All entries for March 2005

March 25, 2005

Football At Home

Small observation. Mum is the unfortunate Liverpool diehard in a house of Manchester United fans, moi, mon frere et mon papa. I arrive back home wearing my new Sparta Prague shirt and she likes it. Her exact words were "that's quite cool, I like the colour".

So how come, two days later, when I want to wear my Man Utd goalkeeper shirt she's suddenly complaining that "all you ever wear is football shirts, girls your age shouldn't wear football shirts".

Double standards or does she really think this whole "I play football" is ironic? Yeah we girls don't actually play football, we secretly play netball on a Wednesday afternoon and just say we play football because we watched 'Bend It Like Beckham' and wanted to be trendy. Message to mum- I support Man Utd. It's your own fault for letting your husband indoctrinate your kids.

On a related note, I read this today:
"Football is all very well as a game for rough girls, but it is hardly suitable for delicate boys" Oscar Wilde

Oscar, marry me…

March 22, 2005

Tour 2005 Thursday and Friday– The Proud Wearer Of The Tiara

Follow-up to Tour 2005 Wednesday– Walking and Walking and Walking from Hollyzone


Thursday could have been fatal. After walking for 4783571308439 miles the day before, up hills with inclines(!), I, and indeed most of my friends, were asked to play football. The slow had melted and the ten year old Czech boys weren't in school they were on the sidelines heckling in bad English. Fun fun fun for the seconds, we got hammered. Most impressive was that Sian failed to score an own goal, so Winnie selflessly scored one instead. Such a captain.

The Czech for "yes" is "ano". Imagine, if you will, an English player bombing it down the sideline asking for the ball by yelling "yes yes yes". Now imagine a Czech doing the same. "Ano ano ano"... like a Little Britain sketch.

Back in the hostel I collapsed on my bed in a twitchy heap. Contact lenses out, primed for a shower and ready to chow down with the seconds when life took a turn for the weird. Firsts captain Katie stook her head round the door and chirruped "Becky F and Holly, get your stuff and get on the bus". We'd already played one game. Becky had played half a match because she was going to play for the firsts anyway in goal. She didn't really want to and we told her to tell them to bugger off. I foolishly said "I'd do the same in your shoes". I didn't. We meekly pulled ourselves to our feet (me getting fresh contacts) and staggered onto the bus.

If I had missed this I'd hate myself forever.

We played Sparta Prague.

We got hammered but it didn't matter. One of the best teams in Europe, a team people had heard of. No f@%king College of Cakes for us, this was the good stuff. We played at the Strahov Stadium. A massive example of Soviet concrete it used to hold 50,000 for gymnastics and rock concerts. Now it is Sparta's training ground, full of ptiches. It is amazing. Truly jaw dropping sight and we were playing in it.

I can't get across how much this rocked. I doubt I ever will. I can honestly say this was one of the most amazing nights of my life…

The Tiara

Convention holds that the last footballer to throw up wears to tiara. Usually this is Imogen. But this time round it was also shared by Nic and Becky F. Carolyn should have had it for throwing up on her friend's knee whilst her friend was getting sleazed on in a bar but the tiara had vanished by the time it was her go to wear it.

The madness of Thursday night was the chance to blow off the steam. It did make Friday a challenge, getting everyone back into Britain. I don't know who muppeted more. Actually I do. Housemate:Els made a good go of it by leaving her phone at the metal detecter in the airport and havning to negotiate for it back as the plane was about to leave. But Imogen got the title by trying to bring a toy gun back home, sparking a security alert. Can't take them anywhere.

So we survived. Just. I love tour…

March 21, 2005

Tour 2005 Wednesday– Walking and Walking and Walking

Follow-up to Tour 2005 Tuesday– A Cocktail Bar By An Irish Bar By A Czech Bar from Hollyzone

Officially our day off from football, we decided to spend it wisely by seeing the sights of what is, after all, one of the nicest cities in Europe.

Basically this involved a lot of walking which was something of a challenge, but was it worth it? Hell yeah. Housemate:Els made a jokey comment in a postcard that Prague was "pointy" and it was. But so beautiful, painted buildings, classical architecture, amazing sights. It made me want to slap the Nazis and the Communists and any other twats in history who damaged such a lovely place. I'm in love. Sorry Barcelona, but you may just have lost your title.

