Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Right now I should be

in Nottingham watching Arcade Fire, but I have been home all day with a hacking cough, and had to give my ticket to someone else as I felt too ill to go. This would be considerably worse than it already is if I did not also have a ticket to see them in London with Reidski in a few weeks time.

So, I was away with Mr Gullible who would believe anything.

Ranger: "Yes, the hippos come out and night and hunt the impala."
Mr Gullible: "Will we have the opportunity to see that?"
Ranger: "Unlikely."

Ranger: "See that huge ostrich nest up in that tree?"
Mr Gullible: "Are there any ostrich in the nest right now?"
Ranger: "Unlikely."

And I was also away with Mrs Very Confused.

Mrs Very Confused to us all one evening: "It's amazing isn't it to think of crocodiles climbing trees and jumping over the electic fence?"
All of us: "You what?"
Mrs Very Confused: "Yes, till the Ranger told us that I never realised they mated in trees."
One of us for whom the penny drops and works out where the hell Mrs Very Confused is coming from: "He was talking about leopards not bloody crocodiles."
Mrs Very Confused: "Oh yes, that does sound a bit more like it."

And finally for now I was away with Ms Dizzy Teenager.

Ms Dizzy Teenager: "I have never been to Africa before. (- pause for breath -) Morrocco was horrible!"
Father of Ms Dizzy Teenager:"How much do I have to pay you not to utter another word?"


We did actually see two caged animals on the reserve - they were lions who have been given to the reserve. It took six grown men to move the sedated lions when they arrived by helicopter.

There are currently two adult male lions who have lived on the reserve since birth - aren't they beautiful?

They are brothers who will be shortly sold to a neighbouring reserve and the new lions will be released. The resident lions are about seven years old, but need to be moved out as a) there would be a blood bath if the two pairs of lions got at each other, and b) the gene pool of lions on the reserve will be weakened if the cubs all have the same fathers.

Because of the arrival of the new lions we did not see any lionesses who had sensed the incomers and were hiding out in the mountains to protect their cubs.

Stand by for the educational bit as nicked straight from Encarta:

Lions are unusual among cats for their habit of living in groups. A pride consists of 2 to 12 adult females and their cubs. All of the females are related: sisters, mothers, aunts, and cousins. Born into a pride, a female will stay in it for life, although a large pride may split into smaller ones. Pride females care for cubs together, hunt and eat together, and aggressively defend their hunting grounds and water holes from other prides. Equally important, pride females must often defend their cubs from groups of males.

Unlike females, male cubs are driven from the pride when they are between two and four years old. If they are lucky, they leave with brothers and cousins; if not, they team up with unrelated males. These groups of two to six males are called coalitions. The goal of a coalition is to join a pride of females to mate and have young. This usually involves chasing off the coalition currently in residence with a pride, although resident males do not leave willingly. Bloody combat may take place, with the larger of the competing coalitions generally winning the pride.

These periods of change spell trouble for pride females and their young. When new males take over, they try to kill the cubs, which were fathered by males in the ousted coalition. Statistics show that invading male lions kill as many as one-quarter of all lion cubs. When a female loses her cubs, she is willing to mate sooner with the new males. However, females vigorously try to defend their cubs. One on one, a female lion is no match for a much larger male lion. But by fighting together, pride females are sometimes able to save their cubs.

Horrible to think the cubs on the reserve are currently under such a threat.

We had two trucks as there were so many of us. My sons were on the other one to me, and they went up to see the new arrivals, just at the resident lions were demonstrating just exactly who they thought were the kings of this piece of jungle. Apparently they were acting very aggressively, and in very close proximity to the truck. They were told not to move an inch, or utter a sound whilst this was all going on.

And for once I understand my lads did exactly what they were told!

Strictly Come Dancing : KENNY LOGAN : 27/10/2007

To quote the judges Kenny Logan is here 'Displaying all the grace of a vacuum cleaner.'

My excuse

for writing that I was close to the Pacific coast when in fact I was many thousand miles away from the Pacific coast is the hours I have been keeping. We flew out on the Sunday night - an 11 hour flight - and although clearly some people around me have mastered the art of sleeping on a plane, I have not.

We got to the reserve, were greeted with a glass of champagne, and had lunch here.

