Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Fairy tales can come true

  • AFC Wimbledon beat Plymouth Argyle 2-0 to win League One promotion
  • Club celebrated their sixth promotion 14 years to the day they were formed
And I was there to see it.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Pick up Styx

Yesterday I unblocked the overflowing external drain that is fed by the kitchen sink, washing machine and dishwasher. It was completely backed up with disgusting solid gunk that smelled like death and seemed to be make up of compacted soap powder, fat and other debris.

On reflection however, I enjoyed the time I spent breaking it up and pulling it out with my arm plunged into this Stygian hell up to my elbow more than I enjoyed the second half of the game we attended at Twickenham yesterday; England 27 - 13 Wales.

I'm off to see Wimbledon AFC at Wembley this afternoon. I know Ivor Heller from "around" and had a chat with him on Saturday when I picked up the tickets. Who will play him in the upcoming AFC movie do we think - Tom Hiddleston, Aidan Turner, Idris Elba, or Damian Lewis?

Sunday, May 29, 2016

New Zealand's squad for the Wales tour

Forwards: Dane Coles (Wellington, 36 Tests), Codie Taylor (Canterbury, four Tests), Nathan Harris (Bay of Plenty, two Tests), Wyatt Crockett (Canterbury, 45 Tests), Charlie Faumuina (Auckland, 33 Tests), Owen Franks (Canterbury, 78 Tests), Joe Moody (Canterbury, 11 Tests), Ofa Tu’ungafasi (Auckland, new cap), Brodie Retallick (Hawke’s Bay, 47 Tests), Luke Romano (Canterbury, 22 Tests), Patrick Tuipulotu (Auckland, seven Tests), Samuel Whitelock (Canterbury, 73 Tests), Sam Cane (Bay of Plenty, 31 Tests), Elliot Dixon (Southland, new cap), Jerome Kaino (Auckland, 67 Tests), Kieran Read, captain (Canterbury, 84 Tests), Ardie Savea (Wellington, new cap), Liam Squire (Tasman, new cap).

Backs: Tawera Kerr–Barlow (Waikato, 20 Tests), Aaron Smith (Manawatu, 47 Tests), Beauden Barrett (Taranaki, 36 Tests), Aaron Cruden (Manawatu, 37 Tests), Lima Sopoaga (Southland, one Test), Ryan Crotty (Canterbury, 15 Tests), Malakai Fekitoa (Auckland, 13 Tests), Charlie Ngatai (Taranaki, one Test, Seta Tamanivalu (Taranaki, new cap), Israel Dagg (Hawke’s Bay, 49 Tests), Damian McKenzie (Waikato, new cap), Waisake Naholo (Taranaki, three Tests), Julian Savea (Wellington, 41 Tests), Ben Smith (Otago, 48 Tests)

Who's this Damian McKenzie then? Never heard of him.

Bollocks. Looking on the bright side, maybe he won't get in the team.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

a league of their own

There is no rugby league game for the Raiders today, as it is a Bank Holiday weekend.

After that we are home to the Stags on June 4th, home to the Merlins on June 11, and away to the Crusaders on June 18.

June 18th is the last U15 West league game. It turns out that there is an East league as well.  On June 25 and July 2 we will play the team who finish in the same position as us in that league; two games one home and one away.

After that, if we come third or higher in the West league (and we are third at the moment) we get into the play offs.

09 Jul 16 Round One A - 2nd West v 3rd East
09 Jul 16 Round One B – 2nd East v 3rd West

16 Jul 16 Semi-Final 1st West v Winner of Round 1-B
16 Jul 16 Semi-Final 1st East v Winner Round 1-A

23 Jul 16 London RL Youth Junior Grand Finals at London Broncos RLFC, Ealing

All clear?

The Invicta Panthers, who put the Raiders out of the Cup in Ben's first ever rugby league game (Icons passim) are currently sitting on top of the East table.

