This is my version of Match of the Day. My good friends Shay and Marta sent me a book recently from the US with loads of positive ideas and thoughts (Americans are relentlessly optimistic don’t you think?) and it seemed like a good idea, on a site which celebrates good writing, to have a thought-provoking Words of the Day page.  I’ll raid the book for some potent lines and try and find some inspirational quotes too and make it a daily or at least regular feature. Of course if there are any quotes you’d like to add just use the comment box – but let’s keep it clean eh folks!

Anyway for starters I was impressed by the sense of purpose in this line:

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

I don’t know who came up with it, but it works for me right now (thanks S & M).


Today’s Words of the Day:

Thank you to my wonderful nanny & grandad for 15months of amazing care, love and fun – we’ve had the best time and you made life for mummy & daddy very easy. Now time to start a new chapter with baby bro due in 3wks! I (we!) won’t be away for long though  love you.xxxx

Words from my wonderful grandson Elliott posted on FB today (I suspect by his mum as he’s only 22 months old!) after our spell looking after him Mon-Fri ended yesterday. He’s a beautiful boy in so many ways, just like our other two lovely grandsons, and we’ll sorely miss not having him around. At the same time we are eagerly looking forward to the birth of his little brother, our 4th grandson, in a couple of weeks time.

2nd June 2014:

There is no leadership issue….

Quoted by our local MP Vince Cable after he was accused of being involved in the ham-fisted coup to oust Nick Clegg as Party Leader of the Lib Dems. Yeh right.

8th May 2014:

We had embarked on Beagle 2, not just to try to discover life on Mars but to share the experience with the British public; to encourage people to take an interest in science and engineering.

This is a quote from the brilliant Colin Pillinger, in the introduction to his book My Life on Mars, whose death was announced today.  I came to know him and was inspired by his passion and determination to send a lander to a distant planet to try and establish that there was evidence of life beyond Earth. The mission itself may have failed in its deliverable targets but it inspired a generation to get hooked on space technology and turned Colin into a national hero and a personal one to me.

15th December 2013:

England have only three major problems. They can’t bat, they can’t bowl and they can’t field.

Martin Johnson writing before the 1986 Ashes tour of Australia. He might as well have been writing about the current series as we stand on the threshold of losing the Ashes to the bloody Aussies (unless a tornado hits Perth overnight – where are you Michael Fish when we need your reassuring ‘don’t worry there’s no hurricane on the way’ forecasting?).

12th December 2103:

Before us fog, behind us fog, and beneath us a sunken country

This quote from Mihaly Babits (whoever he or she is) seemed to sum up the image of London that appeared in the press this morning following yesterday’s fog-bound views. I know fog’s a bugger transport-wise but you can’t help but admire the beauty of this shot: 

11th December 2013:

You don’t have to be a mathematician to have a feel for numbers

As today’s a special number sequence day, 11.12.13, and I’m a nutter for that kind of natural sciences occurrence, so I thought this quote from John Forbes Nash, the subject of the film A Beautiful Mind, was appropriate.

6th December 2013:

People are not going to be rubbing their hands with joy because they’ve got to play England.

England manager Roy Hodgson finds the positives from the 2014 WC draw which sees England pitched against Uruguay (never beaten them), Italy (beaten and outplayed by them at the 2012 Euros) and Costa Rica (v dangerous opponents accordingly to Jurgen Klinsmann) with the first match being played in the stifling heat and humidity of the Amazon basin. It could be an interesting tournament but I might be keeping my ‘tenner on England’  in my pocket Roy.

5th December 2013:

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear

Some moving words about overcoming fear by Nelson Mandela, who very very sadly passed away this evening. It is hard to imagine that any African leader will ever surpass his achievements. The world has lost a great man this evening.

3rd December 2013:

My policy on cake is pro having it and pro eating it.

It’s a delicious quote from Boris Johnson or BoJo as we call him here in sophisicated SW London.  I think the jury’s no longer out on whether he is a buffoon or a smug smartie. As the quote shows he’s smug alright but a growing band of people are thinking he’s pretty much a shoe-in to be the next leader of the Conservative Party. The only issue remains when? He’ll need to avoid too many more speeches like the one today explaining the significant forthcoming rises in commuter fares in the Capital. The folk who travel into Waterloo every day are his out of town constituency and he’ll need to get them on his side before any Leadership election with a tactical bit of short-term price freezing methinks. Then he can gorge on that Victoria sponge.

