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: (Cartman)
Every time I post to this now I seem to begin with a note to excuse my absence due to the paucity of updates. What can I say, less than auspicious days recently. In the meanwhile however a standing engagement in Edinburgh took me across the sea once more and, as ever, I shall betell the events.

Lay on, MacDuff )
keresaspa: (Percy Sugden)
Oh I wish I'd looked after me teeth
Because the pain is giving me grief
Little kittens are noice
I was in MI Foive
Shite, I've really bollocksed me teeth.


It may not be pure Pam Ayres but you get the idea, it's close enough and I couldn't really be buggered googling it, so it'll do you. The point nonetheless remains that I suddenly seem to have developed sensitive teeth. Now for several years I convinced myself that I already had them because of pains from eating steak or the odd spurt of blood from an apple but I was just being a big Jinny-Anne and it is only now that I know the truth of that affliction.

Vile it has been for these last three sennights that I have switched to using toothpaste specifically for sensitive teeth (admittedly sourced from Poundland, but sod it, they all do the same thing anyway) but, whilst it has taken the real extreme edge off things, the problem remains nonetheless with both cold and hot foods now a chore. It's still not so bad that I am considering the dentist, as both the lack of available surgeries and the eye-watering expense prohibit me (the realities of life under Cameron right there), so instead I'm forced to grin and bear it, albeit with virtually no grinning involved.

I never understood what people meant about middle age giving you constant reminders but, what with the bald pate, the increasing joint pains, the inability to pick up dropped coins and now this I am starting to see what the veterans mean. Woe is me, terrible time.

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: (Percy Sugden)
It's convention that I recount in some detail the events surrounding any journeys I make for the entertainment of the reading none so I suppose I shouldn't break from that tradition following my recent excursion to the occupied territory of Scotland. So without further Apu:

Edinburgh and environs )
keresaspa: (I got the last dodo!)
I do believe I may have just talked myself into a rather large project involving a fairly major overhaul of the back garden. God knows it needs it because the place has virtually turned into a forest these last lot of months but I'm a sedentary man at the best of times, cursed with a chronic lack of energy caused by my dicky blood, and as such the whole effort thing is a bit off-putting. If I'm being honest the appeal of gardening is rather lost on me. I can look at the landscapes of a stately home and find a beauty in them (for a couple of seconds anyway, before I get bored) but the fuss people make of the tiny little plots of grass and mulch at the front and back of houses has long mystified me. I suppose some flowers might look dinky enough but the sheer back-breaking toil involved in getting them makes me throw my hands up, rather less than gusted. The shoulder aches, the breathing difficulties from hay-fever, the tingling bite of nettles, accidentally standing in and/or lifting piles of cat shit, the whole kit and kaboodle really. No horny-handed son of toil am I, but rather a dyed-in-the-wool city boy for whom flowers are things you find for sale on petrol station forecourts, potatoes come in large bags with Fane Valley printed on the front and grass is that stuff that people smoke and so the prospect of a large scale garden project does rather give me the abdabs. I'll do it anyway because that's the sort of magnanimous bugger I am this week and because it will give me plenty of ammunition for moaning but still, sulk.

But that's all for later as I have an appointment with my hellbitch podiatrist first. I've only had one appointment with her so far but suffice to say it was definitely one too many and I'm ready for the cow this time. There are few things I detest more than snobbishness but this "lady" had it in spades and, as is often the case with that type, you turn up with a working class accent and tattooed forearms and you are immediately adjudged a thick chav who can be spoken to like a total moron. I would love to say I had never met a more patronising, smug, self-important tosspot in my life before but unfortunately I have as they seem to enter the medical professions at an alarmingly high rate. I wouldn't mind but her so-called treatment - insoles (I ask you, bloody insoles) - has made the problem with which I went to her a lot worse than it was and they've stretched my boots all out of shape. The fun arrives on Thursday but she sure as hell ain't getting off as easy this time as she did last time. They're supposed to be the "caring professions" so why go into them if you are completely misanthropic? Oh yeah, the money, silly me.
keresaspa: (Tiger Jeet Singh)
It has been a rather dodgy start to this new year all things considered. Well, on the plus side it began decently with a rare win for Donegal Celtic over Glenavon on New Year's Day, albeit with the hassle of a Sunday service on the buses meaning that the whole thing took a lot longer than it should have. Still, I mustn't grumble about that as DC are now a whole four points clear of the automatic relegation place and Distillery (so far) show no signs of a Lazarus comeback.

