31 March 2006

No Tomorrow

I've been giving No Tomorrow by Orson the old repeat button treatment for the last week. Not only is it a very addictive tune that's mirrored my mood since last Saturday afternoon, but I've come to the conclusion that the band are the biggest legends ever (well, maybe not 'ever' but pretty close).

They were on Soccer AM a few weeks back and because they didn't support any football team, they were made to pick a team name out of a hat. Lady Luck gave them Rotherham, who are currently floundering in the third tier of the English game. Rotherham are on the verge of bankruptcy and the end of their existence but their newest fans decided to help them out by going to the town to do a charity gig for free with all the proceeds going towards the club.

I know it's not helping the bigger causes such as world poverty but I love Orson for doing this. They've come all the way from America and probably don't know that much about 'soccer' but they've taken it upon themselves to go to unglamorous Rotherham to save their football club. Football teams often mean a lot to the communities that support them so Orson are doing a very valuable thing for the people of Rotherham . They've even put a sign about it on their

I take my hats off to them. Talking about hats, the video to No Tomorrow is below. The lead singer looks quite smooth in his hat. I rated him James-Bond-style when I first saw it but I saw another pic of him without the hat and he's got a mohawk. All that hard-earned smoothness went down the toilet. I don't rate him as much anymore but he's still a legend to me anyway. More importantly, I want to know who the girl in the video is.

It's a great song but I hope there is a tomorrow because I'm off to watch Reading with Has and Gubs and will hopefully be a witness to the day Reading won the football league. Cross your fingers for the Royals...

27 March 2006

Serious people celebrating

It's really funny to see people who are normally so serious just let rip. A prime example of this on Saturday was Reading's manager, Steve Coppell. This is the man who was asked how he would celebrate promotion to the Premiership and answered by saying he'd "just go straight to bed". But before he did that he did manage to relax and savour the moment a little:

The quietest man in English football smiles for the first time all season...

...jumps the barriers...

...and throws his coat in to the crowd.

What a legend!

There's only one Steve Coppell. Click here to hear his reaction to the day.

25 March 2006



Finally finally FINALLY, with thanks and praises to God, Reading were officially promoted to the Premier League today. Even though
we only drew at Leicester, results elsewhere meant that the one point was enough to secure our place in the top two of the Championship. I remember hearing someone say in February that Reading would be "up before the daffodils". I thought that was a bit fanciful but British Summer Time only starts tomorrow and I haven't seen any sign of spring so far. I'm happy I was wrong.

I can't describe the feeling. I don't really know what to compare it to. As a childhood Man United fan as well, winning the Champions League in 1999 was very similar. Today may just have shaded it though. I think the fact that I have been a regular at our home matches and sit so close to the touchline makes me feel a closer connection to the Reading players that makes me so happy and proud for them. As well as this, Reading are obviously also my local team and that makes it even better.

It was not an easy afternoon. I went up to Oakham to pick up my sisters at the end of their term. We listened to Radio 5 in the car on the way down and listened out for the updates from the Reading game. It was highly unpleasant not knowing exactly what was going espescially as the updates kept telling us how badly Reading were playing. Hearing that we were losing 1-0 didn't help either. Couple this with the fact that I didn't have much petrol left in the car and was bombing down the motorway without a service station in sight and you had a very anxious me.

Got home with about half an hour to go and sat in front of Sky Sports News looking at the updates. I spent the whole time doing the calculations in my head about what results were needed around the country in order for us to go up. With Sheffield United winning and Watford clearly losing, it became clear that the important result would be the one at Leeds. Reading's equaliser was reported and suddenly promotion became very very real. News eventually came through that Leeds had drawn 0-0, which meant that we were guaranteed promotion.

The pictures proved it - we were definetly up. It was unbelievable to see that caption below the score - "Reading promoted".

I did a little jig around the sitting room then got a call from Warren. He was probably a bit surprised to be greeted by me singing down the phone "We are going up, said we are going up!" Omaier got the same treatment a bit later on. Only my innate conservatism stopped me from running out to streak in town.

It's really weird to see us all over the internet and television news at the moment. I don't think I've known a day where Reading were headline news around the country. Maybe I should get used to it. Thanks to everyone who's called, e-mailed or text me to say congrats. It's quite odd because it's not actually us fans but the players and the management who have done the hard work!

If there's a downside it's only that it didn't happen at the Madejski where I would have seen it. However, we play Derby at home next a week. A win in that game will confirm us as league champions. I can't wait for that. For now, it's back to the singing.

E- I - E - I - E - I - E - O!
Up the football league we go!
Up the football league we go,
We are Reading, we are Reading,
Coppell is our king!
(repeat ad infitum)

24 March 2006

Easy! Easy! Easy!

Yow shadaaaap!

