Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Curse of the Ex Player

Derby lost again last night. This time to Birmingham. Once again an ex- Derby player, Lee Carsley scored against us. (My sister bought his old house - he had very dodgy curtains)

I remember Tom Huddleston played over a 100 times for Derby and never scored a goal. He then went on loan to Wolves and in the game against us, guess what? He scored his first ever goal.

The club's cursed, I'm convinced of it. When Derby moved to the Baseball ground the club allegedly moved some gypsies off the site, who cast a curse on the club and said that they would never win a major trophy. I'm sure they're responsible for the ex-players' goals.

Monday, January 26, 2009

My First 10K Run of the Year

On Sunday I completed my first 10K run of the year in Epsom. Because of the heavy rain, parts of the run were completely waterlogged. However, managed to complete it and the rain kept off during the race itself. My time - as ever - was really slow, but I didn't finish last which was the main goal.

Am keen to do some more this year. Once again my New Year resolution is trying to get fit. For about the 20th year in a row.
FA Cup 4th Round Derby 1 Forest 1

The man in charge of the PA system at Pride Park has a sense of humour. As the crowd were leaving last Friday night after the game he was playing Joy Division's 'Love Will Tear Us Apart'. Summed up the mood of the Derby fans. We should have won. We were 1 nil up and all over them in the first half. Then Robbie Earnshaw ex-Derby striker - who was rubbish when he played for us - scores a great goal to equalise. Typical. Even our ex-keeper (Mart Poom) has scored against us.Then their goalie saves them near the end.

Great atmosphere. Exciting game. We'll just after beat Forest at their ground and play...yes, Man United again at Pride Park in the next round. I bet they're feeling nervous.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

January's A Big Birthday Month For Us

And Lia's 8 today! Looking forward to the cake later this afternoon

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Dream's Over

Last night Derby lost 4-2 to Man United and were knocked out of the Carling Cup semi-final. The final outcome was inevitable, but it does feel like a missed opportunity. We could / should have taken a bigger lead to Old Trafford from the first leg. We let in soft goals in the first half and left ourselves with too much to do.

Still, we avoided humiliation and its great to see Barnes back in action. On Friday I'm going to Pride Park to see Derby v Forest in the FA Cup. Should be a great atmosphere. If we win, all will be forgiven.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire - Don't Believe the Advertising
On Sunday evening I went to see Slumdog Millionaire. It was a really good film and certainly worthy of the 4 Golden Globes that it recently picked up. However, the ads on the buses completely mis-represent what the film's about. It's called 'the feelgood movie of the decade' - which is most certainly isn't. If you were expecting a 'Mamma Mia' / 'Love Actually' style film then you'd be sorely disappointed.
There is a central love story and there is a positive message. However, the scenes in-between are really harrowing and the poverty, violence and cruelty is very explicit.
It was only after reading the reviews and talking to friends who'd seen it that I decided to see it. Brilliant acting, great soundtrack, clever storyline. Very moving but short on saccharine. Definitely worth seeing.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Mae's A Tween

Mae turned eleven on Thursday which using marketing-speak makes her a tween - that hard to reach, yet highly influential demographic between child and teenager. Next stop - mobile phone.

On Saturday morning I had the frightening experience of taking 4 children on the ice rink at Somerset House to celebrate her birthday. Managed to stay on my feet - just about. Still think this is the nicest ice rink in London. Not sure how long its going to carry on for, but still worth a visit.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Lovely Restaurant

Went to Salt Yard on Goodge Street yesterday for lunch and it was fabulous, serving the most delicious tapas. It was packed too, which shows that even in tough times the very best eating places will continue to do well.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Just Back From Italy
Went to Italy this weekend to check out progress on the house. So far so good. think it'll be ready by Easter if all goes to plan. Usual mixture of walking in the hills, eating fab food and watching dreadful tv progs in the hotel. They've got their own versions of X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing which are truly awful. Beckham featured heavily in the news, as he's now started playing for Milan. He truly is a global phenomenon.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Return of Cloughie

Young Nigel is now boss of Derby, replacing Paul Jewell who resigned over Christmas. So...another chapter in the turbulent history of Derby County begins.

Its going to an interesting few weeks - Man U in the semi-final of the Carling Cup, followed by Forest in the FA Cup - now managed by former Derby boss and former hero, Billy Davies

Will Nigel come anywhere close to emulating the success of his father? I very much doubt it. He's only ever managed a non-League team. But you never know. Maybe he's inherited his father's magic touch. Watch this space.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

What I'm Reading

Over Christmas you need a good book to dip into as a break from the non-stop eating, rubbish telly and games of Monoply. This Andrew Marr book is just the job. Its over 600 pages long and is perfect for dipping into. Its got the perfect balance of fact, observation and insightful commentary that makes it engaging and informative. Really enjoyable.

I'm up to 1970 where Heath has just been elected. What strikes me so far is how many of the issues we debate today stretch back many generations: our relationship with America and mainland Europe, the decline of our manufacturing base, how to handle immigration, Rhodesia / Zimbabwe, our education system, etc. Its clear that all the post war governments - all the way back to Attlee and Churchill - have tried and ultimately failed to resolve them.

Its also obvious that although we're in the midst of a recession today, Britain always seems to be teetering on the brink of disaster. Rationing continued for many years after the war and in so-called Golden Era of the 60s our economy was a disaster we had to devalue the pound. We always seem to come through it.

It may be viewed as a little superficial for hard-core historians but I'm loving 'A History of Modern Britain'. Highly recommended.

The Cornish Coastline

We're just back from a week away in Cornwall and was struck by how beautiful the coastline was. Here's a few pics.