30 December 2019

Three UK

Today we had a drive up to the White Cliffs of Dover for a walk with Reggie.

We parked on the first level above the visitor centre and then went along the cliff top above the ferry port and then up the path towards Langdon Cliff.

My phone buzzed a few times and I ignored it. But. It was simply texts from Three UK informing me about being in France...

Except we were in England. France is about 24 miles away...


So lucky my SIM-only contract allows me to make calls and use data in places all over the globe using my £17 a month!!

A message from April after we got back from Florida shows a remarkable saving.

WOW!!

I have no idea how accurate that is but although I have been outside the UK a few times since I've not had another text like it.


29 December 2019

Panto

Last night Claire and I went to the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury for our annual visit for the pantomime.

This year it was Mother Goose. 

Mother Goose

As usual the "Dame" was Ben Roddy - "The Fat Bloke in a Dress".

The production is always excellent. There can't be many pantos that have a range of music that involves a version of Hendrix's Foxy Lady. 

Once again it was superb.

Oh no it wasn't! 

Oh yes it was!

The Cast

#ARSCFC

The day the chavs from Chelsea come to town, or at least to the Emirates.

After a less than spectacular start to the season we entertain the former billionaire toy in Chelsea. From spending hundreds of millions on players to win trophies they seem to have been reluctant recently to spend. Shame. 

They are still fourth in the table where we are twelfth.  With games against Everton and Bournemouth only drawn the idea of entertaining Chavs today and Manchester United on New Year's Day is daunting.

All made worse as getting to the game today as there is no High Speed service to London. The usual 57 minute journey will be 1h 42m on slow train. Then a longer two tube trip to Arsenal.

As a treat I booked first class. With Railcard discount  only a few quid more than having to rub shoulders with the hoypolloy. Before anyone comments, I am joking...



So here we are.  Lost again. The high spots were Aubameyang scoring another league goal, plus a higher rate fighting spirit.

1-0 until the last ten minutes. Firstly referee bottled sending Jorginho off with a second yellow card, then he scores the equaliser. A goalkeeping error and he bundled it in. Then Windmill Arms Tammy scored the winner.

A better showing but individual mistakes allied with poor refereeing led to defeat.

22 December 2019

Crit'Air - France

With imminent trips to France in 2020, I thought I'd see what areas I was planning to travel to and whether they need the air certificate to go there. 

I entered all the details into the official website and was rewarded with a Level 2 pass. There are six levels. The "best" being for electric vehicles. 

The Insignia is in the same category as the Rocket. Yay. 

Unlike the ULEZ in London where the Mayor charges £12.50 a day for cars that fail the pollution test, Crit'Air has a ban on all vehicles by category.

Pay to pollute alive and well in London.

Coming soon!

Tomorrow.

15 December 2019

The Eagles Live

Live at Wembley Stadium. One of my favourite bands of all time.

A final chance to see them live?

Tickets bought on the pre-sale.

14 December 2019

13 December 2019

#ARSMCI

The start of the Christmas games sees us at home to Manchester City, the current league champions.  

For a number of years since they were bought out by the Middle-East Oil Barons we never really considered them to be anything other than "just another game".  Their years of mediocreness came to an end with the arrival of the billionaires.

Contrary to what Arsene Wenger maintained - money does buy success in football.  Manchester United mixed talent from their academy and scouting youths with potential with big buys.  They try to deny it but £30 million for Rio Ferdinand?

Once Russian Oligarch Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea the same happened. A billion or more spent on players which resulted in trophies that they had rarely had hold of or had been in touching distance from!  In fact 50 years between league championships. Until 2005 I had never seen them raise the trophy at the end of a season, as they won it seven months before I was born!

The City came along and repeated the whole thing.  But this year they have proved to be almost a spent force. Trailing both Leicester and league leaders Liverpool by a massive points difference.

And they arrive on our doorstep on Sunday 15th December... With the way we are playing with one win in nine games and sitting uncomfortably in mid-table things aren't looking good.


With games against Manchester United and Chelsea over the Christmas and New year, this might just be the first of a disastrous run.

Update. December 15th. 6.30pm

Lost 3-0. Low expectations for the game and these were met.

All three goals could have and should have been avoided. At one point City had three shots on goal, three on target and... You guessed correctly, three goals.


12 December 2019

GE2019

Polling stations closed as 10pm. Voting done and dusted for the 4th General Election in 5 years.

