Wednesday, August 15, 2018

fodderstompf

I left home before 6 this morning to get drive up the M40 for a business meeting with the Warwickshire Police.

When I got back to the office all our AWS infrastructure was lying on its face and beating the floor with its fists in a Richter scale tantrum.

I have now restored order the universe, but I ain't gonna get out of the premises for a lunchtime gym session. That ship has sailed.

As ever John Lydon put it best:
No one understands us
Nobody cares
No one loves us?
Love makes the world go round
Oh, it does that as well without any mistake whatsoever
Love does make the world go round
I don't know what these punk rockers get up to
Y'know these punk rockers with their spitting and their antics
Don't they realise that love makes the world go roooon
d?

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

A comedy about dying



I fully intend to see Rhys Ifans in Exit the King next time John is up. It's a new version Patrick Marber of Eugène Ionesco's play.

That said we fully intended to go and see Dealer's Choice, Marber's first play, in the National in 1995 and that never happened.

A couple of years later I did manage to catch Closer, which he also wrote. I didn't like that.

Don't know why I bother half the time.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Nose to the grindstone, shoulder to the wheel

I'm back in the office. It's a long old drive back from the Sud-Ouest.

It was fun listening to Ben and Rory talking about their upcoming Reading Festival visit.

"I just want to go home, have a proper shower, and poo," from 47 seconds into the trailer below just about seems to cover last year. The movie opens tomorrow,



The joys of youth eh?

Friday, August 03, 2018

Nick and Ben de Bergerac

We will be driving off to www.boisdebelivier.com for a week tomorrow morning, crossing the Channel courtesy of Eurotunnel.

Part of the plan is to hire bikes from www.ouibike.net/en/location-velo/dordogne/eymet/

For all that the farmhouse has wi-fi, I don't imagine any updates will appear here until we are back.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Plonker at Paapa at the Pinter

I have got us a bunch of tickets for the last night of One for the Road / The New World Order / Mountain Language / Ashes To Ashes in the Pinter at the Pinter series which is good news as Sir Antony Sher has joined Paapa Essiedu (sparker of the original interest) in the cast.

Unfortunately though, when clicking on the interactive map to select tickets, I assumed that the stage was at the bottom of the image not the top. Instead of five tickets in the front row I have got five right at the back of the stalls.

Imagine how well that has gone down.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Arsenal beat Chelsea on penalties

Torygraph
Chelsea began this match by partnering their £57 million club record-signing with a 17 year-old who had never previously started a senior competitive game, but there was no doubting which of the two left Dublin with their reputation most enhanced.
Callum Hudson-Odoi capped what has already been an outstanding pre-season under new manager Maurizio Sarri with a wonderful individual display here, despite Arsenal ultimately prevailing following a penalty shoot-out after the match had ended in a 1-1 draw. Petr Cech saved the decisive penalty from Ruben Loftus-Cheek to allow Alex Iwobi to take the winning kick.

Playing off the left in Eden Hazard’s usual role, Hudson-Odoi’s pace and willingness to run directly would have surprised nobody who has worked with him through Chelsea’s academy but it certainly left Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin reeling.
Read the whole thing. It's a long way from him and Ben in 2007, that's for sure. He seems so inevitable these days I sometimes forget how amazing it all is.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Smart meters

Smart meters will let companies change cost of electricity every 30 minutes under 'surge pricing' says the Torygraph today.

Kevin was talking to me about the smart meter roll out on Friday. It sounds like a fiasco but I am late to the party.

This Commons briefing paper may let me start to get my head around it.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Diamond Dogs Rule



I'm having the car serviced before Saturday's jaunt to France for a week.
Coolant Leaking Through Thermostat Housing , Needs New Thermostat Housing, thermostat, Gaskets & Antifreeze
That explains why I have had to keep topping up the coolant lately. Better to catch it here at home that try and figure it out on an Autoroute lay-by.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Where it all began



Before the Tour de France.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Songs of the Border



Tonight at 9pm on BBC4, "against the backdrop of President Trump's much-trumpeted wall, Reginald D Hunter takes a 2,000-mile road trip along the US-Mexico border to explore how romance and reality play out musically where third-world Mexico meets first-world USA on this broken road to the American dream."

That looks like a must-watch, his Songs of the South series (see Icons passim) was terrific.


Friday, July 27, 2018

Channel Tunnel rail delays continue due to 'extreme heat'

"Extreme and prolonged" high temperatures are being blamed for cross-Channel rail passengers facing more disruption.
Eurotunnel is warning of delays of about two hours at its terminal near Folkestone in Kent.
On Thursday there were reported delays of more than five hours in 30C heat, caused by air conditioning problems on Eurotunnel's trains.
Fingers crossed that this will be sorted out before we have to get it Saurday week.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Open Mike at the Sultan tonight

Myself: How many songs had I already killed? There were those six that I knew about for sure. Close enough to blow their last chorus in my face. But this time, it was an Elton John and a classic. That wasn't supposed to make any difference to me, but it did.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

David Jones and RG Jones

I read David Bowie's first recording found in bread bin, set to sell for £10,000 yesterday.

The seller says, "Our agent, Eric Easton, who also managed the Rolling Stones, asked us to do a demo so he could try and get us an audition at Decca.

"So in early 1963 I booked into RG Jones' small studio in Morden. In preparation for the demo, David and our guitarist Neville Wills wrote two to three songs."

Intrigued by Morden being round the corner I looked RG Jones up - http://rgjones.co.uk.

The Rolling Stones, Tom Jones, Yardbirds, Eric Clapton, David Bowie, Springfields, Englebert Humperdink and The Bee Gees all recorder in Morden as well. Then in 1968 RG decided to move the legendary studio to Central Wimbledon and the building in Morden was destroyed to make way for Merton College.

I think in RG I have discovered a new Welsh Born Icon.

