Wednesday, February 28, 2007

There's no accounting for it.

I am watching this at the moment all about John Prescott's sex life. Luckily I am blessed with a strong constitution. Right now he's making her a shepherd's pie round at his flat. How sweet. Oh, and Gordon and Tony have just turned up too. Cosy. I liked her diary entry that went 'I'm like Monica Lewinsky - only thinner.'

How ministers manage to do any of that boring 'running the country' lark when they are so busy shagging has long been a mystery. Mind you it always seems to be the most unlikely ones who can't leave the secretary alone.

I never recovered from the shock of hearing there was a woman breathing who could actually bear to shag David Mellor - and even worse - *shudders with horror* suck his toes.

But there is nothing new under the sun - or under the Woolsack.

- Although Britain’s first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole, was married, it’s thought it was just a front for his affairs.

- The first PM to actually flaunt his mistress in front of the reigning monarch, though, was the Duke of Grafton in the 1760s.

- Despite being a national hero after his defeat of Napoleon, the Duke of Wellington’s private life was not so spotless. He was famously promiscuous. "Publish and be damned" was what he said when a blackmailer threatened to print a former mistress’s memoirs.

- Even in an age of supposed prudery, Queen Victoria’s first PM, Lord Melbourne, was cited in two divorce cases and is believed to have enjoyed whipping other people. Another PM, Viscount Palmerston, was cited in a divorce case at the age of 79, and had once attempted to rape one of the Queen’s ladies-in-waiting.

You see - three years studying history was not in vain.


As I was thinking about the many sex scandals that have engulfed various M.P's I remembered Dennis Skinner being dubbed the Beast of Legover. I looked for a reference to that in Wikipedia but they could not oblige. I will forgive them though for reproducing this quote of his:

"I thought you were taking Marquand with you."

- Heckling Roy Jenkins in 1976 when, during his farewell speech to the Parliamentary Labour Party before leaving to become President of the European Commission, he said: "I leave this party without rancour." David Marquand was then the MP for Ashfield and a close ally of Jenkins, who famously pronounced his Rs like Ws

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Fat is now a Child Protection Issue

I watched a rather depressing programme last night about this kid who aged 8 weighs 15 stone.

The kid lives with his 18 year old (normal sized) sister and his mum. Mum is obviously chronically depressed and unable to face the day without having a smoke under the bed covers first thing each day. The house is filthy, probably due to the chip fat which must be inches thick on the kitchen walls. Grandma has to come round every day or otherwise the 8 year old would never get out to school; he can't even dress himself being for example unable to reach his feet to put his shoes and socks on. He misses about a quarter of his schooling anyway. I suspect mum finds it easier to let him stay away. He will get bullied if he goes I suppose, but by not going he sits at home eating and therefore gets fatter - a vicious circle indeed.

Today there is a Child Protection Conference to decide if he should be taken into care. He won't be. The law says kids are best off with their natural families except in extreme cases of abuse, and some one will stand up and point to how much his mum and nan love him, never mind that their way of demonstrating their love - giving him more food - means they are killing him. He will get additional input from social workers and health professionals, but that will be undermined by his family giving in to his demands at home. As usual the professionals have left it too late to take effective action, and will already have given mum very many 'last' chances.*

I know this might sound cynical. Easy for me to say stop buying the sodding biscuits and crisps. (At least if he was forced to steal them he would get some exercise because he would be forced to walk to the shop to do his lifting...and maybe to run away afterwards pursued by store detective)I do have sympathy for his mum who is clearly in need of medical help herself.

When I was at primary school there was only one fat child in the school. We were all told it wasn't her fault, it was her 'glands' and we didn't bully her - we felt sorry for her. The programme ended with a comment from Trevor MacDonald that the kid will be seeing a specialist this week to ascertain if he too has a medical problem. It took 8 years for them to think he might have a medical problem??? I despair!

Of course, one person got off very lightly (if lightly is an appropriate word to use in this context). Where was dad? Yes, families break up, but does that mean that his dad has no responsibility to call round at weekends and take his son out to kick a ball around, ride a bike or just go out walking?

