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Frank Candour "What you think you saw you did not see" (Cleveland)

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Savage!: The Robbie Savage Autobiography
Savage!: The Robbie Savage Autobiography
by Janine Self
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Mr. Birmingham or Miss Understood., 16 Oct. 2010
Marmite......a great nickname for this lookalike Abersoch surfer. He's earned his place in the Premiership by sheer hard work and of course bags of luck! His ego is up there with the best of them and even he is the first to admit that he has been "underrated"? How?

The facts speak for themselves really; he has earned a small fortune and could afford to lose an amount on a car deal the equivalent of what most people earn in a year, so, not so underrated? He became the Midlands Player of the Year and also The Ilkeston Branch of Derby County fans player of the season(not even becoming European Player of the Year could top those). In fairness, Lothar Matthious praised him, and, credit where it is due, he is heart and soul.He is the original headless chicken or Afghan hound that harrasses the opposition, big, small or gifted.

He claims that he has been fair with contracts but, compare that statement to the way in which he left Birmingham "after" signing a new deal? He speaks of respect he has for his seniors but again, the treatment of Toshack, Souness, Maldini's shirt and, not least, disrespecting the prone Tugay say otherwise. Arrogance comes from kicking the ball at the head of someone who he had just clattered.....later to be a team-mate. Not an endearing quality.

Two anecdotes I really loved were; his concussion/Prime Minister incident and Bellamy's arrival at Blackburn's training ground.....genuinely amusing!
Another of Sav's contradictions is that he learned morals from Harrison at United but his admission of getting players deliberately sent off and not giving a toss shows that those morals belong to invertebrates of whom he is King of!

Of the book itself it is a good read for those who love their football and are interested in the dramas between managers and pro's. He does try to show some humility here and there and I commend him for that but beware of the Deon's/Dion's or the one called De Jong...perhaps he is the third and final assault to eventually nail a savage man!

The Strange Death of David Kelly
The Strange Death of David Kelly
by Norman Baker
Edition: Paperback

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More twists than Oliver, 5 Oct. 2010
Far too many suspects to choose from. The ethical Dr, trod on far too many toes and true to his prediction was discovered in the woods. The Dark Actors, it would appear, silenced a lone voice but in such a ham fashion that it needed swift intervention to dismiss the whole saga as a tragedy of his own doing.

On the surface he had a family history, seemed subdued and, as no form of a struggle was apparent it therefore concluded that the unlikely verdict of suicide was adjudged.

It beggars belief that we are told that the proceedings or evidence shall remain unavailable for scrutiny for another seventy years. However, unless some other new revelation can be offered then this one is put to bed and the guilty shall sleep safe in the knowledge that this episode has escaped true justice. How a knife and bottle by Kelly's side were found to not have fingerprints is something that only guilty can answer.

A brilliant piece of investigation by Mr. Baker that sadly had no happy ending!

Dead Like You
Dead Like You
by Peter James
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars A rollercoaster(or ghost train) ride, 1 Oct. 2010
This review is from: Dead Like You (Hardcover)
First one I've read but was almost immediately engaged. The scene and characters were nicely introduced and it took me until the last victim to figure out whodunnit....Some detective I'd make?
Yet we all know that YAC will be back to feature in the follow-up. Women who buy the expensive shoes can be sure of one thing, that they come with a free stalker. Not your average concession perhaps!

Boys from the Blackstuff [DVD]
Boys from the Blackstuff [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael Angelis
Price: £7.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless piece, 28 Sept. 2010
I must've watched this series the first time around but with little recollection apart from the Sounness episode. Like Auf Weidersehn Pet(which certainly copied the format) it depicts an era that could be returning as the boom and bust nature of construction is affected by a fragile economy which is upon us again.
Hughes does really come across as a man on edge( and sometimes beyond). I wonder if he actually was suffering mentally at the time or if it genuinely superb acting.
I had entered the construction trade in the early seventies and have an affinity with all or most of their predicaments. Well worth a revisit....if only on dvd!

The Tartar Steppe
The Tartar Steppe
by Dino Buzzati
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.34

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One steppe beyond, 28 Sept. 2010
This review is from: The Tartar Steppe (Paperback)
As my title implies it appears madness(pun intended) to devote a life to the insignificance of awaiting a moment to make our mark. However, this is exactly what this book has us believe some of us do or all of us do?. For me the saddest aspect is his returning home on the odd occasion and finding things have changed beyond his familiarity and therefore he becomes a stranger to those he once knew! That is the most poignant realisation put across.

He finds he is more in tune with the soldiers of the fort who have become his new family. The time marches on as it were and those around him grow old or even die almost pointless deaths. These resonnate but he appears powerless to prevent the inevitability of himself becoming institutionalised. The imaginary invasion rarely rears it's head and when it does it dissolves into the mists from where it emerged. One such alarm turned out to be friendly forces surveying the steppe.

