Honor James

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About Honor James

  • Birthday 10/03/1944

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    Rugby League - and a whole lot of other things like art, literature, painting, dancing, music, theatre, cooking, history etc. and so on.

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  1. Honor James

    NRL Proposes International Shake Up

    I couldn't agree more. Talk about brass-faced incongruity! The NRL ......... spends the last 14, of 16 years since I got involved with the game of Rugby League, singing: "Count me out, count me out, count me out do, I'm far too important to bother with you." So the rest of the world just got on with it ..... without them. And now? Now there's a bit of action in the offing that they would like to have look like it was their idea all along ..... whoosh, bang, wallop! Onto the stage hops this fellow." "No show without Punch, no show without Punch! Leave this to me!" ? ? ? Has he no sense of shame? Probably not.
  2. Honor James

    Our new position in the EU

    Fudge. That's what today was about. How to make a fudge that won't look, taste and smell like fudge. The incompetence on every possible side beggars belief. It is outdone only by the monumental arrogance of this `baby-boomers-kids' generation. Children, playing at politics. How fortunate they are, never to have been faced by anything more serious than deciding who and what will have to be sold down the river this time. Anyone still holding out hope for the British fishing industry? Hmm! The hope I most detected in tonight's late news readers (along with scarcely guarded elation), and equally in four of the usual, carefully unbalanced set of guests on Newsnight, was the hope that (yippee) in the end we will all crawl gratefully back under the velvet jackboot. Comforted, of course (for those who play the game right) by the thought that a nice, fat sinecure of a sign-in-and-go-day job in Brussels might be possible, next time their own party is voted out of government. So different to the world out there, in places where the democracy their (and our) parents and grandparents fought and died to preserve through two world wars, holds no sway. But does it still hold sway here, now? Not, for me, in a European Union where - very shortly before the leave/remain referendum - a man called Tusk, when asked by some students in a Brussels street, "What will the British people do?" answered, "The British people will do as they are told." I watched him say it. Straight out, on television. I was astounded. It was like stepping suddenly into a late 1940s war film. Zieg heil! Voting day came, and having all along intended to vote remain, I stood there waving my pen around and wondering, and then I voted to leave the European Union. I had begun to fear since returning to England after many years abroad, that the European Union wasn't really a democracy. When the Irish called a referendum to decide whether or not to sign the Lisbon Treaty, they voted not to sign it. But then - astonishingly - the committee in Brussels told their Taoiseach to hold the referendum again and "this time get the right answer". What? Seriously? I couldn't quite put my finger on it because that was Ireland, not us, but it didn't seem right to me. It's different here, I thought. And sure enough, it was different. It seemed clear enough here in Britain too, that public opinion was, in the majority, against signing any more powers over to Brussels. But blow me down with a feather! Gordon Brown side-stepped that minor detail. Flew off to Lisbon, sort of secretly, really, and signed the thing (on your behalf and mine), just like that. Next day the media announced that he had done so. Different here? No way. Here, as in Ireland, France, Portugal, Italy and all the rest of the European Union countries, we are obliged to do what is required of us by our communal `masters'. Yep. The European Union is not democracy, it's a dictatorship. Not an evil one, of course, but a carefully enough camouflaged one. There is no apparent, figure-head dictator. And to be fair, there is a parliament (of sorts!), but all the real decisions are made behind closed doors. The deliberations made there are undisclosed, and above all, it is decided there which matters can be brought up for discussion in parliament. That's dictatorship; dictatordhip by committee. So what about today at Checkers? Today was to thrash out a fudge. All along, Theresa May seems to have been doing what I can only assume she was put there to do, by those who hope she will persuade us that fudging back into the European Union is a good idea (whilst being nominally `out'). Finally convincing me that here in the UK - in 2018 - the result of a referendum is no longer (like the result of an election), the will of the people which parliament must abide by. It is, as it seems to be in the European Union, a mere inconvenience, to be stretched, warped and stirred into an unrecognisable (but expedient) mush. Well in my experiemce, a mush seldom pleases anyone.
  3. Honor James

