Hot. Drunk. Smelly.

These are momentous times:

1.GB win more medals at an Olympic Games than any Submerged Country since Atlantis won a Team Silver and two individual Bronzes in Synchronized Drowning at the Carthage Olympics of 204 BC.


2. Meanwhile. just up the road (about 1400K) in Kiev, Government forces clash with Nationalist protestors as skirmishes and street battles turn very nasty indeed. The last time we heard of the Ukrainian Nationalist movement they were helping the Nazis butcher our Russian allies during WWII, which was good of them. I know half of Eastern Europe and the Baltics sided with Hitler, but at least most of them nowadays have the good grace to apologise for it (even if they don’t mean it). Not this mob. They’re proud of their history. Europe seem to be eager to help out and welcome in these Nazi collaborators — or the Ukraine Independence Party, as we might call them. Seems to work quite nicely.

The Ukrainian Biathlon Team unveil their New kit for Sochi 2014.

The Ukrainian Biathlon Team unveil their New kit for Sochi 2014.

3. I won £25 on the Lotto last night. (Chicken Dansak me up !)

4. Charlton beat QPR yesterday and are still in the FA Cup, at time of writing. (Yes I know this should have got top billing, but there are a couple of subscribers out there who, for reasons best known to themselves, care little for the Addicks. I know, go figure.)

Elsewhere, the Incumbent and I traveled to the newly-opened West London Everglades to visit a recently discovered branch of the family. For years now, my Leader of the Opposition has known deep down that there was someone out there, somewhere, who shared a common interest in alcohol and 80s music, and was as soppy as she was. After a long search of hostels and hospices of the English speaking world, we finally met up with Jack and Daniel, two warm-hearted, foul-mouthed, bourbon-swilling party animals, Owners & DJs at RadioFvckOffUCvnt, and now a little sister and a dirty great brother for my other half.

Not quite Torvill & Dean. The Ed takes to the Ice (and lemon) with Jack (Daniel's upside down under the optic, just out of shot).

Not quite Torvill & Dean. The Ed takes to the Ice (and lemon) with Jack (Daniel is upside down under the optic with The Incumbent,  just out of shot. And focus).

We DJ’d, ate, sang, danced and drank the days and nights away, all weekend long. I’d been dong my very best since Christmas to shed the odd metric ton and it had been going swimmingly well up to that point. I still couldn’t get into my original Speedo Salopettes which had brought me so much success at Sarajevo ’84, but I have dropped a trouser size or two and can even button my socks up. It all went wrong last weekend. The Environment Agency called round to complain about the increased water displacement since I’d devoured that 2nd litre of gin and that extra helping of Sweet&Sour Chicken Balls.

One afternoon (I forget which) Daniel drove me to a local hostelry which was full of sad drunks, scruffy women and barmaids which ignored us. It was like being home again. We must have made for a strange couple. The Tall one (Daniel stands over 7ft 3″) ordered and drank half a diet coke (he doesn’t do beer and a litre of Bourbon was out of the question as he was my driver for the afternoon). As for the Short One, I hadn’t touched a beer this year (honest—too many carbs) and decided this was a good time to correct matters. 3 pints of Stella and 17 minutes later we were ready to go home to renew our assault on the European Chinese Takeaway Mountain, as well as assuming our position on the starting line of the the Olympic Freestyle Gin Swigging event.

It all seemed a good idea at the time.

The only thing that  could have possibly gone wrong is for more people to arrive and turn it into a party. Which, by an odd coincidence is exactly what happened. At my tender age of 49 and and 4 months, I am ill-equipped to handle a head-to-head 48 hour binge, let alone compete in a mass Gordons-and-Tonic-Fest with two of the Great Bon Viveurs of the civilised world which, as my luck would have it, was exactly who turned up to give us a hand getting drunk. More dancing, singing etc, until I ran the white flag up the pole and retired to someone’s bedroom. I still don’t know whose.

The Ed wakes up next to Daniel after 48 hours of carnage.

The Ed wakes up next to Daniel after 48 hours of carnage. HOT,SWEATY,FARTY.

As a twenty-something, then a thirty-something, I spent many a Sunday morning waking up in a strange bedroom/lounge/wardrobe, in some part of Kent or London. Everyone else having made it to their homes the previous night, but me stubbornly refusing to leave the party until the last bottle of Cizano Bianco had been finished. Now, being nearly a fifty-something, it was clear it hurt very much indeed. I woke between a big bloke and a very hot radiator. Or was it a big radiator and a very hot bloke, I am not sure. I do know I had 3rd degree burns down one side of my face from the radiator, giving me a look uncannily like Richard Dreyfus in Close Encounters. And I ached a lot. And I smelled. I didn’t remember drinking Gin though my eyes, but that’s what it felt like I had done.

