Chicago Addick living in Bermuda
Tuesday 30 September 2008
  Take away the doubt Have I mentioned Yassin Moutaouakil to you nice folks before? You may remember him, young bloke, speaks French. Scares the hell out of left backs and left midfielders, used to have a good relationship with Lloyd Sam before they were inexplicably separated.

Little game tonight I believe, my Mum asked me if I wished I was going Sunday. I was a bit comme ci comme ca, but that was Sunday sat on my arse watching that smug lanky bloke Hank Paulson. Hank, I ask you and GW Bush, the 43rd president and by a fucking long way the worst.

Anyway I digress, Mother I said, not bovvered. But this morning, well whole new kettle of fish. Already had a couple of phone calls from those that will be making their way to Sainsburys. Of course I wish I was going. It's a big game in many ways tonight, particularly for Pardew. His team selection will be vital and if nothing else I really would like to see it bounce up before the game and look like it has got a balance to it. A balance that has pace, tempo and fight.

I hope to see some changes tonight I really do. I think seeing Moutaouakil, Semedo, Shelvey, Dickson, Todorov and ZZ out on the pitch warming up as part of the 16 will lift spirits amongst Addicks walking into the ground after a very disappointing result Saturday.

While I and others have accepted our fate as a middling tier II side again, the frustration is that we still have some players that actually excite me and offer a lot more than a middling tier II club. A lot have even been signed by Pardew.... Semedo, Hudson, Moutaouakil, Varney, Youga, Bailey, Dickson. Good young players.

Pardew says that "it's about developing and creating new players - and that's what I'm trying to do, together with my staff at every level of the club." And this all well and good and I accept we need to be patient but we all want to see the club going in the right direction under bright and brave leadership.

Now is the time for Pardew to put some action to those well thought out sound bites. I want to believe in him I really do. I willed him to keep us up from the Prem, I believed him when he said that he was the right man to take us up last season and I want to believe him when he says "It means everything to me to get Charlton back to the Premier League." Take away the doubt Pards, take away the doubt. 
Monday 29 September 2008
  Fan's Forum Saturday saw the announcement of the new Fan's Forum. If you didn't see the programme or the article on the OS, then it is here: Fan's Forum

The panel will consist of five fans plus Steve Waggott, two PLC directors and other senior directors and managers as the agenda dictates.

The five fans will be made up of three elected season-ticket holders, plus one CADSA representative and as originally promised an overseas fan, to be used as a point of contact. This person will have the opportunity to feed items into the agenda to be discussed at meetings and receive feedback.

The supporter representatives will serve one-year rolling terms and should expect to dedicate a lot of time to the project. Unfortunately the rep's remit will not cover playing matters, and they will not have an input into team selection, tactics or the selection of playing or the football management staff. Well that rules me out. If Yassin's in then I'm in, if he's not, then me neither.

Seriously though, credit to the new leadership for putting this on the table, I know previous Fans Director Ben Hayes had a lot of input into this as well, and it is now up to all of us to make it work, although it is too early to understand how the forum will develop and what media is used to make the forum as vibrant, creditable and accessible as possible. 
Sunday 28 September 2008
  Powerless No power this morning when we woke up, quite exciting really until the hours clicked away and then rather frustrating. But anyway it's back on now. Hurricane Kyle was to blame as it moved around the south and west of us....

..... at 35 knots. Didn't get a chance to finish that sentence as the screen went dead and we've just had another 90 minutes of no power again. The beauty of living on a tropical island I s'pose. Hurricane Kyle is the 11th tropical storm of the summer, the 2nd one that has passed near Bermuda with just over a month left of the Atlantic hurricane season.

Hurricane Kyle was still 242 nautical miles (about 278 miles) west of us but the winds and rain were certainly strong enough to wake us up. Drowsily I used the unexpected opportunity to look out across Hamilton Harbour from the front windows of our house at the flickering lights of the capital with a backdrop of complete darkness. Quite a sight. 
Saturday 27 September 2008
  Addicks 1 Wednesday 2 "Classic Charlton performance this. Not classic in the sense of memorable you understand, more just classic Charlton. You don't really need a report, if you've watched Charlton for long enough you can pretty much imagine what happened and that will be close enough." - Dave on Drinking During the Game.

On the way home from the game my mate told me that the players looked like they were playing for themselves and not for the good of the team. And is that the problem? A fine line between awesomeness and shite. My son further offered that despite lots of running around in the 2nd half we never had any control of the game. And of course just like our previous three defeats it all started so well but our failure to build on a lead or to exercise a dominance over the opposition, especially against inferior sides which patently Wednesday are makes us look non-convincing for large portions of games.

However with the way the top six looks now, particularly Wolves, Birmingham and Reading then play-off's already appear a forlorn dream. Nevertheless Tuesday is the perfect opportunity to banish, well banish everything really. Come on Charlton, lets live for the moment.