(I am so subtle aren't I? Note my reluctance to say that where we were staying was the most luxurious, beautiful place on earth. I may not have exactly visited every other luxurious place on earth - but how could any where surpass where I went????)

After lunch we went on our first safari, and after that it was dinner, and bed....for four and a half hours as each day we had to get up at 4.30am, which to a British body clock was 3.30am.

Upon returning from the morning safari, and after having brunch in the forest, whilst most of the others were sensible enough to go and kip for the afternoon, the lure of a swimming pool and sunshine was far too great to allow me to follow their example, and I spent that afternoon in and out of this pool.

(I'm in that photo - let's just pretend I am the most gorgeous one there and leave it at that.)

High tea was served at 3.30, and at 4.00pm we went out on our evening safari, getting back just before 9, for dinner again. Whilst getting ready for dinner that evening however we had a visitor in our lodge which was not to prove conducive to a good night's sleep. My daughter suddenly screamed. Such a scream of horror can to me mean only one thing - huge spider - but in fact this scream, quite unusually, meant 'Bushbaby on side board!'

And very sweet it was too, but whether we wanted it in our lodge was somewhat open to debate. H was yelling to me to get it out, but as by then it was swinging around the roof rafters that seemed a case of easier said than done, and I had to resort to suggesting that as it had got itself in, it was most probable that by the time we returned from dinner, it would have taken itself out. As we left and shut our outside door, a second scream from H who had just put her hand on a dung beetle.

Now we did see lots of these fascinating creatures beavering away with assorted rhino and elephant dung, but weren't so enamoured that we would necessarily want to take one home as a pet. H was somewhat perturbed by her close encounter.

We went to dinner, and upon our return, H went to the bathroom (excellent - excuse to show photo of the bathroom!)

where upon she had cause to scream again...a bloody great big frog sat right next to the toilet. And if I tell you that our friendly bushbaby had not departed from our lodge, and that by this time H's nerves were shot to threads, you may appreciate that we did not spend much of the allotted four and a half hours remaining before we had to get up, actually managing to sleep. Up we got at 4.30 am.

Wednesday following an amazing thunderstorm the night before the weather had drastically changed, and when I got back from the morning safari I spent the afternoon walking with an armed ranger rather than sleeping. We were even later to bed that day because we had a Zulu night where locals came and gave us a fascinating taste of their culture, which has resulted in me developing a further obsession - the Anglo-Zulu War, and in particular The Battle of Isandlwana before which the Zulu's are said to have run 80 kilometres bare foot to reach the site of the battle, at which they defeated the British forces.

After dinner and bed,up again five minutes later at 4.30.

Thursday afternoon I did drop off to sleep for an hour, but woke in a panic thinking it was 4.30 in the morning and I had to be up, and then having worked out it wasn't, thought that it was my last full day in Africa and I didn't want to waste it sleeping so I took myself off to read some of the reference books they kept there. Late last night, followed by - yes, up at 4.30am.

Getting on the plane home for another 11 hour over night flight I did think that at least this time I was going to sleep, but what with a 6 foot 4 inch son leaning on me to my right, and my daughter fast asleep leaning on me to my left, and precisely one inch of spare leg room for me in the middle and not wanting to disturb them...Did I sleep? Did I hell as like!

But yes, although my intellectual ability is shot to threads as a result of my lack of sleep, and I am unable to distinguish between the Pacific and Indian Oceans, I do maintain that it is practically sinful to sleep rather than live each moment of such an experience to the full - and one can't do that if one is sound asleep.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Elephant Encounters

Right, my current obsession is with elephants.

This link is a picture of an Indian elephant. Here is a picture of an African elephant who wasn't in the best frame of mind when we met him.

Look at the ears. It is said that an Indian elephant has ears in the shape of India, and an African elephant has ears the shape of Africa. I can see where they are coming from with that.

Our ranger told us loads about elephants. He does believe they never forget. When we were out in the jeeps we were told we must not stand up when an animal approached us, but on one occasion when an elephant was sniffing around the jeep, the ranger told us a woman stood up and took a picture which flashed and scared the elephant away. A few months later she was back and again out on safari when they encountered the same elephant. Once again it walked around the jeep looking at everyone aboard, but when it came to the woman who had previously frightened it, it took one look, trumpeted in terror and charged away.

