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Sunday, 23 May 2010

World Cup

"It’s the greatest thing in the world, natural enthusiasm. You are nothing without it."

(Pictured: The Ghana team celebrating third place).

A break in the revision for my penultimate exam on Tuesday sees most of our regular crew at the University to watch a 'mini' World Cup - day long celebration of amateur football between teams representative of the various communities in Hull. It's a first for Hull, and hopefully a regular event, organised by the charity I work for. But because it's an amateur community event does not mean its unprofessional. The referees are from the Football Association, the organisation is slick, and the competition is fierce. It's a bit of a cliche to say 'there were many winners' but it is also true. And its not an aside to add that the victors in the competition were the Kurdish national team. A few photos from the day are pictured below, with a link to the album at the bottom of the page:

MOst of the quotes on the page are of course, from the one and only Bill Shankly, except the last one, which is of course, Kenny Dalglish.

"The socialism I believe in is not really politics. It is a way of living. It is humanity. I believe the only way to live and to be truly successful is by collective effort, with everyone working for each other, everyone helping each other, and everyone having a share of the rewards at the end of the day."

(Pictured: Kurdish half time team talk in the Final, surrounded by their supporters)

Shanks had been doing a victory lap when Liverpool were celebrating the title win in 1973. A policeman was picking up a fan‘s scarf which had been dropped .
"I have been over to the Kop at Anfield and was on my way back when a policeman took hold of a red scarf as it was a ragamuffin's. I told him off. 'Don't you do that,' I said. 'That's precious.'"

[Shankly then tied the scarf around his own neck and told his friends later when relating this story: 'Fancy doing that? That scarf is somebody's life.']

(Pictured: Fans reacting on award of controversial penalty decision).

Comparing the Anfield pitch to other grounds - 'It's great grass at Anfield, professional grass!'
(Pictured: Irish team drills before match)

“I may have left but the city and club will always be part of me.” (Kenny Dalglish).
(Pictured: Iraqi fans)

Hull world cup

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

One for the road

I exited my class today, exhausted, as usual, and elated, as usual........................................hang on, hang on..........didnt you say no more posts till after the exam? Well, yes I did, actually, but I've just finished demolishing determinism (aagian) , eviscerating Douglass C North's rather silly (admittedly later retracted) views on property rights in the Neolithic and kicked sveral cats on hearing the news that the Labour Party has finally found its moral compass. I felt the need for some down time - hence a very quick post. More on the Labour Party later, but first, back to my story.

I had just left class when I noticed, behind a wall, a flash of colour. Investigating further, the vivid images painte on the wall extended far behind a local store, down an alleyway. I followed the alleyway and discovered, entirely forgotten a whole series of graffitti walls, presumably from the 80's or 90's because since the invention of Gameboy and thos ekind of things, streetart in the UK has become a thing of the past. Anyway, I thought it was a great place as did the couple of smackheads and the old wino who were the only souls in sight.

Unfortunately, my total ineptitude in being to be what I really want to be - a great documentary photographer - continues, so when I suggested to the drunks and the druggies that they should slouch nonchalantly against the wall, so I could photograph them, haunted eyes reflecting the bleak reality of urban England, they declined. I therefore tried the Henri Cartier Bresson technique to capture a few candid shots - which would have equally bleakly illustrated urban decay and doubtless won me a Pulitzer but all I got form those shots was the back of a few heads and one rather prominent ear.

Anyhow, despite this, the photo album is here:

Oh, Yeah, and Labour finally finding their moral compass. At completely the wrong time. THey havent made a moral, principalled decision for 13 years while in power, and today, just as it looked as if it would be possible that an aliiance could be forged with the LIberal party (with whom they share many values these days and an alliance that might at least have resulted in electoral reform in this country) , they decided that such an aliance was against their principles. If this was not so funny I would cry.

And in sticking to their principles they have condemned the country to massive, massive spending cuts under a Conservative government. Absolute bloody tragedy.

