Monday, July 31, 2006


How many people's first impression of Glasgow is 'Christ, it is Fucking hot!'? Well it was mine anyway.

We set off to explore. I do love wandering aimlessly in a new place. Reidski had been there many times before, most notably on his way to London on foot with the Nelson Mandela Freedom March. He and his fellow marchers had a reception with the Lord Provost in Glasgow's City Chambers before setting off. However, he was keenest to show me where he saw various bands in the 70's and 80's.

We made the first of several visits to the Horseshoe Bar at lunchtime. This is a very traditional pub and it somehow manages to serve three course lunches for £3.45. No, for a change that is not yet another of my typos. Three course lunches for £3.45. There was something 'different' about this pub visit but I will come back to what that was later.Unfortunately we weren't hungry at the time so had lunch later, outside in this square...

Glasgow has a very handsome city centre.

The only tiny cloud hanging over us (certainly there were none in the sky) was the slight fear that we wouldn't be able to get into the Celtic/Manchester United friendly match that evening as the tickets had not arrived before we left. But it was fine and we got in easily. On reflection that was the best part of the evening for Reidski who then had to suffer his beloved Celtic losing 3-0 to the Man Utd fourth team. Well, not quite the fourth, but none of the players who had been in the World Cup played. Whoever they were, they played a damn sight better than Celtic did who finished off their programme of friendlies with the record - played 7, won 0 and a grand total of 2 goals scored. (Though they did beat Kilmarnock 4-1 in the first game of the season on Saturday. I am resisting the temptation to ask how good exactly is the Scottish Premier League? Well, not quite resisting it obviously but I an trying.)

The walk back from the ground was weird taking us as it did through an area which was pretty intimidating. Pubs with flags depicting the Red Hand of Ulster and plenty of Union Jacks. Police presence was rather comforting. But THEN...the greatest pub I have ever NOT been in. As we walked there was a pub advertising snooker, dominoes and board games. We were solely tempted to drop in for a quick game of Cluedo but then we saw the next sign in the window. I really regret not taking a photo of the sign as I may be accused of making this next bit up but the sign was advertising:


Erh, is this common in Scottish pubs? Does anyone know?

And so to the next pub which we did go Irish pub full of drunken Celtic supporters and surely the test for what was 'different' about the pubs from the previously mentioned Horseshoe Bar onwards....The No Smoking Rule. Sure enough, we watched a very pissed bloke stand up, take out a fag and go to light it. We wait with baited breath. What will happen? Will there be a fight? Will he be evicted? Well actually, what happened was his equally drunken mates gestured to him madly that he mustn't light up and needed to go outside...which he did with no more than a shrug. The ban works. And I have to declare a bias here. I don't smoke. I hate coming out of a bar stinking of fags, and if it works so well in Ireland and Scotland, why the hell are we still waiting for it here in England? Apologies to all smokers, but you know I am only concerned for your continuing good health.

Several pubs later and I have had too much to drink and not enough to eat. It must have been well past midnight and I didn't think anywhere would still be open to get some food so the joy on finding a fish and chip shop cannot be described. "What time do you stay open to?" I asked. Reidski translated what I said to the guy and then assured me that I hadn't yet again failed to understand the accent...the guy really did say 4.00am. My kind of town Glasgow is!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Quiet night in Ayrshire

I was SO nervous about meeting Reidski's oldest friend and his wife so I had to have one or two drinks when I got to their house.Unfortunately I can't do a direct link to Jim's photo of the alcohol consumed so I am having to 'half inch it'. (Please note that I now speak fluent Cockney rhyming slang as a direct result of going out with a Scot who lives in south London.) You will have to agree that this is quite good going of a Tuesday evening.

Well - no, to be honest I didn't do all of that little lot on my own - nervous as I was, but certainly I seem to recall having my fair share. And I had no reason to be nervous as Jim and his wife were of course really really good people who made me incredibly welcome...thank you both so much.

Enroute to Reidski's old stamping ground he demonstrated how little he knows of the area he lived in for 23 years by telling me how flat the countryside was where he comes from. As we passed through mile after mile of rolling Ayrshire countryside he was forced to acknowledge it wasn't "quite as flat as I remember". Then as we drove through the town on our way to Jim's he pointed out to me local landmarks. "There" he said "was my local Labour club". "That was my primary school." "That was the pub where I got banned for life aged 17". "That is my brother" I thought he was making up the last bit, saying it as he did without the merest hint of surprise, but as I turned to see a cyclist go past on the other side, it was like looking at a Reidski clone, and it was in fact one of his many siblings. And no, we didn't stop to say hello-phew!

