Friday, 17 December 2010

Last Christmas

I was just musing about the song 'Last Christmas' and I had a quick thought. What did I write in the blog about my feelings about Christmas a year ago? I went back and had a look. I guess it's not really plagiarising if you simply lift your own writing, although it could be seen as being a tad lazy. But I actually quite like the mood of what I wrote back then so I'm taking the easy route and putting it down again:

"Not long to go now. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I don’t care what your religious predilection is or the fact that the holiday season is really the shopping season for many. Bottom line is the season stands for “good”. Not hatred, or anger, or retribution or all the many other meanie moods that just happen to pop up every day of the year. And it’s not as if we don’t see hurt and bloodshed and tears at Christmas. Because we do. But it’s what the time represents that’s important. You can’t help but expect some people to try to poo poo things like love and happiness and good. And you may not even be in the festive mood. But just remember this: it all comes out of a sense of goodwill to everyone."

I still believe the same now. Merry Christmas to you all.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Please don't stop the music

I’m a little bit peeved with myself at the moment. I can’t find my iPod. It’s not anything to do with the cost of replacement - the main reason I want it is because of Christmas. Over the years I had downloaded various Crimbo tunes, some mainstream, others a little obscure, all with memories. But for the moment, at least, they’ve gone. I’m only now slowly getting into the spirit of what is still a wonderful time of the year. Some of the best songs ever written were written for this season. I'm sure I'll get a proper fix over the next week. In the meantime, I’m now finding myself spending more time in shops listening to what they churn out... I enjoy getting sentimental once in a while. But more comments on the joys of Christmas soon.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Back in the USSR

As an Englishman, albeit one that isn't actually living in the country at the moment, I was desperate for the nation to win the chance to host the 2018 Football World Cup. Imagine that - sometime in the future being able to watch some of the greats of the game on your doorstep. As it turned out, England fell short and the organising committee stumped for Russia. Despite my allegiances and the shrinking chance of being able to say “I saw it in my lifetime”, I'm sure the Russians will put on a great show.

I often view sport as a good vehicle for peeling back the layers of what’s going on around us. Yesterday's news did get me thinking about how the world is constantly changing, even if a lot of us haven't quite woken up to the new reality. If I were to think back 20-odd years I would have been hard pressed to imagine two closed Communist states (one of which was still part of the wider confederation of the USSR), a developing country best known for its favela gun crime and samba, and a country still trapped in an apartheid regime, being given the chance to host the two biggest sporting events on the planet. But China, Russia, Brazil and South Africa have just been, or sometime in the next eight years going to be, the setting of the Olympic Games and Football World Cup. Brazil have admittedly already hosted a World Cup before – but getting the chance to do it again and the Olympics as well?! Throw in the fact that India has just hosted a Commonwealth Games and Qatar won the 2022 World Cup bid and you get a sense of changes in our lifetime. This isn’t an economics piece on the shift from old world to emerging world; it’s just an observation of what we can expect in the future. Embrace it and don't get left behind.