The Anonymous Widower

C’s Least Favourite Political Theorist

C did Politics at Liverpool University, although because it was such a difficult degree on which to build a career, she later read Law at University College London. Probably having, Robert Kilroy-Silk as your tutor at Liverpool, didn’t help either.  The fact, that he chain-smoked Capstan Full Strength in tutorials gave her a life-long aversion to smoking.

Every time, I go to see Ipswich play I am reminded of her least favourite political theorist.

A Reminder Of Marcuse

A Reminder Of Marcuse

She found Herbert Marcuse very difficult to comprehend, and she would find the fact his surname was embedded everywhere, a good reason not to go to the football.

March 2, 2013 Posted by | Sport | , , | Leave a comment

A Public Clock In Ipswich

I like public clocks and there’s this good example on the side of the car park at Ipswich station.

A Public Clock In Ipswich

A Public Clock In Ipswich

I believe there can’t  be too many public clocks.

March 2, 2013 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Surrogate Mothers

The Times magazine had a large article about gay parents, who use surrogate mothers to give birth to their children.

As a father I can understand the mentality of those who want to be the mother or father of a child, but I’ve always found it difficult to comprehend the mind of the women who carry the baby. All of the mothers, I’ve known would be unlikely to go through all the problems and pain of childbirth and then give the baby away.

March 2, 2013 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Microwaveable Bread

For lunch today, before I took the train to Ipswich to watch the football, I went into Carluccio’s in Spitalfields and had a cup of tea and Eggs Benedict.

The eggs were delicious, but they would be so much better with some toast.

It struck me at the time, that a food scientist should be able to come up with a bread in a packet, that after a couple of minutes in the microwave was perfectly acceptable to soak up the egg yolk and the Hollandaise sauce.

After all, there are some very good meals you just cook in the microwave. As I often do after the football, I’ve just had a delicious Marks and Spencer’s curry and rice.

Surely a method of making a couple of slices of decent bread must be possible?


March 2, 2013 Posted by | Food | , | Leave a comment

It Would Have Been Nice To go To Nottingham On Tuesday

With Ipswich beating Leicester City today, it means that the game at Nottingham on Tuesday might have been worth a trip.

But it is impossible, without an overnight stay in a hotel, as the last train home leaves Nottingham at 21:28.  As the football ground is fifteen minutes walk away from the station, you would only get a train home, if you leave at half time.

Now for Ipswich fans, this only happens occasionally, but I wonder how many Nottingham Forest fans live in London and will be cursing the lost day on their season ticket.

March 2, 2013 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Gareth Bale, Cliff Jones and Taffy O’Callaghan

Tottenham Hotspur have a tradition of Welsh players, who were fast and skilful.

The one, I’ve seen most was Cliff Jones, who was an integral part of the Spurs double side and a few years afterwards. On form he could be brilliant and he could tear defences apart with his speed, in a manner not unlike that of Gareth Bale. What is often forgotten about Cliff Jones, is that on the death of John White and the retirement of Danny Blanchflower, he played much more as a midfield playmaker, rather than an outright winger.  In some ways, isn’t this how another Welsh footballer;Ryan Giggs’s career has progressed at Manchester United?

I’ve put Taffy O’Callaghan in this post, as my father felt he was an amazing footballer from before the Second World War. He was supposed to be fast and my father told me that the team of those days was nicknamed the ‘greyhounds’, which is confirmed in Wikipedia. My father always said, he’d never seen anybody hit a football so hard. And they weren’t the lightweight balls of today!

We all know that Gareth Bale is good, but I won’t compare him directly, with his two predecessors.  Although, it is informative to read Cliff Jones thoughts on Gareth Bale in this report on the BBC. In the article Cliff Jones doesn’t say that Real Madrid and others courted him continuously in the 1960s, but he stayed at Tottenham.

Perhaps being Welsh, he preferred the green grass at home?

There is also this article on Gareth Bale in the Guardian, which has this priceless quote from Blanchflower about yet another Welsh football legend; John Charles.

Everything he does is automatic. When he moves into position for a goal chance it is instinctive. Watch me and you’ll see I am seconds late, but all my thinking has to be done in my head. My feet do not do my thinking for me as they do for him.

The article says this could be applied to Gareth Bale. But then Blanchflower knew his football, both on and off the field. He was a unique talent himself!

March 2, 2013 Posted by | Sport | , , | Leave a comment

The First Cranes Have Arrived

There are reports this morning about the new cranes arriving for the new container port at London Gateway.  The arrival is reported here in the Daily Telegraph.

I will be following the development of this port with interest, as I suspect that getting it into operation will not be all plain sailing. My biggest worries concern the road and rail links to get freight containers to and from the port. After all the freight train route through London on the North London and Gospel Oak to Barking lines are not the easiest places to move heavy freight trains, especially as the local residents don’t like Class 66 locomotives at all hours of the night.

March 2, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sheffield Put The Don Valley Stadium Out Of Its Misery

The news yesterday that Sheffield City Council is to close the Don Valley Stadium Is something that should have happened years ago.

Although it is a fine stadium it is costly to run and out of scale with all of the other athletics venues in the UK, with the exception of the Olympic Stadium in London. Even Crystal Palace is smaller with a capacity of 16,000 as against the 25,000 of the Don Valley Stadium.

It is not just my view that this will be best for Sheffield and athletics, despite what some vested interests are saying. Respected BBC athletics commentator Mike Costello has said, that it the right decision as Sheffield has a superb indoor training centre in the English Institute of Sport and the council will be providing an alternative outdoor track. Probably, the whole of the UK needs more decent indoor 200 metre tracks and training centres, with some more well-maintained simple outdoor stadia, where everybody can get a taste for athletics on a proper track.

It was probably a massive mistake on the part of Sheffield to bid for the 1991 World Student Games. It doesn’t seem to have left the city with the sort of legacy that Manchester got from the 2002 Commonwealth Games, with a large stadium and a velodrome. The only legacy would appear to be the world-class Ponds Force pools.

Incidentally, does anybody have any memories of those World Student Games in 1991. I can certainly remember the Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

March 2, 2013 Posted by | News, Sport | , | 3 Comments

Do We Need Another Titanic?

An Australian mining billionaire is going to build a replica of the Titanic.  It’s reported here on the Guardian web site.

I know a lot of this is about his ego and it’s creating a lot of humour, if you look at the comments on the Guardian report.

But he could be on the right track for traffic across the North Atlantic. When I was a child, my great aunt Beattie came over from Canada on the Queen Mary and one of Celia’s aunts, who worked as a governess in the States, regularly used the ocean liners. It was certainly a better way to travel in some ways than flying today. Everybody who used them, seemed to enjoy the experience. Although, everybody seemed to prefer the Queen Elizabeth to the Mary.

With a lot of people having a lot of money, they don’t know how to spend, I suspect that a luxury liner on the North Atlantic route might be a viable proposition. I must admit, that I need a holiday and a window is opening up, so if it was warmer, I might seriously take a liner to New York and fly back.

I suppose the backer of the Titanic II’s biggest problem is the worries of what happened to it’s ill-fated predecessor. But then I can’t think of a passenger ship disaster in recent years caused by either icebergs or design faults in recent years.  He must of course choose his Captain and crew with extreme care.

One point not made about the ship in the various articles, is that just building it will create or sustain a lot of jobs.  So in some ways you have to admire him for taking the risk of building the ship, instead of just sitting on his money.

March 2, 2013 Posted by | Transport | | Leave a comment