Archive for June 2010

England are out, support England

Well, that went will didn’t it?  For the first time ever I got up and walked out before an England game finished.  While England were making a half hearted attempt at trying to claw back a 3 goal deficit I was in the garden getting the BBQ started.

England flagsI notice that a couple of the part time patriots in my street have already taken down their flags, including the house behind us that put their flag up just before the game started and had already taken it down before the game finished.  By this time tomorrow the country will be purged of the flags the part time patriots have painstakingly bedecked their houses and cars with.

So, with England out, the question is who to support next and on the basis that I have a Dutch god daughter and they are the only country in Europe not to hate us with a passion, I will be supporting the Netherlands.  But unlike the part time patriots, my England flag will stay up.

England Expects …

… the linesman and referee to be able to bloody see!

England have gone back to the dressing rooms for half time 2-1 to Germany when the actual score is 2-2.

The linesman was a few yards from the corner, he should have been able to see the goal.  The referee was in the right position to see the goal, why didn’t he?  Capello, Beckham and Pearce could see it from the halfway line.  The fans could see it from the stands and were unimpressed judging by the chants of “the referee is a wanker”.

FIFA recently refused to have any kind of technology to adjudicate on goals – that position is surely untenable after the ridiculous decision to disallow England’s second goal.  Tennis has hawk eye which can see if a 2.7″ wide tennis ball travelling at 130mph is over the line, it would have no problems with a 28″ football at 30mph.  Rugby has a video judge and the game stops when there is a dispute so why not in the world cup?

I always knew Sepp Blatter was an arsehole, now he has the opportunity to show that he has some integrity.

Two World Wars and one World Cup

I would love England to win the World Cup but if – as seems likely – we don’t make it to the finals, the disappointment will be tempered somewhat as long as we give the Germans a damn good thrashing this afternoon.

England -v- Germany 1996

Pope in hypocrisy shock (not)

The Pope is bitching about Belgian police raiding the home of a retired Catholic archbishop and the graves of two prelates as part of an investigation into child abuse by Catholic clergy.

Well that’s a bit unfortunate your holiness but if the Catholic church dealt with paedophile priests instead of protecting them then the police would probably be happy to rely on the co-operation of the church.  In fact, if the Catholic church told their priests that child abuse is an unforgivable sin there might not be any need for police investigations at all.

Belgium is an overtly Catholic country (with the exception of Brussels which is rapidly turning Islamic) so the decision to raid the home of a retired Catholic archbishop won’t have been taken lightly.  The Pope should get his own house in order before he starts criticising other people.

Blame Capello

Without wanting to sound like an armchair manager, what the fuck are you playing at Capello?

Seriously, the team is playing unbelievably badly and I’m afraid I have to lay the blame with Capello.  I normally defend managers when people criticise them because the 11 players on the pitch are supposed to be professionals and if tactics aren’t working they should use their initiative but in this case there are clearly no tactics to change.

The players are milling round the pitch, completely clueless.  They’re getting the ball and haven’t got a clue what to do with it.  The team is obviously suffering from having no time to practice together as a team because they don’t know who they’re going to be playing with until 2 hours before the game starts.

And why is Wayne Rooney still playing?  I really never thought I would say this but he’s a liability right now.  He’s worried about picking up an injury, he’s backing off from tackles and tonight he was limping at one point.  Rest him if that’s what he needs but he shouldn’t be playing if he’s not up to the job.

Vote Blists Hill

Here’s a request from Blists Hill Victorian Town, part of the Ironbridge Gorge museums.  We spend quite a lot of time at Blists Hill and we find something new every time.  They rely on donations and volunteers to keep the museums open and the money will come in useful!

I hope that you can help.  As you may be aware, Blists Hill Victorian Town in Ironbridge has reached the Short-list of the Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year 2010, the largest arts prize in Britain.

The Museum is up against some significant competition including the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford and Ulster Museum, part of the National Museums of Northern Ireland.

Ironbridge has to prove strong support from its visitors and friends if it is to stand a chance of winning the £100,000 prize and you can help by voting on the Art Fund Prize website until 18 June 2010.  As a charity, Ironbridge does not receive any statutory funding from either central or local government and if the Museum was fortunate enough to win the prize, it would use the funds to create a new education and gallery space in the Museum of Iron for the many thousands of school children who visit each year from Shropshire and beyond.

