Sunday, December 31, 2017

Same time next year

Usually, VAT-registered businesses submit their VAT Returns and payments to HM Revenue and Customs 4 times a year.
With the Annual Accounting Scheme you:
  • make advance VAT payments towards your VAT bill - based on your last return (or estimated if you’re new to VAT)
  • submit 1 VAT Return a year
When you submit your VAT Return you either:
  • make a final payment - the difference between your advance payments and actual VAT bill
  • apply for a refund - if you’ve overpaid your VAT bill
The scheme wouldn’t suit your business if you regularly reclaim VAT because you’ll only be able to get 1 refund a year (when you submit the VAT Return).
That sounds like a plan. My fascinating life, eh?

Saturday, December 30, 2017

What's on the end of the stick, Vic

Vic & Bob's Big Night Out returned for a special one-off episode last night and all is well with the world.

Friday, December 29, 2017


Vice News
Beheadings, violence, and the so-called Islamic State (IS) may seem unlikely subjects for a comedy show, but Saudi Arabia's satirical Selfie series, which looks at the militant group's violent activities through a humorous lens, has proven a runaway hit with viewers.
Selfie has garnered top ratings since it began airing on Saudi network MBC for its brand of dark humor that perforates the blanket of death and tragedy that has accompanied IS's bloodied land grab across the region, the series' writer Khalaf al-Harbi told the Associated Press.
"What's coming is darker," he said of the situation in the Middle East. "Maybe I am a bit pessimistic, and I hope that I am wrong, but I don't think I am."
The group's supporters, on the other hand, are not fans of the new show, and have responded with online death threats against the show's leading actor and writer.
In one skit, an aspiring "caliph" brings together a ragtag band of fighters to start his own militant group, squired by his "mufti," or top religious cleric, who never graduated from school. In another, al-Qasabi plays the bumbling father of a Saudi boy who left to join the Islamic State. The father must go undercover as a militant in Syria to bring his son home, all the time trying to dodge partaking in violence himself.
The show also doesn't hesitate to mock the Sunni-Shiite divide. In one skit, two Saudi men meet in an airport in Europe, and it turns out they both are quite keen on women, alcohol, and parties. But when they discover one is Shiite, the other Sunni, their arguing grows so intense that airport security becomes involved, and the police cart them off to a mental institution when they discover the men are arguing over something that happened 1,400 years ago.
Selfie has no qualms satirizing ultra-conservative religious attitudes in Saudi Arabia, for which it has been slammed by mainstream clerics as heretic, particularly as it airs during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
One of the episodes in particular, which derides Saudi Arabia's religious establishment over its disapproval of types of music, recently led Saudi cleric Saeed bin Mohammed bin Farwa to accuse al-Qasabi and MBC of heresy.
But al-Harbi said that Selfie aims to emphasize how the militants have misappropriated and perverted Islam for their own purposes. The show's success, he claims, proves that satire can sometimes be more compelling and a better vehicle to remind the public of this fact than traditional or government-run media.
"I felt this is a weapon that will reach the audience," he said. "If it was just something comical, we would have focused on easy societal issues that aren't dangerous and are guaranteed safe."
Well I never. I had no idea such a show could even exist. Maybe there is hope after all.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Too Much of a Good Thing?

I felt rather smug when I got tickets for Danny Baker in Crawley next July (see Icons passim).

I feel somewhat less smug now that he has added a gig around the corner at the Wimbledon Theatre -

That said the Hawth theatre show is nearly sold out -

Maybe I can return my tickets there for a refund?

I bought my dockets via Ticketmaster but the new show is not appearing on their website yet, see over by yer.

I will wait until it shows up before I pursue this further.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The future's so Bright, I gotta wear shades

I signed up for a month's free trial on Netflix over the holiday break so Ben and I could watch Bright. Just for the record, checking out "a movie so profoundly awful that Republicans will probably try to pass it into law," was the son and heir's idea rather than mine.

Now I've got the streaming service however I ought to try and make the most of it. I've been binge watching Chef's Table and was told at a party that Stranger Things is good stuff.

Anyone else got a suggestion or two?

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

David Hurn

The world-renowned Magnum Photos photographer David Hurn is Wales's most important living photographer. This year he is donating his archive to the National Museum Wales, alongside a unique collection of 700 photographs by other photographers, including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Bill Brandt and Dorothea Lange. It is a remarkable gift to the nation.

The BBC documentary is well worth a look and I must go to the National Museum of Wales exhibition next time I'm back.

Monday, December 25, 2017

For the time being

Well, so that is that. Now we must dismantle the tree,
Putting the decorations back into their cardboard boxes —
Some have got broken — and carrying them up to the attic.
The holly and the mistletoe must be taken down and burnt,
And the children got ready for school. There are enough
Left-overs to do, warmed-up, for the rest of the week —
Not that we have much appetite, having drunk such a lot,
Stayed up so late, attempted — quite unsuccessfully —
To love all of our relatives, and in general
Grossly overestimated our powers. Once again
As in previous years we have seen the actual Vision and failed
To do more than entertain it as an agreeable
Possibility, once again we have sent Him away,
Begging though to remain His disobedient servant,
The promising child who cannot keep His word for long.
The Christmas Feast is already a fading memory,
And already the mind begins to be vaguely aware
Of an unpleasant whiff of apprehension at the thought
Of Lent and Good Friday which cannot, after all, now
Be very far off. But, for the time being, here we all are,
Back in the moderate Aristotelian city
Of darning and the Eight-Fifteen, where Euclid’s geometry
And Newton’s mechanics would account for our experience,
And the kitchen table exists because I scrub it.
It seems to have shrunk during the holidays. The streets
Are much narrower than we remembered; we had forgotten
The office was as depressing as this. To those who have seen
The Child, however dimly, however incredulously,
The Time Being is, in a sense, the most trying time of all.
For the innocent children who whispered so excitedly
Outside the locked door where they knew the presents to be
Grew up when it opened. Now, recollecting that moment
We can repress the joy, but the guilt remains conscious;
Remembering the stable where for once in our lives
Everything became a You and nothing was an It.
And craving the sensation but ignoring the cause,
We look round for something, no matter what, to inhibit
Our self-reflection, and the obvious thing for that purpose
Would be some great suffering. So, once we have met the Son,
We are tempted ever after to pray to the Father;
“Lead us into temptation and evil for our sake.”
They will come, all right, don’t worry; probably in a form
That we do not expect, and certainly with a force
More dreadful than we can imagine. In the meantime
There are bills to be paid, machines to keep in repair,
Irregular verbs to learn, the Time Being to redeem
From insignificance. The happy morning is over,
The night of agony still to come; the time is noon:
When the Spirit must practice his scales of rejoicing
Without even a hostile audience, and the Soul endure
A silence that is neither for nor against her faith
That God’s Will will be done, That, in spite of her prayers,
God will cheat no one, not even the world of its triumph.

I was torn between Auden and Morecambe and Wise for this year's Christmas post.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Accept No Subtitute

Everton v Chelsea: Cahill & Fabregas left out, youngster on bench
Gary Cahill has been left out of the Chelsea starting line-up for the game at Goodison Park, where the Blues will again play without an out-and-out striker.
With Alvaro Morata suspended, Eden Hazard is set to lead the Chelsea attack, supported by Pedro and Willian.
Cahill is a substitute, with Antonio Rudiger starting and Cesar Azpilicueta captaining the side. Marcos Alonso is back after suspension.
Cesc Fabregas is also on the bench, with Tiemoue Bakayoko again starting alongside N’Golo Kante in midfield.
Teenage striker Callum Hudson-Odoi is again among the substitutes.
A spot on the bench again for Callum. This time in the Premiership. He didn't get on and it was a dreary draw apparently but this may well be the season he breaks into the first team squad as a regular.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

The Polecats

I have got history with this lot. See Icons Passim.

