Thursday, September 28, 2023

Pendant Bail

Deep breath, at the second time of asking, my PICKRING Eye-Shaped Guitar Pick Holder Necklace Storage Pendant has arrived from the USA. The first one was lost in transit.

Jane has said she can use her jewellery skills, along with magical things called pendant bails, to arrange it, and the other 'objects of power' I habitually wear around my neck, so that they are separated rather than all clumped together at the top of my sternum. I arranged them and took a photo for her by way of illustration.

The gold crucifix in the middle was given to me by mum and dad on my 21st birthday. I like the way that the plectrum in the guitar pick pendant underneath it looks like stained glass.

To the left is a Moslem Sufi winged heart; to the right a Zen Buddhist Ensō. Reminders both that there is so little wisdom in the world that we should take it wherever we can find it.

I used also to wear a silver plectrum illustrated with a Hindu aum, as well as the masks of tragedy and comedy but I lost them in Bronwydd Avenue. They are honoured in absentia here as a nod to time, fate and change.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

This show will run and run.

An appointment is now booked for you as shown below.

Date: Thursday 28 September 2023 at 9:00 am

Clinic: 2WW Gastroenterology (Triage Service) University Hospital - RJ7

Note: This is a telephone/video appointment, you do not need to go to the clinic.

During the telephone assessment the Clinical Nurse Specialist will decide which diagnostic test is most suitable based on referral information. These include:

  • colonoscopy
  • flexible sigmoidoscopy or
  • CT colonography

This test date/time will be agreed with the patient over the phone during the telephone assessment and they will be given instructions re: light diet & bowel prep. This test will be carried out within 14 working days.

Now you know as much as I do. Watch this space.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

The more things change...

The new establishment has taken leave of what passes for its senses over the last day or two, with the Prime Minister, the Home Secretary, and the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police all but competing to see who can placate the Scotland Yard officers who handed in their weapons following a force marksman being charged with murder the most cravenly.

The decision about the charge followed an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and a decision by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). These are the official bodies whose role it is to hold the force and its officers to account. I don't have any knowledge of, or insight into, the shooting of Chris Kaba but is it being suggested that the IOPC and CPS aren't performing their duties diligently? If not let justice follow its course.

A note on context: The largest armed police unit in the UK is the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection, in which Wayne Couzens and David Carrick served.

David Carrick joined the Met in 2001 and was selected in 2009 to carry a gun and guard parliamentary and diplomatic sites.

In sentencing him for 85 serious offences during 17-year campaign of terror and attacks against women, the judge noted that in one attack – the first he was sentenced for – he told a woman she was safe with him because he was a police officer, before raping her while holding a firearm to her head. In other attacks, he used police-issue handcuffs to restrain the women, and sent a photo of his police gun to another, warning her: “Remember I’m the boss.”

Wayne Couzens used his handcuffs in the abduction of Sarah Everard. Is it seriously being suggested, under pressure from armed police that there are no longer systemic problems with them?

Just join the dots Sir Mark, mate. It ain't all that difficult. A fortnight ago (a fortnight!), you were saying just the opposite. What changed?

Monday, September 25, 2023

Wales 40-6 Australia

Sometimes comment is superfluous.

Sunday, September 24, 2023

I Loves The 'Diff

1. Shirley Road (Icons passim) with Sean on Friday evening with Sean followed by dinner at Lake Spice. This will probably be our last Cardiff Street Art jaunt of the year as I only get back from London once a month or so and the nights are drawing in. Whispering walls; Shirley Road has got its own YouTube channel at

2. 'Check tyre pressures' said the car's on board computer on Saturday, putting me in something of a quandary as I was busy all day with family stuff and have  drive back to Hammersmith first thing this morning. and the man who wouldn't take any money. Dean of First Response Tyres came round, sorted me out and refused to take any money because no parts were required, and I'd paid him for and to fit a new tyre the time before last when I was back.
O brave new world, That has such people in't.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

“Dance first. Think later. It's the natural order.”

