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

#willselftooting



I will be there. Will Self at the Antelope seems a bracingly unlikely contrast with Monday's quiz. Tickets over by yer http://fatso.ma/mr7b

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

Uncontested

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

Grauniard
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

storied

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

Synchronicity

BBC
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.

Torygraph
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.

Grauniard
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

Torygraph
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

#MeToo

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

Talleyrand

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.
Ba-dum-tish.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Canto


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

Cheers!

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

Eurosport

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.

www.amazon.co.uk/channels/eurosport‎ 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 https://www.theo2.co.uk/events/venue/the-o2-arena 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.

Clear?

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

WILLARD (V.O. #5)
"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."
CLEAN
"Morning captain."
WILLARD (V.O. #6)
"The crew was mostly just kids, rock and rollers with one foot in their graves."
WILLARD
"How old are you ?"
CLEAN
"Seventeen."
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 (http://www.live-footballontv.com/live-football-on-british-eurosport.html).

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

Tootopia

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 http://erdinger-oktoberfest.co.uk/ 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

Flunge



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.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Dig the new breed


I sacrificed a party to see this. It was worth it.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Address to the nation



I don't know anything about Kenyan politics at all but this is a very impressive performance.

Friday, September 01, 2017

To infinity and beyond


Here's a picture of Callum with Jadon Sancho when they were playing for England in the European Under-17 Championship. It wasn't headline news yesterday as the transfer window closed, but Sancho become the latest young English player to move overseas after Borussia Dortmund confirmed the 17-year-old had joined from Manchester City for a fee understood to be around £8m.

He will wear the No7 shirt vacated by Ousmane Dembélé when he joined Barcelona for an initial £95m last week.

No pressure then.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Silk Road: Drugs, Death and the Dark Web


I watched a documentary looking at the black market website known as the Silk Road on the BBC iplayer last night. This 'Amazon of illegal drugs' - the brainchild of a mysterious, libertarian intellectual operating under the avatar The Dread Pirate Roberts - emerged in 2011, promising its users complete anonymity and total freedom from government regulation, and grew into a multimillion-dollar (denominated in Bitcoin) digital drugs cartel.

Fascinating stuff, especially considering that two of the last three books I read were Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money are Challenging the Global Economic Order by Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey and Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones.

It is available for another 22 days here.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Cardiff

The Blues beat reigning Aviva Premiership champions the Exeter Chiefs in a pre-season friendly on Friday, then the City beat QPR on Saturday to nail themselves to the top of the Championship.

And Dan Fish is back from his long term injury.

And Colin Jackson has come out.

All systems go in Wales' capital.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

nante Hampsteads, nante minces, nante riah, nante everything

... The sixth age shifts Into the lean and slippered pantaloon With spectacles on nose and pouch on side, His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice, Turning again toward childish treble, pipes And whistles in his sound...
Yep, I'm back in Cardiff.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Old Friends From High School Meet Up Every Year To Say Names Of Former Classmates

The Onion
Convening at their hometown bar to grab a drink and catch up on things, a group of old high school friends reportedly met up on Thursday as per their yearly tradition of saying the names of their former classmates. “Hey, remember that guy Dave Getler?” asked 32-year-old Kim Blackburn to a group of nodding Granville High alumni, each of whom took their turn listing a series of mutual acquaintances from the specific four-year period in their lives. “How’s Marcy Levesque doing? Anyone hear from her? Oh, who was Shane Cook and Trevor O’Malley’s buddy who used to date Karen Hest? Tanner Smith? I remember he would always sit with Devon and Sean in algebra—okay, now ‘Sean Houlihan’ is a name I haven’t heard in a million years.” At press time, those friends who still lived near each other agreed that there was no reason to wait another year to get together and say the names of former classmates as a smaller group.
That'll be me, Phil and Tim in the Claude later if everything goes to plan.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Tooting you own horn

Lonely Planet has pronounced on 10 of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods to visit right now.