We are told that in a few years time something like 1 in 6 of all our British kids will be obese. Do we propose the answer is to take all these children into care? Or do we post health monitors on full time duty in the families with plump kids? Not with the resources local authorities have we don't. I think we have a whole generation - if not 2 generations - who have lost parenting skills. They no longer know how to cook basic nutrious meals, let alone how to sya 'No' to their little darlings. ( I know this isn't exactly a healthy food item but as an aside I think in 20 years time no one still living will know how to make pastry - it will all be purchased ready made).

Initiatives on healthy eating and promoting exercise as fun seem to me to be bolting the proverbial door after the horse has well and truly legged it. Gawd knows. May be we just give up and start making public transport seats wider right now. But there is something horribly sobering in the fact that our kids may have a shorter life expectancy than we have due to the life styles so many of us live today.

* I don't know this of course. I am just making assumptions based on my own previous experience.

Monday, February 26, 2007

I took my 17 year old

out for a driving lesson.

We only nearly drove into a hedge once but I was still rather scared.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

So many blogs

but so little time.

Any recommendations people would care to share?

A week is a long time in football

From this dire situation (1 point out of a possible 15) to 7 points out of a possible 9 in the last week. We won 3-0 yesterday. My team are nothing if not totally inconsistent.

We have a striker on loan from Gretna at the moment - Kenny Deuchar -and he scored his first goal for us yesterday. He has scored quite a lot of goals before. In fact he scored 66 goals in 82 starts for Gretna and in the 2004/2005 season he scored 6 hat tricks.

Yesterday he was featured in a regular feature in our programme where players get asked a series of inane questions including "What was your best subject at school?" All the players without exception say PE. Or at least, they all said PE until they asked Kenny Deuchar who replied "Physics." And he must be telling the truth because he is a fully qualified doctor who for his first few weeks with us was having to leave straight after a match to get back to Scotland and do a shift at the hospital he was still working part time in.

Unusual for a footballer to say the least.

Generation gaps

My 15 year old is obsessed by films. He is forever rambling on about them and is of course very excited about tonight's Oscars - although there will be tears before bed time if his current hero Martin Scorsese doesn't win Best Director.

He just asked me if I knew who Johnny Depp had modelled Jack Sparrow on in Pirates of the Carribean. "Keith Richards" I replied.

"Yes" says J. Followed by "Who is he anyway? Wasn't he in some band or other?"

I don't know. Was he????

One expenditure leads to another

I got a beautiful posh handbag in Marrakesh. It cost me about £30 but I reckon it would be much much more in this country. Lovely design, lovely leather - and a real least until I got home and realised my beautiful posh handbag was being seriously let down by my coat.

My coat is seven years old. It looks OK from the outside, so long as I keep it firmly buttoned up. The lining however is so ripped and shredded to bits that one friend who saw it asked me if I had been mauled by a dog recently. I had to try and avoid putting it on in public because nine times out of ten my hand would get stuck inside the lining rather than sliding out the arm as might be expected to happen. It tended not to look too dignified.

There was no avoiding the conclusion that I had to get a new coat to go with the new handbag. I went to Oxford Street on a mission.

I started at Oxford Circus tube station where for historical reasons I exercised particular care when travelling on the escalators and I decided to go left. That may not have been the best decision I ever made.

During the three hours that followed I went in every shop that sold women's clothes between Oxford Circus and Marble Arch looking for a coat. Who would ever have thought it could be so difficult?

Some of the shops had no coats for sale at all. Well why would they what with it being so hot and humid in February that no one would ever need to buy a coat? Other shops had coats so old fashioned my 71 year old mother wouldn't look twice at them. Then there were the fashionable coats. What is obviously 'in' in coats right now is short length, but I am tall and what constitutes short length for a female of average height was scarcely decent on me. What are also very 'in' are lots of buttons all over coats, but for one thing I wasn't after a Pearly Queen look, and for another in Zara - normally a favourite shop of mine, half the buttons on their coats had already come off. If I am going to spend rather a lot of money on a coat I don't think it is asking too much to expect all the buttons to be in place at point of purchase. My mood was darkening and my feet were aching. I got to the last hope - M&S at Marble Arch.