Since then it has been a bit of a duffer. My right foot continues to get worse with little miss physio (well, she's actually about six feet tall) as much as saying at my last appointment that because her one idea for treating the problem wasn't working she is ready to throw the towel in and discharge me to grin and bear the pain. I suggested acupuncture (yes, I have to come up with the solutions even though she's the one with the training) but it turns out that she doesn't know how to do, the physio who cured me with it in 2009 has disappeared and the only one left who knows how to do it is on an extended absence. It's a pity they don't bother funding the NHS but I suppose at least we have Cromac Street in Irish, the Armagh Planetarium in Ulster-Scots and the Titanic visitors centre so who needs health provisions?

Today meanwhile was the latest in my hateful return to fortnightly venesections and it was the biggest screw-up since the days when junior doctors were doing them. My left arm stopped flowing despite the nurse wiggling the needle about in my vein umpteen times (it didn't work but at least I got to experience a lot of pain and discomfort) so they swapped over to my right arm where, about two thirds of the way through, the needle fell out and a crimson tide issued forth saturating the whole place in my precious lifeblood. Were it not for my insistence that enough was enough I suspect a third vein would have been tapped but in the end I was allowed to limp away, safe in the knowledge that the whole thing would have to be done again in two weeks.

On top of all that the bloody loyalist bastard protesters are blocking the streets again over their arserag flags and some idiot has left the celestial heating switched on so as early January is having horribly sticky temperatures reminiscent of May. 2013, get your bloody act together.
keresaspa: (Obelix)
Christmas done and dusted then. Mostly got money and music in terms of presents. Ate sweets. Came close to weeping with the agonising pain that now infests both legs. And that's about that.

In the football the way the fixtures fell meant that I had two trips to Solitude in quick succession to watch the champions elect pick up six points. Boxing Day proved difficult to get to because of the aforementioned leg pain and the lack of buses but I still managed the schlep up to north Belfast in between regular stops to wince in pain. Little over a month ago I would have strolled that in no time and bemoaned the fact that Cliftonville wasn't further away but suddenly I am a broken man and a simple walk to Solitude destroys me. I had thought that the decision to make it an all ticket affair was a tad overambitious, despite local rivals Crusaders being the opposition, but in the end it was fully justified. The ground was a complete sell-out even with the normally defunct Main Stand opened and there was virtually no room to move in the section of the Main Stand where I wedged myself. It was certainly rough on the old legs although the bloke behind me had it worse, stood as he was with a broken foot wedged in one of those Reese Witherspoon style protective boots. How the poor sod managed it is anybody's guess and I certainly didn't begrudge him the odd spell leaning on my shoulder, despite his being a total stranger. Still the sardine-tight conditions made for a beezer atmosphere with even yours truly, a notorious tightlip, joining in the singing. The match itself was a very even contest with both sides having their moments and the Reds unquestionably guilty of a poor final ball more than once. Crues had their chances too but Timmy Adamson, whom I witnessed destroying the defence at DC recently, failed to take his chances and in the end substitute Joe Gormley scored the only goal to give Cliftonville the win. The performance was decent without being brilliant but in terms of what has gone on so far this season we are talking about the league's two top dogs (as I predicted this summer) so a 1-0 over Crusaders has to be placed into context. A defeat or draw here would have seen the doubts creeping back in but the win makes Cliftonville look an increasingly good bet for the title.

As for today, I decided to give the old legs a rest and get a bus day ticket, although as a sop to my attempts to avoid weight regain I stayed on a few stops past the ground and got off at the Westland estate for a little exercise. Returning to my more usual home of the small section of terracing under the Main Stand today, it was little surprise to see a greatly reduced attendance for the visit of Dungannon Swifts. Certainly the forty mile or so journey from South Tyrone to North Belfast proved to have little appeal for the Swifts supporters, who numbered little more than thirty souls in the away stand, including at least one baby. Given the busy programme over Christmastide and the relatively lowly status of Dungannon Swifts there were one or two unfamiliar names in the Reds team, with squad rotation putting in a rare appearance in the Irish League. Cliftonville had a ropey start, with nothing really coming off although they were fortunate in that Dungannon couldn't get their acts together either. Liam Boyce bustled one in around 35 minutes with a towering header before Geordie McMullan added a second from the penalty spot in the second half. A bit of a low-key performance here, with Dungannon having the odd chance here and there but for Cliftonville quality just about told and a 2-0 was a good result. Nine points ahead going into the new year is a healthy lead and no mistake, although Linfield's ominous rise up the table means nothing can be taken for granted.

