Tuesday, December 31, 2013

That Was The Year That Was

I was eleven pounds lighter this morning than I was on the last day of 2012. Not great, but not bad and a move in the right direction. My peers in general seem to be going into the credit rather than debit side of the avoirdupois ledger.

Come January 10th, I will be in my eighth year of recording my exercise every day, and on June the first I will have been going to Virgin Active regularly for nine years.

Where does the time go?

Monday, December 30, 2013

Sunday, December 29, 2013

dibby dibby sound

Today, I am mostly listening to DJ Fresh vs Jay Fay feat. Miss Dynamite. I wonder which one is Pink?

Saturday, December 28, 2013


Andy H, an Arsenal season ticket holder, invited me yesterday to go and see them play Cardiff City at the Emirates on New Year's Day.

Yesterday was also the day that the mercurial Vincent Tan fired Malky Mackay as Cardiff City manager.

I'm still going.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Accessorize after the fact

I'm sitting in the office with in front of my main workstation with an iPAD to my left and the Surface Pro to the right.

I have bought a Touch cover now. It is a necessity I would say to work on the legacy desktop.

I still can't work out what the pen is for.

I foolishly bought a mini HDMI to HDMI cable before I realised the connector on is is a Mini Display port. I think maybe I will need all the adapters to get the most out of it.

I am very intrigued by the Surface Music Kit (though it doesn't seem to be in the UK) and its associated remix contest.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

to do is to be

Neil; Lord of all he surveys...... you think?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Jeeves and the Yule-tide Spirit

The immortal Wodehouse's Jeeves and the Yule-tide Spirit is 2013's entry in my annual collection of Christmas stories, read on .......

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Parenting skills

I have been playing a lot of Quizup (hat tip Sophie) over the festive break. He knows everything about The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother.

Good or bad? Discuss.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Aladdin Sane

'Tis the season to be jolly and suddenly our appointment with Wimbledon's panto on January 12th seems to be bearing down on me with unseemly haste.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

all surface

Good morning. I am writing this on my new Surface Pro 2. I haven't bought the highly rated cover that comes with a keyboard and touchpad. The idea being that I would learn to navigate it without.

I'm beginning to regret that, and I've left the stylus that comes with it downstairs. Early days I suppose. Watch this space.

Friday, December 20, 2013


As we were walking to the pub after work yesterday, the Burglar tripped on an uneven pavement and crashed to the ground like a sack of potatoes, cutting his lip, grazing his cheekbone, mashing up his hands, hurting his knee and breaking his glasses. He couldn't even get up unassisted, I took him back to my place so he could clean up and sat with him until he was feeling well enough to go home.

At 6:30am this morning I went to my 250th yoga class. It struck me that while I keep doing that I am extremely unlikely to fall if I trip, that if I do ever fall I'm mobile and supple enough to be at a low risk if injuring myself, and that even if I did stumble and graze some flesh I would certainly be able to get up again straight away.

That is enough motivation to persevere. I'll let you know when I get to 500. Namaste.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Winning Ways

The Bomber got all eleven of the tries his house team scored in winning Monday's tournament in school.  I know that I drone on and on about this sort of thing but it is good to have a place to store these memories up for the future.

Also, we grown ups won the quiz at the Antelope by a country mile on the very same day.

orandum est ut sit mens sana in corpore sano.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Bard the Bowman

The Bomber and I went to see The Desolation of Smaug last night. Bard the Bowman and all his kin speak with Welsh accents, and this behaviour is - apparently - by design.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

a great artist can come from anywhere

Peter O'Toole who brought me so much joy with his performances over the years has gone to his reward.

It is reported that his house rules for a New Year's Eve party at home were "fornication, madness, murder, drunkenness, shouting, shrieking, leaping polite conversation and the breaking of bones, such jollities constitute acceptable behaviour, but no acting allowed."

I'm going to the Hendries' this December 31st. I wonder what they would make of it? I think they're quite partial to a bit of acting.

(By the way, why can't I get The Ruling Class or The Stuntman on iTunes? They will be gaping holes if I celebrate his life with a movie marathon.)

Monday, December 16, 2013

a bad grumf

The Ruts lost for the first time this season, going down 36- 24 (6 tries against 4) to Effingham & Leatherhead U13s away.

They went into the game without a regular prop, second row and scrum half; all three were away at scout camp. Scout camp!? And then lost Dan the other regular prop to a bad knock on the noggin very early on in the game. After that they were struggling up front all along; under pressure in set pieces and at the break down.

No need to panic yet. They won a bonus point for scoring four tries and are still top of the league. A lot of character was displayed, battling to the very end and with a heavily bandaged Dan agitating to be returned to the fray from the touch line.

As regards the Bomber, the coach's match report says:
Moment(s) of the Match: the three terrific tries scored by the backs – scintillating running from Silas and Ben!
He''s got an internal school tournament today and is playing the in second round of the cup for the school later which seems like odd scheduling. Two important matches and a tournament in two days? I think he could do with a rest until after Christmas after that. (I noticed he was carrying a bit of a shoulder injury towards the end of yesterday's game.)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The student has become the master

The Bomber has been teaching me to use FL Studio and explaining that Avicii used it to make Wake Me Up.

He discovered, downloaded and set it up himself. It seems like the investment in his laptop and drumming lessons is bearing fruit in ways I didn't expect.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Millions like us

The British Monarchy Facebook page passed the million likes landmark some time last night. I deserve that Christmas card.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Assorted Festivals of Rugby

2014 will be our Old Ruts team's last appearance at the Brean Sands Festival as it only goes up to U13s.

Team Tours Direct run a variety of Festivals we could go to instead in 2015.