29th November 2013:

Eric Cantona is a great player, but he’s not as good as Ryan Giggs

Whichever way you look at it, it’s a stunning way for Johann Cruyff to describe Ryan Giggs, a footballer so good he is still performing brilliantly at the highest level even though he turned 40 yesterday. There’s been a lot of stuff written about him this week almost all of it full of the most fawning praise. But I rather liked the piece on him written by Kevin Garside in today’s i newspaper. For the reasons why check out my posting on the blog today called Saving Ryan’s Private Blushes.

28th November 2013:

But I do think that women who spend all their lives on a diet probably have a miserable sex life: if your body is the enemy, how can you relax and take pleasure? Everything is about control, rather than relaxing, about holding everything in.

Well I’m indulging myself with a quote that makes me feel kinda warm from my very favourite female chef Nigella Lawson. I have always had a thing about her (which man hasn’t?) but reading in the press these last two days about her alleged drug problem has seriously disappointed me. Who knows the real truth about the extent of her issues but you know there must be some validity, sadly. Maybe no longer a goddess but hey, not far short still. Let’s hope she sorts her stuff out and gets back producing cooking programmes which are seriously worth watching.

27th November 2013:

I have a group of people, about 40, in a local church in Surrey in England, who pray for me regularly

Amazing. It could only be the ever-modest self-styled Peter Pan of Pop, Sir Cliff Richard. I don’t know if you saw his appearance on BBC Breakfast the other day but the man is truly delusional about his appeal. I wrote an exasperated piece about him and the other bewigged wrinkly numpty Bruce Forsyth on my Pasta Paulie blog if you’re interested at


25th November 2013:

…probaby the greatest concentration of talent and genius in this house except for perhaps those times when Thomas Jefferson ate alone.

On reflection I should have added this quote on the 22nd – it’s from John F. Kennedy at a dinner at the White House to honour Nobel prize winners. Whilst not one of his most famous quotes, it seems typical of the man. Generous and knowing at the same time and entirely selfless. I studied Kennedy at University and yes he was flawed and his father was a manipulative monster but JFK was also the most fascinating politician and something of a hero of mine. He served his country for just a 1000 days but he changed the face of America forever. It seems almost criminally irresponsible that such a powerful nation lost great men like Jack and his brother Robert and Martin Luther King to assassins’ bullets within a 5 year period. Tragic.

24th November 2013:

It might be difficult to understand but I never felt we were going to lose that game – it was the inner steel, the inner belief within the squad that whatever it takes we will win.

This week saw the 10th anniversary of England’s magnificent victory over old enemy Australia in the 2003 Rugby World Cup Final. This quote from top bloke Lawrence Dallaglio seemed to some up the sense of conviction within that great squad. There’s a new posting on the blog about a great corporate event I hosted straight after the RC 2003 with Lawrence and the team. What a night that was!

22nd November 2013:

OK, Rule number 1: Unless you’re served in a frosted glass, never come within 4 feet of my lips.

The incomparable Karen Walker, my favourite character from the US comedy Will & Grace which I’ve become hooked on again each morning on C4. Has there been a sassier, sexier, funnier pill-popping lush on the box?

19th November 2013:

My dad sent me a birthday card written last year by my mum before she died. It never got sent for some reason but he wanted me to see her words and I’ll keep them to myself on this occasion.

12th November 2013:

Stay strong, thinking of you always my friend

Some lovely supportive words texted by my great friend Shay en route to Heathrow, following his flying visit from the US. They are very personal of course but it seemed appropriate to share them given that it was Shay and his lovely wife Marta who inspired this feature in the first place. Cheers guys

11th November 2013:

God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style, he just goes on trying other things.

A slightly provocative quote from the incomparable Pablo Picasso, the artist who re-defined himself and created several distinctive styles of painting/sculpting throughout his life. Comparing himself to God, or rather vice versa, was a little arresting but there’s no denying he was the greatest creative force of the 20th c (whilst God probably holds the title since, well, the beginning…)

10th November 2013:

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.

