Saturday, 27 February 2010

Aberdeen 0 Heart of Midlothian 1


On this excuse for a pitch the Heart of Midlothian, in spite of losing two central defenders to injury, in spite of having one man sent of because he was wearing a Heart of Midlothian shirt (He would never have been dismissed by Wullie Collum had he worn an Old Firm jersey), in spite of having our left back suffer a head cut, in spite of having a blatant penalty turned down, in spite of being harassed by the least motivated Aberdeen side for years the Heart of Midlothian won the game with a marvellous overhead kick from Edgar Jonsson! Jonsson was an excellent example of a player motivated to win, something missing from McGhoo's Aberdeen side. (Can the manager survive the season? Will he experiment with young blood or just walk away? The club cannot afford to sack him can they?) Throughout the game he gave his all and when he scored the goal he had in fact been moved to central defence, so what was he doing in the Dandy Dons penalty area! Obua, so often abused by some, once again showed his ability, first as a stand in striker and secondly as a stand in defender! Greta show from him. Balogh in goal had almost nothing  to do. So much so the only moment was when he was booked for time wasting by the incompetent ref. Six players obtained a booking, few deserved one. Poor showing by the referee in many ways today.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Born Under a Bad Sign

by Booker T. Jones and William Bell

Born under a bad sign.
I've been down since I began to crawl.
If it wasn't for bad luck,
I wouldn't have no luck at all.

Bad luck and trouble's my only friend.
I've been down ever since I was ten.


You know, wine and women is all I crave.
A big bad woman's gonna carry me to my grave.


First Verse

Born under a bad sign.
I've been down since I began to crawl.
If it wasn't for bad luck,
I wouldn't have no luck.
If it wasn't for real bad luck,
I wouldn't have no luck at all.

Born under a bad sign.
Born under a bad sign.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Consonum Ensemble

I enjoyed an hour of real music at lunchtime today at the Civic Theatre, Chelmsford. Here in this small, dark theatre, where just under one hundred, mostly elderly gathered, to listen to the Consonum Ensemble, one man at least wisely continuing to drink his coffee as the show starts. The ensemble, comprises one pianist, one clarinettist and one soprano, playing an assortment of short pieces. A large screen showing a pinkish, purple light dominated the darkened theatre.Over the speaker a gentle piano tinkles away as we enter and fight over our seats. This is not really necessary as the Civic holds about 250 I would guess, but some folks like to keep to 'their seat,' especially when it is at the end of a row. I gently kicked an aged crone aside and found an almost empty row where I could deposit myself far from the TCP aroma on my right. I did find it somewhat disappointing that there was no 'Grand Piano.' instead an upright, tuned and ready, awaits. Suitable I am sure but it does give the appearance of a pub night with 'Chas & Dave' rather than an hour of Schumann & Schubert. Maybe the remembrance of two many out of tune church pianos was flitting through my mind?

The trio enter somewhat embarrassedly to mild applause. It then crosses my mind that some may sink into slumber if the show is not to their liking, the place is warm and that heat increases as the hour passes, maybe that explained the coffee? The minute the Soprano lifted her voice however I realised that as the man said, 'Nessam dorma mate,' or 'None shall sleep' to you!

There then followed a delightful hour of music. This is what was played for you music lovers out there. (No dear, having danced the night away at that 'Abba Tribute' evening does not make you a 'Music lover,' believe me!)

'Firstlings' by Betty Roe
Three Folk Songs by John McCabe
Fragments from 'The Hollow Men' by Jacob Shirley
'Fantasie Italienne' by Marc Diemas
'Tonada y Cueca' by Carlos Guastavino
Two Songs from 'The Hermit Songs' by Samuel Barber
'Er, der Herrlichste von allen' by Robert Schumann
'Liebst du um Schonheit' by Carla Schumann
'Der Hirt auf Dem Felsen' by Franz Schubert.

