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Disappointing hair in a post-lockdown world
at 21:58 13 Jul 2020

Visited my barber today. Lovely bloke - he cuts Joe Bryan's hair, so we always chat Fulham. My barnet hadn't been done in about seventeen weeks, and I was quite enjoying the extra length on top. Thought it softened me and made me look a bit architect/furniture designer rather than my usual non-league footballer haircut.

Potentially a bit wavy curtains, but with a slight side parting and product applied at the right time, in my head it was beginning to look fu cking great*. I was close to recreating my 1990 barnet. It just needed tidying-up round the sides and at the back. I'd had a go at trimming it with blunt nail scissors during lockdown, but it wasn't a total success. We discussed my hair aspirations, my options, and settled on a plan of action. And then he gave me the same haircut he gives me every time he cuts my hair. It's what I call a "Joe Bryan". As Joe Bryan haircuts go, he's done a nice job, but it's not what I was after.

It must be very difficult having an idiot who doesn't have the terminology, giving vague instructions that make no sense, but if I carry on as I am, I will never achieve hair nirvana. I'm in my mid-forties, would it make me a cu nt if I took a picture of some other bloke into the barbers and said, "I want that on my head. Can you make me look like I've designed an iconic armchair?" And would it make me an even bigger cu nt, if I took a thirty year old picture of me into the barbers and said, "This is me in 1990 - can you take my hair back to the future?" Is this a midlife crisis? Does Joe Bryan have the same thoughts whenever he's had his haircut?

*My wife thought it looked a bit shi t, but has promised to support my decision.
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Which footballers would you be looking to avoid on a stag-do?
at 14:44 6 Jun 2020

On every stag do, there is at least one bloke who turns out to be either really mouthy and annoying or a complete loose cannon nutcase. If it's your colleague's stag do, the loose cannon will always be your colleague's brother, if it's a mate's stag do, they will be the groom's brother-in-law. You'll be introduced to them at the airport/train station, and by lunchtime, eight different people will have said to you, "Mate, Dave's brother's a bit of a loose cannon, eh" or "Dave's brother-in-law's a bit of a kno b, isn't he". Everyone will then spend the rest of the weekend trying to avoid being sat next to them in the Argentine steakhouse or stuck in the same mini-round.

I went on a 48 Hour Harwich - Cuxhaven ferry trip for my colleague's stag do, and spent most of it trying to avoid his brother, who over the course of the trip, managed to have an actual fight with a fruit machine, offer-out 2 of the stag do, the DJ on the ferry, the bloke organising the charity raffle on the ferry after he failed to win some aftershave, a waiter in a Cuxhaven restaurant at about 09:30 in the morning, and a man who bumped into his bag at Liverpool Street as we were all saying goodbye to each other. It was like being on a really shi t cruise with the world's most volatile man. It was stressful. He spent every waking moment talking about Tony Cottee, fighting at the football or road rage fights - and this was before road rage existed as a thing. The lad who ended up sharing a cabin with him still suffers from PTSD.

On the mouthy front, my mate had his stag-do in Liverpool and his brother-in-law (who people were trying to avoid by Watford Junction) just had a talent for annoying everyone by being far too gobby with strangers and completely oblivious to the amount of people saying something to us along the lines of, "You wanna tell your mate to shut-up, lads...".

I've never been on a stag-do with a footballer, but I reckon these players would be liable to start a full-on 9am Wetherspoons brawl with a 40-strong stag-do from Newport: Billy Whitehurst, Mick Harford, Mark Dennis, Steve Williams, Nigel Pearson, Roy Keane, Graeme Souness, Duncan Ferguson, Kenny Burns, Julian Dicks, Robert Hopkins, Pat van den Hauwe, Jesper Olsen (not really).

Mouthy footballers you would spend the whole weekend apologising for after your mouthy footballer had managed to upset a rough-looking 40-strong stag-do from Mansfield: Dennis Wise, Craig Bellamy, John Arne Riise, Frank Le Beuf, John Terry, Ashley Cole, Joey Barton, Tim Sherwood, Michael Brown, Alan Brazil, Dele Alli.

Who would you add to those lists?
[Post edited 6 Jun 14:47]
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'Parasite' critique with surprising links to W12 (No spoilers)
at 13:19 10 Feb 2020

NB. This post contains information that you would glean from reading any review of the film, 'Parasite', but nothing more than that. For instance, I don't mention that the dog dies in the end (there is no dog).

