To the North

29 06 2010
I am off to Scotland at the weekend for 10 days, and I am really rather looking forward to it.  H and I intend to drive straight up to Loch Lomond on Sunday, which we are able to do because Germany knocked England out of the World Cup, so now we can go out for my Mums birthday.
Anyway, our plan is to go to the highlands and the Isle of sky, I have seen a really good boat trip that I want to go on where you can see Seals.  We also have a Pod booked in Applecross, meaning that we can have at least one night inside, although, hopefully the weather will not be bad.  I will be monitoring it for the next week or so, but once we are there I guess it doesn’t matter.
We also want to head to Loch Fyne so that we can have Oysters, and H really wants to try Haggis, having had it before I am not overly keen, but when in Rome and all that.
I think that we will try and head over to a place by Inverness to see some Dolphins, but we also have a night booked in a 5* guesthouse, near Loch Ness.  Our room is massive and it has a 4 poster bed in it.
I am getting more and more excited the more I think about it.

I Want to be a Spaceman

28 06 2010

After the not unexpected disappointment of the  of the football on Sunday (Germany were much better than us, and I still would have dropped Wayne Rooney) and the fact that it took me an hour to get into work today, I have had quite a good morning.

I went to a lecture by US Astronaut Michael Good, who has been on 2 shuttle missions (Space Shuttle Atlantis), the first being 12 days to repair the Hubble telescope and the 2nd being 12 days on the International Space station, fitting a new module and changing the batteries in 3 space-walks.  He was also on the last ever Space Shuttle flight.  Apparantly, he is the University of Portsmouths Institute of Cosmology and Gravitational studies assigned Nasa astronaut.

Speaking at the University Michael said 

“While in space you see sunrise and sunset every 90 minutes so you have 18 nights everyday. It gets incredibly dark at night but is amazing to be in the best planetarium in the world. The stars don’t just twinkle, you can distinguish between the colours – stunning blues, reds, yellows and whites.

“Floating in space is a lot more fun than I expected – you can fly around like Peter Pan up there. Before the launch we decided to make sure we had fun on board and there was a lot of laughter. I often had tears welling-up in my eyes but they wouldn’t roll down my cheeks because that doesn’t happen in space!”

There was a brilliant video that showed parts of the mission from launch to landing and included some absolutely hilarious zero gravity scenes (astronauts acting like the game hungry hippos with a bag of M&M’s was brilliant) and some amazing photos taken by himself of the Earth.  It really was quite spectacular.

Here are a few space facts for you.

  • The International Space Station Orbits the Earth 19 times a day.
  • Michael Good has travelled 10,155,978 miles in just 24 days and has orbited the Earth 383 times.
  • You need to be travelling about 11k/m’s a second to break the Earths Gravitational pull and enter orbit.
  • It takes 8.5 minutes to get into space travelling at 17500 m.p.h


23 06 2010

OK, 1-0 got us through.  Not top of the group though, which means that we will probably be playing Germany.  Still, it’s better than not being in the last 16.  Right, relax until Sunday.

Well done to USA too.


23 06 2010

Can England get any worse than their miserable 0-0 draw with Algeria.  I certainly hope not.  The country hopes not.

How will Fabio Capello get the best out of the demoralised bunch of Prima Donnas that played so poorly, while still sticking to his 4-4-2 formation and forcing Steven Gerard to play on the left where it doesn’t suit him.

I think that it will all come together, but then again Nostrodamus I ain’t!

In Defence of Kaka

21 06 2010
Kaka, one of the Worlds best players, a religious man, and one that you would never do a dirty thing was unjustifiably sent off because of a cheating dirty trick from an Ivory Coast player, during Brazil’s 3-1 victory.  The only surprise to me is that the diving Ivorian in question wasn’t Didier Drogba (who scored a great goal, but I still don’t like him).
The referee was shockingly poor anyway (allowing Brazils 2nd goal that was quite clearly 2 handballs), but there was no excuse for the 2nd yellow card shown to Kaka.
Not even seeing what had happened, he was conned by the feigning Kader Keita, who went down like he had been punched in the face.  In reality he had ran into Kaka’s shoulder at chest level and then proceeded to writhe around in (faked) agony.   
If you watch the replay, the ref only saw the aftermath of the Ivorians surrounding Kaka and a scuffle starting (handbags really, it all came to nothing).  Kaka was then given a 2nd yellow card for Violent conduct.
This is what I hate about football, the cheating and the gamesmanship to get other players sent off, especially one as good as Kaka who would have been a star of the next Brazil game, but who could now be banned for up to 4 matches (on seeing the replay there is no way this will be any more than a 2 match ban).
Keita, the other player involved will get off with his misdemeanour when in fact he should have been booked for simulation.

