So way back in around November 2013 I decided that I would like my late father do a marathon when I was 40. Fast forward to May 2014 and it was race day. Please read Review blog here. Now it was a great effort to get my near 17 stone frame around 26.22 mile course and in June 2014 I managed it. I ended up doing 5 hours 10 mins and 34 seconds. It was great to finish but I was somewhat disappointed with my time and the last few weeks on the ale cheering on Liverpool’s title challenge (Yes remember those days !!! ) cost me big time. The edit on my blog post says “Edit I am never running one of these bastards again so thats my official withdrawal from Rio 2016 !!” Well my Rio 2016 dreams are in tatters. Who in their right mind would put themselves through the pain and effort of training and the emotion of race day. Well this morning I had a battle of a different kind. As I stood on our scales and waited for the news to be beamed to the console (Yes I even have gadget scales) I couldn’t quite read the numbers. Now my pants were telling me things were not on the good side (or size) and I couldn’t figure out what was on the console. It looked like some letters instead of numbers. On peering a bit closer I could see a message scrolling across the screen. “One at a time you piearse” (It’s s posh gadget and doesn’t use the phrase fat bastard) I rubbed my eyes and the mirage had gone. Only numbers remained. Numbers only normally obtained post christmas and this was only October. I had to do something about this so I started a training regime that could possibly lead to a marathon but deffo a half marathon of which I have now done 4.
So day one Monday October 26th and a rest day. This is my type of training regime. Day 2 sadly was not a rest day and a 4 mile “Fartlek” training run. As the weather gods would only have it, it was indeed pissing down this evening after work but out I went and completed the 4 miles. Then as I went for a shower the revelation from St John the patron saint of piearses appeared as a bright light emanating from my scales console. The truth dawned on me. If I have no goal I am a piearse. If I have a goal and I am very good unless Liverpool nearly win the league and its safe to say that this won’t be a distraction in 2016. So I have only gone and done it and signed up for the Greater Manchester Marathon 2016. What Manchester I hear you say why not Liverpool. Well (A) Manchester is a lot flatter and (B) there is no mind numbing 5 mile plus slog home along Otterspool prom (C) I am too old for all that Liverpool vs Manchester bollocks. Never will Old Trafford be such a lovely sight as I finish the Greater Manchester Marathon 2016. I know what is ahead of me training wise and it will be harder in some sense as last time it was all about firsts every time I ran further. This time nothing new or unknown. All that awaits are blisters and days written off after the long run for the week. The goal as ever is to finish but deep down I need to break that 5 hour barrier which I should of done last time but for some slackness in the final few weeks. This time from very early Jan it will be one session on the booze for when I go to Stuttgart in February 2016 otherwise its a strict no grog unit after the race. This time I have to do it properly and lose a bit more weight than last time as well. Don’t worry I won’t be haggling for any charity money this time after raising £638.96 for Christies hospital last time. This time it is purely for me and when I cross that finish line I can say to my late dad “See I told you I could do a marathon properly” and the Manchester marathon defeats the piearse. Don’t worry with Glastonbury and a summer holiday piearse will soon be back. As Peter Alliss once said to Sam Torrance who had lost a lot of weight “Have you got any dieting tips Sam” to which Torrance replied “Always keep your fat clothes” never a truer word said.
In other news today Mrs Fay was made permanent in her job with the home office and immigration. So big thanks to Tony Blair who without his lying about intelligence which then caused us to attack Iraq and then make the whole area unstable kicking off a refugee crisis which is still growing today Mrs Fay wouldn’t have a job. Whilst I am at it thanks to the bankers who caused the economic crash which meant times of austerity and local councils cutting back on staff together with Iain Duncan Smith’s terrible Universal Credit idea meaning my services are very much in demand. Every cloud has a silver lining eh and speaking of which thanks to the house of Lords for jibbing the Tax Credits cuts for now. Sadly every generation must learn about the Tories and this one is no different but the penny is slowly dropping. On with the Corbyn revolution.