The ranger also told us that when an elephant dies and his herd passes back by the remains, they stop and examine them, and then take some of the bones with them, as though they are mourning.

We were out one morning when through a clearing emerged a very pissed off young elephant, aged about 18. He trumpeted when he saw us, and it was definitely a 'Mess with me at your peril' sound. It then stomped around the jeep and seemed to be going away. Only then he changed his mind and came back at us and stood right behind our truck. He started stamping on the ground, shaking its ears and positively bellowing in fury at the interlopers on his patch. We couldn't move at that moment because it would have taken a face full of diesel fumes which wasn't best guaranteed to improve its teenage strop. After some minutes of this stand off it stepped back a few paces and our driver took the opportunity to hit the accelerator. Then to misquote Shakespeare it was a case of 'Exit, pursued by elephant.' It bloody well charged after us for at least a kilometer. They can't half shift. Another experience I am unlikely to forget.

As was the moment when we were all having cocktails in the dark when the rangers told us to move back into the jeeps straight away whilst they took out their rifles and aimed them at the two enormous elephants which emerged out of the dark to drink at the dam where we had been standing drinking just moments before. After all is said and done, they are powerful creatures and tragedies like this one can happen.

And as for the farting elephant....oh gawd! You would have had to be there to fully appreciate the full horror of that one. First of all a sound that was vaguely familair (I do have teenage boys), and then a truly horrific smell whilst some metres away an elephant was looking rather pleased with itself.

But apart from hormonal elephants, most of the ones we saw seemed very amiable and relaxed and some of them were really very cute indeed.

This was where I had breakfast last Tuesday morning

An aside that is unrelated to Africa.

Chatting the other day at Sunday dinner with my family all round, I described a woman I know as heartless. "How does she live then?" enquired my 10 year old niece - not unreasonably I suppose.

Where we were

I am going to try and describe the place we stayed. We were in Kwa Zulu Natal province, five hours drive east of Johannesburg, and about an hour and a half's drive from the Indian Ocean* coast. We could see mountains which are in Swaziland from our reserve.

The reserve itself was 32,000 acres. For those like me to whom that means nothing, whilst we were there we went out on 8 drives of at least four hours each - and every time we went into new areas. Next to The Kruger which is the size of Wales it is pretty small, but given that the 17 of us had the place to ourselves apart from the people who worked there - 30 at our lodge, and 40 at another one the other side of the reserve - it seemed plenty big enough!

From images of Africa I had seen I thought the area would be flat, arid and fairly short on trees and bushes but as these photos show, I didn't get that quite right.

In the reserve live many elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs, crocodiles, hippos, rhinos, buffalo, giraffes, zebra, wildebeest, warthogs, jackals, umpteen varieties of antelope, and very many smaller mammals, reptiles and insects. They have recorded 420 different bird classifications within the reserve. The spring flowers were starting to emerge, and the scents are incredible - the wild honeysuckle I smelt there was the most beautiful perfume I have ever encountered. Mind you, being down wind when an elephant farted wasn't quite such a pleasant experience, though equally unforgettable!

The animals are wild. That sounds obvious, but what it means is that every sighting is a privilege, and one never knows when, or even if, one will happen. One morning we had been out for nearly four hours, up in the mountains, and were returning to our lodge for brunch. We had seen breath taking scenery, but it was mainly dense vegetation which made seeing animals difficult. We came upon a clearing and there in the middle of it was a beautiful female cheetah. It was one of those moments which made one gasp out loud with sheer delight. And then it got better. We saw another one sitting behind us, bolt upright just like any old domestic cat, and so our ranger turned the truck round so we could get a better view, and that was when we saw that there were four cheetahs altogether. A mother and her three young ones (about 18 months old). It was such a moving experience to suddenly encounter this family that I had tears in my eyes.

They were waiting very patiently for dinner to arrive, and entirely untroubled by our presence, sat and watched the undergrowth. Apparently the mother would not yet trust her young 'uns to get the grub, so the kill when it came would be down to her. It was a strange feeling watching them. Part of me wanted to see her shoot off at speed to secure what had to be secured, but a bigger part of me wished very hard not to actually witness any kill. In the event our own hunger overtook the desire to watch her deal with her hunger, and we came away before we were faced with nature in the very raw.

