Monday, November 18, 2019

Roath Park Lake


With a following wind I will be back on Sunday.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

More Power



I have got my tickets for Emmanuel Jal on Friday because I am very cool.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Do not resuscitate

Wikipedia
Do Not Resuscitate (DNR), also known as no code or allow natural death, is a legal order, written or oral depending on country, indicating that a person does not want to receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if that person's heart stops beating.
England and Wales
In England and Wales, CPR is presumed in the event of a cardiac arrest unless a do not resuscitate order is in place. If they have capacity as defined under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 the patient may decline resuscitation, however any discussion is not in reference to consent to resuscitation and instead should be an explanation. Patients may also specify their wishes and/or devolve their decision-making to a proxy using an advance directive, which are commonly referred to as 'Living Wills'. Patients and relatives cannot demand treatment (including CPR) which the doctor believes is futile and in this situation, it is their doctor's duty to act in their 'best interest', whether that means continuing or discontinuing treatment, using their clinical judgment. If the patient lacks capacity, relatives will often be asked for their opinion out of respect.
More straightforward than its scary title implies.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Xinxim

I cooked some chicken in the Brazilian xinxim peanut sauce on the right last night (special offer in the Co-Op) and served it up with boiled rice and some Amafil farofa pronta that I had in the cupboard. Very nice it was too.

A little research reverals the sauce is from Bahia which is one of the 26 states of Brazil and is located in the northeastern part of the country on the Atlantic coast.
Bahian cuisine, revered throughout Brazil as the country’s best, evolved from an improvisation of African, Indian and Portuguese dishes using predominantly local ingredients. These three cultures were thrown together by the Portuguese colonisation of Brazil in the sixteenth century and over the next 350 years a distinctive culinary culture developed around this nexus of influences.
This of course is exactly what Alexander Smalls et al are explaining with the "Afro-Asian-American" in Between Harlem and Heaven: Afro-Asian-American Cooking for Big Nights, Weeknights, and Every Day, the book John got me for my birthday this year. I leafed through it yesterday, and Bahia gets name checked on page 140.

Please also see my notes on vindaloo here. That post is nearly 14 years old!

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Gillgamesh

Gill, Peter

I stumbled on this stuff on the British Library website yesterday. The first two instalments should be interesting as they are about my family as well.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

St. Vincent



I streamed a movie I bought from Amazon yesterday. something I do rarely what with Prime and Netflix.

"St. Vincent offers the considerable pleasure of seeing Bill Murray back in funny form, but drifts into dangerously sentimental territory along the way" says the Critics Consensus on Rotten Tomatoes which suits me just fine because I am dangerously sentimental too.

In 2016, Theodore Melfi its writer and director went on to co-write, direct and produce Hidden Figures, for which he received Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. I will add that to my watch list as well.

Update: I see he also wrote Going in Style.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

In Memory of Terry Buckland

Terry, our office landlord, has died after complications during heart surgery. Mick says he was in a coma for two weeks then passed. It is terrible news.

https://www.rbhcharity.org/Fundraisers/in-memory-of-terry-buckland

Monday, November 11, 2019

Ted Gioia


GIOIA: The most important thing right now is to understand that the best music in our society is under the radar screen for many complex reasons. Record labels are looking for the formula. Radio stations are following the formula. Even these amazing curated playlists are just a feedback loop. They’ll tell you what to listen to next week based on what you listened to last week. And because they’re a feedback loop, they won’t show you anything new or interesting.
So what you need to do, if you really want to broaden your horizons as a listener, is to get exposed to new things. Pick somebody. It doesn’t have to be me.
I can't remember how I stumbled on this podcast. Ted Gioia is either profound or off his chump, but I have added Music: A Subversive History to my reading list.

Ben was talking to me in the car last week about how modern technology has created hyper-local music scenes where kids are listening to a lot of tracks made by people they know who live round the corner. Gioia's "the best music in our society is under the radar screen" reminded me of that.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

chicks will dig it

There aren't native skills for my echo show 5 that will let me watch the BBC iPlayer or Netflix, but if I log into them on the built-in Silk browser, save the credentials and bookmark them I can access their videos handily.

That is all.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

George Washington and the Cherry Tree


A recall to the senior England squad is a nice present for Callum. I've been friends with him on Facebook since November 2011. FB reminded me it was his birthday yesterday. It thinks he is 23 not nineteen. He's part of a generation who fibbed when signing up. Ben - also 19 - is 25 according to Mark Zuckerberg's behemoth.

Friday, November 08, 2019

What Up With That?



Sorry I have to rush, but when I start singing this you can't claim you haven't been warned.

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Pit Stop

Arrived at Cardiff, dropped my stuff at Bronwydd and put the heating on.

Off now to visit mum, dad and supermarket.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

On with the dance! let joy be unconfin'd

Mum should be coming out of hospital this morning. I will see her tomorrow.

I feared the worst a fortnight ago.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Corpus Christi Procession


It is good to see the South African rugby team showing off the rugby world cup in their De la Salle blazers. They could have gone straight from this photo shoot to Cardiff's Corpus Christi Procession in the 1960s.

Monday, November 04, 2019

ORDER!



MPs will elect Mr Bercow's successor in London today, the first such vote for a decade.

Sunday, November 03, 2019

existential disrepair



Amid tepid reviews last year, I went on record as thinking that The Kominsky Method was great (Icons passim).

Then, earlier this year, it took home two of the biggest comedy television awards in the Golden Globes. Michael Douglas snagged Best Actor In A TV Comedy or Musical, before the show itself won Best TV Comedy/Musical.

Now who's looking foolish TV critics? Season 2 just dropped on Netflix. I have watched the first couple of episodes; again it is great.

Michael Douglas had his moment in the sun when gongs were being dealt out, so let's give it up for Alan Arkin who is still knocking it out of the park at the age of 85. I think he may have had a stunt double for unsteadily mounting and riding a horse but the acting performance is all him. (I can't help but compare him to someone else I know of the same age.)

Saturday, November 02, 2019

None ever wished it longer than it is.

I have finished reading The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won by Victor Davis Hanson (752 pages) and started reading Dominion: The Making of the Western Mind by Tom Holland (624 pages).

1,376 pages between them. I really don't make it easy for myself.

World War II was the most lethal conflict in human history. Never before had a war been fought on so many diverse landscapes and in so many different ways, from rocket attacks in London to jungle fighting in Burma to armor strikes in Libya.

