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For over a third of a century I have had darkish hair, I wear glasses. I watch too much TV. I read a little. I gave up smoking on 1st January 2007. I would rather be in Hawaii. In 2005, I held the title of ``Greatest Sword in all France'' In 1991 I won a the 1V form prize.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Logan

This Franchise started when Bill Clinton was president. Hell I remember talking about an X man movie with Lee Martin some time after high school began

So here it is the end of an era. The last of the X men movies. Here is Logan needing glasses to read. Coughing and grey,  the man who was born before the USCW is getting older. Looking after a senile Captain Picard. 
Stephen merchant plays Caliban a once mighty mutant reduced to a a skivvy. The Mutants were not the wave of the future . They are like Eric la  Salle big in the 1990s.
Trump is and was President. The fence is mentioned. Oh and a HSA

Logan has headed south of the border he is making a living( when not drinking ) as a chauffer 

Then we meet the girl. Yes this time there is no love interest. Its laura an 11 year old mutant. Like a western it is whores. Seen briefly, other peoples wives, and the school mam. The Mexican nurse in this case. The last of the mutants lives in a mans world. Him, Caliban and Xavier. A sterile world,
After all, who even eats spotted dick in England these days

Full of rage, Laura is haunting a world she does not understand. Laura wants to get to ND, and then to Canada. Where she and her kind will be safe..

There is a nice part when Logan finds out that the co ordinates Laura is heading to, where taken from a comic book

We see driverless trucks, Though in one scene a boy has an mp3 player( Will they exist in 13 years? Ditto cell phone chargers?)

Richard E.Grant is playing villains these days. He played the Great intelligence in Dr Who. He gives them the upper class villan with a South of Africa twist

Oh and a word to the McGuffin its  about time someone simply turned the industrial complex against the mutos. Come on boys what you  gonna eat?

That guy who played Murphy on Narcos plays the physical threat (Boyd Holbrook). Wearing a bomber jacket. Been a while since I have seen one of those,  If that was a deliberate touch by the wardrobe department. Then it is well done

As I observed above the film notes the passage of time. Professor X, here reduced to Chuck, and using Americanisms such as take a moment. Professor X muses about the Western he and Laura watch- Shane. Is it significant that our heroes are in a casino. A place of long odds and broken dreams- when this exchange happens?

If there is a message to Logan it is   The end we all die. We get sicker, Logan)the body goes, cruellest of all the mind. (Charles's ) Better die for something. Even if we get trapped by our choices

 It has  been  long time since High school for us all. The last film of this franchise I saw in the cinema was an equator away













Sunday, March 12, 2017

Congratulations to my sister

My sister,
Beloved Aunt

Who has made sacrifices and gone beyond and above the call of duty, in helping myself and my daughter in our predicament , Is engaged to her beloved.

I and my daughter wish them every happiness

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Stanley Bowles


Stan Bowles
 Stan Bowles is now cared for by his daughter, Andria, and despite moments of clarity is unable to recall his long career in football. Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian

The smile has not changed, as puckish as it always was; nor has the mischievous glint in Stanley Bowles’s sea-blue eyes. I remember it all like yesterday, when Bowles bedazzled football, weaving, winding through a humiliated defence yet again, in the hoops of Queens Park Rangers, atop the league, back in the 1970s.


But at a pub in his native Manchester, Stan himself remembers none of this. His Alzheimer’s disease is now, as they say, “100%”, both sides of the brain, “and something at the back”, adds his daughter Andria, nowadays, as she describes herself, “full-time carer” – and lifeline. Of course, we recall a few goals of yore: “We’re talking about you playing football, Stan.”
“Football?”
Fifty years ago last weekend, QPR won one of the most remarkable cup finals in football history: from the Third Division, they overcame a two-goal deficit to defeat First Division West Bromwich Albion 3-2, and win the League Cup. I was at Wembley that unforgettable day, aged 12, with my father and brother, dizzy with disbelief.
Little did we know, though, that 1967 was just the beginning for hitherto humble Rangers. Within 10 years the club came within 14 minutes (during which Liverpool put three past Wolves, in a deciding game) of the First Division title, equivalent to today’s Premier League. But memory of the zenith decade casts a shadow over QPR’s half-centennial, for that achievement in 1975-76 was synonymous with the uncanny brilliance and waggish personality of one player: Bowles. The man who, as his best friend Don Shanks says, “can hardly remember who he is. It’s heartbreaking, soul-destroying.”
My God, those days. I travelled every long weekend either back from university to west London or up and down the M6, M1, usually in a Morris Minor driven by my best friend Patrick Wintour (of this parish), brother Tom and a friend, William, whose family had shared our house. We went to watch the Superhoops and above all the greatest player ever to wear them, Bowles. My sister, now a professional illustrator, started her career by winning, aged 15, a “Draw Stan Bowles” competition. My first ever article was published in The Superhoop supporters’ club magazine.

