Monthly Archives: May 2009

Fear Zafonic to win the Greyhound Derby tonight

Ballymac Ruso is the main danger IMO.  Tissue prices have Ballymac Ruso fav as he has played such a blinder through the heats and his consistency deserves nothing less.  However Fear Zafonic has finally got his favoured red jacket by the rails.  Although this is statistically disastrous box for Derby finalists he has been inconvenienced throughout the competition by not being in T1.  Tonight he can make it pay and I think as the evening wears on and people think on Charlie Lister’s ability to get his dogs peaking and pinging on the big nights, he might start favourite.

Ballymac Ruso, drawn next door in T2, also has ferocious early pace but as he is predicted to take the middle line my money is on Fear Zafonic to hug the rails, lead up to the first and then nothing should catch him…

Of course if it was always that straightforward I would be blogging this from a yacht somewhere so we won’t really know until 10.12 tonight, but I am happy to nail my red jacket to the mast now 🙂

Red comes home in front

Red comes home in front

Buy just one book

and help save poetry

it’s that simple 🙂

Naively, I thought I would hop on a bike and cycle to France

Then as these things have a habit of doing, it all got a bit complicated.

I assumed I would go on the family bike…

Wrong, I had to buy an expensive hybrid.  I wanted a Trek.  So I got a Boardman.  I didn’t want to get it from the Bike Hut @ Halfords because their bad rap precedes them in forum land.  Then I got it in Halfords.  So far, so not smooth sailing or cycling!

Now I am obsessed with the thought that my bike may not be a fit for me.  It needs setting up properly.  So what’s the problem you wonder?  This proper “setting-up” means a trip to the Local Bike Shop (LBS) and I fear them.  They know of what they speak and I am terrified that they are going take my money and call me an idiot!  Or worse I am going to have to go back to Halfords and argue the toss with a teenager who may have sold me a bike with a frame that is too big for me 😦

Neither option appeals but the seed is planted in my brain now and away it burrows like a canker.  It’s all so technical  I can barely follow it myself when I have tried to research it.  Have I been overbiked?  With horses it’s easy to tell if you have been overhorsed.  I have been overhorsed more than once.  On my own dear nutty equine I looked like a pea on a drum and my legs would dangle rather ineffectually barely halfway down his flanks.  Then there was Peggy-Sue, she of the bull-neck and forward-going disposition.  It’s easy to tell on a horse you see.  This bike is ok, I can touch the floor and handlebars at the same time, but as my back has started to hurt it can’t be can it?

I should have bought one of those bikes you recline in, they look much more comfy.

Natty eh?

Natty eh?

Pale and Wan

I have lost a few hours to sickness and debilitation this week, although for the most part I have soldiered on…

Is that a comma splice?  I am told they are BAD but I think I go in for them rather a lot.  In fact I am not averse to the odd comma splice so there.  And, yes AND to start the sentence, I am not “averse” (not “adverse”) which I seem to hear used incorrectly so often on R4 as this morning on Today.  Unlike the comma splice that is a hanging offence lol.

Clearly my niggles have put me in a scratchy mood.  Today I have to go to a “Designer Outlet Village” which is where I imagine some of the lower grade fashion designers plot up to purge their really bad designs.   This is obviously a good opportunity to try and aspire to diva ness but I know I am going to fail the test already.  Not least because the destination is Braintree.  I also have to take my passport, but that’s another story – now that comma IS naughty but never mind.  The commas (or lack of) that I really object to are the ones that significantly change the meaning of a sentence, the rest are for pedants and editors.

Brain drain?

Brain drain?


P.S. OK I admit it – I am a pedant-in-training.  The comma referred to is joining independent clauses and is in the right place.  Does a comma splice join two clauses that should be sentences.  I can’t remember.  I shouldn’t speak or blog before noon as it all comes out rhubarb.

Sorry, Ill go to Braintree now :-(

Sorry, I'll go to Braintree now 😦

Schadenfreude & Schwellenangst

These are two really useful German words to express quite complex feelings.

Schadenfreude – this is hanging around in spades at the moment –


Pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others.

[German : Schaden, damage (from Middle High German schade, from Old High German scado) + Freude, joy (from Middle High German vreude, from Old High German frewida, from frō, happy).]