Having delayed our departure until most of the poison had left my body, and having said our goodbyes we crept off down the M3, heading for the M25 at the speed of a 2-Man Bob which had lost it’s skii-raily-slidey things underneath (you didn’t know I was such an expert, did you?). The Incumbent, presumably acting as break man, remained in the crouched position all journey. Driving like Mr Magoo on Mogadon, I had no intention of needing her to slam on the anchors. It was an eery feeling. I don’t know if you’ve ever driven at 31 miles an hour on the M3 but you get to see so much more, if you can open your eyes. At the moment you’d get to see Sir Ben Ainslie practise for the next Americas Cup on a new lake where London used to be. I cannot have had enough to drink the night before as I still felt thirsty that morning, and all that flood water wasn’t helping.

Home at last, snuggled up warm in front of a roaring curry , we settled down for the rest of the week to watch (why???) every bit of Sochi coverage we possibly could (at least that’s how I saw it). I thought it may have been my hangover, but even now, even though I have a clear head, I still can’t work out what the Games Slogan “HOT COOL YOURS” means. Truth is there have been lots of things which have puzzled me about these Games. For starters, what are we, as a GB team, gonna do in Pyeongchang 2018 when Scotland have nicked all of our best curlers ? The world will come to an end if and when the Scotch bugger off with all our medallists, leaving us a couple of 12 yr old snowboarders and a tea-tray pusher. NO ! I will not have it. They can have the Pound, they can have the Oil, they can even have the Nuclear Submarines, but THEY’RE NOT KEEPING THE CURLERS !!.

Hang on…. what’s that….? They got stuffed in the final by the Canadians ? Oh fvck em then, let ’em go.

A Member of the English Pyeongchang Olympics  2018 Curling Team waits patiently at the West London Training rink for someone to turn the fridge on.

A Member of the English Pyeongchang Olympics 2018 Curling Team waits patiently at the West London Training rink for someone to turn on the fridge.

Also, how do you get to be an Ice Meister ? Isn’t that just the coolest job description ? “What d’you want to be when you leave school, Bealing ?”
“An Ice Meister, Sir.  Or a T-shirt printer”. (both characters exit stage left, followed by whacking and crying sound effects).

When a figure skater makes a Horlicks of his Triple Salko, or Armenia 3 decide to come down the 4-Man Bob Track (?) downside-up, the Ice Meister is sent for to assess the damage to the …er….ice. Here he comes, armed with a half-filled watering can and one of those scrapers you get a the petrol station. So when I was a kid and Dad gave me a slap for pouring kettles and kettles ful of water onto the icy pavement outside our house, in order to make a slide, I could have simply said I was a trainer Ice Meister. Another missed opportunity. When I start my Rap career (won’t be long now) The Ice Meister may well be my stage name. Or it may be my porn name. Not sure yet.

Finally, who could not have felt sympathy with the brave Japanese Speed skater who crashed/span out of the 1-Legged, 70,000 meters Blindfolded Short Track Semi Final, denying him the chance to make either the Big or the Small Final. It’s not that I feel any more sympathy for him than for anyone else who falls foul of an opponents elbow or a team-mate’s skate in this, the most exciting and random of all the sports on show. Anyone can win, anyone can lose, that’s why it’s such a fun thing to watch. No, it’s having heard the commentators shout out his name several times, especially as he concertina’d into the advertising boards, that I thought to myself that I knew exactly how he felt. Haven’t we all felt like a Sakashita at some time in our lives ? I know I did last weekend.  I suggest he has a hair-of-the-dog to make himself feel better.

Sakashita of Japan crashes out in a men's 500m short track speedskating quarterfinal at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo)

Sakashita of Japan crashes out in a men’s 500m short track speedskating quarterfinal at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo)

My Olympic Legacy: I’m Skint

Given that you should never judge something til you try it, yesterday four of us did just that:

The author walks around Olympic Park ,unaided, during the Paralympics.

Baked Potato, Topped with Mayo………………………………………………..£6

Bottle of Water …………………………………………………………………….£1.60

275 m Bottle of Bulmers Cider…………………………………………………….£4.30.

