Sunday, April 29, 2007

Look where I will be going next season

But I am a little worried Elland Road won't fit in the hordes of Cobbler fans who simply can not wait to play Leeds United :-)

Now all I need for my football season to be complete is for there to be some justice for West Ham by which I mean relegation. All Quiet in the East Stand says everything I would want to say on this subject...see post headed Cheats not Hammered.

(And Man U for the Premiership, FA Cup and European Cup wouldn't go down too badly either - sorry Steve!)

P.S. On West Ham another excellent article for anyone as incensed as I am by the decision made regarding the 'irregularities' surrounding that club.

Previously unthought of problem identified

I am listening to a phone in on the radio about the new legislation extending basic civil rights to gays. Not too controversial in 2007 you wouldn't have thought (unless you happen to be a religious bigot I suppose).

So this gym owner from Stratford rings up with a problem that the new legislation apparently presents him with. If he has to allow gay men into his gym where will they get changed? Has the government considered the embarrassment this will cause to the big macho men who use his gym when they have to get naked in front of lecherous gays? He didn't mention the difficulties we straight women would face striping off in front of lesbian women but obviously that adds a further dimension to this problem. He seriously suggested that he might be forced to install additional changing rooms...hetro men, homo men, hetro women, homo women. What about those amongst us who are a bit both ways though? Imagine the dilemma they would face when given a choice of changing rooms.

The idea that anyone sane would not have given this a second thought would not of course occur to this idiot. Nor I suppose would the idea that just possibly some of his clients are already (whisper it quietly) 'gay'. But thinking about it I actually hope none of his clients are gay because he doesn't deserve a penny of their money. And now that he has given his name on nationwide radio I also hope that all his current clients cancel their memberships forthwith because he doesn't deserve a penny of anyone's cash full stop.


It is very rare, as I have mentioned before here for a Cobblers season to end without everything resting on the very last games. As a general rule we are either up for promotion or fighting relegation. This season we did flirt with relegation but thankfully achieved the points necessary to avoid it before the very last games. So Friday night which was our last home game of the season would have been a bit of a non-event were it not for the retirement of former Aston Villa legend Ian Taylor.

Ian has played for us for the past two seasons. He will be 39 on 4th June. He plays for the sheer love of the game, has been a fantastic influence on the younger players (that would, thinking about it, mean ALL the other players), and is unfailing friendly and chatty with supporters. He had a late start in professional football having a proper job first and playing non-league football until he went to Port Vale aged 24. Maybe that was why he appreciated it all so much.

There were loads of Villa fans at our match on Friday to say goodbye to him who we were all really pleased to see there(poor sods - it was an awful match!). He was substituted after about an hour and the standing ovation he got from Huddersfield fans as well as home ones brought a tear to many an eye. Taylor responded by thanking all four corners of the stadium and threw his boots over his shoulder as he left the pitch. "There's only one Ian Taylor," was the song from the stands.

Thanks Ian. Great professional. Even better bloke. It has been emotional.

Up early this morning.

I really didn't want to be up early. I had a rubbish night's sleep which was probably partly my own fault. Yesterday I went to a bbq and started drinking at 2.30. Seven hours later I staggered back down the road - (I put the staggering down to the fact that I had new shoes on - shoes with a high wedge and I couldn't walk in them on the way TO the bbq so it could not be expected that I could walk back on them either minus stagger, although just possibly drinking wine for seven hours didn't help.)- and went straight to sleep. I never seem to sleep for long if I have drunk too much and sure enough 3.00 in the morning found me wide awake and thinking about all the things I had to do when I got up:

Sort out walking gear for me and daughter - find ordnance survey map for Peak District and check route for today's walk - make and pack picnic. Ensure sister is up early too so we will be ready to leave by 8.00 at the very latest. Also, on a slightly different tact - where the bloody hell are my 5 missing bras?

Anyway, I get up early and set about the various tasks. I do love hill walking but live in a most inconvenient place for actually doing it as it is at least a two hour drive from here to anywhere boasting something approaching a proper hill. We had decided to take advantage of the fabulous weather promised for the whole weekend.

One of the things I had to do was something I should have done yesterday if I had actually managed to be sober enough to do it, and that was get the washing in off the line. Hummm, why am I freezing cold outside? Never mind - take lots of layers - it is not as if it is raining - we will be fine. And no doubt it will warm up nicely.