A word from Pards: "Inconsistent."
Addick thoughts:; Blackheath Addicted; Drinking During the Game; Charlton Athletic Online; Deepest Darkest; Addicks Diary.
Wednesday thoughts: Yorkshire Post; Brian Laws' comments.
In the press: BBC Sport; Sky Sports; The Times.
Next: Palarse on Tuesday. A time for redemption. 
Friday 26 September 2008
  Passed.... again My driving test today and a pass. Phew, I wasn't sure at one point as my grumpy and rather large driving adjudicator shouted at me twice, once for slowing down as I approached something lying in the road, "Keep going," he yelled and then once to "get over," as I drove steadily, with hands at ten to two along the middle of a narrow road.

Passing my test (the first time) way back 24 years ago was one of my finest achievements, what a feeling of complete elation that was. My 2nd driving test in Chicago was frankly a bit of a farce driving around a car park and having to park in a diagonal spot 12 feet wide. Plus, obviously the girl did fancy me!

I'd already done my written test, a multiple choice quiz taken from a book that looked very similar to the one I used in 1988. Today however was more stressful than it should have been, heightened by the fact we were later this evening going to pick up our new car. I desperately wanted to drive it home. I did.

I love our new little motor. White, shiny, small and ooh smelly only like a new car can. Might go for a midnight drive later but first of all the first American election contest debate live on the box. 
Thursday 25 September 2008
  Memories of Sheffield Wednesday Charlton 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday, 23rd August, 1986
We felt like gatecrashers. Up with the big boys for the first time in 29 years but something wasn't quite right....

Two old Wednesday boys made up our team that day - new signing Peter Shirtliff and our promotion season's top scorer John Pearson. Bobby Bolder had also signed but didn't break into the side until Nicky Johns got injured. Meanwhile Lawrie Maddern lined up in defence for the Yorkshiremen. But something wasn't right.

Lennie Lawrence wrote in his programme notes: "One of the most interesting aspects of today's game from my point of view will be the attendance. It is of paramount importance to our Football Club that we maintain a five figure average gate throughout the season."

Despite the cheapest match tickets being £3.50 only nine times did the club manage a bigger crowd that 10,000 in the 29 home league and cup games we hosted. It was a miracle that Lennie Lawrence even got us here. Before kick off 42 Junior Reds paraded around the ground wearing the home and away kits of our new high profile opponents. They included Oxford and Wimbledon, both now non-league clubs and Luton, perhaps sadly soon to be.

We kicked off and the crowd noise was good and it was a decent first half although Lee Chapman had two goals ruled out for offside. Alan Curbishley was injured and Steve Gritt did a sterling job in his place but it was Robert Lee who caught the eye putting us in front in the 53rd minute, latching onto a through ball by George Shipley to finish confidently. It was our first top flight goal since Stuart Leary scored in April 1957. The majority of the 8,501 crowd went wild, but something wasn't right.

Then immediately we were under pressure and sure enough in front of the away fans Gary Shelton equalised just two minutes later. Chapman had a third 'goal' disallowed and from memory we were fortunate to hold onto a draw with Brian Marwood particularly mesmorising on the wing.

We walked away happy though, what with two tough games to follow up at the City Ground and then Old Trafford. We beat United mind in what was to be an amazing season. But of course something wasn't right.

Charlton: Johns, Humphrey, Reid, Shipley, Thompson, Shirtliff, Lee, Gritt, Pearson, Aizlewood, Stuart.
Sub (not used): Melrose
Sheff Wed: Hodge, Morris, Snodin, Knight, Hart, Maddern, Marwood, Gregory, Chapman, Shutt (Hirst 79), Shelton.
Attendance: 8,501 
Wednesday 24 September 2008
  My Bermuda - Town of St George The oldest continuously inhabited English settlement in the New World is where? Answer: On this little island at St George.

Settled in 1612 St George has a wonderful history, and recently we took the ferry over there to have a look. It was in 1609 that English settlers on their way to the new world hit what was probably a hurricane, and drove their ship, Sea Venture onto the reef, to avoid floundering and more than likely losing the 150 crew and their pet dog - there was a dog according to legend.

The Admiral of the Company, Sir George Somers fought for three days against the hurricane, and his story was the inspiration for William Shakespeare's The Tempest. During the survivors time on the island they built two new ships from the wreckage of the Sea Venture and some local cedar wood and then continued their way onto Virginia. A model of one of the ships, The Deliverance can be found on Ordnance Island, reached by a small bridge from King's Square (photo below).

Some of the crew and passengers remained on this deserted island but during their time they began to form the start of the Bermuda colony building a church and some houses.

Admiral Sir George Somers named the town not after himself (as is often written) but in honour of the Patron Saint of England. The flag of St. George is still flown only over St. Peter's Church, the oldest church on the island. One other interesting George Somers factoid: St George is twinned with the beautiful Dorset seaside town of Lyme Regis, Somers' birthplace and site of his buriel sadly just a year after he founded Bermuda in 1610.

St George not only played a pivotal role in Bermuda's history (it was also the capital until 1815), but it helped shape that of the United States as well. 10,000 Bermudians emigrated, primarily to Virginia and the American Southeast and branches of wealthy Bermudian merchant families dominated trade in the area's ports.