On arrival at Jim and Mrs TNR's we sat outside and drank, and ate a fabulous meal made by Jim who is a sensational chef, and chatted until well gone 10 whilst sitting outside in the heat that is a July evening on the West Coast of Scotland. I am assuming the weather is always that good there?? Thereafter we continued the drinking and chatting inside until I can't quite remember how late. And then I was privileged to hear the only known recording of a very fine band called - I think -'In Prague.' I say 'I think' because Reidski's accent had thicken 150% by then and I may have misheard. Anyway, Jim and Reidski...the world is a poorer place for your band only sadly ever playing the one gig.
I have had a simply wonderful time this week with Reidski and there is lots I want to say about our time together but there is something I have to say first.

Tragedy can strike anywhere and at any time - of course I know that. Any one of us could get knocked over the next time we set foot out the front door. But something happened this week which I have found really distressing and I need to acknowledge it before I get back to the trivia that normally occupies my simple mind.

This week a 17 year old lad went missing whilst on a school trip in Ecuador. He was swimming in a river with some of the other 18 teenagers who were on the same trip, completing their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award when he went missing. The visit had included helping out at an orphanage and climbing a live 20,000 volcano. They had saved and fund raised for over two years to make this trip reality.

I don't know the lad who was waved off on the coach at 1.00 in the morning by his friends and family but who won't be coming home to them. I do know two of the other lads who were swimming with him when he disappeared. Both of them are very frequent visitors to my house. I am devastated for them whilst feeling that selfish relief it wasn't one of them, for their families who are my friends, for one of the teachers on the trip who I know to be a really great person, for all the others on the trip, but mainly of course for Aaron and his family. For something which should have been the experience of a life time to end like this is more dreadful than I can express.

My daughter is now swearing she will never ever go on a school trip again, and part of me wants to say 'Damn right, you are not', but I can't. I have to try and make her understand that everything we do is a risk, and that some things which are so worthwhile can involve more risk still, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't give it a go. I thought it was marvellous that the school was providing such an opportunity for its students and I can't change my mind about that because it has ended in this terrible way.

Nor can I wrap my kids in cotton wool - but just now that is exactly what I want to do.

Monday, July 24, 2006


Reidski and I are off to Scotland. We are seeing Jim the first night and then we are having a couple of days in Glasgow before coming back for a party in London. So hopefully, loads to waffle on about on our return.

The hoped for highlight apart from meeting Jim which I am really looking forward to is scheduled to be Wednesday night when we are due to see Celtic play Manchester United in a 'friendly' match but bit of a worry there because as of this afternoon, the tickets had not arrived in the post. Assuming we do get in, I have promised him I will NOT shout for the wrong side this time...please god I won't anyway.

Anyway, a little film quiz for you whilst I am away.

How many couples can you name who have both won Oscars? I know of seven so to start this off one half of an easy one - Lawrence Olivier (Best Picture and Best Actor for Hamlet, and an Honorary Award for Henry V) and...

I think two have since split up but that doesn't disqualify them...we are talking Hollywood relationships so they can't possibly all be expected to have stuck together like glue.

P.S. Did you know that the title of the film 'Boogie Nights' was translated in China to the title 'His Powerful Device Makes Him Famous.'

That is amazing! How on earth did you guess I have been reading a movie trivia book?????


As Rob correctly said, Tim Robbins- 'Mystic River' and Susan Sarandon - 'Dead Man Walking'.
And he also got Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh - 'Streetcar Named Desire' and Gone With the Wind'.

Alan was right with Katherine Hepburn for pretty much every film she ever made and Spencer Tracy - 'Boys Town' and 'Captain Courageous',
He also got Diane Keaton - 'Annie Hall' and Woody Allen who has three.
And Alan gets a special star for getting one the trivia book missed..Vanessa Redgrave for 'Julia' and Tony Richardson for 'Tom Jones'.