I catch something on the radio about 'disappointing weather today'. I check the forecast for Derbyshire. Sod it. Suddenly the prospect of a 9 mile walk and a picnic in the Derbyshire hills looks most unappealing owing to the news that the weather which yesterday was forecast to be predominantly sunny is now expected to be predominantly rain. Which is why I come to be blogging right now instead of being half way to Dovedale.

I could have stayed in bed after all.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

That Man at CIA

has emerged again. And yes, McManus is a very bad man indeed, but I still think his classroom picture is hilarious.

Working Class Football Heroes

I am reading this great book about Gary Imlach's father Stewart who played his football in the late 50's/early 60's.After his dad died in 2001 Gary realised how little he had known of the man. I don't suppose he is the only bereaved child who realises that too late, but he embarked on intensive research into his father's career, probably as a way of dealing with his grief. (Sorry, that was the social worker analysis coming out in me.)

Some bits leap out of the page at you. For example, in 1955 when Stewart Imlach was playing for Derby County the maximum wage for footballers was £15 a week. How would John Terry for whom £121,000 a week is an insult, cope with that? They got a £2.00 bonus for a win and £1.00 for a draw...the same rate as had been payable since 1920.

In 1958 Scotland were in the World Cup Finals in Sweden and Stewart played in the first game but injury kept him out the second two. There was n't a fourth match for Scotland for the usual reasons when it comes to Scotland's World Cup exploits (sorry dearest- couldn't resist that.)

The Scottish public were fully informed about Paraguay, their opponents in the second match, by the football writer for the Daily Record , Willie Gallagher who wrote under the by-line 'Waverley - The Name That Means Football'.

The following are genuine extracts from his reports made after visits to the Paraguay training camp:

"I expected some of their men to be coloured but they are all white, although bearing in mind what I saw in a reservation camp in British Columbia a few years back, I would say some of our opponents are of Indian ancestry....

They are unaccustomed to social life as we know it....

They are beef eaters and scorn fish. They have never heard of such a person as a vegetarian....

They use no knives and forks, employing their fingers and their adroitness, I am told, has to be seen to be believed. They can toss a handful of mashed carrot between their wide open lips with an accuracy of action that is almost mathematical in its precision....

There are many signs that they are ignorant of life outside their own country
(unlike this worldly wise correspondent- ed), but with them, ignorance is bliss."

It was unfortunate that Waverley didn't see fit to discuss their prowess of the footballing pitch however because they went on to beat a totally unprepared Scotland 3-2.

A wonderful heartfelt book and thoroughly recommended reading - especially to you John Terry.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Realise I am in danger of being the bore who goes on at such length about her holiday that people cross the road in front of double decker buses in order to avoid me so I promise this will positively be the last time I go on about last week.

But as an aside - what a great match I have just watched - Man Utd v A.C.Milan.

We met up with Messalina on Wednesday evening who was looking gorgeous....being in love suits her! After sharing a bottle of wine me and Reidski headed off to see Camera Obscura at Koko in Camden. Great band, great gig - except for some annoying twats at the back who mistakenly thought we were paying good money to listen to them talking very loudly amongst themselves rather than to hear the band.

Thursday we took the boat up the Thames from Greenwich to Westminster which is a wonderful way to see a truly stunning capital city. Later we met Marc and Deana who were over from Chicago and who we would never have met were it not for blogging..even though neither of them do actually blog - far too sensible! We first met them last year, and that was a brilliant night out but this was even better. We ended up in China Town with me providing a live demonstration of just exactly how inept I am with chopsticks. Deana and I share a theory that Marc and Reidski were separated at birth being so precisely on the exact same wave length. Thank you both for a really memorable night.

And I guess that pretty much wraps up my 'What I Did On My Holidays' essay, apart from the not unimportant matter of finding Reidksi somewhere new to live as from next week. He will be living on the site of what was Millwall's old ground, the original Den. I am sure that was the major factor in his decision to take the place.

One final comment. It seemed that where ever we went last week (OK - except for Kent) the London marathon runners were expected along there a few days later. Bloody hell fire - it really did bring it home to me just how flaming far a marathon is...and yes, before anyone says it I know - 26.2 miles.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Holiday - Day 2.

In which we try and after a previously unsuccessful attempt finally succeed in getting to Kew Gardens. And very beautiful it was in the spring sunshine too although we nearly didn't get there. We only had the one drink here first in Richmond so I don't think that was the reason why we were merrily strolling along the river bank for quite some distance before it occurred to Reidski that we were in fact walking west not east and that therefore it could take a round the world walk before we did actually reach Kew.

