Thursday, December 31, 2020
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.I bought the Bomber an XBOX for his sixth birthday (Icons passim). All these years later he is still an XBOX man. Fourteen years ago I needed to be more involved, so his account was set up with my email address and credit card details. We have never got round to changing this.
Yesterday I got an email saying we had bought "200 Call of Duty®: Black Ops Cold War Points." As I was forwarding it on to him for information I noticed that - for the first time I think - he had overwritten the stored card details and paid with his own. A sentimental rite of passage for me.
Addendum: A while back, when it was still allowed, I was a around at Helen and Mat's in the garden. Their son came out to join us and asked his mother if he could have some thyme. I at least took it for thyme probably because he seemed to me to be heading for the row of potted herbs on the patio. A keen cook myself, I was extremely impressed. But no. He was after XBOX time. It turns out that they ration him via a phone app. Another hour was negotiated and he returned to his pit.
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
I got a heads up yesterday about Bill Gates on a Radio 4 programme called "How to vaccinate the world," so I listened to it on BBC Sounds in the evening. It was a refreshing change to hear something that wasn't glib. The Guardian leader yesterday was glib. Boris Johnson is glib. Left and right are equally guilty. William Gates III's mother obviously brought him up to chew his food thoroughly before swallowing. More power to her elbow.
I love Radio 4.
Monday, December 28, 2020
"We are ghosts or we are ancestors in our children's lives. We either lay our mistakes, our burdens upon them, and we haunt them, or we assist them in laying those old burdens down, and we free them from the chain of our own flawed behaviour. And as ancestors, we walk alongside of them, and we assist them in finding their own way."
Sunday, December 27, 2020
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen 🔰🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/G0JZ8iP9b3— Old Illtydians RFC (@OIRFC1928) December 23, 2020
Saturday, December 26, 2020
I am thinking of Dad of course, and how he explained things to me simply when I was a little boy. Today in this season I remember (somehow I remember as I was a toddler) him explaining to me that Jews were warm and generous people. So warm and generous in fact that they often volunteered to work over Christmas so that other people could have a few days off.
Just a hand on my shoulder steering me the right way.
Friday, December 25, 2020
Thursday, December 24, 2020
Former President Barack Obama continues reading from the first volume of his presidential memoirs A Promised Land, offering a unique and deeply personal account of some of the landmarks of his first term at the White House.
In today’s episode, Obama confronts one of the key issues of any current world leader - what to do about climate change. Prompted by his own experiences of a Hawaiian childhood and driven by the need to create a safer environmental future for his daughters Malia and Sasha, he refuses to be blown off course. With the Kyoto Protocol set to expire in 2012 Obama is determined to negotiate a major international climate agreement. He travels to a summit in Copenhagen but is confronted by stalemate as world leaders refuse to compromise or, in some cases, to even engage with the issue. He decides the only way forward is to engage in a spot of gate crashing with Hillary Clinton.
I listened caught the last five minutes or so of this driving back up the M4 yesterday. I don't think I have ever heard anything so self serving. "That was some real gangster shit back there"??!!
O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An' foolish notion:
What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us,
An' ev'n devotion!
Wednesday, December 23, 2020
Tuesday, December 22, 2020
Sunday, December 20, 2020
Saturday, December 19, 2020
Friday, December 18, 2020
I logged onto Facebook yesterday only to find:
Marcus Campbell Sinclair (1976-2020)
It is with much sadness that I must let you know that Marcus passed away yesterday. He courageously lived with his cancer for many years. Marcus was a unique and gifted person, who will be sorely missed.
Bad news. Much fun with Marcus over the years.
I learned from the comments on the post that he was Emperor Palpatine in the The Star Wars Exhibition at the County Hall, London back in 2007. I wish I could have told him how unimpressed Ben was with his throne (see Icons Passim). He would have laughed like a drain.
Thursday, December 17, 2020
At one minute to eight on the morning of January 29, 1928, Danny Driscoll walked to the waiting gallows in Cardiff prison.
