Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

It’s been a lovely weekend having my niece Charlotte and her partner Jos to stay…

It’s been a lovely weekend having my niece Charlotte and her partner Jos to stay. Their little one Manning has been with his grandmother Joanna. So we’ve been hitting the lights, the streets, and the bottle. Happy Days.

Friday, January 27, 2023

Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons @ Harold Pinter Theatre "Only 140 words each per day. 1984 meets Twitter." @Jenna_Coleman_ @AidanTurner @HPinterTheatre Review ->

Last night Stuart and I went to see Jenna Coleman (yes, her off of Dr Who) and Aidan Turner (yes, him off of Poldark) star in Sam Steiner's Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London's glitzy West End.
Short review: The acting is great. The play, less so. Coleman plays lawyer Bernadette and Turner plays musician Oliver. They meet, fall in love, argue and then have to face a change in the law that stops them communicating.
Directed by Josie Rourke, Lemons x5 imagines a world where we’re forced to say less - by law. Only 140 words each per day. A sort of 1984 meets Twitter. So it’s about what we say and how we say it; about the things we can only hear in the silence; about dead cats, activism, eye contact and lemons, lemons, lemons, lemons, lemons. It also takes a can-opener to a typical opposites-attract romcom in order to explore wider issues of democracy and free speech.
It's a simple set, a simple illuminated backdrop, no props, just two actors on stage. And 90 mins straight through. Even then, it seemed a bit too long. Covering similar ground, Nick Payne's two-hander Constellations is way, way better.
Go for the stars. But don't expect to be wowed. 

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Football commentary grid : Arsenal and Sheffield United at Highbury 1927...

On January 22, 1927, BBC Radio broadcast a football match for the very first time - a Division One fixture between Arsenal and Sheffield United at Highbury, with commentary by former rugby player, Teddy Wakelam. 
However, there was understandable concern that radio listeners might not follow the game very easily so Radio Times published this handy diagram of a football pitch, divided into eight numbered squares. 
While Wakelam called the play, another voice would call out numbers corresponding to the area of the pitch where the action was taking place. 
The grid was also thought to be the origin of the phrase, “back to square one”.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

My Energy Box Is Completely Dead…

Every iPhone / iPad user knows this, right? But just in case you don’t, or you are my beloved mum in a panic at 6am this morning…

Having an iPad or iPhone not recharging is a fairly common problem and often has a very easy solution that you can do yourself. 

Using a paper clip (or if you are idiot like me, a needle). 

Sometimes dirt and dust can get caked in the charging port of the iPhone/iPad requiring an implement to clear it out. 

1. Look inside the port for any caked-on dust or dirt. If you can't see inside, try shining a flashlight into it.
2. Uncurl the paperclip into a long bit of wire and insert it into the port. Try to remove any large pieces of lint or dust in the port — you might need to very gently scrape along the metal contacts at the bottom of the port. Gently!
3. Once you have removed any lint or dust the Apple charging cable should work again. 

Ta-dah!  Or in my case, one happy parent.
Update: She was convinced her iPad was dead. Was going to pay someone a fortune to replace the battery. Er, hold your horses old girl.

Inserted paperclip.

She’s got it humming like a van de graaff generator now.
BTW you can see the battery health on Apple devices too. Go to Settings / Battery / Battery Health & Charging / Maximum Capacity. Mine is at 80% but keeps its charge fine.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name….

Speaking to Shortlist in 2012, David revealed that the influence of Mr Wenger played a big role in Romeo's decision.

"I tried to get Man United shirts on them early," he said. "Two of them are Man United fans and one of them's an Arsenal fan. I don't know how that happened, but my middle son, Romeo, is an Arsenal fan."

After thinking about the reasons for Romeo's decision, Beckham added: "Actually, I do know how it happened. I took him to an Arsenal game and Arsene Wenger treated him so well, gave him a shirt with his name on the back and his favourite number.

"I had that when I was a kid with Man United. I let them support whoever they want. They don't have to support the teams I played for."

Romeo then spent a year in the Arsenal academy from 2014-2015.

Lamps out! No, not the Everton manager. It’s the Beat the Peak energy saving scheme…

Lamps out!  No, not the Everton manager. Its the Beat the Peak energy saving scheme. Gonna see if we can turn off all power - gas & lecky - from 5pm to 6pm. Wish us luck. 🥶 🕯️
Update: So we earned 10p off our next bill (or something similar). We sort of did it to see if we could. To be honest we were a little cold, stumbled around in the dark and spent 2 hours afterwards fixing a computer that wouldnt restart properly. So probably wont go full Greta” next time.


Monday, January 23, 2023

Arsenal 3 - 2 Man Utd

Fantastic game yesterday. So exciting. And the Arsenal boys played brilliantly. A late winner (after a nail-biting VAR check) capped it all off. 

My man of the match was Zinchenko. 

When he joined Arsenal he said, "I started to speak in the dressing room like, guys forget top three or whatever, we need to think about the title. Some of them were laughing, but now no one is laughing.”

Friday, January 20, 2023

Madonna tix: Finally got one. Phew!…

I finally managed to get a Madonna ticket for her Celebration tour. £80 + booking fee etc. Just me. Stuart’s not bothered. 

I decided that all I wanted to do was to go. Not necessarily to get a good view but just to be in the same auditorium. So I chose the cheapest ticket I could find that was vaguely central.

Block 410 on the recently announced 2nd night (15th Oct 23). Maybe it’ll be great. Maybe it won’t. But at least I’ll find out. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Sons of the Prophet @ Hampstead Theatre... Review ->

Last Friday night Darce, Jonathan and I went to see Stephen Karam’s Pulitzer Prize nominated Sons of the Prophet at the Hampstead Theatre in London's glitzy Swiss Cottage.
Joseph (Irfan Shamji) and Charles (Eric Sirakian) are American Maronite Christian brothers from Lebanese descent, living in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. They also happen to both be gay. In a prank performed by high school footballer Vin (Raphael Akuwudike), a deer decoy is placed on the road, causing their father to swerve and end up in hospital. He dies a week later from a heart attack. But this is just one aspect of the story – Joseph is also suffering from chronic pain as a result of a mystery illness, which is baffling his doctors. Plus, their old-fashioned and cantankerous Uncle Bill (Raad Rawi) moves in with them, and he is slowly losing his independence due to aging and his comorbidities. Sounds like a barrel of laughs, right?  Well, it is.
The dark humour comes from the sons' grief being invaded; by Joseph's over-sharing boss Gloria (Juliet Cowan), by a stop-at-nothing gay reporter Timothy (Jack Holden) after Joseph's story, by Vin (also gay?) texting Charles ham-fistedly asking for forgiveness, and by a cast of other comedic characters all played by Holly Atkins and Sue Wallace.
The company are all good (though Shamji is the stand-out) and there is a natural, authentic feeling throughout the play of a family coping with the ludicrousness of the mechanics of grief. There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments too - especially in the final section when all the characters come together for an ill-advised fourth-wall breaking truth and reconciliation showdown. 
Perhaps some alterations in direction would benefit the pacing as the play took a while to find its gear, but that said, there is much to enjoy here.
In particular having multiple queer characters on a main stage is still relatively unheard of and a refreshing treat, especially with their authentic portrayals. They are fully realised and dimensional, free from stereotypes, and have a personality outside of their sexuality. These are things that should be the norm, but unfortunately are not always well executed; therefore, this is something which should be applauded.

Monday, January 16, 2023


From quiet homes and first beginning,
Out to the undiscovered ends,
There's nothing worth the wear of winning,
But laughter and the love of friends.