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 “January, 2013”

Brentford FC New Ground- Lionel road

Delighted to see that plans are forming for the new Brentford ground, which will hold 15,000, a sensible sized ground. Should Brentford reach the championship in the next few seasons, which is likely, it is very much a southern based division. Likely visitors to the new Lionel Road stadium would include Millwall, Charlton, QPR, Fulham, Reading, Southampton, Watford, Crystal Palace and maybe West Ham. Given some other big names, it is likely that 50% of games could be sell-out crowds and few crowds would be under 8,000. In other words the ground will host atmosphere as well as games. 

The ground it seems could be ready in time for the 2016-17 season. Great plans, great idea. I feel more positive about the future of Brentford than at any time in the last 50 years of my support. Maybe Brentford might be due a new mascot then?Image

When Shirley met Sparkbrook

Today I made a tragic mistake and took the A34 route towards my hotel in Birmingham. I have never been a fan of Birmingham as a city, always found it complex to get around, dreadful signage and usually cold. Today I am convinced that I am right. It took me over an hour to drive 8 miles from the M42 to Fiveways corner. 

The traffic was the worst I have seen since Colombo in Sri Lanka, no signs of any use, appalling driving against reminiscent of Sri Lanka, but to see so many closed down shops was sad. In fact the only shops that looked open were a few fruit and vegetable purveying establishments and multiple Indian restaurants. 

The city seems frankly just too crowded. Too many cars. Too many people. And far too many empty bus lanes. I am all in favour of bus lanes when there are buses to use them. I did this epic travel in rush hour and saw none. Just empty bus lanes with threats of execution if one strayed an inch over the line and entered the forbidden territory. 

The result? I will never come here again out of choice. Why should I? Complex to reach, no obvious redeeming features and expensive. Sorry Birmingham,I am sure the people are very nice, but why do you live here? 

Brentford 2 Chelsea 2

It has been a long time since I have been so proud of my team. For those not familiar, Brentford are a small West London team averaging crowds of around 6,000. Chelsea are the current European champions. In the 4th round of the FA Cup today they drew 2-2.

A great day was had by all. It all started well by us meeting the Brentford manager Uwe Rosler on the way to the ground and he was kind enough to pose with my family for a photo. A good MCDonalds breakfast, and a great game of football in a packed stadium. 

At no stage of the game were Brentford overawed by Chelsea and in reality came close to knocking Chelsea out. 

A few photos as moments but sadly all I Phone photos and the camera on the phone underwhelms me totally. 

The only negative might be those who thought it clever to let off flares in a packed terrace. ImageImageImage

Football Fans at Carshalton V Kingstonian

The fantastic thing about football is the whole variety of people who support football clubs and nowehere is this more marked than in non-league football. One would not be surprised to see fans driving in in Jaguars, Mercedes, Cycles, Penny Farthings and rowing boats, such is the variability. The key thing is that they love football and it was a delight to see 391 fans today at Carshalton V Kingstonian. Carshalton must be one of the most community based clubs around and althought having a difficult season that might end up with relegation, still carry on regardless. ImageImageIMG_8795

Paul Vines and Kingstonian FC. How the hair has changed. Great Style

Paul Vines is one of the best finishers I have seen at this Ryman League level and have always been somewhat surprised that he has not played much higher standard football, perhaps conference level. He is now back with Kingstonian and sporting a somewhat different hairstyle to when i last saw him play for Carshalton. Maybe the most interesting hairstyle in the Ryman league?


Paul vinesIMG_8754Paul vinesPaul vines2

Carshalton 1 Kingstonian 3. Photos.

Not a good day for Carshalton who in the end were well beaten. Despite going in 1-0 down at half time the game could have gone either way until two quick kingstonian goals killed the game. A decent crowd today 391. Carshalton still do not look a bad side but are going to have get points out of tough games like this if they are going to stay up. Kingstonian look like play off contenders and with Paul Vines in their side could be dangerous for any team. A good game, lots of action and not too much niggle. a good day out.

Not a bad photography month for me either as a humble amateur, four programme front covers, photos in four programmes, photos in local papers, photos on Ryman League website and photos on Surrey FA website. Enjoying this. Makes it all worthwhile.


