Vaping and other changes.

Well Autumn and October are here again where has the year gone folks? Remember the Olympics in London that happened what feels like ten minutes ago? Two more years have flowed under the bridge and away into the distance and I cannot believe it. Where does the time go? If you know can you funnel some it back in my direction please? Cheers.

I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about Stoptober and well as I’ve been struggling with quitting smoking since May I’m going to give it a good go this month. Over the past few months I have fallen off and on the smoking wagon but have found that vapour cigarettes have helped. I’m using E-Lites at the moment, regular and menthol, which ever they have in the shop really and it really does work. In fact it works so well and seems so harmless that I’m sure it will only be a matter of months, weeks or even days before the news is full of hysterical news reports that vaping is actually harmful, but at the moment it seems like such a simple and easy way to reduce the harm caused by smoking. I can tell anyone reading this who wants to quit: give them a try. You’ll find after you’ve used them for a while going back to a normal cigarette is a very disgusting feeling indeed. You really can feel the harm and dirt that cigarettes do and contain after satisfying your cravings with water vapour and nicotine instead of carbon monoxide and tar.

With smoking as good as in check my main demon is alcohol. Its something I don’t do by half which some of you may know if you’ve read this blog much or have followed me on twitter. During October I’d like to drastically reduce the amount that I drink to as close to nothing as I can. I’d like to say that I’m going to drink nothing but as a man who probably sinks his own body weight in lager each month it’s probably asking too much, I know I will drink. I’ve often asked myself if I’m an alcoholic and technically yes I am but I don’t drink every day but 3 or 4 nights a week I do. Weekends I drink more when I know I don’t have to drive but I do drink in the week too. It’s something that I could moan about but it’s my problem and I have to do something about it myself and I am. I have no reason to drink really; my life is pretty damned good. It’s basic and boring to many outsiders looking in but I’m happy with it. So I have to try if not for myself for my loved ones, I’m not getting any younger and my heart and liver aren’t made of steel, so its something that I have to do. But give up altogether, I don’t think I could. Alcohol is sadly a thing that my circle of family and friends use to celebrate anything and everything. Rarely do any of us come together and sit and drink Ribena and if I suggested such a thing I’d probably be banished to the naughty step to think about what I’d said.

I suppose it all comes down to a simple choice. Do you want to smoke or do you want to drink? Smoking offers you nothing at all, at least a drink can bring you out of yourself in a social setting or make you feel a little better after a bad day, but then you can still have too much of a good thing. I dunno, I’ve been here before, making grand claims that I’m going to change my lifestyle for the better but you have to keep trying and each time it gets easier to try and more likely to succeed. It’s like that Mark Twain quote says, “Quitting smoking is easy, I’ve done it hundreds of times!

Best to keep at it. I won’t bore you with endless smoking and drinking posts, but I may stumble and fall a few more times before I get to where I want to be and I’m sure I’ll make it apparent to you all with silliness, self loathing and utter craziness here.

Take care people.



“Unbelievable Jeff!” (aka the Wolves keep marching on)

I’ve not said anything about Wolves so far this season, in fact I said rather little last season as well. It seems I’m only able to get angry about football and since King Kenny has taken over at the helm it’s been nothing but a steady, continuous improvement and upward momentum. At the start of this season a lot of us Wolves fans were not looking too hard at promotion again. Everyone I know who supports the club were confident of a good showing and maybe a mid table existence but that of course isn’t what we’ve seen is it? 5 clean sheets in 8 league games, only 1 defeat that shouldn’t have really been and the best defence in all 4 divisions. Oddly we let Northampton score as many goals against us in the first round of the league cup at Molineux as we have the first 8 opponents in the championship. I dunno whether to salute Northampton or assume King Kenny has not got any plans for a cup run until he’s taken us back into the promised land.

But despite all of this, the one awful thing for me is that if we’d have had an out and out striker we’d probably be sitting on eight wins out of eight. From Ikeme in goal, right through our defence and midfield we have been superb (largely) and are creating plenty of chances but the lack of a proven finisher up front has probably meant we’ve not collected the points total that our performances have demanded and as good as earned. But it does bode well for the rest of the season and if we can get someone in soon on loan to just goal hang and bang in all of these chances I can promise you not a single team in this league will look forward to playing us home or away.

Wow it’s nice to blog about the football, I’ve been pretty short on inspiration recently and a lot of my recent posts have been pretty dull and forced. Actually I’ve noticed recently in blog land that things have been very quiet. Not a lot of stuff going on, the people I follow here on WordPress aren’t as prolific as they have been or are writing about stuff that isn’t taking my attention really. But little to read here has diverted my time from the internet and has helped me Re: my own research on the history of Bilston Town Football Club that I’m sure you all know by now I’m compiling. It’s actually been a really productive time in the last three weeks but I can inform you that it’s still a tough old slog. I can spend an hour or two trawling through newspapers on the British Newspaper Archive for only a few tit bits of information but so far I have at least two or three notes and bits of info on each season between 1894 and 1947 as well as chunks of stuff to write into the seasons between 1947 and 2013. It’s a continuous process and has become an addiction, its something I try to spend some time on every single day now, from twenty minutes here to two or three hours there, but the satisfying part is that with every moment I’m beavering away I know I’m a moment closer to its completion. I’ve probably gone a little too over the top with the pre-war facts, results and statistics but as its very hard to find much else I’m having to work with that information as best as I can. Will it be a work of art? Most people will think not, I of course will as I know the cost in time and money of it all and what ever anyone says at the end of the project it’ll be a success as nothing like it existed about the club before.

