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 tag “rain”

FA cup First Round. The grounds are hardly crowded. Why ?


The media are full of the glamour of the FA cup. Sadly for many if not most teams that glamour is somewhat tarnished.

Not everyone is aware that the FA cup starts in August and ends in May. The early qualifying rounds are a god given chance for nonleague teams to make a small amount of money from the moderately attractive prize money on offer. By the time the first round rolls round in November the media suddenly awake with their stories of candlestick makers and funeral directors somehow managing to combine a job and a nonleague football career. Curiously they manage that on each of the other 364 days. As overheard at the recent Met Police FA trophy game a player when asked if he was playing on Tuesday simply answered negatively as was working. As Moriarty famously said in Sherlock “ that’s what people do”.

The glamour of the first round however comes with sadness too. The crowds at many grounds , sometimes famous grounds in FA cup parlor, were poor if not pathetic. The reasons may be varied. Clubs that decide not to offer deals and retain normal charges . Clubs that poorly advertise. Clubs that simply do not care as the league club imagines that the prize money more than compensates.

Let’s take a look at the winners and the rogues gallery. Starting with the rogues;

  • Colchester. We all recall Layer Road and the Leeds cup tie. The crowd v Oxford City a pitiful 1775. Oxford won 1-0.
  • Coventry. A crowd of 3370 saw a 2-0 victory over Maidenhead.
  • Charlton. Another ex-premier league side . A crowd of 4494 saw a 3-1 victory over Truro. Around 1000 were Truro fans
  • Blackburn. Premiership winners . A crowd of 3710 saw a 3-1 victory over Barnet
  • Wimbledon. There has been enough miserable moaning from the club over the last few years about MK Dons and Franchise FC. The famous FA cup winners persuaded only 3394 paying spectators to attend their game against Lincoln City who had an incredible run last year. Terrible in my opinion. Need I continue.

So where were the decent crowds? The nonleague sides playing at home. Hereford who are a reincarnated club but with great cup history had 4712 watch them defeat another nonleague side AFC Telford. Almost matching the highest crowd of the round at Luton v Portsmouth. 5333.

What realistically can be done? There are three options

  1. Do nothing and watch the history and glamour of this great competition die
  2. Allow the FA to subsidise prices for the first two rounds such that the maximum ticket price is £10 or less and children are free
  3. In the first round seed all nonleague teams to have home advantage

To do nothing is not an option.

What Exactly Is The Point of C gates at Terminal 5 Heathrow?


While extra runways are the talk of the town there are few comments on the use of Terminal 5 in an effective manner.

Passengers dread the phrase when it appears on the departure screens, B gates or C gates. It always adds 10-15 minutes onto the time needed to reach the gate. The shuttle train is always coming in two minutes which translated this morning into 6 minutes. At least this is multiples of two. Combined with the wait while the ineffective nonsense of the security search is undertaken provides audible sighs and almost visible misery from the waiting passengers.

Today was such a day. A flight to Frankfurt on a 767. Presumably operational reasons dictated a large plane . No issues there. However the striking metric emanating from the departure screen was that only nine flights were departing from the C gates over a six hour period . How can this be effective for anyone? The shops there lie vacant of business with downcast salesmen with no one to sell to. The concourses were totally empty. Surely there must be a better way to use C gates?

Unusual Food Items. Chapter 1. Fried Curry Donuts


Without doubt this is the first time I have come across fried curry donuts. Served in a cellophane bag , making me wonder how long these have gone uneaten, in a Japan Airlines lounge at Frankfurt airport.  I am afraid that I have no intention of eating these. 

What is Sri Lanka really like now in 2016?


The last 2 decades have seen troubling times in Sri Lanka with civil wars, bombings and generally consistent periods of unrest. Around 2000 this was enough to put many tourists off the idea of travelling there especially those from Scandinavia. This is now all long gone and Sri Lanka is a perfectly safe country to visit.

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On Dec 26th 2004 a Tsunami wrecked havoc on the southern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka with around 40,000 people dead and missing, however the recovery period since then has allowed a huge improvement in the basic infrastructure of the country that was essential.

IMG_1373ClockFor example the first motorway was built connecting Colombo with Galle, meaning that this journey might take 2-3 hours as opposed to over 5 hours previously with a high likelihood of meeting a few cattle on the roads.

The south-western coast is the area most often visited by tourists extending from Negombo down to Galle with various small beachside towns hosting hotels along the way.

There is no point hiding it but chaos still reigns in Sri Lanka and the check-in queues at Colombo are testimony to this chaos. Although English is spoken it is an error to presume it is spoken well and understood, even in hotels.

A typical Sri Lankan scenario might go like this:

A group of four people enter the restaurant and wait. A waiter approaches

“Table for three?”

“No, we are a group of four”

“OK follow me”

The group is taken to a round table with four chairs and prepares to sit down. The waiter then takes one chair away……..

Having said all that hotels are good but nowehere near the luxury level. Most are built next to the beach. One noticeable change in the last 20 years is the weight of the average Sri Lankan population, obesity is now very common in working Sri Lankans. In the past one could almost predict the size of the person from their job. Whereas those with simpler jobs were very thin, the managers of hotels and restaurants were larger. This is not the case today and one wonders about the epidemic of Diabetes that can be expected to arise in the next 10 years.

