Well, the vindictive talkSPORT Lodge roof pigeon can coo for all he's bloody worth at 7am tomorrow and I won't care one jot, thanks to Jermaine Defoe. I cannot ever remember being as clueless beforehand as to what to expect from England in an international match as I was at lunchtime today, but what I saw was more like the England we're used to. Still loads of room for improvement, you have to be realistic and say that, so the negativity that the lads got from callers to talkSPORT drivetime after the final whistle was very disheartening.
Nearly 2 weeks in my cavernous room at the talkSPORT lodge and it's only tonight that I appear to have discovered the plug that activates the underfloor heating. Words like 'horse' 'shutting door' and 'bolted' are flashing across my mind amongst others. And those are the clean ones. Never mind - it might warm up by the time we're due to fly home next month.
So John Terry does it again, eh? The man whose lust for power and autonomy within the England camp to match his status at club level has led to our squad merely fragmenting still further, which I'm sure wasn't his intention, but shows his total lack of understanding on how to handle a situation where he isn't top dog.
Words fail me.
No, I'm not talking about England 0-0 Algeria - I'm referring to a sign we passed on our way to Rustenburg this morning. It said "World Record In Progress - 1 man living in house with over 40 deadly snakes - 114 days and counting!" Perhaps that's where Joe Cole is hiding. I then started wondering to myself, 'do the snakes give him an hour off every 24 for a comfort break?' Perhaps I'm turning into Karl Pilkington...actually, maybe it's him in there, with Ricky Gervais looking through the windows laughing at him incessantly.
What day is it today? Oh yeah – a day off! A chance to give the larynx a breather whilst still punishing other muscles at the preening parlour a.k.a. the gym. I forgot to take Stan’s fitness plan with me to work from, so it was as clueless a workout as you can imagine, but at least I felt I was getting somewhere…despite running on the spot for most of it.
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.