Wednesday, September 30, 2009

World's Worst Lovers

From a poll of 15,000 women:
''These results are an eye-opener for thousands of men around the world and female travellers might judge potential new lovers by looking at these results.''
1. Germany (too smelly)
2. England (too lazy)
3. Sweden (too quick)
4. Holland (too dominating)
5. America (too rough)
6. Greece (too lovey-dovey)
7. Wales (too selfish)
8. Scotland (too loud)
9. Turkey (too sweaty)
10. Russia (too hairy)
Seventh place is very respectable for the Principality, but surely - using the same sort of selfish logic that allows us to boast that Wales would be bigger than England if it was flattened out - the relative sizes of the countries means that the Welsh must be the worst lovers in the world per head of population.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Putting the Nasty in Namaste

Myself: Has any other reader noticed the remarkable similarity between the Ardha Matsyendrasana of Rickson Gracie, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master, and that of Bikram Choudhury, founder of the eponymous hot yoga system?

Prodnose: The point of this is?

Myself: I've committed myself to Bikram yoga for three months at least, so I'm trying to persuade myself it's badass rather than a bit wet.

Prodnose: Well Rickson is badass, no argument, but I think you've got a hill to climb. Further I'm not entirely convinced that pasting photos of flexed semi-naked men into the blog is necessarily contributing to a rugged vibe. Is that patouchi oil I can smell?

Myself: Don't knock the cosmetics man, even Tyler Durden was in the soap business:

Who you were in yoga club is not who you were in the rest of the world. A guy came to yoga club for the first time, his ass was a wad of cookie dough. After a few weeks, he was carved out of ....... bamboo.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Wreck and Rune

The XBOX 360 having given up the ghost and being long out of warranty I have got the bomber a Wii for his birthday later this week.

I've also noticed that RuneScape (1. Wikipedia, 2. Official Website) seems to have supplanted World of Warcraft in his affections as the MMORPG du jour.

I trust you will adjust your meatspace equity portfolios accordingly.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Leaf Cutter Ants

In case you were wondering, the bomber and I went to London Zoo yesterday. The leaf cutter ants are my favourites.

They climb up and down ropes between perspex enclosures containing their plant prey and separate transparent nest modules, bearing in their proud mandibles (mais naturellement) cut leaf segments that are so large compared to their itty-bitty bodies that the creatures look - for all the world - like sailing boats (comprised of leaves and ants rather than hulls and rigging).

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ain't it cool?

This is a tremendous Martial Arts film. Outstanding! It screens one more time at FANTASTIC FEST - and if you're looking for a badass Martial Arts film - MERANTAU is the route to go. October 1st: 1:45pm. DO NOT MISS IT!
Harry Knowles raves over the Welsh-helmed Merantau (see Icons passim) at the US Fantastic Fest.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools

My latest embed with British 2 Rifles, which began in July, was extended on at least two occasions. The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) had recently agreed that I would spend roughly one more month with 2 Rifles. My scheduled embeds with the United States Air Force and Marines were specifically arranged around the British schedule, and I was enjoying reporting on the excellent British troops.

However, on August 24th, with no warning, unseen faces of MoD discontinued my embed from 2 Rifles. The message that I was no longer embedded was emailed to me by Media Ops, just as I returned from an interesting firefight in the Green Zone. Luckily, none of our guys got hit, but I think the British soldiers may have killed some Taliban.

I do not know the reason for the embed termination. My best guess is that it relates to my sustained criticism that the British government is not properly resourcing its soldiers.

Read and think about what Michael Yon is saying.

Update: MPs' expenses leaked over failure to equip troops on front line in Afghanistan and Iraq
Expenses claims made by MPs were leaked because of anger over the Government’s failure to equip the Armed Forces properly while politicians lavished taxpayers’ money on themselves, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Is that all there is?

We went along to St Pancras for the Foodie Fortnight last night. It was a bit of non-event to be brutally frank, and we didn't end up seeing anything at all.

Ennui levels are also illustrated by the fact that we could hear the arc discharge from Hundreds flee in Eurostar panic as live cable collapses and couldn't even be bothered to find out what was going on with that.

Is that all there is, is that all there is?
If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing
Let's break out the booze and have a ball
If that's all there is

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


"What can I say.. that can interest anyone save, vaguely, myself, and of course my guardian angel, a failed psychoanalyst in this life who is even now prodnosing in the air above me, casebook in claw, a lilttle seedy and down-at-winged-heel, in the guttural consulting-rooms of space?"

- Dylan Thomas, Quite Early One Morning (1954)

Myself: What indeed? You didn't tell me you were a verb!

Prodnose: Modesty forbids what the law does not ...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

French Letters

Giscard's latest literary offering, The Princess and the President, published next week, is a highly detailed romance between a fictional French president and a thinly veiled British royal – Patricia, Princess of Cardiff, or "Lady Pat". The tome has attracted the mirth and curiosity of the French media, who wonder if it's simply the literary imaginings of an old man with a glint in his eye or hints at a kernel of truth.

