Saturday, 21 January 2012

All Wrapped up!

Hello everybody peeps

First blog of the New year, and it feels like a while since my fingers have danced across this keyboard. The issue I've had of late is not the age old struggle of writers block, no sir, in fact the opposite affliction has weighed heavily on my time............sifting through the idiocy I witnessed throughout the Crimbo period and deciding which particular urine boiling moment to slap down next.

In the end I thought I'd pour down some none sense on the Festive period itself, more specifically the so called season of good will!

"Tis the season to be Jolly" - Really? Does this actually happen anymore? I love xmas, always have. I have fond memories of the build up culminating in the family getting together, eating, drinking and spinning yarns....what's not to like? Yes it doesn't share the magic that it used to, and like everything else in life when one grows older, more and more responsibility magnates to you and has a knock on affect to the 'fun factor'. That said, I rarely fail to have a god time, and spend the festive period in equal measure with family and friends.

But is that the norm? I fear not! The amount of whinging, arguments, drunken brawls and people walking around town under duress with faces like the proverbial smacked backside leads me to believe that this has become the season to be a miserable bastard!!!!

Despite being raised a Catholic I m not a religious man, but I don't think you have to be to enjoy the festive period, but we've become that obsessed with the materialistic nature of Christmas that it appears on observation that this wonderful time of year has become nothing more than a millstone around peoples neck. Instead of counting the days down to the Crimbo party, getting together with friends, winding down from work, letting the ropes of constraint slacken for a few weeks and sharing gifts with those we hold dear. My observations lead me to believe that it has become a time of obligation, counting down the Weeks to when you next get paid due to the countless bits of crap you're bought for people you hardly know from a budget you can barely afford, culminating in a sigh of relief when the forced upon festivities are done and dusted for another year, and I find this really sad.

Unfortunately for most it seems, Christmas has become a burden. People saddle themselves with obsession of making it a good Christmas for all those near, overspending, over stressing, and overstretching themselves, and as a by product, stress themselves out to the extent that they miss all of the fun themselves, and more than likely limit the fun of those they're struggling so hard to make's bonkers!

It is a time of year that is so easy to get right. I'm not saying its not all about presents, I'm not saying it is all about presents, my point is this. Stop centralising everything around how much you spend and how extravagant you can make it, this will not make it a Christmas to remember. Focus instead on the time you spend, and the people you spend it with. It' always going to cost a little more at this time of year as we do buy gifts, we do meet up and go out more, and it's good to have a little splurge every now and then. But I will say this, surely the best way to create a good atmosphere is to enjoy the damn period yourself, and not play the sacrificial lamb to ensure others enjoy!!!!

My final point is this, Christmas should be a fantastic time of year for everyone, all the ingredients are there. Work attitudes slacken, there are more opportunities to party, there's more time off available, there's an excuse (if one was needed) to meet up and catch up, and there's bright lights and silly tunes and melodies playing around every corner, and if that not enough, watch it's a wonderful life! All we have to do is mix all that together with a big wooden spoon adding a generous dash of alcohol and cook slowly for about 2 weeks. Christmas is about goodwill to all men, just remember to count yourself in that equation!

I am Spafmonkey.......hear me roar.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Cereal Killer

Do you know what, If there's one thing that really gets my goat it's food, whether it be he lack of, the over consumption of, the lack of taste of or he ridiculous amount of sh** to be found in some types of. Yes, I like food, nay love it, but I hate some peoples understanding (or lack of as the case more often than not appears to be) of it.

Now I'm not pretending that I'm an expert in matters culinary, but I try to enjoy food but more so understand what I'm putting in my body, and obviously this requires a little time and effort.............................which is why there is an ever increasing number of fat people about. Yes obesity is on the rise, in fact British women are now the fattest in Europe, and before my male readers drop their pies, put down their pints and begin jeering, we're not that far behind chaps!!!!

Now it's not rocket science before the usual defensive arguments start pouring in about the difficulty of eating healthily, if you consume more than you burn, you're going to put on weight, and before you start, no one can retain THAT much water!!!!

So where to start??? This is far too much to cover off in one simple blog, but a good place to begin is where we should all look to begin, and where the route of a lot of problems lie in my humble opinion........the breakfast.

