The Anonymous Widower

We Could All Learn From This

India has just released their oldest prisoner, who was 108. He looks extremely dangerous as he is carried from jail by his relatives in this story on the BBC web site.

How many prisoners in jails in the UK and around the world should be released as they are ill or demented and well past an age at which they can do anybody harm?

June 18, 2011 Posted by | News | , , | 3 Comments

The Fixtures For 2011-12 Are Now Out.

Now that the fixtures for next season have been published, what are going to be the difficult ones to get to from London or even Ipswich?

At present there is only one, that I probably couldn’t make.

That is on the 29th November 2011 at  Burnley. It was a good trip last season and too far for a Tuesday in November.

June 18, 2011 Posted by | Sport | , , | Leave a comment

Every Religion Seems To Have Its Mad Side

When I read stories like this, I despair of religion. I suspect most of my practicising friends do too!

Sometimes, there seems to be a contest to see which religion can be the maddest and cruelest.

Why can’t they stick to the agenda that most religions seem to agree on, about looking after your fellow man and trying to make the world a better place?

Surely stoning a dog to death doesn’t do that! Especially, as they’ve asked the local children to do it.

June 18, 2011 Posted by | News | , | 4 Comments

Growing Old Gracefully

Joan Collins gives a superb interview in The Times.  Buying the paper was worth it just for this quote, after she was asked how many men ha been her lovers and the interviewer had been surprised – “As I’ve been married five times, I’m more of a serial bride than a mattress!”

I did meet her once and from the pictures in the paper, she probably looks better now. But another of her comments about Bette Davis (difficult and ascerbic and coered in cigarette smoke) does suggest that she has given up the evil weed.

If she has, good on you, Joan and long may you keep us amused and entertained.

June 18, 2011 Posted by | News, World | , | Leave a comment

Does Cannabis Help Period Pains?

I wouldn’t know for obvious reasons, but according to The Times today, Queen Victoria was prescribed cannabis for this purpose.  But it wasn’t illegal until 1928. There’s more here on the BBC Panorama web site.

What a naughty old Queen she was!  Did she roll it herself or did she ask that nice Mr. Brown?

June 18, 2011 Posted by | Health, World | | 2 Comments

Lindsey Bareham’s Upmarket Fish Fingers

This is part of one of Lindsey Bareham ‘s recipes in The Times on Friday.

She suggests.

  1. Taking sole fish fillets and cutting them in half lengthways and patting them dry on kitchen paper.
  2. Smear one side with mustard.
  3. Put some flour on a plate, whisk an egg in a shallow bowl and make some fresh breadcrumbs from bread without crusts.
  4. Dip the fillets into the flour, shaking off the excess, swipe through the egg and then press into the breadcrumbs.
  5. Layout on a plate, cover with cling film and chill until required.

I think I’ll try that sometime. Here’s the full recipe.

June 18, 2011 Posted by | Food | , , , | 1 Comment

Barry’s Gluten Free Muffins

Barry, the chef in my local pub, the Northgate Arms in Southgate Road, is a coeliac, so he knows his gluten-free well.

As today, it was raining when I got my paper from next door to the pub, I popped in for a drink. They were offering a Brunch Menu, which contained Eggs Royale, which is a poached egg on top of smoked salmon and a muffin.

I decided to have one, whilst I read the paper with a drink.

For me, instead of a muffin, Barry grilled a slice of aubergine, added a slice of a large tomato and some spinach to the top as a delicious substitute.

June 18, 2011 Posted by | Food | , | 2 Comments

Is Opera and Ballet Elitist?

The question has to be asked after last night and my visit to the O2.

In my view it was a serious experiment to try to sell ballet to people, who would not normally go and it has been reported as such. Here’s Arlene Phillips, saying that ballet is for everyone.

But if it was so important, why is it that only the Independent seems to published a review this morning?

Perhaps those that feel very seriously  about ballet think that the O2 is rather beneath it.

I think that this might be the problem.  Those that go regularly, often subsidised in their corporate seats want to keep it not elitist but exclusive!

Here’s a few thoughts.

My mother was a humble comptometer operator in the Accounts Department of Reeves in Dalston before the Second World War.  She and her friends regularly went to the ballet and the opera. Would the typical office worker on the equivalent salary to my mother be able to afford a weekly visit to opera or ballet now?

I was once at about the age of sixteen at White Hart Lane to see Spurs play Arsenal. It must have been after Spurs had disbanded their band, as the Metropolitan Police Band were playing before the match and at half time. At half-time, one of the band put down his instrument and immaculately performed a serious operatic work. The performance was very good and totally unexpected and he got a tumultuous response from the probably 50,000 or so in the ground. So when people say that the common people don’t appreciate opera, are they are putting forward the collective view to preserve the exclusivity?

One of the best theatrical performances C and I ever saw, was a performance of Jesus Christ Superstar by the Italian Youth Theatre in the theatre at Taormina in Sicily.

June 18, 2011 Posted by | World | , , | 6 Comments

A Double First For Me!

Up until last night, I’d never been to the O2 at Greenwich or ever seen any serious ballet live. I did see Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo with C once a few years ago and enjoyed that, but it could not be described as mainstream ballet, although it is serious dance.

Last night, a friend who works at the Royal Ballet, took me to see Romeo and Juliet at the O2. So it was a double-first!

I enjoyed it immensively and felt that it worked well both as a show and as a spectacle. The only thing I didn’t like was that some in the audience, were constantly going in and out of the arena.

But don’t take my word for it, read the review in The Independent.

Here’s an extract.

Some details do get swallowed by this venue. The big crowd scenes blur, but Kenneth MacMillan’s famously impassioned duets keep their power. As the story’s focus shrinks to Juliet’s bedroom, then her tomb, the ballet reaches out to conquer this cavernous space.

So I think the Royal Ballet can say they have a success on their hands.

I should also say that because of my rather odd eye-sight, which could follow the detail well on the stage for a minute or so before my eyes tired, that the format with large video screens allowed me to rest them a bit, by watching the screens intermittently.

I would suspect that I might enjoy ballet and other shows in a large arena more than I would in a traditional theatre.  But I do know that my eyes are getting better, as towards the end of the last football season, I found the action much easier to follow than at the start.

I would certainly go again!

June 18, 2011 Posted by | World | , | 2 Comments