Ronald Geoffrey Jones was born in Caerphilly in South Wales. From an early age he loved designing and building gadgets. Entirely self-taught, he was equally skilled at carpentry and metalwork and was very quickly able to construct a power amplifier and other pieces of electronic equipment.
Known as Geoff, Reg or RG, his first job on leaving school was for a company called Milton. He became a salesman for the company and from a caravan, in which he also lived, he sold his wares in town markets all around Wales. Getting himself heard above the other market traders was hard work and he soon began to turn his mind again to electronically amplified sound. Totally undaunted by his lack of training in electronics, he procured all the necessary components and had soon assembled a system. Two large horn loudspeakers, the flares constructed entirely by him out of bits of timber, were mounted on top of the car which towed his caravan. Inside, he installed a microphone connected to an amplifier powered by four twelve volt batteries and a rotary (48V to 230V) convertor. It worked! The young RG Jones was now able to advertise himself effortlessly to the crowds giving him a distinct advantage over the other retailers. Such was the success of his enterprise that his employers asked him to build a further fifteen more systems to equip the rest of the Milton force. So by the tender age of just eighteen, the same year Queen Elizabeth II was born, with the BBC just barely formed and Stalin just in power, the young RG Jones went into business for himself.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

THE WIZARD OF OD

Sun
Chelsea to offer Callum Hudson-Odoi new deal as Maurizio Sarri promotes starlet to first-team
Whizkid was chosen ahead of senior players when he shone against Perth Glory - and Gianfranco Zoza is especially keen to keep him
The story just goes on and on. Amazing.

Monday, July 23, 2018

OFO

ofo (/ˈoʊfoʊ/) is a Beijing-based bicycle sharing company founded in 2014. It operates over 10 million yellow bicycles in 250 cities and 20 countries, as of 2017. The dockless system uses its smartphone app to unlock and locate nearby bicycles, charging an hourly rate for use.
As of 2018, the company is valued at up to $2 billion and has over 62.7 million monthly active users
I noticed two ofo bikes outside the office on my way in today. Maybe I'll ride on home on Thursday, when I tend to be here without the car.

Never heard of it before this morning.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

How we live now (the week after next)

The Bomber and I will be here from 4th  to 11 August.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

The decadence that was Imperial Rome

I have been out two evenings in a row.

Thursday I went to see The Happy Prince at the HMV Curzon, and Friday, Danny Baker at the Hawth theatre in Crawley.

Crawley! the insane glamour of it all.

Friday, July 20, 2018

"My noble Lord Hamlet... over 'ere, son!"



There's a Hamlet on in the Colour House Theatre at the Mills at the moment. The New Stagers - an amateur company are putting it on.

Normally I'd go but this year I am all but Hamletted out.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Whitchurch High School Old Boys

Good and bad news yesterday.

Geraint Thomas won stage 11 of the Tour de France to take overall lead and wear the yellow jersey, but Sam Warburton has retired from rugby; body just not up to the strain of it any more.

Thomas is two years older than Warburton, which perhaps shows you the trauma professional rugby inflicts these days.

These two Welsh greats attended Whitchurch High School is Cardiff at the same time, along with a certain Gareth Bale. I always find this astounding.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Lend me your eras

David Bishop and Mark Ring feature prominently.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Eddie Quizzard

We came second in the Antelope Quiz last night. Not too bad after the World Cup lay off when it was cancelled.

£25 in the bin for next week.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Hot Pod for my Dad Bod

I will be away on holiday that week, but it is always good to have another hot yoga option nearer home.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Love On A Budget

Onion
Girl, you know I would do whatever it takes to make all your fantasies come true. I would cross a continent. I would cross an ocean. I would even tunnel to the center of the Earth just so I could find that one perfect gemstone, lobster, or ball of lava that would turn an ordinary night into an evening of ultimate perfection.
However, things are tight financially right now due to some unexpected expenses after I turned my apartment’s color scheme from scarlet red to ivory white with pops of violet. I think we can both agree my penthouse is seriously bumpin’. Yet the fact remains I don’t have as much liquid cash on hand as I would like.
I also made some poor investments.
This in no way means I will not please that booty. Instead, it means that there will have to be some regrettable but necessary cutbacks to our evening. Do not believe for one second that you will not feel like a queen. You will simply feel like a queen of a less prosperous country.
You know time are hard when even Smoove is suffering.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Lunch with John Lanchester

FT
“Are you interested in food?” John Lanchester asks.
We are at a table at the Dairy, a highly regarded restaurant in Clapham, south London, which is decorated in bucolic style to match its natural ingredients including vegetables grown on its rooftop.
It is a deceptively simple query, like others he later lobs at me during our meal. Lanchester’s most recent books – his 2012 state-of-London novel Capital, his 2010 account of the financial crisis, Whoops! and his new book, a tongue-in-cheek lexicon called How to Speak Money – relate to finance and the societal distortions it has created. But his first novel, The Debt to Pleasure (1996) was a Nabokovian mystery written in the form of a cookbook by Tarquin Winot, a prickly intellectual snob.
My car's engine once burst into flames on the M4 while I was listening to an audio book version (narrated by Richard E. Grant) of John Lanchester's The Debt to Pleasure. I haven't taken it personally however. I am still a fan so I was pleased to see that he eats at the Dairy (see Icons passim) the place in London I took my brother for his first ever tasting menu experience.
It’s properly good here. It’s where René Redzepi [head chef and co-owner of the Copenhagen restaurant Noma] ate when he was in town.”

John: We're lucky.
Myself: Yeah.
John: I mean, people should be envying us, you know.
Nick: I envy us.
John: Yeah.
Nick: I do.
John: Me too.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Bikram Yoga Guy is Crazy

After last night's boozy disappointment with England going out of the World Cup, I woke with a "gentleman's head."

A head so gentlemanly it prevented me getting to my traditional Thursday 6:30 a.m. Bikram Yoga class.

Here, but way of a scold to get myself back on track, is Joe Rogan sounding off to a Nigerian/Kiwi MMA fighter (but of course) on why we all need to keep our Bikram up and running; flaws notwithstanding.



Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Colliers Wood at Latitude

At 3:30 on Sunday in Latitude's Cabaret Theatre: Sion Alun Davies (see Icons passim) in DESERTS - a short play by Sam Steiner.

At 8:05 on Sunday in Latitude's Cabaret Theatre: ten years on from their triumph at the Colour House Theatre (see Icons passim) the Award-Winning and world-touring Action To The Word present the world-premiere of their gig-theatre take on the most famous tragedy of all time – Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

British Empire Wrestling



I am going to miss the wrestling at the Mills on Sunday as I will be home in Cardiff. Into each life a little rain must fall I suppose.

Monday, July 09, 2018

20,000,000 Callum fans can't be wrong.

Well I never. 20 million, 20 million there; before you know it you are talking about a lot of money.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

“You can’t coach brilliance like that.”



