Thursday, 1 July 2010

I love the sound of deadlines whizzing by

A propos of nothing, I got up this morning like a fag addicted creature stabbing in the dark for my fix, only to remember there is no football today or tomorrow, so now stuck with an entire day to fill interacting with other humans, I need to come up with a game plan that still has room for the two articles I promised but haven't touched since the World Cup has started. I'd like to say that I'm feeling guilty about having had to make an excuse to my editor, but to be honest he knows I been spending my time watching the world cup. What I'm sure concerns him more is that I had time to write an article on the state of Humour, saved English football, reviewed a BBC4 Bio pic , the last episode of Doctor Who till Christmas, and still not even a draft for him to look at. Honestly Mark, I haven't forgotten you, I promise, hand on heart, I'll have something for you in a couple of days tops.   

Well it's many hours later and the visitors I least expected have left, I've made enough spaghetti sauce to feed a small army, the cat has been washed, made some sandwiches re-organized the pantry and took a bath. My wife who is my researcher, baked two loaves of bread and a massive tray of cookies,  but it's not procrastination. I can hear you asking, did you do any writing today?  Well yes in fact, I did some stuff on facelick, banged on in Galli Base about why Germany will take Argentina to go on to the final, and wrote a polite note to my council about getting us a new recycling bin, as the one we have is knackered. All in all a productive day, if not big on  literary output.

I also did one thing I hadn't had a lot of time to do.  I looked at how my list of regular readers has grown. I'd like to thank mysterious person in Moscow for coming back everytime there's a new post, then there's Gavin in Estonia who doesn't read my Who reviews till he's seen the episodes as he thinks I might have too many spoilers, maybe yes and maybe no Gavin. Jeffrey wants to know where the food bits are, they're coming  is the short answer. Have a cracking honey bread recipe that would be at home in any Polish home and if you can lay hands on some matza, you can make your own skor bars...  In the last few days I have established a steady supply of information from Unsigned Sunderland and few other sources ( more on that another time), so a few days hence, you can expect a once weekly list of must try acts you won't ever hear on Darth Cowell's iPOD. Then there's the nice people at BBC Radio Newcastle who have knowingly and not so knowingly contributed to this blog. Nick Roberts and Paddy McDee are legends and if you've not caught their contributions to radio I can only ask , what are you waiting for?

I know some of you are wondering why I didn't write a word about the last few days of World Cup Matches, but if you watched, you'll know that like most, I was too busy trying not to slit my wrists to  dull the pain of having to watch Japan v Paraguay play the kind of football that makes watching paint dry feel exciting. By the time we got to the penalties I was relieved it was over, I didn't care who won. I do know that if I ever see either of those teams on a fixtures list, I will hope they get hammered into oblivion until they learn to at least try and score some goals. Crossing your legs like a frightened virgin seems interesting for the first 5 minutes, but three matches in a row is enough to make you swear off the game. At least Chile  Brazil was interesting even when it was nil nil for the longest time. In the end Chile succumbed 3-0 and it was entertaining.  I must also confess a slight perverse joy in the discomfiture on Christiano Ronaldo's face as he was having a pretty bad day at the office. Seeing him unhappy more than made up for all the unpleasantness a few years ago and since. There are few players currently active that I dislike more, in fact only three and two of them had a vile World Cup, seeing Gatusso not play and then get sent home a loser was personal joy surpassed only by the knowledge that Lippi, master of dull anti-football and cheating will likely be sacked joining the disgraced Raymond Domenech on the manager black list. I won't belabour the point made by a few others in various other blogs and columns, suffice to say that the self important superficial condescending Adrian Chiles, is not worthy of licking Gary Lineker's shoes. Bet you thought I was going to have Chiles lick some other part of Lineker?  Well it's not that kind of blog, but for £2.99 a minute there is a site where you see strange creatures humiliate themselves live on telly. Is anybody still watching Big Brother? ITV have proved that even the World Cup can be trivialized to a point where you wait for the last possible second before tuning in to the match to miss the awfulness that is the ITV warm up show. Thankfully, you can choose who's coverage of the final you want to watch, with luck, next World Cup/Euro ITV will be stripped of any right to International football.

You may wonder who the revelation of the world cup has been, the most remarkable person or thing  to come along and make a permanent mark on our imaginations. Is it Diego Maradona, maybe the Dung Beetle, or perhaps the seriously annoying vuvuzela? Putting on my best Jeremy Clarkson voice, You're all wrong , it's ...  Ivica Slavikova  , yes the bird off the Sky broadband advert featuring the perverse (purrverse) pea in her mattress. Every time she say "Stop leaving vegetables in my bedding. Its perverse",  males watching are hypnotized or at least trying not to let it show if the  girl friend or wife is in the room. And on the subject of these self same women. Such brave, long suffering people they are, even my football loving wife wonders how I've managed to watch all but one live match without going blind, crazy and soft in the head. I'd like to put this in perspective. If you follow a team like say Newcastle United, and somehow you watched every match they played in the season, you'd have 38 regular season matches, a few FA Cup ties say 4, if you make Europe, another 10 if you go all the way, so 52 in total over a period of 10 months. I have watched 52 of 56 matches since the World Cup kicked off . I will watch another 7 between Friday and the final for a total of 64 matches in under a month with only a two day break. I've grown used to the idea I could see two allegedly high quality matches a day and even secretly missing the inane droning of Mick McCarthy in my ear. My wife knows enough to let me have my fun, it's only every two years and the rest of the time "I'm the best". Football zombie Mietek will be around for another couple of days and it's back to normal programming, my editor will have a steady stream of brilliant stuff, my wife will be able to talk to me normally as opposed to only for 10 minutes in between matches, life will go on and I will catch the occasional crap friendly, or Europa league qualifying match until the real football comes back in August.   Those of us lucky enough to have women loyal enough to understand we won't always be like this, need to appreciate how lucky we are. Some men have been forced to miss the football to go to in laws, do shopping or eat out cos it's nice.  These women don't seem to know we'd rather have our teeth pulled than miss the World Cup. So men, after all the fuss is over, and you need to go on footie withdrawal, show some appreciation to your lady, take her to see that new vampire porn flick that just came out, ( you can sleep in the dark it's ok) , you could have a few friends over and talk for hours she'll like that, or you could just revert to default setting and that will seem like a huge improvement on the grunting football obsessed eating sleeping lump she's been living with for the past month.

 If you do manage some telly time and you've missed these gems earlier in the week, go to your iPlayer and fire up Mock the Week, Graham Norton from this Monday and the first new Top Gear. More on those tomorrow as well as some recipes and music you won't find anywhere else.

In othe telly news Phil Collison Corrie boss and ex Doctor Who producer was recently asked about plans for the 50th anniversary.. “It’s still quite early and we’re still planning what we’re going to do. We’ll be announcing more details soon but what I can say is that it’ll be massive. It’ll be Corrie like you’ve never seen it before.” Collinson was also asked whether Corrie would be repeating the idea of a live episode like they did for the 40th anniversary in 2000. He acknowledged that the idea had been raised but added that he wasn’t terribly enthusiastic about the idea himself, citing the enormous amount of coordination necessary to make it work. I'll take that as a no Phil. Regardless, since his eps have started to run, Corrie has been a treat to watch. Good work Mr.Collison. Long may you reign.

One more day of rest and maybe I'll get closer to finishing at least the one article this week. In the mean time, if you feel like wasting a few bob at the bookies, put a fiver on Germany to get past Argentina. If they loose, it's just a fiver, but if they win the odds are tasty. If' I'm right send me my ten percent in the post. Laters all.

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