Books, wine, women….no song.

So I bought In God’s Path: The Arab Conquests and The Creation of an Islamic Empire. I’m about a third of the way though, which isn’t saying much since it’s a rather short book. I don’t know if I’m disappointed in it or not. Having read Tom Holland’s In The Shadow of the Sword which covers much the same period I feel like it goes into more detail than Holland’s work but if you’ve read Holland’s work then you kind of know the history already.

There wasn’t really an Islamic conquest: differing Arab groups, often with local allies, found that the Byzantine and Persian empires were so weak that they could raid them with impunity and these raids developed into a conquest. Among these groups were a bunch of people who called themselves “the faithful” who were actually a mix of Christians, Jews and what later became Muslims. Then at some point after the Arab conquests there was a war between them and all these Arab groups became Muslims and the histories were written to turn the Arab conquests into Islamic conquests under a guy called Muhammad.

In God’s Path fills in some of the details but the broad strokes are the same.  I was hoping for more though: there are times when he takes a Christian source, marries it to a Persian or Muslim source and says, “This source appears to be talking about his battle” and it’s all a bit vague, I wanted something a bit more meaty. I’d recommend it if you haven’t read Tom Holland’s work and want a Tl;Dr  version of it without the wider background context of Late Antiquity. I’m not sure if I’d recommend it on it’s own though; obviously I’ll have to read the rest.

In other news: Tomorrow I’m again off to Shrewsbury to get wine with Gman, from thence we will get very drunk before I go to the cinema with Jboy before more drinking and hopefully seeing BM.

W is continuing to remind me of my ex. Not only does she look like my ex, but she is also as introverted as my ex and, though we talk a lot, getting her to come for coffee is proving difficult. Also, being Polish, she’s a bit worried about Brexit and various racist goings on at the moment.



I am not doing jagerbombs ever again.


So I’m in the bar, the bar staff and BM are having drinks and BM walks past our table, notices me, does a double take, smiles. “Are you causing trouble?” “Of course, your life would be boring without me causing trouble!”. The glances continue and eventually it comes to my round and I head to the bar.

She and her friends also head to the bar and she slips in next to me and we start flirting and taking the piss out of each other and it comes to my turn to order and she starts chanting “Jagerbombs! Jagerbombs!”. Initially I flat out refused to countenance the idea but then I thought……..I’ll be honest I didn’t want to disappoint her so I ordered a pair of jagerbombs on top of the rest of my order and we knocked them back.

The rest is a bit of a haze but she was blowing me kisses as I was leaving… I assume that I everything went well.


One has just purchased Space: Above and Beyond on DVD, alas there is no Blu-ray version. If you are unaware of Space: Above and Beyond then you are a pleb. You should immediately deplebify yourself by buying a copy of the first and only series thus creating a spike in sales so that a Blu-ray version is produced.

Also I have bought the 20th Anniversary edition of Apollo 13 again you are a pleb if you are  unaware of this film. Basically if you like anything that I do not like or dislike anything I do like then you are a pleb. I already have it on DVD but I want it on Blu-ray especially since the 2015 release is supposed to be amazingly good; the 2010 release is, by all accounts, something of a disaster. I think that once you get used to watching Blu-rays DVD quality stuff looks really bad.

I seem to have a love of space disaster movies. Apollo 13, Gravity, The Martian are all among my favorite films. I’m thinking that I need to buy The Right Stuff since it fits in with my love of all things space related.

I suppose I kind of see that era of the Mercury-Gemini-Apollo programs and the x-plane program of the era as a bit of a golden age before the shit of the 60’s kicked in and the west degenerated into the mess that it is today. We don’t have heroes now like we did then: men who would risk death just to be the first to do something and the something being quite big like being the first man to walk on the Moon.

Sure, there’s the first manned missions to Mars to look forward to but I suppose everything feels a bit more sterile and less gung ho than the space race did. There’s less soul to it all somehow; maybe it’ll be different when it’s actually happening. Tim Peake has been up to the ISS and it was interesting an all but not all that inspiring. Whizzing around the Earth in a space station isn’t quite the same as looking up at the Moon and imagining going there like Apollo did.

Like some nights I look up at the Moon with the binoculars or through our new telescope and it fills me with wonder. It’s a place to go. I imagine being there and seeing those views that we all know from the Apollo photos, low Earth orbit isn’t quite as inspirational. Also space flight has been done; it’s now about going a little bit further, well, a lot further. With Apollo it was all new. There’s a romance to it that’s missing now.



So periodically I get this in my FB feed:


and I’ve started responding with this:1466265962453.jpg

At least get the map right…………..also well done for creating a moral equivalence between legal migration and colonialism. The BNP will be really happy that immigration from Pakistan is just like the BEIC conquering northern India and that the solution is the same: Send the colonists back.



So S’s football shirt arrives today. Generally speaking just about the least attractive a woman can be is in a football shirt but pics are sent so whatever. It’s not my thing but I’ll take a look. Long story short: one’s breast obsession is nowhere near cured and I’m pretty sure that she got the wrong size.