Friday, May 27, 2016

top-notch ducket hustlers

The plan for England v Wales this weekend is to meet Ben at Wimbledon Station on Sunday to get the 1:34 train to Twickenham.

After the game we will walk along to the While Hart while the crowd disperses and see who is about. Folk who haven't seen Ben since he came skiing with us when he was in primary school are in for a shock.

After that we will get the train back from Whitton to Charing Cross (it runs at 28 and 57 minutes past the hour), thence Balham where we will get the Northern Line to Colliers Wood.

I tried to buy tickets for Wimbledon AFC's Monday play off at Wembley earlier, but it is too late to get them online. Luckily they are available until Sunday  from a pop-up shop in Centre Court, so I can pick some up there on my way to Twickenham. (Northern Line to London Bridge then the Jubilee Line to Wembley Park would seem to be my best bet to get to the football.)


Liam Williams (Scarlets), George North (Northampton Saints), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Harlequins), Hallam Amos (Dragons), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Webb (Ospreys), Rob Evans (Scarlets), Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Ross Moriarty (Gloucester), Dan Lydiate (Capt - Ospreys), Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Replacements: Kristian Dacey (Cardiff Blues), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), Josh Turnbull (Cardiff Blues), James King (Ospreys), Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues), Rhys Priestland (Bath Rugby), Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues).


Starting XV: Mike Brown; Anthony Watson, Jonathan Joseph, Luther Burrell, Marland Yarde; George Ford, Ben Youngs; Matt Mullan, Dylan Hartley, Dan Cole; Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes; Teimana Harrison, James Haskell, Jack Clifford.

Reps: Tommy Taylor, Ellis Genge, Paul Hill, Dave Attwood, Matt Kvesic, Danny Care, Ollie Devoto, Elliot Daly.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

a problem I didn't know I had

Before hot yoga kicked off at half past six this morning, Shona (dominatrix du jour while Marta is on a retreat in Thailand) apologised on behalf of Sara who had thought that perhaps she had pumped too much lemon grass into the atmosphere.

Nursing, as I was, a "gentleman's head" after a barbecue at Andy and Ollie's last night and pondering the miracle it was that I had made it to Elm Grove at all I shattered my customary mauna and told her - with all the dignity that I could gather prone on my back clad in nothing but my pants -  that the precise make up of the morning's incense was among the least of my problems.

The Rawlinson motto "Omnes Blotto."

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang

A gerund is a verb form which functions as a noun; in English ending in -ing (e.g. asking in do you mind my asking you?).

Some genius creative for the IN campaign (ING campaign?) has decided that G is omitted if one is down with da yoot. How is you votin.co.uk on June 23rd?

This campaign is ridiculous. Do the people behind think that kids are morons who can't understand arguments as opposed to slogans?


1. I am open to the notion that we may be dealing with present participles here rather than gerunds. The words not being in sentences it is difficult to be precise. Let's take these stand alone words as nouns.

2. This is the first time I have embedded a Facebook video. The secret sauce for that is at https://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins/embedded-video-player

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Spice Up Your Life

“My experience is that we live in a material world. Also, it’s inside and out, it’s the polarity of both, aesthetics is the shop window, ultimately, if there’s nothing in that shop, it has no longevity, do you know what I mean?”
Speaking for myself I don't know what you mean Ginger Spice, but my world is a jollier place for reading interviews with you again.

Monday, May 23, 2016


The highly-anticipated new TV series Preacher will debut exclusively on Amazon Prime Video in the UK it has been announced.
Arriving on 23rd May 2016 (today), with subsequent episodes launching on Mondays from 6th June 2016 (one day after they air in the US on AMC), the series is produced by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg (This Is The End, Superbad, Bad Neighbours) and showrunner Sam Catlin (Breaking Bad). It is based on Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s comic book of the same name.
Religion, satire, ultraviolence, possession, angel-demon copulation, rednecks, Heaven, Hell, saints, killers, and the Saint of Killers - what's not to like?

