The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Carshalton 3 Farnham Town 0. FA Cup Preliminary Round 2016. Photos of the game.

A reasonably entertaining game but one which the hosts won too easily and the result was never in doubt.


Photographing NonLeague Football Makes You Smile. Some Quite Curious Photos. Carshalton v Farnham Town FA Cup 2016

Sometimes when you photograph a game you get lucky. The game is exciting, or there are spectacular goals. Sometimes though you just get a series of quite unintentional photos. Here are a few photos from a Preliminary Round game in the FA Cup 2016 Carshalton Athletic v Farnham Town.


The keeper is punching the ball at the precise moment the shot is taken


Trail left on a 3G pitch


Two things I like about this shot. The sign saying “no ball games allowed” and the photographer here imagining nothing interesting will happen.


Tommy Bradford, a Carshalton forward seems to have become a dwarf


The guy in the background leaning onto the pitch and gesticulating gives the impression of being not only Voldemort but also a pony tail for this Farnham Town player

The Student Cat and A levels 

While A level and GCSE results are avidly awaited this cat continues her studies . Let us applaud her and spread her photograph around the world 

Street Art in Brentford 

A Nervy Finish and Great Brentford Pies but Brentford 1 Notts Forest 0

A very different game from Saturday but ending with the same result . Two home games and two victories. A tap in goal from Scott Hogan was enough. The first half was a scrappy affair really and either side of Hogans goal Forest had chances . McLeod came into the game increasingly with some superb passing. Daniel Bentley made some decent saves but saved his best for the 95th minute saving point blank to save the points. Sawyers had a quieter game and Forest in the last 20 minutes ran all over Bees in midfield. 

The sending off of Damien Perquis the French defender seemed to spur Forest on. Although they will feel unlucky to lose Bees did have other chances and Egan almost doubled Bees lead with a header from a corner. 

All in all lots of positives. Set pieces look far better already and generally work rate is high. Man of the match? Maybe Daniel Bentley for that save. 

The most surprising fact of the night though was off the pitch where Brentford pies in the Directors box got great acclaim from journalists. Tweeting Pie photos at half time says it all. 

Sri Lanka V Australia at Galle 2016

During a recent trip to Sri Lanka we were fortunate enough to have a spare hour at the end of the day to watch the cricket from the Galle Fort that sits high above the ground.

00005440 Many choose to watch from here as it is free and the views are not too bad. Some locals and some tourists. A great experience to see English folks avidly supporting the Sri Lankans. Maybe the most interesting use of a coconut I have seen as a pillow for this slumbering gentleman.



Brentford 2 Ipswich 0.Early thoughts and opinions on Championship

A sunny afternoon greeted the first Brentford home game of the season played against a team that Brentford normally respect however with the bad taste left in the mouth from the encounter at Portman road a few months ago, this was always going to be an interesting occasion. Even the River Thames at Brentford looked acceptable in the absence of any water.


Griffin Park


River Thames at Brentford

Thankfully football prevailed and there no side shows provides, Alan Judge did not make a visible appearance, Luke Hyams “injured” and Mick McCarthy played a decent role as the pantomime villain cheekily acknowledging the applause that greeted Dean Smith, as if for him.


The game was played mostly in good spirit and refereed well. In the first 30 minutes Brentford might well have been behind, the post saving us from an opening Ipswich goal, as the large sized Ipswich team marauded forward and at that stage my massive £1 bet on a Brentford win looked very much in doubt. in fact most Bees fans would have taken a draw if offered. But the Ipswich dominance became less as the half went on and it was no great surprise when Brentford took the lead early in the second half with an excellent attacking header from John Egan and soon after a close range superb finish that Hogan would have been proud of, made it 2-0 and effectively the game ended there. Sam Saunders should have added to the score and 2-0 did not flatter Brentford.


What did we learn? Firstly Ipswich will struggle this season to be a play-off contender. They were well beaten by Brentford who many take to be a mid-table side. The Ipswich style of play is a long way from the Sir Bobby Robson era and frankly I would not want their style transposed on Griffin Park too often. They may also want to consider signing a goalkeeper with more presence.