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So time for another one of my cultural reviews. The venue this time is Barcelona in Spain. It was a 12pm meet in Liverpool Airport and my money was put into the first “Walter” (Mitty) A few beers later and we were into the luxurious hands of Ryan Air for a 1 hour and 55 minutes (Nobody won the guess the time flight sweep) flight to Spain. Towards the end of the flight thanks to the power of TV advertising we noticed one of the lads was showing all the indications of having a stroke though thankfully it was just his reaction to seeing how much a bevy had cost on the flight. A quick taxi into central Barcelona and we arrived at our apartments and first up a few of us legged it to the local supermarket for supplies to see us through the 3 nights which was a load of Estrella, crusty bread, ham, cheese, hot dogs and of course the Spanish exclusive of Jamon Ruffles. The supermarket fella was so glad to of made such a huge sale that just like when landing on time on the Ryan Air flight he lashed on a Bangra choon over his tannoy and the party was started for the first night. Once out one of the lads spotted his phone was running out of power and he hadn’t brought a charger with him. He then piped up “Has anybody got an I-Phone 4 charger” There was silence and Spanish Tumbleweed rolling past us. What was this primitive technology of the aforementioned iPhone 4 ? We chuckled to ourselves (iPhone 4 phhhhhfffffftttt) and walked down a narrow Barcelona street. Then as if by magic not one but at least 10 mobile phone shops appeared and his prayer had been answered. Mobile Phone street then led us to Las Ramblas. Now I had heard many things about Las Ramblas main about pickpocketing which the led to us all looking like a one man band conventions day out as every few minutes you are tapping your pockets to see you still have your cash and phone. Anyway we made it to a bar full of jam jars off a side street of Las Ramblas and a Tom Collins cocktail it was !!! We took in many more cultural reviews of bars I can’t remember many of which seemed Irish Bars which are normally avoided as you mainly want to sample the local culture but there wasn’t much else on offer that we had found. We did find a lovely square to sit on and have a drink before making it home to a cafe underneath our apartment and we planned ourselves sitting on the outside hatch of the place and attempting to drink the place dry of Bailey’s which I am not sure we managed but we did come home with disco glasses ?
So day two and not much of a hangover we headed of for some breakfast about 12pm. The day was spent walking around Barcelona and stopping off for pubs, sadly taking in both the Liverpool and Everton games before we headed of down to the coast and ended up at some bar down there. We then had a stroll down a closed off street where there was a festival going on and me and Ian had an impromptu race which despite Ian’s great start I won. It was then we realised our race track bit of the road wasn’t actually closed off as soon after a bus came whizzing past from what would have been behind us as racing. With a DJ playing out the top of a car it was time to head up to the match and thankfully our cab driver was just as funky as he got down to some Michael Jackson in the cab with us. This led to a sing song all the way to the Estadio del Camp Nou with his playlist being “We Are The World” “99 Red Balloons” “Personal Jesus” and ‘Our House” which had us all merrily singing along and the cab driver was putting in some actions for us. We arrived at the ground handy and had a pint by the ground with some fellow fans who were in good voice. Here it was a challenge was thrown down as we were by a bus stop and the busses were bendy busses. The challenge was to run on the back door and get off at the front door. Sadly nobody had the bottle to do it. So we entered the ground and were met with the option of 0% beer ! Diet coke and a hot dog or two it was then. The ground itself was very impressive and massive but sadly it turned out just to be a soulless bowl. Full of tourists eating hot dogs and drinking diet coke who no doubt were wearing disco glasses like a gang of twats the night before. This is deffo the way Anfield is going as well but compared the the Estadio del Camp Nou Anfield is a cauldron when it’s a home game against Stoke. Anyway the match was good with Barcelona beating Rayo Vallecano and Neymar netting 4 goals (Ever been to a match where somebody has scored 4 ? ) We ended up walking home from the Estadio del Camp Nou taking in some Spanish bars for a change and hitting the vodka red bull. We ended up back at a bar called Hogan’s who called last orders on us but it seemed we were the only people who actually left ? Back to a square we found for a last short or two and this time it was Barcelona pork pie hats and disco rings as we got an invite into the club bit. We staggered back to the apartment for more hot dogs for supper and the three of us that remained awake ended up staying up until 5:30am before we had finally sang all the nursery rhymes from Justin or was it Mr Tumble’s album on Spotify. Top tip put your phone in a glass coffee holder to a louder sound !