All in all two good games that provided a fine dose of festive entertainment. I'll look forward to getting back to my spiritual home in Lenadoon on New Year's Day (although the awful bus service will mean split second timing will be essential) but it was indeed great to watch back to back wins for a very strong team. Nice one.
keresaspa: (Maurice Bishop)
Plantar fasciitis has now been joined by searing pain in my calves that is making walking even a mere two and a half miles a herculean task. When I was nigh on five stone heavier that used to be a regular feature of my day to day life but it was banished with the first stone lost. Now it has come back in spades and yet the fact that I'm still able to comfortably wear my small(er) clothes suggests that the obvious reason - I've regained a bunch of weight - cannot be the case. I do seem to remember that when I had this in the other foot a few years back each physiotherapy session saw incremental improvement but this time it has become considerably worse since the current foot-fiddling giantess was let loose on me plates. The tall one has yet to mention acupuncture but I reckon I might have to push her on the subject when next I see her on New Year's Eve as this really needs to be improved sharpish. Indeed a simple stroll up the road today saw me not only limping like John Thaw but with my face contorted in more pain than it was watching said thespian in A Year in Provence. Woe is me, terrible time.
keresaspa: (Nina looking a tad pertubed)
With DC away to Coleraine, Cliftonville off in dim and distant Ballinamallard and Sport & Leisure Swifts inactive until after Christmas I decided today to take a trip to one of the crappy little grounds dotted around Belfast that make up the Northern Amateur Football League. I had intended to visit the delightfully named Paisley Park on the West Circular Road beside the Highfield estate at the top of the Shankill to take in the spectacle of Albert Foundry clashing with Dunmurry Recreation. It doesn't get more glamorous than that. However I say "intended" because I hadn't banked on a crowd of those running dog, lumpen loyalist morons blocking the roads outside the City Hall again with their unbearably tedious interminable protests over the flying of that bloody flag, doing their best impression of a 1970s National Front demo (Scotland, hurry up and declare independence so as that stinking rag can finally become obsolete once and for all). As their great mates in the filth stood idly by whilst an illegal demonstration blocked the Queen's highway the chances of getting a bus evaporated (all routes bar south Belfast, from where I had come, and the Falls passing the City Hall) and my desire to give as much as a penny in admission money to a loyalist club went with it.

In disappointment I took off at top speed, my sore foot screaming in pain, with the intention of making a mad dash up to Solitude to watch Cliftonville Olympic take on Drumaness Mills in the Intermediate Cup, which was due to kick off at half one. However no sooner had I reached Clifton Street (not really near Cliftonville despite the similar sounding name) when some old geezer came up to enlist my help in pushing his car, which had broken down, off what is a very busy junction and onto the pavement. Well, I say "help" but said old geezer was giving away about seven inches, four stone and thirty years which meant the lion's share of the pushing was done by yours truly with himself little more than a bystander whose hands happened to be placed on the boot of the car. By the time I had fixed his problem it was quarter past one and the possibility of reaching Solitude had gone for a Burton. A good deed is its own reward, my arse!

The only remaining option was to take one of the Fenian taxis up to DC and watch the reserves take on their Coleraine counterparts in the forgotten backwater that is the IFA Reserve League. And so it was. I hadn't been to a reserve game before and suffice to say if I thought the crowds for home games were poor they had nothing on this. If there was twenty people they were lucky. It is often bandied around DC Park when the first team is taking another hiding that there are better players in the reserves but I can happily confirm that there most certainly are not. God help them but they were just awful. The number 11 - a tiny, willowy little boy whose shirt number could easily have also been his age had it not been for the intrusion of one of those black and white tattoo sleeves that are all the rage now - had a good start before fading but the rest were just abominable. It is no word of a lie that had Coleraine had a decent goal poacher they would have scored double figures but as it was they had to settle for just the five with Hugo Batista, a Portuguese winger who decided to swap the bairros of his homeland for the splendour of Bannside, in particularly imperious form. I don't know who that right back was for DC Reserves but Batista gave him such a roasting that he'll need a few hours in an ice bath tonight. If Oran Kearney has any sense he'll have him in the first team PDQ.

