31 December 2018

HNY 2019


2018 Reading Challenge

I have read 30 of 20 books for the 2018 Reading Challenge! What should I read next? http://www.goodreads.com/user_challenges/10620080

30 of 20? I put down a target of 20 books for this year and have so far read and finished 30. I have 11 books in my "to read" list.

Amazon Fire 7

Powered up this morning and it did an OS upgrade. It was unclear what all the updates were, but when I opened the music app and 💥!   It works.

Superb.

I have created a second login using my Prime Amazon login, my main one is much older and is used for Blogger and Kindle, so that I can shop Prime and access Prime Video. That worked immediately.

So we are off and running.

Someone missing?

Christmas nativity in Metz. December 2013.


30 December 2018

Gorges de Galamus

Having a look through Flickr I came across a series of photos from a 10 day trip to Fitou in southern France.

Amongst all the places we went in the Pyrenees and Corbières the Gorges de Galamus are high on the "highlights".

Photos here: https://www.flickr.com/search/?user_id=60261390%40N00&sort=date-taken-desc&text=Galamus


Books and Giftcards

After a few years I have finally got around to spending the accumulated gift cards.

It's amazing how they begin to add up. Yesterday we went to Canterbury and I took a stack with me.

I used three at M&S to buy some joggers. The three added up to £18 and the joggers were £16. The £2 left was spent on some minced beef for a cottage pie!

At WH Smith I invested in some books. I don't usually like hardbacks as they don't travel well, but saw these two and had to buy them.




A little miscalculation meant along with the Lonely Planet "Miami and The Keys" I was 99p over the £30 worth of giftcards I had for books.

So a total of £48 spent.



28 December 2018

Amazon Fire 7

With my Kindle playing up and it seemingly not going to be easily repairable I saw on Amazon's Black Friday page that they had a Fire 7 tablet 8gb for £24.95 and 16gb for only £29.95.

So I bought it. Then I fixed the Kindle.  The Fire went away for a Christmas present.

So here we are. The Fire 7 is expandable with a Micro SD slot. I switched the 64gb card from my Canon DSLR and formatted it.

What's it like to use? It is quite heavy but strangely more comfortable in hand than the Google Nexus 7. The apps pre-loaded are all Amazon related. I bought it primarily to replace the Kindle and maybe add Amazon Music. That would give me one bit of tech to cover two uses.

The Kindle bit works perfectly well.  The "Silk" browser works okay and so does the email app.

But. 

The music app won't sync with my account.  ðŸ˜ˆ

You would think if the Kindle app works, music ought to as well. The shopping app works with the correct account and shows all my orders.

I found the customer service email address and logged a call. At the time of writing I am waiting for a reply.

More to follow.

23 December 2018

21 December 2018

FSF - Merry Christmas Message

The FSF was set up as an organisation to defend the rights of football fans across the UK.

Some lobbying and assistance to fans with problems.

MAG Press Release - Wishing you all a Merry MAG Christmas

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), the UK's leading voice for riders' rights, wraps up 2018 by offering a great big 'thank you' to its members for their support during the year and wishing them many miles of happy riding in the year ahead.

MAG Chair, Selina Lavender, said "This year we have continued to deal with a number of ongoing issues, including moped-enabled crime and clean air charges such as the London ULEZ and various city CAZs.  MAG remains committed to working with all the relevant authorities to help resolve these issues and more.  The main reason we are able to engage with the authorities and gain the successes that we do is because of our fantastic members.  So 'thank you' to each and every one of you for your support over the past year – we couldn't do it without you.  I wish you all a very happy festive season and look forward to helping you to take MAG forward in 2019."

Lembit Öpik, MAG's Director of Communications & Public Affairs, added "MAG has had some tangible successes during 2018, and we will continue to build on these in the year ahead.  We can only do this because of our loyal members so I'd like to say a massive 'thank you' to you all because you make MAG what it is: the country's leading riders' rights organisation.  Every single one of our members should be proud of their contribution."