23 March 2006

Has is 21

Has is 21 and is therefore officially a grown up. This obviously meant that I had to take the opportunity to treat him as if we were still kids. I got him the most colourful birthday cake I could find him. I then bought him presents to remind him of the halcyon days of our infancy - a Thundercats T-shirt and a CD with all the kiddies songs we used to listen to in the car to school everyday.

What boy growing up in the 80s didn't love the Thunder Cats? We put the CD on and I've got to say without a tinge of embarrassment that I actually really liked the music. This isn't just because it's quite good for my nostalgic soul but because I genuinely enjoyed the tunes. My favourtie is definetly Benny Hill's Ernie. I think I just want to delay adulthood for as long as I can.

To fit in with the unintended memory lane theme, Kim had spent the last few months compiling photos and messages for Has from all his friends behind his back. It's interesting to trace the evolution of Has's haircut from bowl as a kid to quiff as a teenager to blondeness and then to general mess at the moment.

However, proof that turning 21 hasn't meant the exorcism of the child in Has was there when I saw this lying around in his hallway:

Happy Birthday 21st Birthday Has, my brother and in many ways my oldest mate.

18 March 2006

The maths

I am surprised at myself for even thinking about doing this because I normally live by the mantra that it's not over until the fat lady sings. On this occassion, however, the fat lady may not have sung yet but she has at the very least warmed up her lungs and switched on the microphone. As this is the case, I will indulge in a bit of end of season maths:

-Reading drew at home to Wolves today while Leeds drew away at Coventry.
-This means that Leeds can get a maximum of 95 points by the end of the season. Reading are currently on 91 points.
-This means that Reading need 4 points to guarantee finishing in the top two of the league and therefore be promoted to the Premier League for the first time in the club's 135 year history.

The scenarios for the coming week:
-If Leeds win at Crystal Palace on Tuesday, they will still be on course for a 95 points total.
-If this happens, Reading will be promoted next Saturday if they win at Leicester and Leeds only draw or lose their match that day.

-If Leeds draw at Crystal Palace, they will have a maximum points potential of 93 points.
-A win for Reading at Leicester on Saturday would take us to 94 points and therefore be mathematically uncatchable and we would be promoted.
-Even if Reading lose that game, we can still be promoted if Leeds also lose on that day because they would only have a maximum points total of 90 points.

-If Leeds lose at Crystal Palace they will only have a maximum points target of 92 points.
-In that case, a win for Reading at Leicester next Saturday will secure promotion.
-Even if Reading do lose that game, they will still be promoted if Leeds lose or draw their match that day because they will only be able to get a maximum of 90 or 89 points as a result.

There are so many 'ifs' but it's great that the word 'if' no longer applies to a question of whether or not Reading will be promoted at all. It's used as a means of calculating when it will happen. The only certain thing is that the earliest Reading can be promoted is next Saturday and doing this requires Reading to win that match and have Leeds pick up no more than a win and a draw from their next two matches. It is totally feasible that this will happen.

However, I actually hope it doesn't and this is for the purely selfish reason that my brothers and I have tickets for Reading's home match against Derby on April 1st and I would love it if promotion was only secured on that day so I can witness it with my own eyes.

Whatever happens, I surrender it to God and accept whatever the outcome is. It's great to be in this position.

(Just in case it helps to understand, a win gets you 3 points, a draw gets you 1, a loss gets you 0. The season is 46 matches long. Reading have played 39 matches so far. Leeds have played 38.)

15 March 2006

Happy Birthday Jun!

Jun turned 28 yesterday, which also means he is wiser. It didn't stop him from interrupting the Tort tutorial by saying, "I just like to make public announcement: Shall we go to pub straight after lecture?". The tutor was as surprised as everyone else. I had tears rolling down my cheeks from laughing.

So to the pub we went to celebrate his birthday.
The cake looks ok now but Kate and I waited so long for everyone to sit down before appearing with it that the candles had almost fully melted in to the cake by the time we reached the table.

It obviously tasted good. Alex wouldn't let a single morsel go to waste.

"I am available."

Amelia came up with a game. Write a name of someone at BPP on a piece of paper and stick it on your neighbour's forehead without letting them see the name. They then have to guess who they are, asking only 'yes' or 'no' questions. I think that's all that's needed to explain these photos:

Norman looks prettier than he normally does

Leo aka 'Rocco' Matteucci

Con and Ad tutor Anna x2

Happy Birthday Jun!

10 March 2006

If you have a spare few minutes.

Click here.

I dare you not to laugh.

08 March 2006

Trip to the doctor

I never like going to see the doctor, normally for the obvious reason that if you have to see the doctor it means that you are unwell. It's also because sometimes I know I'm going to hear something I don't want to. For example, "You need an injection", "You can't eat flapjacks ever again" or, worst of all, the intimidating sound of rubber smacking against flesh when the doctor puts their glove on.