Think Manchester Utd and Newcastle…

Schwellenangst – the fear of entering somewhere or starting something new – literally translated as threshold fear. 

Not something Sir Alex’s lot suffer from but I think the Magpies may have a dose.

See if you can use them in a sentence today 🙂

Champions League Final Night Pt II

There is a nice little 7f coming up from Beverley.  As it’s my blog I’ll also commit the crime of aftertiming and tell you that I backed Lady Hillingdon to place at Southwell and she obliged in 2nd place, which puts me back up, a bit.

7f is a specialist distance, harder for a sprinter to last and miler to fudge back over.  Can I find the winner though?  My favourite 7f sire is Green Desert on good to firmer ground.  Off to see if that’s an option here.  Man U fans look a bit solemn, hard to do in a gold and very shiny centurion’s helmet.

No Green Deserts so gone with a Diktat filly to place.  No win bets tonight because I am playing with a piddling pot so to speak!  Football started again.  Man U have never lost a European final.

Edwin van der Sar saves Henry’s effort.  Man U “teetering”.  Free kick to Barca on the edge, Diktat filly does not place think 4th not much in it, always very annoying to be beat short distances.

Piquet off the post.

Man U “familiarising themselves with the ball”.

Ronaldo offside.  Racing this side of the pond finishing up at Southwell, vow not to even peek at the US markets as that way madness lies…

Wayne Rooney onside but can’t keep the ball in.  Apparently Barca have a multi-talented bench.  I wish I had one of those.  Corner to Man U, Giggs delivers into Vidic, didn’t quite get it together.  Berbatov taking his jacket off.  Headband in place already.  Who’s coming off?

Realised I forgot to get my glasses.  Can’t be bothered now.  We agree on the settee that it is boring mostly so far.  The other end reminds me he predicted that they would nullify each other earlier today.  Why does Ronaldo look like he’s wearing a gum shield? 

Official commentary say Man U need a goal “out of the blue”.  I am sure Sir A has trained them better than that lads.  I don’t feel at all schadenfraude ish yet.  I would suggest Sir A brings on Berbatov before Barca score again – too late!!!

Messi scores (he’s 5 ft 7 apparently).  Van der Sar no chance.  Henry off.  I think it’s all over now with 20 minutes to go.


Oops no, Berbatov is on and Man U very nearly score through Giggs.  Tactically I think Sir A has made a mistake, Berbatov should have been on at the 30 mins to go mark.  I think the horse has bolted, the bird has flown.  It’s a lot less boring now but at 2-0 goodnight 🙂

P.S. the red army have found their voice but it may have to be a lament

Messi - it is for Manchester

Messi - it is for Manchester

Champions League Final Night

According to Steve on ITV it’s warm and sultry in Rome tonight.  According to Teddy its a game of “ups and downs” and Gary Neville will recover from the “bombshell” of being left out of the squad tonight.  Andy joins in with the craic.

Wayne Rooney has muttered his way more or less incomprehensibly through a pre-match interview and they’ve debated his merits vis Messi’s nearly to death.

So long as no-one starts going on ad infinitum (when in Rome) about Thierry Henry having to leave his beloved Arsenal for his bite at the Champions League cherry I’ll watch the lot and provide incisive comment (not commentary)!

We have learned that Eric Cantona will be trapped at the cinema somewhere in France tonight demanding to know the match score every minute.

Sir Alex looks as avuncular as I have ever seen him, I even almost warmed to him there.

I think the build-up is too fulsome.  They should have less of it IMO and I really hate that choir that roar “THE CHAMPIONS” on every ad break.

I am interested to see if a Man Utd loss tonight will give me the same unfamiliar schadenfraude that I had at the weekend when Newcastle went pot-holing. 

They’re about to come out: Ryan Giggs looks greying like me.  The opera singer Andrea Boccelli is highly grey but it suits him although the acoustics aren’t coming across so well.  Some women in strange get-ups are wandering around the pitch.  Andrea Boccelli finishes the unannounced song on a very long note.  Now he’s started up again.  Another long vibrato note.  Clapping and a touching fans white shirt tribute to Sir Matt.

The referee is Swiss “Massimo Moussaka or similar”, jokes about him being neutral and he had an audience with Pope Benedict today.  Lucky him, I wonder who his Holiness supports?