A space in Park Live to watch British Airways adverts on tv……………………No Charge

145g bag of Cadbury’s Twirl…………………………………………………………..£3.00

18.7cl glass of (as yet unidentified) White Wine……………………………………..£4.80

Bench in front of huge BMW ads screen…………………………………..Complimentary

Pie & Mash…………………………………………………………………………….£8.00

Son queuing for 20 minutes for waffles, to be told they’d run out…………………..Free

Team GB mini umbrella………………………………………………………………£15.00

Signed copy of man laughing all the way to the bank…………………………….Priceless.

I expected to stand corrected. The athletes were marvellous, and inspiring. But I had woefully underestimated just how crass and callous Locog and Coe’s Corporate Carve-Up manifests itself once you get inside the gates. Disgraceful.

Stiffening Up (and other Double Entendres)

It all started when I started fiddling with the girlfriend’s tea-towel holder.

We’d bought a new one, you see, over in France at one of their premiere Old Tut shops. I was attempting to fix it to a kitchen cabinet drawer, bent over a bit too sudden-like and my ribs cramped up (a common occurrence, thanks to an old rugby injury), I then shot bolt upright to try to un-cramp myself when my left calf went into spasm (a common occurrence, thanks to being an old git) and I found myself cramped all the way down my left side. I would take myself off to see the Doc, but he will say my ailments are probably due to the Warfarin (the rat poison the give to recovering stroke patients).

Here’s a few quotes that may interest you:

My GP on my blood-spot-splattered feet:
“That’ll be the Warfarin”

My GP on my irregular and worrying dizzy spells:
“That’ll be the Warfarin”

On the numbness in my face:
“That’ll be the Warfarin”

On the shooting pains down my:
“That’ll be the Warfarin”

My GP on the Eurozone crisis and the war in Afghanistan:
“I’m no expert, but that’ll probably be the Warfarin”.

Well why am I still on it, then ????

So thanks to the producers of Warfarin and the failure of The Incumbent’s Tea towel holder to grip anything effectively (not even my little finger) I’ve been forced to  repair to the sofa, look, listen and learn from the wise sages of T’BBC.

It’s almost certainly an age-thing (or maybe it’s the Warfarin) that I now prefer the sports radio coverage more than I do the television. This may be because Claire Balding isn’t on BBC Radio, but more probably because the broadcasters have to think on their feet to keep the audience entertained, rather than just point a camera at a volleyball player’s arse.

Two exchanges on the wireless demonstrated this perfectly yesterday. One was an interview with Manteo Mitchell who represented the USA in the heats of the 4x400m relay. Half of it he ran with a broken leg, it having snapped down the back straight.

“I felt it break. I heard it. I even put out a little war cry, but the crowd was so loud you couldn’t hear it.” said Mitchell.
I can assure the reader that if my leg broke should I ever again find myself running anywhere, you will be able to hear my ‘little war cry’ in Tanzania. Mitchell completed the remaining 200 meters, unable to create a lead for the second runner in the team. What a lightweight !

I listened, opened mouth to this account, full of shock and awe for this man, knowing full well that I, in the same circumstances, would have used the old Navaho Indian trick of collapsing on the floor and begging for mercy. The piece was marred slightly when the interviewer started raving about the American’s third leg. Which was a bit forward for daytime radio, I thought. There’s a time and a place.

I was wrong.

Not an hour later, another intrepid reporter waxed lyrical to his anchor man (Mark Chapman) about meeting former gold medal-winning diver (the pool) Greg Luganis in the gents urinals. I thought I’d tuned into a police wave band.
“As I stood next to him, I asked him about what was likely to happen later”. Back in the studio, his colleague was incredulous. One could sense a producer’s hand hovering over the ‘off air’ switch.

“You just went up to Greg Luganis in a toilet and struck up a conversation ?” he asked
“no, no, of course not. We’d met before”
(We were not informed where and under what circumstances.)
“I said to him: ‘From what you’ve seen…'”
“You said what ?…” Chapman had clearly fallen off his stool. “You can’t say that to someone while standing at a urinal !”
Honestly, Chappers” retorted the reporter “it’s impossible to have a conversation with you without you inserting double entendres. I was talking about what he’d seen so far in the pool…”
The chat continued with Chapman desperately trying not to interject with too many men-in-urinals gags. One can only hope the conversation in the loo didn’t contain too many questions regarding diving technique. “Greg, how does one get a ripped entry with minimal splash”. Luganis may have fainted.

Switching back to the TV it was time to witness Mo Farrah run to glory to take the 5k/10k double, and what a fantastic race it was. Mo was determined that he wouldn’t be beaten, aided and manfully abetted by a huge crowd, 95% who madly cheered for a man named Mohammed, a refugee from Africa who runs proudly and passionately represents the country which took him in all those years ago. UKIP and the EDF must be apoplectic.