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Behind a Painted Smile

Scarcely two months on from raising the issue (Icons passim) I think I may have got to the bottom of finding a fitted sheet that will be snug with my mattress.

It turns out it is a 140cm x 200cm Euro/IKEA Size double; bigger than a UK double but smaller than a UK King size. How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth? Amazon Prime can take the strain: IKEA DVALA - Fitted sheet, white - 140x200 cm.

For completeness, the bed in Ben's room is a UK small double (120 x 190 cm).

Prodnose: God knows there has been some competition here lately, but that is almost certainly the most boring thing you have ever shared.

Myself: I am not sure. I was only saying to Brad, Angelina, George and Amal the other day that people only see the impossible glamour that is the surface of our lives. Sometimes I think it is good to let a little light in and allow the public to appreciate the hard work that goes on behind the scenes keeping the show on the road.

Angelina (about the new curtains): If you don't like them we can take them back.

Brad: All right, I don't like them.

Angelina: [pause] You'll get used to them.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Player of another year

Ben won the Old Ruts U15 League 1 Player of the Year award at the club last night. This year, like last year when Welsey won it, it was decided a vote among the squad, not by the coaches. It is a great honour for him to be picked out by his peers like that.

I don't have a picture as I remembered that when he won it four years ago (Icons passim) I was so busy fooling around with the camera on my phone that I didn't really concentrate on savouring the moment.

Friday, May 20, 2016

I'll be back in a minute

The Wimbledon Brewery is just around the corner from Lavender Park where the Rutlish Raiders rugby league teams play their home games of a Saturday. Disloyal as it sounds, I could be persuaded to play hooky - at least for the first half - for a food and drink market.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

'Tubbs' Tattsyrup: Are you... local?

I went down the Standard last night to watch Liverpool in the Europa Cup final (of which the less said the better) only to find myself enthralled instead by the screens showing AFC Wimbledon edge past Accrington in extra-time.
AFC Wimbledon are one win away from reaching the third tier of English football following an extra-time victory over Accrington in the League Two play-offs.
Having been two goals down on the night and 22 minutes from defeat, substitute Adebayo Akinfenwa’s header forced extra time before Lyle Taylor’s 104th-minute finish sealed a 3-2 aggregate triumph and booked a Wembley final date with Plymouth.
Success over the Pilgrims would ensure Wimbledon, who formed as a phoenix club 14 years ago in response to MK Dons’ controversial relocation, will spend next season alongside Karl Robinson’s side for the first time in their history.
Confirmation of their Wembley trip came slightly later than planned, due to a floodlight failure at the Crown Ground, but the final whistle was greeted by a pitch invasion when it eventually arrived at 10.30pm.
Phew, my heart was in my mouth. I am tempted to go to Wembley myself.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Several million points out of ten for style

I got a group email from Carole yesterday. She's trying to organise a reunion for the 30th anniversary of us starting our MBA. That is handy as I have only recently sobered up after the 20th anniversary reunion.

I hit "reply all" saying I was all in favour of it and got the greatest automatic response in the history of the world from Ruth.
I am currently cycling the Silk Road and will return to my desk in October 2016. If you require immediate assistance, please contact Frank Neale on xxx@xx.com. I will have periodic access to email and will respond when I am able. Thank you.
Her "periodic access to email" is obviously working as we heard from her personally later:
Aw, I'll have to survive long enough for the 40th. I'm currently cycling the Silk Road. In China now heading towards Istanbul. Eta October.
I am now singing Style by Prince from the Emancipation album in tribute. You should too.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Well I never!

I was checking something out for the Wimbledon Bookfest on Twitter yesterday when I came across the tweet from the Bomber's school above. I wish I was clearer about what competition it was in, it must have been something significant I suppose.

