Wednesday, June 26, 2002

I've resisted this long but here are my thoughts on the world cup:
Well, as usual the English dream did not come true. How strange though to go out with such a whimper. The normal anguish of the last few minutes of the last game or worse still a penalty shoot out was replaced by the dawning realisation over about the last 40 minutes against Brazil that we weren't able to trouble a Brazil side which played with more tactical nouse and defensive organisation that we gave them credit for. No-one here got angry or upset, for once we all knew that we just weren't good enough.

Although the quarter final games were poor I have to say that I have really enjoyed the competition. The spirited performances of South Korea (or is that Corea now?) Japan, Turkey, Ireland, USA and Senegal at different times were a joy to behold. I must say that I loved Seeing the over pampered poodles of Argentina, France, Portugal and Italy sent packing. I know that Italy had some grounds for complaint but sometimes that happens. You lose games that you should have won, that is what makes football the head spinning crazy, addictive game that it is.

Brazil must beat Germay or do we have one more shock left in this crazy competition!

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

Where does the time go? Nearly a week since I managed to update this site! I guess it is a hangover from the world cup, must admit that the constant run of early mornings was really taking it’s toll at the end of last week. Anyway away from the world cup, I enjoyed The Bees gig in Cardiff last week. They were by some distance the scruffiest looking band I have seen for some time, but they do make some wonderful music. The later stages of the gig did turn into a bit of a scratchy guitar funk workout, but enough killer blows had been landed in the early stages to make it a worthwhile trip. The next night we went to The Fleece to see McDowell and they were great. It was the first time that we have seen them playing with the whole band and what a splendid treat it was. Nicely understated vocals and acoustic guitar from Mark Hymas matched with some beautiful, melodic guitar lines from the rather fearsome looking lead guitarist. They have an album out called Rooks Wedding, I don’t think that it really reflects the band as they are now but it is still a nice piece of music.

In between world cup games on Saturday we nipped out to Bedminster Library. The Library was holding a CD sale to get rid of excess stock amazingly all CD’s were only £1.50! We ended up buying 15CD’S!!! Lot’s of great old soul from the like of Aretha Franklin, Staples Singers and a couple by the Isley Brothers, plus assorted Jazz and indie selections. Then we have been lucky enough to be given from different sources new CD’s by The Reindeer Section, Tom Waites and Baxter Dury. We also recorded a 4 hour Northern Soul special from the radio on Saturday evening. You could say that we have a bit of listening to catch up on! Luckily for us, the weather on Sunday was gorgeous so we managed to spend and hour or so in the garden reading and playing tunes. The perfect Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

No football for a couple of days, so a chance to draw breath and look
forward to the remaining game of this extraordinary competition. On my way
to watch the South Korea - Italy match yesterday I noticed that a house just
around the corner from us had a small hand made Korean flag on display in
their front garden. I think the family have only recently moved to England,
so it must be amazing for them to watching the scenes coming from their home
land. After the amazing victory against Italy, I felt that I had to drop a
small card into them to congratulate them the efforts of the team and indeed
the fantastic supporters. Can they beat Spain in the next round? I think so.

Yesterday Orynthia bought one of the new digital TV converter box's. This means that
we now have digital viewing and can watch the free digital services, such
BBC4, BBC choice and about 7 others. It also gives us access to the BBC
interactive services. So now we will be able to find out what is going on
when they "viewers with digital services, press the red button now". At the
moment it just appears to be showing lots of World Cup related stuff, in
fact when I left for work this morning it was showing the full Korea - Italy
match again.

Tonight we are off to Cardiff to see The Bees, I am really enjoying their
splendid CD, although I did read a rather uncomplimentary live review in The
Guardian for them today.

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

I have to say that the 7:30 AM starts for watching world cup games, is starting to make me quite tired. The main problem is the lack of catch up sleep on a weekend. Still it has been a fantastic competition so far and we only have to wait until 19/6 for the treat of an extra hour or so in bed.

Still managed to keep some vestige of a normal social life going. We went to see the film "About A Boy" last night. I must admit that when I read the book, it was one of those "OK" reads, I think that on this occasion the film is actually better than the book. It has to be said that the young male lead, had the most bizarre eyebrows I have seen for some time. The poor chap looked as though he must have a relative of good old Dr Spock from Star Trek. I hope for his sake that it was part of the make-up teams attempt make him look kookier, rather than a lifetime affliction.

Tonight we are meeting up with a few friends for a meal. At the start of the tournament I weighed myself to see how much the snacking whilst watching games would affect me. Strangely after the 1st week I actually managed to lose weight, so tonight is a chance to put a few pounds back on.

Friday, June 07, 2002

Well, as mentioned previously, I won’t go on about the world cup on this site. Will just say that this afternoon, I was a very happy man.

Went to one of the smallest pubs in Bristol last night, The King Charles to see our friends Ian Green and Steve Dew playing a short improvised set as part of a trio with a guy called Bill. They had never played or even practised together before as a trio, so everyone was unsure about the outcome. I really enjoyed the short set that they played and as someone who has never played anything, I just get more and more impressed at the creative abilities of our friends. I am also delighted to live in a city where people try to do interesting and unusual things.

I nipped into town after the football to pick up some CD’s. So we now have a proper copy of the lovely new Belle & Sebastian soundtrack CD. Also got the new Edwyn Collins CD as well as an album by a group called The Bee’s called Sunshine Hit Me. Heard this whilst at Mark and Bab’s over the weekend. It reminds me of a more structured version of The Beta Band deceptively simple on first hearing, it is a real grower.

Should be catching up with old friends Kevin and Julie over the weekend, along with yet more football.

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

Not too much point in me writing about the world cup here. Those of you that like it, will be watching it, those of you that don’t won’t be interested anyway. We had a lovely extended weekend break with Mark and Babs, managed to watch all the matches and had great fun doing it. The good thing was the matches are all over by early afternoon, so it leaves plenty of time for other stuff. On Tuesday afternoon we walked through the village for to Banwell castle for a cream tea. It is an amazing 18th century folly with a wonderfully low-key feel about it. A great relaxed way to end our little holiday. Also managed to catch up with lots of music thanks to Mark’s enormous record collection. Filled a few gaps in our knowledge.

Whilst reading the New Yorker I was amazed to find a review of Maroons a restaurant that we ate in on our last night in New York at Christmas. They liked it, and so did we. Even our friend Kelvin (on the left in this picture), who has an appetite that is best, described as gargantuan struggled with the enormous portions. We were ready to pop.

Back to work today, but only for a two day week, as I have Friday off due to World Cup commitments.