Many people still remember vividly the Tsunami and talk openly about it and some small Tsunami museums have opened in the south near Hikkaduwa where the Tsunami struck. To spend an hour looking at the photos and the words spoken make one feel very emotional. This event was only 12 years ago.

Sri Lankans have a lot to say and a lot of it seems to take place in the middle of the railway lines, where busy trains with people literally hanging out pass by regularly. Many other curious things happen in Sri Lanka. People use coconuts as pillows at cricket! If you head to Galle Fort, a nice place to spend a few hours walking, test cricket can be seen for free from the hilltop there.

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Better than a Teleconference I suppose

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Coconut Pillow

There remain things that need to be improved including poverty. Still too many children live in poverty but this again has improved a lot over 20 years but their smiling faces hide any worries they may have.

Sri Lanka is a great country to visit. Aside from the beach and the pools, there is a plethora of culture throughout the country and the greatest challenge facing any tourist is choosing what to see and where to stay. There however are quite well defined seasons in Sri Lanka essentially two dry and two rainy seasons a year. In the rainy season in August do not expect to be able to enter the sea or indeed want to spend much beach time. The beaches also can be a little littered with debris.

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Kalutara Beach With Rubbish

Sri Lanka is also a superb place to visit for animals and wildlife. Elephants and birds abound in Udawalawe Safari Park. Various turtle sanctuaries also exist.

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The people are also both gentle and genuine even in the more inland areas where poverty is more commonly still seen.

0000573200005731There are many towns and places to visit but Galle should be one of those to walk along the headland and the fort and see the superb old lighthouse.

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Under 21 League. Brentford 1 Colchester 2. Photos


If anyone has a spare couple of hours on mondays it is well worth going to watch the  Bees under 21 side in action as you might be seeing the stars of the future. A decent game of which there are plentiful and excellent match reports elsewhere, so I will limit this to a few photographs on mostly a blustery day. The two players who did stand out for Brentford were Josh Clarke and Jan Holldack . A highly competitive and physical game.

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Josh Clarke

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Nick Tzanev

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Bradley Clayton

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Jan Holldack in action

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Dillon Barnes Goalkeeper

Do you want to help Bury animals? RSPCA do.


This just made me laugh. Another graphic designer who may need another job!

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A Very Wet Brentford Performance.Brentford 0 Walsall 1


As Brentford fans some weeks are best forgotten and it is better to remove those bees coloured spectacles and see the game for what it was. Brentford were comprehensively beaten by a hard working and decent Walsall side.

An excellent turn out from Walsall that filled the away end.

Fans arrived mostly by car but the potential was there to arrive by boat if they wished, and with such a wet game that might have been a good option. IMG_1179IMG_1178

The first half ended 1-0 to Walsall which is how the game ended but it was totally one-sided. The second half was better for Bees once Alan Judge came on, but frankly they never really seemed likely to score with the exception of one excellent save from the walsall keeper.

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Why were Brentford so bad? Conspiracy theorists will no doubt argue that the cup is not important or maybe that transfer speculation had upset the side. I don’t know, maybe both are true. But the reality was that Walsall were the better side, their work rate was higher , their players seemed technically better. The five players brought in from last week did nothing to suggest they should be chosen next week. The swirling rain made watching even from Row G a rather wet experience. The plus point was the introduction of Marco Djuricin half way through the second half.

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Hands on head time maybe?

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The Bees fans on Twitter formed their views of this game which align with mine above. What we learned for sure was that Bees have no strikers. Midfield needs strengthening . But above all the worry that it was not the result but the performance that is most of concern. Players like McCormack did not perform. Swift looked undone by the physical attention of the Walsall players. Hoffman just looked poor really, not a championship player.

Reflections on Glasgow


Glasgow is a city that many people like and love. Host to various international events and museums. But I have never really “got” Glasgow. Maybe I have not been shown the cool places? I had an hour to spend this walk and just walked around central Glasgow taking a few photographs and again found the city not exactly full of inspiration. As usual it was raining and there was rubbish everywhere. Streets were littered with huge rubbish bags and general detritus. I need someone to point me in the right direction and show me the real highlights of Glasgow please. Strange images of jellybabies playing bagpipes, various graffiti, grey streets and Irn Bru.

Irn Bru looked too dangerous to try. As for the Blue Police box, is this serious? The planes had propellers, ok, I exagerrate a little, but not so much. Glasgow airport looked quite dead compared with previous visits. Few planes coming and going. A million shops selling “real fish and chips”.

Now to put the other side of the equation. From

http://www.peoplemakeglasgow.com

 

Glasgow has been named as one of the top 20 ‘Best of the World’ destinations for 2016 by influential publication National Geographic Traveler, the city has also been voted the ‘friendliest city in the world’ in a Rough Guides poll and named a must visit destination by leading publications like the New York Times, The Guardian and Wanderlust! Earning its reputation as one of the world’s greatest cities, you can expect a very warm welcome and when you add world-class architecture, a vibrant nightlife, breathtaking scenery and outstanding shopping, you’ll never want to leave!

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Motspur Park in The Rain


Some of the rain has been of biblical proportions. Anyone walking through Motspur Park on their way back from shopping or waking up for a short walk, might be greeted by this joy.

Photoshop Images by Eve Van B


Whereas Vincent Van B is rightly recognised as one of the foremost upcoming British artists, Eve Van B can be recognised for creative elusive and ephemeral images. Please enjoy and share these.

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