28 Jul 2010

It's No Game (2)

Following on from my ridiculously early 2010/11 Premier League preview of three weeks ago (which incidentally I see no reason to change, as very little has happened in the way of significant transfers) I thought I would share with you the latest cock up perpetrated by the commercial management of my beloved Everton FC.

Away from matters on the pitch, there is a long history of perceived complacency and/or managerial ineptitude at Everton going back to the sale of the club by John Moores to the Philip Carter regime in the late 70s, but that's another story.

The current board is headed by Blue Bill Kenwright, who to outsiders appears to be the model owner in an age of American chancers and dubious billionaires of all nationalities. After all, here is a man who actually grew up near to and has always supported the club he now owns. A traditional supporter made good who buys the club he supported as a boy. I can see why a lot of Man Utd & Liverpool fans in particular may well wish for their owners to be cut from the same cloth. Indeed, much as us impoverished Bluenoses would love to be able to throw around the cash of a Man City or a Chelsea, we are well aware that in this day and age you have to be very careful what you wish for, and a lot of us are coming to accept that the way our club is owned may well be preferable in the long run.

So, what's my beef you may well ask? It has become increasingly apparent over the last few years that Blue Bill employs people to play with smoke and mirrors while leaving his image untarnished, or so he would hope. First there was the Kings Dock fiasco, where, if the will had been there, we would now be playing in the best stadium in the North West - not the biggest, but the best. Who knows where that may have lead? More recently there was the Tescodrome scheme, which thankfully came to nothing. The fans were originally hoodwinked into thinking we were getting a stadium for "next to nothing" as part of "the deal of the century" with Tesco. It turns out it would have cost us a shedload of money - nobody outside of the board is privy to the figures, but guesstimates go up to £150 million, three times what was needed to kick start the unfulfilled giant missed opportunity that was Kings Dock.

The latest strange goings on, although peanuts in comparison with the above two examples, is the Dan Gosling saga. Here is a promising squad player, already famed amongst the faithful for his winner against L****pool in the cup in 2009, who the club apparently "forgot" to give a written contract offer to by a well known deadline, thereby allowing him to become a free agent. He became a Newcastle player a couple of weeks ago. Numerous rumours have been flying around, the most plausible being that as the player was only half way through a recovery program from a serious knee injury, the contract was deliberately not offered, as it could be that the club had been advised that he may never properly recuperate. However, Newcastle are allegedly paying him £25000 per week when he is not expected to be able to kick a ball until January - surely not even Newcastle would be that stupid to pay a player around £600000 knowing that he may never play again? Mind you, this is Newcastle we're talking about, so who knows!

Yesterday Gosling's agent David Hodgson was all over the media claiming amongst other things that the injury was indeed the reason behind the non-appearance of a new contract, and today the club have issued a statement:

In the article, Mr David Hodgson suggested that not only did this Club not wish to extend Mr Gosling's stay at Goodison Park but that it had been deliberately tardy with regard to the formal offer of a new contract, presuming that an injury sustained by the player during the course of last season was of such a serious nature it would prevent him from signing for another club.

Both claims are ludicrous, totally without substance and grossly misleading
There follows a lengthy discourse on how a verbal offer or offers were made, stuff about a gentleman's agreement, how the player did not indicate he wanted to leave, etc etc, and the impression is given that the agent engineered the whole situation. 
If the allegation that the injury was the reason no written contract was offered is "ludicrous" and the player did not ask to leave, nor did the club want to sell him, then by implication the club are saying that they did indeed forget to offer a written contract in time, what other reson could there have been? Had a proper contract been offered by the deadline a minimal fee set by a tribunal could have been obtained if the player or club wanted out - surely better than nothing given the continually parlous state of Everton's finances? Could the club really have forgotten to offer a written contract in time, something that must be a routine day to day matter in the running of a football club? I'm afraid that as this is Everton, there's a 50/50 chance they probably could!
The truth lies probably somewhere between the points of view of the agent (incidentally a former L****pool player) and the club, and the club appear to be trying to spin their way out of it, but by so doing are shooting themselves in the foot. Although a fairly minor incident in the grand scheme of things this is sadly symptomatic of the smoke and mirrors approach to public relations employed by our lovable chairman and his cronies.