The exit polls suggest the Conservatives will win by a country mile. 

We'll see tomorrow when most of the constituencies will have finished their counting and returned their results.

Update. December 13th. 7.30am. 

We now have a Conservative government with an 80 seat majority in the House of Commons. 

It seems the public decided to "Get Brexit Done" rather than accept all the offers of free broadband, nationalising the power companies and railways and a whole host of pre-election promises of the opposing parties.

We'll see.
 

#STLARS

For about 70 minutes it looked like another #ARSBHA evening.

2-0 down until 18yo Saka firstly crossed for Lacazette to head in from close range on 78 mins.

Then on 81 mins, coming in off the left wing, a one-two with 18yo Martinelli, before bending the ball into the bottom corner for 2-2.

We top the Europa League group as Eintracht lost to Vittoria.

Phew.

10 December 2019

#WHUARS

The proverbial game of two halves.

Arsenal woeful in the first half. West Ham a little better but lacked the fire power or quality to press ahead with their slight advantage.

Former Gunner turned pundit Alan Smith seemed to suggest on Sky Sports that Cresswell's heavy challenge on Pepe was "testing the resolve of the player". Replays on TV showed that Cresswell was airborne, i.e. both feet off the ground as he crunched into Pepe. He got the ball but the follow through was unpleasant. This is usually considered a red card challenge.  Not to referee Mike Dean. Not even a yellow or even a free kick.  This of course set a precedent.

On 29 minutes and an awkward fall for Tierney saw him exit with a shoulder injury. He was replaced by Sead Kolasinec, who wasn't in the original starting squad and who was then promoted to the bench with an injury to Bellerin in the warm-up.

It was inevitable that the Hammers would score first.  It came from a set piece and after some messing about and a defence that doesn't track its targets.  Ogbonna scored with a header from a lob to the edge of the six-yard box.
  • Had Xhaka not pulled out of the challenge rather than  battling it out, then maybe it might have not gone goalward. 
  • Had Maitland-Niles faced the ball rather than attempting some sort of yoga exercise called "ducking out of the way whilst turning your back" the ball might not have hit him on the back of the head and deflected past Leno.
But neither of those things happened and the ball nestled in the net. At full speed either Mike Dean or VAR or both thought it might have been handball but it was clear that it was off his head.  Why VAR took twice as long as everyone in the ground and at home no one will ever know.

And so it was at half-time there were plenty of angry Gooners. Already down to 11th, briefly 12th but for a late goal the evening before, that would have been the starting point. Already on the worst run since 1977 (!) we needed some action.

Until the 55th minute it looked as though whatever Ljungberg had said at half time had been ignored.  The same lackadaisical passing and poor finishing from West Ham kept it 1-0. Luckily when the did get a shot on target, Leno was up to saving it. 

And then.

Kolasinec broke down the left, his ball across the box was perfectly in the path of 18yo Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli and he shot into the net.  Cue dancing around the room.... And jubilance from the Arsenal fans in the ground.

Cresswell tested Pepe's revolve again and this time was rewarded with a yellow card.  He also claimed to have been injured and was subbed.  A common ploy to avoid a yellow.  Even Mike Dean didn't fall for it.

That kind of tackle was the norm in the dark days where clubs like West Ham had "hard men" like Billy "Bonzo" Bonds and Chelsea had Ron "Chopper" Harris. 

"Dirty" Leeds had an entire team of animals masquerading as footballers. 

God only knows how England won a World Cup with players like this...

Anyway.

Minutes later. Ozil, now fully awake from his hour of slumber and slowing the game to snail's pace, broke at pace, yes you have read it right, at pace, his pass to Nicolas Pepe, free on the right, was perfect, 

Pepe stepped inside the defender to get the ball onto his left foot and from the edge of the box curled his shot into the top corner.

The Hammers now rocking and rolling. Nine minutes after the equaliser, Aubameyang played the ball to Pepe, his cross was met by Aubameyang on the volley and it was 3-1. VAR wasn't needed as it was clear that he was onside.



So a win after weeks or even months.... It leaves us with another game in the Europa League in Liege on Thursday and on Sunday we host Manchester City.  

2 December 2019

#ARSLEE

Third round FA Cup draw tonight.
Arsenal have been drawn at home to Leeds United. 

