Friday, 30 April 2010

Mission Of Mercy

Is what GB is on tonight. Taking her Mum to the Hospital to visit her dad. Who has re-wired. Long story and GB will explain if she feels able, I'm sure.

I'm sitting in front of the media centre at home, waiting for Fish and Chips to be brought in by GB at 9.30pm.

Anyway, we're off to Dorset tomorrow. The Premiership being settled, whilst GB and I sample the delights of this place.

As a Liverpool fan, I'm a bit sick about last night. Loyal readers will be aware I have posted many times on here saying "I've had it with Rafa"

The tipping point reached, when he ruined Robbie Keane's career because of his silly ego.

Over the years Rafa has been in charge I've been reminded of a little man with high ambition, little talent tbh and an amazing self-belief in something or other. His deeply-seated emotions (the emotions of a man blagging it badly) drive him to make stupid, irreconcilable and ego- driven decisions. A man who I will be glad to see go.

Please the Lord we get someone a bit better.

A man who recognises the history and tradition of LFC. A man who is a great tactician. A man who can make ordinary footballers into real team players and get them believe in an idea, a sociology, a tradition.

Like a lot of armchair pundits, I have rejected quite a few.

Mário dos Santos Félix Mourinho being the first candidate........because it would be about him and, whilst he's a great guy, I want more down to earth.

Martin O'Neil is the next one on the death list. He's magic, but I think the pressure would be too much for him.

My hope is Roy Hodgson will be asked to have a go. Is he the man for this job ? Is he the man who can perfom a Mission Of Mercy?

I think he might be. Particularly, if it encourages more of this sort of thing.


Thursday, 29 April 2010

The F Factor

Don't you just love a little " Feelgood Factor" now and again?

An evening at this restaurant, where Mr F himself recently sent a film crew. The meal was outstanding - I would highly recommend it.

Then home to the closing stages of a historic victory for Fulham.

That's Roy Hodgson for you.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

When The Levee Breaks!

Tells of a time in America when, instead of the dust bowl, rains fell causing the Mississippi Levee to falter and break, causing death and destruction across a huge area. Unless you believe this couple.

Anyway, as with famine or feast, boom or bust, instead of the dearth/poverty/shortage of football experienced last night with only Bayern v's Lyon on, tonight we have GB's favorite Manager playing up to the Camera in way, only he can. What about that Barcelona Stadium !

Sounds of fighting and a man's voice whining.
Georgina here.

I can see I'm going to have to change my password.

So, a match with plenty of drama.

A soft red card, a plethora of yellows, and histrionics enough to fill half a season - and all in 90 minutes.

And centre stage, of course, looking more like a filmstar than any filmstar known to woman, The Special One.

Breaking the rules by coming out of his technical area and talking pitchside to his players.

Pulling faces and making gestures.

Taking on the world and afraid of noone.

(With one exception).

10 minutes to go, and Barcelona are like an army battering a beseiged castle, whose inhabitants successfully repel them each time.

And Mourhino cannot lose.

If his team are defeated they will have put up a brave fight against impossible odds in the face of terrible injustice.

And if they win, he becomes an even greater legend.

It's 90 minutes now and into injury time.

Barca pushing forward yet again.

Inter defending, working as a team.

Barca even have their keeper up.

Oh no!

Oh yes - disallowed.

I'm a neutral. How come my stomach feels so tight?

One and a half minutes left.

Barca throw in.

Ball's out. Barca corner with just seconds to play.

It over!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Dustbowl Ballads

Are a collection of songs by Woody Guthrie. These heartfelt ballads depict a time in Middle America when things were tough. The 30's. A dearth of rain across many of the mid-western states. People starved and died.

It's HL tonight BTW. GB has been catching up on paperwork.

In our house, we're well-fed fortunately. The only sense of emptiness felt, at the loss of English representatives in the Champions League. Tonight, only Lyon and Bayern Munich to keep our hearts lifted.

Hey ho, better things on the horizon.


Monday, 26 April 2010

Cymru Am Byth

Gareth Bale, it would seem, has the makings of a Spurs legend.

Although he has only scored 2 goals in 15 starts, he has shown increasing poise and flair in recent matches.

Sadly he is not in the running to form part of the 'dream team' I have to come up with who will be playing Brazil in the final of the World Cup.

A challenge set by My Lover a few minutes ago.

So here's my team.

Rob Green in goal.

Glyn Johnson, Wes Brown, Matthew Upson and Ashley Cole at the back from right to left.

David Bentley, Steven Gerrard and Joe Cole in the midfield.

Shaun Wright-Philips, Wayne Rooney and Bobby Zamora up front.

