Monday, February 28, 2011

time to kill

We had an evening flight from Sofia on Saturday which gave us an opportunity to explore the Bulgarian capital before we lit out.

And so it came to pass that I got to compare and contrast the sublime Alexander Nevsky Cathedral echoing to orthodox chant, with the chanting and running battles that accompanied the "eternal derby" between CSKA (Sofia) and Levski (Sofia).

Disaffected, pudgy, tattooed, shaven headed, closet mummy's boys are the same the world over I guess. I want nothing whatsoever to do with them, and couldn't give a monkey's why they are so cross.

A little later my mood dipped again as I ended my media fast (Icons passim) by arriving in Gatwick at the same time as the last chartered flight shipping beleaguered Brits out of Tripoli.

Prodnose: Maghreb is an Arabic word literally meaning "place of sunset."

Myself: You got that right, buddy.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin.
Groucho Marx (attrib.)
I skied for a whole week's worth of lessons without falling over once which means - if I understand my catechism correctly - that I was on the brink of getting my winter sports cherry back; all previous transgressions being annulled by an indulgence granted in such such circs.
Then on the very last run of the holiday, as I was following the bomber down the mildest of blue runs, I tumbled head over heels and even managed to aggravate (though it is OK now) the old shoulder injury that took me straight from Heathrow to a hospital A&E department the last time I cam back from skiing in Bulgaria.

Prodnose: Thank you very much for that Thomas Aquinas.

Myself: If the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


We're off to Borovets for a week's skiing over half term. "Various verb forms exist to express unwitnessed, retold and doubful action," in Bulgarian according to Wikipedia which sounds just about right.

Neither you nor Andrew Keen needs to worry as I maintain radio silence while away. A week's media fast beckons.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Cooking the books

I've stumbled on a series - strangely reminiscent of the moribund eat your way around the world in London - called Around the world in 80 dishes. It is in the Indescribablyboring.

Number 15, representing Wales is Bryn Williams' seared scallops, braised chicken wings, jerusalem artichoke and hazelnut jus. Just the thing after a hard day hacking anthracite from a seam.

In an unrelated development Microsoft alumnus Nathan Myhrvold's "Modernist Cuisine: The Art & Science of Cooking," is out.
Take one multimillionaire computer genius, a team of 36 researchers, chefs and editors and a laboratory specially built for cooking experiments. After nearly four years of obsessive research, assemble 2,400 pages of results into a 47-pound, six-volume collection that costs $625 and requires four pounds of ink to print.
I likes chips me.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

See Shanti

I went to my 84th yoga class last night; dynamic yoga in Virgin Active. An admittedly eccentric looking woman joined the session a few minutes in after sliding shyly into the studio and asking if I was the instructor. The sneer of cold command comes us trumps again. My life is a triumph of style over substance and I can't even touch my toes without warming up, but I was secretly flattered. She wouldn't have made the same mistake an hour later with slips of girls blooming into headstands as I grunted and failed.

I'm still slightly uneasy (see Icons passim) about what the great unwashed think of asanas, so I'm greatly cheered by WBI Ryan Giggs endorsement of practice as a building block of his sporting longevity.

I can't help but think that the space cadet below however is undoing our good work.

Prodnose: Score another one for the Tiny (yonin) E!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Imagination is Everything

Imagination Is Everything from Mummu on Vimeo.

I've admired the London Parkour scene since 2008: Icons passim.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ab Fab

You are probably wondering where I got these amazing abs. They’re so ripply and rock hard, they’re difficult to fathom. If I were a character on a reality show about me and my middle-aged acquaintances, I might be nicknamed the Conundrum, in reference to these abs of mine. See, the abs don’t match the visage. My perturbed, puffy face sets you up for a blubbery gut. But then you see these abs, stacked like bricks, clearly delineated, and you have to ask, “Does he work out for two or three hours a day, or does he just work out all day?” Or perhaps you think I purchased them from a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills. My secret is simple—dynamic tension! Constant dynamic tension. Tension that is tense, and dynamic, and never-ending—the best kind of tension there is! I have analyzed each ab and where it draws its tension from so that you, too, can get the abs you’ve always dreamed of!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines day: amateurs and wannabes

We are coming upon a time, known as Valentine's Day, that makes Smoove NB very uneasy. Most people must consider this holiday synonymous with Smoove and his seductive ways. But if the truth be told, Smoove does not much care for St. Valentine's Day. Not at all.

