Archive for October, 2013

Off colour

October 25, 2013 2 comments

You hear some different music on Catalan local radio; it’s much more eclectic than the British equivalents, and it’s usually on in the car, when I’m driving. A few days ago I heard a track by a woman singer who was right up there with Cyndi Lauper. The presenter billed her as ‘Peenk’, so next time I was online I went looking for her. 

Seems that P!nk (sic) has been around for a few years, and yes I had heard of her, but never regarded her as being up there on the level of La Lauper, or old Madge, or even the bloody awful Lady Gaga. A quick look at iTunes gave me a clue why. It turns out that P!nk is  more than a little B!ue, since quite a few of her tracks have red ‘Explicit!’ warnings beside them. Not to be deterred I downloaded a couple, one called ‘True Love’, where ‘as*hole’ is the potentially objectionable word, and another, where there is no doubt, since its title is ‘F**kin’ Perfect’.

‘What the hell is that?’ Eileen demanded when I played it. I looked at her, all innocence. ‘It’s your song, honey,’ I said. (I give lessons, guys.)

Categories: General

Brand X

October 24, 2013 2 comments

Like many  people of my generation who’ve actually heard of Russell Brand (probably a minority) I’ve always considered him to be an irrelevance, a complete prat. Until now.

In fact, Russell is a demagogue in disguise; like many of that breed, there is a core of sense in some of his outpourings, and for me that makes him dangerous

Categories: Politics, Videos


October 23, 2013 Leave a comment

And this.

Got home the other night to find my bags on the doorstep. 
‘That’s it,’ she said, ‘you’re out of here for good I’ve had enough!’
As I trudged wearily down the path dragging my meagre possessions behind me, she shouted, 
‘And I hope you have a miserable and lonely life, you Bastard!’ 
……’Oh,’ I said. ‘ You want me back now do you!’

Categories: General


October 23, 2013 Leave a comment

Blame Michael Jecks for this one, not me.

Robert, 82, married Jenny, a lovely 25 year old. Since her new husband is so old, Jenny decides that after their wedding she and Robert should have separate bedrooms, because she is concerned that her new but aged husband may over-exert himself if they spend the entire night together. After the wedding festivities Jenny prepares herself for bed and the expected knock on the door. Sure enough the knock comes, the door opens and there is Robert, her 85 year old groom, ready for action. They unite as one. All goes well, Robert takes leave of his bride, and she prepares to go to sleep. After a few minutes, Jenny hears another knock on her bedroom door, and it’s Robert. Again he is ready for more “action”. Somewhat surprised, Jenny consents for more coupling. When the newlyweds are done, Robert kisses his bride, bids her a fond good night and leaves. She is set to go to sleep again, but aha, you guessed it, Robert is back again, rapping on the door and is as fresh as a 25 year-old, ready for more “action”. And, once more they enjoy each other. But as Robert gets set to leave again, his young bride says to him, “I am thoroughly impressed that at your age you can perform so often. I have been with guys less than a third of your age who were only good once. You are truly a great lover, Robert.” Robert somewhat embarrassed turns to Jenny and says: ‘You mean I was here already?”

Categories: General

To tip or not?

October 21, 2013 2 comments

There is a crisis in Spain, beyond any doubt. In truth there are several, with corruption in politics continuing to grab the headlines, but there is no doubt that the economy is in a pretty ropey state. In Madrid a couple of weeks ago, I was struck by the number of beggars on the streets, and even going round the tables in some cafes, (I saw one man begging food from a couple of tourists) and by the lack of Spanish people in the restaurants and bars that we visited.

Mind you, the latter may have had something to do with the prices in most of the places in and around Plaza Major. One in particular came to mind, an outdoor evening cafe in which the bill for a gin and tonic and a couple of miserably small beers came to a teeth-sucking amount. 

When I looked at it, I had a moment of revelation. Our waiter had been disinterested all night and he was being paid anyway, so when my change arrived I suddenly knew exactly what I should do. Instead of tipping the guy, I put the lot into the cup of a man who was sitting in a doorway nearby, and who looked as if he really, really needed it. I hope he felt as good about it as I did.

Categories: General


October 21, 2013 Leave a comment

This is true: an old school chum told me a worrying story this morning. I quote him directly:

“I woke up swathed in bandages, in a hospital ICU, tubes entering different
parts of my body, wires monitoring every function, a gorgeous nurse
hovering over me.

“It was obvious I’d been in a serious accident.

“I heard her say, ‘You may not feel anything from the waist down.’

“I managed to mumble in reply, ‘Can I feel your tits, then?'”

