Posted by: nickwardscenarios | April 1, 2011

Thames Future

31st March 2011 website discovery of the day is

April 2nd, 2011 at 8:53 am

play Kali for me – no storyboard

very intelligent, passionate, engaged writing on this Kali-blog, from Clarissa Yaotl…I assume!

added 27th April: Source:

One Response to Resurrecting Kali’s “Experiencing Cosmic Orgasm”

Anna Chapman, chief Russian Nick Ward Scenarios muse

By nick on 31, 2011  5:40 PM

‘Now it’ll be part of my job on the board to make sure that the money is spent wisely and widely, and isn’t swallowed by administration (which, in the case of Mercury, currently comprises two part-time employees). That is, of course, also the next step for the Arts Council itself, which is also being forced to shave its own running cost.’… yes, yes, yes, Mark – and I’m sure you will…and by the way with ref to yesterday I can spell ‘artist’ – defining one, of course, is a lot more difficult than defining ‘administration’. The theatre is plagued by administrators who swallow huge lumps of public subsidy and do very little to engineer alternative production models – artist-freindly production models – like the simple ‘top-up’ to benefits I have been proposing for some years. Good coverage, Mark.

By nick.ward on March 31, 2011  6:59 PM

I can also spell ‘friendly’!
Incidently, the world of professional, subsidised, sports development…. The difference, of course, between top artists and top athletes is that a gold medal means more than an Olivier or Oscar because subjectivity doesn’t come in to it.

Thames Future

Published on Nick Ward Scenarios on 30th March (for Caroline Lucas), concerning, surely, one of the greatest environmental challenge of our times – the re-building of London’s sewage system to avoid the direct polluting of the Thames at times of heavy rain. (Another is the ongoing, globally polluting, leaking of highly radio-active sea-water into the ocean at Fukushima, Japan. Parenthesis added April 04 2011).

Caroline, I was delighted to see that the Boatrace BBC TV team brought the antequated Thames sewerage flood-time disgrace to the attention of a rumoured 120 million tv viewers in around 18o countries. That is great broadcasting. Shame the race was so dull.

and here’s to a Thames-friendly Opening Ceremony!

I can handle meetings.
Nick Ward
On behalf of the long-term environmental protection of the Thames.

Sent this Boatrace feedback to Dad – and copied in The President of Cambridge University Boat Club and my marathon sculling coach (and coaching mentor) Laurie Anderson at the West Australian Sculling Academy.

Dear Dad,

Thank you for writing about the Boatrace – I couldn’t agree more. Cambridge seemed ‘complacent’ : slack in training and lacking in discipline. I would often pass by the Goldie boathouse and see individuals erging with music blaring and others loafing about. The Oxford coach’s very strict approach – an approach which does not involve wanting to be liked by the crew – will always win through. I am also a little concerned that Oxford are using the ‘four-stroke cycle’ and mantra-practice and Cambridge are not! Both crews were rowing too short – or at least rowing according to current 2000m orthodoxy – and the Boatrace is not 2000m as we know – they should be swinging the bodies more on that stretch of river. That’s why Cambridge won last year – so very, very, disappointing – and I hope it is not going to usher in a series of Oxford-led processions. I really did believe that last year signalled a winning streak for the Light Blues.


Oh, well, as you say, Cambridge deserved to lose, lose, lose: Goldie lost and the women lost.

Natalie Redgrave and Oxford’s victorious women at Henley – high time the Womens’ Boatrace is played out on the Tideway on the same day and over the same course as the men, is my view.

Gold for Iran (Shadi Naghadeh) in Belarus and Persian beauties (for memories of helping out with the Oxford Womens’ Squad in 2007 – and some very technical writing on core-stability)

Could also include a Championship Course Professional battle for Single Scullers.

Here’s to a change of attitude!


N Ward photo by H Ward (2009)

Marathon Sculling Log 2 « Nick Ward
(if you wish to jump to the technical stuff)

I also attach the blog that I happen to know has been studied very carefully by the Oxford coaching team, including wily old Topolski! – and good old Laurie in Oz who I also copy in.



The 2012 ‘Olympic’ Thames Marathon for Single Scullers

added 2nd April 2011

Subject: On Daniel Topolski (for my father)
Date: Sat, 2 Apr 2011 10:40:45 +0000

For some time now I’ve been meaning to jot down some memories and connected thoughts on the subject of Daniel Topolski and The Boatrace.

