Saturday, September 30, 2017

just kids, rock and rollers

"I was being ferried down the coast in a Navy PBR, a type of plastic patrol boat, pretty common sight on the rivers. They said it was a good way to pick up information without drawing lot of attention. That was OK, I needed the air and the time. Only problem was I wouldn't be alone."
"Morning captain."
"The crew was mostly just kids, rock and rollers with one foot in their graves."
"How old are you ?"
It is Ben's birthday today. 17 is the same age as Laurence Fishburne's Clean from Apocalypse Now. "Too much fxxxin' perspective." He's been invited back to school on Wednesday for something called the The John Martell Prize for Athletics whatever that might be.

Friday, September 29, 2017

I've got Friday on my mind

The vegetable box has arrived and the video above represents a significant part of my plans for the evening.

Prodnose: Look, Tony, I've never asked the time of day from a clock but I'm asking you, come to the dance tonight. I already told the gang you'd be there. If you don't show I'll be marked lousy.
Myself: What time?
Prodnose: Ten.
Myself: Ten it is, but I'll have to do the squash at high so it is ready in 3-4 hours rather than 5-6.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Shoulder the blame

I had to bin yoga this morning because I aggravated my old left shoulder impingement injury yesterday by rowing flat out when I had already tweaked it bench pressing on Friday.

This is the first time it has come back since I banged it skiing in March.

I had to change gear with my right hand driving last night. That was interesting, but not as interesting as when I had to drive back from Somerset in that style when I pranged the jinxed joint in a mountain biking fall in 2013.

I think the first time I hurt it was playing rugby for London Cornish. I can't remember ever injuring it in Muay Thai, but I wouldn't be surprised if I have.

Indeed the shoulder certainly seems to have led a more adventurous life over the years than I have. If it could move I might shake its hand or even ask it for an autograph.

A night in with ibuprofen and an ice pack would seem to be on the cards this evening.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Alan Latchley

Myself: I love football. Football is, is, she's a cruel mistress. She's, she's more than a mistress. She's a wife, she's a mother, she's a daughter, she's an errant child. She's a… she's a… she can make you laugh, she make you cry. She can bring tears me eyes. She can bring blood to me shoulders. She can bring -
Prodnose: Yes, bring the kettle to the boil.
Myself: She can bring the kettle to the boil. 'Cause football is about nothing, unless it's about something and what it is about -
Prodnose: Yes, yes.
Myself: ....... is football.
I turned down a ticket to see Wilko Johnson in the Albert Hall last night to stay at home with a £6.99 Sky Sports pass and watch Cardiff City's clash with Leeds. A 3-1 win had us leapfrog them to top the table. With any luck Wolves won't get any change out of Sheffield United tonight, cementing the Bluebirds at the summit.

In other developments yesterday, Callum was confirmed in the England squad for the U17 World Cup in India next month. Eurosport have got the rights but the England games don't seem to be on (

Shurely shome mishtake?

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Martin of Tours

It seems like Tess is starting the climb back up after hurricane Irma (Icons passim). Her daughter set up this page to raise money to rebuild. Paul and I have popped a few quid on it.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Nothing gained, nothing still-born or lost

If I give up the seat I've been saving
To some elderly lady or man
Am I being a good boy
Am I your pride and joy
Mother please if you're pleased say I am
And if while in the course of my duty
I perform an unfortunate take
Would you punish me so, unbelievably so
Never again will I make that mistake
This feeling inside me could never deny me
The right to be wrong if I choose
And this pleasure I get
From say winning a bet
Is to lose
When I'm drinking my Bonaparte Shandy
Eating more than enough apple pies
Will I glance at my screen and see real human beings
Starve to death right in front of my eyes
Nothing old, nothing new, nothing ventured
Nothing gained, nothing still-born or lost,
Nothing further than proof nothing wilder than youth
Nothing older than time, nothing sweeter than wine
Nothing physically, recklessly, hopelessly blind
Nothing I couldn't say
Nothing why 'cause today
Nothing rhymed
More reflections on not being able to get going yesterday.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Eddie Monsoon - A Life?

Oh God! Oh God! Oh God! Oh God! Oh God! Give me another scotch...
I just couldn't get going at all today.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Who lost Russia?

Peter Conradi is the first event I am going to attend at Wimbledon Bookfest this year, so I have just started reading his Who lost Russia?

