Friday, August 27, 2010


I've mentioned it before and I am certain I'll mention it again: Scottish football teams in Europe are crap. We should just ban ourselves from going through the ritualistic slaughter each year. It's a joke. And not a funny one any longer. All 4 Eorpa Cup (or whatever it's called) teams are out and we're not even at the group stages i.e. it's not even properly begun. Hibs out a few weeks ago. Motherwell go down albeit with a degree of credit. The same can be said of Dundee Utd who were never likely to knock out AEK Athens. Celtic meanwhile lost a 2 goal, 1st leg advance and got absolutely stuffed 4-0 against Utrecht. Hardly a world beating team.

Where to start with all of that?

It beggars belief. Are we that bad. On the evidence of the past few weeks, nay, years, then yes we certainly are. August has not yet finished and essentially the season is over. Yes, the League and cup are still to come but Europe is where the money and the 'glamour' is. Trips to random places, that's what it should be about. Instead, we get stuffed.

I would say that our teams have the skills to do well. The national team isn't bad. It must be a mental thing. Must be. Cross the border and doubts or whatever creep in. Perhaps its tactics. It seems that each team play a different way from when they are playing in Scotland. Why change a system that all your players are used to for something that is essentially 'alien'. It doesn't make sense. You don't go into an exam unprepared and having not done some kind of 'practice'. Surely the same thing can be applied to football. If teams play with 2 strikers normally and do well doing so in which everyone knows how to play and interchange, then why revert to playing a lone striker with players in unfamiliar roles in which no one really knows what's going on? It's all fine and well 'talking' about it before the game but when it comes to it, players have a split second to decide on where to go and when to move. That can't be 'taught' in a 'talk' before the game. It comes from understanding the game, the position, the possibilities along with skill, familiarity and instinct. Rocket science, it is not.

It's depressing and I despair.
Farewell Scottish football. RIP.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Yes, this is highly childish but there you go.

I had a Bangladeshi student today and his name was Mahboob.

Yes, I know, I know but say it out loud!

My goodness, do I need a holiday.

Monday, August 16, 2010


I had my dinner and I was feeling totally fine. Just before I went to bed I was feeling totally fine. At 1am, I was no longer feeling totally fine.

Instead, I was in the bathroom. Sitting. In pain. With a swollen stomach. Yes, more 'swollen' than normal. With craps coming and going with increasing levels of frequency. It was not how I planned to spend the night. I wanted to sleep and be refreshed for the next day. No chance.

Finally, there was some 'movement' down below. That wasn't very pleasant but let's just say I didn't really need to 'do' much other than sit still during that episode. It offered a bit of relief. But, the worst was still to come. For an hour, I was 'stuck' in the bathroom fearing that going to bed may be a bad idea. Instead I stayed. I walked up and down the bathroom. I doubled over in pain at times. I held onto the basin at times too. Then it happened. I could feel 'it' moving up. It's arguable one of the worst feelings. I was ready however. I was in place and I had identified where it would go and how I would very quickly get rid of it. It's a big consideration. A massive one. Experience had taught me that the smell is often the most shocking aspect. Get rid of it, and the smell cannot be 'smelt'.

Up it came. In 3 or 4 pulses. It wasn't pleasant. It wasn't nice and no one can look anything other than pitiful whilst doing it. It is not a spectator sport. I managed to get rid of it as fast as I could. My stomach still hurt but there was a sense of relief that it was over. I'll not mention the 'taste'.

Finally, after about 2 hours, I felt able to go back to bed. I managed to sleep until the morning. I felt lousy but significantly better than I had a few hours previously. Breakfast was not taken. In my own way, I was observing Ramadan and 'fasting' during daylight hours. Not through choice however.

I did have dinner and have essentially 'recovered'. I'm not sure if anyone really recovers from vomiting. You remember it. You always do. Even the ones from drinking too much when you were 17 years old. Goodness, my 18th birthday party was one such occasion. See, I recall it all. In the street, next to a car. It wasn't my greatest moment. I wasn't drunk, that was the irony. I did feel fantastic after it, strangely. Off we went to Century 2000 and our free 'champagne' which turned out to be sparkling apple juice. It tasted good though. Perhaps because it got rid of a certain taste. I wonder if I would have recalled that night in so much detail had I not vomited. It is doubtful that I would have.

Anyway kids, don't do it. It's nasty.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Oh the joys of August. Often I would have said that August is a fine month with and lots to do and see, particularly in Edinburgh. Yet, that outlook has changed somewhat. It's roasting hot - low 40's C /all you whingers about it being hot at 25 C! Huh!/ during the day and never below 30C at night. AT NIGHT. To compound that, the wonder that is Ramadan has begun. Yes, it's the time of year where our friends fast between sunrise and sunset. It's a celebration. Seemingly. No food, no water and certainly no ill thoughts during those hours. Yet, outwith those hours...Well, I can't really comment too much because I don't exactly know but what I can gather that the evening after a fast, its a feast. Granted, not everyone does and that is fair enough. Oh yes, and prayers. Lots of them. Repeat for 30 days and nights.

