Sunday, 26 August 2012

whistling and humming

I can't put my finger on why it is that for someone to be out and about whistling a tune is perfectly unremarkable, but if they were humming that same tune it would seem a bit odd. I prefer humming to whistling, but have to stop myself.

barnet 1 bristol rovers 1

On Tuesday evening I celebrated the almost-completion of another issue of the magazine with an outing to every Hobbit's favourite football ground, Underhill (opposite end of the Northern line from Mordor Morden), to see Barnet again. It was my second trip, having seen them a couple of seasons ago (near the end of the season when they were battling relegation), when I fancied a football match and found that Millwall now felt too expensive for me. I looked at a couple of League 1 options which were also going on in London on Tuesday, but still felt a bit expensive; League 2 definitely my level price-wise, when all I really want is a bit of a football fix and I'm happy with League 2 quality. Barnet or AFC Wimbledon it is, then.

Being the unfocussed and flighty dabbler that I am, this will probably satisfy my urge to see live football for a while (just as going to the Comedy Store a couple of months ago for some comedy did in that respect).

(I always remember Giles Brandreth saying that someone gave him an embroidered cushion which said 'Don't dabble: focus.', which I can relate to.)

It was Barnet 1 Bristol Rovers 1 (BBC report here). I enjoyed it, and stood on the terrace not far from where I stood last time. It's very handy, not far from the tube and a journey with no changes there and back.

A couple of quite different things struck me. One was that none of the stands seemed to be lit at all: if the floodlights had failed it seemed we would all be in total darkness (though I guess they may have some emergency lighting). The other was that I feel very unskilled at watching football. Barnet were on top in the first half of the first half and the second half of the second half, and Bristol Rovers the rest of the time, but I couldn't see any reason why this should be. I also found it impossible to see how the linesmen and referee could work out what had happened in so many incidents, not just fouls but who had put the ball out and even whether it had gone out for a throw-in or corner.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

no particular politics

This from an article by Peter Clarke in the TLS of 24 November 1995 (a quote I remembered, have presumably noted down somewhere but not in this blog, and recovered it by judicious searching on the TLS website (which is subscriber-only but I was able to piece it together by changing my search terms on the site):  'A comment from John Morley, Gladstone's colleague and biographer, points to a long-standing phenomenon: "When I hear a man say that he has no particular politics, I know that he is going to vote Conservative."'

spamalot, walk hard, downfall

While the cats were away (two weekends ago, for the Shrewsbury Flower Show), the mouse played, going to see Spamalot (had its moments, but mostly made me think that I'd rather be watching the film and how good the songs in Horrible Histories are), and watching off our digibox Walk Hard (an unexpectedly good take-off of music biopics) and Downfall (very good film about the last days of Hitler). I did also work all day the Saturday, so it wasn't all fun. Downfall wasn't exactly fun either, of course.

whit stillman on metropolitan

A Conversation With Whit Stillman About The Script Of 'Metropolitan'
- The Awl, 22 August

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

ten dancer statues of london

Inspired by Darcey Bussell’s coming-out-of-retirement-specially performance at the Olympic Closing Ceremony, strapped to a flaming phoenix — a monument that should surely be made permanent as some kind of legacy thing — we’ve sought out ten current statues of dancers around London.
- Londonist, 20 August

Saturday, 18 August 2012

the queen and the opening ceremony

Cottrell Boyce wrote the storyline for the ceremony, as well as bashing out anything else that was needed: memos, reports and speeches for Boyle. He also did the Bond parody starring the Queen. 'Well, I typed it,' he says modestly. The Queen came up with the idea of appearing in the sketch herself. They had approached the palace for permission to use a lookalike, 'and it came back that she would like to do it', he says. 'Sebastian Coe told me that when they had the first meeting with her, she'd looked at the storyboards and asked what kind of helicopter  we'd be using. We'd drawn one kind of helicopter and she said that would never fit under Tower Bridge.' Her Majesty suggested a type that would. 'She's very helicopter brand-aware.'
- from The Week of 11 August, in item summarising Sunday Times article on Frank Cottrell Boyce, who wrote the Olympics opening ceremony

scottish football attendance today

Interesting, presumably accurate stat posted by David Meredith on Facebook, on a fairly full day of Scottish football fixtures (twenty matches; Celtic away at Ross County, Rangers' first 3rd division match at home to East Stirling: 'Ibrox crowd bigger than SPL + the others combined. Total SPL, SFL 1, 2 & 3 combined attendance = 47,276. Ibrox attendance = 49,118.'

Sunday, 12 August 2012

august ansible - the hobbit trilogy

Peter Jackson's and Warner Bros' plan to expand the _Hobbit_ project from two films to three -- using spare _Lord of the Rings_ material since 'There's so much good stuff in the appendices that we haven't been able to squeeze into these movies' (_Telegraph_, 26 July) -- was thoughtfully described by _The Independent_'s John Walsh as 'stretching an ant's arse over a rain barrel.' (_Independent_, 26 July) [MPJ]
- August Ansible