"Dirty Leeds" as we knew them as in the 1970's. The dirtiest foulest team in England.




#NORARS

Well. It was a case of Emery Out. 


The caretaker manager is Freddie Ljunberg. He was assistant to Dick and has been promoted with Dick's removal.

So what did we expect for Freddie's first game with no time to get his message over?

Much the same. More life though but a couple of clangers and two goals conceded and another 2-2 draw. 

We have now drawn 2-2 with the bottom three. A wonderful record.

Next up. Brighton at home in Thursday for Amazon Prime's first game since they paid a fortune to show games.


Let's hope there is an improved performance and defence!!

1 December 2019

Movember's Over

Time for the "mo to go"!

I achieved my goal this year. I had set it quite low and thanks to a few good friends I made it.

Thanks to everyone.


27 November 2019

#ARSEIN


Tomorrow sees the visit of Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt to the Emirates Stadium in game 5 of  6 in this year's Europa League group stage.

Whilst we are not expecting to have the area around where I work at Highbury Corner full of pissed up Germans we mustn't underestimate the Germans' natural instinct for invasion.  We saw it most visibly when we had Cologne visit for the same competition.

Why?  Eintracht are currently serving a fans away travel ban for a variety of offences. But of course there will always be those that travel without tickets and try to get in.

It means with the Arsenal fans unhappy (to put it mildly) at the current league position, on pitch performances and the seemingly out of his depth coach in Unai Emery, that this could be the emptiest the ground has been.

As a season ticket holder and Arsenal supporter I will be there. There have been calls to boycott the game to show the board how the fans feel.  This is okay if you are a silver or red member and haven't paid for a ticket, but the club already has my money. I don't see the point of cutting my nose off to spite my face as it will have no effect.

More about Eintracht:



Update 28th November 2019

No comment. Meme only. 





26 November 2019

Emery In? Emery Out?

So where do we stand?

After the stability of the same manager/coach for 22 years it was a shock to the system at Arsenal when Arsene Wenger finally hung up his zipped jacket and left for a spot of retirement.

When Unai Emery was named as coach there was pretty much incredulity among fans. Here was a guy that was successful at Seville in Spain, but in  France he actually hadn't set the world afire at Paris St Germain - even though they are in effect the only thoroughbred horse in a field of donkeys..

And where he is now it seems he has no real idea what his best starting eleven is.  He seems to play players out of position.  

The board and he didn't strengthen the defence over the summer. The signing of David Luiz was a slight positive and on his day he is still a decent player, but like the rest of them, prone to that killer mistake.

After the weekend's set of games we are 8th in the Premier League after another home drawn game against opposition in Southampton that have struggled all season and were 19th out of 20.  Whilst 8th doesn't sound too bad, The reality is that we are already 8 points (and GD) off 4th place and the "trophy" of a Champions League place, and a massive 19 points behind leaders Liverpool.

We are involved in the bunfight for the Europa League places again. We are a point off 5th so that might actually mean the board will stick with Emery a little longer.

This week we entertain Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League and on Sunday we go to Norwich in the league.

Once upon a time, a visit to Norwich might have been seen as a formality.  Not now. They were bottom until the weekend and a win leaped them to 18 out of 20. So what are the odds that we have drawn 2-2 with the bottom two, Watford and Southampton, that we can repeat the misery?

Time will tell.

If we fail to win both these games, the clamour for "Emery OUT" will increase.




23 November 2019

Illegal Eagles - February 7th

When we saw them back in February in Folkestone they said they would be back. 

Usually the tickets go on sale soon afterwards but this year it seemed we were going to miss out. 



An email from ATG last week letting me know that they were going to be on again... Tickets bought. 





New Kevlar Jeans - 3

A big  👏👏👏 Sportsbikeshop.

I emailed them to say that sadly the jeans didn't fit and they sent me a return label. 

I had thrown away the outer bag that they came in, so the went back this morning in a box, care of the Post Office. 

Back to the drawing board. Maybe next time I'll just find a stockist and see if they have fat lad sizes.

Update 25/11/2019

Superfast!  A great company to do business with.  Shame that the sizing didn't fit me but no quibble returns policy and the refund complete.

20 November 2019

New Kevlar Jeans - 2

Maybe it's me.

As I wasn't intending to wear these until the spring I wasn't in a hurry to try them on. Confident that 44L would be perfect. 