MAG's Central Office will be closed over the Christmas period from Monday 24th December at 11:30 so this is your last chance to buy someone that MAG membership they deserve for Christmas!

The Office will reopen on Wednesday 2nd January at 09:00, but you will still be able to join on-line at 





Tripadvisor - Best Restaurant in the World

When you get an email telling you what the vest restaurant is, you simply have to click on the link.


Once I scanned down the page I wondered if any "best" restaurant actually manages to put any food on the plate without it looking like Joan Miró i Ferrà was the inspiration. Little dribbles of colour and dots.  Lots of dots of some sort of fruit reduced from recognisable fruit to a thin liquid that can be squeezed through a cake icing piper.....

WTF?

More crap from the kind of clowns that go to Glastonbury, not for the music, but "to be seen" amongst the twit class and wannabes. People with their heads so firmly stuck up their arses they can't recognise when someone is taking the piss out of them.

It's all too much like The Restaurant at the End of the Galaxy.....

What no prices?

20 December 2018

#ARSBUR


Since I am in my first year of having my season ticket to myself after Alex dropped out, it is sometimes a bit of a chore to go to so many games close together.

At least we are playing two fewer games after losing to the Totts last night, but quick on the heels of that is another lunch time kick off, this time against. Burnley.

On paper, we should have beaten Huddersfield and Southampton to have "kept the pressure on" (© Tottenham Hotspur 2014-2019) the clubs above.  Instead we managed to lose to the latter. Burnley are in that same area near the foot of the table.  They will come to defend and keep ten players between the ball and their goal as often as possible.

We need to be clinical. Just as the Totts were last night.  A game with few chances. Although we had one weak shot saved by the keeper that should have put us 1-0 it was poor.  That we hit the post twice and the bar once wasn't really bad luck but simply terrible finishing.

Please don't mention defending.  We have four first team centre backs. One returning from 7 months off with an ACL injury.  Two injured, one of them for the rest of the season, One fit. Of the four full backs we have two injured and one returning from injury. One fit.

So pretty much threadbare against the fully fit first team international strikers the Totts could pick. It was never going to end well.

We have to hope for better on Saturday.


#ARSTOT - Carabao Cup



Not the result we wanted after whooping their arses without a problem a couple of weeks ago.

Started well, failed to take chances and they took theirs.  The better team on the evening won. They go into the semi-final against another London team in Chelsea.  

With Manchester City against Burton Albion in the other semi, it would look like either Scum or Chavs at Wembley against City.

Who to want to win?


MAG Press Release - Tolls precedent at Severn Bridges

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) has welcomed the 'kept promise' of removing all tolls from the Severn Bridge crossings, after 52 years of charges.

MAG has spoken in support of the removal of crossing charges at the two bridges which connect South Wales with England, after over half a century of tolls. These charges, which have not applied to motorcycles, were applied to traffic for decades, causing delays and creating a considerable additional cost to road users.

MAG's Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Lembit Öpik, has highlighted the importance of this decision: 'at a time when other parts of Britain are doing their best to impose new toxic taxes and crossing charges on our vehicles, it is pleasing to see a much more common-sense approach at the Severn Bridges. This removal of tolls was promised many years ago, and they've kept that promise.

'By contrast, there is an on-going debate in many of the country's cities about introducing taxes on the pretext of reducing pollution – and some of these threaten motorcycles. Also, we are engaged in discussions about possible charges for various Thames crossings. You don't make the world noticeably healthier by slapping additional costs on road users who have little or no alternative to using their vehicles, largely in the pursuit of employment obligations.

'The Severn Bridge decision is a role model for the rest of the UK and we hope it is a sign that ever-higher road user charges have an alternative, which removes what amounts to a stealth tax from connecting economically significant parts of Britain.'

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or central-office@mag-uk.org


Me & The Kat


Got this photo today from John Storrie, I have known John since the early 1980's and he was affectionately knows as "Old King Kettle" for his love and support for the Suzuki GT750.  If only he was still active now so mine could have a holiday in Oxfordshire.

