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 

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


South Wimbledon
8 Morden Road, London, SW19 3BH, GB
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

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


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.