Fuck me I was tired getting up at 11am after 5 hours sleep. We made it for some breakfast but such was the gaff we were in I had one option. Hamburger or nothing. So hamburger it was ! We found a bar to watch the first game of rugby and I was struggling to focus thought I did manage a bevy. I felt like the world was looking at me and as we walked in the second pub a very busy Irish bar I could not take any more and headed home for a sleep. After a couple of hours kip and a biscuit boost I was back and met them in the same pub. The lads then decided to go for a posh steak so I went for a walk around Barcelona taking in a bit of culture and a church (See below) Meeting the lads again it was time for the last push and away we went again. In yet another Irish pub a man was trying to sell me a rose. I said no but he then pointed to a girl for me to buy her a rose. I lifted my left hand up and pointed to my wedding ring. The reply was an international symbol recognised by all men and the fella gestured to putting the ring in his small pocket in his jeans. Us men might not speak the same language but we all know what the small pocket in your jeans was designed for. After a sway home to look for some scran and we could not find anywhere but a supermarket that was open it was time for another hot dog festival in the apartment and this time it was only a 4.30 am finish and the music was slightly better a mix of BBC sports theme tunes (we done the actions) and American TV themes which we all sang along to. We had a retrospective first home sweep which paid out on me for my disco nap !
So out the apartment by 11am and ditching our bags we grabbed some food and had a last few beers including some free shots. We cut up a few side streets as the all got presents for our loved ones and it was then decided to have a game of spot the difference (See below) cabs to the airport, more shopping and a last few beers and that was that. Barcelona had eat me up and spat me out. Never felt or looked so tired and wasn’t expecting 3:30, 5:30 and 4:30 am finishes on the ale. It was a cracking weekend and Barcelona was OK, the match was OK but the grog and company made it a boss weekend. Next year we might go to Ireland and drink in a load of Spanish bars. And as you see from the spot the difference I really do need to sort myself out so I am deffo gonna grow my hair longer so I don’t look like a Buddha !
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Well after an early start on the pop at 1.30 for the derby match I had retired to my boys room to play on the xbox one when I got a random text just saying Rodgers. No way I thought. I raced into the living room to bang sky sports news on and there it was he had been sacked. Now I could go on for the next 1000 words about how I think he should have been given more time and gone into in depth statistical analysis. But I am already a bit bored of the post Rodgers era. So instead I will move forward and look at the next Liverpool manager. Way back in season 2000/2001 a new manager burst onto the scene. He would go onto win 10 titles on the run in his country and also pick up a few european and domestic cups along the way. He brought a young Neil Mellor into his squad who turned out to be an amazing goalscorer in a front three with Pablo Aimar and John Carew. This of course was me on Championship Manager 2000/2001. I played that game for hours whilst living at my nans. So much that Arsene Wenger was 99 years old in the game and even got one of the hidden jokes in the game when one of my players was injured as he had split a bollock ! That must have been a secret reward for me playing the game so much. I had first cut my managerial teeth in the mid and late 80’s with ZX Spectrum Games “Football Manager” and “The Boss” again creating championship winning teams. So my pedigree as a top manager has been proven and I await the call from FSG. I might even dust the old boots off but not as somebody thought on Twitter as a number 7. Them days are long gone. I am now an ageing overweight centre half though still show flashes of genius and skill in the school gym at Calderstones school on a Wednesday night whilst turning a deeper shade of red every 10 minutes that pass !
There have already been many Rodgers gags doing the rounds on social media. It seems a long time ago since the old three envelopes trick which I myself done when taking over Liverpool on Championship Manager 2000/2001. For the record the three names were Erik Meijer, Titi Camera and Bernard Diomede. So in an ironic twist despite be backing Rodgers when the fixtures came out and those away games were sacked at they were in the early start to the season I had £20 on Rodgers not to be Liverpool manager come Jan 1st. So that’s £64 back almost covering my Glastonbury deposit as we secured tickets today for what will be my 6th trip down to the farm. Every cloud has a silver lining eh. So at the forums at Red and White Kop go into meltdown it’s time to chill and remember it is only footy. Sky Sports news will move onto their next victim (manager) and start cranking the pressure up until another one bites the dust. Twitter and Facebook will be full of it over the next few days as the saga drags on and all the bastards who were booing after the match will be posting good luck and best wishes to Brendan whilst putting their axes down to type. As for Brendan well its a tough gig losing your job and walking away with a few million in the bank.
Modern footy eh it really is a bag of shite and makes me wonder if I will ever go to a game again ? It’s not the game it used to be, we are not the club we used to be and in the words of the Fine Young Cannibals single “I am not the man I used to be”
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