This first attempt will probably serve to prompt further research as I’m writing from memories which stretch way back to those happy hours spent with you and Mike Thorn in the Westminster School Boat House. The last time I saw Mike was in 2007 – he was coxing a tub quad  scull between Putney and St Paul’s – I was enjoying my first outing in Miranda, the beautiful Sims wooden shell I rowed as Boatman at Furnivall (or did Miranda come later?).  As I was overtaking him I said ‘Are you Mike Thorn?’ – (knowing he was because he’s hardly changed!) and he said ‘Yes’… ‘Do you remember me?’. ‘No!’… (a good boatman always says ‘no!’ first and ‘yes!’ later) ‘What year did Red Rum win the Grand National?’… ‘Send my regards to Hubert’ – came the reply – and the information about which Putney pub to find him for a drink…

its a start anyway


Subject: FW: On Daniel Topolski (for my father) – part 2
Date: Sat, 2 Apr 2011 11:07:41 +0000

let’s jump forward to 1976 when I had the pleasure of holding Topolski’s rigger as he embarked from The King’s College Boat Club, Cambridge, river frontage – for an epic chase of Chris Baillieu in the Scullers’ Head of Cam – he didn’t catch him but he made him work – giving away how many stones – 4? Great technical sculling? Perhaps not great – but supreme mental focus – and how competitive? Absolutely. Or was it 1977?

Chris Baillieu? What’s he up to? The same year, anyway,  that I couldn’t get my scull out of the King’s Ely Boatshed because the CUBC eights were wedged up against the sculling racks. A quiet word with Alf Twin. Alf Twin goes ballistic with the coxes and crews -‘ You do not block the way of a single sculler!’ – and that led to the new facility – the new CUBC Ely boatshed – during those long, bleak, losing years to come. The Topolski years.

there’s more.

What year was your famous letter to The Times suggesting London University should be allowed to row in the Boatrace to make more of a race of it? Co-written with the Bishop of Ely?

Memory is a strange business.

My favourite Bob Dylan portrait is by Feliks Topolski… that man could draw!

I recommend this yoga site for convincing explanations of why mantra-mediation generates power and endurance: and, above all, become the peace of mind of an emmanating Buddha… or just win that Gold medal first and become an emmanating Buddha later to put it in language even the young fellow-dyslexic Steve Redgrave might have responded to!

Nick Ward Scenarios Top Posts (the past week)

pull the other one, anna chapman (Kushchenko) 4,338 views (not bad, Anna x)

pull the other one, anna chapman (Kushchenko) part 2

‘Kali’ (2010, water-colour, ink, acrylic on 4xA4 card), by Nick Ward

The Goddess Kali is something else! In Indian transcendental-ritual practice she represents some pretty shattering metaphysical concepts like 1. Creation 2. Preservation 3. Dissolution. My personal tantric practice is heavily into ‘ritual’ activity – this painting is a good example. I finished it this morning to the ironic and laid-back sounds of Alex Lester’s 2am – 5am BBC Radio 2 slot having woken from a full-on dream of my mother (who died in 2005) – suffice to say, in the dream she was very much alive and in the course of the dream died in a rowing boat in a rough sea. Alone. The black parts of the painting are my own hand-prints. I’ll come back to Kali.

a fiction, a dream of passion

The infastructure is in place, Mr Shepard.


We’ll also be making great movies in the tried and trusted way with huge stars who see the back-end sense in what I’m proposing.


They’ll be getting the best scripts for one thing.

If I was in charge of MGM

John Dee, originator of ‘Director’s Theatre’?

1984 remembered

Boccaccio’s Decameron (1996), adapted and directed by Nick Ward, original photographs by my Portobello Road cafe-haunting friend, artist Michael Woods.

Miriam Asharki, pictured above at The Gate Theatre, Notting Hill, 1996 – me, on the right

[]Heart to Heart (lamrim)

Banjo Nick with his Tanglewood and slide photo by Austin Whiteside (Feb 2011) – great shot, Austin!

howling at the moon (2)

‘I know what you want’ (8/2/2011) (detail) painting by Nick Ward – 2xA4 card – watercolour, acrylic, printing ink, pastel.