Taken at the Cross Keys in Pulloxhill in Bedfordshire. The pub used to be run by the Suzuki Owners Club Hon. President,Peter Mead. During the year we had camping weekends there and the Club's AGM.

I guess this picture might have been 1984 or 1985 when I had the Katana 1000SZ - B891 JPG.

I suppose it might have been the AGM as well as it was traditionally held in late September. 

This would have been a few years before we moved to live nearby in Flitwick and so I guess I had ridden up from Kent as that's where I was living until 1985.

I was Editor of the SOC club magazine "Hustler" at the time. I did the job for seven years and passed it onto Ken Fulton.

The old days.

18 December 2018

#FULOLD

Tickets bought. Neill being retired was able to keep trying. It looked as though the initial 2500 had been sold but this might have been simply a Ticketmaster eff up.

Anyway. We are sorted.

posted from Bloggeroid

17 December 2018

Book Review: Old Man on a Bike by Simon Gandolfi

Old Man on a Bike. Simon GandolfiOld Man on a Bike. Simon Gandolfi by Simon Gandolfi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Read a long time ago and I might have to re-read as I have the sequel to this one and for the life of me I haven't a clue what was in this one.

I know I have read it as it is on my bookshelf and has one of my old business cards as a bookmark!



View all my reviews

TCX Explorer Boots

These boots have oddly managed to avoid being reported on for a few years.  In fact, they hardly get a mention and there might be a reason for this.

I bought them way back in 2013.  My Oxtar boots were getting long in the tooth and a bit battered.  Although 99.99% waterproof they were looking scruffy.  So before the Ashes Run to Scotland I ordered these.

They were not that expensive as it goes and have a Goretex waterproof lining rather than some unknown liner.  This was a major point for me as I have had non-Goretex liners before and they have been less successful at keeping out the rain!

Although the Explorer has a very light gear change. On the Ashes Run it wore through the gear change pad on the left boot.  On my return I reported this to the sellers and they asked me to return and they send out a new pair.  Being sceptical, and out of pocket for postage (!), the new pair arrived and I put the box, unopened, into the wardrobe where they lay forgotten for over three years.

I have still to get used to them. They are very stiff and laziness means that the ancient Oxtar boots are still worn on short trips to the Meldrews etc.

I wore the Explorers on the day trip to see the "Egg" at Palingbeek but they are not ideal if there is a lot of walking. I guess I have to persevere and get them softened up.

But.  They have proved to be very waterproof. The "glaze" still on the leather and water runs off easily.  If I could locate the can of hydrophobic spray I would use that on them.  

More updates to follow......



They are still available on the 'net although over five years ago I paid a lot less.than this price.- https://www.sportsbikeshop.co.uk/motorcycle_parts/content_prod/276058

16 December 2018

Alcopops!





More like water with flavouring and alcohol added.

The raspberry and lime was better than the peach and pomegranate. The latter was very weak.

posted from Bloggeroid

Oxtar Boots

Still wearing them. The Oxtar (super) Boots.

They are still 99% waterproof. Very battered. The gear pads on both boots have been superglued on and need re-treating with something stronger.

But. Still alive. More comfortable than the TCX Explorer boots I bought in 2013 to replace them.

And then we have the Spada boots.  I bought them a year ago but they are so uncomfortable and my ankles don't seems ot bend enough to force them on!  Anyone had cramp in the calf trying to get a boot on.  Yes?  Welcome to my club!

https://invictamoto.blogspot.com/2017/12/spada-pilgrim-grande-wp-boots.html


15 December 2018

Cinderella



This year's panto is Cinderella. Oddly there was a no photography rule. I am sure in previous years they have encouraged it and suggested where to post.

Can't give too many spoilers away but the slipper fits. 😉

posted from Bloggeroid

14 December 2018

Christmas Jumper Day



Today is Save the Children's "Christmas Jumper Day".