Throughout the 17th century St George was a very tied to Jamestown and contributed greatly to the developent of the US. During the American War of Independence, Bermudians stole much-needed gunpowder from an artillery magazine and then smuggled it out of Tobacco Bay (now a great beach just over the hill from St. George's) to George Washington. The people of St George's also probably prolonged the American Civil War by ferrying supplies and munitions to the desperate Confederates, a trade that was based in St. George's.

St George hasn't probably changed much in almost 400 years. Many old stone buildings still stand today (built from models and drawings originally from England). They were built from Bermuda stone after 1619 for protection against elements and fires, which today still shield them exceptionally well from the Atlantic winds.

The town has remained a port and home to Bermudian families handed down houses through the centuries, but St George has happily avoided the financial boom that has engulfed the now capital Hamilton. The town is very pleasing on eye with it's narrow lanes such as Barber's Alley, Turkey Hill and Aunt Peggy's Lane.

At its centre lies King's Square complete with it's own Town Crier. Surrounding the square is the Town Hall and the Visitors Service Bureau. There are replica stocks in the Square, and also a ducking stool, used in colonial times as a punishment fitting such crimes as gossiping, now one of the countries favourite sports! Visitors on a Wednesday at noon will see a modern day local lady volunteer getting herself ducked according to ancient custom.

Elsewhere around the town there are a multitude of historical sites such as the old State House (above right), built in 1620 to house Bermuda's Parliament. It is the oldest building on the island and today is rented to the Grand Masonic Lodge of Scotland. A annual ceremony is held full of pomp and circumstance to celebrate the rent payment of one peppercorn to the Bermuda Government.

Other buildings worth a gander are The Unfinished Church, the Old Rectory, St. Peter's Church (the oldest Anglican church in the Western hemisphere, photo left), the Tucker House Museum, the Bridge House gallery and Stewart Hall (5 Queen St), nope not the bloke from It's A Knockout but a grand home three centuries old and now a place to buy duty free perfumes.

St George hasn't any hotels to note except for a couple of guest houses, although a new Park Hyatt is in the works. There are a number of nice restaurants and cafes within the town. Cafe Gio (36 Water St) is great for ice-cream, the Carriage House has great alfresco dining at Somers Wharf and for some hearty fare and live music try the White Horse Tavern in the evening.

St George is certainly worth visiting and only a ferry ride away from Hamilton. Every Tuesday in the summer months St George hosts a Market Night with free local entertainment extolling the town's history. St George is a must for history fans and is an ideal way to spend a day getting lost in long narrow windy lanes with 300-year old buildings to marvel at. 
Tuesday 23 September 2008
  Incompetence None of my business, but after my recent rant about the state of our game and the fat getting more ignorant and all that, bloody congratulations to Sheffield United and Kevin McCabe on 'winning' their independent tribunal decision on overturning the Premier League's Carlos Tevez decision not to deduct points from West Ham but to fine them a derisory and frankly cowardly sum of £5.5m instead.

Terry Brown is still counting his £33m, Paul Aldridge is proving that liars can still get the best jobs as chief operating officer of nouveau riche Man City, Kia Joorabchian is still advising the Hammers on transfers, Richard Scudamore earns over a £1m as the Premier League's chief executive and the three old buffers Lord Griffiths, Judge Sir Anthony Colman and Robert Englehart QC are probably still trying to get tonight's dinner out of their beard. The word incompetence does not do these fools justice.

I have nothing against West Ham, in fact I've always had a bit of a soft spot for them, but the list of idiots above have hammered (no pun intended) another huge flaming nail into the coffin containing the game that we love. 
Sunday 21 September 2008
  Lazy Sunday What a most enjoyable Sunday. We had a rare lie in. Lovely. Then we made breakfast and sat and listened to yesterday's Jonathan Ross' Radio 2 show from the BBC website. He does make me chuckle. Then I poured over the Sunday Times whilst drinking coffee until, ooh early afternoon.

Remember there is nothing open here on a Sunday except one of the 115 churches of many denominations, although one can actually get some curled up groceries in the afternoon as a couple of supermarkets open for a few hours. One of those places, Miles Market, is packed with ex-pat families desperate to get the kids out of the house trawling the empty aisles. Most just grab a coffee and sit outside. Us, well we just put another pot of coffee on and made some lunch.

Then I watched the golf unravel on the box. Bloody annoying all that USA! USA! USA! crap. Later we had some friends over to play tennis losing 4 balls in the process - all me I believe. We ate again, and just lolloped in front of the television watching The Emmy's. Then it was bedtime. 
Saturday 20 September 2008
  Forest 0 Addicks 0 I've listened to my mate who was up at the City Ground (in the home end), I've listened to Pardew and Colin Calderwood and I have to be pleased with the result. That means we have now played Swansea, Doncaster and Forest and gained 7 points, a positive improvement on the results last season against the promoted sides.

