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: (Diggory)
The short version of this is that London was rather good apart from the going and the coming, which were hell on earth. On the off-chance that anybody is still reading this (and I note in my extended absence that I am now down to one person submitting regular updates on my friends list) I shall expand at some length about what took place.

The Austrian stork nurtures the kites )
keresaspa: (Reiko Ike)
I am nothing if not a procrastinator and yet I appear to have been rather on the ball this year (well, all ten days of it) when it comes to my holidays. As such I find myself with the annual London and the Twelfth thing already booked, not to mention a run out to Edinburgh towards the end of April. The latter, itself becoming something of an annual tradition (albeit a movable feast), was prompted by the return visit of Shonen Knife and the sudden desire to see them once again. Happily a ticket for said event has already been secured and I can look forward to seeing them - or indeed any live band - for the first time in six years. The way the football is falling may also mean a return to Dunfermline but we'll worry about nearer for the time and instead concentrate on Shonen Knife = yay.

So yeah, that's the lot. I must return to the darts final as I appear to be winning at a canter (well, Scott Waites is but we've already established he is my doppelgänger) and I don't want to miss my triumph.

Paris

Aug. 29th, 2015 11:07 pm
keresaspa: (Seagull)
Hello you *waves*. Yeah, just back from Paris and that, which, of course, means I have to go on at length about the last week. Apologies in advance if this gets a bit incoherent but you should all be used to that by now.

Lundi )

Mardi )

Mercredi )

Jeudi )

Vendredi )

Lon-done

Jul. 17th, 2015 09:43 pm
keresaspa: (Reiko Ike)
Is this thing still on? Only one way to find out I suppose:

London )
keresaspa: (Jimmy Edwards)
Yesterday was spent on a wild goose chase of sorts, trawling out to Twinbrook on the off-chance of catching a match. When I got there, sure enough Glaston were indeed playing Sandy Row in the Brooke Activity Centre as promised (albeit with kick off fifteen minutes earlier than promised), but there was no access for spectators and so I was forced to watch it through a fence. Five minutes of that did me until I thought "swive this" and buggered off, content in the knowledge that even I'm not desperate enough to endure 90 minutes of the second tier of the South Antrim League. As such I must face the crushing reality that for me the football season is most likely over.

Still, I can't really complain I suppose because it has been a thrill ride if you like that sort of thing (which I do). 54 matches in all was a slight drop on last season's probably unmatchable total of 58 but it still represented a good haul of live football, starting on 28th June 2014 with Crusaders playing Airbus UK Broughton in a friendly and ending last Saturday with Brantwood wrapping up the Ballymena and Provincial League campaign with a 4-3 win over Newtowne. During the course of the season I witnessed 187 goals (give or take one or two when I got distracted) and visited 28 grounds including first ever trips to Holm Park in Armagh, Inver Park in Larne, Celtic Park in Glasgow, Dennyfield in Bradford, Imperial Fields in London and New Victoria Park in Newtongrange as I endeavoured to spread my tentacles into Britain a bit more.

There were good times and bad times. For the bad times I will do well to forget: a Monday night hammering for Donegal Celtic up in the mountains of Knockbreda in the League Cup in August; an undeserved 1-0 defeat at Harland & Wolff Welders soon afterwards (the first of many matches where DC played well but still lost); the horrors of Islandmagee the following Saturday where the crowd have to be the biggest load of agrestic, ugly, bigoted, small-minded shitkickers I've ever had the misfortune to encounter; the futile attempt to get a bus from Celtic Park whilst having to wait with all the drunks in Glasgow; the near funeral atmosphere at Seaview whenever Newington were playing and their three supporters turned up; and hearing a home side committee member refer to their only black player as "the N*gger" at Shankill United a few weeks ago. But then there are always the highs: the aforementioned Crusaders-Airbus match when anything would have done to break the monotony of no football but where they contrived to serve up a 3-3 thrill-ride; the 3-1 win at Newforge Lane the day after my birthday when a DC promotion challenge seemed a possibility; being the last man standing at Dundela when the rest of the travelling support deserted a 3-1 defeat during which DC were forced to play in a late 90s Carrick Rangers away kit; the crazy atmosphere at Armagh City, again despite defeat; the traditional ball-freezing conditions at the annual post-Boxing Day beano that is the Border Regiment Cup final; my annual day out to Paisley Park to see Albert Foundry; getting fed like a fighting cock in the boardroom at Bangor; my annual day out to The Diamond to see Rathcoole; seeing Colin Valley destroy 18th Newtownabbey OB 8-1 at Valley Park having attended the reverse fixture earlier in the season and been unimpressed by the toxic atmosphere 18th had created at their ground; and of course, above all, the final day at Lakeview Park, Loughgall when, against the odds, DC stayed up.