Now some people avoid a breakfast (a cardinal sin), some people have toast, some people have fruit, but for most of us we settle for that staple friend, the mighty Cereal, but herein lies another problem. Cereal has everything you need for a good, well rounded start to the day, but it can also be a dietary kick in the nuts, or indeed the lady parts if indeed you are a lady. Opt for a cheeky bowl of porridge, and you'll get a nice steady energy release all morning, a great warm start to the day and it will keep you satisfied until you need to fed your face again at lunch time, preventing the onset of the mid morning munchies. Opt for a bowl of bran flakes and you've consumed a healthy dosage of your recommended fibre in take for the day, top with nuts and a banana, and once again you have the energy to get you through the morning, plus, guess what, you're on your way to your 5 a day...(sorry, I've just slapped myself for writing that!!).

The issue however still arises when people convince themselves that they don't like porridge, or bran flakes or any number of the multitude of high fibre all round good chaps of the cereal world, and instead opt for what is essentially a bowl of sugar........FOR FUCKS SAKE!!!!  Show me a fatty, and I'll show you a cupboard that if it does have cereal in there it will more than likely be Frosties, Cocoa Pops, Frosted Shreddies or any one of the dozens of 'normal' oat, wheat or corn based breakfasts.....but covered in sugar and chocolate. 

Now this may sem like a bit of a flippant rant, but I'm a firm believer in precedents, and if you start your day with a bowl full of sugar, you're going to increase the chances of you getting a taste for it, and wanting to replicate it throughout the day, and you train your taste buds to adore sweet things instead of actual flavours. Furthermore, once you gt a sugar crash, guess what quick fix you're going to consume to pick yourself up again???? Breakfast is the starting point to a healthy lifestyle, and Cereals are full of goodness and can set you up for the day if eaten in the right context and right dosage. However, like most things in life, some are better than others and will do different things to your body.

So next time you're wondering why your fly's a little harder to do up, or you're wanting a Mars bar at 10:00am, or maybe why you're out of breath getting in and out of the lift. Have a cheeky look at what you're using to fuel your body, you wouldn't put Cola in you car and expect it to run now would you? If you don't eat breakfast, give it a go and lets not be the country that everyone points and laughs at, there's enough Americans to corner that market! And remember, when you do waddle down the cereal isle next, be a tad more open with your possible choices, and stay away from the Cereal Killers.

I am me roar!

Friday, 2 December 2011

A public kick in the privates

What a week, I sit here now not wondering what I should blog about, but instead wondering what not to blog about. With so much happening in the last 7 days I have experienced a multitude of rants screaming around this vacuous chasm I call a head.

Those of you familiar with my first two blogs will have noticed a rather strong footballing flavour, a taste too strong for some and although through time I believe footy will count for about 80% of all blogged material, this week I shall be bucking the early trend and venturing into pastures new.

So, what to bang on about this week!!! There's the sentencing of Ex Dr Conrad Murray, a bizarre theory I created on fidelity (probably my next blog), the up and coming Euro draw?????? All worthy candidates, but unlike the best player in the world, and very much like Highlander.....there can be only one, and it has to be this weeks industrial action!

This has completely boiled my piss to be quite frank, but probably not in the way you'd expect. This course of action began on Thursday and in some areas brought parts of the country to its knees. Toll bridges were closed, c 80% of schools were shut, Hospitals were running on skeleton staff, all because the public sector have decided to unite against the decisions made by the government to make significant changes to Salaries and Pensions.

I was out on appointments on Thursday, a route that should have taken 3o mins took me an hour. I saw multitudes of people standing outside places of employment creating picket lines, and my day was severely disrupted. But is this what ground my gears???? was it the so called greed of the public sector wanting he continuance of a so called unsustainable Pension scheme that started my urine bubbling away???? Was it the fact that they refuse to be part of the solution that had me shouting obscenities as I sat motionless in que after que after short, no!

It is the the fact that everyone was missing the fucking point!!!!!!!!

The radio stations and the written media began early doors adding fuel to a fire that was burning viciously to begin with, interviewing the lowest common denominator from both sides. "Both sides" I hear you say? "what sides are they pray tell??" I of course refer to the Private and The Public sector!

