Friday, May 31, 2013


Sugru is the exciting new self-setting rubber that can be formed by hand. It moulds like play-dough, bonds to almost anything and turns into a strong, flexible silicone rubber overnight.
Developed by a team of product designers and material scientists, sugru's patented technology is unique in its combination of hand-formability, self-adhesion and flexibility when cured. It feels like modelling clay, and it's that easy to use too. Once cured, its durable properties mean it's comfortable in extreme environments from the dishwasher to the ocean in Antarctica.
I need some. I don't know what I need it for, but need it I do nevertheless.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The World's End

Though the eyes and lenses of the world will be focused on London next week as Angelina Jolie is due to be at Brad Pitt's side when his new undead-battling film World War Z is unveiled in London on 2 June, the real zombie apocalypse is likely to unfold when The World's End opens on 19 July and five friends who reunite in an attempt to top their epic pub crawl from 20 years earlier unwittingly become humankind's only hope for survival.

As it happens, a couple of days ago I was reading a review of What Fresh Lunacy is This?: The Authorised Biography of Oliver Reed that mentioned his very own Wimbledon pub crawl.

Digging deeper:
The story goes that Steve McQueen flew to England to discuss a film project with Reed and they planned a night out. This turned into a marathon pub crawl that took them via the Hand in Hand, the Crooked Billet, the Fox and Grapes, Rose and Crown, Firestables, the Brewery Tap, the Dog and Fox and Finch's (now closed), where they aimed to drink a pint within 15 minutes before moving on to the nearest pub. During this Reed threw up on McQueen. The unofficial world record on this crawl is 16 pubs (two laps), held by Oliver Reed himself.
The fates are telling me that Saturday July the 20th should comprise an early viewing of The World's End followed by our own attempt on the Ollie Reed 8.

(See Icons passim for more Oliver R meaty goodness.)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Then went the Tories and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Lib Dems saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto HM Government or not? But Eric Schmidt perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? Shew me the revenue. And they brought unto him an online ad. And he saith unto them, Whose are these terms and conditions? They say unto him, Google's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Google the things which are Google's; and unto the Government the things that are the Government's. When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.
Sky Masterson: This is wrong.

Myself: Let's just say it's a matter of opinion, shall we?

Sky Masterson: You know, I imagine there's only one thing that's been in as many different hotel rooms as I have: the Gideon Bible. Don't tangle with me on the Good Book. I must've read it through at least a dozen times.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Great Job

Back in September last year (Icons passim) when we won the Antelope pub quiz three times on the bounce I worried that we might spoil it for everyone else with our effortless domination. It turned out that I needn't have worried.

Last night though, at long and dear last, we were back on top in imperious style. That said, we would have been looking down on our rivals from an even greater height, if I'd been believed when I said that "this job would be great if it wasn't for the f**king customers" was from Clerks.

Always play to your strengths. My super power is a mouth like an open sewer.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Only God Forgives

I see that "Blue is the Warmest Colour" has won the Palme d'Or at Cannes, thought it looks like Only God Forgives will be more up my street.

Not everyone agrees:
It may not win the Palme D'Or, but it could win the Walkout D'Or, a gold trophy of a cinema-seat banged up into the upright position. Nicolas Winding Refn's Only God Forgives is a glitteringly strange, mesmeric and mad film set among American criminal expatriates in Bangkok.
The story so far:
Ryan Gosling plays Julian, the co-owner of a Muay Thai boxing club with his brother Billy (Tom Burke): an operation which is a front for selling drugs. Both brothers are naturally angry and violent, though in keeping his feelings in check, Julian is of course by far the more unsettling.
When Billy indulges his taste for violence and misogynist hate one night, and is himself murdered by his victim's father, Julian realises that he is expected to discharge the gangster's ultimate responsibility: revenge. 
Prodnose: Probably not movie for a first date when it comes out in the UK on August 2nd then.

Myself: Probably not no. The nuns at St Joseph's Convent and the De La Salle brothers that "beat an education into me" would probably be pleased to see I mistyped  the title as Only God Forbids in my first draft though. "Give me a child for for his first seven years and I'll give you the man."

Prodnose: Stella Artois is an official partner of the Cannes Film Festival, supporting the beauty and art of great film-making. To discover more on the partnership, visit

Sunday, May 26, 2013


I can't to Rutsfest this year as I am in Wales until tomorrow, but that doesn't mean that you have an excuse.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Words at play

All right thinking people, I am sure have room in their hearts for the OuLiPo (the Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle, or Workshop for Potential Literature).

