More of My Family & Other Animals


Well last night, I arranged to meet my Auntie & Uncle who live in Blackburn. I was staying in nearby Preston so it seemed a good idea to see them for tea. Fortunately they were able to join me.

We arranged to meet in a local public house near my hotel. When I got there, I had a pleasant surprise as their eldest child, my cousin Chris was there with his wife Linda. They were over from Ireland for the week and off to see Chris’ beloved Blackpool at home to West Ham on Wednesday night.

It was good to see Chris and chew the fat about football. Chris was eyeing the pub TV all night desperate to know if Charlie Adams was to leave Blackpool – fortunately for Chris, he wasn’t. Shame the same couldn’t be said for Andy Carroll and Newcastle.

I was right that is was a good idea to see my auntie and Uncle. sadly I get to see to little of them. My life seems to not have enough hours in it to fit everything in. I seem to spend a lot of time travelling to and from  places at present.


Well, I was going to write today’s blog entry on the train as I speed back from Preston aboard the Virgin trains service. Sadly, the free Wi-Fi service appears to be about as much use as a chocolate fireguard. Normally Wi-Fi is available only to first class users, but for a limited period, the hoi polloi in 2nd sorry, standard class are able to access it free as well. Sadly, the capacity does not appear to be sufficient for everyone to use it. It reminds me of how far the internet has come in 10 – 15 years. Remember dial up modems and waiting ages for pages to down load? Well the Virgin Wi-Fi is obviously a retro service!

So, I’m typing this off line and I will post it when I get home to my rather good Virgin media broadband service. Sorry , for “rather good” please read “totally bloody useless”. I wrote to Virgin last week inquiring how many months they intend to charge me for a broadband service they do not provide. I wonder what their reply will be, if they reply at all?

Well, I’ve had two days in Preston working as part of our review of the capacity and capability of the CPS Complex Casework Units. It is interesting to be reading some of the more serious and high profile cases that are prosecuted and to learn the real facts behind the stories in the news re court cases. The truth rarely bears and resemblance to that which is reported in the media. It seems to matter not what the politics of the newspaper are. Sensationalism is deemed more important than the truth. The headlines on a story again often bear little resemblance to the detail in the story.

I was in the East Midlands on the day the Complex Casework Unit discontinued the case against the last six power station protestors. The case has had many column inches in various media outlets, including in the Guardian . The reality is very different from some of what has been published, but the reality would not make for sensational stories and lurid tales.

Today’s media is a good example of this. The transfer deadline for football passed at 11pm last night in England meaning no transfers can be done between now and the end of the season. There were a number of high profile transfers involving silly amounts of money. The papers are all trying to outdo themselves with ever more sensational accounts of what happened. Few papers seem to be looking closely at what happened and holding the protagonists to account. I have to make an exception to that for Sam Wallace in the Independent newspaper who has tried to look beyond the headlines and spin to report on and make sense of the hype surrounding the transfer of Andy Carroll aged 22 and holder of 1 England cap and scorer of only 11 Premiership goals in his career for a record breaking £35 million pounds from Newcastle to Liverpool.

This is an incredible amount of money for a player that last season was struggling to make the centre forward position his own at Newcastle then in the Championship (2nd tier of English football). He has not played European football and has recently been in court twice for drink related violence. [He was acquitted on one count I have to put the record straight]

Having read the comments on social media sites regarding the deal, it appears that for most people the art of thinking through what they read and reaching a considered judgement is something they are not capable of. There are many knee jerk reactions to news headlines. It seems that many people do not get beyond the headline of a story before jumping to a conclusion. This applies to all areas of life, not just football, but to celebrity news stories, politics, the economy and the law.

You can see why people place such a high priority on spin and media sound bites. Its part of the dumbing down of society in general. People want their media like everything else- instantly and requiring no effort.


Well, after returning home from Preston, I had time to open my post and then head back out to Leyton to watch the O’s against the table toppers Brighton. As many of you know, Brighton is famous for the number of gays living there. Well last time they came to Orient, their away kit was a lovely shade of pink! nothing like like living up to your reputation .

This time they did not play like anything other than a bunch of thugs in their white kit. Appropriately really as they looked kit wise like Leeds under Don Revie who were nothing more than a bunch of thugs!

I have to mention the referee tonight who was rather poor to say the least. In the first half after the Brighton keeper tipped a shot over the bar, the referee applauded the keeper!!!! What is that about? I thought referees were supposed to be neutral.

The referee gave very little Orient’s way, and in the second half he turned down a stonewall penalty appeal when An Orient player way pushed over in the penalty area. The referee had a good position to see the incident, but for some reason he did not give it. It was the clearest penalty I’ve seen in a while.

The game ended as a 0-0 draw, which before the game would have been a result I’d have taken. This is partly because Brighton are top of the table and partly because they beat Orient 5-0 on Boxing Day. As Orient have announced that priority for tickets for the cup tie with Arsenal is to be given after season ticket holders, to those who have ticket stubs from tonight’s game and the next home game, it was no surprise that Orient suddenly have gained a few more so called supporters. The crowd was nearly 3000 higher than last Tuesday’s home game.


Wednesday night its off to Fulham to see Newcastle v Fulham in the Premiership.

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