This is, undoubtedly, a shock to my readers, who worship me as a king of seduction. I know from the letters I get that many of the men who read my column use my moves and words to aid them in making their own Valentine's Day a little more special. And to them, I say, stop biting on my styles. For serious, you don't steal another man's seductive moves and pass them off as your own. This column is not a giveaway. This column allows you to observe a serious player play. That is all. Get your own skills.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Best of Wales

We're back to winning ways on the rugby field after beating Scotland.

A Cardiff builder has become the first Welshman to be ranked the world number one sea angler and nomintated A Welsh Born Icon by Chris.

I listened to a documentary about the sad story of the song "Without You," and nominate Pete Ham as a Welsh Born Icon myself.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Prof

Sad news, via Chris, The Prof has passed on aged 90.

I remember a distinguished yet approachable man with an enviably sunny disposition, and a false leg that made a curious hydraulic sound as he enthusiastically propelled himself about the department.

He probably deserved a more diligent student than me; I could never really summon much enthusiasm for the subtle beauty of laminar flow, though it may be telling that I still have my copy of Chemical Engineering Volume 1: Fluid Flow, Heat Transfer and Mass Transfer v. 1 (Chemical Engineering Series)

Here is an obituary from the Telegraph and a tribute from the Uni,

Friday, February 11, 2011

Public Service Announcement

Annual Valentine's Day Stoning Of Happy Couple Held

If you're going to send a card you need to get it in the post today, or at the very latest tomorrow.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Bless me Father

England beat Wales by 26 to 19 in the rugby last Friday. Then the Swiss, those famous goal plunderers, beat us four one at football.

There's an app for that:
Designed to be used in the confessional, this app is the perfect aid for every penitent. With a personalized examination of conscience for each user, password protected profiles, and a step-by-step guide to the sacrament, this app invites Catholics to prayerfully prepare for and participate in the Rite of Penance. Individuals who have been away from the sacrament for some time will find Confession: A Roman Catholic App to be a useful and inviting tool.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Favelas fellas?

The Bomber and I were lucky enough to be invited round to eat with the Brazilian family of a friend of his this weekend. We had feijoada with a variety of side dishes just like the photo above that I got from wikipedia.

Fried bananas, bacon and toasted manioc (Icons pasim) flour; did anything every sound so ridiculous yet taste so delicious?

To wash it down I brought along a guarana drink and cachaça as a token offering sourced at the inexhaustible Mills' Pastelaria KATAVENTO.

Coupla caipirinhas and the kids are playing, our hosts and their freinds are chatting in Portuguese, and I'm happily brooding on Jobim's Meditação.

Suadade (Icons passim) hitting the sweetspot after England beat us at rugby?

Monday, February 07, 2011

Colin Velvette Presents Sonia Tumbelova

The all female Big Ballet has dropped its 17st threshold to 15st for the first time in its 16-year-history in preparation for the UK tour.

The tour producers has blamed successful healthy eating campaigns, such as those waged by Jamie Oliver for the fall in the number of suitable candidates.

Tour producer of the Russian dance company, Alexej Ignatow, said: “The number of hopefuls weighing 17 stone has dropped significantly, coinciding with sustained global campaigns for healthier eating, perhaps most notably spearheaded by celebrity chiefs such as Jamie Oliver.” The 16-strong alternative group was set up to challenge social standards in the ballet world and dancers weighed in at just under an average 20st during the last UK tour in 2008. The 40-date tour starts in Eastbourne, March 1, and ends in Darlington, April 18.

Unintended consequences.

Sunday, February 06, 2011


The phrase "bunga bunga" has become inextricably linked with the private life of Italy's Silvio Berlusconi, and for those who have puzzled over its origins an intriguing new explanation of its meaning has been offered.

'I am bunga bunga,' says 36-year-old German actress Sabina Began The comical-sounding phrase made its first appearance back in October, when 17-year-old Moroccan belly dancer Karima El Mahroug - who calls herself Ruby - said she had attended "bunga bunga" parties with other women at Mr Berlusconi's villa in Milan.