The following quote is from a recent post by Ricky Gervais on his blog it’s largely irrelevant as far as the Bilston town book goes but I do feel the last two sentences are very apt: “The point of art is to make a connection. If people talk about it, it’s succeeded in a way. People have assumed that, because I don’t listen to critics, or take studio notes or whatever, that I think I’m perfect and have never made any mistakes. This could not be further from the truth. Making the mistakes is the point, is the fun, is the important bit. But they have to be my own. The writer Rita Mae Brown said, “Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts. And never hope more than you work.” The only difficult bit about this is getting final edit. So much creativity is stifled by people who ‘know better’, or by fear of failure, and before you know it, your goals have been twisted and you’ve forgotten what you set out to do.

Nothing will stifle my creativity and I will have final edit, I do listen to advice but pick very carefully which bits I take on board (if I listen to any at all I’ll be honest.) Anyone can tell you how to do something, but if you do it that way they’ll try and take some credit, so best to stick to your own mind and your own plans I feel. As I often say, it’ll be done when its done and that’s that!

Anyway, enough waffle, speak to you all again soon.


That’s the group won then: Switzerland 0-2 England.

Swiss roll anyone? Or should I say we rolled over the Swiss. A lot of people (including myself) had been critical of England since the World Cup finals and were not expecting a clean sheet and a win in the first and arguably the toughest game in European Qualifying Group E.

The first half I thought England were rubbish but in the second half they pretty much had things under control despite the Swiss growing in threat over the course of the 90 minutes. Wayne Rooney didn’t do a lot but he certainly did enough. His counter attack and lay off to Sterling to dink the ball past three defenders for the opener from Welbeck was like watching someone playing FIFA 14. It was counter attacking football at it best and proof that it only takes a moment of creativity to score a goal but it was pretty much all there was to shout about in the first half.

England looked much hungrier and pushed harder in the second half and looked the team more likely to score the next goal. The Swiss are by no means a bad team but they certainly aren’t a class side. Apart from Behrami. I rate Behrami highly, he certainly is a player that will grace the Premier league at some time, and I could see him at a club like Tottenham or Everton and doing a pretty damned good job. Switzerland did threaten on a couple of occasions, Hart making an easy save from a deflected shot and an offside decision that also lead to a good shot that made the England cross bar vibrate faster than all of the atoms in Nagasaki in 1945.

In the end Lamberts simple lay off for Welbeck who was able to take his time and place his and England’s second goal was more than sufficient to keep the media wolves at bay for a while at least and so Roy can enjoy an expletive free press conference tomorrow morning. Although if I was Roy I’d walk in, give the press pack a middle finger and say “Fuck you all!” before turning around and walking straight back out.

Photograph: Peter Klaunzer/EPA

With the toughest game of the group already won, and other group members being San Marino, Slovenia, Estonia and Lithuania we could all be forgiven for thinking we could win all ten group games in qualifying but as England fans we all know they won’t make it that easy for themselves. And even if they do, we’ll be screwed once we get to the 2016 finals and have to play some proper teams.

Oh well, qualifying is good enough these days. We can’t ask for much more than that can we?


Summer, where did you go?

September has crept upon us and flashed itself out of the blue. Where did the summer go? I can’t remember us having much summer, but the little that I do remember was nice. I don’t think many of us will be complaining. Merely weeks ago we were all sweltering in the muggy, humidity that the British summer offers us (“Its not like that abroad is it?” They kept saying, “You know the sun in Spain” – it’s the same sun brainiacs. Weather, climate, that’s what you mean, but now I’m being pompous for the sake of it.)

I always look forward to the summer and my mood starts to dip around October as the realisation that getting up in the dark and coming home in the dark is here for another 5 months or so. I don’t expect my mood to go anywhere this year as it’s been a pretty down year all round. 2014 has been a year of one bad event and bad news after another. I’m not talking about The News, I just mean generally hearing about terrible things happening to people I know. It’s been relentless. I’ll be glad when this year is over. Actually on reflection I think that the dark weather may come as a relief as it marks the end of this all round shitty year.

It’s been good on the interest front. The Wolves have been amazing since January and continue to do well but these days my heart isn’t in that as much as it used to be. I suppose football really aint that important most of the time, but its great when you’re great (with nothing to care about you can care about anything.) The book research has gone well too but I’ve had far too many long breaks for my liking and find myself well behind schedule but again dark nights and cold days will give me the reason to lock the door and draw the curtains and get on with that.

One great interest of mine is growing and that has been a terrible year too. I started too late this year, then had problems getting things growing and largely started all over from scratch even later still. It’s not been a complete disaster, its been OK, but I’m hoping for bigger and better things in 2015. But like I’ve said in the grand scheme of things, selfish interests that I’ve bored many of the readers of this blog with, aint that important.

Summer has come and gone, but so will the autumn and the winter too. The seasons keep on rolling around, I hope good news and luck does the same thing too. Its still a little early to be looking at January 1st 2015 but a tiny part of me has a beedy eye on it already. Wishing my life away you may think, but it’ll be nice to wave good bye to this year.

Its been a year where I’ve gradually found it harder and harder to have any kind of inspiration or thoughts that I want to share here. But I’ll still be around and I’ve no doubt the old, talentless hack in me will return with lots to say about nothing.

Right I’ll end this on a song…