Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Phew......I know we all thought this Ashes series would be dramatic but this is getting stupid. For the first test in a row there was hardly anything between the two teams. England once again got themselves into a winning position only for the Aussies to fight themselves back into the game. We made the best team in the world follow-on for the first time in 17 years.

Unlike the last two matches this time it was England batting for a result and depaite only needing 129 to win it was left to Hoggard and Giles to scrape and claw the winning runs...it's a close run thing (understatment of the epoch). When Australia looked dead and bured the England fielders were tearing round the ground chasing the ball for all they were worth...I lost count of the times they turned 4s and 3s into 2s and singles...it seemed needless at the time but it made all the difference. The team are giving everything every single time a ball is bowled...they know they are good enough to match the Australians and they know their efforts can make all the difference. England just need to avoid defeat in the final test at The Oval (a few good knocks or one bloody good rain storm) and the urn is ours.

The way this series is going it is going to go down as one of the greatest sporting contests in history. You've got the two best teams in the world taking each other all the way week in, week out.

Ponting is rather spoiling things by complaining about England's use of subsititute fielders (a trick the Aussies first used back in the days of Dennis Lillie) because he was run out by an amazing piece of fielding by Pratt, our 12th man, whilst Simon Jones was in hospital recieving treatment. It's rather undignified and does kind of smack of being a bad loser.

Everton lost again this weekend...we seem to be doing a lot of late shopping too. I wonder whether we had a bunch of players in mind and we were wating to see how our qualifier went before working out how much we can spend...either way I hope we can sort ourselves out. WE aren't playing badly but perceptions are important at this stage of a season. If we get that smell of relegation aorund us then it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In other news Pierluigi Collina has retired...virtually his last action as a ref was to disallow our equaliser. Baldy Italian wanker.


Thursday, August 25, 2005


Everton Football Club

Last night I was too gutted for words...the travelling Evertonians sat in all four sides of the ground kept singing their hearts out as the bare bones of our squad took the field against one of the most highly rated teams in this stage of the competition. They gave everything but just came up short.

It was almost very different...we had two great chances, a ridiculous goal line scramble that just wouldn't go in and one perfectly good goal disallowed. Collina who for many years has been the shining example for referees heeded the Villarreal players pre-match whingeing and picked us up for everything. When it came to the crunch he seemed to have decided there was going to be a foul before the ball was even delivered into the box and as Big Duncan wheeled away in celebration our lifeline into extra time (let's not forget it was only a goal to square the tie) was chalked off.

The night took us through all the emotions but eventually when the dust settled and everything else had ebbed it was pride that was left. The People's Club will abide and prevail and Alan Green can eat his words. We took a superb team all the way. Let's make no bones about it Villarreal are ace, at times they ran rings around us (hats of to Nigel Martyn, beaten by a jemmy deflection for their goal. One finger-tip save in particular was astounding) but we stepped up and at the final whistle you could see how relieved they were.

COME ON YOU BLUES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

FAO Alan "foams at the mouth" Green


Oh dear Alan....Everton seem to have upset you by not knowing their place...still I'd have thought a real footy fan like you would have been able to come up with something less childish than exagerations, half truthes and thinly veiled personal criticism.

I'd keep your bitter little no-mark opinions to yourself you fat self-important arsehole.

It's all very well lamenting the fact that the Premiership is uncompetitive but when a team tries to break the stranglehold you see it as your job to mock, sneer and criticise.

Well tough shit...we are going commemorate last season's achievments and of course we are going be proud of being the best team on Merseyside. We were the team everyone thought was going down but instead we put the rich kids in the shade.

Have some respect....or just continue to be a small little no-mark.

"I'll never forgive Everton for finish above liverpool last year"

Been there, done that

Des buts immanquables

many, many times.

I am woeful in front of goal (I was given the nickname Barndoor Brandwood)...this is what my Tuesday night footy games are like. Saying that I still play well....just not in front of goal.

It's nice to see that the professionals are just as bad as me...Diego Forlorn's miss is particularly ironic considering he scored a fairly good goal against us the other week.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

I know it's a kids book but it does annoy me how universally lauded these books are.

