Tuesday, February 09, 2016

The undiscovered country from whose Bourne. Geddit!?

The world and his wife got a first look at the new Jason Bourne movie during the Super Bowl. Second unit director Simon Crane (Icons passim) takes care of the actions scenes. He certainly gets some interesting gigs.

Monday, February 08, 2016

time to park it

Mum crashed her car into a lamp post on Friday outside the house and wrote it off. John, in Winston Wolf mode, managed to sort out a quick collection via the insurance company so it is out of sight and out of mind. That should be the end of her driving as far as I am concerned.

Two local press stories I remember are relevant and bolster this.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Ireland 16 Wales 16

Q: Warren, how satisfied are you?
A: Not satisfied at all. I’m flat at the moment. It’s disappointing. It’s not a loss, but it’s taken a couple of trophies out of the cabinet already.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

inventin' done, man

JUST IN: We will be celebrating Grenada's Independence Day at Merton Abbey Mills on Saturday 6th February with Live...
Posted by Merton Abbey Mills on Tuesday, 19 January 2016

I am away down in Cardiff so I can't get along to this. I have long thought that the people of the Caribbean, having invented rum, reggae, jerk barbecue and the hammock, must be among the greatest benefactors of mankind. Do you actually need anything more than rum, reggae, jerk barbecue and a hammock for a perfect sunny afternoon?

Prodnose: So the bartender says, "Well, the worst way I know of is standing up in a hammock."

Myself: Vulgarity begins when imagination succumbs to the explicit.

Friday, February 05, 2016


Dear Charles Darwin and God,
For over a half a century, I looked in the mirror each morning and saw a pair of hairless ears — admittedly oversized, but nonetheless, utterly and completely without hair. And, between the three of us, that was just fine with me. Then on an otherwise mundane Tuesday, out of nowhere, a solitary hair popped out on the side of my left ear. I sleepily gazed at my reflection and almost without pause thought “Hmm, that’s odd.” I then yanked out the offender and went about my day.
What I didn’t know was that there had been a shift in the cosmic balance and soon this sort of thing would be no longer be “odd” at all. In fact, it would be the opposite… it would be routine. The perimeter had been breached and there was no going back. Slowly and inexorably, like a shuffling zombie hoard, they made their way to my ears. At first, it was just a couple a month — “no big deal” I thought, “just remain vigilant.” But, no, they just kept coming… and coming — in every growing numbers. Now, they’re fxxxing everywhere — tops, sides, lobes, even down in the canal.
At a time in my life when my hairline retreats toward the back of my head like the Union army at Bull Run, hair sprouts out of my ears like a game of “Whack a Mole” gone horribly wrong. Suddenly, a routine of auricular depilation has become a part of my daily existence and I don’t want to be rude, but I think someone owes me an explanation ...... read on ......
This is horribly true. I even have an "emergency" nose and ear hair clipper in my desk at the office.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Wales: Rob Evans, Justin Tipuric and Tom James start against Ireland

Wales team to face Ireland: Gareth Anscombe; George North, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, Tom James; Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies; Rob Evans, Scott Baldwin, Samson Lee, Luke Charteris, Alun Wyn Jones, Sam Warburton (capt), Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau.

Replacements: Ken Owens, Gethin Jenkins, Tomas Francis, Bradley Davies, Dan Lydiate, Lloyd Williams, Rhys Priestland, Alex Cuthbert.

Warburton moves to blindside; three hundred and sixty odd caps on the bench.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

"Leave now for Iphigenia in Splott"

I've switched from the iPhone to an Android model. Google Now, the "intelligent personal assistant" that comes with it, advised me to leave for "Iphigenia in Splott" before I had even finished work yesterday, "intelligently" inferring that it was actually on down the M4 in Splott rather than a convenient hop up the Northern Line to Waterloo and the National Theatre.

As for the work itself, Sophie Melville gives a great performance in a fine production, but if "Gary Owen’s brawling, big-hearted, raging monologue" (UK Theatre Awards Best New Play 2015) is good writing then I am a Dutchman.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

How did I get here?

I finished reading Searching for John Ford by Joseph McBride yesterday. Coincidentally, as the BFI noted on Facebook, the great American director's birthday.