We turned round, and did make Kew Gardens this year as opposed to sometime in 2010. Lots more bluebells but I have done 'Bluebell pic' and so I give you - 'Lily Pond at Kew Gardens' minus any lilies, but if you have a magnifying glass you might spot sexed up ducks flirting outrageously on the waters edge.

Now, it is a strange but true fact that Reidski and I have never had an argument. We get on really well and are tolerant of each others foibles/faults (not that I have any of those of course). The no argument bit was at least true up until the Tuesday night when we entered the realms of The Pub Quiz.....

dur dur dur dur....dur dur dur dur.....

Question 3 (out of 30) and I didn't catch what he said (Language difficulty doncha know?) "Sorry darling?" says I. "Oh YOU DO IT!!!" says he throwing pen at me. Strop number 1 duly noted.

Question 14 and the question is something about a new airline starting up in the 80's. I had not a clue but said "Virgin?" with a question mark attached. "British Midlands" declares he with an air of certainty. Now I of course dislike conflict in all its ugly forms but I didn't think British Midlands was right. I mildly suggest to my beloved Scottish person it doesn't 'ring a bell' at which point he grabs the pen and scrawls "VIRGIN" in capitals because "I am SO clever" even though I didn't think Virgin was right for a minute. In which certainty, I was right yet again. But it wasn't British Midlands either. Strop number 2 duly recorded!*

Things got a little tense for a while there but thankfully owing to the intellectually challenged efforts of our competitors we finished up third and won a bottle of Chianti so were both able to acknowledge how brilliant the other was as opposed to what an idiot the other was and our harmonious relationship was restored. He didn't even seem to mind too much when I relentlessly took the piss out of him for the rest of the week on account of The Two Strops which he swears blind were a figment of my imagination!

* The advantages of getting in one's side of the story first can not be under estimated!

Somewhat optimistically

in view of the amount of time spent in Richer Sounds we got in the car and headed for the coast, what with it being such a beautiful sunny day. One hour later we are no where near the coast and are very hungry. I consult the bible and we take a detour to this perfect pub in this perfect setting.

The perfect lunch followed.

John Major would have wet by village green for little old ladies to cycle to, a cricket pitch on the green and warm real ale served at the pub. It was so perfect we suspected it could have been 'Merrie England' at Epcot.

We never made it to the coast. Instead we had a walk from the village and just to add to the general atmosphere of perfection, the bluebells were all out in the woods.

Here endeth the Tourist Information Advertisement for West Peckham, Kent.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

No -

the hour spent in this shop (there is a picture of the silent shop assistant there) was not the highlight of the week. Honestly!

More to follow but having wasted the best part of the last two hours reading text reports on Celtic I had better go and do the ironing/ do the garden/ dust the house/ clean the car/ cook dinner/ collapse in a heap.

I find myself

glued to the BBC's live text of the Kilamrnock - Celtic game. 1-1 after 73 minutes. Come on Celtic (sorry Jim). My life has definitely changed since I met Reidksi. I doubt I would previously have spent Sunday afternoon in this way.

This past week has been great. Perfect weather so a grand total of zero museums were visited in spite of good intentions to get us some culture. We did try the Tate Modern with the intention that I get to see the giant slides.Only that exhibition as we discovered when we arrived closed last Sunday. This is a picture of what I didn't get to ride on.So sod culture - let's get pissed.

Which we did a bit quite a lot.

But we did lots of other stuff too. Like on Monday morning spend about an hour in a stereo shop whilst 'something' was happening regarding Reidksi's knackered CD player and record deck. The store had had them in for repairs for at least 6 weeks, and said we should go in to be offered replacements, but when we got there it was all very confusing as the guy dealing with it got stuck into lots of paper work and lots of entering things on to the computer, but what he didn't do was tell us word one about what was going on. We hung about like a pair of lemons, and eventually we were placing bets with each other about exactly how long we could stay there without knowing what on earth was going on. And he took forever......but at the end of forever Reidski had a brand new replacement CD player and a brand new replacement record deck so I guess that counts as a result...rather better than the result Celtic look like they are currently headed for.

YES!!!!! Celtic just scored. 90th minute!!!! Shunsuke Nakamura free kick. Am so happy. Championship won...again.

Live blogging for you.

Post script:

And to cap off a rather good day for Nakamura he wins Player of the Season later on.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

An awkward social moment

My team and I have 'history' with a certain referee called Phil Crossley. He was the official responsible for the massive injustice referred to here, and to others as recently as two weeks ago when he lost control of our match against Scunthorpe. The man is an incompetent idiot who 'obviously'* has it in for my team.

