keresaspa: (Seagull)
It's ate bread now given that I've been home since Sunday and, as I suspected, the Dreamwidth exodus seems to have killed this journal stone dead but the tenth annual London extravaganza probably needs to be recorded anygate.

Ergo )
keresaspa: (Percy Sugden)
It has often been stated that, had it not been for the 1964 betting scandal, Nobby Stiles would not have played in the 1966 World Cup but rather his place as the hard-tackling midfield destroyer would have been taken by Everton's Tony Kay, one of those to be banned in the aftermath of the gambling-based naughtiness. Well, having seen them all first-hand I can guarantee that there was no Nobby Stiles amongst their number, but it's still something of a shock that the five men suspended in local football's latest betting scandal are all known to me personally, having been five of the seemingly never-ending slew of players to have made the move from Donegal Celtic to Crewe United these last few years. Ciaran Burns, a talented defender with an eye for a goal, bug-eyed full back Paddy Fox, one of the heroes of that last-day survival job at Loughgall, Ciaran Carson, a stocky ball-of-rage and regular captain in midfield (and probably the most Stiles-like of them all), Pearse Devine, a midfield maestro who still follows me on Twitter and Michael Henderson, about whom I admittedly remember very little, all banned for betting against their own team in what was probably the biggest match in Crewe United's history. Silly boys and a terrible waste for five players who still had plenty to contribute. Fortunately it was after they had all left DC so it will have no impact on our ultimately failed attempt to gain promotion but it's a real shame and further evidence of what a fundamentally destructive gambling really is.
keresaspa: (Nina looking a tad pertubed)
So after yesterday's 4-2 win over Cardiff City Albion will now be facing the might of Norwich City, with their baked flans and their misplaced pedantry, in the fourth round of the FA Cup. I feel a bit of a heretic saying this but I'm struggling to care one way or the other. A couple of ropey results in recent league matches mean that my earlier optimism was, as I suspected, misplaced and that Albion are facing yet another relegation battle so these injury magnet games for a tin pot are really a distraction that we could do without. We all know how it will end anyway as a middle ranking Premier League side will make the final where they will be outplayed by one of the big money outfits but the game will still end 1-0 to make it look closer than it actually was. Were I a gambling man (which I'm definitely not, having turned down a free ten quid bet after registering for Sky Sports Super 6) I would put my money on Manchester United winning it for the umpteenth time with Newcastle donating their bodies to the "spectacle" come May.

Still I suppose it is a break from the gloom for some (well, maybe not crisis club Liverpool, who even managed to turn a 5-1 win into yet another PR disaster) so in case any of you reading care and don't know how to log onto any of the thousands of websites that carry this then the fourth round draw is as follows:

Brighton & Hove Albion or Wrexham - Newcastle United
Sunderland - Middlesbrough
Dagenham & Redbridge or Millwall - Southampton
Hull City - Crawley Town
Milton Keynes Dons or Queens Park Rangers - Chelsea
West Bromwich Albion - Norwich City
Blackpool - Sheffield Wednesday
Arsenal or Leeds United - Aston Villa
Stevenage - Notts County
Watford - Tottenham Hotspur
Liverpool - Manchester United
Derby County - Stoke City
Everton - Fulham
Macclesfield Town or Bolton Wanderers - Swansea City
Sheffield United - Birmingham City or Wolverhampton Wanderers
Nottingham Forest or Leicester City - Swindon Town
keresaspa: (Karl Liebknecht)
It's no word of a lie to say that the rain today gave me the worst soaking that I have had in ten years. So vile it was that I was forced to seek refuge in a betting shop, only the second time I have set foot in such an establishment in my life (the other being going with a mate when he won two grand about seven years ago). Having dabbled with gambling at Funderland, an annual fairground that formerly held its residence in the King's Hall and which never lived up to its first syllable, I found that it was something I do compulsively and with absolutely no skill resulting in me losing what little money I had. As a result I have avoided all gambling in my adult life and fortunately that did not alter today as I resisted the temptation to start throwing moolah away on guessing which nag might win at Plumpton. Still I didn't stick around just in case and instead endured the horrors of a horizontal deluge whilst battling my way down the rarefied environs of Duncairn Gardens. Lovely stuff. To think I was strutting about in shirt sleeves not four days ago.

At the risk of a pathetic fallacy perhaps the heavens were in turmoil because destiny has at last been fulfilled with the news that Billy Hutchinson has finally become the leader of the Progressive Unionist Party. Personally I was amazed that Davy's stooge didn't get the nod years ago but finally he is anointed the chosen one. Not that it's worth much mind you as the loyalists seemed to have long retreated from any notion of having their own party but good luck to him for getting his turn. To his credit he did himself proud by staying on the Shankill when Johnny Adair was threatening to kill him every minute (something self-declared hardman Gusty Spence didn't do) so good luck to him, even if he is a murdering, Pigfield-loving dog. I can't see it making much difference to the PUP's slow slide towards oblivion but then nothing can really.

Now if you'll excuse me I must go and see where I left those sandbags. Biblical proportions.
keresaspa: (Cookie Kwan)
Feeling rather grim today, pals and gals1. The old sinuses are a tad inflamed, the throat is feeling somewhat raw and my ribs feel like the Road Warriors have run out and interrupted my promo with a beating in their AWA incarnation. Suffice to say, a flu is obviously in the offing. I thought I had got away too easy this winter - must be the lack of oranges in the house that has done for me2.

So it's the Mancs who are getting the super-casino. I don't suppose it matters where they put the bugger as it still amounts to the same thing - another gaudy piece of tat to suck money out of people and distract them from what a hell-hole they live in. I sure as Hell would never soil my hands by setting foot in such a place3. Still, I'm sure they'll turn up in their droves and fritter away their pension books long enough not to notice that they still haven't had that urgent hip operation as the money has been spent on Tony Blair's make-up bill. Sickener!

Anyway enough torture for one day. Time to honour my pledge to see some photos of my ugly mug. A couple of old ones to start and then a couple of rather drunken ones from Saturday night, the point of which is really to document my dalliance with an almost normal moustache. Enjoy (you won't).

Portraits of the artist as an early-middle aged man )

1Not that all you gals aren't my pals, of course. Just trying to be with it in a decidedly 50s kind of way.
2A little known fact about me is that I am something of an orange junkie, especially after a night on the bevvy. It's not unheard of for an entire string bag of mandarins to find their way into my digestive system on such nights.
3Which admittedly has as much to do with the fact that once I start gambling I don't know when to stop.
keresaspa: (Fletch)
Following on from [ profile] matte_kudesai's recent post I do believe that I am coming out in sympathy pains. The root canal that regular readers will remember me getting done a while back has been slowly falling apart ever since and is now at an advanced stage of agony. The pain is now spreading all over the right hand side of my lower mandible leaving me feeling like "The Motor City Cobra" Thomas Hearns has been using it for sparring practice. Ouch and indeed eek! An expensive trip to the dentist is the last thing I could be buggered doing around now but it may have to come to that.

I was gutted on Friday when I realised that my usual haunt has said goodbye to its fruit machines. After about six pints I sometimes get the notion for a wee bit of gambling and I've actually been getting something of a dab hand at figuring out the system of the ones therein. Either they've tumbled to this or yet again the nanny state has stepped in to block something else I enjoy. Super casinos don't appeal to me one iota so that's another potentially harmful habit nipped in the bud. Bum! I'll have to stick to alcohol and tobacco (until they trample all over them) from now on.


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