Anyway, what did we see? Clock towers and King Wenceslas on his horse and the cathderal (wow) and the Charles Bridge. We dragged tired, hungover, over exerted footballers up a huge hill to see the castle, cathderal and general view of the city. It was, in a couple of words, worth it. I don't pretend to be particularly cultured but I know real class when I see it.

Charles Bridge is magnificent.

The cathedral in general, and its stained glass windows in particular, is magnificent.

It is just generally amazing.

Culture on the football team tour? It happens.

Quote of the day
Soph (inside the cathedral) My, there's a large organ (yes I am aware we have the combined mental age of a goldfish…)

March 20, 2005

Tour 2005 Tuesday– A Cocktail Bar By An Irish Bar By A Czech Bar

Follow-up to Tour 2005 Monday– "No politics on tour… but porn is allowed, we're on holiday" Soph from Hollyzone

Shocking but true, this being a football team tour, it actually included playing football! I know, amazing but true, there was some actual justification to the drinking, the shouting, the late nights.

In answer to previous questions, yes the kebabs in Prague are as vital (as in full of life) as those back home. So tanked up on a nice combination of uncomfortable sleep and food poisoning, I set off bravely to face the Czechs. We were out of town slightly, in the shadow of some massive Soviet style apartment blocks. Like Birmingham in the 1960s ugly was a virtue in the architecture of the area. But what really surprised me was that these were new. I had expected the older buildings, the mid twentieth century ones, to exhibit the utilitarian hideouness of the Czech communist regime, but to see new buildings in this 'style' being put up was weird.

I could be using this as an excuse to explain why we got badly beaten. Firsts and seconds. The firsts had the misfortune to lose to Slavia Prague, the second biggest club in the Czech Rep. It was funny though. The way the previous week's heavy snowfall was piled high at the edge of the pitch. We simply put our bottles of water in them to keep them cool… as well as pelting each other like five year olds at half time. So mature for our ages.

One thing the hostel did do well was the showers. Divinely boiling. Suitably stewed it was time to hit the town. Poor town. We wandered, we staggered, we had Chinese food because that is the law in the football team. We split into groups and spread across the city. And we found a cocktail bar serving a variety of strangely coloured, oddly named drinks. Sperm, anyone? Didn't think so.

Any large group in Prague is either a British stag/hen party or a group of Italians. The latter were all wearing overly large sunglasses and pretentious hats. We tried to get them to take our token Italian, Gloria, off our hands but they wouldn't. For no apparent reason following this Gloria declared that she wanted to be known as Princess Consuela Bananahammock. Too much 'Friends' I think.

We ended up, as so often before, in a semi-decent club. Considering we walked past about a million strip clubs and perv-bars on the way there, this is quite fortunate. We arrived in the nick of time. Any longer and I fear one or more out of Imogen, Katie, Carolyn or Soph might have ended up being thrown into the river as they molested each other for laughs.

New tour phrase/action: Stinga!? To be shouted whilst delivering a short, sharp slap to the postier of another. Most entertaining.

Quote of the Day

Soph (In the cocktail bar after drinking some of Gloria's 'Orgasm') "I don't want one if that's what it tastes like."

All attempts to discuss politics were shouted down. I gave up.

March 19, 2005

Tour 2005 Monday– "No politics on tour… but porn is allowed, we're on holiday" Soph

I'm back! Back from the capital of a landlocked piece of little genius they call the Czech Republic, and in particular it's capital Prague. The 2005 Women's Football Club tour ended despite all the scrapes, adventures and insanity which usually accompanies us. This will no doubt not be the most coherent account of the week ever but here it goes…


Dragged myself out of bed to the scene of my house being used as a base camp for several billion footballers. Ok not all of us ahd slept there but getting ready to head over the campus were me (resident), Housemate:Els, the Wench (soon to be renamed Venchka), Dave, Skippy, Housemate:Boz, Winnie and Cara. Several metric tonnes of luggage and a last minute repack was ordered. I emptied my bag and put it back together again.

Why oh why is packing so much fun?

