It’s been a while…

My recent absences from Kingstonian matches have been entirely intentional – I even had a couple of days off work last week for the same reason, which is the need to recharge a little. To a certain extent, it’s been successful and needed doing. The down side is that I have been missing K’s continued upward trajectory in the Bostik Premier. Now we stand in second place, though teams all around us have games in hand. It means that we’re in a good place, we have a good squad of players and there is the self-belief to keep this fine run of results going.

There’s not been too much for me to comment on in the last couple of weeks, all I have seen recently was a battling 2-1 win over Margate at King George’s Field. Using my hoops-tinted glasses, it was a result we deserved though we have played better than that in recent weeks. Nevertheless, it was a good reaction after a poor performance at Fetcham Grove when Leatherhead deservedly beat us 2-1.

We’re back at home on Saturday (if this stinkin’ rain ever decides to stop) against Haringey Borough. This will be a very hard game against a team who is used to winning, so we need to be at our best to win. My confidence in this current set of players is still going up so I’m more than hopeful that we can get a good result.

Rosey and I will be giving Hornchurch a miss next Saturday, as we have booked tickets to see a concert version of War of the Worlds in Birmingham that day. Even though I know who wins (mainly due to lack of preparation from one of the teams), I’m looking forward to this immensely. I am a big fan of Jeff Wayne’s version of said book by HG Wells, a book which, ironically, I’ve never read… I’m not one for reading fiction, I could never be bothered, to be honest. It was a difficult thing to cope with when trying to do English A-Level, a subject that I didn’t really enjoy and shouldn’t in hindsight have taken up, but other than that I don’t feel that I’ve missed too much. I have read some books that I have enjoyed a lot, the best examples for me being The Stand by Stephen King (outstanding mini-series as well, by the way) and Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, plus absolutely anything by Jasper Fforde, but most of the time it’s the non-fiction section that I usually head for.

Well, Christmas time is approaching, in case you haven’t heard, and to be honest it’s not a time of year I particularly look forward to. I am pleased that there is no football for us during this period – all I ever usually want is to have some quiet time with Rosey (although she will get thoroughly annoyed at all the American football on the telly), little in the way of distractions, which means that a high tension local derby on Boxing Day is a pain in the backside. It’s not the only reason that Christmas winds me up, far from it.

The adverts have already got me gnashing my teeth, they put a lot of pressure on someone to be happy and jolly at this time of year (and it’s not December until tomorrow, ffs!) – cookery programmes and their Christmas recipes, “oh, let’s add some booze to make it something for grown-ups” always annoys. Merging the two together slightly, there’s an advert that says “Christmas is about panettone.” Now, call me a bit old-fashioned here, but I don’t remember any nativity play or piece in the New Testament that says “and lo! The baby Jesus stopped crying, stood up, threw the myrrh out of the crib and demanded panettone.” I must have missed that bit.

There are normal Christmas things that I won’t do, most of it dates back to having just lost my mother many moons ago – from then on, I didn’t like the cards, the decorations, the tree, I have never roasted a turkey (way too much hassle), can’t stand Christmas crackers, hate most Christmas films, detest most Christmas music (I humbly leave the great man that was Greg Lake out of that list), won’t go to Christmas parties, etc., etc. Humbug? Maybe, but as I’m Type 2 diabetic they need to be sugar free. I don’t mind other people having fun, it’s best for all if everyone leaves me be and I can have as quiet a time as possible with the wife.

Christmas is another time for me to get accelerated grumpiness. I’m quite good at being grumpy at times, I could probably do a whole book on things that annoy me, but people have written books and television series aplenty already, so the world doesn’t need me to add them. There’s plenty to moan about these days, whole nations including ours are disappearing up their own backsides at a frightening rate, I don’t remember such a talentless and inept bunch of politicians in Westminster in my life (across all parties), there’s hardly a newspaper worth cutting a tree down for these days, and don’t get me started on my bus route and (the pinnacle, something I can moan about almost endlessly) the bloody stupid refusal of umpires in Test cricket to rule on no-balls properly.

That last one gets me every time. Umpires have a hard job to do, of course they do, and it’s impossible for an umpire to rule on a no-ball, look up and re-focus their eyes in time for a potential lbw decision for which the law is complicated and the poor umpire is possibly guessing. And then when there’s a decision to made by the third umpire, the no-ball is then looked at. I smash my head frequently on my cuddly toy unicorn (he gets very annoyed) when this happens. What’s wrong with the third umpire doing it for every ball? Shouldn’t take long, the camera is there anyway. Why do bowlers have to get near the line in the first place? There’s no need for it.

Having said all that, I feel sorry for bowlers, if I had a child and he or she wanted to play cricket, I would be encouraging them to be batsmen, because bowlers get treated like crap in cricket. The rule I’d love to bring back is to allow six bouncers an over again, that restriction didn’t come in for safety reasons as they say it did, it was done because the West Indies were so damn good at it, this was the only way to calm them down. The rule regarding intimidatory bowling was always there, but umpires hardly ever did anything about it.

And finally on the subject of cricket, I’ve never known a sport that is so eager to not take place. Theoretical example – it’s rained on and off, play has not started on time, rain stops, umpires walk out under their umbrellas on to the square, nod knowingly at anyone or anything not in particular, crawl back in to the pavilion as slowly as possible and then announce that play can begin in forty minutes if it doesn’t rain again. Absolute rubbish! Get the buggers out there now, what is there to wait for? Nothing. Oh sorry, the coffee hasn’t boiled yet, probably. And then we have impromptu drinks breaks, also the umpires are off the field like a flash in what is allegedly bad light, five minutes so a close-in fielder can put shinpads on, it’s bonkers. No wonder there’s debates about whether Test cricket is dying or not. You would think that I hated cricket, no, as the guys from 10cc sang: “I don’t like cricket, I love it.” But it really tests my patience.

One final point on the subject of what I do for the K’s, and I think I’ve mentioned it before – there is this wonderful debate about a potential new signing for us and why is it that I haven’t announced it. I can’t actually tell you why, but there is a good reason. But “I can’t be bothered” is never a reason, keeping supporters in the dark is never my intention. If club X has announced that player Z has left them and joined us, unfortunately that’s their prerogative, we do not announce things until it is at least 100% sorted, even then it could well be that we don’t announce it because we don’t the opposition to know. If I as a comms officer or we as a football club are looking stupid for not making an announcement then I’d rather it was that way than making a premature announcement, something untoward happens and we get burnt to a crisp. If certain people want to go on the interweb and make unofficial announcements, then that’s fine, carry on, it’s no big deal at all, to me it’s nothing more than a points-scoring exercise and I’m not sure what these points count towards, certainly not the Bostik Premier.

OK, that’s me done for one rant-of-a-blog. Two in-form teams playing each other tomorrow at King George’s Field, I hope the microphone man is in some sort of form tomorrow as well.

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