Song of the Week #041

Welcome to Song of the Week #41 and step forward… Beverley Craven!

This is one of those songs that, like the singer herself, I can’t claim to have much familiarity with but do have some vague sense of having at least come across the song before. In fact, I can’t even remember how I recently stumbled upon the song for it to appear in Song of the Week!

Scones

My youngest daughter and I made some scones last week. I was pleasantly surprised at how they turned out!

The recipe advised caster sugar but we only had brown. My daughter promptly poured far too much in the bowl! It was then a battle between water and self-raising flour to get the consistency right.

Once in the oven, the scones were soon browning on the outside (Courtesy of being pasted with egg) but probably needed just a little more time to cook through. Lesson learned… keep them really small as obviously they expand in the oven.

In recent times, I haven’t baked as much as I often used too. It was great to do so with my daughter and important prep. for my wife’s birthday cake!

Missing Persons

A rather different post today!

I’m sure that I’m not the only person in the world for whom multiple lockdowns have led to a series of YouTube binges. These binges have involved air traffic control, psychological analysis and lost hikers. Unsolved crime and missing people is an another interest where my interest has been piqued. Today, I’m going to share three of the United Kingdom’s more recent and well known missing persons cases…

Andrew Gosden (2007)

We’ll start with one that is utterly heartbreaking. I know that I won’t be the only person that this case resonates with. There’s something about a fourteen-year-old Yorkshire lad going missing that really hits home. Of course, the missed opportunities and unanswered questions aren’t limited to this case.

Andrew Gosden snuck home from school, bought a one-way train ticket to London, was captured on CCTV leaving the station… and hasn’t been seen in over a decade since! Could the police have acted sooner? Was he going to a music gig where he met with ill harm? Was he groomed by somebody involved with the maths programme that he was involved in? Sadly, it seems unlikely that we’ll ever know!

Claudia Lawrence (2009)

It’s Yorkshire again for the disappearance of 35-year-old Claudia Lawrence. I’m not going to speculate about the intricacies of her personal life but if reports, and let’s face it, police implications are true, then it’s understandable that somebody could’ve had a motive to do her harm. That person may have been directly involved or be a third party, the brother of a wife whose husband was being unfaithful, for example. You’d think that any connection would’ve helped solve the case.

Camera footage captured someone acting in what seemed like an odd manor in the early hours near where Lawrence lived. If she did come to harm at the hands of another, the feeling lingers that she possibly knew her killer. That is of course, if she was killed! I rarely conform to the Started a new life notion but an accident or similar that has left her undiscovered also can’t be ruled out. Sadly, her father (Who successfully campaigned for a change in the law regarding dealing with a missing persons finances etc) passed away not long ago.

Corrie McKeague (2016)

There’s nothing pretty about this disappearance and sadly, we likely already know the answer!

23-year-old Scotsman Corrie McKeague was captured on CCTV in the early hours, heading behind some shops and crucially, to an area where their bins were kept. He was not recorded on camera leaving the area!

The waste company would later confirm that a particular bin was much heavier (Like, the heaviest it was all year!) when collected and McKeague’s phone signal seems to confirm that he entered the Suffolk waste disposal system. His body becoming millions of undetectable pieces spread here, there and everywhere. Some family members accepted this, others cling onto hope. He left behind a very young child!

What are any recent or most famous missing persons cases in your country?

Football Friday #003

Romero Returns… to football!

Former Manchester United goalkeeper Sergio Romero recently joined struggling Serie A side Venezia (They of the beautiful shirt!) and has already assumed the number one position.

By clocking up three league appearances, Romero has pretty much halfway to matching what he achieved in six years at Manchester United! Of course Romero did make his fair share of cup outings during his time at Old Trafford and has 96 caps for Argentina. Aged 34 and as is the way with goalkeepers, his peak could yet be ahead of him!

Norwich City: What’s the Point?

No, that headline isn’t meant to be a pun. I’ve just checked and they actually have two points!

Norwich City were relegated from the Premier League with a whimper the season before last and are set to do the same this time around. If they earn promotion from the Championship next season then they should do everybody a favour and let the next highest placed team be promoted instead!