We reached campus and celebrated by standing in the Piazza heckling each other and laughing at passport photos. I win beacause my passport is only five months old. I also win because it was the only Irish one and fascinated people who tried to decypher the Gaelic written on it. No people, it is not Elvish. The Wench asked everyone to wave their passports in the air to show they had them… uh-oh…

Winnie had forgotten hers! After being asked for ID in Robin's Well the week before she had removed her passport from its usual carry case and forgotten to put it back. So she zoomed off with Housemate:Els to Leam. You've never seen a Renault Clio move so fast (though within the legal limit I'm sure…).

Forward planning. Always tell people to meet before you actually want them to be somewhere. This is the only way to ensure that they will be there as there will always be latecomers.

Apparently the bus driver drove past Birmingham International Airport deliberately because it is the quickest way to our actual destination of East Midlands Airport. I'm not convinced… Either way we then dossed around EMA with our lovely tour tops. This year's theme was films. Some were puns- Sarah got Sars Attacks, Ceri got Ceri On Camping; some were clever- the Wench as club president got JFK; and some were plain random- I think Nic really appreciated getting Bound. Mine was Speed 2. This makes no sense unless you know that Speed 2 (shit film) was subtitled 'Cruise Control'.

More passport hilarity ensued at the airport as we all laughed when Winnie had to go through the non-EU citizens gate on her own… and she had the last laugh when she got a stamp in her passport and we didn't. Damn EU freedom of movement.

The rest of the day was taken up with the familiar process of nabbing the best bed in the hostel (although the one I nabbed turned out to be as comfortable as concrete) and then spreading the contents of our luggage across as wide an area of the floor as humanly possible. Job done, though Nic did it so much better than I could. The evening ended, as so many do, with us sat by a tram line eating the biggest pizza in the entire history of pizzas whilst wondering if Czech kebabs are as unrelaible as their English counterparts.

Quote of the Day

Boz "You're speaking Scouse... how ethnic."

March 12, 2005

Pre Prague Progress

Prague. Scene of the imminent women's football club tour 2005. Plans are in motion, bags are being packed and the last minute rush to replace our unfortunate Malin (throat infection has forced her out) has begun. My packing is as yet undone. I love packing, I love getting infinite amounts of stuff into small bags.

So I address the remaining challenges:

  • 2000 words of essay for Monday. Can be done if I just get on with it and stop blogging…
  • Pick a passport. Having two means I can lose one and still travel. But which one should I take? Oh the agony of choice…
  • Find more socks. Where have all the socks gone? Surely Housemate:Els can't have stolen them all?
  • Clean football boots. Look good, dazzle Czechs.
  • Not die of food poisoning in the next two days.

Mmm, that's quite a list to be getting on with.

I'll try and take notes and remember the events of the week. No promises, no guarantees mind…

March 10, 2005

Varsity: Warwick University 3–0 Cov Poly

Oh yeah!

Just as we all search in life for the one we love so we must also find the one we hate. And lo! Warwick University did meet, one night down at Ikon, a strange thing called Cov Poly. And they decided to be rivals. This is how Varsity was born.

This year we won! Hurrah! Even better was this year I got to watch, having missed last year through a work related something-or-other. In fact I wasn't just watching, I was 1) technically a sub though I wasn't used; 2) linesman. Oh yes, I ran up the sideline and waved my flag like a star.

First half was scrappy. We weren't great and neither were they. They were a bit depleted to be honest, they only had 12 players and we had 16 plus a few others not in the squad who watched. It helped that we went 1–0 up fairly soon, a scrappy (there's that word again) goal from Heather which nevertheless was pretty much enough to kill the game. Cov weren't lacking in fitness or strength but they didn't have the edge to cut through the defence. Not even their captain Jess could do much to get past our back line of Cat and Imogen… especially Imogen who wasn't going to let a little thing like Jess being her identical twin get in the way of a good kicking.

We ended the half 2–0 up when Squeaky Rach burst out of her role as left back and sent an optimistic toe poke into the back of the net.

The game was over within 10 minutes of the restart. Hanya decided that she was bored with passing the ball and simply ran with it from the halfway line before slotting it home in style. Minutes later Cov were in trouble as one of their defenders went down injured. They had to wait an anxious five minutes before she was able to get up again. I can't be sure how much it helped that the player in question was studying physiotherapy. Physician heal thyself indeed.

A close call but Cov's luck wasn't to hold out. Not long after one of their most dynamic players, the right winger, was felled somewhat brutally when through on goal. It was her bad luck that it looked like a dive or it would certainly have been given as a foul and possibly cards being shown. However she had to be taken off and was joined by one of their defenders not long after. Reduced the 10 players all that Cov could do was hang on as Warwick piled on the pressure but seemed unable to score.