With just seconds to go before his life ended he looked up at the sky and smiled. "Well," he said, "they've given me a nice day for it."
Outside the prison more than 5,000 men, women and children jammed Adam Street. A teenage girl led the singing of a Catholic hymn but silence when Driscoll's four brothers were led to the front of the barriers where armed police patrolled - Cardiff's underworld was rife with rumours that an attempt would be made to spring the men.
That underworld was ruled by Cardiff's fabled Forty Thieves, thugs who terrorised local race courses running protection rackets, charging bookies for supplies of chalk and sponges, and even buckets of water. You paid up. Or got cut up.
But Dai Lewis, a popular former boxer, refused to pay up. At Monmouth races on September 28, 1927, he defied the Cardiff gang led by Edward and John Rowlands - "Tich" and "Jack Tich".
A detective recalled years later that though Lewis wasn't frightened, "he was worried". So instead of going home to Ethel Street in Canton he stayed at a hotel.
That night Lewis sat in the Blue Anchor at the bottom end of St Mary Street with Driscoll and Tich Rowlands. John Rowlands and Edward "Hong Kong" Price waited in a cafe across the road. At eleven o'clock Dai Lewis walked out of the pub - and into local legend ....... read on
PG told me this story on Sunday. I had never heard of it. The Adam Street outside the prison jammed with 5,000 hymn singing protesters is the same Adam Street where Dad would be born five years later. 'Hong Kong' Price was PG's brother-in-law's grandfather.
http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/Driscoll%20and%20Rowlands.html is worth a look as well.
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
I stumbled on the Gresham College lectures on YouTube.
Gresham College is an institution of higher learning located at Barnard's Inn Hall off Holborn in Central London, England. It does not enroll students and does not award any degrees. It was founded in 1597 under the will of Sir Thomas Gresham, and it hosts over 140 free public lectures every year. Since 2001, all lectures have also been made available online.
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
Futurist cooking will be free of the old obsessions with volume and weight and will have as one of its principles the abolition of pastasciutta. Pastasciutta, however agreeable to the palate, is a passéist food because it makes people heavy, brutish, deludes them into thinking it is nutritious, makes them skeptical, slow, pessimistic… Any pastascuittist who honestly examines his conscience at the moment he ingurgitates his biquotidian pyramid of pasta will find within the gloomy satisfaction of stopping up a black hole. This voracious hole is an incurable sadness of his. He may delude himself, but nothing can fill it. Only a Futurist meal can lift his spirits. And pasta is anti-virile because a heavy, bloated stomach does not encourage physical enthusiasm for a woman, nor favour the possibility of possessing her at any time.
RAW MEAT TORN BY TRUMPET BLASTS: cut a perfect cube of beef. Pass an electric current through it, then marinate it for twenty-four hours in a mixture of rum, cognac and white vermouth. Remove it from the mixture and serve on a bed of red pepper, black pepper and snow. Each mouthful is to be chewed carefully for one minute, and each mouthful is divided from the next by vehement blasts on the trumpet blown by the eater himself.
Monday, December 14, 2020
Sunday, December 13, 2020
Pride, 86, who was the first Black member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, died in Dallas, Texas on Saturday, his publicist confirmed.
Dolly Parton and a string of celebrities took to Twitter to pay tribute to the musician.
"It’s even worse to know that he passed away from Covid-19. What a horrible, horrible virus. Charley, we will always love you.
He was lucky to get his career underway before bullshit notions like cultural appropriation got their feet under the table.
Saturday, December 12, 2020
Faravahar (Persian: فَرَوَهَر), also known as Forouhar (Persian: فُروهَر) , or Farr-e Kiyâni (فَرِّ کیانی), is one of the most well-known symbols of Iranian peoples, and Zoroastrianism, the primary religion of Iran before the Muslim conquest of Iran, and of Iranian nationalism.
Fifteen years later (see Icons passim) we're back.