Crowd Goal IMG_8703 IMG_8704 IMG_8715 IMG_8728 IMG_8739 IMG_8742 IMG_8747 IMG_8750 IMG_8754 IMG_8757 IMG_8783 IMG_8784 IMG_8788 IMG_8789 IMG_8790 IMG_8797 IMG_8798 IMG_8799 Paul vines Pinney in air Shirt Pulling


kebab vans galoreIn my travels I do see a fair amount of utter nonsense. Today in Copenhagen is no exception.  A taxi driver driving me to the airport with an obvious fairly flat left front tyre, needs also to be known that the temperature was minus 4 and dropping to minus 15 tonight, snow and ice on the roads in abundance ( and he drove more like Evil Knievel than anyone else). On me pointing this out he helpfully told me ” that is because air is escaping from the tyre”.

But the greater nonsensical thing today by far was as one walks from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2, which is easy at Copenhagen Airport, about 30 yards maybe, one passes a little food van perched on the corner of two roads. It calls itself the Happy Kebab. And it might , who knows, I know little about the happiness or otherwise of the kebabs in Copenhagen. But then on the end of the van was an exhortation to ” Follow Happy Kebab on Facebook”. I am still thinking as to exactly why anyone would want to follow Happy Kebab on Facebook. So I will and would advise that we all should

We could create a certain amount of confusion if we all follow them, tell our friends to and generally whip up a world wide interest in how happy the kebabs are!

A Poem By 12 year old. Please read

I am not a man of poetry and actually failed my english Literature O level many years ago. Luckily this amazing lack of poetic talent has not genetically passed to my 12 year old. Whilst waiting to enter the field as a second half substitute at hockey last week ( on that freezing cold day), she wrote this poem in her head and then transferred it to her phone on the long coach journey home. To me an amazing poem butyou must be the judge.


Do not nibble my Olives

A short post to emphasise something that to most of us is basic and obvious. If we are in a shop and we select fresh food, we don’t  take an item, nibble it and put it back? Or do we . This sign today at Garsons Farm Shop at Esher suggests maybe some customers do. If they do they are likely to drive Range Rovers the size of a bus and can afford the not inconsiderable prices charged in this Surrey outpost.

The only other occasion I can recall where similar warnings were given was at a school fair a few years ago , when parents were extolled to bring certain items in to be used as prizes or to be sold and the school had to emphasise that ” toiletry items should be new and not partially used”. So no bringing along the end of a bar of soap or a toilet roll, or worse.

Dont nibble my Olives

Dont nibble my Olives

Carshalton 2 Cray Wanderers 1. Ryman Premier

The weather was unhelpful this weekend and many games got called off in non-league but this game thankfully survived. The pitch looked like a mud bath and that was maybe because it was. Having said that the football played was perfectly fine and the ground staff need to take some praise although I understand that not a lot was done to the pitch from the preceding tuesday night game.

Carshalton have had a troubled season to date. Change of manager few months ago, awful start and currently bottom of the Ryman Premier, seemingly heading even at this stage for Ryman South next season. Things of late however have changed. A surprise away win on boxing day at Hampton, followed by a few decent results and another victory a few days ago versus Enfield. This was a key game against a mid-table club.

The first half was surprisingly low key. Little in the way of flying tackles etc. The second half very different. Cray were awarded a penalty by an unconvincing referee in the 25th minute and Carshalton scored with a long range shot that maybe should have been saved in the 31st minute. Little else to warm the soul. I had to resort to eating the last cornish paste, which I suspect was left over from tuesday, which tuesday I will not speculate, but it tasted divine in the cold.

The second half was all about end to end stuff, with Carshalton scoring the winning goal in the 84th minute with a truly special goal from Luke Nolan. This was a goal that you never think can happen. A run by the left full back, beating a few players cutting inside and hitting a shot from around 30 yards that roared into the top left hand corner of the net. With no exaggeration this is one of the best goals I have seen this season. Michael Kamara was highly visible all game with his bandage making him look more like Monty Panesar but played a decent game. Nick Hamann the goalkeeper has to be one of the best keepers at this level and I suspect could play higher. The German flag you can see behind the goal reflects his nationality.

This is a club trying to play their way out of trouble. They have left it late but maybe not too late with now 3 wins in their last 5 games. A lot will depend on key games, injuries and of course luck. I shall be following their progress and now count myself as a fan. As the crowd was 201 it is fair to say that I increased the crowd size by 0.5%.
Bandage Cray shot IMG_8224 IMG_8225 IMG_8231 IMG_8232 IMG_8238 IMG_8244 IMG_8252 IMG_8274 IMG_8286 IMG_8300 IMG_8318 IMG_8340 IMG_8374 IMG_8380 Luke Nolan running

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