Sunday, June 30, 2013

One all

A.D. 2013

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Second Test

Good morning, we are off to the Ruts this morning for more of the above fingers crossed.

Frankie is having a party in the evening so I had better take it easy after the Test and before that knees-up or things could get a bit messy. Gardening or kipping is probably the best bet for the afternoon.

Looking at the TV schedules however, there is a potential segue from the Lions to Holiday on the Buses on ITV at 1.20pm.
The third movie culled from the hit TV series is one of the worst films you'll see this or any other year. Having been sacked from the bus depot, Stan and Jack fetch up at a holiday camp in Wales, where (surprise, surprise) their boss turns out to be old Blakey himself. The film's only achievement is the sheer amount of smutty sniggering it manages to cram into 85 minutes. All the regulars join Reg Varney on board, but only guest players Arthur Mullard and Queenie Watts make any impression. Absolutely abysmal.
That sounds like catnip for me. Watching it on licensed premises - full of beer for breakfast and feeling a bit buzzed - could be a recipe for a complete disaster. I must vow to away to my home pronto when the final whistle blows.

Prodnose: I hate you Butler.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Geoff Dyer

I finished reading Yoga for People Who Can't be Bothered to Do it last night and I'm not even sure if I liked it, yet today I have already bought But Beautiful.

It is all very strange and confusing.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

nanos gigantum humeris insidentes

Narayan Pargaien was in the state of Uttarakhand reporting on floods which have devastated the region when he made his unorthodox broadcast for News Express. But he has denied the suggestion that he exploited the man by sitting on his shoulders while on camera, insisting that the flood victim 'wanted to show respect' because he had never met anyone as important as the journalist before. A video of Mr Pargaien reporting on the floods swept the internet when it was posted to YouTube earlier this month, with many Indian web users criticising him for apparently using a disaster victim to keep his feet dry.

Normally I won't have the Daily Mail in the house, but this is a winner.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I'll give it five

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away".

An epochal fifth win in a row in the quiz last night, caused (well that and the lager) me to declaim "Ozymandias" as a warning against hubris. The team was smaller than of late, which meant last week's £50 bar tab paid for all our booze. I really can't see a flaw in the arrangement.

Prodnose: How did the film quote round go?

Michaleen Flynn: Impetuous! Homeric!

Myself: Barry Fitzgerald in John Ford's The Quiet Man.

Monday, June 24, 2013

the old soup and fish

Cass Development and Alumni Relations would like to invite you to a reunion for the E/MBA classes of 1988 and 1989. The evening drinks reception will be held on Thursday 4th July 2013 at Cass Business School.
The reunion will be hosted by the Dean of Cass Business School, Professor Steven Haberman and fellow MBA alumna Jean Liggett, Director Properties of the World, and will provide an excellent opportunity for you to network with fellow alumni and Cass Business School academic and professional staff.
Date: Thursday 4th July
Time: 18:30-21:00
Venue: Lower Ground Milling Area, Cass Business School
Address: 106 Bunhill Row, London, EC1Y 8TZ
Dress Code: Formal Attire
I had to buy a dinner suit over the weekend for this shindig. As I gritted my teeth while handing over the necessary, it struck me that I've met the Queen a few times over the last few years without needing anything more than a lounge suit. Doubtless she and I will laugh at this anon.

The Dean of Cass Business School, Professor Steven Haberman (who he? ed) is my strength and my shield; my heart confided in him, and I was helped: therefore my heart exulteth, and with my song will I praise him.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

I can make it at home for nothing

This morning I was in the Bikram Wimbledon hot room at 8am stretching and sweating away yesterday's excesses and refueling with my home made isotonic drink; the juice of one orange and one lemon heated to dissolve some honey and salt, then diluted with water and chilled.

A couple of days last week, I dined on my own home preserved salmon.

I'll be making my own cosmetics at this rate.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

happy birthday

Marsellus: You see, this profession is filled to the brim with unrealistic motherfuggers. Motherfuggers who thought their ass would age like wine. If you mean it turns to vinegar, it does. If you mean it gets better with age, it don't.

Myself: Mine did

Friday, June 21, 2013

led by donkeys

We are showing British and Irish Lions Rugby At Nelson Arms and pub will open at 10:00am in morning with Special Breakfast Menu.
.... so that is where I will be tomorrow morning.