I heard numerous interviews with fucking morons on the radio throughout the day which made me seethe with anger as public slated private and private slated public. "why should we be held accountable for the mess the private sector left us in"......."these people need to wake up and realise that we're all in this together, they need to stop being so selfish with their gold plated pensions"


Am I alone in my thoughts, am I the only one who didn't See this course of action as Public vs Private? Seriously, thanks to the media and misrepresentation, Cameron must have been laughing his millionaire bollocks off by the end of Thursday, as what started as a protest against the government, and a demand to return to the negotiation table soon turned into a bitter row between those in the Public and Private sectors.

Let me attempt to put some perspective on this. I am no expert on the affairs of the public sector, I am a private sector worker and have been for the majority of my working life, but I do know this. The action on Thursday was a choice made by a body of workers who were simply not prepared to sit by while their employer slashed away at their future, and don't let anybody tell you any different. Now whether you agree with it or not is irrelevant, they were protesting against the government, not the private sector, nor were they refusing to play a part in reducing the deficit, don't forget they are part of the public spending pot along with everyone else. Furthermore, anyone in the private sector has already been through this, we've had our pensions and salaries slashed at, our unions have suggested strike action and we voted was exactly the same but on a much smaller scale.

The bottom line is the private sector has no cause to be disgruntled at the public sector for voicing an opinion against their employer, nor has the public sector a cause to blame the deficit on the private sector or draw unrealistic comparisons of salaries and pensions to suit their fact......the two should have no cause for argument with the other in this case at all.....and yet Thursdays action ended with individuals from each sided baiting the other over social networking sites and radio interviews.

The point was lost amidst the anger and frustration so professionally whipped up throughout the course of the day, as If Cameron himself was stood above in the clouds conducting the madness like an orchestra. We are the public, we are paying the price for many contributing factors causing the huge deficit we find ourselves now having to pay off. The last thing we need to be right now is divided. Those that are for the strike, good luck with your cause but remember who you are protesting against. Those against be sure you know why and are simply not dancing to a tune so eloquently played for you from above, and if you still don't agree with it that's fine, but please look towards the reasons for action and ask yourselves the question......what would I do!

I am Spafmoney........hear me roar.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Why's it always a little Messi?

So, one blog down and I'm keen to ensure this doesn't become one of my usual flash in the pan Idea's that lasts as long as an awkward teenagers first amorous encounter. So I thought it best to get number 2 on here sharpish to gather momentum before the anti climactic shudder kicks in, and Paella 'n' Chips is but a solitary distant memory.

Now when I first ranted about starting a blog (something I usually do for a while before I start doing anything) I categorically stated this would not just be about football, but include anything I felt like talking about, had been thinking about, or indeed fancied repeating. Alas, one football related blog down I find my self once again engulfed in the warmth and security of the loving arms of my Mistress Football once again.

This has been born out of a bit of a frustration of mine, and it stems from the admiration of one of the finest footballers on the planet right now, and arguably, potentially one of the greatest footballers that has graced the game. Mr Lionel Messi stand up and take a bow. Now, I know what you're thinking, where's the frustration? What could I possibly be frustrated about having built the little man up so  in my intro??????????

well..............It's as simple as this.........

CHRISTIANO RONALDO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Am I seriously the only one who looks at the adulation that Messi receives and is gobsmacked why Ronaldo isn't mentioned in the same breath stood shoulder to shoulder, well, actually it would be more like elbow to shoulder, but that's by the by. Chistiano Ronaldo has been at the top of his game for a number of years now, he is a phenomenal fre kick taker, superb in the air, has quicker feet than the sexual exploit of the earlier mentioned teenager, has fantastic close control, can score from range and has more tricks up his sleeve than Dynamo.

Now I'm not attempting to discredit the wee man, he is also an amazing dribbler of the ball leaving defenders feeling dazed and confused by his mazey runs, has an incredible goal scoring record and has a great temperament which should be applauded in today's game. That said, is there anything he can do that Ronaldo can't? And more importantly, would he do it to the degree he currently does if you took him out of la liga, and took him away from Iniesta, Xavi, villa etc. Lets not forget that Ronaldo already has, banging in 40+ goals in his final season with Man Utd, and now regularly doing the same for Madrid.