Ben is supporting England against Sweden in the World Cup this afternoon. Back in 2012 however (see Icons passim) when Ibrahimovic scored all four goals as Sweden beat England 4-2, he was keen to stress he is a quarter Swedish on his mother's side.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Fair 'Nuff, Gruff


As a devolved issue in Wales, and as an idea that was born here, the idea of a free health service for all serves as a beacon of what we can achieve as a nation and is something we must pass on intact to future generations.
Gruff Rhys

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Wherever I hang my hat

I was watching the game while falling behind dealing out burgers at the Standard, but this is what the win looked like at the Apprentice under the office.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

It's coming home



No one can accuse the Colliers Wood Residents Association of getting carried away with England World Cup fever.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Long memories

I will be supporting Russia against Spain in the World  Cup this afternoon.

Two years ago in the Euros, Russia - with nominal "home" advantage - Russia agreed to let us wear our iconic red jerseys while they wore their white away kit.

That was classy. It has changed my view of the world. I can no longer imagine them as the Machiavellian villains our press tell us they are.

Go figure.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

who are the people in your neighborhood

I saw Richard Blackwood in Tesco once.

Apparently he lives around the corner in Cavendish Road.

Fascinating eh?

Friday, June 29, 2018

Spiderman's Dad at the Old Rutlishians

Fancy an evening with the very funny Mr Dom Holland at The Ruts?
Dom will be previewing his latest Edinburgh Festival show at Poplar Road on the evening of Friday 20th July.

"The room is rammed and the non-stop laughs underline how fickle comedy can be. His skillfully delivered routines about painful prostates, school run calamities and men not dressing their age would fit snugly onto Live at the Apollo."

Those of you who have seen him before will know you are in for a great evening...
Just a tenner, go to the website Old Ruts Rugby and click on events to order and pay online 
I

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The curse of me


As I wrote earlier I knew that Germany were doomed in the World Cup when I pulled them out in a sweepstakes.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Hotpod


South Wimbledon
8 Morden Road, London, SW19 3BH, GB
Details
Opening Soon! Our S.Wimbledon classes are held in our shiny new studio on Morden Road, directly opposite the tube station
.
At just half a mile from the office, could this potentially steal me away from Wimbledon Hot Yoga?

Monday, June 25, 2018

Courir de Mardi Gras

Wikipedia
The Courir de Mardi Gras (Louisiana French pronunciation: [kuɾiɾ d maɾdi ɡɾa] French pronunciation: ​[kuʁiʁ də maʁdi ɡʁa]) is a traditional Mardi Gras event held in many Cajun communities of south Louisiana on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. Courir de Mardi Gras is Cajun French for "Fat Tuesday Run". The rural Mardi Gras celebration is based on early begging rituals, similar to those still celebrated by mummers, wassailers and celebrants of Halloween. As Mardi Gras is the celebration of the final day before Lent, celebrants drink and eat heavily, and also dress in specialized costumes, ostensibly to protect their identities. Popular practices include wearing masks, capuchons, and costumes, overturning social conventions, dancing, drinking alcohol, begging, feasting, whipping, etc. Because of violent activities associated with the Ku Klux Klan, Louisiana has a state law prohibiting the wearing of hoods and masks in public. Mardi Gras is one of the few occasions when exceptions are allowed, as are Halloween celebrations and religious observances.
This batshit crazy episode about it, is a fitting epitaph to the great Anthony B.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Well seasoned

Chelsea have announced the winner of their academy goal of the season award, and the winning entry won’t surprise you.
Callum Hudson Odoi’s superb solo effort against Liverpool got the award, and there can’t be many complaints about that. The balance and speed he showed weaving between defenders and the composure he showed to finish make it a worthy winner.
I saw Callum's mum Jenny today and had a chat for the first time in a while.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Time for a Swiftie?



I was at this last night with my brother and his girls as well as Lorraine and Emily.

I know, I can scarcely believe it myself.

Friday, June 22, 2018

‘That is a great curiosity, a very difficult piece of puzzledom, a snorter ...’

The planets must be in alignment, because my DNA analysis results have turned up on my very birthday itself, now there's a thing.

In essence I am Flann O’Brien. I long suspected as much. At least I no longer need to have any excuse for me brass necked refusal to support England in any sporting contest whatsoever your honour be it pleasing to yeh and so forth, yeh gobshite.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Mad About Elvis



Mad About Elvis is part of BBC Wales's contribution to the BBC's Our Lives strand. Elvis is alive and well and partying hard in Porthcawl, South Wales. He may have died in August 1977 but, every September, this small seaside resort is invaded by Elvises of all shapes, sizes, and talents - and his disciples. Attracting 35,000 visitors, the majority in costume, the Porthcawl Elvis Festival is the biggest Elvis festival in the world!
'It's like an annual portal to a lateral universe,' says festival organiser Peter Phillips, 'And it's a universe that's probably quite fun to live in actually.'
I watched this on BBC1 last night. You can catch it on the iPlayer here. I am almost tempted to go next September.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Six Minutes to Midnight

Beth has got a part in a new film with Judi Dench and Eddie Izzard.

She essays the role of "school girl 11," which doesn't sound like it will get a credit above the title, but hey it's all grist to the mill.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Virtue Ethics and Cannabis Oil

I have been reading Aristotle’s Way: How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life by Edith Hall, lately.

I have never previously heard of Aristotle's virtue ethics, which look at the virtue or moral character of the person carrying out an action, rather than at ethical duties and rules, or the consequences of particular actions.

And yet, they seem bang up to date when it comes to the dilemma of the Billy Caldwell case. Billy C is a boy with severe epilepsy, who was admitted to hospital after his medical cannabis oil was confiscated.

Props also here to Home Secretary Sajid Javid, I think he has done the right thing, regardless of the small print.

Monday, June 18, 2018

I would rather have a general who was lucky than one who was good.

In the sweepstake they ran behind the bar in the Standard for the Derby at the end of May I got the odds-on favourite Saxon Warrior. He came fourth, I came away empty handed.

In Rebecca's World Cup sweep stake, I picked Germany out of the bag. Reigning champions and pre-tournament favourites, they were beaten 1-0 by Mexico yesterday.

