The Anonymous Widower

Real Fans Don’t Like Certain Teams

I’m a real football fan, who has followed the game probably since about the age of six or so, when my father first took me to White Hart Lane. One of the early games I saw was when Newcastle and the legend, Jackie Milburn, were visitors. I think Spurs won and I do know that Ted Ditchburn, their goalkeeper was outstanding and that Jackie Milburn missed a penalty. Other teams, I saw in the fifties and early sixties with my father, included Leeds with John Charles and Stoke City with Stanley Matthews. I watched most Cup finals of that era on the television, but the earliest I remember is probably the Manchester City v Birmingham City final of 1956, when Bert Trautmann broke his neck and Don Revie played as a deep-lying centre-forward.

my father had had a long history of both playing football and supporting Spurs.  He always said, that he first went to Spurs in a pony and trap, and hisfather paid a boy to hold the horse’s head during the match. i think too, he’d been at the 1921 Cup Final.

I started going to Ipswich when my parents moved to Felixstowe.  Usually, I was taken by the next door neighbour as getting between Ipswich and Felixstowe in those days wasn’t easy by public transport. As I was living in London most of the time, I still cycled to some of Spurs home matches and later at Liverpool University, I visited both Everton and Liverpool and quite a lot of teams in the area, including Manchester United, Preston, Leeds, Blackpool, Blackburn and Burnley. I didn’t carry a camera as I do now, so there is no record of the visits to the old grounds. Some were very rudimentary and far inferior to how they are today. I remember that getting to Old Trafford involved getting a steam powered shuttle train from the centre of Manchester. I think this was probably, when I took the train from Huyton.

Over the years, I’ve developed a dislike of certain teams. I won’t mention them all, but the usual suspects are there.

This last few weeks, I’ve been watching the story unfold at Cardiff City. I don’t like bullies and I very much feel that the club, the fans and the manager have been very badly treated.

So I felt quite a bit of delight, when Sunderland scored their second goal tonight at Cardiff.

To not  win couldn’t have happened to a more deserving owner!

December 28, 2013 Posted by | Sport | , , , | Leave a comment

Is This The Most Dangerous Level Crossing In The Country?

Level crossings are generally a danger on railways. In East Anglia and Essex, there are a number that should have been removed years ago.

Buit surely the one described in this article from the Thurrock Gazette, must surely be the most dangerous of them all. What makes this one even more dangerous is that there is no alternative route, and sometimes emergency vehicles get stuck, waiting for a train.

When the London Gateway Port, is fully open, there will be regular mile-long freight trains passing this crossing.

I found out about this crossing on the BBC London News tonight. When I saw the report, I was surprised that no-one in authority had ordered Network Rail to do something about it.

I thought the level crossing in Lincoln was a disgrace, but this one is much more dangerous.

December 28, 2013 Posted by | Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

Money Saving Travel Tips

These are from today’s Times.

I thought I’d comment.

1. Restrictions on use of plane tickets

The writer is commenting mainly about trying to get a cheap airline ticket, by buying a return ticket and not using the outward half.

I would never do that, as I prefer to go out by plane and return by train. As the area, I travel is generally in Europe, I tend to use low-cost  airlines, so buying a one-way ticket is easy. On my last leg home, I never have a problem buying a Eurostar ticket for the right time.

2. No refunds for flights

As I’ve usually got a cheap ticket, do I care? ~Not a lot and I suspect, the refund would be covered by my travel insurance.

3. Villa rental confusion

If I needed a villa or an apartment for a few days en route, I’d go to a local company, as I passed through. And of course, I’d get a chance to look it over before I signed! I might check out a local agent before I left, but let’s face it all those in property rental and sales, are dodgy the world over.

4. Booking through third party websites

I do use some hotel booking sites occasionally, but most are just taking a cut for doing nothing.

With trains, it’s always better to book with the train company direct, whether in the UK or Europe. I once booked with a highly-advertised UK train web site, and it was a full time job fighting the spam, they kept sending me. I never used them since and I think I get my trains cheaper.

5. Changes to ports of call on a cruise.

It won’t affect me any more, as I won’t take another cruise, unless say it was to see something special, like an eclipse of the sun.

However the great thing about coming across Europe by train, is that if a disaster like atrocious weather strikes, you can change your itinerary.

You have all the control.

6. Car rental ruses

Who needs that.  I might hire a car and driver.

December 28, 2013 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Don’t Rob Banks, Because They’re Much Better At Robbing You!

This wonderful statement was made this morning by Justin Urquart Stewart on BBC Breakfast this morning, as he commented on a report saying bank robberies in the UK had dropped by 90% in the past decade.

Justin must be the nation’s most recognisable stockbroker. Or is he the only recognisable one?

December 28, 2013 Posted by | Finance, News | , , | 1 Comment

A Street For Coeliacs In Nottingham

On Saturday, the fourteen of December, I went Nottingham to see Ipswich play.

As I often do in the city, I had a meal in French Living in King Street, as they know their gluten-free well.

They have now expanded to include a creperie that does gluten-free and King Street, where they are, now has two chain restaurants, which are safe for coeliacs.

So if you want gluten-free food in Nottingham, head to King Street.

I took the tram up the hill from the station. and then it was a short walk.

It will be interesting to see if other restaurants opening in the area, will also do gluten-free offerings.

December 28, 2013 Posted by | Food, Sport | , | 1 Comment

An Unusual Sight On Boxing Day Morning

I was surprised to see the binmen at work in the dark on Boxing Day.

An Unusual Sight On Boxing Day Morning

An Unusual Sight On Boxing Day Morning

I didn’t put my rubbish out, as there was virtually nothing.

December 28, 2013 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

They’ve Renumbered The Hackney Eight!

Or I think it is just five at the moment according to Wikipedia, as others have other duties!

But they have been given new registration numbers.

They've Renumbered The Hackney Eight!

They’ve Renumbered The Hackney Eight!

Someone has decided that it would be tidier, if they were all in sequence. LT6 was originally registered as LT12 FHT. This picture from Flickr shows the same bus with its original number.

December 28, 2013 Posted by | Travel | , | Leave a comment