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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Happy Birthday Aliona!

It's May Day today which means it is Agent Triple P's favourite Strictly Come Dancing star Aliona Vilani's birthday today.  Kazakh born Aliona is 32 but has sadly quit the show to start a family.  Her sulky, sultriness will be hard to match in this year's series.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Return of Jessica Ennis-Hill's stomach

So, it's a hundred days to the start of the Rio Olympics and no doubt the amiable Brazilian police will be preparing their plans to scoop up beggars and homeless children with mechanical diggers, a la Soylent Green, in advance. Triple P has only been to Brazil once and found it a ghastly place with a nasty atmosphere of imminent violence pervading the streets.  It's one of those countries, like India, which despite aspects of it being as developed as any nations anywhere, the huge numbers of grindingly poor people will forever torpedo any efforts to become a fully developed nation. 

Nice arms too!

Anyway, the Great Britain team has unveiled it's new team uniform, as designed by Stella McCartney. Who better to demonstrate the abbreviated athletics gear than current Olympic and World Heptathlon champion, the lovely Jessica Ennis-Hill and her lovely tummy, which was the official erogenous zone of the London Olympics four years ago..

Go Jessica!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Congratulations Victoria Pendleton!

Congratulations to the Legatus' favourite cyclist, Victoria Pendleton, for confounding the naysayers and finishing fifth out of 22 riders in the Foxhunter Chase at Cheltenham today, Britain's top amateur jumps race.  Hopefully, this will shut up people like the author of the snide, condescending and sexist article in the Daily Mail yesterday, who reckoned she would do well to stay on her horse for a couple of jumps. 

Amazingly, she had never even sat on a horse until a year ago but she is a world class sportswoman with multiple Olympic gold medal winning credentials. By the end of the race, on a very un-fancied horse with dubious staying power, she was racing to win and thundering up through the field like, well, like Victoria Pendleton on a cycling track.  She was not just riding to get around the course, which is what many people in the horse racing world seemed to be implying would have been her only realistic target. No wonder she says it's one of her greatest achievements!

Well done Victoria!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Super Bowl 50

The Broncos' cheerleaders appear to be inspired by one of those Victorian post bacchanalian paintings

A rather strange (and dull unless you like linebackers) Super Bowl (peculiarly monikered as 50 rather than L) with favourites Carolina looking totally bewildered by the big game.  Peyton Manning  (surely his last game?) seemed to be firing on only five cylinders but his defensive unit was so dominant he just had to go through the motions anyway  The much vaunted Cam Newton, who has been spectacular all season, looked like a rabbit in headlights throughout.  

The sprawling Levi's Stadium (how crass naming the stadium after sponsors sounds but it seems ubiquitous these days) lacks that close in atmosphere (not to say swirling winds) that existed at Candlestick Park where Triple P went to watch the Forty-Niners in 2006.  

Not a natural blonde in sight

Lady Gaga's did a surprisingly fine job on the national anthem but the half time show was diabolical.  Despite them being British, I realised that I didn't know any of Coldplay's music at all.  They do seem to be a bit dull and stylistically a poor style match for a chunky looking Beyoncé (doing a politically inappropriate song) and the irritating Bruno Mars, who always looks like a low rent Michael Jackson tribute act.

Even the cheerleaders were disappointing, with a suspicion that they were covering up more than usual due to current NFL sensitivities about domestic abuse from some of its players (good grief,  steroidal monsters from one of the world's most aggressive sports sometimes get aggressive at home, shock).

I was pleased that Denver won as they are a team I have seen play live (in London).  I also have less time for expansion teams (basically, Tampa Bay onwards) as they just don't have the heritage of the classic teams (and usually have nasty looking uniforms!).  Although Denver aren't a really classic team like the Bears, Packers, Eagles or Giants they are at least as old as Triple P!


Both Alessandria Ambrosio and Adriana Lima from the Victoria's Secret football team, which we featured on Venus Observations the other day, were at the game, we noticed.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Milk. Yuck!

Triple P was out having morning tea with a young (20) lady this week and she ordered a glass of milk as she doesn't drink tea (or coffee). Now although Triple P likes milk in his tea and porridge he cannot abide drinking the stuff. 

When he was small milk, in dinky little quarter pint bottles, was compulsory at junior school at around eleven in the morning every day.  We were forced to drink it but while just about palatable ice cold it was, especially in the summer, often warm as it had been delivered to the school at about seven in the morning and had not been refrigerated.  

Milk in Britain, as in other countries, was delivered by the milkman from his electric milk float.  Not only did these vehicles, with their distinctive whine and chinking sound, deliver milk (and bread from the little cupboards at the rear) they also clogged up the roads given their limited top speed. The milk would be left on the doorstep in pint bottles and the birds would inevitably peck at the foil tops (which you opened by gently pressing your thumb into the centre of the foil until it popped open) to get at the cream with floated to the top.  In the winter, if it froze, the solid cream would push the foil lid off and you had a cylinder of frozen cream which Triple P's mother would put into bowl, sprinkle with sugar and serve to my sister and Triple P as a 'treat'.  Notes for the milkman, such as 'no milk today' or 'an extra pint please' (blancmange for pudding!) would be rolled up and put in the empties at night to be collected the following day.  

