Lucky Col
Dance as though nobody's watching, love like it's never going to hurt

Thursday, July 27, 2006

"Lost your love of life ? Too much apple pie"

The Wedding Present - Kennedy

Holiday for the next week or so, and with my ongoing problems getting my house connected to the outside world, no postings from me until I get access to a PC.

In the meantime, something to enjoy.

Turn it up loud !!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I may be lucky, but not as lucky as this guy ....

Former Forest full back Gary Charles has been ordered to do community service for a drunken attack on a woman at a taxi rank last year.

He's been in and out of court a lot over the last few years, mainly for drink related offences, but his relative recent sobriety must have cajoled the judge to the side of leniancy.

Gary Charles was the never the same after the week of the cup final in 91. Just before, he accidentally knocked over and killed a lad on a motorbike and then in the game itself had his knee rearranged by a mental Paul Gascoigne.

It's not the first time he's been done for drunk & disorderly or got away with it either. Once, just down the road from me mam's, a neighbour called the police to his house claiming he was driving round the close p***ed up. He denied this, but was challenged by a police women who noticed that the bonnet of his car was still warm, "so's my c**k" Charles replied "but I haven't used that recently either".

He was vilified by Forest fans when he went to Derby, but he made up for it in one of the best moments I have ever had as a Forest fan:

Forest were due to play Derby away in early December on a Sunday on TV. I'd managed to get a ticket, but heavy rain meant that the game was called off. By the time it had been rearranged in late April, both sides were challenging for promotion back to the Premiership. For a Wednesday night kick-off a mate & I started drinking at 11am at my friend's work bar, a source of a cheap 80p pint. However, they'd had a promotional barrel the night before that was still good for two-for-one. Get in. By the time we caught the train to Derby we were well oiled.

An even game in the first half saw Forest one up at the break from a Colin Cooper direct free-kick. Gary Charles' every touch was treated with a chorus of boos from the away Forest fans.

An even start to the second half with few chances before the moment ALL Forest fans will remember of Gary Charles.

A long ball to the edge of the area was met by the fist of the Derby goal-keeper, just inside the area, with the keeper landing in the middle of the 'D'. However, under the pressure of Forest forwards and a couple of Derby defenders, he only managed to slice his punch sideways to the right hand corner of the box, straight to Gary Charles' feet. Facing up field and under no pressure at all, he had two choices; relieve the pressure with a ball to row Z or try to start an attack with a long ball up the wing.

Charles chose option 3.

He turned round to face his own goal and played the ball back to his keeper. The Derby keeper still stranded at the edge of his area could only watch the ball delicately bounce into the empty net. Cue delirium where we were and stunned silence everywhere else.

"Gary Charles,
Gary Charles,
Gary Gary Charles,
when he gets the ball he scores a goal,
Gary Gary Charles"
we sang for a good ten minutes solid. Every Charles touch was now greeted with cheers. I don't think he looked up for that entire ten minutes before the Derby bench took pity on him and took him off.

Forest were promoted automatically that season, Derby lost the play-off final to Leicester.

Thanks Gary.


Funnily enough, he was also involved in another fantastic Forest v Derby incident, although this time he was the victim of the piece. Derby v Forest in the Anglo-Italian cup, 8,000 people at the Baseball ground. England were playing that night with Stuart Pearce at left back, so for Forest that night at left back was Brian Laws.

Laws was still upset at losing his FA Cup Final place to Charles two years earlier and this was pay-back time. Gary Charles playing down the right for Derby, in front of the away Forest fans. Brian Laws came across to cover and Charles stopped. Would he go left, right, bit of skill to get past the full back ?

Brian Laws smiled.

Charles put the ball past Laws, who quite obviously wasn't even interested where the ball was. Laws deposited Charles into the wall in front of the Forest fans to huge cheers, clenched fists and plenty of high fives. As Charles lay on the track at the edge of the pitch Laws shouted abuse at him that Roy Keane would have been proud of. He didn't look at the referee as he was quite rightly shown a yellow card.