Friday, December 22, 2017


At noon today, both Danny Baker and I will be as far as we get each year from our shared June 22nd birthdays.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Will The Last Jedi Turn Out The Lights

Star Wars: The Last Jedi - the most divisive film ever?
"This movie is an absolute insult to all Star Wars fans." "I'm going to go have a funeral for my childhood now." "This is NOT the Star Wars movie you are looking for!"
"This movie was AWESOME." "I was on the edge of my seat, I laughed, I cried." "I do understand the backlash, but I believe it's wrong. This is a great movie."
Ben and I went to see it yesterday and we are firmly in the latter camp.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

I learned the truth at seventeen

From the Daily Mail on the Chelsea v Bournemouth Carabao Cup quarter-final tonight:
Conte sees the Bournemouth cup tie as an opportunity to rest and rotate amid Chelsea's hectic festive fixture calendar and is likely to make widespread changes as seen in previous rounds against Everton and Nottingham Forest.
'These players are the future for Chelsea,' Conte said. '(Dujon) Sterling is a good player, Hudson-Odoi won the World Cup and Ampadu played against Everton.
'I must consider the young players if they deserve to have this chance. Ampadu is with the first team every day. Odoi deserves his chance to show he can play for this team for 10-15 years.'
Won't that be a thing if Callum gets on for the Chelsea first team tonight.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Less Politically Correct Time When Christmas Was About Honoring The Glory Of Saturn

HOLLISTER, CA—Longing for the days when people understood the true meaning of the holiday, area man Steve Rocha told reporters Monday that he remembers a less politically correct time when Christmas was about honoring the glory of Saturn. “It was the one time a year when families would gather round the altar and sacrifice a suckling pig to the god who ruled in the Golden Age, but nowadays you have to act like you’re ashamed of that,” said 41-year-old Rocha, adding that people used to be allowed to openly celebrate the agricultural deity with a sumptuous public banquet and copious amounts of gambling and debauchery without being accused of some sort of religious intolerance. “You can’t even say io Saturnalia anymore without the PC police biting your head off. Boy, the days when you could spend Christmas serving your slaves as if they were your masters in an evening of fun role-reversal are long, long gone, I’m afraid.” At press time, Rocha was lamenting the fact that the holiday cups at Starbucks had not a single traditional image of Saturn devouring his own newborn children.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Mali: A playlist

Rod is off to Mali in Jan, seconded to the European Union.

No Brexit for him then:

The soundtrack is at least rich as I follow him vicariously round the world.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Chez Lindsay to Chez Moi

I am taking it easy today after the Tighten Up Christmas do

I watched Dune in my dressing gown. It is not as bad as getting up and watching Fight Club but it is still pretty bad.

Paul Muad Dib: My name is a killing word.

Myself: Is it now? Good for you.

Friday, December 15, 2017

India’s first ever Happiness Minister goes on run following murder of opposition politician

A manhunt is under way for India’s first ever ‘Happiness Minister’ after he fled an arrest for murder charges, say police.
Lal Singh Arya, 53, disappeared on Tuesday after being named a suspect in the murder of opposition politician Makhanlal Jatav.
Mr Jatav, from the Congress party, was shot dead while out campaigning for another candidate in April 2009.
An arrest warrant was issued last week by a court in Bhind.

Mr Arya has previously denied the charges.
He is the head of India’s only Department for Happiness. Set up by the government in the central state of Madhya Pradesh in 2016, it is tasked with improving “the happiness and tolerance of its citizens” and “putting a smile on everyone’s face” through services such as free yoga and meditation classes.
Mr Arya, of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), had been due to appear before court on December 19th.

Police were unable to find him at his home, his official residence or in his home town.
God bless us, every one. Yule logs, shining cheeks, fat Santas; the charitable soul, open hearts and good cheer.......

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Carl Jung and the Lion King

In this lecture, Jordan B Peterson finishes his analysis of Disney's Lion King, which provides a dramatic representation of many of the archetypes identified and analyzed by Dr. Carl Gustav Jung, student of Nietzsche and Freud, and originator of analytical psychology.

Just over an hour in he starts talking about the Bomber and his mates.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A Wander up the Wandle

AFC Wimbledon were today given the go ahead to start building their new £25 million stadium at Plough Lane.

Less than a mile and a half away from home. A leisurely stroll through the park along the river to the football sounds an attractive proposition for 2019.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Skiers take to the slopes in Brecon

Cheaper than Austria last year was for me I'll wager. That said, it is hardly the most thrilling two minutes 17 seconds of footage ever recorded.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

A message from the management

A great team performance and result today beating a very physical Guildford side 20-10 which now takes us into the Surrey Cup semi finals hosting London Irish at Old Ruts in January!
It's all gravy, for Ben and the boys.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Friday, December 08, 2017

Lunchtime's shopping list

  • black rubbish bags
  • disposable razors
  • dishwasher tablets
  • shoe laces
It's not all glamour you know.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Stand up for your rights

I would have bought an Echo Show for the kitchen as soon as it came out in the United Kingdom if Google hadn't disabled YouTube on it. I needz recipez on videoz, you seez.

A couple of days ago, when I fired up the YouTube app on the Fire TV stick  I got a message saying that it would be unavailable on the platform from the beginning of next year.

Public spat between two of world’s biggest tech companies intensifies as Google uses access to video platform as leverage to force retailer to sell its products sayeth the Grauniard.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Mummers, pace-eggers, soulers, tipteerers, wrenboys, and galoshins

I am a mime. My body is my tool. Above the timeless art illuminates Theresa May's encounter with the Ireland border yesterday. (Ho ho, very satirical.)

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Lock In

I'm currently planning to take Ben to see Wales v Scotland in Cardiff in February next year and then Italy versus Wales in Rome on 9 February 2019. It has struck me that if we target seeing all the Six Nations opposition, both home and away, at the rate of one game a year we are looking at a decade long programme.

I think that is worth doing.

Monday, December 04, 2017

The Old Switcheroo

I have been supporting Swansea in the Premier League since Cardiff were relegated after a single year in the top flight at the end of the 2013-14 season.

After last weekend, with Swansea at the bottom of the table and the Bluebirds second in the Championship, dare I start to dream the we will be promoted in the same year that the Swans are relegated?

Oh yes I do.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Rites of Passage

When I am grown to man's estate
I shall be very proud and great.
And tell the other girls and boys
Not to meddle with my toys.
Ben's first driving lesson is booked for Friday.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Gregory Porter's Popular Voices

Gregory Porter was wonderful when I saw him supporting Stevie Wonder at Clapham Common in Summer 2014. He's made a TV series in which he presents a 100-year celebration of the mystery, joy and pain that lies behind some of the greatest voices in modern music. It finished last night but you can still catch it on the iPlayer here; highly recommended.