M&S had a coat I 'quite' liked. It was grey. Quite short but did at least reach my knees. I tried to persuade myself it wasn't 'boring' as it seemed clear I would not find another coat that afternoon and I couldn't face trying again another day. After much indecision I bought it on the grounds that I 'quite' liked it. I walked back up to Oxford Circus where I was going to meet Reidski but I was early and it was raining. I went in another shop to pass the time and try to keep dry. It was approximately 50 yards from the tube station where my mission to buy a coat had begun. There is a 'Sale' rail in this shop, and on it hangs the coat of my dreams reduced from £300 to £120. I try it on. It is perfect. I don't 'quite' like it, I LOVE IT. I buy it. I walk all the way back down Oxford Street to take the M&S coat back but somehow my feet don't ache anymore as there is a spring in my step brought about by finding the perfect coat. If only I had turned right at Oxford Circus in the first place I would have been spared much angst and shoe leather.

So my 'bargain' handbag ended up with me a further £120 out of pocket...but I am a very very happy new coat owner. I wonder if this is how Victoria Beckham feels when she buys some thing new to wear?

P.S. Quite unrelated but when I was thinking about Victoria Beckham for some reason I found myself googling stick insects and I found this. Recommended reading as it is both very strange and very funny.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I assume

you all caught the Cobblers on Sky sports playing Brentford on Monday night?

What do you mean you had something better to do?? I do not comprehend that answer.

Any way, Reidski was kind enough to watch it with me although he is not especially discerning when it comes to watching football on tele (he will watch ANY football on tele). We played really well in total contrast to how we usually play when we are on tele.We normally play embarrassingly badly when we are on tele and then I have to put up with abuse and sympathy in roughly equal measures from people who can't understand why on earth I would actually pay to 'watch that rubbish'.

Not Monday though when we turned on a certain amount of - dare I say it - style. We went ahead through a beautiful goal scored by a defender) and never really looked like conceding a goal after that but bitter experience of this (and many other) season (s) meant I was a nervous wreck until the final whistle. We have been playing really well most of this season, and still keep managing to lose.

So anyway, after watching that, watching The Last King of Scotland in Camden last night was really relaxing. Or at least it was until the last half hour or so when I could hardly bear to watch as I was so frightened for James McAvoy's character.

Afterwards Reidski and I had a lovely Greek mealhere where I made an important discovery. Retsina is nice. For the past 30 years I have been under the impression it was vile - but that may have something to do with an excessive drinking session in Mykonos many years ago.

I came home on a crowded train. If you were on that crowded train - perfectly possible - most of the world's population seemed to be on it- I was the mad woman shaking with laughing at her book. I am reading 'Mother's Milk by Edward St Aubyn. A five year old is listening to Margaret - a nanny- and his father having this exchange during a stay in Provence.....

'Ooh, it's that hot,' said Margaret fanning herself with a knitting magazine. 'I couldn't find any cottage cheese in Bandol. They didn't speak a word of English in the supermarket. "Cottage cheese" I said, pointing to the house the other side of the street, "cottage, you know, as in house, only smaller," but they still couldn't make head or tail of what I was saying.' 'They sound incredibly stupid,' said his father,'with so many helpful clues.'

It is a very funny book.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

And in case I haven't yet sold Marrakech enough

the clinching factor in why you must go is that, according to the advert on the back fo the tourist map, Marrakech is the capital of HAIR GRAFTING Yes, you can 'Recover your own REAL HAIR in only 4 hours, growing for all life.' '30% Cheaper than Europe'. See here for further details, and never say that I do not provide a truly helpful public information service.

Make me an offer.....

Everything in Marrakech is open to negotiation. From a packet of chilli powder to a taxi fare, you have to haggle. It must take for ever to do your shopping, and it was actually quite a relief to come back and buy a packet of washing powder at a fixed price!

Yorkshire Pudding who is Marrakech bound has asked about our hotel. It was this one and it was lovely. Not luxurious, but really friendly, good food, a brilliant bar, two very friendly hotel cats which according to the sign by giving instructions for pool use were not allowed in the water, and best of all the gardens and pool were simply beautiful. It was north of the old town, but only about a 10 minute walk to the tourist bus stop, or a 10 minute car drive there. (Oh god - the driving. Makes a trip on Nemesis at Alton Towers feel tame.)