Those of us among the audience who know how to find Radio 3 on the wireless thoroughly enjoyed our short time. The pianist was outstanding,and it shows just how much hard work is required to obtain an honours degree in music! I was much impressed, especially as the pretty young lass had to take part in each item, the soprano and the clarinet could take a break at times. The combination worked well, although I thought we could have had more clarinet as the soprano, excellent indeed, dominated the whole piece otherwise. However I must not appear to criticise. Some time back I made it clear that a music critic I heard could not 'enjoy' music because he spent his time criticising it. I do not wish that to happen to me, especially as I do not have the knowledge in my ears to appreciate the finer aspects of music performance. I should point out that the pretty young pianist has also indicated that criticism may result in loosened teeth and I believe her! I did respect the clarinet player, lumbered with two women two handle, he did less than they but I suspect this was to give him the strength to carry the bags afterwards. He was very good, especially for one who obtained a degree in architecture, a funny way to learn the clarinet I thought.

Afterwards to much applause the trio slip out. The lights alter, the pinkish screen returns and amid gossip the audience quickly departs. The elderly steward asks one if the show was 'enjoyable,' "Oh yes," she says, although whether from pleasure or politeness I was not too sure. Most appeared to enjoy it, as I did, thoroughly.In fact the last time I enjoyed a concert so much was back in the winter of 1971/2 when I heard the 'Third Ear Band,' light show and all, in the basement of the Methodist Church in Notting Hill. They produced one or two excellent albums and I see no reason for these three not to emulate their success in time. They are a trio well worth looking out for. 

Their following appearances:-

6th March. 7:30.    St Barnabus Church, Woodford Green. (Two girls only)
April 15th 1pm.      St Johns Church. Notting Hill, London
10th June 7:30      St Andrews Church, Surbiton.
24th August 3:15   Southwark Cathedral, London.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

I'm not breaking up, I'm not!

At twenty minutes after one this lunchtime I decided I needed to move quickly to get the cheap, end of day, veg from the market stall before they disappear off home. Threfore I made off across the park, struggling against the bitter north east wind, rounded the comer at the top of the street and found myself wondering why there are no stalls out today.  Anyone else of course would realise that the market takes place on Wednesdays as it has done since the year 1200, and that today is in fact Tuesday!  Only I could forget that fact, well actually now I come to think of it  I did forget this not that long ago when one Wednesday I found myself wondering why the market was on that day, I had spent the day thinking it was Tuesday!

There again who can be surprised? Nothing goes right these days. This includes the soup I flung on the floor yesterday while attempting to close the lid on it, the oven I cleaned with that 'Mr Muscle' stuff that has left such a stink I still canny use the oven. Nor the other week when I placed my dinner on the cooker and watched it fall gracefully to the floor. Nor do I foget how it took three weeks to get the padlock of the bike because it had jammed and that I could not get the cutter from my neighbour. Not that I've fixed the bike, it's just too cold to care about just now.

 I read somewhere that after the age of fifty you will spend an hour a day 'just looking for things.' This is rubbish, you will spend so much more time than that! I make the tea and half an hour later realise I have not drunk it, why? because I have forgotten to bring it to where I am sitting! I find the milk in the cupboard and the sugar in the fridge, I decide to do something, get distracted, and forget what it was I was doing until next Thursday when it's to late!

There again, such behaviour does run in the family, so maybe it's not age after all. The more I think about it, the memories of going home from work happy after a long tiring day, and returning in the morning to find the door of my employment open because I had forgotten to shut it, comes to mind! Going on holiday and taking one of the most important keys with me was one episode that made me very popular with some! What happened to all those shiny, sharp instruments that we used on the ward when I worked  in the Royal Infirmary is a question I would rather not consider at the moment. That reminds, it's gone!  

edit. There was another item I meant to post, but, er....I forgot.......

