Friday, 27 September 2013

a matter of life and death

i'm into long after writing a poem that concerns powell and pressburger's stone classic a matter of life and death so it was great to see, along with radio 3 getting it together for their autumn season, to see that this includes a radio 3 essay series on the work of powell and pressburger. so far i've listened to the one about black narcissus and a matter of life and death and they are fabulous.

the other day at work i was having a blether with one of my colleagues who, it turns out, is into her films. i was astonished to find that she'd never seen anything with bette davis. it strikes me that it could well be possible that she's never seen anything by powell and pressburger. what a miss that would be.

should there be any doubt a listen to these radio 3 essays should sort out any motivation to get any of these films watched or to watch them again if it's been a while. it may be they seen a tad dated, a bit too much of their time and place, but even if that's a problem not to recognise the craft that's gone into them is to not be able to watch a film.

so, seeing as autumn's on its way do yourself a favour - maybe give these programmes a listen and then settle down to a box set of powell and pressburger. you won't go wrong.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

martyn ashton

so i'm sitting here generally dodging work and not really feeling like going out on the bike. the latter is worse than the former as it actually is sunfish and even before that i haven't entirely neglected doing any work.

i have detoured my afternoon into watching cycling videos tho. which brings me to martyn ashton. martyn had a bit of an off earlier in the month and is now looking at a bunch of rehab with a prognosis that appears to be getting described as 'life changing'.

so, here's some video of martyn in action before i get my lazy backside out on the bike (and no, i can't do any of these things, a lack which would've been better addressed when i had my accident the other month!) they are on here elsewhere but i can't find them and they're worth looking at again

anyway, all the best to martin where ever he is (you can find him on twitter). i am now, definitively, off out on the bike

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

world championships!

irritating and lingering unwellness keeps me off the bike and pretty much away from doing anything else so there's little to do but watch the men's tt from florence. if you're couch potatoing like me you can see it on bbc2. if not then the guardian are doing a live update thing. they're cheating a bit by slapping a bunch of gcn videos on it at the moment but they're all good so worth a watch.

not abnormally i'm conflicted on this. all being well tony martin should win. but then, whilst not being his biggest fan, wiggins looks strong and it'd be nice to see him come away with something. that said support in the swiss lounge house is firmly on fabian cancellara. watch the gcn thing on his bike. 56/44!! my knees would buckle - even allowing for the generous 11/25. amd i covet a set of those pedals....

also - matt stephens. good guy. but as t has pointed out many, many times (yes how our cycling viewing differs) less is almost always more in terms of product on barnet and skinny jeans on a man in his mid forties is never, ever a good look.

Friday, 20 September 2013

the vuelta and more....

and that's the vuelta over. a better vuelta i can't remember. not least because of the route. in my head the vuelta is a dry, desert of a race but this year they seemed to have moved the race a bit further north and into bits of spain i hadn't seen before meaning that while t was trying to work i'd be interrupting - look at that, we should go there.

and the racing wasn't half bad either. no real queueing up to way for a sprint train. loads of decent looking climbs and no-one, seemingly able to dominate. the french must have some optimism with their riders coming thru and it's genuinely starting to look like that if you mash yourself up one day you'll be paying for it later. mostly.


i've always had a bit of a soft spot for chris horner. seemed like a good guy but equally a nearly man. and yet there he is melting it day after day after day. now it could be said that i'm of the generation of cycling fans who just can't see a good performance without having second thoughts. but...

how old is chris horner? what teams has he been in? who was his manager? i'm willing to accept that in a drug free sport there'll be older athletes who will do well. on their day. but not the day after. and the day after that. now it seems that horner could be rider 15 tho this is, at the moment, all internet speculation. horner himself isn't saying much which, these days, is tantamount to waving a flag saying here be suspicion. he should've taken a leaf out of chris froome's book.

if he did win clean it's a shame as he, in his way, will be a casualty of his generation. that said, watching him cycle away on the angliru....

so just the world championships and then next season. cadel evans looks like having his swansong at the giro (or maybe not - he's a spring chicken compared to horner!) and he'll be thankful that the organisers didn't get their way for a double zoncolan, a move positively desgrangian in its daftness. you don't combat doping by making the races stupid hard! and then the tour in yorkshire - who knows what the cycle-antipathetic english press will make of that?

we shan't be going. preferable we think to get a look at some classics or maybe head to scandinavia and get a look at some of those roads in the tour of the fjords but most likely we'll be watching it on tv and i'll be riding convoluted routes around here.

and what of that? a wee bit off the pace lately as the previously mentioned man cold appears not to have been a man cold and hopped the genders thus rendering us a bit useless. i did manage to get out the other day with mcj who, if she actually lay off the pies and booze and train properly would be making a big mess of me! as it was i took her out on a reasonably hilly 35, her legs popping on the last 11% in sight of home. she has the advantage of youth and determination tho so she rode thru it, if not comfortably, then well. the best bit was getting her back to the house where (she being deep in the thrall of strava) she got her route back to find she'd got 25 top tens. outstanding!

me, i can sense the oncoming ctc vibe about me. i can point out interesting plants and birds to mcj but she just wants to cane it and go fast. realistically, barring a bit of better technique, i'll be hitting the watershed age for getting up the hills in the not too distant future and my segments are clogged with club guys (and the irritating presence of one triathlete!) and it's going to need to be just the right day if i'm going to put the move on them.

so, if i can't beat them, i think i may well join them. in a future where i'm not working daft shifts i think i'd kind of like that. do my grand vet thing and wallow in that status but equally maybe get into a bit of the organisation side of racing. and definitely have something to do with young folk. it's great going out with mcj - so many new roads to cycle, so much time to do it in.

the only downside is coming back and knowing i can't do it with t. but one day maybe our tandem will come, tho in t's minds eye i fear she views it more like a pedicab, one where her legs go round but she's not the one making the effort and where she can still look about without falling off. and the day i can find such a device - i'll settle for that!

Thursday, 19 September 2013

office gardens

when i walk out the door in the morning i'm confronted by a giant sage bush, a plant we were told, wouldn't grow over winter in scotland. three years later and it's dominated both garlic and chives so successfully i haven't the heart to cut it back. also coming to the end of its season is our oregano weed. the last of the bees, grey backed and slowing now are still at the flowers. harvestmen have appeared plus a range of spiders. despite the prolonged warmth (by scottish standards) you can feel the autumn.

our neighbours, of course, aren't super impressed with our garden. too ragged, too unmowed (and this before we dug up half the lawn!) but i suspect even they are beginning to get it - no complaints this year as the cuckoo flowers pinked the front garden for spring.

back in the day i worked in occupational health for a while. the big victory i look back on was getting people to give up fizzy juice and drink water. i never would have conceived of bringing a garden indoors to enliven the horror that is cubicleland. not to say i haven't worked in a place where there were plants but it was only one company and the plants were sad things languishing in pots.

great then to be browsing spoon and tomato and come across this -

i saw a 'vegetised' wall in london last year but never dreamed it could continue into the workspace. pasona deserve massive credit for this - i can only imagine the battle whoever did it must have had! too often corporate types forget that happy workers are productive workers (happy being that state a worker can declare themselves rather than be bullied into!). decent food and decent environment don't cost much - the gains are in worker satisfaction and commitment. i doubt we'll be seeing anything like this in britain any time soon....

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

what you do when there's no tv


worth watching for the quote re inspiration near the end

*got via colossal

Monday, 9 September 2013

man cold

i, under the weather but t has gone out, muttering someting about working seven days, and leaving me with instructions to do ....stuff. how little she understands...