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 “wayne woodward”

Cricket can be Black And White


Images sometime convey more power and meaning when in black and white. Whether this is a random thing or a feeling that one is being transported back to another century I am unsure. 00004828

Street Art In Craiova Romania. Very Many Different Types


Who are the artists, and who are the subjects in the photos? An artist called A Tonila has painted many of the electrical boxes. 0000225000002258000022560000222300002245000023090000231100002308000023000000229700002274

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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Street Art In Ljubljana. An Exciting City


Ljubljana is Slovenia’s capital and largest city. It’s known for its university population and green spaces, including expansive Tivoli Park. The curving Ljubljanica River, lined by outdoor cafes, divides the city’s old town from its commercial hub. Ljubljana also has many museums, including the National Museum of Slovenia.

What however is less well known is the street art that covers walls in many parts of the city.  Here is a selection of some of the variety you can see, all from the city centre. Some are works of art whilst some border almost on the graffiti border. Would you want a half eaten fox on the wall of your restaurant?

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MLK seems to be wondering which bicycle he might use?

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Cannot make up my mind if this half eaten fox is a good thing to see against the wall of a restaurant? 

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An unusual mixture of street art to observe whilst drinking coffee or beer

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Painted door. I think I like this

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A real mixture of street art

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I suppose this is street art but some might say just graffiti

 

A 3-day old Baby Barn Owl and Adult Barn Owl. Would you recognise them?


Would you know what this was if you were shown this? Not sure that I would. And might you guess that it would grow up to be like this? The baby barn owl was taken in Benalmadena Costa at the top fot eh cable car ride and the adult barn owl at Painshill Park in Cobham

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Baby Barn Owl

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Adult Barn Owl

Street Art Can Be Simple And Beautiful


The more I see of street art, the more i realise that there many types, genres and flavours. Some huge and some small, but there are some also that are hard hitting in a nice way and only words. Here is an example from Sonennallee in Berlin. One of my favourites.

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Who Will Win Euro 2016? Predictions after Day 6


After day 6 and some frantic games with perhaps unexpected results is anything clearer after a few teams have played 2 matches?  The Bookmakers somewhat surprisingly to me have France as the favourites 7/2 with Germany the same.

  1. France are unlikely to win the tournament and have laboured to beat 2 average teams Albania and Romania, and can consider themselves lucky to have 6 points. They have not impressed going forward and look suspect in defence to good wide play.  Semi-final place beckons.
  2. Germany looked a complete team and are potentially a winner. However their soporific and uninspiring performance against Poland did not suggest a Euro 2016 winner tag just yet.
  3. Spain at 4/1 would be a brave bet after their opening game last minute victory over a stubborn but utterly boring and negative Czech republic.
  4. The bookmakers then have 2 more surprise odds, with England at 7/1 and Italy 10/1. England looked average against Russia, who we now know are one of the weakest sides at euro 2016, and were fortunate to beat Wales 2-1 having had a really poor first half. Sterling and Kane did not cover themselves with glory and were simply dreadful. Hart looks suspect.  Italy however looked good and strong and had a far more positive ethos than in recent years and were good value for the victory over Belgium.
  5. From the others Croatia looked a solid side, but probably not a contender for the crown and Portugal disappointed enormously against Iceland.

Allowing for the quirks of the draw the 4 teams I expect to see in the semi-finals are Germany, Italy, Spain and France. A Germany v Italy final might be the outcome. With Italy to win. 

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EURO 2016 . Day 5.How is it all going? Will Italy win?


