Friday, August 31, 2018

Thug Notes

After yesterday's post, I had a little look-see for tickets to Othello at the Globe. There were only three left (all singles) so I snapped one up for next Wednesday; Rene Girard's mimetic theory probably explains this.

I haven't seen or read Othello before so I am boning up with Thug Notes.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

House of Actors

Like Sion Alun Davies (another Welshman) Steffan Donnelly (with Mark Rylance in Othello at the Globe above) is a 2012 Guildhall graduate and founder (with Paapa E) of the Invertigo Theatre Company.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018


As I was driving back from taking Ben to the dentist yesterday afternoon, I caught the end of and episode of Mastertapes on BBC4.
The legendary Tom Jones talks to John Wilson about Praise and Blame - the first of a trilogy of albums that would take him back to his musical roots.
I caught up with the whole thig when I got back home; well worth a listen.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

You're so fine you blow my mind

When I am in my mid seventies I would like to be Toni Basil please.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Seeds: a 400-million-year-old food story

Both John and I caught the end of Steve Jones of the Washington Bread Lab describing his efforts to bring deliciousness back to wheat on R4's Food Programme yesterday. I was driving back from the office and he was driving back from interviewing a client's family.

We can listen to the whole thing on

Sunday, August 26, 2018

You can't fight County Hall

Off to the South Bank last night yo see the revival of Witness for the Prosecution in the old County Hall.

I've been there twice before, taking Ben to the Star Wars exhibition in 2007 and then to the Movieum in 2008.

As a huge Billy Wilder fan, I ought to check out the 1958 film as well. It is on Amazon.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

The Spicery

John, my brother is staying with me for a few days while he is up working around London.

We cooked Vietnamese tacos last night using a recipe kit from his subscription at The Spicery.

I'm noting the URL here in case I am tempted to start using it myself in future.

Friday, August 24, 2018

We found new discoveries

After receiving my DNA results on my birthday (Icons passim), I got my niece the same package for her 18th.

She has obviously sent her saliva off as I got an email yesterday telling me "you and another member share DNA."

Intriguingly they guess that we are "1ST - 2ND COUSINS."
Our analysis of your DNA predicts that this person you match with is your first cousin.
The exact relationship however can vary. It could be a great nephew or great-great grandmother.
While there may be some statistical variation in our prediction, it’s likely to be a four-degree separation. However, the relationship could range from three to five degrees of separation.
Uncle and niece is a three degree separation. If they had got the relationship exactly right I might be suspicious that they used family tree information, I am - if anything - more impressed by this "close but no cigar" result as it suggests it really must be deduced purely genetically.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Meet Inbox

We've got a client that runs residential courses. This pestilential initiative of Google's takes it upon itself to deduce the wrong number of days accommodation have been booked from the confirmation email.

The AI Apocalypse starts here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

A Great Day in Harlem

32 second in we get Scoville Browne. Never heard of him before but I am proud beyond words.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Edinburgh Fringe | Top 10 jokes

1. "Working at the JobCentre has to be a tense job - knowing that if you get fired, you still have to come in the next day" - Adam Rowe

2. "I had a job drilling holes for water - it was well boring" - Leo Kearse

3. "I took out a loan to pay for an exorcism. If I don't pay it back, I'm going to get repossessed" - Olaf Falafel

4. "In my last relationship, I hated being treated like a piece of meat. She was a vegan and refused to touch me" - Daniel Audritt

5. "What do colour blind people do when they are told to eat their greens?" - Flo and Joan

6. "I've got a new job collecting all the jumpers left in the park at the weekends, but it's not easy. They keep moving the goalposts" - Darren Walsh

7. "Trump said he'd build a wall but he hasn't even picked up a brick. He's just another middle-aged man failing on a DIY project" - Justin Moorhouse

8 "I lost a friend after we had an argument about the Tardis. I thought it was a little thing, but it seemed much bigger once we got into it" - Adele Cliff

8 "Why are they calling it Brexit and not The Great British Break Off?" - Alex Edelman

10. "I think love is like central heating. You turn it on before guests arrive and pretend it's like this all the time" - Laura Lexx

Monday, August 20, 2018

Seems like old times

Ben came around last night and we watched A Prayer Before Dawn; the true story of an English boxer incarcerated in one of Thailand's most notorious prisons as he fights in Muay Thai tournaments to earn his freedom. We missed it in the movies but it is available to stream now and well worth a look.

Writing here every day lets me know that Ben himself had his first Muay Thai lesson as a five year old twelve years ago to the day next Friday. On 24 August this year he will be at the Reading Festival.

I think I am going to start linking the titles of these posts to the equivalent day last year, just to make myself even more sentimental. Someday we'll look back on this moment and plow into a parked car.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Kerala Flooding

We went to Kerala over the 2003/2004 Christmas and New Year. It is the most beautiful place I have ever seen.

Horrid to see it flooded. You can donate here.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water

Current Bun
Gareth Southgate keen to blood Ryan Sessegnon, Phil Foden, Jadon Sancho and Callum Hudson-Odoi soon to prepare for Euro 2020.
The rise and rise of Callum is beyond amazing.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Kitchen Notes

Dinner last night due to the coincidence of what was left in my fruit and veg box and the inspiration of BBC Good Food.

Also knocked up a Coq au Win to take back to Cardiff.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

All or Nothing: Manchester City

I enjoyed the All Blacks version of this back in the summer (Icons passim) and even showed it to Kiwi Andy in France last week.

I will be all over the Man City version like a cheap suit. It's available tomorrow, though I will have to take a rain check until next week as I am off-grid in Bronwydd Avenue for a couple Friday evening thru Sunday morning. It's a pity I can't download it onto my PC and take it with me.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018


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

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 for a week tomorrow morning, crossing the Channel courtesy of Eurotunnel.

Part of the plan is to hire bikes from

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

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.