I am sorry the quality of this photo is not better - hopefully I will get a better one from one of my friends soon, but in the meantime I hope you can get an impression of these beautiful animals from the one here. Double click on it for a bigger image.

* Corrected from earlier stupid mistake - I blame lack of sleep!


Sunday, October 28, 2007

In to Africa

Sadly I am now Out of Africa, but am still on Cloud Nine following what was truly an experience of a life time, or more accurately, a series of experiences of a life time.

We had two little planes out of Johannesburg airport between the 17 of us, and as the other plane touched down first, this is a picture of my arrival in the game reserve where we stayed. Good air port eh?

Any fear I may have experienced on that tiny plane was obliterated by the very pressing distraction of a desperate need for a wee. Therefore upon touching down I was pointed immediately in the direction of the toilet - the nearest thick bush. Under the neighbouring bush lay a warthog.

That is not a picture of the warthog in question, which is currently under going extensive therapy for the trauma sustained by seeing me relieving myself(for which relief much thanks) in such close proximity to itself.

We got into our jeeps then to set off for the lodge where we were staying. Five minutes along the track (we didn't travel on anything resembling a road the whole time we were in South Africa) we met this little beauty.

It was one of the most incredible moments of my life: rounding a bend and suddenly being right beside an enormous elephant. When I was imagining what the safari would be like I thought it would involve, if we were lucky, sightings of animals away on the horizon. I was wrong. And I am ruined for Woburn Safari Park for life.

More, much more, to come on my past week. You may wish to avoid this place for a while.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Tomorrow I will be on an over night flight to Johannesburg. Then until Friday I will be staying here, until Friday night when I will fly back home again to land at some god awful early hour on Saturday morning. Reidski has asked me not to ring the minute I land. And I don't blame him.

I still don't believe this is really happening, but thanks to the incredible generosity of my very very good friend, a group of 17 of us are South Africa bound. Could be we will take quite a lot of stick if the inevitable happens at the end of this little match.

I remember when I would starve rather than purchase a South African apple. And here I am jumping up and down with excitement because I am actually going to visit that country.

Bit worried about the necessity to wee when out on safari now I have seen this...

South Africa is home to numerous snake species : Puff Adder, Horned Adder, Many-horned Adder, Black Mamba, Green Mamba, Snouted Cobra, Mozambique Spitting Cobra, Boomslang, African Rock Python, Eastern Tiger Snake, Rinkhals, Southern Vine or Twig Snake to name but a few.

Anyway, back soon. Hopefully not with the tale of how my bum came to sustain a snake bite.

What are they saying here?

Reidski has had several happy birthday texts today.

He has had 2 x 'Happy birthday you chube.'

1 x 'Happy birthday you twat.'

and 1 x 'Happy birthday you cunt.'

The last one was from one of his brothers.

Good job I like him.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Down in London SE14

to hopefully help Reidski have a good birthday tomorrow.

Right now though, getting a bit drunker and playing music very loud.

Reidski? Well at this moment he is washing up the pots and plates from the dinner he cooked.

No wonder I love him!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What the bloody hell is wrong with some women?

"I made a commitment to this person. I moved closer to be near him. I was horrified to find out I was not the only woman in his life. I was so deeply involved with him.

I don't know why I felt the urge to write to him, but I did."

And this fucking stupid woman is on tele at the moment talking about the man she fell in love with during an exchange of letters she initiated - with
Peter Sutcliffe.

Artist Sandra Lester began writing to Sutcliffe in 1990 while trying to come to terms with the abuse she suffered as a child.

She read an article about him and decided to "extend a Christian hand of support". After exchanging letters daily for a year, she believed she had found lasting love with the killer.

And according to this article she was not one lone lunatic who 'felt the urge' to write to a man who killed at least 13 women and attempted to kill at least a further 7. Oh yes, one could really see how a woman might be drawn to communicate with such a man.

As one woman who still has vivid memories of the sheer terror the Yorkshire Ripper caused all women living in the north of England in the days before he was finally apprehended, I refer back to the title of this post.


I have decided that when we decide to play in both half's of a football match this season we will be fine. And I don't think this score line was a fair reflection of last night's televised (did you see it?) match.