Categories: General


October 21, 2013 Leave a comment

Categories: Pics, Sport

Long may they run

October 20, 2013 Leave a comment

A few years back Don Winslow, one of my favourite writers, published a novel called The Dawn Patrol, about a group of surfers near San Diego. This is the St Marti equivalent, on a Sunday morning. The Beach Boy on the extreme right is Dom, my step-son, who is old enough to know better but doesn’t: a lot like I was with five-a-side football. I hope he lasts as long in the water as I did in the sports centre.

Categories: Pics, Sport


October 20, 2013 Leave a comment

I don’t often plug music on this platform, but I’ve just downloaded The Bluegrass Album, by Alan Jackson, and it’s terrific.

Categories: General

Not good

October 19, 2013 Leave a comment

1  —  1 at home vs Southampton. Moyes would have been better playing 11 men rather than 10 plus Fellaini.

Categories: Sport


October 19, 2013 Leave a comment
Categories: Sport

Roy and Peter

October 19, 2013 2 comments

Roy Hodgson is probably one of those guys who shouldn’t tell jokes, anytime, anywhere. But he chose to at half-time, in the most important football match of  his life, probably to ease the tension that must have been filling the room at the time. The gag he pulled was an old one, told a million times before and never, I’ll bet, has it been construed as racist. Thanks to a treacherous member of his squad who ran to the press,  that label was hung round Mr Hodgson’s neck, briefly, until it was laughed out of court by every other person in the room at the time, and firmly squashed by the FA.

Yet there are people who still won’t let it lie. A complaint has been made to the FA by something called Race for Sport, which has been described as an offshoot of the Society of Black Lawyers, which is run by  a man named Peter Herbert. ‘You’re kidding, QJ’ I hear you gasp. Well no, I’m not; it really does exist and it is given credence and airtime by our media in its endless search for headlines. Here’s what I believe: any organisation that is based in ethnicity alone is potentially racist in its outlook and should be prohibited. Anyone who thinks that’s extreme should imagine the  reaction if a few barristers . . .  I resist the urge to call them ‘baristas’ . . . were to get together and establish the Association of White Lawyers.

There are people, possibly Mr Herbert among them, who will brand me as racist for committing that thought to print. I can assure them that I’m not. All I want is a level playing field; I want Martin Luther King’s dream world, where we are judged not by the colour of our skin but by the content of our character. Those who foster and play upon ethnic distinctions are blocking the road to that goal.

Categories: General, Politics, Sport


October 18, 2013 Leave a comment

If I was a young man today and faced with a choice between being a professional sportsman and a traffic warden, I’d probably opt for the peaked cap. Why? Because traffic wardens are treated with more dignity and respect.

Take the case of Andy Murray as an example. Andy has had back surgery recently. He is in the early stages of rehab, still many weeks away from resuming his tennis career, but mobile enough to keep an important appointment this week. There he was, spruced up and ready to go to the Palace, with his partner and his parents, to pick up his OBE, when there was a knock on his front door. He opened it and there was a man, a stranger, demanding that Andy piss in a bottle, and that he witness him doing so. And he had to, no choice, even though it made him late for his investiture. It’s called out of competition testing, it’s compulsory and those who do not make themselves available are labelled ‘drug cheats’ and banned from their chosen sports. Human rights? They don’t have any.

Such is the crazy world of any modern professional athlete. If I picked up a squash racket again, even at my advanced age, maybe there’s a Masters’ circuit I could play on. Would I consider it? Only if I could give the man with the bottle a simple message when he turned up at my door.

Categories: Sport

How to embarrass oneself

October 18, 2013 Leave a comment

Some guys invite you to play in a bounce game, and you’re photographed in their shirt, something your Barça pals will never let you forget.


Categories: General, Pics, Sport

BBC non-headline of the week

October 17, 2013 Leave a comment

‘Andros Townsend: Roy Hodgson’s joke did not cause offence’


Categories: General, Sport

A welcome history

October 17, 2013 Leave a comment

He didn’t send me a review copy, (I had to buy one!) but I’ll plug Kenneth Roy’s new book, ‘The Invisible Spirit’, anyway.

Categories: General, Politics

In good company

October 16, 2013 Leave a comment
Categories: General

How to embarrass one’s wife

October 14, 2013 1 comment

You take her to Madrid, then talk some local guy into having his photo taken with her, in  his work clothes even, just to prove she was there.

Categories: Sport


October 13, 2013 4 comments

Just back from Madrid of which more later, but first, a quiz question.

What are these?

Categories: Sport

How are the mighty fallen

October 13, 2013 4 comments

This is what our broadsheet journalism has come to. This is a non-story with no substance at all, as the reader comments make very clear. I must give up the Torygraph and switch to the Sun, where they seem to have a greater regard for truth and accuracy.

Categories: General, Sport