In spite of all the above, I would still rather have Blue Bill as owner/chairman than some anonymous oil sheik who could lose interst at any time and leave us well and truly shafted, or the Waldorf & Statler/the Glazers model where someone with enough clout can seemingly buy a multi-million pound business without actually risking any of their own money thus heaping vast debt on their respective new toys. I just wish my club was run a bit more efficiently and with a good deal more transparency.


Apparently Spurs are interested in occupying the Olympic stadium after the 2012 games. I'll bet Spurs fans are not exactly over-keen on the idea of going to the East End (where they are loved to bits I've no doubt) to watch home games! I thought they were building a new ground in the shadow of WHL anyway? Money to burn these fancy Cockernee types....

20 Jul 2010

The Ladybird Book Of Stupid Fauna

1. Ants in flying mode
I fly therefore I am. I will fly around a bit in a pointless fashion bumping into things, and with a bit of luck I might fly into your mouth. Then I'll crashland and die. It was nearly swallowing some of these little bastards the other day that prompted this thoughtful insight into the fauna kingdom.

2. Pigeons
As is conclusively proven by this pic, pigeons have no brains at all. When not fighting amongst themselves or with much smaller birds, their sole purpose in life appears to be defecating in copious quanties.

3. Cows
It was a toss-up between cows and sheep, but this pic did it for me. At least sheep look permanently scared as if they know what happens to their kids after they've put on a bit of weight.

However, all of the above pale into insignificance on the dumb-ass scale compared to..........

.....back to work now..... 

17 Jul 2010

Bicycle Race (2)

An update on Le Tour De France.....

With 7 stages to go, early favourite for the sprinters' green jersey, Isle of Man tough guy Mark Cavendish has had an awful start to the race. An early stage he should have won disappeared along with his will to win right at the death. When he did eventually win a stage he showed his emotional side by blubbing through the presentation and the follow up interview, as he felt he had previously let down his team mates whose job it is to lead him into the final sprint to the line. Now some 30 odd points behind the leader in the green jersey competition, it was very unlikely he would win the sprint competition after his latest stage win on Thursday. These odds have been made even longer by the antics of his final lead out man Mark Renshaw, whose job it is to lead Cavendish in a sprint from 500m to 200m to go, when Cavendish then takes over and hopefully wins the stage. Every team with a class sprinter has a similar lead out man, and Renshaw got involved in an unseemly scuffle with his Team Garmin opposite number. Having landed a number of headbutts on the Garmin man's shoulder, Renshaw then looked over his left shoulder where he saw the Garmin equivalent of Cavendish (Tyler Farrar) coming up on the rails, so he cut him off. Quite rightly Renshaw has been chucked off the race, leaving Cavendish with no lead out man and little chance of catching the current leaders in the green jersey competition.

Our great white hope to win the race overall Bradley Wiggins now has no chance. I said at the start his hopes were slim, but I think the weight of expectation has proved too much and he doesn't look like the consummate all rounder we saw last year. Currently lying 16th overall, as the man himself says, the best he can now hope for is a top ten finish.

The Maillot Jaune is now a two horse race between last year's winner Alberto Contador, who at the time of writing lies 30 seconds behind Andy Schleck. It all hangs on what happens in the Pyrenees and I fancy Contador as he seems to be blessed with a higher level of tenacity than Schleck, whose time will no doubt come.

As nobody in the UK but me seems to take any interest in Le Tour, I can't be bothered putting a link on Facebook, so yah-boo to the lot of yis!


I've watched far too much tv this week, but it has been raining a lot - that's my excuse anyway!