Yorkshire Pudding has mentioned my tardiness in getting rid of my countdown to the smoking ban clock. What I might do is start recording the number of days since we last had a penalty. In the past 90 games we have been awarded 2 penalties and have given away 19. During last night's second half alone Luton's Matthew Spring scored two penalties to add to the other four he has taken this season. And it isn't that we don't get decent shouts for penalties - last night alone we could have been awarded 2 and Luton could not have complained.

One of those 2 penalties we were given was for handball, so this means that according to referees, a Cobblers player has only been fouled once in the opposition area once in the last 8,100 minutes of play. (Just call me Stato.) But what tends to happen when one of our players gets brought down in the area is that our player gets booked for 'diving' and the offending side is given a free kick. So what do we have to get penalties? Take diving lessons? Or play Cheltenham?

It so happens that the only two penalties we have been awarded in the past 18 months were both against Cheltenham......

who it so happens we play on Saturday.

One of the many daft things about being a football fan is that hope springs eternally.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I have lived in two of the places

named here as the Worst 20 places to live in Britain. Specifically I have lived in Hull (No 2) and Haringey (No 18). Additionally my dad's family come from Stoke (No 13).

So lots of offence taken.

As Lisa from Nottinghamand Steve from Manchester would no doubt agree - what a load of rubbish...and I am not talking about the towns on the list.

But still on the subject of rubbish, as Reidski pointed out - check out the article to the right beginning "We married our dads." Good grief!

Can I buy some courage on E Bay?

I’m not generally too bad when it comes to flying. O.K. - I admit that I don’t like taking off, and I don’t like landing, and I don’t like any turbulence. The thought of an 11 hour flight to Johannesburg from London in economy with my long legs isn’t great. Oh, and I am not as a rule too keen on airplane food either – but apart from that fairly extensive list – I’m not too bad when it comes to flying.

I was however a little nervous as the plan was to take an 18 seater plane from Johannesburg to the place where we will be staying. THAT had freaked me out a bit. Then we all got a message from the holiday company to say that:

There was an incident recently at the landing strip at the reserve and it is now closed for maintenance, scheduled to take 2-3 months. The knock-on effect is that you will now have to land at an alternative site, approximately 15-20 minutes from the reserve. That in itself is not a problem but, the alternative strip cannot accommodate the size of plane you had originally booked. Therefore you will now have to take 2 planes from Johannesburg; an 8 seater and a 12 seater.

Here is a picture of an 8 seater plane I have just found.

It doesn’t look very big does it? And what on earth do they mean by saying there was ‘an incident?’ Or would I rather not know?

So anyway, the good news is that I am no longer a little nervous about the plan to take an 18 seater plane. The not so good news is that I am frankly petrified at the thought of flying in an even smaller one!

Before setting foot on such a minature flying machine mine will be a Very Large Gin and Tonic indeed; for purely medicinal purposes you understand.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

What's (been) going on?

Well I am just about over the joint birthday disco my daughter had with a friend whose birthday is close to hers.

Last Sunday evening I was invited round to the home of R's rich daddy to discuss arrangements for the party. R is an obscenely spoilt young person. I had agreed in advance to pay half the cost of the disco hire. I was asked round to discuss what food we should get. I said my mum and I would make sausage rolls and cakes. I then said I was skint and did not think that at these things the kids bother about eating. By making such a statement I was ignoring the bleeding obvious which is that R bothers about eating very much. And eats very much. And weighs far too much. I had earlier in that week had the horrendous experience of taking H and R shopping for the matching outfits they had decided they wanted to wear at their party. H is stick thin. R isn't. Trying tactfully to find something that suited them both was, to use a word we social workers resort to when faced with any kind of nightmare situation, 'challenging'. We found something eventually, but within the next three days R's mum brought her not one but two further outfits for the party to add to the one she had bought when out with me. H and R did not in the event wear the same thing, as H was quite happy with what she had bought in the first place.

So back to the food. R was there and set about producing a food list that would last the whole of Northampton should we ever need to take to a nuclear bunker for a 12 year period. I'm thinking "I did make it clear I am broke didn't I?" and also "R's dad isn't stupid enough to buy all that lot is he?" Not sure about the answer to my first question, but the answer to the second one is an unequivocal "Yes he is that stupid." I was absolutely mortified by the truck loads of supplies that arrived, including to add to my annoyance, sausage rolls and cakes - bloody horrible shop bought ones mind but all the same......

