Posts tagged: Euro 2004

Sunday 13th June 2004

I watched the action comedy, I-Spy on Sky Movies last night. Not a movie I would have gone to the cinema to see, but enjoyable way to waste away a few hours on a Saturday night. It is amazing how Eddie Murphy has not aged in his movies and appears as fresh as he did when playing Axel in Beverly Hills Cop. I think he is still very funny, even if some say his act is very much old hat. I also really admire Owen Wilson, as an actor able to play both serious and comic roles. I have to admit, that I prefer his brother, Luke. Particularly in such movies as Charlie’s Angels and Blue Streak. Excellent stuff. I still have not been to the cinema this year, apart from seeing the final Lord Of The Rings movie, towards the end of January. Will try and make time for such things later this summer.

England play France later this evening. (As if you didn’t know already?!) Looking forward to the spectacle, particularly how the English defence deal with the master, Henry. Like many other people, I am proud to have the flag of Saint George, flying high above my car. Does it sum up how I feel, on a day like today? No, only Shakespeare can do that my friends.

Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!

Sunday 6th June 2004

The 40th President of the United States, passed away yesterday. A strong symbol of 1980s America. The news was overshadowed, by the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings. I have been enjoying some of the coverage on the BBC. History is one of my favourite subjects, and the Second World War, is the greatest topic for me. What makes the events more significant to me personally, is that eleven years ago, I was in Normandy with my middle school. I have dug out some photographs, I just need to find the time to scan them in and upload them to the website. There are some interesting photographs, as I have images of Pegasus Bridge. The site of the first moments of liberation on 6th June 1944. I also have an postcard, autographed by Major John Howard, who was in charge of the operation to secure the bridge. That was the location of the celebrations and ceremony yesterday afternoon. Today, it was the time of the great American war cemetery in Coalville. I also have some photographs of this peaceful place, overlooking Omaha beach. The final resting place for some 9,000 US service man. Again, I will try and scan some images in and upload them as soon as I can. For the time being, I recommend you go the fantastic BBC D-Daywebsite.

Let us never forget the price these young men and women paid for us. For our tomorrow they gave their today. We must remain grateful for their sacrifice and pray that never again should a time come, when such great sacrifices have to be made again. As I left the NEC on Saturday afternoon, over a week ago, I headed to the railway station. On my way there, I saw some veterans from the Battle Of Britain seeking small donations for their charity. I gave some money, the little change I had on me, to hear a voice behind me say to these old men, “People quickly forget the great things, ordinary men, like you did for us,”. I turned around to find out who had said this, but it was too late, he was gone. I smiled, as I was given a badge, feeling somewhat proud. Proud to know that the sacrifices of others, strangers in a generation nearing their end, have not gone unnoticed or unobserved.

My journey back to Leicester that Saturday evening was via the 330 coach, to Nottingham. When I eventually found the correct coach, (there were two going to Nottingham, but only one stopping at Leicester) there were only a few spaces left. So I grabbed the first seat I could and sat down next to a guy, around my age. He was listening to his CD walkman, and I could hear the distant sound of Vindaloo by Fat Les over his earphones. Instantly my thoughts drifted to Euro 2004. It had completely slipped my mind, that here were on the verge of another classic international
tournament. The build up is so different to the World Cup two years ago. Perhaps because it lacks the global appeal. I know certain people who, although have no strong interest in football, will watch the World Cup religiously. When it comes to the European Championships, however, they do not bat an eyelid. Never mind. There loss at the end of the day. So many great players being showcased! However, I really had an urge to discuss England’s chances with the passenger sitting next to me. I then made the initial judgment, that he was being highly antisocial and did not want to talk. I promised myself, the moment he stopped listening to his music, I would speak to him. That opportunity came, just as the coach was pulling off the M69 and into Leicester. I soon discovered I was sitting next to Andy Guilder. Someone who again, is making those sacrifices in his own way to help those who have drifted from the righteous path. To my surprised he too keeps his own journal, in the form of his website, AGuilder. I even get a mention, if rather brief during an update last month. My blog is having a major impact in my life even letting new people find out more about my life. I just hope that future brings with it more happiness, not just for me, but for all the new people that have recently walked into my life.