I suppose I mustn't grumble really as I still got back to the match after missing out last week and DC Reserves let you in for nothing so all it cost me was the bus fare to the town and the Fenian taxi fare to the ground (fifty pence cheaper than the bus, no less). Still, walking back the seven miles from there to my house with a bad foot was possibly not the smartest idea and I am really getting pig sick of these flag hags and the constant disruption they are causing over their imperialist rag. It needs to end tout suite or else the republican movement needs to organise a response because the law sure as hell aren't going to do anything and there is only so long people can keep following $inn £ein and I Ran Away in rolling over and having their bellies tickled. I knew all that "2012 Our Time Our Place" stuff was a load of marketing crap the minute they unveiled it but thanks to the diamond jubilee, the Apprentice Boys and now this crap 2012 in Belfast has been a hellish year if you are a Fenian. Our time, our place - it has certainly been loyalism's time and the taigs have, as usual, had to know our place as second class citizens throughout. Nothing ever changes.
keresaspa: (Ray Meagher)
Judging by the explosion of pain on the sole of my foot near my heel it looks like plantar fasciitis has made a comeback, only this time in my right foot rather than my left as was the case in 2009. Of course I know exactly what will fix it and that is a few sessions of acupuncture but this place being the bureaucracy it is I can't just make a physiotherapy appointment off my own bat but rather have to go through my bloody GP and wait months before being seen, by which time it might have cleared up on its own (or become so unbearable as to render me disabled). I suppose I could go to accident and emergency and claim to have broken my foot in order to speed the whole process up but knowing those morons they would probably diagnose it as rabies or something. Even then I face the likelihood that a physio would be loathe to try acupuncture and will instead saddle me with weeks of that useless ultrasound crap which alleviates foot pain about as much as vinegar on a paper cut. As much as I like the concept of the NHS why do they feel the need to surround it in so much bloody red tape? It would almost be worth going to one of those strange Chinese medicine shops that offers acupuncture, herbal teas, crank baldness cures, copper rings to go round fegs and kokeshi dolls just to avoid the whole fuss. Too dear for my blood though.

As if I don't have to spend enough time in hospitals without this being visited on my head again. Oy vey!
keresaspa: (Tiger Jeet Singh)
One will often hear particularly strong drink described as "paint stripper" but it never occurred to me that certain crazies might actually drink the stuff and such make it a legally controlled substance only available from certain licensed outlets in north Antrim. Well, that's the only conclusion I can draw after a day spent visiting innumerate seedy hucksters in a vain attempt to procure a vial of the stuff.

Perhaps I should start at the beginning. Several months ago I painted a large wall in my gaff with blue paint. As a result of the paint being dodgy and my long-standing, and seeming unsolvable, damp problem blue wall never dried properly and even yet there are parts of it that are sticky to the touch. As such I resolved to get rid of it and start again and to that end the last time I was in Ballymena I got a tin bottle of jollop to remove said duff paint from a hardware shop closing down sale. Being the procrastination aficionado that I am the tin bottle sat there for several weeks before I finally got stuck in yesterday when, inevitably, it proved to be nowhere near enough for the whole wall. "No problem" I thinks to myself "it should be easy enough to get more". Don't you believe it! The substance is unavailable everywhere and even the possibility of a return to Ballymena to get more is hit on the head as Gardiner's of Harryville has closed it's doors for the last time. So as it stands I am left with an uneven patch of bare plaster surrounded by decaying soggy blue paint and no prospect of fixing it any time this side of doomsday. And to add to the fun whilst I was scraping yesterday I also scraped a chunk of flesh from my left index finger. In itself this would be annoying but old pointy lefty is effectively my computer finger, the one used for scrolling on the mouse and the one that does the vast majority of my typing (pointy righty gets involved occasionally but it's mostly one-fingered) and as such everything computer-related is an even bigger chore than usual. It doesn't help that my laptop is playing funny buggers again, wiping my Solitaire saves as and when it sees fit, something I have finally decided is being done by AVG for some reason. So as a result of all this sulk, pout, upsetting.