Average age of Man U squad is 28, Barca slightly older.  I can access something deeply exciting if I press the red button now – I’ll pass thanks.  I can multi-task but watching the match, manning the blog and pressing red buttons will be too much.

First free kick of the night taken by Ronaldo – saved by the goalkeeper.  We are told Ronaldo has the “most flexible ankles in football”…

Henry has not played for 25 days and not done much training, preferring to lie about in the treatment room.

I might back Waffle in the 7.50 at Beverley.

I backed Waffle to place only, running scared of Noble Storm for who the money is down.

Noble Storm beats Waffle, good call 🙂

The other end of the settee is yawning loudly – a lifelong Gooner he is only here to see the mighty fall.

All the pressure from Man U (wearing white).  Ronaldo shoots again looked wide, must get glasses at half-time.

A minute after Ronaldo’s attempt Barca score through Samuel Et’to – Man U defender and van der Sar in the right places but doing the wrong things.  Now a Barca corner.  Having trouble with the spellings of these Barca players.  I think their manager is younger than me 😦

Man U look a bit rattled momentarily.  Commentator reminds us they must play “calmly”.  May remind the children of that when they come home from the awaydays break at the grandparents.

Next race at Beverley is a 10f handicap, ignoring the Southwell race as it is a selling hurdle handicap aka a makemeadiva punting bloodbath.

Ronaldo fouled – free kick given about 30 yards out, remember I am not wearing glasses.

Height over the wall achieved, ball continues a fruitless trajectory over the top of the posts.

Backed McCoy’s ride in the selling hurdle in running – I will get what I deserve!

Messi shot!  Full of velocity it skims over the roof of the net.

Ronaldo shot goes wide.

McCoy loses at Southwell.  I must learn to heed my own advice.

We have lost count of Ronaldo’s shots on goal.  Maybe I’ll back Man Utd to win now they are 1-0 down. 

Swiss referee does not play advantage Barca.  Free kick awarded, goes for goal but nada.

The ball is “tied to Messi’s toe” and he wins a free kick.  I would like a bag of redbacks tied to my toe.

The 8.20 at Beverley does not look enticing.  Undecided.

Space for Rooney comes to nothing.  Barca has been monopolising possession.  The other end of the settee has fallen asleep; I wish they had a permanent clock in the tv screen corner.  Apparently 30mins gone, wish it was longer frankly. 

Racing selections, can’t decide between Rosbay or Riley Boys.  Go with Riley Boys to place.  Telly goes funny for a second.  Corner to Barca.  Thierry has not aged a bit since he left Arsenal.  Way over the goal.  Rosbay places at the track, Riley Boys does not!

Nothing to report from Roma.  End of sofa wakes, speaks one sentence and yawns.  I miss Kempton all-weather racing on a Wednesday evening.  Notice there are rather a lot of words here for one post.  Will keep quiet until the half-time whistle goes.

1 added minute, I’m bored, I’m going to hit publish.  The other end of the settee just muttered, “oh shut-up!” to the tv.  The commentator says the night is clammy?  I think he means sticky…

The Stadio Olimpico in a quieter moment

The Stadio Olimpico in a quieter moment

I fear the makemeadiva blog may be groaning under the strain of the various tangents my mind (and conspiritorial fingers) is (or is it are) bursting to chase off on.

We have thoughts on:

Parliamentary reform – that we should use modern technology and avoid the largest weekly talking shop on this sceptred isle therefore removing the need for a London pad.

Tea – not to forget to cook it now I have remembered to visit the shops, even though I did forget the loo (not toilet) paper.  Actually I didn’t forget, I couldn’t find it and got bored then gave up.

Fundraising – how to make the breakthrough needed to raise the last £1500

Training – how to fit it in and can I cope with another 60 miles on Saturday

Poetry – whose poetry do I prefer anyway, Ruth Padel’s or Derek Walcott’s?

Hair – not to forget to sort out the nappy dreadlocks of my eldest before tomorrow

Poetry – how to get out the Kindertransport poem that’s been haunting me

Packing – to try and be sufficiently organised to sort out the girls overnight (x2) clothes before their departure

Poetry competition – how to get the magazine publisher cornered into a morning meeting in the next hour and the non-existent marketing plan production

Tyre – to try and remember to replace the nickable one on the car

Freecycling – actually I’ll save that for a real blog post because I thought it was highly amusing!