Final whistle and another win in the bag.

What happened at Score afterwards was more interesting and amusing but I can't really say anymore than that except I managed to make a real tit out of myself and still didn't rank as one of the top 3 eejits from our club that night. Rock and indeed (poly kicking) roll…

March 06, 2005

Wide Awake

Follow-up to Insomniac? from Hollyzone

It has occurred to me that there is only one conversation which can be relied upon in my world and that is this:

Housemate:Mike: I'm going to bed.
Me: Ok, night.
Housemate:Mike: Are you going to bed now?
Me: No, I think I'll read the paper/watch TV/listen to music/draw cartoons.
Housemate:Mike: Do you ever sleep?
Me: Doesn't look like it really…

I'm off to draw cartoons now.

I really should get on with that essay…

The Blog Social

What happened? I think this is what happened but I'm not entirely sure…

I got home from work. The oven is broken (just like the bath, the doorbell, the washing machine and the plumbing before it) so I gave up on eating food at home and decided to risk the Bar 'Food'. I arrived at Rootes Aiport Bar Social Building to find Sam, Natalie and Andy sat talking. I don't know what they were saying but I did catch a muffled "Oh shit, not her, anyone but her" as I approached. I don't know who they were referring to but I can only assume Magaret Thatcher was nearby.

Anyway, a brief detour to the cash machine and I returned to find Paul had arrived and we were truly multiplying. It was decided that sweet things were needed so me and Andy volunteered to go to Costcutters and get food. We asked if anyone wanted anything and Natalie said "I want something pretty". This was a mistake as I translated it into "something shiny" and bought the shiniest thing I could find- pan scourers. And that's why people were wearing/throwing/staring at pan scourers all night.

All of a sudden there were loads! Benefactors people! Rootes people! Wing and Lisa!

It was a case of do that weird thing of indetifying people by their blog titles, and then remember names by association. It's bizarre, there are only two things I hate about social situations with new people and one of them is that I can never remember names and feel horribly rude asking for names every five minutes. Or I'm stubborn and won't ask and hope I don't need to use someone's name or that someone else will use it and I'll remember that way. But these were all names I sort of knew. And with the title associations I found it quite easy to remember names. Therefore everyone should get a blog, or something…

The rest of the social.

Ok, the BBQ sauce. When I went to Bar 'Food' to get 'food' I got my pizza slice and chips and drink striaght away but the lady serving me asked if I wanted sauce. I said "yes please, BBQ". She then vanished. And remained vanished. I nibbled my chips. I sipped my drink. I deliberated over the colour of straw I would have (yellow). Eventually I began to wonder if "yes please, BBQ" is in fact the secret code word to start the apocalypse and if I had inadvertantly begun armaggedon. I hadn't. It just turned out she had to make the sauce for me! How great is that for service? And it was nice, nice in ways which Bar 'Food' 'food' isn't. So naturally I was quite proud of it last night. I'm not obsessed, honest…

What else?

Jill was a very interesting person and represents exactly the sort of Christian who we should think of when we think about Christians. Not those eejits who bully charities because of Jerry Springer the Opera. It was also nice to find another non-drinker.
Laura showed up which was great. We had a really interesting chat about courses and stuff and she got me thinking about the language barrier and humour which I think I'm going to have to blog at some stage cos it's still playing on my mind now.
Random freshers from Benefactors. They were all 18. I'm so old.

Then we went to Craaaaaaaaaaaaaash!?!

I love Crash. I can't dance if I'm not loving the music, not properly at least. You can see me at Top B waiting for the good songs, Skool Dayz leaning against things and smiling at my friends, or maybe, if you are brave, at Score where I cower in the shadows.

But Crash, that's my music. That's the Futureheads and Franz Ferdinand and Brand New. Hell, I'll dance to that, for sure. I think those around were a bit surprised by my blatant enthusiasm but they were doing some kickarse dancing as well, with especial mention to Mr Dan. It was also nice to meet Helen who, despite her worries on her blog entry about the social, didn't seem angsty, in fact she seemed quite cool.