    the impending awful wedding

    And yet it is democracy that has kept them in place. Shackled, it must often seem to them, when young, to a self-denying submission to duty very few of us would ever voluntarily take on. Imagine it - random opinion of every kind, day after day (sometimes offered but) all too often hurled thoughtlessly in their direction! Wild horses couldn't drag most of us to put on the kind of politely smiling grace they are obliged to wear as a uniform, almost from birth. Wild rhinos couldn't drag me to that!
  4. Honor James

    the impending awful wedding

    I assume this remark alludes, without speaking out plainly (which by being at least honest would have been less ridiculous) to the mother of the bride. And if I assume correctly, then for me it is, without exception, the most offensive remark I have seen posted on this and probably any other thread, ever. The bride's mother I saw was a quiet, dignified woman, elegantly dressed, and clearly not using the occasion to raise any undue public or media interest in herself as anything other than the mother of the bride. A woman of middle age; a remarkably self-contained, dignified, attractive and (one can assume from all that) probably intelligent and thoughtful woman. A woman no longer possessed, it is true, of youth's willowy figure, nor mercifully of the unnatural, un-fleshed `wanna be a teenager all my life' figure so avidly desired (by `celebs' of these days) as prerequisite to a career in middle-age based on constant, self-revelatory appearances in `fun' `reality' television series. Series in which each successive `celeb' cast member seems ludicrously obliged (for money) to out-do the last, in the depths of banal vulgarity to which he or she must be driven, in this 21st century `holy grail' quest for `ratings'. A woman appropriately and seemfully shaped for a woman of her age. Not fat nor skinny; a woman shaped as nature intended women of her age and stature to be. A woman in fact, and contrary to the implied meaning of your remark, possessed of the entirely appropriate and pleasing remnants of considerable beauty. A woman happily posessed of the same elegant good taste in clothes as we have seen and admired in her daughter, favouring strongly feminine but uncluttered lines over mere fashion-chasing. A woman, finally, who with fortitude and quiet grace faced what must have been, for any woman in such circumstances, a daunting and at times sad day. Good for her!
  5. Honor James

    the impending awful wedding

    (My bold and underline) Yes there is. Don't read it. Just turn the page. Don't tune in to news about it on the television or the radio, just skip to another channel. There are surely enough these days to last any channel-hopper for a year or more before needing to repeat. However little you may agree with them, many people all over the world are interested in royal weddings and the like. And fortunately for us all, here in Britain it is their inalienable right to be so ....... openly, happily, without fear or favour etc., etc and so forth. By the law of this green and pleasant land, therefore, if you don't agree that people have a right to an opinion that clearly differs from your own, and if you cannot teach yourself to avoid what nauseates you, it seems you will just have to live with the occasional bout of feeling sick. Or of course, you could decide not to live in a country where the right to freedom of opionion and the right to express one's opinion is, and has been, the first order of every day for several hundred years. As for me, a lovely summer wedding, watched and enjoyed by hundreds of thousands `in the flesh' and millions on television, was a delightful (and profit making), feel good way to kick off what I hope will be a wonderful, happy, sun-blest summer after one of the hardest British winters in many a long year. 😄
  6. Honor James

    Two Things to Scrap Right Now!

    Oh come on! With an attitude like this, no sport in the world (with the possible exception of tiddlywinks) will ever be permitted, when that longed-for, glorious day arrives, and the war-ravaged remnants of mankind finally land in triumph on planet Nobadthingseverhere! That is, should mankind ever be lucky enought to find another habitable planet. And a feasible way to travel to it in numbers great enough to make the establishment of a new species in a new environment viable, of course. Come to think of it .............. with an attitude like this would there be enough people left on Earth still permitted to live, who didn't accept and fully live by the `nobadthingseverhere' creed? It clearly precludes being brave enough to risk embarking on a space ship bound for a distant planet where max 10 or 20 humans have ever set foot. Let alone being brave enough to play Rugby League.
  7. Honor James

    Wolf whistling... a hate crime?

