Arcticterntalk.org

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

Archive for the month “December, 2012”

Tricycle Theatre Kilburn


A discovery made today that excellent theatres exist outside of main London Town. We were invited to the tricycle theatre by some friends to see Arabian Nights and thoroughly loved the experience. Firstly  the theatre is easily accessible in Kilburn, either the underground will get you there or the Overground to Brondesbury. Secondly a nice bar for a pre-show drink ( not cheap though 10£ for 2 glasses of wine). Thirdly an amazing theatre that seats 235 folks looking like it is made out of scaffolding. The play itself was superb. This is a place to be visited again. Acting was very good in a complicated play that requires actors to play 2-3 parts each.

Kilburn itself, to the novice , is full of nice places to eat and drink. We chose Ariana’s, an Afghan restaurant in Kilburn road and for an excellent meal paid 76£ for 6 people eating ( no alcohol allowed but no corkage if you bring your own). Afghan food? Well to me it was rather like Turkish food, with emphasis on Lamb and kebabs.

 

http://www.tricycle.co.uk

 

For all details about the theatre that I cannot recall.

Tooting 1 Horsham 3. Ryman South. Dec 29th 2012


In a life of a football fan and especially a non-league photographer a day of hideous weather such as yesterday, is not wanted. Most games were called off and the challenge was to find a game that was actually on. For me this would have represented a challenge to the management of a club that wanted to boost their attendance by getting the word out there that the game is on, or even off. Some clubs did this very well. Respect due to Sutton who even replied to my humble tweet to them about if the game was on. A club that did badly on all counts was Tooting and Mitcham FC. I could find no social media nor internet site to answer my question. The websites attributed to Tooting seem to have been last updated months if not years ago. No Twitter account. No Facebook page. I might add that all these media are freely available and indeed free. Many other clubs did well to update their fans. Lets throw some praise around. Walton and Hersham have both twitter and facebook and their fans knew the night before that the game was off. Horsham regularly tweet game updates during the game.

I belong to a closed group on Facebook related to non-league photography and from the multiple postings there it was clear that our little coterie could have been driven to any game probably on, hence boosting attendances by a few, but multiply this up and clubs could have done themesleves a real favour.

Having guessed correctly that the game might be on I arrived 2.20pm at Tooting to find no information available. Was the game on or off? Turnstiles all locked. No signs. No clues. No programmes. A few stewards appeared, mostly young lads, doing a grand job I must say, of about 13-14 years, who appreciated the issue and went away to solve the problem. Turnstiles duly opened at 2.40pm. A thin paper based programme was on sale from a cheery gentleman for 2£. In all honesty the poorest non-league programme I have seen for some years. I do not exaggerate but I could have printed this off from my computer in far better format. Little to no food was available in the snack bar. A wait for 10 minutes led to a burger. Priced at the not so cheap price of 3.50£. Entrance to the ground was 10£.

The pitch was not in bad condition at all considering the rain .

I will stop my social media rant here, but what opportunities are being missed by clubs who want to boost their crowds. Each week we read that non-league football needs larger crowds but clubs must promote themselves a little better to get new fans. Tooting missed this opportunity big time yesterday.

 

The game itself was not a phenomenal one. The better side won easily. The reality was that Horsham looked fitter and better, by a bit, but maybe more interested as a team. No players stood out. no one disgraced themselves. Tooting might have felt a little aggrieved that they did not get an equaliser in the second half but maybe this would have been unfair. The Tooting manager in his technical area spent most of the second half swearing badly at his team, with some non-funny sarcastic comments thrown in. Seemingly oblivious to the fact that children could hear each and every of his well chosen words. I cannot say I warmed to him and wonder if his team does. Neither side will win anything this season and neither will get relegated, although on a bad run, Tooting might be drawn into the relegation battle. The low crowd of 155 should however be of concern to the club as based on this performance will not be getting any larger.