Stan Bowles eludes Leeds’ Norman Hunter and Trevor Cherry
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 QPR’s Stan Bowles eludes Leeds’ Norman Hunter and Trevor Cherry in April 1976. Photograph: Stewart Fraser/Colorsport

We would drive to Sunderland or Manchester, take supporters’ club chartered trains to Stoke, hitchhike back from Everton. After listening to that last terrible Wolves v Liverpool game on the wireless, Patrick said: “I’ve never felt so philosophical in my life. Nothing’s ever meant so much.” His girlfriend was furious. At the centre of it all: Bowles’s flair, long hair, gawkish gait but spellbinding ability to accelerate, decelerate, anticipate. His late winner at Newcastle, voodoo with the ball against Middlesbrough, a perfect winning goal at Leicester, then what could have been a title-clincher against Leeds in our last game of the season.
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Among those also watching was the former home secretary Alan Johnson, who says: “Bowles’s impish wizardry left so many Rangers fans with wonderful memories. I am privileged to be one of them.” The broadcaster Robert Elms insists: “The bond between QPR and Stan Bowles is more complete than between any other single player and a football team. This wayward, wondrous, magical, yet totally down-to-earth street genius is the embodiment of our Queens Park Rangers.” The composer Michael Nyman says: “My love of Stan goes back to a muddy match when he first played at Loftus Road against Rangers for Carlisle in 1972 [we signed him five months later]. He was as astonishing then as in every subsequent match I saw him play in.”
Stan’s golden years were shared, on and off the pitch, with Shanks, the QPR defender famous for “stealing” Miss World winner Mary Stavin from Liverpool’s Graeme Souness. Bowles reputedly took every opportunity during a game at Anfield to remind Souness of his mate’s conquest. “Stan played football without stress or pressure,” Shanks recalls. “While other players would be in a panic during a big game, or poor shape for a bad one, Stan would just play. ‘Give me the ball, I’ll do the rest.’ A football pitch was Stan’s natural home.”


The manager Dave Sexton stressed then what he called Rangers’ “continental” football, inspired by Dutch games, and Shanks places Bowles in the history of what has happened to British football since. Shanks says: “Stan was like players who come from Europe now, before their time: Costa, Ag├╝ero. A star, but unselfish; he was a team player … amazing rapport. We knew what Stan would try to do – the amazing thing is that he did it. Round the back of the defence, with pace – and magic.”
But it was Stan the man that Shanks – and QPR fans and players – loved too. “Everyone was equal to Stan,” he says. “It didn’t matter if you were collecting rubbish or a pop star. If QPR were up in Manchester, he might stay over and play for a Sunday league team.” Bowles would stop over at Shanks’s parents’ flat on the White City estate, next to Loftus Road: “Always polite – ‘Thank you Mr Shanks, thank you Mrs Shanks’ … I used to say: ‘It’s OK Stan – no one else talks to them like that.’”
I remember Bowles joining fans in The Crown & Sceptre near QPR’s ground on Christmas Eve – his birthday. He was offered more pints than even he could manage, and bought a few himself, for total – albeit adoring – strangers.
Most famously: “Stan loved a bet,” says Shanks, who was also his partner at the White City dog track or bookmakers. “Not big money – it was a pastime, 50 quid between two dogs, for the adrenaline rush. He hardly went to a casino, but if he did, he’d put £20 here, £20 there. Later, he’d go to those card schools and play for six hours.” A barman at the dog track was John O’Mahony, now among fans campaigning for a Bowles testimonial. He says: “Stan always drew people round him, but he never showed off. He was always just himself.”

England’s Stan Bowles
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 England’s Stan Bowles celebrates with Kevin Keegan after scoring against Wales in 1974. Photograph: Colorsport/Rex/Shutterstock

And he still is, but actually not. Bowles moved back from London to Manchester before the family announced his condition in 2015. And here he is, at the Whitegate Inn on the road to Oldham, enjoying lager-and-lemonade-top with Andria, his friend Mike, a builder who visits every day, and Joanne Connolly, a fan whose dad – “Taxi Teddy” – knew Bowles from outings to the dogs; Joanne calls Stan the “adolescent fervour that lasted a lifetime”.
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Stan wears a dapper woollen overcoat, tartan tweed hat and smart scarf. Now he puts on a pair of sunglasses. “Dino!” he says. “That’s Robert De Niro,” explains Mike. “Dino!” repeats Stan. “It’s hard to speak Stan-ish,” says Andria. “He’s having a good day today, but it’s not always like this. On bad days, he’s a rabbit in the headlights, very anxious and confused.” Andria, the modern-day matriarch of Moston, is a woman of humbling strength and commitment, but insists to the contrary: “It’s something I do,” she says of her charge. She admits: “He was a selfish dad, but he’s mellowed, he’d started to do that before the disease. Now he’s home, with us, where my own nan and grandpa lived.”
There are moments of sudden clarity from Bowles. I mention Gerry Francis, the QPR captain with whom Stan had a telepathic rapport: “Gerry, he’s alright he is.” And when you call him Stan he corrects you: “It’s Stanley!”
In comes Stanley’s great-granddaughter, Macie, aged five. Andria used to run another pub down the road “where my nan used to drink”, but gave it up to look after Macie (“my son’s daughter, but …”) before Stanley was diagnosed. “So it’s like having two children now,” says Andria. I ask: “Macie, does he do what he’s told?” “No, ’cause he doesn’t know what you’re saying. He can’t talk proper because he’s poorly. But I understand him.”