Borgo San Frediano, Florence
Seongsu-dong, Seoul
The Triangle, Lisbon
Vesterbro, Copenhagen
Business Bay, Dubai
Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur
Sunset Park, New York City
Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro
Frelard, Seattle
Tooting, London

Myself: Tooting?

Prodnose: Tooting in South London has developed into an uber-cool neighbourhood in recent years and lost none of its gritty charm in the process. Rubbing shoulders with perfectly pleasant yet slightly square Wimbledon, Earlsfield and Balham, Tooting is a more captivating affair, revelling in multiculturalism and originality. Its high street, which stretches between two Tube stations, is one of the best ‘curry corridors’ in the country, and contains some superb South Asian restaurants, like Dosa n Chutny and Apollo Banana Leaf. The best shopping can be found inside eclectic Tooting Market, and quirky bars and pubs include The Castle, The Antelope and The Little Bar. The Tooting Commons create over 200 acres of green between them, and are home to Tooting Bec Lido – the largest swimming pool in the United Kingdom.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

85a Lower Richmond Road

Rod is back in Blighty from Greece and John is in town from New Zealand, so last night (and more than thirty one years after I moved out) we met up for a drink in the Half Moon pub which is a stone's throw from the flat we used to share with a revolving cast of colourful characters.

According to Zoopla, it is worth £583,000 now.

We must have left it in a better state than I remember.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A Raindrop in the Ocean: The Life of a Global Adventurer



I'll be starting on this new book shortly. It sounds fascinating. Here is a piece from the Torygraph on a life well lived.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Tubby, you go rest your thumbs. I'll drive.



RIP Jerry Lewis. I've always loved this scene. Dunno why, but there you go.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

That went quickly

Time for Ben to apply for a provisional license if he wants to start learning to drive on his 17th birthday.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Premier League 2

Callum has been playing for Chelsea in something called Premier League 2 of which I have never heard, so here is the skinny:

It is a new competition that replaced the Under-21 Premier League from 2016/17, with a greater focus on technicality, physicality and intensity to bring players as close to first-team experience as possible.

The age limit for players has risen from Under-21 to Under-23.

The league will take on the same format of two tiers, Division 1 and Division 2, with 12 teams in each, and the factor of promotion and relegation.

The 24 clubs who compete each applied for 'Category One' status in the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP). There are 15 clubs from the Premier League and nine clubs from the Championship.

All players born after 1 January 1993 for the 2016/17 season are eligible to play, and the format stays as follows:

There are 12 teams in Division 1 and 12 in Division 2, with every club playing each other once at home and once away

In Division 1, the team who finish first are champions

The bottom two teams in Division 1 get relegated to Division 2
In Division 2, the league winners get automatic promotion to Division 1

Teams ranked second, third, fourth and fifth go into a promotion play-off

Second plays fifth place at home and third hosts fourth in the semi-finals, both at the club’s main stadium, while the final takes place at the home ground of the team who finished highest in the league

All play-off matches are one-off ties, decided by extra-time and then penalties if the match is level after 120 minutes

There is no relegation from Division 2

Teams in Division 1
Arsenal, Chelsea, Derby County, Everton, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Reading, Southampton, Sunderland, Tottenham Hotspur

Teams in Division 2
Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Brighton & Hove Albion, Fulham, Middlesbrough, Newcastle United, Norwich City, Swansea City, Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion, West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Chelsea are on top as I write and Callum got both their goals in the first game. Not too shabby when you think he was born in the year 2000 and players both any time in 1993 are eligible.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Fast was good. Faster is better.

A little-known feature of the 2nd-generation Amazon Fire TV Stick, which Amazon has never advertised, is that it supports USB OTG by default. This allows you to connect much more than a power cord to the device’s micro USB port, like wired keyboards, mice, hubs, and external storage, but by far the most common use is to connect an Ethernet adapter in order to get a fast and stable internet connection to the Fire TV Stick. If all you want to do is connect the Fire TV Stick to Ethernet, this all-in-one Ethernet adapter by UGREEN is by far the easiest way to go.