In the past 12 months I have made more friends that I could ever have imagined. Now that I am back in Wycombe, I see a need to reconnect with my old college and schoolfriends. This is not going to be an easy task, but at least I will try and see what sort of reception I get. Maybe even some have been keeping ‘tabs’ on me via this blog. Then again, knowing my friends, maybe not.

Wednesday 26th May 2004

I will be back in Wycombe on Sunday and I must say I am looking forward to going home. Of all the journeys I have made home from University, this will be the sweetest and the most comforting. I have nothing to gain by staying in Leicester. Of course some of my friends remain, but the costs just do not justify the means. Also, my job hunting would be slow, if I decided to send out my applications from here. Without my own transport, making interviews would mean taking the risk with public transport.

There are certain football matches, that I am sure even the most marginal of sports fan watch. The FA Cup Final, the UEFA Cup Final, the big European and World Cup Finals and of course the Champions League Final. It should be one of the most interesting finals in recent memory, as nobody expected FC Porto and Monaco to make it this far. I am looking forward to the match this evening, even if it is being shown on ITV. I am so glad that Match Of The Day is back on the BBC for the up coming Premiership season. But before any of that, there is the European Championships in Portugal. I always watch the BBC coverage, they appear to have a much more relaxed attitude to the whole affair, while those ‘on the other side’ tend to take the professional approach. Football is not about suits, but that is something they will never learn over on ITV. Have you seen the television slots on the BBC for Euro 2004? They feature footage of the greatest players of Europe, but as painters, with the voice over proclaiming, “the masters of European football, presented by the past masters…”. Interesting stuff, but a shame the web team have not got their act together. The Euro
2004 website for the BBC is just a fixture list. Very poor indeed. ITV however have gone for the approach to create, ‘The Avengers’, with Owen the saint and Beckham the sinner. Showing their personal contributions to Argentina game in the World Cup, some six years ago.

Still waiting to hear the ‘tune’ of the summer. I wonder who will set our stereo’s alight this summer? Will it be a tried and tested artist? Or will it be someone new? Well whoever it is, please release the single soon. The public are waiting. With the summer around the corner, I know I need to burn some audio for my car. Actually I need to completely reorganize my entire mobile audio collection. My 10 disc CD changer, needs to be updated and I need to re-issue some of my MP3 CD disc, (namely R’n'B).

Having alienated a vast amount of my readers, earlier this month, by declaring that my dislike for Friends. Well perhaps distaste is the wrong word to use. Misunderstanding perhaps is more fitting. Anyway, you will think I would learn my lesson, but no, here I go again, taking
the unpopular route. I am not a fan of the Channel 4 reality series, Big Brother. I try my best to avoid the show, but it is extremely difficult. Particularly when my sisters find it compulsive viewing. Due to this, by week eight, I get dragged into the program and find myself away on a idle Sunday morning at 2am, watching the attics of the housemates. I think the show is some sort of cancer. You try your best to immunize yourself but over the course of time, you find else more and more exposed. Particularly when you can’t go anywhere or do anything without the presence of BB. Newspapers, websites, even the news becomes dominated by the show. Will the show ever end? The novelty wore off after the first show, but someone somewhere continues to push this sort of programming. Why? Because some sad pathetic people will always watch the stuff? And the housemates have dillusions of being over night celebrities based on their anitcs in the house. Everyone remembers, Tickle and his droned version of the Eagles classic, “Hotel California” sung to the flowerbed. Where is he now, I ask? Anyone know? Well, point made, point proved.

