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Showing posts from December, 2012

Shanks' Pony

Yesterday I needed a bike in order to ride around my nan's house.  The parents had "bought" nan a new mattress, which is to say that they'd bought themselves a new mattress and were "kindly" giving her their old one.   I needed to go around nan's to be there when "it was delivered", which, again, was shorthand for the only person we knew with a white van, namely our uncle, who would take the role as the delivery driver. 
So I needed to get around her house, which is under a quarter of a mile away.  Not a problem, but I needed transportation.  Dad brought out a little girl's bike.  It looked like a 1:4 scale model of my normal bike, which was at my house.  It was the sort of bike that pink handlebar tassels were made for.  All I can say is: I'm glad it was dark.   
I have been on this earth for 26 years and it was only yesterday that I discovered the term "Shanks' Pony".  
"You can either ride that bike," my dad sai…

51.899681°N latitude / -2.075110°W longitude: street view

We left the theatre in high spirits, 
passed the bars that hold the town
in surrender of its daytime elegance.
We were guided around the reds of
a crime scene - pocked, curtsy-fresh.
I pull my scarf tight around me, fix 
my coat, turn to my uncle and say,
'Britain is awash with contradictions,'
our eyes immunised to the drunken 
hoards as we pass. We tell each other
what we know of his trial.  'Much simpler,'
I said, 'if it had been Queensberry Rules.'
We moved through the revellers in silent
contempt, nod past the police officer,
turned left onto the High Street at the
beggar on the corner.   

And the Winner of Sports Personality of the Year is...

Sports Personality of the Year. The short list is chock-full of future Sirs and Dames. For the winner of this prestigious award, it will round off an exceptional year of sporting achievement amid an unprecedented number of British success stories. I think I know the surname of the athlete who will win. As humble and as self-deprecating as I am, the odds speak for themselves: the bookies are now calling it evens. So who will win? Bradley Wiggins, who won Le Tour de France and won an Olympic Gold in one year, or Tom Wiggins, who, earlier today, managed to run the two miles back to his parents' house in under twenty minutes without stopping.

The Romanian New Wave

Having a friend who's a Romanian filmmaker has its perks.  For one thing, I can get her own perspective and opinion on the Romanian New Wave, which brought films such as 'The Death of Mr Lazarescu', '12:08 East of Bucharest' and 'If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle' to a worldwide audience.  Since then, we have seen this veritable wave move onto Iran and Greece with films such as the highly-acclaimed and Oscar-winning 'A Separation' and the twisted world of 'Dogtooth' riding the crest of their respective waves.
'4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days' is arguably the best of Romanian wave riders, winning the prestigious Palm D'Or at Cannes in 2007.  Cat tells me its representation of Romania is a little off and the dialogue is a little clunky in its original form, but she also acknowledged the need for films seeking international recognition to economise with the reality of a Romania in the final years of communist dictatorship.
I myself thought…

A Christmas Monologue

I was almost sick when I saw the Christmas decorations down my parents' local.  Beginning of November it was.  Straight after Halloween.  It was a straight swap: goblin for Santa.  I'm not one of those - you know - those who drone on about things just to fill a silence.  I try to remain open-minded about modern Britain and its hankering for Christmas in early Autumn.  I don't even mind the commercialisation of it all.  If you want to blow your savings on crap, you might as well do it with good intentions.  It all funds the economy.  But it's the by product of a Christmas mindset in November that gets me.  People who wish you Merry Christmas before Advent are as dead to me as the people who take the tabloid's view as the gospel.  Like it was some sort of daily forty pence-a-hit scripture, with a brief respite from The Absolute Truth for a copaloadofthosedave on page 3, because Lucy, 23 is absolutely not a slut, even though her boyfriend sent in the picture she'd…

What the Swedes Call Jul

Foals @ Gloucester Guildhall - 4th December 2012

One gig to rule them all, one gig to find them,  One gig to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
Chock-full of indie youth it was, but there will come a day far, far in the future when last night's Foals gig will be a half-forgotten memory to all who attended.  Facts about the event will blend with folklore.  Some half-truths will creep in, others will creep out; events will be spun more than Alistair Campbell at a clay pot-making class.  
I once heard that in the eighties, a late friend of my dad's busted Bono in the chops right up on stage.  Admittedly, the details were hazy and lacked the necessary corroboration for me to take his claim to fame seriously.  He was a drunk with a Napoleon complex so he may have just clobbered an Irishman with long hair, sunglasses and the ego the size of Kent.  The point I'm trying to make is this: spin and subjectivity is everywhere.
However, spin and subjectivity can take a walk on this occasion.  This is the cold, hard truth: Foal…

What the Italians Call Natale

What the French Call Noël

Let it snow, let it snow, let it... (4)

Something tells me that I have yet to fully enter into the Christmas spirit.  The rest of the crossword was fine, but I seemed to really struggle with 3 Down.   

What the Germans Call Weihnachten