It is odd, given the increasing presence of refrigerators in British homes in the fifties and sixties (Triple P's family always had a fridge from as early as we could remember) that the necessity for daily deliveries didn't reduce much earlier than it did.  Initially, in Britain, milk deliveries were three times a day and it was only during World War 1 that austerity measures reduced them to a daily round.  Milk bottles only became common in Britain after WW1 following their introduction from the US; up until that point milk was ladled from churns into tins provided by the householder.  

Triple P's fridge in his first year at university was the window ledge on the left of the top floor of the four storey white building in the centre.  The window on the right was our bedroom and was unheated so was nearly as cold as the outside. 

At university, Triple P bought milk from the Co-op in cartons, largely because there were no fridges available to students so milk was stored outside on the window ledge, which could have been extremely perilous to pedestrians if glass bottles had been used.  Many was the time that Triple P sniffed his milk before some young lady was due to come round for tea only to find that a quick dash to the Co-op was needed.

It was really the deregulation of the milk industry in 1994 that saw supermarkets selling milk in bulk for the first time and marked the death knell (almost) for home deliveries.  In 1970 in Britain, 99% of milk was delivered to the door in milk floats but today it is less than five percent.  In America the figure is less than 0.4%.  Strangely, in Triple P's road there are still people who have their milk delivered by electric float but they are a very rare sight these days, although there are still several thousand milkmen in Britain.

The only time Triple P remembers drinking a glass of milk since junior school was when he was training for the London Marathon in 1987.  We had just finished an eighteen mile training run on a surprisingly warm April day and got home and drank a whole pint in one go.  Since then, no.  When we were small we had standard full fat milk which had a silver foil top, although my uncle and aunt who lived next door had gold top (Jersey) milk, which had a higher fat content. Today Triple can't take full fat milk in our tea and we prefer skimmed as it doesn't have that nasty, milky taste.

So as our young companion drank her glass of milk it actually made us feel rather nauseous.  Milk. Yuck!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Goodbye Aliona!

Having triumphantly lifted the Glitterball Tropy for this year's Strictly Come Dancing, slinky Romanian professional dancer has announced she won't be back next year.  This, on top of Ola Jordan's recent retirement, is all too much for Agent Triple P, leaving no female dancers with any sex appeal left in the show.  I am sure the BBC is delighted and will no doubt be on the lookout for another family friendly dancer with no excitement factor at all, like the bizarrely sexless Joanne Clifton. 

Aliona, like Ola,  danced like she knew how to have (no doubt very athletic) sex whereas the others, you suspect, prefer knitting or making cup cakes.  New female professional this year Oti Mabuse looked great but also had no passion about her (although to be fair she had a dire partner and disappeared almost immediately).  

So let's hope we get a couple of stylish new female professionals next year but increasingly the only dancers allowed to show sex appeal are the male ones as you suspect the BBC is more comfortable with sexy men than women.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Goodbye Kirsty

Triple P's autumn is always enlivened by the tacky glitter of BBC's Strictly Come Dancing (of which the US's Dancing with the Stars is a licensed copy).  As ever, we always hope for a good complement of terpsichorean totty, although on the whole the more attractive women don't appeal to Strictly's target audience.  

This year, in a far from stellar line up (Strictly producers claim that they are running out of likely celebrities after 150 have appeared in the show so far) Kirsty  Gallacher was one of the few "celebrities" we had heard of.  In reality, of course, the budget has no doubt been slashed as fearful BBC bigwigs worry about the loss of the licence fee (over their expense account lunches in the 5 star Langham Hotel ,opposite BBC Broadcasting House on Regent Street).

The Sky Sports frontwoman, Kirsty, kicked off her Strictly campaign (perhaps unwisely, given the average size and sex of most Strictly fans) by stripping off for a women's health magazine.  And at 39, pretty good she looked too.

Gallacher is the daughter of Scottish golf professional and Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher and although she was born in Edinburgh was brought up in millionaires' golf ghetto Wentworth, in Surrey, about thirty minutes drive from where Triple P lives.

She attended St Georges School in Ascot, now a girl's school but previously a boys' school which was attended by Winston Churchill.  Other recent former pupils include Princess Beatrice (Prince Andrew's daughter),  Lady Louise Windsor (Prince Edward's daughter) and Lady Davina Lewis and Lady Rose Gilman (daughters of the Duke of Gloucester).  So it's not exactly an inner city comprehensive.

She attended the London College of Fashion intending to be a fashion journalist but instead was spotted by a Sky Sports executive (what did he see in her, we ask?) and began working as a production assistant.

Two years later she started presenting Sky Sports news and since then has had many presenting jobs on TV, winning the Best Newcomer at the Royal Television Society Television Sports Awards in 1998.

Recently, she has got divorced and some seem to think that her constant whining about how hard it is to cope with this was one of the contributory factors in her being the first woman to be kicked out of Strictly.  That and the fact that she danced like an ironing board.

Still, we cannot criticise someone who is so lovely and she has an astoundingly good body which she looks after very well, releasing a workout video in 2005.

So, Agent Triple P will find his Strictly viewing that bit less appealing going forward, following Kirsty's relatively early departure (and, as ever, there are some far worse but more popular dancers still in the show).