Out with the old......
It's the last ever Friday Night With Jonathan Ross. Yeehah! Or Boooo? I stopped watching Ross regularly quite a while before the Russell Brand fiasco, which prompted an hilarious over reaction from the Daily Mail reading section of our sceptred isle - I mean nobody died ffs! My problem with Ross over his later years at the BBC was his refusal to act anything like his age, and his constant "I'm down with the kidz, look how cool I am" persona began to really grate. The man is now 49, and the enforced humility that came as a result of Russellgate was no bad thing and I hope he now realises that a soon to be 50 year old man cannot pretend he's 28 forever.
Over the years he has provided some good entertainment and no doubt will continue to do so. I won't wish him good luck, as he's had it all his working life. He did at least acknowledge that in his obviously unscripted and surprisingly humble farewell speech last night.
I hear he's off to ITV, and one wonders how his new show will differ from the increasingly tired chat show formula - we'll see.

...and in with the old......
The return of that old surreal chestnut Shooting Stars which well outstayed its welcome first time round is greeted with some trepidation by yours truly. When it started in 1993 (can't quite believe it was that long ago) it was like a bizarre thing from a parallel universe, like a collision between Charlie Chaplin and Spike Milligan on the set of Monty Python. By the time it finished 4 years later it was a tired old hag of a programme.
I've just watched the first episode of the new series and it made me laugh more than anything else I've watched this week including That Mitchell & Webb Look, which a couple of sketches apart, was a tad predictable. Team captain Jack Dee, called by Vic Reeves as having a "face like a needless comment" and "...like a scalded sea cadet" amongst other things plays up to his usual glum persona, and Ulrikakakaka is, well, Ulrikakakaka, still game for the required amount of sexually orientated mickey taking. There's a brilliant pisstake of Kerry Katona's Iceland ads, where at "Coldland" you can avail yourself of "sticky discs" topped with "hydrogenised tomato flavoured dust", "sticky potato pistols" and other delights.
Not sure about George Daws' replacement Angelos, but he might grow on me.
All the usual sketches remain - The Dove From Above, True or False ("T or F - nobody has ever slept with Dragon's Den panel member Deborah Meaden? False, it's just that she eats them all afterwards"), and the ritual humiliation for the winning team's nominee for the prize round. This time Hairy Biker Simon King is spanked by Bob Mortimer with an exhaust manifold.
So, nothing much different but it's still raises more laughs than the more conventional sketch shows which are all suffering from the law of diminishing returns at the moment. 3.5 out of 5!

More holes than Blackburn, Lancashire
Unusually for me I watched (or attempted to) a four part police drama shown over four consecutive days with B this week. BBC1 show "Silence" had a rather good premise - a troubled and completely deaf teenager witnesses a murder and struggles to come to terms with what she has seen.
Firstly I do not like this new trend of showing dramas over consecutive nights - do tv planners think we have now got such a low boredom threshold that we cannot retain information for more than 24 hours?
Now to the show itself. The first episode was not too bad to start with, showing us that Amelia (Genevieve Barr) is living with her adored uncle police inspector Jim (Douglas Henshall) and family. She witnesses the murder, but doesn't tell anyone for ages until she eventually tells her uncle. Ok, plausible so far. But then, he doesn't tell anyone either, and spends the rest of the first episode and most of the second trying to solve the case on his own.
The plot then meanders into dodgy drug deals and police corruption. There's a sub plot involving Jim's kids who are TEENAGERS who do DRUGS and get DRUNK and are soooo irritatingly self obssesed. When they get set up in a drugs bust by the corrupt coppers Jim is after you are supposed to feel sympathy but I let out an inner cheer! Serves the little bastards right.
By now there are so many holes in the main plot to do with ethics, standards, concealing evidence, etc, etc, that I lost interest. I won't even mention Amelia's unbelievably clueless and spineless parents! The third episode was on, but I found myself reading a book most of the way through it. Either Henshaw is not a very good actor or the script was so bad he over compensated BY SHOUTING ALL THE TIME. The lovely Dervla Kirwan was completely wasted in her role as a dippy-hippy mother. The only actor to come out with any credit was Genevieve Barr who was most convincing.
It was so poor I couldn't pluck up the resolve to watch the final episode. No doubt Amelia was either kidnapped or shot at (likely both), probably being rescued at the last minute by Jimbo, who was no doubt SHOUTING while crying!
All in all a waste of three hours - would have been four if I had stuck with it!