As I also said in the original post "Christmas is Coming" complete with Sean Bean GoT meme, so they needed to be wrapped, put away and to go under the tree for that Christmas Day surprise. 

Good job.  Although usually a 42" waist, I bought these a size up at 44. 

Nearly everything I buy comes up smaller round the arse and so I tend to get a size up.

As I stuck a leg through the left leg hole, I thought they were a little snug. 

BTW, They came with pockets for knee and hip armour but no armour.

With right leg through it was plain to see that these are not 44". The gap between both halves of the waist was somewhere around 6 inches!!!


The "rise" (crotch to waist) was made for a more slender bloke, although the L would be perfect when sitting on the bike. 

I have a sneaking suspicion that the 44 isn't inches but the European size. 

Damn and bugger. 

Good job I tried them now! 

I have emailed the shop and will check the website tomorrow for a returns label. 



Marlowe Panto - Mother Goose

This year's panto at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury is Mother Goose.

We usually buy tickets as soon as we can to ensure we get our favourite seat but this year.... Oops. 

On a shopping visit recently we dropped in a bought them. 


18 November 2019

#ARSSOU


You could be mistaken for thinking that after so many misfires of late,  and points being lost from winning positions, that at home to Southampton would be the cure-all for shite displays and lack of any seeming direction from the coach, Unai "Dick" Emery.

The Xhaka incident still looks largely in the minds. That the fan-boys have their boy Ozil back in contention for a place and the boo-boys in general will be out in force, means that this looks like another day of infamy.

It's also a 3pm Saturday kick off. Only the second we have had this season.  The last was home to Wolves where we led and then capitulated and were lucky to get away with a point.

Whilst we moan we really need to give ourselves a slap.  We are currently 6th in the English Premier League.  We look to have little or no chance of catching the Top 4 who are already 8 points ahead. 

We are behind Sheffield United on goal difference;  a club that came up from the second tier this year and who made us look like clowns to win 1-0 at their ground earlier in the rot. All credit to them of course.

We are three points ahead of North London rivals Tottenham, but how this could change in one game. Places 5 to 15 are covered by those same 3 points.  Not all of them can win at the weekend as some will be playing one of the others in the group and given that some of them have even worse goal differences that would need a hefty win, then a loss to Southampton could mean mid-table by Monday evening.  


Now that ought to have Dick looking for a job in McD!

At the moment I will miss this game as the trains are up the swanee with engineering works.  What fun.

Update 23/11/19 17:58

Glad I didn't go. Another shit game and another draw snatched from the jaws of defeat. 

Doesn't auger well for Thursday night's Europa League game at home to Eintracht Frankfurt. 

2-2 today thanks to a Lacazette double. 


15 November 2019

Press Release - MAG at Motorcycle Live

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) is gearing up for this year's Motorcycle Live show, which is one of the country's premier annual motorcycle events.
Leading riders' rights organisation, MAG, is busy putting the finishing touches to its stand at the NEC 'Bike Show', to be ready for the show opening on Saturday 16th November and running until the following Sunday 24th November.
MAG's Chair, Selina Lavender, stated "As we do every year, we are looking forward to attending this prestigious annual motorcycle event. We look forward to meeting you in Hall 4 on Stand 4E01.  Come along and have a chat, renew your membership, join up if you're not currently a member, and even set up a Direct Debit payment to ensure that your membership doesn't accidentally lapse.  

MAG looks forward to meeting you soon!

Our stand will be manned throughout the show by a rota of valuable volunteers, which will include our political lobbying team who look forward to taking any questions you may have.  Lembit will be available on Saturday 16th, Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th; and Colin will be on hand on Tuesday 19th, Thursday 21st and Friday 22nd."
The show offers a wide range of things to see and do: check out the Motorcycle Live website for full details (https://www.motorcyclelive.co.uk/), including ticket prices, competitions  and special offers.

14 November 2019

Let the train take the strain?

A popular advertising slogan not to long ago for the train over other modes of transport. Sadly, the train "service" in the UK never managed to actually keep up the pretence of being better than your own car!


So when I had the idea of maybe having a birthday (pre-Christmas) trip to Lille for the Christmas market and a spot of lunch I immediately thought. Train?

After all, I use the Southeastern HS1 service everyday to get to and from work.  I like the idea of a train trip.  

But, (expletive removed) off!  Firstly the booking system at Eurostar couldn't find a return train from Lille to UK on the actual day of my birthday. 