After the game I will mostly be addressing the bar-keep as follows:
The rules of English grammar require that in most cases a noun, or more generally a noun phrase, must be "completed" with a determiner to clarify what the referent of the noun phrase is. The most common determiners are the articles the and a(n), which specify the presence or absence of definiteness of the noun.
Really they should be showing the British and Irish Lions Rugby at the Nelson Arms. I'm sure gratitude will ensue. Folks are generally grateful to have their grammar corrected loudly in public by an officious self-appointed bore in my experience.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


A new trailer for Anchorman 2 is out. I shall study it until I am as wise as a miniature Buddha covered in fur, in case it comes up in the quiz on Monday (Icons passim).

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Board, Bored, Bawd

Today, Kent's block is part of the Cabinet Office and hosts official meetings. Its fine board room retains many of Kent's original features. It is about 30 feet square and 25 feet high. and contains the large carved table where the board members sat, and an impressive chair of state, bearng the royal monogram. Seated on the beautifully carved and golded chair, with its lion's-paw feed, dolphin's arm-ends and crimson velvet upholstery, the king preseided over ministerial meetings of the Treaduey board and read the King's Speech on the day before Parliament met. George III was the last king to do both.
As of yesterday I can add the Treasury board room to the list of remarkable venues in which I have taken meetings. The West Dean Library (Icons passim) and several rooms in Buckingham Palace (more Icons passim) also spring to mind.

I've been to Google's molar-grindingly quirky London offices as well now I come to think of it, but I just found them twee and affected. What do you think?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sit you down, father. Rest you.

Sitting on a cornflake, waiting for the van to come.
Corporation tee-shirt, stupid bloody Tuesday.
Man, you been a naughty boy, you let your face grow long.
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob
I drank  Arbor Ales Goo Goo G’Joob stout in the Antelope last night without realising it was 11% proof, so I guess I downed the equivalent of about five pints of white wine.

Unsurprisingly, details towards the end of the evening are obscured by cloud and the mot juste for how I feed this morning is blerch, but I think we still managed to win the quiz for a record fourth consecutive time.

There is no moral to this story.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Damien Flood

AbbeyFest 2013's Friday night music kicks off  with Damien Flood a fortnight Friday on July 5th. I think I will sprinkle YouTube videos of the artists who are appearing over these spin drift pages over the next few weeks to get us in the mood.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

etched bold in legend wherever men revel and quaff

Tickets, though only for the evening performance, are now available on pre-sale at the Odeon for The World's End which can only mean (Icons passim) that an early showing on August 20th followed by the Oliver Reed pub crawl draws inexorably closer. My brother is even coming up from South Wales for it. Be very afraid.

Myself: Oliver Reed! By my beard! Tell me, was I with you last night?

Reed: Huhuhuhurr! Indubitably! We quaffed a few... aswerve... and quaffed and quaffed again.

Myself: Well the damndest thing! I appear to have lost me leg.

Reed: Yes! You bet it!

Myself: I what?

Reed: You lost your leg in a wager (holds up a severed leg).

Myself: What bloody wager?

Reed: You bet you could piddle on Nelson from one of the lions...(throws leg away).

Myself: What about the sex change operation?

Reed: Ah... you... noticed.

Myself: Noticed! I woke up this morning with a hangover and a pair of titties! I'm a bloody woman, Oliver! Me didgeridoo's been turned inside out!

Reed: It was... double or quits...

Myself: Why didn't you stop me?

Reed: I fancied a quickie.

Myself: My God! You didn't have me?

Reed: 'Course I had you, wench! You were a womannn!

Myself: I think I'm going to be sick again...

Reed: Again?

Myself: Yes... I think I'm having a baby.

Reed: Oh, what a night! It shall be etched bold in legend wherever men revel and quaff!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The tumult and the shouting dies

The Old Ruts Mini and Junior Rugby Awards Ceremony was held in the club last night and the Bomber's reign as Player of the Season has ended.

I have his jersey mounted alond with an action shot as a souvenier, figuring that it would just be lost among the laundry otherwise.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Magic Mike

Noting that my cousin Pat played in a Manchester United team along with Bobby Charlton in the 70s (Icons passim) reminded me that another cousin, Mike Murphy, was playing rugby for Cardiff a few years later.

