12 months ago

A year ago I was recovering in a neurosurgical ward with strict orders to stay calm and relaxed, avoiding unnecessary stress at all costs.

Doing so would keep my systolic blood pressure as low as possible and minimise any post op-complications.

So what happens?

Donald Trump gets elected as President of the USA on the very same day.

I can laugh at it now and enjoy the irony of it all.

Doug Stanhope made me laugh with his take on Nationalism.

Laughter always helps and heals.

Chicken – Egg?

Tame Impala? “Never heard of them” you may say.  Well I was in the same boat for a long while.

What came first, the song or the video in terms of entering my own consciousness?

Hard to tell really.

It is not quite the same as hearing yet another Groove Armada track on a car tv advert. You know the song already, so the advert is not really important. In fact it is verging upon the annoying.

So which came first the video or the sound track?

Who cares in this case?

Classic one liners……7

Dennis Skinner was at it  yet again today. Unfortunately the State Opening of Parliament clashes with Day 2 of the Royal Ascot Race meeting and it is no secret as to where the Queen would rather be.  It is a perfect opportunity for Dennis to just do what he does best.

Even in what was a shortened ceremony Black Rod still came knocking on the door of the House of Commons to summon MPs through to the so called Upper Chamber in order to hear the Queen’s Speech. This is the way things work in our Parliamentary Democracy. The Queen sits in the House of Lords and tells someone to fetch the Commoners to hear what she has to say.

Not for the first time and hopefully not the last Dennis Skinner delivered yet another classic one liner.

Maybe we will not have to wait 2 years to hear the next one.

 

 

 

Even at the start of the clip you can see the thumbs up greeting from the MP for Bolsover to the man sent down from the Lords, so we could all see it coming.

 

Let’s see what you would have won…….

 

I love the Challenge Channel on Freeview Ch 48 Sky Ch 145. It broadcasts repeats of Bullseye on a regular basis, often back to back. There are plenty of shows to choose from as 15 series were produced. It is great!

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The host, Jim Bowen (voted the Most Popular Game Show host last month in an online poll) is a proper legend. Bullseye was his show and it is great to look back and re-live those memories of Sunday tea time viewing thirty years ago. After all as Jim says “You can’t beat a bit of Bully.”

A classic episode was witnessed the other day. In the final round the first couple were a bloke, who had a delicious Bobby Charlton hair cut (circa 1972); we are talking proper comb over job. The other player, was in fact his daughter,  and she had a mass of blonde hair, styled in a tightly permed mullet. Not a great style combo, but both were pretty handy dart throwers.

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Fair play, they did well and won the best part of £600 in the quiz rounds. Then they went on to scoop a shed load of stuff on Bully’s Prize Board, namely a washing machine, a toasted sandwich maker, a hostess trolley and an telephone answer machine. This last high tech device was the size of a shoe box.

Happy with their winnings the leading pair declined the offer from Jim to gamble their prize haul and go for the Star Prize. As did the second pair Kevin and Jack from Barrow in Furness. They managed to win £550, which probably could pay the price for a terraced house in Barrow back then . They were not tempted to wager their cash, that they could hit 101 or more with 6 darts.

So it left Steve and Trish, the third couple, to cough up their £80 in order to have a pop at the Star Prize. The Star Prize was always not to be sniffed at. It could be a decent long haul family holiday, or a brand new car hidden behind a big, red velvet curtain in the TV studio.

This prize would not be revealed till the end of the show, but it was a “no brainer”  decision to make for this last couple. They had to go for it.

Trish looked like she could hold her own in a bar fight and was a bit of a unit, truth be told. She gritted her teeth and bowled up to the oche and proceeded to chuck 22 with her 3 arrows. Not a great start.

downloadUp steps hubby Steve, who hits treble 19 with his first dart and lands on single 16 with the next. This means, with a total of 95, the man of the moment only has to get 6 or more with his last dart.

Now if you look at the board what would you do? Aim left, surely? As anything will do 12 through to 19. Virtually half the board to aim at – it is not a tricky throw at all.

Yet what does Steve hit?  THREE!!!! Are you sure? A collective gasp is heard from the studio audience off camera. Single 3! Steve loses the £80 won previously and  the Star Prize also slips from his grasp.

Trish slowly hands back the cash to Jim, our ever diplomatic host. It hurts, you can see it in her eyes. Mind you, it is water off a duck’s back to Jim, who puts his arms around the losing couple and bellows “Let’s see what you would have won!”

Diminutive Steve stands still, ashen faced, anticipating a beating from the wife when he gets home to Rochdale. The curtain is drawn back to reveal the Star Prize. It is a blinking speed boat as well – loving it !! Trish does not look a happy  bunny!

