Saturday, April 20, 2013


The house sale in Newark went ahead while I was in France. When I got back we drove to Sunderland to complete on the house we are buying there...didn't complete until Wednesday, leaving us just a few days to clean all the carpets, fix everything that needed fixing, prepare the landlords paperwork (thanks Juli), and thoroughly clean and decorate throughout. Our tenants are now in.

It was good to meet up with David and Eileen at the PrestonTemple on Tuesday and loved the drive back through the Lake District to the North-East.

I enjoyed meeting up with my sister Susan to visit family before going to Ikea last night with Bev...did you know it's cheaper to buy wardrobes in France and the interior bits in England?

Today it's all hands on deck to help Chris and Juli as they start moving house...she's remarkably excited about the prospect and is full of energy. We, on the other hand, are numb and past it!

When we are done in Sunderland, it's back to Newark before flying off for a mystery holiday break. Then it's France at more work (at least Bev can rest up).

Time to get these old bones moving again on a day that I would prefer watching Sunderland and Everton doing all the running about just down the road at the Stadium of Light.

Thanks for the use of your computer, Juli.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Paolo Di Canio

Dan Hodges of the Telegraph has infuriated me today. He tears a man down and attempts to incite the great British public to boycott Sunderland because they dare hire a man qualified to do a job in football management. The man was an exemplary footballer...voted worldwide as the fairest man on a football pitch, and a man who has already successfully managed a football team... a man of passion and honesty, and yes, integrity and one who is a proven motivator on the field of play.

I'm a Mormon and have a dislike of many things that people stand for in modern society, but recognise we should be allowed to coexist peacefully and agree to disagree. Surely we should show respect for any differences we might have? It sickens me to the core that this man is being hounded the way he is. He's stated in the past that he is a Fascist, not a racist. Where is the crime?

There is such hypocrisy in parts of the British press, and it's shameful. This man is entitled to earn a living for his family and is qualified to do the job he's been employed to do. By all accounts he is a good husband, father and family man. He's law abiding and contributes to society. He may have strong political views, but who hasn't? Even if he does - and there is little evidence to suggest they are manifest in his day-to-day life, is that a crime in our democratic environment? I'm certain he isn't plotting to blow up or lynch anyone opposed to his way of life, as some are.

I see no evidence of Swindon Town being hung up to dry in the national press when he was appointed manager there, so why is it suddenly okay to vilify the entire North-East of England and intimate they are Fascist racists and should be boycotted?

I see a man who's words and actions are cherry-picked and taken out of context. I see a man who has been accused of many things of which nothing is proven. I see a family man being hunted. I see a specific region of England being targeted. I see a journalist casting the first stone in the glass house he occupies, because he appears hell-bent with inciting riot at every stadium Paolo Di Canio visits with his team.

That's what I call dangerously extreme, Mr Hodges and you should be ashamed of yourself.

ps, the fact that I'm a Sunderland fan has nothing to do with this. I think Di Canio is ill equipped in terms of experience to manage a club playing at the highest level of football and I was sad to hear O'Neill had been sacked. I do feel, however, that his passion for the game and his motivational skills will soon win us all over. He is a breath of fresh air to fans who seek passion and commitment from players on the field of play and I wish him well.

Any man who says he has fire in his belly and would have swam to Sunderland to take the job strikes a light in me. I like what I've seen of him and feel he deserves a chance.

I will judge you by what you say you are and do, rather than what others say you are and a non-judgemental way.

Welcome to Sunderland, Paolo and don't be put off by all the flack. I don't expect anything against Chelsea or Everton, but look forward to the rest...especially Newcastle!

pps, I was glad to see Miliband resign...politics isn't the issue, here.

Just realised that I'm back from France to exchange contracts on a house we are buying in the North-East the day before Sunderland play Newcastle away...I'll be there to see them win...and if they don't, I know they will have given everything and will proudly sing. The manager will ensure they give's all we ever ask.