Category Archives: Life

I’m back and thinking about football ….

It has been a while since I last posted. Quite a long time in fact. It was not deliberate, but just happened for a number of reasons, none of which are particularly note worthy or relevant to what is ostensibly a coffee blog. Needless to say, I missed it and am pleased to be back.

Having just said coffee is the main subject around here, today’s topic is football. I guess, on that note, most of the coffee people, bar one notable roaster, have just surfed away to something more relevant to them and anyone left is either a football fan or simply can’t be bothered at the moment to look for something else to read.

It’s that time again, the start of a new football season with all of the usual excitement. Everyone has hopes and dreams. I remember the summer of 1976, an August Saturday morning, not unlike today, but with less rain. It was my first real season of following football properly. Football Focus had a preview of

Jumpers for goalposts?

the season and as Grandstand began Frank Bough stood in front of the old green BBC football results and tables charts. They were still manually operated in those days, clever graphics were years away. I remember as the show opened, Frank said that it was the first day of an exciting new season and at a quarter to five, the boards would spring frantically to life with details the day’s events. Earlier that morning, I had bought a new football magazine called ‘Roy of the Rovers’. It was fantastic and for the next few years, without fail, I would run down the hill to the newsagents every Saturday morning to claim my copy from the ‘collections’ pile. It could have been delivered with the morning papers, but that would have simply spoilt my excited fun. I wanted to feel that first Saturday morning every week.

The excitement is still the same for most football fans as it ever was, but things are different these days. For starters, the Premier League and Football League often seem to kick-off on different Saturdays. Oddly though, today’s Football League season opening seems more like the old days to me than next

Jumpers for goalposts?

Jumpers for goalposts?

week probably will when the ‘big boys’ including my team begin their season. For me, the Football League Championship, not the Premier League, more closely resembles the old First Division. I think it is because the lower tier teams still have a large number of British players. I love the Premier League, it is surely the greatest league on earth these days and the quality is breath-taking. It’s just that each year the start of the Football League evokes strong memories of my youth. So, when Championship tactics appear a little naïve by comparison, I just remind myself they play a brand of football that many of us were brought up on, and then I rejoice at the whole stunning other level of skill that those in the Premier League are capable of producing. I love it all. Continue reading

It’s just not cricket ……

I don’t know the details of or pretend to understand the complexivity of the issues in the recent cricket test between Australia and India. The alleged incident itself is not what leaves me feeling uneasy, but the way those involved in the aftermath have behaved, and in particular the position of the ICC.

Following the shambles some time ago involving Pakistan and Darryl Hare, we seem to be witnessing a second occurrence of the ICC capitulating in the face of pressure. It mayHowzat? or may not be that India are right in their position, but it bothers me that cricketing nations appear to be willing these days to threaten a withdrawl or boycott rather than to appeal any sanction through the correct channels.

Now whether this is beacuse the ICC determinations have been perceived to be so incompetent that those affected feel there is no option other than to resort to mutiny or simply that the ICC is known to have a soft underbelly is not clear to me. I do think, however, that the ICC needs to address the issue and might do well to begin by asking itself whether it is making enormous errors in judgement or has simply lost all authority over the game of gentlemen. Sad times.

Setanta Shambles

A couple of people have asked after the grumpy old man in me over Christmas, well he is back.

I turned over the channel to Setanta Sports an hour or so ago and it had gone. Not literally, but I was being invited by the on-screen message to take out a subscription. All well and good, but I already have one.

After calling Setanta and selecting the ‘existing customer’ option complete with its five minute minumum wait, I redialled selecting the almost instantly answered ‘new customer’ option.

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What year is it?

Gosh, Christmas seemed to fly by with all the weeks of preparations disapperaing in what seemed to be ten minutes flat, with me failing miserably to blog at all over the festive period.

Despite the absence of any posts, I was laid in bed in the early hours of the morning the other day having one of those really strange thought processes that can only appear in the dead of the night.

It occured to me that we are changing the way we pronounce the year in this country as a result of the last millennium. Historically we have announced the date in hundreds rather than thousands which is the norm in many other nations. For instance, 1910 wasFather Time “nineteen-ten” to us and typically “one thousand, nine hundred and ten” to, let’s say, the Spanish. Previously we had “nineteen oh-eight” whilst our continental friends more often used “one thousand, nine hundred and eight”, and so on.

Then suddenly as the last millennium approached, people in the UK began talking about “the year two thousand”, or just “two thousand”. It had to be so, because saying “twenty-hundred” just sounded wrong.

Now, I expected once we moved away from the year of 2000 itself that people would revert to saying, for example, “twenty-oh seven”. Some did, but most stuck to “two thousand and seven”. Why not I say, it does after all come to the tongue more easily.

So then, the next big date would be 2010, when it would surely be easier and more historically familiar for us to say “twenty-ten” rather than “two thousand and ten”? Well, as it gets nearer, I have heard quite a few people referring to 2010 and as yet not one has reverted to the older, more familiar format. Everyone that I have heard) seems to be saying “two thousand and ten”.

It remains to be seen whether our verbal reference to the date format has been changed forever by the millennium. In the mean time, my brain goes on in its never ending search for weird things to think about when I’m trying to get to sleep at night!

Like an excited little kid again

Remember that totally excited feeling everyone had a Christmas as a small child. You know, the one that showly builds up for about a week prior to the big day, beginning withChristmas Tree that warm tingly feeling inside and ending up on Christmas Eve with so much excitement that you almost miss out on the night before Christmas fun because you cannot wait for the next morning. Just before falling asleep you really did hear Santa’s sleigh bells, didn’t you?

Like many, I suspect, the excitement overflowed in our house at about 3am on Christmas morning after no more than a couple of hours sleep, when I used to wake up and see that Father Christmas had been and the frenzy began. Well almost. I actually used to wake my Mum to ask if I could open my presents! The look of utter exhausted confusion on her face as she peered through half open bloodshot eyes year after year will be etched on my mind forever. She used to let me open one or two items and then it was back to bed until the far more sociable hour of 5am, or six if she was lucky ….. then it all started again!

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