Thursday, 25 July 2013

Between Treatments

I had near adjacent appointments this morning - one for my back, one for my brain. So it was that in the interlude between chiropractor and psychiatric nurse I sat in Yates's and fed my caffeine addiction. I had no money with me so had to pay £1.30 by card which felt more than faintly silly. I sat down near to a woman who seemed to be at the point of polishing off a bottle of white on her own. What time had she started? My coffee (an acceptable brew and by modern standards inexpensive) was served in a lipstick smudged cup. I wondered who had last used it, said nothing and drank left handed from the unmarked side. As I drank, a bevy of young mothers arrived, their offspring in tow and they settled down for drinks and snacks as the children clamoured for colouring books and crayons proffered by the staff. I read a Spectator article about facing up to death. I left to walk to my psychiatric engagement and reflected that mornings like this are what make you a poet. Hopefully.

I'll tell you who's good. That Daniel Craig as James Bond that's who. I'm not really a Bond fan but I've seen most of them and I reckon Skyfall is the best of the lot. A very post-modern and emotionally vulnerable Bond. I love that bit when he crashes through the wrecked roof of a bus, picks himself up and resumes the chase, but only after stopping to shoot his cuffs. Class.

The Overgraduate is about to embark on an open air Bardathon. Tonight it is Chester where he and Mrs Overgraduate are being generously hosted at A Midsummer Night's Dream by Weightmans Solicitors. On Saturday I will tackle solo (everyone else thinks I'm mad or sad) all three parts of Henry VI at the Globe. Honestly, I'm like a child on Christmas Eve.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

The Confederacy Of Cyclists

I know I've told you before but just to remind kind readers that I have a bike, a Cannondale CAAD 8 to be exact, of which I am inordinately proud. One can pay ten times (and the rest) what I paid for a bike but this will do for me and as with most sad middle-aged cyclists I rather fancy that the combination of cycle and lycra knock years off me. But there is more - what really knocks years off a bloke is a pair of Oakley sunglasses - full mirrored proof that you have more money than sense. Here are mine, Tour de France 2013 special editions with interchangeable lenses. Been running in them three times and two outings on the Cannondale and as yet they have not made me measurably faster but that can only be because I'm getting used to them. What they have done is made me want to get out and exercise. I know, pathetic isn't it.

I had a nice, moderately strenuous, bike ride yesterday which was lifted by what happened when I got a puncture only six minutes in. As I inverted the bike to change the tube an elderly but lean man crossed the road to ask if I needed any help, he had tools in his garage just round the corner. No I was fine thank you. Transpired he was still a keen rider himself and we chatted amiably as I worked on the wheel, discovering some mutual acquaintances - it's a small world (but I wouldn't want to wallpaper it). Then we were joined by a slightly younger man (number one was in his seventies, the second his sixties) and his dog. Another cyclist though currently recuperating from an Achilles injury sustained in five-a-side football - "You'd think I'd know better at my fucking age" as he succinctly put it. My two new friends did what cyclists always do and politely admired my bike, "Three cogs of nine, twenty-seven gears, bloody hell. Puts my old Sturmey Archer in its place." Once up and running again I bade them a cheery farewell and left them in each other's good company. Sometimes it is good to be alive.

And today it is good to be a British/Irish rugby fan. the Lions gave Australia a bit of a towelling this morning - 41-16 - thus winning the series. Leigh Halfpenny attracted much deserved praise for his nerveless display but for me the man of the match was Alex Corbisiero who helped render the Aussie scrummage inoperable and did countless good things in the loose. Mention also for Romain Poite, the world's best referee of the scrum.

While I've got you, just to confirm that I completed the set two nights ago when I watched Revenge of the Sith. Far, far better than episodes I and II but not up there with The Empire Strikes Back. Dialogue still creaks but there is a nicely bleak message underlying it all in the scrolled type of the introduction - "There were heroes on both sides."

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Glutton For Punishment

Sucker that I am I sat through Attack of the Clones last night. It is not without merit and the underlying saga has a certain cheesy charm to it, but boy does it go on and boy is the dialogue ropey. Will I watch Episode III? Of course I will - I'm a completist.