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Small Crowd at Tooting

Small Crowd at Tooting

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Reflections on Non-League football and social Media opportunities. Missed by Tooting FC . From a Non-League photographers perspective. Facebook and Twitter for non-league clubs.


In a life of a football fan and especially a non-league photographer a day of hideous weather such as yesterday, is not wanted. Most games were called off and the challenge was to find a game that was actually on. For me this would have represented a challenge to the management of a club that wanted to boost their attendance by getting the word out there that the game is on, or even off. Some clubs did this very well. Respect due to Sutton who even replied to my humble tweet to them about if the game was on. A club that did badly on all counts was Tooting and Mitcham FC. I could find no social media nor internet site to answer my question. The websites attributed to Tooting seem to have been last updated months if not years ago. No Twitter account. No Facebook page. I might add that all these media are freely available and indeed free. Many other clubs did well to update their fans. Lets throw some praise around. Walton and Hersham have both twitter and facebook and their fans knew the night before that the game was off. Horsham regularly tweet game updates during the game.

I belong to a closed group on Facebook related to non-league photography and from the multiple postings there it was clear that our little coterie could have been driven to any game probably on, hence boosting attendances by a few, but multiply this up and clubs could have done themesleves a real favour.

Having guessed correctly that the game might be on I arrived 2.20pm at Tooting to find no information available. Was the game on or off? Turnstiles all locked. No signs. No clues. No programmes. A few stewards appeared, mostly young lads, doing a grand job I must say, of about 13-14 years, who appreciated the issue and went away to solve the problem. Turnstiles duly opened at 2.40pm. A thin paper based programme was on sale from a cheery gentleman for 2£. In all honesty the poorest non-league programme I have seen for some years. I do not exaggerate but I could have printed this off from my computer in far better format. Little to no food was available in the snack bar. A wait for 10 minutes led to a burger. Priced at the not so cheap price of 3.50£. Entrance to the ground was 10£.

The pitch was not in bad condition at all considering the rain .

I will stop my social media rant here, but what opportunities are being missed by clubs who want to boost their crowds. Each week we read that non-league football needs larger crowds but clubs must promote themselves a little better to get new fans. Tooting missed this opportunity big time yesterday.

IMG_7965

Small Crowd at Tooting

Small Crowd at Tooting

 

IMG_7965

A Wee Small Story from the Surrey Comet


Am glad to see that Surrey Comet have run my hideous story of the Wee Waiting room at Motspur Park! I feel proud to be part of the Surrey Papparazzi that have disseminated this story. What makes me laugh is the large photo of the reported that one might think was the Wee culprit if one read too fast the story below.  I am also a little confused as to why the photo of the chief reporter is the headline here! What he does not make clear is that not only did I take the photo and send it to him but also provide him with the full story. Curious and curiouser.

http://www.surreycomet.co.uk/news/10129005.Train_staff_lock_up__toilet__waiting_room/

Toilet at Motspur Park Station

Toilet at Motspur Park Station

WH Smith’s. A mistake or a big Xmas con?


A few days before xmas we were shopping in Wimbledon and looking around an impressive WH Smith shop that maybe focuses on books. To be fair there were many true bargains there. But what caught my eye was a shelf that had many ” £20 for 2 books” offers on there, some of them again real bargains, like Guiness Book of Records, £19.99 each or 2 for £20. But I digress. There was also a huge selection of books far less than £10 included in the 2 for £20 offer and stickered. I did an A level in Maths ( or as the Americans like to say, Math)so was not too numerically challenged by this. But there are folks who struggle with numbers and these are the folks who maybe may have been taken in by this. For one book, one might say a simple error, but at least 5 books, suggests perhaps not. This suggests a cynical ploy  that does not endear me to WH Smiths, and one that maybe they might like to explain.

So as a few examples here are some I Phone photos, less than perfect but nonetheless clearly visible what the stickers are offering. The worst culprit was a £2.49 book, that had never even been £10 at full price, so could never in any system generated by a computer be suggested as stock that should be sold in this great alleged bargain.

wsmithwhsmith 2whsmith con

The New Toilet at Motspur Park Station. Time for CCTWee?