Because I bleed culture, I went along to see 'Parasite' on Friday afternoon. It's really very good and I would thoroughly recommend going to see it. After watching the film, I read quite a few reviews, suggesting that the work was amongst other things, a statement on growing inequality within South Korean society and also South Korea's relationship with the DPRK.

As most of you know, If commitments allow, I usually spend Oscars night at Donatella Versace's Oscars party in Malibu (I originally attended way back in 1998 as Karl Lagerfeld's +1. RIP Karl). This year was no different and on Friday evening, I flew out to LA. On the flight, I sat mulling over 'Parasite', trying to figure out exactly what it's writer and director, Bong Joon-ho was trying to say. At Donatella's soiree, I was lucky enough to find myself sat next to Joon-ho, so I asked him whether he would indulge me as I offered my theory on the true meaning of his masterpiece.

Me: "Right, I think this all began in West London in 2011...am I right?"
BJh (a big smile spreading across his face): "Go on..."
Me: "Okay, so the Kim family - that's the Mark Hughes Collective, right?"
BJh: "Go on..."
Me: "In your film, the son, Ki-woo - Mark Hughes - gets a job as an English Tutor with a wealthy family - the Parks. The Parks are QPR. Ki-woo/Mark Hughes then engineers the dismissal of existing members of staff, before suggesting that the newly vacant roles could be filled my members of his family/entourage. Ki-woo's mother, father and sister are actually Mark Bowen, Glynn Hodges, Eddie Nedweski and Kia Joorabchian, aren't they?
BJh: "Very good - I'm impressed..."
Me: "And the naïve, rich, easily-manipulated mother and wife; that's Tony Fernandes, isn't it?"

At this point, BJh bowed.

"And the symbolism of the stairs", I continued, "We see the Park family/QPR walking-up the stairs all the time as they enter their beautiful home - this symbolises QPR's ambitions to compete at the top of the Premier League. In contrast, we see the Kim family descending the stairs to get to their semi-basement home - this symbolises Mark Hughes leading QPR to relegation. The Park's stunning home is Tony Fernandes's 40,000 stadium Old Oak Common; the Kim's cramped, dilapidated, but atmospheric living quarters are Loftus Road. Oh, and the toilet that has raw sewage erupting from it during the storm - that's Tony Fernandes's Twitter feed, isn't it? That's as far as I've got, although I suspect the housekeeper is probably Neil Warnock."

To cut a long story short, my theory was bang-on. It turns out that after Park Ji-sung signed for Rangers, BJh was one of the many South Koreans who took an interest in the club's fortunes, history and off-field business. His next film's about Big Dan Burn. Should be a another cracker.
[Post edited 10 Feb 13:33]
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Chelsea fan being a knob on the tube
at 20:22 28 Jul 2019

This raised a smile:



"Footy Chantz", though; ffs.
[Post edited 28 Jul 2019 20:23]
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Posting images in posts - why can't I do it any more?
at 21:08 17 May 2019

For the love of God, someone please put me out of my misery. I used to be able to save an image to my desktop and then upload it to tinypic.com. I would then post that link in a LFW thread and the image would appear alongside the text...that doesn't work anymore.

Anyone out there able to point me in the right direction? Ta!
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Crowdfunding my new kitchen/Ashton Gate hospitality packages
at 16:17 2 May 2019

Following extensive, tasteful and sensitive renovations to our Victorian terrace in Bristol’s equivalent to Crouch End circa 1995, we have officially run out of money. We need about £40,000 to install a new kitchen and make structural changes to the kitchen and breakfast room. Rather than go down the traditional route of saving-up, borrowing the money or going on the game, I have instead put together a collection of exiting match day hospitality packages.

Living a hop, skip and a jump from Bristol City’s Ashton Gate stadium, we’re ideally placed to offer a full range of superb pre and post-match hospitality for away fans visiting BS3.

What do you get for your money?

£1k donation: Whenever QPR play Bristol City away, you can come round my house for a few pre-match beers/ciders (maximum 4 per person) and an M&S sourced buffet to the value of approximately £10 per head.

£3k donation: As above, but in addition, you can come round our house AFTER the game, watch the results be read out on the BBC, drink up to 4 alcoholic drinks, and eat crisps with me until 7pm, when you must leave.