Newcastle Go Down – Does Pride Come Before A Fall?

We tried to explain last night to our “caring for football not a jot” friends the magnitude of the Newcastle drop.  We tried our best to talk about the season-long narrative, the highs and lows, the cast of characters, the fans.  I am not sure they got it though.

I am not sure I get it either.  Are the Magpie fans the goodies or the baddies of the piece?  I know there are football fans who delighted in the sight of sobbing geordies at Aston Villa yesterday, in fact I have read a post that said the poster went to the match specifically hoping to see said sight.  I have read opinions which say the Newcastle fans only have themselves to blame – their impossibly high expectations driving the board to chuck out manager after manager as they only try to go to war with what they’ve got.  Doubts are also being cast on the financial security of the club since they have lost a big chunk of income and the owner’s bank balance is not what it was. 

On the other side of the coin, are the devastated fans who pride themselves on turning up at St James’ Park in quantity to support vociferously and then again as the travelling Toon Army.  They may have alienated other football teams’ fans in the process but isn’t that part of the game?  They are loud and proud of it.

I suppose that the truth of the matter lies somewhere between those black and white stripes in the grey areas that all of us inhabit, even football fans.  Partisanship is nice for a few hours on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon but it isn’t sustainable living.  So, the gutted Geordies will have to take their medicine along with the board and the staff and hope that the period of reflection they have been offered on the lower rung will give them a clear chance to rebuild their squad – body and soul.  Come next season, those sobbing fans will be back with a song in their heart expecting promotion.  Maybe we will miss them…

Theyll be back

They'll be back

Irish 2000 Guineas – Twitter type preview

Most of the best racing is on the weekends, which is a pain because I am at my busiest with family life then and cannot devote the time to looking at the cards.  So I mainly bet during the week.  I am sufficiently self-absorbed to have noticed that this post will be the On Wishes and Horses 100th blog post so whilst I was planning to do a “How we should Reform Parliament” post I have put that on ice to let you know that I have the 2000 at the Curragh down to three colts, purely on account of the heavy going and miling propensity.  They are:

Delegator again, although he should not be overly inconvenienced by heavy ground, he has never travelled to race before and I think he had the hardest race of those to line up so far this season.  I think he may well place but I am not overly confident of a win.

Mastercraftsman, he can improve on his effort at Newmarket and should go on the ground.  He has Murtagh in the saddle and I do not imagine he was given a hard time when his chance was gone three weeks ago.  Possible winner, very likely to place.

Rayeni, unraced this season and a little to find on ratings with the other two.  He is by Indian Ridge, a sire whose progeny usually go well on this going so providing he makes the anticipated improvement between his 2yo days and this afternoon we might expect him to be up there at the business end.   As his trainer also trains the English Guineas winner we can be sure he knows what he has and what he needs to beat.  In fact he said in the Racing Post today that this colt is being called up to replace Arazan who was the intended runner but has missed work due to a temperature.  Oxx accepts Rayeni will have to improve but agrees he will go on the ground – do not underestimate the importance of this factor!

I also looked at the Temple Stakes a 5f Group 2 sprint I used to enjoy at Sandown on the Brigadier Gerard Stakes evening racecard which has been rehoused at Haydock – why I don’t know.  I always thought it perfect at Esher.  Anyway, that gripe aside, they also have heavy ground there which will suit Reverence very well.  This old fella is probably operating somewhere below his prime now but the trainer Eric Alston says they “have never really had him better”.  I can also be tempted by Captain Gerrard who may be sharper now having not quite seen out 6f at York last week.  In truth though, as you can never rule out the Nicholls runners (there are two) and the filly Look Busy will be fine with the ground as will the 3yo Total Gallery it will have to be a no bet race.

I want to go on into the Greyhound Derby semis too but time is against me so I will settle for saying a win double on T2 looks good to me.  Fear Zafonic has the draw one nearer the rail than last time at 9.25 and although we can’t guarantee a clean run from 2 he did so well from 3 the last thrice I am happy to go with him.  In the 9.40 I like Lister’s other contender Farloe Reason who runs as fast as his kennel mate.  So it’s a Trap 2, Charlie Lister win double for me 🙂

Good luck to all!

Kevin Darley looks happier than Reverence - good luck fella!

Kevin Darley looks happier than Reverence - good luck fella!