Monday, July 25, 2011


The Scottish football season is back. It's early this year. Generally, it starts at the beginning of August but circumstances dictate otherwise. The 'circumstances' that these days our teams have to pre-qualify for the Champions and Eorpa Leagues. We're not good enough just to get to the first round proper. The Pre-qualifying starts in July. It makes sense to start the league early. It gives teams time to get match fit and ready for it. This is particularly important when our teams are likely to play other teams who have played half their league season already.

Yet, managers are complaining about the early start. Well, I couldn't give a monkeys. If our teams could win in Europe instead of getting knocked out early, then we wouldn't have to pre-qualify. They can moan all they want but they only need to do one thing. Win. Fairly simple all things considered. If you win, the coefficient goes up and when it goes up our ranking goes up and so the 'hassle' of pre-qualifying disappears.

That said, Dundee Utd have already been knocked out. Before the season even starts. It's getting stupid really.

But, the footballs back and that's the main thing. No big names in coming and no really big transfer fees paid. A sign of the times. This season, I hope that crowds increase. The more punters through the gates, the more money the clubs will have. Simple economics. I'd go one step further and say reduce the ticket prices to get the punters in. If you have more punters in, then the chances of there being knock on benefits increases e.g. pies sold blah blah. Again, not rocket science.


Celtic looked good at times last season and seem settled now. It would be hard to beat against them. Rangers have a new manager and little money to spend. Have not really improved themselves in the close season. Dundee Utd and Hearts battling it out for 3rd. Hearts have strengthened well. I'd like them to have a wee run in Europe as well, at least to the group stages of Eorpa. Either of them stand a decent chance in the cups. At the bottom, Kilmarnock to go down. Dunfermline are the new boys but would expect them to stay up. The rest are much of a muchness. Hard to say where they will finish.

We'll find out come May.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Oh dear oh dear. Another one has joined the '27' club. That elite club in which members have died on when they are 27. Members include Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix to name but 2. Alas, Amy Winehouse has died. The cause of death is currently listed as 'unknown'. Fair enough. However, it wouldn't take a large leap to come to the conclusion that it was either drug or alcohol related. Perhaps even both.

I can't say that I have any of her albums. Not really my thing. That said, I can appreciate her as an artist. She had a voice that didn't really seem to go with how she looked. She sang from her gut - a bit like these old black women from days gone by. In today's sleek pop, it was different and by no means a bad thing. Not only that but she wrote some damn catchy songs. Clearly Rehab will be the one that is most familiar. The irony of it.

It seemed that there was this other side to her - a vulnerable one which came through in her lyrics. Everyone has that kind of 'side'. Some are better than others when it comes to dealing with it. Sadly, that may have contributed to her demise. I didn't know her and have no real idea of what happened so it's wrong of my to spread rumours.

All I'll say is that she had a definite gift. It's a shame that such a gift could not have been prolonged.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Up and at the pool this morning. I'd like to have a bit of colour about me for this 'day' I'm having in 3 weeks time. After all, there might well be a few photos taken. It was h.o.t. But being the man I am kept going and took it. I might well have got into the pool though to cool myself down. I had to. It's 45C!

I was suncreamed up so hopefully no red, only a lesser shade of white. That's not too bad, is it.

I might try and get up to the pool in the coming days. There might be an hour of direct sunshine after work, so let's see. I might just get home and flak out like I usually do...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


The Murdoch's i.e. Rupert and son James were hauled in front of some Government committee to answer questions on what the heck was going on at News of the World and in a wider context, News International. It was always going to be interesting to see. You can be assured that they would have been well briefed and coached to the max and that is pretty much how it turned out.

All very nice. All very pleasant. All very 'oh, that's a good question actually'. A wonderful way a buying times to think up the answer and in way to deflect things.

I saw some of it and there were a number of unanswered questions. The son went down the road of not being able to answer fully because there was a criminal investigation going on. Yes, that is true but given that legal immunity appeals to such committees such a adoption of that line should have been picked up by the committee members. You can be sure that he knew that. The committee should have been tougher on that front.