Others are Mel Brooks- 'The Producers' and Anne Bancroft- 'The Miracle Worker'.
Janusz Kaminski for cinematography'Schindler's List' and 'Saving Private Ryan' and Holly Hunter-'The Piano'.
Jack Nicholson for 'Cuckoo's Nest'(best film ever), 'Terms of Endearment'(worst film ever!), 'As Good As It Gets'( neither the best film ever or the worst film ever but good fun) and Anjelica Huston for'Prizzi's Honour.'

And rather bizarrely Michael Douglas- 'Wall Street' and Catherine Zeta Jones-'Chicago' are an Oscar winning couple.

The dangers

of blogging are starkly illustrated by the fate of Petite Anglaise.

I doubt if any one of her readers would have had the faintest idea who she worked for before the last weekend but the whole world now knows that Dixon Wilson, chartered accountants take a very dim view of blogging indeed.

NEVER mention your job on your blog. NEVER.

And don't do it in work time either.

Petite isn't the first. Let's hope her high profile contributes to her being the last.

And I hope she gets her book deal too.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Accidental and avoidable errors.

At least, I thought when I put my mobile phone in a glass of water on Thursday night*; I would be hard pressed to do anything else quite so comparably stupid for a week or two. But then I heard myself agreeing to take my 12 year old daughter shopping in Milton Keynes. WHAT a fun five hour slog round the shops I have just had.

* I can now just about laugh about this incident having been seriously upset about it at the time. I would like to clarify that I did this accidentally, although the insurance man has had of necessity to have been told my phone is ruined because water got spilt. I didn’t think I would be covered for stupidity on the scale of actually placing my phone in a glass of water, even if I didn’t know the water was there as I put my phone down on the floor next to my bed.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Still on the 70's.

Later the same day I wrote about 1976 I read an extract of John Peel's 'Margreave of the Marshes'when he was at a Radio 1 Extravaganza at Mallory Park in 1978. the Bay City Rollers had been helicopted onto an island in the middle of a lake. The lake was surrounded by a racing circuit. As the Bay City Rollers emerged on a raised platform on the island, crazed teenage girls dressed in tartan started charging across the racing circuit around which sped competitors in the Dunlop Star of Tomorrow Formula Ford Championshp Race, before hurling themselves into the lake to try and reach their heroes. The members of the BBC Sub-Aqua Club dressed in flippers and wetsuits were deployed to try to grab and remove them. John Peel recalls turning from this scene for a moment to see a speedboat hurtling back and forth upon the water. In the speedboat sat a regal Tony Blackburn waving to the crowds. The speedboat was driven by a Womble. Peel grasped Johnnie Walker by the arm and said 'Look on this and marvel. You will never see anything like this again.'

That Moo, Nat, Tony and others too young to know sums up the 1970's.

According to Reidski

his diminishing brain power is all my fault.

Dr Neil Stanley, a sleep expert at the University of Surrey, said: "It's not surprising that people are disturbed by sleeping together.

"Historically, we have never been meant to sleep in the same bed as each other. It is a bizarre thing to do.

Bizarre indeed.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I was at a school governor's meeting last night. I came home to find the kids all out, the doors all locked, and myself without a key.If they hadn't left all the downstairs windows wide open so I could climb in I might have had a problem. Still, we wouldn't want to make life too difficult for any passing burglar.

Am V.Proud Chair of Governors as our tiny village school with 66 pupils has won best primary school library in the whole county award. Still on the subject of the school for the first time ever this week we had a two year old registered for a place in a couple of years when the child is school age. The weird thing with this is that the family does not live in the village, or even in the area - they live in London. They have been searching the net for good village primary schools and have identified our school as the one they want their child to attend. They now intend to spend the next year or so waiting to buy a house here. I hadn't realised the concept of parental choice had gone so far. However, I'm a bit uncomfortable with it. I have an image in my mind of what these parents must be like. Whilst it isn't necessarily the most flattering image I will allow that they clearly care about education. Schools need the support of parents who care about education. What happens to the schools that parents like these reject?

I was told last night that the vicar at our church who is Chair of Govenors at a neighbouring village school has been telling his congregation that if they want a 'good Christian education' they should send their kids to his school. I am very happy to report that the reason he is having to advertise like that is because they have lost so many local kids to our school which is better than their poxy Cof E school. Errh, how obvious is it that I am not a great fan of church schools? (Or their 'I am so religious I will go to church every Sunday right up until my kid gets place in one and then I can't quite get there any longer' parents.)