What are we fighting for?

added May 15 2013

Boatrace 2013

Date: Wednesday, 3 April, 2013, 14:06

Dear Dad,

Your astute comments ref this year’s race have given me pause to remember how infrequently oars would class and how nervously anxious I would become on behalf of my love of the Boatrace. Scullers learn early how dangerous clashes are – remember how I was tipped out by Wooley as I overtook him in Bedford with snow on the bank in April. Yet mastery of this form of battle is one of the keys to good watermanship. So is saving lives or doing everything the Thames has taught us to prevent their loss.

Last year I wrote that avoiding clashes should be ‘drummed into the coxes’. Your email has served to alert me to the fact that infrigements of another boat’s water rarely favour aggressor. Scullers do it with a scalpel.

The BBC trailor was crap. Oars clashing and a surfing eights – a truly terrible example of what happens when the danger-mongers in the BBC (Oxford?) media team give free reign to non rowing graphics ‘experts’. Highly paid.

Your understanding of the Putney-Hammermsith stretch reminds me that you were one hell of a starter, by all accounts.

Love, Nick

Please forgive my decision to forward this exchange in the interests of this wonderful debate.

From: Nick Ward
Date: Tuesday, 2 April, 2013, 15:46

It was a poor start from Cambridge, I agree… and they could not afford that.

The wobble was there, though, throughout.
My feeling, between you and me, is that there is a dual problem at CUBC (and I won’t be ccing this to DT) – too much cox ‘coaching’ – too much ego – and also, critically, too much attention and time given to coaching from the Rob the boatman – it should be on a rotation basis. Paul is the Queen’s Boatman, for instance, schooled on the Tideway at Greenwich. It takes a coach with enormous personality to overcome these pressures – like the Kiwi who was here for a season – the best Cambridge crew for years. Length of stroke is a big question. Four stroke cycle time for try-out – at least in training. Far too much work done or ergs.
Thanks Dad – I know that river pretty well myself and you are right.
Oxford were the better crew!
love Nick
Hope to see you and Judy for my first solo art show! yesterday I sold one – so the drinks will be on me!
Posted by: nickwardscenarios | April 2, 2013

Nick Ward solo art show – Cambridge Art Salon June 21-26

Picture 150

Nick Ward solo art show at The Cambridge Art Salon from June 20 – 26. Opening on Friday June 21.


antitheatre 1

antitheatre 1 2013 (detail).

antintheatre 1 (3)

Cambridge Art Salon

29 Cromwell Road, Romsey, Cambridge. (CB1 3EB) This is just off the Mill Road, down Sedgewick Street or Catherine Street.

telephone 01223 244 391.


antitheatre 2  (detail)

From: HUBERT WARD Date: Tuesday, 2 April, 2013, 15:20

I agree that both crews were much shorter in the water than Boat race crews used to be and Cambridge had a useless wobble just short of full forward – but I doubt whether it was worth 3or 4 lengths: it was much more upsetting for their balance and rhythm.
But the wobble only appeared after the collision, or near collision, at the end of the fence when the Cambridge cox tried unnecessarily to push Oxford out of the tide. If he’d done the correct thing, which is a quick swing to the right and head for the Harrods Towers, Cambridge would have gained half a length with the whole Mile Post reach ahead of them. They could have got to Hammersmith with a clear lead and the race under control.  Instead the collision destroyed Cambridge’s rhythm and they had to expend too much energy just keeping in touch round the outside of the long Surrey Bend. For all his experience of the Tideway above Hammersmith, I don’t think the Cambridge cox knows the Putney water like I do!  It was poor coxing at the End of the Fence that lost the race.  The trouble is that the coxes all want to be seen on TV as exerting a dominant effect on the race rather than merely quietly getting their boat into the fastest water and staying there. Which he had done, until he pushed too hard.  The pundits don’t realise what a crucial corner that is, if handled properly.  But as you say, it was a good race, and Oxford were certainly superior, but the lesser crew might have won…
Sent: Monday, 1 April 2013, 14:56
Subject: Boatrace

a brave effort from Cambridge against an Oxford crew which beat the GB 8 which won the World Cup.

Great coxing from Cambridge – but note that Oxford put in the winning push at exactly the point where the mad swimmer destroyed last year’s race… just as Pinsent warned Cambridge!

Oxford psycholgically superior on the day, again.

Great race Dad – Oxford worthy winners

Not the time for too much critical feedback but CUBC had a slight wobble on entry – worth aprox 3-4 lengths in my opinion – this might have been as a result of tandem rig. I continue to believe that both crews are rowing with 2000m technique! Lets have some length.

Isis finish was historic – Oxford are fitter, that is clear.



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