Tag Archives: football

Boom boom

I was thinking of John Lee Hooker with that title.   I was going to go with “Boom boom boom boom”, which is how the song starts, but then realised that was also the title of a Vengaboys song and I just didn’t want to go with trashy europop.  Now I’ve just remembered Basil Brush (you lot not in the UK are going to have to get on your Google) so my vaguely hip subject line has been hijacked by an irritating fox with a hand up his arse.

I happened to notice the daily post email that presumably arrives in my inbox every day and doubtless gets cleared out by my energetic spam checker.   It suggested “Clean” as suitable subject matter and it brought to mind an incident or two last week.

You may remember that I’m not the best sleeper.   It’s been mentioned numerous times on here, go back and read some of my other posts for an in-depth analysis of my nocturnal misery.   I was safely ensconsed in my bed, cosy against the bitter cold of a West London winter (so not really that cold) when a rhythmic beating disturbed my slumber.

Boom, boom, boom, boom.

I checked the clock.  It was just after 2am.   This is a usual time for me to wake up on my own so I was quite cross to be awoken by external influences.

Boom, boom, boom, boom.

I thought perhaps somebody was trying to break in.  It wasn’t a very subtle attempt to gain access and a moments thought made me realise that any burglar worth his salt wouldn’t be so noisy.  I’ve been woken in the past by a broken gas main, or rather the chaps who decided to search for one.  They have a gadget that bashes holes in the floor, it also produces a steady and constant beat but the timbre was all wrong for that.

Boom, boom, boom, boom.

The only thing to do was to investigate.   I donned the Verbal Hedge equivalent of a silk kimono and went in search of the boomer.

The youngest was on the decking in his pyjamas.   The door to the decking wide open, allowing icy blasts of Twickenham air to whistle up my trouserless legs.   He was banging a football boot on the decking.   Boom, boom, boom, boom.

“What on earth are you doing?” is an approximation of what I said to him.    “Cleaning my boots before training tomorrow” was the absolutely obvious answer.   His cleaning method involves bashing the boot on the floor until all of the mud from between the studs has left the boot and landed on my (previously clean) deck.   I reached for a convenient tent peg and showed him how to do the job quietly and thought that would be the end of it.

Two nights later…

Boom, boom, boom, boom.

It was earlier, around midnight.   i was crosser, almost steaming.   I stormed down the stairs, passing youngest on the landing and getting ready to give him an earful.  Hmmm, I passed him on the landing.  What could be causing the bloomin’ booming this time?

We have a tumble dryer.   It lives under the stairs in a previously undiscovered echo chamber.   If you fill it with an entire football kit and several wet towels then the bearings in it give up.   Every rotation of the drum is heralded by a thump that is amplified by the under-the-stairs echo chamber.   After removing roughly half of the contents the thump became a sigh, so I went back to bed and listened to the tumble dryer quietly sobbing to itself for two hours.   At least it gives me something to fix that doesn’t need to be carried down to the shed.

If you click on the daily post link above then you’ll find lots more Clean tales that are far more substantial than this one.

 

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So where were we?

Ah yes.   A very silly thing.

I did London Duathlon.   Actually, I did London half duathlon, it was 5km run, 22km cycle and then 5km run.   That second 5km was the killer.   Your legs are still expecting to be going round and round rather than up and down so one tends to stagger around like a drunken fool for the first 10 minutes of the second run.  Still, I finished.   I didn’t quite make 2 hours but I will do next time.

The Daily Post (I had forgotten about it) suggests a one word prompt of Marathon.  Being keen to improve myself and stick to what the doctor says I’ve decided to do things by half again and take on a half marathon.   I’m running on behalf of Motor Neurone Disease Association and so collecting sponsorship.   If you do feel the urge to pass on some of your hard-earned savings to a most worthy cause I’ll put a link at the end of this email, but don’t feel obliged.

We have some issues at home with regards to all of this keeping fit.   They mostly revolve around mud.   The youngest (that’s this one) is now a fully fledged football coach.  His mission is to put right the things that every other coach in the world gets wrong and to get his team of under 12’s to the top of the league (4th at the moment with two games in hand).   When I was a lad, football coaching was basically “kick the bloody ball and run over there” but it appears to have evolved since then.  There’s all sorts of kit to be carried around.  Balls, cones, markers, goalposts (honestly) and when it has been wet for a few days these items tend to get, well, wet and muddy.   If you’ve ever been in a soggy field with a bunch of pre-teenagers then you’ll probably be able to understand.

The big match this weekend (it was against a team who on average are four inches taller than “our” team) was cancelled due to a waterlogged pitch but this didn’t stop training.  I suspect that training must have borne some similarity to Sunday at Glastonbury.   Needless to say that there are a few Surrey parents  still trying to find their child who now resembles a pool of mud in the back of the 4×4.