How f***ing hard can it be ?

All I want is broadband in my house, that's all, the same as everyone else, nothing special. I don't want a gold plated modem, or Himalayan monks to perform the installation for me, just a plain old broadband connection.

The story so far has gone like this, are you sitting comfortably;

I used Freeserve / Wanadoo for years, without a single problem. I had broadband in my little Scottish village months before me mam was similarly connected in Nottingham, just round the corner from the telephone exchange. Moved house twice since then with minimal fuss, but as soon as Orange take over, without warning, whoosh, no connection. Unhelpful spotty technicians tell me my account hasn't been active since December, and the computer says it can't set up a new account. Great.

Call broadband company 'B'. They tell me that they can't provide my broadband until Orange send a cease notice to BT. I call Orange and they agree to send BT the notice, but it will take two weeks.

Two weeks later, I call Orange and they agree to send BT the notice, but it will take two weeks. This sounds familiar. I contact BT to see if they can do anything, but they can't until Orange send them a cease notice. I have to wait.

Good news! The mark has gone from my phone line to say I have a broadband connection. Surely this means I can set up with a new company.

Computer says no.

Apparently now, there is a mark on my line saying I have 'ordered' a broadband package from a supplier and I need to talk to them. Call broadband company 'B' who helpfully tell me it isn't theirs. Call Orange, not theirs either.

OK, BT own the phone line, I'll ask them. It's not their mark either, and they're not allowed to tell me whose it is.

So now I'm stuck. No internet connection at home for the first time in 10 years, no home banking, no OU access and most importantly, no music downloads.

How hard can it be, FFS?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Good news, bad news

Good news: Tony Blair has a plan to sort out the conflict in the middle east. Woohoo !

Bad news: Basically, it involves allowing Israel to bomb the c**p out of Lebanon until there's nobody left, the UN included.

He does have an excuse for this

If you look really carefully, the horse does seem to mouth something about the jockey's mother....

(from the BBC)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The easiest way of getting what you want ....

.... is by letting someone else do your dirty work for you.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Advice for the hot weather

  • Use plenty of sunscreen, especially on children

  • Drink plenty of water, more than usual

  • For gods sake, stop b****y moaning about how warm it is and get out there and enjoy yourself

That was a public information broadcast aimed specifically at the miserable buggers sat on a bench near my work;

"Int it warm ?" one asked, "Yeah, but it's too warm" replied miserable b*****d number 2.

It would be warm, it's the middle of July, the height of summer, what do you expect, rain ? Snow ? Locusts ?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Papa's got a brand new baby

Get up, get on up .....

Monday, July 17, 2006

Adding a bit of colour

A few pints of Sam Smiths Pure Brewed Lager and a Thai meal in the BPitW on Saturday night, followed by a sandal wrecking game of Sunday football on Wollaton Park in 32 degree sunshine.

My feet would have been cleaner had I been working bare-foot on a pig farm.

Good times.

If you build it, they won't come any more

Renewable energy isn't high on Tony's list of priorities and also not the favoured option to Moray council. Luckily, the Scottish Executive have overturned their refusal for planning permission to the Drummuir Windfarm development, so hopefully the project should be up and running again.

This is a fantastic development, mainly for renewable energy reasons, but also because it will p**s off the racist, bullying, in-bred t*****s at Diageo who rely on the income from Drummuir Castle.

And anything that p***es them off is an absolute bonus.

The futures not Orange, or anyone else for that matter

I'm not going to get too upset, but why is switching Broadband from one supplier to another such a pain in the a**e ?

Orange still claim that my account was closed in December, and because of that they can't give me a MAC code to seamlessly switch my broadband connection, despite the fact that it was only a month since I was using it without any problem.