I was following the game via the text 'commentary' and was also part of the virtual away end on Charlton Life and during the game I was swinging between two different mindsets. The first was that Forest have the worse defensive record in the division and we should have lined up more offensively and my second line of thought was that the City Ground is a hard place to go, and they certainly had something to prove after just one league win all season. Hence their excellent beginning to the game.

Certainly a 4-5-1 has proven successful in the past on the road and I think today it allowed us not only to defend in numbers but with Varney as the sole striker we could work the channels more and find a bit more space to exploit. We certainly sounded the stronger side in the 2nd half and only a "world class save" prevented us from winning.

Overall a good point and added to the three from Tuesday it equals a very good week for the Addicks.

A word from Pards: "Basketball."
Addick thoughts:;
Forest thoughts: This is Nottingham; Colin Calderwood.
In the press: The Times; BBC Sport; Sporting Life; Sky Sports;
Next: My son will be doing the match report from our next game at home to Sheff Wed. 
Friday 19 September 2008
  Under the mattress A bitc.... sorry bugger of a week at work, some long hours and many frantic conversations as the world watched the economy collapse around us. The disintegration of AIG was a bittersweet moment as my company would undoubtedly have profited from their collapse, yet I have so many good friends there and my heart was going out to them and their families earlier in the week. Fortunately they'll live to cash another pay cheque, unlike many other men and women who worked for companies in the leisure and banking industries. But meanwhile others line up at the cliffs edge swaying in the vicious winds of a financial meltdown whilst people with brains bigger than Andy Reid's belly try to make sense of it.

I've been saying for ages that the best place for my hard earned dollars was under the mattress, not the most rational idea I've ever had but at least I'd be sleeping on it and not giving it back to poxy Bank of America. I thought I'd finally shaken those idiots after moving my savings to Merrill Lynch. Bah.

Meanwhile this week Hurricane Ike found an easy way around the 17ft sea wall Galveston Island built after it's last deadly hurricane in 1900, the election trundles on in the U.S., with only another 46 days to go to the big day, plenty of time for Sarah Palin to drown in her inveracities and Charlton won away at Doncaster. Yay, Yassin didn't play mind. After me.... We want Yassin, when do we want him? NOW.

I hoping to get out of work and neck a couple of cold ones tonight. Tomorrow night we are seeing a couple that we hardly know. I met him firstly in the hardware store, then outside the supermarket, we think we know each other via an old mutual friend. In London and New York you'd ignore each other, but in Bermuda you go out for dinner.

Sunday I'd like to watch a bit of the Ryder Cup and we plan to give our tennis court some action, with the help of some friends - these real ones, well they're Addicks and that's good enough for me! 
  Memories of Nottingham Forest Nottingham Forest 4-0 Charlton, 13th May 1989
After three consecutive seasons going into the last game biting our nails down to the quick, many Addicks including my brother and I made the most of a relaxing trip to Nottingham for the last game of the 1988/89 season.

Although the days of European Cups were over for Forest they were still ending another superb season finishing third behind champions Arsenal (thanks to one Michael Thomas) and in fact under Cloughie Forest were long in the hunt for a domestic quadruple after beating Luton in the League Cup and winning the best forgotten Simod Cup but then losing to Liverpool in the FA Cup semi, the original game taking part on that tragic day a month before at Hillsborough.

A lot of Addicks had travelled up in fancy dress and there was a carefree attitude, particularly amongst those Addicks who were actually on the pitch! Forest absolutely mullered us in the first half scoring three times, the first after 13 minutes when speedy winger Franz Carr put them in front. Neil Webb was weaving his magic and this was probably his finest season before he moved onto Old Trafford and anonymity.

At 1-0 we were hanging on with half-time approaching but after the whistle blew we sat down on the sunny terrace three-down and with game over after first defender Terry Wilson powered in a header and then Webb himself hammered home a sweet 3rd.

The 2nd half was better as Forest just tinkered with us, and we sung our Back to the Valley songs happy in the knowledge that the score didn't matter leaving the nail biting to West Ham and Boro who joined Newcastle in relegation from Division 1.

I remember Steve MacKenzie and Paul Williams gave us a flurry of something to cheer in the 2nd half but the lid was put on Forest's victory in the final minutes when a young Steve Chettle scored a 4th.

1988/89 was a fine season for the Addicks finishing in our highest league position (14th) since 1956. If I look at the side that took to the field at the City Ground that day a number of players - Bolder, Reid, Humphrey, Shirtliff, Lee, Mortimer and of course Colin Walsh, who got a warm welcome from home fans that day - would each appear in my all-time favourite list.

Charlton: Bolder, Humphrey, Reid, Shirtliff, Pates, Peake, Lee, Williams, MacKenzie, Mortimer (Walsh 21), Jones.
Sub not used: Crooks
Forest: Sutton, Laws, Pearce, Walker, Wilson, Rice, Carr, Webb, Cloght, Chapman (Gaynor 57), Parker (Chettle 80).
Attendance: 17,637 
Tuesday 16 September 2008
  Doncaster 0 Addicks 1 After what happened yesterday in the financial markets, particularly in relation to one (now not so huge) insurance company, today was always going to be a challenge, especially my ability to follow events at the Keepmoat. Despite spending the bulk of the day with people in my office or on the phone, I did manage to check the score periodically on the BBC website and a text from my Mum at the final whistle brought a smile to a feverish day.