R's dad does something to do with window dressing for very posh stores like this one in New York, and so he also provided fabulous decorations for the village hall.

P's dad's new girl friend told me, in between deciding I was her bestest friend in all the world - I had met her that night* - that he had spent over £700 on the party. This made my £50 towards the disco (plus costs of surplus to requirement home made sausage rolls and cakes) seem rather tight fisted.I did however manage to resist the inclination to insist upon paying half his costs. And as I had said in the first place, the kids (except R) were not interested in eating and nearly all of it was left over (although me and my mum's sausage rolls and cakes went...just thought I would mention that ;-) )

So obviously anyway R was bowled over by her father's incredible generosity and kindness. Or rather, no she wasn't and over the course of the evening had at least three tantrums and told him to "fuck off and die" in front of everyone. Such a delightful young lady.

H had a nice time which is all I really care about.

Incidentally, there were plenty of 10 year olds there at the party as well as the 13/14 year old school friends of H and R. How any bastard can profess to think a 10 year old is actually 16 as in this case is just a sick joke. Even the most Britneyish young teenager at the party did not in any way look 16. The increased four year sentence is still a disgrace and an invitation to other paedophiles to rape kids. Back to trivialities......

Reidski and I have recently seen Atonement, and were glad we had both read it first. Actually, I thought the way they got round the twist in the book at the end was very cleverly done. And I want Keira Knightley's green dress! We also saw Michael Clayton which was an edge of the seat thriller, although all around us people were walking out throughout the duration of the entire film - bizarre behaviour, which reduced us to fits of giggles by the time the fourth set of people disappeared. We went to see The Editors play Brixton which was great,and also saw an
Alan Ayckbourn play
which was fun.

And we have both individually this weekend watched lots of sport. Strangely the result over the weekend I was most happy about was this one. Is the man brain washing me I wonder?

* Where did he find her? She is completely and utterly insane and deserving of rather more detailed description another time.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Anxious? Moi?

Now I may in passing have mentioned that I am going to South Africa soon.

Yes I know - apologies for mentioning it at every available opportunity. But maybe because it is such a big deal - as in - once in a lifetime experience - I am getting a little anxious about it. Well I certainly am if my dream is anything to go by.

So in the dream we are there and I think that through thick fog I see a giraffe. It is when someone tells me I am pointing at a dog that I realise I have left my contact lenses at home and therefore will not be able to see any animals whilst out on safari. Then it started to snow. My friend told me we were promised blizzards in the morning, but it was OK, because there were lots of boy scouts on stand by to dig us out. I am embarrassed to admit that at this point in my dream I thought - "Must get photos of the snow as no one who reads the blog will believe me when I said it snowed otherwise." THAT was when I realised that I had left my camera at home.

Cut to me driving my car along the riverbank. (No, I'm not sure how I came to take my car to South Africa either but...)This leads on to another anxiety I have at present - one of my car's many warning signs is currently in real life illuminated, and I haven't got round to sorting it out yet.My car then started giving me messages running across the dashboard saying things like "You have left it too late. Your car is fucked." I mention this to someone who works at the lodge. He said it was OK and that he knew someone in Northampton he could ring and they would be able to help. I was quite impressed by this extraordinary knowledge, (and how did he know I was from Northampton?)and thought I should give him a tip. THAT was when I realised I had come out without any money whatsoever.

Next I was worrying that Reidski would be upset because I hadn't managed to ring him before I left. And then, as I am in real life wont to do when I am nervous, I spilt my glass of wine - and woke up.

Do other people get so worked up merely because they are leaving the country for six days?

Note to self....MUST get car seen to.

This is so wrong!

I got my daughter to have a good clear out of stuff she hordes in her bedroom.

I have just gone to empty a bin and what do I find but a load of CD's....Kylie, Beyonce, Sugababes and so on.

I asked her what they were doing in the bin. "Oh" she says, "I am throwing them away. They are old." (My italics.)

What kind of hideous precedent would this set if we had to throw out CD's (never mind the antiques that are LP's) because they were old????

No, no, no, no. It can't be done. I have of course, rescued all the CD's which were tip bound.

Or I am the one in the wrong. Blimey - those Clash LP's are 30 years old now - they will have to go.

(Not a chance.)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

It's 5 past 11.

I suppose I really should get out of bed!