£5k donation: as per the £3k package, but you can stay until 9pm and we will organize a take-away of your choice to the value of £20 per person. Members of the 5K club will also be welcomed by a Prosecco reception and driven back to Templemeads in time for the last train as long as my wife hasn’t had a drink at that point (which is fu king unlikely).

£10k donation: as per the £5k package, but in addition, you can use the downstairs loo for a number two, manage the tv remote control and go through my underwear drawer like a dog on heat.

Paying for the whole kitchen: as per the £10k package, but in addition, you will be met off the train by my wife, wan ked-off by me in the downstairs loo after Football Focus, wan ked-off by me in the park across the road from Ashton Gate after the game, and put up overnight in our tastefully appointed guest room. In the morning, you will be given some Shreddies and driven to Templemeads by my wife, as long as she’s not too hungover.

Please contact me directly for further information. We hope to see some of you next season.


- [ ]
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Declan Rice - having a 'mare
at 06:59 22 Mar 2019

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2019/mar/21/declan-rice-apologises-ira-soci

“I am aware a poorly expressed comment I made when I was a junior player has been circulated on social media,” said Rice, who was named Ireland’s young player of the year last week. “I recognise now that my attempt to show support for my teammates at the time could be negatively interpreted. While my naive words were not meant to be a political opinion and do not represent who I am, I sincerely apologise for any offence caused.”

I love this bit - "my attempt to show support for my teammates at the time could be negatively interpreted". Good luck with that one son. I know the FA and his agents will probably get him to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph, re-point the Derry walls, undertake a black cab 'Troubles' tour of Belfast and release a dozen doves into Sammy Wilson's back garden, but I just can't see this going down very well with the England support or public. Given Andy Murray still gets dogs abuse for joking about a Paraguay shirt in about 1952, poor old Declan should prepare himself for the worse.

This is why you shouldn't be allowed on Twitter until you're 65 - and only then when accompanied by a panel of grown-ups and a lawyer.
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Karl Lagerfeld - RIP
at 14:02 19 Feb 2019

RIP Karl. Massive Fulham fan and could often be seen at places like Chesterfield, Hartlepool and Wrexham when we were struggling in the lower divisions. The first time I chatted to him was in the buffet car on the way back from Walsall. This German bloke asked me if he could look at my programme and it was a few minutes before I was able to put a name to the face. Turns out that as a young boy growing-up in Hamburg, he'd fallen in love with the simple monochromatic elegance of the Fulham kit. He was wearing his distinctive uniform of white shirt, black tie, black jacket, trousers, fingerless gloves and sunglasses, but when I looked closer I saw his shirt was actually a replica of our '75 Cup final shirt. Only he could pull that off.

A standout memory is Hadjuk Split away in 2002 - amongst the various flags tied to the fences was one that simply said 'FULHAM IS FASHION - FASHION IS FULHAM". Classic Karl.

Karl used to drink in the Chancellors before and after games and will be sorely missed by all the regulars. Auf Wiedersehen, mein freund.



[Post edited 19 Feb 2019 14:21]
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Bristol City away - extraordinary local insight and pre-match reporting
at 10:26 12 Feb 2019

I noted that there wasn't an official match preview as of yet, so seeing as I'm sat in waiting for a mattress to be delivered, I thought I'd put one together for you.

OPPOSITION VIEW:

I live a five minute walk from Ashton Gate. Steve, who lives two doors down from me, is a City season-ticket holder. He was leaving home at the same time as me this morning, so I took the opportunity to gauge his thoughts ahead of tonight's game:

Me: Morning Steve, Fancy your chances tonight?

Steve: Yeah.

So, City fans in confident mood.

I took the picture below at 08:05 as I was returning from dropping my son at Nursery. We can all agree, it sets the scene beautifully, but for some weird reason, I cant get the fu cker to rotate. As you can see, a nice day, if a little fresh. Clarks pies were making a delivery as we passed.



Pubs: Loads of decent spots for a beer/cider on North Street, although I'm not sure how away-friendly most are and other than the Tobacco Factory, I'd probably avoid colours if you want to drink on North Street. If you're a small group, enjoy your beer/cider and old school boozers, then I'd probably go with The Merchants in Hotwells (V small, though), The Nova Scotia at Cumberland Basin (a two minute walk from The Merchants) or The Orchard round the corner from the SS Great Britain - this is a principally a cider house, but does decent ales too. If you like drinking on boats before midweek games, then the Bristol Beer Factory brewery have the Grain Barge, which is a nice spot and about a five minutes walk max from the Merchants. Friendly Records on North Street now have a bar next door, and that's a nice spot for listening to a bit of vinyl with a beer. Can't imagine they operate any sort of home fans only policy. Ditto the Bristol Beer Factory Tap Room on North Street, which is a five minute walk to the ground.