Today, I will be starting on Toby Harnden's Dead Men Risen: The Welsh Guards and the Defining Story of Britain's War in Afghanistan.
This is the tale of the Welsh Guards in Helmand in 2009. Underequipped and overstretched, guardsmen from the coal mining valleys and slate quarry villages of Wales found themselves in Helmand in some of the most intense fighting by British troops for more than a generation. They were confronted by a Taliban enemy they seldom saw, facing the constant threat of Improvised Explosive Devices and ambush. Leading them into battle was Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe, destined for the highest ranks. He was a passionate believer in the war but was dismayed by how it was being conducted. Dead Men Risen will unnerve politicians and generals alike. In chilling detail, Toby Harnden reveals how and why Thorneloe was killed by an IED during Operation Panther's Claw. Harnden, who had known Thorneloe since they met in Northern Ireland in 1996, was on the ground in Helmand with the Welsh Guards. He draws on a trove of military documents, including many written by Thorneloe, the first British battalion commander to die in action since the Falklands war of 1982. Major Sean Birchall left behind an unvarnished assessment of the shortcomings of the Afghan forces that represent Nato's exit strategy. Lieutenant Mark Evison wrote a diary that raises questions from beyond the grave. It was more than half a century since a British battalion had lost officers at these three key levels of leadership. By the time the fighting was over, almost no rank had been spared. A visceral and timeless account of men at war, Dead Men Risen conveys what it is like to be a soldier who has to kill, face paralysing fear and watch comrades perish in agony. Given unprecedented access to the Welsh Guards, Harnden conducted more than 300 interviews in Afghanistan, England and Wales. From the searing heat of the poppy fields and mud compounds of Helmand to the dreaded knock on the door back home, the reader is transported there. Harnden weaves the experiences of the guardsmen and their loved ones into an unsparing narrative that sits alongside a piercing analysis of military strategy.

Monday, February 01, 2016

All Cardiff

Dan Fish scored in under 90 seconds as the Blues beat Edinburgh at home on Saturday. The Sherman's Iphigenia in Splott opens to rave reviews at the National Theatre. (I must try and get along.) Are we witnessing a Cardiff renaissance?

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Show and Tel

Don't miss us feeding Sir Terry Wogan & Mason on their trip to Abergavenny. Available on BBC IPlayer http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b06b944y/terry-and-masons-great-food-trip-10-abergavenny
Posted by Hang Fire Smokehouse on Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Like the rest of the county I was saddened to hear of the passing of Sir Terry Wogan today. I noticed on Facebook however that he did not however shuffle off before he had caught up with the quite remarkably ubiquitous Hang Fire posse late last year. How on earth do they do it?

Saturday, January 30, 2016

My entire life

Now onEntire Stout 4.5%A rich dark stout with a strong roasted malt flavour and a long, smooth aftertaste. Suitable for vegans.Entire Stout has an ABV of 4.5%
Posted by The Sultan, SW19 on Saturday, 30 January 2016

I had planned to end dry January tomorrow at the U15s Warlingham game, but that has been cancelled. I am very tempted to replace it with a pint of stout this afternoon, since I read the Sultan's public service announcement above in Facebook.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Bacon-Chocolate Shot Glasses

We’ve all been there before, standing at the bar, shot glass in hand, ready to throw the spirit down our gullet, when we’ve thought to ourselves “man this would really be so much better if the shot glass I’m holding was made out of bacon and dipped in chocolate.” Well wish no more, because thanks to food blog Through The Eyes Of My Belly, that dream is now a reality.
Hat tip, Marcus. As the last weekend of Dry January heaves into view I think I am starting to get delirious.

Thursday, January 28, 2016


A linguistic analysis of Donald Trump shows why people like him so much.
Willy: There’s more people! That’s what’s ruining this country! Population is getting out of control. The competition is maddening! Smell the stink from that apartment house! And another one on the other side . . .

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Sleeping Trees

I went to the Pleasence Theatre in Islington last night to see, friends of Spike, Sleeping Trees revisit their Edinburgh Festival show MAFIA? and managed to resist throwing my Marlon Brando impersonation and complete knowledge of the Godfather into the mix to everyone's' relief.