27 May 2008

Another drink, Please!

"I decided to take a swig of beer every time Gordon Ramsay emitted the offensive word...for the next 10 minutes Gordon Ramsay did not swear once! I was truly amazed"

Last week I decided to watch Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares as it is one of my current fave shows. I like it as I admire his passion for all things cooking.

Anyway, this show is where world renowned chef (and former soccer player) Gordon Ramsay helps turn around an under-performing restaurant. The main causes of this are generally bad food, bad management and even in cases the menu itself. Big Gordon is so popular in Australia that up until recently he had his show on Australian television three nights in a row!

As some of you would know, 'Chef Ramsay' likes to use the 'F' word more often than Ozzy Osbourne! I decided to undertake a test to see how many times the 'F' word was used in one show. Rather than counting the swear words I decided to take a swig of beer every time Gordon Ramsay emitted the offensive word, or words. So as you can see it was going to be a true scientific test!

I was not sure as to how much alcohol I would consume, but I soon got a good idea soon after the show started. Our hero was letting it rip with a fine flow of four lettered words. I was swigging my beer quicker than if it was last orders in a local drinking establishment! A quick look at my bottle told me that I could possibly be out of beer before the show ended. As I didn't have any other beer in the house I decided to swig the amber nectar in a more frugal manner.

The show continued and my bottle got lighter, while my taste buds got more alcoholic. Then another advertisement break occurred. I should point out that commercial television in Australia has frequent advertisement breaks. In fact the show '60 Minutes' is really only 46 minutes after all the commercial breaks.

The show came back on and all of a sudden a miracle transpired. No, I did not discover a large quantity of beer hidden under the stairs, but for the next 10 minutes Gordon Ramsay did not swear once! I was truly amazed. Also, it meant that my only beer in the house would last the whole show. In fact, I emptied the bottle right at the end when the last 'F' word was said.

This got me thinking as to what other TV shows, or things similar, could you have a good drinking session to. The winner, in my mind, is the show '24' starring Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer. I reckon that if you have a swig of beer every time he uses a mobile (cell) phone in each episode then you could be on course for some serious alcohol poisoning! The other thing about the show '24' is that Jack Bauer never eats, drinks or visits the bathroom during the 24 hours that he has to save the world again and again!

The other two things that came to my mind as potential drinking material were both politically related. If you listen to our previous PM, John Howard, making a speech and took a swig of beer every time 'Little Johnny' said 'un-Australian' then you would soon get through a large quantity of alcohol very quickly indeed. The same can be said of the current Rudd government who like using the phrase 'working families' in virtually everything they say and do.

Anyway, I've got to go now and replenish my supply of beer. I'll leave you with this totally unrelated thought. Why is the World Youth Day (to be held in Sydney in July) spread over 6 days? After all, isn't a day 24 hours? I wonder if Jack Bauer will be attending!

20 May 2008

Getting Lost with No Worries!

"We may need another sat nav to locate our original one!" she said with glee. I just shook my head...Actually it looked like a mole's convention had been going on with all the humps on view."

Last Friday my wife (aka 'No Worries') and yours truly went to our eldest daughter's Catholic School Parish dinner. Nothing too unusual about that, you may think. After all, it's very common for schools with a religious slant to have a Parish dinner (or something similar) and help raise funds for it. For the past few weeks No Worries had been getting very excited reminding me that the dinner was coming up. It was also at a local venue that was only a 15 minute drive from where we lived.

No Worries and I are on the School Committee, or I should say that my wife is as I have yet to attend a meeting! Anyway, No Worries has very big nerdy tendencies (she is an accountant by qualification, after all) and had noted down all the details about where the event was being held and what time to arrive etc. From my point of view all I had to do was bring my zombie self home from work, have a quick shower, get changed and jump in the car. Too easy - or was it?

We had to pick up a mother who lived close by and was going to the Parish dinner like ourselves. I decided to sit in the back, squeezed between our two daughters, who were being dropped off at a friends house for a DVD, popcorn and chocolate cake night. Also, I thought that No Worries and our friend would like to talk about girly things!

After dropping off our daughters I noticed that No Worries was driving in the wrong direction to where we wanted to go. I had to take the mantle of a backstreet driver. "No Worries, why are you going in the wrong direction?". I got the response "oh, I thought this was a short cut?". Naturally, I pointed out it was not. "why don't you use our sat nav (GPS)" I said. My wife's response was a classic "its, erm, misplaced somewhere in the house. We may need another sat nav to locate our original one!" she said with glee. I just shook my head.

After, guiding No Worries back on track we soon found the function room. After signing in to the club we headed to the restaurant. Once there we noticed that there was a lack of people in the room. "perhaps we are early" remarked No Worries. I checked my watch. We were technically 10 minutes late! Another trait of my wife is her late arrival to most events. However, she is working on improving this.