Monday, 22 February 2010

Alan Hansen

Watching 'Match of the Day' I was suddenly struck (I often am) by the sight of Alan Hansen's hair. Now I normally don't pay much attention to a man's hair, or a woman's either when you think about it, but it struck me as strange that he had no gray hair to be seen. Next to him, lounging like a drunk on his fourth pint of cheap cider, sagged Mark Lawrenson gray hair bulging out at both sides of his head. Asking the banal, scripted questions opposite was greying haired Gary Linekar, once the great white hope of English football. How come Hansen, older than Linekar, slightly younger than Lawro, and the same age as myself has no gray hair showing?

Could it be that the nations (and probably his) favourite pundit, ex Liverpool captain, ex Scotland international (Who can forget his tackle on Willie Miller that put us out of the 82 World Cup? Miller was wearing the same shirt as you Hansen, that meant he was on your side ya numpty! It was the only tackle he had made all season also!) this ex footballer has fallen for the mid life crisis syndrome. Stupid man has been watching too many 'Just for Men' adverts and dyes his hair so he looks good on telly. Does he think this will prolong his appearances?  Surely his talent ought to do that anyway? Does he note the way Linekar can get the girls, and does this make him feel rejected? Does he fear the Beebs absurd idea of bringing in Gabby (appropriate name) Yorath or any other lass will mean proper football people (e.g. Men!) will be pushed aside? Or could it be the ageism that is rife within the Beeb makes him fear his job may go if he is seen as from 'too far in the past?' I wonder. There is no reason whatsoever for a man to use dye to cover his gray hair. It happens and only sad losers worry about this sort of happening. Get a life Alan, and let you hair be natural, and be yourself for without that then you are nothing!

 Yesterday bright sunshine and blue skies! Today the Arctic Circle has drawn a little closer. There was no need. If I had wanted snow, cold and misery I know where to find it! The sudden appearance of this horrid stuff has meant the Blue Tits and Green and Gold finches, that have once again began to feed on the bird feeders outside the window will be knocked down by such weather. Where can small birds hide from this? I have made a decision to hide from it also, I am off back to bed!

Tuesday, 16 February 2010


How lovely. The weather men have removed the freezing cold, the hail, the hailstones and the snow and replaced all these horrible 'Edinburgh style' weather patterns with rain! I suppose we ought to be glad that there are no icicles hanging from every nook and cranny, but the rain was filling my pockets of my cheap raincoat today! Although I am not so sure 'cheap' is the right word for the price paid! Rain has fallen steadily almost all day and will continue for much of tomorrow also. The ratbag on telly threatened snow if we don't behave and that means snow is a very likely outcome I would say. It's just a good job I am not the complaining type that's all I can say!


I have nothing to say. For the past few days (or is it weeks?) my mind has struggled to think. A combination of tiredness, (why am I always tired?) the bug, the cold, cold, weather, and have led to a lack of stimulation and a deadness in my little mind. (Strange that I have such a little mind when so many, many, people mention how my hat must be the largest in the town?) Today I actually feel quite happy inside, the morning job meeting went well, walking through the rain was enjoyable actually, until I realised how much rain had lodged in my pockets! And the milder weather meant I could open the window without wearing gloves, even those with the fingers cut off! However none of this stimulates my mind. There has been no photographs appearing in front of me as I wander about with the camera, although for the past few days the cold cutting through me did not help, and the world in a small town changes very little. (By photographs 'appearing in front of me I did not mean photographs 'appear' in front of me. I must make that clear.)

One thought that hung around for a while was the need to find myself a car. John, at the dole, insists this will help find work, as sop many jobs here (when they actually appear) are placed in out of the way places, such as farms attempting to make money, or industrial estates on the edges of towns, or near by-passes. The idea is good but the cash does not appear. I looked for a £500 banger but the one garage, if 'garage' is the right word, has closed down, and the chap who placed cars on the empty pavement near an industrial estate has not been doing so lately. The looks I got as I examined the cars parked there the other day!  The problem, other than non existent cash, is that such vehicles cost more to maintain than to but, and one that will cost a reasonable amount would be far to expensive for me to risk. The story of my life really.