So, barring a minor miracle (rumours abound of a match next week in Portadown, although I'm not sure I want to shell out the fare just for a Mid Ulster League match, whilst there may be play-offs) the football season is now over in terms of my live attendance. Until the final week in June (hopefully) or the first week in July (hope not) I am forced to find something else to fill in the gaping maw of ennui that is Saturday afternoon, something made all the worse by the year ending in an odd number. If I really start to lose the thread I may have to bite the bullet and take in a couple of Wednesday night Women's League matches at Seaview and/or Solitude but we'll cross that bridge when we can to it. Until then, so many memories and roll on next year.

Bye

Jul. 10th, 2014 08:22 pm
keresaspa: (Chaplin Modern Times)
Well, that'll do me as I'm off to London tomorrow for my annual avoid the Twelfth break. Given the much threatened "graduated response" I suppose I can expect to come back to a state of martial law with a junta led by the Orange Order, UVF, UDA, Combat 18 and the Wolf's Hook White Brotherhood launching wave upon wave of terror on the Fenians (no doubt with Martin McGuinness offering his broad support). Ah well, I'll worry about that next week for now good luck to them as I'm offski.

Cor blimey

Jul. 17th, 2013 10:13 pm
keresaspa: (Albert Gladstone Trotter)
Hello you. Yes it was London time again recently but I got back too late last night to record my exploits. Never fear, I'm here now to "entertain" the reading some with every minor detail. "Enjoy".

Hit it )
keresaspa: (Piggy Banks)
Well, that's me for a while as I'm off to London at a ludicrous time tomorrow morning. I am looking at the weather forecast with a sense of sickness and foreboding as it appears temperatures on Saturday will likely hit around thirty degrees. Far too much for a very sweaty, very lardy man such as myself (though, fifteen is far too much for me frankly) and as we all know heat is bad, heat in a city is worse but heat in a city on a Saturday is worst of all. If you see a large pool of goo bobbing down the Thames in a few days time you'll know it's just me and that I've melted.

Just a quick one as I must go and prepare for the horrendous horrors that await me i.e. early morning car travel, flight and underground trains. Have fun, won't you.
keresaspa: (J Wellington Wimpy)
Sunday was not only the hottest day of the year so far but it also saw me finish phase one of operation back garden. Given that even in Arctic conditions I sweat more than a cow's hooter choosing that day on which to tackle the miss was ill-advised at best but nevertheless I soldiered on. At this point I think it is expedient to break in order to illustrate the task I've undertaken.



I should point out at this juncture that the path up the middle was cemented into place and out of view there was an old aluminium bin filled to bursting point with unused bricks. Well, systematically these last lot of weekends all of that has changed. Paving slabs, bricks, stones, roof tiles, breeze blocks and (most bastardly of all) those big heavy things on the edge of pavements cemented to breeze blocks have all been cleared, the latter being so heavy (and pointless) that carrying them over to the rubble pile saw that red veil descend over my field of vision, a sensation one only ever gets when carrying something just that little bit too weighty for comfort. Alongside that all the green crap had to come up from the roots all the while making sure that a specific bush and a tree had to remain untouched. Going under a tree when you are bald means only one thing - one's sunburnt head being torn to shreds by low lying branches. As you can imagine the tree is now on my enemies list and the bush and me aren't exactly on speaking terms either. Bloody nuisance things.

With all that done odd black carpet stuff had to be laid down in order to cover the entirety of the bare soil with the intention of stopping regrowth. It remains to be seen whether or not it will work but that bit has been done as well now:



Yesterday saw the odyssey come to an end (in between filling in gaps in my gaff due to yet another invasion by the bastard bastard bees) and now all that remains to be done is to arrange delivery of a ton/tonne of small stones and to spread them all over the blackened land. This being me I'm sure there are plenty of things that can go tits up between now and then but for now I'm rather pleased that the weeding, stoning and carpet-laying are all done and the final bit can wait until I return from London. Inevitably my back and shoulders are aching like the man who pushed the cart and the horses but at least it's done. For now anyway.
keresaspa: (Boycie)
That's me back from England then. I'm nursing an injured right leg for my trouble but it was a fun time as I shall now elaborate upon.