Thanks AFTV News, via Google's machine learning estimate of my wants and needs, one is on the way to Browne Acres.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

the path of totality

TIME
A universal pop song and the universe are about to align.
Guests aboard the Royal Caribbean's Total Eclipse Cruise have an extra surprise in store for their once-in-a-lifetime viewing experience: Bonnie Tyler, the Welsh songstress of "Total Eclipse of the Heart" fame, will be on board to perform her 1983 hit just as the moon sails across the sun. (The cruise ship will be positioned in the path of totality for this critical moment. “Bonnie Tyler was a natural choice for this once-in-a-lifetime moment," said the president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, Michael Bayley.)
Forever's gonna start tonight. Forever's gonna start tonight.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

NSFW


Charlottesville: Race and Terror – VICE News

I'll watch this later. Not looking forward to it, but it needs to be done.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

One ring

1x Yellow metal Ring

Condition: Used - Believed to be a Lord of the Rings ring


No guarantee it is an actual Nazgûl heirloom, but just imagine.

Coincidentally I was listening to In Our Time on Plato's Republic the other day and learned of the Ring of Gyges which is a mythical magical artifact mentioned in Book 2 (2:359a–2:360d). It granted its owner the power to become invisible at will. Through the story of the ring, Republic considers whether an intelligent person would be moral if he did not have to fear being caught and punished for doing injustices. Internet trolls anyone?


Monday, August 14, 2017

All time high

A £4.21 transaction in my Bitcoin wallet (£4 plus a 21p fee) from 17 July is worth £8.82 today.

See Icons passim. Not the same transaction.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

What I think about these days ......

All-Ireland SHC semi-final: Cork v Waterford, Croke Park, 3.30pm – RTE/Sky

The suspension of Tadhg de Búrca is critical to this match. There are two aspects to the situation. One, how do Waterford cope?

We saw them take on Cork without a sweeper in June and it looked like it didn’t suit them. Tadhg de Búrca was chasing Conor Lehane and he was left and right and ultimately very poor on the day.

Since then Waterford have improved and played better against Kilkenny and better against Wexford, in their familiar formation – call it a sweeper system. They’re crowding the middle third and De Búrca is sitting back off the centre forward who is being picked up by Darragh Fives.

It will be difficult to pick someone else to play that role. Tadhg de Búrca has a great positional sense, is a brilliant striker and is excellent under the high ball and plays there extremely well. I presume Fives will be asked to do the job but the truth is they have no-one as good to take over.

Is that all clear? I have made the arbitrary decision that I am a Cork supporter.

In other arbitrary sport support developments my beloved Seahawks kick off against the LA Chargers at one o'clock tomorrow morning.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Green and Gold

Paul Flynn MP
Last night I met Tony O'Donnell.
It was a riot of rushed words, shared memories of mutual friends plus gratitude from me for Anthony's playing of me at Donmar Warehouse Theatre. He wore a wig for the show which he sadly dumped for the photograph. Otherwise the resemblance was convincing.......
Following the show Anthony joined me in singing our old school song-Green and Gold. We were both at St Illtyd's College Cardiff. I was there is the late forties Anthony in the early sixties but we share many friends-especially from the Splott area of Cardiff. We will have another get together to catch up on many events.
See Icons passim.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Comrade Detective


In the thick of 1980's Cold War hysteria, the Romanian government created the country's most popular and longest-running series, Comrade Detective, a sleek and gritty police show that not only entertained its citizens but also promoted Communist ideals and inspired a deep nationalism. The action-packed and blood-soaked first season finds Detectives Gregor Anghel and Iosef Baciu investigating the murder of fellow officer Nikita Ionesco and, in the process, unraveling a subversive plot to destroy their country that is fueled by-what else-but the greatest enemy: Capitalism.
I watched the first episode last night on Amazon Prime. It's hysterical. Cardiff's increasingly ubiquitous Jon Ronson introduces it along with Channing Tatum. Enough to elevate him to Welsh Born Icon status. That's two in a month after a year of silence.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

A Man Named Fieri Filled with Fury



At last someone who thinks - as I do - that Guy Fieri is a great man. What did he ever do, besides support charities and small business owners, to get folk so agitated?