Bloody DIY.
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: (Jimmy Edwards)
There is an unwritten law regarding me and the wearing of boots. Obviously it is an unwritten law as I still don't think we have reached the point where the government passes laws relating to one individual's feet, but I digress. If I buy a new pair of boots (as I did around a month ago) I will wear them for a while with two pairs of socks just to let them get the feel and shape of my feet. After a couple of weeks of that the extra pair is discarded and I tramp around happy as a sandboy with the boots officially broken in. Then it happens. About a month in the boots suddenly decide "this smug faced crow with kindling eye needs taught a lesson" and the pain arrives. Suddenly the boots become tighter than a polar bear's arse in a snowstorm then by and by they are looser than Shar Pei's sack and I'm left with more blisters than Alan Sugar has ill-gotten gains, all the while wondering who boots can be simultaneously too big and too small. Were they brand new I would get it but it's always after a month when they should more or less have moulded themselves to the shape of my flippers so what gives? A pox on footwear I say.

Not that I was merely walking round the corner admittedly but rather took my favoured route along the previously discussed Shore Road. One thing caught my eye as I passed the also previously discussed Mount Vernon estate, to wit the UVF murals that decorate the sides of the lovely Ross House, a tenement block with delightful views of the M2 Fortwilliam junction.

Mount Vernon paint job


Nice paint job there, lads. I must confess to not being a huge fan of such examples of wanton vandalism, despite my personal distaste for the UVF, as the paramilitary murals are one of the few things to actually give Belfast any individual character and these days there seems to be any excuse to cover them with those hideous "community murals" in which some old rubbish in a contrived childish style purports to show some grim hellhole like Tiger's Bay or the Bone to be a diverse, all-inclusive paradise rather than the grotty, sectarian concentration camp for the poor that it actually is. I can't say I know who or what was behind this particular attack on an innocent drawing but were I to lay odds on it my money would be on a crowd of yahoos with links to Tommy English from the South-East Antrim Brigade of the UDA reacting in a fit of pique to the inevitable collapse of the Supergrass trial. OK, the world and his wife knows that Mark Haddock has been a bad bastard for years but when a case is built on the testimony of a couple of booze-sodden junkies who by rights should be in the dock alongside Haddock it is hardly a surprise when said case stands up about as well as the chief witnesses themselves do on a Friday night. The big fear now is that, assuming SEA is behind the paint attack, it could usher in the dreaded loyalist feud based on tit for tat attacks. Put it this way, if a group of YCV hoods turn up in Bencrom Park hurling tins of Farrow & Ball at the wall art then it will be bad news for everybody, with the probable exception of Harry Noblett. A matt vinyl slick of a level not seen since the dark (or magnolia) days of ought four could engulf this whole city.

Around the same time I chanced upon a car wash that lay nearby. Of course it is the cliché of commercial rap video producers that hand car washes are by definition highly charged erotic fayre, featuring as they do impossibly shiny muscle cars being suggestively rubbed down by impossibly bottomed bikini clad ladies of dubious repute. Now inevitably the reality is nothing like that as you end up with some old Belfast boilers, bundled up against the cold (what cold?) hurling buckets of water over crappy little Renaults and the like and so it proved as I passed one such establishment on the Shore Road. Except the tableau vivant that was unfolding before my eyes was, to be frank, every bit as enjoyable as anything the makers of naff teenage boy films could come up. So three cheers for the Shore Road boilers who are welcome to buff up my hood any day of the week! Yes, I am a dreadful excuse for a human being.

And to return to my initial point about unwritten laws that need to be written (yes, this is all terribly disjointed but I've been out of practice recently) there really needs to be a rule that anybody ostensibly speaking the English language who uses the word "tranche" should be immediately sentenced to the ramming of a closed fist into their face repeatedly. Using bits of French whilst speaking English in an attempt to look somehow impressive was killed off by Del-Boy in the 80s and the fact that there are still people attempting it (invariably the sort who use several tranches of management-speak as part of their inconsequential babbling) is as good a reason for a bloody good hiding as I've ever heard. And "tableau vivant" doesn't count as the phrase "living table" would make no sense outside of a psychedelic nightmare.

Fin.
keresaspa: (Scrubber Daley)
Yesterday was a day of shifting and hauling umpteen bits of furniture in an ultimately futile attempt to squeeze three newly acquired pieces into our already packed house (two made the cut, one has had to be sent on its merry way). Inevitably today is a day of nagging pains in the shoulders and arms, with the right shoulder pain that my recent bouts of physio alleviated (for a day or two) making a comeback. Let's face it if physio actually worked, rather than serving as a cut-price quick fix, the government would withdraw it immediately and make it only available through Bupa. So ouch then.

