Tag Archives: MCFC

Weekly Photo Challenge: Blue

16 May

I’m sure other bloggers have done this, but how could I resist?

Get your Premier League Champions fashion range today

And finally, I bet this baby was blue when she was born:

Morning everyone - here is the front page of Wednesday's Manchester Evening News ...

Virgin United

27 Oct

I hesitated to use today’s title because of the weird searches it will attract to my blog.  For all of five seconds.  Think of the weird searches it will attract to my blog!

Manchester City FC

Image by scaryredhair via Flickr

Some background information is necessary for many of you to comprehend today’s post.

1) Richard Branson must be a United fan.  He lives in London; that was my first clue.

2) I support Manchester City football club.  I was an Evertonian by birth but the Hub made me convert on marriage, and there’s no zealot like a convert: I am unashamed in my bias.

3) Our arch rivals are Manchester United, a team that resides in the City of Salford, not Manchester – hence the number of United fans who don’t come from Manchester (are you listening, Irish Tinman?). 

If you are American, think of the intense rivalry between the Chicago Bulls and the Chicago White Sox and you’ll get an idea of what I’m talking about – two teams playing in different leagues.  For years we have been the poor relations but that is changing: a very nice and supremely rich man, Sheikh Mansour, kindly made us the richest football team in the world; bought us a manager who has won silverware at every club he has ever managed (now including us; thank you, O The Great Mancini); and fabulous players who wouldn’t have considered us a few short seasons ago.  Money buys success: who’d have thunk it?

But I digress.

4) It was Derby Day last Sunday: City trounced United 6 – 1 at home.  Their home.  It’s like someone walked in, bashed the wife about, got the kids to lick his slippers and ate the man of the house’s chicken dinner.  Pretty nasty.  Tee hee.

I wasn’t going to mention it, despite Tinman’s masterful explanation of what went wrong, which deserves a big audience (I couldn’t give him this week’s CoWAbunger because that would have seemed like I was gloating about his miserable team’s pitiful performance and I would never do that, even though they were rubbish and we played them off the park):

BTW, tell the Hub that seven of your six goals were offside, you started the game with eighteen players, the goal was wider at the end we were defending and, thanks to a bizarre sponsorship deal, our players were forced to play wearing deep-sea diver’s boots.

But now I have to mention it because of something weird that happened last night: Richard Branson was clearly out for revenge.

5) City played Wolves.  The match was on the telly…only…it wasn’t…

  • The game was due to start at 19:45. 
  • At 19:40 we lost the signal. 
  • As well as our telephone and internet.
  • Virgin provide our tv, telephone and internet.
  • We were cut off from civilisation.
  • The Hub got on his Pay As You Go mobile to Virgin.
  • He was put on a thirty minute hold, at least.  To compensate for the long wait, Virgin now give you an option to choose your irritating muzak: Press 1 for pop.  Press 2 for urban.  Press 5 for classical. 
  • Seriously?
  • He gave up before his money ran out and dug out the transistor radio instead.
  • Thus it was that the Hub, Spud’s loaner Granddad and three teenage boys listened to City beat Wolves 5 – 2 huddled around an old radio.  It was like being back in Division 2. 
  • The match finished.
  • One minute later…the tv, internet and phone came back on.

Don’t tell me Richard Branson’s not a Red.

Image via Wikipedia

Think I’m Gonna Find Me A Black Cat

7 Nov
Manchester City crest

Image via Wikipedia

West Brom 0 – 2 Manchester City

…although it killed the Hub not to listen, he reckons it was worth taking one for the team.  So now you know – the fate of the richest football club in the world rests in the hands of the Sick Man of Stockport.  Sheikh Mansour could have saved himself a fortune.

I’ll Never Be Superstitious (Touch Wood)

7 Nov

I would not say that the Hub and I are superstitious.  I’m pretty sure that superstitions like it’s unlucky to walk under a ladder came from a pot of paint being dropped on the head of whoever started it; and the thing about shoes on the table being unlucky came from the bloke whose mother gave him a good slap for putting dirty boots on her newly-cleaned surface. 

But then there’s football.  The Hub is so Man City-mad that most of our house is decorated in varying shades of blue.  He once bought a red England shirt, wore it once, and had to give it away because it reminded him too much of the Salford team.  He is not superstitious when watching a match, but today he refuses to listen to the City game on the radio, because if he does, they will lose.  They can be winning 1-0 when he turns on the radio but will finish the match 2-1 down.  It never fails.

I think I’ve mentioned this before: he says he supports two teams – City, and whoever United are playing.  But when he’s watching United and supporting the other side, you can bet United will win.  It got to such a point that the Hub fleetingly entertained the idea of supporting United in the hope of making them lose every game and being relegated; but he couldn’t do it even in fantasy: he felt nauseous at the thought.