Anyway, B thought she would want to stay there again when she next went back so she asked for the tariff but there isn't one. What they said to her was "Oh, always cheaper for returners. You ring us, and we will find a price yes?" So I can't really help on the price Y.P but as a guide, for 4 nights bed and breakfast, (flight included) a twin room cost my sister £400.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

And the good thing about having a few days away

in an exotic location is that it means I have lots to write about and can ignore the fact that my football team have picked up just one point from a possible 15 in their last five matches.

It could happen to anyone

Going to the wrong palace I mean. We had intended to visit the Bahia Palace, described as it was as being remarkably opulent.

We were a little surprised to arrive to this view of the opulent palace...

but thought maybe the opulent parts were through one of the many gates.

They weren't.

Instead, no matter what gate we went through all we found were more ruins.

Not that it was unpleasant wondering around a set of ruins, but it wasn't exactly what we were expecting and was rather summed up when A looked at me and said "Well said Jane!" He had just noticed me yawn.

We later found out we were in fact in what remained of the El Badi Palace.

The storks were nice though!

The Madness of my Sister

G is very soft hearted. She can not bear to see any creature suffer and this includes ants which she was rescuing on a regular basis from the swimming pool. She did however exceed herself when she emerged from our hotel bathroom carrying something carefully in a tissue. She went out on the balcony and shook the tissue and then came back in to tell me she had just saved a mosquito. Subsequent discussions around how she might feel if that same mosquito went on to give some one malaria made little impression on her.

More on Marrakech

The Sunday afternoon we were invited to B's former in-laws out in the suburbs. They spoke no English and we spoke no Berber. Moroccans are very clear that they are Berbers and not Arabs who invaded the area in the 7th century and still haven't been forgiven. The communication difficulty was overcome by the constant provision of more food than I have ever faced in my life - not to mention some of the most delicious food I have ever eaten in my life. The women make everything from the bread you eat the tajines with to the tiny cocktail biscuits they passed round. All G and I were obliged to do was say 'Wow!' to every mouthful of food and everyone seemed quite happy. I lost count of the number of courses but left feeling we must have already experienced every aspect of Moroccan cuisine in the one afternoon.

Then O took us to Djemaa el Fna(Arabic: جامع الفناء jâmiʻ al-fanâʼ) which may or may not mean Assembly of the Dead according to who you believe. This is the largest square in all of Africa and probably the wildest place I have ever been in. It was teeming with people and entertainers ranging from story tellers, musicians, acrobats and snake charmers. I had been there all of two minutes before I found myself with a snake of some description (yellow, long ) wrapped around my neck, and then we spent the next ten minutes listening to the snake's owner and O argue about the going rate for a photo of me with a snake round my neck...about £50 according to the owner - 10 pence according to O. He ended up with nothing as none of us had any change anyway.

There are stalls selling spices,

oranges, all kinds of hot dishes and witch doctors come up from the Sahara to sell cures for all known ills.

We ended up having a drink on a terrace over looking the square and that was where we saw the sunset I printed before. No alcohol on sale there though!!!! My last memory of that evening was my desperation to get back to the hotel for a wee. A. B's son had been to the toilet there. I asked him what it was like. "Well" he said very brightly "They were absolutely.." and he paused as though he was going to say "Great" but did in fact say "DISGUSTING!" and went on to explain in detail which I shall spare you about just how bad they were. I crossed my legs till we got back.


B got very drunk that first night.

When she woke up the sky was the brightest blue and the temperature was creeping up to 30 degrees centigrade. She decided she could cope with the knowledge that O was in the same city of one million souls, even if she did have to spend some of her time in his company. I spent Sunday morning sunbathing and swimming outside in the hotel pool. Pretty amazing seeing as how 72 hours earlier I had been snowed in and couldn't get to work.

I had woken up very early. I thought I was imagining a horrible din, but it was in fact one of many calls to prayer which are relayed to the population each day. We didn't get the impression though that it was a particularly religious society. We only saw three women who covered their faces the whole time we were there and when the numerous calls to prayer were made they seemed to be ignored by everyone except O who would complain about 'The bloody row.'

