Sunday, 20 January 2013

Not so Late Shift

It's not as late as it has been but it is still late.Must stop this. Now in Nelspruit pronounced as far as I can tell Nelsprayt.

Got picked up at the airport by chance by the assistant manager of the hotel.

She was there collecting someobdy else and we simply tacked outrselves in. Just as well, the hotel is up in the hills. I have started taking my malaria tables as it is a possibility.

Quite honestly if mosquitoes want to come out in this sodden weather, they're idiots.

Have gone throught two days of spectacular absent mindedness; First in Johannesburg on Saturday I failed to pick up my Orange freebie handout bag which had recording equipment in it. I didn't think I'd put the stuff in there because my normal bag (the bag I'd set out with that morning) still felt so heavy.

Oddly, there was an Orange freebie bag right where I was sitting and I thought that was mine rather than the one plopped on a seat nearby.

Odd thing is the back stayed there until someone realised it was in need of an owner. I luckily got an honest person and it found its way back to me.

Left my glasses case at a press conference this afternoon. Had to go back and get that.

The conference was held in the chapel of the hotel. So I guess that dissuaded any would-be thieves.

I assume these lapses are to do with lack of sleep.

Stupidity sets in. So on that note I will finish. Though my feeble state could generate oodles of incidents over the coming days.

Not a good idea.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Late Shift Idiocy

It is so late that it is too late. This is a shame as it has been a very interesting day.

The press conference was fascinating. The chief executive of the local organising committee lost his rag. Really went up in flap. Some idiot journalist asked him if he was disappointed that they'd only sold 563,000 tickets out of 850,000.

"We said our target was 500,000 which takes you above two thirds," he boomed. "We've gone beyond that but you're getting these questions. I really don't know what will satisfy the media."

And then he went on about other things like the Olympics and the Euros not being sell outs.

He has a point but clearly someone had been getting at him long before I asked for a breakdown of sales at the venues.

On the subject of idiocy. I feel rather bad about being up so late. But I'll doubtless be out late after the two matches on Saturday. The second one starts at 9pm. That means that I won't be out of the mixed zone until midnight.

I'm leaving for Nelspruit on Sunday. The plane leaves at 1110. And there'll doubtless be queueing.

At least there's no queue to get into bed.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

The Flight

Arrived in Johannesburg in one piece. But at what cost to my equilibrium? Not the greatest of air flyers, me.. And each time the atrocity seems to be worse. Must be old age.

Queue to check in at Charles de Gaulle. Queue to get the passport checked. Not so much of a queue to see if I had anything dodgy in my bag.

Queue at Johannesburg airport for passport. Queue near Sandton Library to get my accreditation.

All in all it is time to retire.

The flight consisted of a meal at 1am … really used to eating hoki and mashed potato at that time.

Strangely I had the coffee and then wondered why I managed to watch so much of the Dark Knight Rises.

Compelling rendition of the genre. I thought I’d grown out of my Anne Hathaway thing. But I still have my Anne Hathaway thing and that probably explains why I couldn’t go to sleep.

Men in Black 3 did the trick though. And I was thoroughly resurgent watching Back to the Future.

I couldn’t resist it. The chance of seeing Brucie Willis in Looper or Michael J Fox in Back to the Future. Well nostalgia wins out.

It is such a good film or is it the conceit or the memory of the time when I saw it for the first time?

Probably the latter. But it meant that I gave scant consideration to being 40,000 feet up.

Now firmly back on the ground and stirringly adorned with my accreditation necklace, I prepare for the tournament.

There is a press conference at 1pm on Friday involving the local organising committee and the Confederation of African Football, the overlords of the shindig.

 I will go along and learn. This makes sense really since I have come all this way.

But if I have to queue to get in …..

Sunday, 13 January 2013

On the Way

It is a shame that there's no controversy. I'd like to write: 'This is the blog that dared to tell it like it is'. But I can't.

Off in a few days to South Africa to watch the Africa Cup of Nations. Will have to do lots of work while I'm out there.

But since that is the reason for being sent, it would be churlish not to chip in.

Once ago I wrote blogs for the radio station website. While I had fun composing them, the editor of the website was less enthusiastic. And since he's the head honcho, he calls the shots.

Since that kind of rebuff, I've taken to writing in a more limited form. "Five things we learned from yesterday"; and I've gone on to recount the highs and lows of the previous day's football action.

This has got lots of hits. And that's what it's all about.

I'm hoping that my month away in the South African sun will also help my football. Of late it hasn't been brilliant.

Worst thing was playing five a side game a couple of weeks back and injuring a calf muscle. During my absence the team won. Played yesterday and the team lost.

Perhaps in the interests of team progress, it is best to be away for a month. When I return perhaps the boys will be soaring at the top of the table and I can help them descend to mid-table obscurity.

Last season there was more than a flirtation with relegation to division 3. That was avoided thanks to a iconic 7-2 victory in Bagneux on the southern outskirts of Paris.

I dragged the entire family to that one. They were all piled into the hire car and I played while the rest of them went off for coffee and cakes.

And then off we went to the Loire.

This season's league form has ensured that there shouldn't be any repetition of last season's travails.

There probably won't be any danger at all until I start playing again.