    How to manage it? Well, I don't (and couldn't possibly) know how to manage every situation that might possibly make Woman A or Woman B feel uncomfortable because: 1) being women, we are unpredictable in one way or another, and for myself I see that as a good thing. Why be boring. 2) being well on in life, I was not brought up in an age that encouraged everyone to be so aware of self as most people nowadays seem to be. Ignore it; get on with it; put up with it; `You could always stay at home and read a book' more or less covers the sort of advice I could have expected from Mum, sister, teacher or mates if I reported feeling uncomfortable because a bunch of workmen whistled at me. `Keep Calm and Carry On' remained message of the day, for life, for a whole generation of `baby boomer' British women. So we did. And we mostly still do. And as a result of that - whether we liked it or not, I think we are less likely to pay much attention to what a more self-aware generation of women nowadays find unsuitable. And of course, no one ever proposed that by banning every human action that makes another human feel uncomfortable we will (ultimately, I suppose) ensure that no one will ever be made to feel even slightly uncomfortable by the actions of another. That said, however, when it comes to a `pat on the bum at the printer' we are in easily remediable territory. Carry a hatpin. That excellent piece of advice was given to me a Spanish girl many years ago, almost as soon as I arrived in Spain as a young teacher come to teach Spanish business students to speak, read 'n write English. "They will pinch your bottom on the bus Honor," she said. “Always carry a hatpin in your handbag and just give them a jab. They will soon know not to mess with you." Or words to that effect, in that very Strong Spanish Woman way that means "we are not to be messed with". Fortunately, nobody ever offered to pinch mine, but as a five-foot nothing little dab of a woman with mousy hair, surrounded on every side by gorgeous, golden skinned, almond-eyed, beauties that was hardly surprising. And no ........ I don't `miss being whistled at' (meow), any more than I miss being seventeen years old. Such an inwardly uncomfortable age for any woman, anywhere at any time, which fortunately we mostly grow out of by getting over ourselves. Do I sound awfully unsympathetic? Well I have two daughters and three granddaughters, and they have all survived me wreathed in smiles so I can't be that bad. It's the young boys of today I feel sorry for. What sort of a future are we creating for them, in the `boy meets girl and hopes to become a dad one day' stakes? That's a very basic human norm I am describing. But it seems to me it is beoming a minefield already, of not treading on this or that shibboleth, while at the same time being amply supplied (at any hour of the day or night) with hard porn, gratuitously violent films, and images of nubile, semi-naked women in at least 70% of every movie made. Even the Disney films, ostensibly created for little children to enjoy, have in recent years been `sexed-up' . One can only assume so that dads and older brothers will also want to buy them. Now that's what makes me uncomfortable. Makes my blood run cold for future generations, in fact, this currently uncurbed (and seemingly uncritically accepted) commercialisation of woman as a sex object. I thought we had grown out of that. A handful of chaps on a building site, whistling at girl, pales to insignificance by comparison.
  8. Honor James

    Wolf whistling... a hate crime?

    Join the club! And at my age now I'd probably be so darned grateful for a wolf-whistle I'd blush. OK ... joking, but I do see sense in trying to preserve some common-sense ground between (say): 1) persistent, repeated bouts of whistling that can clearly be seen (say) by a passing stranger, to be aimed directly at one specific woman. Probably a woman walking alone. and the commonplace 2) sort of vaguely directed, and audibly complimentary `salutation' that many a group of workmen might, in the past have whistled into the air as an attractive young woman passed by, without necessarily even raising their heads from the job much. Just a friendly sign of recognition that might as easily have been offered to a beautiful horse as it passed, or a sleek, shiny sports car. A vague, complimentary recognition of beauty that at one time practically any girl might have known was quite normal, acceptable, and totally safe to acknowledge with a friendly wave of hand as she walked on. I’m pretty sure, as I write this, that most women in this country under the age of about thirty odd, will more or less recognise what I have described here, and know as well as I do that there was (and I’m sure still is) nothing more for a woman to learn by it than: 1) not to read any specific personal directional intent in it at all and 2) how to handle a casual, gratuitous compliment gracefully ... and with an encouraging, inward nod that said, "Hey, I'm looking all right today," with an equally inward grateful smile. But of course, life even thirty years ago was more nuanced in so many ways.
  9. Honor James

