Tuesday, 30 June 2009

It's that time of year again where I suspend everything I do in my life and watch some incredible tennis for two weeks. I was fortunate enough to go to Wimbledon with some friends for a day this year, and wasn't disappointed. We queued for around 5 hours in the blazing hot sunshine, and when we got in, headed straight for Court 3 where we saw American/English James Blake go out in the first round to Seppi, it was a good game, shame Blake didn't make it past the first round. We also caught the first round Haas game which was enjoyable and showed that height can be a very useful weapon.

The first week was good, what with Djokovic, Hewitt, Roddick and Federer storming into the fourth round after playing some sublime tennis, and of course Murray winning four games convincingly to earn him a place in the hallowed Wimbledon quarter finals. However, I can't help but wonder how Nadal would have altered the landscape of the tournament had he been participating... perhaps the second-best left-handed Spaniard, Verdasgo would have been shown the door a little earlier than the fourth round, or maybe the oldest remaining man in the tournament, German Tommy Haas, would have been out-played by the 22 year old Rafa. Who knows.

So, for some predictions...Djokovic and Roddick will make it to the semi's but will face fierce competition from Haas and Hewitt, it all depends on the draw (click here for the Quarter Final draw) but Djokovic is definitely on form at the moment and Roddick's serve is still unbeatable, although the irritatingly tall Croat, Ivo Karlovic may prove to be a dark horse this year with his terrifyingly speedy aces. I think Federer has to win it, but will meet Murray in the final. The Scot will put up a fight but I believe that the five-time champion will pip him to the post; the Wimbledon trophy still belongs in his cabinet for the time being.

And as for the women's, well who cares. The Williams will both be in the final and we will all suffer from ear ache at their intense grunting... let's hope they take a hint and retire soon.


I've got love for you, if you were born in the...

Thursday, 11 June 2009


A while ago I wrote about the time when Jon Snow came to speak to the students at UCLan, and noted how he had mentioned about the tendency for the people of London, especially in the media industry, to have an extremely 'London-centric' mindset. This idea has been brought to my attention once again with the most recent public interest story absorbing most of the news headlines at the moment about the tube workers going on strike and Londoners having to cycle/walk/row to work - the poor dears.

Now, I completely agree that we as a nation should support our capital city and should show an interest in what's going on there, but there comes a point when I wonder if any other part of the country - especially the north - matter to the country in the slightest? It seems as though the only time us poor stupid northerners receive any coverage in the press is when there's a bomb scare in Manchester or Swine Flu in Ripon.

Northern folk are constantly being portrayed as commoners who are disinterested in anything of cultural value and ignorant about matters involving race and homosexuality (something which can be true in some cases but is not an attitude necessarily confined to the north).

I find the general snobbery of many southerners distinctly narrow-minded and I can't help but feel indignant about the misconceptions generally held by most.

PS. A lot of my good friends are from the south - this is not aimed at them, I love them all dearly!



Sunday, 7 June 2009

I know I won't be alone when I say that this year's Apprentice has been great. The contestants were all enjoyable to watch, some more so than others; what with Lorraine and her 'instincts', Debra and her terrifyingly arrogant manner, Ben and his harping on about his scholarship to Sandhurst and who could forget Nural and his tendency to not to very much at all.

My favourite contestant however, was undoubtedly James, the extent of his idiocy was incomprehensible at times but always highly amusing, I think he even made the unflappable Margaret have a good old chuckle. Here are some memorable James quotes....

You can get polyesters manmade?

One thing that is really important when you're breastfeeding is the mother needs to be happy. Because if she's anxious there's something in nature which switches off the tap in her breast.

The lid's open so the baby can jump out.

I’m skating on thin ice – and I think Sir Alan might be waiting for it to crack.

I wonnid to win this task. I really wonnid to. There's no point... That other lot are out there now riding round on horses and I'm sitting here having to look at you and I didn't mean that disrespectfully.

The thing that I enjoyed most about tonight's episode was the interview with Sir Alan himself, he turned out to be quite nice in real life, and commented on the media's ability to turn on the contestants and write slanderous things about them, treating them more like Big Brother contestants than serious business people (apart from Lorraine... jokes), which should cause tabloid journos to sit up and *shock-horror* understand that they can't just publish anything in order to promote their own want.


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