Friday, December 01, 2017

Over paid, over here, over balanced

Head coach Warren Gatland says Wales' fourth autumn international against South Africa is a 'balancing act' for the Welsh Rugby Union.
The match is being played outside World Rugby's international window which means both sides are missing key players who have returned to their clubs.
Gatland says the money raised from the match is important for the game's finances in Wales, and it offers young players valuable international experience.
Wales: L Halfpenny (Scarlets); H Amos (Dragons), S Williams (Scarlets), H Parkes (Scarlets), S Evans (Scarlets); D Biggar (Ospreys), A Davies (Scarlets); R Evans (Scarlets), K Dacey (Cardiff Blues), S Andrews (Cardiff Blues), C Hill (Dragons), A W Jones (Ospreys, capt), A Shingler (Scarlets), J Navidi (Cardiff Blues), T Faletau (Bath).
Replacements: E Dee (Dragons), W Jones (Scarlets), R Jones (Ospreys), S Davies (Cardiff Blues), D Lydiate (Ospreys), R Webb (Ospreys), R Patchell (Scarlets), O Watkin (Ospreys).
I'll be watching obviously, but I think it is ridiculous.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Published yesterday: 37,943,069 views

Sometimes you just have to give in to the hype; Wimbledon's finest on web-slinging duties notwithstanding. See Icons passim.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

As Bitcoin hits $10k

The £4.21 transaction in my Bitcoin wallet (£4 plus a 21p fee) from 17 July is coming up as being equivalent to £22.11 today. See Icons passim.

Widget courtesy of

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Diary of a nobody

Here, for your listening pleasure, Tina Brown recalls her time as editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair magazine from 1983 to 1992.

I heard it on Radio 4 as I was driving back from Cardiff. It is drivel, but hilariously self-importantly and name-droppingly drivelious; "war broke out with Iraq, just as we were on our way to a dinner with, of all people, Henry and Nancy Kissinger." God give me strength.

Monday, November 27, 2017


The Ruts Colts beat London Welsh 38-20 away at Old Deer Park yesterday. I had hurried up the M4 to catch it.

Andy H sent me the photo below. it is the school team that beat Christ's Hospital the other week. Boys to men, it is worth saving these memories as they will be seniors soon.

Sunday, November 26, 2017


Here's the anthem from the Wales New Zealand game yesterday.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

I'm interested in all sport, not just rugby

UPDATED 14:10, 27 JUL 2017
Kiwi shearers beat out a furious haka at yesterday’s Royal Welsh Show as they sought to salvage some pride against their Welsh counterparts.

The New Zealand team stripped off their vests to perform the traditional Maori war dance in front of huge crowds at the Meirion Shearing centre.

They were applauded loudly but the moment was soon drowned out by a rousing rendition of the Welsh national anthem.

And the haka was soon forgotten as the Wales test pair of Richard Jones, Corwen, and Gwion Lloyd Evans, Denbigh, romped to victory.

New Zealand will now have to wait at least another year for an away series win against Wales after losing the first three tests in their current CP Wool UK tour.

On a good day for Welsh shearing, domestic bladesmen occupied the top four places in the machine shearing open final, relegating the Kiwis to the minor spots.

Heading the list was Richard Jones, who capped a superb event by also clinching the Champion Shearer of Wales title.

The day’s results reflected the growing power of Wales in the shearing world.

Although the country has yet to beat the Kiwis in a shearing test in New Zealand, the latter have now failed to clinch a series win in Wales since 2011.

Following victory in the opening match of this year’s series at Cothi Shears, Gwion Lloyd Evans and teammate Ian Jones, from Llandrindod Wells, then wrapped up the second match at Lampeter Shears.

Gwion was yesterday joined by Richard Jones to grab a third successive win against the New Zealand pair of John Kirkpatrick and Rowland Smith, who have both won world titles.

The final match in the four-test series is at Corwen Shears on Saturday.
I wonder how it turned out.

Thursday, November 23, 2017


It is more important for fans to arrive early for Wales' clash with New Zealand on Saturday than it has ever been.
This weekend's Under Armour Series match sees the first sold-out rugby event at Principality Stadium since newly enhanced security measures were introduced in April 2017.
'Gates open at 2.15pm… get in early!' is the message from Stadium manager Mark Williams ahead of the third round Under Armour Series clash.
The sole intent of the enhanced checks is to maintain safety and security for fans attending the stadium, taking into account the current security climate and more specifically UK terror threat levels.
The match-day experience boasts a Haka and the live showing of Scotland versus Australia on the stadium big screens and concourses (which kicks-off at 2.30pm) to draw fans in, alongside 'early bird' deals at food and beverage outlets and entertainment at several fan zones inside the ground.
But Williams has warned, despite a positive reaction from fans ahead of the match with Georgia last weekend - who arrived at the stadium earlier to avoid the risk of missing kick-off which had become a reality for some a week earlier at the Australia game - channeling 74,500 supporters through turnstiles in three hours this weekend will be the greatest challenge yet.
I'm going down on Friday, but I think the scientific approach to meeting up with people who are coming by train on the day is to meet them inside the stadium over early-bird-deal food and beverage rather than in a boozer outside.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Funky Butt

I went to see Five Guys Named Moe last night. It was in the Marble Arch Theatre, a venue of which I had never previously heard. When I got there I realised that this was because it is a pop-up theatre specifically designed for the production and to look like a New Orleans jazz bar.

The second act is a show within a show set at the Funky Butt night club. I remember a club with that name in Rampart Street from my Nawlins visit all those years ago.

I imagine I would have long forgotten if it was not for the laugh that my brother let out when I informed him that I was "just going to stick my head in the Funky Butt to see what's going on."

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


I will be there. Will Self at the Antelope seems a bracingly unlikely contrast with Monday's quiz. Tickets over by yer

Monday, November 20, 2017

prescient: having knowledge of events before they take place.

Launched in 1995, the year the movies turned 100, V.F.’s Hollywood Issue can be judged by its covers: artful, innovative, prescient.
Artful, innovative, prescient but also, in the light of Weinstein-Spacey-Toback-gate, extremely creepy. Personally I think that that 2006's offering above takes the Blue Riband, but looking over the whole series it is a close call.
See a photo time line of Vanity Fair’s Hollywood covers since the beginning.
And make up your own mind.

Sunday, November 19, 2017


It pains me to write this, but if Wales restricting Georgia to an uncontested scrum (offering no tight head replacement after Francis was sin-binned yesterday) wasn't cheating, it will do until some real cheating comes along.

Also Ben's game was cancelled today as the opposition cried off, this means he missed my traditional sing-along to Radio 2 in the car on the way back as Elaine Paige presents the best of Broadway, Hollywood and the West End. I imagine he will be able to cope with the disappointment.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Eastern Bloc

I was in the National Stadium in December 1988 when Romania beat Wales 15-6. At the time they were unreconstructed Stalinists. Ceaușescu was not to fall until the revolution in 1989.

Georgia are bowling up to the Millennium Stadium today and I fear another banana skin. Wales have got a green front five and the Georgian team is built around a monster pack who mostly ply their trade in France.

Personally I would like to see promotion to, and relegation from, the Six Nations to give the Eastern European rugby nations a focus for their ambitions.

Still with rugby, I was happy to see Ben help Rutlish to a win over Christ's Hospital School last night. Always good to put one over on posh boys.

Oh, and there is still time to put your hand in your pocket for Old Ruts Kenya.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Sometimes just pretzels and beer, But I'm here.

