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Showing posts from January, 2017

Pony Tales: Beef Dripping. Small bits.

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The above photograph shows Brian Fletcher riding into the winner's enclosure at Aintree Racecourse in !974 at the end of Red Rum's second victory in the Grand National. Many people will be aware of Red Rum, the horse, but less so I feel of his rider, Brian Fletcher  who died this year on the 11th of January.
I feel he has been overlooked. He won his first Grand National on Red Alligator in 1968, having been third on him the year before. In 1973 he rode Red Rum to victory, in what has been described as one of the greatest Nationals.

Red Rum wins!

What must be remembered was that Brian Fletcher was the only jockey to chase after the gallant Crisp and thereby able to get up in the final strides to deliver the victory. It was certainly cruel on Crisp who jumped brilliantly throughout and showed how handicaps bring horses together; 'Rum receiving 23 pounds from Crisp. The record race time was to stand for seventeen years, until eclipsed by Mr. Fisk.

In 1974 with the extra 23 po…

New Arrivals: Football Again

I have found myself, in my adult reading life drawn towards Science Fiction. From Clifford D. Simak  through Arthur C. Clarke; Ray Bradbury: Phillip K. Dick; Isaac Asimov;Tad Williams; Alfred Bester  to Emily St. John Mandel , whom we met in last week's blog. To this stellar squad we can now add the name of Ted Chiang, to whom we will return later.

When dealing with this genre I like to use the term ' Speculative Fiction' for at its best this literature gives the reader a glimpse into possible futures. Sometimes the works have almost being prophetic.
take Arthur C. Clarke's satellites, in which he correctly saw the global spread of them, enabling   'spies in the sky.' He thought this ability to detect other countries happenings, would stop war. That hasn't happened, but the intelligence gathering from satellites has certainly checked some military activity.
Today, of course we use satellites for a variety of other purposes, including weather forecasting  an…

Ars Longa Vita Brevis: Halfway House Football Predictions

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Modestly educated, I never had foreign language lessons or indulged in a study of Latin.
But " Ars Longa Vita Brevis ' remains one of the few Latin phrases that I know.

In essence it means;  Life is short. Art is eternal. I know this because The rock group " The Nice," in 1968 released an album bearing the same title.




Naturally I had an impetus to discover its meaning.



" America " THE NICE

This three piece group performing on this and subsequent albums,  comprised of Keith Emerson ( Hammond Organ); Lee Jackson ( bass guitar and vocals ) and Brian  ' Blinky ' Davidson ( Drums and percussion). Leader Emerson was the consummate showman, as you may have noticed from the above black and white video, in which he sticks daggers into the Hammond organ and plays the keyboard from every possible side. ( Tough chap this Hammond!). I witnessed this group live at  the first Bath festival and remember being awed at the energy they produced and amazed at the concl…