Skyfall review

To begin with I must state that I am NOT a Bond fan.  But I have an open mind and of all the Bond movies I’ve seen in my time (many) I have to say that I thought Daniel Craig’s Casino Royale was probably my favourite.  I chose not to see Quantum of Solace; a movie with a name as ridiculous as that had to be hiding something and it seems my gut feel was right given its poor reviews.  But Skyfall seemed different.  Certainly the advance reviews have been excellent and so I turned up on opening weekend willing to be impressed.

I was.

This is, by some margin, the finest Bond film I’ve ever seen.  Although it has its faults (it’s a little too long) it scores points in nearly every department; the acting is universally excellent, The plot and script suitably overblown but flecked with humour and humanity throughout.  Outrageous chases and set pieces (the rooftop motorbike chase just about winning price for most audacious chase scene I’ve ever seen).

But it’s what lies at the soul of this film (and it really does have a soul) is the cast.  In particular we see the cloth lifted on what motivates Bond, his back story and in  particular his upbringing.  It’s this that starts to flesh out his (and more unexpectedly Javier Bardem’s) relationship with M who although as feisty as ever actually develops into quite a sympathetic and interesting subplot.

The film is excellently directed (by Sam Mendes!) with a theme (yes a Bond movie with a “theme”) about age and the battle between tradition and modernity running through it like a stick of rock (occasionally clunkily so).  This allows the production team to have great fun with old Bond gadgetry (and music) alongside the very latest in technology – an obfuscated living data network being at its centrepiece which allows a new and ridiculously young looking (he’s actually 32) Q to be introduced in the shape of Ben Wishaw (Perfume).

But its Daniel Craig’s complete mastery of Bond as a character that is setting the movie industry into overdrive and not surprisingly.  In the movie, in tune with the theme of age and aging, he’s almost not fit for purpose having “taken one for the team” possibly once too often.  He’s on the verge of breakdown at the movie’s outset and takes the requisite, and to be expected, barrage of beatings as it unfolds, emerging at its denoument just about in one piece and ready for action with whatever lies in store in the next instalment.  It’s an interesting dimension and works well with Judi Dench’s excellent central performance as M.

Craig is the complete Bond.  Rugged, handsome, athletic, suave but with more steel than any since Connery and, to my mind, he’s a better actor than Mishter Cool himself.

As the face of not one but two major film franchises (The Girl with…) he’s solid gold and, for my money, worth every penny of it.

I also like Adele’s theme music.

Mercury Prize

With The Mercury only a few days away here’s my form guide to the shortlist..

Alt-J – ‘An Awesome Wave’

Odds on favourite; surprisingly.  It’s a good record but a bit geeky so I don’t  think it will win.  And anyway Django Django’s the better of the geek stuff.
Richard Hawley – ‘Standing On The Sky’s Edge’

Hawley’s best yet and a strong contender.  Love it.
Plan B – ‘Ill Manors’

Not a favourite with the bookies but I think it has a real chance.
Sam Lee – ‘Ground Of Its Own’

Folking no chance.
Lianne La Havas – ‘Is Your Love Big Enough?’

A really nice soul record, but released on Nonesuch records in the US does not sound like a Mercury Prize winning combination to me.
Django Django – ‘Django Django’

The years best reciord and should win.  I think it will.
The Maccabees – ‘Given To The Wild’

Much loved by Radio 6 but not the record buying public.  I think not.
Ben Howard – ‘Every Kingdom’

Cack.  Won’t win.
Jessie Ware – ‘Devotion’

A genuine outsider.  Lovely record, consistent throughout.  I give it a chance.
Roller Trio – ‘Roller Trio’

It’s Jazz.  Need I say any more.  I have nothing against jazz but the Mercury Prize does.  Tokenism.
Field Music – ‘Plumb’

Not as good as their earlier work.  I’d be surprised if this won.
Michael Kiwanuka – ‘Home Again’ 

Better than Ben Howard but pretty bland.  I doubt very much if this will win.

So my shortlist is Django Django, Plan B, Richard Hawley and Jessie Ware.  My money’s on the Djangoes with a touch on Hawley and Jessie.

Looper – Movie review

Let’s get this straight.  Looper is not, as many say, “the Matrix of the 21st Century” it’s “Sliding Doors with Guns.”.

It’s  a clever attempt to play with the concept of ‘what might have been’ on a very grand scale (although, interestingly, not, as I was expecting , on a mind boggling scale).

