Saturday, March 31, 2018

Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.

We are off to the matinee of Paapa's Hamlet today. Visit two, but he tipped us the wink on a special RSC discount code.

Steve, who has got a degree in theology is coming. Here is how I intend to disconcert him.

Hamlet arrives from Wittenberg, where Luther nailed his 95 theses to the cathedral door, to find the ghost of his father in purgatory.

Article XXII of the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Anglican church (already established when Hamlet was written) states that "The Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory . . . is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God." Prayers for the departed were deleted from the 1552 Book of Common Prayer because they suggested a doctrine of purgatory.


Friday, March 30, 2018

I am a very foolish fond old man

Ben's in the air at the moment, flying to New York on his way to Florida.

I found out this morning that Paapa's off to the Big Apple on Monday as well.Gregory Doran’s critically-acclaimed production of King Lear travels to New York with Antony Sher reprising the title role and Mr Essiedu as Edmund; Brooklyn Academy of Music from 7th to the 29th of April.

After that (as we know) he is returning to Hamlet in Washington DC. How on earth he imagines he is going to have any chance of getting in our Monday night pub quiz team in Tooting at this rate I have no idea.

Actually, quite a few of the Hamlet cast seem to be in Lear as well, including Mimi Ndiweni and Clarence Smith, both of whom I particularly admired at Hackney last week.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Lupesoliai La'auli

WBA 'super' and IBF champion Joshua insisted the smart money should be put on him to defeat Parker by knockout, but the Kiwi had a simple message to anyone who is betting on the fight.
Parker said: "Bet on him? Bet on me, and make some money."
I have managed to get a few quid on Parker to win at 6-1. Interesting to note that the odds on him winning have shortened since last time I looked.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The next chapter

England U18s ended a successful week by making it three wins from three games with a 2-1 victory over Belarus.
Neil Dewsnip’s side had previously seen off opposition from Qatar and Argentina in their first two games before returning to St. George’s Park for Monday evening's match.
And Ian Poveda-Ocampo of Manchester City completed an impressive week with his third goal in three games to put England ahead after 11 minutes, having previously struck against both Qatar and Argentina.
Belarus kept the Young Lions at bay until after the break, when Chelsea's Callum Hudson-Odoi doubled the advantage after 55 minutes.
The visitors made it an interesting end to the game when substitute Kirylenka Kiryl made it 2-1 in the 71st minute, but they couldn’t find an equaliser leaving Dewsnip and his players with plenty to be proud of after their week's work.
A goal for Callum at England U18 level after winning the World Cup with the U17s previously.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Time Team 2002

Abbey Mills 16 years ago.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Now that was a good night, sweet prince

Off to the Hackney Empire last night (I've never been there before) to see Paapa's RSC Hamlet. It is great. He is great. Practically everyone is great to be honest but let's have a particular shout out for Mimi Ndiweni's Ophelia and Clarence Smith as Claudius. The production is going to the Kennedy Center in Washington DC next.

Black Panther is still setting box office records over in the States, so I think a Hamlet in which Elsinore is in a modern African county is going to be plugged right into the zeitgeist; I wouldn't be surprised by rave reviews and press and telly opinion piece ubiquity.

Black Panther

Friday, March 23, 2018

China 0 - Wales 6

Ryan Giggs started his reign as Wales manager in spectacular style with Gareth Bale scoring a hat-trick in a 6-0 thrashing of China to become the nation's leading goalscorer.
How many times in my life are Wales gonna score 6? I think I was in my teens before they scored six in total. I though they were called "Wales nil" until I was in secondary school.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

To share is precious, pure and fair

I went, as usual on a Thursday, to Bikram Yoga at half past six this morning. I am a big fan of it as a physical discipline, but regularly find I could do with a bit less of the cod-spirituality that often sneaks in to the dialogue. So when Shona, the instructor, asked me for a yoga-talk quote she could use for uplift I challenged her to sneak
We’re all sensitive people with so much to give
Since we got to be, let’s live
from Let's Get it On by Marvin Gaye into the mix.

Game girl that she is she encouraged us with it in Dandayamana-Bibhaktapada-Janushirasana while keeping a straight face. For myself I nearly fell out of the pose laughing.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

List: Church Fathers or Pokémon

The Church Fathers, Early Church Fathers, Christian Fathers, or Fathers of the Church are ancient and generally influential Christian theologians.

Pokémon are creatures of all shapes and sizes who live in the wild or alongside humans in video games. For the most part, Pokémon do not speak except to utter their names. (Would that more theologians had done the same.)
  1. Polycarp
  2. Magikarp
  3. Aphrahat
  4. Abomasnow
  5. Tertullian
  6. Archeops
  7. Irenaeus
  8. Magmortar
1, 3, 5, 7: Church Fathers
2, 4, 6, 8: Pokémon

Time spent on Historia Ecclesiastica is never wasted.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

how infinite in faculties

We won the quiz last night, so after yesterday's stumble all is well with the world once more.