A chance to donate £2 and the privilege of wearing a patterned jumper to work.

Here's mine.
posted from Bloggeroid

13 December 2018

Another shoebox picture



This set of prints labelled "Belgian c/w 1990" on the cover from Bonusprint.

The only camping weekend I ever went on in Belgium was at a site near Nieuwpoort. I organised it for the Suzuki Owners Club and from the other photos in the set I can count 12 bikes including my DR800SL and lots of tents.

This bike was a great workhorse and it is one of the few bikes I regret having to sell.


posted from Bloggeroid

#ARSQAR



And so to the last game at the Emirates in the group stages of the Europa League. With Arsenal already qualified for the the next stage it was always going to be a damp squib of a game.

Their it fell on a night where trains into St Pancras were cancelled and disrupted - the reason I didn't travel - and the coldest night of the winter so far was always going to affect attendance.

Even though there were no more than 21000 in the stadium, the pre-sold season tickets for the night would show something like 59000 sold!

As I said, I didn't go. I had worked from home all day and the trans were all cancelled from Folkestone so I went home.  I watched on TV,

It was a game that seemed like an exhibition game. Arsenal started with some younger players given their chance at a first team game. Saka played the whole game and at 17y and 99 days he is one of the Arsenal's youngest players in a Euro competition.

In the end it looked like the game would be a goal fest after 16 minutes when Lacazette's quick feet gave him the opener but it never really happened.

At least there were no more injuries and Laurent Koscielny, the club captain, made his first team comeback after an ACL injury that kept him out for 7 months.

So into the weekend and way at Southampton.  Fingers crossed.

12 December 2018

Vintage Picture - From the Shoebox



Taken way back in 1990. A summer holiday to deepest Andalucia.. So hot in Seville the grease on the clutch lever melted around the pivot pin making it hard to activate.

We rode most of the N340 coast road from Cadiz to the French border. Not easily done nowadays with the autoroutes replacing the larger N roads.

We had been to Morocco for a day trip but took Audrey's (my partner at the time) XJ900F. The Cavalcade stayed locked on the campsite in Tarifa.
posted from Bloggeroid

11 December 2018

What?


I think that perhaps this jacket has the wrong name. Starting "Wa" is about right though...

Why is that clown trying to touch the ground with his left hand?

FFS!

10 December 2018

Roadtest - Suzuki TU250X - Part 2


So nine years after moving the Roadtest article from the defunct Geocities site, I have finally got around to adding photos that I took myself.

These are just a few of the ones I took at Woburn Abbey.

8 December 2018

#ARSHUD




Well. That didn't go exactly to our plan.

Huddersfield's game plan was to keep all ten outfield players between the ball and their goal at all times and break.

Added to that a certain amount of what's called "unnecessary roughing" in NFL, it was a game plan that almost worked.

Top that with a referee that made some odd decisions including yellow carding three Arsenal players for diving but oddly didn't reciprocate when Huddersfield players took a tumble.

In the end pressure told and Aubameyang got to the byline and chipped over the defenders and Torreira overhead kicked the ball into the net. 1-0.

Phew.



posted from Bloggeroid

5 December 2018

#ARSHUD



Saturday is an anomaly. At home. On a Saturday. Kick-off at 3pm.  This is the traditional day and time for English football for generations.  The advent of the TV viewer and especially since BT and others joined in to get a slice of the Premiership pie got us used to games played on a Saturday evening and Sunday afternoons.  Then we had Monday Night Football live on Sky.

We have for many years had midweek games, midweek being Tuesday and Wednesday for cups and replays of cup games that had played firstly on a Saturday.  Then TV took over.  We now play on Thursday and Friday evenings.... 

Effectively the armchair viewer (he can't really be a fan or supporter) can watch a live game every day/evening of the week.  And that's just English games.  If he isn't fussy, he can watch Spanish, German and Italian games, plus the less exotic crap from the MLS in the US, Australian and Japanese leagues.

