Friday, December 03, 2021

Rona and Dad

Auntie Rona has died. When I told Jane and Ben, Jane said that years ago Rona had told her that the first phrase I ever uttered was "God bless the Pope!" I can't remember it myself but I will take it.

Her passing leaves only mum left out of all her siblings. Dad was the last of his to go. He passed a year ago tomorrow at 8 pm.

I'm taking my own son out for rodizio at the Picanha Steakhouse tonight. Tomorrow, as usual, we will be off to hot yoga, an 8:30 am start. 

Mens sana in corpore sano. Passing the torch. I like to think that the old man will look down and approve.

Thursday, December 02, 2021

Hands off Cox, on socks

Like my brother John, I often turn to an Audible book if I wake up restless in the middle of the night or early in the morning and need the gentle distraction of a voice whispering in my ear. Today it was the autobiography of Brian Cox, the actor, and the chapter covered his work at the Royal Court. I was a bit surprised that PG wasn't name checked as he would have been there at the time.

I googled Peter Gill Brian Cox when I came down this morning and discovered the video above about their time working together at Riverside. (Can't say I have actually listened to it all yet, but no doubt I will.)

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

The Epistle of St. Paul to Philemon

 1:1. Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy, a brother: to Philemon, our beloved and fellow labourer,

1:2. And to Appia, our dearest sister, and to Archippus, our fellow soldier, and to the church which is in thy house.

1:3. Grace to you and peace, from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

1:4. I give thanks to my God, always making a remembrance of thee in my prayers.

1:5. Hearing of thy charity and faith, which thou hast in the Lord Jesus and towards all the saints:

1:6. That the communication of thy faith may be made evident in the acknowledgment of every good work that is in you in Christ Jesus.

1:7. For I have had great joy and consolation in thy charity, because the bowels of the saints have been refreshed by thee, brother.

1:8. Wherefore, though I have much confidence in Christ Jesus to command thee that which is to the purpose:

1:9. For charity sake I rather beseech, whereas thou art such a one, as Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also of Jesus Christ.

1:10. I beseech thee for my son, whom I have begotten in my bands, Onesimus,

1:11. Who hath been heretofore unprofitable to thee but now is profitable both to me and thee:

1:12. Whom I have sent back to thee. And do thou receive him as my own bowels.

1:13. Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered to me in the bands of the gospel.

1:14. But without thy counsel I would do nothing: that thy good deed might not be as it were of necessity, but voluntary.

1:15. For perhaps he therefore departed for a season from thee that thou mightest receive him again for ever:

1:16. Not now as a servant, but instead of a servant, a most dear brother, especially to me. But how much more to thee, both in the flesh and in the Lord?

1:17. If therefore thou count me a partner, receive him as myself.

1:18. And if he hath wronged thee in any thing or is in thy debt, put that to my account.

1:19. I Paul have written it with my own hand: I will repay it: not to say to thee that thou owest me thy own self also.

1:20. Yea, brother. May I enjoy thee in the Lord! Refresh my bowels in the Lord.

1:21. Trusting in thy obedience, I have written to thee: knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say.

1:22. But withal prepare me also a lodging. For I hope that through your prayers I shall be given unto you.

1:23. There salute thee Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus:

1:24. Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow labourers.

1:25. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

For all that we went to church every Sunday, I can't remember that I had ever even heard of the Epistle of St. Paul to Philemon until recently. Onesimus ain't a servant, he's a runaway slave. This is where Christianity started letting the air out of that particular tyre, for all that it is unacknowledged in the 21st century. 

Chalk another one up for the old man three days off his anniversary. Crafty bugger was a lot more profound a Pauline scholar than he let on. Tent-maker anyone?

"If a man will not work, he shall not eat." We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat."

That sound familiar?

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

That's what my daddy told me

What with everything going to hell in a handbasket, yesterday morning I reached into my memory for lines I made up for my own guidance years ago,

be as careless with your own heart

as you are careful of everyone else's

love and lose and learn

tread lightly on the earth

but try and put more into the pot

than you take out

I've never written them down before. I think perhaps I was never happy with the careless/careful contrast in the first two lines; by careless I mean generous and by careful I mean mindful.

I keep getting it in the ear from well-meaning people who complain that B and J and I won't give up on and abandon N. Guess what, my father wouldn't have either. Less than a week from the anniversary of his passing I puff my chest out when I think of him.

Monday, November 29, 2021

Wham! The Final?

 Scotland will host Ukraine in the play-off semi-final for the 2022 World Cup, while Wales have been drawn at home to Austria. Both these games are on Thursday 24 March 2022, 

If Scotland and Wales win their matches, they will face each other in Cardiff in a final for a spot in Qatar on Tuesday 29 March.