The Second World Wars examines how combat unfolded in the air, at sea, and on land to show how distinct conflicts among disparate combatants coalesced into one interconnected global war. Drawing on 3,000 years of military history, bestselling author Victor Davis Hanson argues that despite its novel industrial barbarity, neither the war's origins nor its geography were unusual. Nor was its ultimate outcome surprising. The Axis powers were well prepared to win limited border conflicts, but once they blundered into global war, they had no hope of victory.

Christianity is the most enduring and influential legacy of the ancient world, and its emergence the single most transformative development in Western history. Even the increasing number in the West today who have abandoned the faith of their forebears, and dismiss all religion as pointless superstition, remain recognisably its heirs. Seen close-up, the division between a sceptic and a believer may seem unbridgeable. Widen the focus, though, and Christianity's enduring impact upon the West can be seen in the emergence of much that has traditionally been cast as its nemesis: in science, in secularism, and yes, even in atheism.

That is why Dominion will place the story of how we came to be what we are, and how we think the way that we do, in the broadest historical context. Ranging in time from the Persian invasion of Greece in 480 BC to the on-going migration crisis in Europe today, and from Nebuchadnezzar to the Beatles, it will explore just what it was that made Christianity so revolutionary and disruptive; how completely it came to saturate the mind-set of Latin Christendom; and why, in a West that has become increasingly doubtful of religion's claims, so many of its instincts remain irredeemably Christian. The aim is twofold: to make the reader appreciate just how novel and uncanny were Christian teachings when they first appeared in the world; and to make ourselves, and all that we take for granted, appear similarly strange in consequence. We stand at the end-point of an extraordinary transformation in the understanding of what it is to be human: one that can only be fully appreciated by tracing the arc of its parabola over millennia.

Friday, November 01, 2019

Mignons de Porc à l'ail

I worked with Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook last night; a tribute to mum who (fingers crossed) may be responding to treatment (see icons passim).

Mignons de Porc à l'ail
Top the tenderloins with the mashed garlic, spreading the paste like substance evenly along the length of the tenderloins. Lay the bacon slices across the garlic the long way. Now lay the other two tenderloins on top of the first two, the fatter ends pointing in the opposite direction from the ones on the bottom, so that they nestle together in a yin-yang sort of a way, creating a fairly even-shaped tube. Using kitchen string, tie each double tenderloin together tightly and evenly at several points along the tube (that way it can be sliced into medallions without cutting the string). Refrigerate overnight.
Okee Dokee. The trouble is I didn't have kitchen string so I used cable ties.
Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Remove the tenderloins from the refrigerator. In the saute pan, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon (14 g) of the butter. When the butter stops foaming, season the pork, then add it to the pan, working in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan.
You can't really pan fry plastic cable ties, but hey presto!
If you're in a hurry, you can slice the pork into medallions when raw, then individually sear each medallion. That way you wont need to use the oven.
That's what I did. very nice too.

Moving on from cable ties I remember Beth being bemused last week that a house brick wrapped in foil was among my kitchen equipment. I use it to weigh down quesadillas.

No top London kitchen spends more money at Wickes than mine.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Facebook Ad Library

The Ad Library shows you ads across Facebook's apps and services. You can use it to get information about the ads you see. The Ad Library contains all active ads running across Facebook Products.
Transparency is a priority for us to help prevent interference in elections, so the Ad Library also shows you additional information about ads about issue, electoral and political ads, including who funded the ad, range of how much they spent, and the reach of the ad across multiple demographics. We store these ads for seven years.
You can view and use the Ad Library at https://www.facebook.com/ads/library.
If you're an advertiser, you can learn more about issue, electoral or political ads in the Business Help Center.
I imagine that this will produce some interesting information in the run up to the election.

Look at this link. The UK Government spent over a million quid advertising on Facebook over the last year and more than half of that in the last month.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Cardiff, where the poetic champions compose

YouTube's algorithms recommended a video of Morrison talking about this new album to me yesterday. To my surprise about one minute and ten seconds in (herewith https://youtu.be/DIiUJFPp2qs?t=70) he talked about recording a lot of it in Cardiff where he has a "set up" with guys playing keyboards, bass, drums and organ.

I was astounded. A little research suggests that the Music Box Studios is where the work was done,  and that Richard Dunn is the Hammond player.

I recounted this to my brother on the phone this morning and he told me that Van the Man lives locally in Pontcanna. Again I was astounded, but here is a story about Van Morrison popping in for a quiet drink at the Casablanca Club after a gig in Newport in the 80s.

At that time the club was managed by Frankie Johnson Snr. I was in school with Frankie Johnson Jnr. Ultimately it is all about me.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Finite to fail, but Infinite to venture.



Gunfire and car stunts filmed on Newport Road for Mark Wahlberg's movie. The road was closed from midnight on Sunday until early this morning for "gunfire, police cars in a ram raid and an Aston Martin sports car flipping over the central reservation."

Simon Crane, who I met a couple of months ago, is the second unit director on Antoine Fuqua’s ‘Infinite’ so it will have been him behind the megaphone in Cardiff for the last couple of days.

Nigel Tufnel: You know, just simple lines intertwining, you know .....
Myself: Coincidence? None dare call it a conspiracy......

Monday, October 28, 2019

Hak Baker

Ben introduced me and Beth to Hak Baker last week. Since then he has dropped a new mixtape called Babylon.

I am not 100% sure what dropping a new mixtape is, but here it is for your listening pleasure and elucidation.

Also I have long wanted to share the story Ben told me of when Big Mikes (who did Trap Dreams with 19inerz) walked up the stairs of a bus he was on and people spontaneously burst into applause.

The real stuff flies under the radar.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Rorke's Drift



I have woken up too late to watch all of Zuu before the Wales v South Africa world cup semi final this morning I will just have to make do with the scene above.
Men of Harlech on to glory
This will every be your story
Keep these burning words before ye
 Welshmen will not yield

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Here's a good stick, to beat the lovely lady

Wikipedia
Rerum novarum (from its incipit, with the direct translation of the Latin meaning "of the new things", or Rights and Duties of Capital and Labor, is an encyclical issued by Pope Leo XIII on 15 May 1891. It was an open letter, passed to all Catholic patriarchs, primates, archbishops and bishops, that addressed the condition of the working classes. 
It discussed the relationships and mutual duties between labor and capital, as well as government and its citizens. Of primary concern was the need for some amelioration of "the misery and wretchedness pressing so unjustly on the majority of the working class." It supported the rights of labor to form unions, rejected socialism and unrestricted capitalism, while affirming the right to private property.
Beth, if you are reading this, it has dawned on me that sitting around the table with two autodidacts on a Friday night (Friday night!) may not be the most fun a 21 year old girl ever had.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Wojtek: The Bear that Went to War


Wojtek: The Bear that Went to War from Halcyon Pictures on Vimeo.

