Monday, 30 April 2012

Sorry, more football...

Well done tonight to the pretend skyblues (they don't deserve the capital that Coventry get).

A superb and well disciplined performance against Man Utd and Fergie can have no complaints. Apart from about ten minutes in the middle of the second half his boys just didn't turn up.

Zabaleta was the M.o.M in my opinion. He worked tirelessly for the team and provided quality down the right flank. Yaya would have got it if he hadn't lost his discipline in the last twenty-five minutes.

The title still isn't decided yet. Meaning no disrespect to the other teams the Manchester teams have got to face I feel the title will be decided in the North East. Either Newcastle or Sunderland will get a result that will create a points gap. If they don't then we get the first Premier title decided on goal difference. If I am honest I think that would be a shame because Man City have been the better team for much of the season, this Man Utd team is living too much on reputation and following the news that Podolski is joining Arsenal Fergie needs to realise that his Utd team need two world-class midfielders and a striker if they want to stay at the top end of the Premier division for the next few years.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

I'm alive...

Just a brief post today to remind myself I am alive. I have been told that breaks in blogging are frowned upon by the huge judgemental members of the public that make up the mass audience. I'm not sure they have noticed me yet, as 5 blogs have created a total of 97 page visits.

Maybe that should be the nature of my next blog...what constitutes mass?

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Holidays wear me out...

So this is the first morning after my time in exotic Wales. In all honesty I can't remember when I have been this tired.

I have drove over 500 miles, chased a 3 year old super dynamo up and down hills, around lakes and beaches (in his words the quiet beach isn't as nice as the noisy beach, the only difference I could see is it was windy the day we went to the noisy beach so the waves were crashing a bit), up mountains and, most terrifying of all, around arcades. So many pretty lights for a 3 year old to be distracted by.

I bay slept, except for Thursday when the other half graciously allowed me an extra hour in bed, and I have spent a bleedin' fortune.

My little boy also proved to have an unerring ability to make me man-up and get over my debilitating fear of heights. I call it fear of heights but I have vertigo and it isn't heights I am scared of, it is the immense dizziness and nausea that overcome me when I am high up. Sometimes standing on a chair is enough to set it off, and there is nothing more pitiful than seeing a six foot man clinging onto a wall for dear life when he is standing on a one foot stool.  While we were in Caernarfon we went to the fun factory; if you go to Caernarfon you will know the one to which I refer as it is on all the tourist information boards. It occupies a beautiful old stone church, a larger version of the variety that are speckled all around North Wales and are always what I think a church should look like.

In the fun factory are two tall slides which are almost vertical. My son, the brave little trooper, really wanted to a have a go on the one that slowed you down by the old fashioned technique of dumping you straight into a ball pit. Of course, while he is big for a lad who turned 3 last monday, he isn't really big enough to be dropped 30ft down a vertical slide into a ball pit. This didn't deter him for he came up with a plan. "Daddy" he began, "you're my best friend"  he knows how to turn on the charm, "can I go down on your lap". What kind of man would I be if I said no.  A sensible one a large part of me was saying, but the dad in me won out.

So we went up the long flight of stairs, Kian almost a sprint and me gingerly feeling out every step. At the top I bravely enquired if he was sure he wanted to go down the slide. "Yes, Daddy, on your lap" he replied. I grabbed hold of the side netting that seperated another part of the play area from the slide and swung my right leg over and shuffled my bum across until I was sure by ample buttocks were acting as an effective wedge. I once again bravely enquired if he wanted to go down the slide and once again he replied to the affirmative, this time bouncing up and down excitedly to show his determination to make me go down. My head was spinning everywhere and every movement bought a wave of nausea and eternal dread that seemed to smother every part of my body. My breathing was shallow and sweat was coming out of my hair. But the problem with having a 3 year old who worships you is the fear of letting him down outweighs everything else. I managed, somehow, to scoop him onto my lap and wrap my left arm around him. My right hand was still firmly gripping the netting to the sode of the slide, my lifeline to the sanity of soilidity. Kian was nervous now, and I could have used that as an excuse to get out of it, but I had commited. I swung my left leg over so I was now sitting right on the edge. I took my hand from my lifeline and we counted...one...two...three...and off we slid before moments later we were crashing into the balls at the bottom.

Kian loved it. I couldn't stop him laughing enough to get him out of the ball pit, and needless to say we had to go on the slide three more times. I wish I could say it got easier for me, but it didn't. Each time was a battle and each time it was worth it to see the smile on my face.

As a family we had a fantastic time,

Friday, 27 April 2012

I'm back from the hinterland...

Just a quick blog to say I have just got back from the ferocious mountains of North Wales.

Worry not for I survived with nothing more than a damp head, and a certain squelch about the forward step.

I will be back to serious blogging from the morrow, for it is 10.30 of the evening clock and I am far too pooped for entertaining, or even not so entertaining, blogging.

Till the morrow,
farewell.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

League One for a year...

Before I start this isn't a football blog.

It just so happens that in the first few days of it's existence two football related topics have caught my eye.

