The Time for Reappraising!

These days I don’t have time to write a daily blog. However, I can almost feel the seasons begin to change around the end of August and the start of September. This year has been stinking hot until a few days ago and I am now wondering whether the Autumn is coming a little earlier this year.

We have had a busy Summer although I might have played it down a bit. We enjoyed revisiting Cornwall which I have written about and last night on TV there was a programme about the Scilly Isles which lie about 40 miles west of Land’s End. I would recommend a visit to anyone as we stayed for a fortnight on St Mary’s many years ago. There are no tourist cars on the island and we spent the time there walking around the island every day. There are boats that ferry people to the other islands and I really remember that holiday with great fondness. We flew on a small plane from Penzance to the island but the weather was bad for flying on the return journey and we had to return by boat. Having been away from traffic for two weeks even the Camborne bi-pass had seemed like a motorway.

I have a friend who is nearing the end of his days and it is with great trepidation that I am keeping in contact with his wife. It’s a call I really don’t want to make and it’s that decision that you have to face when a friend is ill or in trouble. When is the phone call intrusive? His wife has told me that my call is welcome and so I will keep calling until the end. When that time comes we will still call offering support as that will become even more important as his wife goes through the grieving process.

I am watching the TV and there are two international players who have recently been in the news for involvement in affray. One, a cricketer, has been cleared after everyone had seen a video of him thumping a person to the ground. I didn’t understand this verdict as we clearly see the punch being landed and it was offensive as opposed to defensive. I remember when I was teaching in the college and students were signing for various clubs, like our John, pictured above signing for Plymouth Argyle FC, I always reminded the students they were representing their family and their employers when they were both on and off their respective field of action. The rugby international in the news has had previous form and obviously finds it difficult to behave after he’s had a drinkypoo or two. However, if you are an international I would suggest that you need to walk away from trouble rather than confront it. The media seems to be treating these two more like heroes than villains!

UK students have just been celebrating their examination results and many people are unaware that results are often graded differently from year to year. I have just read that it is possible to get a ‘C’ grade in Maths with a score of 17%. Now unless my grasp of figures is really suspect this can be read as not passing in 83% of that particular exam. I’m sure the politicians and academics will be quick to tell me I am wrong but that is how I see this despite reading that………

For example, in the new higher tier maths paper, the grade boundary for a C was 17 per cent – down from 35 per cent the year before……………

The exams have been described as tougher although people often forget a lot of the media comments are aimed at ridiculous international academic league tables. Another possible reason why some marking is less harsh at higher levels is that some Universities need more students to enrol on their courses. In the academic world this is known as getting bums on seats and it keeps some very ineffective lecturers in their overpaid jobs!

I really enjoyed the European Games over the past few weeks and how well the UK athletes performed. I loved the Gymnastics, Swimming, Diving and Athletics and it was great to see the UK coming second overall to Russia in the medals table. There were so many fine individual performances and if the standards here can give an indication to the future of the UK then let’s hope Brexit gets sorted so the British can influence Europe in a good way and that Britain will go from strength to strength.

Finally,  I would like to remind my readers of a weekly podcast I broadcast with Don Woods. If anyone is seriously trying to get started in the music business then Don usually has something helpful to tell us as he reviews one of his songs each week at the end of the podcast.

Another Very Hot Week in Spain!

Most of the week has been spent swimming in the morning and then working in the air-conditioned studio for the greater part of the day.Here’s today’s show which can be accessed at this page in my website.

I included this picture on various websites during the week.

This reminded me of a football match I played in with the opposition including Rod Stewart. This picture shows both of us in a tussle for the ball. Rod was a very useful player and he played for Middlesex schoolboys and had a trial with Millwall. My own trial was with Tranmere Rovers who have just got back into the football league and they drew yesterday. Incidentally, this celebrity game was played at Poulton Vics Club in Wallasey on Merseyside.

I played for the BBC and we played the Jimmy Hill’s Goal-diggers. Jimmy Hill was a major celebrity in the football world and he had people like Rod and Elton John helping the football team in many ways. Here’s a link to a few memories from these golden years when I played in many celebrity football games.

I then did a little bit more research and found a very rare Elton John song that he composed for this football team. I have created a page on my website with this in mind. Here’s the link.

This is a celebrity game which included some very famous names. Kneeling front right is Freddie Starr who was a brilliant cabaret star in the UK.

I also check Facebook to see what’s going through and it really is full of bullies trying to intimidate others or other trivial pieces of information. Every now and then you can spot a barrack-room lawyer who wants to convince us his/her view of the world is more important than how everyone else sees it.

I did feel enraged by one bully shown punching a young girl in the face and another where three or four  brave young men picked on a little old lady in a park. This really does annoy me as I’ve always hated bullies and things seem to be getting worse. My choice is to do nothing or to try and make a difference by writing a comment that might show support for the poor victims. However, part of me just wants to stay away from these foul postings.

I just hope Facebook are working with the police to find these sick minds and get them in jail. If they were real men they would join a martial arts or boxing club and test how good they are against real men. They won’t do this because deep down they are just cowards.

Until we meet again…..