Sunday, 31 May 2009

White Hart Lane

This week I have been to Wales, London and places near to me in the grim north.

Here are a few photos from our visit to the Lane on Friday. I know the adulation only perpetuates the prima donna arrogance of the players but I can't help myself. I loved the tour. The snippets of info from the guides and the ability to sit in Harry's chair, on Ledley's bench seat in the changing room and at the mike in the press conference room made it 11 quid well worth spending. Typically, my girl tried to get more than she paid for and was told off twice. Once for going on to the pitch (mercifully NOT in the style of Erica Roe) and secondly for sneaking into the toilets in the changing rooms. Her verdict on that was 'urrggghhh, it smells really bad.' This may be because the only toiletry products in sight were on the wall, squirty Head and Shoulders containers. If we do ever make the stupidly named Champions' league maybe they'll up the quality and take a leaf out of Chelski's book and install lockers in the changing rooms. Apparently in these they have a system where aftershave is sprayed in a mist on the players as they open their locker doors.

Interesting facts:

  • Spurs have the only 11 man plunge bath left in the League
  • We had Champions' league standard lights fitted last summer at a cost of 12 million quid
  • The original brass cockerel has dents in it where Gazza shot at it the week before scoring against Les Arses without a boot on
  • The away dressing room has a low ceiling, poor lighting, no board, not tables and rubbish showers. All of this is deliberately unsporting
  • Arse Wenger once complained that his match side seat wasn't heated

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Babel fish

I found the 'Google translate' widget earlier (see the sidebar on the right) and have been fiddling with it. I tried translating everything into Japanese but was disappointed to discover that I must be lacking the appropriate scripts on my PC as it came up non- japanesey gobbledygook. Next I tried French which read pretty well as far as my own French skills could tell. I then went to the Google translation language tools and translated part of it back into English. Most amusing. It instantly reminded me of 'Everything is illuminated' which features the prose of a very earnest Ukrainian who is writing in English with a little too much help from a thesaurus.

I used the post below for my experiment. This is how the last two paragraphs came out in French:

Je viens de recevoir un appel. Je me suis arrêté et le sifflement agaçant bourdonnement dans un mode assez longtemps pour aller "uh huh" un peu de temps et d'interpréter les grandes Yorkshire du mécanicien qui a dit quelque chose dans le sens de: «tout vérifié, rien de vraiment mauvais, à tous, la direction et les freins sont fins, il a juste besoin de suivi adapté, nous avons fait en un rien de temps et vous pouvez payer quand vous venez en service pour votre prochain, c'est la transformation de cette peine une heure "

Je suis un peu peur que si je cesse d'être positif à tout moment avant que je prends la voiture que je vais être sur le point de route lorsque l'un des mécaniciens de crier "s'accrocher mate, je ne vois vraiment important et cher chose pendaison de l'arrière de votre voiture ... "

Looks cool huh?

Then this is how it translated back:

I just received a call. I stopped annoying hiss and buzz in a way long enough to go "uh huh" a few times and to interpret the broad Yorkshire engineer who said something along the lines of: "all checked, nothing really bad at all, the direction and the brakes are fine, it just needs to be appropriate follow-up, we have no time and you can pay when you come for your next service is the transformation of this penalty one hour "

I am a little afraid that if I cease to be positive at any time before I take the car I'll be on the road when one of the mechanics shouting "hang mate, I do really important and expensive thing hanging from the rear of your car ... "

I can see many many wasted hours ahead of me doing this!

The power of positive thinking

Normally when I identify a problem with my car it is with dread that I take it to the garage. I know that it's going to be costly and that even if I get an estimate of the cost it'll be a 50 quid or more than I was expecting. This morning though I took my car in and as I was driving(through genuinely torrential rain that only seems to fall round where I live) I found myself whistling and smiling rather than dreading. I have no idea what had put me in such a positive frame of mind but it continued into the greasy garage office, through the rain to the station, on the train to work and up the hill through the light rain that falls everywhere else.

I just got a call. I stopped whistling and humming in an irritating fashion long enough to go 'uh huh' a few times and interpret the broad Yorkshire of the mechanic who said something along the lines of:"all checked, nothing really wrong at all, the steering and brakes are fine, it just needs tracking adjusted, we'll have it done in no time and you can pay us when you come in for your next service- it's hardly worth processing this one"

I'm a bit worried that if I stop being positive at any time before I pick the car up that I'll just be about to drive away when one of the mechanics will shout "hang on mate, I can see a really important and expensive thing hanging off the back of your car..."

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Carpe Diem Innit

This is the best version.

Did you know?

A little US in bias but fascinating all the same.

