Saturday 29 April 2006
chelsea chelsea chelsea
2005-06 Premiership Champions. A thumping 3-0 win against our nearest rivals, the once mighty Manchester United. 'Nuff said.
Also a word for my home town team, Southend United, who get promoted for the second sucessive season with a battling 2-2 draw. A great day for both Blues.
Friday 28 April 2006
on the verge of greatness ...
Or on the verge of the most monumental collapse in Premiership history. Chelsea need just one more point to secure back-to-back Premiership titles. It just so happens that the next match, the final home game of the season, is against Manchester United, who would dearly love to spoil our party.
Unfortunately, after spending six hours online trying to obtain a ticket for the game as soon as they were offered for sale, I was unlucky, so I shall be watching this from the comfort of my sofa. Last year I was at the Bridge to see Chelsea collect the trophy for the first time in 50 years following a 1-0 victory against Charlton. That was a magnificent moment, but tomorrow would possibly even eclipse that historic day, if Chelsea are to win or draw against Fergie & Co. Pairs of tickets are now apparently exchanging hands for £1000 or more.
It might have been an even better occasion
if a sub-par Chelsea hadn't been knocked out of the FA Cup by a Liverpool team on a fantastic run of results on Saturday. It's taken me almost a week to get around to writing about it as last weekend's semi-final defeat was so bitterly disappointing. Despite several players being below their excellent best and despite Mourinho's over-cautious formation, Chelsea were still the better side. In the end, like last's year's European Champion's League semi-final versus the same opponents, poor refereeing decisions made the ultimate difference between the teams. And in both cases, last-gasp, gilt-edged chances were missed, last year by Eidur Gudjohnsen, this year by Joe Cole. But it remains a fact that Liverpool have only beaten Chelsea twice in the abnormally high number of ten meetings during the past two seasons, both times with a degree of fortune.
If John Terry should lift the Premiership trophy aloft tomorrow, it will be more than just a huge consolation, it will be a confirmation that the established order has been shifted towards the boys in blue from West London on a more permanent basis.
d.i.y. another day
Managed two short stints at wallpapering the back bedroom during the last week. It's not proper wallpapering you understand, just textured/embossed paper for painting over. Otherwise, with the inconsistent condition of the walls and the lack of any geometric relationships between them and the floors and ceiling, it would be a near impossible task.
I thank my father for imparting the wisdom of having the walls properly sized and allowing the paper to soak for at least eight minutes before hanging, although I did have to abandon the rather half-hearted attempt at using a plumb bob due to the aforementioned unperpendicularity of the walls. Also discovered that trying to trim heavily soaked wallpaper with a wallpaper knife is nigh on impossible. Peeling back and using scissors was also problematic due to the delicate consistency of the antique plasterwork. But, hell, it'll look okay from a distance. If you squint.
Two walls done, two to go (although one of these includes the fireplace).
Tuesday 18 April 2006
the ballad of the freelance creator
Without meaning to solicit sympathy from my loyal readers, the life of a freelancing/self-publishing comics creator isn't always the bed of roses it may seem. Well, in actual fact, yes it is, but it's easy to overlook some of the sacrifices one has to make to enjoy the luxury of working from home, free foreign trips and the adulation of millions (i.e. several dozen deranged individuals). Mainly it's the absence of a regular wage or indeed, anything resembling net income.
Thus, the vast majority of the creative community are forever committed to low wage part-time jobs, penny-pinching, belt-tightening and fighting amongst themselves for the rare tidbits of freelance work that only present themselves at the most inappropriate times. Building a network, working on proposals, submitting ideas to editors and rewriting movie treatments in the hope that one day you shall receive due reward for the years of unpaid effort is our status quo.
So I am hoping that my loyal band of Strangehaven
readers will indulge a further delay of the next installment so that I can take steps to avoid the spectre of the bailiff, at least for a wee while, while I continue to pursue the holy grail of hard cash.
I am planning on publishing issue #19 to coincide with the second Brighton Comic Expo (if that indeed should happen) if at all possible. First news, as always, will be posted here.
The back bedroom is slowly progressing. Over the past couple of weeks I have managed two coats of white emulsion on the ceiling (which looks absolutely splendid) and yesterday sized the patched-up parts of the walls ready for wallpapering.
After Chelsea's 3-0 defeat of Everton on Sky Prem Plus I even found a couple of hours to do the first cut of the back garden. After a generally dry Easter weekend the tufts were just about dry enough to mow, but the second cut was very damp and kept clogging the electric mower. Still, it all looks neat and summery and the dogs love it.
Tuesday 04 April 2006
hello hello i'm back again
Back from a fantastic forget-it-all week in the middle of a Suffolk forest that is. Back playing squash, answering emails, running around after the dogs and thrashing around wildly looking for a way to make some easy money so I can get back drawing.
I haven't weighed myself yet, but I'm curious to discover whether seven days walking a couple of miles a day, an hour a day in the gym, table tennis, badminton, swimming, ten-pin bowling and spa sessions have counteracted the week-long, calorie-laden lunches and evening meals concurrently ingested.
I also brought back most of everything that I intended to read but didn't, an empty notebook, an empty sketchbook and lots of laundry. But still had a terrific time, thanks for asking.
One of the books that I did read while I was away, or rather have just finished reading, was Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. And while some of the early parts tested my ignorance of Jewish culture, the climax confirmed my suspicions that it is a truly wonderful book. Hats off and thumbs up.
The Adventures of Kavalier & Clay [Michael Chabon] *****
Brusel [Schuiten/Peeters] ***
The Invisible Frontier [Schuiten/Peeters] ***
films on sky
The Devil's Rejects **
Starsky & Hutch ***
Finding Neverland **
The Terminal *
Batman Begins ***
21 Grams ****
House of Flying Daggers ****
The Street **
Dr. Who **
Planet Earth *****
Desperate Housewives ***
Grand Designs ***
Chelsea 3 Mancs 0
Chelsea 1 Hubcaps 2
Chelsea 3 Toffees 0
Notlob 0 Chelsea 2
Chelsea 4 Wet Spam 1
Brum 0 Chelsea 0
24/04 Gary 2 Steve 1
20/04 Gary 2 Steve 3
13/04 Gary 4 Steve 0
10/04 Gary 3 Steve 2
06/04 Gary 2 Steve 4
03/04 Gary 2 Steve 1