It's no secret that I think the bulk of the fault lies with a colossal, collective, passive-aggressive loss of nerve by the West, rather than devious maneuverings by the Kremlin.

Yes, Guardians has been added to my Amazon Watchlist.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Squaring the Golden Circle

I am going to sneak off slightly early this afternoon and catch this at the Odeon with the Bomber.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Giles Hedley

Well this is certainly an option in the ever more essential Merton Apprentice for Saturday evening.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


Old Elthamians have pulled out of Sunday's clash with the Old Ruts. Given that and the P Grill hibernation I can potentially devote the entire weekend to Tootopia. Oh dear.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Armenia - The World's Oldest Wine Producer

Armenia is the oldest wine producing nation in the world with the discovery at Areni of winemaking vessels 6,100 years old although the wild vine was established there over one million years ago. Recently there has been a renaissance with the emergence of new vineyards and state-of-the-art equipment.
The Club is delighted that Charles Masraff, founder of Armenian Wine Importers, will tutor a top selection. Charles spent five years in Yerevan from 2006. Sparkling Keush with its crisp citrus flavours starts our tasting. It is made from two ungrafted varietals – Khatoun Karji and Voskehat – grown on rich volcanic soil at 1,800m, the vineyards are the highest in Armenia and among the most elevated in the world.
Two stylish whites follow from the 2015 harvest: Koor (from the indigenous Voskehat vine grown on the Continental highlands of volcanic sediment and limestone) and Karas (which is a skilful blend of Chardonnay, Kangun, Rkatsiteli and Viognier). The latter is made by a top Argentine oenologist, guided by the noted Michel Rolland.
Areni Noir from the Trinity Canyon Vineyards at 1,300m is the source of Trinity 6100 Rose 2015, grown on volcanic soil with a high gravel and sand content. Its strawberry aromas and crisp, dry red wild berry taste ensure beautiful balance Four stylish reds will be shown. Koor 2015 is made from Areni and the more tannic Sireni grapes. Hand-harvested, the grapes are table sorted and cold macerated prefermentation.
Sireni grapes grown on the slopes of Togh (600-700m)are used for both Kataro 2015 and Kataro Reserve 2014. The latter is late-harvested and aged in Caucasian oak barrels for 12 months.
Finally, Karas Red 2015 from the Armavir region will be shown: a stunning blend of Syrah, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Kndoghni and Montepulciano grapes.
Andy M has come up with a spare ticket so that is where I will be tomorrow evening. That is pleasant surprise out of the blue. It is just a short walk from Bank tube station; a simple trip there and back on the Northern line. All good.

Monday, September 18, 2017

SEAGULLS! (Stop It Now)

Monday morning blues banished.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

closing down sale everything must go

The Phoenix grill bowed out for the year today, fittingly on the occasion of the All-Ireland Gaelic Football final, and maybe for good as Ned the landlord is moving on.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Harry Dean Stanton RIP

Prodnose: Look at those assholes, ordinary fxxking people. I hate 'em.

Myself: Me too.

See also Paris, Texas.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Plans for this evening, soundtrack for this afternoon

In which, for the very first time, I embed Amazon Music.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Objets Trouves

Why don’t we open Rue des Morillons, in that large stockpile an aisle for all the lost hearts, for all the misplaced lovers that are sent so gaily into oblivion?
Those who may have lost love, joy, and even a little more could then find each other at the Bureau of Found Objects.
Only in Paris could lost property be so deliriously romantic; read The Peculiar Poetry of Paris’s Lost and Found by Nadja Spiegelman in the New Yorker.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Travelling in a fried-out Kombi, on a hippie trail, head full of zombie

Rory Stewart
There are people in this room who will have contemporaries who would have been able to take a bus from Victoria station to Delhi in the 1970s. They would have been able to drive across Syria, Iraq and Iran. They could have gone across Afghanistan, from Herat to Kabul. They would have been able to travel to the north-west frontier province of Pakistan. None of that is possible today for a British citizen. In fact, nearly 50 countries in the world are in a fragile or conflict-affected state. It has never been so dangerous.

The decline of the Hippie Trail is a remarkable illustration of how the world has changed, but at the same time gives us hope it can bounce back I suppose.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Sir Peter Hall

Peter Hall's dead.