To the Wimbledon Odeon last night for the NT Live version of Follies. I remember seeing it in Festival Hall in 2002, well lubricated and consequently anxious to get out to the gents in the at half time. This time as I was settling down with my wine (Icons passim) I learned that this production didn't have an interval at all. Needless to say I didn't make it to the end without a pit stop.

Next up, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; February 22, 2018.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

All Those Women

For what it is worth, I heard this yesterday evening while I was cooking dinner in the kitchen to the accompaniment of Radio 4. I thought it was great. Fill your boots here.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Pound Shop

The Roots of Rock: From Cardiff to Mississippi and Back 

by Peter Finch 

Kindle Edition: 99p

Can't go wrong.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The sensitive naked man

Louis C.K.: Wait a minute. Something's wrong. I can tell.

Cathy: [ sighs ] No. I'm doing great. Really.

Louis C.K.: What's troubling you, Cathy?

Cathy: Nothing! Nothing!

Louis C.K.: Hey, come on. I can always tell when something's bothering you.

Cathy: [ sighs ] Well.. if you really want to know.. it's because you're not wearing any clothes. And it really freaks me out.

Louis C.K.: Hey, come on. What's really bothering you?

These are deep waters.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Vicar in a tutu

Boys should be free to wear tutus and tiaras, says Church of England
Guidance for schools urges teachers to let children ‘play with the many cloaks of identity’ rather than conform to stereotypes
It was Morrisey, but of course and more than thirty years ago, who saw that this day was coming.

A vicar in a tutu
He's not strange
He just wants to live his life this way

Sunday, November 12, 2017


This is David Bishop at 57 - a unique Welsh rugby talent who has an extraordinary story to tell
It's 33 years since David Bishop won his only Wales cap in an autumn clash against Australia. His memories remain vivid - and much has happened since.
As brought to my attention in the Claude on Friday night by Phil and Tim. You can't be too rich, too thin, or have too many David Bishop stories (Icons passim).

Saturday, November 11, 2017


An Italian song used in the 1990 film Goodfellas will be performed non-stop for five weeks on an organ in Cardiff.
The 1960s hit "Il Cielo in una Stanza" - The Sky in a Room - will be played by 10 singing organists on one of the Britain's oldest organs, as part of an art installation by Ragnar Kjartansson.
The organ, originally made for Sir Watkin Williams Wynn in 1774, is a permanent fixture in National Museum Cardiff's historic painting galleries.
The song will be played 3,000 times.
I'm back in Cardiff myself, but I don't have to go out to hear the same thing again and again and again.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Hide in plan sight.

Maro Itoje interviewed by Maggie Alphonsi - 'I'd love more people of colour in rugby. Barriers to entry must be knocked down'
Maro Itoje should come and see the Old Ruts Colts one weekend if he would love to see more people of colour in rugby. May throw a few quid in the direction of Old Ruts Kenya as well.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Publish and be damned.

Facebook is asking users to send the company ... photos in an effort to tackle revenge porn, in an attempt to give some control back to victims of this type of abuse.
Individuals who have shared intimate, nude or sexual images with partners and are worried that the partner (or ex-partner) might distribute them without their consent can use Messenger to send the images to be “hashed”. This means that the company converts the image into a unique digital fingerprint that can be used to identify and block any attempts to re-upload that same image.
Let's just get this out of the way once and for all .........

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Dan Milton

The uplifting story of the triumphant Welsh college team with an incredible roll call of rugby greats
The man at the helm of it all is Director of Rugby Danny Milton, who took up the reins this summer after a decade as assistant to Chris Davey.
Dan's my cousin. Much of the video is an interview with him; well worth a watch. Also, it is just round the corner from mum and dad's. I didn't really understand the scale of the operation before.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Paapa's got a brand new bag (Geddit!!??!)

Following a critically acclaimed run in Stratford-upon-Avon in 2016, rising star Paapa Essiedu revisits his triumphant Hamlet in a riveting and contemporary take on Shakespeare’s tragedy directed by Simon Godwin.
I have got my tickets for next March in the Hackney Empire. He lives just round the corner dontcha know.

Monday, November 06, 2017

The Sadder and Wiser Beaver

Since its founding in 1868 the Savile in Mayfair - one of London’s most prestigious clubs - has only accepted men as members.
Soon, however, it will accept a woman among its ranks - after one of the club’s existing male members announced they were in transition to becoming a woman.
The transgender member will become its first woman to be allowed membership rights by the Mayfair club in its 150-year history. The issue raises questions for other male or female only institutions at a time when transgender status is becoming a more common phenomenon.

The Savile’s governing committee has ruled that the member, who is understood to be in their 30s and married with two young children, can continue to be a member once their transitioning process has completed, despite the club’s male only membership policy.
It decided that because the individual in question has joined the club as a man they would remain one regardless of the outcome of the process. The decision is understood to have been met with widespread approval within the club.
Myself: Whenever the old man has a cocktail party, there’s about ten of us – young, progressive people – we all gather up the far end of the room and … quite openly, behind our hands, we snigger at him.

Prodnose: Well, I don’t know, that doesn’t seem very much to me.

Myself: A snigger here, a snigger there – it all adds up.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Don't go chasing waterfalls

The Old Ruts (including Ben) beat Chipstead in the Surrey RFU's Colts (U17 and U18 Combined) Season-long Waterfall Cup today.

Now you know as much as me about the Waterfall Cup.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Good Time Charlie's Back!

I missed Danny Baker on the road earlier this year (see Icons Passim) so I have taken no chances on the next tour and booked tickets for the Hawth Theatre in Crawley next July (about half an hour on the train from Clapham Junction).

For completeness, see also The Danny Baker Show on Radio 5 Live on Saturday mornings. I am usually otherwise engaged when it is on but catch is later as a podcast

And while I am at it, I have also added his latest volume of autobiography Going on the Turn to my wish list and - in doing so - found he has the same birthday, June 22nd, as me.

Prodnose: What the same birthday? Uncanny!

Myself: You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension - a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You've just crossed over into the Twilight Zone.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Happy Birthday

November the second 2017 is Rayburn's 28th birthday!

See Icons Passim from 2005.

It's 3:30 in the morning of November 3 here, but still the second in Florida.

So the greeting still counts.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

an ad hoc fallacy

I have a long history of mining the world's spiritual masters and wisdom traditions for any insights I might be able to use as excuses, distractions from, or alibis for my past and future treachery and skullduggery. This is how I come to be working through Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment at the moment.

Unfortunately Robert Wright, the author, seems to conclude that Buddhism is true because it is echoes the insights of evolutionary psychology, and evolutionary psychology has always struck me as Panglossian gobbledygook. In brief I object as follows; if so much of our mental make up can be explained as Darwinian adaptations to help us live in small bands of hunter-gatherers, why don't we live in small bands of hunter-gatherers?
On the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Hidden Cardiff

Never mind Spurs v Real Madrid kicking off at quarter to, eight o'clock sharp on BBC2 tonight we have Hidden Cardiff with Will Millard.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


He sings his radio-honed soul paeans as though he lost a Tiddlywink up both nostrils as a toddler, or someone’s permanently holding a pillow to his face......
Not so much nu soul as flu soul........
His vulnerability is endearing; unfortunately the sentiment of tunes such as Burning was dampened by such clog-nosed falsettos that we wondered if, somewhere backstage, a mic’d-up gannet was drowning.
At last someone else who hears the same appalling racket that assaults my ears whenever Sam Smith opens his gob.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Cometh the hour, cometh the man

The England v Spain U17 World Cup final is poised on a knife edge at two goals each as the Telegraph takes up the tale.
In the 68th minute, Hudson Odoi rushed through Spain’s defence and squared to Foden for the midfielder to make it 3-2.