This time last year I was writing about Engel's hedgehog.
Wojtek (1942–1963; Polish pronunciation: [ˈvɔjtɛk]; in English, sometimes spelled Voytek and pronounced as such) was a Syrian brown bear (Ursus arctos syriacus) bought, as a young cub, at a railway station in Hamadan, Iran, by Polish II Corps soldiers who had been evacuated from the Soviet Union. In order to provide for his rations and transportation, he was eventually enlisted officially as a soldier with the rank of private, and was subsequently promoted to corporal.
Frankie's dad was one of the Polish troops who went from the Soviet Union, via Iran, Iraq, Syria, Palestine and Egypt to join up with the Eighth Army and fight in the Italian campaign. I much watch this documentary with her and Kevin now I have dug up how you access it legitimately.
This is the story of Wojtek the Soldier Bear - a magnificent 500lb military bear who fought in World War 2 alongside a band of Polish soldiers. He shared their beer and cigarettes - and eventually their fate. Told by those that knew him, his story will capture the imagination and provide a very different perspective of the Polish war story.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Health care-acquired pneumonia

Mum's in hospital with pneumonia. She's been in since late last week actually and I went down and saw her on Saturday.

I've been googling it. You can see what the Mayo Clinic says here.

There is such a thing as Health care-acquired pneumonia apparently.
Health care-acquired pneumonia is a bacterial infection that occurs in people who live in long-term care facilities or who receive care in outpatient clinics, including kidney dialysis centers. Like hospital-acquired pneumonia, health care-acquired pneumonia can be caused by bacteria that are more resistant to antibiotics.
That could be the culprit.
Fluid accumulation around the lungs (pleural effusion). Pneumonia may cause fluid to build up in the thin space between layers of tissue that line the lungs and chest cavity (pleura). If the fluid becomes infected, you may need to have it drained through a chest tube or removed with surgery.
They need to drain her lung but the fluid is too viscous, they have put her on antibiotics for a fortnight to see if that helps and they can try again.

It is all very worrying,

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Up to the Gills

For the first time in its twenty-five year history Jermyn Street Theatre is able to announce a full year of programming. Artistic Director Tom Littler, today reveals the full 2020 Season, with an array of work that ranges from world premieres to rare revivals, theatre legends to new talent and literary classics to new writing.
Highlights include the world premiere of a new play by Peter Gill directed by the author, alongside Gill's new version of Three Sisters; a triple bill of Samuel Beckett plays directed by Trevor Nunn; and Michael Pennington playing Prospero in The Tempest in a partnership with Theatre Royal Bath.
Beth and I are meeting Peter on Friday. Herewith the skinny on next year's productions at Jermyn Street for your diaries.

THREE SISTERS
By Anton Chekhov
New version by Peter Gill
Directed by Tom Littler
World Premiere
9 September - 3 October 2020 (press performance - 11 September 2020).

SOMETHING IN THE AIR
By Peter Gill
Co-directed by Peter Gill and Alice Hamilton
World Premiere
7 - 31 October 2020 (press performance - 9 October 2020).
The autumn opens with two world premieres by the celebrated playwright and director Peter Gill (The York Realist). The first is his new version of Chekhov's Three Sisters directed by Tom Littler. Gill has previously adapted Chekhov's The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, and The Cherry Orchard. This is followed by Gill's new play Something in the Air, a play about love and memory set in London, co-directed by Gill and Alice Hamilton.
Peter Gill said: "I am delighted to be co-directing my new play Something in the Air with Alice Hamilton, and - because Chekhov has always been a big influence on my work as a director and a writer - that my new version of Three Sisters will open in such an intimate studio."

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The Blog of Dominic Cummings Aged 13 3/4

I think that the enduring image that I will have of this government is from a video on the television news a few days ago.

A chauffeured car pulled up outside No 10. Boris Johnson got out on the roadside and walked around the back of the vehicle with his shirttails hanging out over his backside.

Dominic Cummings got out on to the pavement, walked confidently towards the famous front door, and then turned around and went back for the documents he had accidentally left behind on the back seat.

Can we really be in safe hands with this pair?

You can read Dominic Cummings blog at https://dominiccummings.com/ if you find yourself at a loose end.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Carré on regardless

Rhys Carré, who came on for Wales in the Rugby World Cup quarter final win over France yesterday, used to coach my nephew Seb's junior age group rugby side at St Joseph's.

That is the whole story so far but - as I only found out yesterday - I haven't really done much work on embellishing it yet.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Tell me. Do you spend time with your family?

I woke up in Cardiff after seeing mum in hospital and i am off to my brother's shortly to watch the Wales France World Cup quarter final with him and three of my nephews.

I will go and see Dad later.

I am giving my niece a lift back to London later theis afternoon as she is staying with me for a week while she is on a course at the National Youth Theatre.
You can choose your friends but you sho' can't choose your family, an' they're still kin to you no matter whether you acknowledge 'em or not, and it makes you look right silly when you don't.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Music Planet

Music Planet on BBC Radio 3 was my audio discovery on today's trip down the M4 to see mum in hospital.
The best roots-based music from across the world - with live sessions from the biggest international names and the freshest emerging talent, classic tracks and new releases.
I am back from Llandough now and listening to the show's World Mix with a glass of wine in my hand.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Yesterday

Yesterday: My mum was admitted to University Hospital Llandough. I will go and see her tomorrow.

Yesterday: I went to see Lungs and the Old Vic. Review: If you want to write an essay write an essay; if you want to write a play write a play.

Yesterday: I worked out what was wrong with my Hive system hub (passim). The cleaners had dislodged the power plug. I pushed it back in again. Society's subsidization of my three year engineering degree was a shrewd social investment.
Oh, such are the dreams of the everyday housewife
You see everywhere any time of the day
An everyday housewife who gave up the good life for me

Thursday, October 17, 2019

not single spies, but in battalions

Almost certainly because I have a guest next week, the house infrastructure has started playing up.