Please can you vote by following the link – it should only take about 30 seconds and you can win a great prize just for voting.  If you can leave a nice comment too, that would be great!

Please can you also share this request with family, friends or, even better, your work colleagues.  We’d like to think that a vote for Blists Hill Victorian Town is a vote for Shropshire and the West Midlands too.

You can chart our progress by clicking

How was your day dear?

Having spent four nights in the world’s most uncomfortable hotel bed in Leicestershire, I woke up tired and grumpy this morning which is not a good way to start the fourth day of a five day training course.

Actually, I was woken up by a phone call from an excitable Mrs Sane rather than my alarm this morning to tell me that the internet was working again in our house.  It stopped working Friday night/Saturday morning and if it wasn’t for repeated phone calls arguing with “higher level technical support” people at Sky about what the problem was, I would still be without internet now.

Anyway, I haven’t put in my expenses and compensation claim for 5 days without internet, hours of phone calls on my mobile and doing their bloody job for them yet so I’ll save the details for another day.  They’ve also messed up my phone line in fixing the broadband because the phone number rings out but the line is dead.  They’re saying someone will call me in 24-48 hours to do some diagnostics, I’ve told them I’ll be phoning Virgin if it’s not working by the time I get home tomorrow.

So, back to this morning.  I’m already feeling a bit crap – tired, aching, homesick – so what I really needed to cheer me up was a phone call at half 11 this morning to tell me my grandad had died.  He’d been ill for a while having had a couple of heart attacks, emphysema, pleurisy, and asthma and had a couple of weeks in hospital a couple of months back but as far as we knew, he was waiting for a chest infection to clear up so he could have a blocked artery sorted out.  He was taken into hospital overnight with a bad chest and died this morning at half 10.  Bit of a shock and pretty gutting, especially as I’m away from home and having to make do with phone calls to family.  Listening to my daughter crying her eyes out when I phoned home telling me “I didn’t want grandad to die, I wanted to go and see him again” was horrible and I couldn’t be there for her.

We weren’t close in the way that some people are with grandparents – in fact, I hadn’t seen him for a few years until he went into hospital a couple of months back – but that’s how it was when we were kids and other than my parents, my sister and my nan, I don’t see most of my family for years at a time even though most of them live within 20 minutes’ drive.  But he was my grandad and I loved him even if he was a cantankerous old bugger (not to mention being Welsh).

I went to see him a few weeks ago and we talked for a long time – probably more that one day than I’ve ever talked to him before.  That was the last time I saw him and that’s what I’ll remember.  He was smiling and joking, I didn’t see much of that side of him as my grumpy grandad when I was a kid.

I didn’t see him as often as I should, especially when he only lived a few miles away but I’m glad we spent a bit of time together this last couple of months.  He told one of my aunties the other day that he was fed up of feeling ill and that he’d had enough.  Yesterday he had pictures of my nan out on the table with her things that he’d kept (she died years ago).  I guess he knew what was coming and I think he wanted it.  He died with his wife and four of his daughters around him.

But I’m not going to write today off just yet.  My mother-in-law is in Shrewsbury tonight for the Pride of Shropshire awards where she’s in the final three for the carers award.  She’ll find out in a couple of hours if she’s got the award.  Hopefully she does and I can end the day on slightly less of a downer.

I’ll be glad when today is over and even more glad to get home tomorrow.  Today has been a thoroughly shitty day.

Pride of Shropshire Awards

My mother-in-law is in the final 3 of the Pride of Shropshire Awards in the Carers class.

My father-in-law has an über-rare disease called superficial siderosis.  As of 4 years ago there were only 270 confirmed cases worldwide so as you can imagine, there’s not much known about the disease or what is likely to happen in the future.  He started losing his hearing about 20 years ago, the last thing he heard was a firework about 6 or 7 years ago (it certainly surprised him!).  When I first met Mrs Sane her dad was walking with a stick, driving by himself and going fishing.  Now he needs a wheelchair outside, a big walking frame in the house and he can’t go anywhere on his own.

We won’t know if she’s won until next Thursday but just being in the top 3 is an achievement even if she doesn’t.