Perhaps his moment of glory is both curtailed and met when he is least able to summon the strength, therein lies the irony.

Pretty depressive stuff but addictive....although it took me about 30 pages to want to advance another step.........

Geoff Hurst, the Hand of God and the Biggest Rows in World Football
Geoff Hurst, the Hand of God and the Biggest Rows in World Football
by Graham Poll
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Where to start, 10 Sept. 2010
All in all I enjoyed this paradoxical offering as it is true to the man himself. I have no qualms with controversy and how a ref might give a wrong decision here and there but Mr. Poll has been responsible for some absolute howlers. There is so much to mention but it would take me several pages to detail the ambiguities involved.

I find he is more of a prophet(and profit) by alluding to the Hurst incident, circa '66, and, saying that it could happen again, this time against England. So, a good insight there. He states that today, where "linos" are now assistant referees, that a common language should exist to avoid misunderstandings between officials. However, this failed as he feared, quite remarkably in a near identical game? So he covered his bases there.

The Hand of God chapter relates to Maradonna and Lineker discussing the issues surrounding the controversy. They both agreed it was the officials fault for allowing the goal to stand. However, Mr. Poll claims that is akin to blaming the police for the crime? This where his logic fails(not for the first time), as players do cheat but it is up to the ref(police) to apply the laws invested in them. Hence, disallow the goal and save face!

I read his praise of Howard Webb's performance in the Final of the last WC. Let me say that Webb, was roundly booed for his inadequate handling and justifiably so. Stating that he had not seen fully the De Jong incident is worse than poor, as he'd seen the raised foot to the chest, no doubt(he produced the yellow presumably for that?) and Alonso's agony confirmed any doubts that he might've had. Surely the speed and height were enough for even a blind man to notice and send the thug off? Not only that, in one chapter he suggests that in the Germany v Czech match, in the nineties, where another ref(I think it was Ellary) that the game would have been better controlled had he shown a red card instead of about ten yellows. Cue Mr. Webb who allowed so many fouls by Van Bommel( and others) that it spiralled into mayhem and a spate of yellow cards ensued. So, how did Mr. Webb have a good game? No, it killed the game!

In another chapter, the late Don Revie, stated that, "refereeing was the hardest job in the world",(as Mr. Poll agrees and is always saying?). Hardly, just ask any soldier, miner, trawlerman, policeman,scaffolder,deep sea diver, nurse, etc, etc........In his defence he does admit to getting decisions wrong(even referees are human, aren't they?), so at times he rated himself as 8 out 10 but sometimes he was a 10 out of 10? Quite modest, really.

I'd love to debate his ideas/reasons on a one to one basis but I don't think I can reach his Ivory Tower?

Still a fascinating if not irritating read!

Bloody Sunday [DVD]
Bloody Sunday [DVD]
Dvd ~ James Nesbitt
Price: £9.50

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My role is only an Observer........, 22 May 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bloody Sunday [DVD] (DVD)
This documentary style film had it all...A thoroughly incisive view from all angles..perhaps except the Paramilitaries. They were there in the background waiting to pick up the pieces but I sensed they saw this as an opportunity to show how peace marches,etc,can be highjacked into violence.
Nesbitt does his bit(no pun) to initiate a political push for dialogue and change but too much has happened to stem it's natural course.
The soldiers are depicted as wanting revenge for the lack of rights afforded to fallen comrades and want to seize the moment to make their point, that the army are in charge.

One thing that lacked for me due to scale restrictions was the limit of young tearaways who presumably had thrown petrol bombs, although in the latter part we see bombs being planted on a dead protestor. Overall it conveyed it's message very well and I was impressed and shocked at what turned out to be an indiscriminate massacre.I'm old enough to have heard and probably watched it on news of the day, and my brother served in the troubles around that time..fortunately not on Bloody Sunday.
It is ironic that the first such Bloody Sunday was an equally barbaric slaughter of Officers in Dublin circa 1919-21 conflict. The numbers amounted to the same(I think??) but unlike the Derry parade there were no other casualties. The fact that so many were probably stone throwing yobs driving their feelings home had hallmarks of naivety as they would try to impress onlooking bad boys eager to stoke hatred into their brethren.
Being British the murder of rioters and the all ensuing cover-up paralleled the reticence of Seinn Fein who would not condemn acts of violence or offer apologies for orchestrated bombings of innocents.

Simmering feuds will be the touch paper for future rebellions or troubles
and since so many political prisoners have been released tension will be forever present. The good people who seek accord will be undermined for the purposes of the puppet-masters who thrive on disruption. Like soldiers who couldn't settle when demobbed and fought as Black and Tans in the Civil War, so shall remain the anger and contempt of those who see peace as the enemy.

