the half windsor

No not a lowly Royal in-law but a rather elegant tie knot favoured by one of the guests we met last night at my wife’s boss’ dinner party. It was a really fun do and not only did I meet some very nice people, particularly C’s lovely boss, but also discovered the pleasures of eating a la raclette, learned some interesting stuff about the construction techniques of castles mentioned  in the Doomsday book as well as the joys of performing live plays in Latin and the earthier delights of sailors’ brothels in Ironbridge. Yes our dinner guests were all from the academic world you may not be surprised to learn but what a pleasant diversion it was.

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big week for tv

Oh it’s been a huge televisual feast this last week alright. Last night it was the Baftas where we witnessed in the starry audience Avatar Director James Cameron surrounded by a territorial army of acolytes and flunkies. His retinue of minions picked up a couple of the early cheap awards for best lipstick and best outrageous skin colouring on an imaginary animated animal. And didn’t he look smug as he and new trophy wife anticipated an avalanche of Baftas falling into his arms. He doesn’t normally do less than 7 gongs at these events don’cha know? That’s to enable him to deliver the longest, most excruciating, humility-free acceptance speech where he praises every one of his many talents. Sadly Cameron was trumped by his ex-wife and fellow Director Kathryn Bigelow who garnered six of the big awards for her film The Hurt Locker. Cameron’s faced looked as tightly-pinched as a cat’s a**ehole as he bravely clapped (very slowly) whilst Biggers went up to collect HIS, sorry her, awards for Best Director and Best Film. Don’t you just feel proud to be awkward-arse British? Perfidious Albion, I love you. Continue reading

brits – it’s quits

Last night was the 30th anniversary of the Brits Awards and I’m pretty sure we’ve seen all of them live, on tv or online. But no more. It’s turned into a catalogue of very strange goings on that I’m no longer in tune with. It’s a bit like watching my own personal freak show knowing that others view it, weirdly, as culturally significant. Pah! I can’t bear to watch it any more. Oh I know this sounds like a grumpy old man speaking about his remoteness from the current music scene (just like our dads used to go on about how ToTP had become degenerate) but it’s actually become my version of American Pie. Yesterday was the day the music awards died.

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medical update

Well I went for the consultant’s examination on my possible narrow angle glaucoma problem and the outcome was…..all positive. Woo hoo. I don’t have to have my eyeball popped out and cut into with a scalpel. On the down-side I do have to be nice to people and little animals now and it’s also just cost me £500 for two pairs of new glasses; one for near stuff and a pair now for driving and long distance viewing. Ah well at least I can see properly again and I’ve avoided the worst operation imaginable (slight exaggeration but you know what I mean).

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Nah not rugby HQ, I’ve been thinking about the town itself. Most readers will know that we’ve found a place inTeddington which is our UK base now. And we’re very happy here. The beautiful river Thames and the famous lock is just down the road. Our little town has loads of nice bars and restaurants and more interior design shops than you can shake an Alessi-designed spatula at. We’ve got some great food stores within easy reach and loads of activities for daughter R to get involved with.  Just down the road is lovely Bushy Park and across the river historic Richmond Park.  And down the river is lively Kingston just 5-10 minutes away and nearby Hampton Court whilst upstream is attractive Strawberry Hill, where C works, St Margarets where daughter S and live and just across the river from them Richmond town itself which is about as prettily dramatic as any place in the Greater London area. It has everything really. And in the middle of all this terrific area nestled by the Thames is the blight that is Twickenham, a town with a famous stadium nearby and not a lot else.

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It’s one of the first words you learn in Italy; something every shopkeeper asks you. It means ‘Is that everything?’ or more simply, ‘Enough?’ And I think Capello has shown in the brevity of his meeting with the unapologetic and graceless Terry that he’d had enough of his tenure as captain. Rightly in my view Capello has said that the role is as much to do with what you do off the field as well as on it. And he acted decisively in correcting the decision he’d made two years ago. I have to say that the more I see of Capello the more I like him. He’s dour and stern-looking but he sure knows how to deal with these pampered charmless nitwits. Could you imagine Steve McClaren striking fear in the hearts of his players? Nah. But I bet you very few of them will want to cross Il Capo. Bravo!