F Cancer

As the news broke that another talented performer had died this week, twitter was again full of sadness, anecdotes, video clips and personal memories. As before, aside from the obvious link of the individual involved, another fairly common denominator of these tweets was the hashtag #FuckCancer. And yes, as an expression of anger that someone else whose performances had given many of us fond memories and is no longer around to give us more of them, it works.

But that’s all it does. Maybe that’s all you wanted it to do, and if so, I have no problem with that. Most of us have been touched by this despicable condition in some way or other, and it’s very rarely – if ever – any sort of positive experience. So I’m not here to tell you how you should be managing your grief, rage, disappointment or any other emotion. S’not my job.

I will say, though, that I can quite easily foresee a situation in which we will continue to see the #FuckCancer hashtag twenty or thirty years down the line as the next generation of talent (yes, it does exist) also succumbs to cancer. Because using a hashtag this week isn’t going to make any difference to our fight against this heinous group of diseases.

I recognise that times are hard right now – especially economically, and especially in South Africa, where some (or more) of my readers reside. But (and I also recognise that this next sentence requires a bit of a stretch), if you felt strongly enough to express your anger is hashtag form, maybe you want to take it one step further and donate some money towards making a difference.

Now, I’m not here to tell you how to manage your pounds, rands, dollars or any other currency. S’not my job.
But I’ll just leave these links here, and if you genuinely do want to #FuckCancer, maybe you might want to click on them and do more than just share a symbol and ten letters.

Cansa (South Africa)
Cancer Research UK (er… UK)
Cancer Research Institute (USA)

Have a great day.

2 Comments | Tagged , , , | Posted in economic issues, in the news, positive thoughts

We Asked Max Power How He Got His Name And You Won’t Believe Who Replied!

His Mum. It was his Mum who replied.

Yesterday’s post about Wigan Athletic footballist Max Power was a big hit. I honestly thought that I had somehow gained some insight into the process involved in naming him. But what’s the point in honest thought or indeed any sort of speculation when you can get answers straight from the horse’s mouth footballer’s twitter account?

Thus, I asked. And waking up, 6000 miles from civilisation… and ever so slightly further from Birkenhead, I found a reply – from Max’s Mum!

Fullscreen capture 2016-01-14 084643 AM.bmp

First off, fair play to Mrs P for responding. Presumably she monitors tweets sent to her son after important games, on the lookout for unjustified nastiness directed his way. The ones I saw on there yesterday seemed to be mainly friendly (like mine was), so maybe she had some extra time (unintentional football pun) to get back to me. Thanks for that.

Secondly 11lbs 4oz? Christ on a moped. That’s 5.103kg! So yeah, you can name him what you want after that kind of effort.

Max seems like a nice guy too. His rather errant shooting in the warm up on Tuesday resulted in him hitting a young fan behind the goal. And then this happened:

Anyway, any further confusion over the Max Power nomenclature saga seems now to have come to an end. We now know that he was named after his Mum, and not the family labrador. And that he was booked in the 87th minute of Tuesday’s game. Which finished 3-3.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, takes us full circle.

UPDATE: Except to say that Maxine did get back once again to tell me that they had a labrador named Max.

Fullscreen capture 2016-01-15 093658 AM.bmpLegend.

Leave a comment | Tagged , , , | Posted in learning curve, sport, that's a bit mad, uk

3 (three) and Max Power

Having played an hour or more of 5-a-side in the howling wind and still sweltering sun, and then returned home to move furniture around for another hour and a half, I was only able to make it to just after half time in last night’s football matches before sleep overtook me (on a solid white line, too). The Newcastle game was enjoyable though, and so it was fortunate that it was the one I chose to watch. Meanwhile, over on the other side of the Pennines, my beloved Blades were taking a beating at Wigan Athletic. Unpretty.

But waking at some point in the early hours and checking the final score, I was delighted to see that we’d somehow salvaged a 3-3 draw, with a last 20 minute comeback of some note:


Great stuff, but then I can’t help but think that we’d have found ourselves in a somewhat better position if we were to have scored those 3 goals without allowing the opposition to score three of their own first. Yep, call it naive, but if I were a coach, I’d be concentrating on scoring more goals than the other team, working through two basic steps, namely:

  1. Stop them scoring three goals, and
  2. Score three goals.

It just might work.