England’s captain Joel Latibeaudaire, had a commanding game and was involved in England sealing the win. A foul on Hudson-Odoi saw the winger take the free-kick himself, nodded down by the skipper and it was finished off by defender Marc Guehi of Chelsea.
When the fifth goal came in the 87th minute, again it was Hudson-Odoi linking up with Foden and again it resulted in a wonderful goal.
England 5 Spain 2; notice a theme in the last three goals? My italics.

Saturday, October 28, 2017


There seems to be nothing in the papers, on the airwaves, or going interwebly viral about the most crucial aspect of the constitutional crisis in Spain over Catalonia. To whit, what impact will it have on the Spanish U17 team who are playing England in the World Cup Final this afternoon?

The game is going to be shown live on BBC2 - 3:20 for a 3:30 kick off - rather handily saving me from having to fork over £6.99 to Eurosport.

Steve Cooper - England's manager -was born in Pontypridd, lives in Wrexham and describes himself as a "proud Welshman." So we have got skin in the game with him as well as Callum.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Ho-Ho Very Satirical II: Barcelona

26 October 1987: Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé release Barcelona.
Exactly 30 years later Madrid tries to take it back into custody.

Thursday, October 26, 2017


Not only did Nissan debut a new concept vehicle at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show – it also surprised the crowd with the introduction of “Canto,” the future sound of Nissan’s electrified vehicles.
“Canto” is derived from Latin for “I sing.” The sound varies in tone and pitch depending on whether the vehicle is accelerating, decelerating or backing up. The sound is activated at speeds of up to 20 to 30 kph, depending on marketplace requirements.
Nissan created “Canto” with the goal of developing an alert sound as the priority. However, it is also designed to enrich the aural environment of the typical city street with a distinct Nissan flair. The level of the sound will be clearly audible, without being overly disturbing to pedestrians, residents and passengers.
I am pretty sure we are not having our legs pulled here. It’s played out using speakers that will be integrated into the exterior of the car’s body.

“An important element of Nissan Intelligent Mobility is how the vehicle integrates with society, and a crucial component of that is sound,” said Dr Strabimus (whom God Preserve) of Utrecht.

″‘Canto’ has been developed to help with pedestrian safety. As well as to provide a distinct Nissan sound – one that is energizing and confident, authentic to our brand and representing our unique position in the electrified marketplace.”

The Tesla, as far as I know, remains silent as a smelly one.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

1,000,000 Callum Fans Can't Be Wrong

FIFA site goes into meltdown as over ONE MILLION fans try to buy tickets for relocated Under-17 World Cup semi-final between England and Brazil
More than one million football fans tried to purchase tickets for Wednesday's Under-17 World Cup semi-final between England and Brazil in Kolkata, leading to the meltdown of FIFA's online ticketing system.
A decision was made to switch the highly-anticipated semi-final to Kolkata after the two teams refused to play on the heavily waterlogged pitch at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati.
With over 1,000km between the two cities, the vast majority of fans who had purchased tickets in Guwahati were left cursing the torrential rain that ruined their chance to see the spectacle.
But it was a bonus for fans who lived in Kolkata, with the Salt Lake Stadium set to stage its ninth game of the tournament on Wednesday lunchtime UK time.
However, many who logged on to FIFA's ticket portal to buy one of the 66,000 tickets placed on sale at short notice were to be left disappointed.
FIFA have confirmed that over one million fans logged on to attempt to buy tickets when they went on sale on Monday, with many confronted with messages saying they were behind as many as 100,000 in the queue.
To put this into some perspective, around 3.5million football fans globally requested tickets in the first sales phase for the entire World Cup in Russia next year.
Crikey! See Icons Passim. I may not be 100% focussed on work from 12:30 today.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Ho-Ho Very Satirical!

Perhaps kicking off the Harvey Weinstein Class Action Suit with an open meeting wasn't such a good idea after all

Monday, October 23, 2017

Living with the Gods

This autumn, Radio 4 and the British Museum embark on their fourth public service partnership exploring the role and expression of beliefs in lives and communities through time and around the world.
Neil MacGregor, former Director of the British Museum, returns to Radio 4 to present this landmark 30-part series, beginning on 23 October 2017.
The British Museum will also present a major exhibition on this theme, opening on 2 November 2017.
Throughout the radio series, Neil draws upon objects and curatorial insights from the British Museum and beyond, with a focus on two or three objects in each programme. As with his last Radio 4 series, the multi-award winning Germany: Memories Of A Nation, Neil also travels to key locations - from experiencing the winter solstice in the ancient passage tomb at Newgrange, Ireland, to the waters of the Ganges in India, from Salisbury Cathedral to the Vatican.
Objects that feature in the series include the Lion-man, a prehistoric ivory sculpture which is determined to be between 35,000 and 40,000 years old; a 1682 noticeboard from Japan, which listed rewards for information on Christian priests, believers and sympathisers; the Lampedusa Cross, made from pieces of a boat that was wrecked off the coast of Lampedusa, Italy in 2013 and the largest silver objects in the world, two silver vessels from Jaipur which were created between 1894 and 1896 for Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh II.
Across the series, the focus moves from daily and weekly practices, festivals, pilgrimages and sacrifices, to power struggles and political battles between beliefs, and between faiths and states.
Just starting. Sounds right up my alley.

Sunday, October 22, 2017


Praise from the RFU and an award for the Old Ruts work with kids. I will toast it at the bar later as I  will be at the club lunchtime today watching Ben playing for the Colts.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Everything you have been told is wrong

England beat Japan on penalties on Tuesday (not Wednesday as I said) so they play the USA in the quarter final of the FIFA U17 World Cup at 3:30 this afternoon (not 8pm as I said). Sometimes I wonder why I bother.

Coverage starts on Eurosport 2 at 3:15. Herewith the highlights of the Japan game. Callum slotted his penalty home though it is not on this reel. There were 53,000 spectators there by all accounts.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Where I will be on November 4.

Another Girl, Another Planet came out in 1978! Man we are getting old.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Who'd a thunk it?

9pm tonight ITV: "Gordon Ramsay on Cocaine." Maybe I should pitch "Nick Browne watching the footie down the pub?"

Monday, October 16, 2017


Now that England have won their group and made it to the knock out stages of the U17 FIFA World Cup, is it time for me to tempt fate and pony up for Eurosport on Amazon Prime Channels I wonder?

The last 16 game is against Japan at half past three on Wednesday afternoon.

If they get through that they will be up against the winner of the Paraguay v USA game that is on as I type and will be playing at 8pm Saturday night.

Win that and there will be a semi 5pm Wednesday week, get through again and the final is 8pm Saturday 28th.‎ for a seven day free trial and £6.99 a month subsequently.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The O2 Arena is now in my life

We went to the Erdinger Oktoberfest yesterday. It was held at the Greenwich Peninsula next to the O2 arena along the Thames.

I had no idea it was so easy to get to; Northern Line to London Bridge then Jubilee to North Greenwich.