Monday, 18 May 2009

champagne superwa***r

I still haven't worked out whether I want us to get the Europa League spot. On the one hand it'd be an amazing way to mark then end of Harry Redknapp's first season, especially after the first 8 games under Ramos. On the other, it'd be good not to get embroiled in the mess that is the poor cousin to the notoriously misnamed Champions' League. Either way it's probably academic as Fulham are on a roll and play the toffees who'll no doubt have one (collective) eye on the FA Cup and we play Liverpool who have nothing but frustration to keep them occupied after losing out to Man United.

The blue half of Manchester was at White Hart Lane on Saturday and I was glad it wasn't a decent team. The 2-1 scoreline was about right and, although Keane and Pav were like those uncoordinated people you get at half time who have won a competition that allows them to try to score but they can't because they're pants, a few players put in a decent shift.

From the back of the Paxton we couldn't work out who was on the end of some barracking from Park Lane and Shelf but this (from the Mirror) explained all:

Oasis' Liam Gallagher laid into Tottenham Hotspur supporters at White Hart Lane on Saturday (May 16), as the team played his beloved Manchester City.Spurs fans infuriated the Oasis singer by chanting "You're just a shit Chas & Dave" at him early on in the match. In response Gallagher, who was watching the game from an executive box alongside his elder brother Paul, taunted the home supporters by flicking his middle finger and V-signs at them, forcing the club's security step in and force him back to his seat.The Spurs fans had the last laugh though, beating Man City 2-1 on the day

Thursday, 14 May 2009

As a woman of the etiquette

Whatever you do, don't look at the picture below if you're easily offended or grossed out. It's another first rate effort from . To be honest I'm surprised it hasn't featured on Dragon's Den. When I was kid I was helping my mum clean out some old stuff in our loft. I came across an old metal tin and inside it was a pipe with pump attachment. It actually looked quite expensive and there were detailed, though yellowed and largely unreadable, instructions inside the lid. I picked it up and started doing all the obvious things a 10 year old boy would do: I stuck it in my ear, pretended it was a snorkle and other types of breathing apparatus, squeezed the ball thing so that air went in my face. 'What is it?' I asked, unaware that the picture of angelic innocence would forever and from that moment forward be wiped from my face.

'It was your great grandmother's. ' said my mum, 'It's called a saline douche. They used them in the old days to clean out their private areas after they had been intimate with their husbands.'

This isn't much more than a fancy version of that as far as I can make out

I looked up Leukorrhoea. I wish I hadn't. That certainly stopped my chuckling I can tell you.
I notice the 'AGENT WANTED' at the bottom. I don't think I'll apply.


I'm watching the Leeds v Millwall play off semi final second leg. As I type 77 mins have gone and it's 1-1 on the night with Millwall leading 2-1 overall. Sorry if that's dull but context is everything. The TV people are delighting in frequent shots of gutted looking Leeds fans, the pain of another year in league division three (in old money) looming large. I just noticed that my neck is hurting and I realise that it's because I saw what I thought was a really nasty injury to a Millwall player. He got clattered and as the camera zoomed in all you could see was his motionless body and his wide open eyes staring blankly towards the screen. I honestly thought he was dead. It really did send both a metaphorical , and it would seem actual, chill down my spine and it's had a physical impact on my neck. He eventually got up and seemed fine but it hasn't made my neck any better. I'm beginning to see how Munchhausen's syndrome might work.

On another note, it's odd watching a game where you'd love both teams to lose.

A better class of vandal

I went for a walk up Stoodley Pike the other day. As I huffed and puffed my way up the hill that just got higher and steeper, trudging through the boggy, sheep-shite laden heather and peat I realised why it had been 2 years since I'd been there. I mentioned its history before (see here)and how impressed I was with the graffiti. I didn't notice this bit last time though so the second weekend stroll/ death march was worth it I guess. If you can't read it in the photo it says: Miss B Cowan July 1930. I just love the primness of it. There's even a full stop carved into the rock after Miss Cowan's initial. There's evidence that education standards were higher in those days. I wonder if she's still alive.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009


I often read what this guy has to say about teaching. This one made me laugh out loud. a) because it's inherently funny and enough to make you squirm for him and b) it reminds me of similar experiences teaching 15 year olds at an all girls school even before I was fully qualified (and still looked quite young). They would deliberately drop pencils and rubbers on the floor and try to get my attention while they made a big deal about bending over and picking it up, all eye lashes and thrust out breasts (at least that what I figured as I was doing my best to make sure I looked at the ceiling or out the window). They would ask me to do things like sing a song or come round for dinner or take them out just to see how I would react (answer: bright red face, sweaty palms and a pathetic bumbling 'don't be so stupid').

