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.