Sunday, 25 September 2011

New Season

This could be construed as having something to do with the fashion shows. But the truth is sporting. Football sporting. Or rather my pallid attempt to be on a football field and playing something like the rudiments of the game.

It was a friendly against the team that won the division last season. They have been promoted and quite frankly I'm glad to see the back of them.

They were just too good. I hope they prosper in the first division.

For my pains I got a bruised cheekbone and somehow a bruised bicep. It was all so frightening when compared to the tennisfest I've been having of late.

Clearly I will have to toughen up if I am to survive the midfield engine room.

The good thing is there won't be as many teams as fast and furious as Saturday's opponents.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Season's End

It feels as if it's all over before it begins. First run-out of the football season on Saturday and I can't say it bodes well for the coming months.

Felt a twinge in the left leg and retired to defence and into the goal. to prevent any further damage since I was due to play tennis later that afternoon.

With the Roland Garros journalists' event coming up, this is no way to go into a major championship.

That's what I tell myself. But this is what six weeks without yoga class does to me.

Altogether now. Om.

High Stuff

What a whirl it's been. it feels positively pedestrian to be in the Wellcome Centre overlooking the Euston Road traffic bonanza. But time has come to take a rest.

I resisted the temptation on Friday night to bid for any of the lots at an auction at the Royal Monceau Hotel. The sale was in aid of the New Zealand Earthquake Relief Fund and some tasty gifts had been donated. There was champagne, some sculptures from the legendary French captain Jean Pierre Rives - now an established artist and a watch from Bulgari.

I shoved the radio station's microphone in front of a few people including the New Zealand ambassador and they responded.

The Bulgari watch went for around 20,000 euros, more than 10,000 euros above the list price. The champagnes by contrast wre more reasonable.

And after hearing figures in the thousands, hearing hundreds seemed ludicrously low. Still I wasn't tempted.

However I did succumb to the champagne. Some Pommery numbers before and more Pommery after the sale. There was a chef stirring up a risotto and all manner of lovely things.

I surveyed the firmament and thought if I stay here I can feast, so I decamped back to the radio station's more modest canteen well out of harm's way.

If the stairs and the atrium are anything to go by, I won't be hanging out anytime soon at the Royal Monceau. Way out of my league.

Hanging in high end hotels shouldn't naturally lead on to high church. But the early train from Paris brought me into London in time to catch the service at St Panras Old Church.

The priest's sermon was on the essence of forgiveness, punishment and the like. He preached on the back of going to a meeting on Friday involving community groups and the police on how to react to the riots in London and elsewhere.

A police superintendent attended the pow-wow to give it the enforcement perspective. And presumably the priest was there to inject a spiritual nuance to the proceedings.

If it costs £100,000 to keep somebody in prison, the priest wondered whether that kind of money would be better spent on re-educating some of the wrongdoers.

I guess that the post riot lust is for drooling vengeance rather than pragmatic perspective.

I was reading the Sunday Times on the train over and one of the columnists mentioned the British prime minister's gambit of 'tough love'.

And why not - as the film critic Barry Norman was wont to say.

As long as it's dispensed on miscreants throughout the social strata. But I just don't see that happening.