Patricia, Princess of Cardiff, or "Lady Pat" sounds like a Tiger Bay fish wife; to think I ever imaged the French cosmopolitan and sophisticated.

In a further development:
This is Newport at its most glamorous and only a quick helicopter ride from the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, which helps to explain its popularity with the rock star fraternity who visit when they're touring. Some of them, including veteran rocker Alice Cooper, come for the golf, too.

"Newport at its most glamorous, " is a phrase I never expected to read in The Mail, or anywhere else for that matter.

I wonder what The Chain make of it?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

“Tricks with Cheese” by Cheesophile (of the “Cheese World”)

A time lapse film showing a unique sculpture of Cardiff Castle being chiseled out of Welsh cheddar is being used to highlight the staging of the Great British Cheese Festival in the famous Welsh landmark.

That's enough "appears" Ed

Dog Judo - Chicks Bitches dig it.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The gateless gate

“What is the meaning of Bodhidharma coming to the West?” Master Zhaozou said, “The cypress seed in the courtyard.” 問:如何是祖師西來意?趙州曰:庭前柏樹子。

Friday, September 18, 2009

mens sana in corpore sano

The man who invented exercise got his data from buses it appears.
“The very first results we got were from the London busmen,” says Morris, in Glaswegian tones undimmed by seven-odd decades in London. “And there was a striking difference in the heart-attack rate. The drivers of these double-decker buses had substantially more, age for age, than the conductors.”

The data were so telling because drivers and conductors were men of much the same social class. There was only one obvious difference between them. “The drivers were prototypically sedentary,” explains Morris, “and the conductors were unavoidably active. We spent many hours sitting on the buses watching the number of stairs they climbed.” The conductors ascended and descended 500 to 750 steps per working day. And they were half as likely as the drivers to drop dead of a sudden heart attack.
Science owes more to the Routemaster than the Routemaster owes to science.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Treading Debords

Just a few steps from the Merton Abbey's Watermill, the Colour House Children's Theatre has been presenting hour-long weekend shows for kids of all ages, since 1995. With Guy Debord's prescient comment that, "All that was once directly lived has become mere representation" running through my mind as I pondered .......
Baltimore Broadway World references the Situationist International in a review of the production of Pinocchio that is playing on weekends yards from where I sit.

That's too much weird for me, Shorty.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

uke 'em all

The Colliers Wood Ukulele Orchestra does Delilah, and I am transported.

Unfortunately I can't make it on Thursdays due to Bomber duties.

............. if only ...............

Jumpin' Jim's '60s Uke-In: 25 Really Groovy Songs Arranged for the Ukulele

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Eat Film

Myself: Lupercio Leonardo spoke well when he said: how well one may philosophize when preparing dinner.

Prodnose: What are you talking about?

Myself: I am dropping a gentle hint that I have discovered that Angelo Morino's 'El Libro de Cocina de Sor Juana Ines de La Cruz' is a real book. How would like me to demonstrate that I am getting on with 2666? Perhaps I could beat up a taxi driver? Anyway, I've been neglecting you. Why don't we go to the movies? Julie & Julia is playing.

Prodnose (derisively): Chick flick!

Myself: Not at all, it is a food flick. Movies about cooking are almost always good in the same way that movies about sport are almost always bad. I don't make the rules. That's just the way it is. "You see, you start out with a little bit of oil. Then you fry some garlic. Then you throw in some tomatoes, tomato paste, you fry it; ya make sure it doesn't stick. You get it to a boil; you shove in all your sausage and your meatballs; heh?... And a little bit o' wine. An' a little bit o' sugar, and that's my trick".

Prodnose: "Why don't you cut out the crap. I got more important things for you to do".

Myself: Now you're talking. Timpano anyone?

Monday, September 14, 2009

under a bushel

Oxwich really is a tremendous beach - very long and curving.
In Wales for the weekend with the bomber, disporting and watersporting on Oxwich Bay with himself and assorted Howells.

The quote above (with its satisfying lack of bombast) was the reaction of the Charmain of the Gower Society when it was named the most beautiful beach in the UK by Travel Magazine.
It's slightly rippled with a flat underside.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Deadliest Biscuit

The custard cream has been found to be the UK's most dangerous snack, on the basis of something called the Biscuit Injury Threat Evaluation.

With any luck I am down in Swansea today

Friday, September 11, 2009

On the tweet where you live

1. A David Eagleman novel that Stephen Fry recommended on Twitter, has experienced a 6000 per cent spike in sales since they were posted on his micro-blogging site.