Pray I never back you to win anything.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

THE TOP TEN 2018 MEN’S WORLD CUP TEAMS RANKED BY HOW EASILY THE FIRST LINES OF EACH COUNTRY’S NATIONAL ANTHEM COULD BE SLIPPED UNNOTICED INTO EXPOSITORY VOICEOVER IN A LORD OF THE RINGS MOVIE

10. Tunisia
“O defenders of the Homeland! Rally around to the glory of our time! The blood surges in our veins… We die for the sake of our land…”

9. France
“Arise, children of the Fatherland, the day of glory has arrived! Against us, tyranny’s bloody standard is raised…”

8. Colombia
“Oh, unwithering glory! Oh, immortal jubilance! In furrows of pain, goodness now germinates…”

7. Peru
“We are free! May we always be so, may we always be so, and may the Sun renounce its light, its light, its light, before we break the solemn vow, which the homeland lifted up to the Eternal…”

6. Iran
“Upwards on the horizon rises the Eastern Sun… The light in the eyes of the believers in justice…”

5. South Korea
“Until that day when the East Sea’s waters run dry and Mt. Baekdu is worn away, may God preserve our country for ten thousand years…”

4. Sweden
“Thou ancient, Thou free, Thou mountainous north… Thou quiet, Thou joyful beautiful! I greet thee, loveliest land upon earth…Thy sun, Thy sky, Thy climes green…”

3. Argentina
“Hear, mortals, the sacred cry ‘Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!’… Hear the sound of broken chains… see noble equality enthroned…”

2. Japan
“May your reign continue for a thousand, eight thousand generations, until the pebbles grow into boulders lush with moss…”

1. Brazil
“The placid shores of the Ipiranga heard the resounding shout of a heroic folk… and the sun of Liberty in shining beams shone in the homeland’s sky at that instant…”


On days you wake with a gentleman's head, thank God for McSweeny's.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

No filter

The Stones played Cardiff last night.

I first way them in Ashton Gate in Bristol in the early 80s upported by the J Geils Band. (Vince got us tickets for my birthday.)

I thought that they were a bit long in the tooth then!

Friday, June 15, 2018

more saucy than ever

As a general rule all birds with crooked talons are short-necked, flat-tongued, and disposed to mimicry. The Indian bird, the parrot, which is said to have a man's tongue, answers to this description; and, by the way, after drinking wine, the parrot becomes more saucy than ever.
Aristotle
It is always worth going back to the foundations of  Western thought.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Tooting our own trumpet



This new detective drama series about an investigation that launches following the discovery of a body in Snowdonia National Park, prominently features Sion Alun Davies as DS Owen Vaughan. Yet another Antelope Tooting Pub Quiz regular struts and frets his hour upon the stage (see Icons passim).

Also, Amber Bryce - the lifestyle journalist John and I where chatting to on Sunday - has got an article about Sex in the City in the Times today - https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/carrie-bradshaw-4-ever-why-i-still-love-sex-and-the-city-c7mf2xmwh.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Blueberry Banana Bread

I made blueberry banana bread last night, as the fruit in my weekly organic veg box looked about to turn, and very nice it was too.

Considering I can't remember cooking anything at all until I was over thirty, that really is quite remarkable.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Note to Self



I did an emergency top up on the M4 yesterday. This needs more considered attention today.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Anthony Bourdain RIP

Jane bought me a copy Kitchen Confidential (a hardback!) when it first came out and before I had heard of him. I loved it.

Mum got me his Les Halles Cookbook (a hardback!) for my birthday in 2005. I love it.

I have read and/or watched everything of his ever since.

It is hard to believe he is gone. I am not going to link to any speculation about the circumstances of his passing.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

As I step down from the train

I will have such revenges on you both
That all the world shall—I will do such things 
What they are yet I know not, but they shall be
The terrors of the earth.
My father is King Lear. Discuss.

Friday, June 08, 2018

Coincidence?

I am going to Cardiff today. The Volvo Ocean Race fleet are there already. After battling it out, Team Brunel managed to fend off Team AkzoNobel and win the transatlantic leg!

We both leave on Sunday.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Bruce Lee: A life

Dear Friends,


After seven years of research, I am proud (and very relieved) to announce the release of my new biography, Bruce Lee: A Life. It is available everywhere today, June 5! First week sales numbers largely determine how much marketing push a publisher puts behind a particular book, so if you can purchase it early, a big thanks to you!


The response to the book has been amazing. It was selected for The New York TimesThe Los Angeles Timesand Publisher's Weekly's "Best Summer Books" lists. And the reviews have been glowing:

"The first noteworthy treatment of its subject—and a definitive one at that...Fascinating narrative threads proliferate."
The New York Times

"The biggest book I'm suggesting you bring to the beach is 'Bruce Lee: A Life.' It's the first authoritative biography of the martial arts teacher and movie star."
The Los Angeles Times

"This thorough, well-sourced biography from Polly is an engrossing examination of the life of the martial arts movie star and his shocking early death...The definitive biography."
Publisher's Weekly

You also might enjoy the new animated trailer for the book. It focuses on one of its many new revelations—Bruce Lee was descended from a Jewish butcher in Rotterdam, Holland.


Thank you to everyone for all your support over the years. It is greatly appreciated. I couldn't do it without you!

Be water, my friends,

Matthew Polly

Disclaimer: Mr Polly is a friend and correpondent of these pages; See Icons passim.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Watch this space



Donna gave me a free kit and my saliva was posted off yesterday. In six weeks or so when the AncestryDNA test results come in and I discover more about my ethnicity and living relatives, you'll be the first to know. I imagine I am probably the rightful king of somewhere or other.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

All or Nothing: New Zealand All Blacks


For the first time ever, The New Zealand All Blacks rugby team, known as the winningest team in global sports history, allows cameras into their super secretive world to witness one of their most difficult seasons yet. Over four months, they face the demands of the most physically gruelling team sport on the planet to uphold a legacy of excellence and dominance that goes back well over a century.
I am not entirely convinced that winningest is actually a word, but I will certainly be firing this up on my Fire TV stick.

Monday, June 04, 2018

Alexa, play Radio 4 Everywhere

Since August last year, it has been possible to play music across multiple Echo devices using "multi-room" groups. I found out this morning that there is a default multi-room group called Everywhere.

This morning when I woke, not expecting to work as I thought the feature was confined to music, I tried out, "Alexa, play Radio 4 Everywhere" and sure enough the Today programme started simultaneously on the Echo in the kitchen downstairs and the Dot in the bedroom.

