Three things

And they’re all about football, so if that sort of thing doesn’t intere… hello? Hello?

Hmm. Well, bugger you. I’m going to write it anyway.

Firstly, well done to Chelsea, who emphatically finished off the Premiership season with a little 8-0 drubbing of hapless Wigan “Athletic”.

Secondly, it’s 25 years since the Bradford Fire – the “forgotten tragedy of the Eighties“. 56 people died at that football match.
I can remember watching it on the news the next morning. I’d have been 11 years old and it would have been a Sunday. I had a habit of going downstairs at about 6am and watching the breakfast kids’ TV (such as it was back then), but the morning TV was dominated with the news of the fire. The pictures were horrific – I can still clearly see the man staggering out of the stand – on fire, but seemingly not even realising it.
It meant more because it was local to us and because there were so many stories of children being killed and injured just because they went to what should have been a celebratory match at the end of their championship winning season.
That top link is worth reading.

Finally, more happy news. We spent the afternoon at the Waterfront, gazing momentarily at the World Cup trophy. That’s my picture of it on the right. It was part of the Coca-Cola sponsored Trophy Tour and, despite the rain, was very well attended.
There was live music, an emotional 3D film of World Cups past (and future) and of course, the actual trophy. It was boxed in perspex, but you could get within a metre of it and no-one tried to steal it (as far as I’m aware).

Which isn’t very South African, now is it?

Wendy go down

After a dramatic last day in the Championship, the only game that really mattered – wednesday v Palace at Swillsboro’  – finished 2-2.
And that, as the BBC Football website videprinter confirms, means that Sheffield wednesday find themselves relegated to League One:

As a lifelong Sheffield United fan, I am celebrating (again) this evening. I was going to go the whole hog with the fizzy wine, but I think an understated Castle Milk Stout will do the trick.

And then some fizzy wine.

Hometown Prettiness

While we’re suffering the slings and arrows of the outrageous thirties, the UK has had a horrible, horrible winter. Much of which has been beautifully documented by flickr user karl101.

These are two of my favourites, snowy foggy view and ferris with moon, but his whole photostream is well worth a (long) look.

Snow-ta Photo

I’m watching Tranmere v Wolves in the FA Cup (and currently Tranmere are all over the visitors like an aggressive gravy) so I’m giving you a snow-ta photo.
It’s like a quota photo, but with snow (see what I did there?).

This is one my Dad took on New Year’s Eve. Beautiful.
My parents arrived back home on 10th December from a 6 week tour of  Australia. It was 3°C in Sheffield that day and it hasn’t got that warm again since. The forecast until Friday gives a daily maximum of 0°C or below.

Happy days.

What were the skies like when you were young?

What were the skies like when you were young?

They went on forever – They – When I w- We lived in Arizona, and the skies always had little fluffy clouds in ’em, and, uh… they were long… and clear and… there were lots of stars at night. And, uh, when it would rain, it would all turn – it- They were beautiful, the most beautiful skies as a matter of fact. Um, the sunsets were purple and red and yellow and on fire, and the clouds would catch the colors everywhere. That’s uh, neat cause I used to look at them all the time, when I was little. You don’t see that. You might still see them in the desert.

Of course, there are no deserts in Sheffield, where I grew up. And while there may have been little fluffy clouds, there were (of course) a lot of days with grey clouds and even some with no clouds at all. Much like Cape Town, where I am now – although I can’t actually see a single cloud out of my study window right now.

One thing I remember seeing a lot of as a kid in Sheffield was vapour trails from aircraft passing far overhead on the Great Circle Route. That’s one thing that you don’t see in Cape Town. Geographically, it makes perfect sense: to leave a vapour trail, a plane must be above 8,000m (26,000ft) and why would any plane be over Cape Town at that height? Where would it have come from and where would it be going?
The planes we see here in the Cape (like this example from today, which was what got me thinking about this) are generally on their way in or out of the local airport.

That’s what makes this photo by arepeegee particularly special – because it has vapour trail, elements of a sunset and it’s taken in Sheffield.

I almost felt homesick, but then I looked out of the window at my no clouds and had another beer and things were all ok again.