Italian newspapers immediately scrambled to find out its origins.

The finger of blame was initially laid upon Mr Berlusconi's friend Col Muammar Gaddafi, with allegations of parties hosted by the Libyan leader involving "harems" of young Western women.

Then stories circulated claiming the phrase owed its origins to a bawdy joke, which Mr Berlusconi's detractors claimed was one of his favourites.

Then this week Sabina Began, German actress and friend of the Italian prime minister, told Sky Italia that she herself was bunga bunga.

"'Bunga bunga' is simply my nickname," the 36-year-old said.

It's a credible-sounding explanation: "Began" and "Bunga" are not so different, and the repetition gives it a more informal, nickname-like quality.

"Everyone thinks: 'My God! What does that mean?" she is quoted as saying. Ms Began went on to explain that it was she who had organised the parties for Mr Berlusconi.

The expression has quickly become part of the Italian vocabulary, says Italian journalist Annalisa Piras, even though no-one really knows what it means.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Hat tip, John

The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational once again invited readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

Here are the winners:

1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

2 Ignoranus : A person who's both stupid and an ass.

3. Intaxicaton : Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

4. Reintarnation : Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

5. Bozone ( n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future

6. Foreploy : Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

7. Giraffiti : Vandalism spray-painted very, very high

8. Sarchasm : The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

9. Inoculatte : To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

10. Osteopornosis : A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

11. Karmageddon : It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

12. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

13. Glibido : All talk and no action.

14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

16. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

17. Caterpallor ( n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

The Washington Post has also published the winning submissions to its yearly contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words.

And the winners are:

1. Coffee, n. The person upon whom one coughs.

2. Flabbergasted, adj. Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.

3. Abdicate, v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4. Esplanade, v. To attempt an explanation while drunk.

5. Willy-nilly, adj. Impotent.

6. Negligent, adj. Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a nightgown.

7. Lymph, v. To walk with a lisp.

8. Gargoyle, n. Olive-flavored mouthwash.

9. Flatulence, n. Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been run over by a steamroller.

10. Balderdash, n. A rapidly receding hairline.

11. Testicle, n. A humorous question on an exam.

12. Rectitude, n. The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

13. Pokemon, n. A Rastafarian proctologist.

14. Oyster, n. A person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.

15. Frisbeetarianism, n. The belief that, after death, the soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

16. Circumvent, n. An opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men

Friday, February 04, 2011

Cardiff Underground

If I was back, it would be just six stops on the Canalog line from Mum and Dad's to the rugby tonight. That would be 'arf tidy.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Number one with a bullet

Myself: At my challenge, by the ancient laws of combat, we are met at this chosen ground, to settle for good and all who holds sway over the five points: us natives, born rightwise to this fine land, or the foreign hordes defiling it.

Prodnose: By the ancient laws of combat, I accept the challenge of the so called "natives." They plague our people at every turn, but from this day out, they shall plague us no more. For let it be known, that the hand that tries to strike us from this land shall be swiftly cut down.

The Daily "we'll be murdered in our beds" Mail has compiled a list (from the new CrimeMapper) of the most violent streets in England and Wales. Swansea's Wind Street is third, but Cardiff has two in the top 10.

Cambrian Road, Newport also shows up at a very respectable number six.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

the ravelled sleeve of care

Sleep, as a human endeavor and aesthetic pursuit, is in a terrible state of decay. The great sleepers of our age go uncelebrated, and are even despised for the appearance of effortlessness that pervades their work. It is time that we addressed our culture of insomnia-- but to whom can we look for a philosophy of sleep?

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

fifteen minutes of fame

If JIH can fill a cesspool in 30 minutes, ZZ can do the same job in 45 minutes, and XX can do it in an hour and a half, how long will it take all three to fill the cesspool together?

Judge Lord Neuberger Justice Cocklecarrot ruled in favour of the man, known only as JIH.

He said JIH had been in a long-term relationship with someone referred to in court as XX.

He wanted to block a story claiming he had a sexual encounter with someone known by the alias ZZ.

The Court of Appeal heard that when JIH discovered that News Group Newspapers intended to publish a story based on information provided by ZZ, he began legal proceedings - without revealing his identity - in order to stop them.