Boules in a London park by Angela Caldin

A few days ago, I was introduced to the gentle sport of boules in Palewell Park, East Sheen. An unlikely place to find this typically French game being played, I thought, but it turns out that boules is very popular indeed in this country and there are geographical leagues and competitions a-plenty. A simple game The idea of boules is that two teams play against each other and players throw hollow metal balls as close as possible to a small wooden ball called a cochonnet. The game is normally played on a… Read More

Another gold rush by Trevor Plumbly

The four yearly international gathering for the brightest and best to wave their flags and weep over a few bits of shiny metal is just about over. Athens to ashes That a city like Rio, so plagued with poverty and all its unpleasant side issues, should be picked for this sporting love fest indicates that the International Olympic Committee have little conception or concern for the economic and social impact of hosting these huge events. Since ‘Hitler’s Olympics’, the games have been marred by elitism, racism, terrorism and, more recently, drug induced… Read More

Members of the Jury by Angela Caldin

Yesterday, 26 April 2016, was a historic day for football, for justice and for some kind of peace for the many families who have been campaigning and suffering for 27 years. The jury in the inquest into the 96 deaths at the Hillsborough Stadium disaster returned a majority verdict (seven out of nine) of unlawful killing. That jury, composed of six women and three men, heard evidence over a period of two years. It must have been extremely difficult to find people who were able to devote that length of time and… Read More

Banging The Gong by Trevor Plumbly

Childs play  In the past I’ve made it pretty clear where I stand on Queens Honours and the idolatry afforded to sports celebrities, an event last weekend hasn’t caused me to soften my stance. The occasion was the World Rugby Cup final. For those of you unversed in this form of sport, it basically boils down to two sides of fifteen players brawling about which end of a playing field an oval ball should be placed on the ground. There’s obviously more to it than that, but trust me, if you’re not… Read More

Mindfields by Trevor Plumbly

Another World With all the advantages of modern scientific thought, it’s astonishing that nobody’s come up with a safe, quick cure for the common need to escape reality: I can hear the cries of ‘moderation in all things!’ even as I’ve written that, let alone the following. I guess reality is a bit hard to pin down, since we’ve all got a personal version of it rattling inside and around us to cope with, along with finding ways to put it to one side when the harsher facts of life don’t suit… Read More