Sunday, June 29, 2008


How delightful that the Germans gave the world a word which so perfectly describes my emotions at this moment in time.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Book learning #42

The Prime Minister, the office and it's holders since 1945.
Peter Hennessey.

Hennessey is a great contemporary historian.

I first read this a few years ago, I picked it up again for two reasons. I was bored and I'd loved it the first time. I was hoping to find some insight into leadership that might help with my current professional ennui.

I loved it all over again, most of all Clement Atlee, then Harold Macmillan, then James Callaghan.

Did I learn anything?
Have I used that learning?
Perhaps but maybe not yet.

Did I enjoy re-reading the moments of power and struggle of the the last 65 years?

Do I look like a political geek?

Backyard Glastonbury.

You know you are getting old when you see the coverage of the Glastonbury Festival on the BBC and think "Oh that's nice, I can have a beer on the sofa and watch that".

I've attempted to recreate a mild 'Glasto' atmos by getting a bit drunk and leaving the back door open.
(Frau Random Doubt is at a disco at the Ex Serviceman's club with my sister)

Germany v Spain, European Championship Final 2008.

I'm constantly amazed and delighted by the BBC's approach to foreign football. They make the very best of any opportunity to shake, rattle and mock our European cousins and it's often brilliant. I was gobsmacked by their 'Anschluss' montage before the Germany- Austria group match

Then there was the Adrian Childs 'Freud, where's my mother/why didn't England qualify?' sketch during a half time segment.

I'm very much looking forward to tomorrows final between Germany and Spain (Oh please, please, please, Catholic God, Allah,Tommi Miers, George Orwell,Franco, King Juan Carlos II, whoever else has had any influence in anything Spanish ever, ever. Please give the Spaniards strength! Defeat the Germans!)

(Guess who I have a massive TV crush on)

(No, not him)

(shit no! are you mental?)

I cant wait to hear what is said during John "The FA Cup needs a cuddle"* Motson's last match commentary as the BBC hand over the rights to covering such events to the commercial stations.

* Responding to the popular view that the FA Cup, that grand dame of footy had lost her magic and allure.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ugghhhh??? Noooo???!

Who commits the biggest injustice of Euro 08?
Of Course.
The Germans.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The enemies list

Of course, now the Dutch have flown back north , the real Euro 2008 fun can begin.
My interest is no longer based upon wanting somebody to win, but really, really, really wanting Germany or Italy to lose.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The end of the road.

Russia 3 Holland 1.

Oh dear, my adopted footy nation are on their way home.

OK, I'm over it now.

I was alarmed, no, profoundly disturbed, to note the fashion amongst Russian fans to cavort about without shirts on.
I'm not sure they are what I would describe as an attractive race.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

lunchtime topics

For those of you who have begun your summers already.

I ate lunch with the kids today and was delighted to be told to sit next to my least able, most challenging but almost, on a good day, most lovable student.
We both had seconds , extolled the virtues of apple crumble and virtually licked our plates clean (as close as is possible in semi polite society)
The topics he brought up were as follows.

If you were an animal, what animal would you be?

I said seagull, he said fox. We both agreed that we had wanted to be these animals since forever and would not be changing our minds anytime soon "unless they discover a new animal that's better than a fox".

If you could travel back in time when would you travel to?

I said right here but about 200 years ago, before railways and decent roads and all the new buildings. He was excited by that idea and decided that he'd quite like to come along as well, if that was alright. A few of the other kids thought that would be pretty cool and asked if they could come along as well "as backup".

What's your favourite pudding?

Apple crumble of course except noone makes it as nice as Granny. Another kid pointed out that Grannies always makes the best apple crumble. Didn't stop us going up for seconds.

Later on this same kid gave me a classic quote with a great big smile on his face.

"When I'm 16 I'm going to get a tractor and just drive about in that all the time. I'll never get a proper driving licence, I can't bloody read!"

Friday, June 13, 2008

Team of the tournament?

"The Dutch have gone goal crazy"

John Motson. 13/6/08

I love my new adopted football country!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Why I blog.

I blog because I have just looked in my diary and realised that the deadline I was getting all nervous and sweaty about was in fact July 1st.

Not June 20th!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Het is een beetje als het letten op Blackpool

And yes, when you think about it, it really is a bit like watching Blackpool.

That is why, my friends and readers, I have decided to place my full support behind the Royal House of Orange and their football team.

As I write (and before you quibble, I made this decision days ago) they lead Italy 2-0 which is a matter that can only fill my heart with lots of small bits of glee!

It's also slightly relevant that I live rather close to Holland and if I were a seagull I could probably fly there in a reasonably short amount of time.

I've also spent some time this year working with a Dutch Maths guru who was not only knowledgeable and helpful but very friendly, in a Tim Gunn from 'Project Runway' sort of a way.

All that aside I have always admired their footy team and have only ever been upset by them on those odd occasions when they have beaten England.

Gawd Bless you M'aam!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Rain stopped play?

The Clement Attlee Junior School old boys XI have called upon my services.

It's been raining for three days straight.

I'm dressed in whites and am about to play up and play the game.

The sun is theatening an appearance before 3pm (when a decision will be made).

I've even got hold of a raspberry victoria sponge cake.

The old boy (girl) network

In my last sailing related post I mentioned my search for erstwhile sailing chum of old, Mr Turner.

As I opened my email inbox this lunchtime I noticed an email from Emily Fabpants. As usual it was an absolute pleasure to get such an email (not least because she'd included some delightful photos of Hickling, her broad one of which I have reproduced here. Along with these pics she'd also included Mr Turner's email address! (our friendship predates email and we would always just catch up with everyone each spring as we were fitting out for a new year of sailing).

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Hippy art work.

And to think I thought my last school had all the brilliantly eccentric parents.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Sailing goals 2008.

Some Three Rivers 'action' from last weekend.

Thanks toTillerman for providing appropriate inspiration for this, my 600th post.
I had been waiting for the right topic to come along and he has provided a grand idea, a practical objective, a real thing about which to write. Not for this post the hypothetical ramblings of the possible footballing success of foreigners, nor the wranglings of the Democratic Party, nor even jottings related to cycling mishaps. The Tillerman has issued another of his agreeable writing challenges.

He has asked his audience to write about our sailing goals for 2008.

I grew up sailing in these parts and since returning from NYC have been keen to get back in the Norfolk groove. The winter and restoration of the family home have stalled the ambitions up to this point. But all that's done, now is the time for action.

My goal for this year is very simple, highly achievable and I think , dare I say it, lots of fun.

I just want to get back on the water as often as possible.

I also want to reconnect with one of my finest sailing chums of old, Mr Turner. I know he's about, just need to find him.
I have plenty of opportunities to get back on the water, from sail by the hour at the local broad to hiring halfdeckers from Hunters Yard. I have a number of excellent partners in crime who are busy planning days out, nights under canvas and even a 'boys weekend' .

Quite simply, lots of fun, cruising, bbq-ing, warm beering, cold beering (when technology permits), running, reaching, ducking, gybing, swearing and laughing, all in the next few glorious months of summer.

Thank you for listening.