I'm making a note of http://teamtoursdirect.com/sport/rugby-union/ so I can find it again next year.

(Oh, and Wimbledon College beat the school 38-0 on Monday. Not a lot of fun.)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


The school's year 8 are playing Wimbledon College this afternoon and I am going to try to sneak out and wee the game. I imagine that the match will be something of a challenge as Wimbledon have already beaten Dulwich College this season, so I have dusted off my Al Pacino impression just in case it is needed for half time.

Monday, December 09, 2013

COD Wars

In two separate meta-analyses of locus-of-control beliefs—whether we hold that we influence our own fates or that our lives are subject to uncontrollable external forces—the psychologist Jean Twenge and her colleagues found that, between 1960 and 2002, Americans have increasingly turned to external explanations for the shapes of their lives. The shift is not a function of socioeconomic background; the attitude change occurred across demographics. This, in turn, suggests increased alienation and, as a result, more of a need for a means by which to reassert the control that otherwise seems to be missing from our lives. First-person shooters may be a way of reclaiming our sense of efficacy.
This, apparently, is why the Bomber and all his chums play Call of Duty with such devotion. I am unconvinced myself.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Patrick Dalton’s top five local Tooting hotspots

Tooting: edgier than Balham and mercifully less Clapham than Clapham. The Romans built a road through it and it has a crater on Mars named after it – take that Brixton. Tooting may not be on everybody’s list of places to visit before they die but there are more than enough reasons to jump on the Northern line and revise that opinion. Here are just a few of them
Tooting your own horn? GEDDIT! See how I did that? Tooting is a place and both the gerund and present participle of the verb toot. Hilarity ensues.

Saturday, December 07, 2013


I'm off to the South Bank this afternoon on the tube. Living, as I do, within walking distance of the office, I don't get to use public transport often. Luckily I have found a transcript of Mayor Boris Johnson explaining how much a Zone 1 single costs if you pay with cash.
"Oh blimey… I've got the figures here. If you get a… if you get a… Yeah yeah yeah wait a minute. If you've got your Oyster card I think it's gone up to £2… £2.10 is it? Uhhh… I use the Oyster card because…. Always use your Oyster card! I'll give you… I can give you – d'you want me to recite… Where's the, where's the someone give me my… herewegoherewegoherewego here's the whole list HERE we go HEEEERE we go, okay. Right. Here we go. If you want a one-way ticket… Oh god… um… cash single. A cash single is… it is currently… in zones 1-7 it is £6.70. Can that be right? Well that's what it says here. That seems unbelievably expensive to me – that's outrageous. That cannot possibly be right. Wait wait wait… folks - who's drawn up this useless chart? *DEEP GROWLING* OH ZONE ONE HERE WE GO £4.50!"
Yes, that's Boris - some people are too stupid to get on in life - Johnson.

Friday, December 06, 2013

One day at a time

The Bomber and I will be back in Wales from the wedding on December 21 until Boxing Day, when we have to charge up the M4 early doors for the traditional Christmas showdown with Wimbledon Warriors.

Virgin Active has closed since last time I was back so it looks like The Gym Cardiff will have to take the strain as I can get £5 a day membership on Monday and Tuesday.

There is one in Swansea as well. I wonder if that would work for John if he could get the two of them 24/7 for a low monthly outlay?

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Stamppot Boerenkool

I have only got potatoes and kale left over from this week's veg box, and next week's arrives tomorrow.

If I combine them with smoked sausage in a Dutch fashion I can make Stamppot Boerenkool. The same ingredients in a Portuguese stylee will give me Caldo Verde.

Now that the country is teeming with Poles I can select from a wide variety of charcuterie at the Sri Lankan shop at the bottom of the road. It is practically a Polski sklep these days.

Spuds, sausage and greens may be peasant food, but seasoned with my cosmopolitan, culinary suavity it combines a stroll through European history and culture with a treat for the taste buds.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

How to be Topp: A Guide to Sukcess

U13 League 2
TeamPWDLFADiffB PtsPtsAdjust
Old Rutlishians U1333009719782170
Sutton & Epsom U13 A21014471-27170
Reeds Weybridge U13s110027198160
Camberley U131001515-10010
Haslemere U1320023374-4111-2
Effingham & Leatherhead U13s0000000000
Old Reigatian U130000000000
Guildfordians U1310011927-800-1
Last Updated: Dec 3 2013 2:27PM

The table is updated, for us at least, after last weekend's result.

Tries: Ben Browne, Silas Bobb, Sid Daniels, Pablo Santiago-Davies, Charlie Julian, Dylan Harwood, Joe Bennett
Conversion: Luke Saitch

 Tired but happy, this is before they knew what the traffic was going to be like on the A3 going home.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Not ready for Amazon Prime Air time?

Can this possibly be on the level? Reading The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, I think it might well be, Dr Strabismesque (whom God preservesque) of Utrechtesque as it seems.

Monday, December 02, 2013

That was the week that was

No one from from my family is going to hospital for a procedure today or on Friday this week, it is just my nephew Tuesday, my sister on Wednesday and my father on Thursday.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Half empty

The Ruts U13A team beat Haslemere 37-7 in the league this morning so, though I don't know the other results, we must still be top of the table as we've played one more game than anyone else.

Seven tries but, and this is the only niggle, only one conversion.

From memory the try scorers were the Bomber (in the first minute), Silas, Sid, Pablo Dylan, Joe B and someone else who I have forgotten in the excitement. Luke got the conversion.

Next up Effingham & Leatherhead U13s in a fortnight and I have heard rumours that a few of our regulars won't be available.

It wouldn't do not to have anything to worry about now would it?