Romaine Sawyers

Brentford in contrast were surprisingly good. The new players all settled quickly. Callum Elder looks a good left back and very much in the Bidwell style. John Egan grew into the game and will be a superb centre back. Harlee Dean had a great game and I dont say that often. It is unclear how Barbet or Bjelland will get into the side apart from injury or suspensions. Romaine Sawyers was simply superb and my man of the match. Looking like a Clayton Donaldson lookalike he ran the midfield and grew into the game increasingly. Lewis Macleod was the only player I have some early reservations over lacking physical presence and missing an excellent opportunity. Dan Bentley had little to do but did suggest that his kicking game had been stoled from David Button. 1K4A4633

A good start to the season and many encouraging signs for Brentford but maybe not for Ipswich. How long will Mick McCarthy remain as their manager? My bet is not for long at this rate.


The Animals of Udawalawe National Park in Sri Lanka

Many travellers to Sri Lanka have heard of and visit Yala National Park however far more visit Udawalawe.Udawalawe National Park lies on the boundary of Sabaragamuwa and Uva Provinces, in Sri Lanka 165 kilometres (103 mi) from Colombo. Udawalawe is an important habitat for water birds and Sri Lankan elephants. It is a popular tourist destination and the third most visited park in the country.

Udawalawe is an important habitat for water birds and Sri Lankan elephants.

00005715Bird Painting0000570200005720

The national park was created to provide a sanctuary for wild animals displaced by the construction of the Udawalawe Reservoir on the Walawe River, as well as to protect the catchment of the reservoir  and covers 30,821 hectares (119.00 sq mi) of land  and was established in 1972.

Other than than the more exotic animals such as elephants , a whole plethora of birds, water monitors and other lizrd creatures seem to appear from nowhere.


Kuda Huraa in The Maldives. What is it really like?

Kuda Huraa is a private coral island facing the Indian Ocean and around 25 minutes by speedboat from Male airport. The island contains only the Four Seasons resort. In this short series of photographs one can begin to understand the sheer simple beauty of this island and its changing seasons. It is not only the physical beauty of the island but if there is a better resort hotel in the world then it is well hidden.

Each day a walk around the island before breakfast takes perhaps 15 minutes. The food is beyond brilliant with numerous creations put together by head chef Matt Bilinski. The plate of Dragon Fruit arrived unannounced and unasked for. The bar situated in The Indian Ocean has to be the best bar in the world to observe the sunsets. There are many turtles being expertly cared for in the Turtle Rehabilitation unit before being released back into the sea. The views in these photographs are neither selected nor artifical in any way. This is what the island really looks like.


Kuda Huraa Beach


Sunset at Kuda Huraa


The Infinity pool


Morning arrives at the Infinity Pool


A Turtle says hello


Turtle Sand Sculpture


Kuda Huraa Beach


The Bar at The Four Seasons Resort in The Indian Ocean


Tranquil beach and sea Kuda Huraa


Kuda Huraa Sunset


A typically busy beach at Kuda Huraa


Maldives does have some weather patterns



DragonFruit prepared by Matt Bilinski


Even Kuda Huraa has clouds sometimes

ECB should review their refund policy for rain. Why ticket sales for England cricket games may decline.

Any cricket fan knows that it only rains on the day that they go to a game. Cricket has always been heavily dependent on the weather and thats the way the game is played. With the advent of the plethora of one-day games many fans choose to watch a complete game rather than a single day at a test match. The problem however is the refund situation. The current crop of one day games are 50 overs per side, so a total of 100 overs in the match.


When things go wrong though, the ECB are not on the side of the fans. The recent ODI versus Sri Lanka at  Bristol was a prime example.

IMG_0080 copySri Lanka completed their 50 overs and then essentially the rain came down and England batted only a handful of overs before the game was abandoned. Tickets were  £55 each and the rules seem rather mean relating to refunds. If 10 overs or less are bowled then a full refund, and if 10-25 overs bowled then a 50% refund. But when as in this case more than 25 overs are bowled then no refunds are made. The weather is not under the control of ECB but refunds are. They could for example give money, or credits for future tickets.


I was quite underwhelmed by seeing only half a game, with no result, getting wet and getting no refund. Pragmatically that means that next time I may choose either not to go, or buy my ticket the day before having looked at a weather forecast.


At a time when cricket tickets are less easy to sell, the ECB do themselves and the fans no favours by their draconian approach. A little more generosity and creativity might go a long way to encouraging fans to continue to turn out to watch international cricket.



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