Nothing much changes, even when you’re 5000 miles away from the comforts of home. I should have expected a 5.45am alarm call to cover for Alan Brazil at some stage, but of course it had to be after I’d worked through until midnight the previous evening. Ho-hum…it’s happened before and no doubt etc etc...still, it was enjoyable having Guillem Balague the highly respected Spanish journalist alongside me for half an hour to talk Torres, Villa et al. it meant breakfast from me was taken late but still very very welcome.
I have a brand new alarm clock here in Jo’burg – a pigeon who sits on the thatched roof above my bed and issues its mating call to all and sundry at 7am sharp every day without fail. It even coos in a different ‘language’ to your common-or-garden British variety. It’s still intensely annoying, but on reflection, entirely preferable to a vuvuzuela in your ear at an ungodly hour. There's calls to ban those things from all World Cup games due to the noise making it difficult for players and coaches to communicate properly during matches.
***Loads of you have been asking what games I'm covering for talkSPORT here in South Africa so here you are!***
FRI 11th June - France vs Uruguay 1930 BST
SAT 12th - Argentina vs Nigeria 1500 BST
SUN 13th - Algeria vs Slovenia 1230 BST
MON 14th - Italy vs Paraguay 1930 BST
TUE 15th - Hosting 1900-2300 BST show featuring Brazil vs N Korea
WEDS 16th - South Africa vs Uruguay 730BST
FRI 18th - Slovenia vs USA 1500 BST
SAT 19th - Ghana vs Australia 1500 BST
MON 21st - Hosting 1200-1700 coverage of Portugal vs North Korea & Chile vs Switzerland
I bloody love Skype I do. How can it be that I can chat to my wife and kids through a webcam for nothing, not have to shout to make myself heard and understand everything that's said to me? Forget pausing live TV - this is the future, I'm telling you! Makes it much easier to be a long way from home when you can almost BE home when talking to the fam.
Well we made it! It’s been a hectic 36 hours or so via planes trains and automobiles, but myself and a few colleagues met up with those who’d already flown out to our Johannesburg base first thing this morning. Despite the BA strike still being in effect, out plane left Heathrow pretty much on schedule, and with a full compliment of crew – even though some of the lads were gutted that we had male stewards in our section in the absence of any working trolley dollies.
**I've already had questions sent to me about the origins of some of the tunes you can hear on the musician page, which is currently under construction and being tweaked to make it the best it can be. So meantime, the blurb below gives you both an idea of how I came to record this stuff, as well as who it was recorded with and when. Read on....**
ORIGINAL MATERIAL & TRIBUTE BANDS
Since around 1985 I’ve been playing drums or guitar in one band or another.
How I love shuffle mode on the ipod. It doubtless knackers your hard drive over time, but what it gives you in return is the chance of being instantly transported back to a place & time you didn’t expect to revisit when you stuck the earphones in.
Tonight was a classic case in point, as the first track up as I came home on the train from London was an obscure track called “Unchain The Night” from the equally obscure 80’s metal band Dokken.
I’m a bit surprised I’m able to type this morning as I travel down to talkSPORT towers on the train – I should be more hungover than this considering I don’t drink often and yet I had about 6 or 7 pints last night…and a sambuca (thankfully not flaming).
So Ollie and Blackpool DID make it after all!! Deservedly so? Possibly, but Cardiff contributed so much to that gripping play-off final - it’d be scandalous for Dave Jones to be overlooked by the club’s new board and not be allowed to continue as manager.
The Play-Offs. Scourge of fans who suffer in them, or the best way to gain promotion depending on your point of view. I’ve suffered 2 penalty shoot-out heartaches as a Bluenose in play-off semi-finals, but also seen young Darren Carter score from 12 yards at Cardiff’s Millenium to send Blues into the Premiership at Norwich’s expense in 2002. They’re batty, unpredictable and a right old tinder-box of emotions. So going to report on play-off games as a neutral is just fabulous.