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Monday, 30 May 2011

Mes que un club

Congratulations to Barcelona. There are plenty of op eds around weighing in on the whole greatest club team in the world debate and of course its a non argument changes in the game, in the way its played, in technology measn that the whole debate is redundant.
All I'll say is that I watching the final with a huge smile on my face. Watching football being played the way it should be - with a smile - a fierce joy.
We went into town on saturday and "enjoyed" the spectacle of the pissed up obnoxious Man Utd fans in Covent Garden which added an additional sweetness to the evenings events.
Todays plaque is again on the wall of the Hobbs Pavilion on Parkers Piece commemorating the first game of codified game of football played on that hallowed ground in 1863. And from there well it is the worlds game - wherever you go there a bunch of kids kicking a ball around - its a touchstone which is why I always try to take a footie shirt on hols with me. Yes its been misused - a thinly veiled excuse from division, hate, racism, sectarianism and nationalism but then a team like Barca come along and blow that negativity away. Bravo Barca!

Monday, 23 May 2011

Edward Hardwicke (1932-2011)

Very happy to see that Martin Freeman won Supporting Actor in this years BAFTAs. Sherlock was a real highlight of last years viewing.
Wittyand intellegent with enough little nods to Conan Doyle while providing enough smiles with the introduction of technology and morals to make it relevent to a modern audience. But what of course makes it click is the chemistry between Holmes and Watson.
Rathbone and Bruce had it, Breet and Hardwicke (and Burke) had it, Cumberbatch and Freeman have it, Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law....I dont think so.
A purist was wittering on about the fact that this modern retelling wasnt up to much in comparison with the older period stories (although it should be said that the Rathbone movies have very little to do with the Conan Doyler originals) and referred to Edward hardwicke in the past tense.
Sadly he was correct at least on that point. Edward Hardwicke died on 16th May. The Brett/Hardwicke/Burke series I think is pretty much seminal as a faithful recounting of the original Conan Doyle stories. I think I prefer Hardwicke's Watson - theres a warmth there to complment Holmes' cold intellect but theres also a resoluteness a grit there without which Holmes would be a hopeless dilletente.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Martin a Beckett Boyd (1893-1972)

Spotted in Little Eversden on the Oxfam walk on Sunday which came as a bit of a surprise Little Eversden being well the name rather gives it away doesnt it? Not a thriving metropolis exactly. Still it was home to a rather nice village hall eqipped with both cake and tea both rather needed after somewhere around 17 and a half miles of trudging. I indulgd in ginger and rhubarb and ginger and very nice they were too. Kept me going until I got back to Wimpole Hall a rather nice 17th century house now in the hands of the National Trust. It was the second return to the house grounds Oxfam deciding that their three walks would all begin and end at the house. At that point M passed me on the way into the houses grounds and I managed to talk her into accompany me on the last leg of the days meanderings - a 4 mile walk around the estate. We had to do it at a fair pace as Oxfam would be closing up the finish marquee at 5.30. We eventually got in at 5.20. Whew! I'd managed to miss the first bus from Drummer Street as the Oxfam sign was happily posted at the wrong bus stop. Not the only bit of misorganization as a marshal went AWOL on the 4 mile walk which meant that we just kept going following the signs rather than turning right climbing the hill which wasnt really needed at that stage of the day.
Anyhoo its done and apart from a fairly messed up right foot - due to the lack of rain the ground is rock hard - even on the stages of the walk in the extensive woodlands theres no give at all. With ruts and whatnot its rather lkike walking on corrugated iron. Still a couple of hundred pounds for Oxfam so HUZZAh all over that.
Anyhoo Mr Boyds name was inscribed on the gable end of a venerable thatched cottage in Little Eversden - a life by all accounts blighted by the first world war....far from the only one of course