13 Jul 2010

Trains, Safe Music, and Crooked Digits

Back in February I regaled you with a tale of woe involving non-appearance of trains at Watford Junction. Complaints were made, a full refund ensued. Earlier this month amazingly we were on the only SNCF cross-country TGV to be delayed, EVER! At least that's the impression given by our embarrassed hosts.
I'm beginning to think we're jinxed. Said train arrived over an hour late at its destination, and SNCF employees handed us all complaint forms when we got off. Now you may think with their spotless reputation where punctuality is concerned, that the refund offered would be 100%, no questions asked. Nope, it's a measly 25% for a delay of between 1 and 2 hours. At least UK reparation is of a better class than our French counterparts. It's now over 3 weeks since the form went in and we have yet to hear anything, we'll see what transpires.


I love Spotify, it's a great idea, but have you ever tried their Radio tab? One of the genres is Alternative, right up my alley methinks. After putting up with it for an hour or so it turns out to be about as alternative as lunch at The Reform Club. Think I'll try the Jazz tab....good start with Ray Charles and Natalie Cole duetting on Fever. Just right for the hot day we were having when I wrote this.


What a fine thing the NHS is - not only do they provide a wonderful service under increasingly trying circumstances, but some of their female nurses quaff Real Ale.

I found this out today from Lynn who did the tests on my claw-like hands with a view to straightening them out. One finger will be a local anaesthetic job, but the more serious one may involve a general, with my arm having to be put in a sling thereafter for up to 8 weeks! God I wish I was 20 again.......at least I'll be able to wave my scarred maws at Phil and make him queasy.

Everything Is Broken

While I wait between various medical appointments, here's some more nonsense.....

There was a story this week about Bristol City defender Louis Carey scuppering his pre-season training by somehow injuring his heel while cooking at a bbq.

Brings to mind other bizarre injuries suffered by footballers, such as Richard Wright who once did his ankle falling over a sign during a pre-match warm up warning players not to warm up in the penalty area! Three years earlier he injured himself falling out of his loft. While at Everton there was a rumour that he cut his head walking into a Mind Your Head sign at a cinema. Might explain his generally accident prone career between the posts!

Dave Beasant once injured his foot by stopping a rapidly descending jar of salad cream from smashing on his kitchen floor by intervening with his bare foot. What is it with goalkeepers?

Steve Morrow was the unfortunate victim of Tony Adam's clumsy attempts to hoist him onto his shoulders after Morrow's goal had won the League Cup for Arsenal. Adams, always a two left feet sort of a bloke, dropped Morrow, who dislocated his collarbone.

Rio Ferdinand once did a tendon behind his knee as a result of having his feet up on a coffee table for hours while watching tv. This has to be the laziest injury ever - kind of fits the victim doncha think?

These two I looked up -

Alex Stepney once dislocated his jaw bawling out his defenders (not sure I believe it - but hey, he's a keeper so it's entirely probable).

Striker Leroy Lita apparently once damaged a leg muscle while stretching and yawning!

8 Jul 2010

It's No Game

Yes, it's probably far too early to be doing this as significant transfers are no doubt to come, but I can't resist! May have to update nearer to 14th August...

Earwigo again. The annual 9 month circus of overpaid egomania that is the English Premier League kicks off on Saturday 14th August, a mere 5 and a bit weeks away, so it's time for some predictions. Ordered in last season's placings, with my shot at their 2010/11 possible finishing place, here are the 20 teams that make up the so called best league in the world - I'm still suffering from post World Cup cynicism as you might guess!

1. Chelsea (2) - Ancelotti does not seem to have made much progress yet in refreshing the ageing squad, but there's no doubting the quality. Could win it again but will be vying with Man Utd for 2nd imo.

