Thursday, December 31, 2009

One More American Song

The Duke and The King are the band of the year, this year and probably any other year. Simone Felice is a songwriter of rare  talent and I love him. The above video is not the best song on the album, but it's a lovely video.  Not that it matters, because there is not a bad song on the thing.

11 unbeaten for the Blues. It may not mean much to you, but it means a hell of a lot to me. The media loves us, even the Canadian press is writing big articles on us, but it won't be long before they regard us as affectionately as they do Bolton and Blackburn, so I will enjoy the love in while it lasts. Also, I might point out that I am among very few Blues fans who have consistently supported Big Eck.

I forget that some people who support the Blues were not even born when we had Francis Burns and Hatton in the team, being prodded along by Howard Kendall and Alan Campbell with fast pacy full backs (too many to mention) always offering a threat to the opposition. That team never reached 7th. Never came close. This team may yet fall away, but, for now, well, fuck me, it's good.

However. In the internet age, I have been aggravated by those message board habitues who slag off the likes of me when we have said, we not only can do better, we should expect better. At the start of this season the general mantra was, 17th is glory. My mantra has always been 17th is failure, we are the second fucking city, we should be aiming higher...........16th at least. Who do you think we are, people say.........we have no right to expect anything other than scraps from the rich mans table. Just be thankful that we are here.

In the past I have pointed to the success of much smaller teams in Spain and Germany and France to argue that there is no reason we should accept mediocrity, and I have been mocked, because, obviously, those leagues are shit. Well, fuck me sideways, we are seventh and now every silly sod thinks we can qualify for Europe. Eck is no longer tactically naive and all of a sudden the sky is the limit. I hope we don't lose two on the trot........the phone ins will be full of Blues fans committing hari kiri live on air.

Not a bad idea for a bit of half time entertainment that, actually.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


See that little video up there? I was at that gig, it still puts bumps up and down my spine. The End of the Road is the best festival there is, but don't tell anyone about it, we don't want the riff raff turning up and spoiling it.

Should I be proud that I have google wave? Should I be proud that I have no idea what I am supposed to do with it?

This new machine is ace……… I hadn't realised the stone age I was previously living in.

Blues remarkable run continues and we have Chelsea at home on Boxing Day. I no longer anticipate that the wheels will come off and while I don't expect a win, I don't expect a loss either, nor a draw for that matter………what I am hamfistedly trying to say is that whatever happens it will come as no surprise.

My employer, as generous as ever has decreed that snow days do not exist and if you can't get into work because of the snow, no matter how hard you tried you will take leave, unpaid if necessary. The public purse is safe in their hands.

Still, the drive in is an adrenalin rush and it is spectacularly beautiful, almost otherworldly. It's a privilege to see it all really.

I have wasted a fair bit of time this week playing basketball.

Should you be lonely or bored over the coming days return to the following link which has many good links to some outsanding radio programmes.

We had the usual debate about Christmas dinner saying that it costs too much and is too labour intensiove for what it is and that the kids don't enjoy it so what's the point. So we decided upon lamb curry with various accoutrements for the adults and home made pizza for the kids. Then we changed our minds.

So, we will be pretty much having a Jamie Oliver Christmas, despite last years Great Turkey Disaster. I made the gravy last weekend and it is truly something else. No giblets involved, I'll still cook the little bleeders up though, because the smell  of giblet stock bubbling away is the smell of Christmas and I couldn't let the pussies down. I have prepared the young mans  herby cranberry butter to anoint the turkey with, the big ham is on the go and I shall do Jamies stuffing as soon as I have stopped arsing about here. The stuffing alone has cost more in ingredients than our usual Sunday dinner. I trust in Saint Jamie though.........although not when it comes to cooking the actual bird............after last years debacle it is back to Delia.

Actually, the main reason we I changed my mind is because I want to do his chilli with the leftovers. And I am not going to be a fairy with the chilli

Little Charlie is responsible for both the snowman and the picture.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cherry Lips

So, my misgivings were misplaced and the Blues won again and now we are about to play Blackburn at home. We will moida da bums. One thing that is significant and doesn't seem to be much commented upon is the fitness of our players; I cannot remember a time when we have been able to field the same team so consistently. Hats off to the fitness guy.

The Guardian had a link to a very beautiful photo essay on Sicilly yesterday and while I was browsing around the site I came across this similarly beautiful essay on an amateur football club in Madrid.

