3 May 2008

After five weeks...

... I've got my car back.

Fixed. Gleaming. Fantastic.

Thank you to everyone here for their tremendous work.

Lest we forget, on Easter Sunday the car looked like this...

2 May 2008

Tom's whiner

I'm reading Anfield Iron at the moment, the autobiography of Tommy Smith, arguably the hardest Englishman ever to play professional football.

I'm roughly midway through what is a great footballing tale - Smith is just furnishing us with the players' reaction when Bill Shankly, the immortally brilliant manager, announced his retirement in 1974.

However, there are two issues I have so far with it.

Firstly, it does make me despair when footballers from that era bleat about the riches players earn today. It's not anyone's fault when you are born and what talent you are born with. There is some form of benign parlour game to be had by picking up an autobiography of a player from the 60s and 70s and guessing, before opening the book, how many pages it would take before today's "spoilt" stars and their fortunes would be mentioned in a jealous tone.

Smith makes comparisons a lot, and the older era - surprise, surprise - always wins. He isn't as bad as Archie Gemmill though, who as I recall from a When Saturday Comes review was having a right good whine about the trappings of today - always in list form, they are; "camera phones, iPods, flash cars" etc etc - within the first couple of pages of his book, which I haven't read. Today's players may have an unlovely element, but they earn what they earn because the game is rich enough and committed enough to pay it.

Secondly, I am mildly uncomfortable with some of Smith's revelations about Emlyn Hughes. It's never been a secret in football that the two did not like each other, but Smith goes into detail about various unsavoury incidents involving deceit, money, ego and attitude. They may be true, but as Hughes is now long deceased I can't help but think that Smith could have told these tales earlier to allow Hughes to defend himself. If his family didn't know about these incidents they would now be most upset.

Only knowing the public persona Hughes displayed after he stopped playing, I find myself believing Smith in all he says, but maybe he just shouldn't have said it. I won't go into detail for spoiler purposes (and also it defeats my argument that Smith should have kept quiet if I then repeat it all), but Hughes - so far at least - is the only person this uncompromising fellow has vitriol for; and lots of it.

Although the Hughes issues dominate the section of the book I'm currently reading, it shouldn't put any football fan off. It's great. Can't wait for the 1977 European Cup final ...

29 April 2008

"I'll call you Jaguar if I may be so bold..."

Did the 70s Night on KCFM tonight, so here's what you heard/missed...

Carl Douglas "Kung Fu Fighting"
Mr Big "Romeo"
Lynsey De Paul "Sugar Me"
Abba "Angeleyes"
Queen "Now I'm Here"
Jackson 5 "I Want You Back"
Adverts "Gary Gilmore's Eyes"
Nick Lowe "I Love The Sound of Breaking Glass"
Diana Ross "Touch Me In The Morning"
T Rex "Jeepster"
Maria Muldaur "Midnight At The Oasis"
Slik "Forever and Ever"
Gladys Knight and the Pips "Help Me Make It Through The Night"
Art Garfunkel "Bright Eyes"
Mungo Jerry "In The Summertime"
Boney M "Ma Baker"
Bay City Rollers "All Of Me Loves All Of You"
Neil Diamond "Forever In Blue Jeans"
Don Fardon "Indian Reservation"
Andrea True Connection "More More More"
Brendon "Gimme Some"
Stevie Wonder "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life"
Flying Lizards "Money"
Stranglers "Something Better Change"
Maxine Nightingale "Right Back Where We Started From"
Charlie Daniels Band "The Devil Went Down To Georgia"
Lindisfarne "Meet Me On The Corner"
Eagles "New Kid In Town"
Chicory Tip "Son Of My Father"
Deep Purple "Black Night"
Crusaders "Street Life"
Sailor "Girls Girls Girls"
Ch-Lites "Homely Girl"
Heatwave "Boogie Nights"
Ringo Starr "Back Off Boogaloo"
Bee Gees "Night Fever"
Barry Manilow "Mandy"
Buzzcocks "Ever Fallen In Love..."
Hot Chocolate "You Could've Been A Lady"
Patrick Hernandez "Born To Be Alive"
Fleetwood Mac "Dreams"
Elton John "Candle In The Wind"

They make the rocking world go round

Interesting one, this. At the nightclub on Saturday I was pleased to see the return of an old regular who'd not been in for a while. As it was early and quiet and I'd just put on a song and got the next one cued up, I nipped down to where she was standing and gave her a hug to welcome her back.

I asked where she'd been.

"Not felt like it, because I've got fat."

The instant reaction of a man when a woman says she's fat - and when it isn't immediately obvious that she is indeed dodging salad like there's no tomorrow - is to have a look, even though it isn't especially subtle. So I did.

"Oh, don't!", she said, mock-awkwardly but with a smile, half-heartedly trying to pull her unbuttoned jacket across.

My instant reaction was to reassure her. She wasn't fat at all. I told her, in as uncontroversial a manner as I could (bearing in mind the final chorus of Sunny had just started and I was running out of time) that she looked fabulous. Which she did.

She wasn't having it.

She used to come with her sister, who'd not been in for even longer. I asked why.

"Oh, she's got fat too. She's just like me."

These sisters were late 30s or early 40s and in their prime. They looked great to me. I hurried back to the CD players, confused and a little disappointed.

Now, to me, there are four types of women on the weight issue. There are women who clearly are rather on the beefy side and won't/can't/daren't do anything about it. There are similarly sized women who are comfortable with it. There are women who maybe have a pound or two extra but look fine for it, which this regular of mine fits into. And there are women who are not fat enough - skinny to the point of dangerous but more than happy with it as being emaciated is supposedly a lesser evil than being stocked up.

I've always believed that women lose weight because they believe men like skinny girls. Maybe I'm flattering mankind generally here, as on reflection they may do it to make unskinny girls jealous. Most men I know will always prefer a woman with hips, a discernible waist, a proper bosom and a sunny disposition to go with the figure. Skinny means worried, paranoid, competitive and almost certainly bitchy.

This club regular doesn't need or want my approval, but sometimes I wish women would let men do the reassuring and listen to them, even if they sense an ulterior motive. She's single and looking, and she's more likely to stay that way if she continues to believe she's fat and needs to shed it.

I really hope she doesn't lose weight, and gets her sister back on the dancefloor with her soon. I'll even make sure I don't play the Weather Girls when they turn up.

27 April 2008

Premier League? We're not having a laugh...

Hull City will be promoted to the Premier League next week if we win and Stoke lose.

Gulp. Wish us luck...