We did get called non-believers once on a vist to the Souk. O was not around us all the time but he did take us out in the evenings to the old town and I can't speak for B but G and I were really glad of his presence. The old town is wild and heaving with people, many of whom are after money. It would have been a bit daunting had he not been there acting as our protector. Anyway, there was a biscuit stall just visible in the picture. The seller obviously didn't realise we were with O as he said to his mate he would get the money off the non-believers but O over heard him. The next thing we knew O was engaged in a violent exchange of words with this guy as he was so affronted by what he saw as an insult to us. He finally came away with a parting shot which translated from the Arabic was "You can shove your biscuits up your arse!" I was still laughing two hours later about that.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Special request

In a hurry but one sunset pic especially for Yorkshire Pudding

How things can deteriorate during a short walk.

I had never met B's ex hereby to be known as O, before. This must sound weird seeing as how i have known B since we were 16, but we did lose touch for many years, and by the time we were seeing each other again the marriage was very much on the rocks. Anyway, I thought it diplomatic to leave B for a few moments and go and introduce myself to him. He was very friendly and obviously delighted with his little joke of turning up so unexpectedly. Then B came over. Words were exchanged in Arabic. One did not need to be a linguist to know they were not "How lovely to see you!"

We set off to the cars. B was talking to her ex brother in law Hassan. Hassan said how lovely her Morrocan house was looking. This was something of a surprise to B. They had bought some land in Morrocco and had begun building a house up in the mountains. Every penny they had went into the project. During the divorce proceedings she had wanted the value of the house to be taken into account but O had sworn that the house had fallen down in an earthquake and she had accepted that having no way of proving otherwise. We arrive at the cars. Another surprise. One of them is (was) B's very expensive four wheel drive jeep which during the divorce proceedings O had said he no longer owned.

Yes, it was all going really well.

My sister and I were reconciling ourselves to the prospect of spending our city break in a war zone.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


My sister had found a real bargain price for our trip to Marrakech. As an old friend of mine used to be married to a Moroccan and had family in Marrakech we told her about the deal and she decided to come too,with her son A who is 10. My friend loathes her ex-husband. Everything about him gets right on her nerves. On the way out she was complaining that her son hadn't seen him for a fortnight, and she hadn't been able to get hold of him at all.

We were being met at the airport by her former brother in law. He was there with his 6 year old son. It was really sweet seeing him greet B and A, neither of whom he had seen since his son was a baby.

It isn't possible to get Moroccan currency outside of the country so the three of us went to the bank in the airport whilst the uncle and nephew tried to communicate in spite of neither speaking the others language. As I reached the front of the queue (thankfully far shorter than the queues in Gatwick) A ran up to us shouting "Mum! Dad's here!" And there was us thinking he was in Peterborough.

A's total delight was mirrored by B's total and utter horror.She declared the holiday ruined.

We had yet to get out of the airport.

So that was a good start wasn't it???


Gatwick airport.

Arrived 11.30am.

Finally managed to check in at 1.45.

Then we had the queue for security.

You can imagine what good spirits we were all in whilst enduring these queues. We had a round of community singing. We told each other jokes and exchanged other amusing stories of 'queues we have enjoyed in the past.' We praised the foresight of Gatwick airport in being so well prepared for the half term holiday traffic.I thought up some tall stories to write on the blog.

Truth is we were all four of us in pretty foul moods by the time we finally cleared security. And also, in rather a hurry to get to boarding on time.

Gatwick airport is hell.

Saturday, February 10, 2007


I will wake up.

You know what it is like when you are placed under great pressure to wake up before you are really ready. First you are aware of some weight upon you. You close your eyes that bit tighter in a vain attempt to pretend you have not been woken up. Then you feel breath upon your face. You increase sleep like breathing noises to really really emphasise that you are still sound asleep. However, you know you are beaten when they resort to underhand - in my case this morning - underarm - tactics to well and truly wake you up..... I felt a tongue lick my arm pit.

I shrieked.

Then I did get out of bed to feed the bloody cat before he started eating me.

Anyway, not a bad thing really as it gave my time to say adieu before I set off for Marrakech later this morning.

My mum and dad went there some years ago. A man offered my dad a not inconsiderable number of camels in exchange for my mother. I wonder what I could get for my sister???