One other thing - has anybody else found Google to be almost unusable recently? Every time I try to load the bloody thing it takes forever and often freezes my computer. Or is this another of those things like Internet Explorer that all the cool people have stopped using leaving only idiots like me behind? Either way Google crap or laptop crap?
keresaspa: (Haku)
Minor things that annoy me number 128,580,357 in a series: people who can't queue properly. There are four particular queue foibles that really irk me. The first of these is that old favourite of standing vaguely near the end of a queue but giving no indication whether or not you are in it. If you're back of the queue make it clear by following the existing shape and by not suddenly becoming fascinated by something in the opposite direction, if you're not go and stand somewhere else, you bloody nuisance. The next annoyance is people moving about once they are in a queue. If it's very cold I can bear people stamping their feet on the spot (even though I have yet to see that have any appreciable impact on temperature) but don't start walking backwards and forwards standing on my giant toes just because you are a little bored. Related to this is the queue group, where five or six people stand in a sort of huddle in a queue, blocking everything with their annoying ways. Often the two will be combined if it is a group of teenagers (as it nearly always is, with elderly women the only other section of society to regularly form a queue group) as the boys in the group will giddily run around the girls in a desperate attempt to impress them in that wick way that teenage boys do. All this will be done whilst wearing those stupid bloody jeans that the kids insist on wearing nowadays, the sort that are too tight and yet somehow also too loose simultaneously and thus nearly show off weedy boy arse by sliding down despite also clinging like lycra to scrawny boy legs. Whoever invented them wants horsewhipped! Finally my personal pet hate is when somebody queues on my shoulder. It is a simple concept, folks, stand behind the person in front of you in more or less the same position with maybe up to six inches leverage on either side. Do not stand almost beside me - we're not together and you're not getting in front of me. I'm a wide human being and were I to raise my arms I could conceivably block an entire street so you are not going to sneak past me by being up my hole for news. Wait your bloody turn!

Apologies for that little bit of puce rage my lords, ladies and gentlemen but recent bouts of standing in lines of people have reminded me how much I hate the whole flaming concept. That and the fact that minor annoyances are invariably amplified when one has a cold, especially of the sort that clings to your forehead and gives you aching eye sockets for your trouble. Still let's try to look on the bright side - Odemwingie has signed a new deal and Wigan Athletic can turn their attention to more realistic targets like members of Blackburn Rovers' third team. Nope, the queues thing is still bugging me!
keresaspa: (Signor Rossi)
The good: I switched on the much maligned (by me, anyroad) Football League Show last night more in forlorn hope than anticipation and what did I find? The execrable Lizzie Greenwood-Hughes and her bloody "emalisntexts" slot conspicuous by its absence and not even a word from Manish Boy that "Lizzie will be back next week". So finally somebody at the BBC has listened me. Yup, I'm taking all the credit for this even though the reality is that nobody from Auntie even knows I exist. Now send Mark Clemmit packing and make Leroy Rosenior first choice pundit ahead of Steve Claridge and we might actually have a good programme on our hands.

The bad: Woke up today with a sudden unseasonably sore throat incorporating blood. Not nice. Knowing my luck I'll be needing my tonsils out at a time when the NHS no longer bothers removing them.