Surely there comes a point where Daniel Farke doesn’t want to go around in circles but would like to challenge himself elsewhere. It’s not as simple as the German not being good enough that’s why The Canaries are in this position.

It’s easy to get carried away with clubs throwing limitless millions away in the quest to go higher and higher but Norwich won’t compromise their club’s (Business’) safety. For their fans though… What’s the Point?

Wednesday Wickets #003

Sibley Stays at Home

Discarded England Test opener Dom Sibley has withdrawn from the England Lions squad to work on his technique at home. I can’t say that I’m convinced this is a good decision!

Sibley’s place has been taken by Yorkshire’s Big Bash bound Harry Brook. It’s not inconceivable that injury/COVID etc could result in England needing to call upon the Lions. If England suddenly suffer a couple of injuries/absences come the third of fourth Test and needed a batsman, even if it was in the middle order, Sibley’s experience could count for something. Wouldn’t he rather be there just incase?

Sibley has trod his own path before by leaving Surrey to join Warwickshire. It helped earn him international recognition. The problem for Sibley is that he won England honours by stoically scoring hundred after hundred. Despite striking a couple of Test tons, he’s since stumbled on the biggest stage, struggling for scoring shots. So for Sibley, it’s not simply about scoring runs at domestic level but how he scores them. He has to show that he can score, not just defend and leave because if that’s all you do, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve occupied the crease, when you get out… you won’t have many runs to your name!

Did Sibley speak to the England management prior to confirming this decision? I don’t know but despite the original Lions call up, a full England recall now seems a long way off!

Duckett Down Under

Another discarded England opener is Ben Duckett. Despite averaging 41.00 in ODI cricket (From three matches!) and being part of the squad this summer, he hasn’t made the Lions squad to tour Australia this/next month.

Duckett has hooked up with Brisbane Heat for the upcoming Big Bash. The left-hander can tick off England, Pakistan and South Africa as countries where he’s represented T20 teams and will soon add Australia. He’s also featured in the Abu Dhabi T10. I still believe that there’s a Test cricketer in Duckett. Haseeb Hameed has come back into the fold and I believe that Duckett can too. In a parallel universe, they’d have been England’s contrasting right/left-hand defending/attacking opening duo for the last few years. As it is, Hameed is back at the top of the order (At the expense of Sibley) while Duckett can now usually be found in Nottinghamshire’s middle order.

Duckett has it in him to be England’s David Warner. I mean peak David Warner not recent David Warner! He can score quickly, put runs on the board and set up a result. Aged 27, it’s to be hoped that Duckett can earn another chance in England colours, regardless of the colour of the shirt or ball!

Song of the Week #040

I’m going to risk my credibility by going a bit mainstream here. The music that is played at work was recently changed and there’s a surprising amount of songs by bands that I like. One (New to me) song that popped up and I couldn’t help but notice was this tune by George Ezra…

Enjoy this week (Half term for many in the UK) and look out for next week’s Song of the Week next week… obviously!

Disclaimer: Yes that’s right! There were no posts from me this weekend and there’ll longer be any posts on Tuesdays or Thursdays. It’ll be music on Monday, cricket on Wednesday, football on Friday and sometimes something else on Saturday/Sunday.

Football Friday #002

It’s Football Friday and we start at Anfield…

Minamino Regrets

How Takumi Minamino must regret his transfer to Liverpool. In fact, he must regret playing well against them and catching Manager Jurgen Klopp’s attention!

Having scored 42 goals in 136 league appearances for RB Salzburg, as well as performing in European competition, he’s been consigned to a bit-part (And barely that!) role at Liverpool. A brief loan to Southampton allowed him to demonstrate his qualities but it’s been back to the bench on Merseyside. The attacking midfielder has m notched an impressive 16 goals in only 33 outings for Japan and it’s just such a shame to see the 26-year-old waste his peak years!

Short England Careers

I’m currently reading Chris Sutton’s book (Post coming soon!). Striker Sutton’s England career lasted only twelve minutes. The Premier League winner famously refused a call-up to the England B team during Glenn Hoddle’s tenure.