On the bench, Crouch, Walcott, Lampard, J. Hart, James, Terry, Bent, Ferdinand, Baines, King, Neville and Barry.

Like I say - shame we can't find a way to slip Mr Bale into that line-up.

Cymru am byth.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

A Moment Of Passion With Luton Andy

"I'll look at the blog to see what Georgina thought of it", said Luton Andy, in his email to My Lover today.

So I'll tell you.

Firstly, it was a radically different experience to the one I was anticipating.

In many ways.

For one thing the crowd was completely different to one you would see at a football match.

I am struggling to put my finger on quite what the different features of the two demographics are, but my new environment reminded me of my days doing this.

And then there was the pitch. There was so much extra turf around it. And whilst the game was going on, people are playing on the sides, doing warm ups and I don't know what.

There were people loafing at the edges. People running about in daps. Cameramen (or camera operators as the PC police would have it) here, there and everywhere.

They even had people running on with drinks bottles whilst play was going on.

I half expected one of the players to answer a mobile phonecall at some point.

The other thing that astonished me, having only ever seen rugby on the television, with screenshots usually no more than a few men wide, I had not appreciated that for much of the time, most of the pitch is empty, and all the play is happening in a line.

My highlights?
  • Soldiers abseiling from the top of the stands with Cross of St George flags
  • Meeting up with Luton Andy, family and friends beforehand for sausage and mash, arranged to resemble a rugby goalpost, complete with chocolate egg
  • Pre-match and half time entertainment (a step up from The Walkers where people trying to kick a ball through the window of a Wicks shed passed for half-time entertainment)
  • The lush pizza I had on the way home.
  • Seeing Gareth Malone crossing the street
But the weirdest thing of all, the thing I really couldn't get my head around, was that lots of the crowd spent much of the match chatting. About all sorts.

That is what shocked me most.

And when I was talking to Luton Andy at the end, we agreed that Rugby was nice to watch.

But Football is where our passion burns.

A poingnant moment.

We both understood without having to explain.

Friday, 23 April 2010

It's Life Jim, But Not As We Know It!

Tonight sees the old bear starting off as the warm up act but GB following quickly up the rear.

Turns out, whilst we're trolling through our newish media system this evening, on a channel called CBS Action, old re-runs of Star Trek are being run. GB to my (very recent) knowledge, is (it seems) a huge fan. So much so, she recognised Spock's Mum in a heartbeat, and then proceeded to tell me the plot of the episode that was on the screen.

GB then let it slip she was in love with Cap't James T Kirk. Groovy huh?

Suddenly then, I'm in love with a fan of serious telly.

Anyway, She's here now.


He's getting far to fond of posting on here that old bear.

Anyway, I've a surprise for you.

Well more of a shock really.

Tomorrow, when my boys are playing Preston North End, I will be at Twickenham.

Watching this lot and this lot chase the egg shaped ball.

It's Luton Andy's birthday.

It's a ball game Jim - but not as we know it.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Life In The Fast Lane

Is a song by the Eagles. And a very under-stated description of my day.

Its the bear again tonight. I asked GB (because I have a short story to tell) if I could have a go and she said yes (somewhat reluctantly I felt)

Anyway....... we're all here at home........Athletico Madrid on the telly V's the reds. Most of you will know I'm a fan. With the lads one nil down in the first 10 minutes, things aren't going well.

Despite having recently retired from mainstream work, today found me learning more about the Government's new initiative in trying to make sense of the nightmare that has become England's regulated Child Maintenance Payments system.

It's dry stuff readers. The guy doing the training did really well to make arid subject matter light and bright.

This northern guy from Sheffield turns out to be a bang at it Utd supporter. A serious season ticket holder. I asked him what he thought of Kevin Blackwell?

He took the view, and I quote " it's all lump it....and hope. The through-ball, the big centre- forward, elbows in the box"

Kick-Run-Fight. Classic English Footy.

I'm sat here watching GB fall asleep in front of LFC (my team) and thinking much the same thing about Raffa's army.

We'll see ......................... £600 Million indeed !


Tuesday, 20 April 2010

The Fooball Loving Girl's Guide To The Art Of Conversation

Sitting next to me on the settee, watching Inter Milan vs Barcelona, My Lover said;

"Course, you know that Fergie and Mourhino are like that. It's in Fergie's gift to choose who should follow him. They are close friends. Everyone's talking about it"

"That would be everyone on Talk Sport would it?", I asked, raising an eyebrow. "That would be Mike Parry and the gang - The Sun on the radio".

"Not just them - I heard some dude pundit say it", retorted My Lover.

Then quickly changing the subject, he started a discussion about the scandal that is our national stadium.