Murdoch senior essentially sat back and let them get on with it. That or he was showing his age and didn't really know what the hell was going on. Indeed, at times he gave only monosyllabic answers.

Towards the end, it all got a bit interesting. Cue stage left, a foam pie thrown at Murdoch senior and landing right on him. A melly ensued involving his missus who whacked the chucker of said pie. During this, where was I? En route to the bathroom. I missed the bloody exciting bit. I'd watched it for about an hour before as well. Gutted. I always miss the good bits. Shocking. In the end, there was a 10 minute recess before it continued. Murdoch was without his jacket though.

Being cynical, it was all a show. For the Murdoch's, it was damage limitation and all about PR. Trying to explain what happened and in the end, basically blaming others whilst saying that they were no fully aware of what was happening. In some respects, some of what they were saying is probably true. Heck, even within my own Department I'm not sure that my Boss really knows 100% what happens. So, for a CEO to know exactly what is happening...Either way, they have to carry the can for it.

No doubt this will roll on and on but ultimately, the truth must be outed.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Friday saw a Hollywood or Bollywood night at my place. In essence, it meant that everyone invited had to dress up as a famous H or B/wood movie character. Simple. Or not as the case may be. It took a bit of planning particularly in terms of what to wear. All of this was to 'celebrate' the end of my single life. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

I'd invited everyone round early and instructed them to also bring 1 dish each so that we could all eat and drink. Let me say that there was an absolute abundance of food. I don't think anyone brought one dish. More like 4 or 5. It was incredible. To my delight, almost everyone took the time and effort to dress up. Me included. I got myself a Batman costume. The retro, 60's style one. It was a good idea at the time. But, as I found out during the course of the evening, there was no zip and in order to pee, you had to literally take it all off. Not good.

Anyway, we ate and drank in the house. The beer ran out surprisingly quickly. Unsurprisingly harder drinks started to flow. Whisky followed by Tequila. That was my first bad move of the night. A couple of tequila's later, I thought I was fine. I was fine. Yeah, I was. I was still standing and was ready to hit the town. But, did I eat? Did I drink water? No.

By 11ish we hit the town. Some people went home which wasn't totally unexpected. In 'men' though piled into taxi's and instructed the respective drivers to head to Bur Dubai. We landed at some club and blagged our way in - oh, and before I continue, I still had my Batman suit on. The manager greeted us and even gave us a table which was nice. Later on, we somehow managed to blag a bottle of Champagne. Well, I should say, sparkling wine. Either way, it was only going one place and that was down the throats of us. We did a bit of dancing and there was even a message on the big screen TV's wishing me all the best for my big day. I thought that was a nice touch. Well, as I sit and write this a couple of days later, I can't recall if that was what I was thinking at the time. I can't really recall. Remember that tequila?

So, we departed from that place and headed to an even dingier place not for from it. It was dark, smoky and busy. I remember being there but not really much else. I get flashes of what happened but more in terms of what happened rather than what I said or what people said to me. I recall 'dancing'. I recall going to the bathroom. That was a drama. I recall drinking more. And chatting to people. In fact, I spoke to some Welsh bloke. No idea who he was, what he did or anything. I just know he was Welsh.

After that place it was time to go. I was on auto pilot. My inbuilt 'get me home' navigation system kicked in and indeed I did get home. No real clue how I managed it. I did though and even managed to get out of my suit, get my contact lenses out and as I later found out, spill half a bottle of mouthwash in the bathroom. Why was I trying to make my breath smell better? Perhaps I simply thought it was alcohol and wanted to continue drinking? Not great though.

