Sunday, 29 April 2012

Piece Of Paper II

Did you miss me? You've been waiting with bated breath haven't you? Sorry, been a busy boy, getting most of my work done before embarking on the annual Dunmore golfing festival. I am thus blogging from the comfort of the StenaPlus lounge on the delayed ferry crossing to Dublin - it's going to be a rough one.

complete ******
Now, last time we met I had a whine about Keith Vaz and Polly Toynbee but there is a yet greater ogre in my red ink and I must ask those of a delicate disposition to look away now because the following two words may cause offence: Ken Livingstone. What a dick. If Londoners are seriously about to elect as mayor this mendacious, avaricious, small-minded pygmy then I despair. London, I love you but please, please, don't do it. This is not a plea for Comedy Boris. It's just a plea not to invite derision upon yourselves

Bardic haka
To cheerier matters. I've raved before about Shakespeare's Globe but I saw a performance there last Monday which was awesome - Troilus and Cressida in Maori. Seriously bloody brilliant. Part of the cultural Olympiad, all 37 plays are being presented in different languages. Catch one of them if you can. The Bard transcends even his own language.

One bad thing about the Globe however - they have succumbed to what I take to be a bizarre egalitarian design whereby the gents' toilets contain only cubicles and no urinals. This slows down the whole generally manageable business of a bloke having a slash. Our ability to pee standing up is one of our few cultural advantages and the mass urinal is one of modernity's great space-saving devices. Bring back the pisser!

See that ball in the gorse-
that's mine that is
Beautiful, Beautiful beast. No, not me, nor most certainly Big Willy Macfarlane or John Brain my golfing compadres who sit opposite me as I type. No, I speak of Bull Bay Golf Club where we yesterday battled strong winds in the traditional pipe-owner. The official record will show that John won our contest - what it will not tell you is that Willy and Brain both rode in an electric cart, the pair of inexcusable faggots. They even nearly drove that over a little cliff, pair of clowns.
I remain, indisputably, our finest athlete. This is not a great boast.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

My Piece Of Paper I

It doesn't yet qualify as a system but I have been writing stuff down on a piece of paper because at my age I do forget things and that is just not fair on you is it. Some of it may be my best stuff.

Most of the writing on my piece of paper was made during my latest foray into the jungle that is that London. In red ink which is, I think you will find, almost as clear an indicator of a nutter as green. Almost.

Who's your boyfriend?
We start with a couple of astute observations on what you can learn merely by noting the opinions of eminent hand-job merchants. For example we do not need to delve too deeply into the government's proposal for minimum alcohol pricing - suffice to say that Keith Vaz thinks it's a good idea.. I rest my case M'lud. Btw, as you enter the words 'Keith Vaz' into a search engine the predictive results include in fifth place the wonderful phrase 'Keith Vaz is a knob van.' Made this juvenile chuckle.

quod erat demonstrandum
Exhibit B: the views of the reliably barking, achingly serious Polly Toynbee. Good old Pol has been heard to endorse the Chancellor's cap on tax deductions for charitable giving. Because the government is, of course, so much better a judge of how your money should be spent than ever you might be. You have to have a sense of humour about these things. Really you do, because the alternative is horribly depressing - believe me I've been there.

This grumpy old bastard will share some more of his red ink with you tomorrow. Goodnight sweet prince.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Catching An Idea

I read this today. It articulates why (in moderate doses - too much can make you very miserable in my experience) poetry has a point. I read it in translation from the Swedish which begs a question I will never have the time or skill to answer - is it even better (or I suppose peversely worse - we should not discount this) in the original language?
From March 1979

Weary of all who came with words, words but no language
I make my way to the snow-covered island.
The untamed has no words.
The unwritten pages spread out on every side!
I come upon the tracks of deer in the snow.
Language but no words.

Thomas Transtromer (trans Robin Fulton)
Now isn't that rather beautiful?

Saturday, 7 April 2012

State Of The Nation

James Delingpole is by way of a lucid right wing nutter, that at least is how the liberal concensus would rather demean him. He rails against the anthropogenic global warming industry and against received economic wisdoms. One should, one is told, not be duped by his erudite blandishments. His sort is dangerous. The Boy Roberts is not so sure. We are, I trust you will agree, in a bit of a mess at the moment and you will have sussed by now that I am inclined to the view that certain received wisdoms have helped us on our way. Now Delingpole, as columnists are paid to do, goes a little too far on occasions but he never ever ever spouts drivel. Here's a sample of his eminent sense,
Until we can educate ourselves that, as Frederic Bastiat put it, 'Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavours to live at the expense of everybody else', we will never get out of the ginormous heap of economic and sociopolitical ordure in which we find ourselves buried up to the neck.
I was painfully reminded of this when I saw some oaf of a teacher on television last night talking of her poverty and signally failing to comprehend that the nationalised education industry has degenerated into one run not for the benefit of the customer ('kids' as we must call them) nor even for its wider 'stakeholders' (that would be you and me by the way since we pay for it all) but for the convenience of its employees. If you want to see where this finishes then try dealing with our politically invulnerable but utterly bonkers National Health Service. Talk about the law of unintended consequences.

Enough. In a pub yesterday we had a vast and reasonably priced all-day breakfast and were charmingly greeted by a bit of local colour - Dai Davies, veteran of 267 fights (he told me this - never knocked out) and silver medallist at the 1970 Commonwealth Games, welterweight division. Dai was not entirely sober but neither odiously drunk. He told Sharon she was pretty so the man is a good judge. I dare say you will find him in the White Lion Bangor most days and I dare say he will talk to you. And the breakfast alone is worth the visit.

You might gather from this that the Roberts are Eastering at their coastal estate. The new floor looks marvellous (Karndean oak lookalike) and the new boiler is wondrously silent, something you notice if you knew the cacophony of the ancient model it replaced. I bought two designer tee shirts (RochaJohn Rocha since you ask) in Debenhams in Bangor and I had a pint of cider with my all-day breakfast, both of which acts felt allowably decadent. As I write this I am eating chocolate for breakfast. I am not drinking alcohol. Yet. I am going to have a second mug of decent coffee - which stimulant tastes markedly better when taken in view of the sea. Today we plan to go to Conwy. England appear to be in the process of redeeming themselves a little by winning a test match in Sri Lanka.

Last night we watched the Douglas Sirk melodrama All That Heaven Allows. I watched quite a bit of 50's melodrama during my not entirely happy term studying film last year and this is a real period piece, a type of film just not made any more. One does have to say that worse hands have been dealt to a man than looking like Rock Hudson. There is an intersting and worthwhile treatise to be written on the use of windows as framing devices in this film.  

An announcement to all our listeners. Iron Dave will not be partaking of an early season triathlon because of his rehearsal schedule. He has auditioned for and won the part of Egeus in the Lichfield Shakespeare in the Park Midsummer Night's Dream. This is not a major part but it is a thespian step forward for Iron Dave - details of the production at Shakespeare in the Park