Tuesday, 25 March 2008


I have owned my flat for three years but I haven't decorated it until now. The reason? I want to sell it. There's something perverse about the whole idea of making it nice for the next person especially when I'm pretty sure they'll want to cnahge it all anyway. Or maybe they'll be like me and only change it when they're ready to move.

I decorate like I do everything. Rather than focussing on one thing I flit from job to job and room to room - painting, scraping, filling, varnishing, caulking. All of it with a metaphorical cowboy hat on.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

100 up

Yesterday saw Spurs score their hundredth goal of the season at White Hart Lane (and their hundredth and first). The 2-0 win over Portsmouth was tinged with disappointment in a way. A visit to the Lane these days comes with the anticipation of a 7 or 8 goal thriller. In fact there have been nearly 20 more goals at the Lane than at any other ground this season. Wednesday's 4-4 with Chelsea had the boy on the verge of heart failure and it was as much as I could do to stop myself from uttering shameful curse words. This, of course, would not be appropriate at a football ground. They say that being a Spurs fan is the most stressful but, despite all this, I'd sooner see a 4-4 than a nil-nil and I'd much rather see us win 6-4 than 2-0. And I'd definitely rather experience the dreaded Spurs inconsistency than the consistent losing that Derby fans have had to endure this season.

Monday, 17 March 2008


Depressed by the Haditha documentary on More 4 and follow up reading online and then grossed out by some horrible cheese related stuff I thought 'I need to take my mind of this' so I typed 'happy' into Google and this is what I got. Not sure it cheers me up really.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Bantam Wet

Feeling a bit down and nothing but work on my to do list I impulsively decided to take myself down to Valley Parade yesterday to see Bradford City play -second from bottom of league two-Mansfield. I don't know why Bradford are called the Bantams but I do know that they were the first winners of the current FA cup trophy (1911) and that the trophy itself was made in Bradford. I also know that Valley Parade was the venue of the Premier League's fastest ever goal scored by...Ledley King of all people in only 10 seconds.

I was soaked from fine, extra wet rain by the time I'd got there and installed myself in the 'noisy bit'. A dour performance and a 2-1 defeat didn't cheer me up much I have to say. However, a few other things caught my bar room anthropologist's eye and they made me glad I was there.
The first thing you might just be able to make out if you look over the shoulders of the teeming hoards of Mansfield fans in the TL Dallas stand is the dome of a mosque which, set as it is amongst the old mill buildings and workers' cottages, provides a stunning contrast and hints at all sorts of things about geography and history.
This notice I saw at half time whilst trying to put scalding mince in my mouth. If you can't read it all, under the actual vacancies advertised some Bradford wag has put 'fans'. To be fair, Bradford have the best support in League 2 and yesterday's attendance was around 13,500 which isn't far off the likes of Blackburn, Wigan and Boro. The buoyant attendances are in no small part due to the special offer of £110 season tickets (if 10,000 were sold). Next season it's buy one, get one free at £150(if 9,000 are sold. These season tickets are transferable so I may well get one. The only thing holding me back at the moment is what is Spurs got Bradford in the cup?

The final thing that really made me smile was the way all the people at the far end of the stand on the right of this picture. The rain teemed down at around 45 degree right in their faces but they all stayed where they were and wore these daft rain mac things. That would be fair enough if it was packed out but there were 10,000 spare seats and at least half of them were accessible and under cover. It's funny how compliant we are- their ticket had a seat number on it so that's where they were going to sit.
The only other game I saw at Valley Parade was 0-0. Maybe I should avoid the place; I could be their source of bad luck. They might just be crap but I hope not- they're a good honest Yorkshire club and I'm already beginning to see them as my second club.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Talking of pies

You'd get a funny look in the US if you asked for a pasty at a football match. Apparently they are nipple covers, I think like the one Janet Jackson wore. A quick bit of research (honestly your honour) revealed that they are favoured by women who want to get an all over tan. It got me thinking about words that are different in the US. Some of them make sense like 'trunk' for 'boot' or even words like 'pussy' which is like 'weed' or 'wimp'. Some are strange though: How did 'vest' get from inside other clothes to outside in its journey across the Atlantic? And how did 'fanny' move from front to back?

Someone has compiled a list on wikipedia. It actually makes for an interesting diversion. Even though most people in the UK will be familiar with these I like the way it's written all seriously by some suspender wearning nerd. (Link)


I love pies. There's something about the combination of pastry and steaming minced cow lips (and more) that not only stimulates my taste buds but also gives me a much more profound sense of well being. Like virtually everything else that's edible that I actually like though, pies are undoubtedly bad for me. I reckon that if I deducted all the pies I'd ever eaten from all food that I've eaten I'd be a stone lighter and my cholesterol would be significantly lower.

I have just been to the supermarket to get food for the next four days. I went at a good time for my wallet because I wasn't hungry. The problem is that now, like a pregnant woman or a vampire, there's only one thing that will satiate me and I didn't buy any.

Yorkshire is a place where pies look like pies. In the Beano or Dandy when I was a kid a pie was round with a hole in the top. Actual pies didn't look anything like that. It was something of a revelation when I discovered that they look like that up here. Just seeing them lined up in a local pie shop evoked feelings of comfort and nostalgia.

My girl watched the boy eat a Cornish pasty at the West Ham game on Sunday and I could see her momentarily switch here drooling from Berbatov to the pie. She has since been learning how to make pasties herself. Well, she's been watching 'How to' videos online. It's amazing really: not ten years ago you'd have to either buy a book or phone an elderly relative and, pen in hand and phone clamped in the crook of the neck, write down a recipe that would turn out rubbish anyway.

