Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Even the press are right some of the time

It was widely suggested this time last year that Shaun Wright Phillips might well be making a mistake by moving from Man City to follow the rouble. Although Chelsea were offering SWP a lot of money, it was also pointed out that it would not be a good idea to move to a club where there was very fierce competition for first team places in the season leading up to a World Cup. SWP ignored the advice (partly on the encouragement of his father) and went to Chelsea anyway. Net result, he spends most of the season on the bench and doesn't end up making the last 23 for the World Cup.

But given his father's encouragement of the move in the first place, he has to accept the consequences of that decision. And although Sven's squad selection has surprised some people, SWP not being in the squad wasn't one of those surprises. A quick search of Google News turns up this article from The Sun where dad is quoted as saying ""I was so happy when he joined Chelsea and I still am." But does dad want to face up to that? No, he instead prefers to insinuate that the only reason Owen Hargreaves is in the squad is because he knows something about Sven's family.

I freely admit to not watching much Bundesliga, and I didn't see very much of the match last night, but it does occur to me that a regular for a side who are German champions and who got as far as Chelsea in the Champions League probably has a better claim to a squad place than someone who has spent most of the season warming seats in the Stamford Bridge stands.

The best way to deal with traffic....

The best way to deal with the fact that you failed a driving test because of the way you reacted to traffic, is to book a test for 9:17 am on a Sunday morning. Yes, apparently it exists.

In extra fun and games, there's a bike race on which means that the high street, and therefore Wilson's Corner, will be closed.

This is in theory a blog about Brentwood, though I've taken to babbling about other stuff as well, and Wilson's Corner is notable for being two things - a really nasty double roundabout at the end of the high street with a turn off to get to the Sainsbury's behind it, and having a great big sign saying "Secret Nuclear Bunker this way" (about three miles past Sainsbury's in fact).

Clearly it isn't that secret.

Friday, May 19, 2006


The last thing you need in the week of a driving test is to hear that your seven year old niece had her foot run over by a car. I'm not sure of the details, but it is pretty scary to think that you can be driving along the road only to have a small girl do something a bit silly and seriously damage her .... or worse. Worst bit is just trying to find out what's going on - I wouldn't even have known if my brother had mentioned to the most wonderful woman in the world on MSN, and she, being the most wonderful woman in the world, passed the news on to.

Then today the wee fella gets sent to casualty on the grounds he might be jaundiced. Apparently he is, and this time they've got tests to prove it. This is a distinct improvement on "well, he looks a bit yellow" to which the only response is "meet his mother". He's growing fast - only a month old and nearly 4lbs on his birthweight. And that's for a breast fed baby.

Hopeful all this illness is not an omen for tomorrows test.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Leaving, on a jet plane.....

Don't know when he'll be back again. After a six week visit, during which his first grandson was born, my father-in-law is returning to Singapore.

It's been an exciting time - nothing like the arrival of a new born to turn your life upside down, inside out and back to front. And the first eight pages of the Gazette made for relatively interesting reading for once.

For a start, there was the election coverage. For me, it sums up the essential problem the LibDems have. For a start, it's certainly true there are parts of Brentwood where it doesn't matter who or even what is running, stick a blue rosette on him/her/it and they will get elected. And usually they don't need to bother counting the votes, just weighing them. I gather from my limited reading that this was practically the case for all the wards in the borough until the LibDems came in and organised well at the ground level. A few years ago, they actually had control of the Borough Council. Last week though, they won one out of 13 wards being elected - six of which had previously had LibDem councillors. While they are making gains elsewhere in the country, their gains were pretty much cancelled out by their losses. It's almost as though people vote LibDem in the hope that the other party (Tory or Labour) are making a mess of running the council, and then discover that the Liberals are no better and go back to their original choice.

Secondly, there was coverage of Brentwoods most wanted job, The Apprentice.
As the Gazette wouldn't have known who won, being printed on Wednesday morning, it didn't spill the beans on that, but the profiles were interesting. What was more interesting was Karen Bremner's blog on the two finallists - she was clearly no fan of Michelle, who won. There is a part of me though that feels Karen is very embittered over her firing - yet her own comments on her blog make me feel Sir Alan got that one right at least - witness her comments on the advertising task.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

What on earth is going on?

I've never really understood the attraction of Tony Blair - I've certainly never really managed to understand how he's managed to win three elections on the trot. Living in Brentwood which is as blue as the home section at Roots Hall probably doesn't help that, and of course before that I was living in Ireland.

Gordon Brown boasted recently how Britain had had 54 consecutive quarters of economic growth - which is almost certainly true. However, it's dishonest in its presentation - it's an attempt to imply he's responsible for the growth, wereas in fact the 54 quarters brings us back to 1993, when the Tories were in power.

But how on earth can you justify keeping in office a home secretary who thinks that 288 cases is only a "very few" cases. We can only conclude that Charles Clarke was misleading the public, not that that's exactly news for New Labour - they've been doing it for years. The precedent for keeping politicians who mislead the public in power was set by his boss and the infamous "45 minutes" claim. Presumably that's why his resignation wasn't accepted - Blair was concerned it might set a precedent.

Someone actually read this

Who wasn't my wife - I'm amazed.