Sunday, June 17, 2018


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.
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 -

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


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.