Post-match reaction

I always watch these videos. I never share them. But this one I am sharing, because it’s one that I will go back to from time to time.

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder speaks about our 0-1 defeat to Manchester City last night:

Quotes of note:

You’ve got two clubs there tonight that are a million miles apart. One’s spent about a billion pounds and the other one is on its own journey, which I’m not embarrassed about… and we’ve gone toe to toe with them and left everything out there.

I thought they were excellent, outstanding. I thought every part of the football club was outstanding tonight.

And he’s right. It’s not often I feel this proud after the Blades lose. We went down fighting. We tried our best, but sometimes, your best simply isn’t enough and this was one of those times. Manchester City are undoubtedly the best team we’ve played or will play this season. The fact that the scorer of their only goal is probably worth more than our entire squad put together gives me some solace, even if it gives us no points.

A draw would have been wonderful, a win amazing. But we’ve clearly raised ourselves for this run of Big 6 games over the past month. We now need to keep it going as we head into a run of matches against the rest of the Premiership.

Onward and (hopefully) upward.

Both ends

It seems to me that I may have been burning the candle at both ends.

I’m tired and there’s wax everywhere.

It’s purely self-inflicted: the 2 hour time difference back to the UK means that at the moment, the football starts late and finishes very late. That means that I get to bed later still and yet the early morning school wake up still needs doing each day.

I could give the football a miss, but then also, I couldn’t. Last night’s games were too exciting to go to bed, and then there’s that difficult FOMO feeling as well. Since I’m not playing football at the moment, I need to get my fix somewhere: and that includes my social fix as well. 20 years ago, I could have watched alone and then written an email or blog post about it, but now, I can watch alone and then we can agree on just how bad the referee is with near immediacy on Whatsapp.

It’s not the same as going down to the pub and having a pint, but it is cheaper, safer and a whole lot less effort. Do we connect in the same way across a network as across a table? Probably not, but then I don’t think that the two are mutually exclusive. So sure, I use social media to communicate, but I still talk to people*.

It’s the FA Cup this weekend, which means less to me than the league, but I’ll probably watch some games anyway (and chat about them with friends). However, that fixture pile-up means that there is league football on three nights this week. I’m not quite sure how I’ll survive with so little sleep, but I’m still going to give it a go.

Just as soon as I’ve cleared up all this wax.



* when I have to

Back to it

I hurt my back at the end of November and – because I’m old now – it’s taken a long time to get right. As a measure of just how long, I don’t think it’s quite there yet. But nearly.

Still, with that as a reason, and my Dad’s visit as a handy excuse, I’ve managed to avoid most forms of strenuous exercise for almost 8 weeks now. Add to that all the calamari, beer and burgers I’ve been enjoying during his stay, and well… there’s some work to do.

I have a couple of inches to lose and a couple of kilos that they can take with them.

This morning (with my Dad still only over Algeria), I went for a slow, hot run. The speed was simply because I couldn’t go any faster, the heat was because it was a hot day.

It didn’t break any records, save for perhaps being the most overdue run in recent history. The back seems to have held up and there have been no immediate after-effects save for quite a lot of tiredness.

Watch this space for more updates as the weight comes off and the fitness increases. Or not, if I decided not to exercise or not to blog about it.

Last day out

It’s Granddad’s last day with us today (in Cape Town, that is. He’s heading back to Sheffield tonight – we’re not shipping him off to Dignitas or anything). I asked what he’d like to do while the kids were at school and he said that a coffee somewhere by the sea would be great.

Kalk Bay seemed to fit the bill, in that it wasn’t as full of annoying surfers as Muizenberg would have been, nor as dull, dreary and geriatric as Fishhoek on a Monday morning.

It was high tide and the remains of the swells from the past few days were still coming ashore, making for some entertaining scenes over the breakwater, so we togged for a while then wandered along for calamari and chips at the Brass Bell, where the friendly waiter moved our table to avoid the worst of the sea spray coming into the restaurant.

Then it was back around via Chappies and a rather tame Southern Rock Agama (Agama atra), then back to just 6000 miles from civilisation… just in time to pick up the kids from school.

A morning (and part of the afternoon) very well spent, and hopefully some decent last minute memories for the long trip home.


IMPORTANT NOTE: These photos are not to scale. The agama is small, but the breakwater is far away. (reference)

Mainly waves and no RBOSS

There’s a problem. Such was the weather yesterday (very sunny; very, very windy), that there was nothing to photograph except amazing waves, and just so much light and colour that it looks like I’ve RBOSSed everything.

Not the case, I promise.

If you’ve not been to Cape Town, I can completely understand that when you look at these images, you immediately think that I have gone mad with the sliders in Lightroom. I would never.

I remember being utterly astonished by the clarity of the light and the colour when I first came over here. Not every day, obviously – it’s grey and miserable today. I’m sure that there are other places in the world with equally amazing conditions, but I haven’t been there yet.

But I swear that yesterday, the turquoise really was that turquoise, the white honestly that white and the other colours genuinely were whatever colours they were. If only we could have enjoyed them without our eyeballs being ripped out by the wind and assaulted by the sand.

Still, great day out…

(Oh, and I know that I probably shouldn’t have monochromed that one photo, but I just have a nagging feeling that I’m going to need a dramatic B&W wave photo one day. As you do.)