Monday, July 24, 2017

conspicuously tangential thinking

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

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

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

Sunday, July 23, 2017

When the student is ready, the teacher disappears.

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

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

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

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Click a face for entry

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

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

Friday, July 21, 2017

More on Captain Scarlet

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

Thursday, July 20, 2017

This is the voice of Mr Ron

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

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

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Crowd Sauce

Buy with Bitcoin

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

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

First shown: 7 Jul 2017. Available for 19 days

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

Monday, July 17, 2017



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

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Roger Federer as Religious Experience

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

Saturday, July 15, 2017


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

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

Don't be a square, daddio!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Our revels now are ended.

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

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

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Tim Parry's Funeral

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

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


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

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

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

I will be back.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Tim Parry

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

Monday, July 10, 2017

Post Hollow; a Hatful

After the fantastic excitement of the 3rd Test comes some more very exciting news as the Mighty Ruts are chosen as the only English Club recipients of some fantastic Lions branded training kit actually used by those very Lions courtesy of Rhino Rugby!
Well I never. The rise and rise of the Ruts.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies Online Course

Princeton University produced a great online course on Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies ....... in case you were looking for one.

Saturday, July 08, 2017


The Lions drew 15 all with the All Blacks this morning to square the series.

I watched it in the Holden with Ben and other friends.

The aftermath seems strangely hollow and ambiguous.
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass

Friday, July 07, 2017

The world's funniest and most topical joke now that Wimbledon is on.

Never get romantically involved with tennis players; love means nothing to them.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

You'll never walk a loan

Chelsea hand three-year contract to teenage forward Callum Hudson Odoi amid interest from Juventus

  • Callum Hudson Odoi has signed a new, three-year contract with Chelsea
  • The 16-year-old impressed for England Under 17s at European Championship
  • He has been the subject of interest from both Juventus and Benfica

I think he should go on loan to Cardiff City, not Bristol or QPR. Joking aside it is a wonderful achievement for him.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Bitcoin Wallet

I know have a Bitcoin wallet, courtesy of I can access it via the web or from an Android app on my phone.

It has got 0.01217081 BTC in it, which is £24.25 at the moment I think.

All I have to do now, is to figure out something I can do with it.

Update: Try

Tuesday, July 04, 2017


In COMMITTEE... (A NEW MUSICAL), the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee Takes Oral Evidence on Whitehall's Relationship with Kids Company at the Donmar - make of that what you may - Paul Flynn MP is played by Anthony O'Donnell.

Flynn and O'Donnell both went to school at St Illtyd's; just like me and my brothers.

Still doesn't make the alma mater Eton, or Tony O'Donnell Eddie Redmayne ..... read on.

Monday, July 03, 2017


Rosslyn Park put on a 7s tournament on their 4G pitch yesterday, which the Old Ruts won. It was a great idea to have an event like this even though the season is over as U16s missed so much rugby while sitting their GCSEs. The photo of Ben in action above is from a set someone took and shared here.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Whitchurch High School Old Boys

Tour de France 2017: Geraint Thomas wins stage one to earn yellow jersey
In a soaking chill reminiscent of a summer evening in his valleys of his native land, Geraint Thomas became the first Welshman to wear the yellow jersey of the Tour de France, finishing five seconds ahead of the young Swiss Stefan Küng at the end of the 14 kilometres.
To think that this happened on the same day that his old school mate Sam Warburton captained the Lions to a win over the All Blacks, and that the two of them were at Whitchurch with one Gareth Bale. It is absolutely astounding.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

The master of Rawlinson End was apt to be very... sporting and unpredictable

I was very pleased to see the Lions edge the All Blacks this morning from my vantage point in the Charles Holden.

Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby is being run at 17.20 this afternoon. That is going to clash with coverage of Mayo v Derry in the hurling at MacHale Park at 5pm on RTE. Between them those events should drag a few people into the Standard this afternoon where the Bomber and I will be holding the fort on our lonesome.