One of the many gifts the OuLiPo has given the world is the beau présent, which is a poem that contains only the letters in the recipient’s name. Here's a haiku from mine, from me to me.
I was in a jail,
snow shone on a branch.
whoosh, here rejoins now.
It is only through the confining act of writing that the immensity of the nonwritten becomes legible, as the old song goes.

Back to Word with Friends now, but this time in Marcel Duchamp art project style.

Friday, May 24, 2013

time stood still

XBox One has been revealed, and I am pretty sure it will end up in himself's Christmas stocking.

According to the WBI time machine, I bought Ben's trusty XBox 360 for his sixth birthday in 2006. It seems like yesterday.

Time flies: I am going to my cousin's 50th birthday party in Cardiff tomorrow yet I could have sworn that when we were growing up I had a year or two's lead on her.
Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

zine to be believed

"In honor of its eightieth anniversary, Esquire has mined the archives to publish its eighty greatest stories of all time."

I got Volume 1 when it came out in February and then Volume 2 on publication in March. They were both solid compilations, but we're in the latter part of May now and there is no sign of Volume 3.

Babylon Wales' latest round up of local 'mags suggests I'm unlikely to source a replacement from my home town any time soon
Also making the scene is FFWFF, a bilingual anarcho-feminist zine put together by a small collective. Their publication which was birthed last year includes art, stories, and poems. It also contains advice on how to make a Pussy Riot balaclava; and the perfect vegan ice-cream. The latest addition to the underground sphere is Cardiff-based Bitch, a cut'n'paste queercore art zine. A more comprehensive account of what is contained in these publications and details of how to get hold of them can be found at the excellent Afiach website.
I've always prided myself on the intercultural competence of my table manners, but I must admit that the etiquette for eating vegan ice cream while wearing a Pussy Riot balaclava eludes even me.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


More than six months since the Prince closed (Icons passim), the Provenance is due to rise from its ashes on May 30th.

They've got rid of the squatters but, peaking through the windows at the state of it, Thursday week seems rather ambitious to me. It also appears, reading the planning permission application that is posted up, that they intend putting some flats and artists studios (eh?) in the building.

Time will tell.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013


What do we think? Is it the way forward for my gaff? Mounting the bike on the wall near the front door, rather than yomping through the house to the, currently shed-less, back garden.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Remain in light

I have broken another kindle (see Icons passim) by cracking the screen. This time it was in a soft kit bag in an overcrowded car boot.

Once again, I have no option but to replace it so a Kindle Paperwhite is on its way.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Anna Kashfi

From Babyon Wales:

This school picture taken in 1948 shows Form 5 of St Joseph's Convent School, North Road, Cardiff. In the back row, second from the right, is Joanna O'Callaghan. She lived in Newfoundland Road, Gabalfa. Just a few years after this photograph was taken she became an actress and changed her name to Anna Kashfi. Moving to Hollywood she starred in films opposite the likes of Spencer Tracy and Rock Hudson. But more significantly she would marry the hottest male star of the era, Marlon Brando. Unfortunately their marriage was short-lived but the tortuous custody battle over their ill-starred son Christian went on for years. All that torment was still to come when this picture was taken - here she is just an ordinary and reasonably happy teenager living in Cardiff.

I went to St Joseph's Convent School in North Road myself. Just like Marlon Brando's wife. Who'd a thunk it?

Prodnose: I remember you were in trouble all the time.
Myself: Now you got me. Boy, the way those Sisters used to whack me, I don't know what. They thought they was gonna beat an education into me, but I foxed 'em.

Come to think of it, I remember my Mum telling me she know Bosco O'Callaghan; Anna's brother.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Farleigh Wallop

The Bomber and I are away camping with friends this weekend in a martial forest that exists alongside the real world, full of wandering sword fighters, medicine men, defrocked priests, poets, sorcerers and Shaolin renegades Basingstoke.

Friday, May 17, 2013


When I got a text from the Bomber informing me that his school came third in the Merton Secondary Schools Track and Field Championships, but not volunteering any more details I thought that perhaps he hadn't done so well himself in his events. As it turns out he won the 200m and came second in the 100m and 4x100m relay. He slipped at the start of the 100m, so maybe if his feet hadn't outgrown last year's spikes he might have won that. Who knows? A gold and two silvers is a good haul.

The photo above is from the Burnham on Sea Rugby Festival; nothing to do with athletics but it arrived in the post yesterday so I thought I'd share it. He is fourth from the right on the back row.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

the tail that wagged the dog

Crossrail 2, in which Wimbledon and Tooting Broadway become the centre of the world. I just hope I'm still alive to see it.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

When the levee breaks

Not yet a fortnight on from the end of the season rugby tour and athletics is back with a vengeance. The Bomber and pals had their first Herne Hill Harriers training session of the year last night at the Tooting Bec track.