So I moved it to the nearest Saturday.  (Expletive removed) off again! How expletive much. You have to be expletiving mental.



And then I thought of the car.  I know it is a diesel and the cause of millions of deaths a week from the pollution despite what our former Labour Government told us...

It seems Christmas spirit is lacking and Eurotunnel need to dress up their staff in highwayman outfits and masks!


WOW!

It was now that I thought maybe a trip to McDonald's seemed like a good idea.

Or maybe the humble Ferry with P&O from Dover to Calais. 


Faith restored that not all companies are taking the piss out of the public at Christmas.

As for Eurostar and Eurotunnel? There is a sensitive place where they can stick their fingers and swivel. Ass.... er Asshats.



10 November 2019

Remembrance Sunday

Today was Remembrance Sunday.

The real day is November 11th, but in the UK we move it to the nearest Sunday rather than the proper day. 

This is the memorial in Hythe taken just after the ceremony. 





8 November 2019

New Watch

Well as someone famous once said: Christmas is Coming. 

I haven't had an expensive kind of watch for a while. My last "name" watch is a Fossil with stainless steel bracelet and the LCD screen and two displays with the full screen seconds counting down as well as the hands. Sadly this has been junked as the winder mechanism has broken inside and they wanted £55 for the parts plus labour to fix it. The watch hardly worth that. 

The strap on the watch that I have been wearing, since I bought it in March 2016, broke this week. The Mudder watch came from Amazon for £10.50.  

So three and a half years wasn't too bad. 

I went back to Amazon and lo and behold the same sort of Chinese plastic LCD watch is available. Several versions, so I bought one. 

The only difference being this one doesn't have any little red trims. The cost? £9.95. Negative inflation at work. 

See how long this one lasts. 



7 November 2019

Dogs on the Street Charity - Giving at Christmas

I've nominated  @dotslondon  (charity number 1182323) for a £1000 charity award. They do incredible work with people living on the streets and their dogs, and would do so much good with an award like this. Please consider nominating them via this link:


Dogs on the Street website:

Whitesnake/Foreigner/Europe


Another group of old men coming back onto the circuit with a tour. I couldn't resist a Sunday night at the O2 in London.

It's 39 years (!!!!) since I last appeared on a Whitesnake recording.  Yes, I was there back in 1980 at the Hammersmith Odeon as part of the famous Hamm-O Choir aka the audience.

The Live in the Heart of the City album was recorded over three nights in 1978 and 1980! I guess they bodged all the recordings together! I don't know how many tracks I am on but must be on "There Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City" though.  I haven't asked for my royalties yet.... I am still waiting Mr Coverdale letting me know how much I am owed.....

Anyway, the old boys along with Foreigner and Europe (the band not the continent)  are on tour starting May 31st at the O2 and then across UK and Europe (the continent not the band). I bought tickets on the Livenation presale today.

I have the album on vinyl and nothing to play it on and I have the 12" single of "There Ain't No love" also.  

It's not long ago that I stumped up a wad of cash and bought the entire double album on Google Play so I can listen on my phone, and singalong in the car...

Not filmed until 2004 so I am not on this recording: 




5 November 2019

New Kevlar Jeans

Following an accident many years ago on the GT750 when Claire and I were chuffed up the back by another biker and I was hospitalised after crunching my head on the pavement, it was my legs that came off worse.  My ordinary jeans had not been very tarmac resistant and the scuffing and bruising was pretty bad.  

I decided to get some more "biker" jeans and bought a pair of Hood jeans. These are thick denim with an aramid Kevlar lining. 

Overall the jeans have done good service. Only once being called into action when I managed to almost write off the Europ' Touring BMW K1200S when I fell off on a diesel spillage near Etaples in France.  

There was only a slight scuffing to one seam, but they did suck up the diesel like a sponge.  By the time I was back at the shop and back on my own GS it was too late for any detergent to remove the stain. That was back in 2006.  

In 2014 I finally got a bit fed up with them and wanted something lighter and that produced the RK Jeans cargo style jeans.  These are actually a size too small now (my fault entirely) and I had to replace the top brass button when the original popped off.  I wrote a report at the time:

These have been superbly comfortable and swiftly moved into pole position on dry days. They have started to fade badly on the thighs where the sun bleaches the colour out.

