Monday, July 24, 2017

conspicuously tangential thinking

I have been reading No Hunger In Paradise: The Players. The Journey. The Dream, Michael Calvin's book about the snakes and ladders of making it from a schoolboy to a professional footballer. Fiona told me about the book as Calvin is going to be part of Brian Moore's Wimbledon Bookfest event this year, and - yes - Callum is in the Appendix though I haven't made it as far as as a mention of him in the text.

It contains this extraordinary passage about Nathan Redmond.
His solution to every boy's nightmare, the loss of a front door key when no one would be at home to allow access at the end of a school day, was to make himself a sandwich he didn't like, and place the key between two slices of bread. His reasoning, that he was less likely to misplace a sandwich box, was the produce of conspicuously tangential thinking.
He put his key in a sandwich to avoid losing it! This is the kind of imaginative leap that is being forced out of the modern game by over coaching.

I can scarcely believe I am not having my leg pulled, but it is there - large as life - on page 270.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

When the student is ready, the teacher disappears.

Six or so years ago, I read a book called Awake in the World: Teachings from Yoga and Buddhism for Living an Engaged Life by Michael Stone.

Michael Stone is dead now.
On Thursday July 13, Michael left his Gulf Island home for a routine trip to Victoria. On the way into town, he called a substance abuse and addictions pharmacy, likely to ask for a safe, controlled drug to self-medicate. He was not a candidate. He got a haircut, exercised, ran household errands and finally acquired a street drug. Initial toxicology tests suggest inconclusively that he had opioids, including fentanyl, in his system. Because of the back up due to the fentanyl crisis, it will be five months before the conclusive toxicology test results are in.
Fentanyl is the stuff that killed Prince. The opioid epidemic is certainly cutting a swathe across the US and Canada.

I am not going to comment on how jarring it is to hear of a teacher with a baby on the way crossing over like this. It was a strange thing to discover the day after I persuaded Ben to come along and try a yoga class with me later this summer

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Click a face for entry

Of to the Battersea Arts Centre last night for a double bill of Sleeping Trees' Western and Sci-Fi.

As I went to their their Mafia show last year (Icons passim), I have now seen all the At The Movies trilogy that they are taking to Edinburgh this year.

Friday, July 21, 2017

More on Captain Scarlet

Guyanese actor Cy Grant, who voiced the character of Lieutenant Green and believed that Captain Scarlet had positive multicultural value, discussed the allegorical nature of the series. According to him, Christian symbolism was heavily implied, with Colonel White assuming the role of God, opposed by the Devil in the form of Captain Black and descended by Captain Scarlet, who serves as a Christ allegory; moreover, Cloudbase represented Heaven and was guarded by its own fleet of Angels. Grant has also lionised Green as an African trickster hero. On dualism, he argued, "the 'darkness' of the Mysterons is most easily seen as the psychological rift – the struggle of 'good' and 'evil' – of the Western world as personified by Colonel White and his team. Dark and light are but aspects of each other. Incidentally, green is the colour of nature that can heal that rift."
I didn't see that one coming.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

This is the voice of Mr Ron

As you now doubt remember, in Captain Scarlet, Cloudbase was defended by the Angels, a multi-cultural squadron of five female pilots code-named Destiny (squadron leader), Harmony, Melody, Rhapsody, and Symphony, who flew the Angel Interceptor fighter aircraft.

Not only that the Angel puppets were paid the same as the Captain Scarlet puppet. Shame on you BBC, all these years later.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Crowd Sauce

Buy with Bitcoin

If you want to help with my research you can click on the button above and transfer a fiver's worth of Bitcoin from your wallet to my account.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

First shown: 7 Jul 2017. Available for 19 days

BBC iPlayer
Film shining a spotlight on the untold story of The Sidemen, the musicians behind some of the greatest artists of all time. The Sidemen are the forgotten 'guns for hire' that changed musical history. Featuring interviews with Mick Jagger, Billy Joel and Keith Richards, this film takes viewers from the 1960s to today, via global stars such as Prince, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones and Beyoncé.
You need to watch this before it expires at 2:30 in the morning on the 7th of August.

Monday, July 17, 2017



That's just the verification on the Bitcoin blockchain of a transaction I was involved in.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Roger Federer as Religious Experience

I blogged it four years ago, and it is eleven years old, but David Foster Wallace's piece the guy who - ten minutes from now - will be aiming to be the first man to win eight Wimbledon singles titles and the oldest men's champion in history is well worth rereading.

Saturday, July 15, 2017


While I am in Wales you can see my location (at least half past ten tomorrow morning) at

This makes me far more Generation Z than the Bomber who is in Ghost Mode on Snapchat's Snap Map.

Don't be a square, daddio!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Our revels now are ended.

I just got invited to go and see Simon Russell Beale as Prospero in an RSC production of the Tempest in the Barbican tonight, but I can't, as I have committed to driving down the M4 to Cardiff and the fambly. "In a unique partnership with Intel, the Royal Shakespeare Company will be using today’s most advanced technology in a bold reimagining of Shakespeare’s magical play, creating an unforgettable theatrical experience." Not that I am bitter you understand; more philosophical.

These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Tim Parry's Funeral

My post about his passing got more views than the normal drivel I write here, so - just in case it is of help to anyone - I got a call last night to say that Tim Parry's funeral will be at 3pm on Thursday 20 July, at Oxford Crematorium.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


I popped into Brasileiro for the first time last night. It is a Brazilian butcher and grocery shop at the bottom of the road which has been open for quite a while but, for some reason I can't put my finger on, not patronised by me.

I was looking for eggs - which they didn't have - but came away with Torresmo, fried pork rinds.

It is actually something of an Aladdin's cave of unfamiliar and exotic food and ingredients.

I will be back.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Tim Parry

I just heard that Tim Parry - who was in school with me - died of throat cancer. Very sad news.