Unfortunately I loathe Radio 4's Today programme with every fibre of my being, maybe some other use will occur to me.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Wales 22 South Africa 20



Not that I am being melodramatic, but Wales beat South Africa for the third time in a row yesterday and for the first time ever away from home. Sneer all you like about a devalued fixture, haters.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Rugger Buggers

'It's in my blood': how rugby managed to unite America's elite
When Wales play South Africa at RFK Stadium in Washington on Saturday, a few well-known faces could be in the crowd
"Among fans, tales of well-known people who found the game on campus and now prefer it to football are rife. Some rugby lovers, avid for the sport to rise and compete with the NFL, go so far as to claim the existence of a rugby “illuminati”, holding the levers of power. Put luridly, that might be a secret society of influential men and women who put tape on their ears, thud into each other with unpadded glee and drink unusual concoctions from boots. Put less luridly, more famous Americans than you think have played and loved the game."

This piece from the Grauniard is well worth a read,

Friday, June 01, 2018

.NET Core 2.1 and AWS

Amazon: We’re excited about the recently released .NET Core 2.1, and we’re sure many of our AWS .NET developers are also eager to get started with .NET Core 2.1. Look forward to future announcements from us as we get our AWS services, such as AWS Elastic Beanstalk, AWS Lambda, and AWS CodeBuild, updated for .NET Core 2.1.
Myself: I can scarcely contain myself either. Excitement level off the charts.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Arkady Babchenko

BBC
Ukraine staged the murder of a Russian dissident journalist in Kiev on Tuesday in what it said was a sting operation to foil a Russian assassination plot.
Arkady Babchenko sent shock waves around the world when he arrived at a news conference on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after being reported dead.
Ukrainian security chief Vasyl Hrytsak said a sting had been set up to catch hitmen paid by Russian forces.
I don't know what to make of this at all. These are strange times.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

What is a Dhuku?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head_tie

Amazing what you can learn just from talking to people in the Standard.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

this great stage of fools.



Having read Year of the Mad King: The Lear Diaries by Antony Sher and then 1606: William Shakespeare and the Year of Lear by James Shapiro recently, Anthony Hopkins in Lear last night on BBC2 was a given. Good stuff too.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Yesterday in sport

Not much in yesterday's finals went the way I was hoping but this Gareth Bale goal is one for the ages.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Today in sport

  • 15:00 Exeter v Saracens Aviva |Premiership Final
  • 17:00 Aston Villa v Fulham Championship Play Off Final
  • 18:00 Leinster v Scarlets Guinness Pro14 Final
  • 19:45 Real Madrid v Liverpool Champions League Final

Burgers from me and Ben from 14:00

Friday, May 25, 2018

Great insults of our time


I didn't really think she did a horrible job. Yes, I felt it was as lethargic as a drunk turtle dozing under a sunflower after ingesting a bottle of Valium, and I thought it had all the build of a one-story motel, but, I mean, the girl didn't kill anybody. She didn't run over your foot. She just cut a very calm and somewhat boring take of one of the peppiest, happiest, most popular songs in history.
I had never previously hear of Allee Willis - co-writer of Earth, Wind and Fire's immortal 'September' - but after this majestically languid put-down of Taylor Swift's cover she is among my favourite people of all time.

I must dig deeper, but in the meantime let's just relish " lethargic as a drunk turtle dozing under a sunflower after ingesting a bottle of Valium" one more time.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

It pays to increase your word power

Wikipedia
A via ferrata (Italian for "iron path", plural vie ferrate or in English via ferratas) is a protected climbing route found in the Alps and certain other locations. The term "via ferrata" is used in most countries and languages except notably in German-speaking countries including Switzerland and Austria, which use Klettersteig (German for "climbing path"), plural Klettersteige.
The essence of a modern via ferrata is a steel cable which runs along the route and is periodically (every 1 to 10 metres (3.3 to 32.8 ft)) fixed to the rock. Using a via ferrata kit, climbers can secure themselves to the cable, limiting any fall. The cable can also be used as aid to climbing, and additional climbing aids, such as iron rungs (stemples), pegs, carved steps and even ladders and bridges are often provided. Thus via ferratas allow otherwise dangerous routes to be undertaken without the risks associated with unprotected scrambling and climbing or the need for climbing equipment such as ropes. They offer the relatively inexperienced a means of enjoying dramatic positions and accessing difficult peaks, normally the preserve of the serious mountaineer; although, as there is a need for some equipment, a good head for heights and basic technique, the via ferrata can be seen as a distinct step up from ordinary mountain walking. Conversely, the modest equipment requirements, ability to do them solo, and potential to cover a lot of ground, mean that via ferratas can also appeal to more experienced climbers.
Amazing the information you can pick up if you pay attention in the yoga studio.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Royal Wedding



Even weirder than the Daily Mail, if such a thing can be imagined.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Year of Lear

The last book I read was Year of the Mad King: The Lear Diaries by Antony Sher. Currently I am about half way through 1606: William Shakespeare and the Year of Lear by James Shapiro.

I have found out today that a new version of Lear with Anthony Hopkins is going to on the TV at half past nine on Monday. I definitely need to check that out.

It is a BBC2/Amazon co-production, though I have no idea what that will mean for its release on Prime and/or the iPlayer.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Henry Kissinger on Artificial Intelligence

We must expect AI to make mistakes faster—and of greater magnitude—than humans do.
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would ever type the phrase "Henry Kissinger on Artificial Intelligence."

That said, How the Enlightenment Ends is well worth a read.
Philosophically, intellectually—in every way—human society is unprepared for the rise of artificial intelligence.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

A Very English Scandal

Anthony O'Donnell (Icons passim) played Leo Abse (Icons passim) in  the tremendous A Very English Scandal tonight.

Too much perspective.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Destination Wedding



I may be shallow, but this does make me laugh.

Friday, May 18, 2018

AnyPod

I have finally given up on TuneIn, the baked-in skill that Alexa uses for Podcasts, so I am trying out AnyPod.

Very happy with it so far:
AnyPod keeps track of what you've listened to. When you ask for a podcast you’ve heard before, it will play whatever episode you were listening to last time. When playing an episode you’ve heard before, AnyPod will pick up within the episode wherever you left off. (If it’s been awhile since you’ve played a podcast, AnyPod may ask if you want to hear the newest episode. If not, AnyPod will continue playing where you left off before.)