The Hive hub is offline: https://www.hivehome.com/in-app/hubs-not-talking. Luckily though the heating and hot water seems still to be working on its set up schedule.

There's a very slow leak into the bathroom toilet. It looks to me like the float valve is wearing out. Swapping that looks a bit above my pay grade, perhaps I had better get Silver Saints on the job.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

On the mend


Callum got two for England U21s last night. The second one was something else. I think we can say he has recovered from his injury.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Isn't it that he talks to animals?



The film's not out until next year, but we can already see a trailer for Robert Downey Junior's Dolittle. Do my ears deceive me or has he adopted a Welsh accent for it?

"Uncle Simon" was the second unit director on the movie, and I remember he sent Ollie a photo when they were filming on the Menai Suspension Bridge in Wales last summer. I don't know if that relates to his choice of voice but it does go to show how long big productions take to make.

Monday, October 14, 2019

St John Henry Newman

James Joyce
"Nobody has written English that can be compared with Newman's cloistered silver veined prose."
Discuss. I've not read any myself.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

One to watch

It is the last day of the Wimbledon Bookfest today. We use Spektrix for the ticketing on it.
This month, Spektrix CEO and co-founder Michael Nabarro has been named ‘One to Watch’ as part of the LDC Top 50 Most Ambitious Business Leaders programme. Supported by The Telegraph and part of Lloyds Bank’s business division, the programme aims to uncover and celebrate the leaders of the UK’s most exciting modern businesses.
Michael studied Computer Science at the University of Cambridge and became General Manager of the ADC Theatre in Cambridge, before spending a year studying stage electrics and lighting design at RADA. He then began work as a freelance lighting designer, at the same time combining his expertise in technology and the arts to create the system that would become Spektrix. Twelve years later the company’s mission – to help entertainment organisations to engage and deepen relationships with the broadest range of audiences – remains unchanged, even as it has grown into a market leader working with over 400 successful arts organisations in the UK and North America.
Read the whole thing .......
That CV sounds incredibly eccentric until you realise it is ideal for what he has ended up doing.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

When the Levies didn't break

I was intrigued by the Tweet above especially in light of my earlier post about Iraqi war graves (passim).

Wikipedia
The Anglo–Iraqi War (2–31 May 1941) was a British-led Allied military campaign against Iraq under Rashid Ali, who had seized power during the Second World War with assistance from Germany and Italy. The campaign resulted in the downfall of Ali's government, the re-occupation of Iraq by the British Empire, and the return to power of the Regent of Iraq, Prince 'Abd al-Ilah, an ally to imperial Britain.
I didn't have a clue about this.

Read all about the Iraq Levies here in Wikipedia.
The Levies distinguished themselves in May 1941 during the Anglo-Iraqi War and were also used in other theatres of the Second World War after 1942. The force thereafter grew and survived until it was disbanded in May 1955.
It seems to me that the force mostly consisted if Iraqi minority ethnic groups, that we mostly abandoned to ISIS a scant sixty years later. Shame on us.

Friday, October 11, 2019

President Trump: "The Hardest Thing I Have to Do"


President Trump spoke at the White House today saying that the hardest thing he has to do is sign letters to the families of fallen soldiers. Trump went on to share stories of mourning with families of fallen soldiers and his visit with wounded warriors.
I've got no reason to think this is insincere, so I thought I would post it this morning. I jumped in with everyone else taking the mickey about the president pulling his troops back out of the way of the Turks yesterday (passim).

Maybe we should think about committing some of our forces before we cast aspersions, or perhaps take responsibility for the British ISIS fighters that the Kurds have drawn the short card on keeping in custody?

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Trump Assures Kurds There Will One Day Be Very Nice Tree Planted In D.C. Commemorating Their Deaths

The Onion
WASHINGTON—Amid backlash for abandoning an ally that has been crucial in the fight against ISIS, President Donald Trump assured the Kurds Wednesday that there will one day be a very nice tree planted in Washington, D.C. commemorating their deaths. “Our Kurdish allies should rest assured that, despite the fact that U.S. troops will no longer provide them with military support, at some point in the future there will be a very good tree with branches, leaves, and bark memorializing their untimely and very brutal demise,” said Trump, promising that even if there wasn’t a plaque or anything denoting that the tree was intended as a tribute to the slaughter of Kurdish fighters and civilians, visitors would probably leave “flowers or little stuffed bears” to let others know that it was a sad tree. “You have my firm commitment that in 30 or 40 years, any tourist who happens to stumble upon the tree in a small park off K Street might think about how you were massacred for a second or two. And even if we forget which tree is actually the Kurd Tree, trust me when I say that it will be there somewhere.” At press time, Trump had given Turkey latitude to launch air strikes on the Kurd Tree if they felt it necessary for their national interest.
George H W Bush encouraged the Kurds to rise up against Saddam in 1991 after the Gulf War and then abandoned them. "We have no friends but the mountains" is a saying of theirs with which I sympathise.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao



No names, no pack drill but I think this video may turn out to be significant; getting my retaliation in first.

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Quiz on my face

We won the quiz at the Antelope last night, but then again we same-old-same-old win it often.

What I want to record for posterity though is that Andy Tea was there (sans walking stick and looking well) less than three months after his open heart surgery (Icons pasim).

Monday, October 07, 2019

Life in Cardiff is wonderful

Lin-Manuel Miranda, best known as the composer, lyricist and original star of the multi-award-winning Broadway musical Hamilton, was on Desert Island Discs this weekend.

Thirty four minutes and forty five seconds in to https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m00092wm  he waxes lyrical about his love of Cardiff where he is living filming His Dark Materials.

I didn't see that one coming.

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Though the mills of God grind slowly; Yet they grind exceeding small;

Guardian
Celsa admits safety failures over two deaths at Cardiff steelworks
A steel company which has admitted health and safety failures over the deaths of two workers who were killed in an explosion at a plant in Cardiff could be fined up to £1.5m.
Engineers Peter O’Brien, 51, and Mark Sim, 41, died when a blast ripped through the Celsa Manufacturing plant. Another man was seriously injured in the explosion at the plant, in the Splott area, in November 2015.
Judge Neil Bidder told the court an automatic shut-off failed to activate after hot oil used to lubricate steel rollers surpassed normal temperatures. Workers did not manually shut down the system because an alarm that would have notified them of the danger had also malfunctioned.