Prodnose: The title above is one of these secret message things I suppose, intelligible to a select coterie, possibly resonant for you when revisited in some tranquil future, yet opaque to the great unwashed? 

Myself (settling into armchair and lighting pipe): It could be. Unless of course, rather than a reference to my circumstances, it is reminding us that a new film 'Dance First', directed by James Marsh and starring Gabriel Byrne as Samuel Beckett will be with us on November the third.

ESTRAGON: Il pourrait peut-ȇtre danser d'abord et penser ensuite? Si ce n'est pas trop lui demander.
VLADIMIR [à Pozzo]: Est-ce possible?
POZZO: Mais certainement, rien de plus facile. C'est d'ailleur l'ordre naturel. [Rire bref.]

Myself: But Beckett himself renders it in English as follows:

ESTRAGON: Perhaps he could dance first and think afterwards, if it isn’t too much to ask him
VLADIMIR [to Pozzo]: Would that be possible?
POZZO: By all means, nothing simpler. It’s the natural order. [He laughs briefly.]

Prodnose: Someone comes along, and scoops the first phrase out of its deontic modality (which the infinitive prevents one from doing in the French). Thus reduced to the imperative mood, it is paired it with the second phrase and a shitty Beckett-as-Fred-Astaire quote is born.

Myself: Yes. “Dance first. Think later. It's the natural order.” as an arch reference to my life is already reduced to a mistranslation; a forgotten redaction. You are putty in my hands.


Looking through my old version (Icons passim) of the panache speech from Cryano I noticed I was a vowel short in the penultimate line. Thus, given my mood, it has had a little rejig to emphasise my defiance.

What now? It is not practical I know.

To cast a loaded dice for one more throw.

No, no; a beautiful, a hopeless stand

What is this horde? I shall not stay my hand.

I know you now, old foes, old enemies!

Dissembling, Prejudice and Treacheries!

Deception! Here's my sword's point, ask no truce.

I fight and will die fighting. No excuse.

Take what you will, you send me to repose

Beyond the prize, the laurel and the rose.

You've done your worst and yet I still retain,

Respect you cannot strip me of or stain.

And when I leave tonight to meet my Lord

If heaven's azure vault's not my reward,

And all I left behind on earth was ash.

Despite you all I kept, and keep still my .... panache!

Friday, September 22, 2023

Quantum poetics

How Borges and Heisenberg converged on the notion that language both enables and interferes with our grasp of reality
This is a terrific article with wide potential applicability. The Rigor of Angels; Borges, Heisenberg, Kant, and the Ultimate Nature of Reality by William Egginton is already in the running for next month's Audible credit.

Indeed, William Egginton seems like an interesting fella in general.

I am going to Cardiff this afternoon so I will see Sean this evening. I am pretty sure that Funes the Memorious, the short story by Jorge Luis Borges that the first part of Quantum poetics devotes itself to also features in his Authorship: From Plato to the Postmodern - A Reader, but I am too lazy to check just now.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Politics on the Edge: A Memoir from Within

From the former Conservative Cabinet minister and co-presenter of 2022's breakout hit podcast The Rest is Politics, a searing insider's account of ten extraordinary years in Parliament

Over the course of a decade from 2010, Rory Stewart went from being a political outsider to standing for prime minister - before being sacked from a Conservative Party that he had come to barely recognise.

Tackling ministerial briefs on flood response and prison violence, engaging with conflict and poverty abroad as a foreign minister, and Brexit as a Cabinet minister, Stewart learned first-hand how profoundly hollow and inadequate our democracy and government had become. Cronyism, ignorance and sheer incompetence ran rampant. Around him, individual politicians laid the foundations for the political and economic chaos of today.

Stewart emerged battered but with a profound affection for his constituency of Penrith and the Border, and a deep direct insight into the era of populism and global conflict.

Politics On the Edge invites us into the mind of one of the most interesting actors on the British political stage. Uncompromising, candid and darkly humorous, this is his story of the challenges, absurdities and realities of political life; a new classic of political memoir and a remarkable portrait of our age.