Upon checking some reports, the result although welcoming and hard fought doesn't appear to hide the team's deficiencies, particularly those involving holding the ball or creating chances. Donny like Swansea play some sweet football, but only our third away victory in 2008 provided both 3 points and a nice lift to us all.

Cranie even got a decent postscript, but not Youga, although palpably it was a superb rear-guard action that gave us the victory and not forgetting Andy Gray's 4th goal in 6.

A word from Pards: "Bounce back."
Addick thoughts:; Charlton Life; Drinking During the Game.
Donny thoughts: Doncaster OS.
In the press: Sky Sports; BBC Sport; Sporting Life.
Next: Our third and final game against a promoted side as we go to the City Ground Saturday. 
  Let me ask again. Yassin - is it just me? First Danny Mills, then Greg Halford and now Martin Cranie. Now I have nothing against young Martin, I am sure he loves his Mum and is a nice young man, but he ain't ours. All he is doing is trying to get fit under our watch and under our payroll, and is hoping Redknapp snr takes some notice.

Yassin Moutaouakil meanwhile is one of our own. 18 months into his Charlton contract, he was plucked from the Berry region of France, famous for it's kings and brought to us by Alan Pardew, or perhaps by an agent hawking a video. Whichever it doesn't really matter because he is still one of ours.

I've loved young Moots, not like that of course, but I have loved him since he jumped into the away end at St Mary's last season and hugged every Charlton fan he could get his arms around. My son watched with his mouth wide open. That does not happen on Sky he said. I am assuming Moots did that not to get purposely booked or because he was showing off in a way people born on the Côte d'Azur might, but because he cared about the team that he belonged to.

Danny Mills didn't care, well only in making sure he was at home with his family for Christmas, and Greg Halford wasn't even good enough to care. I know about the finances, loans is all we can afford. Got it, but why sign Cranie and Primus for such short-term deals? Bouazza at least is here for a year, and like Sodje last season, and Carson before him, I can see how a player can be ingratiated into a team framework if he is truly committed to the cause. Cranie and Primus are just visiting, their cars are not even given proper parking spots!

If we're going to play Cranie, then play him centre-half, his favourite position. And then put Moutaouakil back in at right back. Sorry, was it only me who marvelled at the way he combined with Sam to mesmerise Reading's left side? How many opportunities did the two of them create in that game? Bit like Grant Basey did with Bouazza on the left to be honest. I'd put Basey back in too, particularly on a blustery night in Donny and with his ability at taking corners. Youga I like, and I'll allow him the odd mistake but he does lack concentration stemming I think from over confidence.

Yassin also sometimes makes the wrong decisions during games, but nines times out of ten, he gets back to allow himself the opportunity of redemption. But blimey, he makes one error, a sliced clearance for example and he's dropped for 16 games!

Leave it alone Mr Tinkerpards. Why change both the full backs for the Wolves game? Bring back Basey and especially Yassin tonight. Yassin, if your reading, I love you. 
Monday 15 September 2008
  Galveston, oh Galveston "Galveston, oh Galveston, I still hear your sea winds blowin'
I still see her dark eyes glowin' "

Glenn Campbell

Galveston once rich with merchants and cotton plantations, used to fill with tourists who come to seek it's historic districts with it's 400 homes still standing from the Victorian Age. The beach stretched for 32 miles and was crested by restaurants serving fresh fish plucked from the Gulf that very day by fisherman. Today it looks like this. 
Sunday 14 September 2008
  This is Bermuda The normal response when one acts with incredulity at something beyond belief in this little country, such as $12 for a few carrots or someone not showing up at your house to do some work after you take a day off, or the post coming once a week or a 17% tip already included in your restaurant bill despite the service being shocking and, I could go on.

This is Bermuda is the stock answer to most gripes, both from locals and ex-pats but there is certainly enough benefits to living here. Its tax free for some and well, it's idyllic.

This is Bermuda where urgency is not a word close to many people's lips, the heat might be one reason of course, the humidity is pitiless, but then again it could be good old fashioned lazines. Lazy sometimes but friendly always, don't go forgetting your "hello, how are you's?," otherwise you won't get served.

This is Bermudian politics. Ooh, now there is a thing. Britain's oldest colony is ruled by an interesting character called Dr Ewart Brown, leader of the Progressive Labour Party (PLP). Brown is a strong advocate of an independent Bermuda (the last referendum on the subject was downed by 74% of the vote against independence) and he makes no secret of it. You would have thought that Brown, who has lived nearly all of his life since the age of eleven outside of Bermuda (he has US citizenship), would be in less of a position to judge on what the Bermuda people want, but he doesn't. Arrogance doesn't go down well in this little country, but Ewart Brown appears to make up for it.