TL;DR )
keresaspa: (Lester and Eliza)
It's all gravy now of course. Well, there was a kerfuffle where the end of dinner was interrupted by a delivery of shopping arriving at the front door at precisely the same moment as the phone decided to ring but for now I am happily ensconced with my feet up, enjoying the latest effort from Amy Macdonald (a marked improvement on the previous one, so well done young lady). That will go tomorrow obviously when the blue funk descends. The day before one goes away is always right pain in the arse after all. The very act of packing is an insufferable chore, trying to balance bringing what you will need against taking too much and fighting in vain to keep ironed items from wrinkling too much. Then there's the fuss of changing one currency for another (they might keep telling us that we're British but try using some of the local money in England and see how far you get), not to mention my old fear of flying kicking in again. I haven't flown since October and it was during a balmy Indian summer that I did so, thus the prospect of flying through the rain that now dominates every day is not exactly making me feel chipper. On top of that I really do find the tube from Heathrow to King's Cross deeply unendurable. The thought of an underground train, as appealing as Lord Kitchener made it sound, is something of an anathema to a claustrophobic like myself but to be on it for the guts of an hour, having just endured being in a floating sardine tin, is all quite upsetting really.

Once I'm finally in London and off the tube it will all be fine (barring six days of diluvian rain of the sort that has infested Belfast for several months now) but it really does make you wonder when the hell they're finally going to get round to those teleporters they promised us. Right now the head of a housefly and being shot by the Brobdingnagian Geena Davis seems decidedly preferable to being crushed for over an hour a blooming aeroplane. Holidays, don't you just love 'em?!
keresaspa: (Meg)
Every year the stretch of the Ormeau Road (where I live) that runs from the south bank of the River Lagan up to the Good Shepherd Church is dressed for the Twelfth with a flag draped from each lamppost, a Union Jack from one, an Ulster banner from the next and so on up and down that whole stretch of road. The same thing happens on other loyalist roads in Belfast, albeit with the inclusion of UVF or UDA flags (depending on who controls the area), so what's the problem? Well, quite simply the Ormeau Road is by no stretch of the imagination a loyalist road. The whole area is mixed and, whilst traditionally it has been more Protestant, the demographics have shifted markedly in recent years to the point where there are now two shops openly selling First Holy Communion gifts (unthinkable in the past) and the only bar that could be identified as one side of the other is the Parador, which is firmly Catholic. OK, Annadale flats and the surrounding streets remain loyalist but these are some distance back from the main road and the streets in between are definitely mixed and always have been (I lived there as a kid and my ma's cousin lived there until her recent death).

So with all this in mind why ever year do these triumphalist reminders have to be rammed down our throats? We keep hearing the same old rhetoric from Peter Robinson about shared futures (there speaks a man worried about the fecund Fenians breeding him out of office) and yet the same old crap continues. You can call it Orangefest and show as many pictures of happy, smiling Orange children as you want but the Twelfth is still the definition of "know your place" in which said Fenians are reminded of their role by the streets being taken over by thousands or noisy bigots waving flags in their faces with the air still heavy with the polluting stench of immolated tyres smouldering from the night before.

The supposed leader of republicanism in the north makes a public display of deference and fealty to the British monarch and yet none of this superannuated bigoted crap changes. Shared future my arse. If it is truly to be a shared future triumphalist symbols need to come down from roads that are already "shared". What with this, the fact that the Village looks more and more like a war-zone every time I go through it and all hell set to break loose once more at Ardoyne I am very glad that I had the foresight to book my annual trip to London for next week as quite frankly I couldn't stand another round of the same old "Derry's Walls", Whiterock Flute Band and sham fights crap that destroys every summer. On top of that I have it on good authority (from a member of the Pride of the Lagan Valley Flute Band no less) that the vans at the field charge all the morons eight quid for a lousy burger. Enjoy your BSE, I'll be glad to be away from it!
keresaspa: (Terry-Thomas)
Hello again. I arrived back from London yesterday and now the inevitable load of waffle about what I dided must follow. So sit back and enjoy or run along and play, whichever you prefer.

Cut for length )
keresaspa: (Shakuni (Gufi Paintal))
Laugh out loud as it is time for the Loyal Orange Lodge to take over once again and just in case you forget Belfast City Council have hung banners all over the city centre informing us that it is open for "shopping and celebration" during "Orangefest". Excuse me if I find nothing to celebrate about a bigoted relic in which a bunch of bitter old men followed by pissed-up loyalist thugs tramp all over the roads and rub your nose in the fact that it's their way or no way. As for the town being open - sure for a couple of hours but you better get the hell out of there before the aforementioned pissed-up loyalists descend from the field and politely inquire, through the judicious use of flailing fists and feet, why you weren't there with them. The council can pretend all they want that "Orangefest" is now "inclusive" but any Fenian that wants to be included in the kick-the-pope, burn-all-taigs revelry that comes with every Twelfth deserves all they get to be honest.

