Friday, December 13, 2019

Small mercies

I voted for Siobhan McDonagh, our Labour MP (Icons passim), and she was re-elected with a majority of 16,482.

I must admit, I didn't see the party's national humiliation coming though. I thought Labour was going going to do a lot better than the commentariat were predicting. More fool me.

Here's a small crumb of comfort. Last night Nigel Dodds - the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) deputy leader) lost his North Belfast seat to Sinn Féin's John Finucane and the world shrugged its collective shoulders rather than rioting or throwing petrol bombs. That is an improvement on Northern Ireland when I was growing up.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Elizabeth Is Missing

I was out last night as well as Monday and I am spoken for tomorrow as well as Friday. A therapeutic night in beckons. What could be more soothing than a drama about dementia.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Coyote Ugly

"Live sports screened on our TV'S / BIG SCREEN and food served until late." If we'd known, the Bomber and I could have watched the boxing at Cardiff's Coyote Ugly Saloon on Saturday instead of The Claude.

See also, the story that sparked the film. Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love fame (Icons passim) wrote the piece and used to work there. Might still work there for all I know come to think of it.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Set 'em up, we'll be knockin' 'em down

Kiln Theatre presents PASS OVER by Antoinette Nwandu
A lamppost. Night. Two friends are passing time. Stuck. Waiting for change.
Inspired by Waiting for Godot and the Exodus, Antoinette Nwandu fuses poetry, humour and humanity in a rare and politically charged new play which exposes the experiences of young men in a world that refuses to see them.
Paapa's on stage again in London 13 Feb - 21 Mar 2020, so we need to sort that out for our collective diaries.

Also, James McAvoy's just opened in a critically acclaimed Cyrano de Bergerac. There is zero chance of getting a theatre ticket for that but there is going to be an NT LIve broadcast of it on 20 February so I will aim to be in the HMV Curzon then.
My heart always timidly hides itself behind my mind. I set out to bring down stars from the sky, then, for fear of ridicule, I stop and pick little flowers of eloquence.

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Highbrow or Lowenbrau this evening?

Ben and I watched Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy on Netflix when we got to Cardiff late on Friday.

Saturday night we watched Ruiz v Joshua 2 in the Claude. Local knowledge served us well. We were comfy as Shire hobbits in the lounge, while the main bar was so busy it looked like that last assault of Saruman's orcs on Helm's Deep.

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Mari Lwyd

I'm in Wales with Ben visiting his grandparents and cousins. Where can se get a horse's skull for  Mari Lwyd? Have I left it too late again?

Friday, December 06, 2019

Nick's degrees of separation

YouTube recommended the video above to me. Because I looked at the trailer for the Two Popes a couple of times? Who knows?

Anyway, as I was background half-watching it and hearing Anthony McCarten's Kiwi accent, it dawned on me that I vaguely remembered Donna (another New Zealander) saying she had a home-town friend who was a screenwriter. I double checked the name with her and it is the same guy.

His last four produced scripts were:
  • The Theory of Everything (2014)
  • Darkest Hour (2017)
  • Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)
  • The Two Popes (2019)
Not too shabby.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Andy Tea Party

I got a message from Andy Cunningham yesterday saying he was going out for a beverage if I fancied it, and - guess what - he was pushing on an open door.

When I got there I discovered it was a low key celebration of the news that hereon in he only has to see the heart specialist at St George's twice a year.

Less than five months after six hours of open heart surgery (Icons passim) that is a fine early Christmas present.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

I’ve read you had a struggle with booze and all that.

I have been laughing to myself about my great fortune in meeting both Simon Crane (Brad Pitt's pal) and Peter Gill (ditto Anthony Hopkins) in the same three month period. Further chuckling about the idea that the Cardiff-born bard of working class love and loss, and Hollywood's go-to action maestro are nominally in the same business.

Any road, Tony H and Brad P talking to each other (Photography Buck Ellison, Stylist Mel Ottenberg) in Interview magazine gives me a chance to share it and for us to enjoy it together.

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

The Tooting Popular Front

Not my constituency. I will be voting for Siobhain McDonagh but if I lived a few hundred yards further north I would vote for Dr Rosena Allin-Khan in Tooting. This video is funny, sly and self-aware.

Monday, December 02, 2019


Apparently all the men on my father's side of the family are like characters in a Harold Pinter play.

The OED takes the strain:
Pinteresque, adj. (and n.) Brit. /pntrsk/, US /pn(t)rsk/ [< the name of Harold Pinter (b. 1930), British playwright + -ESQUE suffix. Cf. PINTERISH adj.]
Of or relating to Harold Pinter; resembling or characteristic of his plays. Also occas. as n. Pinter's plays are typically characterised by implications of threat and strong feeling produced through colloquial language, apparent triviality, and long pauses.
This may also explain my difficulty in understanding the son and heir: he is exactly like the rest of us.

Sunday, December 01, 2019

flipping the bird

Yon scary man with the beard in this video frequents Coffee in the Wood.

The other day he fed his dog some scraps of the chicken he was eating and the over enthusiastic hound bit the end of his finger off. He had to go to St George's and have it sown back on again.

Shortly after, walking the same dog in the park he came across a goose caught in a wire fence. He tried to set it free. The goose pecked off the recently reattached digit.

I forbid you to laugh about this you oaf. I have laughed more than enough for both of us.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

The Two Popes

The Two Popes is getting a limited theatrical release before landing on Netflix, so I am going to take PG to see it in the Olympic Studios tomorrow. A debt of honour as he picked up the tab when Bethany and I met him for dinner.