I'm sure I've mentioned before that all food outlets are closed during those daylight hours and anyone caught eating in public can be arrested. It doesn't really worry me all that much as I generally don't eat out in public. The only time in which it 'impinges' on me is in the office. Let's just say, you need to be careful and also considerate. I try my best. I do have urges for cups of tea mid-morning though. The good news is that there is very little traffic on the road when I finish work. Our friends get to go home early because they are fasting hence less traffic. Even at night, there is a noticeable reduction in the number of people and cars going around.

At least at the end of it all, we'll have 4 days off. Maybe it's not all bad then.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Twice in a week, twice in a week!

Now that could be anything. But, it's not. It's very sad to get so excited about this but I just have to share it. In fact, just thinking about it makes me feel that I have a really crap life and small things cheer me up. Small, insignificant things. Oh god, I'm starting to become Marvin from the Hitchhikers Guide. That won't do.

I digress. Twice in a week. Yes. Eh, it's nothing more exciting that managing to get a parking space on the ground floor of the multi-story car park at work. Yes, dull I know but wait. It's nearly impossible to get a space there. I've managed it less than once a month this year. Instead I just head straight for the 3rd floor. I don't bother faffing about going round and round. I just know that there won't be any spaces. I'm resigned to my fate and I accept it. I just go and get on with it. This is in contrast to a lot of people who enter the car park and sit on the ground floor and wait for a space to become free. Yes, they wait. It would take less time to drive up a floor or 2, park, then come back down. But, no, they have to wait. It's all about being lazy. That's the only thing I can think of. There is no prestige or prizes for being on the ground floor. Nothing at all. Hence, I've come to the conclusion that it is just laziness. But, on 2 mornings this week, I managed to find a free space without waiting, I may add. On the ground floor. Twice. This week.

And that's it really. Nothing exciting ever happens round here.

Monday, August 09, 2010


Back at the gym.

Yipee. Kind of.

Actually, it's about time. It's been months and months and months and in those months and months I've done little in the way of exercise. I have been eating more but it might be argued that that isn't a bad thing. One of the guys in my department reckoned that I should be putting on 5 kilograms. Interesting. The thing is, if I did that, it would only go in one place. My belly. It wouldn't go anywhere else. If the 5 kilograms went on evenly all over, then fantastic. No issues. But, only in 1 place. No, no, no. It's hard being a bloke.

Anyway, the gym it is. Twice a week to begin with. I'm sure that will do for now. Until I can get my eye in again, at least. This is all because a man must get himself married and in order to get married a man must look as good as he can. A year to get fit. It can be done. It will be done. Mental toughness, that's what is needed. Definitely. Honest.

Monday, August 02, 2010


Blackberries are no more. Shame really, I quite like those little fruits.

Alas, it's not the fruits that are causing the problem; rather it is those big mobile 'devices' that are so popular over in this part of the world that are causing offence. I'm certainly no expert on them but it seems that the information that they produce gets shipped offshore and because it gets shipped offshore, the government here and in Saudi Arabia are more than a little concerned that 'stuff' can get passed out of the country very easily. Seemingly it's to do with national security and other social issues. So, ban them. That's been their answer. Saudi Arabia are banning them this week but the UAE are not banning them until October. When I say 'ban', I don't mean everything about them, it's more to do with the software. Apparently they will still be able to be used but only for - goodness me - making telephone calls and sending texts. Hold on, that makes it sound like a humble phone.

No real idea about how it all kicked off or how it will be resolved. There are a lot of Blackberry users here and you would imagine that some kind of resolution will be found to it. Otherwise, sales of I-Phones are going to skyrocket in the coming months.

I think I'll just stick with my Nokia Classic for now. I can call and I can text. What else do I really need to do with it?

Sunday, August 01, 2010


I've had a damaged little toe nail now for a while. It's not been sore or anything and has not given me any trouble at all. the problem is though that the nail keeps splitting in the middle once it gets to a certain length. It doesn't really look all that good at all. so, it was time to bite the proverbial bullet and get it looked at. Typical bloke attitude isn't it?

Off I went to the podiatrist having spent a good while cleaning my feet, sorting my nails out and generally ensuring that my feet didn't look that mingin. A hard ask that.

The doctor spotting the problem right away. A fungal infection under the nail was making the nail split. Thankfully, the nail was still in working order and did not need to be pulled out or anything. Indeed, 'all' I need to do is get this oil and put it on the nail once a week. However, I need to do that for at least 6 months or even a year and even with that, there is no guarantee that it will 'cure' the problem. If it does not cure it, then something more will have to be done. For now though, doing that once a week isn't such a hardship.

The doctor then proceeded to take off all the hard skin on the soles of my feet and heels and polish them up a bit. She said that my other nails were in very good condition, so that was pleasing. I do though need to get one of those brushes to scrap off hard skin. Again, that should be done once a week. I'm sure I'll manage that.

So now, my feet and looking good. How long that will remain, remains to be seen but I'm determined not to let them get all mingin again. It will be hard actually because of the heat over here. That said, when I'm home, I never wear socks or shoes so that will help somewhat. Fingers crossed anyway.

Look after your feet - they are the only ones you're going to get!