Sporty sport sport

The World Cup is over. Wimbledon is over. Someone is quite happy about this. I am not. I bloody love watching sport, me. I usually put this down to my Dad being a P.E. teacher and I always enjoyed learning about various sports when they were on TV (usually the Olympics). Equally my Mum loved the cricket (back in the Beefy Botham days) and gold, mostly because they are both sports you don’t have to pay attention to so she could watch them whilst knitting. It’s the learning I enjoy and as sports broadcasting improves, so does the level of information available. Many years ago, Channel 4 had the rights to a season of the NFL. I’d never really watched …

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Weekender

As previously mentioned, one of my first vinyl LP experiences was the Queen album Jazz and though it wasn’t my first brush with the band it remains in my memory as the gateway to 30+ years of enjoying their music. Sure, it was probably the original Greatest Hits album that I heard first but as good as all those tracks are, it was Jazz that made me realise there was a lot more to this band. I can remember where I was when Freddie died – in the car on the way to Hospital Radio Lennox – I can remember how it impacted me and how shocking it was. By then I owned all of their albums, and VHS tapes …

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Weekender

Years ago I used to write up posts that recapped my “fascinating” weekend (that’s some ironic quote marks, just to be clear. I used the same title for these – Weekender – and all of them were written in a vague, pseudo diary style which I think fitted the purpose for which I wrote them; I have a crap memory so even now looking back at the last time I published a post titled Weekender I can recall exactly which weekend that was (4 years ago, time flies like a banana and all that) and exactly what happened. When I sat down to write up my London weekend it felt very much like that, a post for me to remember …

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That was London

I have been and went to that London and it was good! Mind you there was a small blip at first. I was primarily there to see the Foo Fighters perform at Wembley Stadium, so you can imagine my confusion when I realised, only a few days before heading down, that they were, in fact, performing at the Olympic Stadium. This rendered my ‘clever’ hotel location booking a bit redundant but that’s what I get for not checking the detail. I’m calling this the ‘London effect’ as it’s not the first time I’ve gotten locations wrong … A few years ago, I was down in London and on arriving at our hotel for the weekend I boldly marched up to …

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Clap your hands

I walked home from work the other day. It takes about an hour at a reasonable pace, but that day I was in no rush at all. The sun was darting in and out between fluffy clouds and there was a gentle breeze in the air. There were flowers everywhere, vibrant green hues in the branches overhead, and the recent rains had swollen the river enough to give it a pleasing burble as it meandered its way downstream. There is something very soothing about walking with no real purpose, letting your body find its own pace, feeling the connection your foot makes with the ground and how your body reacts to that. A simple way to stay, literally, grounded and …

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Derren Brown

I’m writing this a few days after the event, just in case there were any lingering effects. I fear my mind may never quite recover… Note: NO SPOILERS INCLUDED. I’ve seen most, if not all, of Derren Brown’s TV shows. From the one off specials to the early series that were broadcast in a late evening slot on Ch4. He is not without controversy and I’ll happily admit to, still, remaining sceptical about how he does what he does; is it magic, is it manipulation, are there stooges involved, is it all fake? Or perhaps it’s a little bit of everything? He is first and foremost as he readily admits, a showman, he is trying to entertain using methods and …

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My Ever Shrinking World

Say yes more than no (it can lead to amazing things). Whilst not quite a mantra, this is definitely something I’ve been trying to be better at in an effort to be more spontaneous and social. Sometimes it can be a battle to get out of the door at all, but I find if I have plans with other people I’m more likely to make the effort to get my lazy arse up off the sofa as I don’t like letting people down (which I realise is heading into the ‘I JUST WANT TO BE LOVED, LOVE ME!!!!’ territory but that, as ever, is for an entirely other post or, you know, the entire subtext of this blog. Whatever.) Here’s …

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Fire walk with me

“Say yes more often than no” Life is short, far far too short for some and so when something pops up and you have the chance to do something you’ve never done before, AND it’s for a good cause, well, it’s even harder to say no. And so I find myself signed up to become part of some weird human barbeque experiment?? … I’m sure that’s not how it works but essentially that is what it seems to be, although obviously they aren’t calling it that. Nope, instead they are using the rather dramatic and imminently more marketable term… cue big dramatic voiceover voice A FIREWALK!! What an act of bravado, I hear you cry! He is going to be …

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Six by Nico: Wonka

This past Easter found me watching a movie I’ve loved since I was a child. It is a strange story of a strange man by the name of Willy Wonka. I have to wonder if Nico was watching too… As ever I’d been perusing the menu ahead of our visit and wondered how some of the dishes would be prepared and presented – I’m not a fan of liquorice, popcorn, or olives – but as their website says, “remember – a little nonsense now and then is relished by even the wisest of men….” so regardless of my own personal tastes, I was still excited to try this latest menu. CHEESE BOARD – Gorgonzola Royale / Fizzy Grapes / Celery …

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Master of Suspense

Vertigo is acknowledged by many to be not only Alfred Hitchcock’s best work but one of the greatest movies of all time. It is, and has been since I first viewed it, in my top 5 (usually in first or second place). The sense of creepy weirdness, the growing tension as Scotty pursues a vision of a woman he once knew, coupled with the now legendary reverse zoom shot to impart the very sense of Vertigo that ties the whole slightly unsettling movie together, I have seen it far too many times yet it never feels old. Both lead actors, as many did back then, tread the line of ham acting at times but if you look past that (and …

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