This month's Audible credit has gone on the new book by Rory Stewart; WBI man crush - (see Icons passim) for twelve years now.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

One for the bucket list

Did you know that there exists a remarkable walking route spanning the globe? Starting from Cape Town in South Africa and culminating in Magadan, Russia, it presents the longest continuous distance that can be covered on foot without crossing any oceans.

This extraordinary journey covers a staggering distance of 21,808 kilometers. To complete this awe-inspiring trek, one would need to dedicate approximately 4,492 hours of non-stop walking, which equates to an astounding 187 days of continuous movement.

Hat tip: African Hub

Wow! About that holiday?

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Schadenfreude. I like it!

Daily Star
Chelsea chief Todd Boehly told to bid £80m for Callum Hudson-Odoi after Forest rocket 
Callum Hudson-Odoi has found the net in his debut for Nottingham Forest on Monday evening - and cheeky Chelsea fans have suggested Todd Boehly should bid £80million for him
Cheeky football fans have told Todd Boehly to bid £80million for ex-Chelsea star Callum Hudson-Odoi following his wondergoal against Burnley.

Nottingham Forest were chasing the game at the City Ground as Steve Copper's side started to crank up the pressure against the Clarets - leading to a ball being lumped in the direction of Taiwo Awoniyi.

Awoniyi chested the ball down to Hudson-Odoi, who skipped past one defender and let fly with a wonder strike that dipped into the far corner of the goal.

"Chelsea should really look into signing this Hudson-Odoi fella," one fan joked. While a second shared on social media: "Chelsea are gonna buy back Hudson-Odoi for £80m after that goal!"

"Paying £88.5m for Mudryk and only getting £3m for Hudson-Odoi, who's still only 22? Todd Boehly is a criminal," a third said. And another added: "Chelsea could do with Hudson-Odoi!"

Form is temporary but class is permanent.

Possibly it is an ugly sentiment revealing an unpleasant side of my personality but I hope walking omnishambles Todd D’oh!ly feels as bad as I feel good today.

Welcome to Collywood where we believe in ourselves and our own.

Monday, September 18, 2023

The 7 Constructive Faces (of Gareth the Karmic Rugby Gnome)

The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision, referee.

Canedo (Icons passim) turned out to be an inspired choice of venue on Saturday for Welsh and Welsh-connected Collywooders, even if like Shona's Chris they live in Adelaide, to watch the Wales Portugal Pool C World Cup rugby game. Thanks to hosts Alberto and Marietta, and to their largely Portuguese clientele for good-hearted banter. Both you and your team are credits to your nation.
Portugal are nicknamed ‘Os Lobos’, or The Wolves, and while Wales kept them from the door in Nice, Patrice Lagisquet’s team delivered a joyous display that captured the intoxicating potential of underdogs at World Cups.
There were three venues at Jonnie H's birthday BBQ yesterday; the garden for the barbecue itself, the kitchen/dining room for the footie (Chelsea then Arsenal), and the front room for the rugby.

I was in the latter to see  Fiji produced the result of the World Cup so far, beating Australia to put the cat amongst the pigeons in Wales' group.

Having secured 10 points from a possible 10, Wales are sitting pretty at the top of the table; our fate totally in our hands. But Australia v Fiji was always going to affect what Wales could get away with in their remaining fixtures, against the Aussies and Georgia.

For all that we revelled in a Fijian victory, an Australian win over Fiji would, in a way, have made things more straightforward. Had Fiji lost in Saint-Etienne, then Wales would have known that a victory over Georgia would have been enough for a quarter-final place, taking some of the pressure off next Sunday's clash with the Wallabies.

As it turns out, there is still a three-way shootout unfolding at the top of Pool C,  Wales need something against Australia and Georgia in their final two games. Currently, we sit top of the pool with 10 points and the other two trailing on six. Because Fiji won yesterday, they sit in second place with the Aussies third.

