Category Archives: Football

Arsenal show some mental fortitude (at last)

VanPersie and Wenger

About this time of year Arsenal regularly crash out of the Champions League, and the first leg match at home against Barcelona looked
like it was going to script at half-time last night.

And then, when the home side were available for the win @ odds of 16/1, well into the final half, things dramatically turned around. This photo was taken after Van Persie’s acutely angled equaliser and it speaks for itself.

After the match the players thanked the fans for their contribution
to the victory: for once The Library had run amok.

The only fly in the ointment was the stupid question in the post-match interview with Robin Van Persie. Fortunately, the Number 10 shirt can not only score goals, he can also smell rank hyperbole when it’s
shoved under his nose.

Football: a big day in the life of

And I don’t mean the impending announcement of whether West Ham will indeed get the Olympic stadium over Tottenham.

No, it’s bigger than that: today is the day the eldest goes off to play in her first inter-school football tournament on the astroturf pitches at a local High School. She has some new Arsenal shin pads, which the youngest tested thoroughly in the front room last night by giving her sister’s shins some good hard kicks. She has some football socks which she insisted she didn’t need because she was going to borrow her friend’s spare pair. It was pointed out that, going forward, if she was going to play for Arsenal Ladies she might need her own…

There then followed a fulmination about the selfish nature of her boy team mates; apparently, they would rather lose possession of the ball to the opposing team than pass to a girl. There was also a more mild-mannered digression around why she was picked to play in the team at all: long legs, speed to burn…

I am on maternal sporting tenterhooks waiting for the post-match report.

Pass us the ball lads

The Dog’s Ball

Is now more than halfway to Kent on the outgoing tide. Once he’d rolled it into the drink there was no chance of anyone retrieving it, least of all him.

I took quite a few photos, trying to straighten up the horizon – I couldn’t.

It’s official, from where I’m standing, the earth is definitely not flat.

A bit more ink

Last time I looked, David Beckham had a few tattoos: an angel on his back and his wife’s name written in Hindi up his inside arm. Now someone’s scribbled all over his arms in a biro too.

Perhaps he doodled them onto himself whilst he was waiting for that disappointing FIFA announcement this afternoon.

I think I might get one done, it might ease the pain.

Essex Boys

These are the lads me and Rudi had a walk with yesterday. From left: Billy the best dog in the entire world who’s giving Kylie a run for her money in the beauty stakes even into pensionable age, Raffi the poodle who does his own usually somewhat entertaining thing, (including baiting badgers) and Max the labrador who majors in lab-type things.

I noticed also that there’s a photo of me and Billy, when I was in my 20s and he was but a pup, pinned to my friend’s fridge. I quite like to think of myself captured in eternal youth with a puppy on my lap stuck amongst their memorabilia of people, dogs and horses. I also know that I can wave across the kitchen at the Liverpool FC photo and Fernando Torres’ signed shirt. That’s pretty cool, but only because they are now playing leapfrog back up the table…

Easy like Sunday Morning (not)

Hobble downstairs on stiff and twisted foot. Wonder why this happens

Make tea x 1.5. Thankful to have remembered the youngest insists on putting her own sugar in and I have averted being roundly abused. Feed dog.

Am informed by half a cup sugared tea drinker that there is water, “possibly wee” on the floor under a chair in the dining room.

Mop floor, notice badge-pressing hand is sore.

Am informed by same informant that Edgar the Guppy “may be dead”. Feed fish, guppy unresponsive. Anxiously prod fish alive. Think I might cry with relief.

Drink tea. Am despatched to make coffee and get extension lead. Am informed that two extension leads have been broken in the last month by myself or my mother. Am also reminded I have not yet “fixed” the upstairs televisual feed to bedroom. Retort that I have no vested interest in this.

Draw coffee drinker’s attention to my horoscope: You might get so angry at someone who is being obstinate today that you could lose your temper.

Impervious to zodiacal warning I am admonished for serving coffee in the Arsenal mug (oh I knew what I was doing). Am informed that the morning’s viewing (downstairs, remember no feed upstairs) will be Tweenies with half a cup as no desire to relive the Gunners baffling (yet predictable) dismal display.

Open cupboard-under-stairs, take out extension lead, chip loose football over Henry hoover and quickly shut door before it rolls out again.

Hide upstairs with laptop and incontinent dog. Perhaps they will forget I am here.

Life is like this in the morning: lots of potential, but blurry round the edges.

Hotter than July

That’s what it is. Too hot to think, or type or bugger up making things in the kitchen.

Stevie Wonder is an artist whose output I love and loathe in equal measure. I find it hard to understand that someone who can be so profound can also surf on such cheese as can be found on some of his later albums. On the other hand, as someone who can write utter *tripe myself at times, perhaps it is easier to get if you just follow the logic of just putting it all out there come what may.

These are two Sunday vibes that I like

*I might manage to watch Holland win later although I read that Paul the Psychic Octopus is against me on that one. I’d go with the Octopus if I were you.

Date with Destiny

George Washington’s only offspring goes down to post for the 6.20 maiden tonight at Newbury.

I wish her very well indeed, but I think Pencarrow might be the one to beat.

Gorgeous George was a Fleeting Spirit was he not.

Worth celebrating with a beer before 6.20, and a real added excitement to the World Cup Final is the news that Rotherham referee Howard Webb will officiate. I have never found a ref to step into Pierluigi Collina’s boots (especially not that Mexican fella who looks like Eddie Munster), but I have high hopes for Webb. On the downside I must deal with the realisation that Webb is younger than me and a policeman (on sabbatical). You know what they say about that.

A Christmas cracker essential I think

A return to the depths of my bag and the punting pot tomorrow

In the meantime and in broad blinking daylight I am posting my eldest at her Sports Day.

I pack up a PE kit at the beginning of half-term, as you do in compliance with Skool Rools and when I turn up I imagine naively my daughter will be wearing it.

She was wearing this.

I didn’t buy it, in fact I don’t remember having seen it before. Clearly I am not ahead of the game.

Look what I got

Someone very kindly bought me back a vuvuzela directly from South Africa. It was an unexpected gift and it lifted an otherwise tiresome day.  

I go to a writers’ group at the Palace Theatre at the moment. It is a new project and I like it because we are a mix of ages. The youthful vuvuzela bearer brought back two: one for me and one for a retired teacher I’ll call Mr Morrell. The age gap must be about fifty years between those two and I sit somewhere in the middle of the range.  

He also brought some small stone elephants for another member of the group, wrapped in South African newspaper. I really wanted the newspaper fragments, but they were still needed for the elephants. So I contented myself with looking at a furniture store advert to see what manner of sofa you can get in Cape Town.  

Souvenir hunting can seem a bit Abigail’s Party in the wrong hands, but this young man pulled it off with grace and charm. He said after the England v Algeria match he needed to hit the shops for therapeutic purposes. He also said he thought JT had a lot to answer for…  

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