The PLP often talk about 'black empowerment' doing nothing for the racial harmony of an island where 60% of the 65,000 population are black. Ex-pats often talk of racial tensions, although so far I haven't seen any. That maybe because I walk around with my eyes shut or more likely because I spent 28 years in Catford and not the home counties and I lived in Chicago and not Connecticut.

This is Bermuda and I'm lucky to be here. I look out of my front windows at the sail boats as they glide across gemstone waters, I walk up Queen Street on the way to work from the ferry stop and am greeted by almost everyone that passes by and then when you think this is a small place, I am fortuitous enough to be out on a catamaran (more than once) this last week and find a whole new appreciation of this unspoiled and beautiful isle from the ocean. 

This is Bermuda.
Saturday 13 September 2008
  Addicks 1 Wolves 3 No sign yet of the club's internet commentary, although the ones that tuned into local Black Country radio seemed to think we were well beat. The Reading game sure does seem a long time ago, doesn't it? And watching Hull's win at Newcastle only emphasised our sudden fall from Premiership grace.

A phone call with a mate has given me a little more enlightenment to our performance, and Varney should have put us further ahead early in the 2nd half. Nevertheless we were constantly on the back foot with Wolves, without Iwelumo who got injured in the warm-up, always in the ascendency. Bailey's goal did sound a cracker though, pity I won't be able to see it!

Like Preston, I also fancy Wolves' chances this season and the 3 goals today takes their total to 16 for the season. However of course that is the 2nd consecutive game we have thrown away a two-goal lead, and at 80 minutes I would have settled for a draw.

The result doesn't do much for my recent unexplainable torpor, once again as an overseas Addick I'm feeling very detached from the goings on, my expectations this season are not great but the next two games need to put a smile back on our faces.

A word from Pards: "Learning."
Addick thoughts:; Charlton Life; Blackheath Addicted; Drinking During the Game; Deepest Darkest; All Quiet; Addicks Diary.
Wolves' thoughts: Mick McCarthy.
In the press: News Shopper; BBC Sport; Sky Sports;
Next: Donny away on Tuesday. A six pointer? Match commentary?? 
Friday 12 September 2008
  Yassin - is it just me? Reading Pards' comments this morning and certainly from reading in-between the lines, it looks to me as if Martin Cranie will take Moots place at right-back on Saturday. That is a shame because I love the young Frenchman. I know he is liable to make the odd mistake, but his presence down the right flank gives the team so much more pace and offensive threat. His link up play with Sam in the Reading game was one of many highlights and they just couldn't cope with the pairs movement and in sync overlapping. I hope Pardew hasn't tinkered again to the detriment of the team's ability to create goalscoring chances.

Linvoy Primus' loan arrangement has finally been sealed I see, although I hear he looks very ring rusty in the couple of reserve outings he has played in. As I said before how long do we pay him and bring him upto sfull fitness before he is any good to us? Hopefully before the middle of December!

I see that West Ham's sponsor XL has gone belly up. XL Leisure follow Zoom Airlines, who went into bankruptcy just last month and Spanish operator Seguro Travel which collapsed a few days ago. Still owed £5m, the Hammers' case is all too similiar to our previous leisure partner seeking brand awareness. Frankly there was never any brand. No doubt Thomas Cook will be next, but that is sure not to bother Man City's new owners.

It's been quite a week for West Ham chairman Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, whose Icelandic bank who backed XL with a large loan as they tried to shore of their leaky reserves. Spare a thought though for all those happy Hammers' who bought XL (they all fit perfectly I am told) sponsored shirts within the last few weeks.

Finding a new sponsor willing to pay in the region of £5m to £10m maybe difficult as West Brom have found out. Tomorrow Albion play West Ham at the Hawthorns. When was the last time a game took place with teams wearing no shirt sponsorship? 
Thursday 11 September 2008
  The Bermuda Regiment One of the young guys in my team, a Bermudian, recently asked me to write him a letter so he could avoid a night's "Regiment Training." He had a good excuse - he was out on the lash with me.

I was intrigued about the Bermuda Regiment, so I did some research, particularly after reading today's newspaper and seeing that some of the battalion have been sent to Turks and Caicos following the severe damage caused by Hurricane Ike.

There are only 27 full time members of Bermuda's army, led by Commander William White, but a further 600 or so males aged between 18 and 30 are conscripted by a compulsory ballot to join the Regiment for a minimum period of 3 years. Women somewhat strangely in this century, are not allowed to join. Training takes place regularly throughout the year, chiefly at the Regiment's headquarters located at Warwick Camp, which is along the south shore of the island, but also occassionally overseas in Jamaica, North Carolina and in Quebec.

Being a British overseas territory, Bermuda's defence is the responsibility of United Kingdom, and the Regiment comes under the control of Governor Richard Gozney. The role mainly of the regiment appears to be helping with the police with internal security (they took over responsibility for security at the airport immediately after 9/11 when US airspace was shut down), ceremonial duties, community events and disaster relief post any hurricanes.