Monday, March 19, 2018


I forgot to write anything today. It's not like me. This is just a stop gap from my phone.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

the humble chickpea

I have decided to read Robert Harris' Imperium next. It is the first novel in his trilogy about Cicero.

From wikipedia:
Cicero's cognomen, or personal surname, comes from the Latin for chickpea, cicer. Plutarch explains that the name was originally given to one of Cicero's ancestors who had a cleft in the tip of his nose resembling a chickpea. However, it is more likely that Cicero's ancestors prospered through the cultivation and sale of chickpeas.
Never mind "the influence of Cicero upon the history of European literature and ideas greatly exceeds that of any other prose writer in any language," it is stuff along the lines of:
The famous family names of Fabius, Lentulus, and Piso come from the Latin names of beans, lentils, and peas, respectively. Plutarch writes that Cicero was urged to change this deprecatory name when he entered politics, but refused, saying that he would make Cicero more glorious than Scaurus ("Swollen-ankled") and Catulus ("Puppy")
that floats my boat.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

That's entertainment, that's entertainment

I will definitely have a basin full of this Thursday week. It seems so wonderfully unlikely.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Uncle Simon is your brother?!

Five Latest Angelina Jolie Stories That Are Fake News
3. This week, NW claimed Jolie was developing a romance with a 20-something “boy toy.” The publication identified the purported beau as Oscar Crane, who worked on both By The Sea and First They Killed My Daughter. That professional relationship had now “progressed to a much more personal level,” the tabloid alleged, suggesting a “romance could soon be [in] the cards.” But the tabloid showed it was clueless by featuring a picture not of Oscar, but his brother Oliver. The siblings, along with their father, are longtime family friends of Jolie, Gossip Cop learned. That was just part of key information that was missing from the error-filled article. Jolie has a working relationship and family-focused friendship with the Cranes, not one that has anything to do with her love life.
Ollie - Oscar and Oliver's aunt - told me about this last night. Eleven and a half years on from "you mean Uncle Simon is your brother?!" A gift that keeps on giving.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Sky Now and Then

I've had my Sky TV Box for nearly four years now (see Icons passim). It doesn't get a lot of use these days, but I have discovered that you can also get Sky Box office on it. (You need to download an app.)

I am pretty much certain you couldn't do that last time I looked, and it does mean that I can watch the Anthony Joshua - Joseph Parker fight on March 31 if I pony up £19.95 (

I may well do that as I am rather tempted by a wager on Parker if I can get 6 to 1 odds. That's an extraordinary figure for a two horse race.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

When Particle Size Matters

The Bomber is doing his work experience next week at a company in the industrial park just around the corner.
Endecotts are the world's leading manufacturer of quality laboratory test sieves, sieve shakers, and related laboratory equipment.
Our sample analysis equipment is used by laboratories in all four corners of the world. Endecotts was founded in 1936 and has over 80 years established an enviable reputation for quality and accuracy.

Endecotts test sieves are available in a wide range of sizes to meet every national and international standard and virtually every specification.
Whether it is agriculture, engineering, mining, pharmaceuticals or some other critical area where accurate analysis is vital, our customers know they can rely on the name Endecotts.
With agents and distributors in over 80 countries worldwide and on every continent we can quickly supply a wide range of high quality, sample analysis to our customers around the globe.
It does my heart good to hear about an independent company manufacturing locally and exporting round the world. Journalists drone on and on about German SME engineering success but never breathe a word about it happening in my back yard.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Tickets for The York Realist are very limited

I switched radio 2 on in the car on Saturday on my way to Sainsburys and heard someone (Ben Batt perhaps) promoting a Donmar Warehouse production of The York Realist on the Graham Norton show. It is practically sold out but - Peter Gill completist that I am- I managed to get a ticket for last night.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Professor Yaffle Chuckabutty, Operatic Tenor and Sausage Knotter

Tatty-bye, everybody, tatty-bye!
I may not have enjoyed every moment of British seaside holidays when I was a kid, but I did get to see Ken Dodd at an end-of the-pier show somewhere or other. He was quite, quite brilliant.