Piece of cake; I will keep an eye on in future.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Liam Gallagher as Darth Vader

I was walking along and this chair came flying past me, and another, and another, and I thought, man, is this gonna be a good night.
A highlight of yesterday evening's entertainment. I fell asleep during the main event.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Getting a load off

I just want to make one thing clear right off the bat: I wholeheartedly condemn the horrible, disgusting murders committed by Jack the Ripper. Mr. Ripper is the most powerful man in London to be categorically identified as a murderer, but he’s certainly not the only one. We all need to come together and expel these sorts of depraved monsters from our society. However, I do feel like I need to open my dumb gullet and ask everyone a simple question: Why didn’t more of the women murdered by Jack the Ripper simply come forward and denounce his behavior?
Again, I totally understand how horrible Jack the Ripper’s actions were and believe they should absolutely be condemned. At the same time, I feel a need to condemn the victims of his murders for not doing more to speak out. Isn’t that the most important thing to do as soon as we identify a monster who used his immense power for even more immense evil? At times like these, we need to come together and blame the women who were completely powerless because they were dead. I am a bed-wetting coward and I want to find a way to ultimately blame women instead of the man who murdered them.

Sure, yes, Jack the Ripper’s long spree of murders is bad. But, isn’t the silence of his many female murder victims way worse? The silence of these murdered women allowed Jack the Ripper to continue to galavant through the streets of London, murdering with impunity. Let’s not get bogged down by the actual murders themselves. By doing so, we’ll just end up discussing the blatant culture of murder that has poisoned our society and kept women from speaking out for fear of retaliation. The point is, we can blame Jack the Ripper all we want, but it just doesn’t feel as good as doing some good old-fashioned victim-blaming..............

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr Moreau

In 1995, visionary writer/director Richard Stanley (HARDWARE, DUST DEVIL) got the green light for his dream project: An epic adaptation of H.G. Wells' THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU starring Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer. But only days into production, an unprecedented storm of natural disasters , monstrous egos and disturbing imagery - along with chaos, insanity and witchcraft - would trigger perhaps the most infamous behind-the-scenes catastrophe in modern movie history. Now director/producer David Gregory (THE THEATRE BIZARRE, PLAGUE TOWN) reveals the untold story behind "one of the all-time greatest cinematic train wrecks" (Variety) in this "wonderfully weird and gripping" (Entertainment Weekly) documentary featuring never-before-seen footage, startling new interviews with actors Fairuza Balk, Marco Hofschneider and Rob Morrow, studio executives, crew members and - for the first time ever - the notoriously reclusive Stanley himself.
My brother John is visiting this weekend. This is what I will crank up on Amazon Prime Video when we get back from the pub on Friday. He is the only person I can think of who will be just as keen to see it as I am.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

And there's more

Callum scored the first goal five minutes in to England's 4-0 win over Chile in the U17 World Cup. You can see it above.

The second pool game is against Mexico at lunchtime today.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Bad and Lowdown World

Personally, as a child of the 60s,  I am attempting to cope with last night's harrowing loss for Wales against the Republic of Ireland by channeling 80's band The Kane Gang.

First we have the nostalgic, wistful, bittersweet Closest Thing to Heaven. Four minutes fifty of hiraeth.

Can't try, can't try
Any harder

This could be
The closest thing to heaven
I have ever known
I've ever known

After wallowing in that, we pick ourselves up - underdogs again and forever - with Small Town Creed.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Who lost, Russia?

I went to my first Wimbledon Bookfest 2017 event yesterday; Peter Conradi on Russia: A New Cold War.
When the Soviet Union collapsed on 26 December 1991, it looked like the start of a remarkable new time of peace and co-operation. Peter Conradi argues that we have consistently failed to understand Russia and its motives. In doing so, we have made a powerful enemy. Peter witnessed the USSR’s collapse first-hand as foreign correspondent in Moscow. Peter Conradi is foreign editor of The Sunday Times. He co-authored The King’s Speech, which inspired the Oscar-winning film.
Part of my trouble with the pervasive Russia-the-enemy meme dates back to June 20th last year when Wales played them in the Euros.

We beat them three nil, but - more significantly in this context - there were no incidents at all of trouble between fans before, during or after the game. This after the press had tried to terrify us with tales of paramilitary, neo-fascist ultras; the Russian hooligans who had apparently clashed with England fans in Lille.

Secondly, although the competition's draw mandated that Wales should wear their away kit, the Russian FA agreed to wear their white away strip to allow us to play in our sentimentally important red jerseys. A small thing you might think. but a very sporting gesture in my eyes, and one that I couldn't imagine many other international sides making.

It doesn't sound like they are maniacs to me.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

It breaks down like this

After our 1-0 win in Georgia, Wales remain right in the hunt to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

As far as our own group is concerned, Wales (on 17 points) remain in second spot after the game in Tbilisi but are now crucially just a point behind leaders Serbia who suffered a 3-2 defeat to Austria in Vienna.

That means we can nick top spot in the final round of fixtures on Monday night if Wales beat Ireland and Serbia fail to beat Georgia in a match that will be played at the same time, though a Serbia win would end any hopes of us  qualifying automatically.

But Wales could even claim top spot with a draw against Ireland, as long as Serbia lose to Georgia by two or more goals.

Had results gone their way on Saturday night, Wales could have gone into Monday's clash knowing a point would be enough for a play-off spot. Now, we have no such luxury - with Greece's win over Cyprus in Group H meaning that the second-place team from that group could still grab a play-off place in the mini league.

In the rather convoluted qualifying system which sees eight of the nine second-place teams go into the play-offs, had Greece failed to win on Saturday night - it would have meant that they could only have matched Wales' mini-league points tally of 11. Now, Wales have to win to overtake Greece in the mini-league.

With only Scotland and Croatia below them on the mini-league table, a draw for Wales would see them rely on Croatia and Ukraine - who are tied on points in Group I - drawing with the same or fewer amount of goals scored on Monday night as Wales.


Saturday, October 07, 2017

Georgia on my mind

The interwebs not having penetrated as far as my mother and father's house I am typing and scheduling the post before setting off to Wales.

By now we will know the result of last night's Georgia v Wales World Cup qualifier in Tbilisi.

Celebrating (Feast Like a Georgian: A Food Guide to the Caucasus) or drowning our sorrows (Zero Compromise: A (Georgian) Natural Wine Story)?

Friday, October 06, 2017

Boyz n the Wood

Day three of local news and events. It is certainly not boring around here lately. (I was at Chipstead for the Old Ruts rugby so I have got an alibi.)

Thursday, October 05, 2017

After yesterday .... more local talent

A message from the Bomber:
A new song just came out by this South Wimbledon and Colliers Wood music group called 19inerz. The video is filmed at Abbey Mills and the estate in South Wimbledon. At 3 minutes when Big Mikes comes in, they are literally on the stairway that leads to your office.
So it did. So they are. Delightfully, Kane - who went to nursery with Ben - is in it as well.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

All they have in common ...... is me

Screen International has revealed its Stars of Tomorrow 2017, spotlighting the hottest up-and-coming actors and filmmakers in the UK and Ireland including Paapa Essiedu. I've met him at the Antelope quiz since this.

Previous Stars of Tomorrow include Benedict Cumberbatch (2004), Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne (2005), Suffragette star Carey Mulligan andStar Wars: The Force Awakens actor John Boyega (2011). Last year’s Stars of Tomorrow included Florence Pugh (Lady Macbeth), Fionn Whitehead (Dunkirk) and Josh O’Connor (God’s Own Country).