Back to this Saturday.  Home to Huddersfield Town.  The link with Arsenal is close with Arsenal's greatest pre-war manager, Herbert Chapman, having led Huddersfield to the first hat trick of League Championships before he moved south to do the same with Arsenal.  Arsenal arguably the most "winningest" club in the 1930's.

https://goo.gl/images/pbvyXT

But Saturday all sentiment finishes at 14:59:59.  

#MUTARS



After the big North London derby game on Sunday, Arsenal fans are still bouncing off the wall.  Tonight we travel to the so-called Theatre of Dreams to take on the Jose Mourinho managed Manchester United.  

United the "winningest" club since football was re-invented in 1993 when the Premier league was created with Sky TV money sloshing about and they took advantage of that.

Currently a club in some denial and currently in 7th place in the table some 8 points behind Arsenal who occupy one of the holy grail places in the league also known as 4th. This place being the last golden ticket place on the English leagues to the UEFA Champion's League.

Although United seem to be in decline this year and have drawn the last two games against Bournemouth and Southampton, they have always been the "team to beat" if you want to win the league.  Although Chelsea and Manchester City have benefited greatly by having oil barons as owners,  pumping in a billion pounds each to buy success, Manchester United are still the most successful club in the "Sky" era.

Under Wenger, Arsenal often struggled to beat club's managed by Mourinho.  Was it mental? oftem matching both his Russian billionaire's to at Chelsea and now at the Mancs.

Hopefully under "Dick" Emery Arsenal will show more mettle and play as we did against Liverpool and Tottenham.  From the first whistle straight on the front foot.  Not like the other games where we have failed to get going until at least a goal down and lackadaisical for the first half!

We will know by 2145 tonight. 

In the end.... Poor game. Both teams poor. Passing poor. Defending even worse. A draw was the kindest thing.  Especially from the Mancs.





MAG meets Mayor Khan

Personally I see this as a step in the right direction, but a small step. At least it provided the Mayor with another photo opportunity.

----------------------------         

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) has held a long-awaited meeting with Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. The result of the exchange gives room for optimism amongst the motorcycling community.

'It's been a long time coming, but it was worth the wait,' said MAG's London Regional Rep, Tim Fawthrop, following MAG's visit to Mayor Khan at the Greater London Authority's headquarters in City Hall, on 27th November 2018.  The meeting was the result of months of lobbying, and the hugely helpful intervention of Greater London Authority Assembly Member Keith Prince AM, who secured and attended the meeting. Lembit Öpik and Colin Brown from MAG's Political Unit were also present.

'We covered two items,' continues Tim. 'One was bus lanes and the other was the threat to charge bikers in the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ Charge) if their motorbikes are beyond a certain age. MAG argues that this is unfair because bikes reduce congestion and pollution and make no measurable contribution to London's emissions. I suggested that we should find a way to exempt those bikes that can be shown to have very low emissions, and the Mayor agreed to allow us to explore this further with his staff, which is a good outcome.'

The discussion on bus lanes was even more encouraging.  Mr Prince, who organised the meeting, said: 'Mr Khan agreed that motorcycles should be allowed into bus lanes.  He assured us that all the so-called Red Routes in London, which are directly under TfL's control, would remain open to bikes. He also said he'll work with MAG to encourage the London Boroughs to open their routes up too. I'm glad to see the Mayor honour the promise he made on this matter.'

Next, MAG will meet the relevant officers to explore the best way to progress both matters. Lembit adds 'It's a credit to the Mayor that the meeting was not just a box-ticking exercise, but a real chance to talk about our ideas and suggestions. It leaves me optimistic about Mr Khan's attitude towards biking now, and I'm happy to say so.'

Contact MAG at 01926 844 064 or central-office@mag-uk.org


3 December 2018

#FULOLD




Another away draw in the South for Oldham.

After Hampton & Richmond, then on Saturday at Maidstone, this time away in London.
The opponents will be Premier League Fulham FC 

With their near neighbours Chelsea FC also drawn at home the FA will have to decide which day to play the game. Here's hoping they see sense and make it a weekend game so that our supporters can travel to and from the North West in a day.