I notice nowadays that parents at our school discuss at length which comprehensive school their kids will attend. Quite a few boys from here now get into the best school in town which is supposed to be non-selective. Ha ha. Tell that to the parents of the kids in the catchment area who watch the parents dropping off their kids in their 4x4's as their own lads start the six mile treck to the school where there were spaces due to a distinct lack of middle class applicants. I never thought twice about what school my kids would go to. My kids go the local one with their mates, and although it is never going to top the league tables for academic results the kids have never experienced bullying, are happy, and are doing just fine. Maybe for these parents doing 'just fine' isn't good enough and now I am worrying if that means I am not a good enough parent for being content for them to be doing 'just fine'.

This is in danger of developing into either a rant about so called parental choice or a 'why am I such a crap parent' examination of self, or even worse, both but I am late and have to go.

Seeing Reidski tonight...maybe watch him play football, or maybe wait for him whilst having a nice cooling drink outside a local hostelry. That's a difficult choice isn't it :-)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Summer 76

Simon started it, Reidski joined in and Lisacontributed too so that has left me feeling left out and with a burning desire to drone on about the summer of '76 that I remember.

It was my third summer living in Skegness. I was going out with an idiot but I was too softhearted to finish with him so much of the summer, which in my memory went on for ever, was spent trying to avoid him, and in a small town like Skeg that took a bit of doing. Also, he had a car and I realised that if I finshed with him I would have to go back to walking to school rather than have him picking me up and taking me.

I was out late every night in the summer, usually at the truly dreadful Sands Showbar. We always moaned about the place but when there was no option - and there was no option - that was where we went. Hits that summer included 'Don't go Breaking My Heart' and 'Dancing Queen'. They were played endlessly by a D.J with an afro haircut (think Scouser style), a hairy chest, a medallion, and no musical taste. My endless pleas for David Bowie would have been a total waste of breath except that I knew how much me asking for Bowie wound him up. The holiday makers would chat us up. They either supported Wednesday, United (Sheffield variety), or Forest. They wore trousers and jackets usually worn for Northern Soul nights as illustrated :

We thought they looked like knob heads which was the insult of the times.

Shawaddy-waddy played live one night at the Sands Showbar. That counted as a highlight.

I didn't have to get to my summer job till about 11 which was just as well given all those late nights. I worked in a garden shed constructed at minimal expense in Winthorpe, just up the coast from Skegness and right opposite Derbyshire Miners Holiday Home.

I sold seaside snaps of holiday makers. I had actually started that summer taking the snaps but the uniform was bad for my image. It was a jacket of red, green, blue and yellow stripes. It was the summer before contact lenses which was why I took the photo of the rather portly lady in her bikini. It wasn't until I handed her her ticket with which to collect her lovely picture that I realised her right nipple had slipped out from under her bikini. I heard later she bought the thing...hopefully to destroy it for ever. Anyway, I went into 'management' which meant the shed and pissing around all day with mates who popped over to see me and chat. My friend Janice took pictures. We had 'props' to encourage people to have their photo taken. One was a bright pink four foot high octopus and another was a giant Wrigley Spearmint pack. They got the punters flocking as you can imagine. I sat on a chair out the back most of the days and got the best suntan of my life that year. The only aggravation I had to face was the ladybird plague. For a few weeks my shed walls were red with black spots, not wooden at all. We made sod all money for the company but we still got paid.

Janice told me all about Kings College Uni in London and how brilliant it was. She made my future clear to me. I was going to go to Kings College Uni, London to study history. I was sorted. Well, how was I to know at that time that to do that course at that university required a Latin A Level?

And then it was over and I was back in my bottle green school uniform for my last year. But the weather was still good and I worked out walking to school was a better option than going out with the idiot so I used the 'I have so much school work to do' excuse and he was so much history. As was my ambition to go to Kings five minutes after my careers teacher fished out the University Entrance Requirement book.

Question of the day.

"Mum! Why is there a hairbrush in the fridge?"

Second question of the day.

"Why are mum's supposed to have an answer for everything?"