In the morning, well, the less said about that the better. The less said about the entire day. I've not felt that rough for a long time. Nothing really to be proud of actually. I can't say I enjoy that feeling at all. The one in which even moving is a hassle. I kind of perked up later in the day but by which time it wa too late to salvage the day. Perhaps that is a sign of a successful stag do. And to think, only the Edinburgh one to go. It makes me want to vomit, just thinking about it. No tequila will be the first rule. It's poison.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Yep, the phone hacking continues. The more it continues the more the lurid details emerge. Not only did they hack that murdered schoolgirl but it appears that the former PM, Gordon Brown had his child's medical records hacked. Yes, the one that was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrous. And yes, the Sun published that story. Not only that but they published medical details of his first child the weekend before she died. This little girls was weeks old. I don't particularly have much time for Brown but if true, this beggers belief.

How can this Murdoch character look at himself in the mirror each morning? How can his key staff? Have they no morals or inbuilt ethics? Are they only concerned with selling newspapers and making money. That is how it seems.

Hopefully, this will escalate and once it reaches a certain tipping point it will collapse under it's own weight and with will go those responsible. Could it bring down News International? Perhaps. Could it even bring down the Prime Minister? Again, it could. It's already brought down a newspaper though that was surely a tactical decision on News Internationals part. No doubt other 'tactical' moves will happen.

Let's sit back and enjoy the show.

Friday, July 08, 2011


I needed that lie in this morning. The thing about getting up at around 5.15am each morning to get to work by 7am is that when it comes to the weekend, sleeping til 7 or 8 really is a long lie. In fact, it's gotten to the point where I rarely, if ever, sleep past 9am. This is in total contrast to my younger days. Hell, even 2 years ago I would have stayed in bed til nearly 12. Oh the irony.

Getting back on topic from yesterday. This whole sorry business of phone hacking continues. The fallout continues yet there doesn't seem to be a whole of lot 'sorry's' being said or contrition. In fact, there seems to be a lot of passing the buck. 'Weren't me guv'. Or 'I was on holiday'.

Either way, the Police had better be investigating and some. They have a responsibility to do so. Not only the little people but the bigger fish as well. If the trail of evidence leads to the CEO or whoever, they have to pursue it. Now is not the time to wimp out. Now is the time to get to the bottom of it regardless of the toes troden on or the person taken done to the local Police station. If that means the Prime Minister then so be it. If that means Murdoch senior so be it. Get the lot of them. Ask the questions that need to be asked and don't hold back. Intimidation will come no doubt as that's their business. How better to soil someone's reputation by printing it in the papers. Even more irony.

The time has come to do it right however.

Thursday, July 07, 2011


What the hell is this?

News International is closing the News of the World and this Sunday will see the last edition. Hohoh. The cynic is me kicks in at this point. Absolutely kicks in.

How long before a rebranded News of the World appears. Perhaps in 2 Sunday's time. A nonsense. Sacrificing the newspaper yet it will return. This wouldn't have anything to do with the News International buyout of BSkyB would it?

If they are seen to do the 'right' thing, then that makes it all O.K. and the proposed buyout shouldn't be effected. Well, I'm sorry but it's not quite as simple as that. Do they honestly think that by closing it, makes everything fine. Not a chance. Just knowing those in power, it probably will. Give it a couple of months, let the heat die down and then they'll O.K. Farce. Whitewash whatever you want to call it. It's wrong.

And get this, that Coulson bloke has been told that he will be arrested tomorrow. Told, 24 hours in advance that he will be arrested. What is this nonsense? You don't tell people they are about to be arrested until it actually happens. And you definitely don't give them 24 hours. It's incredible. And not in a good way. 24 hours to prepare your answers. Coulson must be laughing all the way to the police station. Do you think I'll be allowed the luxury of 24 hours notice if I ever get into a bit of a pickle?

Never ever in the history of the world!

Round the lot of them up at precisly the same time and get them down to the nearest Police station. Lock them up like the common criminals they are. If they go on about there 'rights' tell them that they have the same rights as those dead who's voice mails they hacked. None.


Wednesday, July 06, 2011


This is all getting very interesting.

