Chicago Addick living in Bermuda
Wednesday 7 March 2007
  Read all about it Excuse me a little bit of self-indulgence. I used to love newspapers before I came to the States. When I was younger I used to walk my paper round with a newspaper stuck to my nose. I would read them back to front (always back to front) before I left to go to school. On the way to work the train journey would seem like an eternity without a paper and I cannot walk past a newspaper sat on a table without opening it up.

Therefore a trip home is an opportunity to treat myself to something I don’t do anymore. Ok, I might look at the front page of the Chicago Tribune at a newsstand but never buy it because frankly it’s rubbish and yes the New York Times gets delivered to my home on a Sunday and a flick through of that lasts as long as a cup of coffee.

The internet is my medium now but when I’m at home it is the printed media that I hunt out. So this morning the hotel put the Daily Telegraph under my door, which wouldn’t be my first choice, but it was free and when they charge you 5 quid for a miniature box of Pringles, you have to grab everything you can, including the slippers – thanks very much.

I have actually taken to downloading the Telegraph podcast and listen to it walking to work, quite good for a summary of the days headlines and a social whirl with the sexy sounding Celia is always good for a grin.

I know you know all of this stuff, because it was yesterdays news but indulge me as I review some of the items that jumped out at me in today’s paper.

Violent crime is getting more prevalent in Britain, there is no doubt and it scares me that the news is becoming more and more like America’s. Not even making the front page was the story of an 18-year old scumbag terrorising a young dad stabbing him on one occasion and when the father of a 3-year old happened to decide to take some action getting shot dead 8 months later outside his own house in Canning Town.

The American clients that I was with would give their gas guzzling SUV’s for a chance of Tony Blair being their president but meanwhile his last few months in office look like being an inauspicious one as the cash for honours affair rages on. Sadly this, Iraq and taxes are becoming the legacy of his 10-year reign, despite the film The Queen reminding us of more impressive times.

On Page 9 was the story of John Charman’s record £48m divorce settlement to his ex-wife. Should the breadwinner and the homemaker share equally in the couples assets or should the courts show some discretion? Well I got bugger-all discretion so why should Charman get any? I have actually met him, he won’t remember me but all I know is that his Bermuda based company posted record profits each quarter last year and it’s fair to say he won’t go short.

Heathrow has been voted the 2nd best airport to get ‘stuck in’ according to a survey amongst American travelers. I’m not bloody surprised have you ever been stuck in O’Hare, LaGuardia or LAX? Amsterdam’s Schipol came out first.

A rare black rhino has been born at Paignton Zoo. The mother, who weighs more than a ton didn’t get much privacy as the whole thing was shown live on the internet.

It’s Crufts this weekend but there are calls again for its banning as breeders continue to find ways of interbreeding dogs to create the next handbag sized pet. There are now over 30,000 genetic defects identified in pedigree dogs. My favourite, the bulldog suffering more than most as breeders seek to change the shape of their heads. Life expectancy for pedigree dogs is now often less than 10-years old and your average mongrel will live 2-3 times longer.

In the business section, not surprisingly the Telegraph has a swipe at Guardian News and Media whose operations of The Guardian, Observer and Guardian Unlimited are in for a rocky ride as they try to drag the titles’ operations out of the 1970’s. It’s strange when you consider that Guardian Unlimited was a leading light into the world of 24/7 web media.

Aston Martin hasn’t taken long to leg it from their fateful Ford ownership. My dream car maker will be sold for around £500m, half of what the struggling Detroit based Ford wanted for it, to Prodrive.

One of Charlton director Michael Grade’s first jobs at ITV will be to explain their drop in advertising revenue. Although reports suggest analysts and maybe those poor sods the viewers have been impressed with the Grade influenced new programme output so far this year.

And Premier Foods suggest that nearly one in five households are now eating Quorn. Premier, whose brands include Birds custard, Batchelors, Oxo and Hartley’s jam won’t find any Quorn in my fridge but they will however find five jars of Branston pickle, another one of their owned products. You can’t beat a bit of Branston.

The sports pages are all about the Champions League. There was a brawl to match the Chelsea, Arsenal one at the Valencia v Inter game last night. Be interesting to see if the football league and UEFA take similar action.

Wembley which I saw from 5,000 ft on Friday is all set to host this year’s FA Cup Final, despite Multiplex missing another deadline and I note that a certain Francis Jeffers scored for Ipswich last night; I must have missed his latest big money move. What’s that? Ipswich to New Cross in about two hours? Certainly do-able.

No West Ham news today – no gambling addictions, no trans-Atlantic parties, no racism, no fights outside nightclubs, no vote of confidences, just John Inverdale saying “Despite Alan Curbishley’s best efforts, the happy Hammers are not just hopeless and hapless, but irrevocably shop-soiled and the Premiership will be better off without them.”

I managed to change my fantasy football team around thanks to finding the latest scores in the Telegraph. Darren Bent unsurprisingly is our top fantasy performer with 98 points. 2nd best is Darren Ambrose with 58.

And the Cricket World Cup starts Sunday in the West Indies, a place where American football, baseball and basketball have gained a stranglehold over the pastimes of the youth. Let’s hope we see some good old fashioned calypso cricket, although when I say see, I don’t expect to see much on the American networks. “Oh cricket, the game that lasts for five days and can end in a draw?” 

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After living in Chicago for four and a half years, I moved to the beautiful if bewildering island of Bermuda in July 2008. This blog is about being an exiled and depressed Charlton Athletic fan and whatever else the day brings.
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