Zodiac

I can’t recommend this book high enough. Recently, I’ve struggled through a few books but this was unputdownable!

I do have to point out that I saw the 2007 film upon its release. I think that it was specifically from this book that the film was made but obviously other books have been written about Zodiac.

It’s amazing how people were able to decipher the… ciphers! It’s incredible how the case enveloped people’s lives and also how county/state borders restrict the sharing of vital criminal information in USA.

It’s also amazing just how many murders are mentioned, whether they were the work of Zodiac or not!

It made a change from reading about cricket, football or even man in wilderness books that are my usual staple. If you have even the slightest interest in Zodiac then, if you haven’t already… read this!

Yorkshire Dales from Above

I bought this book for just £2.50!

The RRP is £8.99 but they were priced at £3.00 each or two for £5.00 in the particular bookstore that I stumbled upon them.

I actually bought this one and a coastal edition as gifts but decided to buy another Yorkshire Dales one for myself. It’s really interesting to see areas where I’ve hiked (And where I haven’t!) from an aerial perspective. There’s some location information provide too.

I should point out that this is quite a large book (Though lightweight but not flimsy) and there really are some stunning images. For a price of £2.50, you just can’t argue. For anyone with an interest in the Yorkshire Dales, I’d thoroughly recommend it!

CricketXI: T20 World Cup

The T20 World Cup starts tomorrow and the above graphic displays my CricketXI fantasy team. I won’t go on a rant about meritocracy and the structure (Or lack of!) of international cricket but…

My team consists of players from primarily Associate nations not Full Members because the former must play First Round matches prior to the Super 12 stage. That’s when the big guns join the competition.

If you’re able to watch any of the action in the United Arab Emirates and Oman then enjoy. In the UK, you’ll need to be a Sky subscriber to achieve this! I’ll let you know how my team fares in due course.

Disclaimer: As for my 2021 County Championship performance, by the time I logged in, only a few days after the conclusion of the campaign, my team and points had disappeared!

Football Friday #001

Friday will now feature exclusively football thoughts. For my loyal transatlantic followers, I mean soccer!

England’s Glovemen

Where better to start than at number one, England’s number one! Jordan Pickford is the man in possession but what about the back-up? Despite deputising for three competitive matches not that long ago, Gareth Southgate seems to have fallen out of love with Nick Pope. Though the England manager did mention Pope’s recent return from injury when recently omitting him from the squad, Pope’s playing out from the back (Or lack of) doesn’t seem to fit Gareth’s (Or the modern) way. Sam Johnstone (Who started against Andorra), despite being back in the Championship and Aaron Ramsdale, have clearly usurped Pope. Southgate made a pointed remark regarding Ramsdale (Who don’t forget has been relegated in both of the last two seasons), namely that he’s now at a big club and therefore has to handle added pressure. Nick Pope take note!

Dean Henderson is only a cup ‘keeper but remains in the mix while Karl Darlow was unfortunate not to earn recognition last season. Steve Bruce ditched him just prior to an England squad announcement, so suddenly not being first choice at club level did for Darlow’s chances. Recently of course, Under-17 World Cup winner Freddie Woodman stood in for COVID stricken Darlow at Newcastle.

It’s great to see England have options between the sticks. The players in question are generally still young but experienced (Goalkeeper’s often don’t break through to mid-late twenties) and can more than keep Pickford, who has performed well for England, on his toes!

Stagnating Sancho

It’s all well and good scoring a bucketload of goals in the Bundesliga but is Jadon Sancho really a £73 million player? 0 goals and 0 assists for Manchester United this season suggests not! Ronaldo, Rashford, Martial and Lingard make for some healthy competition at Old Trafford. They have (Bar the injured Rashford) contributed in front of goal this term. Even no spring chicken Edison Cavani, though maybe more suited to the central role, started ahead of Sancho recently.

Megabucks Manchester City couldn’t stop moaning when Sancho left The Etihad for Borussia Dortmund. This was despite the fact that Man City had themselves pinched him from Watford, where he’d had many years of development in the London side’s youth set-up.

As for Sancho’s England efforts so far, prior to last/this week’s internationals, Aaron Lennon, Shaun Wright-Phillips and heck… even Stewart Downing had performed better in an England shirt. On club form alone, there’s no way that Sancho should’ve been selected ahead of Everton pair Andros Townsend or Demarai Gray. All that said though, Sancho finally got going against the mighty Andorra! He registered two assists and started to display some confidence. Hopefully that’s a sign of things to come for him, particularly in an England shirt. I thought that he could’ve come on in the second half against Hungary but it wasn’t to be.

FC Nantes’ Away Shirt

Moving across the channel, let’s celebrate FC Nantes’ 2021-22 away kit…

https://www.macron.com/uk/fc-nantes-adults-away-match-jersey-2021-22.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI842ZzOyc8wIVEdTtCh3LDgc-EAQYASABEgK_YvD_BwE

Hopefully there’ll still be some in my size once the price has dropped! It’s a simple but beautiful shirt, though not quite as good as Serie A side Venezia’s…

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/1073273250/venezia-fc-21-22-away-soccer-jersey?gbraid=0AAAAADutTMcMXELGLHvHF7TKVHxowZBIT&gpla=1&gao=1&&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=shopping_uk_en_gb_b-clothing-unisex_adult_clothing-tops_and_tees&utm_custom1=k_EAIaIQobChMI052xge2c8wIVz-5RCh3rcwZFEAUYASABEgJdpvD_BwE_k&utm_content=go_12603393740_117704217497_508814196218_pla-300372834883_m__1073273250engb_497570476&utm_custom2=12603393740&gbraid=0AAAAADutTMcMXELGLHvHF7TKVHxowZBIT&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI052xge2c8wIVz-5RCh3rcwZFEAUYASABEgJdpvD_BwE

Lookout for more football thoughts every Friday!