Andy Tea being a Jock, I have made an executive decision that if Wales and Scotland do meet we will drive down together from London for the game. 

Much to my surprise, when I suggested it to him he agreed with alacrity. (The back up plan in which I would spike his drink and Andy H would help me stow him in the car boot won't be needed. Best to be prepared though.)

Sunday, November 28, 2021

The Test Card


This was better than 90% of the BBC's current output, and remains my visual mantra.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

The Secret Conversation

A fading star of Hollywood's golden age, now living a quiet life in 1980s London, hires a journalist to write her biography in order to bring in much needed income. The journalist can’t believe his luck. From poor Southern farm girl to a powerful Hollywood goddess her story is pure celluloid. A devastating beauty whose hard drinking, hard loving lifestyle kept the gossip columnists busy as her movies thrilled the punters. The ultimate femme fatale - Ava Gardner.
I think I'll go and see Ava: The Secret Conversations at the Riverside next year, Ava Gardner and I being practically joined at the hip. Forty odd years ago when I went for my interview in Imperial College, Mum and Dad came with me on the day trip. As we were killing time in one of the garden squares around it, ma's chin hit the ground. Ava Gardner was there as well! At the time I didn't know Ava Gardner from a hole in the ground, but it is still a precious memory and the play is about this time in her life. (Don't tell Elizabeth McGovern, who adapted it from the book and stars, that Once Upon a Time in America, in which she stars is the only film I have ever walked out of.

Friday, November 26, 2021

Ducks in a row

 I have finally managed to get our group trip to Get Up Stand Up, the Bob Marley musical sorted though it is quite different from the original plan (Icons passim).

The tickets are for the evening of February 5th. "What?" I hear you cry. "That is the first weekend of the Six Nations!" (Shorely shome mishtake; Ed.)

Breaks down like this:

Ireland Wales kicks off the tournament at quarter past two in the afternoon in Dublin. All of us (plus Gareth the rugby gnome, my daffodil head dress, my half Wales half Ireland rugby jersey, and my DNA results) can watch the game in the Standard (180 High Street Colliers Wood, London SW19 2BN).

Corleone (186A High Street Colliers Wood London SW19 2BN) is open from noon on Saturday. We can eat pizza there after the game, which will stop me from getting off my head as history proves that once I have had a meal I can't booze any more.

It is only 25 minutes from Colliers Wood to Leicester Square on the Northern Line.

If we get on the tube a little after six, we will get to the Lyric Theatre (Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 7ES) in plenty of time for a 7:30 show.

I lovers rock it when a plan comes together.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

And if you're hungry, girl, I got filets (woo-woo)

Granted, the world is going to hell in a hand-basket, but the Silk Sonic album came out less than a fortnight ago. We can all just stay at home listening to it instead.

(John, if as you say Mark the butcher is having problems sourcing them Anderson .Paak has got filets.)

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Normal service will not be resumed (fingers crossed)

I went to the Standard last night for a quick drink with people who were assembling there before walking up to the Wimbledon game, but ended up staying to watch Chelsea Juventus when I saw that Callum was starting and was rewarded by a goal from him in a 4-0 thrashing. (Wimbledon won as well 3-2.)

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Look What You Made Me Do

As of today, "Look What You Made Me Do" has become "Niamh's Theme." Taylor Swift is a genius. Right Said Fred get a co-writing credit; Du sublime au ridicule il n'y a qu'un pas.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower

  • Italy 17-10 Uruguay
  • Scotland 29-20 Japan
  • England 27-26 South Africa
  • Wales 29-28 Australia
  • France 40-25 New Zealand
  • Ireland 53-7 Argentina

Has there ever been a weekend in the Autumn Internationals before when all the Northern hemisphere sides beat their Southern hemisphere opponents, I wonder?

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Don’t just do something, stand there.

 Putting the Rabbit in the Hat is this month's Audble credit purchase.  Actor Brian Cox narrates his own autobiography. 

I was drawn to checking it out originally when PG told me that he had heard that there was an entry for him in the index. Obviously I can't confirm or deny that from an audio book, but the clincher was that reviews suggested it is quite spectacularly waspish and indiscreet.

Also, John my brother who uses Audible as well told me that Paapa Essiedu is on it. His performance of  The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is available here; free if you are a member.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

The day today

 8:30 Yoga

10:30 Weekly Skupe chat with mum

12:30 Leicester v Chelsea in the Standard (Callum playing fingers crossed.)

17:30 Wales v Australia rugby (Amazon Prime)