Monday 17th May 2004

I have never truly understood the very British obsession with the weather. Something that I have now come to live with. When there is nothing else to talk about, we discuss the weather. We meet complete stranger, and after the dignitaries of asking how they are, we exclaim that, rained cats and dogs two days ago. Why? Is this the only truly common ground we have with our fellow man (or woman?) Or is this due to our reserved nature, which means of all the topics to discuss, the weather appears to keeps us most at ease? This particularly discussion point will continue for some time. However, this morning, as I was getting ready to head over to the sports hall for my exam, the rays of the sun shone brightly for me. Through the half arch window, the gold light glistens and I had to carry out my honorable duty. It takes only Prince & The New Power Generation to remind us that, “not all that glitters is Gold.”

The England team was named this afternoon. I can feel it. I can feel that special warm glow. Euro 2004 is only six weeks away. I always enjoy the build up to international tournaments. Glad that on this occasions, I will be able to watch ever single game from the comfort of back home. Two years, I had to endure the World Cup matches on my limited Panasonic TV Video Combi. Plus I missed the opening England game, as I was working and had to cope with BBC Radio Five Live commentary. Little did I know then, but I was planting the seeds of this blog. There was somewhere to go, but I had started giving a limited insight into my life.

Two down, one to go. Glad that the two toughest exams are out of the way. I feel like a marathon runner, who has just taken that last corner, in the distance, I can see those cheering crowds, urging me on. A final burst of energy, to those tired legs. The sweat pours down my face, as I try to pump as much air into my lungs. Now that the finishing line is in sight, can I really stumble and fall?

Thursday 20th November 2003

You would think that I had come accustomed to getting up early, after my sandwich placement. However, having got back into ‘student mode’ I have become my lazy self again. Before going to sleep, I would set my alarm for 6.30am. This is purely an excercise in wishful thinking. I feel slightly better, thinking I am going to get up early and get loads of things done. However, as usual, I awake from my slumber, around 7.30am or later on some days. I was avid to switch back to my better days and get up early for a change. To do this, I knew I would need a unique weapon to aid my quest. There was little discussion, although the mobile phone is fantastic at waking you up, it has little staying power, as I normally ramage around for it and switch it off, heading back into a deep sleep. Therefore, I set up my TV to switch on just before 6am. That way, as the BBC Breakfast News started I would be woken by the intro and news headlines. I have to say, that this was a success yesterday morning and I woke up at 6am. I am very proud of myself, but only wish I could repeat this rare occurance, on a much more regularly basis. On well, we can wish. Perhaps, Zora Suleman, will be the additional incentive for me, to RI:SE in the morning! :)

I am off home this weekend, so I apologise in advance if there is no updates to the site over the weekend. Hopefully, I will be back in Leicester early evening on Sunday, to review the weekend and look forward to the next.

With all the sport on the television in the last few days, European Championship Play-Offs, and the imminent Rugby World Cup Final between England and Australia on Saturday. I was thinking of what my favourite sporting commentary of all time was. I thought about this for quite sometime, before remembering the actual words of the commentator: "Lord Nelson! Lord Beaverbrook! Sir Winston Churchill! Sir Anthony Eden! Clement Attlee! Henry Cooper! Lady Diana! Maggie Thatcher – can you hear me, Maggie Thatcher! Your boys took one hell of a beating! Your boys took one hell of a beating!" From the over extravagant Bjorn Minge on Norwegian TV. Norway had just beaten England 2-1 in Oslo in a World Cup qualifier in Sept 1981. The passionate response, and roll call of famous English persons, summarised perfectly the uninhibited sweet pleasure of beating England at their own game.

I want to get a good list of blogs together on my site. So if anyone has any suggestions for some blogs that I should take a look at please e-mail me. The aim is to find a list of blogs, that are interesting enough for me to visit every day, to catch up on goings on, in someone’s life.

What do you think of when I mention Leicester? It would be interesting to find out people’s views of the city, particularly those who have never visited this part of the Midlands. You would think that the best way of promoting anything is to advertise it’s benefits, the positives. Well not in this part of the world! A new £250,000 advertising campaign for the city, uses the slogan: “Boring, boring Leicester”. The concept is to get people thinking about and talking about the city. Will it work? I doubt it. The purpose, to provoke local residents to defend the city and start talking about all the good points of the city. Posters went up around the city, on Tuesday 11th November. Not that I have noticed any! If you have please get in touch! Read the full article here at Ananova.