And come on you Cobblers at Nottingham Forest today. Who would have thought we would ever be playing former champions of Europe in a league match? Funny old game innit?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

more starlings

The fame of our starlings is spreading.

I'm back

At 5.00 am this morning we had no snow. Now we have about five inches of the cold white stuff.

The mission to get to work was aborted approximately fifty yards along the road. I got the car down the steep hill that is my drive way which was a good start. Only then an old lady told me the traffic on the main road was at a complete standstill all the way to town - that's 8 miles. I turned round and then failed to get back up the steep hill that is my drive way.

So a morning at home which is fine, but what is not fine is that I want to get to London later today. What are my chances of making that I wonder?

Snow Chaos

But it is reassuring to know that Frank Lampard was backing us to weather the storm.
see world weather links at the bottom of the news item.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Plan A

was to see 'The Last King of Scotland' last night, but after all these years living in a provincial town of very little consequence what on earth made me think a film tipped for multiple Oscars would be on in Northampton? Still, Plan B, seeing Notes on a Scandal worked out, and very watchable it was too. Judi Dench whilst being totally manipulative and creepy still managed to make me feel just a tiny bit sorry for her by subtly showing how lonely she was. She reminded me of a middle aged English teacher at my school, Miss W. Miss W's life was transformed when another middle aged spinster joined the school as deputy head. Within a few months of the two of them meeting they would be arriving at school together each morning in a bright red MG Sports car. What, we wondered, was that all about then?

It is a pretty close adaptation of the book, except as Reidski remembered and I did not, that they altered the ending. I am useless at remembering books I have read. Well, I know that I have read them, but the chances of me recalling with any accuracy what actually happened in the book are slim.I would blame my age but it was ever thus with one exception. I know 'Pride and Prejudice' so well that I can quote reams of it off by heart. I have finally persuaded Reidski to read it for the first time and as he said to me last night 'Oh, it's all kicked off in Pride and Prejudice by the way!' We do enjoy our highbrow literary discussions doncha know? He's got to the bit where Lydia elopes with Wickham. Two scandals in one evening for Reidski then! I feel quite honoured that having got to that part of the story he was able to leave his book alone to see me for a while.

We ended up in a pub that has been transformed from a back street seedy dump serving 13 year olds* into somewhere one might actually wish to have a drink.

*I know this for a fact as I was one of those 13 year olds once. We used to drink vodka with lime (as in lime cordial), rum and black (as in blackcurrant cordial) or whisky and orange (as in - you've guessed it - orange cordial). And then we wondered why we got sick.

Monday, February 05, 2007

In case you missed this

The Beautiful South have spilt* up after 19 years together giving as the reason 'musical similarities'.

I very 'kind of' knew them when they were the Housemartins, as in, I drank in the same pub in Hull, and from time to time we would talk football results. Judging by the muscial similarities quote I would imagine they kept their sense of humour.

* They have split up too! (Only noticed thanks to Eagle Eyed Steve Occupied Country.)

Sunday, February 04, 2007


when I inferred I wasn't lucky that is not really true. As previously mentioned the trip to Lapland was all paid for by a VERY good friend of mine. Last March my sister took me to Dubrovnik and this time next week I shall be in Marrakesh with my sister paying for me to go with her. This has to be considered lucky by any one's standards, unless of course you are the man on my train the other day who considers being sent to Cyprus rather a bind.

Marrakesh sounds amazing. I will be there from Saturday to Wednesday. If anyone knows the city at all any tips on places to go would be much appreciated.

I have never been to Africa before. This makes it all the more incredible that there is a chance I will go twice this year.I was waiting for the football to start the other day - about three minutes to kick off when my phone rang. It was my friend who paid for the 13 of us to go to Lapland. Whilst hearing what she was saying above the noise around me was tricky I definitely did hear the words 'October' and 'Safari' and 'South Africa.' This wonderful wonderful woman wants to take the same 13 who went to Lapland on safari in the October half term. I have been in a state of disbelief ever since. What she subsequently said to me was that this year - the year following the divorce which she had not wanted - was the year when she intended to do what ever she wanted without anyone there to rein her in - and that seems to include taking friends places they could never dream of going to otherwise. So how can I possibly suggest I am not an incredibly lucky woman?