Piggott-Smith(Maj-Gen Ford) does what all those in high office do....pass down responsibility to subordinates who shoulder the blame if all goes wrong. No one should have to live under martial law but the alternative was all-out war...A total no win situation?
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 25, 2011 3:32 PM BST

Apocalypto [DVD] (2006)
Apocalypto [DVD] (2006)
Dvd ~ Rudy Youngblood
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.08

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Travel well, 9 May 2009
This review is from: Apocalypto [DVD] (2006) (DVD)
There are many words to describe this offering from Mr.Gibson...Phenomenal, Immaculate, Sensational, Unbelieveable(which it was in places, literally), Gripping, Pulsating but ultimately relieving. The drama is nearly at break neck speed, sort of an Enemy of the State situation whereby there is no hiding place from your pursuers.
The graphic scenes are relevant but not for the squeamish and from the start the film indulges it's gore-fest theme. I for one am not a blood and guts addict but it added to the impending fate of those selected, albeit de-selected.
I'm normally critical of inconsistencies and as with every film a stretch of the imagination is required but so engrossing was the entire affair that miniscule or contrived sequences were set aside....
A remarkable and powerful delight.....Magnificent!

Quirkology: The Curious Science Of Everyday Lives
Quirkology: The Curious Science Of Everyday Lives
by Richard Wiseman
Edition: Paperback

2 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The honesty of the British public, 16 April 2009
I dislike researches intensely as they seem to dictate our lives. Constantly these "Experts" are no more than b/s'ers and their trash can be seen in our newspapers quoting "that this could cause that", etc. It rules our lives as it causes impulsiveness and panic amongst those susceptible.It's fact that we can all be fooled sometimes but the old saying that "ignorance is bliss" has some credibility to it.We have to live with propoganda period, no matter where it eminates from and being forewarned is being forearmed.And where would we be without our forearms!

My interest in what makes us tick drew me to this study along with positive reviews (though normally I'm out of step with the majority)and it's a worthwhile read.Our attitudes and behaviour however, are evolving to the pace of life, leaving little time for the niceties or philanthropy now only existing in the less developed nations.

The free money experiment captured our greed to the extent that even when questioned by a surveyor outside the target papershop people were in a denial as to the misdemeanour they'd been involved in.Not wanting to confess to fleecing a shop assistant due to the embarrassment of handing back their windfall. It is afterall human nature, but it told me nothing as where I work the guys buy knock-offs without a conscience. Their choice but let them crow about theft and I tell 'em that they are sponsoring it(not that I am a saint,either).Morals only apply to what we feel strongly about and drawing the captil letter "Q" on my forehead told me what type of person I am(as if I didn't know?).....Well it was 50/50 and we have to belong to a particular group anyways.

Prejudices too were scrutinised, making reservations at hotels and restuarants around the US, trying to find if they would serve Chinese people. Over the phone Wiseman received refusals on all bookings apart from one where he'd taken the Chinese couple to prior to the reservation. The person had remembered them as being cute.

As bookmakers balance the odds there is always the room for error and a documentary I watched recently about the Shroud of Turin confirmed how we
can be misled. An eminent scientist had examined a corner piece cut from the cloth. He carbon dated it to between 1200-1300's. This was to stand undisputed until the "Lunatic Fringe"(not a haircut but the nay-sayers), noticed that the cloth, under the microscope looked to be spliced. To the naked eye it was all one cloth but the skill of whoever had repaired it was remarkable. It turned out that the fabric spliced was from around 1400's, therefore negating the earlier dating of the sample.

We see what we want and disregard the rest, so to speak.

Who Pays the Ferryman?
Who Pays the Ferryman?
by Pat Monteath
Edition: Paperback
Price: £2.47

5.0 out of 5 stars Like a fatal game of chess....., 26 Mar. 2009
This review is from: Who Pays the Ferryman? (Paperback)
What had driven Breandan O'Shea to seek out Richard James....Was it just coincidence of business or had he been observed and chosen? The answer to this poser isn't found in this book, but I'm sure things will unravel in further exploits of Mr. James and co?
The courage of our author is surely legendary as he inadvertently becomes embroilled in affairs which are way beyond his control...or for that matter...anyone else's control. Therefore his status as a pawn is evident as he starts to lead a double life....
I'm not sure I'd like to have been his partners on his orchards contract though as minor mistakes can end with a severe pruning at the very least.
I admire his strength of character to shrug off and confront incidents that would have normal people crumbling from. His first night's stay at the Tara was a test of character which must've earned him a huge amount of respect from his new found paymaster.
One thing I can say to the author about his signed copy that I possess....I never underestimate my enemy..if anything I pay them too much respect.........A fantastic read Mr.Monteath/James...whoever!!!

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