Stan Bowles’s great-granddaughter Macie says: ‘He can’t talk proper because he’s poorly. But I understand him.’
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 Stan Bowles’s great-granddaughter Macie says: ‘He can’t talk proper because he’s poorly. But I understand him.’ Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian

Mike says he still takes Stanley for a bet: “He’ll write ‘2.15C’ – it could be Cheltenham, it could be Catterick. Once he put a tenner on a winner, worth £130, but he’d thrown away the chit.”
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“London!” Stanley repeats. Mike takes him “up” to the smoke occasionally, and they stay around Brentford, Bowles’s last professional club. Mention of the Bees starts another, urgent, conversation: that club staged a benefit game in 1987, and this season published a commemorative programme to raise funds for Stan’s welfare. “I see myself looking after him for the rest of his life,” Andria insists, but talk inevitably turns to the possibility that Stan will need residential care one day. “There are two options,” Shanks had said, “go the NHS way or get private so he can be comfortable and his family can visit.” “There’s a place down the road,” says Andria, “£600 a week.”
Bowles played in days when footballers even at his level were unable to plan for what might follow. The announcement that Billy McNeill – the first captain of a British team, Celtic, to hoist the European Cup, half a century ago – suffers from dementia reopened the dual debates over welfare and head injuries. Bowles’s condition – and dire financial straits – is an example of the game’s reluctance to look after its own; Nobby Stiles also suffers from Alzheimer’s, but there is scant care from mighty Manchester United. Alex Young, who died last week from a short illness after suffering from dementia, had better luck having played for Everton who operate, says O’Mahony, “a role-model system for former players”.

QPR
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 Stan Bowles, left, with Gerry Francis, Frank McLintock and manager Dave Sexton after QPR beat Leeds 2-0 in May 1976 amid a thrilling title run-in. Photograph: Reg Lancaster/Getty Images

QPR has an ex-players association, but with no benevolent welfare charge. “Sometimes,” says Shanks, “I wonder what the PFA is there for if not to help people like Stan and Frank Sibley [Rangers midfielder in that 1967 Wembley final, now battling Parkinson’s]. I also wonder if the people running QPR understand the legacy, who Stan was, what he meant to the club and its fans.”
The club did organise a Stan Bowles Day in 2015, at which he waved to adoring crowds before a game with Rotherham. Fifty pence from each programme went to Bowles, and there’s a fund with over £15,000 in it – but the matter of a proper testimonial at QPR has embittered some corners of Shepherd’s Bush. Discussions began in 2015, when supporters met the club soon after Bowles’s family made his condition public. “The first meeting was positive,” says O’Mahony, “but it was down to us to arrange it all, and raise funds. Now we’re two years down the line, and Stan has deteriorated.”
A spokesman for the club referred to a statement a fortnight ago from the chief executive, Lee Hoos, who said: “To set the record straight: QPR, as a club, welcome the proposal of a Stan Bowles benefit match. We are determined to help put on an event for Stan that supports his care and raises money … We are today starting the steps to ensure this event is a success.”
“There’s no coming back from where Stan is now,” says Shanks. “But …” He recalls Stan Bowles Day – “when Stan walked out at Loftus Road he knew exactly where he was, for some reason; a moment of knowing who he was. The family’s been fantastic, and now this should be testimonial year for Stan – he was the greatest, this is a special case. I’ve got a lump in my throat saying this, but we don’t have long. We can’t get to that situation of: ‘Oh, should’ve done this, should’ve done that.’ It has to be now.”

Stan Bowles
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 Stan Bowles in action for QPR in a Division One win against Manchester United in September 1975. Photograph: S&G and Barratts/Empics Sport

We raise another glass in Manchester. “We all love you Stan!” Bowles puts down his beer, takes my hand with a vice-grip, and stands. “Stay still,” he says, takes my head between his palms and plants a smacker on my cheek. I glance towards the others and, as Mike says, “I’ve got glass in my eyes”. Stanley sits and says: “I’m still going.” His eyes twinkle. And again: “I’m still going.”


****************

H/T The Guardian.
I missed meeting Stanley in 2000s. I was on holiday in the USA.
The problem of dementia and heading the ball. Alan Hansen, used to joke. I wonder if he new something




 Additional research by Joanne Connolly

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