Nothing if not unpredicatable

After the debacle that was Tuesday night for at least an hour ofyesterday's match we could do no wrong and in spite of an injury crisis that we left Millwall with we deservedly won what was, once Port Vale decided to join in, a great game of football. (Port Vale's goal was a beauty - we clapped.)

Going back to our late arrival at Millwall, it transpired that the team were just 5 miles from the ground but had to have a police escort in what with Millwall fans being so unruly and all that. Anyway, traffic was terrible in the area as it was, but it sure wasn't helped by the police escort vehicle sustaining a bloody puncture! THAT was why the team arrived late!

And obviously I should be grateful that my team are unlikely ever to be troubled by European fixtures. I was quite shocked to see that yesterday - a SATURDAY - that there were only 2 Premier league games because so many of the pampered darlings couldn't cope with playing that day having exerted themselves in Europe during the week. Erh, don't they all have squads consisting of 50 or so players? Could they not possibly give someone else a game even if all the 11 that turn out in the week are feeling a little fatigued? What about the poor fans? The very poor fans if they are paying the ticket prices demanded by these clubs. Oh I was forgetting that they are the last people to be considered by the powers that be in football. Who cares if they have horrendous homeward journeys on a Sunday evening from where ever it is that their team is playing that day? Of course, even when they don't play European fixtures in the week they bugger about with match days and times due to the Evil Sky Sports.

Talking though of exorbitant prices for football ( Was I talking about that? Oh yes - got a passing mention in above complaint) we are playing at Luton a week on Monday. Now for those amongst you who have never had the pleasure of a trip to sit in the away end at Luton Town I have to assure you that this picture (with thanks to Duncan Adams - photographer) is genuine.

Yes, we really do go in through the middle of people's houses. As we go up the steps the other side we look down into people's back yards. We then - or certainly those of us with long legs do - sit bent double hugging our knees as there is no leg room at all - whilst trying to avoid the seats where the view is completely concealed by huge pillars. A pukka pie costs £3.00. Oh I don't believe what I just saw when looking for a link to pukka pies....I have to share this whilst checking which century we are living in........

That has completely thrown me! Where was I?

Oh yes, anyway - for such unaccustomed luxury we are expected to pay £23.50 a ticket. In the words of Ricky Gervais in Extras "You're 'aving a laugh." But hey - rejoice and praise the Wonderful Public Service that is Sky Sports. The match is being televised so I shall feel no need to go!

Did I just hear the words 'Two faced bitch' muttered somewhere in the distance?

Thursday, October 04, 2007

It is only a game

Before we left for the game about 6.30 in the evening, we were cooking dinner and kept hearing sirens behind Reidski's house. I made poor jokes about the Mighty Cobblers Crew terrorising the locals. If only it had been that trivial.

Generous to a fault

Lots of faults actually.

Well, I was right to be worried about this. When a side has not won in 7 games they would be wise to ask for the fixtures to be rearranged in order to play Northampton next. An end to the losing streak would then be practically guaranteed.

Mind you, even by our standards we did go out of our way to help Millwall on Tuesday night by means of the following:

1) Bring two players back from long term absence due to injury.
2) Play four players out of position.
3) Arrive late. The team coach got delayed on the motorway and only arrived 15 minutes before kick off was due. Kick off was delayed to allow time for team and fans to arrive. At 7.30 me and Reidski were very lonely indeed in the away end with an estimated 48 others.
4) Due to late arrival, don't warm up properly and therefore -
5) Lose captain to injury after three minutes and as if that wasn't enough -
6) Lose best player to injury thirteen minutes later.
7) Concede two soft goals.
8) Play at an unacceptably poor standard.

What was that line again?

Oh yes.

"It is only a game."

*Goes off to find cat to kick.*

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I wanna be the winner.

Hello! Hooray! Let the show begin,
I've been ready.
Hello! Hooray! Let the lights grow dim,
I've been ready.

God, I feel so strong.
I feel so strong.
I'm so strong.
I feel so strong.
So strong.
God, I feel so strong,
I am so strong.

If I keep going in this vein, maybe, just maybe, I will be able to persuade myself I am not worried about tonight.

Repeat endlessly throughout the day (plus all of tomorrow should the unthinkable happen and we lose)...."It is only a game of football."

Anyone else LOVE Alice Cooper?