I'd invite you all round mine for a bit of tea, a few beers and some cbeebies before the game, but we're going into town to meet my sister-in-law for dinner. Enjoy the game.
[Post edited 12 Feb 2019 10:27]
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What were you scared of as a kid?
at 16:20 5 Dec 2018

My 4 year old son has developed a fear of foxes. No idea why. It might be Mr Todd from Peter Rabbit, but he watches that quite happily, so I'm not sure. I've explained that foxes are scared of humans, smaller than him, can't open doors/windows, don't have a set of our keys etc, but he's not convinced. So every night, he's now hiding under his duvet. Being a clever t wat, I went on YouTube and showed him a video of some bloke who's tamed a number of foxes, he was rolling round with them, stroking them etc; see, they're not scary. I thought this would do the job, but my son perceptively pointed out that the foxes in the video didn't look very scared of humans, so they may well sneak into his bedroom after all. Balls.

I'm not sure how to crack this one, and I don't want him to be anxious/scared. Until the fox thing, we'd be doing fine. As a kid, I was scared of dinosaurs because I wasn't entirely convinced they were extinct and when I asked my Mum, she just said there may well be dinosaurs out there somewhere, but we'd probably hear them in time to run away. Cheers.

I was then completely paranoid about nuclear war from about six to eleven, and used to get seriously stressed out about being away from my family when the four minute warning was sounded. And I wasn't convinced we even had a siren round our way, which didn't help either. My best case scenario, was us having just got home from the Chippy, sat round the table with my Nan and Grandad, most of the way through my scampi and chips and the bomb being dropped. And I'm an optimist by nature. This stressed me out because we only had fish and chips on a Friday, so I was relying on the Soviets bombing us on a Friday at about 5pm. Getting during school swimming or something would have been rubbish.

Running alongside my constant fear of nuclear holocaust for a couple of years was a fear of werewolves, which lasted until I was about ten, having seen the 'Thriller' video and watched bits of 'An American werewolf in London' from behind a cushion round my mate's house. I used to check the lunar cycle in my Mum's diary to make sure I was at home on Full moons, and for a short time, because I shared a room with my brother, I would try and stay awake as long as possible to make sure he wasn't a werewolf. Which thankfully, he wasn't. I was even scared of 'Manimal' FFS!

Was I just a massive bed wetter as a kid, or did everyone else worry about nuclear war, dinosaurs and sharing bunks with a werewolf? I was also scared of the Muppets, Dr Who and Star Trek. I'm hoping my son has a less anxious time, but he'll probably inherit his Mum's fear of balloons, dogs and fireworks. What were you scared of as a kid?
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QPR v Derby tickets - 6th October
at 12:53 29 Aug 2018

My Dutch mate is bringing his Father-in-law across to London for his 60th birthday and given the choice of going anywhere in town, he's said he'd like to watch Rangers. They're after 5 tickets together; what do you reckon the chances of them finding 5 together will be if they wait until General sale? It's the Father-in-law's 1st ever game in the UK, so where do you reckon is best for view/legroom? I've sat in all four stands and I reckon legroom's not happening, but from memory the SAR was probably best for view and staying dry...or am I wrong?

Any help would be much appreciated. I'll be sending them to the Crown before the game. Cheers, Konk
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John Terry’s armband
at 23:13 12 May 2018

Watching ten minutes of Boro v Villa, I was surprised - but shouldn’t have been - to see John fuc king Terry wearing what looked distinctly like his old Chelsea captain’s armband, which being royal blue and white, has no relevance to Villa, but is the right colours for their main rivals; Blues. Either he’s taken his old armband with him or he’s taken a photo of the old one along to a tailor he knows, and had then knock up a copy. He’ll probably be wearing it over his coat when he’s 80 years old and popping out to nick a pint of milk. Either way, why not just go the whole hog and wear a full Chelsea kit in future, you twa t.
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Unwanted birthday presents/Red cords for sale
at 21:25 22 Nov 2017

