Thursday, 28 January 2010

street art

The boy's doing a project on street art- he showed me some stuff that I quite liked and it all ended up very complicated with Banksy Christmas presents and a trip to the world's smallest art gallery (it's nothing more than a corner shop window in Harrogate- at least that's how it seems until you marvel at the two whole rooms they have behind the counter). Anyway I read all this posturing up-their-own-arses stuff from Banksy, people pretending to be Banksy, some Brazilian twins (forget their names), this bloke from Essex who leaves 'art' on cardboard boxes, a guy from Barcelona who calls himself 'sixeart' and others and felt a bit disappointed really. Banksy is, thus far, the biggest sell out though. £9000 for a quick spray with a stencil? Cheeky capitalist pig. Having said that, I can't help liking his lines and visual gags, especially the ones at the expense of the police.Before they realise that they could actually become very very rich these guys go on about using the landscape. To that end I submit a favourite bit of street art- the spots on the trees that some smart arse decorated on the Southbank last summer were full of graffiti - mostly it was 'Lopez este en Inglitterra!!!!' but some of it was worth trawling through all the crap for: "my mum has pants in this material". I have no idea if the point of them was for this- I know I looked it up and read stuff but I think my short term memory made a few judgement calls about priorities around that time.

The above is my own attempt at street art. I spotted the random yellow line and installed the boy. I hope to return to North Wales this summer so that I can collect him (and my healthy commission)

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Stress level

I told myself before the game that it didn't matter. I told myself that league position was more important. BUT the FA cup always gets you in the end and I sat there pointlessly shouting at the screen, twiddling my thumbs and trying to keep my blood pressure down. Watching live for some reason is easiest. When you're at a game defeat is much easier to deal with, the match passes quicker and control over internal organs is greater. Watching on TV is much more stressful for some reason. I bet more people have heart attacks watching at home than they do at actual games. It's even worse on the radio. perhaps it's something to do with the effort put into perception and imagination. At the ground you have the whole pitch and get a feel for the ebb and flow. On TV you only see a window; you can't see the player just off screen who is going to comfortably make that crucial tackle. On the radio you imagine it all, listen to the crowd, listen to the intonation of the commentator and as such your mind's eye puts you in a permanent state of anxiety. I always complain about commentators who are distracting because they say 'errr' or 'you know' too much but perhaps that is a deliberate ploy to stop their listeners dropping dead at the wheel while listening to the match on their way home from work.

I knew that Leeds would get a last second equalizer last night. It didn't stop me from feeling sick about it when Beckford's pen hit the back of the net. Occasionally I allowed myself to get absorbed in what was actually a fantastic cup tie but then frustration kicked back in as I realised that by not burying any of the many chances (including a penalty- that's four misses in a row for Defoe) we would 'do a Spurs'. I'll probably go to the replay just to avoid the anxiety of watching on TV or listening on the radio.

After the game I thought I deserved some cheering up so I went in search of sweet things from the 'treat cupboard'. After much deliberation I settled on two chunks of Toblerone and a long chewy sweet called a 'stinger' that I'd put in the fridge earlier. I had tried to eat one a few days before (possibly after the Liverpool game) but found my teeth and jaw weren't up to it. On that occasion the thing had ended up about eight foot long as I pulled it in to ever thinner strands. The fridge thing worked. I broke a piece off the Stinger and chewed away almost contentedly while 'The Wire' whirred into life on the PS3. As the opening scene unfolded I threw caution to the wind (or with gay abandon as it was when I was a kid) and bent the Stinger back to snap off a massive chunk. Before I knew it this thing exploded in my hands and pieces of sharp chew were over my jumper, the chair and in my hair. I got up and looked in the mirror. A small sliver had embedded itself in my forehead just above my eye-brow. As I pulled it out it actually drew blood. An inch lower and I could have been in hospital fighting to keep my eye, surrounded by disbelieving doctors muttering about how if I'd been ten the social services would have been called ages ago.

I ate the bit I pulled out of my head. I don't think I would have done if it had gone in my eye.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Bad behaviour pays

I read the following article with interest for a number of reasons. Firstly Supersport United are the team to beat in the ABSA prem but I went and chose Kaizer Chiefs when I was in SA. Chiefs have climbed the table since I was there so actually having abetter season than Spurs (now that we dropped points v Hull and let 'pool win on Wed night). Supersport are top though and play some decent football. I had no idea there was such a strong link between Spurs and Supersport.