  1. After 5 days of mostly pulsating football the surprise team for many is Italy who played in a very non-Italian way to fairly easily beat a very disappointing Belgium side 2-0. No surprise that Germany, Spain and France all won their opening games, but at this stage Italy look the most complete team. Spain huffed and puffed their way to a late 1-0 victory.
  2. Which teams might as well not bothered to turn up? The winner of this competition is Czech Republic, who played from the first minute for a 0-0 draw, and if they got out of their half during the whole game versus Spain then I missed it. With some of the more extraordinary hairstyles floating around their players even looked dull.
  3. Who is the best supported country? Iceland. Over 10% of their 320,000 population have travelled to France. Their reward was to create a supremely sulky Cristiano Ronaldo with a 1-1 draw against Portugal. Even more impressive when one considers that the Icelandic league only operates for 4 months a year due to the snow and ice that covers the country.
  4. What are the right clothes to bring to Euro 2016? IMG_4416IMG_4391IMG_4419
  5. Does anyone in Europe feel sorry even in the slightest for Russia? For 90 minutes this afternoon I became for the first time in my life a fervent Slovakia supporter. Tales of revolting behaviours and violence have filled the news the last few days, and their suspended sentence from UEFA is frankly not worth the paper it is written on. The reality is that it would never be put into operation. The lawyers would be rubbing their hands with glee.
  6. Should the Proclaimers have walked their 500 miles from Edinburgh where would they have got to? A random thought but actually rather interestingIMG_4399
  7. Why are the commentators and pundits in shock that if a player pulls a shirt in the penalty area a penalty is given? This is the rule. Maybe if this rule was more adhered to there would be fewer such fouls and better games? The Romania penalty in their game versus Switzerland was the perfect example.
  8. What information are the media given on their team sheets?IMG_4420
  9. France are the EURO 2016 champions of last minute goals. On balance lucky to beat Albania who looked a proper football side for 70 minutes tonight. The end of their tournament.

Day 3 of EURO 2016. Meet Sic Kic and Nic Ric. And ITV have been robbed. The Violence continues


  1. Sadly the football violence continues to make the headlines with the behaviour of some Russian fans being little more than psychopathic thugs together with the ridiculously named Marseilles Ultras. The independent evidence from football supporters there ( videos, photos and observations) supports organised groups of black balaclava clothed groups descending on defenceless England football fans. I have zero doubt that there are some troublesome England fans too who are no angels, but evidence supports they are not the root cause. Two fans remain critically ill. The players may also not be as protected as they might wish with Turkish fans throwing bottles at Croatian substitutes warming up. UEFA have said that ” security will be stepped up”. That might not be difficult if fans can bring firecrackers into a stadium. IMG_4390IMG_4396
  2. Turkish football is not a style that appeals to me. Far too much unnecessary fouling and elbows all over the place. Within 5 minutes of the start of the game I had become an avid Croatia fan, although they were no angels either. In fact the physicality has surprised me in all the games to date. Some very strange outfits in the crowdIMG_4391
  3. To be in the Croatian team your name has to end in either IC or A (Badelj being the exception, so he must be good). You can be Sic, Nic,  Kic, Ric, Vic or Tic. FullSizeRender
  4. Why is Glenn Hoddle there? Apparently the mumblings and mutterings of Hoddle on Day 1 would have cost around 25,000£. The unanimous views on Twitter were that Hoddle was great at stating the obvious but little more. ITV have been robbed.
  5. The football so far has been good with the games being competitive to the end and few games are likely to find teams separated by more than a single goal, with some superb goals.
  6. A thought for the photographers there. At the start of the second half of Turkey v Croatia a firecracker was thrown at some photographers. The loud explosion sound was captured loudly on ITV.
  7. What might not be reported? England fans who were attacked in an unproked manner in a bar returned there today to help the owner clear up the mess. That is class. IMG_4389
  8. Best team so far? Germany. My early prediction is that they are the team to beat.

Muhammad Ali. Some Photos. A Memory


As thousand prepare for his funeral in Louisville. A few photos from photographs shown in the VIP lounge at Madrid Airport Barajas. For me these capture the man perfectly. There is no reason to repeat what has already been said and written more eloquently but I will share a quote from Barack Obama that maybe says it all.

“This week we lost an icon. A person who for African Americans, I think, liberated their minds in recognising that they could be proud of who they were.”

 

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