Just got home from my first game of the season which I thoroughly enjoyed, though sadly not because we were any good.
Fair play to Donny, felt like they had an extra man on the pitch and on another day would have gone home with three points. If they play like that every week then their fans should have a good season, well assuming they'll score goals.
As for us...
The defensive 5 looked good, lucky clean sheet? You make your own luck. Although the 4 outfield defenders all had a mistake in them.
Holy - bigger than Bart, can kick with both feet, brave and quick thinking... How did we get him?
KVY - impressed, pity his thunderbolt didn't end up the winner
Kenlock - did his job often without any cover ahead of him, seemed to always have two attacking him
Captain Chambers - I think that's the best I've seen him play for a few years, good solid game.
The Woolf - patches of the game absolutely imperious, there's a couple of times he should have rampaged Beattie style further forward than he did.
The real reason Donny looked so good was our midfield team were almost non-existent. Little cohesion, not enough possession on the deck, no supply to the strikers, insufficient attacking threat.
Skuse and Downes did their best but Judge and Edwards were below par, which in turn led to much Donny possession and pressure. If Judge is out of position then that's PL 's fault, if he's out of form then he shouldn't be in the side. PL picks the team.d Edwards tried his tricks and flicks but didn't seem to go anywhere.
Norwood and Jackson had virtually no service and looked frustrated. I can see Norwood getting sent off this season.I
of the three subs the spurs loanee looked brightest, but he also made the off basic error... When to pass or dribble
In fact I thought (first half) the two outstanding town players were Downes and Woolfenden.
There was a point in the game when the atmosphere made my hair stand on end, but the last quarter it fizzled out.
I really enjoyed the game, would rather have seen a win, but it was at more entertaining than the scoreline.
Oh and I almost got Naaridge's score right. I predicted a win by 1-0, wish I'd said 1 goal. I'm pleased for them, still want them relegated but we'll done on that one. Oh and I put Pukey and Carrington in my FFL side during the week.
Roll on Gillingham next Saturday, the train takes the strain, so parking won't be at Gatwick... It'll be outside home.
1st clip - fella in yellow sweater anyone know him? I seem to recall a regular away town fan who wore a yellow pringle sweater
2nd clip - the moment I was Jennings handing Cooper the player of the year trophy, couldn't watch the rest. 0-2 home defeat. Remember this game well as Arsenal fans had stormed a Cobbold Stand entrance, my step brother and I had a couple of gooners near us cracking open fans of beer and sharing it with us, my dad's seat being far enough away for us to accept. TWTD
One's youngest make offspring is super intelligent but also as thick as sheet.
He hadn't been reading his emails before we went away... Thus he has missed out on accommodation for Uni stooopid question I know, but, has anyone got a spare space to fit a bed and a guitar? Oh and he missed another deadline but that's not an issue unlike accommodation.
He's a bit of a drippy hippy; long hair, vegan, little or no common sense...
PM with sensible responses...
I have suggested he brushes up on his burger flipping skills
So, tonight 22:55 local time Avianca AV120 will be bringing us home, arriving 15:30 UK time tomorrow.
Will probably be 2 years before I come back, hopefully with Pimball Wizard in tow and we can get drunk with his ex-colleague, Raul.
The wife may well have to come back sooner as her father is 93, and is permanently hooked up to an oxygen machine. Other than being a bit frail his mind is very sharp... But none of us know our expiration date do we?
I really do love Colombia, Bogota is a chore due to altitude and pollution, but hey the bulk of the family live here. Given the right contract I'd live and work here again, ideally somewhere near Medellin or at least outside of the Bogota city limits.
Slept in a 7th different bed on way back to Bogota, in a motel in La Vega, 2 rooms for @£60, no a/c but a decent swimming pool and parking, oh and a decent strength shower with hot running water.
Did I forget to mention the family in Bogota do not have got running water in the way "we" would understand. They have an electronic device fitted which operates as a shower head / element the best you can get is a tepid dribble... Oh how I long for the power shower at home. Where mother / father in law have places in Mariquita and the temperature is mid30s who wants hot water?
The temperature has varied from 17c Bogota to 42c on Ruta del Sol between Honda and Doradal. With no polar wind 17c in Bogota is fine, especially when the sun comes out.
It's been a good holiday, we've done the family stuff, we've done tourist stuff and we've done some shopping with great prices / exchange rates. But it's time to come home.
As for the moody teenagers in tow... Son, 18, is a vegan a word that hasn't got to Colombia yet. Say vegan, response is vegetarian and eggs, butter, milk and cheese are offered. At least he likes rice and beans... But even then most bean dishes are cooked in meat juices. Oh and access to internet has been kept to minimum due to roaming charges, so he and daugther, 16, have been missing their significant others.I
Are those Extinction Rebellion types still causing trouble? Before molesting the British public any further, they should come to Bogota. Even if London's air could still be improved they should experience a place with real pollution issues.
Worst thing about leaving tonight? Colombia are away to Brazil, and we will be in the airport.
Saturday afternoon we eventually set off from Bello, a lot later than planned, sister in law drives a 20 year old Corsa (about 10 hours newer than her father's Chevy Sprint) and drives slowly. I guess within the pathetically low limits that exist here, but no-one else seems to stick to them. She's also a middle lane hogger!