So there I was at London Bridge station with Reidksi when we are spotted by one of his mates. He comes over and for some reason it gets mentioned to him that I am a Cobblers season ticket holder. Well, as a conversation stopper it usually works. Anyway, this guy says "Oh, my best mate was up there the other week reffing.....

Phil Crossley."

I really did not know what to say.

He assures me he is "A Top Bloke".

He may well be ...but he is a fucking useless referee!

* Reidski says he hasn't, but that we all make mistakes sometimes. How reasonable is that - ARGGHH!!!

Friday, April 13, 2007

I am so looking forward to next week*

I am going to stay with Reidski.

One of teh things I am really looking forward to is meeting up with Marc who comments here from time to time, and is over from Chicago. We met him and his wife this time last year and had such a great time I've been looking forward to this for a year. Reidski will be taking them 'Down the Den' tomorrow (Poor sods have to go and watch Millwall - do they know what they are in for?) but I won't be there as I have an invite to 'a bit of a do' from my friend who is married to a multi millionaire.

As an aside - her guests- and I believe there will be a dozen of us - are asked to bring the food. Now I would never go to anyone's house without at the very least a bottle of wine, and as a general rule if asked to provide food when I go to a mate's house would be perfectly happy so to do. But I draw your attention back to the end of the previous paragraph - although maybe that is how one gets to be a multi millionaire by hosting evenings for your less financially advantaged mates on the cheap.

Back to next week, and apart from plans to see Camera Obscura in Camden on the Wednesday we have a week when we can pretty much please ourselves what we do and when. A real treat when you are a parent of teenagers, although mine are in the middle of composing a rather lengthy list of things they would like me to look out for for them whilst I am in London.

Talking of things for the kids - please pray for me that a K reg Metro gets through its forthcoming MOT as if it does I have first refusal on it for eldest son. It has only done 45,000 miles and they will only want £300 for it if it gets through. Eldest knows nothing about this though. I daren't mention it until I know or will not get a moment's peace on the subject.

This is turning into an unfocused waffle so I will quit before I fall even further behind.

Hope we do at least find time to return to this lovely part of the walk described beautiful!

* Eeek! Just realised I used a 'teenage-ism' without even realising it. "I am SO looking forward!!???" Apologies to all speakers of English at it should be spoken.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A traffic halting incident

No, not this one - though what the fuck was all that about at 1.00 in the bloody afternoon?

Last night my sister and I went over to a lovely town near us called Oundle to meet two of our friends. It is a busy road there, and unusually my sister was driving. G has a driving phobia which makes it really hard for her to drive on dual carriageways - let alone a motorway as previoulsy mentioned here. She has been driving for over 20 years, but in the past 2 years has actually been having driving lessons to try and help her get over the fear - it has helped a bit but I think hypnosis will be the only thing to ever get her driving on a motorway. But it was good that she did do the driving yesterday - she is getting there.

All was going well. G even managed to overtake a lorry once on the dual carriageway, but then the road became a single carriageway again and there was a lot of traffic. We were nearly there but then we saw one of these....

It was a baby one.

And it was right in the middle of the road, practically sitting on the white line.

And it was in grave danger.

We drove past.

We fretted about the rabbit.

We turned round.

G returned to the spot where the rabbit still hovered precariously in the middle of the very busy road,stopped her car, and to my acute embarrassment, strode purposefully out into the busy road and held her hand up police woman style to stop on coming traffic, whilst I was directed to chase the rabbit off the road.

We did get hooted at but I think it was more with laughter than with anger from the delayed drivers.

And to tell the truth, I was proud of my daft but compassionate sister.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Who, in season 2006/2007

beat table topping Scunthorpe United to bring to an end their 19 match unbeaten run?


And to make it all the sweeter we got the winner in a game we dominated in the 94th minute.

We thoroughly deserved the win too as we were brilliant. Best match I have been to for - like - ever, and I went completely mad, hugging everyone in reach (my son and other women only Reidski!) when we got the winner with what was the last kick of the match - they didn't even have time to kick off again.

What with that and beating Orient on Saturday (which Reidski could tell you was not what you could call a classic match) we have had 6 points for Easter which beats a chocolate egg every time and even I - the eternal pessimist when it comes to my team - can accept we are safe from relegation.

And Leeds lost too....what a great day this has been!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The romance of the riverbank

Reidski has been in Scotland this past week so when I went to his on Friday we hadn't seen each other for a week...too long!