The judge said: “The oil ignited and reached flash point … it caused a terrible explosion. The company has pleaded guilty to having failed to make suitable risk assessments. Had they made the assessments this accident would not have occurred.
Peter O'Brien was Bernard's brother. This has taken near enough four years to come to court (see Icons passim). That is a long time for the family to wait.
A statement from O’Brien’s wife, Marie, and their six children, released after their deaths, said: “Dad was a kind, gentle and funny man who loved the simple things in life … He took a major role as a member of the church and local community, through the 27 years of marriage he and Mum have spent time running Christ the King Junior Club, he was involved in rugby coaching at his children’s primary school for many years and loved his role as Confirmation Catechist at Christ the King parish church.

Friday, October 04, 2019

Read the Operation Midland report in full



Thursday, October 03, 2019

S3 Ep4: Peter Gill talks to Simon Stephens

“There are a handful of figures in the history of the Royal Court Theatre that define the place. They carved the path that, whether they are aware of it or not every artist that has worked here after them is attempting to travel down. One of that handful is the Welsh actor, director and playwright Peter Gill.
Born in Cardiff in 1939, Gill came to London in his late teens and got work here at the Royal Court as an assistant director. He worked with those figures who established the theatre in its first decade. He worked with George Devine, Lindsey Anderson and Tony Richardson. He worked as a stage assistant with a Anthony Hopkins on the touring production of Look Back In Anger. He auditioned for Ann Jellicoe. He established his name as a director at the Court towards the end of the sixties when his seminal productions of DH Lawrence’s trilogy of plays established Lawrence as firmly as a dramatist as he was known as a novelist and prose writer.
Gill’s first plays were written in the same decade. They are amongst my favourite plays in post war British theatre. The formal inventiveness, compassion, honesty and linguistic poise of Small Change, Kick for Touch, Cardiff East and The York Realist slay me quite completely. I once earned what I can only describe as a hard stare from Guardian theatre critic Michael Billington when I told him that I considered Gill’s debut play The Sleepers Den to be as striking as its contemporaries, Edward Bond’s Saved and Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming.
Gill established the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith in 1976. He made the place one of the cornerstones of exploration and energy in London’s theatrical culture. His many landmark productions as director there included the still celebrated startling opening production of his own version of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard and, at the start of the 80s he moved to become an Associate at the National Theatre where, in 1984, he established the National Theatre studio. The Studio became and remains a hothouse of exploration and invention for the leading theatre artists of its time. There are few if any buildings or institutions more fundamental to the last forty years of British theatre.
He has directed nearly a hundred productions across the UK and North American and continental Europe. He has directed Shakespeare and Sophocles, Turgenev, Pinter and Sam Shepherd.
This podcast is well worth a listen. Peter's mother, Margaret Mary (née Browne) Gill, was my father's aunt, with any luck I will be squaring the circle my introducing him to my actress niece soon.

https://royalcourttheatre.com/podcast/s3-ep4-peter-gill-talks-to-simon-stephens/

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

The Handbook of Hymen

BBC
Si: It’s one of those iconic motorcycle trips - we just got round to doing it as it’s such a great time to discover the United States of America, because of the huge changes that have gone on. It’s a good time to actually see what the States is about now. Route 66 has got historical status now, so there’s been a certain shift in the American psyche towards 66. It’s the mother road, it’s the most important road historically, in modern history anyway. It seemed an opportune moment to go and do it.
Dave: Over the years we’ve both visited America on east coast and the west coast. Obviously we know about Route 66, but there are thousands of miles of unchartered territory - there was a migratory route that really is the heart of America, real America, so it was something we wanted to do.
I couldn’t really picture what was there and it was a long time coming, it was quite difficult to film, as you need to look quite hard off Route 66 to find stuff: we didn’t want to go to just diners and drive-ins and eat burgers all the time. We wanted to get to the heart of America and the people.
Si: Route 66 is so important in terms of social history, in terms of it being a migrant route, it being an immigration route heading west towards California for fame and fortune and more prosperity. And all of that social history is the stock and trade of Dave and I, quite apart from the food.
Dave: We both reread John Steinbeck The Grapes Of Wrath, which is the story of that migration across America. It’s kind of the story of what created America. The modern America that we know today owes an awful lot to Route 66. But within that, we went back to the basics of Native American people, the trail of tears, where Cherokee people were taken from their land - all of that links to Route 66 and the migration. It took us a while to realise the depth of culture and history that was there, and that was what we really wanted to explore.
The weather was so horrible last night that I just stayed in and improved my mind with episodes 2 and 3 of the Hairy Bikers: Route 66. You'd imagine from first tabloid principles that this pair would drive me nuts,  but I am always astonished and impressed by how much history and social commentary they manage to sneak into their shows.
What road trip would you love to do next?
Dave: I’d love to motorcycle right across Russia. We’ve filmed in St. Petersburg, and I got quite used to the Georgian food. I went back to Russia after we filmed there a few years ago and Georgian food and Georgian wine is beautiful. That’s in the far west of Russia. But I think you can go all the way across to Korea and China - can you imagine what’s to be found there? A little bit like in America, a big expanse that we know very little about. We know even less about that expanse in Russia. However practical that is I don’t know, but that would be my dream.
Si: I’d quite like to do the ‘stans, all of the ‘stans - because I know absolutely nothing about them. Apparently they are incredible. I don’t know about the food… I was looking at the map the other day and there are quote a lot of ‘stans. All of which used to be a part of Russia, a part of China, or whatever… remarkable.
I think that they will need more than six episodes to do all of Eurasia, but I am up for it even if it turns out to be an heroic failure.

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

World War Two graves of Allied dead restored in Iraq

BBC
Nearly 200 damaged World War Two graves in the Iraqi desert have been restored after decades of conflict prevented their upkeep.
.....
Since 1990 war and political instability in the country meant that it was unsafe for staff at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to manage the site.
Safety concerns led to the CWGC placing its operations in the country on hold for decades, save for brief periods where repairs were possible.
......
The CWGC maintains 23,000 memorial and cemetery sites around the world, helping to commemorate 1.7 million Commonwealth war dead.
Iraq represents its fifth largest commitment, where 51,000 casualties from World War One and 3,000 from World War Two are commemorated.
We lost 51,000 in Iraq in World War One. I didn't have a clue!

