Sunday, 13 November 2011

Understanding Mathew

Now for the most part this blog is all about me giving: giving wisdom, witty anecdotes and race statistics to my online fans. But sometimes even the most stoic of chaps require a little understanding from their common man. So please, i beg you, take some time out and read on..

You see, as a serious film buff (tune into my youtube channel for my regular Friday Ingmar Bergman seminars), I'm of the mindset that the best way to know a man is to watch his favourite films. I've lived my life through the medium of the silver screen and now I'd like you to live my live through this beguiling medium.

I shall talk you through my 5 most formulative celluloid experiences.

1. Kes
Billy Casper was my hero, my villain, my everything as a young teen. After my first viewing I quickly emulated the cheeky lads activities and pinched milk from my local milk float. I stopped this after i got a right beating of me mam. Whilst growing up i was unable to afford a kestrel so instead devoted my energies to training the local magpies - after some time i was able to get them to perform simple tasks to command such as delivering nuts to my front door and complex barrel rolls.

Ultimately unlike Billy my salvation proved to be running. Without it I don't know where I'd be.

2. The Seventh Seal (Ingmar Bergman)
It would be atrocious not to include one of Ingmar Bergman's master strokes on this list and I'm going to plump for The Seventh Seal. I really could have chosen any of them but as I had just prior delivered a seminar on 'The Seventh Seal and The Part It Played On Bringing Down The Tyrannical Berlusconi Mafia Regime' this seemed a simple choice.

3. The Tree Of Life (Terrence Malick)
Terry's always been one of my favourite directors and this film just really speaks to me. It answered a lot of questions that I had been asking myself for some time. In fact it was one of the main factors that allowed me, since the summer, to begin to start spelling my name with two ts! (i.e. Matthew). For a long while this was an impossibility, for despite my advancing years, my immaturity of heart and paucity of life experience meant i felt inadequate in the face of such an alphabetic onslaught. I've been Mathew for too long and it was rewarding to finally add that last T.
Terry I salute you.

4. The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner
To be honest like Col' in this I was a bit of a young tearaway and narrowly avoided a spell in Juve-y a fair few times myself (mostly for stealing milk due to my attempts to emulate Billy Casper). Often when life gets too much I've considered making a similar statement to the films closer (I won't spoil this for my more ignorant readers) but never quite managed it.

5. Pierrot Le Fou (Jean Luc-Godard)
There's not much i like better than sitting down to a spot of Nouvelle Vague. Some people would call this flick pretentious but they just don't understand the deeper meaning and true beating heart inherent in this grand statement. As an avid reader of existential and Marxist philosophy I find a lot of my own ideas and suppositions reflected back at me from JLG's works.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

My Christmas Number One?

From Shout For England by Dizzee Rascal and James Corden to Rubin Carter in Bob Dylan's Hurricane many great athletes have been immortalised in song. Never understanding why no-one had deigned to write a song for me I took matters into my own hands and included above is my inspired original composition titled Matty.

Now I am gunning for Christmas number one so please all buy on Itunes.

(That's thankyou in Pashto for my more unlettered readership..)

Interview with Geordie marathon champion Matthew Armstrong

A while back i did an interview for an esteemed online food magazine. They don't call me the Jamie Oliver of the track for nowt so here it is, reproduced for my perspicacious readership..

Here we present to you discourse with Geordie marathon champion and medical student Matthew Armstrong. Matt, although in his early 40s, still runs regularly for the Coventry Godiva running club and sometimes comes second in races. Rarely seen without a Newcastle Brown Ale in his hand we wondered if this was the secret to his success; we were intrigued to know how big a part his diet plays in his lofty achievements in peregrination.

Hi Matt, good to see you. How's everything going?

It's going mint yeah. Just been keeping up the running over Christmas and slipping back into my training schedule nicely.

Good, good. Okay let's start off with an easy question. What''s your signature dish? Something you'd cook to impress a lady perhaps?

Easy! Well I call it Alan Shearer's Bald Patch, but that's my name for it. It's quite similar to Spaghetti Bolognese, but involves a bottle of The 'Dog' [Newcastle Brown Ale for our southern readers], Dolmio pasta sauce, mushrooms, peppers and lots of pasta and beef mince all cooked up together. Bloody champion as well.

I tried it with lamb mince last night and called the dish Kevin Keegan's Kurls but it smelt a bit like a donner kebab. Not as good.

Cool! Where do you stand on the whole body is a temple idea? Do you consciously think a lot about your diet?

Not so much no. Within reason i guess. Mostly when I'm deciding what to eat, I try to think what would Keegan do here and that usually doesn't mean ordering the salad, you know what i mean?