But who had shorter England careers than Sutton?

Joey Barton and Frazier Campbell did make it to double figures (That’s in minutes obviously!). Then you have to go back to Arsenal’s Brian Marwood (vs. Saudi Arabia) in 1988 and way back to 1928 for West Ham United player Jim Barrett (vs. Ireland). Brighton & Hove Albion’s Peter Ward clocked eight minutes (vs. Australia) in 1980 then it’s onto the sub five-minute men. Of course, the introduction of substitutes means that there’s reason in such short careers been from recent times.

Jack Cork (Who also represented Great Britain) totalled four minutes against Germany. It’s worth pointing out that the records are in official minutes. This will become particularly relevant when we come to number one.

Martin Kelly got two minutes of game time versus Norway but the winner is… Nathaniel Chalobah! The game was already into injury time when Chalobah came on against Spain, so officially he, rather bizarrely, wins with 0 minutes! He did actually clock up nearly seven minutes on the pitch and of course, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that he could yet earn a second cap.

Bonus Post: More Cricket 22 Info!

Here’s some more exciting news regarding Big Ant’s latest cricket game…

November 25th seems a long way away but we’ll get there folks!

I’ve always loved the thrill of taking a catch Big Ant’s previous cricket games, that moment of waiting or moving for the ball. I hope that’s still there in Cricket 22. Catching doesn’t look too different in the clip. The new run out system looks encouraging but will it make the game more immersive or just slow it down? I mean, how often will it come up? What constitutes a run out opportunity?

What are you most looking forward to about Cricket 22?

Disclaimer: Apologies to Tim Paine but I couldn’t figure out how to crop the image on my phone. I could zoom in but not crop, so to keep him in the picture would’ve resulted in noise around the image!

Five Songs with Body Parts in the Title

It’s been a while since I did one of these. Here are five songs with a theme, in this instance… body parts!

Crowded House Fingers of Love

The Platters Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Alanis Morrisette One Hand in my Pocket

Take That Back for Good

Sutherland Brothers and Quiver Lying in the Arms of Mary (A great song that I also used for Songs with People’s Name in the Title… so broke my own rules there!)

Are you familiar with any of the above? Can you think of anymore?

Wednesday Wickets #002

Welcome to the second edition of Wednesday Wickets. The T20 World Cup has commenced and so it could be easy to forget about the county game, but…

Hosein Retires

Some extremely sad news from Derbyshire, that 25-year-old wicketkeeper Harvey Hosein has been forced to retire due to concussion. Hosein made an immediate impact with the gloves as a teenager for his home county. That was back in 2017 on debut. He’d developed into a force with the bat too and retires with a first class average of 32.25 from 59 matches. Across all formats, he held 148 catches and effected eight stumpings. It’s to be hoped that he can find fulfilment in his future path.

https://www.espncricinfo.com/player/harvey-hosein-462292

Hosein isn’t the first talented player to have had to retire this year. Imran Qayuum and Brad Taylor are players, who like Hosein, could’ve been England material if the stars had aligned. Of course, Hosein’s retirement due to concussion does bring into question Australian batter Will Pucovski’s continued career despite suffering twice as many concussions as Hosein!

Australian Experience

Could Australia turn to either Shaun Marsh or Usman Khawaja for the upcoming Ashes?

Both batsmen have struck centuries already this season. 34-year-old Khawaja averages 40.66 in Test cricket meanwhile 38-year old Marsh averages a less glamorous 34.31. Interestingly, both batsmen average north of forty in ODI cricket despite not exactly being perceived to be top international white-ball operators

Surely Matthew Wade’s (Ave: 29.87) Test career is over. He’s a decent T20 player who hasn’t been able to have a run in his preferred role but he’s not a top notch Test batter. Travis Head should be included at the expense of Wade and if Cameron Green is fit then, with Smith and Labuschagne shoe-ins at three and four, neither Khawaja or Marsh are required.

Should an injury occur though, the experienced duo could come into the equation. Should it be Green who is unfit, then all-rounder Hilton Cartwright could earn a surprise Test recall.