The other day I went to fix the bike. Easy I thought, the new cable was on, it just needs adjusting. However the lock I placed on it, to stop my neighbour throwing it out, has jammed! I cannot get it open no matter what. The other neighbour has offered me his cutters, but he has disappeared! There again I made a wonderful dinner, placed it on top of the cooker while I reached for something and the lot fell on the floor. Oh I could spit sometimes! The other day I cleaned the oven (I do it every couple of years whether it needs it or not) and the 'Mr Muscle' stuff I used has been poisoning me ever since! Just how toxic is this stuff, I wish I could find out? Even with all the windows open I have been breathing this stuff. After a day or so I switched the oven on and once again went to bed with a nose full of poison! I am afraid to use the thing in case I kill myself as I suppose there is so much still hanging around that it will poison everything I put inside the oven! I suppose I will have to use bicarb or some such and clean it all over again to remove the muck. I can't wait to see what will fall apart/go wrong tomorrow!  Next time it just stays filthy.

Of course when I have nothing to write I could just put down the odd thoughts that run through my head. There are of course dangers in such an approach, dangers similar to those sci-fi stories where people are enabled to hear others thoughts. I think myself that hearing the thoughts of those you deal with could be very interesting if it could happen. The salesman desperate to make you part with cash would be on a loser at such times, the bosses real motive in giving you that 'special' job, the wife/husband's motive in bringing gifts and kind heartedness would be revealed, although I suspect they probably would be anyway. By being able to go into the mind of the checkout girl and listen to the wind howling through the empty space within, well that alone would answer some questions. The same could be said for understanding the reasons an Ashley Cole behaves so stupidly, or a teenager acts like they do, although that may make no difference of course as looking inside a teenagers head may not be either a good idea or lead to an understanding of what is going on, maybe just stick to the grunts on that one. I am not sure if I would be able to stand such a 'gift' for too long, especially as I spend so much of my time failing to understand the thoughts that do go around my head most of the day.

Possibly because I am not busy at the moment my mind throws up memories or images for no good reason. Suddenly an image of a green field, glimpsed when learning to drive last year appears, and very nice to, or a memory of a game we played as kids, or an aroma of flowers or cooking long forgotten suddenly fills my mind. Usually there is nothing but the usual gripes and daily routine there of course. One memory of an item the other day brought back many memories long forgotten and I was amazed at how fresh these thoughts were. The brain contains vast resources of information, mostly untouched, and we really need to make use of the information stored there, why waste our memories or our knowledge? Maybe I ought to write a book of useless trivia after all, 'Memories of a complete clot' should sell well, in the remainder shops! (Actually that reminds me, a well known Scots M.P. wrote a book about Celtic football club to commemorate their centenary, however it did not sell as the team was abysmal at the time, so to prevent it landing in remainder shops he bought 5000 copies of his own book!)

Thursday, 11 February 2010


I get on extremely well with the lesbians next door. They asked me what I would like for my birthday. I was stunned when they gave me a Rolex. It was very nice of them, but I think they misunderstood me when I said,
"I wanna watch."

Some folk will take offence at anything....I met a bloke with no legs this morning while at the bus stop and all I asked was "How are you getting on?"

They reckon that Beer contains female hormones and I think they're right. 
After 8 pints I talk shit and can't drive.

An Englishman goes to the doctor with hearing problems. 
"Can you describe the symptoms to me?" asked the doctor.
"Yes. Homer is a fat yellow lazy sod and Marge is a skinny bird with big blue hair."

Ear plugs, for fast effective relief from period pain.

My girlfriend is suffering from depression. She phoned me the other day and said, "I feel like jumping in front of a bus and you're not doing anything to help."

So I sent her a time-table.

Paddy was in the delivery room when the midwife handed him a black baby "Is this yours?" she asked. "Probably." said Paddy "She burns everything else!"

