Archive for August, 2010


A few weeks ago I complained that the view from my hotel was of a nuclear power station in Switzerland. No problems with that today. Breakfast is taken on a terrace right next to the Bosphorus.


The kinds of friends you make

Courtesy of winger, part of Berlin’s Turkish contingent celebrate their quarter final win at Euro 2008 in front of their new friends from Stoke on Trent. This chance meeting outside a Kreuzberg kebab house pre-dated the signing of Tuncay Sanli as understudy to Rory Delap and Mama Sidibe. No, really. Address all complaints to: Tony F. Pulis at The Britannia Stadium, Dave Regis Way, Stoke on Trent.

Istanbul bound

I’m off to Istanbul for two days tomorrow with work. They’ve booked me out Economy Class but I’m returning in Business Class. That has to mean something.

My last real experience of Turkish culture was in 2008 in Berlin, where a large proportion of the population is Turkish. Indeed the Kreuzberg district is known as Little Istanbul.  We were fortunate to be there the night the Turkish national team beat Croatia with a last minute extra time goal in the Euro 2008 quarter final to send them to a penalty shoot out and ultimately a semi-final match against Germany.  The whole town went bananas and my friend Stephen Foster was around to take some images of the celebrations, which he’ll be along with soon.

Claudy bombing

The head of the Catholic Church in Ireland Cardinal Brady has described as ‘shocking’ the reported involvement of a Catholic priest in the IRA bombing of Claudy that killed 9 people including an 8 year old girl (who was cleaning windows near to where the bomber placed the bomb and so must have been seen by him as he went about his task). It may be shocking but it’s not surprising, either for the IRA or the Church. Nor is the decision to relocate the priest to a new parish to avoid prosecution and cover his involvement. Cardinal Brady may deny that, but it’s the modus operandi of the Catholic Church.

Roll up

Because I haven’t got enough to do, I’ve volunteered to be the Stoke City correspondent for the PFA’s new website. My first entry is this typically vague musing. Apparently I’m encouraged to link to my ramblings. My next challenge is to link to the messageboard of the Oatcake, Stoke’s fanzine, so that I can get some feedback from my fellow supporters. Always a joy.

West Kirby

This feels a bit like stealing somebody else’s thunder, but what the hell. Pip and I spent three hours walking and fooling about on the beach at West Kirby on Sunday evening. I say beach, but it is a good mile’s walk to the sea over the sand towards Hilbre Island. The far horizon is dotted with wind farms nowadays but I like them. They add to the feeling of isolation as the sun goes down and the only other people around are miles away towards Hoylake. They say that there is a good reason why the major religions sprang up in desert regions, and you can see why when you are out alone on the sands at sunset. Pip always goes a bit doo-lally when she has this much space to run into and a big sky over her head.

August 2010
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