My God, it was cold, wet and miserable. An issue compounded by my misreading of the times and expecting it to finish at eight rather than eighty thirty, the boys having gone up an age group attend different sessions to last year.

I stood sulking on the sidelines blasting a soundtrack through my headphones:
If it keeps on rainin', levee's goin' to break, If it keeps on rainin', levee's goin' to break, When The Levee Breaks I'll have no place to stay.
That said, the kids - though sodden - seemed happy enough.

Himself is in the Merton Secondary Schools Track and Field Championships 2013 today. The times to be nervous are 11:40 for the 100m, 12:40 for the 200m and 2:30 for the 4x100m relay.

Nothing to do but loaf after that until training again ............ tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


I came out of the house this morning only to discover that some S.O.B. had keyed my car (and three others) all along the driver's side.

Nobody's dead or injured I suppose, but it has taken the spring out of my step this a.m.

Not that I hold grudges you understand but I still brood and entertain revenge fantasies concerning the bottom feeder who threw paint over it in 2006 (see Icons passim).

Since then the main theme of late night attacks on my motor has been wing mirror snapping. I've lost count. Only one this year though, touch wood.

"String 'em all up. Hanging's too good for 'em. I had that Melanie Phillips in the back of the cab once ......."

Monday, May 13, 2013

floating round my tin can

A revised version of David Bowie's Space Oddity, recorded by Commander Chris Hadfield on board the International Space Station.
To be followed, I trust, by covers of "Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed", "Don't Sit Down", "Letter to Hermione", "Cygnet Committee", "Janine", "An Occasional Dream", "Wild Eyed Boy from Freecloud", "God Knows I'm Good" and "Memory of a Free Festival". All of which I know by heart.

 ....... sings 
We scanned the skies with rainbow eyes and saw machines of every shape and size
We talked with tall Venusians passing through
And Peter tried to climb aboard but the Captain shook his head
And away they soared
Climbing through
the ivory vibrant cloud
Someone passed some bliss among the crowd
And We walked back to the road, unchained

The Sun Machine is Coming Down, and We're Gonna Have a Party
The Sun Machine is Coming Down, and We're Gonna Have a Party
..... repeat to fade in blatant (even unto the chord progression) Hey Jude rip off.

Anyone who can listen to that without laughing must have a heart of stone.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

This time it's personal

I had my first session with a personal trainer for a long, long time this morning. I signed up for it because, when I was invited, I was told it was free. Perhaps it is a way for a trainer who is new to Virgin Active to drum up business?

Thus, I bowled up without any particular ambition or agenda just thinking it would add a bit of variety to my sessions but I was extremely impressed.

We discussed my recent mountain biking crash and he has given me a set of exercises to rehabilitate my rotator cuff (having had a similar shoulder injury himself). It became very clear as I worked at them that it is the specific mechanism or muscle that is used in external rotation that is my problem area. I am going to shorten my cardio sessions by, say, five minutes and do these exercises (they are all light) as a kind of warm up. He recommended the cross trainer and breast stroke swimming to loosen my shoulders so i will try them as well. I've also got variations of seated dumb bell curls and flies that should support shoulder health as well as working my biceps and chest.

On another topic, when I told him how embarrassingly inflexible I am in front folds, he got me to touch my toes for 30 seconds on the vibrating PowerPlate - apparatus at which I had previously sneered from afar. To my astonishment it worked a treat and gave me a good couple of inches in reach. I will try and do that every time I go now.

I don't need someone beasting me in the gym to make sure I work, but I may well see this guy for an hour once a month to evaluate progress and keep me on the straight and narrow.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Hot Stuff

Access Denied

The owner of this website ( does not allow hotlinking to that resource (/images/igallery/resized/7001-7100/039_Gul13_on_Sea_0868-7013-800-600-80.jpg). (Ref. 1011)
  • Timestamp: Sat, 11 May 2013 03:20:22 -0700
I see (Icons passim) that the action pictures I posted of Ben didn't work because the owner of the site does not allow hotlinking. I'll fix the post when I get five minutes, but I wasn't aware such a feature could be implemented.

