Wednesday, 26 May 2010


I did a terrible thing the other day. Entirely unintentionally you understand.

At work there's a woman I sometimes pass in the corridor - large build, short hair, nothing particularly remarkable in terms of appearance, and just one of hundreds of people who work in my building and who I recognise but don't know well enough to say hello to.

The other day I wandered into what I thought was the gents' toilet, and there she was. She glanced in my direction, and I did a very obvious double take, before retreating to the door, checking the sign on it, and realising that I was in fact.... in the gents' toilet.

Long story short: the 'woman' is a man. I'm not sure if he has always been a man, but since the incident he's grown some pretty obvious facial hair, just to emphasise the point. I only wish he'd provided this visual clue a little earlier, because it would have saved me some considerable embarrassment. I hope he didn't notice my mistake, but I don't see how he could have missed it.

Passing him in the corridor is going to be very awkward from now on.

A French Open related aside: am I alone in finding Justine Henin somewhat attractive? She is quite boyish I suppose. Gender identity is such a minefield.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010


Second funeral of the month coming up this Friday. It's difficult to remember them all, but I think this will be the tenth funeral I've attended - is this a fairly high number for someone of my age? I'm not sure. Most have been for family members, thankfully none more immediate than grandparents, of which I have been bereft for almost twenty years now. Some of the more recent funerals have been those of people who I've regarded as of the same generation as my parents, which sets in train all sorts of uncomfortable thoughts. The funeral I went to earlier in the month was that of my uncle, who was younger than either of my parents. I'm hardly world empathy champion at the best of times, but it was quite disturbing to sit behind his wife, children and grandchildren in the service, as they sobbed pretty much uncontrollably at various points throughout. I had to tell them to shut up at one point.


On the other hand, it was heartening to see my great-uncle, younger brother of my grandmother, looking ridiculously sprightly, and almost younger than when I last saw him more than ten years ago. If my back is that straight in my late eighties I'll be very happy. Yet even the pleasure of seeing him again, and the couple of interesting chats I had with two of my father's cousins who I haven't seen for a similar number of years, is tempered by the knowledge that I may never see any of them again, and even if I do it will be on account of another death in the family.

Not drawing any particular conclusions - just remarking.

Monday, 24 May 2010


Well it turns out that even if I have a fractured skull there isn't much to be done. Skull fractures are pretty interesting as it turns out. They can be described by location (temporal, basal) or type (linear, depressed). The depressed ones, and those accompanied by outer head wounds, obviously need some urgent treatment, what with the brain either being squashed or exposed to the world. The linear ones tend to be left alone though, since they heal by themselves given some time. I won't be playing any football for weeks and weeks now, so the risk of re-bumping that same area, even allowing for my penchant for walking into things, is negligible. Incidentally, I don't think I have fractured my skull - though I've been enjoying imagining what it would be like to have done so. I appreciate that the reality is probably less romantic. In fact, my skull is quite high up my list of bones I wouldn't like to fracture.

We picnicked at the beach yesterday. Some eye-catching people were on show. Parts of me are a rather darker shade than they used to be. It hurts a little. Summer, it would seem, has arrived.

Friday, 21 May 2010


Well we lost, but only just. One-nil down at half time, we dominated the second half but by the end of ninety minutes only had one goal to show for a series of very good opportunities to score. There was a larger crowd than I had expected.

Reduced to ten men by a sending off in extra time, we conceded the decisive goal about ten minutes from the end. It was very clearly offside, and I was pretty glum about the whole business. My mini-world-cup-shaped losers' trophy resides in my parents' house, never to be looked at again.

My head still hurts from a foul on me in the second half. I'm not sure whether it was forearm, elbow or shoulder - something hard. I have a mild headache and occasional nausia, and some involuntary muscle twitching on the left side of my body; eyelid, bicep, thigh. Perhaps I'll die. Maybe I'm just tired.

I repeat - football is BLOODY FANTASTIC. Can't wait for next season.

Monday, 17 May 2010


Once I have dragged myself around a football pitch for 90 more minutes tomorrow evening (there is a possibility of extra time), the season will be over. It has been increasingly frustrating because, one unco-operative knee aside, I'm actually in comparatively good shape.

Even though it's a Cup Final, it's completely meaningless by any reasonable definition: my team does not play at a very high standard, there will be 100 spectators at most, the local paper may carry a couple of paragraphs report on the match if anyone can be bothered to file one. And yet I very badly need us to win. I hope that makes sense to someone out there.

We're not favourites ahead of the game, but I have a positive feeling. I am taking the day off work to prepare. I hope it doesn't rain.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010



1. Why does anyone wish to advertise their political allegiance by way of a poster in their window / sign in their garden? Do they think anyone cares? Do they think they can influence others?

2. If you haven't made up your mind by now who to vote for, is it such a good idea to vote at all?

3. If you have made up your mind, why on earth would you change it in the next two days?

4. Aren't 'floating voters' just a group comprising those who don't care, those who are too lazy to investigate policies, and those too stupid to understand them?

5. Isn't it all fascinating?