We talked about how the business model was flawed, not taking sufficient account of the quality issues in relation to the pitch. We agreed that it is an embarrassment that may seriously threaten our reputation as a footballing nation capable of hosting a World Cup.

And all within a 10 minute window.

Who said the art of conversation is dead?

Monday, 19 April 2010

Blowing His Top

Every now and then, life gives you a little reminder of how small and inconsequential we are.

A dramatic act of nature, thousands of miles away, has touched our lives.

And once again we are rendered helpless - like the floods, and the snow.

Even the mightiest are having to make other arrangements.

Talking of volcanoes ..................

Shame he couldn't find a way to stoke the fire in the bellies of his players.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Wordsworth knew a thing or two.

This is HL.

Today was another time out with GB and I, juggling football with the other life. In this case, snaffling wood for the stove and prettifying the Patio. Whilst out wooding, we followed a track road in the car, going back along the route where we saw a large hare yesterday. We went under a narrow bridge (an A road above) full of holiday cars and bikes. As we cleared the bridge, we saw an embankment full of wild flowers fully in bloom. Reds, Pinks, Yellows. A rash of radiance in bright sunlight. We stopped and just looked. Brilliant pickings in a wood followed. (we always argue over which bits to cut with saws, bought from Aldi) Today, a broad mix of various fallen wood. Dry mostly, and easily cut to size in our shed. Back home, GB, a model of sexual modesty played Charlie Dymock on the patio, potting up marigolds for our own, home grown, bit of nature.

In our living room, I watched Arsenal lose any hope they had of winning the Prem this year.

Horses for Courses so to speak.
Anyway, another lovely day in the Cotswold's today although I do feel for the girl. So close, and yet so far in getting to play-off success.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

A Proper Lovely Day

Tonight readers, HL and GB are posting together. HL (Her Lover) is going first and GB (Georgina Best) will respond.

HL's bit

Today saw GB and I, having a time here. GB played glamour model outside new corporate premises whilst I took snaps for the local newspaper. We live on the edge, I can tell you. Anyway, with the radio on in the car, a shared personal device whilst walking around, we kept up to date with, probably, the most remarkable day's football I've witnessed this season. The only thing missing for me, a Liverpool win to make the moment perfect. Our chance on Monday v's The Hammers though.

It's been a proper lovely day.

GB's Bit

It's been a proper lovely day.

I nearly had some new shoes. They were a lush dark pink with a wedge heel. They proved to be faulty, though, so, leaving my lover in the car, I returned them.

When I returned to the car my lover asked me if I wanted the good news or the bad news first.

My disappointment over the shoes did not leave me at my most gracious.

I told him neither.

Characteristically, he told me anyway.

He said Leicester City played a large proportion of their match against Watford with 10 men.

I hoped that was the bad news.

He said the good news was they were 4-1 up.

One more win and we are in the playoffs.

We're going to Wemberley!!

Like we said - it's been a proper lovely day!

Friday, 16 April 2010

You're Never Far From A Foxes Fan

Being something of a very, very minor local celebrity, I was invited to particpate in a panel debate on the radio today.

We were there to discuss last night's television debate between the three main party leaders.

It was a new presenter.

As I entered the studio with my two fellow panelists (a man of the cloth and a hynotherpist), I found myself behind a yellow microphone.

Our host introduced himself and mentioned he had come from BBC Leicester.

My ears pricked up as you can imagine.

"Are you a Leicester City fan?", I asked.

He reached to his right and lifted a...................Leicester City mug.

Lovely !

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Hurry up 'Arry....come on!

Is a song by this lot.

It's HL again this evening. I'm standing in because we've got family (GB's little girl-22 and my little boy-28 round atm.

I wondered what to write about tonight and then I thought about my day. A busy and productive round of keeping house. A task I've always adored.

Today I washed, cooked and listened to more serious commentators than Mr Parry talk about a rare event for Spurs. A fabulous victory over the bloody Arse, their sworn enemy and GB and Junior-Gooner's favorite Prem Side. People are saying it was the Match of the Season. I tend to agree.

100mph football with White Hart Lane claiming 87% of the possession over the last 10 minutes.

Quite rightly, GB and JG are sad about this event but listening to the amazing atmosphere in a certain North London Stadium last night, I feel that maybe, just maybe, Harry might be back next season looking at winning trophies. That'll be two years in a row for southern teams then, if things don't fall apart for Chelsea this weekend.



When I was thinking up stuff for tonight's blog, I looked for inspiration on You Tube. Nothing
suggested itself but I thought this was quite heartwarming as a most watched video ?

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Happy Retirement

Is what the card said as I left work last week. Mixed feelings about the whole issue for the old bear, for it is he tonight.