I imagine https://www.cwgc.org/ makes sobering reading

Monday, September 30, 2019

Nineteen

Ben is nineteen today.
In World War II the average age of the combat soldier was twenty-six
In Vietnam he was nineteen
Further random information;  guitarist Wendy Melvoin was nineteen when she made her live debut with Prince and the Revolution at the First Avenue nightclub in Minneapolis on August 3, 1983 and played the famous guitar intro to Purple Rain. The version that was released is actually that live performance with some overdubs and edits.

You can do a lot at nineteen.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

suddenly steerless, bereft of will

Wales versus Australia in the Rugby World Cup kicks off at quarter to nine this morning, so the plan is to trundle along to the Charles Holden at half past eight and watch the game over a breakfast and a Guinness or two.

I fully intend to take my kit bag with me and trot along to the gym after, then perhaps to the office for a couple of hours, followed by music on the bandstand at Abbey Mills.

I can't entirely rule out the possibility though that I will just go home (with supplies from the off license) tune in to the channel 5 USA and veg out for the rest of the day on:

10:50 Columbo: Any Old Port in a Storm
12:50 Columbo: Swan Song
14:55 Columbo: Troubled Waters
17:00 Columbo: Murder - A Self Portrait
19:00 Columbo: It's All In The Game


Saturday, September 28, 2019

Me and Bobby DeeBee

I bounded out of the house at eight this morning on my way, so I thought, to my 590th yoga session but it wasn't to be. As soon as I moved off it was clear that the car's front nearside tyre was flat.

I pulled over, had a look under the carpet in the boot and found one of those dodgy "space saver" spares that you can't do more than 50mph on, along with a jack and a wheel brace. My heart sank as I imagined the struggle of changing it by hand only to have to drive it to a garage where they would change it again and fit a kosher tyre.

Luckily then I half-remembered a tyre shop in the high street. I walked round and found I wasn't imagining it. There - large as life was Dee Bee Tyres & MOT, though it didn't open until 8:30. I nursed a flat white (to go with my flat tye) at Coffee in the Wood before wandering back at half past. The guys there advised me to inch the car around to theirs with my hazard lights on, then sorted me out in minutes.

One day I hope to be looked at with as much awe, love and gratitude as I bestowed on them today.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Shady's back, tell a friend



Grauniard
The biggest cheer of the night was reserved for the moment when Callum Hudson-Odoi wriggled into the Grimsby area in the 89th minute, checked inside, swerved to the left and cracked a low shot past James McKeown’s despairing dive. It was a fine way for the 18-year-old to celebrate his new five-year deal and the latest in a growing list of reasons for Frank Lampard to give thanks to Chelsea’s flourishing academy.
Six months on from his injury (Icons passim), Callum's well and truly back. Click the title above and then click the title on that page. The blog has been about him on 27 September for the last two years.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

My old man

Man killed in industrial accident at Tata steelworks in Port Talbot
A worker has been killed in an industrial accident at the Tata steelworks in Port Talbot .
Emergency services - including the air ambulance - were called to the steelworks at around 2pm on Wednesday to reports of a person needing urgent medical attention.
No-one was taken to hospital but a young man has been killed.
When my dad was in his forensic-consulting-engineer pomp, I have very little doubt that he would have been asked to represent someone in the inevitable case that will arise from this Port Talbot horror story. Regardless of who engaged him, he would write the same neutral and unflinching report. Both the prosecution and defence would try and get him on board, but his own arbitrary but fair (damn the torpedoes) rule was that he would work for which ever of them managed to call him first.

When I saw him this week I had to explain the purpose of a paper handkerchief; when I wrote about it I wasn't taking the mickey.

All the best, mate, from your son
All the best, mate, from your son
My old man
My old man

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

In a tube of fennel, as you may remember



The speech our Prime Minister made to the UN before hurrying home to deal with the unpleasant matter of the Supreme Court. a few quotes perhaps?
“In the future, voice connectivity will be in every room and almost every object: your mattress will monitor your nightmares; your fridge will beep for more cheese.”
“A future Alexa will pretend to take orders. But this Alexa will be watching you, clucking her tongue and stamping her foot.”
“You may keep secrets from your friends, from your parents, your children, your doctor – even your personal trainer – but it takes real effort to conceal your thoughts from Google.”
“AI – what will it mean? Helpful robots washing and caring for an ageing population? Or pink-eyed terminators sent back from the future to cull the human race?”
“What will synthetic biology stand for – restoring our livers and our eyes with miracle regeneration of the tissues, like some fantastic hangover cure? Or will it bring terrifying limbless chickens to our tables?”
“When Prometheus brought fire to mankind. In a tube of fennel, as you may remember, that Zeus punished him by chaining him to a Tartarean crag while his liver was pecked out by an eagle. And every time his liver regrew the eagle came back and pecked it again. And this went on forever – a bit like the experience of Brexit in the UK, if some of our parliamentarians had their way.”
Words fail me.

(I imagine this is the first time I have embedded a video from the Sun, but it was the fist example of the whole thing I could find.)

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Be ye never so high, the law is above you

My regular reader will know that I was out last night watching The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer at the BFI.

It was just as good as I had hoped and half-remembered, and couldn't have been more apposite on the eve of a day when our Supreme Court would rule that Prime MInister Boris Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament was unlawful.

The director Kevin Billington, who was interviewed as an introduction to his film, was born on June 12, 1934 which means he is 85 and about three months younger than my father. His answers to questions were witty and generous and his recollections of fifty years ago seemed acute. When the movie started he skipped up a few stairs to row C (my row as well) plonked himself down next to his Mrs and gratefully accepted a glass of white wine from her. When I interviewed my dad today, he thought a paper tissue was a map of Hungary.

Monday, September 23, 2019

ImageNet Roulette

ImageNet Roulette is a provocation designed to help us see into the ways that humans are classified in machine learning systems. It uses a neural network trained on the “Person” categories from the ImageNet dataset which has over 2,500 labels used to classify images of people.
Warning: ImageNet Roulette regularly returns racist, misogynistic and cruel results.
That is because of the underlying data set it is drawing on, which is ImageNet's 'Person' categories. ImageNet is one of the most influential training sets in AI. This is a tool designed to show some of the underlying problems with how AI is classifying people.

UPDATE: IMAGENET ROULETTE HAS ACHIEVED ITS GOALS

Starting Friday, September 27th this application will no longer be available online.
I am 100% behind ImageNet Roulette because I have long agreed that deep learning AI as it exists today is, to all intents and purposes, a technique for amplifying and embedding prejudice.