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

knife crime

Nineteen year old Daniel Namanga - Rutlish and Old Ruts - stabbed to death early yesterday morning in the Old Kent Road.

Eighteen year old Kishon Allen -  Rutlish, Old Ruts, and Herne Hill Harriers - among four teenagers who appeared in court in June accused of knifing Mahamed Hassan to death in Battersea the month before.

A plague a’ both your houses!

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Monday, August 07, 2017

Proof, if proof be needed


That is Bolt's legacy; unassailable.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Last Chance to See

John Patrick Crichton Stuart, the 3rd Marquess of Bute, was one of the richest men in the British Empire in the late 19th century.
With an annual income in excess of £150,000 - around £15 million in today's money - he pursued his passion for architecture with a vengeance. Narrated by Suzanne Packer, The Scot Who Spent a Welsh Fortune delves into the extraordinary world of Lord Bute and reveals what connects the small Scottish island of Bute to modern Cardiff.
Bute was one of the most unconventional mavericks of the Victorian age, passionate about the past but also far ahead of his time - a blue-blooded aristocrat, who supported women's rights and striking miners, a Welsh-speaking intellectual Catholic who was also a ghost hunter. Above all, Bute was a fabulously rich and visionary creator of great architecture including the Gothic fantasy of Cardiff Castle, and Castell Coch - the fairytale castle.
Great stuff and you have only got one day left to catch it on the BBC iPlayer.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Clerks



Not a lot of  commercial action at the P Grill today. Still a groove and a gas shooting the breeze with the Bomber however which - truth to be told - is the point.

I think his enthusiasm will wane at this level though. Maybe tomorrow's Charity Shield will throw us a bone.

Friday, August 04, 2017

I loves the 'Diff


Seven priests walked into a bar... and were asked to leave because landlord thought they were on a stag do.
The seminarians were initially barred from the City Arms in Cardiff on Saturday despite insisting their clothes were not fancy dress.
But they managed to get their celebratory pints on the house after the bar manager realised they were the real thing.
I will be back later for my mum's birthday; good to see the home town is as barking mad as ever.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Dr William Price

