Back in Rio after a bleary eyed early bus to Manaus airport. I do love Brazilian drum rhythms, but not necessarily at 2.30am blaring out of the nearby Fan Fest P.A. system that's next to our hotel. When your alarm is set for 4am...the biter bit, I suppose, as I get my own dose of 'noise gate' (see earlier blog)
Eating at a hotel breakfast buffet on your tod is about as frustrating as Birmingham City's home form. The moment you move from your spot, strategically leaving a near full glass of orange juice to mark your territory, someone from the staff swipes it before your anywhere near returning with the mini croissants. So you leave the mini croissants to recharge a fresh (warm & straight out of the dishwasher) glass with juice and next thing you know, the pastries have gone! It's an elaborate dance that can go on indefinitely. Serves me right for being Billy no mates.
Our hotel in Manaus is a maze of long, long corridors. You have to walk at least half a mile from the room to get anywhere near reception. I have to negotiate 3 such massive corridors before I see any signs of life...it seems to take longer than it took Brackett the butler in Chigley to walk up the hall to Lord Belborough and tell him to get the train out again to rescue a cat stuck up a tree in Trumpton before the whistle went at the biscuit factory at 6pm. Or something. Time indeed does fly by...
(One for the teenagers, as Paul Hawksbee would say)
Ok, so let's recap up to this point, as - from today - this here thing is going up on the TalkSPORT website as well as in my little corner of the inter web.
- Myself and Her Majesty's press pack following England are staying at a hotel on Copacabana beach called the 'Lemmy'. No one as yet has been Killed By Death (in joke for headbangers only)
- I've done my Graham Taylor impression on our coach travels at least 10 times, and at the moment everyone still finds it funny.
Well, 'noise-gate', as detailed in yesterday's blog, was thankfully a one-off incident.
The guys in charge of us press boys & girls following England around Brazil gave me the use of their office on the 11th floor of our hotel to do my piece into Alan's breakfast show this morning, and with no one within earshot I was able to sneak back to my own room afterwards having disturbed nobody at all. Phew.
It's the first huge scandal of Brazil 2014 and I'm right at the centre of it - all because I work daft hours!
"We are flying down to RIOOOOOOO!!!!!!!" exclaimed esteemed football writer John Richardson in his best Bryan Ferry voice as we headed for Gate 26 at Miami Airport.
Much better reference than any of that 'Route One' Duran Duran nonsense.
Our last morning in Miami and precious little to report.
The England squad landed in Rio around the time I was surfacing to speak to Sunday Scoreboard presenters Geoff Peters & Alvin Martin, so us journos with the specific task of following the Three Lions will be 24 hours behind them by the time we land in Brasil first thing Monday morning - and there'll be no slacking off once we've grabbed our luggage off the carousels (hopefully), as it'll be pretty much straight to England's training session and an opportunity to speak with one or two players at a special event in the afternoon.
*Yes I've shortened the title - hoped it would make a snappy acronym...I was wrong!!!*
Well that was...different.
Golf tournaments regularly get suspended for electrical storms, but not usually football matches. At least not until today anyway.
Barry University sits in an unremarkable part of suburban Miami, flanked on all sides by one story condos and corrugated iron. But it looked pleasant enough in the strong morning sunshine as we arrived on campus to see a full England training session, rather than the 15-minute vignettes we've been allowed up to this point.