Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Why I Watch Cookery Shows

I was channel-hopping last night between the usual suspects - cookery shows, car restoration programmes, sport, bits of modern history. And it came to me - I know why I do this, certainly the cookery and the car stuff. It's to watch people doing something they are both good at and like. I envy them.

Every week I lay plans as to how I am going to use my leisure time and every week I fall short. You know why? I feel so bloody tired and generally peeved by my work. Perhaps it's an age thing. In my earlier incarnation (let us call it, Dave the mogul years - this requires a little licence but you get the picture) I was never a great believer in the dignity of labour but there were highlights at work to lighten the burden. I was pretty good at it and there were moments of excitement and (sinful I know) pride. Those days are long gone.

So I work assiduously (there is residual professional pride in behaving like an officer of the court) and then I drive home listening to my music. I think of my plans for the evening but know that once I have cleaned up the remains of whatever the cats have eviscerated that day, I will want nothing more than to gorge myself, drink wine, channel-surf and fall asleep. So all in all this is a bit of a triumph because on the way home today I decided to write my blog. And all I could find the energy to do was bloody well whine on about work and the awfulness of ageing.

Man of the Year
To happier matters. Few things external to my family can have given me as much pleasure as the England women winning their Rugby World Cup on Sunday, coached by this blog's old mate, Gary Street. God bless you Streety.  

Friday, 15 August 2014

The Comedy Of Errors

No this is not a blog about my attempts to get fit/lose weight. It really is about the Bard's early comedy.

I saw Propellor's production at the Alex a couple of months ago - pretty good though a sparse audience. As chance would have it we then got invited to corporate hospitality at Chester's open air theatre and once again it was The Comedy of Errors. The weather was merciful and the presence of a full-house is always a plus but even allowing for those advantages I have to say that this was one of the very best Shakespeare productions I have ever seen. Fast, Raucous and very,very funny.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Laughing Boy

I've got the only cure for life
And the cure for life is joy
I'm the crying man
That everyone calls laughing boy.

(Clive James)

I may have quoted these lines to you in the past but I was reminded of them today by the news of the apparent suicide of Robin Williams. When I hear such dismal news a little part of me survives. Which may seem an odd thing to say but this is my warped logic: when I was playing rugby I worked on the rough calculation that I would play in one game per season which involved a broken leg; as soon as that first broken leg had occurred I played with the ridiculous certainty that it wouldn't be me, not that season. So with the public loss of a depressive. I don't pretend it makes any sense.

As for Williams, my favourite roles were as Mork, Aladdin's genie and in Jumanji. A great sadness. The cure for life is joy.

Happier thoughts. On my drive home from work I have taken to surfing my iPod. News is for the morning trip. For the last couple of nights I have been listening to some Elton John and the thought struck me that much of what I admire in his music would have been available in 1974. The good stuff is all early. Thanks to the rather dreadful Diana tribute version we have lost sight of quite how good a record Candle in the Wind was.

An example of malign sports politics. For the past six seasons I have relished a trip to the Heineken Cup Final in good company. The new revamped competition (begotten in response to the English and French clubs lobbing their Gucci rattles out of the pram) will have its finale earlier in the year and smack bang in the middle of my golfing pilgrimage to Ireland, made in equally good company. Something has to give and I'm afraid it will be the rugby. Pity, but I'll save a bit of money. What I will say is that they'd better not muck around with the timing of Cheltenham or there really will be trouble.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Curse Of The Drinking Classes

What can I say other than, work bloody work. Mine is a chore but I'm trying to be a brave soldier so that's me done moaning. Well about work anyway.

I've just been watching the replay of Rory McIlroy's magnificent win in the USPGA Championship from last night. Was it my imagination or were there even more muppets than usual shouting 'Get in the hole'. America, land of the free, also land of the knob-head on this evidence. As for McIlroy, mighty impressive and so much easier to like than Tiger Woods.

This blog sends out best wishes to its favourite rugby coach, Lord Gary of Street, as he prepares his charges for a World Cup semi-final against Ireland on Wednesday. Fingers crossed.

22 minutes 06 seconds; 25.12; 21.13. Those have been my runs in the last couple of weeks. In addition I've done three bouts of rowing and three sessions on the cross-trainer. Still as fat as a tonky pig.  Bollocks.

But it 's not down to the red wine. That's good for me. Chateau Griviere 2006. Yum yum.