But I can't move to another broadband supplier because there is a 'mark' on my phone line that only Orange can remove. A very friendly but, let's face it, obviously very spotty individual, kept me on hold for ten minutes while he spoke to his supervisor, who would have got their job by being slightly less spotty, before telling me he had sent a 'cease form' to BT and I have to wait ten days.

Which is great, had it not been for the fact that this is EXACTLY the same thing they told me two and a half weeks ago when I went through the same process. I fully expect to be having similar conversations in two weeks time.

As a company in competition with other broadband firms, it is clearly NOT in their interests to send any 'cease forms' to BT. If they can't have my custom, why should they let anyone else have it ?

So, if you are thinking about broadband, don't touch Orange with a barge-pole, unless you're happy going with them for the rest of eternity.


Why didn't we think of this ?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Things I know about Ireland now that I didn't know last week

  • Just like there is a conversion rate for money, there also different distances in Ireland. 1 mile in Ireland is the equivalent to 5 miles over here. When I go somewhere that's "just down the road", to me that's somewhere you can go without taking off your slippers. In Ireland it means "take the car".

  • Knock airport only has a finite quantity of Bulmer's. Since Jim was there, this quantity is now zero.

  • Pubs in Ireland DO have bicycles on the ceilings. Bugger.

  • When airline companies say check-in closes half an hour before the flight, they MEAN check-in closes half an hour before the flight. 28 minutes before the flight is TOO LATE.

  • Drinking a bottle of Lucozade is a good hang-over cure. Drinking THREE bottles of Lucozade will make you sick.

  • Chilled drink technology is 20 years ahead in Ireland. Apparently. (Paddy Mac's, Ballina)

  • It is perfectly acceptable to put up a piece of tarpaulin over an alley-way next to a pub, put in tables, chairs & a pool table and call it a smoking area. (Brennans Lane, Ballina)

  • Jack Charlton really isn't that tall, but can still raise a smile to a car full of lads waving to him.

  • Guinness tastes a lot better over there. To be honest, I've learned this before, but you've got to keep testing this one.

  • McDonnells bar in Belmullet isn't the best pub in the world (only in my humble opinion), but it would most certainly be in my top 5. It also seemed to appeal to everyone in the West of Ireland on Saturday night.

  • While Dublin is full of tourist traps and looks like London, Mayo is without doubt full of the friendliest people I have ever met. Every single one of them.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Not as daft as they're made out to be.

In the days when exams were tough and certificates were earned instead of being given away like toffee wrappers, I got one that said "GCSE French Grade C" and another that said "GCSE German Grade C".

This shows two things, I wasn't particularly brilliant at French or German, but I did show a certain level of achievement in learning 2 other languages, especially in England, where speaking to a foreigner usually involves lots of pointing and raised voices.

In my time, I have ordered beers in both France & Germany and if pushed, could also direct someone to their donkey in the centre of Paris.

But only if their donkey happened to be down the first road on the left.

However, at no point in any of my foreign language studies, was I taught how to say or understand the phrase:

"you're the son of a terrorist whore"

which makes the Zinadine Zidane sending off all the more strange.

And they say footballers are supposed to be stupid.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Time to hit the mute button

France v Portugal wasn't as good a semi-final as the night before, but that would have been difficult. Should be a good final on Sunday.

Got to say I was a little bit uncomfortable with the commentary & analysis from the BBC.

Some of the comments after the game on Saturday were slightly over the top. Alan Shearer suggesting that Rooney should "chin" Ronaldo back in training, a good example. But these could be excused in the heat of the moment.

However, in the cold light of 4 days later, surely we can't keep blaming the Portuguese for our short-comings. John Motson especially couldn't hide his bias, every Frenchmen fouled deserved a free-kick, every Portuguese a cheat. "Oh the irony" he chuckled as Ricardo Carvalho got booked out of the final, ironic as he was the player 'involved in the incident' with Wayne Rooney.

It's like saying that John F Kennedy was partly to blame for being 'involved in the incident' with Lee Harvey Oswald.

