Och shocking Jocks

Oh blimey I’ve been watching the opening ceremony to the Commonwealth Games tonight. It’s well into its programme  (Rod the mod’s been on twice now) and it has certainly livened up. But am I alone in thinking it was a very clunky start? Jeez. I said in my review of the WC opening event that I thought  Danny Boyle had killed it for every artistic director of major events for the next 20 years. And Glasgow’s opening hour sure proved me right.  John Barrowman singing a medley of barmy Scottish ditties and kissing some bloke (as you do) and a few hundred dancers (not enough) portraying Scottish life  stereotypically, as if it was a London 2102 Lite pastiche.  I asked my wife how long before the first bagpipes were heard; she said 5 minutes, I said 1 minute, I think it took 15 seconds. Then there was the whisky song, tartan galore, a big haggis, the Loch Ness monster, Scottish terriers and a film clip of Andy Stewart singing something like ‘Donald where’s yer troosers?’ Look it could well have been ironic and tongue-in-cheek but you never knew where the ‘just joking’ line was. And then they introduced the acts… Rod (OK), Susan Boyle (grim) whilst they emptied the playing arena so it looked like nobody had turned up to listen. Bizarre. I was actually aching for the Proclaimers to walk on and do ’500 miles’ just to get the action flowing when they did an acapella version to two people dancing ballet to it. It was quite lovely I thought but the event needed a burst of real energy and it never really came.

As I said above it got going a bit once the athletes piled in, but what were the Scottish team wearing? OMG it looked like something designed by that Scottish picnic basket of a designer on ’60 second make-over’. Shocking. I shalln’t mention the head honcho chappie having trouble taking the top off the Queen’s official message torch; it was one of those nights.

But hey all the athletes were having a great time and the crowd warmed up enormously once the Scottish team were unveiled. This is the ‘friendly games’ after all – even the English team got a decent cheer – so I’ll be gracious and say it started crappily but ended joyously and I’m looking forward to a great Games. But sack the Director.

pp

Come on Blatter, do the decent thing for once

I’ve a solution to the problem Sepp Blatter has been facing for some years – how to end his tenure as President of FIFA on a high note, respected around the world for his courageous convictions. It’s to look at what happened yesterday with the shocking shooting down of the Malaysian airline over Ukraine and to make some important decisions:

-  to accept all the evidence that the civilian airline was taken out of the skies by an SA11 Buk missile supplied by the Russian regime to a trigger-happy bunch of pro-Russian separatists, thinking they were targetting a Ukrainian airforce transport aircraft (similar to the one they shot down last week), and who were in open telephone contact with their Russian military advisors at the time.

-  further accept that Russia is fighting a proxy war against another sovereign state and annexing territory just as Hitler did in the Sudetenland in the prelude to WW2.

-  recognise that the families and loved ones of the 298 innocent people who were killed in the atrocity included some 80 children and a number of mad keen football fans, following their teams’ pre-season progress, deserve to know that their deaths weren’t simply tragic but also resulted in some significant change.

-  question for the first time whether awarding major footballing tournaments to developing countries and the financial burden it imposes on countries like Ukraine (co-holder of the 2102 Euro Championships), South Africa (2010 WC) and Brazil (2014 WC) actually benefits the country or weakens and de-stabilises it, as seems to be the case for sure in the Ukraine.

-  make the obvious conclusion, on behalf of the world-wide football family, that as Russia is acting aggressively and against international law, FIFA should withdraw its grant to host the 2018 WC. Instead FIFA should invite the other bidding countries; England, Belgium-Neths and Portugal-Spain 3 months to submit a new tender document to host the tournament at minimal additional expenditure and based on plans utilising, optimally, existing stadia and current and already planned infrastructure. Winner to be determined within a further 3 month period by a new panel of 6 FIFA delegates and 6 respected external candidates.

-  ignore any threats from Russia on boycotts of future tournaments and hope that FIFA’s actions help, in some small way, to bring an end to Putin’s vile regime.

-  make a just decision that the bidding process for the 2022 WC was almost certainly flawed and compromised by corrupt practices, and that the final bidders should be re-invited to make a fresh submission for the tournament within a 6 month period with a pledge to make a final decision on the best bid within a further 3 months by the same panel.

-  plan future events around a rotating series of well-established centres eg EU states, N America, and the Far East with S America, Africa, Middle East being the prefered venues for under 21/Masters tournaments.

Then Mr Blatter you will go down as a fine, just and decent administrator. Are you up for it Sepp?

pp

Mind games

The last but one posting was entitled ‘Forgetfulness’, and it attracted a lovely comment from my very true friend Shay (who is forgiveable forgetfulness personified). But it was really a point about the mind’s incredible ability to delete lots of recent pretty useless data yet recall deep memory material as we get older. I guess it’s nature’s response to the brain cells dying off and having to prioritise. The human mind is just beyond awesome don’t you think? Continue reading

Still going strong…

This is just a short piece to celebrate two things really; firstly it’s my 800th posting as Pasta Paulie. I never thought it would continue for so long when I started it to keep folks updated following our move to Italy. I certainly never imagined it would attract nearly 275,000 visits. Thanks to everyone who’s come by and those who continue to do so. It’s very much appreciated. Not least because today it’s one year since I had surgery to remove the cancer I hadn’t planned on getting. It’s been an eventful 12 months, probably the longest in my life but all seems well for the moment. I’m deeply grateful to all my family and friends who have been incredibly supportive and who helped and encouraged me through this. So double thanks folks. I hope there’ll be a lot more amusing, compelling, ranting postings to come! Well any would be nice.

pp

Forgetfulness

Well, I had ideas for 3 postings spring into my head over the last day or so – pretty good ideas too I think – but as I sit here at my laptop I can’t remember any of them. This happens a lot. I tell my grandsons that I can remember my first day of school quite clearly but can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday. They indulge me with their poor old daft grandad smiles as they think I’m kidding, But it’s true. And that line has just reminded me of what I was going to write about. Yesterday’s lunch. Ha, how’s that for irony Alanis? Continue reading

It’s not Godfather II is it?

Well I’ve been browsing through a feature on new film releases as it has been ages since we’ve been to see a great movie at the cinema. And I think it might be some time before we do so again. Bloody hell have you seen what’s on or coming up? Sigh… Continue reading

Sitcoms

 

Well the words are pouring out at the moment with two new website proposals written, my grandson’s dailyblog diary, my work website needing to be updated and this blog of course. I’ve put the ‘embarrassing moments’ e-book on hold for a while because an old friend (who’s a lovely writer with a nicely observed dry wit) and I are doing some outline scripts for a tv or radio-based sitcom. We might well be using some of the red-faced scenarios within the plot lines so I need to keep them fresh and under wraps for the moment. Wouldn’t it be fun to see the most amusing days of your life played out on the silver screen? Anyway a long way to go before that happens.

Continue reading