It’s a big movie but it’s not one that, had it failed would bring the studio to its knees and I kind of liked that.  Clocking in at $30,000 ain’t really that big a deal.

It’s set in 2047 in a now ragged USA with China having taken ascendancy in the world.  I liked the fact that director and writer Rian Johnson (Brick) doesn’t turn it into Blade Runner but adds a few neat sci-fi tricks (like flying motorbikes).  Loopers are “disposal men” of their future selves who are sent back from 2077 for, well disposal,.  They are called Loopers because the film is all about time loops. 2044’s Loopers are disposed of 30 years hence (and they know it) by themselves hence “Closing the Loop”, but occasionally it goes wrong such as here where Joe (our Hero played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) has to close the loop on himself (Old Joe played by Bruce Willis).  But it all goes Pete Tong and so we now have two Joe’s on the go.

You can skip the next para if you’ve not seen the movie because it’s a spoiler.

Personally, my view is we have three because Cid, the child that young Joe encounters in the second half of the movie is, in my opinion, his younger self.  Which makes the sex scene he has with Sara (Emily Blunt – Cid’s Mum) interesting because that means he’s having sex with his own mother.

OK, back to the review.

Young Cid (a remarkable performance by 5 year old Pierce Gagnon)  has Telekinetic powers and a temper that makes Linda Blair look merely snippy in The Exorcist.

I could go on but won’t because there’s a lot of detail to consume.

Suffice to say it all pans out cleverly; the various loops are closed in perhaps unexpected ways and we are left with a movie that is clever, well acted, slick and genuinely original.

It’s a definite recommendation.  8/10.

Britishisms in America

I found this amusing piece on Britishisms that have been adopted in North America in the BBC News Magazine website and it got me thinking what Americanisms we have adopted in return.  Any suggestions?

I don’t see “sidewalk” coming along anytime soon (although “Anytime soon” has crept in) in place of pavement. But “cab” sits comfortably alongside “taxi”in our daily vernacular.

We’ll always “queue” rather “stand in a line”.

I just can’t see” pants” replacing “trousers”. (“Strides” even.)

But “have a nice day” is increasingly common; “hell yeah” (see what I did there?)

“Bullshit” is now commonplace  as is “MF” over here.   But from what I can see our love of the C word has not crossed the Atlantic particularly readily.

“Wassup” remains resolutely American despite Budweiser’s best attempts to globalise it.

And if “later” or “laters” does take root in the UK I will have to kill myself.

Anyway.  Let’s share our thoughts on this one so that I can create an article as good as the one below…

Autumn, n. The season between summer and winter. “‘Autumn’ is being used a lot more now instead of ‘fall’.” Alan, New York, US

Bloody, adj. and adv. An intensifier: absolute, downright, utter. Sometimes in a negative sense. “There have been several instances where I’ve heard the term ‘bloody’ in regular conversation. I understand the urge to say it in certain situations, but I react with a jolt when I hear it. It just seems so… indecent. The use of ‘bloody’, in my view, is iconically British. When Americans try to use it, I think they’re trying to sound like Michael Caine. I feel it’s a deliberate contrivance to associate themselves with some perceived prestige in sounding British. Some Americans think that by saying ‘bloody’ everybody will assume that they have four more IQ points than everyone else. It’s understandable. And completely true.” Marshall McCorcle, Dallas, Texas, US

Bum, n. The buttocks or posteriors (slang). “I have seen an increasing use of ‘bum’ for a person’s backside here, both from local friends and from Americans on the web. While I am still perfectly fine with sitting on my butt, everyone else is getting all fancy talking about their bums.” Jim Boyd, Des Moines, Iowa, US

Chav, n. Pejorative term to express young person who displays loutish behaviour, sometimes with connotations of low social status. “The word ‘chav’ is starting to catch on in the US, thanks to YouTube videos. I overheard someone say, ‘Nah I’m not buying those sneakers man, they are so chavvy’ at a sports retailer.” Jeff Bagshaw, US

“Chav is becoming rather noticeable as a few Americans understand that not ‘all British people are posh’. Boston/Cambridge is rife with international college students, so it may just be a blip, but I’ve heard it in a suburban grocery store in reference to some hooligans outside the store.” Elaine Ashton, Lexington, Massachusetts, US

Cheeky, adj. Insolent or audacious in address; coolly impudent or presuming. “I have loved using the word cheeky for about 10 years now.” Daniel Greene, Phoenix, Arizona, US

