Robin Williams and my brother David

Robin Williams was wonderfully talented.
My brother David was not.
Robin Williams earned a decent living.
My brother David did not.
Robin Williams was loved by millions.
My brother David was not.
Robin Williams had many friends and companions.
My brother David did not.
Robin Williams had access to the best treatment.
My brother David did not.
Robin Williams took his own life.
So did my brother David.

Depression shoots its poison blindly.


Easy solution to World Cup bribery

At the risk of repeating myself, I ask this question: why do we have to witness the merry-go-round of sleazebags lying and conning their way around the world in an attempt to convince a group of money grabbing toerags that the football World Cup should be hosted by their respective countries? It is tiresome, tedious, trickery and very, very boring.

What is wrong with having a rotational system? I see many benefits and zero negatives:

  1. Every country would be given the opportunity to host an event, subject to meeting the required standards.
  2. Host countries would know decades in advance when it was their turn, enabling them to plan it better.
  3. There would be no need for the bribery we see today each time an event is to be allocated.
  4. Countries could stop squandering ridiculous amounts of money on other ‘legitimate’ methods of persuading those that hold the voting powers. The 1,752 page book produced by the FA for England’s bid for the 2018 World Cup being a perfect example.
  5. When a country’s turn to host is due, but they do not wish to accept it, they go to the back of the line and the opportunity to host is offered to the next country in the list. Simple.

Long lost Anfield Brown & Bitter

Memories came flooding back as I watched the recent Liverpool v Manchester City football match on television. I sensed an air of hope and expectancy I haven’t felt since I was one of the (then) 26,000 fans who sardined themselves into the Kop for every home game in the 1970’s. Brendan Rogers has relit a flame of belief in today’s fans that Liverpool might once again be on the verge of becoming a major player in English and European football.

I recall the excitement I used to feel on a Saturday morning or a Tuesday evening during the build up to kick-off. My mate Spanner and I would jump the bus from Kirkby to Anfield and head straight to the pub, where we would split up and join a five deep crush at the bar, one signalling to the other when he had been served. Two brown and bitters was the order, two (hopefully) generous halves of bitter with two bottles of Forest Brown Ale. I can almost taste it. Do they still serve Forest Brown in Liverpool? Do people still drink brown and bitter?

Forty minutes or so before kick-off we would be carried along by the train of people headed along cobbled back streets for the Kop end of the ground. As with all fans, we had a favourite spot, ours was behind and slightly to the right of the goal. We would push and shove our way there, but not before we had pushed and shoved our way to the toilet, there’s nothing worse than getting to your spot then realising that you stood no chance of getting to half-time without peeing your pants.

All the usual songs would ring out then five minutes before kick-off we would launch into Gerry & The Pacemakers’ You’ll Never Walk Alone. I saw Gerry on TV the other day, wearing a FCTM baseball cap!!! Give it up mate; it’s been nearly fifty years.

After the game, the same thronging crowd would carry us down the steps at the back of the Kop to the exit. Pennies permitting, we would make our way back to the pub for another (usually) celebratory brown and bitter while the bus queues eased. Once our pockets were empty we would make our way home, sometimes on foot if we’d allowed ourselves to get carried away and spent the bus fare.

For the next few days we had no option but to allow work to get in the way while we waited for the next match. I haven’t experienced match day atmosphere for over thirty years and geographically it would be difficult to do it again, but in my quest to rediscover who I was and who I am, I have promised myself I will try.

Knowing Our Place


Napoleon was partially right when he described England as a ‘nation of shopkeepers’. Actually, it is a nation of shop assistants living in fear of the owner and his undue authority. I was in a local supermarket this weekend and watched an exchange between managers which resonated of the iron grip of the class consciousness which holds this country together like shit mixed with superglue. A middle manager was being upbraided by a sharply dressed visiting dick swinger about some trivial, banal nonsesnse relating to cheese. I could tell she was a middle manager because she was wearing her own clothes and gripped a clipboard as if it was Ceasar’s Eagle and she was naked beneath. Her terror lay in the idea of a return to the ranks which may involve the humiliation of branded overalls, lifting boxes and directing halfwits to the tinned soup.

If you give somebody just…

View original post 544 more words