Monday, 10 May 2010

June 6th here we (I) come.....

More delays in posting on this site signal but two things. We have had an election in the UK. ANd I am once more embroiled in a titanic battle to "up" my marks.
The election first - UK is, as we speak, in a state of suspension. There was no overall winner in the elections so we have a 'hung' parliament. Actually the phrase 'hung' Parliament is a misnomer. We actually have the perfectly acceptable situation in which the election has not revealed one clear winner. In most European countries, the obvious solution is that the will of the people seems to be towards a coalition Government. In the UK we are told (mostly by the Conservatives) that this will never work. In a sense I can see what they mean - you only have to look at the terrible mess that Germany, the Dutch, the Swiss and the Scandanavian countries get into by coalition governments. I'm actually not going into this in any detail because there's plenty of blogs out there that deal with matters Political, but in short, a hint at my opinion might be gleaned if I inform you that the previous sentence contained a degree of irony.

THe second itemn on tonights agenda is both an apology and a boast. An apology because, as the end of term exams are approaching, posting here will again be intermittent at best. ANd a boast because I recieved the earliest of my end of year results today, and unlike the eletion, there was actually a result. Which is where the boasting starts. Happily, I have improved my scores from the first year and am now averaging somewhere in the low 80's. I am tremendously impressed, although dont tell anyone in case they think I have a big head about this. Which I do.

I resolved fairly early on to follow the advice and heed the experience of those that knew better. So, following Grasshopper, I have studiously conducted independent study after each lecture rather than head off to the student bar. I have shown my work to my worst critic - RHB - and in some cases returned right to the drawing board as a result of her "input" (ref: potentially disastrous. See: Nickson and Large, 1995. Husband or wife teaching the other to drive, but it seems to have worked so far, The Journal of Accidentally Remaining Married for About Fifteen Years, vol 1, issue 3, pp 101-234). I have ignored the ploy of one I have been told of, who steadfastly refused to play the game and consistently handed in brilliant - but completely irrelevant - work and hence achieved nothing. In short, I want to keep doing very well. So between now and JUne 6th, contact will be minimal. The rate of revision will increase as I try to push my marks from the lowish 80's into the high 80's. Wikipedia wil not be used. What recreational time I do have will be spent teaching the cats new tricks.

I should also mention one final thing. The excellent Christmas of 2009 featured heavily the complaints of one "Sal", a spinster of the parish of Mansfield, against the unfinished nature of a wonky, unlevel mock up of a fireplace we were making. The thing was, in short, a great big eyesore, and we teased Sal mercilessy by placing her at the dinner table in very close proximity to the thing. It drove her quite quite madder, to the point where she threatened to faint one night. I should inform those who do not know that SAl is a remarkable artisan/artist/craftsperson and it was quite insensitive of us to expose one of her fine sensibilities to aesthetic torture in this way. I can now announce that we have thoroughly made amends to Sal for this indelicacy. The decision to act was as a result of a sentimental discussion on friends and family still missed in this urban backwater. The least we could do was make the place more welcoming so that when next we do receive visitors, comforts commensurate with their sensibilities will be in place. The discussion went something like this:

"This will not stand!" I declared to RHB. "The centre will not hold!" shouted herself back. "We will right the wrongs of the past!" I screamed. "The workers of the world have nothing to loose but their chains" shrieked the boffin. "Are you with me?" I bellowed. "Down with dismal visuals!" chanted my belle. "Let Sal never again have to look upon that ...that...that...THING!" I whispered, my throat having gone hoarse with all the shouting.

And so it came to pass, that in order that no-one, especially SAL will EVER have to look at the crappy fireplace again, we built a pond. Now if the fireplace displeases, we can direct anyone of sensitive visual prediliction to both the front AND the back garden where they can gaze upon the surface of the water, serene and reflective. We have called the rear pond "Baile Aughiscoic"