28 August 2006


Bored? Click here for a game to relieve it.

I'll let you thank me later.

27 August 2006

Here it goes again

From the legends who brought you A Million Ways (the best music video ever in the history of the universe) comes Here it Goes Again:

Pure genius.

23 August 2006

Notes from a small island

I'm not talking about Britain (Bill Bryson has already done written that book), but Singapore where I had to make a short day-trip yesterday. It was a long day, involving a 4am wake-up and a midnight return home but was very enjoyable.

1) I thought speaking English would get me around the place just fine and it did until I encountered the funniest cabbie I have ever met on my way back to the airport. He was a complete chatterbox who couldn’t stop talking about how good Singapore was and then giving a no-holds barred criticism of Jakarta. He was speaking really excitedly and loudly and making big hand-gestures as well so I had to try hard to stifle my laughter.

If that wasn’t enough, he did it all in the strongest Singlish I have ever heard. Everything was “la!” Normally you can just insert a few missing verbs and adjectives in to a Singlish sentence to understand what’s being said but with this guy I didn’t have a clue. I think he knew it as well because he told me it was his birthday and the following exchange ensued:

Me: “Oh, happy birthday!”
Him: “Eh, you don’t believe one! Today my birthday ah! It is la!”
Me: “Yeah, I know. Happy Birthday!”
Him: “Eh, I no joking. I fifty-four today.”
Me: “Yeah, happy birthday”
Etc etc etc until I gave him a bigger than normal tip at the airport so that he knew I really did believe it was his birthday.

It’s really easy to slip in to that language when someone’s speaking it to you but, as I was already laughing anyway, I had to try really hard not to move in to Singlish in case he thought I was taking this piss. I was still laughing on the plane.

2) Women in Singapore seem to be obsessed with being skinny. I passed a few pharmacists and couldn’t help but notice that the biggest adverts by them were all for slimming products and that inside they all had entire sections of shelves dedicated to weight-loss. I started to understand why even very slim Singaporean girls I know think they are fat.

3) The purpose of going to Singapore was to meet someone and sort a few things out with them for Dad. I got to the office at 2pm, when I thought the meeting was supposed to be but the receptionist was surprised to see me as I didn’t seem to have an appointment. Eventually the person turned up but I spent the 15 minutes I waited for them going over all the different ways that Dad could kill me if I’d got the day or time wrong but gone all the way to Singapore anyway. I came to the conclusion that he wouldn’t kill me but give me a telling-off so big that it would seem as if I had died but come back. I don’t think I’ve ever sweated so much while sitting down in an air-conditioned room.

4) Most of all, it was great seeing some old friends again. Shiling was the perfect host. She took time out from her workday to see my sister and I, show us around a bit and took us to lunch. I am indebted to you Shiling. You are too kind to us. Met Jean and Eugenia at Orchard Road, and those two are always a good laugh so had a great time there too. Many apologies to everyone I couldn’t see because you were at work or at college. I’m gutted not to have seen everyone. Hopefully I can come again for a longer time and on a non-workday so there’ll be more time to see you all.

20 August 2006


Man United 5 - 1 Fulham

Ooh yeah baby! I couldn't have asked for a better weekend of football than seeing my two teams win in style. United scored three times in the first twenty minutes and, as my sisters won the battle for the remote control and decided to watch Oprah Winfrey, I missed all those goals. Oh well, I can't be too selfish.

It's been a great weekend.

19 August 2006

Reading 3 - 2 Boro

That's why we're Premier League!

You didn't think you'd get away with me not blogging about this did you? There we were sitting in the sitting room watching Arsenal v Aston Villa and seeing the tickertape updates tell us Reading had gone 2-0 down at home to Boro. "Never mind", I said, "the season's thirty-eight matches long, not just one". Then all of a sudden it was 2-2. Queue some jumping round the room (a bit like Leroy Lita in the picture there) then me yapping my mouth off telling everyone that's why no one should write us off and slagging off all the telly pundits who did. Then news came through that we were leading 3-2. It brought the broadest smile I've had across my face all week.

The result and the nature in which it was obtained will make it infinitely more difficult to get tickets now but I don't care for tonight. It's amazing to have won the first game in such style but, as I said when we were losing, the season is thirty-eight games long. We can't go crazy after only one win. The performance levels have to be kept high until May if we are to stay in the league although I'm sure no one will begrudge us our moment of glory for now.

The annoying thing about the past week has been listening to football 'experts' on TV saying how badly Reading will struggle because we haven't bought big this summer and have no big names and no Premiership experience blah blah blah. I don't doubt that any of those factors are true but what I find odd is that a lot of those 'experts' have never even seen Reading play before.

Andy Gray, probably the most respected footy analyst in England, was asked about us and he talked about how we might be like Sunderland last season and go straight to the bottom. How many times did he see us last season? Probably not very many. In fact, the only Reading match I remember him commentating last year was the FA Cup match against Birmingham when we played our reserves and he got some of our players' names mixed up. Then there are the pundits here in Asia. Matches from the lower leagues don't get televised here so they can't have seen much of us yet they keep saying we are rubbish.

I know I am biased but they really do need to watch Reading before they make a judgement. Anyone who saw the way we romped away with the Championship league last year would know that we are an entertaining team with good players. You don't win a league by twenty-odd points, score ninety-nine goals and break the league points record without having a little bit of quality. It is true that we are still Premiership nobodies but we do deserve a bit more respect.

Anyway, I'll get off my hobby-horse for now and just pray that the rest of the season will be the same and that we can stay in the Premiership. Come on URZ!

