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

Ciabbata Bread Loaf Ready To Hang on the Wall from Panetteria Italiana Merton

Food sometimes comes in unpredicatable shapes and even an experienced baker was surprised his routine ciabbata came with a picture frame hook ready for hanging on the wall. The best baker in the UK is found at Panetteria Italiana in Merton 6 Merton Hall Rd, Merton, London SW19 3NT0000676200006765

Lunch Menu At The Funeral Directors? 

Not yet convinced about this one 

Basingstoke Football Club for sale on EBay … is it worth only 100 burgers? 

One of the more bizarre football stories this last week. Basingstoke need new investment as the chairman and investor is stepping down at the season end. The club who play in the Southern Premier division have debts of 2 million pounds. To enlighten the world about their being on sale they have placed an advert on EBay. Worryingly after 9 bids the highest offer is £285. Valueing the club at around 100 burgers. Apparently Tranmere did this a while back. ebay


My question is not relating to the sanity of selling a football club on eBay but more to how they have got 2 million in debt? This seems fairly poor planning. This equates roughly to needing £4000 from each of their 500 supporters who make up the usual crowd size . 

Gander Green Lane . The Sutton United Football Experience 

As a regular watcher of nonleague football to watch Sutton v Cheltenham in the FA cup second round seemed a reasonable option. Did I enjoy the whole experience? Not really. What went wrong?

Admission was a reasonable £15 and £2.50 bought a fairly average programme mostly full of adverts. 

Sitting in the main stand was not an option as seems all the seats quite reasonably had been ticketed. 

On first sight the ground is an attractive one tucked away about a mile from the town centre and seemingly inserted between park lands on one side and residential housing on the other.  To some extent the ground is covered on each of the four sides. So what went wrong? 

Firstly the standard of the game was poor with one hardly realising that Cheltenham were a professional league two side managed by Gary Johnson who once very successfully managed Latvia. 

Secondly there are huge gaps between the stands and the pitch edge, although some could stand pitchside, but again a huge gap between the pitch side and the actual pitch. This all contributed to far less of an atmosphere than when fans are close to the action. Some of these photographs might convey this large gap. 

Thirdly there were such limited catering and toilet facilities for the crowd of 2200 that if either were needed a long queue was mandatory. I counted around 30 people queuing around 10 minutes before half time at each of the outlets in the Sutton fans section. Without doubt more outlets were needed and Sutton missed out on greater takings. 

Perhaps the most worrying aspect were many of the young fans not even watching the game in the second half and kicking balloons to each other and on benches outside the closed club shop. 

All in all this is a ground I would not rush to return to. 

Football in Black and White. 

Images of football especially of the terraces. When viewed in black and white they can give the impression of football 100 years ago.

Football Photographs From Sutton United 2 Cheltenham 1 . Second round FA cup 2016

Sutton United and Venus 

A moment from Sutton v Cheltenham in the FA cup where Venus can be clearly seen under the crescent moon 

Sundsvall in Sweden. SJ trains. Comfortable and cheap way to travel.

Sundsvall is a small coastal town with a population of around 100,000 in what is described as mid-sweden. 

By train it is about three and a half hours from Stockholm on a comfortable direct SJ express train . With the return journey costing only £90 in first class making it somewhat cheaper than for example an equivalent UK train journey. Curiously when booking online around two weeks previously first class was significantly cheaper than second class. 

The booking process online took minutes and the ticket is sent as a PDF almost immediately. In the first class carriage there was free wifi with high speed for the first 200 mb. Free coffee and cakes . 

Was there anything not to like? Maybe two things that might be improved on. Sweden is hardly a warm country and in early December temperatures generally are around freezing all day. So why make travellers wait until 10 minutes before departure on a freezing cold platform to be allowed to board the train? Secondly the platforms at Sundsvall were badly gritted with patches of black ice widespread. Better gritting or salting would be something to consider. 

On the positive side the stations have superb catering facilities and even the small Sundsvall station had an American style restaurant serving an all you can eat pizza buffet for around £9 with good salads too. An additional £1 gave unlimited soft drinks. 

Train travel in Sweden is well organised and there are always information screens with departure times and platforms. Train for me was not only significantly cheaper but a more pleasant way to get to Sundsvall from Stockholm than by air. And in reality took only a little longer if at all. 

A Winter Walk in Central Stockholm

It’s a nice thing to have a spare hour in a foreign city and have no real idea where to go. 

Just walking sometimes leads you to some very interesting places. Snow covered parks where people walk their dogs. 

A few photographs and thoughts from around the Kungsholmen park area on a cold November afternoon . 

One striking thing about Central Stockholm is the ease whereby people can walk and cycle. The cycle lanes are often as wide as many roads. 

His Bloody Project

I am not endowed with writing skills nor critique to do book reviews. The only O level I failed quite correctly was English Literature. But this book captivated me to the extent that I read the last few pages slowly digesting every word on a cold blustery Düsseldorf airport train station. 

This is the best book I have ever read and this is with apologies to Stieg Larsson and  Jo Nesbo and even Stuart Neville. The book captivates . It is worth looking at why. The name of the book is novel and the design of the cover draws buyers in to pick it up and peruse. The writing is both serious and at times humerous  despite dealing with the macabre murder of three family members in the Scottish highlands in 1869. One is left with a real feeling why the murders were committed and the kind of lives that were being lived there at the time . The book though goes much further into trying to draw an opinion from the reader as to whether Roderick McCrae the 17 year old crofter was insane to any culpable amount. That he committed the crimes is not in doubt . There are a series of characters in the book that one grows to like, loath or simply be amused by. Many we still recognise as doppelgängers in our own everyday lives.  

With a psychiatry head one one oscillated between conduct disorder, remnants of psychopathy , ADHD, Aspergers, normality for that time in the highlands or something in between. 

I have no wish to spoil the story for anyone who reads the book so will not divulge anything substantial. However each word in the book needs to be read. There is not a single word that could have a red pen drawn through it. 

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