I am sure there was a logical reason why we had a hairbrush in the fridge and just as soon as I come up with it I will be able to explain.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


First of all a huge thanks to Lisa and Cloud for a truly great night out in Nottingham yesterday. We met at this excellent pub and later had an excellent, and incredibly cheap, Indian meal.

No difficulty at all in spotting Lisa. The stripey clothes were a dead give away! Anyway, the evening was superb. Lisa and Cloud are every bit as lovely as they appear to be in their blogs. Lisa told me she had told colleagues they were meeting friends at the weekend - only they had not met these friends - ie me and Reidski -before. Humm, this blogging stuff must seem seriously weird to those who have far better things to do with their time. But the thing is we were friends...straight away and it was so easy talking and laughing with them. (Oh god, now I've written that I have visions of their conversation as they walked home...."Weren't they both perfectly awful? Especially her!" Let's hope not!)

We had a bit of a walk today up in Derbyshire with stunning views of the English countryside (and of the M1 Motorway). We were lured along a country lane with promises of a well dressing but well, we found no well. It's O.K tiny Derbyshire village of Ault Hucknall...we've gone can bring your well out of hiding.But we couldn't help but notice that it was absolutely scorching hot and that walking and searching for non-existant wells be they dressed or totally naked was just plain silly when we were so very close to this wonderful pub which just happened to sell ice cold drinks and great ploughmans lunches.

Post script: I thought I should find a picture of a well dressing and here one is:

Umm, now I actually know what one looks like I feel rather foolish. Reidski dearest..doesn't this picture look very like that thing we walked past in that churchyard?? I thought they used flowers and stuff,and used them to decorate -well - a well. But well, what do I know ehh?

Friday, July 14, 2006

I have remembered how much I hate Alton Towers.

It's been a few years since I was last there. On my last but one visit there I had been so incensed by a combination of feeling ripped off and as a paying customer being treated with sheer contempt by the park owners that I wrote a lengthy letter of complaint. To be fair they responded very quickly but in the event I would have far rather they hadn't bothered because they responded to my complaint by sending me a free family pass which I didn't bin fast enough. My kids saw it and I had to bloody well go AGAIN.

Anyway, my 14 year old went there on a school trip yesterday. I met him and three of his mates off the coach last night. J had managed a total of 4 rides in four hours which I thought was terrible enough but his mate's day went like this:

9.00am - leave school for Alton Towers.
12.30pm - arrive at Alton Towers later than planned having been stuck behind a serious motorway accident.
12.35pm - begin queuing for latest ride 'Rita, Queen of Speed'.
3.05pm - get onto 'Rita, Queen of Speed'.
3.05 and twenty seconds pm - get off 'Rita, Queen of Speed'. Ride finished.
3.15pm - begin queuing for Nemisis.
4.20pm - realisation that will miss coach if do not leave queue, so leave queue.
4.30pm - just make it back in time for coach.
8.00pm - arrive back at school one hour late due to getting stuck behind another serious accident on motorway.

This day out cost £30.00!!!! I shouldn't think that the owners of Alton Towers can believe the stupidity of their customers, but so long as so many people seem happy to put up with this for a couple of minutes max of white knuckle thrills, why the hell should they care?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


On Saturday me and him from Sarth Landan are going to Nottingham where we are going to meet Lisa and Cloud.

In a couple of weeks we venture up to Scotland and I get to meet Reidski's very best friend Jim.

And then in August we are going to meet John and - I hope- Martin when they are in London.

The down side is that they will all find out what a complete idiot I am. I will try very hard when with them not to spill drink all over them/fart/squeeze own or others spots/go on about the Cobblers ALL the time/pretend to know enough about philosophy to discuss it for six hours/lose dress on escalator.

It's going to be challenging for me.

I left D some money yesterday and told him he had to get some hay so he could clean out the rabbit hutch.

Last night I got back late from an evening in London with Reidski and it was dark, but even so it was hard to miss the hay strewn all over the back garden, not to mention the hay liberally scattered throughout the house. We keep hay in an old brick out house which used to be an outside lavvy. I have just seen that it is full to roof height with hay. We have never ever had so much hay. The rabbit now has sufficient hay to be cleaned out every day if she lived to be 20 years old. Now where on earth could he have bought so much hay?

