27 November 2019


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


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!


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:


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? 

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