Not to labour the point too much, they are both amazing players, and stand head and shoulders above most you could pitch them against in the modern game. I'm not saying one is better than the other as they are completely different players, different physiques with one commonality, they're both winners. They both would be sorely missed by any team unlucky enough to lose their services, and will both be talked about by analysts for years to come long after they have retired. I'd just like to see more parity when commentators begin to wax lyrical.

They say finish on a quote, well can't think of any but I will leave you the following link, a crude comparison of the abilities of the two. As you'd imagine following suit from what I've been saying, Messi just shades it, but you may find the scores closer than you'd think, and certainly closer than most commentators would have you believe.

My point is this, there doesn't have to be a 'best player in the world', unlike Highlander there can be more than one. They both bring such amazing talent to the table, and for once I'd like to hear punditry that recognised this, instead of it all getting a little too Messi.

I am Spaffmonkey, hear me roar.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Paella & Chips

And so it begins.........

Having contemplated the art of blogging for a while, enthused by numerous witty and amusing posts by the Magathon, Darth Meerkat and many more, I have decided to unleash my ramblings on an unsuspecting blogging community. This is in no small part due to the fact I have a lot to say about most things, and it has now come to the point where my usual sounding boards have been suckled dry of the milk of human kindness, and are now not even pretending to listen!

I have therefore decided it is better (for both my ego and self esteem) to have a faceless critic ignoring my every word, than it is to stare at those I love knowing they're just waiting for me to finish.

So what to write for my first stab at this, bar mundanely explaining why I'm here in the first place obviously. Well, I may as well begin where I am most comfortable, most passionate, and at times the most ignored (by Lisa anyway)............Football!

Being a Bradford City and England supporter, some may argue that my cross is slightly bigger than most, and I've been dragging this hefty piece of wood around for the best part of 30 years. I've sen the good, the bad, the ugly and the completely f****** hideous, and yet I still watch. The kind of masochism that can only be attributed to sport. That said, there comes a game every once in a while that deserves mention, and dare i say a little cause for hope.

Watching the England Vs Spain game last week was certainly one of those games. The expectation before hand was certain defeat, but if we played our absolute best and Spain rested half of their team we may possibly scrape a draw. Oh yes, Optimism was at a high, the taste of Africa still bitter in our mouths. That said, I saw a side to England that night that I'd not seen in a long while, I saw an England hat didn't want to lose, nay REFUSED to lose!

This was no delight to watch, we did not play Spain off the park nor did we peg them back with new found attacking flair or bullish tactics...............we played like England, but an England of yesteryear. An England that threw bodies in the way, an England that ran until they could run no more, an England that finally showed that magical ingredient that we all remember so fondly from Italia 90 and Euro 96............BALLS!

Now one can not win world cups on Balls alone, but it's a bloody good start and will certainly make the inevitable crashing out at the quarter finals a lot more bearable for the downtrodden England support.........and it's a platform to build upon. We do have to take a slight reality check before getting carried away and remember that Spain rarely turn up for friendlies, but this was certainly no B team we were playing. Spain created chances however, particularly in the last 15, and on a more clinical day would have stuck a few past us. That said, they didn't. We stifled them in midfield not allowing them to cast their wand as they have done so majestically over the last few years, and forced them into playing out of character, and this shocked them

It's obviously far too early to get carried away, We were very sloppy in possession and as expected chased he ball for large parts of the game, and it could be said that had we been limited to 3 subs as per, then fatigue may have undone all we had worked for. But it does raise a very interesting point, and one that will be my parting shot on this matter. Many teams over the last 2 years have studied Spain attempting to emulate them, perhaps in the same way teams and players did with the Brazilians and the Dutch in years gone by, and sadly we have also fallen into that trap. My point is this, clearly there are grass roots issues in English football and these have been highlighted by the continental game. In fact to compete in the future I believe we must look at the basic building blocks of 'the Spanish game', but not copy it in its entirety. There are aspects to be taken from this way of playing, but not at the expense of some of the forgotten aspects of the English game displayed in the performances of Parker and Lescott. It was a strangely promising experience watching last weeks game, and I for one believe there's room for a Little Paella and Chips.

I am Spafmonkey......hear me roar.