BBC Blogs
Wales has had its fair share of eccentrics over the years but none was more bizarre or more flamboyant than the mercurial and fascinating Dr William Price of Llantrisant.
This Chartist and republican, a man who ate no meat, drank mainly champagne, eschewed the wearing of socks and prescribed a vegetarian diet for his patients instead of medicine, has a much more significant claim to fame, however. For this was the man who, effectively, opened the way for legalised cremation in Britain.
Born on 4 March 1800 at Rudry near Caerphilly, Price was the fifth child of the Rev William Price. His father wanted William to enter the church but the young man had different ambitions. He wanted to become a doctor and was, accordingly, apprenticed to a local surgeon, Dr Evan Edwards. He was just 13 years of age and after a number of years, following the death of his father, managed to enroll himself at St Barts in London.
Price was clearly a man of huge intellect. He passed his examinations in just 12 months and became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons before the age of 22. After further study in anatomy and physiology he returned to Wales to live and work in 1821.
In 1827 he moved to Nantgarw, just up the valley from Cardiff and became surgeon to the ironmaster Francis Crawshay.
A strain of eccentricity, even of insanity, ran in his family and this quickly began to show itself in his behaviour. He dressed in a white tunic with green trousers and red waistcoat and developed a liking for outlandish costume, notably a fox-skin headdress with the legs and tails hanging down over his shoulders and back. His hair was worn long in plaits and, in these early years, he had the rather disconcerting habit of racing, stark naked, over the hills around Pontypridd.
William Price had little time for many of the standard medical treatments of the day, things like bleeding and purging, believing that a vegetarian diet was far more important than anything else. He was dogmatic in his medical practice, refusing to treat patients who would not give up smoking.
An advocate of what was, in effect, an early example of the health service - he believed that patients should pay him when they were well and he would then treat them when they fell ill - Price was elected as the private medical practitioner to a group of workers at the local chainworks. They paid him with a weekly deduction from their wages.
Dr William Price was no ordinary man. He had little time for marriage, feeling that it was an institution that did little more than enslave women. He did believe, however, in free love. As if to prove his point he fathered several illegitimate children and fell out with church authorities over this issue on many occasions.
He became fascinated by the old druidic rites and even held druidic ceremonies at the rocking stone outside Pontypridd. He even began to build a druidic temple in the area, thus infuriating the local Methodists who went as far as to accuse him of trespass.
William Price was a supporter of Chartism, some accounts saying that he attended Chartist meetings in a cart pulled by a pair of goats. Having moved to Llantrisant, he was made leader of the Pontypridd and District group and, following the disaster of the Chartist march on Newport in 1839 was forced to flee to France. Legend declares that he left dressed as a woman and that a police officer even assisted him up the gangplank of his ship - unlikely but hugely entertaining.
Price lived in Paris for several years before returning to the Pontypridd area in 1846. He again fled to the continent in 1860 when a warrant for his arrest - he had refused to pay a fine - was issued. This time his exile was for a further five years.
Returning to Wales and to Ty'r Clettwr at Llantrisant, Price promptly installed his 16-year-old housekeeper, one Gwenllian Llewellyn, as his mistress. Despite his advanced age (he was then 83-years-old) he fathered a son by Gwenllian, naming him Iesu Grist, Welsh for Jesus Christ.
When Iesu died in 1884, aged just five months, Price cremated his body on an open pyre in a field at Llantrisant. Whether the good doctor was opposed to the traditional act of Christian burial or whether he was more interested in the druidic rituals of the past, is not known. However, what is clear is that, dressed in his flowing druids robes, he timed the cremation to coincide with the conclusion of chapel services in the town.
As might be expected, the local people were wild with indignation at what they saw as pure sacrilege. They attacked Price and were only prevented from assaulting Gwenllian by the pack of large dogs that Price kept at his home.
William Price was arrested and charged. However, in a sensational trial, held in Cardiff, Justice Stephens acquitted Price, a judgement and a decision that led almost directly to the passing of the Cremation Act, thus making the burning of bodies legal in Britain.
After fathering several more children, Dr William Price died on 23 January 1893. His body was cremated in front of many thousands of spectators - some estimates being as high as 20,000 - who flocked to Llantrisant to witness the event. Several tons of coal and wood were piled up underneath the corpse in order to make it burn more effectively.
They say that all the pubs in Llantrisant ran dry on the day of that cremation. Price had organised everything, even selling tickets to the event - bizarre and outlandish, right to the end!
A New Welsh Born Icon; the first inauguration of 2017.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

I'll drink to that

From the Indescribablyboring
According to Margaret Rhodes, the Queen's cousin, HM's alcohol intake never varies. She takes a gin and Dubonnet before lunch, with a slice of lemon and a lot of ice. She will take wine with lunch and a dry Martini and a glass of champagne in the evening. That comes to 6 units per day, which would make Her Majesty a binge drinker by government standards.
Yes Ma'am.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Hot stuff

Almost exactly seven years and eleven months (Icons passim) after my first Bikram yoga session, I took the some and heir along to Hot Yoga Wimbledon this morning so he could try it out for himself.

He did very well, though he was surprised how intense it was, and has signed up for an introductory unlimited thirty day pass. He should be able to give that a thorough pasting as he will be in limbo between GCSEs and college over the next month.

I have been 443 times in total, which makes it rather vexing to see him to things (Fixed Firm pose anyone?) I still can't do in his first class.