19th June

Woke up this morning and looked at the clock. I didn’t realise it at first but I had misread the time and lay awake for about 10 minutes thinking it was nearly half six. After looking at the clock 3 times it dawned on me that it was actually only quarter past 5. I smiled, turned over and went back to sleep. I then had a weird dream. I dreamt that I had just discovered that I had a science assignment that was due in that week and not only had I not done it I hadn’t even been to the lectures or practicals that would have helped me do it!. I was just starting to panic when I woke up again and discovered it was now 6 o’clock. The odd thing was that once I went back to sleep I started to “dream” about it again and was actually working out ways I could do this non-existent assignment!! I was glad when it was time to get up!!

One of my Father's Day prezzies!

Incidentally this diary has now gone on for almost 2 weeks longer than I managed last year – mind you we have had quite as an eventful  time this year!!

“This ain’t life, this is death on the never never!”

The above clip is something I remember from “Play for Today” which was a regular drama series on BBC TV when I was younger! I’m sure we watched it a lot but for some reason this one stuck in my mind and I hadn’t seen it again until today. The story is of an old woman who is living in a old peoples home where she feels she is the only one who is still alive so she decides to run away and go back to where she used to live. However things have changed, particularly due to an influx of Afro-Caribbeans into her old neighbourhood.

There’s another clip on Youtube featuring a very thin Robbie Coltrane as the Scottish barman in what used to be her local. He’s seen engaging in some (what would now be considered racist) banter with a bar full of Afro-Caribbean youths (who give as good as they get!) before condescending to serve the old lady.She says to him “I used to live round here years ago” to which he replies “before all the foreigners moved in” and she says “No we used to get a lot of Scots in those days too” – classic!

It was written by Barrie Keeffe (of Gotcha and The Long Good Friday fame) and starred Queenie Watts as the old lady. I seem to recall it ends with her blacking her face “to fit in” and getting caught smoking a spliff when the Police raid a party held by the family next door. It was first broadcast in January 1979 and reflected the changing nature of society at the time. It was also the first time I remember hearing the Kinks song Waterloo Sunset which has been a favourite ever since.

Dirty old river, must you keep rolling, rolling into the night 
People so busy, make me feel dizzy, taxi light shines so bright 
But I don’t, need no friends
As long as I gaze on Waterloo Sunset, I am in paradise

So England finished their group by beating the hosts Ukraine 1-0 and as France were beaten 2-0 by Sweden they finished top and go ahead to a quarter final match against Italy on Sunday. In time honoured English fashion the fact they have won the group and not scraped though in second place isn’t good enough for anyone apparently. The negativity has been astounding – they’re rubbish, they’re not good enough etc etc. For years we’ve had these huge expectations of our national side and they’ve played like shit – even under the two “Top rate” managers we paid fortunes to. Now we have a down to earth manager and ok we haven’t played great football but we won the group and are undefeated so far.

And let’s not forget he’s only been in charge for a few weeks. Give the poor bloke a chance to get his feet under the desk before you start slagging him for ffs! He seems to be pulling the team together and for once they seem to have the right attitude – as I said the other day can anyone remember the last time the England team came back from behind and won? The expectations of success have been so low it really wouldn’t surprise me to find them in the final. BUT even if they won it there would be some miserable bastard somewhere going “yeah but it was just luck wasn’t it!”

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