Those of us watching at home, some laid up on the sofa, tragically stuck down with cramp, were privileged to listen to Steve Cram’s commentary, a real appreciation of distance running, which will be one of the most replayed moments of the entire games. Beside Cram in the commentary box was Brendan Foster, who looked like he’d heard they were opening his pub early. ‘Bottle of Newky Brown, please, pet.’

I am now told by T’BBC of an auction where one can buy London 2012 momentos. Bradley Wiggins’ and Jess Ennis’ stuff is the most popular, so they’re bound to be out of my price-range. I’m off to bid for some of Kriss Akabusi’s broadcasting talent. Apparently there’s not much of it.


On the Run

7 Aug 2012 17:01

Missing: Seven athletes from Cameroon ‘absconded’ from Olympic village amid asylum fears

Seven athletes from Cameroon have gone missing in Britain after competing in the Olympics, sparking fears they have fled the Games to claim asylum.

The five boxers, swimmer and a footballer have all disappeared from the athletes’ village at the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London.

Some of the missing Athletes

David Ojong, the head of mission for Team Cameroon, confirmed that the group were reported missing earlier this week.

All seven athletes would have had visas allowing them to remain in the UK until November and it is understood that none of the seven have claimed asylum.

David Ojong told Cameroonian media that of 60 athletes and officials living in the village, 28 have gone home, 24 were still in the village and seven have disappeared.

Two of these three athletes are vital to the Cameroon’s medal hopes

The missing athletes include all five of the team’s boxers – Thomas Essomba, who competed in the 49kg category, Christian Donfack Adjoufack in the 80kg, Abdon Mewoli in the 60kg, Blaise Yepmou Mendouo in the plus 91kg and Terv Sheldonomo in the 364kg – who disappeared over the weekend.

The others were Drusille Ngako, 25, a stand-by goalkeeper for Cameroon’s women’s team, and swimmer Paul Ekane Edingue, 21.

Cameroonian athletes are known to have gone missing at previous international sporting events, including the Commonwealth Games. Once they have left the athletes’ village, the absconders are very difficult to find and apprehend.

Occasionally, the bright lights and many attractions of the bars in the Olympic village and beyond are hard to resist, and there have been numerous sightings of one of the missing men throughout the week.

If you see this man, alert the authorities immediately –
and under no circumstances lend him any money.

She’ll Be Right, Mate

This, like many of the things read on this website, is a true story: When I was but a nipper (we’re talking in the days of black & white) the bloke who taught me cricket at school (Graham Walder, if you must know), when asked about the impending Ashes series said: “If England bat first and score 738 for 4 declared, then bowl Australia out for 39 and 41, it has been a bloody great game.”

Mr Walder said those words to me in 1978, at a time when we were actually bloody good at cricket (and thankfully, when the Aussies were bloody awful.) And that, pretty much, was how we were brought up to eye the Aussies: They must be beaten at all costs, and when (or normally if) you have them down, put your foot on their throat and keep pressing.

I’m here to tell you that there were many years in my youth and young adulthood when that wasn’t the case. It was Australia who held the whip hand and the Poms who were complete and utter rubbish. A rabble. A bunch of Galahs, you might say. It was a dark, dark time for those of us who followed the game and who had to painfully acknowledge that the colonials were actually in the ascendency. It hurt.

Things have gone full circle, and it’s now The Motherland who are supreme rulers – winning three of the last four competitions. And don’t we love it ? When Michael Vaughan‘s 2005 side first beat…scratch that… TROUNCED the touring Australians, the much-loved English press wasted no time, missed no opportunity and showed no mercy in their reporting of the hapless Aussies. An English victory hadn’t happened for many a long year and the press (and some bloggers) set about their task with vengeful gusto.

And the sport of laughing at the colonials has spread to the Olympic Games.

If there was a 100m Aussie-Bashing competition, “Team GB” would secure a 1-2-3, taking all medals. It’s difficult to open a paper, browse a news site or turn on a TV Channel without someone squealing with delight at the poor performance of the Guys and Gals in Green and Gold. Led, of course, by The Daily Mail and Seb’s own news outlet, T’BBC, the cries of “What’s Happened to the Aussies?” is louder than a Brit crowd cheering Jess Ennis.

Things get worse. If there’s one country Australians hate losing to it’ll be Britain. Unless its New Zealand. Even the Kiwis are doing better than their Tasman neighbours. At time of writing the All Blacks have 3 golds to the Aussies’ 2. This hasn’t gone down well. When New Zealand reached 10th place in the medals table, official Australian Olympic broadcaster Channel 9 reportedly wiped New Zealand off their top 10 Olympic medal table TV on national television, showing only the top 9.

