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In Goal

I am right fed up with these interminable grey skies, even more so since we had some sun yesterday.

This was a hot and windy day last summer on a dog walk. I like the way the ace goalie has taken her jelly shoes off neatly, all ready to stop the ball.

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.

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.

Well it beats I Spy…

Hand half way up my back this video clip has been frogmarched on to the blog by the virtual powers of the Devon Aunt.

Let’s hope it works or I will know no peace.

Thankfully the star, director and executive producer shouted cut before she got into the Chelsea chant she has invented.

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 🙂

Arsenal Question?

Arshavin couldnt have done much more really

Arshavin couldn't have done much more really

Dear Lord won’t you buy me an Arsenal defense
My friends all drive four by fours, we must make amends
Worked hard all those matches
No help from the ends
Oh Lord won’t you buuuuyyyy me an Arsenal defense

to the tune of a popular Janis Joplin song used in an advert one time 😦

The question is (as I’m too wired to go to bed now – thanks Benayoun) how many late goals have the Gunners conceded this season?

P.S. I don’t know the answer but I’d like to because it seems like plenty!

The Emirates Stadium

Speaks for itself?

Speaks for itself?


This spot is a lot nicer on a sunny afternoon in April when Arsenal (sporting transferred Russian Arshavin) are playing free and flowing football than on my previous visit earlier this year.  That day was the coldest in London for ten years and Arsenal, be gloved and be hatted if they were allowed, were tight and surly and made an awful meal of beating Bolton 1-0 (thank you green-booted Bendtner).

Yesterday they would have not been lavish in their scoring if the sheet had read 5-o against Man City.  As it was we took the 2-0, although for betting purposes I was looking for a bit of 2-1!  Frankly the North-West were not looking up for it in the last 15, I think they could nearly have lain down on the magnificent turf and sunbathed for all the impact they made.  Robinho (substituted) looked like he was on an early holiday but I took time to admire the workrate and heart of Shaun Wright-Phillips up and down the wing.  It helped that he faced the right way most of the time. 

Yet I was left, as before, with the overwhelming marvel that is the Highbury (sorry) pitch.  It is like plush velvet.  Scuzzy boot marks spring back to vanish altogether within seconds.  Oh woe is me that the Head Groundsman has departed for Real Madrid.  We can only hope and pray that he has taught his understudy well.

Goodbye Paul Burgess, its been a ball, hello Paul Ashcroft.

Goodbye Paul Burgess, it's been a ball, hello Paul Ashcroft.