Well. Euro 2004 worked out ok in the end then. Those guys failed to make the grade at places like Leicester and Sheffield Utd, and yet the picked up a trophy that the rather better paid and more celebrated show ponies like David Beckham can only dream of. Big up to the Greeks! I bet that was some party in Athens.
That's a bit of a worry though, really. Just as the "Athens won't be ready" stories were starting to die away... the celebrations of the Greek win in Euro 2004 will no doubt have set the whole thing back (are you telling me that not one single construction worker called in sick on Monday morning?? My arse!
37 days to go!
JVP described our forthcoming trip to Athens as his "sporting Everest" this evening. It's certainly been some feat to organise 8 fairly hopeless blokes into getting a set of decent tickets more than a year in advance. Bear in mind that you can only get 2 tickets for each thing, so there was quite a lot of coordinating to do. How excited am I? We have got a load of tickets to things like:
--> the stadium athletics
--> the rowing finals
--> some football
--> some badminton
--> the triathlon
--> weightlifting (yay!)
--> beach volleyball--> some other stuff!
all in all it's a bloody good effort, and I'm really looking forward to it. 6 weeks to go....
I decided that I should show JVP how much I appreciate his efforts (and it is after all a pretty thankless task). As a man of Dutch forebears (although quite distant, if I remember the family tree he used to have on the wall at his parents' house), I decided that one of those lovely fluorescent Dutch shirts with his name on the back and the number #14 on the front and back (homage to the immortal Johann Cruyff) was just the ticket. Order has been duly placed, and I guess I will hand it over at Scat's birthday bash, if I don't see him before... just a couple of weeks before we go. Speaking of - need to get some massive union jacks to support our boys.
Speaking of Scat - sorted out his birthday prezzie as well. 1960s/70s Hammers shirt with a number 6 (for Bobby Moore) on the back. He knows about it, as I had to tell him... but I think he's quite pleased. Personally, I'm looking forward to telling him that it is identical in every way to the one that the ridiculous Alfie Moon wears in 'enders from time to time.
Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand (still). Best thing I saw at Glasto and still thrilling. I have to listen to something else in case this goes stale
Von Bondies - Pawn Shoppe Heart. Bought this on saturday on the strength of seeing them live at Glasto, and it seems to be an album that really rewards listening through headphones
Stone Roses - Stone Roses. This was recenty voted the best british album ever, and normally I would agree. The songs are there for sure ("I wanna be adored" alone - best track one side one ever?). I was just struck in the car as I drove to work that the production is a bit limp. Ah well. I hope it's a feeling that wears off soon.
Just finished "Sabbath's Theater" by Philip Roth. It's a pulsating novel. The character Mickey Sabbath is so vibrant that he practically crawls of the page (hm - sounds like I read that somewhere... my plagiarism sensors are going off). It's quite an unsettling read, took me a while to get into, and it ended fairly abrubtly... but I have to say that it sucked me in. Will register it on Bookcrossing and take it to the National Meet in Birmingham in a couple of weeks (sorry, but this is a great review!)
"A Hatful of Sky" by Terry Pratchett. This is another Bookcrossing book, this one a ray of an advance reading copy. I love TP's books and I've been an avid reader of his discworld stuff since about 1988 I think. "The Wee Free Men" is the one just before this, and although ostensibly a kiddy book, it's very good. Early days yet, but shaping up nicely.
"Emma" by Austen is up next, and I have to say I'm not overly looking forward to it. Another bookring. This one coming to me from an impatient bookcrosser from Iran.
Big Brother 5. It's shit and not very interesting, but I can't seem to help myself. I am weak.
45 minute run this evening in the fading sunshine. Bloody hard work! rest tomorrow, and stir fry!
Big Plus of the day:
My piddly free share things that got sold on my behalf when I was outsourced came in this weekend and I got a cheque for £200-odd quid. Even better was when I realised that I had some other index-tracked oojits sitting around at work as well. Checked with the department in question, and yes indeed, they owe me £500. Nice!
The pictures of Andy Rourke, taken at the High Court case between Morrissey/Marr and Mike Joyce, make him look really weird. I think he's chewing gum, and is caught mid-chew. On the other hand it could be his stupid shades and shit haircut. Not a good look. And taking that £80,000 settlement in the 80s looks a bit daft now, eh? (Joyce got £1.2m)
Alcohol-Free Beers (Part Twenty-Seven)
1 day ago