RTFM

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Tom Wolfe

Tom Wolfe, journalist, novelist, contrarian, man of many verbal tics and white suits, is dead. He was 88... Louis Menand... Dwight Garner... Kurt Anderson.... Laura Miller... The Paris Review... Christian Lorentzen... Paul Elie... Graeme Wood... Christopher Bonanos... Elon Green... Adam Gopnik..
I used to buy Bantam paperback editions of Tom Wolfe from Lear's in the Royal Arcade. It felt incredibly glamorous.

Try 15 Great Articles by Tom Wolfe; classic reads from a journalistic pioneer, all free to read online.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

I'm in the dark

JERUSALEM
Describing the terrifying yet valiant experience to his fellow battalion members, Israel Defense Forces soldier Yossi Saadon recounted Tuesday his harrowing, heroic war story of killing an 8-month-old Palestinian child during a violent attack against protesters. “It was a heart-pounding experience—there was smoke and gunfire all around me, and I made a split-second decision to hurl that canister of tear gas at the encroaching infant cradled in her father’s arms,” said Saadon to the group of awed soldiers, describing the chills that went up and down his spine as he realized that all he had was his M16 assault rifle and some tear gas to defend himself against the unarmed Palestinian family standing only dozens of yards away. “I could see the whites of the baby’s eyes and hear her terrifying cries, and I knew it was either her or me. And this wasn’t some newborn infant, you know? This was a baby who could probably sit up independently. I was scared, but I acted quickly to throw that tear gas at her and her older sister. And who knows how many lives I saved when I shot the women trying to help her?” At press time, Saadon’s battalion commander informed him that he was submitting his name for the Medal of Valor, the IDF’s highest honour.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Carillion displayed utter contempt for suppliers – Frank Field

Grauniard
Carillion used suppliers to “prop up a failing business model” and conceal true levels of debt, say MPs investigating the failed government contractor.
The parliamentary inquiry into the collapse of a company that provided a host of vital public services, including catering in schools, prison maintenance and construction of new NHS hospitals will conclude on Wednesday with the publication of the MPs’ final report. It is expected to name and shame those responsible for the failure of the listed company, which had a UK staff of nearly 20,000 when it crashed into administration in January.
In a taste of what is to come, the work and pensions committee chairman, Frank Field, said: “Carillion displayed utter contempt for its suppliers, many of them the small businesses that are the lifeblood of the UK’s economy.
“The company used its suppliers as a line of credit to shore up its fragile balance sheet, then in another of its accounting tricks ‘reclassified’ this borrowing to hide the true extent of its massive debt.”
See Icons passim.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Cardiff Blues


Tonight at 8pm, in the first programme of the new look Blues Show, presenter Cerys Matthews is joined by Sir Tom Jones to chat about their deep, shared love of the blues.

Sir Tom selects some of the tracks which have inspired him over the years and shares stories of singing the blues with Elvis, duetting with Janis Joplin and encountering the blues singers who shaped the way he sings today.

For all that I can't stand Janis Joplin, this will be worth listening to on catch-up when I get back from the quiz.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Be careful what you wish for

During the season I joked that the best possible outcome would be for Cardiff City to be promoted to the Premiership while the Swans were demoted to the Championship. Now it has actually happened I feel strangely flat and sorry for Swansea.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Childish Gambino - This Is America



I think this is great, but I don't know why.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Curve


The completely self-powered, manual WOODWAY Curve Treadmill offers a one-of-a-kind workout experience that requires zero electricity.
I noticed this intriguing piece of kit in the gym this morning and did a minute on it even though it's a resistance rather than cardio day.

I think I will do half an hour on it next time I am in.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

I've done the maths because you are too depressed to

Swansea City are on the brink of relegation from the Premier League after Huddersfield secured their safety with a 1-1 against Chelsea.

The Terriers needed a point to move out of reach of Carlos Carvalhal's side - and achieved that despite Marcos Alonso canceling out Laurent Depoitre's opener.

Huddersfield moved to 37 points with the draw at Stamford Bridge, taking them out of the reach of Swansea's 33.

It means that Swansea can now only catch Southampton on the final day of the season - but an inferior goal difference makes that scenario highly unlikely.

The Saints are three points clear of the Swans - with Mark Hughes' side sitting on 36 points.

It all means that if Swansea City are to stay in the Premier League for next season, they need to beat Stoke on the last day and hope that Southampton fail to move off that 36 points mark.

That would see Carvalhal's side move level with the Saints on points and then it would be down to goal difference.

The Swans have a goal difference of -27, a considerable way off Southampton's -18.

If they were to draw level on points with Southampton on the final weekend, they'd need to overcome a goal difference gap of 9 goals.

While the Saints are playing champions Manchester City, the odds are against the Swans staying up at Southampton's expense.

Though if the Swans beat Stoke 5-0 and Man City beat Southampton 5-0 the sun may come through the clouds.
It may be that the race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong—but that’s the way to bet. Damon Runyon

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,

The Met
The Costume Institute's spring 2018 exhibition—at The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters—will feature a dialogue between fashion and medieval art from The Met collection to examine fashion's ongoing engagement with the devotional practices and traditions of Catholicism
Serving as the cornerstone of the exhibition, papal robes and accessories from the Sistine Chapel sacristy, many of which have never been seen outside The Vatican, will be on view in the Anna Wintour Costume Center. Fashions from the early twentieth century to the present will be shown in the Byzantine and medieval galleries, part of the Robert Lehman Wing, and at The Met Cloisters.
It doesn't happen all that often,  but words fail me.




Tuesday, May 08, 2018

London Mithraeum


The mysterious cult of Mithras first appeared in Rome in the 1st century AD. It spread across the Empire over the next 300 years, predominantly attracting merchants, soldiers and imperial administrators. Meeting in temples which were often constructed below ground, these were private, dark and windowless spaces. The mythological scene of Mithras killing a bull within a cave, the ‘tauroctony’ is at the heart of the cult, and its full meaning is subject of much speculation.
And I am off to one this afternoon.

Monday, May 07, 2018

Chelsea starlet Callum Hudson-Odoi wanted by Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus

The Sun
Blues wonderkid has attracted the attention of European giants with stunning campaign at youth level
While the world keeps publishing these extraordinary things, I will keep taking note.