'This' being the phone hacking that has engulfed the News International Corp lead by Rupert Murdoch, or more specifically the Sunday newspaper News of the World. The newspaper is the biggest selling in the U.K. and has previously been edited by Ms. Rebekah Brooks and Mr Andy Coulson.

The back story is that private eyes were hired with, or without the knowledge of those within the newspaper, to hack into peoples voicemails. The information was then used to create 'exclusives' printed in the newspaper. A journalist and a private eye have previously been sent to prison for it. The News of the World claimed that it was these 'rogue' people who were responsible and that no one else was.

What a pile of sh*t that has turned out to be.

A murdered teenagers voice mails were hacked after she disappeared. The News of the World listened to and deleted some of the voice mails so that they could free up space just in case some 'juicy' turned up in the voice mails. The parents of the girl thought that she must be still alive if she had deleted messages. Not only did the News of the World raise their hopes but may have deleted critical information that the police may have been able to use. Not only this but voice mails of dead soldiers and the victims of the 7/7 tube blasts were hacked. The list goes on but they are the worst parts.

Now this is where it gets interesting.

The then editor, Rebekah and Coulson are mates with the PM David Cameron. Close mates as it turns out. Indeed Coulson was hired by Cameron to be his director of communication i.e. chief spin doctor. Not only this but News International, the parent company of the News of the World, are currently trying to buy a controlling stake in BSkyB. The government have the final say in whether it gets the go ahead. Who's in power? David Cameron, friends of the top brass within News International.

Murky doesn't quite cut it.

Not only that but there are suggestions that some members of the Police were bought off. Rumblings of this practice surfaced a couple of years ago but the Police investigation had been less that robust and that perhaps they hadn't taken it all that seriously. 

Words can't really describe how despicable this all is. Morally and ethically there has been nothing like it before. The whole shoddy lot of them should be in prison. Yet, they'll not be sent there despite the lies and the deceit. If that had been you or I we would be whisked away and the key thrown away. Lies, lies and more lies. They even had the temerity to claim no knowledge of any wrongdoing to a government select committee.

This story will run and run and I certainly hope everyone single person who was involved or had knowledge of it is brought to justice and punished accordingly. They won't be, but enough is enough. This is criminality on a mass scale and done in the public domain. At least the Nazi's had the 'sense' to hide their concentration camps.

Hats off to the whistle blowers. The ones who did the right thing. The ones who kept searching, kept fighting and who had the courage to pursue this. These are the people who should be getting knighthoods and the like. It's just a shame that there aren't more people like them who stick their head above the parapet and say 'enough'. Sadly, it seems that the U.K. is averse to it all. The last great demonstration was against the Iraq war. If a million people marched to Hyde Park this weekend, that would send a message to those parasites responsible.

No doubt there will be some dodgy goings on in the coming days. Of course there will be. Backhanders, deals, you name it, it will be done. Cynical, yes, but why not be.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011


Busy, busy, busy pretty much sum's things up at the moment.

This particular week has fairly flown by. Literally. I arrived back in Dubai from Scotland on Sunday morning at 1am, got to bed by 2am only to get up again at 6am to go to work. Ouch. A full day's teaching welcomed me along with more than 130 messages in my work inbox. Double ouch. I got through the day, somehow. Did get an early night though.

The past few days have seen me toil. It's all fair enough taking a week off work but the thing is that when you get back, you have got a week's worth of stuff to do on top of what you have to do the week you get back. It's crap. But, I can say that I'm getting on top of things. Slowly but surely. I will be delighted when the weekend starts, let me say that much.

As I mentioned I was in Scotland last week. Mostly on Wedding related 'stuff'. I'm delighted to say that everything that needed done, was done including trying on my kilt, visiting the venue, registering the marriage, posting invitations. The list was long. I guess though that's what happens when you are 7 hours flight from where you are getting married. On the plus side, it concentrates everything and ensures that you get everything done. The next time I get home, it'll be 'time'. And that is soon!