We all want better sanitary conditions. Most of us want toilets on stations. None of us want the station waiting room to be used as that toilet. Sadly this is what South West trains tell us has happened at Motspur Park station, a leafy suburb ( well sort of ) on the edge of Surrey and london. The result of this behaviour is that the waiting room has been closed. Now a few questions come to mind. Do the citizens of  Motspur Park have more sociopathic personality attributes than most? Do they have more troublesome bladders ? Why this station? Maybe some of my online readers can make their own suggestions as I have no idea. Motspur Park is not exactly ablaze with night life unless you fancy a night out in the Earl Beatty pub next to the station, where one now has to pay for parking, followed by a sumptuous supper in the Kebab house or maybe any one of the 3 restaurants that light up the high street. Not a nightclub in sight. Indeed the only real trouble in this area over the last 10 years has been graffiti, and even that seems to have died a death this last few years.

No, this is a situation that requires Sherlock Holmes to come forth.  The solution? Well there are many pharmacuetical companies out there that manufacture medicines for those with bladder hyperactivity and the suchlike. This is an excellent opportunity for them to undertake some remedial behaviours in  the local folks and sponsor the re-opening of the waiting room. Could we maybe have CCTWee? A live webcam perhaps?

Hmm. Better stop there.

Toilet at Motspur Park Station

Toilet at Motspur Park Station

Ann Wildgust. A UK painter to watch out for.


Ann Wildgust has her latest exhibition at Holt, a small Norfolk town in UK. A truly superb series of paintings all around a theme. European links with early US settlers, hence some are painted in UK and others in Holland, Leiden. Well worth a visit. What is equally amazing is that Ann has only been painting now for a few years but is starting to attract attention as she is working in different styles and themes. We are fortunate enough to have one of her paintings and another print of one in our house. IMG_7887 2IMG_7880IMG_7871IMG_7875

Pay what you want to watch Brentford v Stevenage. 22nd Dec.


Strange but true. Brentford ask a minimum of 1£ only but you can choose what to pay if you buy your ticket beforehand up until 4 pm friday evening. Why are they doing this? Perfect sense. They have around 2000 season ticket holders, who do not begrudge them doing this at all, and will make it up to their season ticket holders later in the season with some offer one suspects. So 2000 have already paid. The expected crowd for a home game the saturday before Xmas is never high, maybe 5000 maximum and possibly lower. Stevenage will not bring armies of fans and most likely will bring around 200-300 only. Folks will not pay 1£, they are likely to choose to pay a median amount of between 5-10£ in my opinion.

So a good PR activity, a good day out. Lets hope this works. A few years ago a home game versus Peterborough was sponsored by a company (maybe St George Homes?), and they essentially made it free to get in. Result, great crowd,great atmosphere and home win! So spread the word and call Brentford to buy your tickets over the phone or online. Lets fill the ground. Already two sides have sold out, so don’t delay.

Stuart Dallas. Footballer at Brentford. A League 1 club in West London.


In a few years remember the name Stuart Dallas. A young Northern Irish footballer who joined Brentford last summer. He played ostensibly his debut game tonight in the FA Cup win over Bradford 4-2. He had a great game, good skill, good effort and my humble prediction is that he will go far. You heard it here first!

The mystery of the Egress Button ( or handle?)


One of the pleasures of delving into Twitter is the finding that odd words and odd people abound. For some reason I am linked to various train folk, folks who main about late trains, folks who start self-help groups, sort of group therapy for angry commuters, and those who simply like the share the news, mainly the bad news of delays.

The other  day there was a tweet from SouthWest trains about a delay due to the Egress button ( or it may have been handle). I had no idea what they were talking about but it seemed important and was responsible for another delay. It turns out this strangely named item is what we normal folks call the emergency handle or button. So in your next round of trivial pursuit you can now answer what the Egress button is, and it is not a button on a flying Stork, which is what it sounds like.

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