    Cosa Nostra

    Spanish might be: El Trece es el deporte de nosotros ..... but I'm not absolutely sure cos it's a long time since I lived there. And just for fun I looked it up in Latin and got: Tredecim feras noster est ....... which sounds nice if nothing else.
  10. Honor James

    Slipping through the net

    Interesting. It has seemed crazy to me, over the last fifteen years, every time I've heard (or read about) someone where decisions are made using, "not enough good players to go around" as the main why something can't be done. Almost as if the game is (was) doomed to remain stagnated at: * 12 teams in Super League * 12 teams or thereabouts by whichever collective name they have variously been lumped under as the tier below, each waiting for the one above them either to fail or be relegated (or be declared insolvent). * 10 / 12 / 14 teams or thereabouts, lurking in the shadows below that, hoping against hope for the almost impossible. A lot of potentially useful things seem to be discussed to help solve the problem but not then implemented in any meaningful enough way to make a difference. For a couple of fairly obvious examples, why don’t we: 1. Give both the second and third tiers, each something more meaningful to compete for than just hoping against hope? And 2. Create meaningful inducements to ensure (or even demand) that all clubs `carry' (that is, identify, train on and give top-tier playing opportunities to) a minimum of three, local 18 to 21-year-old, potentially great players. Of course, while doing that we would need at the same time to strictly limit the number of non-British players permitted in any squad, and there’s the rub. Very few people would welcome that. Draconian? It probably is. Workable, given the current mind-set of the UK game? Probably not. And yet, watching from the fringes as I do, it seems unlikely that UK Rugby League, as it stands, can reasonably expect very many young 18 or 19-year olds (however promising) to go on believing in the realistic possibility of a professional future for more than a very lucky few. In the current climate how many can, realistically go on believing, and sufficiently dedicating themselves to that belief way beyond the age when most of their friends are in some kind of meaningful employment (or further education). Not many, until UK Rugby League (both the clubs and fans alike) begins to believe again in local strength, as I’m sure they did once. Until they throw out the idea that has somehow crept in, that the success all clubs and fans so desire is there, just waiting for that one new quick-fix import from abroad. That's all they need, or so most seem always to believe. You would think that over the years, more than just a handful of clubs would have noticed that it pays in the long run, to commit whole-heartedly to `bringing on' local talent. To giving early opportunities to shine where talent, honesty, hard work and `on the brink' potential is clearly visible. To allow a generous `best of the new crop' to ripen before you throw it on the compost heap and settle for an older, but still useable import. It works for the Australians. They take players from us but only the super-talented, "can't really let that pass us by" player here and there. Have they ever taken even one older, journeyman player from this country? No. So why do we keep on believing we can win just by an `Ozzie’. Why go for the quick-fix? Why pick the easy option? Why do we do that? Is it cheaper? I bet it isn't in the long run. But how can we expect the 100% dedication it takes, year after virtually unrewarded year well into manhood, from a sufficient number of potentially great local players to create a meaningful, home-grown pool? I doubt we can, whilst signalling at the same time that they can expect no such equivalent dedication from us. Say, for example you are a 19-year-old prop forward. One promising enough to join the squad as a `maybe', and be given a chance to play on a couple occasions when the first string is badly depleted by injury. Great – and you play well enough. Make as many metres, in fact, as any other off-the-bench prop might, often as not. But you don’t `star' on either occasion; you fail to ignite the fans and management straight off with your brilliance. Well, very few people do, but in Rugby League, unless you are lucky enough to be at one of five (OK, say six or seven max) clubs in this country, you may never be seen in a first team squad again. So you play for a second-tier club. For a while, perhaps. But it is very likely indeed that you just give in to the clamour around you that says, “Hell, you gave it a try lad, but Fred and Joe are making really good money now and even Jack is on 20 grand." Or, "If you're not gonna get into Super League, face it man, you're just hammering your body and wasting your best years for nothing." And as likely as not there's a girlfriend in the mix saying much the same thing, who loves he man but would like to be able to go out and have fun at weekends, the way her friends do. It takes an exceptional young person to face down that kind of logic. It’s not as if coaches (or fellow players) can deny that at present 19-year-old is just hanging on, in limbo, waiting - that's all. Maybe waiting for someone to go back to Oz; maybe for their own body to catch up with their mind's promise. After all, what the young prop’s chosen position demands above all, is a mature male body, well set bones, hardened, time-tested muscle. Nor can anyone be sure that when a first-choice player is injured and will be out for any length of time, the 19-year-old hopeful will be given the opportunity to stand in. How often does a club bring in a more mature player on loan, or a side-line sitter from the NRL? It isn't difficult to see why the amateur game here is struggling. Every youngster needs a dream to chase. If you make the chance of living the dream so unlikely that only a super-talented, precociously self-confident and utterly tunnel-visioned young person could possibly believe in it, why be surprised when so few hang around long enough to find out. I am sorry to sound condemnatory but sometimes, some things have to be said by someone. Might as well be me, as I am on the fringes rather than embedded in the heart of it all. And of course, I may be wrong because anybody can be. Sorry also to write so much but at least I don't do it very often.
  11. Honor James