While we are on the subject of himself, you can go directly to his rugby league try from Saturday's game at https://youtu.be/AGo4--bMSRY?t=23m10s without having to sit through all that boring filler footage of the opposition scoring.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Rutland Weekend Television

I am just back from Cardiff, but the miracle of Interweb YouTubery means I can watch the Raiders being beaten by the Elmbridge Eagles yesterday ..... and thank you so much for bringing up such a painful subject. While you're at it, why don't you give me a nice paper cut and pour lemon juice on it?

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Pre match entertainment

I am back in Cardiff this weekend at Mum and Dad's, so I'm off the grid and today's post was queued yesterday.

Saracens vs Racing 92 - the European Champions Cup final - kicks off at quarter to five (BST) this afternoon at the Grand Stade de Lyon, France. The match will be broadcast live on BT Sport Europe, with the show starting at 3.45pm (BST).

Gareth has reminded me what a great try Pablo scored against Saracens ARFC last week, so I present it below as home grown pre-match entertainment. Slow motion and a soundtrack? You're spoiling us, Mr Ambassador!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

.... and the nominations are ...

BMI celebrated the songwriters and publishers behind the year’s most-performed pop songs at the 64th Annual BMI Pop Awards last night at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.
Global superstar Taylor Swift was presented with the first-ever Taylor Swift Award.
The bookies probably weren't taking bets on who would get it.

Alvy Singer: What's with all these awards? They're always giving out awards. Best Fascist Dictator: Adolf Hitler.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

I'll drink to that

I saw the Richard Alston Dance Company in Wimbledon Theatre last night. It was a triple bill with a break after each so I could have two interval G&T's instead of the customary one; very civilised.

Afterwards, I still had time to watch the second half of West Ham versus Manchester United as the kick off was delayed by three quarters of an hour after Irons fans attacked the Red Devils' bus; less civilised.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

one and a half minutes

The Saracens recorded their games at the sevens at Worthing at Sunday and sent us a link. I share a ninety second clip above in which Ben scores a try, tackles the guy who catches the restart and then - after half time when the camera is off - catches their restart and runs through the entire team to put the ball down under the posts.

How you like them apples?

Monday, May 09, 2016

‘5 weeks, 25 days, 175 hours’

Chisenhale Gallery presents the first solo exhibition in the UK and a new commission by Berlin-based artist, Maria Eichhorn. Highly responsive to context, Eichhorn’s work operates within the logic of institutional structures, enacting changes through precise and visually minimal gestures. Her ambitious, large-scale projects often take on the mechanics of legal, social and financial processes, making permanent interventions that evolve over time.
Following a site visit to Chisenhale in July 2015, which included a discussion with Chisenhale staff exploring their working lives, Eichhorn has produced a two part work examining contemporary labour conditions. The exhibition will begin with a one-day symposium on Saturday 23 April, addressing ideas raised by the project. The symposium will feature lectures by Isabell Lorey and Stewart Martin and will be chaired by Andrea Phillips. The afternoon will be devoted to a discussion with the audience, in which Eichhorn will also participate.

At Eichhorn’s request, the gallery’s staff will then withdraw their labour for the remaining five weeks of the exhibition. None of Chisenhale’s employees will work during this period and the gallery and office will be closed, implementing leisure and ‘free time’ in the place of work. At the heart of the project is a belief in the importance of questioning work – of asking why, within our current political context, work is synonymous with production, and if, in fact, work can also consist of doing nothing. Eichhorn’s conceptual gesture is an implicit critique of institutional production and broader neo-liberal patterns of consumption, but it is also an artwork that deals with ideas of displacement of the artist’s labour and of the artwork as work.
That's right, a gallery in east London has just opened an exhibition that's permanently closed.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Old Ruts

Opportunities to admire fifteen year old sons are - as a rule - few and far between.

The Rutlish Raiders U15 rugby league team beat the North Herts Crusaders 52-16 yesterday.

Today, in their Union 7s guise they were beaten finalists at Worthing with an injury ravaged squad of 9 playing against teams rolling squads of 12. How they won five on the bounce before going to the well one last time to find it dry is beyond me.