Idly googling I found an article called "The Greatest Cardiff win ever?" on the WRFU website about a game Mike played.
January 8, 1977: Cardiff 25 Llanelli 15
Llanelli arrived at the Arms Park that day with the unbelievable record of only one defeat in 32 cup-ties and tournament winners four years in a row from 1973.
Led by Phil Bennett they had star names like J J Williams, Ray Gravell, Roy Bergiers and Derek Quinnell in their ranks. But Cardiff had great players of their own such as Gareth Edwards and Gareth Davies at half-back, Barry Nelmes, Alan Phillips and Gerry Wallace in the front row and a captain par excellence in Gerald Davies.
Thus, when I was a lad a had a cousin who played for Man U alongside Bobby Charlton and another cousin who played alongside Gareth Edwards and and Gerald Davis for Cardiff against a Llanelli team led by Phil Bennett, yet at the time it didn't seem very remarkable, or indeed all that interesting, to me.

I can't get enough of that sort of thing now. What a peculiar little chap I must have been.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Act your age, mama (not your shoe size)

Next week, I'm going to GCN Speakers: What makes a digital leader? Lessons from Obama to Burberry at the Cabinet Office in Whitehall.

I'm an admirer of the White House's digital engagement strategy and its implementation so my focus has been rather more on the Obama than the Burberry component of the pitch. however, is a development that makes me wonder what we are going to be served.

I am tempted to ask the Burglar to stop what he's working on and develop a digital backside to which I can redirect any digital kisses that may come my way on Tuesday.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Desolation of Smug

Jerome Weeks
Reportedly, during a meeting of the Inklings, the Oxford dons' book club whose members included Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, Tolkien read passages from his manuscript for The Lord of the Rings.
Tolkien was a terrible public speaker and reader, mumbling and droning, and his fellow English teacher, Hugo Dyson, promptly fell asleep. When he woke up and heard what was still going on, Dyson exclaimed, "Oh no, not another focking elf." Thereafter, Tolkien limited his readings to those meetings of the Inklings when Dyson wasn't present. (And Dyson promptly became a personal hero of mine.)
And mine.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tempting fate

We won the quiz at the Antelope for the third time in a row last night equalling last September's record.

You get a £50 bar tab for coming first, so that is what will be fuelling us next week when we try for a new record of four victories on the bounce.

Michael Corleone: Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in.

Monday, June 10, 2013

keeping the score

The Bomber turned out for Herne Hill Harriers yesterday in a Ebbisham Boys League Div 1 fixture in Croydon.

He won his 300m and then ran the first leg of the 4x200m relay, handing over the baton first as well. The team was just pipped into second in the race though. Still, I can't ask for more than him beating everyone he is matched against.

His Harriers remain top of the league.

PS 300m is the U13 equivalent of the standard 400m

PPS As of now I have only tagged three posts with Athletics. I ought to dig up some more of his achievements.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Can you take away the pain but leave the swelling?

Do you remember that I have decided to see a personal trainer every four weeks or so?

I am writing this in Virgin Active at Merton Abbdy after session two.

He warmed me up on the bike and then we did drop sets on the leg press machine all the way down from 200kg to 60kg in increments of 5kg.

Wikipedia: In bodybuilding and weight training, using drop sets is a technique for continuing an exercise with a lower weight once muscle failure has been achieved at a higher weight.

That's right twenty eight sets taken to failure on the leg press, and this - mind you - is the scary plate loaded press machine where the weight bears down on you, not the more effete model where you select a weight and push yourself away.

I thought I was going to die. I couldn't even get off the bench for a few minutes once we'd finished.

After that he warmed me down on the bike and then stretched me out; I lay down and he bent my knees back in turn until my heels met my buttocks. It's good for you apparently. I was too weary to argue.

Taking my tracksuit bottoms off in the changing room after I couldn't raise my leg so I had to do that strange dance where you roll your trousers down and then march on the spot and push your pants off with your feet.

I may just sit here for the rest of the day. Roll on session three!

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Any day now, any day now, I shall be released.

