Sunday ObservanceSo, the Pope is dead.
I'm not going to mourn a man
who led an organisation that banned contraception and abortion.
In the words of John Walkenbach
, spend some time praying for the millions of unwanted babies who were born because the Catholic church declared birth control to be a mortal sin. And send out some prayers for the thousands of children who have been molested by Catholic priests.
Above all, do spare a prayer for the seven men and two women
(who) died when their navy Sea King helicopter, attached to HMAS Kanimbla, crashed on the island of Nias.
They were on their way home to Australia having given sterling service in post-tsunami Aceh when the earthquake struck Nias.A Kick Up The Backside
"Charlton's reputation as the leading football club in this field is completely deserved
(Chancellor of The Exchequer, Gordon) Brown, who observed hundreds of youngsters taking part in football courses organised by the community scheme over the Easter holidays.
"They have clearly grasped that clubs play a vital role and need to be at the very heart of their local communities. The vision here - and I've seen and heard about the plans for the new stadium and the crèche and the education work and the partnerships with businesses and so on - shows that the club has a clear direction, and I've never seen such far-reaching activities.
Steve Waggott, chief executive of the Charlton Athletic Community Trust, said he wasn't surprised by the Chancellor's fulsome praise.
"He was staggered by our achievements already, and with the plans to extend The Valley and the training ground, and make the club even more accessible to the community with a health centre, childcare provision and a learning centre at Sparrows Lane, he could see our vision.
I hope he also noticed the environmentally OK toilets
Meanwhile, back on the pitch and live on TV last night, my vision was considerably impaired by the bottle of Bintang that cascaded over the carpet as Charlton conspicuously failed to lose
to Manchester City in the dying seconds of their match. Film Review
I make no apologies for building up a library of pirated DVDs. At an average cost of 40p, less than US$1, it's an opportunity to show that there is a world of audio-visual delights, of creativity and talent beyond Sponge Bob Squarepants.
This week, Our Kid and I have delighted in a masterpiece of animation by Sylvain Chomet called Les Triplettes de Belleville
, a film for those with less catholic tastes.
In brief, it's the story of a Tour de France cyclist, Champion, who is kidnapped by mysterious, square-shouldered henchmen and spirited across the ocean to the teeming metropolis of Belleville. His grandmother and faithful dog follow his trail and are taken in by a trio of eccentric jazz-era divas. The motley sleuths follow the clues to an underground betting parlour and the chase is on.
An Oscar-nominated soundtrack
featuring Josephine Baker and Django Reinhardt soundalikes, a vacuum cleaner and bicycle wheel and acappella singing, plus running visual gags, this is a unique, yet familiar, world.
You don't need mind-altering substances to gain immense pleasure from repeated viewing, although they would help for those Americans who don't like their portrayal
as conspicuous consumers.
For a good introduction to the delights of this inventive masterpiece, I can but recommend that you thoroughly explore this site
~ click the en Anglais