Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I've been playing football for the past few weeks after work. Nothing special about that, but what is special is that it's actually on grass. Real grass. Green, lush, soft green grass. It's amazing. Having played on sand and tarmac this year, to have grass is amazing. I just love it. When I get to the place that we play, I sit down on it and enjoy sitting on it.

When we actually play, its soft and bouncy. The ball rolls true and if you get tripped there is nothing to worry about. You just land on it and that's it. Without injury. I would say it's one of the highlights of the week. Well, almost. It's hot. And humid. And in the high 30 degrees. I sweat before the game even starts. It's not that I'm totally unhealthy, it's just that hot. I'm not the only one feeling it and to be honest, I'm pretty active on the pitch compared to some. I drink alot of water also but something's just not right. There have been occasions that afterwards I get a bad headache. It's not due to heading that's for sure. I just think that it's due to a salt imbalance. I'm sweating but not really replacing everything despite drinking lots of water. Perhaps I should just lay off the football until it gets cooler. Health before 'glory'. Which is a shame.

Last Wednesday, we played another Department. They are an actual team and have been playing together for a long time. They come completely prepared with football boots, pads and football tops. They look professional yet, as we found out, don't act it. We were winning and they didn't like it. They started arguing amongst themselves - always a good sign for the opposition. Then a few heavy tackles came in. I was on the receiving end of 2 of them. I got my own back however by scoring a particularly sweet goal.

I had received the ball near there penalty area. I was standing still with one of there defenders standing in front of me blocking my path to goal. He was the only defender with the goalkeeper behind him. The defender had positioned himself in such a way that he was inviting me to move to my right whilst making it harder for me to go left. From my standing start, I turn left and beat him on the outside - now, please bear in mind that I'm no sprinter yet I beat him for pace, on the outside! He wasn't impressed with this and tried to take me out. Just before he did and with the goalkeeper rushing out towards me, I slipped the ball between them and into the empty net. I didn't shout or scream; instead I just got up and walked off leaving the inquest to start. I was delighted though. A nice individual goal, if I do say so myself.

And we won.
I wonder what will happen when we play them again next week.
More dubious tackles no doubt.


Across the street from us, they have been building a Mosque for ages and ages. It looked as if the building of it had stopped as it was essentially deserted. That though has changed and it is now well and truly up and running. The only slight concern I have about it, is the timing of the calls to prayer!

Daily, at around 4.30am ish. Generally, it doesn't wake me but I think it has woken the flatmate once or twice. However, the Friday Prayer call could be the one that troubles me.

It's starts around 10.30am ish on Friday, funnily enough, and isn't just a 2 minute call as all the others are; it goes on for about an hour. Now the reason that it could trouble me is that Friday is the first day of our weekend and generally, I quite like sleeping in on a Friday after a busy/boring/hardcore* working week. Yes, yes, I know. Selfish but you can beat I'm not the only person who thinks this. No doubt I'll be nailed as an anti - whatever. Yawn. The solution, I'd say are ear plugs. So, today that's what I going to do - hunt ear plugs down!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A question has been posed:

12 favourite songs from the 60's to the 90's.


Is that even possible to do?

I'm not even sure I could make a list of 12 songs that I like from the last 12 months. It's so difficult to do given that music and songs fluctuate depending on time, mood or whatever. Perhaps it's best to stick to popular stuff that most people will have heard of rather than a bunch of songs that are pretty obscure in random genre's.

Better get the thinking cap on.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Silly season has returned.

£80 million for a player?

You're having a laugh.

In total the 'mighty' Real have splashed the gross GDP of Scotland on buying players for next season. Not to mention the rumoured wages they will be paying. I really hope that they are crap next season and crash out of the Champions League at the group stage having been beaten into 3rd place by Celtic and are drawn against either Falkirk or Motherwell in the Eorpa thingy Cup. That would serve them right.

It's not just them however, it's a lot of the 'elite'. Millions and millions of pounds being banded about for the chance to win something. Man. City seem to be doing that with complete disregard. It'll be interesting to see how they get on but will they win anything? Perhaps not. Will they even make the top 4 in the League, again questions must be raised on that one.

