Monday, 24 October 2016


As I get older I think I’m learning more. Mind you given the unpredictability and pace of change in today’s world there’s a lot to learn. Earlier this week I was about to turn off the TV when I came across a film to which for the next two hours I was glued. It was called RED - an acronym which stands for “retired - extremely dangerous”.

Here’s how the film is described:

“When his peaceful life is threatened by a high-tech assassin, former black-ops agent Frank Moses reassembles his old team in a last ditch effort to survive and uncover his assailants.”

It has an impressive cast, Bruce Willis, John Malkovitch, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, Marie-Louise Parker and some great moments. The first when Frank Moses (Willis) and Marvin Bloggs (Malkovitch) are holed up by a female assassin with a bazooka in a container park. She calls out to them derisively:

Female Assassin: That's right, old man!
Marvin Boggs: Old man?
Frank Moses: No respect.
Marvin Boggs: Can I kill her now?
Frank Moses: [nods affirmative]
Marvin Boggs: [steps out from behind shipping container and shoots her oncoming bazooka rocket blowing her up]
Marvin Boggs: Old man my ass

And the second is when the gorgeous Helen Mirren is asked what she does and she says smiling:
“I kill people dear”

The film celebrates the advantage that experience and cunning had over youth and naivety. Needless to say the “old team” wins with ease as old teams do. I loved that film.

The Brexit thing continues to gnaw away like a nasty ulcer. As Mark Ritson in Marketing Week explaining the brief Tesco/Unilever stand-off on a price increase - that inflationary costs have hit companies especially like Unilever who accounts for its European  business in Euros - said:
“We voted for Brexit, we devalued our pound and now we are going to start paying for it. Literally.”

David Aaronovitch in Thursday’s Times disputed the “it’s about immigration and the downtrodden masses” argument for Brexit or Trump. The clash is so deep-seated and nasty because there’s a cultural divide characterised by a powerful xenophobic attitude towards, as some used to describe them, “Johnny Foreigners”.

On Wednesday I had a magnificent lunch at Koffman’s. As we finished the people on the next table who were, as it transpired, German said without a trace of irony:

“Can we just congratulate you on the brilliant, clear English that you speak…we couldn’t help overhearing some of your conversation.”

They themselves spoke fluent English yet we’re turning our backs on elegant, civilised people like that? Basil Fawlty… welcome back home.

In recent months I’ve been mistaken for a vicar, an MP and an actor. I think I’ll stick with being an oldie. As one of my grandsons asked when I dispossessed him of the ball at football recently:
“Do you mind if I call you Gramps, old man?”
“Old man, my ass” I should have replied but I’m much too polite.

1 comment:

Ian Wilson said...

Not mistaken for a footballer, then?