Sunday, March 11, 2018


The handle store
When selecting an espag window handle you will need to know the measurement of the spindle length - this is the length of exposed spindle that leaves the back of the handle and goes inside the window. It can be anything from 10mm upto 55mm. A common mistake is to measure the entire spindle length of a handle in its broken state and this will be too long as you only need the length that is exposed when the handle is together in its unbroken state. Espag handles typically break around the spindle pivoting area of the handle as this is the weakest point. When replacing a handle it will usually be be for this reason so look out for poorly riveted or sub-standard manufacturing.
I am back from Mum and Dad's with another job on my list (downstairs toilet). The trick will be to work out the spindle length as it is broken off. Also noticed that the outdoor night light with motion detection isn't working and the sitting room dimmer switch is sticking.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

On the road and in a rush

I belong to the blank generation, and I can take it or leave it each time. I belong to the generation, but I can take it or leave it each time
Repeat and fade. There is an invisible tag joke above trivia fans.

Friday, March 09, 2018

57 Varieties

Yanis Varoufakis is speaking at the Rose Theatre later this month. I may try and get along as I was impressed by his book "And the Weak Suffer What They Must?: Europe, Austerity and the Threat to Global Stability" which I read last year.

With the Kingston's Rose Theatre at one end the route, Streatham's Hideaway jazz club at the other, and a stop at the bottom of my street I could lead a full life just taking the 57 bus hither and yon.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Darn Tooting

I didn't have a clue about this and I only live a short walk down the A24 in the 'Wood.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

bounded in a nutshell

Paapa's Hamlet reached the Hackney Empire last night. We are going on March 23rd.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

swipe left

We came second in the Antelope quiz last night, beaten by a single point but still the proud recipients of a £25 bar voucher for next week.

In the picture round I guessed that Tinder's pink and orange flame logo belonged to British Gas's Hive, the app I use to run my central heating and hot water; hilarity ensued.

Empirical evidence that I have reached the stage in my life where nice and cozy out ranks hook up culture.

Where are my slippers? Wake up, boiler!

Monday, March 05, 2018

Things to do in London this weekend

A rare sight of a frozen Roath Park. Credit: Liam Ellis
I think it was probably a good idea for me to postpone my trip to Cardiff on Friday.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

The dog ate my homework

I am sorry I am late. When I picked my coat up from the back of a dining room chair the high E string on a nearby guitar had managed to inveigle its way inside the slider of the front zip.

I don't think this can be explained without resorting to quantum entanglement. Classical mechanics aren't up to the job.

I tried to ease guitar and jacket apart for a while, but finally gave up and cut the string with some scissors. Until I get a replacement I will probably retune to G-D-G-B-D and entertain the neighbours with covers of The Rolling Stones' "Honky Tonk Women", "Brown Sugar" and "Start Me Up"

Saturday, March 03, 2018

You know why? Because you’re afraid of the NRA.

When Kevin showed me this video on his phone I just assumed it would be because Trump embarrassed himself. In fact it is nothing of the sort. Maybe his bull-in-a-china-shop persona will give him the cojones to do something about the USA's gun madness. Wouldn't that be a turn up for the books?

Friday, March 02, 2018

Wake Up Boiler!

I have cancelled my trip to Avon and Somerset Police today - and thence to Cardiff - in light of the weather warnings precipitated by the collision of Storm Emma and the Beast from the East. Thus I am in the office. The friggin' heating is off again; brass monkeys mate. Plumbers are on premises and we await developments.

I will be in the Standard tonight where people will be talking like this.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Ugly Delicious

The New Yorker
What makes “Ugly Delicious” compelling, ultimately, is Chang’s commitment to rejecting purity and piety within food culture. “I view authenticity like a totalitarian state,” Chang declares, in the show’s first episode, adding, “It’s not that I hate authenticity, it’s that I hate that people want this singular thing that is authentic.” In food culture, particularly American food culture, the concept of authenticity is wielded like a hammer: This pizza, made with San Marzano tomatoes and mozzarella di bufala and a yeast-risen dough, blistered in an ultra-hot wood-fired oven for less than a minute, is authentic; that pizza, ordered on the Domino’s Pizza Now™ mobile app, dressed with toppings that arrive at a franchise location pre-sliced in a vacuum-sealed bag, passed through an industrial conveyor-belt oven, is not. The problem with such rigid categorizations, according to “Ugly Delicious,” is, for one thing, creative stagnation. Chang, after all, made his career on an exuberant disregard for convention. His restaurants—with their Japanese names, Taiwanese pork buns, Korean rice cakes, Continental flourishes, and intellectual-bro Americana twists—remix and subvert everything from ancient culinary traditions to standard restaurant-service expectations.
The fridge and larder yesterday were quite frankly not at their brightest and best. But then a forlorn supermarket coriander plant, pate bought from Chadwick's on Saturday, a stray roast chicken thigh, wilting chilli, plus sad carrots and my brother's pickling brine screamed banh mi at me.

A Co-Op baguette later Franco-Vietnamese fusion life was good and I settled down to binge watch this fine new Netflix series nodding with approval: Eat it all let God sort 'em out.