En vacances

We have spent a fabulous week in the Dordogne with my brother and family. Their converted barn is now up for sale which marks the end of an era.

Many fabulous meals enjoyed in this spot under a tree. 



The miscreant and myself are frequenting my favourite Surbiton pub, the Antelope. Their selection of ales and ciders is superb.

A free pint was on offer with their loyalty card…free booze of quality…nice.

The Zambian came to lunch yesterday and we had a cold collation of chicken satay, salad and ham. The craic was good and we still had room for fruit salad and cheese.

Running a business is not easy for the sole trader. Staff are hard to please, and yet the success of the enterprise is dependent on them acquiring the skills and knowledge to create superior products and deliver good customer service.

The Zambian has had a couple of runins with difficult employees. It’s hard to know what works best for a harmonious team environment.

Money is not always the essential motivation. A sense of responsibility and a clear set of goals works for me.








Holidays have started and I am sitting in an Italian café having a chocolate and hazelnut cannole with my espresso.

I have bought my summer essentials: Chinos, trunks, linen shirt and flip flops.

I am looking forward to meeting my favourite Zambian later on today, after mum and I have made it up the High Street with the wheelchair.


Is Irish Presbyteriansm an anti gay theology?

The Presbyterian Church in Ireland has loosened ties with the Church of Scotland over its more liberal attitude towards same-sex relationships.

The current Moderator of the Church of Scotland, the Rev Susan Brown, said she recognised that there were significant differences between the two denominations but said that move would harm Christianity:

“To a world which doesn’t understand the nuances of particular theological stances, today’s decision will be yet another reason to stay away from religion and from Christianity in particular.

Union Theological College

The Presbyterian Church in Ireland has now tried to stifle criticism or open debate by issuing a letter to all ministers, warning against bringing the church “into disrepute” by speaking in a public way that may cause “scandal injurious to the purity or peace of the church”.

Following a Talkback interview on Radio Ulster earlier this month, Professor Laurence Kirkpatrick has been suspended by Union Theological College for speaking his mind.

Professor Kirkpatrick had described the college as a “‘getting on’ exclusively Presbyterian male teaching faculty”.

He added: “I’d be broken-hearted if anyone said I’d been bigoted against a Catholic or gay student.”

Robert Burns had a few words to say about church elders in his poem Holy Willie’s Prayer written in 1785


Lord, bless Thy chosen in this place,
For here Thou hast a chosen race:
But God confound their stubborn face,
An’ blast their name,
Wha bring Thy elders to disgrace
An’ public shame.


A VAR too far?

Portugal vs Iran was one of the worst refereed games of football I have seen. Players falling to the ground hoping for an Oscar were rewarded with free kicks. Crowding the referee to appeal decisions had him rushing to the VAR, and awarding a penalty to Iran was a decision that beggared belief.


Ronaldo frustrated by the hugging he was getting from Iranian players without the referee or assistant referees showing any interest, shrugged off one intimate contact in a belligerent manner. Obviously the Iranian fell to the ground as if he had been poleaxed. Yellow card to a bemused Ronaldo.

cartoon penalty decision

I hope the referee was well paid by Iran, otherwise, his judgment lacks any basis in logic.

The outcome of all this poor refereeing is that Spain get the easier draw, and Portugal face Uraguay in the next round.

Best laid plans…Eng-a-land!

OK so England did good at the footie. I may have to start supporting them now.

6-1 against Panama…more goals than England have scored in their last few World Cups put together.

1966 World Cup

To be fair, Football’s Coming Home is a rousing anthem to celebrate the dashed hopes of English fans since 1966.

I have Colombia and Poland in the work sweepstakes…3 chances are better than one.

Come on England, lose to Panama

Unlike the cricket, where England are doing brilliantly against Australia, football is strangely one sport where we look at our fortunes with misguided optimism. Not only that, but English TV commentators are filled with jingoistic phrases that have me reaching for the sick bucket. No, I will not be singing Rule Britannia.

disappointed Englnd football fan

Whether we had a hand in starting the sport or not, we have a poor international track record and very few top class players. Just look at the top players in the English Premiership. Most of them are imports.

That’s why I have backed Panama to beat us and predicted a 1-0 defeat. For £2 I would win about £50, but not only is that a comfort bet, but I would be freed from the embarrassment of pundits predicting we win the World Cup, as we crash out before the semi-finals.