In itself, this shouldn’t be a problem.  However, I (and I’m obviously the most important person) had been out for a training run in the park (Richmond Park, added incentive of being chased by angry deer) and so was also wet and muddy.   Wet, muddy and tired in fact.  I flung open the door of Verbal Towers expecting to be greeted by a warm glow and pristine flooring to be met with 20 football cones, 12 footballs and 22 training bibs.  Each dun coloured item either dripping or steaming, depending on its exact location in the hall.

I was (as is my custom) overjoyed. The route to the stairs was blocked by 50 or so training markers, originally blue and red but now brown and browner.  My solution to strip off in the hallway and scamper nimbly through the cones and up the stairs seemed like a great one until I reached the first floor and noticed the family opposite looking out of their bedroom window and into our landing with some bemusement.   You really would think that the neighbours would be used to us by now.

Now off you go, read some more Marathon posts and then click on the link below and donate everything that you’ve saved from whatever new years resolutions you have made.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Robby-Hedges

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I don’t like parsnips

CDC parsnip

CDC parsnip Wikipedia)

You can choose to either hum “Dreadlock Holiday” or “I don’t like Mondays” as you are reading this.   I’m going with the Boomtown Rats.   It fits the mood more closely.

Facebook used to be my playground.   A place to survey they antics of friends who live far away and to post potentially amusing one-liners about what I have been doing and what I may possibly be doing in the very near future.   I have moved on somewhat and pay only the occasional visit now, I’ve been taken by the longer narratives and tales from around the world (in places I am unlikely to visit) that I find on WordPress.

I did pay a visit to Facebook last night.    I’m afraid that I lost it a little bit and used some language that I wouldn’t be happy to use in front of my mother, or my son and possibly even anybody in the world who knows me.

The problem is with the “haters”.   The particular post that made me flip was a comparison between rugby players and football players.   It wasn’t the first time that the gentleman in question had posted such a thing but for some reason last night was the final straw.  A picture depicting 5 silhouettes, four of them marked as different positions played in rugby and one showing an image of Tinkerbell labelled “footballer”.

I don’t mind that the chap doesn’t like football.   I follow football, rugby, cricket and pretty much any sport that I can get to see.   I do very much mind that he is so sad that he feels the need to denigrate the passions of other people and imply some sort of weakness or frailty because of his blinkered and damned near homophobic views.

He isn’t the only hater.   It seems that one can’t turn around in this country without encountering bitterness and anger towards somebody.   I don’t really know if it is generated by a jingoistic press or a general island based xenophobia but so many people put so much effort into hating when they would be better served by putting that same energy into something positive.  Anything positive would do.     Instead of spending countless hours complaining about an influx of immigrants or joining in with the creeping horror that is islamophobia do something good for goodness sake.    Build a playground for the local kids.   Trim an elderly neighbours hedge, stand for election and change things through a proper democratic fashion, just stop whinging and hating.

Meantime, I really don’t like parsnips.   They smell wrong and taste too sweet for their own good.   That doesn’t mean that I’m going to force my opinion on you about them and encourage you to eat swedes instead.  That would be very wrong of me.

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Put your hands together

I am traveling.   Not proper exploring travel but boring and tedious business travel.    Five hours in the car each way for a two hour meeting.  I bet you are jealous beyond belief.  Imagine if you will a Jack Kerouac character who has grown old.   A middle range suit and a Volkswagen full of Red Bull cans and chewing gum wrappers.  I should perhaps have a piece of torn tissue on my chin stemming a shaving cut.   If you look closely there’s a bit of a paunch growing.   It’s not hanging over the belt yet but days at the beach will produce a red face more from holding my breath than sitting in the sun.  Am I painting an attractive picture?

Evening found me in a cheap (not cheerful) hotel on the outskirts of the beautiful city of York – This is York, England.   You might want to think of it as Old York.    So good they invaded it twice – The Vikings that is.   The outskirts of York do not shine with the beauty of the centre of the city.   I have a ring road to look at and a pub that, well, a pub that serves beer.  Sort of.

I’ve a TV.  It’s brilliant.   It has five channels and there’s obviously a button somewhere that makes subtitles appear and disappear.   I think the button must be broken because the subtitles won’t go away but they are proving hilarious.   Football fans in the UK will appreciate that last day of the transfer window represents a frenzy of buying and selling players.   In itself it is not gripping but the many South American and African names that are being discussed have sent the subtitles machine into meltdown.   Bennoit Assou-Ekotto and Genseric Kusunga just don’t translate easily when you are a little bit of software desperately searching for a match.

There’s a dawn chorus of flatulence and creaking bed springs.   It really isn’t a quality hotel.   Taking a walk around the car park reveals three curious things.

  • My car is still there and the windows are intact.  That’s only slightly curious.
  • There’s a spilled glass of orange juice with ice in it and a wasp is eating the ice cube rather than the juice.
  • Best of all I came across an old lady.   Sitting on a stretch of lawn, still in her dressing gown and busily working through her rosary.  She looked so contented and peace with her world.

The old lady has given me hope for the day.    What more can a chap ask for.

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