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

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Some Frank Thoughts On Where Brentford go now


Over the last few months there has been an optimism amongst fans that for me is a little over placed. Sure we have some good players and at least two who could start in the premiership right now. The issue though is consistency. The teams that get promoted have good players but are consistent. Brentford have not been consistent.

My personal view might not go down well with some fans and that’s fine . Lewis McLeod is a luxury player. He has some good games. Some good moments . But if you were in a casino would you bet on him having a good game for example at Preston? Don’t think so. Some of his passing is sublime . But will he compete in every game ? Josh M… well ok we can explain an average performance on Saturday. Why was he selected? But many of his performances have been average . Intertwined with some brilliance . What was missing Saturday was physicality until Kamo came on. This guy is good. He rattles other teams. And he is consistent and needs to be a starter.

Thomas Frank will have his own views and I suspect team selection will evolve rather than see 5 changes overnight. We know our best defence. We know our most consistent player. Barbet. We need a Plan A and B and C for midfield. On days when Ollie Watkins is not at his best we need a quick change. Sitting in New Road the warm up gives me an indication who is up for it . Certainly by 30 minutes I can tell for sure. Let’s be radical and make substitutions early if needed or not at all if not .

Lastly we need leadership. Is the rotating captain working? Not sure. The natural captains of the side are Mepham , still learning his trade , Barbet and Dalsgaard. I would experiment with making Barbet captain. It just might work.

At the moment we are a mid table side. We could make top six but no way top two. Our focus needs to be on consistency and finishing off games. Few teams are better than us but on Saturday we saw a side that worked harder than us and it sounds bad but Lee Johnson got his tactics spot on. Thomas Franks did not.

For Preston let me see a real high tempo start . Kamo in the line up and early changes if things not going well.

Should This Have Been A Penalty?


A pivotal moment in the early phase of the Met Police v Basingstoke Southern Premier game last Saturday. In real time a clear trip by the defender however on reviewing the photo there is clear shirt pulling.

The linesman was on the opposite side so maybe did not see this. The referee might have been unsighted too.

The point is how difficult it is to referee a game .

Met Police 4 Basingstoke 4. Not a bad game for Non-league Day


As always Met Police are a decent team to watch, unless you happen to be their defensive coach.  This game was not really a 4-4 game but more like 8-8. One of those games where every attack could have been a goal. I still cannot fathom why Met Police do not get larger crowds as their style of football and quality is some of the best around in non-league currently.  Good to see a couple of things. A core support of noisy Basingstoke fans ( but is the drum really needed?) and a good referee. Andy Bennett took no nonsense from the players, at one stage telling a Basingstoke player to stop talking to him in that manner, and broadly got all the major decisions right. A penalty decision went Basingstoke’s way however when looking at the photos the Met Police defender, who clearly tripped the striker, was having his shirt massively pulled. In fact in almost every photograph there is some physical contact

This was a good game to photograph. There was energy from the start and plenty of interesting tackles. Even the last kick of the game came off the Met Police crossbar.

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Luke Williams

Luke Williams the Met Police Fc keeper

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Just a suspicion of a foul

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Somehow a goal

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Basingstoke fans

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Given as a penalty. But was it?

The Met Police defender trips the Basingstoke striker, but when did the shirt pulling start?

Carshalton 0 Corinthian Casuals 3. The Challenge of Nighttime Non League Photography AKA ISO 12800


Football photographers get used to many things, variable lighting across a pitch, non league floodlights and inclement weather. It is just what we do. Add to that sloping pitches, players warming up in front of you, and the fun really starts. But it is a challenge. My Canon EOS 5D MK3 copes reasonably well with all this, and a small amount of playing afterwards reduces some of the grain, albeit at the expense sometimes of sharpness.  I really enjoy these challenges.

These photos come from a non league cup game, Velocity trophy, and was actually a great game to watch for the neutral. Here are some of the photos both of the game and the fans which capture the magic of non league.

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51 Blakes Lane . New Malden. What does anyone know about this house?


I walk past here daily and the house looks quite abandoned. The roof is in a sorry state and generally the outside looks in poor condition.

What do we know about this property? Does anyone live there? Has anyone seen the occupants? There are horror stories about people being found dead in their house 2-3 years later.

Simply does anyone know something?

Even On A Grey Day New Malden Looks Not Too Shabby


An afternoon dog walk on this grey day . Residential New Malden is not too bad. The only negative was the usual rubbish strewn along pavements . The beer cans and quarter brandy bottles suggest that neither Veolia nor Foxes can be blamed for everything.