Friday, December 11, 2020
Thursday, December 10, 2020
Wednesday, December 09, 2020
Ben and I went to bobochacha last night, at Helen's recommendation. It is a Pan-Asian place. We shared some dumplings to start and then both had prawn Singapore noodles. Singapore noodles are, for some reason, a sort of gold standard with me. I almost always try them to test a new place out. They didn't disappoint.
Tuesday, December 08, 2020
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has apologised to those affected by the Christchurch terror attacks as a report shed new light on how the gunman eluded detection.
The nearly 800-page Royal Commission of Inquiry report released Tuesday concluded that despite the shortcomings of various agencies, there were no clear signs the attack carried out by Brenton Tarrant was imminent.
But it did detail failings in the police system for vetting gun licenses, and said that New Zealand's intelligence agencies were focused on the threat posed by Islamic extremism rather than white supremacists.
Among 44 recommendations, the report recommended the government establishes a new national intelligence agency.
Following the report’s publication, Ms Ardern said: "The commission made no findings that these issues would have stopped the attack. But these were both failings nonetheless and for that I apologise."
Jacinda Ardern says "I" when talking about things which went wrong and "we" when talking about successes. On the face of it, perhaps, uncharitably a rhetorical gimmick. It impresses me very much though. I can tell because it has started to infuriate me when other people don't put their hands up an take responsibility. That lemon Vaughn Gething on Radio 4 this morning for example.
Monday, December 07, 2020
Auntie Nelly was the oldest. Peter, my Dad's cousin, was born in 1939. He was brought up in Tremorfa. There was an RAF camp that adjoined the house. His older brother Bernard told him that Auntie Nellie used to come round and "court" Bunny Churcher who was stationed there through the barbed wire at the bottom of the garden in the early days of the Second World War. They married but my uncle Bunny was killed in the conflict.
The two hooligans on the right are my youngest nephews. They have a little sister who is only one year old.
They are eighty years but only two generations away from Nelly. Alys may well have been born a century after her. If we were the Royal Family there would have been maybe a dozen monarchs at the most between 1066 and today.
Sunday, December 06, 2020
Saturday, December 05, 2020
Friday, December 04, 2020
The Bomber and I went along to The Little Taperia, a nearby Spanish tapas bar and restaurant round the corner, last night.
I felt that we had to because Morcilla Scotch eggs, with piquillo peppers were on the menu.
A scotch egg is definitely a substantial meal, Michael Gove has said, as he performed a screeching U-turn on his earlier controversial position that it constituted merely a starter.
We also ate salt cod fritters, prawns with garlic and chilli, plus a potato tortilla. Red wine for me. Lager for him.
I know you might find it difficult believe but we mostly talked about philosophy and mathematics. I didn't notice anyone on an adjoining table inclining an ear so as not to miss any of our musings on Platonic solids.
Thursday, December 03, 2020
Bethany's collaboration with Rhys Ifans is supposed to drop on https://www.heartofcardiff.co.uk/ today.
You can catch it now at https://www.heartofcardiff.co.uk/listen-gwrandewch/rodney though you have to sign up.
It ain't there yet, but it is what is going on these spindrift pages today so I guess we will just have to wait.
Wednesday, December 02, 2020
implications of threat and strong feeling produced through colloquial language, apparent triviality, and long pauses
I was back in Cardiff yesterday with the intention of putting in a shift making sure Dad ate and drank at least something. He was never really awake though I managed to get some thickened Lucozade and yoghurt into him by putting a sweet drop on his tongue which seemed to trigger a swallow reflex and then following up with the rest of a teaspoon's worth.
At about ten to one, a nurse came into the room to do his "obvs" (short for observations). Concerned that his heart rate was very low, she called in Hannah*, a more senior nurse, who then called the Dr. After that they did an ECG. The Dr took me aside and told me that he was a lot worse than the day before, and implied - quite frankly - that this might be it over the next several days. I could have stayed but I was just getting in everyone's way in that single room.
Later, when I got a call to say he was much improved, a mental image formed of him opening one eye as I left and whispering "has he gone yet, Hannah*?"
*V impressed that Hannah's business-like hair bun was secured with tinsel rather than a hair tie.