    Luke Gales hair

    Astonished ........ I thought it was only women who enjoy a carefully disguised gloat over another woman's fat legs, hairy legs, scrawny t**s and such like. Men do it too? Well blow me down!
  12. Honor James

    New RFL President Andy Burnham

    Does he get paid? Surely that is the question. ???????? So far as I understood the position, when I asked about it 15 years ago, it is purely ceremonial. An honour to be asked to do it; an occasional hand to shake; an occasional dinner invitation. Super - doesn't really matter who it is so long as they are sufficiently well known and of good character, plus .................. and in my view this is and ought always to be the essential, required plus .............................. not just someone picking up a handy `do little - or mostly do sod all' `job' with a `collect rather more than you could ever be worth' honorarium attached, to boost their retirement income. Or even worse, someone making a second career out of collecting such `do little - or mostly do ............ etc honoraria. Seems to me that these days the world is full of them.
  13. Honor James

    Tommy Voll

    I wonder how many people know that Tom Van Vollenhoven was a top rugby star in three countries. I have only seen it anywhere once, but some years ago I was given - and have passed on to my (now) Australian grandchildren - a pamphlet that mentioned Tom Van Vollenhoven playing for Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). A picture showed him, perhaps in his early twenties, and incidentally a knockout, wearing the formal Rhodesian (rugby union) blazer and cap. That must have been before he (moved back to South Africa and?) was selected to play for the Sprinboks, for whom he scored at least one hattrick. I can only assume he moved at the same time as a great many other Rhodesian sportspeople did, when sport in Rhodesia became subject to the same political sanctions as the country itself, and all official international sporting contact was severed. Thereafter of course - as did another ex-Rhodesian rugby player I know of, Trevor Lake - Tom moved to the UK to play Rugby League, a move that earned him the eternal gratitude of St Helens Rugby League Club, and indeed, every Rugby League fan lucky enough to have watched him in action.
  14. As you cannot see the writer, it is impossible for you to know: (i) how many eyes he or she has (ii) what mist of whatever colour may be impeding his or her vision.
  15. That is an unnecessarily rude remark. What is the point of joining a forum to discuss anything on earth, if you are unable to accept that many people will have a different point of view to yours and will - because it is a discussion forum - feel free to speak what for them is the truth, just as you feel free to do the same. In discussion, resorting to personal insult has normally been considered the last resort of the feeble mind. Has that changed? Probably not. But I hope that anyone here being insulted for expressing concerns about what they felt might have been an unreasonable refereeing decision, will excuse your clearly patriotic but uncalled for remark.