So enter the Oggie 76 jeans. 

These have already been worn and after initially feeling they were comfortable they ended up in the charity bag.  The single belt loop at the back meant they didn't fit comfortably around the waist. 

You need to be comfortable on a bike trip.  So they had to go. Apart from that they were okay.

I was browsing for a replacement pair and came across the Bull-It jeans. I have read about them for a while but never taken the plunge. The Sportsbike Shop has them in stock in my size at half price. 

As Sean Bean says:


In the shop picture they look pretty straight and one of the reviewers says that too.  Some say they come up larger than normal, others smaller..... I don't need smaller..... Fingers crossed.


Bull-it Covec SR6 Jeans Carbon





3 November 2019

#ARSWLV Part 2

That went well.

After last week letting a two goal lead slip against Crystal Palace and the abysmal treatment of Granit Xhaka, this week was a chance to redeem themselves and regain the support of the fans. 

It all looked good when Aubameyang scored his 50th Arsenal goal. But like last week the lack of any coherent strategy and defensive cover from a defensive midfielder and another mistake and boom.

Another bloody draw. 1-1.

Crowd dissatisfaction increased when the manager made some strange substitutions and we failed to win again.

Two points from nine isn't the form that wins anything. Next game will be even more challenging.



Boots and Gloves

Since I started riding I have been on a budget. Not a tight one but not one that allows big purchases. 

The most extravagant purchases would be either the Shoei Eddie Lawson replica or the truly crap Schuberth C2. Both stretched my budget at the time. At least the Eddie rep was a decent helmet.

But never liking the cold or wet I have always liked to have waterproof boots and gloves.  

Goretex and the other breathable and water resistant materials have been a god send for bikers. 

My old Oxtar boots reached 20yo last month. They have given good service and once I has a tiny spot getting in, but the more I look at it, maybe that was sweaty toe syndrome.

Back in 2013 I bought a new pair of TCX Explorer boots. They are Goretex lined. If you follow the link you can see the original pair needed replacing and the new ones ended up in the wardrobe.


They will have to move up to pole position as the Oxtars, after gorilla gluing the gear change patches back on, are finally for the dump. Just over 20 years of service. 

As for gloves. I have been less successful with waterproofness. 

I tend to fallback on the Belstaff gloves I have had for many years. I wore them for the first time in years a few weeks ago when I took the Rocket to Ashford for service. 


I also have a pair of Dainese gloves.  These were reported on in another blog post. Yet to be tested in rain. 


Let's see what this winter brings? 



31 October 2019

No Ordinary Balls

https://prostatecanceruk.org/about-us/news-and-views/2019/10/manarama-ball-features-quotes-from-men-living-with-prostate-cancer


#ARSWLV

Or maybe #ARSWOL? Saturday's visitors are Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Emirates. The game on November 2nd is the first 3pm kick-off of the season at home.

Saturday football was traditionally always a 3pm kick-off.  And then once the Premier League was created to make football into a business rather than a sport for the working man, it all went to shit.

TV money may have given us the chance to see talents from across the globe, but it has corrupted the sport. The match going fan is the least regarded.  

We still pay a high price for our tickets and yet at the whim of the TV companies, games are switched to extreme times and places. Often far away where public transport is not available.  A trip to Liverpool with an 8pm kick off.  The return to London when the match finishes nigh on impossible. TV and it seems the Premier League doesn't give a shit. 

So let's make the most of the 3pm kick off.  We don't know when the next one will happen!

29 October 2019

Movember 2019


Now that is frightening!  Sorry if you were eating when this popped up.

It's the shave face.  In the previous post asking to you sponsor me for Movember  I showed the full beard face.

That was shaved off without too many injuries although I nicked my bottom lip and it has been bleeding on and off since.

By Friday, the official starter's gun for a month of tache growing, I'll have shave again to start off smooth..... 

So please, spare even the minimum £3 and sponsor me.  My links are all over the place.

It's 15 years since I had my first go and that was a charity called Tacheback. Pretty much the same ideals as Movember but now defunct.  Shame as I raised a good few quid in the two years I did it.

Maybe this year's Movember will morph into Decembeard?  


Book Review: Tell Me I'm Wrong by Adam Croft

Tell Me I'm Wrong


My rating: 2 of 5 stars


A very popular magazine in the UK has a section called "Pseuds Corner". It highlights some of the inanities of life and the people that fuel them. Some of the reviews I read on this forum (Goodreads!) are pretty much there too.