Of all the things that grate about Northern Ireland (corruption, racism, spides, the crap public transport, the annoying middle class arseholes, the tired old crap about languages) the Twelfth, as it will always be called to me, is probably the thing I hate most. Why a bunch of bigots should be allowed to bring the place to a standstill by spending a day jaywalking in commemoration of the time a Dutch homosexual with Papal support gained the throne of England in a battle in County Louth is beyond me. However what really grinds my gears is that it sums up everything that's wrong with loyalism. There is about as much in common between the sort of upper-middle class businessmen who make up the upper echelons of the Orange Order and the abandoned, marginalised lads who make up the loyalist flute bands as there is between The Railway Children and Madame Zenobia yet year after year the loyalists will come out in force to support the very people who are keeping them down. Everybody is equal at Edenderry no doubt but once the day is over one will return to his mansion on the Upper Newtownards Road and the other will go back to his grotty flat in Beirut, with only the sound of joyriders to keep him company. The Orange Order bigwigs, who are the self-same people who control the government, civil service and business here, are the ones who helped to ensure that the morons who make up the likes of Cloughfern Young Conquerors, Queensway Flute Band and Upper Falls Protestant Boys have no futures and are the same ones that have bolstered the extreme class divide that has defined Northern Ireland for decades. You don't see any LOL Grand Masters on the dole do you? As I've stated previously there are aspects of loyalism that I can understand but as a basis of working class mobilisation it is absolutely useless as it is built almost entirely on deference, be it to the monarchy or to its rich unionist masters. As long as that relationship continues nothing will ever really change here.

Still for me personally at least I will avoid the chaos as, due to this not being a World Cup year, I am once again offski and making my way over to London for several days to get away from the bowler-hatted old shits. So expect a lull in activity round these parts as I'll be gone for more or less the entirety of next week and my access to computers is likely to be sporadic at best, non-existent at worst. Try not to miss me too much!
keresaspa: (Karl Marx laughing)
Well my annual London pilgrimage has come to an end and I'm still feeling a tad worn-out. However between seeing one of my favourite bands, visiting the resting place of my leader, catching up with some good friends and adding to the collections it was well worth the effort. Permit me to elaborate.

The third way )

On hiatus

May. 23rd, 2010 09:40 pm
keresaspa: (Shonen Knife)
So, that just about wraps things up here for the next week. This time tomorrow I should be enjoying Fruit Loop Dreams, with side orders of Strawberry Cream Puff, Brown Mushrooms and Fish Eyes. Jolly good stuff, I'm sure you'll agree. I'll pause for a final prayer that Iceland can hold its wrath in check until I reach Heathrow then say farewell until I return. TTFN.
keresaspa: (Default)
Well, these coming two weeks will be quite busy for yours truly. A midweek jaunt to Dublin is scheduled for next week whilst the following week I shall be doing my annual London spell, assuming that the angry dwarves that live under the mountains of Iceland have stopped their smelting by then. Originally intended to be a basic five night stay (which obviously it still will be) serendipity has conspired to ensure that on the first night I should be busy seeing Shonen Knife live in concert. Jolly good or what! Ordinarily, of course, this would have happened later in the year but a World Cup ensures plans have to be altered, as well as some nuisance medical stuff in July.

Still enough about me. I notice that today is the second National Famine Commemoration Day on this island. I'm not going to get bogged down in angry talk about genocide but rather just wanted to mention this in passing as the TV seems to have all but ignored it. Besides, it is to the constant shame of this revolting, unequal world that this sort of thing still goes on to this day even though Britain alone still manages to chuck away nearly 7 million tonnes of food per year.

Meanwhile, yesterday was FA Cup final day and, for those who have been on a weekend trip to Mars, Chelsea won inevitably. Overall it wasn't too bad a spectacle for a 1-0, even if it will be remembered most of all for the general cackiness of the penalty takers as anything else. Obviously a Portsmouth win would have been preferable but a double for Chelsea just might knock the smiles off a few faces at Old Trafford so fair enough. Oh, and of course well done to Oxford on an overdue return to the Football League. Amazing to think it is only 21 years since Chelsea and Oxford met in the old Second Division, but no matter as I told you your lot would do it [livejournal.com profile] fluffmitten.
keresaspa: (Rasputin)
Were I a sensible man I would be in bed right now, sleeping off the after effects of the week in London. Still, despite my physical exhaustion, I still feel compelled to come on here and report on events whilst I can still remember them in relative detail. A silly boy I surely am but these things need to be recorded for posterity before I go senile. So without further ado:

2009: A London Odyssey )

So all in all London proved a rare old treat. Good times had with delightful people, plenty of exploration done and loads of new stuff to keep me amused. Top banana, although now my bed is calling me too much to resist so I'll end this hoo-ha and let you all get on. Ta-ta.

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