2. Manchester United (3) - Ferguson will probably buy a striker or attacking midfielder to relieve the pressure on Wazza, and they still have a decent squad but maybe not quite good enough to win it. Fergie will not hang up his hairdryer until they win that ellusive 19th title.

3. Arsenal (4) - Will no doubt flatter to deceive again. If they manage to keep hold of Fabregas and Van Persie should finish at least 4th, otherwise will be the team the next tier will have their eye on to replace. Can see Wenger retiring at the end of the season.

4. Tottenham Hotspur (5). The main reason I'm writing out team names in full - love that name! Didn't they buy Roy Race from Melchester Rovers in 1964? Will be doing very well to replicate last season's 4th what with the added pressures of European football. As per usual, might win a cup - no, not the big one, one of ours!

5. Manchester City (1). My big gamble to win it. If, and it's a big one, Mancini can get his ever increasing band of mercenaries playing as a team there should be no stopping them. If not, he'll likely be sacked by Xmas, then gawd knows what might happen. Another candidate to win one of our cups.

6. Aston Villa (8). Whether or not they hold on to Milner I can't see them improving on last year's place. Will lose games that they should win on paper, probably against Wolves for starters.

7 Liverpool (6). Even with one or more of Torres/Gerrard/Mascherano gone I can still see Roy Hodgson doing better than that oaf Benitez. Will spend all the cash found down the back of the sofa to buy Roy a Learn Spanish In A Day book and a Scouse/English dictionary.

8 Everton (7). With the tea lady multi-tasking as head of ticket sales and centre forward, resources will be as stretched as ever. Had their best chance in 5 years last season to finish above Liverpool but wuz robbed by decimating injuries in the first part of the season. Now Liverpool have a far better manager than last time, can't see them doing it this year either. Outside chance of Europa League qualification if first choice 11 readily available, and if the rampant speculation that half the team is off to new pastures proves to be false!

9 Birmingham City (9). We've now reached the mid-table doldrums, where Alex McLeish's boys will probably stay. Owners might get itchy feet with the dour Scot and sack him. then anything could happen.

10 Blackburn (14). Still locked together with Stoke in the table. Meat & potatoes with gravy.

11 Stoke City (13) Still locked together with Blackburn in the table. Fish & chips with mushy peas. And a long throw in.

12 Fulham (15). Will struggle without the wisdom of the Hodgson. It's a surprise to me that Al-Fayed has stuck with them for so long. Mind you, now he's sold the corner shop he's not got owt else to do these days has he?

13 Sunderland (10). I expect an improvement on last year's poor finish. Capable of upsets. Ugliest manager in the league. Will be their best season for a long time as far as the Mackems are concerned, as they easily beat Newcastle home and away.

14 Bolton Wanderers (R19). Expect some more dire floodlight endangering hoofball from the team of giants. High time they were found out.

15 Wolverhampton Wanderers (12). Aye lad, 'appen to be long lost Yorkshire enclave in t'slag heaps of County Mayo, from whence Michael McCarthy licked road clean w'tongue afore a breakfast of Guinness and tripe. Or somesuch. Decent manager with average team will improve due to failings of nearest rivals. Expect at least one victory over Villa.

16 Wigan Athletic (16). The mercurial Roberto Martinez pits his wits against egomaniacal owner Dave Whelan and loses, team go into freefall (again) narrowly avoiding relegation (again). Appropriately, Whelan owns a company that makes pies.

17 West Ham United (11). Avram Grant is the right choice to steady the ship and with managerial stability will improve, probably more than any other team. However if owners get twitchy same as last year.

Promoted as Championship winners - Newcastle United (17). The new slimmed down Newcastle arrive. Do their fans still hold the ridiculous expectations they've had in the past? One suspects not. Toss up between them, Bolton and Wigan as to who gets the remaining relegation place.

Promoted as Championship runners-up - West Bromwich Albion (R18). Yo-yo club will bounce straight back down again. Dour, and possibly dire.