From Vinicius Júnior, who has already signed for Real Madrid, to 'the Romanian Donnarumma' the Guardian has identified 60 of the best football players in the world born in 2000. Callum Hudson-Odoi (Icons passim) is there.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens

LAS VEGAS—In the hours following a violent rampage in Las Vegas in which a lone attacker killed more than 50 individuals and seriously injured 400 others, citizens living in the only country where this kind of mass killing routinely occurs reportedly concluded Monday that there was no way to prevent the massacre from taking place. “This was a terrible tragedy, but sometimes these things just happen and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop them,” said Iowa resident Kyle Rimmels, echoing sentiments expressed by tens of millions of individuals who reside in a nation where over half of the world’s deadliest mass shootings have occurred in the past 50 years and whose citizens are 20 times more likely to die of gun violence than those of other developed nations. “It’s a shame, but what can we do? There really wasn’t anything that was going to keep these individuals from snapping and killing a lot of people if that’s what they really wanted.” At press time, residents of the only economically advanced nation in the world where roughly two mass shootings have occurred every month for the past eight years were referring to themselves and their situation as “helpless.”

Monday, October 02, 2017

Our very own Androcles

There was an incident with a lion, but in fairness it was nothing to do with the lion. He did bite Scott but when you put your hand in a fence where there is a lion then expect to get bit. And he's had plenty of warning, so it's pretty stupid on Scott's behalf and he's pretty lucky. But again, it's nothing to do with where we were, it was a good environment, we'd been told how far back to stand. But I don't know what kind of wildlife programme Scott's been watching where you can pat a lion on the head as if it's a kitten.
It is Steve Tandy's dry-as-dust delivery that turns this into comedy gold, but Scott Baldwin is now guaranteed to be an Ospreys' legend for ever.

Life lesson; a lion (or lioness) is not more afraid of you than you are of him (or her).

Sunday, October 01, 2017

The Vietnam War

Referencing Apocalypse Now yesterday, leads me to the new US PBS Series "The Vietnam War."

The BBC has got it in the UK and it is unfolding on BBC4 and the iPlayer.
Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s ten-part, 18-hour documentary series, THE VIETNAM WAR, tells the epic story of one of the most consequential, divisive, and controversial events in American history as it has never before been told on film. Visceral and immersive, the series explores the human dimensions of the war through revelatory testimony of nearly 80 witnesses from all sides—Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as combatants and civilians from North and South Vietnam. Ten years in the making, the series includes rarely seen and digitally re-mastered archival footage from sources around the globe, photographs taken by some of the most celebrated photojournalists of the 20th Century, historic television broadcasts, evocative home movies, and secret audio recordings from inside the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

just kids, rock and rollers

"I was being ferried down the coast in a Navy PBR, a type of plastic patrol boat, pretty common sight on the rivers. They said it was a good way to pick up information without drawing lot of attention. That was OK, I needed the air and the time. Only problem was I wouldn't be alone."
"Morning captain."
"The crew was mostly just kids, rock and rollers with one foot in their graves."
"How old are you ?"
It is Ben's birthday today. 17 is the same age as Laurence Fishburne's Clean from Apocalypse Now. "Too much fxxxin' perspective." He's been invited back to school on Wednesday for something called the The John Martell Prize for Athletics whatever that might be.

Friday, September 29, 2017

I've got Friday on my mind

The vegetable box has arrived and the video above represents a significant part of my plans for the evening.

Prodnose: Look, Tony, I've never asked the time of day from a clock but I'm asking you, come to the dance tonight. I already told the gang you'd be there. If you don't show I'll be marked lousy.
Myself: What time?
Prodnose: Ten.
Myself: Ten it is, but I'll have to do the squash at high so it is ready in 3-4 hours rather than 5-6.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Shoulder the blame

I had to bin yoga this morning because I aggravated my old left shoulder impingement injury yesterday by rowing flat out when I had already tweaked it bench pressing on Friday.

This is the first time it has come back since I banged it skiing in March.

I had to change gear with my right hand driving last night. That was interesting, but not as interesting as when I had to drive back from Somerset in that style when I pranged the jinxed joint in a mountain biking fall in 2013.

I think the first time I hurt it was playing rugby for London Cornish. I can't remember ever injuring it in Muay Thai, but I wouldn't be surprised if I have.

Indeed the shoulder certainly seems to have led a more adventurous life over the years than I have. If it could move I might shake its hand or even ask it for an autograph.

A night in with ibuprofen and an ice pack would seem to be on the cards this evening.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Alan Latchley

Myself: I love football. Football is, is, she's a cruel mistress. She's, she's more than a mistress. She's a wife, she's a mother, she's a daughter, she's an errant child. She's a… she's a… she can make you laugh, she make you cry. She can bring tears me eyes. She can bring blood to me shoulders. She can bring -
Prodnose: Yes, bring the kettle to the boil.
Myself: She can bring the kettle to the boil. 'Cause football is about nothing, unless it's about something and what it is about -
Prodnose: Yes, yes.
Myself: ....... is football.
I turned down a ticket to see Wilko Johnson in the Albert Hall last night to stay at home with a £6.99 Sky Sports pass and watch Cardiff City's clash with Leeds. A 3-1 win had us leapfrog them to top the table. With any luck Wolves won't get any change out of Sheffield United tonight, cementing the Bluebirds at the summit.

In other developments yesterday, Callum was confirmed in the England squad for the U17 World Cup in India next month. Eurosport have got the rights but the England games don't seem to be on (

Shurely shome mishtake?

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Martin of Tours

It seems like Tess is starting the climb back up after hurricane Irma (Icons passim). Her daughter set up this page to raise money to rebuild. Paul and I have popped a few quid on it.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Nothing gained, nothing still-born or lost

If I give up the seat I've been saving
To some elderly lady or man
Am I being a good boy
Am I your pride and joy
Mother please if you're pleased say I am
And if while in the course of my duty
I perform an unfortunate take
Would you punish me so, unbelievably so
Never again will I make that mistake
This feeling inside me could never deny me
The right to be wrong if I choose
And this pleasure I get
From say winning a bet
Is to lose
When I'm drinking my Bonaparte Shandy
Eating more than enough apple pies
Will I glance at my screen and see real human beings
Starve to death right in front of my eyes
Nothing old, nothing new, nothing ventured
Nothing gained, nothing still-born or lost,
Nothing further than proof nothing wilder than youth
Nothing older than time, nothing sweeter than wine
Nothing physically, recklessly, hopelessly blind
Nothing I couldn't say
Nothing why 'cause today
Nothing rhymed
More reflections on not being able to get going yesterday.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Eddie Monsoon - A Life?

Oh God! Oh God! Oh God! Oh God! Oh God! Give me another scotch...
I just couldn't get going at all today.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Who lost Russia?

Peter Conradi is the first event I am going to attend at Wimbledon Bookfest this year, so I have just started reading his Who lost Russia?

It's no secret that I think the bulk of the fault lies with a colossal, collective, passive-aggressive loss of nerve by the West, rather than devious maneuverings by the Kremlin.