I am sure it is simply a coincidence that the field behind our garden currently looks like the above and that is the story I shall be sticking with.

I am now living in fear of a knock on my door from a very cross farmer brandishing a pitchfork in one hand and a lie detector kit in the other.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Positive feedback!

My 14 year old son had work experience for a fortnight and he went to a housing association where my sister works. She has just shown me a copy of an e-mail in which the H.R. department asked for feedback about him to give to his school.

A guy called Pat replied that he had taken J round a care home and they consulted staff about a new kitchen. They then went to find out how alarm systems work in sheltered housing scheme, and finally went to a homeless unit.

The following is what he then said:

Throughout all of this J was yawning, picking his nose and belching. He kept saying “Yeah whatever loser” and rolling his eyes back. When not doing this he had his MP3 player on listening to Eminem and 2 Pack.

Umm, I think he was joking????

Three weeks, five days, seven hours and thirty five minutes

without football until we kick off the new season.

After the glamour of the World Cup a trip to watch us play Crewe awaits me on August 5th.

I am glad Italy won last night. A week last Saturday Zidane gave the most wonderful footballing display and that's what I want to remember him for but right now I am still stunned into shock by what he did last night. My son who was supporting France felt the need to defend his actions and to accuse Marco Materazzi of cheating from that moment until half an hour after the game finished. I let myself get so wound up by D attempting to defend the indefensible I was on the verge of refusing to take him to football ever again. What with that and my other son insulting the referee for 120 minutes just because he (quite rightly) sent Rooney off, we didn't exactly achieve the most relaxed Family Viewing the World Cup Final Together scenario at our house.

Incidentally, I think I have just entered the twilight zone as I appear to be hearing David Cameron on the radio defending teenage boys. It's the Conservative Party allegedly, but not as we know it. I'd like to hear him attempt to defend the behaviour of my two last night - now that would be a challenge for his liberal credentials :-)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Back home

And facing the unedifying prospect of standing in a field for three hours in what appears to be gale force winds today. NEVER become involved in your 'community' people as this will inevitably mean great personal sacrific at some collecting money from punters going to your local country fair. I'm so looking forward to this - not.

The weather has been vindictive all week. Example one. Reidski and I go to Kew Gardens (or rather, to be 100% correct, Reidski and I DON'T go to Kew Gardens). Now OK- I now realise it was my fault when I said we could go by car rather than tube, but that is because I didn't realise the true horror that is driving in London. A journey of 14.7 miles (I just checked the distance and am in shock!) took us 2 and a half hours - maybe longer- and then, when we were literally in sight of Kew Gardens it without any warning whatsoever (No, not so much as a bellowed, 'Look out! I am about to rain!') suddenly pelted it down with rain so heavy the window wipers couldn't cope. We just cracked up laughing and knowing when we were beaten retired to a very nice riverside pub instead.

Example 2. We went to Brighton. Sunny when we left London it was dull, overcast, misty and spitting with rain in Brighton. As we left in as we passed the 'Welcome to Brighton' sign on the other side of the road...out came the sun and it was a beautiful evening. Whilst we were in Brighton by the way, we had a lovely kiss on the groyne. No, that is not a spelling mistake, and the groyne is as illustrated.......

Not that the weather stopped us having a really great time. Now I'm just looking forward to seeing him again, but windy field ordeal awaits. Oh Lucky Me.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Anglia Water

have written to me today about our overpayment. I am in credit by £687.16. In the letter it says 'If you would like the credit refunded please call us.'

Am I supposed to believe some people wouldn't bother?

'Oh no Anglia Water, that's quite Ok. You hang on to my £687.16. Your need is greater than mine.'

Yeah right.

UPDATE: Although they owe me £687.16 they have sent me a cheque for £598.47 and left the rest as a credit on my account. What a bleeding cheek. The War Of My Missing £88.69 has been declared.

Today's Guardian

For the benefit of overseas readers (all two of you) the Guardian newspaper is notorious for making even more typo's than I do. They earnt the title Grauniad because of this reputation.

So today they appear to have missed something out. I buy the paper mentally prepared for reliving the agony that was last Saturday's football match. There is a whole sports section, most pages devoted to the World Cup. So I read about Sven going and his legacy.I read about Beckham resigning as captain before he could be pushed. I read pages about 'Where we went wrong' and I looked at lots of complicated diagrams showing the ball distribution of various named players, and pictures of Carvalho's balls being redistributed by Rooney.