Many years ago I used to go to Fulham. We are talking over fifty. At school my friend Chris' family had moved to Thames Ditton from Fulham. Most of the family were Fulham fans but some supported Chelsea and even Queens Park Rangers, who were also local and in the same London borough of Hammersmith & Fulham.

I've not been there for over 40 years even as an away fan. One of the last games we went to was the FA Cup Semi Final against Birmingham City at Sheffield Wednesday's ground.  The scene of the Hillsborough disaster some years later.

You can Google all these things if you like. 

Fingers crossed there are enough tickets for us.

posted from Bloggeroid

Starbucks Name



Doesn't everyone have one?

Mine came about when asked my name.

"Paul"

"Pardon"

"Paul", this time extending it a little.

"Thank you"

Later. "Skinny latté for Tom"

No one moves. Original server, "Your latté", pointing to the cup.

"My name's Paul but....", Eyes raised to woman looking at me... "But Tom it is".

So what's yours?
posted from Bloggeroid

League Against Cruel Sports - Press Release

As a supporter of this organisation I feel it is fair to share this statement with anyone that cares to read it.

I am not a vegan nor am I vegetarian.  I do not eat meat every day. I do not feel that I should stop supporting an organisation that is set up to end the cruelty that goes with hunting for sport rather than hunting for food.

You make your choice.
League Against Cruel Sports
As you may be aware, the League Against Cruel Sports has come under the spotlight this morning in the national press. One of our ex-employees, Mr Casamitjana, claims he was dismissed for 'disclosing that the League invested pension funds in animal testing'.
I am contacting you to tell you that this is factually incorrect. The reason for Mr Casamitjana's dismissal is different from that which he states but clearly this is confidential information which we are respecting.
Notwithstanding, here are some facts:

Mr Casamitjana was not dismissed for raising concerns about the pension fund
In 2015 the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) changed their guidelines regarding opt-in pension schemes and none of the ethical pension funds available to us could be used for auto-enrolment. The main stumbling block was that only funds with an administration fee of less than 0.75% could be selected; effectively ruling out ethical auto-enrolment for small organisations such as ourselves. However, staff have always been able to, and will always be able to, chose an ethical pension fund themselves. We act as the law allows, within the FCA regulation, and on the advice of our expert licensed financial advisors.
Mr Casamitjana was not dismissed because he is a vegan
As an animal welfare organisation our mission is to protect animals abused and killed in the name of cruel sports, so naturally we have a large proportion of vegans and vegetarians working for us, and have done for many years. The discussion about veganism being a 'philosophical belief' is a thought-provoking one which many of our staff will be interested in – however this debate has absolutely no connection with why Mr Casamitjana was dismissed.
It's sad that one of our former employees, who is passionate about protecting animals, is now trying to bring into disrepute a charity which is not only one of the most important pro-animal voices in this country, but also no doubt one of the most vegan friendly employers. Mr Casamitjana is seeking to use his veganism as the reason for his dismissal and bring an employment tribunal against the organisation and we emphatically reject this claim. It will of course be for the courts to decide and we put our trust in them first and foremost.
Our Approach
As a professional organisation, we have to be legally compliant when it comes to employee pension schemes. Since my arrival, I have reviewed our pension provision as it is very important to myself, my staff, and our supporters. Our independent financial advisors have been working hard to agree a substantial discount on administration fees for our favoured choice of ethical fund, and our pension provider is now able to offer that discount to us to comply with FCA regulations.
Whilst staff have always had the option to use this fund, it now means that new staff can automatically join it and all those staff, present and future will benefit from lower administration fees should they chose to invest in the fund. Putting our trust in the experts, and our staff, has enabled us to give our people access to our preferred fund automatically, that will deliver our ethical beliefs whilst optimising their financial futures.