Yes, Guardians has been added to my Amazon Watchlist.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Squaring the Golden Circle

I am going to sneak off slightly early this afternoon and catch this at the Odeon with the Bomber.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Giles Hedley

Well this is certainly an option in the ever more essential Merton Apprentice for Saturday evening.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


Old Elthamians have pulled out of Sunday's clash with the Old Ruts. Given that and the P Grill hibernation I can potentially devote the entire weekend to Tootopia. Oh dear.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Armenia - The World's Oldest Wine Producer

Armenia is the oldest wine producing nation in the world with the discovery at Areni of winemaking vessels 6,100 years old although the wild vine was established there over one million years ago. Recently there has been a renaissance with the emergence of new vineyards and state-of-the-art equipment.
The Club is delighted that Charles Masraff, founder of Armenian Wine Importers, will tutor a top selection. Charles spent five years in Yerevan from 2006. Sparkling Keush with its crisp citrus flavours starts our tasting. It is made from two ungrafted varietals – Khatoun Karji and Voskehat – grown on rich volcanic soil at 1,800m, the vineyards are the highest in Armenia and among the most elevated in the world.
Two stylish whites follow from the 2015 harvest: Koor (from the indigenous Voskehat vine grown on the Continental highlands of volcanic sediment and limestone) and Karas (which is a skilful blend of Chardonnay, Kangun, Rkatsiteli and Viognier). The latter is made by a top Argentine oenologist, guided by the noted Michel Rolland.
Areni Noir from the Trinity Canyon Vineyards at 1,300m is the source of Trinity 6100 Rose 2015, grown on volcanic soil with a high gravel and sand content. Its strawberry aromas and crisp, dry red wild berry taste ensure beautiful balance Four stylish reds will be shown. Koor 2015 is made from Areni and the more tannic Sireni grapes. Hand-harvested, the grapes are table sorted and cold macerated prefermentation.
Sireni grapes grown on the slopes of Togh (600-700m)are used for both Kataro 2015 and Kataro Reserve 2014. The latter is late-harvested and aged in Caucasian oak barrels for 12 months.
Finally, Karas Red 2015 from the Armavir region will be shown: a stunning blend of Syrah, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Kndoghni and Montepulciano grapes.
Andy M has come up with a spare ticket so that is where I will be tomorrow evening. That is pleasant surprise out of the blue. It is just a short walk from Bank tube station; a simple trip there and back on the Northern line. All good.

Monday, September 18, 2017

SEAGULLS! (Stop It Now)

Monday morning blues banished.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

closing down sale everything must go

The Phoenix grill bowed out for the year today, fittingly on the occasion of the All-Ireland Gaelic Football final, and maybe for good as Ned the landlord is moving on.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Harry Dean Stanton RIP

Prodnose: Look at those assholes, ordinary fxxking people. I hate 'em.

Myself: Me too.

See also Paris, Texas.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Plans for this evening, soundtrack for this afternoon

In which, for the very first time, I embed Amazon Music.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Objets Trouves

Why don’t we open Rue des Morillons, in that large stockpile an aisle for all the lost hearts, for all the misplaced lovers that are sent so gaily into oblivion?
Those who may have lost love, joy, and even a little more could then find each other at the Bureau of Found Objects.
Only in Paris could lost property be so deliriously romantic; read The Peculiar Poetry of Paris’s Lost and Found by Nadja Spiegelman in the New Yorker.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Travelling in a fried-out Kombi, on a hippie trail, head full of zombie

Rory Stewart
There are people in this room who will have contemporaries who would have been able to take a bus from Victoria station to Delhi in the 1970s. They would have been able to drive across Syria, Iraq and Iran. They could have gone across Afghanistan, from Herat to Kabul. They would have been able to travel to the north-west frontier province of Pakistan. None of that is possible today for a British citizen. In fact, nearly 50 countries in the world are in a fragile or conflict-affected state. It has never been so dangerous.

The decline of the Hippie Trail is a remarkable illustration of how the world has changed, but at the same time gives us hope it can bounce back I suppose.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Sir Peter Hall

Peter Hall's dead.

I remember A Streetcar Named Desire in 1997 with Jessica Lange as Blanche, Imogen Stubbs as Stella and Toby Stephens as Stanley. They were all brilliant. Apologies to whoever was Mitch. You have slipped my mind.

I also saw a production of A Woman of No Importance that he directed with Kate O'Mara. His notes in the programme described how Oscar Wilde was a very rare and special writer and thinker in that he stressed the value of kindness; a great insight I think that has stayed with me ever since.

Also, now I come to think of it, Dustin Hoffman's Merchant of Venice.

I used to get out more in the 80s and 90s.

Monday, September 11, 2017

How does an Electric Car work?

I need to do some woodshedding before these things take over the world.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Shared as a public service

Croissant Man is the story of a depressed Croissant trying to find meaning in the superficial world of Bourgeois pastries.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

And so it goes

Philosophically we put the Cardiff Blues 37-9 loss to Leinster behind us and turn our attention to City's Premiership game at Craven Cottage this afternoon.

After that - and treating Swansea with an inflexible rigour of disdain - we will be focussing on my beloved Seattle Seahawks on the road against the Green Bay Packers at 9:25 Sunday night.

Oh, and Celine has found out her family is OK (maybe more accurately unharmed) in St Maarten after the Hurricane.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Irma le dur

I'm paying particular attention to St Maarten in the wake of Hurricane Irma, because Tess - who used to run the kid's art school downstairs underneath my office in the Mills - moved there several years ago and I can see, via Facebook, that her daughter Celine (who is in college in Holland) hasn't been able to contact the rest of her mother, sister, brother and stepfather on the island since the storm passed. Fingers crossed they are all OK and the lack of a message is due to power and telecoms failures.

Dutch military forces have arrived, cleared the runway at the badly damaged airport and secured berths in the harbor for two navy ships. Prime Minister Mark Rutte told reporters today that the first plane has already landed at the airport in the capital, Philipsburg, and navy vessels have unloaded vital supplies. Further, the Dutch King Willem-Alexander will fly to the Caribbean island of Curacao on Sunday to inspect the coordination of relief efforts for the devastated former colony St. Maarten.

The British Navy flagship HMS Ocean is also on its way to our Caribbean overseas territories and former colonies carrying helicopters, Marines and engineers. It will get there in ten days to a fortnight's time. Pathetic. It's not as if Holland is a lot closer to that part of the world than we are is it?

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Oktoberfest in London

I got two tickets (one for me and one for my brother) for on 14 October yesterday.

Then, my friend Jason snapped up the other six tickets on table 331. Of the adjoining tables, half of 330, half of 321 and all of 332 are available if you fancy joining us. Book here.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Next Stop Tbilisi

There's a star man,
Playing on the right,
His name is Benny Woodburn,
And he's f*****g dynamite.
Strictly the assist is on the left, but I am going to allow a little artistic license.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017


The flunge is a move used in saber fencing. It is basically a flying lunge, hence the name. You can perform the flunge with the same intent as a standard lunge, but the initial flying leap gives you a greater element of surprise and speed.

If I had known that last night we would have won the quiz rather than coming second after losing the tie break.

Prodnose: What do we say to the god of the quiz?

Myself: Not today.

Prodnose: Go.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Back in the siddle

Ben's Old Ruts beat Reeds Weybridge quite handily yesterday which was quite gratifying as I don't recall us defeating them on the road before.

According to the teamer app, next weekend is Farham. I don't know if that is a typo of Fareham or Farnham and I don't know if it is home or away.

The Sunday after that we are playing London Welesh. I image that is London Welsh, but possibly we should invest in a club spell checker.