Tag Archives: rugby

Things I Think About in the Car (Part 2)

Seventeen – Test Cricket, paint drying, beard growing. Rank them in order of thrill.

Eighteen – would spreading a baseball game over five days improve it?

Nineteen – World Series. USA and Canada. Really?

Twenty – that bus was close.

Twenty One – I hate this junction.

Twenty Two – oh look, the rugby club.

Twenty Three – we had some good times there.

Twenty Four –  I wonder if I will ever have grandchildren?

Twenty Five – I wonder if they will play rugby?

Twenty Six – where does all this traffic come from?

Twenty Seven – why did he just do that?

Twenty Eight – how many people realise D H Lawrence’s parents got married there? You’d have thought they married in Eastwood. How many people have heard of D H Lawrence these days?

Twenty Nine – will there ever be a TV quiz question on Nottingham’s links to the von Richthofen family? I could answer that.

Thirty – I wonder what Kylie Minogue is doing these days.

Thirty One – why did I buy a house so near so many schools?

Thirty two – why do parents park dangerously when dropping kids at school? If you want them run over why not just make them walk and save yourself a job every morning?

Thirty three – I wonder if any of these parents have ever had the school ring them to tell them they just dropped their kid off on a training day?

Thirty four – if I am going to blog my thoughts, should I leave that one out because it makes me look like a bad parent?

Thirty five – nearly there now.

Thirty six – why do women say “What are you planning on doing today?” when they really mean “I have a list of jobs for you.”?

Thirty seven – I wonder if I’ll get away with blogging this garbage? Maybe I should re-write it with deeper thoughts.

Thirty eight – I’ll put “stream of consciousness” in the Tags. That should do it.

 

Book Review: The Final Whistle

The Final Whistle – The Great War in Fifteen Players

by Stephen Cooper

History Press 2012, this edition Spellmount 2013

Paperback 347pp    Paperback £9.99     Oxfam £1.99

ISBN-13: 978 0 7524 9900 0

I’ve always been interested in rugby and the Great War and I did some research on rugby internationals who were killed in the two World Wars, but it came to nothing because (a) I’m lazy and (b) Nigel Mccrery wrote Into Touch.

This book takes a slightly different approach, looking at the lives of fifteen members of Rosslyn Park rugby club who were killed in the Great War. They represent about 20% of the club’s fatalities during the war (72 killed from 350 members or ex-members who served in the war).

I’ve always liked this sort of book, with stories that turn statistics into people, and I’ve always liked rugby, as I’m not fashioned by nature for games of grace and skill. On the quiet I’m also an admirer of Edgar Mobbs, a well known player of the time. However, this isn’t about Mobbs, as he didn’t play for Rosslyn Park.

It is about Charles Bayley, great-nephew of General Gordon, who was one of the first two Royal Flying Corps officers to be killed in action in the Great War, on 22nd August 1914 or Guy du Maurier, regular soldier and playwright (yes, he was one of that du Maurier family), who killed in action in 1915 at the age of 49. It’s about other people too, including international players, an Olympic silver medallist and a VC winner.

Don’t expect a cross section of British casualties though; it’s about officers or people who could have been officers. Rugby was a game for people from good schools, and they were required to name their school when applying for membership. That, as the author admits, was a great help in doing the research James Urquhart is an exception to this, listing Grimsby Municipal College as his school (though he did end up at Cambridge University). In truth he wasn’t even a Rosslyn Park player, he just seems to have given them as his team when he played for the Barbarians (captained by Edgar Mobbs) versus Shoreham Camp. He only gets a couple of lines.

Despite this, it’s an excellent view of the Great War and rugby of the period, including the Western Front, Gallipolli, aircraft, ships, tanks and balloons, and obviously written by a man with a good command of the subject and a great enthusiasm.

 

 

A Walk in Wikipedia

It all started with Derrick J Knight. The man is a bad influence, though probably not as bad as Wikipedia.

His mention of a Spong mincer set my mind back to a time when, in my early 20s, I was firmly based in the cookery traditions of my mother – Be-Ro cookbook, Spong mincer and pressure cooker.