So, here it is. I am a Coventry City fan. The Sky Blues (not the Citizens, who are doing rather well for themselves) have been my team since as a child, just before the glory of 1987, circumstances led me to them at a time when Liverpool, Notts Forest and Everton were all courting my interest by being successful, or in the case of Forest having Cloughie. It is a long tale which has led to me choosing Coventry and one I won't bore you it with here. Maybe at a later date, when today's pain has left me it will be the subject of a blog.

I ended up supporting the mighty (in my head they are always led by Sillett and Curtis around the pitch at Wembley) Sky Blues and my experiences following them have always helped me to cope with defeat and disappointment. OK, not in 1987. But I was 8 years old and that was the highest point for me as a Coventry fan. And OK, big fat (racist?) Ron bought it some great players in the mid-nineties. And OK, we then had the Huckerby-Dublin partnership, and Ndlovu and a few others. But these have all been exceptions which have bred false hope. My time as a Coventry fan has been most honest when I have been accepting of inevitable defeat. Not only has it been more honest, but it has also led to my happiest memories...the great escape of 1997 was so wonderful because I was so sure we were down. I remember going to play football after the results were in and NOT being embarrassed to wear the shirt in an area where everybody else supported WBA and Wolves and, at this time, the black country hadn't had a team in the top flight for 15 years and we, Coventry, hadn't had a team out of the top flight in 30 years.

Today, as the football fans amongst you know, the brave Coventry City finally got relegated not from the Premiership, the promised land is now a distant memory, but from the Championship. Next season, if we reach next season, we will be in Npower League One. We went down without a fight, losing two nil at home against a team that had went eleven games without a win. Not even Pompey losing 10 points through administration gave us a chance.

The worst part of the season hasn't been the relegation, nor the lack of depth or quality in the squad. Nor the lack of fight for the most part. Not even seeing the business man chairman decide to become technical director and join the beleaguered, often confused, manager Andy Thorn on the bench. The worst part has been the brief period of hope we were afforded when we managed to, for one round of matches, get out of the relegation zone.

It was the reverse of all the years when we, as fans, had given up and then a miracle happened. This time we had been mocked with the sweet scent of survival, only to have it cruelly taken from us by a group of players who either weren't good enough, weren't experienced enough or, most terrible, just didn't have the heart for the battle.

I feel betrayed, not by the  relegation, but by the club daring to give us hope before stamping it out.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Ched Evans

I don't want to get into whether Ched Evans or Clayton McDonald are guilty or innocent. I haven't been made privy to all the details of the case.

What I want to say is surely in a case like this they are either both guilty, or both innocent. There is, to the best of my knowledge, no doubt that she consented. Evans has found guilty based on the fact she was too drunk to give consent. She had sex with both men and says she didn't remember meeting them or going back to the hotel with them. If that is the case why was she sober enough to consent with CM, but not with CE. Did she stop part way through to down half a bottle of gin before inviting CE to join in?

This highlights, to me, the problem with many rape cases. There is no consistency in rulings or investigations. There are too many cases where somebody is accused of rape wrongly, or alternately somebody is cleared wrongly due to fear that the claim is believed to be false. Punishments are inconsistent and there usually is no punishment women who make false claims. I have read of one case when a woman was convicted of perverting the course of justice, although I am sure there are more. The problem, though, is false claims are damaging to all the cases of women who are genuine. Fear of being accused of crying wolf stops some women coming forward, and even once the police and courts are involved it serves to damage the credibility of all rape victims. They have done nothing wrong; they are victims, yet they are often treated as the criminals.

I don't have answers, it is not an area I am expert in and most of what I know is purely anecdotal. But I think it is clear that something needs to be done to create consistency.

If the courts cannot get a consistent verdict in one case that was heard simultaneously how can they be trusted to provide justice?

Breaking in the blog.

This is my first ever blog.

I am a keen and opinionated writer who has for a long time been amazed at the wonderful depth and talent (and the occasional slimy dirge) of blog writers and it has made me a little timid to dip my slightly grubby toes into the waters of the blogsphere.

I am afraid I have no specific aims for this blog other than to write. So those who crave consistency look away now. I intend to write about my thoughts, my experiences, the news, what I have watched, read or consumed. Anything that seems to me to be suitable at the time I sit down to write. It may be serious, or tongue in cheek, or I may, sense forbid, try and be amusing. Please forgive the attempts at the latter.

What I write will be influenced by my moods, at times it will be my attempts to clarify my own thoughts and I may very well contradict myself from one blog to the next. I will probably use the blog to shamelessly plug the work of people I respect and admire. Plugs for my own work will hopefully appear here in due course.

The blog is entitled Eyes in the Afternoon because the only thing that links what I write is it is the world as seen by my eyes. And I am in the afternoon of my life. For those of you who are particularly nosey I am thirty-three years old. I like to think it is the early afternoon.

I will write whenever I have an internet connection. Sometimes I travel to places that don't and I am far too tight to pay for a dongle. So there will be gaps. It cannot be helped.

I hope you enjoy this blog, I really do. But more I hope it helps me clear the seaweed from the beaches of my head.