Saturday, May 05, 2018

“Travelers never did lie, though fools at home condemn them“

I went to the Noel Coward Theatre in the West End on Wednesday, left just after ten and got the tube home arriving at twenty five to eleven.

Yesterday, I went to the Rose Theatre in Kingston, which you might think was more local, left my house at twenty to six, jumped on a number 131 bus and arrived an hour and ten minutes later.

I am sure there is a life lesson there, but I don't know that I am up to articulating it this morning.

Anyway, Much Ado About Nothing was good and we spied Jenny Agutter (as well as Hugh Dennis) in the audience.
Prodnose: Good Lord, lucky old you.
Myself: Jenny Agutter was in Avengers Assemble which was directed by Josh Wheedon. Josh Wheedon also filmed a version of "Much Ado about Nothing," in 2012.
Prodnose: Well I never. Will wonders never cease?

Friday, May 04, 2018

In a world where ....

In Codice Ratio is a research project that aims at developing novel methods and tools to support content analysis and knowledge discovery from large collections of historical documents. The goal is to provide humanities scholars with novel tools to conduct data-driven studies over large historical sources. The project concentrates on the collections of the Vatican Secret Archives, one of the largest and most important historical archive in the world. In an extension of 85 kilometres of shelving, it maintains more than 600 archival collections containing historical documents on the Vatican activities, such as, all the acts promulgated by the Vatican, account books, correspondence of the popes, starting from the eighth century.
Am I the only one who sees a movie here? Get me Harvey Weinstein on the phone now! And tell Nic Cage he can't retire, at least not yet.

Prodnose: It's a transmitter. It's a radio for speaking to God. And it's within my reach.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

School Dispersal Zone in effect



I have heard a rumour that that this timely intervention by the police was prompted by tensions between Ricards Lodge and Ursuline High, our two local girls secondary schools. For all the tears of laughter this provoked, we hear a lot of talk about entitled millennials but I, for one, will sleep more soundly in my bed knowing that the next generation on the distaff side owe more to Boudica than they do to the Kardashians.


“the march of civilisation has given the modern girl a vocabulary and an ability to use it which her grandmother never had”
P.G. Wodehouse, master of understatement.

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Who's got Wood?





The Sultan is London's most loved pub and Coffee in the Wood is the runner up as London's most loved coffee place if Time Out is anything to go by.

Good place to live.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

if he keeps his feet on the ground and matures properly



Binned the Antelope quiz last night when I found out that the FA Youth Cup final was on ITV4 and was rewarded by two goals from Callum.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Much ado about nothing



I am off the Rose Theatre in Kingston on Friday; definitely on something of a theatre jag lately.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Time Flies

It was the last rugby game of the year for Ben and the Old Ruts colts today.

They lost to Cobham in the final if the Quins Cup.

He narrowly missed out on a try and it was a good achievement to get as far as they did.

Next year will be his tenth year at the Club and his last before senior rugby.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Friday Evening Events

It turns out that we were at the Deli Boutique n St John's Hlll last night.

As a rule they close at 6pm, but once a month on a Friday night, they pay tribute to a region of France, with a two course menu with wine.

One for the diary.

Friday, April 27, 2018

carte du jour

Lobster Menu
Friday 27th April
Menu @ 25
Fresh Goat Cheese, Smoked Salmon & Cucumber Salsa on Toast
Complementary Starter
Grilled whole Lobster with Deli Boutique sauce,
Roasted potatoes.
French Cheese Selection Platter (£ 5)
Fresh Raspberry Tart with Vanilla Whipped Cream (£ 5)
Wine List
Sauvignon gris, (Family Wine, Loire Valley Vineyard) White. £21.90/£ 5.50 (175ml)
Classic Ventoux, Provence, Red £21.90/£5.50 (175ml)
Orca, Ventoux, Provence, Red £ 26.90
Pey blanc”, Provence, Rosé. £27.90/£6.50 (175ml)
Sparkling Wine (Family Wine, Loire Valley Vineyard) £ 26.90/ £ 6.50 (175 ml)

This evening's bill of fare does look nice. If only I could claim to have the slightest idea where on earth we are supposed to turn up to consume it.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Da Capo al Fine



I drove past the aftermath of this last Friday, early in the morning on my way to pick Ben up to take him to the dentist. He would have walked past it the night before when he got the tube back after curling.

Repeat to fade.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Four teens have been jailed for a total of 85 years for the murder of Mahamed Hassan in April 2017

Met
Kishon Allen, 19 (28.10.98) of Mount Road, Mitcham was sentenced to 21 and a half years after being found guilty of murder and violent disorder.
I used to see Kishon all the time at rugby and athletics (Icons passim). Is this the world we created?

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Quiz



I am off to see this in the Noel Coward Theatre next Wednesday.

Monday, April 23, 2018

in a bind

People seem never to tire of telling me that the word yoga, is from the Sanskrit word yuj means to yoke or bind.

Then again, there is a also school of thought that speculates that the etymology of religion lies with the Latin word religare, which means “to tie, to bind.”

Nothing new under the sun.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Judging a Book by Its Recovery

To what extent is inspiration entangled with intoxication? When it comes to writing and alcohol, it's comforting to think it's always better to be sober. But is it?... more »
As good a way as any to sum up the day.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

An Antidote to Chaos

As I was half asleep on the back seat of the minibus on the way home from curling I heard Ben telling Jonnie that he was reading Jordan Peterson's 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos.

I wasn't aware that he read or, indeed, had any internal life at all, never mind quaffing "the most influential public intellectual in the Western world right now" (New York Times).

Last December (Icons passim), I blogged that a Jordan Peterson lecture seemed to be about "the Bomber and his mates" which is pretty much means Ben and Jonnie.

"You know, just simple lines intertwining," as Nigel Tufnell has said.

Friday, April 20, 2018

England's only dedicated Ice Curling Rink near Tunbridge Wells in Kent

Yesterday was the hottest April day for nearly 70 years, with the mercury soaring to 29.1C (84F) in St James' Park in London, so naturally - in the evening - we went curling near Tunbridge Wells.

It can't be explained in terms of cause and effect.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Turn on HTTPS for your blog

I just turned on Https for nickbrowne.coraider.com as explained in https://support.google.com/blogger/answer/6284029

I was amazed google could offer it on a domain it didn't own.

Maybe that  is why it isn't working.

Update:
It is now.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Greatest UK boxer of all time?


