Category Archives: Life in general

Maybe I Don’t Belong Here

Yesterday, I read Maybe I Don’t Belong Here by David Harewood.  There were other things I meant to do but I didn’t do them; I became absorbed in the book and read it.

It’s about his life and his experience of psychosis, when his two halves, the black half and the English half, seemed to split. He wrote that at times he was able to fuse the two halves together but occasionally the gap between them was just too big. He discusses how this was related to the racist abuse he’d received.  Black men in Britain are ten times more likely than white men to be diagnosed with a psychotic illness and four times more likely to be sectioned.

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Football on Good Friday

The first time I went to watch football on a Good Friday was in 2015 and I was in two minds about going.  I wrote about that in a post on this blog; I said,

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Bank Job

While I was listening to Birmingham City’s game yesterday evening, it felt as though football was the most important thing in the world.  But when I calmed down after the terrible 0-4 loss, I knew that football, for me, is just the most important of the non-important things. I hope that, if I was able to choose between Birmingham winning the Premier League or Covid‑19 being abolished, that I would choose to end the pandemic rather than put Blues on the pinnacle.

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Happy Christmas?

Whether or not you have a happy Christmas depends on what you base your happiness. If it depends on Birmingham City doing well then it may be time you changed your allegiance to a more successful team. One thing I have learned in over 70 years of supporting the Blues is how to recover from defeats and not to base my feelings on football.  Though, I must admit that recovering from the defeat by Middlesbrough took longer than usual.

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Project Restart

I have just read Project Restart: From Prem to the Parks, How Football Came Out of Lockdown. It includes case-studies of how nine teams fared during lockdown: Burnley, Swansea, Tranmere, Forest Green, Solihull Moors, Royston Town, Northumberland Park, Stonewall and St Albans City Girls. These were chosen to represent a spread of clubs from the Premier League down to grassroots football.  They were also chosen from the clubs that the author could get information on; many football media teams were inaccessible.

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Easter Saturday

It’s Easter Saturday and the weather is beautiful, it doesn’t seem right to be staying at home. But that’s what I’ll be doing. It’s what I’ve done for the last 3 weeks and what I’ll probably be doing for many more weeks to come.  The Church of England prayer for today talks about crying to God from “the depths of our isolation” and seems very suitable for the present situation.

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Strange but still good Friday

This has felt like a very strange Good Friday. On previous Good Fridays I have joined in with the prayer walk round Harborne and gone to the service on the High Street.  This year I just walked on my own around the retirement apartment block where I live.  We’ve been asked to stay within the building or gardens and I’m staying home as instructed and keeping 2 metres away from people I see. 

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Sad, proud and glad

I experienced a range of emotions at the FA Cup game with Leicester. I was sad that we conceded a goal and lost the game; I never like losing. I was proud of our players and the effort they put in. I was also proud of the support from the Birmingham City fans, who supplied all the noise in the stadium. I was glad that I’d gone to the game.

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Not according to plan

I had planned to spend the weekend in London but changed my plans and stayed just one night so that I could go to the FA cup game against Coventry. 

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Racism

On Friday evening, I went to watch a play about Laurie Cunningham and the racial abuse that he received. I was in two minds about going as I still had the remnants of a cough following a cold and am so glad that I did go. As one review said “the three-strong cast whizz through almost 100 years of football history, brilliantly swapping roles and characters in the same slick, smooth way that Cunningham was famed for on the pitch.”

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Conflict

Last week my mind was on conflict off the pitch.  I grew up listening to my parents talking about the second World War and the D-Day anniversary brought back memories of that.  On Saturday, I saw Captain Corelli’s Mandolin at the Rep, a story of what happened on a Greek island during that war.

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Away day

I went to watch the game at Bristol City on Tuesday evening though I don’t normally go to evening away games. And I’m going to fewer away games because standing for 90 minutes feels like more of a chore as I get older. But one of my nephews lives in the Bristol area and I’d said I’d go to the game and also meet up with him.  It seemed rather wimpish to alter my plan just because the time was changed from a Saturday afternoon to a Tuesday evening.  

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Time’s wingèd chariot

Loftus Road is a small stadium, the third smallest stadium in the Sky Bet Championship this season. It’s not a comfortable place to visit. When I went there, I felt like a sardine crammed in a tin. Respect to the Blues fans who are going today, and I hope they see a good game. I’ll be listening on the radio.

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Inequality

We live in a crazy world.  Lionel Messi, the highest paid footballer last season, received $111,000,000. Does he deserve that much? More and more people in this country are relying on food banks. If you think that they deserve that, try watching I, Daniel Blake on BBC iPlayer and see if you change your mind.

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More than eleven

Solihull Moors FC has a great slogan: Moor than eleven. Every successful football team has more than eleven involved in that success. Yesterday evening, the Moors earned a replay against a team from higher in the pyramid. That was achieved by players, coaches, other staff and fans too. It was also one of the more exciting no-score draws I’ve watched. Continue reading