Friday, 27 March 2009

Oddball queries

Sheepishness, possibly rank hypocrisy follows:

Oooh, isn't it so passé to list allegedly hilarious search queries on one's blog-site?

Indulge me just this once:

have stoke city fans ever thrown their scarves in the trent?

The Horror! Well, I'd like to think that any offenders might be just a few of the many Mentadent squirms that wear their colours around Burslem. May they discover the error of their ways.

And just to clarify, I don't mind Stoke City one bit - just not if you're growing up in the north of Stoke-on-Trent.

On which note, I'm off to Cefn Druids with Groundhog this evening - wOOt, &c. I am also seriously toying with the idea of emigrating to Oz next year, Friday night footie appearing to offer more family friendliness despite the country ramble to get there.

Hmmm. And of course, no compromised loyalties.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Social Shrapnel

And so we have our modest furrow near the bottom of the Scotia Valley, complete with soon-to-be murky pond, bodged-up greenhouse and weather-beaten shed-thing.

Currently it's throwing up rather more pottery than produce (see the makings of a fab mosaic once Sam's a little more careful with his hands) but let's give it time - every window sill in the house has been colonised determinedly by gutsy seedlings. There may even be enough celery to prompt a whimsical jaunt to Stamford Bridge later on in the year.

The best thing is the number and variety of connections that are quickly cemented via the twin media of seed and frogspawn. There's even a nice fella with a Harris Hawk and a fire engine (Sam impressed).

With its recycled aesthetic and general cobbled-togetherness, the sum of the whole doesn't seem to pair gracefully with the quasi-marketese guff du jour that is 'social capital' - rather it's earthier (clearly, inherently) and more instantly uplifting. Plus of course, no hint of a large bank loan.

And now, this looks interesting (via White Llama)

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Curva Vox

It's been a while, with much water beneath the bridge. Sadly, poohsticks remains a sore point (metaphorical poohsticks, that is, mm.).

On the morning of the Vale match - last weekend - at which I was due to host various part-time 'loids and hangers-on, I woke up unable to get out of bed thanks to a particularly agonising back spasm. My inner Danny Dire felt like the facking mankey, fer sher.

I'd been waiting five years for Darlo to visit the Potteries. Rather, I would have been had it not been for this worth-rehashing quirk of fortune.... heh - I love the way the Stoke defender just looks embarassed after Carlos Logan's goal- childish giggle, bit of wee .

Premiership, you're having a laugh dum-dee-dum, etc.

In any case, I wasn't going to be perching contentedly on any desolate yellow plastic for 90 minutes anytime soon. Therefore I had to make do with the sounds of Darlo's failings drifting in on the breeze through the open window - an experience brought to you by some left-over Cocodamol, a drug whose opiate qualities might have been handy.

Failing to attend a Darlo game taking place less than a quarter of a mile from my home was a crap experience at the time, but in hindsight I Am Not That Gutted To Have Missed This. Now we can concentrate on survival etc, with a possible trip to Rochdale into the bargain - ooh, now then.

As pain avoidance I considered the great issue of our time whilst listing to the left with the support of some pillows, a true clash of ideologies... That is:

A) Should one watch a match panopticon-fashion? i.e. in a diagnostic stylee and from a detached and elevated standpoint (such as the comparatively enormous Air Products Stand at Gresty Road), or;

B) Should one actively and deliberately seek a position close enough to lose the objectivity? i.e. placing oneself to glare straight into the whites of a centre half's eyes, attaining involuntary synching of heartbeat with the nervy symphony of studs in the 'greasy' floodlit turf.

Hmm - I should point out that most of my football is taken at a modest lower-division dose, and I would assert that there's a strong dichotomy of experience - the atmosphere of an 'end,' home or away, rarely carries to the grandstanders in the way it might do here (actually, Spangly Princess' post did a grand job as a surrogate football-going experience, though the Curva is a long way removed from the Hamil).

Actually, at the football as in any theatre in fact, I tend strongly towards the latter. Admittedly, the lack of anaytical perspective does render me as foul-mouthedly bemused as anyone when some battered old cushion (typically Julian Alsop or Leo Fortune-West, Aldo Serena if you like old-school Serie A) ghosts in at the back stick to shin a last-minute winner.

On which note I'll alt-tab to the epic 'white corridor with office plants and awkward officials' shots that are such an endearing feature of Bet365's half-time Serie A coverage - a refreshing if irrelevant counterpoise to the usual half-time hyperbole.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Without a paddle

An excellent article by David Conn in today's Guardian.

"Reynolds refused to be sunk, bouncing back with a business selling "adult bedroom furniture" and S&M equipment, under the unbeatable slogan: "Your home may well be your castle, but where do you put the dungeon?" But in October 2005 he was back in prison himself, convicted of defrauding the Inland Revenue of more than £400,000 tax.

"Now, when the fans sit watching their team in that cantilevered bowl of grand pretension, it is as if they are paying, every week, to spend time in Reynolds' head."

I couldn't have put or pictured it better.