Just to let you know that Sibtain is working very hard most evenings on DemonNet Productions, version III. It should be online, this weekend and having already had a sneek preview, all I can say is that he will not let you down. He hasn’t updated the original site (version 2) since he left the UK to go on holiday in Kenya. We look forward to his return to cyperspace and the famous blog!

I wish I could write more, but it’s getting late, and I have a very busy day tomorrow, plus I want to get up early and organize my stuff for the weekend. Take care for now and hope you have a good weekend.

Monday 13th October 2003

The broadband connection finally went live at Sheffield Street, at around 5pm on Wednesday 8th October. Two souls had been waiting patiently, for the big, “switch on”. For one, it would just be a case of normal service resumed, for the other, it would be an brand new experience, unlike no other. Once the configuration had all be set correctly, thanks to those lovely people down at technical support, we were up and running. I had received an e-mail from my housemate, over six weeks ago and it had suddenly become a reality, “we’ll be setting up a home network and broadband connection, if you are interested…” Of course, I was. The benefits of having an internet connection on your doorstep, are too obvious and dull to waste noting on my blog, but not having to trek to the Queens building just to check my Hotmail, is of immense benefit.

Music wise, I’ve listening to a variety of music over the past two weeks. Of course, Kazaa-Lite was downloaded, before I had a chance to breathe, and eMule followed quite swiftly behind. A song, I had heard several times, during Fresher’s week, was known to me only by the title, “Turn Me On”. I was soon informed, by my dear friend Sippy, that the artist was Kevin Lyttle, with the help of Alison Hinds. I downloaded about four different versions of the song, by 5.15pm. The song is released today and it is hoped that it makes the top ten. In total, I’ve downloaded some twenty songs and four albums since the broadband pipe went ‘live’ and the downloading continues…

Audio page updated to reflect the changes to my music database.

Erasure, whom I mentioned in my blog, early last year around 19th January, are releasing a single this week. Well I should be clear and declare, re-releasing, but “Oh L’amour” has been remixed and rehashed for a modern pop audience. To date, I have not heard it played on the radio. To be honest, I have not been listening to that much commercial / music orientated radio stations in the past few weeks. The only time I would do such a thing, was if I was commuting some 600 miles a week. (I don’t think so…!) I am looking forward to seeing how well the electronic duo, do on Sunday in the Top 40.

Some of my dreams lately have been edging on the level of completely bizarre. I’m not sure if my new surrounding have anything to do with my dreams, but the content has been extremely peculiar. Mixed up images of friends from primary school, people I hadn’t seen in over ten years, and strange meetings with the Terminator. Not sure what has been happening. Maybe my diet has something to do with?

England played with great resilience in Istanbul at the weekend. As always, when in mattered, they put in the performance to answer their doubters and prove that England are still a force to be reckoned with on the international stage. Hopefully, all the uncertainty regarded Sven can be discarded and the Swede, left to make plans for Portugal, 2004. I’m looking forward to the tournament, as always, they come at a crucial point in my academic life:

  • SATs – Euro ’96
  • GSCEs – France ’98
  • A Levels – Euro 2000
  • Finals – Euro 2004
  • I’ve quickly adjusted back to University life and am enjoying being back in Leicester. Of course, I miss home, High Wycombe does tend to hold some happy memories for me, and as much I miss my family and friends, I know there is a job to complete here. The culmination of four years of good work, needs to be seen through to the end and I’m not going to start letting people down, as perhaps, I have done in the past.