Even though these things are essentially bad for us I still feel a sense of pride that the boy likes pies as much as I do. It's kind of like supporting Spurs really. I want him to be healthy and happy but if he was an Ar5ena1 supporting fruit freak I'd probably sell him on the internet and get another one. It reminds me of the Philip Larkin poem: 'This be the verse'. (No offense Mum!)

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

West Sham

Credit where credit's due: West Ham got stuffed at White Hart Lane on Sunday but even at 2-0 they were giving it a bit of a go with the support. God knows how they find the enthusiasm after seeing (at that stage ) ten goals go in without reply but they're cheeky cockney chappies for sure and mustered it from somewhere. " You're shit cos it's not 4-0" they sang. How they must have laughed when it was 4-0! By a process of deduction I ascertain that they now acknowledge we are the opposite of shit!

It makes me laugh how much a lot of their supporters despise Tottenham and in return all they get is a collective "ahh, that's sweet" and a shrug of the shoulders. The bit of me that entertains schadenfreude will enjoy their collapsing season and I hereby predict that the mighty Spurs will make up the points gap with them and finish just in the top half of the table.

Friday, 7 March 2008

EMO gripe

Look, I don't pretend to know what it actually means to be one of these so called EMOs but I kinda thought it was a bit like being a Mod, Punk, Rocker or whatever. Seems though that it's much more about self obsessed 'I got it so bad' whiney introverted narcissistic bollocks. What we need is another war then these miserable, spoilt little gits would have something to moan about...rant, rave, old people noises ad infinitum.

Look at the link that inspired this rage- these things represent what they are all about apparently. http://www.zwani.com/graphics/emo/?page=2

zwani.com myspace graphic comments

If man was meant to fly

This is pretty much what happened to me when I flew back from Poland a couple of weeks ago. From now on I walk everywhere.


Following on from my post about superstition below, I feel that I have really jinxed things. I applied for UEFA cup final tickets this week and encouraged Spurs mate and my girl to do same. I think Spurs mate was a bit miffed when he found out that the final is on a Wednesday after he applied for his as he works in London on Wednesday evenings. The whole thing is a Euro wide ballot so we probably won't get them anyway. If I do I will take the boy but it's very unlikely that Spurs will be there after last night's performance.

Spurs have played 59 European games at WHL. They had lost only 2 of these prior to last night. I had seen them both. Once it was Barca who played like animals and got a flukey goal that was down to a mistake by Ray Clemence. The other was Getafe this season which was also Martin Jol's last game (where he cried when all the fans sang 'Stand up for Martin Jol.' That still brings a tear to my eye though not as bad as Noel's Christmas presents!)

I really felt that we could do it but PSV were just too good and we were poor. Gilberto's debut was a disaster. He fits perfectly the old joke about being Spurs' perfect left back: He should always be left back in the changing room. The return leg could be great but I think not.

On a brighter note I enjoyed reading Megson's comments about the officials during Bolton's game last night. His vitriol knew no bounds as he tongue lashed the 4th official by calling him a ... doughnut.

"The rules are if you handle outside the box you get sent off. Patricio got both hands on the ball," said Megson. "As for the fourth official, he is a doughnut. He did not know the rules."
"You are allowed to stand up and try to work on behalf of your football club," explained Megson. "You don't have to sit down like a dummy all the time.
"He didn't know the rules, so we got him a copy, but it still didn't seem to matter."

I think we should encourage more of this. Send players off for swearing but encourage them to vent their spleens with playground or Edwardian chastisements:
" Rooney you smell and you look like my bum you big melon head."
"I say steady on, that was a tad caddish what?"

Not only would it make them better role models but you simultaneously stop offending lip reading Match of the Day viewers.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Stephen Hawking

I watched a show about him last night. It blended a potted biography with elements of his work towards a universal theory of everything and what happened from the moment of the big bang and all that. I really tried to take it in but the question: 'How do you know?' persistently echoed in my brain. His metallic voice (which, also incredibly, he now controls with just one muscle in his cheek) kept saying things about how he proved stuff about black holes and how he was glad the Pope didn't realise he was trying to explain the creation of the Universe. I keep wondering whether it could all be a big, emperor's new clothes type con. Maybe all the physicists in the world read this mind boggling though strangely credible quantum stuff and none of them has the guts to say...'Hang on a minute; you don't really know what happened 13.6 billion years ago do you?' Or maybe they just think 'I don't want to be the one to say the wheelchair guy has got it wrong.'

Whatever the case and whatever the depths of my ignorance I'd still like someone to sit me down and explain what was there before the universe and how infinite time and space can be possible. Infinity keeps me awake at night.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Earth and bumps

Painful trip today. Yeah, we made changes. Yeah, we were 'hung over'. But, man, it was embarrassing. 4-1 despite all the rituals. Maybe Ramos got a call just before kick off. Maybe the 'lucky rabbit poo' got lost somehow. By someone, I don't know who. Defensively Spurs just weren't up to it. Birmingham deserved it: they played better, they worked harder and they didn't have to play in yellow. Good luck to them. I mean that as it goes because from the moment we arrived at the car park we talked to an endless stream of chirpy, friendly brummies who chatted about the game and gave us directions to the ground.

The ground itself was like they used to be in the old days. All higgledy piggledy stands of different shapes and sizes. The boy rates the pies as: 'Better than Bolton.' which is actually some accolade. Even though they put us right in a big draft and I came away chilled to my bones, I like it there.