in the US. I take my hat off to him.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

bore da

I am just off to take the Bomber and some team mates to training.

We got an email off Jim the coach earlier which says

We have big plans for the U14s end of season tour. Following in the footsteps of last year’s U14s, we have booked Cardiff Arms Park (home to the Cardiff Blues) where we will play two matches against local opposition.

That's something to look forward to. Maybe some of the family can come and watch.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Jack to a King

Chelsea and Swansea, the only two sides in the Premiership with a 100% record meet this afternoon and the winner will go to the top of the table.

A film about the Swans premièred at the Odeon Leicester Square yesterday.

What a long strange trip it's been.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Under the bludgeonings of chance

The Bomber played for the school yesterday despite having to stay at home on Monday and Tuesday after his injury on Sunday. We picked up some sports tape at Boots with the idea of using that to beef up his elastic ankle support and he came through the game unscathed, getting two tries in a 28-17 defeat.

We watched ScrumV on the iPlayer on Wednesday. I hadn't realise how bad Owen Williams' injury was. I have bought a pack of the #StayStrongForOws wristbands.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Velvet Divorce

I ken, when we had a king, and a chancellor, and parliament — men o' our ain, we could aye peeble them wi' stones when they werena gude bairns — But naebody's nails can reach the length o' Lunnon.
I fully intend the above to be my final word on Scotland's Referendum.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


I see that To Rise Again at a Decent Hour (Icons passim) has made it onto the Booker Man shortlist. I am 56% of they way through it according to my kindle, and starting to warm to it after struggling with  an opening that seemed rather fraught in both content and execution. Does anyone really need three pages about hand lotion?

Once the author moved on from moisturising to an exposition of what it means to be an Ulm (a member of an ancient sect enjoined by Yahweh to doubt His existence) however I was much happier, reminded perhaps of Vonnegut's bokonism.

"Busy, busy, busy."

Skipping from literature to music, U2 have released a new album that is free to download on iTunes. Downloaded it I have. Will I ever listen to it? The jury is out.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Ungartered, and down-gyved to his ankle

The Bomber is off school today having hurt his ankle on the first weekend of the season yesterday.

He is hoping to me back for training Wednesday and a game for the school on Thursday but I think it is a big ask to be honest.

I see that Dan - the ginger wizard - Fish got two tries in the Cardiff Blues' 41-26 win against in Parma in the afternoon.

Maybe we will be able to catch them on Scrum V via the BBC iPlayer? Come to think about it a weekly hour long round up of the Aviva Premiership is available on the ITV Player as well.

Both the iPlayer and the ITV Player are on my little NowTV box. We should get in the habit of watching both these shows weekly through the season. They would combine into a good overview of the domestic game.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Fury 10

Gosh. I remember Festus from when he did judo with the Bomber.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Sarries' serried ranks

Jules Evans in the Telegraph:
For the past year, I’ve been running a philosophy group at Saracens rugby club. Once a month, I go to Saracens’ training ground in St Albans and give a brief talk about an idea from ancient philosophy that can be applied to our lives today.
I went in to the rugby club with zero expectations, and still find it strange to sit in a circle with Jim Hamilton, Owen Farrell and others, discussing Aristotle’s idea of the Golden Mean. But it’s been good fun for all of us. It was “the most popular thing we did last season,” says defence coach Paul Gustard.
It is easy to sneer, but here is the rationale:
When new management arrived, in 2009, they insisted that the character, values and wellbeing of the players were the top priority, and results would follow from that. They launched something called the Personal Development Programme, to support all the players in their lives and their careers after sport. They duly invited various people in to talk to the players, including mindfulness experts, a yoga teacher, even a philosopher (me).
The “Saracens revolution” has created a unique culture. Alex Goode, the 26-year-old Saracens and England fullback, says: “The old Saracens was not a particularly friendly place. There’d be quite brutal banter. Now, there’s much more of a feeling of togetherness.”
The esprit de corps has made the team stronger and better. Saracens won the Premiership in 2011, and broke the record last season for most tries scored and most league points won, reaching the European cup final and Premiership play-off final, both of which they sadly lost.
The Premiership final loss was to a dubious try in the last minute of extra time, after a disallowed try of their own. Defeats don’t come more cruel. But, as Brian Moore noted in his Telegraph column, the team handled it with impressive integrity and dignity.
It is very reminiscent of the regime of Pete Carroll's Seahawks in the NFL (see Icons passim) who went on the win the Super Bowl last year then trounced the Packers earlier this week to begin their title defence and must be doing something right.

There being very little wisdom about, we need to take it anywhere we can find it.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Diolch yn fawr

"Extraordinary beauty, wonderful people and great hospitality."

Well I never.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Here we go again

Rugby's back  and gaining momentum. The Bomber trained after school yesterday and then again in the evening with the club. When you consider that the school is Rutlish and the club is Old Rutlishians, it strkes me that the preparations of these two squads might be better spread out a little wider; coordination shouldn't be impossible.

Next week he'll train twice on Wednesday and then play against Oxted on Thursday so he will be due a rest on Friday.

The school fixtures are up on, but the club matches haven't appeared on yet.