New kit for England this Summer

What is going on? Boots that look like the sort of things snotty kids with verrucas used to have to wear when your class went swimming in the municipal baths. I give you Nike Mercurial Superfly FG

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But the new kit for Euro 2016? Do me a favour! Looks like something a ping pong player would wear at training.

http://todosobrecamisetas.com/2016/03/england-nike-euro–2016-kits-leaked/

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Way of Ozu

Watching the Editor’s pick list on Vimeo makes you wonder about how much junk has to be watched by the staff in order to derive that list. However you do get rewarded with the occasional golden nugget. As in this case where my jaw dropped on seeing this for the first time. Spellbinding. And I ask myself how long did this film take to be made in itself?

You ain’t no good.

Victoria Pendleton fell off her mount again at the weekend, a fact that was not widely reported on the TV news channels.

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The latest tumble came at Kingston Blount Point to Point, making it the second time Ms Pendleton had ” unseated ” in 15 days.

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Fakenham is where she exited via the side door from a horse that is considered in racing circles as an “arm chair ride”. These falls come after another unfortunate incident where she unshipped from her ride a flat race at  Newbury.

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I know that people should be allowed to make money in a free market led society, but ………

Saw a band play at the Aylesbury Civic Centre a fair few years ago. Just starting out then – Jangling guitar riffs, shirts buttoned up to the neck, floppy fringes masking scowls and bum fluff tashes.

The band were hip enough for me to get enough respect after the gig from the bunch of year 10 lads. They were also there to enjoy the show. I bumped into quite them literally as they pushed and slammed around auditorium. I do not know who was more surprised to crash into who.

So the band are still hip now, seven years later, but beards have replaced those wispy moustaches and they get interviewed by the Guardian to publicize their new tour, rather than rely on word of mouth and posters.

Nothing grabbing you so far, well something is bothering me.

The Bristol show of this latest tour is at the Bristol University Student Union. A pretty large venue for Bristol, which has no big events arena, but will do soon. The whole tour went on sale simultaneously and the Bristol tour date, along with the other gigs went on sale today (21/8/15) at 9 am. Can I get on to any of the ticket agencies online at 9 o’clock? Nope. but I do get through to one site that allows me to book 0 tickets at £27.50. It is 9.16 am. Sold out.

Hard luck, I hear you say. Agreed, but when you see the same tickets being offered already at 9.30 am at three or four times their face value on online re-sale sites, it rubs salt in the wounds. It is all wrong.

Kurt Vonnegut – Legend

I read Slaughter House 5 a long time ago when I was working out in Germany. In the days before ipod/phones I used to read on the tram and bus journeys to work. The book is semi-autobiographical and easy to read in terms of style, but harder to inwardly digest. The author, Kurt Vonnegut goes up in my estimation the more I find out about him. I posted a blog entry on him previously after seeing a clip of a lecture he gave on “Story Styles”.

Since then I have discovered and read two letters written at different stages of his life. One letter he typed to his family at the end of WWII and the other was sent to some high school students almost 40 years later in 2006.

Vonnegut enlisted in the US Army in 1943 and by the following year he was fighting in the Ardennes. It was here that he became a POW during the Battle of the Bulge. By 1945 he was in Germany, in Dresden to be precise.

KURT V USARMY

This is the city where his book Slaughter House 5 is set. Dresden. is a place that I have been to; it is a very beautiful city with an Old Town that has half timbered houses. It has some wonderful architecture with palaces, churches and a very famous opera house. Visit Dresden today and you will see very little evidence that it was a scene of mass death and destruction towards the end of the War in Europe.

The city was the target of heavy bombing by the RAF which resulted in a huge firestorm. Vonnegut was there to see the city burn on Valentine’s Day 1945 that many of its victims simply suffocated to death. The reason for this was that the fire was so intense that its flames consumed all the available oxygen in the combustion process.

Nobody knows how many people died but it is estimated to be hundreds of thousands as the city was full of people fleeing the oncoming Red Army. When you hear about the journey that took him to Dresden it is amazing that he even got to see it all take place. Just see what he wrote here:  

The things that he must have experienced, one cannot begin to imagine. It was a shocking and disturbing thing to see first hand but he dealt with it and enjoyed  successful writing career.

Towards the end of his life Vonnegut was invited to come and visit their class by some New York high school students. He politely declined the invitation by sending this letter to the school. It just illustrates what an absolute diamond the man was.

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The video made about this story can be seen by clicking the picture below

Make Your Soul Grow from Bader Rudebeck Films on Vimeo.

Some people just do things right. Kurt Vonnegut is one such man.

Kurt Vonnegut on Telling Stories

 

Different gravy.

When people hanker after the good ol’ days I am with them on this one.

Reasons?

1. The clothes in 1959 were classic. Plaid, Brogues, tie pins, cigarette cases and pork pie hats all things of the past.

2 Black and White – has its merits and Film noir will live longer than 3D movies in the annuals of time.

3. One take live recordings – name any band who would even have the bottle, OR even be proficient enough to do a live broadcast of 9 minutes plus like that?

4. Jazz is and always will be cool and if done well is a different gravy.

I am not suggesting we bring it all back, but some things the World should still mourn are these two Stars of Jazz.

ps. Thanks Colston for reminding me