Thursday, July 30, 2009


Acrostic oversight


Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Playing it safe

I was giving Millsy a lift home from Monday night footy, and we got into conversation about motorbikes.

Millsy was enthusing about how great it would be to have one; I wasn't feeling it.

My reasoning, as I told him, was pretty simple: when I'm driving my car along at fifty, I don't feel worried that I might fall out of the window at any moment.


Monday, July 27, 2009



Recently, I came across the term yaguranage, which is a winning technique in sumo.

I'm familiar with a number of winning techniques: oshidashi (just shove your opponent out the ring), oshitaoshi (push your opponent over), ucchari (do a spectacular suicide piledriver on your opponent, just when he thinks you're cornered); yaguranage was a new one on me though.

When I checked the term on the sumo association's website, I found the following:

When my eyes had stopped watering, I was strangely disappointed to read that it was described as an "inner thigh throw."




Joe is no lover of lol, the ubiquitous acronym of laugh out loud, and is very vocal about it. We are sitting in someone else's living room.

He asks me if I agree that it's annoying. I seek a more moderate line.

"It is annoying," I hazard, "if you happen to know that the person who's typed it does have an irritating laugh."

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Sunday, July 19, 2009


Beware the Ides of July

Let me see, let me see; is not the leaf turn'd down
Where I left reading? Here it is, I think.

Enter the Ghost of CAESAR

How ill this taper burns! Ha! who comes here?
I think it is the weakness of mine eyes
That shapes this monstrous apparition.
It comes upon me. Art thou any thing?
Art thou some god, some angel, or some devil,
That makest my blood cold and my hair to stare?
Speak to me what thou art.

Thy evil spirit, Brutus.

Why comest thou?

To tell thee thou shalt see me at Philippi.

Well; then I shall see thee again?


Ay, at Philippi.

Why, I will see thee at Philippi, then.


In celebration of the mum's 60th on the 15th, we went off to the RSC Courtyard Theatre in Stratford to see Julius Caesar.

The Courtyard (formerly the Other Place) used to be a small studio-ish place, playing third fiddle to the main theatre and the Swan (all three RSC theatres.) In its new incarnation, the Courtyard looks like a more grandiose version of the Swan.

The Courtyard

The Swan


(The main theatre, for the record, is currently being renovated. And not before bloody time either.)


Julius Caesar brings back painful memories of the production we went to see at Warwick Uni many moons ago: the only people more inept than the actors were the ushers who, midway through the last act, allowed in a group of eight or nine students who, with a 99% empty theatre to choose from, opted to sit directly behind me, Joe and the mum, then sat there chatting, giggling and getting right up my nose.

I turned round and gave the students the best ice grill I could manage in the darkness; once I turned back round, they carried right on. Fizz, went my last nerve. I turned to face them once more.

"Will you lot shut the fuck up?" I said in a stage whisper that must have reached the performers.

The students remained respectfully mute until the curtain call, at which point they filed out very hastily.

Joe was delighted with me.


The RSC production was much better than the Warwick Uni Travesty, although Brutus reminded me rather too much of Mark Hamill after he got fat.

In-keeping with the rancorous tradition, I noticed Julius Caesar giving someone on the balcony the ice grill after they took a flash photograph during the curtain call.

I also noticed him mouth the word twat.

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Chilli blossoms!

Still no fruit on the chilli plants, but they are at least in flower (just about.)

As well as the promise of chillies, I am enjoying enhanced wildlife in my bedroom - last night I had to jettison an enormous cricket from the window and today I released a very well-nourished earthworm I'd been keeping in the same pot as specimen #3 back into the wild.

My room is abuzz with aphids and expectation.


Wednesday, July 08, 2009


Going out in style, but not sense

Michael Jackson's casket: a gold-plate bronze monster named "The Promethean," presumably for its overwhelming hubris:

Drawbacks of a gold coffin:
  1. It's non-biodegradable
  2. It's enormously heavy - all your pallbearers end up with crooked backs
  3. Its shiny surface will blind countless earthworms
  4. It's inert, so even in the unlikely off-chance that the coffin does get struck by lightning, Jacko won't some back to life
  5. It's a waste of gold


A few grams of respite for the pallbearers: Michael Jackson to be buried without his brain.

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Sunday, July 05, 2009


How to take a penalty

Footage from England's penalty shootout victory over Sweden in the semi final of the U21 European Championships. England went on to sustain a 4-0 thumping at the hands of Germany in the final.

The best thing is the way Milner's left boot ends up sitting on the penalty spot, with Milner sitting on his arse several yards in front.

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Saturday, July 04, 2009


It's Russ's stag do today

And to honour the occasion, Tim and I will be wearing commemorative wifebeaters.

More on this noble 4th July tradition

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The tiger who came to tea

With the nieces visiting, we all went out to the theatre to watch The tiger who came to tea, the charming socialist parable of a hard-working couple and their one permitted daughter, who have all of their resources consumed by the large striped feline of capitalism.

Sadly, it turned out we were watching the acceptable, non-Chinese version, although the long-awaited emergence of the tiger onto stage proved too much for one or two of the audience.

"T-tiger! I-it's a tiger!" gibbered one terrified child as he was carried by his father towards the exit.

Uncharitable though it was to laugh at this unfortunate, we laughed all the same.

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