We were back in town last week and I took my son to see his old childminder and her Mum, who is like a 3rd Nan to him. Lovely, wonderful people, and with my son's 3rd birthday coming up, they'd very thoughtfully been out and bought him some presents, amongst which were a pair of red fu cking cords. Red fu cking cords. I'm gonna put this down to them being Bulgarian rather than taking it as some dig at us being a Fulham supporting family, but a little bit of me thinks that they might have been having a pop. They included the receipt, so I think we might have to put it down to a sizing issue, but they are almost certainly going back to the shop. Social signals aside, red's a very difficult colour to wear with fair colouring. What were they thinking?
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John Terry's house screwed
at 09:52 28 Jul 2017

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/27/designer-goods-worth-400000-stolen-jo

"Mum, listen, calm down: I'm not accusing you of anything, but what were you doing on the evening of 25th February?".
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Celebrity picnics
at 11:18 10 Jul 2017

Is anyone else having problems with celebrity picnickers gravitating towards them when you’re out enjoying the sunshine with family and friends? Last weekend, we were having a picnic on Parliament Hill, when we became aware that Louis Theroux and family had pitched camp only a few feet away from us. Not only that, but they were then joined by Peter Serafinowicz, his wife Sarah Alexander and their children. They were then joined by James Delaney and his family. At this point, it was getting out of hand; is this the most celebrities ever to gather around a picnic blanket? The relevance of this? One of Louis Theroux’s sons was wearing a QPR away shirt – respect for supporting his local team.

Then, yesterday, we were up at Highgate Woods and it became apparent that Meera Syall and Sanjeev Bhaskar were hosting some sort of celebrations with a vast number of family and friends – right next to where we were sat. I should note that I was not a fan of Bhaskar’s ¾ length Adidas trackie bottoms. No-one was wearing a Rangers shirt.

Which people off the telly have you picnicked with this Summer?

PS. Whilst spending the day with the Syall/Bhaskar party, I was playing football with my 2 ½ year old son and rather than him just picking the ball up and running off, he finally got the concept of passing - tidy feet and great vision - used both feet without prompting too - and he asked me, “Which team do you like, Daddy?”, I said, “I like Fulham”, and he said, “I like Fulham too”. I was genuinely quite teary. This is a very important development as when I finish work in a couple of weeks, my wife is going to be giving me pocket money, and Fulham tickets and travel are meant to be coming out of that. However, now that my son officially supports Fulham, I can take him to games and secure funding from the Family bank account. Bingo. Chuffed to bits.
[Post edited 10 Jul 2017 11:34]
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Fulham penalty miss predictions
at 12:22 22 Jun 2017

How many penalties will Fulham manage to fu ck-up against Rangers next season?

I’m going for two in the game at your place and fourteen at the Cottage.

Obviously we’ll miss Chris Martin, but hopefully the Analytics team at the Club have been crunching the data and already identified some potential signings who are absolute dogsh it at penalties. If we can sign the right player, then I reckon we could well fu ck-up 20+ pens over the course of the season. It’s a new season – we need to aim high. And wide. Or stick it close to the keeper.

COYW.
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Bumping into people in town
at 08:58 25 May 2017

I’ve just popped out to get some breakfast and bumped into a woman I worked with 15 years ago – funnily enough, probably the only colleague I’ve really disliked in my entire working life. All a bit awkward as I was pretending I hadn’t clocked her, but she shouted my name out whilst stood about a foot a way from me and I had no option but to feign pleasant surprise. We had to have a long chat about what we’d been doing for the past 15 years. She’s still a tw at, by the way. Anyhow, this got me thinking: I’m in my mid-40’s, and despite spending the working day/evenings and most weekends in town, I reckon that in my whole life, I’ve only ever randomly bumped into 3 people I know in Central London - one was one of my brothers in Rough trade, Covent Garden, another was a former colleague that ended up with a brilliant all-dayer in Soho and the other was today. However, I’ve twice been on a flight and bumped into a former neighbour. What are the chances of that, eh. So, am I just wandering round town completely oblivious to what’s going on around me, are people hiding behind cars when they see me walking down the street or is Central London some weird place where you never spot people you know?

How often do you bump into people when you're out an about? (And yes, I know this a seriously fu cking dull thread, but I'm genuinely interested in other people's experiences)
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Konk


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