Promoted as Championship play-off winners - Blackpool (R20). Oh dear. Whipping boys I'm afraid, but at least we'll have the lovably barmy Ian Holloway to look forward to on MotD, along with many shots of deckchairs, windblown chip wrappers on the sea front, stag parties, hen nights....and seagulls.

First manager to be sacked - Mancini or Martinez.

King of Comedy - Ian Holloway

Big fish in small pond - Stevie G

New England manager after disastrous start to Euro 2012 qualifiers - 'Appy 'Arry.

Final prediction - Inter Milan finish outside Champions League places in Serie A after new manager is sacked half way through the season due to baffling tactics, strange substitutions, poor signings, stubborness to the point of stupidity and constant blame placing. And whinging. And a silly beard.

Non sequitur - Karen Gillan eats my shorts. And why not?

7 Jul 2010

Newton's third law of motion

Tonight's World Cup semi final between Germany v Spain throws up an interesting dilemma for English football aficionados.
From a purely footballing point of view it would be good to see the Germans get through to enable a Germany v Holland final, which would doubtless provide us with a feisty encounter rekindling the fiercest rivalry in European football. Forget England and Germany, these two HATE each other. remember Frank Rijkaard and his spat (sic) with Rudi Voller?
However to a lot of England fans supporting Germany does not come easy, in fact  for some it is nigh on impossible. OK, so it's entirely irrational, but no more so than a Spurs fan's loathing of Arsenal or an Everton fan's loathing of Liverpool and vice-versa.
I will try to remain neutral tonight, but I just know that I will be edging towards Spain all the time, despite their Liverpool connections - hang on, that makes it even weirder! Dilemmas, dilemmas.....

3 Jul 2010

Jump Up And Down (and wave your knickers in the air)

Track titles - real or imaginary?

Mummy was an asteroid, Daddy was a small non-stick kitchen utensil

My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink, And I Don't Love Jesus

Mind Your Throats Please

Fabulous Glorious Norks

Noises For The Leg

If the one I made up doesn't actually exist, it should!


A reply I made to a blog I read http://boohewerdinesblogthing.blogspot.com/2010/07/day-119-hewerdine.html?spref=fb (well worth a visit - quite amusing) included this - I was once given a pair of musical socks for a 30 something birthday. When you pressed the football logo on either ankle they played the Match Of The Day theme tune. Great for getting funny looks in pubs!

I wonder what other amusing articles of clothing anybody out there can admit to?


Bicycle Race

Le Tour De France starts today, and we have a chance, slim admittedly, of actually winning the thing with the scarily fierce and focussed Bradley Wiggins (sounds like a troubled mill owner from an Arnold Bennett novel), who came a creditable 4th last year. Born in Belgium, but brought up in London. he is the star of a team assembled with the sole intention of getting him as high up the rankings as possible, sponsored by Sky, and run by Dave Brailsford, the man responsible for Great Britain's cycling successes at recent Olympics. Having watched Le Tour for over 15 years, Wiggins is the only Brit I've seen who can face the mountain stages without breaking down in tears or running away, David Millar excepted who as a team workhorse will never get near the podium places, and he makes fellow Scot Andy Murray look like Mr Happy of Happyville.
Wiggins' main rivals are last year's winner and favourite Alberto Contador, and the unlovable Lance Armstrong, who is retiring for the second time after this year's race - woohoo! There are three of four others in with a chance including the Schleck brothers Frank and Andy who finished 5th and 2nd last year.
Go Bradley!
Also in the race is Mark Cavendish, riding for Team Columbia. A muscle bound bouncer on a bicycle from the Isle of Man, who won a remarkable 6 stages last year, and would have won the sprinters green jersey were it not for being disqualified on one stage for eating his rivals alive while they were still in their saddles. A feisty character bearing similarities to Wayne Rooney in temperament he is the favourite to win the sprinter's crown this time round.