Admiration earned, Ben et al.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Everybody has to fight to be free

David Cameron announces concessions on child refugees
PM climbs down, saying he will not stand in way of amendment for UK to take in unaccompanied children already in Europe
Very pleased to hear it (Icons passim).

Cast your bread upon the waters. A number of children saved by the Kindertransports in 1938 went on to become prominent figures in public life, with no fewer than four becoming Nobel Prize winners: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kindertransport#Notable_people_saved

Friday, May 06, 2016

running in the family

The Bomber has got a new cousin. That's eight nephews and nieces I have now. He is in intensive care, but we hope he'll be out later today.


Thursday, May 05, 2016

The evil of two lessers

I voted for Sadiq Khan as Mayor of London on the way in to work this morning.

I'm not terribly engaged one way or the other, but I thought that the "Uncle Tom" footage that "emerged" yesterday or the day before in the Mail and the Telegraph was so plainly orchestrated dirty tricks from his opponents that I wanted to register a protest.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Rutlish Raiders

Rugby League Notes to myself:

Today - Training resumes at 7pm to 8ish at Mostyn Gardens (corner of Mostyn Road and Martin Way - parking and entrance on Mostyn Road).

Upcoming fixtures
Saturday 7th - Home v North Herts Crusaders (Lavender Park). Time and details to follow. (This might be a bit of an ask if the Bomber has a Union 7s competitions all day on Sunday as well.)
Saturday 14th - Away v Elmbidge Eagles away in Claygate.
Saturday 21st - Home v Richmond Warriors.
Saturday 28th - No fixture (Half Term starts)
Saturday 4th June - Home v Hemel Stags (end of Half Term)

See also http://www.londonrugbyleague.co.uk/club/14143

Tuesday, May 03, 2016


I am signed up for skiing next winter and really need to get the US road trip back on the front burner. Here is some inspiration from Cerys M, via Hang Fire.

Monday, May 02, 2016

not of an age but for all time

You can see the only surviving example of William Shakespeare's handwriting on the British Library website. It is a scene added to a short play - The Book of Sir Thomas More - in which he calls for the humane treatment of asylum seekers. Still relevant; "He was not of an age but for all time!"

It is a gripping speech delivered to an aggressive mob, who are baying for so-called ‘strangers’ to be banished:
You’ll put down strangers,
Kill them, cut their throats, possess their houses,
And lead the majesty of law in lyam
To slip him like a hound; alas, alas, say now the King,
As he is clement if th’offender mourn,
Should so much come too short of your great trespass
As but to banish you: whither would you go?
What country, by the nature of your error,
Should give you harbour? Go you to France or Flanders,
To any German province, Spain or Portugal,
Nay, anywhere that not adheres to England,
Why, you must needs be strangers, would you be pleas’d
To find a nation of such barbarous temper
That breaking out in hideous violence
Would not afford you an abode on earth.
Whet their detested knives against your throats,
Spurn you like dogs, and like as if that God
Owed not nor made not you, not that the elements
Were not all appropriate to your comforts,
But charter’d unto them? What would you think
To be us’d thus? This is the strangers’ case
And this your mountainish inhumanity.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

The Triple Tipple

I am off to the twentieth Triple Tipple today.

It was first run in response to the tragic death of a Whitton girl, Nadine Cribb, who was felled by cancer at the age of 16. I lived in Whitton then. I remember celebrating with her, crafty under age boozer that she and her friends were, after an all clear that turned out to be a false dawn.

Every year since this event has been raising money for Cancer Research. It is now approaching the £100,000 mark.

The Triple Tipple is a three-legged (two people whose legs are taped together to form a three-legged beast) pub crawl around four pubs in Whitton; the Admiral Nelson, the Duke of Cambridge, the White Hart and the Prince Albert.

It doesn't make sense. Strictly it is a quadruple tipple. There is nowhere I would rather be.