Nice Weekend

21 06 2010

I have just had a thoroughly nice and relaxing weekend on the Isle of Wight.

H had just finished a night shift so we went over on Saturday morning on the Catamaran and then took the old train up to Shanklin.  After we had eaten dinner with H’s Nan we headed back to her mums, where H had a well earned snooze and I walked Dave the Jack Russell up in the fields, losing him for 10 minutes before he popped up from a hedge beside me.

We had a lovely meal out on Saturday night and a good nights sleep, waking up to a beautiful day.  We headed out for what turned out to be a monster walk up over the Downs and through Luccombe Chine to the Bonchurch Inn for a well earned Cider and a long walk back along the coast.  I finished the weekend being incredibly relaxed and feeling fit (I think that I need to get a dog to walk) and not wanting to come back to work today, but to spend the week in the sunshine.

Terrible, Terrible, Terrible!

19 06 2010

I can only be talking about the horrible looking draw played out  between England  and Algeria in Cape TownAlgeria. In what has been the worst game of the World Cup so far, it was also one of the worst England performances for years.

It appears that the team had under-estimated Algeria (A team that knocked out African Champions Egypt in the Qualifiers) and some badly timed comments from Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerard along the lines of we can beat them if we don’t play our best, really didn’t help!

The simple fact of the matter is that we were rubbish. The formation was wrong, there were no attacks down the wings, Rooney may as well have been playing in midfield the amount of times he was in his own half. Englands so called Talisman, was more of a millstone around the neck of a team that had no ideas. Were it not for his reputation he would have been taken off if he had played like that for his club team.

I don’t really have the heart to say anything about Emile Heskey, he looked like a broken man when he was substituted. I would mention how badly Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole played, but for large parts of the game I wasn’t actually sure that they were playing.

It was good to see that David James got a work out, admittedly only from dodgy backpasses (John Terry, please stand up) rather than Algerian play.

The England fans booed at the end of the game, much to the disgruntlement of Wayne Rooney. I am sorry, but how were they supposed to cheer that performance. If you are worried by a bit of criticism, you are in the wrong sport. The fact is if you over-paid and over-hyped had pulled your fingers out and actually looked like you were trying we wouldn’t have booed you, or if you were sat in my living room, mocked and in one case, fell asleep.

I don’t really have anything else to say, apart from the fact that you had better buck your ideas up. Well done to Algeria though, you deserved your point.

Come Alive

18 06 2010

The world cup has finally come alive. After a cagey set of first round matches, Germany and the Swiss (what a great victory against Spain)excluded, the games have perked up a bit.

Uruguay were looking good agianst South Africa, and Should go through with Mexico, who outshone the dire Fernch side for the whole game. The pace and attacking on the break should have brought them more goals, but a 2-0 victory means that they only need a draw with Uruguay now to go through.

Argentina did look outstanding, with Leo Messi on form and Gonzalo Higuain bagging the first hat-trick of this World cup.

Still, just because some of the teams have picked up the pace doesn’t mean to say that they all will. England play Algeria tonight, and this is where they need to get a convincing win in order to silence the critics.

World Cup Moan!

15 06 2010

I haven’t commented on the England Vs. USA game before as I didn’t really know what to say. Now it turns out that I do. I felt that we played OK and that I was right all along that Emile Heskey should not be playing for England. ( Why have we taken a striker who can’t score?).

Ledley King was always going to be a liability and that was proven after 45 minutes.

I also don’t think that Robert Green did too badly and it was a freak goal. Even David Seaman, Peter Shilton and Gordon Banks had their off days.

I don’t want to jump on the bandwagon of saying that Capello should get the sack after this one result, but he has made some bad choices for this World Cup, not helped by injuries. Time will tell, but I don’t think that we will get to the Semi-finals.

I hope that today brings around some excitement as so far only Germany, helped by a dodgy sending off have looked convincing. Portugal, Brazil and the Ivory Coast are all in action today and all 3 could do well. So far most of the games have been uninspiring, so I am hoping for a bit of Brazillian flair, or as much as I hate to say it, Christiano Ronaldo to do something good.

Still, you never know, anything could happen. North Korea for the Win anyone? Its currently 22/1 at (other betting sites are available, its just the first one that came to my non-betting mind).

World Cup Fever

11 06 2010

I wasn’t in the least bit excited about the World Cup until I heard World in Motion by New Order, the best England Song ever. Fact!

It is the best because it has a rap by John Barnes. It was also the England song for the first world cup that I remember, Italia ’90. Roger Millar Dancing, David Platts miracle volley (still not sure how he got that in) and Toto Scillachi scoring an absolute belter were the highlights. Obviously, Gazza crying wasn’t too good.