“Sometimes the British expression just says it better. I particularly like ‘cheeky monkey’.” G Griffin, Wethersfield, Connecticut, US

Cheers, sentence substitute. A drinking toast, goodbye, or thanks. “I am hearing people say goodbye to each other with the British ‘cheers’. Since I have always had a fondness for the Brits and things British, I enjoy hearing it instead of the worn out ‘later’ or ‘see ya later’. Like it or not, the Yanks and the Brits are cousins, and that’s that. Cheers!” Paul Phillips, Marblehead, US

“Use of the word ‘cheers’ in place of ‘thank you’ is on the rise, perhaps among young people who have spent time with British people.” Roddy McCalley, Joshua Tree, California, US

Fancy, v. With reference to fondness or liking. “Our US friends really enjoyed fancied, as in ‘she fancied him’, and an item, as in ‘are you two an item?’.” David Fryer, Muscat, Oman

“Fancy, as in I really fancy a pint.” Paul W, New York City, US

Flat, n. An apartment on one floor of a building. “Just as British people are increasingly calling (particularly posh) flats ‘apartments’, my American friends report that property developers are now selling ‘flats’ in order to make them sound grander than they are.” Beth, London

Frock, n. A girl’s or woman’s dress. “Until very recently, ‘frock’ only appeared in North America in British books. I first read it in the Narnia series. No-one ever said it, and no-one ever used it in print. No-one outside of readers of British literature would even have known what it meant. Now I see it in print media about fashion all the time. This just started happening in perhaps the past five years, certainly no more than 10 years.” Lee Boal, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Gap year, n. A year’s break taken by a student between leaving school and starting further education. “We didn’t do gap years much until recently, so we didn’t have our own term for it other than ‘year off’. The point of language is to communicate. If a new word or term fills a – sorry – gap, then it doesn’t matter where it’s from.” Alden O’Brien, Washington DC, US

Gobsmacked, adj. flabbergasted: struck dumb with awe or amazement. “I left the UK for the US more than 40 years ago. I first heard the word ‘gobsmacked’ about 10 years ago while visiting the UK. Perhaps because of the popularity of the programme Top Gear in the US, I now hear this used in the US.” Duncan Connall, Rhode Island, US

“I heard President Obama use the word ‘gobsmacked’. How’s that for a Britishism?” Stuart Hamilton, North Vancouver, Canada

Holiday, n. A period in which a break is taken from work or studies for rest, travel, or recreation. “As a child I read Enid Blyton, and as an adult I was pleased to notice, at least in advertising, the use of the word ‘holiday’ to replace the less preferable, in my opinion, ‘vacation’.” Vicki Siska, Fort Collins, Colorado, US

Innit, adv. A contraction of isn’t it? Used to invite agreement with a statement. “I can’t stop saying ‘innit’ – it’s the perfect sort of (‘sort of’ in this usage is also a popular Britishism) ending to an informal declarative statement.” Carolyn, Las Vegas, US

Kit, n. A collection of personal effects or necessities. “I’ve noticed the adoption of the British term ‘kit’ for what athletes wear, in the place of what we Americans would generally call a ‘uniform’ or ‘gear’. I notice it among those who follow tennis closely. People will refer to a player’s ‘kit’, which often changes several times a year depending on the surface.” Ana Mitric, Richmond, Virginia, US

Knickers, n. An undergarment for women covering the lower trunk and sometimes the thighs and having separate legs or leg-holes. “My American friend just recently said ‘I got my knickers in quite a twist’. I was amazed she didn’t say ‘panties’.” Nadine, Seattle, Washington, US

Loo, n. An informal word for lavatory. “Many of my friends now call the restroom ‘the loo’, although they haven’t converted to saying ‘loo-roll’ – it’s still toilet paper. Funny, since most of us won’t say ‘toilet’ for the American ‘bathroom’.” Heather Revanna, Colorado, US

Mate, n. A friend, usually of the same sex: often used between males in direct address. “It seems that Yanks enjoy English swear words but I don’t believe British people are using typical Americanisms. I’ve never heard a Englishman say ‘dude’ but I am hearing Americans say ‘mate’. I also don’t believe British people are so overtly conscious of foreign influence as much as Americans care to be, especially in the Midwest.” Paul Knight-Kirby, Rockford, Illinois, US

