Friday, 15 June 2018

About Jim Rockford

As Julius Caesar might say if he was around in this online age, "I found, I liked, I shared." From another televisual staple of my youth, a great (and distinctive) device for characterising the protagonist...

Thursday, 14 June 2018

About Robbie

So, another World Cup post, already. Sorry.

Young Robert Williams of Blighty performed at the opening ceremony, and look what he did with his backing band's drum kit:

Yes, that's an attempt at "RW" in Russia's Cyrillic alphabet. But I did Russian at school, and can tell you that Я is pronounced "yar" (and is the Russian for "I") and that Щ, far from being a W, is actually pronounced "shch" (like in Ashchurch or fresh cheese, as we were taught).

So what Rob is actually saying to the watching Russian masses is yarshch. Nice work

Of course, his actual initials would prove harder in Russian, especially for the rest of the world watching on TV. The Russian R is actually П. And W? Russian doesn't even have a W. So maybe he should have approximated to Robbie Villiams, with a Russian V which is В. In other words, his drum kit should look like:

But I guess that doesn't say, "Hey, Robbie's in Russia" to a global audience in quite the same way.

Enjoy the footy, kids.

About the World Cup

Unless you are Tommy, and deprived of all your senses, you cannot fail to have noticed that the World Cup starts today. Or, as Harry Kane clarified in his first press conference after being named captain, "the biggest competition in the world." Brilliant. Our nation's sporting leader comprehends the meaning of the words "world" and "cup". How can we fail?

Speaking of hubris, "Scotland 78: A Love Story" is available on the iPlayer for another 22 days, and is worth an hour of anyone's time, assuming anyone is interested in either the beautiful game or how we used to live. It also includes this goal, beloved of Renton in Trainspotting:

As for this year's cup, I've got Belgium in one sweepstake (woohoo) and Egypt in another (er, get fit, Mo Salah...)

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

About Charlize

I know it's unlikely but in my head the wonderful Charlize Theron has turned her back on the film-star life and is now growing tomatoes in Yorkshire for Waitrose...

Friday, 8 June 2018

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

About the sincerest form of flattery

Gavin may be heavily influenced by a certain Sir William Bragg of Barking. This may even border on a pastiche of Waiting For The Great Leap Forwards. But I don't care, I still love it. And hey, it keeps the blog ticking over...

Friday, 1 June 2018

Fifty? And other pauses for thought...

I haven't been blogging much of late but I can't let this pass: Kylie Minogue turned 50 on Monday.

I'll just that let sink in. It doesn't seem possible, does it? Mainly because if you're about my age, i.e. you were at secondary school in the era of peak Neighbours, you probably feel, as I do, that you've sort of grown up with Kylie. Okay, so she's wearing better than most of us, and has achieved more than most of us too, but you get what I'm saying, right? And so to acknowledge that she, the perennial sweetheart, the eternal fantasy girl next door, is not just a woman but a middle-aged woman now embarking on her sixth decade, well, that is also to acknowledge that we (by which I mean I) am getting old too.

Time is short, and I've wasted a lot of it lately, not least on lazy blog posts (a bit like this one) that amounted to little more than a couple of trite paragraphs and a YouTube embed. Yet at the same time, I would tell anyone who cared to ask (and ask they still do, though decreasingly) that my fiction writing would be going great guns if only I had more time. Hence a bit of a rethink all round at New Amusements Towers... time to get busy livin'. And, for what it's worth, I have been writing, these past few weeks.

But back to Kylie. I'm no great fan of her music, aside from one or two tracks, and am fairly ambivalent about her acting, I've just always been a fan of her. At various times in my life she has been a poster on my wall (this one, seemingly now quite rare), an early mobile phone wallpaper (this pic), and a memorable gig in a now sadly defunct venue, tickets bought by an ex who got tired of me referring to Kylie as "the future wife". The ex is long, long gone... but Kylie, she's always been around. And now she's 50 and promoting an album that I won't buy called Golden (presumably because that's what a 50th anniversary is). As ever, I found the singles to be inoffensive but not something I would choose to listen to, ordinarily. But then, one evening, I heard Jo Whiley play this album track, and I rather liked it. You might too.

And check out the changes with this GIFfy Instagram post which, if nothing else, keeps the blog ticking over...