Sunday, March 31, 2019

Mothers' Day

I had a video chat with Mum at Ty Enfys yesterday over WhatsApp courtesy of John's phone, the home's wi-fi, and my phone and wi-fi.

It strikes me that if I get her an Echo Show, I (and siblings) will be able to talk to her (and she to me and siblings) at any time via drop in.

What do we think? The Google Home Hub is a nominal alternative but I don't have any experience with it.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Will the circle be unbroken?

Marcus has been interviewing Peter Gill. I know not why. I thought I was the only connection between them. It is like my life is going on without me.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do. I'll go. I'll stay.

Did you ever get the feeling that you wanted to go,
But still had the feeling that you wanted to stay,
You knew it was right, wasn't wrong.
Still you knew you wouldn't be very long.
Go or stay, stay or go,
Start to go again and change your mind again.
It's hard to have the feeling that you wanted to go,
But still have the feeling that you wanted to stay.
Do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do.
I'll go.
I'll stay.

Two years and nine months ago, we voted Out and March 29, 2019, was to be Independence Day when we left the EU.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

The Umbrella Academy

As a rule I try the get to yoga early on Thursday mornings. Today I spent 6:30 to 7:30 watching the first episode of The Umbrella Academy on Netflix instead. I just can't seem to summon up the moxie to get to an early morning class unless I am committed to giving someone else a lift, or I know a reciprocal lift-giver will be knocking on my door. Kevin's binning of Thursday mornings as a protest at the ninety minute Bikram being cut down to an hour has hit me hard.

That said, I can see why people have been recommending the show I watched instead of banging out my asanas this morning. I forbid you, however, from discussing it with me until I have caught up with the remaining nine episodes.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Need to no basis in fact

Prodnose (not for the first time):: This is one of these secret message things I suppose, intelligible to a select coterie, possibly resonant for you when revisited in some tranquil future, yet opaque to the great unwashed, and breaching no confidentiality agreements?

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

"Out of all the unimportant things, football is the most important" said St. John Paul II

Remember last Saturday's opinion "every time I think I have written enough about Callum something else amazing happens"?

Something else amazing happened, last night Callum started and played 90 minutes as England beat Montenegro 5-1.

I refer you to the Grauniard:
Callum Hudson-Odoi dazzles in the limelight on his first England start
The Chelsea teenager was unplayable at times against Montenegro – England have yet another gem on their hands.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Zero Waste Shop

"We believe that with a little help everyone can consume more responsibly. So we decided to create Zéro, an independent shop dedicated to the zero waste lifestyle. All our products are sold in bulk or without disposable packaging and come from organic or fair-trade farming and where possible from local producers."

- Alicia & Josh, Zéro founders
The Zero Waste Shop has opened under my office in Zeenat's old Vanity Hairdresser's premises. I bough some sun-dried tomatoes and olive oil there yesterday and wish them all the best.

Sunday, March 24, 2019


When we were skiing a couple of weeks ago, Dommy and I used to pick up a a fifth of a litre of Klasik Slivka each morning, which would generally last the day as a pick-me-up during the longueurs of chair lift journeys.

Slivka (or Slivovice or Plum brandy) is apparently the most traditional Slovakian drink and I have identified a UK source on Amazon. Fill your boots at

I have also found - to my delight - that it is referenced in the first chapter of Bram Stoker's Dracula, "The night is chill, mein Herr, and my master the Count bade me take all care of you. There is a flask of slivovitz (the plum brandy of the country) underneath the seat, if you should require it."

That said, when the Wales-Slovakia EUFA EURO qualifier kicks off at two o'clock to today all my Slovakian sympathy will evaporate like slivka spilled in a sauna.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

'if they're good enough, they're old enough'

Remember last Tuesday's opinion "every time I think I have written enough about Callum something else amazing happens"?

Something else amazing happened, last night as England beat the Czech Republic 5-0.
Chelsea winger Hudson-Odoi was a late call-up to the squad but, after impressing in training, he was handed his first senior appearance at international level as he replaced Sterling with 20 minutes remaining.
At 18 years and 135 days, Hudson-Odoi became England's youngest debutant in competitive internationals, eclipsing Duncan Edwards' record set in 1955. With Jadon Sancho also on the pitch, it was the first time in 138 years that England had two players aged 18 years old or younger in the side.
Once more with feeling: At 18 years and 135 days, Hudson-Odoi became England's youngest debutant in competitive internationals, eclipsing Duncan Edwards' record set in 1955.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Chicken curry off the bone

If you are from Cardiff no further explanation is necessary. The years and the memories. I have to stop looking at the artist's website now or I won't get any more work done today.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

In which Theresa May finally goes barking mad (or is revealed as mad all along)

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results"

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Everything is Full of Gods

On a whim this morning, I loaded up the dishwasher, lit the blue touch paper and retired. After weeks of on-the-blinkiness it thrummed into life.

Benign neglect has come through for me yet again. With any luck the couches will now re-upholster themselves and the burned out light bulbs will summon up the energy for one last hurrah.

"Little do ye know your own blessedness; for to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive," as Robert Louis Stevenson observed, though he did add the unsporting caveat "and the true success is to labour."

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

"It's been a crazy day..."

Every time I think I have written enough about Callum something else amazing happens. Today it is a call up for the England men's senior squad.

Monday, March 18, 2019

let ill tidings tell themselves when they be felt.

Dad was admitted to the Heath hospital on Friday with chest problems and kept in overnight. It turns out he has pneumonia in his right lung. He was started on antibiotics and discharged on Saturday evening.