Today was no different except my reasons for being nervous were:
1) I've studied a bit of clinical negligence law this year. No one ever brings a legal action if the doctor has done their job correctly, which means that every case I've studied has involved a doctor screwing up. This has given me a warped view of the competence of the medical profession in this country.
2) I watched Scrubs last night.

Having said that, this morning wasn't as bad as I thought. All my fears went out the window when I walked in to the surgery to find a quite attractive young GP waiting to mend my ills. I screamed an internal "woohoo!" in my head. It was like christmas and my birthday all rolled in to one. I even had to take my shirt off for her.

You'd think that taking your shirt off would be a good thing. Not for me though. Taking my shirt off means unleashing my belly upon the world. When she asked me to do this I knew my chances were scuppered.

Damn the lack of sit-ups I do.

05 March 2006

Prayer Room opening

With thanks and praises to Almighty God, the new prayer room was opened at Warwick yesterday and I felt very lucky to be there for the occassion. I remember all the hard work we did for the fundraising for it, espescially during the first year of uni and the beginning of the second so it was great to see where all that work had gone to.

It really is a wonderful facility, with space for two hundred people, a mini-library, kitchen and bathrooms. Much better than the old shoe-box of a room we had in Humanities when I was there anyway. The best thing is that now no one feels they are bothering anyone when taking prayer water from the washroom basins.

The plaque was a bit too clean for my liking - you can see me and Vaq in the reflection.

The best part was seeing everyone again. Vaq was on good form and sported his traditional jacket, baggy trousers and whiter than white trainers combo. Khalil, the two Mawji's, Riyaz, Dina, Omar, Asif, Il Presidente Usmaan, the Algerian lads and loads of others were there too, which was magic and made for a great atmosphere around the place.

Good old Warwick Hospitality food for the lunch.

Il Presidente Mo Usmaan. The best President Isoc has ever had.

The other Il Presidente. My old English Lit buddy Brian was there in his position as President-elect of the Students' Union.

My favourite Algerians in the world. I've never seen them without a smile on their faces.

It was quite a big event. There were four hundred people there and even the VC was there to conduct ceremonies. There were a couple of television crews as well...although try as he might Vaqas didn't manage to get himself on camera.

There was also a bit of a police presence for all the ambassadors and guest dignitaries. Vaq had the quote of the day: "Do you feel threatened when police are around?".
Me: "No. I feel safer."
Vaq: "It shows you're not a true ethnic minority then."

It wouldn't have been a true Isoc event without some post-event Pro Evo at Asif's.

His collection of Nestle Clusters was most impressive.

I said bye to all the guys then went to see a play in the Arts Centre with Dinu and some of her mates. It was a typical student play. There was the obligatory over-zealous screaming, a sex scene, a brothel and some cross-dressing. On top of all that I had my hand kissed by a character in the play dressed in white underwear and white swimming cap. It turns out he represented sperm. The words "a few sandwiches short of a picnic" come to mind but it was still a good evening anyway.

Good seeing everyone again. I'll try to come back soon.

02 March 2006

Indo Night 2006

After the shambles of a trip down from Coventry that was Indo Night 2004, I wasn't holding my breath for the 2006 version. However, I have to say that I was mightily impressed. Indo Night 2006 was the balls. Hats off to the LSE and Imperial people who made it happen.

It was proper Indo right from the start. I brought my Korean friend from college and we arrived at 6pm when it was supposed to start. It shows that I'm losing my Indo touch. If someone in Jakarta tells you 6pm, it probably means 7.30. Al, Debi, Has, Kim and Jo joined us by 7pm and it still hadn't started yet. Typical Indonesian jam karet. I loved it. Most people were already sat down when we arrived though so we got put in to the hermit spot upstairs away from everyone else. Maybe I was wearing a bad deodorant or something.

There were loads of old school friends from BIS so it was like a mini-reunion:

Has, Chris, Me, Al, Jo.

The food was awesome. The portions were massive and the quality was really good. Jo had about three plates of rice and rendang. I was a proud man. All you girls take note: that is how to eat. None of this small portion of salad business.

The food was from Mawar in Edgware Road. When I asked the guy where the food was from I thought he said Bawang. This confused me because bawang means 'onion'. Why would anyone call their restaurant 'The Onion'? Then I saw the menu and it was Mawar (meaning 'Rose'), which makes much more sense.

As it was Indo Night I had to get in character and disturb the meal by insisting on a photo.

Has refused to get in this photo because, as always, he says that "photos are gay".

His come-uppance was not long in coming. There were some performances afterwards including two girls doing some jaipongan dancing. They obviously got bored of each other so they came in to the audience looking for men to go up and dance with them on stage. They picked on the wrong man - Has.

Has protested until Kim pushed him up on to stage. Grumpy Has up on stage busting a move. It was priceless.

Thanks all for a quality night!