18 August 2006


I refer you to the post underneath this. Why do they keep giving amunition to the speculators? Harper and Kits in training:

Someone else pray with me for Reading's season.

While I'm at it, my predictions for the champions of the coming season are:
Champions: Man United (I am ever the optimist) Likely challengers: Chelsea, Liverpool, Reading (the optimist again...)
Dark horse: Black Beauty

17 August 2006

New season

The new Premiership season is but two days away and, as you'd imagine, I am excited. It's going to be a big season for both United, who will want to push on and try to win the league, and Reading, who will just be trying for their dear life to stay in it.

To stay in the league, Reading need to concentrate. On the evidence of the new squad photo, this might be a problem. Check out Harper, Kitson and Murty (bottom left of the page). It looks like they're more excited in each other than the new season.

Look a little closer:

The proximity between Harps's hand and Kit's love muscle is slightly worrying.

I shouldn't be surprised at this. I listened to the radio when Reading were having their victory parade at the end of last year. When the interviewer asked Harps how he felt, his answer was "The truth is, I love Dave (Kitson). I want to marry him, I'm going to ask him." Mind you, this is also the man who said "I love soccer. Without soccer, I am nothing. Without me, soccer is nothing."

So Harps and Kit I expected, but Murts...I'll put it down to team bonding.

14 August 2006

Mid-blog-life crisis

It's been a year and a day since this blog started after I closed down my old one from uni. I thought about what happens on TV series when they reach milestones like the 100th episode or if one of the main characters has a turning point in their lives. The writers seem to be a bit lazy and instead of writing something new they just run a half hour 'flashback' episode where we're just shown highlights from past episodes.

This might just be because the writers think viewers like seeing highlights, and most probably do, but I find them quite boring. However, I'm starting to understand their problem because here I am, one year on after starting this blog, and I'm feeling pretty uninspired. I've got blogger's block. The temptation now would be just to whack up links to past posts from this blog but I don't want to do that because (a) it would be lazy, (b) there probably isn't anything that exciting that I could dredge up from the archives, (c) you could flick through the archives yourselves if you were ever bored enough to do that anyway.

The most important reason, though, is that this is a blog read by a very few people, not a TV series watched by millions. Most of what I write here relates to things I've seen or done or thought and in that sense the blog's existence is a creature of my own self-indulgence. No one wants to see a re-run of my own un-extraordinary life. So here's where I come to my own turning point. I've woken up to how silly this blog can be at times. I do my best not to, but a lot of the time I'm ultimately just writing about myself.

That's pretty pathetic isn't it? (How ironic that I ask that question in this, the most introspective post I have ever written and the type that I have always tried to avoid writing). It's like turning being on Kilroy. It is the blogger's mid-life crisis. It's pretty embarrassing that I have basically been writing about myself so the question is now where to go from here. Keep writing in the same style or change the style.

Turning this thing in to a David Hasselhoff tribute site is a definite possibility...

11 August 2006

You've got mail

After about five days without checking e-mail I opened my account to find it consisting of:

1) An e-mail from college saying they've sent holiday reading in the post. Damn.

2) An e-mail from some dude called Dr Sule Usman who is apparently working for a prince in Burkina Faso who needs to hide his money in foreign accounts including mine in order to escape persecution. Apparently all I need to do is send him my bank details and I will receive a cash reward for helping him. Ok.

3) Four e-mails offering me quick and easy university degrees.

4) A message without a subject title from someone called "inchesinweeks". Maudslay boys, is this the new business you've been setting up?

5) An e-mail from a girl called chri3t3ne with the subject title "ilikedoggy".

6) A couple of forwarded e-mails threatening to blow up your computer unless I send it on to twelve more people.

I love it when people communicate with me.

03 August 2006

Miss Universe

I was flicking through the telly channels last night and saw the Miss Universe pageant was on Star. England might not have done so well at the World Cup and Indonesia not even got there in the first place but after last night I know I can say that I love both my countries very very much. In fact, last night pushed me further to forget the nonsense of national boundaries. I love the whole world very very much. Especially Puerto Rico.

"World peace" all.

01 August 2006


I made a bad mistake. My youngest bro and I shared a suitcase when we went to Bali and when we unpacked I must have put some of his clothes in my cupboard instead of his. The result of this was the travesty that happened at the gym yesterday morning.

Before leaving the house I was in a hurry and I just threw some clean clothes in to my gym bag including a pair of boxers that looked identical to mine. You can guess what happened next now can't you. I finish at the gym, go to the changing room, shower, open my bag and find a pair of my brother's boxers instead of mine. My brother is 13 with thighs half the size of mine and a waist 5 inches smaller. It was the type of moment the phrase "oh shit" was made for. I felt like Wallace and Gromit in The Wrong Trousers except the wrong boxers here didn't have special powers.

As I saw it I had three options:
1) Wear the now-sweaty briefs I'd worn while using the gym. For the sake of hygiene and the noses of everyone around me this was never going to be viable.
2) Go commando. This is never a good idea for anyone with a zip-fly. It is even worse when, as I did, brought a pair of baggy shorts to wear. I might have scared people in public so didn't do this option either.
3) Wear my bro's underwear. By default, this was what I had to do. To say it was snug down there would be an understatement. Tight would be more appropriate. I couldn't walk fast because the material was so tight around my legs that if I'd extended my leg too far the boxers would have ripped (which would effectively have meant I would be going commando, thus landing me in the further problems associated with that scenario as discussed above). I had to try hard not to climb up stairs walking sideways for the same reason.

In short, it was a painful experience but probably not as painful as it was for my brother when I got home and told him his underwear might be a bit bigger than they were the last time he saw them. Better buy him some new ones tomorrow.