Monday, 30 November 2009

Carsten Ist kunst?

Crowded Penalty Area. Pork and Unripe Tomato, 2009.

And so it was, my three brawny bratwursts bore uncanny resemblances to Carstens Jancker and Ramelow (not the most demonstrative link in the latter case, but too good to miss). Shamefully, I couldn't think of a name for number three. A little more Bohemian and it could have been Jan Koller, perhaps.

Ah... food, football and national stereotypes. The gifts that just keep on giving...

Friday, 27 November 2009

I stayed on my feet, dear reader

Name drop:

So, like many footballers of less-than-international standing, I contrived to happen upon Rio Ferdinand's trailing leg in the Pumpkin at Stockport station today. He was arranged around a tea-puddled table with some guy I took to be his agent, waiting for a London-bound train that had been cancelled. And I must say, the guy is incredibly tall and skinny, built like a human dragonfly.

All I can say is it's a shame he can't tackle Johnny Foreigner nearly as effectively as he can polish off three packets of Starburst. Obviously, my attempts to persuade him that his future lies in Unibond One (South) will provide the latest tapping-up scandal in tomorrow's tabloids. Sadly he didn't seem tempted by the offer of a fully-chauffered 1995 Ibiza and all the cheese oatcakes he can eat.

No matter. You heard it here first. And then he was gone - through the gaggle of tracksuited PE students with camera phones - to First Class, and that London.

Monday, 16 November 2009


Much water has lapsed under the bridge since last I typed. Most of it rather too introspective, concentric or just plain rantrospective (boilers, plumbing, cars, careers on which one doesn't break even) to 'do' here (leave that to the poets, eh?)

Still, what can now be made official is that - all being well - we'll be doing this again next year. And yet the birthplace of #1 has been razed. Hopefully also gone are the Entinox pipes that have to be both snorted from and held into the wall at the same time. And with them, say cheerio to the gaffer-taped linoleum and floral seventies wallpaper... the list could go on.

And the parking's more chronic than ever, but I will not, shall not - I refuse to - turn this blog into a place to talk roads and parking spaces (leave that to the Sentinel, eh?)

To be honest, I nearly shed a tear as we shuffled by the taxis, ambulances and smiling families. Sam's was a difficult birth, though not life-threateningly so. None the less, it was his place of birth. And there is (was) something about the old-style maternity unit that's very democratic by 21st century standards, perhaps enforcedly so: everybody in it together, for better or worse.

In that space everybody could hear you scream.

With the private rooms, the all-day visiting, and the LCDs blinking out car-seat adverts disguised as public information films, I dare say some of that will be lost. By and large, mothers will agree, it's A Good Thing. But I bet there won't be the [compulsory] state-sponsored camaraderie that was such a striking feature of that ward.

Or maybe there will - but that's a post for another time.