Besides, he says you can’t cheat the football gods; they don’t like it and he doesn’t want to be avoiding ladders for the rest of his life.

Bikeless In Stockport

10 Aug

Yesterday’s hysteria was a waste of time: the bike was too big for me.  The woman who had it before must have been a giant because the seat was at my armpits.  It was an old leather seat, circa 1940, like the rest of the bike.  I joked about being Almira Gulch yesterday, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was an original prop from The Wizard of Oz.  I’m disappointed: now I’ll never be more independent and less fat; I’ll be less dependent and more fat, and the Hub will be stuck forever ferrying around a blob and never get well.

I would have been quite happy to ride an antique around Stockport; it wouldn’t have been stolen, for one thing.  I don’t think it would have been much use for carrying three huge bags of wet washing, though.  I found out that the lottery winners use the same launderette and they are nice people, so I’m glad it went to someone who deserves it.  They haven’t been in the launderette since their win – I expect they can afford a tumble dryer now and – more to the point – the electricity to run it.

If they’ve got any sense they’ll move out of the area.  My house was egged on Sunday, for no reason that we can fathom.  Unless, like Everest, it’s just because we’re there.  Or those lottery winners are RSVP-ing my several hundred begging letters.

The Hub often begs me for things – please stop talking/pestering/breathing – so I like to torment him as punishment. [To get the joke of the next bit you have to know that we have about a thousand cups in our cupboard; I never break them.  It’s a gift.]

He complained the other day that everyone except him seems to be given their tea in his Manchester City mug, so I washed it after every use (instead of putting it in the dishwasher; I’m lazy, not dirty) and served every drink in it.  He outsmarted me though: he noticed after the third time but didn’t mention it for days because he’s glad to have his mug for every drink.  Maybe I should punish him by washing it after the next use and serving all of my drinks in it.  Annoying their husbands is what Tilly Buds do best…it’s such fun!  Plus, it keeps the marriage alive: he won’t know I’m here if I’m not sticking pins in him, will he?  Or am I thinking of my voodoo doll?







Channelling Bill Withers

9 Feb

I have had a lovely day. I wrote a poem this morning that I was pleased with. In the afternoon I went into my sons’ old school and had a great time with the children, which is not always a given because we live in a deprived area and sometimes it shows. Today they were all well-behaved, polite and friendly. We had great fun with tracing paper and plastic tiles. We had some interesting conversations about football, new schools, religion, accents, particularly Scouse, getting in trouble when it’s not your fault, Darwinism and speaking other languages – not one of them had anything good to say about French, but that could be because the Head was taking them for it. It was lovely, and I didn’t even mind that no-one mentioned the graphite smudges on my face and which I didn’t discover until I got home and the Hub pointed out I was a dirty girl.

Toby and I had a pleasant walk in the freezing sunshine and there was a hot cuppa waiting for me when I got back. A delicious dinner of pasta and then out for parents’ evening. I love parents’ evening. Our boys work hard and do well and most of their teachers over the years have liked them; I always come out smiling. The appointments ranged from 6.15 to 8.15 with twenty minutes between some of them, and the Hub was nervous that we wouldn’t get back in time for the City game; but we did. The trick, of course, is to ignore the timetable completely. The Hub and I have developed the habit of finding a free teacher and asking if they mind squeezing us in; they never do, because they want to get home for the football as well. Sometimes we even see a couple who teach Spud. It amazes me each time to see the parents who take the timetable at face value and wait twenty minutes or more between appointments when other teachers on their list are sitting free; they obviously believe in obeying the rules. They don’t realise the timetable is really just a guide, and a teacher who has put in a full day childminding wants to get home even more than the parents, who have at least had a bite to eat.

We have always managed to avoid the Headmaster’s speech, as well, but he caught us out tonight – on our last teacher. We still managed to get home an hour before our last appointment, however: partly because one teacher didn’t show up and partly because another teacher almost fell into a diabetic coma. I have never been present before when the announcement, ‘Is there a doctor in the room?’ has been made. The atmosphere was electric. People are so easily excited by misfortune, aren’t they? We happened to be standing on the other side of the table that the poor, sick teacher was sitting at, and at first we thought he was sending us funny looks; then he seemed to be in a trance; and then his eyes rolled up in his head. We may be slow but we got it eventually that he was unwell. Fortunately, some of his colleagues were a little quicker off the mark and one of them went to his aid while the other went for the microphone. And guess what? There was a doctor in the house. Hardly surprising, given the calibre of the school; my only surprise was that just one doctor appeared.  There was a terrible traffic jam on the way there, however, so maybe the other doctors were trapped in their cars.