The first two books were great but I'm convinced that the last book was written years earlier or by someone else. At the very least he must have been under time pressures from his publisher or just bored.

Wheeled elephants and ickle people riding round on dragon flies?!?!?!?!?!?!

Why does it descend into some utterly lame Mills and Boon? Are we meant to believe that all the corruptions and rifts and lethargies and imbalances and all the other problems of ALL the millions of worlds that have been going on for hundreds of years are solved by two kids having a bit of fumble in the forest? What happened with the huge apocalyptic battle to end all battles between The Authority and Lord Asriel? The new, ruthless meritcoracy gathers forces from across the dimensions to challenge the old, corrupt regime.....Three rather shoddily decribed pages then God died of old age (a monumental event which took up all of two lines) and the archangel along with two other central characters fell into some sort of pit......and that was that...now for 200 pages of romantic drivel as bookending.

There are so many things I could ask "What was the point of........" (Those people chasing Will at the start of the book, Where did Asriel's gigantic castle & huge army come from if he only found out how to cross into other worlds at the end of book one, What was that super-duper thought-powered helicopter thingy, those destructive giant swans, the priest-assasin who just gets killed etc etc etc) but the whole thing has become the emporers new clothes so no-one gives you an answer.

Feel free to mail me and put me right on these points but I was SO disappointed with the final part. Instead of being praised to high heaven it should be exposed as the rubbish it is because people are wasting their time reading books one and two and getting to the point of no return and having to press on whilst soft lad is getting very rich off the procedes."


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The promised land

Well...Champions League. It was fundamentally enjoyable. Villareal were great and to be honest we lived with them. Ultimately the best side won though. It's just a shame we met a team like that in the knockout stage.

Phil Neville made his bow and immediately struck up a raport with the fans. People are already talking about him as a future captain.

We need to score 2 goals in the away leg...can't see that happening. If we'd have equalised I think there would still be a chance. Ah well. A good time was had by all.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Cricket lovely cricket

Now that was FANTASTIC....I've never seen a test match with such a nail-biting end. We've squared the series it's 1-1. We won by 2 runs.

Those damn Aussies never know when they are beaten...they needed well over a 100 runs with their final two wickets and somehow managed to get out of jail (*snigger*) and onto the verge of victory...we needed one wicket but just could not get it. Dropped catches, inside edges, delivaries going past the wicket keeper for 4. It looked like they'd snatched it until at the death Jones caught off Kasprovic's glove and we'd won! Fantastic match. Credit to both teams...It's really shaping up now. COME ON ENGLAND!

Friday, August 05, 2005


Where to start...Last week I was in the south of France doing voluntary work for Liverpool Archdiocese. It was a bit of a saga just getting there as my EasyJet flight from Liverpool was delayed 6 hours meaning my flight took off 30 minutes after my train left Paris. This made a straightfoward day very stressful but eventually I managed get myself on another flight and get down to Lourdes.

Once there I spent my days pushing wheelchairs round and generally making sure Liverpool's sick pilgims are comfortable and don't get lost while visiting the Catholic shrines.

It's busy work but nothing too taxing...there are people who work a lot harder than me (but then again I've only been going for 4 years, there are people who are working there on their 50th).

We spent the evenings and the early hours of the mornings drinking lots of Stella Artois (Do you think that's quite wise sir?). The mornings where a bit hazy (I learnt the hard way : only drinking late with people who are getting up the same time as you). I was staying in a 10 bed dorm with some of the other workers...I think it was actually Great Britain's Olympics snoring team...it is truly astounding how much noise someone can make without waking themselves up.

Lourdes is a bit an enigma...some people are dead set against it before they ever get to the shrines...It is surrounded by a nearly inpenetrable barrier of tat & tack shops (Glow in the dark Our Lady statue anyone? St Bernadette Water feature? Sacred Heart Picture complete with fairy lights? it's all there). The Rough Guide to France was scathing about the place (a lot more scathing that they are about the equivelant 'amazing' Hindu shrines in India). This is a shame 'cause once you get through that and into the actual churches it's all pretty beautiful....to each there own I suppose.

Anyway a good time was had by all I think.