The ugly: Ooh didn't think this far ahead. There is no ugly section. Will this do? He used to be in the Workers Revolutionary Party you know!
keresaspa: (Ye olde Harry Secombe)
Remind me if I ever get the notion to paint my gaff again to have a quick rethink. Trying to get rid of streaks whilst getting RSI from a roller, combined with the general pain of trying to lug around 15 stone of filing cabinet makes the whole experience one I would rather have done without. The whole mess was not helped by the fact that I've been getting physio on a bum shoulder recently - the good work there has gone for a burton. It's my own fault of course for packing so much furniture, so many books and CDs and so much general crap into a small area but to fix that I would need to get rid of things and that would never do. And unlike a lot of people who do this when ever I decorate a room and look at my handiwork I never get a feeling of satisfaction but rather one of "the walls are a slightly different colour, big fizz". DIY - you can keep it!
keresaspa: (Evil Timbo)
Very inconsiderate of the organisers to begin the early kick-offs on a Saturday but needs must as there can be nothing more important than seeing the mighty Greece against the titanic South Korea. In truth it was difficult to get terribly excited about this game. There is no rivalry between the two countries and neither of them have a hope in Hell of winning. There were plenty of empty seats and it is little surprise as who outside of the two competing countries could really care about this game (even if there were some nifty Korean sorts in the front rows to enjoy)? Indeed it is due to the determination of both Joao Havelange and Sepp Blatter to expand the World Cup constantly that we end up with a number of these filler games. Still in Otto Rehhagel Greece did at least boast the oldest manager in World Cup, although Jon Champion's attempt to balance that factoid with a dreadful attempt at rehashing the awful "who's on first" routine as a pun on Huh Jung-Moo's name was ill-advised to say the least. As to the game itself there was equally little to get excited about. The Koreans (except the keeper who looked a flapper on the screen) were nippy, although I still find them distasteful after the naked cheating of 2002, whilst Greece were just awful and were epitomised by their defenders lining up like statues for the opening goal. The Greeks only method of attack seemed to be from corners but as a weapon the corner has been pretty much decommissioned these days as everybody knows how to defend them. Hard to believe that this awful Greece side qualified and even harder to believe that it is only six years from their fluke European Championship.

With that done and dusted it was quick as a flash over to the Beeb now that the games are coming thick and fast. BBC cuts seem to be biting in the coverage of this tournament as, every time Lineker queues a piece up, you just know it is going to go wrong. Gabby Logan's bit on England yesterday went tits-up whilst today an interview with Kanu saw his voice altered to incorporate nails on a blackboard. Pleasant! During the handshakes for the actual game the first thing I noticed was how much the Nigerians were dwarfing their opposite numbers. Some of those chaps seemed absolutely huge and you suspect, had an upset been on the cards, that the Argentineans would not have reacted the way they did against Germany in 2006. Nice to see Newcastle's Jonas Gutierrez going from the Championship to the Argentina starting line-up, even if he was in the odd position of right back. Howay the lad! Of course, following my earlier musings Argentina went and scored from a corner but, like the game yesterday, they will wonder how they managed only one goal. Obviously much of the credit has to go to Vincent Enyeama, who was a colossus between the sticks and will surely be playing at a bigger club than Hapoel Tel Aviv next season. Mind you, he needed to on top form as the Nigerian defence was a bit poor, although it was great to see them resurrect the foul throw, something I assumed players grew out of at about seven. Messi gave flashes of what he is capable of but you have to hope that there is better to come from him. The game also confirmed one of my other long-held beliefs about football i.e. whenever a free kick is delayed for a long time it is always a huge anti-climax when taken, as demonstrated by the otherwise nifty Veron in this game. As for how the group will play out comparison between South Korea and Nigeria is difficult on the basis of these games (assuming Argentina will win the group and Greece will finish bottom). The Koreans handily beat a rotten team whilst Nigeria avoided disgrace against a better team so it's hard to know how they will match up with each other. One thing is sure however - Maradona needs to sack his tailor and his hairdresser as both his shiny grey suit and his less shiny grey mullet were far too big for him. Not sure that the beard is quite him either.

Finally apparently England were in action, although you wouldn't have known from the quiet understatement adopted by the media. The build-up coverage provided by ITV had me switching over in disgust at the xenophobia, no mean feat considering my own distaste for much of the American way. What way was that to go on about your masters?! As for the game itself what I saw of it was a decent encounter between an overconfident side that had some of their weaknesses exposed and a half-decent outfit who will definitely fancy a second round spot. My own view of the game was curtailed somewhat by being dragged into attempts to fight the latest infestation to hit my house, this time a slew of bees or wasps (still to be determined) flying into a gap above the kitchen door. In my attempts to kill them by hand one of the bastards decided to fight back and stung me full force in the foot, unleashing a world of hurt for a good few hours afterwards. As a result I was hardly fully focused on Jay DeMerit and the like but still, it was good to see the smug look wiped off Adrian Chiles' arse/face, even if Green was unlucky. That being said I still expect England to win the group as the USA are a pretty good side and they were always going to be a bit of a challenge.

Anyway that ends today's late communication as I must go and nurse my upset foot. Until tomorrow pop-pickers.

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keresaspa

July 2017

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