last roll of the dice for allardyce?

It’s looking grim up north for Sam Allardyce and his chances of remaining Newcastle Utd’s boss. After a dour draw with Derby and a loss to Wigan over the weekend, I reckon he may be hours away from the A1 and the P45. I don’t think the long-suffering Magpies fans have ever minded losing providing the team played with panache and spirit. But the quality of the football recently has been awful. Against lowly Wigan the team couldn’t muster a single shot at goal. What’s gone wrong?
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who’s the guy…?

Well I hope you all had a great Xmas. We had all our family with us – daughters, sons-in-law and grandkids and it was just great. The last time we’ll have a family Xmas here in Buckingham after some 20 years or so. Over dinner on Boxing day my daughter E set us off on what could be one of the great yuletide games. On her recent flight up to Scotland she noticed someone on the plane, with his family, whose face she recognised but couldn’t place. We’ve all had that feeling. Anyway it’s been bothering her since and over dinner she challenged everyone to help her solve the mystery.

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buon natale

Well it’s Xmas eve and presents still need wrapping and preparations made for all the family turning up tomorrow. We can’t wait. I’ve done a few postings today to get me back on schedule but time to get back to the family. However just a quick message to anyone who checks into the blog to wish you a very happy xmas and a great new year. I’ve had such a buzz doing this blog which began  as a diary of our time establishing a new home/life in Italy and which has become a record of our time back here in the UK trying to get our affairs in order. It’s not always been uplifting I know but I hope it’s not always been dull. I admit the lorry spotting posting was not a universally-admired bit of free-thought.  Anyway, more people than I ever expected have checked in and I thank you for doing so. As they say in Italy may you and your family/loved ones have a buon natale.

Ciao amici

pp

the rise of the barrowman

Is it just me or have you noticed a new phenomenon on the UK entertainment scene – the seemingly non-stop appearances of John Barrowman. Who he? Well I knew nothing of him until grandson S pointed him out to me on his favourite programme Doctor Who, from which he moved to a starring role in the DW spin-off Torchwood. After that he was in his element as one of the excitable judges on the BBC’s camp-fest search for a new Joseph, Any Dream Will Do.

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sit down dare

I’m worried that some of the postings might be getting a little gloomy so I thought I’d cheer it up a bit with a recommendation for a beach game perfected by my brother D and I. Lots of folks are trying to get away to the sun for a short winter break and if you’re lucky enough to escape the fog and land somewhere balmy over the next few days, good on yer. If you’re going with some friends or family I’d recommend the game of sit down dare once you’ve been baking on the beach for a few hours and need some cooling down.

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gaunty; it’s all gone quiet over there

Some interesting football results over the weekend; the top 4 in the Premiership are all looking formidable and it’s shaping up for a great second half to the season. But the best result for me was Blackpool’s 4-0 thrashing of the Gaunt meister’s favourite team, Coventry. I was looking forward to checking in to Talksport this morning to hear Gaunty’s  words of wisdom on this defeat. It all seems a long time ago  since he was crowing over the win over Man U  in the Carling Cup. But sadly he wasn’t broadcasting today. I don’t know if that’s because of holiday, sickness or the blues (what a great nickname for the club) but I feel cheated Gaunty not to hear you try and ignore the result….!  Ah well.  The Blues have found a new owner – Ray Ranson – the man who’s tried to buy them all over the years but I hope he brings your club some success now…that they’ve played the Pool!

pp

scams

I think the spirit of Xmas is getting spread thinner and thinner this year. A few days ago we received an envelope with a Malaga post mark. We thought it might be a card from our old friends M and S who have a place near Marbella, although they tend to spend Xmas over here with the kids in their beautiful Formby home. So I opened it and inside was a 2 page folded letter, obviously not from M and S.

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fuel bills and the car

We’ve not made any secret that this has been a tough year for us, starting my own consultancy business and trying to keep two houses paid for whilst we try and sell our Buckingham home. When things are going badly for you, it’s hard to get out of the rut it seems. We had some interesting news last week which just seemed to sum up our position.

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