Jeez, mate.

And it’s not just the British Press – the Aussies own have been having a go.

Why don’t we have papers over here like that ? Oh, right, we do.

In the pool there was not a single Aussie individual Gold medal, just a relay win. In 2008 they’d come home with a tucker bag-full of ’em. Some Aussie journos have suggested their athletes lack conviction. You might say that it would be a first for there to be an Aussie without a conviction, but you would be being cruel and historically incorrect.

The Sydney Daily Telegraph decided to combine both Aussie and Kiwi medal totals , calling the new state ‘Aus Zealand’ which ranked ninth in the medals table, still behind Kazakhstan but above the likes of Belarus and Cuba.

Things will improve for our cousins. They are sure to win gold through hurdler and leading lemon-sucker Sally Pearson (unless, that is her face splits asunder should she break into a smile). Perhaps she’s nervous. Perhaps she just isn’t Michelle Jennecke. We can’t all be, love.

With the British medal total looking to break all records (which, after all is what is supposed to happen when you host the games) other nations are seeking explanations, looking for excuses. Aussie press are moaning about the huge Lottery Fund-led cash insertion to Team GB. Quite right. That’s how we felt when you lot were useless in the 70s and decided to inject wads of cash into all sports and set up academies. We learned what to do from you lot.

The French are insinuating that the wheels on our bikes are somehow illegal, as we hide them away after every cycle race. Well of course we do. If history has taught us anything, it’s not to share our secrets with you lot or the Yanks. Churchill had to pawn our best stuff and secrets to save the nation, without so much as a “Thanks, Bud”. We don’t have to do that any more.

US coaches questioned the validity of a great win by a Chinese 15 year old swimmer, Ye Shiwen, querying how one so young could win so well without the use of stimulants. Oddly when their 15-year-old Katie Ledecky produced the second fastest 800 metres freestyle in history to take gold the silence was…er…golden. It won’t be long before Mo Farah will be accused of something by someone, I’m quite sure.

The wheels (legal wheels) seem to be coming off the British Gold Dispenser as Athletes go crook, runners under-perform or even fail to turn up. But that’s ok. We’ve won lots. You lot have a couple. Go on, help yourself, mate. We don’t want to be greedy. And we’re uncomfortable being so good anyway.

By four years time in Rio it will all be very different. Normal service will resume. You’ll remember how to swim, and we’ll remember how to lose, or at least beat you and apologise for doing so – promising it won’t happen again. But I think we can finally dispense with the tag of Whinging Pom, don’t you ?

No Wukkers.

Aussie Gloom over Gold Medal Drought

“Now Vania, What Would You like to Be ?”

“Miss, when I grow up I’d like to be a 400m Hurdler”
“Really ? Do you think that’s wise ? I mean, what with your surname and all…?”

Vania stumbles over … Bulgarian athlete Vania Stambolova misses the first hurdle in the womens’ 400-metre event.

Personally, I can’t wait to watch Vasliy Dunmibakkin in the weightlifting later.


Tyson is Homosexual (No, not that one)

The following piece needs no introduction, save that it came from The Washington Post, so you can take it to be true. Not that you need to be told from which country it came. It could only happen in one country.

Christian Site’s Ban on ‘G’ Word Sends Homosexual to Olympics

The American Family Association obviously didn’t foresee the problems that might arise with its strict policy to always replace the word “gay” with “homosexual” on the Web site of its Christian news outlet,OneNewsNow. The group’s automated system for changing the forbidden word wound up publishing a story about a world-class sprinter named “Tyson Homosexual” who qualified this week for the Beijing Olympics.

The problem: Tyson’s real last name is Gay. Therefore, OneNewsNow’s reliable software changed the Associated Press story about Tyson Gay‘s amazing Olympic qualifying trial to read this way:

Tyson Homosexual was a blur in blue, sprinting 100 meters faster than anyone ever has.

His time of 9.68 seconds at the U.S. Olympic trials Sunday doesn’t count as a world record, because it was run with the help of a too-strong tailwind. Here’s what does matter: Homosexual qualified for his first Summer Games team and served notice he’s certainly someone to watch in Beijing.

“It means a lot to me,” the 25-year-old Homosexual said. “I’m glad my body could do it, because now I know I have it in me.”

 Read the whole piece here

I cannot add anything to that.

“Oh say can you see,
By the dawn’s early light…”