Noodling around I see that URL Rewrite would let us do it programmatically in IIS.
IIS URL Rewrite 2.0 enables Web administrators to create powerful rules to implement URLs that are easier for users to remember and easier for search engines to find. By using rule templates, rewrite maps, .NET providers, and other functionality integrated into IIS Manager, Web administrators can easily set up rules to define URL rewriting behavior based on HTTP headers, HTTP response or request headers, IIS server variables, and even complex programmatic rules. In addition, Web administrators can perform redirects, send custom responses, or stop HTTP requests based on the logic expressed in the rewrite rules.
I had also never heard of URL Rewrite. I will forward it to the Burglar as I imagine there are all sorts of things we could do with it.

Prodnose: Why are you telling me this?

Myself: Chicks dig it.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Calling Fergie Time

Before Jonnie played for Wimbledon AFC, so this must be when he was very young, Andy used to take him to football training at some set up over towards the A3. Over the months he got chatting to, and vaguely to know, one of the other fathers on the touchline. One day this Dad couldn't seem to find his son, but then announced in a relieved tone, "it's OK, he's there he is was Granddad".

Andy looked round, only to see this kid walking up hand-in-hand with Sir Alex Ferguson (#ATrueStory).

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Bugatti Veyron

Looking at the website of the official photographer of the Gullivers Burnham-on-Sea Festival 2013 which we attended last weekend, I found an action sequence of Ben making a break from a line out in the game against Dartfordians. I'd like to think he is scoring one of the brace of tries he got in that match in the last shot but I'm not sure he is. Looking at photo 2 though, I can see that Louie, who was playing number eight and stayed out of the line out, is in support just behind him so I am pretty confident we would have retained possession.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Note to self

I was driving down to Somerset on Friday night so I didn't get to the The Martin Lewis Money Show episode that mentioned the auction system.

The Burglar says that it was quite a brief reference towards the end. That said it certainly did the business in ramping the traffic up.

I have 25 days to catch up with it on the itvPLAYER at

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Good morning, I am writing this on the new iOS version of the Blogger app as I am waiting at home for the gas man to turn up and service the boiler. was released today and has RTF support plus WYSIWYG editing for new and existing posts. It also boasts in-place image editing and minor bug fixes.

Life on the edge, eh?

Monday, May 06, 2013

Ups and Downs

I am back from the Bomber's end of season tour to Somerset.

On the postive side he was the Ruts' top try scorer in the tournament, we won the Bowl, and in our final pool match we ran in three tries to nil with Ben and Jonnie (together in the second row) both scoring after first trying rugby together in the weekend between their fifth birthdays

In the debit ledger, after we nudged ahead in the semi final against Welwyn courtesy of a try from Ben the opposition No8 caught him isolated on the ground and stamped him out of the game injuring his leg and cutting his eye open. He got sent off in the second half and Ben recovered in time to play the final (won against Cobham). It is lucky I didn't see the incident as I can't say what I wouldn't have done.

I heard later that Welwyn also had a player sent off in their previous match against Cwmbrawn. I have never even seen a boy sent off in mini rugby before. A pattern begins to emerge: no such thing as bad student, only bad teacher as Mr. Miyagi reminds us.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Fingers crossed

It seems that the auction website is going to be featured on a prime time ITV programme called The Martin Lewis Money Show at 8pm tonight.

That should put the traffic through the roof if past experience is anything to go by (see Icons passim).

We've boosted the servers this morning, but I won't be able to hold the system's hand tonight as I will be driving down to Somerset with the Bomber for his fourth Burnham on Sea Rugby Festival.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

That's it! No more help from me.

Fifty years ago on 2 May 1963, The Beatles song From Me to You became the band's first No 1 in the official United Kingdom charts.

Lennon and McCartney began writing "From Me to You" while on a coach heading to Shrewsbury as part of the Beatles' tour with Helen Shapiro.
John and Paul were sitting at the back of the coach and Kenny Lynch, who at this time fancied himself as a songwriter, sauntered up to the back of the coach and Kenny Lynch ... decided he would help them write a song. After a period of about half-an-hour had elapsed and nothing seemed to be coming from the back, Kenny rushed to the front and shouted, 'Well, that's it. I am not going to write any more of that bloody rubbish with those idiots. They don't know music from their backsides. That's it! No more help from me.
Lennon honours "helpful" Lynch

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Act of Terror

It is easy to forget about the 2005 Terrorism Act and its damaging effect on civil liberties and human rights. Act Of Terror puts the spotlight back on this murky law, and demands that we keep vigilant in the face of ever increasing state power.
Quite right, and not a party political issue either as David Davis' principled position amply demonstrates. Reading about Alan Johnson's autobiography the other day, I was struck that if the dice had fallen separately he could be the leader of the Labour party and Davis may have led the Tories. That would have been infinitely preferable to the snake oil salesmen we have had thrust upon us.