There are some nice views. The Beverly Brook is not a bad little tributary. The big old house on Blake’s Lane . Even the grey skies. Not too bad at all.

Helsinki Cafes Are Full Of Surprises. Good Ones . Cafe Strindberg


Arriving in Helsinki you often could be forgiven for thinking the whole world has turned grey. Grey streets accompanied by grey sky and cold looking people . But you are wrong . Walking down any of the streets you eventually reach either the harbour or the centre area with the train station. Helsinki geography is easy.

The first surprise is that there are dozens of nice and slightly old fashioned coffee shops . Sitting outside is pleasant though in autumn a decent coat is needed. Some of them make you feel like you have stepped back in time.

My favourite has always been Cafe Strindberg. The coffee is nice although Nordic prices mean you pay 4.5€ for a cup of coffee. The atmosphere is slightly old worlde. The waitresses are mostly stern looking women but efficient and pleasant at the same time. They look the part wearing long white aprons. The coffee is good . If you are brave you can sit outside. The Croque Monsieur will set you back 12.50€ but is great.

There is a kind of healthiness here that is good . Water comes automatically with coffee. As it should . Coffee is a powerful diuretic . As an accompaniment to the sandwich you can choose grilled vegetables or crisps or salad. The grilled vegetables tasted superb mostly aubergine. The other nice thing is that they do not speak necessarily English. Why should they . This is Finland. The clientele are mixed. Some older couples looking guilty sipping their wine with lunch. Not speaking much . Just comfortable in their own presence. No one waits to be seated. One just walks in and sits wherever followed by the stern waitress with menu in hand . Young men under 20 years sit with their coffee and talk animatedly. Someone eating on their own like myself is comfortable.

In short this a lovely place to drink coffee and eat lunch . No pressure to eat quickly . If you are in Helsinki just try this place .

Salted Caramel Profiteroles


There are various kinds of Salted Caramel Profiteroles. A quick google search will tell you that many of the major supermarkets sell them. Mostly they are small and essentially typical profiteroles but with salted caramel added. And surprisingly cheap . At the end of the post you can see some examples.

Staying at The Curtain Hotel in Shoreditch in the buffet lunch was a rather different version. The outside is crusted and a little crunchy with the base being typical choux pastry . They tasted delicious and for the bakers out there maybe worth making . Size wise they were like small doughnut size and one was plenty! Cannot be certain but suspect they are homemade .

Supermarket Version

Dragonfruit Yoghurt. But How Many Know What Dragonfruit Looks Like?


Muller light yoghurts are fantastic and they keep on experimenting with new and different fruit flavours and combinations.

But the cover of the yogurt pot gives little clue really as to what dragonfruit fruit looks like.

In reality until I saw Dragonfruit on a Maldives breakfast buffet I neither could have guessed what they look like. Taste wise they are quite mellow and separating the dragonfruit from the pineapple might be a little tricky, or interpret that as impossible.

Looking at them unpeeled and ready to eat, but prepared by an excellent chef, they look not unlike dominos.  So a few photos to show maybe more what they look like in the Maldives with an excellent chef, than in reality how they might look if I prepared them .

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A New Way To Lose Weight. Travel On LNER Trains


There are many ways suggested to achieve weight loss but few guaranteed to succeed. The new approach by travelling on LNER trains may be the answer to rapid weight loss. Taking a 9.33 train from Kings Cross to Yorkshire seemed a good choice. Tickets bought in advance were reasonably cheap. The expectation was that some breakfast and coffee for the two hour journey may be a no-brainer. However I was very much wrong.

The herding of passengers onto a long train around 10 minutes before departure meant that no visit to the buffet car was feasible before the train departed. Soon after departure the mellow apologetic tones of a stewardess ( whatever they are actually called escapes me) announced that due to “electrical” problems only cash was being accepted in the buffet. Many folks now do not carry cash as many outlets are becoming increasingly card only ( British Airways, Doughnut shops at London City Airport). So the first hurdle, no cash no food or drinks. A few moments later an even more mellow voice announced that due to staff shortages, no buffet trolley car was in operation. The option of walking (if thats the right phrase in a rapid tilting train) from carriage C to H and back, with  hot drinks may also not appeal. Finally the next mellow message announced that they had no change, so the only cash accepted would be small change, ending with pleading for customers to bring any small change they did not need to the buffet. So weight loss is really possible on LNER.

For anyone curious LNER is the new Virgin East Coast reincarnation. How long might it last, who knows?

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