There was also was my luck in meeting Reidski, via blogging of all the ridiculous ways to meet someone. What were the chances of me meeting another blogger who I had a crush on, and not only falling in love with him, but having him fall in love with me too? Slim I'd say. On Friday night he cooked me a really special meal which he later confessed was a 'kind of' Valentines meal because I will be travelling on Valentine's Day itself and won't see him. Normally I would dismiss Valentines stuff as a load of sentimental rubbish promoted as a commercial opportunity by anyone with something red and vaguely heart shaped to flog, but in this case I have to say - it was so romantic! Obviously being in love with someone turns one's brains to mush.

As Friday was in fact Groundhog Day (February 2nd) I will hereby declare that I would be more than happen to repeat my Groundhog Day over and over again.

Not so lucky one might think with my choice of football team. Falling in love aged 10 with a bunch of perpetual under achievers wasn't smart, but even yesterday, watching them lose 2-1 to a Crewe side who had 2 chances and took them both (very well I have to admit - Luke Varney who got them both will definitely be playing at a higher level very soon - not with Crewe though)I thought how there is something good about supporting a poorly supported side. I see so many other fellow sufferers down there who have become friends. We have a moan and we have a laugh, and we know that no matter what the side put us through, we will all be there next season - it's strangely comforting.

And we played some great football yesterday - I really do believe it is coming right for us.

Everyone but Steve can stop reading here as what follows is of rather minority interest in that it is of interest to me and hopefully to Man City supporting Steve as we have one of his players on loan. Minority interest as in - of interest to 2 of us!

For Steve then - The Marc Laird Watch - he played the second half and made a change for the better in our midfield - and made a fabulous pass which led to our goal so so far - we like Marc Laird and the message boards this morning are full of people calling for him to start the next match.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Overheard on a train today

Loud bloke on mobile phone.

"I don't care what they say. I am NOT going to Cyprus AGAIN."

Yes, one can quite see why that would be such a drag.

Or rather - No, one can not.

It's Groundhog Day


Thursday, February 01, 2007

This explains a lot

At an impressionable age I remember being told that the first words one should utter on the 1st of any month are "White rabbits, white rabbits, white rabbits." This is apparently guaranteed to bring one luck for the rest of the month.

I resolved at that time to put this to the test, and thirty odd years later I still fully intend to put this to the test one of these fine months.

I always mean to give it a go. I have nothing to lose but my sanity. It often comes into my mind as I drift off to sleep on the last day of the month that in the morning I will utter the magical words "White rabbits, white rabbits, white rabbits" and therefore maximise my chances of watching us win a game of football for a change, or some other such great stroke of good fortune.

So what are my first words of the month? Last month, fairly obviously it would have been "Happy New Year" - rapidly followed by "Sod it! I meant to say 'white rabbits' three times."

Should the first of a month fall on a school day there is a pretty high chance my first words will be a panic striken cry of "GET UP!!!" directed at all three children.

If it occurs on a weekend the chances are that my first words of the month will be "Will you turn that bloody row down - some of us are trying to sleep!" having been woken up in the middle of the night.

If I should happen to be with Reidski when I wake up on the first of any month I would be wary of starting the day by saying the words "White rabbits, white rabbits, white rabbits" for fear it might put him off what usually seems to come to his mind first thing on any given morning (although it could be argued there is a rabbit like connection there if one looked for it).

As I am absolutely terrible at getting up, many first days of the months will start with me declaring "God, I'm knackered."

What I realise though on looking back is that whatever the first words are that I utter on the first day of any month they have never ever been "White rabbits, white rabbits, white rabbits" so maybe that is why I have not exactly led a charmed life. However, I console myself with the thought that as long as I live I will have other chances to put this guarantee for good luck to the test. It won't be this month though.

I always set the alarm on my mobile phone and I leave the phone on the floor next to my bed. When it went off this morning I knocked it under my bed. There is a gap between my bed of only an inch or two - enough for a mobile phone to slip under, but tricky for my hand to slip under and retrieve the phone which was getting louder and louder with every repeat of its horribly shrill alarm. My first words this month were therefore a very long stream of expletives. I feel that those particular words are unlikely to invoke the Good Luck Fairy to do her stuff for me.

There's always March.