I say this despite its accurate estimation of me when I tied it in to my webcam as:
person, individual, someone, somebody, mortal, soul > creator > artist, creative person > musician > composer > songwriter, songster, ballad maker

One the money I am sure you will agree. You have until Friday to try it out for yourself.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

OMD OMG

Just like last Saturday I heard new music on the radio as I made my way back from yoga yesterday. This time it was Don't Go the new Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark single, and for three minutes thirty I was young again.

It also gives me a chance to air once more, the world's funniest Joke.
Did you hear about the falconer who only ever did house work after the sun had set? Or kestrel man hoovers in the dark.
Ba-dum-tish. Goodnight folks, I'm here all week!




Saturday, September 21, 2019

On any given night, anything can happen



My brother is up for Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. I have all sorts of plans. Whether they come to fruition is a different matter.

Friday, September 20, 2019

THR-II



Yamaha may have just perfected the desktop amp with the all-new THR-II series.

Maybe you could all club together and get it for me as a combined Christmas and birthday present.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

The Man Who Rose Without Trace

As long ago as February 2007 (Icons passim), I wrote about the 1970 movie The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer and how it was eerily prescient about the Blair era in British politics.

Even though I have only seen it once, on the telly decades ago, the Boris Johnson circus brings it to mind all the time now over twelve years later.

I googled it in just such a reverie yesterday and found that it is playing in the BFI, with an intro by director Kevin Billington, at twenty past six on Monday.

That then is where I will be. The Antelope pub quiz team will have to struggle on without me.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The future is a foreign country: they do things differently there



I went to Big Tech and the Future of Democracy at the RSA last night.
Roger McNamee was the ultimate Silicon Valley insider. A long-time tech evangelist and legendary investor, he had been an early Facebook shareholder and advisor to its founder, Mark Zuckerberg.
But from early 2016, his concerns about the company’s business model, culture and priorities became ever graver, leading to a crusading new role that turned him from fervent champion to fierce critic. In the years since, as tech-driven scandal and crisis has hit countries from the US to the UK, from Sri Lanka to Brazil, McNamee has become a leading light in the fight against the existential threats posed by Facebook and the big tech giants to our privacy, democracy and public health.
It was very convincing (and an lot more nuanced than I was expecting). I've added his book Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe, to my - admittedly long - reading list.

It was strange to be there on a day when Facebook announced a Supreme Court. There's also an upcoming Facebook currency called Libra.  That doesn't leave many boxes to tick before Facebook becomes its own country.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Greek to me

I would have been tempted by this if I'd known about it earlier. It would be a simple trip up the Northern line the Embankment as far as I can tell.

Monday, September 16, 2019

JImmy Rodgers on the Victrola up high


In 1933, the US country music pioneer Jimmie Rodgers died of tuberculosis. Just 35 years old and at the peak of his career, his demise left a legacy of a life and career unfinished. This instalment from the US animator Drew Christie’s Drawn & Recorded series, which tells little-known stories from the annals of modern music history, recounts the improbable story of how, in death, Rodgers would go on to inspire not just luminaries of American music, but also the Kipsigis peoples of the Rift Valley in Kenya.
Drawn & Recorded tells the stories that fell through the floorboards of music history and brings them to the light of day via unique, hand-drawn animation and the raspy, baritone voice of T-Bone Burnett. Sometimes hilarious, occasionally tragic, always compelling - these anecdotes show a side of people behind the melodies that you may never have known. Darned if I can work out how to watch the series though. Any ideas?

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Don't hate the iPlayer hate the game

A week or so ago I gave you Cardiff's Jim Driscoll and Bruce Lee. Last Wednesday, S4C (the Welsh Channel 4) showed a documentary Jim Driscoll: Meistr y Sgwâr (Master of the Square).

I don't know quite how, but S4C's programmes are on the BBC iPlayer, so I watched it with subtitles yesterday on https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p03ftv5r/jim-driscoll-meistr-y-sgwar where it will be available for another 26 days.

27 minutes in, when discussing Driscoll's famous fight with Abe Attell in New York, we learn that:
The sheriff turned journalist Bat Masterson, Marshall of Dodge City and once deputy to Wyatt Earp declared to the crowd, "If I was asked to name this performance, I would call it peerless. So I give you Peerless Jim Driscoll."
So that's how he got the nickname was have always known him by. Could it get any better?

24 minutes in we get:
Kitty Flynn was one of Jim's great nieces. She ran the Royal Oak pub in Cardiff which became a shrine to Driscoll's memory.
Which is where the story started for me.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

On the Laish



As a rule I don't do twee, but I heard the new-to-me song University by the new-to-me band Laish via Absolute Radio's Frank Skinner show as I was on my way back from yoga this morning and thought it was rather sweet. Perhaps "on my back from yoga"  is the key. After a bad day at work the same track could well have reduced me to teeth grinding outrage.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Postmodern Jukebox



Prodnose: Most people don't notice the clown.

Myself: What do you mean, "most people don't notice the clown"? The guy is about eight feet tall, in white clown makeup and costume.

Prodnose: Inattentional blindness, also known as perceptual blindness, is an event where the effected person doesn't see new and unexpected things that suddenly appear within their visual field. This phenomenon is believed to be a side-effect of excessive stimuli in the visual field (too many things to keep track of at the same time) and can cause a person to miss important, but unexpected, items in their vicinity.

Myself: I can see the clown already! Who are you today? Jordan bleedin' Peterson? Can't we just take moment simply to recognize the fact that we now live in a culture where a small band with a clown in a suburban house can get 7 million YouTube views and it is in no way considered odd.

Prodnose: Habituation is a form of non-associative learning in which an innate (non-reinforced) response to a stimulus decreases after repeated or prolonged presentations of that stimulus.

Myself: And we'll never be royals......

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Entente Cordiale

Both the French and British courts handed down important rulings yesterday.

