Friday, August 31, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
THE RETURN OF A DECENT MAN
Rory Delap came back to St. Mary`s yesterday. A few years ago, he became Saints` most expensive ever signing, when he joined from Derby County for £4million. They were the days, of course, when Saints were continuing their 27-year stay in the top flight of English football and so could afford such luxuries.
Rory made 127 appearances for the club, scoring five times from midfield - most memorably, this stunning overhead kick against Tottenham Hotspur and two thumping headers in a 2-2 draw against Arsenal at Highbury.
He was an honest player - not the quickest, not the most talented but he possessed a formidable throw-in and always gave everything he had to the team. Sadly, he was not always able to live up to the price tag which came with him and this led to him being the butt of some hostility and abuse from the `fans` who perhaps expected more. I always thought his treatment to be unfair, for despite the criticisms levelled vociferously in his direction, he not once reacted against the `supporters` either in interviews, the written media or in any other way and never had a bad word to say about the club. He was, and remains, a decent man in my view.
And so it was good to see him back playing again yesterday after a dreadful double fracture of the leg, which he suffered on his debut for Stoke City whilst on loan from Sunderland, who he joined when he left Southampton. To their eternal credit, Stoke stood by him as his long recovery took place and rewarded him with a permanent contract.
Yesterday, his performance was subdued and the crowd reaction towards him was muted, maybe even indifferent. Now, some players leave and we are glad to see them go. Rory Delap is one who was always going to move on but he left behind memories of honesty and decency, which are rare qualities in the frantic world of today`s football. I wish him well.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
IT`S REALLY NOT GOING VERY WELL...
There, that`s better, although I strongly suspect I will have to unburden myself quite frequently as the season unfolds. Thank you for listening.
Speaking of the Lake District, I was reminded of the first and only time I have been there.
We slept well and, refreshed by Mrs. Miggins breakfast, we made our way back to Catterick, where the real comedy of our lives was resumed:-
I FELL FOR IT......
I think I fell for Julia`s obvious charms....but also for the scenery, exemplified by the above view of Windermere and Ambleside.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
A LITTLE SELF-INDULGENCE
I`m never too sure what blogs are supposed to be used for. Wikipedia`s definition says:-
"Blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject such as food, politics, or local news; some function as more personal online diaries."
As you may have noticed, dear reader, mine tends to be used for a number of things - insightful commentaries on things that are going on in the world; rants against stupidity (normally associated with the antics of our politicians;) reminiscences over a long life full of experiences in places I have known and, of course, the fortunes of Southampton Football Club.
It`s a sad truth that the older I become (three score years and ten are looming on the near horizon) the more I seem to forget things. I come upstairs for something and by the time I`ve reached the top, I`ve forgotten what it was. I can`t remember what amnesia means and quite often I can`t remember what it is I have forgotten.
For some time, something has been niggling away in the back of my mind about the number 26.
I knew I had read or heard about some unique property associated with 26, but I couldn`t recall what it was. I hate things like that, so I searched the internet without any luck (possibly because I wasn`t sure what to search for) and finally, in desperation, I stayed up until the early hours of this morning combing through my extensive and eclectic library until I found it
So, having recalled it to mind, having `blogged` it, I will know in future where to look should it slip my mind again. Maybe now I can also remind myself of the other things I have forgotten - prime numbers, perfect numbers, Pythagorean triples and other wonders of the elegant world of mathematics. Now, what was it I came upstairs for?
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Sunday, August 05, 2007
......a shady walk beckoning through the nearby woods of Holly Hill. Henry loved it - new sniffs, a change of scenery and the cool overhang of the trees. Holly Hill is a bit remote - and all the better for it. It was given to the former Malling Rural District Council in, I think, 1943 by the bequest of one Mr. F. Cripps-Day and is now in the charge of Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, who have the duty of maintaining it as a public open space.
Fortunately, the Council`s enlightened attitude towards the maintenance of Holly Hill has not extended to tidying it up too much or trying to `formalise` it in any way. It is still in the semi-wild state its location demands, but there have been one or two `enhancements.` Perhaps the most valuable is the provision of a plaque on the top of the hill which gives a potted history of the nearby triangulation beacon but also gives a photographic pointer to the places that can be seen from Holly Hill. These include Canary Wharf, the QE bridge across the Thames at Dartford, Littlebrook Power Station and even Gravesend. The only thing is that you can really only see these wonders during the winter months, when the foliage has gone from the trees.
We enjoyed our ramble this morning - away from the shimmering heat of high summer - and what struck me most was the quiet, which was absolute on this still morning.
(click to enlarge)
The whole experience was reminiscent of my visit to the obscure village of Fawley, high on the downs of Oxfordshire, where Thomas Hardy set his Marygreen and from where Jude would look out across the scene pictured above towards the dreaming spires of Oxford.
All I had this morning was a hazy glimpse of the nightmare spire of Canary Wharf, but I wondered how much its inhabitants would prefer to be with Henry and me on this peerless day.