What’s the Point of These Posts?

NOT A FOOTBALL POST!

I follow French Ligue 1 football (Soccer) side FC Nantes for family reasons. I recently searched for Nantes in the Reader and was presented with about eight different blogs under a variety of normal people’s names (eg: johnsmith@wordpress.com) that all featured the same image of a castle in Nantes. Not different images of the same castle… the same image! None of these posts/blogs had any further text/allowed comments (This a major bug bear of mine!). Now, I haven’t bothered to look at the blogs and see if the rest of the images/posts are the same as each other but be aware, if you’re liking these posts because you think that particular blogger took the photo… they didn’t! Well, maybe one of them did? Of course, without allowing comments, you’re not going to have interacted with the blogger anyway.

So what’s this all about? What’s the point of these posts? Are they artificial duplicates? Is this commonplace across WordPress? Please tell me…

Wednesday Wickets #001

Welcome to a new regular feature that will appear each Wednesday. In Wednesday Wickets, I’ll put all (Well, some!) of my cricket thoughts from the last seven days into one post. This is rather than scripting a post and it not seeing the light of day for a few weeks, potentially losing some relevance or requiring altering. It’s just that I would like to stick to one post per day rather than bombarding followers with my thoughts at random intervals all day, every day… like I did with my original cricket blog!

Batter isn’t Woke!

The MCC have amended the terminology batsman to batter. It seems like only five minutes ago that they rejected doing this!

Doing so isn’t woke though. We already use the terms bowler and fielder, not bowlman and… okay, some people do say fieldsman. Batter, bowler and fielder are logical, consistent and can be applied to either men’s or women’s cricket. If people still want to use the terms batsman and batsmen in a men’s game then I personally don’t have a problem with that.

Dernbach’s Back!

Whilst England’s cricketers prepare for the T20 World Cup, a player who in a parallel universe might have been the Jimmy Anderson of England’s T20 side, is doing some World Cup prep of his own. Jade Dernbach, a veteran of 58 white-ball outings for England….

https://www.espncricinfo.com/player/jade-dernbach-12461

… will be representing Italy at a Regional Qualifier for the 2022 T20 World Cup to be held in Australia…

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2021_ICC_Men%27s_T20_World_Cup_Europe_Qualifier#Regional_Final

I’m not a huge fan of players switching national allegiance and could talk for hours about the composition of various Associate cricket nations. However, if Dernbach can inspire Italian children to take up the game then that’d be great, not just for Italy but cricket as a whole. Coincidentally, World Cup winner Liam Plunkett was in my place of work last week. He’s heading to the USA to play and could potentially represent his adopted nation at international level!

Look out for more cricket news, opinions and/or analysis next and every Wednesday!

Autumn Stroll

A few days ago, we took the kids to a park/playground. It was a proper autumn day… clear blue skies, cool in the shade but hot under the sun. Isn’t it beautiful when sunlight pierces the trees and illuminates selected parts of the ground?

Autumn is my favourite season. There are parts of all the others that I enjoy but I do like autumn. It’s a great season for a hike or even just a stroll around the garden, particularly when accompanied by a hot drink!

What’s your favourite season?

Oh! By autumn, I mean fall, to some of you!

Stats, Direction and Thanks

It’s about ten months since I branched out my blog topics. The above graphic displays my views (Actually it doesn’t! It’s about 4,400), visitors (That’s not there either! Abt, 2,100), likes and comments to date. The below image displays my leading views by country.

My most viewed post is…

https://planetpaul.blog/2021/06/03/car-boot-sales/

Yesterday, I received a notification that I’d joined WordPress five years ago. However, I’m a bit confused by the stat ‘Author Views’. It’s far less than my total views, even though I’m the only author on my blog. It doesn’t appear to relate to me viewing my own posts either because those numbers just don’t add up. Can anybody help me? Is it just a discrepancy?

My Song of the Week post every Monday has been well received and that will continue to make an appearance at the start of every week. I’ve been falling behind with my cricket and football (Soccer) related posts. That means some of them potentially go out of date or lose relevance. What I’m going to do now is post about cricket on Wednesday and football on Friday. These will essentially be round-up articles, ultimately multiple posts rolled into one. On other days, I’ll slot in various other subject posts, eg: hiking, days out (I should’ve created a category for that!) and food etc. Obviously many of my book and film (And gaming!) posts can cross over with football and cricket. I may also, dun dun dun… not post at all on the in between days!

I hope that you’re enjoying my blog and get something out of it. Many thanks for following and commenting and look out for more posts soon.

My old cricket blog can be found here: http://www.sillypointcricket.com

My old football blog can be found here: http://www.leftbackfooty.com

Disclaimer: Statistics correct as at 8:05, 09/10/21. Sorry, I realised after publication that the laptop screenshot didn’t show the same info. as the stats page on my phone!