Metropolitan
BORIS JOHNSON is facing furious demands for the immediate recall of MPs to Westminster after the suspension of parliament was ruled unlawful by Scotland’s highest civil court.
In a dramatic judgment, the Court of Session in Edinburgh found ministers had stopped MPs from sitting for the ‘improper purpose of stymying parliament’.
It said advice given by ministers to the Queen which led to the five-week prorogation was therefore ‘unlawful and is thus null and of no effect’.
The government immediately announced it was lodging an appeal against the ruling with the Supreme Court, with a hearing set for Tuesday.
Métrosexuel
A MARRIED man who died of a heart attack after having sex with a ‘complete stranger’ he met on a business trip was the victim of a ‘workplace accident’, a French court has ruled.
Mr Xavier — as he was referred to in court — had been posted to the Loiret département in central France by his bosses at railway construction company TSO when he met a local woman on a night out.
The health and safety officer, whose surname was not given, went back to the woman’s house and they had sex.
At about 10pm on February 22, 2013, he was found unconscious at her home, with police concluding he had suffered a cardiac arrest.
The appeal court in Paris has now backed a ruling made at the time that the death was an ‘accident du travail’, entitling Mr Xavier’s family to benefits from both his employers and the state.
You might very well think that; I couldn't possibly comment.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Counterintuitive

In better off countries like the Bahamas I would think twice about giving money in response to a natural disaster. Although the Red Cross movement is generally your best best in such countries, I *would not* suggest supporting the American Red Cross. The Bahamian Red Cross or perhaps the IFRC would be a better bet. Odds are though that the BRC has all the money it needs in the short term and although some funds will be needed in the longer term recovery they will probably put quite a bit into core funds.
The text above is the meat of this Facebook post by Brendan Paddy. (I am too dim it appears this morning to work out how to embed it.)

Back in 2010 (Icons passim) when I was helping out with the Disasters Emergency Committee Haiti Appeal, Brendan was their Director of Communications. In short he knows his onions. I'm not qualified to have an opinion, but I will pass his on.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Who is the Speaker and why does he shout order?



We couldn't get a quorum for the pub quiz last night, so I fell back down the rabbit hole of the BBC Parliament channel as the House itself recursively fell down the rabbit hole of prorogation.

When I told my friend Rebecca over the weekend about my strange new hobby she told me that one of her boys (Charley or Harry? I can't remember) has been watching it too. I messaged her last night to say that I had fallen off the wagon again, but knew that at least one other person in the world might be with me and she replied with this article from the Grauniard.
BBC Parliament: the ratings hit that's Big Brother meets 24 – with added Bercow
As our politics has become a perpetual bin fire, the wonks’ TV channel has attracted record viewers. Can it replace reality TV in the nation’s heart?
Last Tuesday (the first evening I sacrificed on this peculiar video altar) it turns out I was only one among a million and a half viewers.

Monday, September 09, 2019

Class Act


Dan Biggar against Ireland this weekend tells the referee not to bother with the TMO as he didn't ground the ball. Class act.

Speaking of class acts I was disappointed to see Nigel Owens go off injured in the Cardiff Pontypool game. Just by setting the example of refereeing with a smile on his face, he has transformed mini-rugby. When Ben started playing at under 9s, refs always seemed very pompous, by the time he moved on to the next age-group they would usually have a laugh and joke with the spectators and do their best to keep the mood light. I think it is down to him.

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Another life

I have been linking the titles of these daily posts to last year's equivalent for a while now, so I am reminded this morning that today is the anniversary of me going back to Cardiff because mum had broken her hip. Neither she nor dad has been able to live in Bronwydd Avenue since.

I've been going back every four weeks since she fell down the stairs and broke her arm before that. The same blog time machine technique gives me this link, which in turn shows me that first accident was fifty months (over four years) ago.

I don't have any great conclusion or insight. It just wears me out.

Saturday, September 07, 2019

From the Plaza to the Monico

How old would my posse and I have been when Enter the Dragon was released? It has been on my mind since yesterday's post.

I can remember we all bowled up to the Plaza in North Road one afternoon to try and see it, but - unable to convince the concierge we were 18 - couldn't get in. What would be have been? 13 or 14?

After that, we second-bested over to the Monico in Rhiwbina and saw The Day of the Jackal.

I have a very clear memory of the Monico's manager locking all our weaponry (catapults, sheath knives etc.) in his office for the duration and parcelling it back out again at the end of the show.

Police and social services would probably be called today if a "gang" turned up at the Odeon packing that sort of heat.

(Both Cardiff's Plaza and Monico cinemas are long gone I am sorry to say.)

Friday, September 06, 2019

Knowing is not enough, we must apply.



Take a look at the video above. Just over five minutes in (where I have teed it up, just press play) Cardiff's own Jim Driscoll (Icons passim) is revealed a a huge influence on, and hero of, Bruce Lee.

My cup overfloweth.

Dharma transmission vehicle: The Straight Left and How to Cultivate It.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

the mother of parliaments



I have been pretty much glued to the debates over the last couple of days as the House has bloodied Boris Johnson's nose.

You can get the Parliament channel on YouTube (above), the BBC iPlayer, and on Freeview Channel 232.

I found the early courteous exchanges, when the chamber was half empty and MPs "gave way" to each other much more impressive than the bear-bating finales.

Yesterday, Ken Clarke and Bill Cash (both 79 and in opposite Brexit camps) were by far the best briefed and most eloquent speakers.

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

It could be worse; he could be from St Peter's



While we are all giving it up for Rhys Carre, let's not forget Leon Brown another current Welsh international prop from, what it is looking like we must call, St Joe's conveyor belt.

Yellow carded against Ireland last Saturday and then omitted from the World Cup 31. That must be hard.

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Inna De Yard



I am off to see this in the Clapham Picturehouse (a venue I don't get to enough) on Thursday.

Memories of Jake's and Perry Henzell will no doubt ensue.

Monday, September 02, 2019

Bolter

WALES WORLD CUP 31-MAN SQUAD:
Back three
Liam Williams, George North, Josh Adams, Leigh Halfpenny, Hallam Amos
Centres
Hadleigh Parkes, Jonathan Davies, Owen Watkin
Outside-half
Dan Biggar, Rhys Patchell
Srum-halves
Gareth Davies, Aled Davies, Tomos Williams
Props
Nicky Smith, Wyn Jones, Rhys Carre, Tomas Francis, Dillon Lewis
Hookers
Ken Owens, Elliot Dee, Ryan Elias
Second row
Alun Wyn Jones, Adam Beard, Cory Hill, Jake Ball
Back row
Josh Navidi, Aaron Wainwright, Ross Moriarty, Aaron Shingler, Justin Tipuric, James Davies.
The real surprise here is Rhys Carre who has only started four professional matches in his career. I am made up though because he started his rugby at St Joseph's in Cardiff.