I’ve just spent a happy couple of hours delving into various links and thinking about the cookery of my youth.

In those days we had savoury mince or Cottage Pie (which is not much of a stretch, just savoury mince with mashed potato on top). Spag Bol and chilli con carne were still some years off. If you wanted exotic food when I was a kid you had a Vesta meal or  prawn cocktail, and you had it with lettuce. Avocados ranked with Unicorns in those days. (I was going to say “hen’s teeth” but even as a kid I knew chicks were born with an egg tooth. It’s a throw-back to when they were dinosaurs). Not all my useless knowledge comes from Wikipedia.

I’ve also been looking into the Laws of Rugby in reply to a discussion on yesterday’s France  v Wales game. That’s not as relaxing as thinking about food.

I’m planning to look at poetry next, as I need some new titles and I should really give Gray’s Elegy a rest.

No photographs for now, I don’t have any relevant food photos and there’s no point photographing a pile of poetry books as I’ve just said I’m browsing poetry on the web.

Instead, I’ll leave you with this thought:

“There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want.”
Bill Watterson

 

 

 

Serious Saturday

I am now paying for my day of idleness yesterday, and have various documents spread out on computer and desk as I plan for the coming year.

Julia secured two bookings yesterday, with a group of young(ish) cancer survivors visiting for days of lifestyle skills – cookery, looking after animals and financial management. It’s a strange mix but when you have a farm with a demo kitchen things tend to revolve round food and animals. Now that Julia is chair of a community accounting group we also have access to financial training.

So I’m planning lessons and putting together the strategic plans I should have done in November. They are taking time because I’m using the format we used when we did the Clubmark plans for Nottingham Outlaws.

I’m not using a bit of A4 and a list of things to do, I’m listing the current situation, the desired result, who is doing it and when they are doing it. It’s all getting a bit serious, but we’re getting bigger and the old approach needs updating.

Sorry to be so earnest, but there’s something sobering about a pile of papers with times, names and dates on them.

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible as they used to say on TV when I was a lad. I’ll try to compose “Silly Sunday”.

Meanwhile, in the Six Nations, Italy is leading France 18-10 in what sounds like an entertaining game. I bet I’d be even more serious if I supported France.

 

 

 

 

The World Turned Upside Down

I was a bit rushed yesterday, so sorry about forgetting the title. It won’t happen again.

The big news is that as my swollen finger turned black I decided that it was time to join the number of people who treat the Accident and Emergency Department as a drop in centre. My reasoning was that they’d be empty on a Monday night, and as my doctor or the drop in centre would send me for an X-ray anyway I may as well cut out some of the waiting. Cynical? Yes. Good time management? Also yes.

So, there I was, with Neil Back talking about rugby on wide-screen TV. If this was a rugby blog I’d expand on this to tell you why I consider him a role model. But it isn’t, so I won’t. There were two people in with police escorts (one a rambling drunk and one a rambling drunk with a bare torso) and a group of lads who should probably have had one, plus the general mix of bewildered-looking people with limps, pained expressions and varied degrees of impatience.

I had a couple of books with me, and managed half of On Guerrilla Gardening by Richard Reynolds in the time I was there, making it time well spent. He has a very easy style and I may well write a review later, particularly as he mentions Gerrard Winstanley, one of my favourite historical figures.

Here’s a picture to be going on with. When this blog link appears on Twitter it always looks better with a picture.

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Anyway, to cut a long story short, after explanation, manipulation, phlebotomy and a couple of X-rays it turns out that the reason for the debilitating pain, the swelling, the blackening and the embarrassing cries I emit when shaking hands is a total lack of cartilage in the knuckle of one finger. I’m guessing that it’s not a very big bit of cartilage, so I’m feeling like a complete wimp. In my defence I must point out that it’s not just arthritis, but man arthritis, which is a lot worse.

When I finally got to the farm today it was raining and a man came to call.

“Hello,” he said, “I’m from the Council…”

To be continued