Jeff Mayweather asks some of the guys inside the Mayweather Boxing Club who they think the greatest boxer to ever come out of the UK was
Lots of love here, from people in the know, for Joe Calzaghe - whose signed glove sits near me in the office as I type.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

When they built you, brother, they broke the mold



John came back with me from Cardiff on Sunday as he had to attend a course at the Chancery Lane office on Monday and Tuesday. He is going straight back on the train from Paddington after it finishes this afternoon.

It's been fun.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord

When I am back in Cardiff I take mum and dad to six o'clock at St Joseph's. The Archbishop was there this weekend. Mass these days though, as Vincent Vega would say, "it's just...it's just, there it's a little different."

Here is Dave Holmes in Esquire, on being thrown off the beat by little changes.
I can still recite the Nicene Creed from memory: “We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth, of all that is seen and unseen ..."
It’s a declaration of the Catholic faith, and if you are a kid in church with his parents, it’s a signal that the Sign of Peace— the seventh-inning stretch of the Catholic Mass—is moments away. Your freedom is imminent.
My father had a special cadence during the Creed, especially in those final few lines, each one building on the last, like he was ticking items off a to-do list. Upspeak, before we had a word for it:
We believe in one Catholic and apostolic church?
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins?
We look for the resurrection of the dead?
And from that peak, he would descend:
N’ the life of the world to come Amen.
It got on my nerves when I was a teenager and everything your parents do gets on your nerves. Once I moved away and was only going to Mass with my folks a couple of times a year, I’d lean in a little bit so I wouldn’t miss it. It was like a good old song, and his version was my favorite.
Now he’s gone, and the Creed has all sorts of new words in it. Now you’re supposed to bow your head at certain points; There’s choreography. Pope Benedict changed it more than a decade ago, and I’m always a step behind. “And with your spirit” catches me off guard every time. All us other twice-a-year Catholics can identify each other when we all say: “And also with y…oh.”
I hear you brother.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

AND WHY THE HELL DID I DO THIS TO MYSELF? PART II

I've been in Cardiff since Friday and I'm due to eat with Ben and John in Corleone tonight.

This means that heroic measures will be required to get through my weekly organic fruit and veg box before the next one arrives.

It seems to me that Romy Gill's red lentil dhal with wild garlic will  inevitably form part of this mopping up exercise.

What have I become?

Saturday, April 14, 2018

AND WHY THE HELL DID I DO THIS TO MYSELF?

I finally managed yesterday, at the umpteenth time of asking, to climb out of my pit and get to the 6;30 am class at Wimbledon Hot Yoga. I have pretty much got 6:30 on Thursday dialled in as I go with Kevin from round the corner and I know he will be outside my door at six prompt.

If I manage to get along to Elite Fitness at 10 o'clock this morning, that will be three in a row. Could Thursday, Friday, Saturday be the new paradigm?

McSweeney's
I’M A WOMAN ON VACATION DOING YOGA AND WHY THE HELL DID I DO THIS TO MYSELF?
LAUREN TOUSIGNANT
It’s 6 AM on the third day of my vacation in this Instagram-perfect corner of Southeast Asia but instead of sleeping peacefully I have stretched myself into I don’t even know what shape and I am miserable.
All I wanted for this much-needed trip was to lie on a beach and then take a boat to another beach where I would lie out some more and drink 300 Pina Coladas and then take another boat to another beach and eat and eat and eat and lie out again. But after seeing so many dumb stock images of beaming women doing the pigeon pose in the middle of lush mountains or secluded beaches, I convinced myself that, “Yes, that could be me,” and booked this fxxking sunrise yoga class.
Read on ............

Friday, April 13, 2018

So the last shall be first

Back in 2012 we  watched Annie Last, Debs' niece, in the London Olympics (see Icons passim).

Yesterday England won their first ever Commonwealth Games medals in women's mountain biking as favourite Annie Last took gold ahead of team-mate Evie Richards on the Gold Coast.

Hoorah! Someone other than Callum or Paapa to write about plus Laxt/First wordplay aplenty.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Sign of the Times

After ‘Hamlet’ and ‘King Lear,’ Where Else Can Paapa Essiedu Go?

LONDON — No one from the Royal Shakespeare Company was sure if Paapa Essiedu would have time for an interview recently. He was busy rehearsing the title role in “Hamlet” while also preparing for “King Lear,” in which he is playing Edmund alongside Antony Sher.
Both productions were about to travel to the United States: “King Lear” runs through April 29 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and “Hamlet” arrives at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., on May 2. But eventually Mr. Essiedu was able to find a time to talk, between the cool-down from one play and the warm-up for the other. He wasn’t being difficult; this was just how it was.
Daily Mail:
Chelsea U18s 4-0 (7-0 agg) Birmingham City U18s: Jody Morris' side reach seventh successive FA Youth Cup final after comfortable win
  • Chelsea's youth side were 3-0 up from the first leg away from home last week
  • Callum Hudson-Odoi scored two goals either side of Charlie Brown's strike
Writing here feels like keeping a scrapbook about these two lately

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Rumspringa

More footage of  Ben and Ray.

It is a pity they are in Florida rather than Pennsylvania.

Given the Abraham Lincoln face furniture Ben is sporting he could have pulled on a frock coat and gone undercover with the Amish completely undetected.

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumspringa

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Thinking out loud

We won the quiz at the Antelope in Tooting last night, which means we will have a £50 bar tab for next Monday. My brother John will be up for that.

Ben doesn't land in Heathrow on the way back from Florida until Saturday morning which means he will be too jet lagged to play rugby on Sunday morning.

That, in turn, means that I can drive back from Cardiff later than usual and I can give John a lift up to town. If the weather is OK though, I think we should try and get to SW19 in time to catch The Steve Whalley Band on the bandstand and promoted by the Apprentice at 3pm.



Thence to Corleone for dinner (Ben will come) which is open from noon until 10pm on Sundays.

Monday, April 09, 2018

Tender Loving Scare

Anyone who tells you that the TLS protocol upgrade is not causing any problems with e-commerce behind the scenes is fibbing.

Thanks for listening.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Ryan Reeves

I think that over the last year or so I have learned more from Ryan Reeves' YouTube channel than almost anything else.

Start with the Early and Medieval Church History playlist.

It is s bit more rigorous than our scripture lessons in St Illtyd's with Brother Luke.