Mind the gap!

Early days (well, day) in the Championship league of English football, but the gap between Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday is just about as big as it could be. And we’re the ones out in front*.

A Billy Sharp header 39 minutes in was enough to dispatch Brentford, and we’re now unbeaten since January 24th. Wendy lost at Preston.
You crow about these things while you can, because who knows what the future may hold.

Other, related stuff:
The original 6000 miles… Mind The Gap post.
Still none the wiser over my Fantasy League selections.


* obviously, or I wouldn’t be writing about it. 

Grass Verge Mess Left

This is arguably my favourite newspaper story of the year so far.


‘It’s absolutely disgraceful’

Strong words, indeed.

It’s from local (to Sheffield) paper, the Sheffield Star. And it ticks all the boxes as far as Angry People in Local Newspapers goes:

Local Newspaper – check
Nothing Story – check
Undue Pettiness – check
Picture Of Angry People Pointing At Problem – check:

So. Talking of the problem, what is the problem?

Sheffield residents have hit out at the mess left by council contractors cutting grass verges. Harry Marshall, his partner Ann Hartley and neighbour Gaynor Elliot said waste grass cut from verges along their Basegreen homes is spewed out across the pavement and road each year.


Mr Marshall said residents along Basegreen Avenue where he lives are having to sweep it off their drives and pavements to prevent it staining their shoes and being trailed into their houses.


“It gets in the drains and clogs them up. In this year, the 10th anniversary of the Sheffield floods, have we learned no lessons regarding blocking up the drains, or do we want some more floods?
It is absolutely disgraceful, it’s all over the place.”

CLOGS! (Maybe less stainable than shoes? I dunno. Just a thought.)

DO WE?!?!?

Obviously, instead of simply contacting the contractor involved, Mr Marshall – who is allergic to sweeping – decided that involving the local newspaper was a better bet. And the Star duly sent out a ‘tog and a notebook and gave us this story and this pic:

That is terrible. Why on earth are we importing drain covers from Stockport? Oh, also yes, the grass is an issue. Maybe just brushing it up would have been a better option than ranting to the papers though? I reckon it’d take, like, two minutes, tops.

“We’ve recently got back from Spain and they keep their grass verges really tidy. You see the workmen picking up after themselves. I got back to Sheffield and I couldn’t believe the difference. If the workmen in Spain can keep it tidy then why can’t they do it here?”

Yeah, good point, Mr M. But those Spaniards are the bomb when it comes to sweeping up grass clippings. They’ve been European picking up after themselves champions for the past 5 years straight and were runners-up to Oman in the World’s held in Vladivostok last year. You’re comparing Sheffield to the very best mankind has to offer here: it’s a tall order. Do you own a brush, by the way? I’m just asking.

It’s a wonderfully unimportant, petty rant, which is great in itself, but then there’s the bottom picture.


Now, I’m no professional when it comes to taking pictures. Especially when they are pictures of angry people pointing at grass clippings (niche), and I’d hate to stain my shoes or trail grass into their houses while out on assignment, but… but…

Maybe you could try one more step back, just so you can get both the offending partially grass covered drain and whiney neighbour Gaynor Elliott’s head in shot?

And then also, isn’t Harry Marshall (for it is he on the left there) risking a rather nice pair of slacks by kneeling in that rather devil-may-care fashion? Incidentally, I’ve found that using a solution made of one part white vinegar to two parts water is a good remedy for grass stains. Use a toothbrush to work liquid into the area. Leave for 30 minutes before washing. But then, maybe I’m just a shill for Big Vinegar.

In fact, Mr Marshall’s sour-faced partner, Ann Hartley, is the only one that really comes out of this with any glory, albeit that that glory is tempered somewhat when one remembers that she chose to stand there and look grumpy in front of an inept photographer, rather than just using a brush for all of 90 seconds.

People, ne?

Wendy play-off defeat

Late last night, in a godforsaken corner of the Steel City, and after a season of blood, sweat, toil and tears, Sheffield Wednesday’s play-off dreams were ended in exceptionally cruel fashion as they were beaten on penalties in the pouring rain, right in front of their own Kop.

True Wednesday fans will know that I have been in their position and that I know exactly what it feels like. The pain, the distress, the the heartbreaking effect of suddenly broken dreams.
They’ll also be aware that I’m unable to feel any sympathy for them, both contractually and because I actually find it quite funny. And I’d expect nothing less from them should the situation be reversed.

Experts told us that it was never meant to be this way.


But it turns out that the experts were wrong.

The sun is shining, the birds are singing.
What a wonderful day it is today.

Kingdom of Rust

Stuff would rust here in Cape Town if it ever got wet.
Which it doesn’t.

Herewith the video for Doves Kingdom of Rust:

A bit of Wild West, a hint of country, a touch of folk all topped off with plenty of Indie. They were Kasabian before Kasabian were Kasabian.

I heard this on the radio yesterday morning and had to share it. I didn’t realise quite how poignant the video was, but… well.. it is. Looking or waiting for some confirmation that some of it was filmed close to Sheffield, although that doesn’t fit with the M6/Blackpool narrative.

Great song.

Bus trip

My Dad has really gone to town this evening. Along with a few other United fans.

They’re all there to see the team – Champions of League One – arrive at their reception at the Town Hall.

And here are the lads on the bus from Beautiful Downtown Bramall Lane.

I’m sure that videos and better pics will follow, but all reports thus far indicate that the team (and the manager) may have had a couple of beers in the way up. Oops.

One of those nights that I’d love to be back home – that home. But then, the red wine here is so much better.