Course. And what do you do diet-wise on race day?

Well beforehand I might possibly have a chocolate bar to keep my energy levels up. Then during the race maybe a bit of lucozade; plenty of that for the sugar rush. And lots of water.

Okay. Whilst we know you like a bottle or two of The 'Dog', how much of a lid do you try and keep on your boozing when racing season's on?

Y'Aye man. Well mostly I try and avoid it. It's bad stuff, makes you hungover and training when hungover's horrible. Stay away really.

Right. We also hear you're quite a prodigious eater. Talk us through a typical Armstrong day..

Well for breakfast I'll usually have a mixed grill. Maybe a bowl or two of Golden Graham's and four slices of toast maybe. If there's any of Alan Shearer's Bald Patch left over from last night I might microwave and eat that too. That and two bowls of porridge.

For lunch i like a Crocodile steak sandwich. Lean but full of protein. The perfect runner's food. I'll have that most days. Following that maybe a round of cheese sandwiches too. Fruit and a chocolate bar too if I'm still a bit peckish.

For dinner, obviously Alan Shearer's Bald Patch, have that most every day. Sometimes I swap rice for pasta if I'm a bit bored. I get through a kilo pack of pasta every two days which used to be really frustrating, always having to go to the supermarket, but recently I've given up my Adidas sponsorship deal and signed with Panzani Pasta. They deliver it to my door in massive packs. Champion deal and far more useful than all those running shoes!

Nice going! Thanks for your time Matthew...

Saturday, 9 July 2011

The Naiku

Prince Shotoku (573-621) once said that wise rulers come along "only once in a thousand years", you could argue the same about revolutionary runner-poets such as myself. Currently I've been absorbing a lot of Japanese culture after my aborted visit earlier this year and this has culminated in my invention of the Naiku.

Whilst writing a poem for an eminent local walking club's newsletter the idea struck me like lighting might an overtly tall donkey - why not adapt the Haiku form into my own style. I shall repeat the poem below so as to further elaborate on my new poetic device,

It's not running
And, no, it never will be

When the morning's
crisp and the sun does shine

A brown ale
In hand, and the dog
Falling ahead, what could delight me more?

As you'll notice I don't follow the traditional route of using 17 音 (0n) divided into 5, 7 and 5 音 line phrases but follow a somewhat less formal, more relaxed form, better suited to Newcastle than Niigata. The most crucial change however is the crafting of each stanza into the broad shape of a running shoe, hence meaning my overarching love of running is incorporated into my work.

I'm in the process of starting a literary journal solely for this poetic form so if anyone is interested in submitting work then please do so.

Stay tuned for more wisdom from the polymath Geordie..

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Back in the game!

Just a quick note to my fans to say I'm back in the game and back on the running tracks of the West Midlands.

Our cruel gods had smited me with a chronic ankle injury keeping me off the fields for over a year but through a combination of urine therapy and sheer concentration I've fixed it, as evidenced by two consecutive first places in a row! Take that!

Anyhow stay tuned here for continuing race statistics (I'm working on plotting a pie chart of my recent career) and poetry (I wrote a lot in my time off - it was my only solace)
Peace and love,
Mathew (with one t) x

Thursday, 6 May 2010

My very important important political opinions

Often times serious, successful members of society such as myself are asked opinions on crucial matters. Like my hero Simon Cowell (also a friend to my fellow lover of Brown Ale, Cheryll) I'm reluctant to tell people how to vote, but I feel I have bitten my tongue too long now.

Since hearing about the brutalities of a hung parliment (this is a complicated issue, where, if a party cannot hold an overall majority, subsequent MPs are randomly chosen and hung, until one party may form a majority), I feel I have to come out in favour of a particular party to my many disciples. And that party is LABOUR!

My only slight issue with Labour are based on their attitude to women's rights, an issue crucial to my very ideology. I'm tempted to vote Conservative due to the illeberal Labour, Lib Dem hegemony's plans to make it illegal for girls to appear topless on Page 3. ( Emmiline Pankhurst fought for years for these rights and now the government want to take them away. Disgusting!

Gordon Brown's affiliation with Newcastle Brown Ale however swung my decision to finally throw my weighty support behind the 'Reds'. So there you go fine readers, vote now and spare the bloodshed of possibly hundreds of unnecessary deaths..

Monday, 5 April 2010

Stop Press....

Mathew Armstrong has won his first race! This momentous occasion took place on Easter Sunday. Is it any coincidence that the anniversary of Jesus's resurrection happened on the very same day? Matt would be the first to deny that this was merely chances hand playing tricks.

Please direct any miracle requests to the comments section and Matt will do his best..