Finally, my lovely day was topped by City winning their match; the menfolk will be in a good mood and it might even last until tomorrow morning. Everyone’s a winner.

Big Brothers

25 Jan

I haven’t watched Big Brother since the third series but I thought I would give this one a go as it’s the last Celebrity BB, and I have to admit that I am enjoying it.  It helps that the Hub is an amateur psychologist and that he reads body language like an expert: he predicted when the inmates would turn on each other, who would bully whom, what the micro-expressions were saying about their real feelings, and so on.  I think the reason I have really enjoyed it, however, is because there has been little in the way of arguments or nastiness, and the contestants might want more public exposure but at least none of them appear to be freaks.

I particularly enjoyed the cake episode.  I would show it to you but Channel 4 have blocked it on You Tube in this country.  What happened was this: Dane performed a secret task and was rewarded in the Diary Room with champagne and cake.  He was also told he could nominate someone else to receive a piece of cake.  He chose Stephanie.  When she sat in the BB chair, a hatch opened above her head and cake dropped on her; then she was free to leave the Diary Room and tell what had happened.  Each housemate was then called separately to the Diary Room.  Knowing what had happened to Stephanie, their anxiety was hilarious to watch, especially when Big Brother ordered them to move so they were directly under the hatch.  No-one else was caked, however.  Then Stephanie was called back, having bathed and changed, and was caked again.  It was much funnier to watch than it reads here.  My reason for mentioning it was that it was a perfect example of how terrorism works: one person was targeted and the rest feared the same thing would happen to them; it didn’t actually have to happen to anyone else to create an atmosphere of anxiety.

It is amazing how quickly housemates can turn on each other (especially, as I know from experience, when food is involved).  I saw it for myself this weekend: Tory Boy couldn’t make it last week for Spud’s birthday so he came this week instead.  He took Spud into Manchester for the day, buying him a City shirt with his name on; lunch (an I’m-shopping-in-Manchester-with-my-brother-and-we’re-having-a-great-day Sub – there really is a Sub for every occasion); taking him to the cool shops to spend his own money; and lending him the price of Batman Begins.

That was Saturday, when TB was the best big brother in the world.  Sunday, they were at war.  I won’t go into detail – having lost interest three seconds into their respective whinges – but it came to a head with sixty knocks in sixty seconds on one bedroom door and a retaliatory sixty texts in sixty seconds received on one phone; or it might have been the other way round.  Who cares?  At least there was no violence involved.

Tory Boy left last night and Spud complained five minutes later that he was missing him.  Brothers!

Today Is A Good Day To Diet

12 Jan

Sometimes a smile is just a smile


Yesterday was a really good day.  First of all, as I mentioned, it was Toby’s anniversary of his accession to our home throne. 

Then the internet was finally fixed; it was running at something like point one blahblahblah instead of ten blehblehbleh.  Our provider has made the Hub jump through metaphorical hoops to sort it out, even though he told them it was a faulty modem.  This went on all week and they finally sent out a technician who discovered – what a surprise – that it was a faulty modem.  Being a smartaleck always puts the Hub in a good mood. 

Chatting to the technician, the Hub was finally tipped over into coming down on one side of a decision – we cancelled Sky and signed up with Virgin Media.  We’re getting the same services and much more, including free evening and weekend calls and loads more telly, for much less per month.  Spud was ecstatic because he’s been nagging us to do it for months as we will get free ESPN  – more football or, specifically, more Manchester City live games.  Spud will now get to see away games, which he doesn’t go to. 

Speaking of football, and Manchester City in particular – last night gave us four straight wins (the first time an incoming City manager has won his first four games).  The Hub was gloating again because it is like he is psychically connected to Mancini, who made the exact substitutions the Hub was calling for.  I can’t believe I even sit and watch the matches these days, never mind blog about them.  I must start studying again. 

I have saved the best for last: a strange man knocked on my door yesterday and said, ‘I know I don’t have an appointment but I would like to come in and plan your new kitchen.’  Lucky I wasn’t wearing lipstick or his wife would have got the wrong idea. 

A word of explanation: we are council tenants, which means we live in social housing.   Social housing has had a bad press over the years, but I can’t complain.  Things are repaired if they get broken and the rent is reasonable.  I don’t have much good to say about our current government but I must give them credit for one thing: the decent homes standard.  All social landlords are legally required to make sure their tenants live in decent homes by 2010; in the last few years we have had new windows (double glazed) and doors (all with locks, dead bolts, etc, for extra security); new central heating and boilers (ecologically and economically better than the old system); loft and cavity wall insulation.  The house is to be completely re-wired next week, including the fitting of loads more plug sockets, new light fittings, and smoke and carbon monoxide alarms that won’t need batteries.  Finally, we get a new kitchen and a new bathroom.  All of this costs us exactly nothing: the government provides grants to the landlords.  When I vote them out in May I will be silently thanking them as I tick the opposition’s box. 