On Sunday the Old Ruts Colts cup run ended when they were beaten away by Bromley.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Deffrwch Cymry cysgld gwlad why gan

What a day to be Welsh yesterday was.

We watched Wales beat Ireland to win the Grand Slam in the afternoon, and then went to see Andy Fairweather Low at the Hideaway in the evening.

Andy Fairweather Low (born Ystrad Mynachwas 1948) was quite brilliant. He is appointed as 2019's third Welsh Born Icon.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Slovak presidential election

If I hadn't been in Slovakia last week I probably wouldn't take much notice of the presidential election that starts today.

Slovak liberals cross fingers for election of pro-west Zuzana Čaputová, says the Grauniard.

Friday, March 15, 2019

This one will run and run

Callum was named in the England Under-21 squad for the first time yesterday. They are playing in March against Poland and Germany.

In the evening he celebrated with a goal and an assist as Chelsea beat Kiev in the Europa League.

There doesn't seem to be any sign of this story losing steam yet.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Fill yer boots

There is a special offer on this pressure washer in Aldi this week.

It could be just the job for cleaning up my patio as spring approaches.

If you had told me when I was 17 that I would end up writing about gardening and rotating machinery I would think that you had gone off your head.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

On The Road Again

I was out of the house early this morning to drive to Leamington Spa and then Telford for work.

After that I popped down the M50 then the A40 to go an see mum and dad in Cardiff.

The picture on the left is the bar in Ty Enfys. That is how I would like to retire I think.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Dave - Streatham

YouTube "suggested" this to me today. Not out five days yet and nearly one and a half million views.

There is definitely something in the water around these parts with this music. See also

Monday, March 11, 2019

The Quiet One

We watched a movie called "The Quiet One" on Amazon Prime on the Friday evening before I disappeared skiing for the week on the Saturday.

I thought it was great so I have done a little research since I am back. It turns out that Jon Pegg who wrote and directed it is a boxing trainer as opposed to a full time artiste. Further he knocked the thing out for a budget of twenty grand; my cup overfloweth.

City boxing trainer who made a movie in a Birmingham pub scoops four awards at a film festival in Venezuela fills me with delight.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Wizz Kids

Looking at the Wizz website (where I have now set up an account), because there are only flights on Saturdays and Tuesdays, Ben and I could fly from London Luton (LTN) to Poprad-Tatry (TAT) at 16:10 Sat, 28 Dec 2019 (arriving at 19:45) and return from Poprad-Tatry (TAT) to London Luton (LTN) at 20:20 Tue, 31 Dec 2019 arriving at 21:55.

That would give us three days skiing. with the only disadvantage that it would be a close run (though not I suppose impossible) thing to get back from Luton to see in the New Year.

I will see that he thinks.

Saturday, March 09, 2019

Link blogging Jasna

Poprad-Tatry airport is near enough to Jasna to make a long weekend skiing feasible.

Here are some links I could use to "roll my own" some time. Hotel we stayed in. Justin's place lift pass airline

Friday, March 08, 2019

Happy Birthday

Dad is 85 today. If I ever get to that age, I will be ............ 85.

Thursday, March 07, 2019

I've been expecting you

Callum Hudson-Odoi: ‘I’m never nervous. I’m always ready, no matter what the game holds for me’
The most talked about teenager in the Premier League, the cover star of GAFFER Magazine: England’s Finest, speaks to Tom Kershaw about his journey to generation academy talent
This is getting ridiculous. I will not be surprised to hear next that Callum is in the frame to be the next James Bond.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Mi Casa Su Casa

I moved near to Whitton in 1986 so I have known a lot of the folk was are away with this week for a long time.

Although I knew it intellectually all the time, I have been pleased (what with Mum and Dad past their best) how many of them have reminded me over the last few days that they stayed at Bronwydd when they were down for rugby games etc. and how welcome they felt.

Chalk that up to John and Bernice.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

You know my methods Watson

I have been going skiing with essentially the same crowd for well over twenty years.

I only found out yesterday that Darren is Sean's brother.

Monday, March 04, 2019

Jasna Low Tatras

Jasna Low Tatras is an all-year mountain tourism resort, situated in the heart of Low Tatras Central Slovakia. In winter it is the largest ski area in Central Europe. The history of the resort started in the 1950s, when the first system of cableways from North of Chopok to South was built. It covers both sides of Mount Chopok - Chopok South and North. It is considered the best freeride resort in Central Europe.
Still here. Still learning.

Sunday, March 03, 2019

Nobody puts baby in the corner

I think Brendan has put on a few pounds since he and Dave last attempted the Dirty Dancing lift.

Jasná has never seen anything like it.

Saturday, March 02, 2019

Dissolution of Czechoslovakia

The Dissolution of Czechoslovakia (Czech: Rozdělení Československa, Slovak: Rozdelenie Česko-Slovenska), which took effect on 1 January 1993, was an event that saw the self-determined split of the federal state of Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, entities that had arisen before as the Czech Socialist Republic and the Slovak Socialist Republic in 1969 within the framework of a federal republic.
It is sometimes known as the Velvet Divorce, a reference to the bloodless Velvet Revolution of 1989 that led to the end of the rule of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia and the restoration of a capitalist state in the country.
Czechoslovakia is the only former socialist state to have an entirely peaceful breakup.
My italics. Fascinating stuff. It is strange that it sounds almost eccentric for two peoples to be able to split amicably without feeling the need to bomb or shoot each other.

Friday, March 01, 2019


I am leaving early tomorrow morning for a week's skiing in Slovakia.

I may maintain radio silence while I am away, but I may post the odd message here.

You will have to wait and see.