Friday, June 13, 2008


There's a Manchester United website called To me, that looks like a website devoted to people or things which have been manured, such as Biff in Back To The Future.

Sorry, I couldn't think of anything more enlightening to talk about tonight. Also, I won't be posting anything tomorrow on account of the birthday party, so that snippet of information will have to last you till Sunday night. I hope nobody is in any way dissatisfied about that.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Well, that was embarrassing

I've been suffering with a cold for the last week, although I seem to have been very brave and noble and not whined about it on my blog. Anyway, still feeling sniffly and tired this afternoon I had a lie down and ended up falling asleep. I was woken up (from a dream about losing the world memory championship by deciding to stay in bed and not compete in large parts of it) by the phone ringing.

Possibly unwisely, I decided to answer it, and had a conversation with an accountancy recruitment agency in Nottingham whom I got in touch with a month or so ago. Lucky it wasn't someone offering me a job, really, since I wasn't really with it throughout the phone call, and probably gave the woman the impression that I was drunk, on drugs or just generally dimwitted. I thought it was probably best not to admit that I'd been asleep at half past four in the afternoon, but I think I'll come clean when I go in to see them tomorrow morning.

I've also hopefully kept my subconscious quiet for a while by doing three speed cards trial runs between football games today - 26.47, 24.97 and 22.28, all perfect - to keep my brain ticking over until I get a chance to do some more serious training next week. Another thing I didn't mention in my blog is that I didn't do the weekend half-hour-disciplines training that I was planning to do, and in fact spent the weekend sitting around, watching telly and occasionally sneezing. So I've been feeling a little bit guilty about it ever since, hence the mid-afternoon nightmare.

I'm also annoyed with Howard Webb the referee. I didn't mention it on the blog (what the heck have I been writing about for the last week?), but I had another bet on the last three days of football, and I had Poland down to win. They were 1-0 up with a minute to go and Webb goes and gives Austria a penalty! It's disgraceful! That reduces my winnings on that bet from a potential £16.46 to a £4.92 return from my £6.30 stake. Still, it's an improvement on the £1.91 I got from the first three days, and it's not going to break the bank at this rate. And yes, I did have Croatia to beat Germany, so I was cheering this afternoon.

Really, this betting on games has added hugely to my enjoyment of Euro 08. I've got a result to cheer for in every game now! I've already got my money on the next six games, and I'll probably have a final bet on the last six group matches too, unless I get all of the next lot wrong. Results to watch out for over the weekend:

Italy to beat Romania
Holland to beat France
Spain to beat Sweden
Greece to beat Russia (rather unwisely put my money on this one before seeing how terribly Greece played in their first game, but hey, Russia are rubbish too, you never know)
Portugal to beat Switzerland
Czech Republic to beat Turkey

Of course, it's Friday the thirteenth tomorrow, so luck probably won't be on my side. For some reason, even though my birthday's on the fourteenth of October and my brother's is the fourteenth of June, whenever they fall on a Saturday it never occurs to me that this means they're preceded by a Friday the thirteenth until the day itself comes along. You'd think after 61 birthdays between us, I would be used to the idea by now...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Discreet customer service

I was in Oxfam today, looking for cheap accessories to supplement the costume I'm wearing at my brother's fancy dress party on Saturday, when I noticed a wig for sale that I could use to make me look even more like the character I'm supposed to be (I was planning to be a bald version - the theme is characters from my brother's stories, and like all fiction writers, he has shamefully few handsome, bald-headed heroes). The wig didn't have a price on it, so I asked the woman on the till how much it cost, and she responded by yelling across the store "Gloria! There's a gentleman here wants to know how much the wig costs!"

So the entire Oxfam shop full of people, and I'm sure quite a few people passing by outside, turned to look at me. It'll be in all the papers tomorrow, I'm sure - memory champion buys wig!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Can't you talk about anything else?

Okay, final football-related post for at least a few days, I promise, but I would like to retract my prediction of Greece to win Euro 2008. They were atrocious tonight! I mean, I know they've got a reputation as a negative team, but they're not normally that negative. What kind of team goes out for their first group game against a team like Sweden and plays for a 0-0 draw? Dear me, they were bad.

Anyway, the interview went well today, so please keep your fingers crossed until some time early next week when I should hear whether they want me or not. It'd be a great job for me to get. And I'm sure the inconvenience of you trying to go about your everyday lives with your fingers crossed is a small price to pay for my eventual job satisfaction for the next nine months or so (it's a maternity leave cover job).

Monday, June 09, 2008


Well, the embarrassing defeat for France turned out to be a very dull embarrassing draw for France, and the dull 0-0 draw between Holland and Italy ended up being a thrilling 3-0. So I'm never going to make my living as a professional gambler, obviously.

Anyway, enough watching football, time to get a job. Another interview tomorrow, as I might have mentioned, out in Edwalton, a pleasant four-mile cycle from Nottingham station. Or, if it's as hot tomorrow as it was today, an extremely unpleasant cycle. Nonetheless, I'm going to cycle instead of taking a bus. Healthy exercise is good for you. Wish me luck! For the interview, not the cycling. Although you can wish me luck for that too, if you want. I might need more luck for that, actually. There's less chance of being hit by a lorry in an interview room.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Technical question

Why doesn't my internet explorer auto-redirect me on some web pages that really want me to be redirected? I bet it's some kind of security setting. This stupid laptop is riddled with security programs and settings and things. Okay, it stops people using my computer for evil purposes, probably, but it's mildly annoying when it does things like this and I don't know how to stop it.

Speaking of people using computers for evil purposes, I decided to count up all the emails I get in my spam folder from the Bank of Africa in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso offering a share of some vast fortune left in the bank by a wealthy foreigner. I've had five different ones in the last two days, the most entertaining being the "very huge sum of money belonging to a deceased person Mr.Emmanuel Etukudo who died on May 2nd, 2004 in a gassy car accident with his entire family on there way back from Bobo-Dioulasso the formal capital city of Burkina-Faso, and the fund has been dormant in his account with this Bank without any claim of the fund in our custody either from his family or relation before our discovery to this development."

I hope I'm never involved in a gassy car accident, it sounds nasty. You know, I should create phishing emails for a living. I sometimes get some that I think would really work if only the creators had put a little bit more effort into it. I could make a really convincing one and con lots of stupid people out of lots of money. You know, if I had someone else on my team who could do HTML and things, obviously...