I have to say that was pretty much the worst teaching experience I ever had (apart form the Mexican lad with the exploding face and no short term memory but I try not to think about that).

"Brilliant Tits"
studentteacher83 @ Tuesday, 21. Apr, 2009 – 19:48:34
Working with teenage girls is all too frequently a terrifying experience. I find a policy of don't-go-within-three-yards-of-them works quite well most of the time.
As a teacher you have to use praise alot, though it takes a time to get it down to a fine art as when I praised one of my pupils for working so well they called me a suck-up, but that's another story. I have several stampers for giving my pupils messages of praise, one of which is personalised and reads 'Mr **** says Brilliant' with some stars in the middle. I'm quite pleased with it and my pupils love getting it stamped in their books, even great big year eleven boys.
I was going round stamping some books during my year ten lesson and one of the girls asked if she could stamp her own book. That's fine by me but after I turned my back for a second to check another pupil's work I soon regretted it. When I look at the girl again she's only gone and stamped her nipples, as in on her school shirt, not her actual nipples. At least I assume not, I wasn't about to check. To say I was horrified is an understatement on a par with standing at the South Pole and saying it's a bit chilly.
Imagine now - but not too much - how that must have looked, a girl walking around with 'Mr **** says Brilliant' on her tits.
My own, slightly paranoid, view is that it made it look like I was giving her breasts a seal of approval, kind of like a highly perverted version of a Quality Standard for meat. It wasn't like it was late in the day, there were still three lessons to go, plus break and lunchtimes. She didn't even have a jumper to put on over the top. So numerous other teachers would have seen it, and that's before she gets home. That'll give her mum a fright when she does the laundry. I wouldn't imagine stamper ink comes out too well either.
I'm sticking to using my smiley face stamper from now on.

Monday, 11 May 2009

bag lady

Normally I don't like the "funny" stuff I get emailed from colleagues, especially the ones that say 'forward this to 10 people or you will die". However, I could watch stuff like this all day. I want to be like her when I grow up.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Wilson Palacios

Just read this. Redknapp's comment at the end says it all really. Things like this are always very sad but the thing about him waiting with his suitcase because he didn't want to wake the manager hits such a poignant note it makes me want to cry.

Tottenham's goalless draw at Everton was overshadowed by the tragedy that has hit their midfielder Wilson Palacios, following the discovery of a body believed to be that of his kidnapped younger brother.
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp confirmed Palacios had flown home to Honduras following the apparent death of his teenage brother Edwin, who had been kidnapped in 2007 and held to ransom.
Palacios, a £14million signing from Wigan in January, left the Spurs team hotel in Liverpool at 7am ahead of their 0-0 draw with Everton, when news filtered through from his homeland that his brother's body had been found.
Redknapp said: "The lad had heard from his family at about one in the morning what had happened, and his brothers I believe have identified the body.
"But he sat around the hotel lobby with his case packed until 7am because he didn't want to wake me.
"I'm amazed with him. But we organised for him to be driven back to London so he could get a flight home.
"Things like that bring everything into focus. I believe the boy had been kidnapped and a ransom had been paid but he had not been released."
Spurs' point keeps them in the hunt for seventh place in the Premier League, but Redknapp was more concerned with Palacios.
He said: "You couldn't wish for a more calm and likeable lad, football is not really that important after this."

tribal chants

I haven't had time to comment on the 5-2 defeat at Old Trafford nor the limp win at the Lane against the Baggies nor today's even limper 0-0 versus the Toffees. Suffice to say that we'll just miss out on that Europa league spot and that's probably a good thing. I hope Fulham get it and we can finish above West Sham. As I said much earlier in the season, I'd have taken one place above the relegation zone after the start we had so wherever we finish will be a bonus. I could have gone on about Howard Webb's pathetic decision at Old Trafford or I could have ranted about Drogba's outburst on Wednesday night and the likelihood of his getting away without much punishment but, you know, it doesn't seem worth it. The season's over for me now and I'm already getting those close season blues. To try to cheer myself up I looked at some football chants and found this great video entitled Die besten Fangesänge der Welt. It's gratifying to see the Spurs in this random German top ten with the spine tingling 'Oh when the Spurs...' but the best is the first one from a bunch of nutty Japanese supporters who follow Yamagata. It's a shame they rip off a Chelski song but it's forgivable when you see the choreography and realise that the words are only a vague approximation of English.

I've been on a bit of a downer this week (and I am sorry for being moody and intolerable- this is my public apology honey) but things like this definitely help raise the spirits.

Yamagata are now my second club.