    Saturday 13th September 2003

    I was in central London on Thursday. In the British Library, doing some family research. Anyway, while I waited in the lobby, I heard a very familiar voice. A voice I would hear, on a daily basis, but this time, it was coming from a few feet away. As the voice, and it’s owner came up the stairs, I noticed it was Jeremy Paxman, of BBC University Challenge and Newsnight fame. I resisted the temptation of asking for a autograph, and just enjoyed the moment. As expected, my brief encounter with fame, was brief. Within a few minutes, his conversation ended and he rushed to the exit.

    I was watching Football Focus on BBC One, this lunchtime. At the end of the programme, Ray Stubbs contemplated, with the final stage of European Championship qualification a month away, the last time three home nations competed in a international tournament. It was the World Cup, with England, Scotland and Northern Ireland in contention. It was 1986. As they should the clips from Mexico, there was only one song they could use as a soundtrack, a-ha‘s – The Sun Always Shines On TV. Breath taking, absolutely breath taking. Seeing some the magical moments from the tournament and even that, “Hand of God”.

    When you talk about television for the ‘teens’, there are many shows that instantly come to mind. If you can over look the fact that the majority of the programming is from the US, you note that some of the best shows that you watched as a teenager, are still in some shape or form on the box today. On my quest to discover more information on these shows and the entire Engel Productions empire, I stumbled upon a great site. Now many sites, tend to be more show than ‘go’. But with the site I found, content is indeed king. Ian Ball’s TV Page provided detailed episode guides, production notes and background information on all the big teenage shows from the past ten years or so. Everything is there, from classics like Saved By The Bell and California Dreams, to recent shows such as USA High and Hang Time. Ian has spent a considerable amount of time and dedication amassing a huge FAQ on every single show and detailing every episode and when it was first aired in the US and then subsequently in Europe and the UK on satellite. This is a great resource, if you are looking for the little bit of information on a particular episode or show. Some of the information provided on Ian’s site, is more detailed than on the Internet Movie Database.

    I have been busy looking at my Links page and sorting out all the hyperlinks. Broken links have been removed and all links have been checked.

    I am back in Leicester next week and hope to get my new website ‘live’ by the end of next week. Until then, hope you all have a great weekend.

    Saturday 14th September 2002

    I must first apologize, for the long delay in not updating my website. There have been times when I haven’t updated the site, for perhaps a weekend, due to my schedule being so hectic. Three weeks, is extremely poor. I am sorry, but this mainly due to other commitments in my life having to take priority. I will, I guarantee to update my site every week.

    Well September started off with some optimism. Things have been going well, but as usual, things have fallen through. I find myself at a crossroad in my life. I can
    continue to pursue, a course of action, which will result in nothing, no matter how much effort I invest. The other path, I could follow, takes me to new places, new
    people, and new circumstances. As hard as this has been, you will have to believe me when I say, that I have decided to draw a line underneath the events of the last
    four or five weeks. This is not completely slamming the door shut and bolting it. I have decided that the best course of action, is to go with the flow. Let people
    make their own decisions, regardless of what I feel. To stop placing my agenda onto people and let things run their course. Should I ever find myself wanted again, I will consider carefully, whether or not it would be wise to return.

    Other things in my life have been going very well. My placement is going well, I start my 12th week tomorrow, so I have nearly been there 3 months. The time has flown by. I have been attending the gym regularly and I am been gaining weight and strength, slowly. I feel much more healthier than I did in January this year. Arsenal
    have made a so so start to the season. It feels great to hear them regarded, as the “Champions”, during televised games. I feel they have so much to live up to that they
    may not bring us all the success we feel they can. But some of the games, I have seen this season so far, have been highly exciting. Plus, the England friendly with
    Portugal was quite exciting, with so many new faces and new reputations to create. I am really looking forward to the Euro 2004, qualifying campaign. I hope Eriksson, will be far more adventurous when we play some of the weaker teams in our group, especially when at home.

    With regards, to the site, I have not had the opportunity to update it recently. I will be trying to get some updates, done during the course of the week, as I am not
    that busy. Please let me know if there is anything you feel this site is missing, or if there is something that you would like to add. I look forward to hearing from you.

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