Then you turn your attentions to Scotland where we don't even have a TV deal. It's depressing really. No large sums of money will be changing hands, that's for sure. In some ways, that's a good thing in the sense that clubs will have to look to their own youth set ups for players which could be of benefit to the national team.

Not long until the season starts in earnest though. - What else will happen between now and then? What further riches will be splashed about?

Friday, July 10, 2009


I don't really 'get' other people. Sometimes I do, but often they are a bit of an enigma to me. I do my best to 'get them but ultimately, it's hard.

My main 'concern' is people not really having enough knowledge of certain subjects or topics to make a fully formed opinion of something. They just kind of accept what they have heard and take it as the truth or fact when its plainly not the case. Yet, they are totally convinced that what they have heard is right and that's it. I feel it really is a source of much misinformation and downright prejudice.

A couple of examples of this have occurred of late. Often, I don't bother with it and it's best to leave any such discussions particularly as I work in a multi-national office with Indians, Pakistani's and Arab nationals.

The first such example was a big rant and rave by my Pakistani colleague. I'm sure he was already in a bad mood with me from the beginning of the week as I questioned him on his time keeping but that's another story. He was essentially railing against 'the Brit's' for all the injustices that we caused during colonial times. It's fair enough. I'm not going to sit and try to defend it and I told him that. The thing is, he wasn't getting at it from a Pakistani viewpoint but from an Indian viewpoint even though he isn't an Indian. How could I take anything he said seriously when he was essentially changing his nationality to suit his 'argument'?

He was also telling me a 'revised' British history in which the Romans had ruled the entire island, which is patently a load of nonsense. I couldn't help but tell him that. Then he gets into his 'big' thing saying that all 'we' did was move in, take what we needed and left. Well, granted it is. But then he would have been delighted for 'India' to do that. The 'killer' for me during his anti British rant was the fact that his brothers (or members of his family certainly) had actually got British passports and were working making decent money because of it. Double standards, I thought. End of conversation from my point of view. One thing was subsequently brought to my attention also; he loves cricket and live and breathes it. Who invented it? Exactly. More double standards. Be consistent. If you don't like America, then put down that KFC or Big Mac that you're munching on. Stop driving the Chevy.

The next incident was about Iraq. I didn't go near that topic. I wasn't touching it with a barge pole. But, just listening in to what was said it does strike me as a lot of stories are circulating about it - some seem absurd to me but again, people believe them to be true for whatever reason. I do think that people just listen and accept things without actually thinking about what it is they are listening to. They don't question things or become slightly dubious of things they see and hear in newspapers or on TV. I think that is very sad indeed. I wonder if people did actually take the time to consider the how's and why's, then there might be more tolerance. I might be alone in thinking that though and it might be something of a 'romantic' view of things. I can't influence people or their thoughts yet others seem to have their's influenced so readily.

Thursday, July 09, 2009


My goodness, it's nearly the middle of July.
How did that happen?

Back in Dubai now. I was home in Scotland for a week, mostly in Edinburgh but for a time up in the Highlands, specifically Loch Ness. The weather was fantastic and the company was even better. It really was a shame that I had to come back to Dubai. It doesn't get any easier leaving Scotland despite doing it for a good number of years now. I wonder if i'm getting closer to staying, full stop.

The flight back was 'interesting'. I'm an OK flyer although it comes and goes. I really enjoy being able to look down but I'm not comfortable with heights which is a contradiction. On this occasion, I was flying on an Airbus, similiar to the Air France one that crashed. That whole incident had been playing on my mind - of course, it is foolish to think that anything would happen but even still. We were cruising at something like 39, 000 feet when I looked out to the right and saw clouds. I thought that was a bit odd. It did start to then get very bumpy. So much so that all the Cabin Crew were told to take a seat for a while. Let's just say it wasn't because they needed a rest. I had one of the cabin crew sitting next to me, that's how I know! It all passed, thankfully.

On our final approach to Dubai, we were literally 2 minutes from landing when suddenly the engines went on full power and we 'took off' again. My heart was in my mouth. Finally, the Pilot came on the tannoy to say that another aircraft hadn't fully cleared the runway and that the Tower had told him to abort and circle round again. All fair enough I guess, but it's not something that I've experienced before. I hope I don't again.

Oh the joys of flying.