On a separate note, a man in India is drawing the crowds by being able to hold his head in his hands. They should have come to the pub I was in on Saturday afternoon, there were dozens of us doing likewise.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Switching Teams

If you played for Brazil, what would your Brazilian name be ?

(Thanks to I Love 1865)

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

How do they do that ? And more importantly, why ?

According to the BBC, scientists are too busy to go into schools to persuade pupils to get into Science.

Maybe if they spent less time attaching stilts to ants, they could spare up a few minutes.

Monday, July 03, 2006


We're probably used to it by now, turn up expecting to win the tournament, qualify out of the group without setting the world alight and then get beat on penalties by the first decent team to stand in our way. Certainly the mood in Nottingham on Saturday night was one of depressed acceptance rather than the anger that spilled out after the Germany games in 90 or 96.

Of course everyone now needs someone to blame, McGaribaldi sums it quite nicely, the three main suspects being Rooney, Ronaldo & Eriksson.

While Rooney suffered at the hands of the Portuguese all afternoon, surely it's something he should be used to by now. If not, he's got a few difficult months ahead of him as copycats all over Europe attempt to minimise his impact.

Ronaldo of course, is a greasy haired cheat, but that's because he's Johnny Foreigner and doesn't play the way we do in Blighty. This, of course, is b******s. He took the proverbial out of Gary Neville all day and quite rightly got upset when one of his players was stamped on, although clearly not as violently as first thought. While the FA are still not issuing the England team with those invisible yellow cards that everyone seems to carry round with them, we still know how best to use gravity to our advantage (Owen in 98, Owen again 02, Gerrard earlier this year).

Eriksson on the other hand has to take a large chunk of the blame. Playing Rooney up front on his own is a waste of talent. He doesn't play well without support and gets wound up having to beat three men on his own, we all would. Joe Cole is quite easily the most creative player in the starting 11 and his departure left a huge gap on the left hand side making the task for the 10 against 11 even harder when a quarter of the pitch was effectively off limits. Taking 4 centre-forwards was seen as a gamble at the start of the tournament, but will be judged as folly when you realise that actually, we only took 3. 2 were injured and the other was Peter Crouch. If your not going to play Theo Walcott, why bother taking him ? Eriksson's record in competitive games stands up well in comparison to his predecessors, he only lost 1 qualifying game in five years and that was a '1 in a 100' fluke, the only finals game lost in 90 minutes was against the all conquering Brazilians.

So why is everyone so negative towards him ?

In my humble opinion, what makes a great manager / coach is the ability to take a group of 11 players and mould them in to a unit greater than the sum of their parts. Shankley, Fergusson, Clough all had this talent. When you start with possibly the best set of players England has had at a major tournament, to make them better would have rendered the tournament unnecessary. There's not a team left in the semi-finals that I know we couldn't beat player for player.

Everyone knows that we could play better, but we never did, and it's that that is going to be Eriksson's legacy.

I have a fourth suspect, the British media. They do not have the best interest of the England team at heart, lie to manufacture gossip and create so much pressure on the team that not beating every team by 5 or 6 is seen as unacceptable. No wonder England teams are sent out so as not to lose, rather than win matches. If you believe the red tops, foreign sides all cheat and are all rubbish, even the ones above us in the FIFA rankings, which are then ridiculed when it suits. Mexico, apparently, are only so high because they only play easy games, while we have to struggle against world giants such as Macedonia, Albania & Lithuania. Every trip to Germany is reported in a similar manner to the d-day landings, every defensive display described using the words "Dunkirk" & "spirit", although quite what the Johnson Arms has got to do with it is beyond me.

I'm not a huge fan of Steve McLaren, I like passing football, he doesn't, I like successful football, he's won the League Cup, I like Joe Cole, he's related to Stuart Downing. But the press will crucify him as soon as Greece aren't put to the sword.

From an England point of view it's going to be difficult couple of years, so thank god that Forest are back in action a week on Friday. Ilkeston away, it's just like watching Brazil .......