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Siberian Wednesday

In spite of the blue sky and bright shining sun the weather today has been Siberian! My poor little mitts were frozen by the time I had carried my potatoes home today. The minute I got inside the sky darkened and large lumps of snow have been falling ever since, with short breaks as if taking a breath before once more darkly  jettisoning more snow upon us. Now a thin white film covers the land and making my fingers cold as I wrap them around a mug of (cheap) brandy soaked coffee.I feel sympathy and indeed empathy for those working outside in such weather, although I will do nothing to make their life easier, obviously!

History they claim has been made, a woman has refereed a first class football match! I did not catch where as it is not one of those things that matter to any normal person, but then I began to think, why? Why are women allowed to referee male football matches? The false equality shoved onto us by the Labour Government of recent years that's why! No wonder kids grow up confused about their sexuality! The clear and unavoidable differences between male and female have been rubbed out by the politically correct in recent years. In their middle class desire to bring 'equality' such differences in emotions, understanding, thinking and all that goes to make an individual what they are have been shoved aside and a middle class social engineering has brought about a confusion among people today. That some women could indeed referee the game is irrelevant, finding a man to do it properly is another question, but in this world women are encouraged into everything while men, especially white males, and working class ones at that, are treated as second class, and indeed, dangerous! There is no requirement for a woman to referee football, and when they do a man, fully trained and as competent as possible, is now looking for work. I suppose the fact that he is more capable than she will cut no ice with those who live in a dream world? The Harriet Harmans of this world, blinded by hatred of men, will rejoice, but this is false equality, similar to the idiotic idea of allowing girls into the Boy Scouts, and considering this equality! Do boys join the Girl Guides, or are they banned I wonder? Playing with 'gender,' (it is never referred to as 'sex' these days) does much harm, and the excuse that this is 'inclusive' is nonsense. There are many things we are all excluded from and social engineering will never change this. I am seriously considering voting Conservative if they save us from such PC absurdities, but then I realise 'Dave' is so keen to get elected that he has forgotten both his 'principles' and his electorate. Sadly I see the dafties of the BNP and UKIP getting many voting for them this time. What a future we face!


Talking of Harriet it appears someone unknown (mostly members of parliament) has put her forward for the 'rear of the Year.' Poor sad feminist that she is she will be ashamed to admit she is pleased, even to herself.
However, should she not be better being put in the 'Arse of the Year,' instead?

Monday, 8 February 2010


Global warming? Tell me about it! The temperature has dropped so far that icicles are forming inside my boots! Snow flakes have been gently falling all day, and the weather girls are smiling sweetly when indicating vast snowdrifts across my window! Outside said window people pass by dressed like 'Nanuk of the North,' and I sit here with a gas bill which tells me I have used less gas since the last bill but they wish me to pay more for the privilege! I attempted to call tonight, and was greeted by a message informing me that since the "..Gas price reductions..." have been announced the waiting time may be a "...bit longer than usual." Indeed? You mean several call centre staff have been fired, only six left now is there? I gave up and will attempt this again tomorrow, with a smile on my face and a hatchet in my hand! The 2% profits have gone up to 3% I notice, although the call centre staff will probably still be ion £5:68 an hour. It is time to nationalise the utilities! Never mind the 'investment' private companies have made, they overcharge and this bill is an example. If I had not read the small print at the bottom I would not have noticed the increase. How many ignore this and find far too much of their money is in the hands of these thieving get rich quick companies? The last bill I notice included the FOUR payments I had made, this one includes only three indicating I have paid less! This is a trick to increase the costs. I am considering a letter to the ombudsman under whatever name he goes by these days.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Saturday Cogitation

Watching England v Wales rugby match I noticed two princes were there supporting England.  I wondered what would happen if one of them became 'Prince of Wales?' Would he still support England? His dad has hardly ever been in the 'principality.' (and why is it called 'Principality,'and not 'nation?' How condescending of their English overlords.) since his 'anointing!' Another point was the use of the 'British' national anthem by the England side. Why is this? Does England not have it's own anthem, or do we conclude they still believe, wrongly I assure you, that England and Britain are one and the same? I know their rugby folks attempted to use both 'Jerusalem,' a city four thousand miles away, and 'Swing low sweet chariot,' what we used to call a 'Negro spiritual,' as an anthem, (although the Speech Nazi's no longer allow us to use this term.) And, when we are on, why does one prince have red hair? His dad is not ginger is he? I do hope no ginger footballer is involved here, what would the 'Daily Mail' say?  