However the Bermuda Regiment has come in for a lot of criticism recently, by both Bermudians, ex-pats willing to speak out, the British Government and the MOD. A study found that equipment and practices were outdated and often unusable and it took a recent Bermudian Supreme Court decision to uphold that conscription is a lawful process.

Most of the guys I speak tend too grumble about their experiences, although I would suspect it does bring together racial and class differences, an often uneasy bedfellow on this idyllic isle, but then again helping move trees or fix roofs is hardly being conscripted to the Israeli Army is it? 
  A day of memories 7 years ago. It's hard to believe. 
Monday 8 September 2008
  Murray - too good to hurry I know he's Scottish, but then so again is Colin Walsh and Sweaty Balmer, but after yesterday's and Saturday's performance against Rafa Nadal, I'm certainly going to be cheering Andy Murray on tonight in the US Open final. New Yorkers I am sure will be cheering on Federer, although without the final many craved and an unexplained revised start time of 5pm, a few Brits (such as New York Addick) might fill some vacated seats to support the 21-year old.

Andy Murray and his personality is certainly not everyone's cup of tea, and blimey does the boy need a shave, but Greg Rusedski (US Open runner up in 1997) was Canadian and Murray's birthplace Glasgow is slightly closer to south London than Pietermaritzburg, the birthplace of Kevin Pietersen, so I'm in.

I love watching Federer, the bloke is class, but Murray is proving that he has the range of shots, and athleticism plus a new found calmness and resolution to win a grand slam and that might well be tonight.

The timing is not great for me though as I have a client dinner at 7pm, which also coincides with our first Bermuda visitor. She is one-half of the couple we first met in Chicago almost two years ago, and we have since spent time together in New York, London and Houston, so it will be good to host her here in Bermuda until she leaves on Thursday night. 
  In the altogether Not including my daily ferry commute, up until Friday I had yet to venture out on the water despite being here for over 2 months. Almost from every vantage point you can see the clear and inviting sea that surrounds Bermuda's 138 different islands, and as the days wore on I was becoming even more desperate to jump into it, even from the ferry.

So last Friday I decided that we needed a team bonding afternoon, so two of the guys in the team that have boats took us out to the far west peninsula of the island near Somerset Village and the Cambridge Beaches resort, to a small little beach called Mangrove Bay (photo left). We moored up, dived into the fish-laden waters, played with a jet-ski and wakeboard and cranked up the barbie and ate and drank ourselves into a Friday afternoon slumber.

Like the island's pink and blue buses, boat trips are now coming thick and fast, as I'm on three more this week! Tomorrow we have a client here, who likes nothing more than to carry out his business here whilst snorkling, Wednesday our team are taking out some of the island's underwriters for a sunset cruise and then Friday afternoon our big cheese boss is taking a few of us out on his new boat, for what was fascinatingly described as a meeting.

Someone told me that something I'd have to adjust to in business here is how quickly you get used to seeing colleagues and client's part naked. Look around your office and tell me how much you don't want to see people you work with in their swimwear, okay your bosses secretary aside? Well, here it is all for one, and one for all as the beach and the ocean is an extension of the staff canteen. My only quandary was that I am officially the palest person on the island. Hopefully by next Friday I might have a bit more colour, and not all red. 
Thursday 4 September 2008
  Not a laughing matter You know I've always been in the not bothered camp when it comes to Curbishley. Yes he gave me one of the most joyous days of my life, and he did sign a book for me once for my son, trouble was I ended up reading it. There is no doubting his legendary Charlton status and deservedly so, but all that "I am a lifelong West Ham fan praps, praps" got on my wick a bit to be quite honest.

As for Kevin Keegan, as a young 'un I used to run around the back garden pretending to be both Steve Heighway and King Kev (without the perm), he was the dogs' wasn't he? But that was before I was introduced to one Paddy Powell and Killer Hales.

And despite one being from Mars and the other from Venus in football terms, the two men today probably unknowingly locked arms and gave a collective middle finger to the arse holes who now run our football clubs. And bloody hats off to King Kev and Curbs too.

Newcastle United is nothing short of a tragedy, Shakespeare if he was around today would be writing their matchday programme. West Ham of course, dare we forget is more of an academy than a tragedy but a clever anagrammatist would take but a few seconds to create the same sorry thing.

Once upon a time I would've been laughing my head off at the antics these last few days. Citeh fans wearing keffiyeh's and daydreaming of pre-season tours in the Persian Gulf, Geordies demonstrating on steps outside St James' wearing, well a short sleeved 1980's black and white football top, what else would they be wearing? And the happy Hammers puffing their chests out dreaming of World Cup victories and Trevor Brooking headers but not realising that some Icelandic nobody has leveraged their famous club up to the hilt.

But I am not laughing because the game that we all love and grew up on is no longer our game. These megalomaniac's don't care about us or our communities, the managers who we either boo or sing their name depending on the scoreline no longer hold any power in our football clubs and players, who are paid twice the annual average wage in one week, have the cheek to kiss the badge of the team that we love and think that they are one of us. Well fuck them.