Would you steal his pint?
Le Tour is 3 weeks of physical excess and madness, covering 3642 km (about 2275 miles) in 21 stages over 23 days, which includes 2 rest days. There are 9 mountain stages involving 23 mountain passes or summit finishes! The scenery will be spectacular.

Previously only capable of being completed by skinny blokes full of pigs blood, changed at regular intervals and boosted by a cocktail of weird chemicals. Now obstensibly drug free and competed for by athletes who verge on the psychotic in their relentless determination, Le Tour De France is an annual spectacle deserving of more support from this side of Le Manche. Watch at least the mountain stages, or one of Mark Cavendish's sprint finishes and you won't be disappointed. TV coverage on ITV, Eurosport UK, or Sky.
The Col de la Madeleine, one of the mountain stages this year
- Utter madness!

1 Jul 2010


As predicted by many, Mr Roy Hodgson is now manager of Liverpool FC. Unfortunately this means that most if not all of the Benitez mockers who support other teams will probably now have their respect for the RS restored once again, where before they were a laughing stock, as Hodgson has more dignity and class in his pinky than that clown Benitez had in his entire ego inflated body.

Once again marooned alone on a sea of justified and ancient bitterness will be us long suffering Bluenoses in our unbounded contempt and loathing for our lovely neighbours. Still, at least they are even more skint than we are, and so will be stuck with barrowloads of unsellable average Spaniards for the forseeable, and they'll probably have to sell two of Torres, Gerrard and Mascherano just to balance the books. Not all bad news then. :))


I was told today by someone who knows, that the ant is the only insect that never sleeps.........

.................as ants do not have eyelids, how can you tell?


All the fairweather football fans who come out of the woodwork to follow Ingurland in international tournaments (hopefully) every two years seem to think they have the right to say how crap we are. NO YOU DON'T - us real (ok, tv couch potato) football followers reserve that right thank you very much.
We were not even good enough to be classed as abject. We had as much football intelligence as the inventor of the chocolate teapot had a handle on thermo-dynamics.
How would all you keen gardeners out there like it if I, who recognises flowers with ill advised statements such as "ooh that's a nice blue one" were to berate you for the failure of your broad bean crop, eh?
And they attempt to console you by saying "Well, we've still got Andy Murray". One, he's Scottish and I bet that statement irks all Scots no end, and two, tennis - not a real sport is it?


No more biscuits, cakes, crisps, lard sandwiches or tripe for breakfast for me as I attempt to reduce a shockingly high cholesterol level discovered after a blood test suggested by my doctor a few weeks back, now I am, shall we say, "a certain age". I refuse to give up beer. The target date is 13th July, when I hope my blood will only be 80% unsaturated fat.
Suffice to say I was happier not knowing!


Have you ever joined in a so-called debate on any of the various pre-moderated BBC blogs? If so, you'll know what a frustrating experience it can be. As an example the chief BBC football writer Phil McNulty frequently blogs on all things footy related, and, as a rule, is a fairly decent scribbler. The problem comes when you attempt to reply to a comment previously made, only to have to wait for a ridiculous amount of time between posting your comment and seeing it appear.
I've just checked the last McNulty blog I entered my tuppence worth on, which at the time entailed a mere 20 minute wait, and some poor sod at the head of the "awaiting moderation" queue has been waiting for an hour ant ten minutes for his comment to make an appearance! It's not as if there are thousands of replies awaiting moderation, as I counted a mere eight below this particular entry awaiting scrutinisation by the slowest reader at the BBC. Perhaps they are using the blogs as a reading lesson for people queuing for the citizenship test?
This endless hanging around renders any attempt at debate utterly meaningless as inevitably people will get fed up waiting and log off.
Never done this before, but I've actually logged a complaint to the Beeb about it, not that it will make one iota of a difference!


A Jewish man goes daily to his local synagogue to pray for a big win on the lottery. Over the weeks his prayers become increasingly desperate, until one day, as he is walking home, the clouds part and a booming voice intones -
"Manny, give me a break already, buy a ticket".