Wednesday 23rd March – Let’s have faith in peace

People, we have a problem.

And, when I say ‘we’ – I use this word intentionally and in the most literal sense.

If the world keeps experiencing these terrifying, unprovoked atrocities, there is a very real possibility that a dangerous tipping point will be reached.

There is no comfort to be found in the idea that the attacks are planned at a level where our international intelligence agencies could predict or prevent them, they are occurring with increasing frequency in relatively ad-hoc circumstances in our cities and even, as I’m sure you remember, on holiday beaches in Tunisia.

Sites of historic significance are being irretrievably damaged and, as a global community of humans, we have absolutely no understanding of how to peacefully begin to reclaimtsdoasm21 some semblence of control.

Since the perpetrators of these horrific events are nameless, faceless and move unseen among us, it is entirely likely that, as international fear and horror increase, that paranoia will be the result.

A paranoia that could potentially be aimed at the Muslim faith in general.

We need to stand shoulder to shoulder with our peace loving Muslim brothers and sisters and give them the support they need, to quite rightly, distinguish themselves from the criminals who are using God as a reason to terrorise our planet.

I am not personally a Muslim, I’m a Christian, I do however believe very strongly in the civil liberty of a right to worship. It is a right that goes hand in hand with the most basic of human choices and for me, it is time to take a stand against the lunatics who are committing these acts of terror.

They are simply bullies, there is nothing more sophisticated or glamorous in the rationale.

Their strategy for power is to turn the world against devotees of the Muslim faith, as a warped justification to build a wall between our communities.

The time has come.



We can’t fight the terror, the only tool at our disposal is love. Love for our fellow man and tsdoasm21the faith that this love will bind the peaceful.

In turn, our hope must be that this solidarity will isolate those determined to unleash hate and vitriol on us all.

To steal a line from Malcolm X: I’m for truth, no matter who tells it.


Monday 21st March – Let’s hear it for Hugh Laurie

When it’s good; it’s good.

When it’s bloody terrific, I’m going to dust off my laptop and say so.

I watch quite a lot of television, it really is my true vice (you’d’a thought it’d be the smoking or the Pinot, but no, it’s definitely the tele).

I have Sky+, Netflix, Amazon Prime and Apple TV. It would be fair to say that if I could stuff a military satellite in my back garden and pick up North Korean broadcasts, I’d be on it in a bitcoin laundering second.

tsdoasm2I have even developed a moving picture ranking system that I cheerfully post on my Facebook page. My long suffering chums are constantly bombarded with the proprietary ‘In-My-Sitting-Room-Ratings’ (IMSR) and I justify my credibility in this area simply (and only) by the dedication it involves to absorb the volume of crap I watch on a weekly basis.

Delight me. Shock me. I’m here and my disbelief is panting to be suspended.

You have my undivided attention.

Entertain me.

These days, I struggle to exceed an ‘In-My-Sitting-Room-Rating’ of 7 out of 10 and so, it is with unbridled delight, that I bring to you an absolute must watch.

With a splendid and unprecedented IMSR of 15 out of 10 The Night Manager is flinging-flanging brilliant.

Obviously, originating as it does, from the 1993 book by John le Carre, you’d expect a ripping tale, but if you think that a ripping tale can’t be sodded up during an attempt to translate it to movie or tv, you obviously didn’t see the most recent remake of Brideshead Revisited.

The cast of The Night Manager are all equally marvel-tastic.

There isn’t one single squeaky wheel, from Olivia Colman, Elizabeth Debicki, Tom Hiddleston (who, bulked up a bit, I can easily see as the next Bond) and through to the true star of the show, Hugh Laurie; the production is outstanding.

I got to thinking about Hugh Laurie while I was attempting to prevent the dog swallowing the pink back-pack he had snatched off an unsuspecting four year old on her way to nursery during our ‘stab at a controlled walk’ rampage this morning.

Being dragged along behind a four wheel drive Dalmatian, your mind wanders.

Hugh Laurie has truly created an outstanding career and I think that, until now he has been incredibly underrated.

He could easily have remained type-cast in the comedy genre, let’s face it, Prince George was hilarious and still is. I caught Annabelle watching Blackadder over Christmas, she subsequently insisted on buying the Prince George season and watches it before bed each night.

After Jeeves & Wooster; we arrive at the Stuart Little franchise, solid performance, a great kids film that arguably positioned him on the world, rather than just the British, stage (Hugh Laurie that is, not the mouse).

House transitioned his career into the performance of a much darker character which, looking back now, was probably the roundhouse role in which his career-train changed both track and direction.

Again, just to be clear; Hugh Laurie. Not the mouse.

I’ve always said (mainly to myself as nobody else is interested) that the hallmark of a great actor is when you can’t see them at all, I only ever want to see the character on deck so, when I watch Richard Onslow Roper bought to life, it is brain-goggling to me that this can be the same actor that Annabelle dissolves into fits of giggles over every evening.

tsdoasm21Annabelle and I actually ran into Hugh Laurie in our local village shop one Sunday morning recently, he was buying his Sunday papers and I was watching Annabelle who was standing behind him, face bright red, pointing and mouthing the words ‘It’s Stuart Little’s Dad’ .

I managed to hold her off long enough for him to get out of there alive; jeez kid, he’s an actor, it’s his day job. Let him get his papers in peace.

I think she was hoping that he would put on an impromptu little skit for her.


You know what I’m talking about.

So, back to the absolutely gripping Night Manager. I cannot recommend it highly enough – not only because the cast and production are perfection but because he is a British actor who has steadily and relentlessly worked at his career and has now, in my humble, definitely arrived.

Once again. Hugh Laurie.

Not the mouse.