I can't work out this damn spellchecker in Safari, it seems to work fine everywhere but on blogger.

Martin Kelner is always good in the Guardian on Mondays, yesterday he was inspired.

Late edit. We did moida da bums.............just about! It would be nice to win comfortably, but fuck it, tonight we were awesome.

Celebrate by watching this bloody marvelous documentary on the End of the Road Festival.

Friday, December 11, 2009

To Be Young

I finished the Larsson last week, and it was no good, really. Highly readable, and a page turner, but nonsensical. I only mention it because his lover seems to have been done out of her share of the cash, which seems a bit unjust. His actual family are coining it while she gets nothing. Chuff me, it must run to many millions, you would think the buggers would share it.

In certain circles I am known as bit of a Wilco aficionado, which is as nonsensical as a Larsson plot. Years ago, I was really struggling to find any music I liked because I was a snob. (I don't think the internet had been invented) and I read a review of Summerteeth and bought it. I had considered Wilco to be nothing more than an American college rock band, even though I knew nothing of them. It was OK, nothing special, but I played it again and like it a bit better and little by little it grew on me. It's never a classic though.

Anyway, I started winding people up saying that they are the best band, the most underrated band, etc, etc, etc. And people like me, snobs like me, wouldn't have it, so I went on a bit more. I now do actually think that they are very under rated and that hey are one of the best bands, well, ever, certainly for consistently producing music of the highest quality and also for always moving on, adding a bit here and there, never allowing themselves to become stale and formulaic.

There are still people who won't have it and I still wind them up by making out that I am their greatest fan. All of which is a long winded way of pointing out that the Independent has named their last one album of the year (never! not even in my top ten…… is good though) and that there is a good interview with Tweedy in the paper. The album is available on spotify.

I have geeked myself and bought a mac. Can't work out how the spellchecker works and the checker on Blogger has gone. So this post may not actually be readable. I can spell, but I can't type.

Kirsty McColl's children went on holiday with their mother and found themselves swimming in her blood when her life was ended by some chump in a speedboat. A rich mans servant admitted his guilt and was fined 61 quid. It is a sad, sorry and murky tale.

Blues V West Ham tomorrow. History tells us that we should lose this one. As happy as I am with recent results, we haven't performed all that well.In the past when we have found ourselves in similar situations we have started to believe our own hype and screwed it up. If we wind up with 3 points tomorrow I shall not only be beside myself, I shall be very fucking excited regarding our future prospects.

Having finished the Larson I started the new James Lee Burke. When I read the overwrought prose and saw that the main characters name was fucking Hackberry or something equally ludicrous, my heart sank. This could be the first Lee Burke I give up on.

If anyone can tell me how the spellchecker on this poxy machine works, I shall be forever grateful.

Can't fucking embed youtube clips either!!!!!


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Driving to work this morning Robert Peston came on radio 4, so, obviously, I had to switch station, so found myself listening to a discussion on 5 live all about Tiger Woods and whether he should try to rehabilitate himself by going on Oprah or Letterman. FOR FUCKS SAKE!!!!

It looks like Labour has belatedly decided to fight back a bit. We have had the assault on the class base of the upper echelons of the Tory party, which is fine by me and today I heard Ed Balls more or less slaughter the bloke on the Drive programme, again on 5 live. I didn't hear all of it as I was flicking between stations, but Balls seemed to be in a very aggressive mood. Evidently tired of the traditional five liove shtick of trying to prove that they are brave and fearless interrogaters, he rounded on the bloke and accused him of bias and of not presenting the British public with a balanced view. It was great and made me piss myself laughing.

It's nice to see the media indulge in a bit of Tory bashing too. I have heard both Hague and Cameron have to work hard to evade answering questions about Michael Ashcroft in recent weeks, there has been a fair bit of support for the Eton bashing and the Independent today has a good article on a visit Hague made, at Ashcrofts expense, to the Turks and Caicos islands. Odious bunch of bastards, the Tories.

Like best of lists? This should keep you going.

Sunday, December 06, 2009


Bloody hell. Blues unbeaten in 6 games. 3 wins on the trot.

I need a lie down.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


There is a very good and moving programme on the World Service detailing the experience of the Argentine squaddy during the Falklands war. You can hear it here.