A waiter came to us and we advised her that we were here for the Parish dinner. The response we got was "sorry the Parish dinner is not here". At this stage another waiter walked past. "are you looking for the Parish dinner?" "Yes" the three of us answered in unison. "well, you need to go to our other venue. It's just a small drive from here". I got the directions from the waiter and advised No Worries that I would drive. I had visions that we might end up in Canberra if my wife drove again!

In a little under ten minutes we reached the correct destination. The next step was to park the car in the car park. Normally this is a simple process. You find a spot and park the car, right? However, there were more speed ramps in this car park alone than the whole of Sydney! Actually it looked like a mole's convention had been going on with all the humps on view.

We were one of the last guests to arrive but I have to say we all had a great time. The food was good, beer great and we won a prize valued at approximately $150 for a $10 raffle ticket. All in all a great night.

On the way home No Worries reminded me that she once directed us to the wrong venue for a wedding. After traipsing through a beach side suburb for 30 minutes looking for a wedding that was non-existent, we found out that it was a further 20 minutes drive further north!

The moral of this story is quite simple really, but I'll let you work that one out for yourself!

13 May 2008

We are the Champions!

"had their groundsman record a dance song to raise money for a fertilizer machine! ...So, at last, a trophy to admire in the 'Fleet Board Room, right next to the cheese and pickle sandwiches, no doubt."

Well Saturday came and went (like it always does) and there was a small matter of a football game going on at the new Wembley. For once it didn't involve Manchester United or Chelsea, but two of the lesser known teams in England.

In the red corner were Torquay United, ex League Two members and statistically the second best team in the Conference this year. In the white corner were Ebbsfleet United, a team that represents a non-existent town and who had their groundsman record a dance song to raise money for a fertilizer machine!

The question on every one's lips in Devon and Kent (and all MYFC members worldwide) was "who would win?"

For us Kent born and bred folk, we had no doubt that the Fleet would win the FA Trophy. However, my relatives in Devon may have had a different view, but seeing as they are Birmingham City fans probably not!

Being in Australia, I was unable to attend the game, but I got up early on Sunday morning to get the result. My heart was beating madly until I read the scoreline 'Ebbsfleet United 1 Torquay United 0'. I was ecstatic. The club I co-own, along with 29,000 others, had won! It certainly made my day. Interestingly, the scorer, Chris McPhee, used to play for Torquay United. How's that for irony!

So, at last, a trophy to admire in the 'Fleet Board Room, right next to the cheese and pickle sandwiches, no doubt. now the club will have to buy some Brasso!

Well done to all the players, Liam Daish and the coaching staff and all the others that are involved in the running of the club. They say winners are grinners. Guess what I am doing at the moment!

CHAMPIONS!

06 May 2008

A Song for Fertilizer (and not Europe)

"remember the bad singing spewed forth by the England football team prior to many a World Cup!...Peter will be a very happy chap to be able to buy more fertilizer "

As some of you will know, I am a co-owner of Ebbsfleet United FC who are based in the UK. However, despite being a co-owner, I am not a mega rich billionaire from some exotic part of the world ala Abramovich or Shinawatra. I am one of 29,000 who have become part owners through the My Football Club phenomenon. Check out my earlier blog for details of this http://dw-perspectives.blogspot.com/2007/12/i-am-boss.html

Since the My Football Club takeover of Ebbsfleet the football team has had a good second half of the season. The highlight being the fact that the club is off to Wembley in a few days time (no, not to go for a curry this time!) to play good ol' Torquay United in the final of the FA Trophy. It is the first time the club has been at Wembley for a football match. However, I am sure that on the players PS2 or WII they have been there many times!

One of the typically quirky English things is the release of a novelty record prior to a big football game or tournament. Us English certainly remember the bad singing spewed forth by the England football team prior to many a World Cup! Well, Ebbsfleet have joined the musical band wagon.

The club has released a song to celebrate their achievement of reaching the FA Trophy final. The song is called 'Beat The Weather' by Peter Norton and Justinio. It is, in effect, a dance song with Peter talking over the top of the music and explaining how he tends for the ground before and after each game. Peter, it must be said, is no spring chicken himself and is, of course, Ebbsfleet's groundsman. It is a catchy song and deserves to be a minor hit, methinks. Already, it has got to number 21 in the iTunes download chart.

As an additional benefit, all profits from this song will go towards the football club, paying for essentials such as a new fertilizer distributor for Peter. As you can imagine Peter will be a very happy chap to be able to buy more fertilizer for his beloved Stonebridge Road turf. He will think all his Christmases will have come at once.

If you want to see the video, or indeed download the song for 79p (approx 1.65 Aussie dollars, 252 Hungarian Forints, 1.96 Bosnian Marka or 63.5 Bhutanese Ngultrum!) then go to:

http://www.myfootballclub.co.uk/peternorton/

Finally, Good luck to the Fleet! Let's make Kent proud!