Vegans and vegetarians have been among the League's staff, management and Trustee board for decades. I thought it would be useful to share with you some comments from our current staff:
Luis Calvo-Ramos, Head of Digital and Data at the League, said:
"I am vegan and have been at the League for over two years, and I must say that the League is the most vegan friendly working environment that I've ever seen. The League is an inclusive organisation where our beliefs are respected, diversity is embraced and nobody is discriminated against, no matter if you're a foreigner (like myself), belong to a racial minority, belong to the LGBT+ community or practice whatever religion you believe in. It is therefore very sad that the League is being so undeservedly attacked in this way."
Paul Tillsley, Head of Conservation and Education, said:
"I have been vegan for decades. I have worked full-time for the League Against Cruel Sports since 2000 and, even though promoting a plant-based lifestyle isn't one of the League's charitable objectives, I have always been well catered for at League events. The same certainly couldn't be said for other animal welfare or nature conservation charities, until very recently."
Emily Lawrence, Regional Campaigns Manager, said:
"As a vegan and an employee of the League I have been made very welcome at the League. My dietary requirements and ethical beliefs have always been respected and considered and at no time in the last twelve months have I felt any discrimination toward me."

Together we will continue being the voice for persecuted animals
We are all here to help defend persecuted animals; your support drives this. We do not want to be distracted from achieving why we are all here, to stop animal cruelty in the name of sport through hunting, shooting and fighting.
If you would like to read our full statement it can be viewed here.
I would like to personally thank each one of you that enables us to do what we do and for being part of our team that is making a huge difference in the protection of wildlife.
We hope that you will still be able to put your trust in us and the fantastic work our teams are delivering for supporters and the animals we are seeking to protect. This is a Charity that focuses on 'Animals, not Egos.'
Best wishes,


Andy
Andy Knott
CEO

2 December 2018

1 December 2018

#MAIOLD


It's over. 

The Gallagher Stadium is within easy walking distance of Maidstone East station.  

There are two large covered stands and one small i.e. lower roofed stand. Luckily we were in one of the covered stands as it drizzled  all day.

I met Neill at the station and we walked around. Stopped for a chat with some of Claire's ex workmates from Laser Transport, Gilberto, Carl and Andy. They were supporting the home side. You don't doubt who we were supporting.

Only pic that came out on my phone!

On the 3G pitch it would be the home side that were expected to be on top at first despite being a league lower down the pyramid. But it was Oldham from the off they were on top. 

As usual there is a pantomime villain and it was Baldy No6 for Maidstone. A player of such finesse that despite any infringement he sailed through the game card free.

But it was Baldy that led to the first goal. Concentrating on fouling Surridge the ball struck him and Clarke smashed it into the net.

Even the BBC thought Latics were the better team. More finesse and if the finishing had been better the game would have been over before the end of the first half.

In the end it took until the 84th minute to kill off the Stones.

So Latics in the 3rd round draw when the Championship and Premier League teams enter the competition.


30 November 2018

Movember - Over for 2018

Well. That's it for another year. The Mo has gone.

Final Mo

Movember wanted a half-mo for the last day.

Half Mo
And then it was time to shave the final half off.

No Mo



Foot!

My day off today and weekend have been thrown into a bit of turmoil due to my foot.

Yes. My foot. 

For a few weeks I've had this problem where my right big toe seems to disjointed and I have to click it back in.

But yesterday it did that and during the day my foot swelled up and red around the joint.

It got worse overnight and so this morning we went to the minor injuries clinic. They are pretty certain it's not gout as that wouldn't include the joint popping out.

So what is it?

As it is swollen on the bottom of my foot I have a problem walking. Limping is good though.

So. Today it wasted a few hours, but we still got Claire's car tyre fixed. 

Tomorrow I'll go to Maidstone for #MAIOLD but I can't risk #ARSTOT with all the extra walking. See how it goes.

27 November 2018

#ARSTOT

Perhaps it could be called #ARSCUM to use the more common name for the Mugs From Middlesex aka Tottenhan Hotspur.