GB's still ensconced with this stuff.

Mixed feelings because having worked every day of my life since I was 16, stopping doing it is quite a change of circumstance.

Today found me doing the following things

Clean House

Do washing

Field Emails

All, whilst listening to this silly ass.

Walk a mile to the local supermarket, buy ingredients to make this and this and this.

Make said items after walking a mile back home.

And find out this, which, despite what this bloke says, is a public scandal.

It's probably Ken Bates' fault!


Monday, 12 April 2010

Sweet Dreams

What position do you sleep in in bed?

I favour lying on my right hand side, with my knees bent and legs curled up a bit.

Sometimes I lie flat on my back.

Other times I cuddle up to My Lover.

And I sleep well pretty much.

Bed is a haven. Somewhere to feel safe.

It's also the place where your head is alone with itself.

So I guess sleeping peacefully is a consequence of having a pretty clear conscience.

I wonder if certain others can say the same.

Or for that matter, lie straight in bed.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

The "WOW" Factor

I've experienced the "WOW!!" factor today.

Not in any frivolous way.

But in an "I'm not worthy" sort of way.

A moment when I stood back and looked in admiration at none other than Avram Grant.

There is the fantastic FA Cup Semi-final win today for a start.

A battle in which, as we all know, the adversaries have been far more than simply another football team.

Staring in the face of financial ruin.

The loss of players and management staff.

And through the blizzard Avram Grant has led his troops, like a military hero.

It was an article in The Telegraph, however, with an account of where he draws his inspiration, that particularly moved me.

I anyone ever asked me to name the top 3 people in football I would like to meet, he would definitely be one of them.

He is an inspiration.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Never Mind The B******s Here Comes Steve McClaren

"McClaren" seems to be the name on everyone's lips today.

One, the erstwhile controversial music impresario Malcolm McClaren.

Now amongst friends at the great rock concert in the sky.

The other, Steve McClaren, whom, it seems, we all misjudged.

Could it be another transformation on the scale Beckham managed?

What separates them, of course, is that if David Beckham had been standing beneath that umbrella, he would have managed to look gorgeous.

Whereas somehow you can't imagine the same would be said if Steve McClaren had replaced Becks in as the "face" of Armani.

And if you did imagine that, you would almost certainly wish that image was not in your head.

Wouldn't you?

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Heading For A Sticky End?

They're good aren't they?

The Barcelona boys.

You can't fail to be impressed by their skills and the talent of Mr Messi.

Although, without wishing to be accused of sour grapes, I do wonder how someone who wears suits at least 2 sizes too small for him can avoid coming to anything other than a sticky end.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Spooks And Spirits

It's wall to wall football here these days.

Everton v West Ham today.

A good match, although at times you feel as if West Ham is a team with it's head hanging.

Confidence is an issue I would say.

And my interpretation of Zola's body language is that he is part of that.

He doesn't look convinced.

And if he isn't sure, how can be expect his team to believe in themselves?

Time to seek out that elusive team spirit and exorcise those spooks.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

A girl in the Crowd

Its the old bear tonight. GB's ensconced here. My boy is still staying with us in the cave.

Me and him have been having cook-offs; GB in culinary heaven.

Today, we've been here with my Mum. However. on the way to Bath in the car (quite bizarrely I thought) GB suggested we sang hymns, to see if we remembered any of the words from Easter times gone past.

First kick of the match saw GB singing " there is a green hill far away" to which (because I was both a choir-boy and a member of the Armed Forces) I sang the entire refrain........including the "for he's a jolly good fellow" retort at the end.

Surprisingly perhaps, GB finished the sacred piece with me and we laughed like only daft lovers can.

It was then I realised why she's become so taken with football.

Its because She likes a crowd who sings. She's a joiner-in. She knows all the dirty words. She's a fan

Me, I usually only observe. My sense of self hood threatened by intense displays of emotion, so I watch and make comment.

I envy her the joy of being involved.

We've had a real god day then..............unlike this lot. Probably the decider ?


Friday, 2 April 2010

Ol' Blue Eyes Is Back

"Ol' Blue Eyes Is Back"..........

.......was the title I finally settled on for this post.

Alternative suggestions offered by My Lover in creative mode were;

"Howard's Way."


"Howard's No Coward."

Steven Howard, out since January with an injury, back and in courageous form.

West Bromwich Albion are a good team, in form, and played well.

Leicester played with shape and tenacity.

But they weren't able to capitalise on opportunities and turn effort into goals.

At times they simply did not have enough pace and fizz.

And they are missing their star striker.

We've had a bad run recently, but despite tonight's defeat, I still think we have a realistic chance of making the playoffs.

Finger's crossed eh?