Wednesday, May 06, 2015


It comes to us all, I guess, and it certainly seems to be coming to my computer.   It has had `issues` for a long time now and I have learned much about how to repair it, keep it going, understanding its problems and its quirks and so far I have managed to extend its useful life beyond what I could reasonably have expected.

But now I fear the end is nigh.  Yesterday, for example, it was `unable to start` on at least three occasions and today it`s the same - I am able to write this after a good hour of patience until it finally crawled into sufficient life for me to use it - but we just can`t go on like this.  I`ve tried, my God I`ve tried.  I`ve used threats, cajoling, inducements, promises of a better life, all to no avail.   After all these years and having been through so much together I just feel that its time has come.

It will be with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to what has been a staunch friend for more years than I care to remember but the time has come for me to invest in a new, more modern up to date replacement, which will not be easy for an elderly pensioner struggling to survive on a fixed income in these harsh economic times, but I`ll see what I can do.   It might take a while though, so forgive me if I am absent from these pages for a while. 

Monday, May 04, 2015


As yet another footy season nears the end of its useful life, there are still a few things unresolved to grab the attention - Premier League relegation issues, places in European competitions, play-off finals and the FA Cup final.   But it is in the `lower` leagues of English football that romance can still be found as a refreshing antidote to the rampant commercialism of the Premier League `product.`   

And this afternoon, the season finale for one of the teams I follow drew to a triumphant conclusion, as Truro City gained promotion back to the Conference South (to be renamed National League South, I believe) following their 1-0 win over St. Neots Town in front of a 1450 crowd at Trelew Road.   It`s a welcome return to the higher level for Truro and richly deserved not only for their outstanding season but also for the sheer logistical effort involved in sustaining the west Cornwall club over a long campaign. 

Their return to the Conference South will inevitably involve yet more heroic travels to such places as Hemel Hampstead, Chelmsford in Essex, St. Albans and Eastbourne in East Sussex - the latter involving a mere 560 miles round trip from Cornwall.   But they will have a couple of local derbies - Bath City will only involve a 380 miles round trip whilst their visit to Weston-super-Mare involves a paltry 300.   Perhaps their longest journey will be when they visit newly promoted Maidstone United, just down the road here in Kent which will put the thick end of 600 miles on the clock.   To be fair, the 100 travelling St. Neots fans today had a round journey of 650 miles and long journeys are the same for all the teams who have to visit Cornwall`s capital city.

I`m full of admiration for Truro City Football Club, their players, staff and especially their supporters, not just because it`s Cornwall but also for the effort and commitment required to be as successful as they are.   Not for them the luxury travel of the Premier League but instead a hard slog each and every time they have to play away from Trelew Road.   Their upward progression will also bring yet more hours of onward travel all in pursuit of a heroic sporting cause.   I wish them well.

Saturday, May 02, 2015


Joy unconfined as another memorable day in the annals of the country is marked by wild celebrations, fanfares and grateful thanks.   Dancing in the streets, street parties, banners unfurled, flags and buntings decorate the streets as the importance of this very, very special event begins to seep into the consciousness of the joyous crowds.

Yes, folks, today marks the 39th anniversary of Southampton beating the northern scourge of Manchester United by a single goal at Wembley to claim the FA Cup.   I was fortunate enough to be there on that day, watching the sadly departed Bobby Stokes bury his long range shot into the net beyond the despairing clutches of United keeper, Alex Stepney. The only thing that dampens the memories of that glorious day is the fact that, from that winning team, goalscorer Stokes and the legend that is Peter Osgood are no longer with us.

In other news, I understand that Kate Middleton, aka Duchess of Cambridge, has given birth to a baby girl in the most comfortable of circumstances, so congratulations to her, especially for timing the delivery to coincide with a day to remember for Saints fans everywhere and for choosing St. Mary`s as the hospital in which to be confined.   So special was that day at Wembley back in 1976 that the Queen, having presented the FA Cup to Saints captain, Peter Rodrigues, realised that it could never be any better than that and so she has not attended an FA Cup Final since.  The royal prerogative exercised at its most perceptive.   

Friday, May 01, 2015


Well, as the actress said to the poet, "Things are going from bed to verse."  And after last night`s election specials it`s pretty clear that the campaign is descending into outright dislike between the party leaders.   It all reminds me of Sheldon Harnick`s lyrics for `The Merry Minuet,` which I first heard in my youthful admiration for the Kingston Trio.   The first part goes like this:-

They're rioting in Africa
They're starving in Spain
There's hurricanes in Florida and Texas needs rain

The whole world is festering with unhappy souls
The French hate the Germans
The Germans hate the Poles

Italians hate Yugoslavs
South Africans hate the Dutch
And I don't like anybody very much.

Now a week today the General Election will be in full swing but it`s also becoming clear that we`re heading for a cobbled together hung parliament.   Unless, that is, the party leaders are so intent on hanging on to their jobs, perks, expenses and titles that they will do anything to save themselves and blame it on `the wishes of the electorate.`   Last night, they gave clear promises to the contrary so we`ll just have to assume that they will deem it `in the national interest` to stitch up some back-room deals to keep them going.

Either that or mayhem will ensue and call me irresponsible if you will, but as I view it all from the playroom of my second childhood, I quite fancy a bit of mayhem.  It`s good for the soul - keeps `em honest - and provides the prospect of another election in October at the latest.   Somehow I just wish they would all relax and not take it all so seriously or so personally.   It`s not Wolf Hall - just democracy in action.