Mobile, n. Short for mobile phone; a portable telephone that works by means of a cellular radio system (‘cellphone’ or ‘cell’ in standard American English). “I think the use of ‘mobile’ is a consequence of more international travel and wanting to be understood. I use mobile while elsewhere and it is creeping into my US-based language as well.” Stuart Friedman, Middlesex, Vermont, US

Muppet, n. A stupid person; from the name for the puppets used in the TV programme The Muppet Show. “I am a Brit living in Idaho. One of the biggest Britishisms I see, and have helped perpetuate, is the term ‘muppets’ to refer to brainless individuals. I love this term as it conjures images of the loveable Muppets but in reference to a person it definitely conveys a lack of intelligence or substandard education. In this state there are plenty of ‘muppets’.” George Hemmings, Idaho, US

Numpty, n. A stupid person. “I have heard ‘numpty’ many times in the last few years. I get the impression that our American interpretation is more good-natured than it might be in the UK. It’s used when calling a friend a numpty when he does or says something silly. Perhaps this is because there is a ‘cuteness’ to the pronunciation of the word.” Jeffrey Timmons, Mayville, Wisconsin, US

Pop over, v. Come by for a visit. “Recently, I’ve heard the phrase ‘pop over’ used by several different people. (‘Why don’t I just pop over and pick them up?’).” Susan Moore, Indio, California, US

Proper, adj. Appropriate or suited for some purpose. “I picked up the British use of ‘proper’ (as in ‘a proper breakfast’) while completing graduate work at Oxford in the mid-2000s. I hadn’t realised just how prevalent it was in my own speech until a coworker asked me this year if it was a North Dakota thing, as that is the state where I grew up. It’s definitely not a North Dakota thing.” Jacquelyn Bengfort, Washington, DC, US

Queue, n. and v. A line of people, vehicles, etc, waiting for something. “In the ‘queue’. More online forms and automated voice responses to banking transactions say ‘queue’ instead of ‘line’. I’m guessing that it makes more sense to use it because people aren’t actually standing in a line if they’re on the phone.” Guy Hait, Chesterfield, Michigan, US

“When I was in New York and waiting with an American friend to get into a bar, I called it a queue. She told me that in the US it was called a line. However, she commented that ‘queue’ was becoming more common because of the use of the term ‘printer queue’ in computing.” David, Worcester

Roundabout, n. A road junction in which traffic streams circulate around a central island. “‘Roundabout’ is the official word used to describe the traffic circle that was recently completed in our rather small city. Many feel that this sounds pretentious. I am originally from California where we used the term ‘traffic circle’.” Beth, Bartlesville, Oklahoma, US

Row, n. and v. A noisy or violent argument, a quarrel with someone.My husband and I often use the word ‘row’, most likely because we’ve heard it so often on public television. We think of it as a very common word among the Brits (like ‘bloody’) and we both assumed that most other people would recognise both the word and its meaning. Recently, my husband (who is very Southern and not bookish at all) used ‘row’ in a conversation with a buddy, only to learn that the friend had never even heard the word. We were astonished.” Catherine Graves, Georgia, US

Shag, v. To copulate with. “You guys missed the best one. ‘Shag’ is such a brilliant word and Brits cringe because of the vulgarity of it, while Americans don’t realise exactly how rude it is and run around saying it like a toddler repeating Daddy’s accidental swear word slip. I love it when you guys cringe over us picking up your words.” Leona, Oxford

“Thanks to Austin Powers, many Americans are familiar with the word ‘shag’, but don’t seem to realise how truly coarse it is. It’s used in polite society, and used to shock me, but now I accept the fact that usage differs in UK/US.” Linda Michelini, Port Orange, Florida, US

Skint, adj. Penniless, broke. “To hear terms like ‘skint’ for being broke, ‘agony aunt’ for opinion columnists, or ‘yobbo’ for upstart children has surprised me. Such words would never have been heard in this part of the world until only two or three years ago. There are only minor UK and Irish ex-pat communities over here, so to have this sudden and growing use of Britishisms is a linguist’s delight.” Anthony Hughes, Omaha, US

Sussed, v. To work or figure out; to investigate, to discover the truth about (a person or thing). “My favourite Britishism has to be ‘sussed’ – ‘I finally sussed out what he was talking about’, ‘leave them alone, they’ll suss it out on their own’. I use it a lot and I always seem to have to explain it to people, then a few days on, I’ll hear them using it and explaining it. It’s a word/phrase that gets used often in my close circle of friends now.” Bonnie Lee, Portland, Oregon, US

