I wrote a couple of early postings about having fun at conferences with speeches etc. I was talking about a time when I was employed in a key role in a major company supported by a couple of personnel and feeling kind of untouchable. Now of course it’s just me with my own consultancy and I’m representing two fellow Directors with Sponsorfinder. Tomorrow I’m final speaker at a fairly big charity-related conference and it’s suddenly a bit more serious. Continue reading
We’re having a friendly and frenzied final week here in the UK before heading back out to Italy. On Friday night we went to see M and G for dinner and had a fine old time. We went down the local pub which does some super food and G and M were generous as ever. Staying over is always an excuse for G and I to stay up very late but we were chatting mostly and G in particular was being quite careful with the wine. He wanted to be fresh for the prospective new gardeners turning up early the next morning for interviews etc. One cancelled and one was running late and G was not impressed despite M’s lovely breakfast. Then last night M and J invited us round for a meal. M called me in the week; his dad gene had kicked in in the last few months and he’s gotten the cooking bug too. He made us a belting italiano-anglo fusion of lasagna followed by traditional trifle. The kids (ha!) J and H joined us for dinner which was lovely – they are all grown up and doing grown up stuff which is surprising and delighting in equal measure. That little lad who came to play 5 a-side footie with us at 10 years of age now dwarfs me physically and socially. Both he and H told tales of their recent experiences which made ours seem positively trappist. Life eh… Continue reading
Chas and Dave (and Colin and Shay) will be rocking tonight; Spurs came from behind to beat Chelsea 2-1 in the Carling Cup Final at Wembley. I’m sure it was the result most football fans would have been hoping for – a win for a team outside the big 4. And Spurs deserved it, they’ve hit a rich vein of form in the Cup and were the more determined side today. Plus the shoe-in Chelski manager Grant picked an odd side, dropping in-form Joe Cole and Ballack and having striker Anelka play out wide. He seemed incapable of spotting his mistakes until too late whereas Ramos was very decisive. I heard somebody say today that previous managers Mourinho would never have lost the game whilst Jol wouldn’thave had the conviction to win it. I thought that was an intelligent (if irrelevant) comment.
Do you know the programme Eggheads – it’s strangely compelling and I was reminded today whilst we were clearing some things from the house that my sister H once took part in it. It’s hosted by the charming Dermot Murnaghan who flirted with my sister. It was pretty clear he was keen for her to win. He would be because his regular panel of experts, the Eggheads, are a bunch of insufferable smart-arses.
Well I was saying that Arsenal might suffer a reaction after that disinterested performance they put in against Man U in the FA Cup on the basis that once momentum is lost it is hard to turn on great performances just like that. Their overall game against AC Milan in mid-week actually looked alright but they ended up with a goalless draw and the away match will be difficult for them. Yesterday they had one of those games against Birmingham City and again came away with a draw. But they lost more than 2 points of course. That dreadful tackle, which was more clumsy than malicious I think, has robbed them of an in-form player for the rest of the season. That was bad enough but they seemed to lose their cool too yesterday – understandably upset at the injury to Eduardo and increasingly frustrated by some of the decisions that went against them yesterday. Although they remain 3 points clear at the top of the table, they had a resigned, losing look about them. That said I was pleased to hear that Wenger had modified his immediate post-match comments about Taylor. That was appropriate.
Well an interesting day in the 6 Nations yesterday. After trouncing Italy, Wales roll on towards a possible Grand Slam. It’s not going to happen again is it? That match again Ireland will be tough, especially because the Irish seem to have found their form following up their storming second half against France with a comprehensive win against Scotland yesterday. The Scots are looking poor this year – they found a try at least yesterday but it could be a lonely soul in the season. I blame their shirts. Ever since they’ve been wearing these barbeque shirts, they’ve played like king prawns –
The Irish one is as bad – a real horror of pea and avocado greens:
Anyway the key point of this posting is to write favourably about England’s performance away to France yesterday. Thankfully the team have stopped Steve McClaren from doing the half-time team talk and they turned in a second half effort to match the first half performance. If only they’d done the same thing against Wales who they absolutely pasted in that first 40 minutes, it would be they looking at a potential Grand Slam now. Ah well.
It’s not been a classic tournament but it’s turning into a good 6 Nations with 4 of the teams aiming and fully capable of winning it. I can’t wait for the next round now.
I’ve just been listening to Jimmy Tarbuck on Richard Bacon’s late night radio 2 show, praising BBC’s major star Bruce Forsyth and celebrating his 80th birthday tomorrow. Apparently he’s famous for something like 15 catch-phrases which the BBC regard as worthy of particular tribute.
Wow 15!! in 60 years of performance. It’s a staggering canon of work to rival Richard Dimbleby, Sir David Attenborough and Kenneth Clarke. Sigh.