Driving into work this morning I heard an interview with John Lydon, on radio 4 of all the peculiar places. It was a bit snidey, the posh interviewer wondered if the audience at the upcoming PIL shows would miss Jah Wobble, Lydon wondered back if they might also miss any of the 37 others who passed through the band. These days I find Lydon to be a bit of a laughable figure but I found this interviewer to be very disrespectful. Maybe it's a class thing.

She was obsessed with getting Lydon to admit that he had sold out, as if any individual should be defined for the rest of their life by the things they did and said as twenty year olds, and she impertinently asked if he had given the money he had earned from his butter adverts to charity. I don't recall ever hearing ubiquitous media lovies like Stephen Fry being asked how they spend the money they make from their innumerable adverts. Cheeky chuffing cowbag.

To cap it all, the oafs in the studio made a point of referring to him as Johnny Rotten. I look forward to hearing them mockingly refer to Cassius Clay next time he is in the news.

The social work task force has presented its report, God bless it. After the Lydon interview, they interviewed two social workers and inadvertently put their finger on one of the problems with the profession. One of their experts had spent 7 years on the front line and is now director of applied social work at Derby polytechnic as well as being deputy director of the British Association of Social Workers.

After seven years, practising social workers are barely competent. After all in the old days when tradesman were properly trained, it took at least 3 years to become a gas fitter. Social workers like to think of themselves as professionals and few professions would consider you to be fully trained and competent after a mere seven years of practice. So this lady, after a measly seven years is now a director of a social work course and assistant director of a professional organisation. This is not unusual, management and academia in social work is full of people who have barely practised the game, in fact, many managers have never practised at all and have no social work qualification.

So, we have educators and key decision makers who have little or no knowledge of the mechanics of the job. And then we wonder why the profession is a laughing stock.

I read last week about the dark web........ a big long, scary article, all about this mysterious web where anything goes and no one can be found. It is not just dark, it is deep, much bigger than the so called surface web..........very, very scary, but I can't figure out how, if the thing is so large, how come I nor no one I know has any idea what it is or where it is. Unless every single person I know is lying to me. The scoundrels. What are they up to?

I'm currently reading Stieg Larrsons second book, all about Lisbeth Salander, poor orphan Annie, barely educated but with the mind of a genius and who certainly knows all about the dark web. It's all very implausible and, frankly, it is getting on my fucking nerves.

Charlie Brooker on Dubai: A sarcastic version of Las Vegas.

It's the time of the year for lists, and, what joy, it's the end of the decade so we dont just have best of year lists, we have best of decade lists, including, on The Independent website, "best adverts of the noughties". Excuse me while I go and open a vein.

It's being so cheerful that keeps me going.

There's not actually all that much to be cheerful about is there, although there is plenty to laugh about. For instance, going on the Community Care website to read about and discuss the social work task force report, you see that the main story is about councils cutting recruitment and training for social workers............which flies fully and rudely in the face of the recommendations of the report. Didn't make the news bulletins though. But, it gave us all a much needed chuckle.

Actually, for Blues fans, there is a fair bit to be cheerful about. 5 games unbeaten in the prem. Definitely not to be sniffed at. I have heard it said that a poor Blues side beat a very poor Wolves, but that's nonsense really, we are very far from poor. We took an early lead and I though oh shit, cattenacio time, and it was, to an extent, but it was not as bad as the previous week. We didn't just lump the ball back to Wolves and we did try to keep hold of it, although we could not be described as adventurous. Still, it was better. Maybe Eck really is a genius and sets the team out to do precisely what is required according to the opposition.

Some Blues fans though, are even more miserable than me, and a number of them have taken against Chucho Benitez. More nonsense. He has only scored once but there are mitigating circumstances. He is used as our outlet, so he spends most of the game chasing balls that have been lumped into the channels, which he does very well. He then has to control the thing and wait for the cavalry to arrive, all the while being harassed by hairy arsed defenders. Admittedly, he does have a tendency, once he has done the hard work, to take the wrong option, but bugger me, he wouldn't be the first foreigner to need time to adapt to the demands of the prem, and the Mexican League is unlikely to have presented similar challenges.

He is quite short, with a low center of gravity. he is strong, has pace, has a decent first touch and can turn on a tanner. Physically, he puts me in mind of players like Lineker, Greaves, Romario, and Muller. All had similar build, all had superb goalscoring records, but, they were goalmouth poachers, they didn't score many goals after chasing the ball into the corners and then having to hang around for five minutes until a man wearing the same coloured shirt arrived on the scene to help out.