A special mention here for my no. 1 dancing fan, Kim who was great fun and certainly was the best dancer there in my opinion. As I said to her at the time "you remind me of someone else but I can't think who… not that it matters cos you're cool enough on your own".

I liked the Needles. They were doing that sort of jerky, quick rock that the Futurheads do so well but it was instant. I'm hard to impress, one of those indie snobs who stand at gigs with their arms folded and a facial expression that says "Impress me". But this lot did. It was good. Hell, I was even dancing along at the end. It's a good sign when you can sing along to song despite having never heard it before. We got that.

So that was nearly that, just time to get accosted by Adrienne sans fez but featuring the endearing belief that the bloggers, especially the so-called 'power bloggers' were cool and unapproachable. No. They were pissed and approachable. It's all about the inclusion. Seriously, Adrienne, if you read this, come along next time, we're very friendly and we love everyone and besides, you seemed chatty and lively enough to have fitted right in. Actually that applies to all, we really do want to make everyone feel included. It's more fun that way.

So what have we learned? Nothing. That's a good thing. I felt like some weird Z-List celebrity but without the cocaine and Sun folllowing me around. It ruled, I got no sleep and I'm still hyper.

I don't drink, y'know, it's all natural exuberance.

March 04, 2005

It's Never Safe

Follow-up to Just When You Think It's Safe… from Hollyzone

Plan one:

Thursday, odd numbered week.

7.30am Wake up, do various morning things designed to wake myself up. This does not include feeding Weetabix to my laptop but has occasionally involved singing.

9.27am Arrive at British Politics 1687–1832 seminar having made lots of notes in illegible handwriting. Make between three and eight valid points and accuse at least one major historical figure of being "a bit of an arsehole really".

11am European World lecture or, in English, a chance to read all the drunken text messages I have received from my friends the night before/apologising for the night before. This will include at least one incoherent rant, one passionate plea for understanding and one offer of no strings attached sex. Usually from the the same person.

Noon Lunch in Raffles. Most Arts students are very serious and studious. We represent the disfunction wing of the Arts and as such sit there slagging off our degree, our lecturers, our coursemates and ourselves above all else. Housemate:Els must do the T2 crossword and other puzzles in this time or she will explode.

1pm Spanish. Penny teaches us Spanish. I like her. Last week she was working in a school in Brum and had to confiscate an electric drill off a kid.

3pm Spanish over, go and annoy someone.

4pm Football training. I have not actually been to Thursday training since it started.

Plan two

Thursday 3rd March 2005.

7.30am Don't wake up.

8.30am Wake up with headache. Assume it'll go away in a minute. Brain scrambled and unable to recall seminar's existance. Fail to get up.

9.30am Head still hurts. Remember seminar. Crap. Get out of bed too quickly. Head really hurts. Think to self "Damn, another 'mini-graine'*, oh well, I'll just blog it later"...

10.30am Bus stop. It's not a mini-graine. It's a migraine and it's now officially too late to take the drugs as I slept through the aura and if I were to take them I'd only throw them back up again. This has not happened in a long time, but it's how they used to be, early morning onset which were worse than later on in the days ones. The bus journey was hell, every bump and I was nearly sick over Sian.

10.52am Arrive outside lecture. Greet Briony and Rosa with "I'm gonna thow uuuaaargh". Quick dash to the loos. I've not been sick from a migraine in about a year, or at least as long as I've had the new drugs. In fact I've not been sick since my first day at uni (I think) and I can remember now why I take the Naratriptan. Who cares if it makes me sleepy? I don't want to be sick.

11.15am Can't concentrate on lecture but through a quirk of fate the lecture includes a continuous presentation so the room is nice and dark. I take a total of three notes all of which are insightful and helpful. Last night's texts include a request from my brother for CDs and the offer of sexual favours from a drunk friend.

Noon The T2 is missing. We go to Costcutters to buy a replacement before Housemate:Els goes on a killing spree.

1pm Go to Spanish. Penny tells us that originally the fruits we call oranges were called noranges. This makes the day better.

3pm Go and annoy Amanda. Serves her right.

4.45pm Arrive at training. Sit on astroturf feeling annoyed.

I hate migraines.

*Mini-graine- a small migraine without the visual distortions, nausea and most of the pain. Don't last long or affect me too badly. Happen very rarely. No point taking drugs for them as the effects of the drugs are longer lasting and worse than the mini-graine.

March 2005

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