I remember A Streetcar Named Desire in 1997 with Jessica Lange as Blanche, Imogen Stubbs as Stella and Toby Stephens as Stanley. They were all brilliant. Apologies to whoever was Mitch. You have slipped my mind.

I also saw a production of A Woman of No Importance that he directed with Kate O'Mara. His notes in the programme described how Oscar Wilde was a very rare and special writer and thinker in that he stressed the value of kindness; a great insight I think that has stayed with me ever since.

Also, now I come to think of it, Dustin Hoffman's Merchant of Venice.

I used to get out more in the 80s and 90s.

Monday, September 11, 2017

How does an Electric Car work?

I need to do some woodshedding before these things take over the world.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Shared as a public service

Croissant Man is the story of a depressed Croissant trying to find meaning in the superficial world of Bourgeois pastries.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

And so it goes

Philosophically we put the Cardiff Blues 37-9 loss to Leinster behind us and turn our attention to City's Premiership game at Craven Cottage this afternoon.

After that - and treating Swansea with an inflexible rigour of disdain - we will be focussing on my beloved Seattle Seahawks on the road against the Green Bay Packers at 9:25 Sunday night.

Oh, and Celine has found out her family is OK (maybe more accurately unharmed) in St Maarten after the Hurricane.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Irma le dur

I'm paying particular attention to St Maarten in the wake of Hurricane Irma, because Tess - who used to run the kid's art school downstairs underneath my office in the Mills - moved there several years ago and I can see, via Facebook, that her daughter Celine (who is in college in Holland) hasn't been able to contact the rest of her mother, sister, brother and stepfather on the island since the storm passed. Fingers crossed they are all OK and the lack of a message is due to power and telecoms failures.

Dutch military forces have arrived, cleared the runway at the badly damaged airport and secured berths in the harbor for two navy ships. Prime Minister Mark Rutte told reporters today that the first plane has already landed at the airport in the capital, Philipsburg, and navy vessels have unloaded vital supplies. Further, the Dutch King Willem-Alexander will fly to the Caribbean island of Curacao on Sunday to inspect the coordination of relief efforts for the devastated former colony St. Maarten.

The British Navy flagship HMS Ocean is also on its way to our Caribbean overseas territories and former colonies carrying helicopters, Marines and engineers. It will get there in ten days to a fortnight's time. Pathetic. It's not as if Holland is a lot closer to that part of the world than we are is it?

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Oktoberfest in London

I got two tickets (one for me and one for my brother) for on 14 October yesterday.

Then, my friend Jason snapped up the other six tickets on table 331. Of the adjoining tables, half of 330, half of 321 and all of 332 are available if you fancy joining us. Book here.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Next Stop Tbilisi

There's a star man,
Playing on the right,
His name is Benny Woodburn,
And he's f*****g dynamite.
Strictly the assist is on the left, but I am going to allow a little artistic license.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017


The flunge is a move used in saber fencing. It is basically a flying lunge, hence the name. You can perform the flunge with the same intent as a standard lunge, but the initial flying leap gives you a greater element of surprise and speed.

If I had known that last night we would have won the quiz rather than coming second after losing the tie break.

Prodnose: What do we say to the god of the quiz?

Myself: Not today.

Prodnose: Go.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Back in the siddle

Ben's Old Ruts beat Reeds Weybridge quite handily yesterday which was quite gratifying as I don't recall us defeating them on the road before.

According to the teamer app, next weekend is Farham. I don't know if that is a typo of Fareham or Farnham and I don't know if it is home or away.

The Sunday after that we are playing London Welesh. I image that is London Welsh, but possibly we should invest in a club spell checker.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Dig the new breed

I sacrificed a party to see this. It was worth it.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Address to the nation

I don't know anything about Kenyan politics at all but this is a very impressive performance.

Friday, September 01, 2017

To infinity and beyond

Here's a picture of Callum with Jadon Sancho when they were playing for England in the European Under-17 Championship. It wasn't headline news yesterday as the transfer window closed, but Sancho become the latest young English player to move overseas after Borussia Dortmund confirmed the 17-year-old had joined from Manchester City for a fee understood to be around £8m.

He will wear the No7 shirt vacated by Ousmane Dembélé when he joined Barcelona for an initial £95m last week.

No pressure then.