Manchester United May 2 1973
  • Pat Olney played his first match for United appearing as a sub against Hellas Verona, scoring a goal
  • Pat Olney played his last match for United appearing as a sub against Hellas Verona
  • Bobby Charlton's Last match for United in the match vs Hellas Verona
That's my cousin Pat's entire career in the Man U first team above.

I thought of it yesterday when I was reading 'Andrey Arshavin, William Gallas and Mark Schwarzer among players released by Premier League clubs' in the Telegraph.

The article has a list of all the players released by Premiere League clubs. It is a long list. Arsenal alone released 14.

It's a tough business.

Friday, June 07, 2013


I was very taken with the new Mariah Carey single when I heard it on ChoiceFM and before I knew it was her. Thank God I didn't see the video first as it is utter rubbish.

Actually it sounds more like Miguel Pimentel ft Mariah than the reverse. Perhaps I should check out his catalogue.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Istanbul (Not Constantinople)

We took a client for lunch in the recently opened Istanbul Meze Mangal Restaurant yesterday. It was excellent and I'll be going again.

....... sings:
Istanbul was Constantinople
Now it's Istanbul, not Constantinople
Been a long time gone, Constantinople
Now it's Turkish delight on a moonlit night
Every gal in Constantinople
Lives in Istanbul, not Constantinople
So if you've a date in Constantinople
She'll be waiting in Istanbul

Wednesday, June 05, 2013


Sports: The Eighty Greatest Esquire Stories of All Time, Volume 3 is finally out; a happy coincidence as I could start looking at it when I needed to kill time at the track while the Bomber was training last night.

He has joined the Harriers now, so - fingers crossed - he can get a few competitions in over the summer.

He will need to make hay while he can. Here is for why:
Track and Field based on Rules 7 and 107)

"The operative date for determining membership of age groups for all athletes under age of 17 shall be... the 31st August at the end of the competition year"
"The competition year ... shall extend from 1st October to 30th September for the following year"

Under 13
Those who are aged 11 or 12 on the 31st August that competition year
Under 15
Those who are aged 13 or 14 on the 31st August that competition year
As his birthday is September 30th, this means that this is his last year at U13 whereas most of the other people in his class at school for example would have another season before going up to U15, and next year he could be running against a kid just 30 days short of three years older than him.

Then again, them's the breaks. A line has to be drawn somewhere.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013


I noticed this tweet on Friday (our office is above Julia Boggio's studio) and followed the link serendipitously to find:
AS CAREER trajectories go Noah Francis Johnson's is more than unique.
Ticking more boxes than a stage-worth of Britain's Got Talent try-hards, Noah is a former professional boxer, a world freestyle dance champion, studied for the priesthood and - this is where it gets interesting - has the sort of voice that makes people sit up and take notice.
"The one constant has been the music," says Noah, 49. "It's who I am." Born in Tiger Bay, South Wales, Noah's father was a dedicated yet struggling musician who took him on the road at just eight years old, dipping in and out of working men's clubs as they went and witnessing the rough with the smooth along the way.
Fancy that. I was in school with his brother Frankie, another song and dance man.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Welsh War Z

Brad Pitt's new movie "Word War Z" (Second Unit Director Jonnie's Uncle Simon dontcha know) has premiered. The Torygraph review is lukewarm, but I am intrigued.
Lane (Pitt) travels from Philadelphia (played on-screen by Glasgow) to Nova Scotia via New York, New Jersey, South Korea, Israel and Wales, and almost nothing that happens along the way has the slightest effect on the film’s final outcome.
New York, New Jersey, South Korea, Israel and Wales?
The Welsh finale, in particular, looks spectacularly cheap, and the screen-stretching vistas and computer-generated hordes from earlier in the movie are nowhere to be seen. In their place is Peter Capaldi, who plays a World Health Organisation director hiding out in a bunker near Cardiff, and when you first glimpse him in an otherwise empty office you wonder if Malcolm Tucker has somehow saved the day by swearing the zombies into submission.
That I have to see. Hats off to

Sunday, June 02, 2013


This years line up for is out.

As ever, our usual open invitation is extended to one and all for July and August's Friday nights on the balcony.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

The Legendary Journey

We've got a Now TV day pass for Sky Sports, a projector, a screen, beer and pizza. Kick off is 12:30 and life is good.