Sunday 31 August 2008

Let the wookie win

London2012 logo
I'm going to say something terrible… Winning isn't that important. Shocking isn't it? Come London 2012 and you'll probably get arrested for saying things like that. It's not that I'm going to stop trying; it's just that I can't seem to summon the interest. Hmmm, maybe that DOES mean I'm going to stop trying? I'm not going to survive with that kind of attitude.

I'm being a little disingenuous here. A month or so ago my brother won a badminton game against me for the first time. I was shocked to discover how much that hurt but resolved to be the gracious loser I'd always supposed myself to be; and since he's won several games since then that's probably just as well.

Nevertheless I stand by my original statement. I'm beginning to think we should all become a bit more… well… British – wherever you happen to live in the world.

However, though this may be my belief on how things should be I still have to recognise how things are. So I attempt to balance my daughter's competitive behaviour with that more humane (and I use to think more British) belief that it's not the winning but the taking part that counts. 'Loser' talk as my brother would put it.

But it's not easy. If you're playing a game with your children you let them win, don't you? It's not only because you want to see them happy - it's also to do with self preservation. It's O.K. to win against your wife because she won't try to pull your arms out of their sockets if she loses, seven year old children have been known to do that.

Friday 15 August 2008

My name isn't Michael Caine

The Caine Mutiny
It's not easy is it? I have a vague recollection of choosing to adopt the Michael Caine approach; write often enough and every once in a while something good will happen. The trouble is you need to have focus and sustain it beyond a few paragraphs. Speaking (writing?) of which, did anyone see 'The Quiet American' on BBC 1 last week? What a cracking film; and perhaps proof that the 'Caine' approach is superior to the 'Brando' method.

Has Brando actually been in that many good films? Anyone mentioning 'Last Tango in Paris' will be asked to leave the room… I've never really appreciated 'Apocalypse Now 'and 'On The Waterfront' suffered from a hazy observation that Brando appeared to be wearing too much make-up. God only knows what I was drinking that night.

So you have to think of a topic to write about; for example, film actors. Then develop what might at first appear a controversial thesis; why Caine is "better" than Brando. But even as you write this your mind begins to wander. It's not as if it matters - you'd rather have both than just the one and what does "better" mean anyway? Then you remember (how could you forget) that Brando was in The Godfather, start to think about the cheesecake you have waiting in the fridge and how you'd quite like to watch "The Caine Mutiny" again…

Friday 1 August 2008

And still I wait

I waited long for my true love
In hope that she would come
But time's tattered transport travels on
To fears I am alone

I waited, cried in desperation
I've frittered years in troubled thought
To contemplate a soul's starvation
Imagine life with passion wrought

I wait, I move, I step away
Avert my gaze as you pass by
Postpone my life another day
And when you're gone I wonder why

So now I wait upon tomorrow
Another chance to face you missed
Tonight again from dreams I'll borrow
A warm embrace, a softer kiss