Twit, n. A fool; a stupid or ineffectual person. “It seems to me the word ‘twit’ – a Britishism heard on Monty Python – is being used more frequently here in the US.” Rachel Newstead, Appleton, Wisconsin, US

Wonky, adj. Shaky or unsteady. “Some Britishisms that I have used include ‘wonky’, ‘bung’, and ‘snarky’. They’re fun, innit? It’s hard for me to notice hearing these words in the US, because I talk to so many Brits online, so they sound normal now.” Anne E, Pittsburgh, US


Extraordinarily brave advertising from the most unexpected of sources

After years of skydiving and rollerblading Bodyform are forced to admit what “the Curse” is really like.

It’s a response to a facebook post that soon went viral.

Here’s what it said…

“Hi , as a man I must ask why you have lied to us for all these years . As a child I watched your advertisements with interest as to how at this wonderful time of the month that the female gets to enjoy so many things ,I felt a little jealous. I mean bike riding , rollercoasters, dancing, parachuting, why couldn’t I get to enjoy this time of joy and ‘blue water’ and wings !! Dam my penis!! Then I got a girlfriend, was so happy and couldn’t wait for this joyous adventurous time of the month to happen … lied !! There was no joy , no extreme sports , no blue water spilling over wings and no rocking soundtrack oh no no no. Instead I had to fight against every male urge I had to resist screaming wooaaahhhhh bodddyyyyyyfooorrrmmm bodyformed for youuuuuuu as my lady changed from the loving , gentle, normal skin coloured lady to the little girl from the exorcist with added venom and extra 360 degree head spin. Thanks for setting me up for a fall bodyform , you crafty bugger”

I suspect this response will go more viral.

Cheetahs are appealing

As some of you may know my Sister Emily has given up years of her life, literally, to hand rear wild Cheetah cubs in RSA.The charity for which she does this sterling work is called Cheetah Outreach and has, post 2012 rearing season suffered a cataclysm.  I will let Emily’s partner, James, take over here by sharing the email he sent me earlier this week and I ask that you my dear reader and friend do what you can to help either financially or in kind.  At the very least please share this message with your own social networks in the hope that it reaches caring eyes and hearts.


Dear Markiemark

About a year ago, Emily regaled us with tales of the Kalahari and many kindly supported our fundraiser for Cheetah Outreach (CO), the charity that Emily has done the cub-rearing for these many years, as seen on TV !! It did well, raising nigh on SAR 50,000 for CO and £650 for Wildlife Heritage Foundation for which we thank you. Although this letter is rather long I plead with you to read it through as it asks a question of you at the end, well, three.

This year, Emily and I were together on the cub-project and ten cubs came to Eikendal, in four litters of differing ages. It was, as ever, exhausting and sublime and we’ll send pictures in an email soon, so as not to get spammed on this one! When we left the cubs, but a few weeks ago, Yell, Coll and Broch were back in Pretoria at de Wildt, Zingula and Ailsa were up at the main facility like big girls, and the wee five were still at the cubhouse amongst the vineyards. Emily has since been in constant contact aiding their nurture, so has not really stopped – she lives and breathes with cheetahs in mind! And talking of cheetahs, I need your help.

There has been a grave disaster. Four nights ago, at dark late o’clock, after electrical storms and much deluge, a dam broke on the vineyard hill above the cub complex and the earth moved. Ton upon ton upon ton of mud slid through the Anatolian shepherd dog enclosures, taking all with it. A goat drowned,  but miraculously the dogs survived; several were found along the motorway some miles away, so very luckily unhurt. The wee wooden cottages abutting the main ops centre of kitchen and cubroom were smacked by a wall of mud, trapping folks inside whilst the waters lapped through to the very cubroom door; towels, fleeces, sand-bags and volunteers saved the day. The cubs were emergency evac-ed to the main facility some twenty minutes drive away in the darkness and everyone retreated from the assault.

The whole cub complex is now under a metre of mud and all ops switched to the CO main building at Paardevlei. Cubs and volunteers are squashed into whatever rooms they have, like London in the Blitz though fewer bombs, making do with the little they saved, higgledy-piggledy but, as ever, primarily succouring the cubs. The pictures that Emily has sent through all these years of cubs running in the garden, cubs sleeping in the cub room, cubs playing on the porch are now but artefacts, antediluvian memories of space that is no longer there.