Let them, their debt and their Arabs all poodle off to a European League and play in front of empty seats and empty dreams. Take Sky with them and their badge and arse kissing and the rest of us will do our best to cope without them. 
Wednesday 3 September 2008
  Ex-Addick in shock departure! After being installed by the bookies to be the first manager to leave his post this season and following a big turnaround of playing staff and then the board blaming themselves for his appointment, it came as no surpise to Addicks today to see Kim Grant being relieved of his duties as manager of Woking!

Granty (as I used to call him), was hailed as the new messiah when he was appointed in the summer at Kingfield. Back then chairman David Taylor said: "We have made the fundamental decision to have a completely new approach to football. If we are going to revitalise the club we had to do something very, very different. Kim and Phil were selected because of their track record and their in-depth knowledge of the game."

Well after 7 games Woking appear to be on their next "new approach" after Granty was relieved of his duties with Woking 2nd from bottom of Blue Square Premier with just 2 points. Chairman Taylor also offered to resign but his board disagreed as they can't wait to hear about his next "completely new approach."

But Kim shouldn't worry because with his pedigree of being a lifelong Hammers fan (he was born in Sekondi-Takoradi, just north of the Bow Road), an ex-Addick and with a craving for custard creams, he appears a cert for the now vacant job down at the Boleyn
Tuesday 2 September 2008
  Wheels I must have put up about 425 pictures this weekend. Well not really but you know, with walls made of about 5 different materials from thick 3ft stone to sandstone to dry wall, it was all I seemed to do, oh and run my thumb under the cold water periodically after I whacked it.

Anyway you needed to know that. After 5 years of doing my teeny bit for the planet in Chicago by not owning any wheels, we have succumbed here. The ferry and the bus are okay but without transport, Bermuda can seem pretty isolate even on a 21-square mile island. Therefore I have probably bought not only the most expensive car ever but also the smallest and whitest! It is probably making it's way through the Panama Canal now on a big ship. We have also bought a Vespa. I will likely only ride it around the garden, but other-half is excited and we get that later this week.

This is not the place for car buffs. Only one car is allowed per household, and only then if the property qualifies. The cost is twice of what they are in the UK due to a hideous duty tax (about 150%) and the choice, limited by width, length and engine capacity is not big. Never did I think that I would purr over a hairdressers car, but with a speed limit of 21mph cutting my hair whilst driving could actually be a pastime (only joking).

They also corrode quickly due to the salt-air but with the government trying to eliminate second-hand cars over a certain age, they remarkably hold their value, so after long consideration we went new which also included a lengthy warranty and an anti-corrosion service.

With more than 2,300 vehicles per square mile it is no surprise that one of the biggest moans here is the traffic. Who'd have thought a 5-mile commute can cause such consternation at the coffee machine in the morning?

And one other thing, I've got to do another bloody driving test. My third. How many driving tests does a man have to do? And you'll like this. A Bermuda driving licence is valid anywhere in the world, but an American one or a European one is not accepted here in the land of 21mph speed limits and 35 miles of single lane roadways. Gotta love 'em. 
  And ZZ makes three Linvoy Primus will play in an Addicks' shirt tonight for the first time in 14 years in a reserve cup tie at Loftus Road. He will partner young Benfleet boy Taylor Sinfield in defence. Darren Ambrose, Josh Wright, Toddy and Fleetwood also play.

So Pards had a late night signing Martin Cranie just before midnight on loan until year-end. Unlike Primus, Cranie is at least fit and could appear for the England U21's at Wembley on Friday. Cranie was well thought off as a member of Southampton's successful youth team and after various loan spells Harry Redknapp took him to Fratton Park last summer. Unfortunately just week's after Simon Walton broke his leg at QPR, Cranie suffered the same fate in his 7th game of what was supposed to be a 3-month loan. The six-footer can play either at right or centre-back.

The 3rd transfer deadline signing was ZZ, meaning that it's like having a new player as no one expected him still to be at The Valley. Yesterday whilst Man City were throwing around more dirham's than you can sheikh a stick at, West Brom were also quite active picking up a couple of defenders but not any Chinese midfielders. The local press up there were stating that we were holding out for more money, and if that is true, then good for us.

Give the boy a rest and then add him to Todorov, Ambrose, Primus and Cranie and suddenly our squad doesn't look so threadbare.

Other transfer gossip yesterday involved Jon Fortune, who was linked to Preston. I guess he missed the bus home and was seen wandering around Deepdale, probably still being chased by The Beast! 
  Internet commentary nears It has come to light that Charlton are currently testing with Premium TV the ability to provide internet commmentary along with video interviews and highlights. The service will cost £35 and be optional.

Furthermore, importantly this arrangement means that the current will remain independent and not go down the route of other clubs indentikit websites laden with adverts.

Hopefully the service which will be for all Addicks not just us estranged overseas will be up and running in time for the Donny game. 
About Me
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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