Sunday, June 25, 2006

Robin at the World Cup #4

Hello and welcome to the 301st post on this blog (sorry, didn't notice the big 300, so we'll have to celebrate 301!). This is a picture of Robin at Angola vs Iran in the World Cup in Leipzig on Wednesday last week (Iran are in white, Angola in red). I've decided to put the picture 'large' rather than 'medium' to see what it looks like, but I won't know until I click 'Publish Post'. (Edit: mmm, looks quite good)

So, the Angola vs Iran game ended 1-1, which was a shame as I'd hoped Angola would win and go through to the next round. But all the fans were very nice - from both countries - so at least a draw sent them both away feeling a bit happy. Notice all the empty seats in the corner even though Fifa keep insisting all the games have a capacity crowd (all the tickets *have* sold, but that's a slightly different thing to people actually turning up).

Leipzig is in what used to be East Germany and it seemed like a really nice town. It's been interesting to travel around Germany a bit during the tournament as it's a country I haven't seen much of before. But all the places we've been to were really pleasant, friendly and excited about the World Cup.

Now, let's just hope England can get a victory over Ecuador this afternoon...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Robin meets Nelly Furtado!

Yes, here's Robin with top Canadian pop star Nelly Furtado, who is currently Number One in the charts in the UK and riding high in the hit parades across the globe! My wife met her recently and took along Robin so that the very-friendly Nelly could join the growing list of stars (Kylie Minogue, Chris Martin, Dave Grohl, Shakira, Andre 3000...) to have shared an audience with the little red-breasted bird!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Robin at the World Cup #3

Hello again!

So, yesterday we went to see Ghana vs Czech Republic in Cologne, which turned out to be one of the best games of the World Cup so far. Czech Republic, ranked 2 in the world, got beaten 2-0 by Ghana, ranked about 48th, and it could have been more than thst. The Ghana team were breathtaking to watch - they passed and moved so quickly. Me and the missus feel very lucky to have seen a game as good as that. The Ghana fans were great too, creating a real party vibe both inside and outside the stadium.

Interested to hear that you folks in the US *know* about the World Cup, but just don't *care* about it! Well, hopefully you'll know that last night USA came very close to causing a major upset by beating Italy, one of the best teams in the world. In the end, it finished 1-1 - but the US side played a lot of the game with just 9 men after two of their players were (questionably) sent off and yet they still nearly beat the Italians (only a disallowed goal stopped them). Must be quite sad for the American players to know they're the only team in the world where the folks back home don't care whether they win or not. After a result like yesterday's, you chaps should be proud! And you should definitely cheer them on in their final game, against Ghana on Thursday.

We've just got one more match to see (amazing to have seen four though!), we're off to see Angola vs Iran in Leipzig on Wednesday. Can't wait.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Robin at the World Cup #2

Hello again!

So, this is another shot from the World Cup (see below), this time during the England vs Trinidad & Tobago match yesterday afternoon in Nuremberg. We only found out we had tickets the evening before (big thanks to my bro Rob for that!!) which meant we had to hastily arange a hire car to get us the 300 miles (500 kms) down to Nuremberg for the match. Luckily you can drive as fast as you like on German motorways (faster than I'd be willing to admit I drove to my mother...) so we made it down in plenty of time.

England didn't actually play too well, but it was amazing being there and I'm happy to say that we won 2-0 in the end, thanks to two late goals - cue mass celebrations from tens of thousands of English who'd made the journey over for the game (it also made our 300 mile drive home afterwards much cheerier than it would've been if we hadn't won!) There was a nice atmosphere at the game, with the Trinidad fans mixing merrily with ours and not a hint of the hooliganism than the media always seem to anticipate so eagerly.

That chap second from left with the blue boots is David Beckham - probably the most famous footballer in the world, who made the pass for both our goals. We're off to another game tomorrow, Czech Republic vs Ghana in Cologne. Should be fun.

Oh, by the way, those of you who've followed this blog for a while may be interested to know that my wife is pregnant (yee-ha!). As of December, I'll be a dad and Robin will be, um, an uncle.


Robin at the World Cup #1

Hello folks

Long, long time no post - sorry about that. I've actually gone freelance from my full-time job and in the final weeks at my old job was sort of doing two jobs at once (the old job in the daytime, the new freelance stuff before and after work). So I really didn't have a moment to myself. But I should be a bit more regular now. That is if anyone's still reading (please post comments if you are!)...

So, here we are at the World Cup in Germany. For those of you in America who don't know too much about it, the World Cup is a massive football (soccer) tournament that the whole world gets very excited about. It's like the Olympics only with just one sport and with a bigger TV audience! We're out here for a week, staying with my wife's sister in Duisberg, just north of Cologne. And I'm positively giddy with excitement about it.

This picture was taken at South Korea v Togo in Frankfurt on Tuesday afternoon. The game ended up being won 2-1 by South Korea, but this picture was actually taken at the point that a lot of people are talking about. Before the game, the teams lined up to sing their national anthem (as happens at each World Cup match). The South Korean anthem went first, then it was the turn of the Togan one. Unfortunately, they managed to play the South Korean one again by mistake! So they played that through and all the flag bearers and ballboys ran off thinking their work was done. At which point the real Togan anthem started. A bit of a shambles really, but quite amusing!

Oh, and those of you who read this blog during the Olympics will be scandalised to hear that whereas a bottle of water in Athens cost half a Euro, here, where temperatures have been almost as hot, they're charging four Euros! Outrageous.

Anyway, I'm going to post this and write another one, so better go (two blogs in ten minutes after not writing one for weeks...)