 So, like a bloated Worf, I say today is a good day to diet.  I’m off to celebrate with a chicken slice and a chocolate eclair.

Once In A Blue Moon

2 Jan

I’m going to write about last night’s moon even though it has aready been done by Musings, my blogging friend in Hawaii.

That was as far as I got last night before the internet went down, so now I am going to write about the night-before-last’s moon even though it has aready been done by Musings, my blogging friend in Hawaii.

When we pushed Spud out into the cold street on NYE, I noticed a really bright light shining on a car; I thought it was from a street light but it was the moon.  The sky was clearer than I’ve ever seen it in Britain and the moon was full and gorgeous.  I don’t remember seeing a full moon at New Year before, but I suppose I must have done. 

Coincidentally, when I went to bed I had the radio on and the news announcer told me it was a blue moon.  A blue moon does not refer to the colour, but the occurrence of two full moons in one month.  This happens approximately every 33 months.  The last blue moon at New Year occurred in 1990. 

I am not at all superstitious (and I never will be, touch wood), but I choose to read these blue moons as good omens: Tory Boy (a Blue by political persuasion) was born in 1990.  Manchester City play in blue; their theme tune is Blue Moon (which is how often we have won anything for as long as I’ve known the Hub.  Oh, wait; make that ‘never’).  Now that we are the richest club in the world and we have a new manager, the signs suggest that we might actually win something.  I am optimistic, to say the least.  We did think the board blew it by sacking Mark Hughes, and we were all a little blue at first, but things are looking up.

That blue moon was surely a sign that we will win a league that most people don’t care about, in a game that is barely of interest to half the world’s population.  You can see why it was foremost in my mind on New Year’s Eve – it beats having the blues over forthcoming January bills.

Moonchester, the City Mascot

My Perfect Old Bag

31 Dec

I have long been in search of the perfect handbag.  It must be black; have a short and long handle, so that I can carry it down, under my arm, over my shoulder or over my chest; it must not be so big that I carry a load of junk around with me that I will never use, or so small that I can only fit in keys and a lip salve; it must have a small pocket on the outside to hold tissues, phone and lip salve; and it must be made of leather.  Blame Carole Duffy: she gave me the perfect handbag way back in 1982 and I reluctantly threw it away in 1996 when both straps cried, We can’t hold on any longerrrrrrr, and lost their grip, tipping the detritus of fourteen years onto the floor, and returning, in their last, brave act, my mother’s Boots’ nail file that I stole from her in 1985 and which I thought I had lost in 1993 – it was inside the torn lining.  The Hub had repaired the straps of my bag so many times that he would have had to sew the bag to my shoulder to keep it in service.

The bag that Carole gave me was not new, not black and did not have two sets of straps, but it was perfect.  It was made of brown leather and it had a sort of patchwork effect but not like the soft leather, differently-coloured patchwork bags that you buy as a gift for your favourite great-auntie.  It was all one colour and a sort of muddy colour at that, but it was perfect for me.  I was eighteen and still at school and Carole was nineteen and working and could afford to give away a handbag she no longer used. I had never owned a leather handbag before, just girlie plastic ones, and I was thrilled.  The pocket held my lip gloss (I still had young skin then) and my emery board, and the bag was large enough for all the crap that eighteen year old girls never go anywhere without, including Cosmopolitan and whatever book I happened to be reading at the time (no kids, see).  I loved it.  I took it out to South Africa with me; worked, married, bore two children; came back to the UK; and I would rather have parted with the boys’ father at that point, I think, than my beloved bag.  Before you start to think I am being unfair to the poor Hub, at that stage of our lives, having a marriage just like everyone else, we were the living embodiment of the old footballing joke:

Me: You love that <insert anything you like from computer to one smelly shoe to Manchester City> more than me.

The Hub: I love United more than I love you.

Fortunately, the old bag that I discarded was not the Hub and, in fact, it’s possible his desperate attempts to save it, stitching it with every type of cotton, yarn and thread he could get hold of in a vain attempt to sew holes to holes, reminded me of why I loved him in the first place.  I won’t go into all that now because we’ve had enough slop for one month and we still have to get through New Year’s Eve tomorrow, but suffice it to say that I’m glad I kept him, and he kept me.

This kind of answers the question of why my dream perfect bag is not at all like my last perfect bag: you can’t improve on perfection, but you can perfect your improvements.  Now I’ve made the Hub just how I like him (and it only took me twenty-seven years), I’m not about to replace him. 

Though I could be tempted if Brad Pitt would only shave off that ridiculous beard.

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