As you will know by now I am not the type to get grumpy every time some little irritation appears near my ken, however I must admit that when watching television the constant desire of each TV director and cameraman to shove the camera close into a persons face annoys me. Not only do we no longer see the individual properly, they move, and as they move so does the camera and instead of a picture we get the sensation of giddiness so beloved of females in Victorian melodramas! AND THIS ANNOYS ME, SO STOP IT NOW!!!! If I have a sudden desire to notice the hair sticking out of someone's nose I WILL VISIT A PSYCHIATRIST! If however I want to notice the individual I will want the camera pulled back so we can all see what they are like, not just the bits shoved in our face! 

Yet this has happened ever since TV became popular in the fifties. In 1957, I read recently, a complaint was made in the Radio Times asking why we had the face of an individual filling the screen? This was a complaint that TV people chose to ignore determined to believe that this aided our understanding of the lying politician or football star involved. In fact nowadays there is a move to just watch the eyes! An excellent documentary on Channel 5 some years ago concerning the RAF and WW2 was spoiled by the needless close up of the eyes, and often just one eye of an ex-fighter pilot! What the blazes was that supposed to tell us? Be a pilot and get red ageing eyes? Sir Alex Ferguson is one who is often subject to this. Most opportunities to give us the benefit of his ever purpling nose is never missed, and if possible, the camera will slowly close in on his eyes, and then, wait for it, we will be presented with a close up of the iris and pupil filling our screen! Marvellous, except WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE WATCHING THE BLOODY GAME!!!!!!! I despair at times with the stupidity of TV folk. They live in a bubble far removed from those of us in the real world. I suspect that we will have to get used to glaring faces frightening our children for many years to come.

Friday, 5 February 2010

A sight of Spring

A very interesting site with great pictures!

Today we had a taste of Spring and delightful it was too! The sun came out, once the rain had decided to stop, and the sky turned blue. I even heard the delightful cry of a Greenfinch at the window after it discovered the peanuts hanging there. I suspect he was calling to his mates to inform them of his find but none came to join him. This is a pity as I enjoy listening to the Greenfinches and Blue Tits chirping away at the window. On occasion I have had young Blue Tits come in the window disorientated, and had to chase the fearful wee birds out again. Alas one even flew into the front window and killed himself one year, apparently thousands do this as the reflection fools them. Now I have the plant there it does not happen. Actually a pigeon also managed this feat but got up and moved away afterwards, somewhat shaken! A but if this is merely a passing glimpse of Spring I am happy. The cold easing off just for a day is to be desired. Spring will soon be here! Hooray!


So the press have won! John Terry made the mistake of attempting to block publication of his private life, and the press do not like that. The stupidity of a judge, possibly jealous of Terry's earnings and low grade occupation, supported the media's clamour for information that had nothing to do with them. Since then there has been a witch-hunt based on supposed morality, and this from the gutter press?  I suppose it is true that had Terry offered to drop the captain's arm band the power may have been lessened, but once the combined low level media attack they do not let go. Today the manager, Capello, removed the captaincy from John Terry in an act of sheer cowardice! A cowardice already noted when the English F.A. passed the buck onto him rather than deal with it themselves. 'Suits.' who can rely on them? A disgrace!Terry ought to walk away from England now, much as I have normally no time for him it cannot be said he has been well treated and he ought to walk away and let the press see the damage they have done. 

Funny how his, estranged, wife was photographed wandering about quite obviously posing for the cameras on a Dubai beach. Maybe he had a reason to go after a better woman? Who can tell in any marriage, and who can tell when the man earns £150,000 or so a week? Did she marry him for him or the cash? Would she be with him if he played for Rochdale? The whole thing stinks of hypocrisy and the media stinks most of all!