They will be full of themselves after beating Chelsea at the weekend at home on the mudbank that was formerly Wembley Stadium and the finest piece of turf in England.  

But in the desperate attempt to force the British into accepting NFL as a form of sport, the FA managed to screw up vast areas of turf.  And not just down the middle where the armoured NFL players tend to play, but on both wings. Oh and of course they earned a shed load of cash for allowing it....

We came off the back of the away game #BOUARS and will have had less of a rest as we travel to the Ukraine to play on Thursday whilst the Totts will have an extra day off and playing at home at the mudbank.

Who says that the Premier League offer no assistance to teams in the Europa League? Here we are with another Sunday lunchtime kick-off.


26 November 2018

#MAIOLD



Football all weekend!  It doesn't happen very often and in the past I have been able to make sure that Alex took the games at Arsenal that clashed with the Oldham away games down in the South and South-East of the country.

This year I have the full Arsenal season ticket and as luck would have it, there are few clubs in League 2 that meet my travel criteria of location and whether I can get there by bike due to the weather/time of year.

So once the Latics had fought back from a dodgy Tom Daley penalty at Hampton & Richmond, and the draw came out (before that game) that the winners would be down in Kent at Maidstone United.

Both Neill and I live near enough to make it an afternoon trip.

With it being December 1st and the forecast for this weekend is terrible, I have decided to go by train and a short walk from Maidstone East station to the ground. Until I looked on Google maps I hadn't realised where the station was. I had (for some unknown reason) thought that it was quite a way off but it is very handy for the town centre.  I'll already have a train ticket and a parking ticket for Folkestone West, so no extra cost.

Let's see.

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Notes.

A Tom Daley in football parlance is a diver.  A cheat.  Tom Daley himself is a superb athlete and not a cheat.


#BOUARS


Another Sunday and another lunchtime kick-off. This time away at 8th placed Bournemouth.

One of the "little clubs" making headway and waves in the top division.  Always an entertaining team to watch but with many supporters from the third tier that jeer and moan all the time that they are "cheated" by the big clubs.

And so it will be this week. They were "cheated" by the lino when he flagged a player offside as he shot them into what was sadly not the lead.  The TV replay showed that Mustafi laying on his back on the ground played him onside with his head. So a player lying on the ground has that effect.  Time to re-think the entire offside rule.  FIFA do it every couple f of years anyway.

Arsenal started off at their usual pace with the opposition taking the initiative and had barely got into the game when Torrieia intercepted a stray pass and his shot beat the keeper but not the post and the ball rebounded to Iwobi who smashed it into Row Z!

And then for the first time in what seems months a goal.  Not the usual opener for the opposition, but scored by the opposition, in his own net.  Kolasinac (formetly known as The Tank at Schalke) out in a low cross and Lerma lunged in and fired the ball some 18 yards into his own net. Personally and from several TV angles I think that had Bournemouth's Cook not turned his back on the ball and had leaned into it instead he could have deflected it away. But hey.  Modern players don't take the ball in the balls or the face to save a goal!!

Arsenal woke up and then conceded in the last seconds of the half.  Iwobi lost the ball and the home side broke quickly and ended with King's left footed shot beating Leno in the Arsenal goal.

The second half was a different kettle of fish, Arsenal on top and coming close and rewarded on the 67th minute when Pierre Emerick Aubemeyang slid in unmarked to meet another Kolasinac cross and touch it into  the net.

Both teams upped the tempo to try and get the winner or draw level.  Arsenal looked pretty safe until the fifth minute of the four extra minutes (!) that the referee arbitrarily added when Bournemouth tried for the penalty but got a free kick on the edge of the penalty box. Luckily the shot went up and wide.

So another unbeaten game but the worry is that next week #ARSTOT  (or #ARSSCUM) will be a whole different ball game against the Mugs from down the Lane, or Tottenham Hotspur as they are officially called.  What a stupid pretentious name! 

We will entertain the homeless at the Emirates and hope that we don't make it too charitable for them.





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