I admit that I have enjoyed all of Adam's Culverhouse and Knight books. In fact I expect I gave them 4* on completion. I am a little saddened that finishing book #8 led to no #9.

This one I found very hard to get my teeth into. I don't mind a murder strewn book, but for some reason I was a bit queasy about the child killing as the opening murder.

From there I read on and as some others have said the twist wasn't that much of a twist, more a spotlight shone and not difficult too guess.

Not Adam's best book by a long chalk,






Book Review: No Rest for the Wicked by Adam Croft

No Rest for the Wicked


My rating: 4 of 5 stars


A really interesting short story.

I got this free as I subscribed to Adam's VIP club. I had a bit of a struggle to get it onto my Fire but in the end it was worth it.

A local murder, across the road from the copper's house. Who could have done that? Read it to find out.



28 October 2019

#OLDSTE

It's hard work trying to think of an abbreviation for Stevenage Borough that fits into three characters for a hashtag.  No doubt some expert will come up with a better one. Anyway.

Some 28 years ago I worked for Grand Metropolitan in Harlow.  

My work colleague Nigel was from Cambridge but lived in Stevenage. Rather than take his kids to Cambridge United he opted for his local, then non-league, club, Stevenage.  I went a few times.  They won the Conference one year but weren't allowed into the EFL (Football League as it was then) as the ground wasn't up to the right standard. In 2011 and in their first year in the fourth tier they beat Premier League Newcastle 3-1 in the FA Cup.

So a £20 concession ticket bought.  Let's hope for good weather on the day!

The match on November 16th will be my first visit to their stadium since 1990.  Now. 

Where to park? Had thought of going on the bike but the weather in November is liable to be poor, so it will be by car. Parking is across the road in the local country park. Better get there early then.

Update 11th November

Game cancelled due to both sides having players on international duty!

God only knows when it will be replayed. 

27 October 2019

#ARSPAL

Today's visitors to the jelly strength Fortress Emirates was Crystal Palace FC. 

Unusually though we find them only a point and a place behind us in the league table. More often than not they are in the relegation places at this stage of the season. 

Their manager Roy "Woy" Hodgson, former England manager, has them working well.

Or so it seemed until Arsenal took a two goal lead in the 7th and 9th minutes. Goals from set pieces not from forwards but from centre backs Sokratis and Luiz. 

On 30 they were level when VAR, Video Assistant Referee, overruled the onfield referee and awarded a penalty to Palace after Zaha seemed to dive over to get it.

Onfield ref, Martin Atkinson, had already, showed Zaha the yellow card for the dive and given a free kick to Arsenal. 

The annoying thing is not VAR itself but the time it takes to make a decision. If the muppets watching on TV are quick to contact the ref, why the long delay? They will have seen something to have queried the initial decision in the first place?

Palace equalised after the ball was lost in midfield. And a cross fell to Ayew, another player that seens to have inner ear problem affecting his balance, to score.

From then on Palace time wasted. Dived at every contact and Arsenal threw everything at it. 

When Granit Xhaka was substituted midway through the second half a lot of the crowd cheered his name and then as he slowly left the pitch they booed. He apparently took off his shirt and threw it to the ground and is reported to have told fans to "f off". 

As an Arsenal fan for 55 years I have never booed my own players. Never booed the team. Even during the shit years in the 70's. 

VAR or should we call it VDR, Video Decision Referee, once again intervened and overuled a third Arsenal goal. At the time of writing some 90 minutes after the game ended we still don't know why. 

There were no complaints from Palace players to suggest an infringement in the build up to Chambers being fouled in the six yard box and the ball bouncing to Sokratis to slam dunk. No goal. No penalty either. 

Game ended 2-2.



Movember 2019

Getting closer. 

The rules are that on November 1st everyone should start with a clean shave and that entrants  keep growing a tache for the whole month. 

From what I have seen there are people whose facial hair grows like quickfire bamboo. I mean that within a few days they have a lush tache. 

I am starting from a full beard position. More to shave off.... 




Please sponsor me:  https://uk.movember.com/donate/details?memberId=2865109

This year is also FIFTEEN years since I grew my first tache for the Tacheback charity.  I followed that early success up in 2006 - http://invictamoto.blogspot.com/2006/08/tacheback.html

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