All are pluckily braving it well, staff, volunteers and cubs –  but cataclysms have aftershocks. From the surviving comes the immediate coping and then the rebuild. I have little ability from here to aid, save to contact past supporters and plead for help to meet the inevitable strain on already overstretched finances and manpower. Charities are closely related, as cheetahs, and so when an ailment strikes such as the credit crunch or other biscuits, it weakens the whole and makes epidemic the danger of crisis. There is so much less to go around. A sudden event can make that fatal difference. This is a call to arms. And alms.

As Dawn Glover at CO puts it, “Although insurance will cover part of the disaster, they do not cover the very expensive clean up or the very expensive private kennels we currently have the dogs in while insurance agents, assessors and structural engineers get to grips with the disaster and decide how much damage has been done”.

If you are in South Africa, I do so hope that you get a chance to visit CO and the cheetahs. The main op at the facility will still be open 10-5pm 7 days a week on the R44. Only you will know what is going on behind closed doors! Meeting a cheetah will convert and inspire you and then I won’t need to ask you for any help you can give, be it your skills, your time or your address book! You will be proffering it. If you are not in South Africa, then I ask you to help as you can. Do you know folk there who might spread the word? Do you have a spare wine estate with a modern cub-rearing facility on it in the area that you’re not using? Can you spare a dime?

Donations are being gathered through on the same page we used last year  ( ) and even better for CO through direct international transfer to them. Donations can be thought of as how much they cost, or how much help they give :

Cheetah Outreach direct donation :

Bank Details :

First National Bank

Adderly Street, Cape Town

Branch Code:  201409

Account Number: 62030813241

Account Name:  CCF – Cheetah Outreach Trust

First National Bank, 82-84 Adderley Street , Cape Town 8000.

Swift number: FIRNZAJJ

Bank Tel:  + 27 (0)21 487 6000

On line donations : Please donate here

And PLEASE PLEASE Forward this email to folk who might care, or care to help

As ever,


Lance Armstrong.

Nimes 2003. Mid July.  35 degrees in the shade.

As I stood in the baking sun for more than five hours at the finishing line of a mid-race stage of the Tour de France waiting to catch a glimpse of my all time hero, Lance Armstrong, I’m blown away when an attractive young lady approaches me selling , for one Euro, the single most desirable, and certainly the coolest, thing I’ve ever seen.

A yellow rubber wristband bearing the Nike branded name of Lance’s new charitable venture – Livestrong.

I buy 10. And I wear a succession of these bands for a number of years.

I’ve already devoured “It’s not about the bike” (sublime) and ‘Every second counts” (something of a shabby follow up) but who cares, the proceeds are going to the Lance Armstrong Foundation (trustees of LIvestrong).

I buy Livestrong T Shirts.  I am Lance Armstrong’s greatest evangelist.

Then news comes of the USADA’s alleged”victimisation” of Armstrong.  They suspect wrongdoing and they go after him like a dog after a bone.  What’s the point I wonder.  After all I’ve read the books in which, page after page, he denies wrongdoing; “Why would I take drugs and risk ruining my body having just survived life threatening cancer.  I would be the biggest fool on the planet.”  I paraphrase, but that’s the sentiment and it runs through the books like a stick of rock.

Why would anyone lie, and lie again and again, this publicly, so convincingly?  It’s not possible that it’s a lie.

Yesterday, the USADA issued a 1,000 page report using sworn testimony from 26 people including 15 members of Armstrong’s team at the time of his superhuman successes, US postal.

In it they say; “Together these different categories of eyewitness, documentary, first-hand, scientific, direct and circumstantial evidence reveal conclusive and undeniable proof that brings to the light of day for the first time this systemic, sustained and highly professionalized team-run doping conspiracy.”

Team Doctor, Pedro Celaya, was the mastermind of the hideous cheat but he contests the claims as does Armstrong, but the evidence is no longer refutable.

One question.  Why?

Why would a team, comprising of dozens of people no doubt, conspire to cheat so willfully and cover their tracks so assiduously for so many years?  what is actually the point of that? In the words of the Horlicks advertising team “How do they sleep at night?”

So, I am the fool.  A naive dreamer that like a child simply believed what St Lance said.  saint by night, sinner by day that is.  You can’t take away what Armstrong did for many suffering people,, you can’t ignore the benefits of the LAF and Livestrong.  But now it’s a legacy shrouded in guilt, bad taste and conscience salving.

Oh Lance.  You make me so sad now.