But then, maybe we were not given the luxury of choice yesterday evening. Because beagle-eyed readers will have noted that Wigan were playing at with Max Power, who was booked in the 87th minute.

Max. Power.

I did some in depth research into Max Power, by typing his name into Google and opening the Wikipedia page entitled “Max Power (footballer)”. And under the “Personal Life” I found out some further details about his schooling and his mildly unusual nomenclature.

Power attended Wirral Grammar School for Boys

Yep. Born on the Wirral, attended the local boys’ school. Reasonable.

…and is named after his parents’ pet labrador

Yep. Named after his parents’ dog.

Wait. What?

I imagine Mr & Mrs Power sitting down together one evening and pondering the possible names that they could give their soon-to-be-born son. It’s a tough one, an important decision. They’ve already rejected several (or more) possibilities, either by mutual consent or by individual veto, that being the standard protocol for these kind of things. They’re rapidly approaching the twenty-sixth and final chapter of the Modern Book of Penguin Names – I’m sorry – The Penguin Book of Modern Names: it’s been no help, and Zebedee just seems a bit too religious.
Exhausted, the heavily-pregnant Mrs Power closes her eyes and begins to drift off to sleep. Sighing, Mr Power searches the room for inspiration. Their other kids, Full, Will, Super and Knowledge-Is are quietly watching TV. The dog is lying lazily in front of the fire. Wait. The dog! Let’s name him after the dog!

Because then we can call them both in from the garden with just one shout. It’s genius!

Quickly, he wakes his wife:

“Corridorsof! I’ve thought of a name!”
She awakens: “What are you going on about, Hydroelectric?”
“A name! For the boy! Max!”
The dog looks up.
“But that’s we called the dog.”
“Yeah, but he won’t last forever.”
“Good point. That’ll do then,” she mumbles and dozes off again.

…and that’s how it happened.

Further information on Max Power:

He once feared that he was named after Homer Simpson’s alter ego in The Simpsons episode “Homer to the Max“, before discovering that the episode aired when he was six years old. He has also posed for a motoring magazine which shares his name. Power has a son, Max.

Imaginative. Although I should point out that all this information came from the Daily Fail. So, you know, it could all be nonsense.

Apart from the story about the evening he got his name. That’s 100% true.

UPDATE: Even better, it turns out that Max’s mother is actually called Maxine (and not Corridorsof). But he clearly states in the article that he was named after the dog, and not her.

‘Thankfully, the labrador won,’ says Power. ‘My mum’s name is Maxine, so I’m glad I didn’t get that.’

But if you work it out, that means that they named the dog after his Mum, and him after the dog. Bonkers!

3 Comments | Tagged , , | Posted in learning curve, sheffield, sport, that's a bit mad, uk

Brian Bilston

Some interesting stuff is to be found via Brian Bilston’s twitter account.

This poem, for instance, describing his response to the social anxieties of New Year salutations:

Or a link to his DIY-themed reworking of the Arctic Monkeys’ I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor [youtube].

But perhaps my favourite was this poignant verse entitled Frisbee.


It’s also given me some great ideas for the beagle on our next visit to Struisbaai beach.

1 Comment | Tagged , | Posted in recommended site, that's a bit mad, uk


Here’s a great photo of Emirates A6-EDW arriving at Manchester as EK17 yesterday – a flight I used several times last year. The A380 is such a loveable, huggable plane; full of soft curves. I’m posting this one with the flimsy excuse of it being for my son, who simply cannot get enough of them. The fact is, I quite like them too.


Not sure of the photographer, but I love the yellow landing lights framing the subject. Lovely.

And, should you want to feel nearer than you are, there’s a cropped close-up here. YOU CAN SEE THE PEOPLE IN THE LITTLE WINDOW ON THE FRONT! (Whatever the technical name for that is) (Windscreen? Like a car? Really?) OK then.

2 Comments | Tagged , , | Posted in positive thoughts, quota photo