I like this saying from Mark Twain. I’ve had dozens of crap managers during my career and more than a few colleagues (or rather people who worked in the same company) who were damagingly negative. And yet there were 4 or 5 people who taught me everything about self-confidence, decisiveness, strength of purpose, being bold rather than afraid, faith in people and the power in building something. Only listen to people who can teach you something.

Ist November 2013:

Baby E has arrived. Mum and baby doing fine. He’s half way through his hour feed and definitely has my ears

The lovely funny message we got earlier today from my fine son-in-law E to confirm that my 3rd grandson had finally been delivered and all was reassuring well. Phew. Very proud of my daughter S and son-in-law of course and delighted to welcome baby E into the family. To match our 3 great daughters we now have 3 brilliant grandsons,  who can fill the Man Utd midfield for the next 25 years. A little more detail might have been nice E!

31st Oct 2013:

You talk about vengeance. Is vengeance going to bring your son back to you or my boy to me? I forgo the vengeance of my son. But I have selfish reasons, my youngest son was forced to leave this country because of this Sollozzo business. All right, now I have to make arrangements to bring him back here safely cleared of all these false charges. But I’m a superstitious man and if some unlucky accident should befall him, if he should get shot in the head by a police officer, or if should hang himself in his jail cell, or if he’s struck by a bolt of lightening, then I’m going to blame some of the people in this room, and that I do not forgive. But, that aside, let me say that I swear, on the souls of my grandchildren, that I will not be the one to break the peace we have made here today.

The brilliant Mario Puzo. OK it’s not so much a saying as a scintillating speech delivered by Don Corleone in the film the Godfather, just about my favourite film (and, yes, I know that’s cheesey). But in the context of the film it is a deftly written piece of script and it was exquisitely delivered by Marlon Brando. Here’s the thing, I have been known to adapt the speech to suit a particular conversation or presentation, usually with pretty good effect. I’m not suggesting Marlon would have been quaking in his acting boots but I can do that ‘bolt of lightning’ line in decent sinister husky.

30th Oct 2013:

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book

Having spent the day in A&E yesterday dealing with an infection I can honesty say that I feel much better after a proper night’s sleep, giving validity to this old Irish saying. Mind you I don’t remember too many laughs at the West Middsx Hospital.

26th Oct 2013:

Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens

It’s a really smart saying don’t you think and who do you think is credited with coining it? Only Jimi Hendrix, the greatest guitarist I’ve ever seen play. Double respect.

25th Oct 2013:

Not only is there no God, but try finding a plumber on Sunday

The incomparable Woody Allen again.

21st Oct 2013:

Sex without love is a meaningless experience, but as far as meaningless experiences go its pretty damn good.

Woody Allen. I’m sure I’m going to quote Woody again but this has to be his best and funniest quote on the subject. It’s hard not to smile at the man who admits to being such a good lover because he practices a lot on his own.

19th Oct 2013:

Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith
Margaret Shepherd author, artist. I’ve never heard of Margaret but I like this quote as it’s all about thinking and going boldy. Come to think of it, it could have been a line straight out of Star Trek; it just needs the name Jim added at the end.
18th Oct 2013:
Get busy living or get busy dying.
Stephen King, The Shawshank Redemption. The best line in a film full of them
16th Oct 2013:
First the doctor told me the good news: I was going to have a disease named after me.
Steve Martin, from the days when he was a funny guy.

15th Oct 2013:

Success always occurs in private, and failure in full public view.

Ingrid Bergman… but it could equally be the strapline for my life as my first e-book, currently in draft, entitled ‘My Most Embarrassing Moments’ testifies. After a relatively short trip down memory lane I managed to jot down a meagre 60 such incidents. Sometimes I wonder how I managed to stay married for 40 years.

14th Oct 2013:

Sauvignon blanc with ice is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy

Paul, after Benjamin Franklin

13th Oct 2013:

That’s fantastic!

My very funny and supportive grandson George, who’s coming to see me today with brother Sam, woo hoo.

12th Oct 2013:

You have to go wholeheartedly into anything in order to achieve anything worth having.

Frank Lloyd Wright, probably my favourite architect.

10th Oct 2013:

Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.

Lord Byron…and he ought to know

9th Oct 2013:

It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.

Vince Lombardi, probably the greatest quote machine in sport.

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