2. My Fuhrer ...... Stephen Fry has "twittered" it.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Props to my homie Barney

Hat tip, Nicola; new to the BP crew.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The Mancunian Candidate

Fancy living in one of these streets, never seeing anything beautiful, never eating anything savoury, never saying anything clever!
If he'd come to The Providores and Tapa Room Restaurant with me he could have ticked off all three at once.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Realtime "Come Fly With Me"

Come fly with me, let's fly let's fly away
If you can use some exotic booze
There's a bar in far Bombay
Come fly with me, we'll fly, we'll fly away

Come fly with me, lets float down to Peru
In llama land, there's a one man band
And he'll toot his flute for you
Come fly with me, we'll float down in the blue

Once I get you up there, where the air is rarefied
We'll just glide, starry eyed
Once I get you up there, I'll be holding you so near
You may hear, angels cheer - because were together

Weather wise it's .....

You just say the words, and well beat the birds
Down to Acapulco Bay
Its perfect, for a flying honeymoon - they say
Come fly with me, we'll fly ,we'll fly away!

Prodnose: Ring-a-ding baby!

Myself (enigmatically): Cock your hat - angles are attitudes.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Kevlar Tyres

I did the Richmond to Windsor bike ride yesterday (plus cycling from home to Richmond before it began and back from Clapham Junction after we got the train back).

I recorded the main event on my Garmin so you should be able to see it, along with pub stops, at

I had to change an inner tube before I even got to Wimbledon on my way to the event. Brendan (who also inspired me to get the GPS watch in the first place) told me I should get Kevlar tyres.

Kevlar tyres! Of course I need them and I wonder that I didn't think of it before.

He is the Lucius Fox to my Bruce Wayne.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Zombies of the Northern Line

It was praised at Cannes as a no-budget marvel and is due on our screens next month. But Marc Price's British zombie film, Colin, made for just £45, has done more than set a new benchmark in cheap guerrilla film-making. It's also put Tooting Broadway on the horror-movie map.

The atmospheric, gore-spattered film is told from the point of view of the titular zombie, and was shot on the south London streets near Price's rented house on Himwell Street, SW17.
He should have come and shot it in SW19 at the Dark Mills Festival yesterday, he probably could have got his movie in the can for £30. I've never seen make-up applied so generously to such mingy effect. One scarcely expects Goths to scrub up like Brad and Angelina, but did Mum and Dad really have to lay on with such a will with the ugly stick?

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Last true Welsh prince buried under pub?

THE headless corpse of Wales' last native prince may well be buried under a pub on a Cardiff council estate, according to a Welsh historical society.

The final resting place of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd - also known as Ein Llyw Olaf ("Our Last Leader") - has remained a mystery since he was slain in a Mid Wales ambush in 1282 as he spearheaded a rebellion against Edward I.

But members of the Abbey Cwmhir Heritage Trust have resurrected long-standing rumours that he was buried at Llanrumney Hall in the capital.

In the 13th century the site would have been a monastic grange. In later years it would become the home of notorious pirate Sir Henry Morgan, but nowadays it is the site of a reputedly haunted pub on the Llanrumney housing estate.
I've never been to Llanrumney Hall, though I went to school nearby.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Always scribble, scribble, scribble!

When I was back in Cardiff, Sean recommended Robert Bolano's 900 page "2666" and "The Wire" (the five series of which weigh in over 58 hours on 24DVDs).

God knows how I'm going to fit them in to the giddy whirl, but to celebrate the publication of Bolano's posthumous triumph in paperback in the UK today, the following order is winging my way.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

'Avin It Large'

You gotta roll with it
You gotta take your time
You gotta say what you say
Don't let anybody get in your way
'Cause it's all too much for me to take

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Hot stuff


I can keep training almost every day alternating weights and cardio, but I will simply end up as the fittest plank of wood in the world if I don't address the tight hip flexors that have been bugging me since at least 2006 (Icons passim) though I note that I have rehabilitated my shoulders since then.

Thus I biked off this morning to the 6:30am Hot Bikram Yoga class in Balham: a series of 26 postures (asanas) carried out in a heated room, and man it was tough.

I get 10 days of classes for a tenner, so that is what I will be doing daily until Friday week, except for Sunday when I am off on the Richmond to Windsor bike ride with Andy, Bondy et al.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

A pastoral interlude

Back from camping I reflect that the simple life with friends and family is the best, as the wise have known since the earliest times:

Gilgamesh, whither rovest thou?
The life thou pursuest thou shall not find.
When the gods created mankind,
Death for mankind they set aside,
Life in their own hands retaining.
Thou, Gilgamesh, let full be thy belly.
Make thou merry by day and by night.
Of each day make thou a feast of rejoicing,
Day and night dance thou and play.
Let thy garments be sparkling fresh,
Thy head be washed; bathe thou in water.
Pay heed to the little one that holds on to thy hand,
Let thy spouse rejoice in thy bosom!
For this is the task of mankind!