On a dual carriageway just after a roundabout her hazards went on and she pulled over in the outside lane, then says something about a mobile phone. My wife had out her mobile on that but if the front of the car where the windscreen wipers and as we went around the roundabout it flew off. Minutes later she had recovered it after playing chicken on an extremely busy road. Another delay.
We set off again, through one of the many tolls that seem to exist, and she pulls over again without much of the way of warning. Supermarket, right next to a dual carriageway, with parking spacesuits reverse out of... Onto the dual carriageway!! We come to our "return" this is effectively an exist in the middle of the dual carriageway that puts you entering the opposite carriageway in the outside lane, like the ones closed in most places in UK these days (Higham?). Worse than that it was to go accross. In the UK at least this was done at a right angle with a clear view of traffic. The return in Colombia requires a look back over the right shoulder/mirror looked ok so just hit the accelerator almost rear ending her on the otherside.
By now it was well into dusk and we were leaving a nice dual carriageway for a single track, unmade in places, ascending a mountain. I love driving and I love the challenge of driving up and down mountains... In the day time. But after dark on a track with significant unguarded drops in places...? Yeah being it on.
After squeezing past vehicles descending, who at least seemed to understand the concept "right of way", we eventually came to our destination, another challenge simply turning into the drive and up to a pair of single story houses. Parked the car and were introduced to more cousins of my wife, then fed delicious food. They had prepared a Chinese style veg and coconut rice with meat - they really nailed it.
This place was a sprawling finca, weren't given a tour so haven't a clue how many bedrooms, but there were 13 sleeping there altogether. My wife kids and I had a sizeable en-suite... No windows, but it did have an external door.
As it was the day after my birthday I was forced to do the pinata. Blindfolded and turned around this way then that. I channelled my inner Like Skywalker and completely destroyed it with my first attempt, cutting short their fun.
Then the beer, aguadiente (think pernod) and Buchanan 's whisky flowed. I crawled into bed 1am, they went for a bit longer.
But not before a magnificent thunderstorm had appeared over the mountains the other side of the valley, giving a light show that Spielberg would have been proud having in "Close Encounters", eventually we started hearing the thunder, followed by rain.
A really good night.
This morning after a fabulous breakfast; arepa, scrambled locally sourced eggs, cheese and their version of black pudding with a cup of tinto, we were taken on walk. This walk involved ascending a good few hundred extra feet up the mountain side to a swimming pool filled from a spring on the mountain side, no-one said anything about swimming so I didn't have the right shorts... But when it's sunny and close to 30c. Who cares?
Water from a spring... Is very cold. But refreshing.
Back to the finca, lunch ( nice but not as good as last night or breakfast) and now back in Medellin. The motorway here pretty much as the M4 East from M25 on a Sunday afternoon. Caught up in today's results and into TWTD world whilst we wait for dinner.
Tomorrow we commence the journey back to Bogota, it can be done in 10 hours, but after dark there is still the threat of bandits so we will break the journey in half and stop somewhere the other side of the mountains in the lowland plain before the next ones that hold Bogota high above Colombia, a capital city that reigns over it's country from on high.
We may even split the journey into 3 parts, we are not keen on to much time in oxygen starved polluted Bogota, we have to return the car on Thursday, our flight is Friday landing LHR @ 3pm Saturday, normally kick off time, though not for us, Rochdale's now a midweek trek for the superfans.
What I am going to write has probably been witnessed all over the 3rd world: Africa, Asia and Naaarfuk.
We've been in Colombia 9 days now and slept in 5 different places as we've been moving around.
1. In-laws in Bogota. Working class folk, terraced house with 6 bedrooms but in need of TLC. Their car gets parked in the living room! As no-one in that area leaves vehicles parked on the road overnight. But the altitude and pollution were getting to me, couldn't sleep without a liberal smearing of vics to assist breathing. Working class area, the sort that Control Risks or HMG would probably advise against visiting, let alone staying.
2. Mother in laws in Mariquita. Her place is a new build arranged over 3 floors, the top being a glorious sun terrace, in an area that is yet to be fully developed. The principle services are there; water, sewerage and electricity... But no roads, only tracks. HOT, sunny. But at night my son and I were feasted on by mosquitoes, who ignored wife and daughter.
3. Hotel Casablanca, Hacienda Nappies Looked nice, had a/c, swimming pool, bar, restaurant and more staff than guests as far as I could make out. Breakfast was disgusting, in a country where the food is excellent this is the second hotel to disappoint me good wise. And I had to pay an extra quid for this over the breakfast included in our room rate. The two swimming pools were heated, I'm sure, as I've been to hit places with unheated pools and they go cold overnight, the pools here were almost too warm to provide relief from the heat.
4. Guarne At the Hacienda / finca owned by a former BA colleague of TWTD poster Pimball Wizard. This is the stark contrast, the home of someone receiving a good pension paid in pounds; 6 bedrooms all en-suite, multiple reception areas, separate spa area, bar/man cave, stables with 2 horses and a few acres of land. No kids, probably as much a reason why they can afford this.
5. Bello, Medellin Sister in laws Upper(?) Working class area and what they term English style terraced houses. Hmm. Bars (cruel way of describing decorative steel) on ground floor door and window. No back garden, 3 bedrooms over 3 floors, one of which is windowless. The place is no more than 4 metres wide, 7 metres deep. It's tiny for 2 adults, 2 kids, oh and 2 dogs, even though one is the size of a rat.
The other stark contrast is the people living in the shacks beside the rivers in which trash has been dumped... All of the family places are palaces in comparison.