Monday, August 03, 2020

You're a beautuf intelligent womaaan,,,

No one will understand this post but me and my brother John. "We'll always have New Orleans."

Sunday, August 02, 2020

Do you like good music? That sweet soul music.

The latest version of BBC Radio's Soul Music (may its tribe increase!) is about Gloria Gaynor's "I will survive."

We learn that in 1978, when she recorded the song,  Gaynor was, in fact, wearing a medical brace following emergency surgery on her back after an accident that could have left her paralysed for life. “I’d been on stage and fallen backwards over a monitor and ended up in hospital."

This is totally amazing to me. Phil played bass on a tour with her in the 80s. As a rule he stands to the left of the drummer so he can lock in to the tempo from the high hat, On this occasion though he gradually found himself (and not in a weird way) drifting away from his station and taking the time from her shaking her booty.

This was after 1978 surgery to remove a ruptured disc and fuse two of the vertebrae in her lower spine, but before she went under the knife again in 1997 to correct the spinal stenosis caused by the initial operation. Two more procedures followed in 2018.

What a woman.

Saturday, August 01, 2020

Shaolin Soccer

Perhaps subconsciously triggered by today's FA Cup final, a memory of Callum coming around to my house and watching Shaolin Soccer on DVD with Ben years ago when they were still in primary school.

I think it explains a lot about his style.

A post shared by Callum Hudson-Odoi (@calteck10) on

Friday, July 31, 2020

One door closes and another opens

I can't spend my whole life reading highbrowne stuff like "Chivalry and Empire: The Colonial Argument of the Princess Micomicona Episode in Don Quijote Part I." Sometimes I need to blow the froth off a cold one and settle down in front of a Netflix comic book adaptation.

I've finished Warrior Nun and season two of The Umbrella Academy is due to be released at eight this morning.

Thursday, July 30, 2020


It is mum and dad's 60th wedding anniversary today.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Simple Simon

Very cool indeed Simon. Very cool.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Beer Pong

The Hendries have an all-weather table tennis set up in the garden and Ben introduced us all to beer pong (a game Rayburn taught him in the States) over the weekend.
Beer pong, also known as Beirut, is a drinking game in which players throw a ping pong ball across a table with the intent of landing the ball in a cup of beer on the other end. The game typically consists of opposing teams of two or more players per side with 6 or 10 cups set up in a triangle formation on each side.[1] Each team then takes turns attempting to throw ping pong balls into the opponent's cups. If a ball lands in a cup (known as a 'make'), the contents of that cup are consumed by the other team and the cup is removed from the table. The first team to eliminate all of the opponent's cups is the winner.
At last, the sport I was born to play.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Harry Houdini's Hat

Harry Houdini started his career touring with carnivals and circuses. At Coney Island in 1893, he met a fellow performer, Wilhelmina Beatrice "Bess" Rahner. When they married in 1894, she joined his  act, which became known as "The Houdinis". For the rest of Houdini's performing career, Bess worked as his stage assistant.

They were famously devoted, but I am sure I have read or heard somewhere that on the odd, inevitable occasion when they did have a row, he would would be ejected from their caravan and start walking around the fairground. After each lap he would throw his hat in through the window. If Bess threw it back out, he was still in trouble so he would set off again. If she didn't he was forgiven and allowed back in again.

I think this was wonderfully psychologically astute; as tempers cooled the flying hat would gradually become funny, charming and whimsical.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

A smoking gun

I have got form questioning the Government's OneWeb aquisition (Icons passim).

It has emerged now that Sam Beckett, the acting permanent secretary at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy raised serious concerns about the purchase.

Herewith the correspondence on the Ministerial direction for the purchase of OneWeb that will cover the redoubtable Ms Beckett in glory sometime in the future when it is bugger all use to anyone.

She was sidelined about a week ago (see this). I wonder why? What an extraordinary coincidence.

While I will continue to stick my nose into the government's business, class is class and I am very impressed by this revelation:
Emily Maitlis has revealed that she received a “text of support” from Dominic Cummings following her Newsnight monologue.
The presenter divided audiences in May after introducing an episode of the political programme with a speech claiming that Cummings had “broken the rules”, after he drove from London to County Durham at the height of lockdown.
Sending a private message of support to someone who is being pilloried for attacking, is one for the ages.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Let's Get Physical

Wimbledon BookFest is running a live, physical event in September, featuring a keynote speech from Matthew Syed.
The festival, entitled Last Days of Summer, will run from 12th to 13th September in an open marquee on Wimbledon Common featuring appearances from inspiring speakers and bestselling adult and children's authors.
Events will have reduced capacities and ticketed entry to ensure it remains safe for everyone, organisers said. The events will also be streamed digitally.
Also, I am going to try and get back in the gym today as it has finally opened. I have done all but nothing since it shut.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Annie Ross

Annie Ross had died aged 89. Born in Mitcham doncha know. I went to see her live (with Link as I recall) when we were in Swansea University but she didn't play because there were only about half a dozen people in the audience.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

You and Ben Browne

Predicted relationship: Parent/Child
Shared DNA: 3,419 cM across 83 segments
Ben has finally had his DNA tested at (I am pretty sure I gave him the kit as a birthday present two years ago. No hurry then.)

I wonder if there is a way we can link his results (and Mia's) to mine in a family tree so they can get access to my research on our Irish ancestors?

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Oh, those Russians

I haven't read all of this yet, but the section I am most intereseted in starts on page 15

Money quote
Whilst the Russian elite have developed ties with a number of countries in recent years, it would appear that the UK has been viewed as a particularly favourable destination for Russian oligarchs and their money. It is widely recognised that the key to London's appeal was the exploitation of the UK’s investor visa scheme, introduced in 1994, followed by the promotion of a light and limited touch to regulation, with London’s strong capital and housing markets offering sound investment opportunities.
Intelligence and Security C... by The Guardian on Scribd

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Boulangere Potatoes

I was at Coffee in the Wood this morning at six to watch Kevin baking his croissants. He thought I was joking when I suggested it.

The recipe for boulangere potatoes emerged from the French tradition of taking a casserole of potatoes to the local baker so the dish could be placed in the baker's cooling oven to cook. Perhaps I will take a pot of sliced spuds, onions and stock along there tomorrow at about seven.