Anyway, when we finally managed to get out of his flat (so much to talk about and stuff ;-) )what could be nicer in the lovely bank holiday sunshine than a walk by the beautiful river Thames? We decided to head up Greenwich way.

Oh, lovely historic Greenwich. What wonderful riverside vistas awaited us! How delightful it would be.....

umm, if you are particularly fond of the sight of a sugar refinery:

Or you are a fan of modern art:

Or someone who is enthralled by the natural world:

There has been so much development along the Thames in the past 20 or so years. I think it was quite nice that we managed to walk for an hour along the one part that has completely escaped a make over - if you don't count the part played by graffiti 'artists' ( I use that term in the loosest possible sense), and anyway, some of the way the litter had been arranged by the wind in the various shrubs (mainly buddleia which will grow any old where) did have a kind of arty look all of its own.

Oh and the scent! What a memorable scent was given off by the sugar refinery. Although for scent read stink.

A well deserved drink here made the walk well worth while. And what was quite amazing was the thought that not so very many years ago, miles and miles of the riverside in London were in just the same state of dereliction and neglect as the part we walked along on Friday. Now most of it is built up with luxury apartments. Well, at least where we walked is still accessible to the likes of us!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I remember

ages ago reading some comments by a woman on various blogs and idly clicking on to her site. I was greeted by an amazing rant around the subject of how rude other bloggers were to her. I made a mental note not to vist again having filed her under the heading of 'Nuts.'

Anyway, I just went over to Alan's place and saw that he was celebrating, the reasons for his pleasure being explained by his link to Rachel in North London, and well....what can anyone say? It must have been absolute hell dealing with all that madness.

Sympathy to anyone unfortunate enough to have been targetted by this lunatic.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

This week's football post intends to be positive

After the misery of England last week it was with high hopes I went to the Cobblers on Saturday. We were playing Brighton...easy three points surely?

High hopes soon took a knock due to high winds.

We kind of knew we weren't going to witness a feast of footballing skill when it took the Brighton keeper 3 minutes to take his first goal kick. He placed the ball - the wind moved it - he placed it - the wind moved it (repeat many many times). When he finally did kick the thing it acted like a boomerang and came straight back at him. Anyway, we did not take advantage of the conditions but Brighton did and they won 2-0. Every attempted pass went astray when the wind got hold of the ball. It was with out doubt our worst performance of the season which is saying quite a lot. BUT as promised I AM going to make this a positive footballing post.

Yes, I really can be positive - and about my own team at that. (I obviously am optimistic enough to be sectioned.)

But we, or strictly speaking , our captain, did win something and not just any old thing either. You won't have heard of it because football news is dominated by the exploits of West Ham players taking the piss out of every fan who has ever contributed towards their over inflated salaries. He won Sportsman of the Season for his action when a Millwall player appeared to be seriously injured at Sixfields back in December. Alarmed players waved over the medical staff. This was embarrassingly slow for a potentially serious injury, therefore Chris Doig gratefully helped out by racing 80 yards to grab a spine board - receiving an ovation from both Lions and Cobblers fans. He was nominated for the award by Millwall supporters, and I for one am very proud of him.

Cue opportunity to publish picture of very nice looking young chap.....

Monday, April 02, 2007


"Promoted again! So soon after the last time! Gosh! That is a big salary you have got there! Tremendous!"

"So, no only did your son take so naturally to playing the guitar, but he has also turned out to be an incredibly talented song writer and his group easily won Battle of the Bands, plus all the girls are fighting to go out with him! Excellent!"

"Oh, so that son of yours is incredibly motivated at school and revising really hard for his GSCE's..French verbs stuck all over the kitchen!!! Marvellous."

"Well, fancy that! Your daughter aged 11 has only been playing badminton for ten months and is already playing for the county! Super!"

"Oh I see! Their school will only take them on the very most educational trips and yes, I can quite see that they would be missing out if you did not pay for both your children to do the China trip. Brilliant!"

"Blimey! The value of your house has risen AGAIN! Oh, and so have the three flats you bought to rent in London! Wonderful!"

"Cuba this summer! All inclusive package! Yes, the hotel does look fabulous! Wow!"

"Well, I am not quite sure." (When asked if I thought my incredibly smug friends I have spent too much of the past weekend with should go for a BMW this time or an Audi it being all of twelve months since they last changed their car).

I am completely drained and have run out of words to adequately express how impressed I am by their remarkably charmed life.

My one consolation in listening to this interminable success story is that Mrs Smug has a very fat arse.