What I did not see or read was a match report. Because there wasn't one. I don't believe they didn't write one so either they wanted to spare their readers some further distress or they forgot to add it in. Maybe they didn't think it was especially important and maybe they are right. Like when the Morning Star didn't think Diana dying was big news and found some other news to put on its front page the day after instead*. Of course the Daily Express has rather made up for the Morning Star's ommision by having Diana in its headline over forty times since January this year. Talk about flogging a dead princess.

On other pages,back in January I was bothered about some internet sites H's friends were using. There was a big article today about how police now reckon at any one time there are over 50,000 sexual predators on these sites talking to under age kids. I'm glad the risk these sites clearly present has been recognised.

But my big news is that I am off tomorrow to stay with Reidski till Saturday. Hooray! So long as he doesn't mention a certain football match we should have a pretty great time.

CORRECTION It has been brought to my attention by someone who knows that the Morning Star DID put Diana's death on the front was 9/11 they didn't think was that inportant. An interesting editorial decision there by the editor of the Morning Star :-)

Last comment on That Man

Well, possibly the last but he is such an easy target it is hard to promise he won't reappear at some stage.

SO, Sven defends taking Walcott to Germany. He admits he had never actually seen Walcott play. WHAT???!!!!FF'sS!!!!! But never mind, it was a good opportunity for Walcott to go along and see what being in a World Cup squad is all about. Yes, fine. Reidski who is the fount of footballing knowledge due to past employment told me Rio Ferdinand and other young players were taken along to the 1998 World Cup for the experience...but they weren't named as one of only four strikers for god's sake.

But hey, Sven is really really sorry we didn't win. I'm sure he is. He missed out on his promised million pound win bonus, and god knows he must have needed that money.

Actually I would love to think he needed that money because he will not get another job after his record with us, but no doubt his agent is fielding multi-million pound job offers as we speak. It's obscene. Yet again I remember why supporting a lowly and skint football team like the Cobblers isn't always such a bad thing.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

A fabulous performance yesterday

from Zidane.

As to England, why aren't we used to this by now?

If there is one bet I really wish I had made it would be that Rooney, playing out of position and not back to full fitness would get frustrated and would at some stage get himself sent off.

We really did have a genuine chance this time. The easiest side of the draw. All the four sides who are through to the semi's beatable...yes, including Portugal who didn't deserve to win if they couldn't beat us playing with ten men for an hour.

Did anyone think Lampard was going to score his penalty? Rumour has it he has been distracted by talk of a transfer to Barca which apparently fell through a fortnight ago. I just hope that is not true because I would find that unforgivable.

Did anyone think we would win a penalty shoot out? I was almost wishing Portugal would just get it over with and score before the end of extra time and spare us the agony of going out to penalties again.

But we were doomed from the day Sven named his squad with his gamble on the strikers...or lack of. I know I won't be the only person this weekend to question how he was ever supposedly worth 4 million quid a year, but maybe the FA can explain that to us all one day?

It leaves me feeling so flat, so pissed off, but as people with absolutely no understanding of football are prone to saying....'It's only a game.'


Saturday, July 01, 2006

Oh good! A letter from the school!

I am sure this will be about my ‘Gifted and Talented’ daughter who has been such an all round star in her first year at comprehensive school she has been selected to spend an extra week in school during the summer holidays, when most of the other kids are lying in bed till 12.00pm. Apparently this constitutes a ‘reward’. Hum, how times have changed since my school days. However, I am so proud and need to read the letter carefully which will no doubt give us the itinerary for that week.

To the earth – back - with a bump.

The letter is not about ’Gifted and Talented’ star daughter, but about 14 year old son and application, or lack of it, for his Design and Technology GSCE course work. Phrases like ‘Little or no evidence to show that homework time is being used on this project’ – ‘Quality of work below standard I would have expected from your son’ – and ‘General attitude in class is a concern’ to name but three of many damning lines leap out of the page at me.

I really enjoyed being a smug parent over ‘Gifted and Talented’ daughter for five minutes. I enjoyed it so much I am just going to type the words ‘Gifted and Talented’ one more time. And now for a word with my son……………………