Now, if Wales beat Australia next week, the Wallabies will be out, and we will be in the quarter finals, but if Warren Gatland's side to lose to the Wallabies in Lyon, then we could have a situation where each of the top three teams - Wales, Fiji and Australia - will be heading into the final round of matches having lost one match each, making things very interesting.

Interesting is not good. I will be in Cardiff at the weekend visiting mum. With any luck I will get to watch the game with a sibling or two.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Greenaway, Myrtle, 1919–2002

Going to Mass in Eire 1951
'My AR teacher' said a mysterious email I got from PG in the week about the URL

Clarification arrived over a flat white in the Plum Café this morning, Myrtle Greenway taught him art at St. Illtyd's and was "the best teacher I ever had" despite his having no real talent for drawing. An interesting, at least to me, parallel with this antediluvian icon passim.

He copied an exercise she gave them in class - when each pupil recreated a fragment of a work (Gaugin in his case?) on a sheet of drawing paper before the sheets were reassembled on the wall as a tribute to the original - in working with the children of the community when he opened the Riverside Arts Centre.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

What'd I Say, Pt. 1

Oops! It has been brought to my attention that corpora is the plural of corpus.
An illustrative extract of my question for Sir Nigel Shadbolt, and his answer at the AI conference on May 31st (passim) move their slow thighs above. YouTube clips, which are are between 5-60 seconds long and are played on a loop from the original video's watch page, are fiddly things to set up and can be confusing to watch - gives a better idea of the exchange.

The Chat GPT and Other Creative Rivals recording only became available to view yesterday.

Friday, September 15, 2023

Who's in Backstairs Billy? Fnarr fnarr!

Helen and I took PG out last night for a birthday dinner, or as the day itself was actually Thursday last week, the closing event of the 2013 Peter Gill Festival. We learned that lunch with Penelope Wilton and her sister was also part of the festival and that the occasion when he met Kylie - who he has long held up as an example of a pleasant, well adjusted celebrity - was when she came to see Luke Evans, who had worked with her musically, in Small Change. Both of which bring us neatly back to Backstairs Billy (Icons passim).

"If you two old queens have finished bickering, this old queen would like a G&T."
Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother (attrib.) to members of her famously camp household.
Wilton plays the Queen Mother and Evans her loyal butler in the new play

The Michael Grandage Company has revealed the complete cast for the world premiere of Marcelo Dos Santos’ play Backstairs Billy, exploring a significant moment in the 50-year relationship between the Queen Mother and her loyal servant, William “Billy” Tallon.

Joining previously announced Penelope Wilton as the Queen Mother and Luke Evans as Billy are Emily Barber (Annabel Maud/Lady Astlebury) who reunites with Evans after The Alienist, Iwan Davies (Gwydion), Ian Drysdale (Kerr), Ilan Galkoff (Young Billy), Eloka Ivo (Ian), Michael Simkins (Mr Harrington-Bahr/Hugo McCoyd), Nicole Sloane (Mrs Harrington-Bahr/Lady Adeline), with David Buttle, Amy Newton, Keanu Adolphus Johnson, Georgie Rhys, and Jacob Ethan Tanner.

Michael Grandage’s production is set to open at the Duke of York’s Theatre on November 7, with previews starting on October 27 and running until January 27. In line with the company’s ongoing commitment to accessibility in the West End, £10 tickets will be available for every performance throughout the run.

The production marks a reunion between Grandage and Wilton, who previously collaborated on productions including The Chalk Garden, John Gabriel Borkman, and Hamlet. Additionally Evans performed twice at the Donmar during Grandage’s artistic directorship, in Small Change and Piaf. Dos Santos was a recipient of the MGCfutures Bursary in 2019, a charity established by Grandage to support various aspects of the theater industry. Following their introduction through the bursary program, MGC commissioned Dos Santos to write Backstairs Billy.

The creative team also includes set designer Christopher Oram, costume designers Oram and Tom Rand, lighting designer Ryan Day, music and sound designer Adam Cork, wigs, hair & makeup designer Carole Hancock, casting director Jacob Sparrow, associate director Sophie Drake, and costume supervisor Mary Charlton.