The second thing that caught my eye was the bit at the bottom about how the project is funded. There's something wrong there somewhere but I can't seem to put my finger on it. Robbie Keane takes a whole bunch of team mates to Ireland for a "golf weekend" just before Christmas and gets two weeks wages fine. "To be sure, it's ok," he says, "We did it for yer orphans in Africa". I'm glad the money goes there but what if they all start behaving themselves?

SuperSport United, our South African academy partner, made a special delivery on behalf of the Club to the SOS Children's Village in Rustenburg, South Africa, earlier this month.
The delivery of education packs, including dictionaries and stationary, was part of our ongoing support for the SOS Children's Village. The packs were hand-delivered by a number of the SuperSport United first team in time for the start of the new school term.
SOS Children has been our global charity partner since 2007 and has helped fund and construct the charity's orphan village in Rustenburg, South Africa, including the development of the Tottenham Hotspur House.
The 'Spurs House', which is uniquely funded by monies received from players' fines, now provides orphaned children in Rustenburg with a family and an SOS mother they can call their own.
Over 78,000 orphaned and abandoned children are cared for by SOS mothers in clusters of family homes in more than 500 Children's Villages in 124 countries worldwide. For more information on SOS Children's Villages visit the website

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

ice 2

Probably not very funny for the people involved but you have to wonder why they even tried to drive on that surface.


Well it's not quite like this where I live today but it may as well be. My car isn't far off the one above; it has a thick layer of ice on it that isn't responding to de-icer or my agressive hacking action with a small piece of plastic, laughingly described as an ice-scraper on the handle. Scraping is all very well but if it doesn't remove anything then I may as well rub flowers on my windscreen. The boy fell over on Monday (after I told him not to go the 'quick' way) and we had to go to hospital for the second time in a week. I sent him out today and watched nervously as he stepped tentativley into the road. He turned to face me and, with the universal submissive 'I don't know what to do' gesture, proceeded to slide gently sideways out of my field of vision. Even this wasn't enough to persuade him out of his de-riguer trainers and into some sensible footware. I then watched as a woman tried to turn her car round next to my house. We looked at each other as, in slow motion and not without a degree of balletic grace, her car slid into mine and bumped it ever so delicately. She gave me the same gesture. I think there'll be a lot of that in the UK today. I have given up the idea of driving into work and am about to brace myself for at least 3 falls while I negotiate my way to the station. I had a look on the work's facebook page and there are a lot of unhappy people. Buses aren't running and the only thing hot is the underside of colleagues' and students' collars who are struggling in for pay or EMA with little sypathy from an instituion that assumes everyone lives just around the corner. Maybe I'll take the boat in....

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

xmas footie

5 clean sheets, 4 wins, a good draw at Fulham...when's it all going to go wrong? Oh yeah, we've got Liverpool on Sunday. We always lose when it's 'our best chance in decades of getting a result'.

The 4-0 win over Peterborough was unusual. There was no tension at all. It never seemed like we'd blow it. Strangely though that lack of edge meant that something was lost. Credit to their fans though; they were great. Much more satisfying was the win over Wet Spam. Again they weren't very good but they could have got something from the game and that tension makes the relief and the goal celebrations that much more sweet. Their fans, in contrast, were nasty and humourless.


Some views from round my way

I was trying to work out why people say it's so beautiful. White is, of course, the colour of the mighty Spurs but that can't be the only reason. Cold itself isn't beautiful, it's uncomfortable and expensive. Snow isn't so beautiful either when you fall on your arse in your new shiny boots and put your hand in something nasty. Why is it that dog crap doesn't freeze?

Snow's great when you get a day off work or school. The boy was awake at 7 listening to the radio to see if his school was shut. Once it was confirmed he went back to sleep and stayed in bed till 11. He hasn't thrown a snowball yet. What's wrong with the youth of today? When I was his age I'd have been out in it so long I'd have frost bite by now.
This is how I'm getting to work tomorrow.

Health and safety gone mad

Spotted by the boy at Craven Cottage on Boxing Day.

1 of your 5 a day

me and the boy went for a curry in Woodford in Essex over the new year. The food was first rate though I may have reported differently had I mustered the courage to try the Alu Bengan- in case you can't read it from this crappy picture, it's described as 'Potato and Aborigines'.