Chicago Addick living in Bermuda
Sunday 30 November 2008
  Trump Trumped
As you may or may not be aware, throughout almost my entire time in Chicago I followed the story of what is to become America's 2nd tallest skyscraper, relegating the Empire State to 3rd. The Trump Tower has been partly occupied since March but not suprisingly the sale of the 825 condominium units in the 1,362ft tower has hit the rails. And whose fault is that? God. Yep, Donald Trump, the man with hair that has a life on it's own, has run into a few financial 'issues' and has declared he needs more time to repay the £430,438,400 loan on the 92-storey building (and you thought you had a big mortgage!)

Trump is playing the 'act of war' card in a lawsuit against his lenders in Chicago claiming that a global economic meltdown is akin to an earthquake, nuclear war, tsunami or a hurricane. I have to admire his balls, especially as the Trumpster was last seen in public declaring his 'victory' over conservationists in constructing a brand new golf resort in Aberdeen costing £1bn. He owes £67m on his Chicago building and is attempting to amend the terms of his loan and claim £2m in damages! He has already extended the loan once.

I found the above recent snapshot of the building, the spire has yet to go on I believe. A helicopter is expected to be used in installation. Meanwhile work has ground to a halt on the planned 2,000 ft high Santiago Calatrava Spire on the Lakeshore as it has at the Shangri-La Hotel on West Wacker St. The city of big shoulders is finding it extra hard in the current credit crunch.
Saturday 29 November 2008
  Addicks 0 Saints 0 I was thinking to myself how many other things could go wrong when I tuned into CAFC TV and realised that I was paying to listen to the Wigan v West Brom game. You have to laugh. My Saints and Addick reporters at The Valley told similar stories and, especially first half, it sounded another improved performance with a rare clean sheet. But it wasn't the much needed win that was required and we are in a relegation battle no doubt. Perhaps we could loan some emergency luck this week instead of some players?

Opinions from those at The Valley: Drinking During the Game; Addicks DiaryA Red Divided; Blackheath Addicted; Charlton Athletic Online; Deepest Darkest; Doctor Kish.
Reports:; Telegraph; This is Hampshire; The Times; Kent Online.
Parky: "That was a big improvement from where we've been at The Valley, getting beat 5-2, being three goals down at half-time, etc, and it gives us something to build on."
Friday 28 November 2008
  Bump on head A day off today as our office was closed for Thanksgiving, but hardly enjoyable as I had to use most of it to recover from an afternoon of stupid drinking as I was part of a group of grown men who forgot their responsibilities and were downing Limoncello like it was lemon squash. It might explain the bump on the side of my head and why it's a bit frosty in our house this evening.

As usual in these circumstances I 'mislaid' my company credit card and my Blackberry, which doubles as my mobile, but for once I managed to recover both items much to my surprise.

Tomorrow morning I'm meeting a fellow Addick for a pre-match breakfast and then tomorrow night we are cooking a Thanksgiving dinner for 6 other Brits, which includes two of yesterday's culprits. I'm thinking it could be a bit low-key.

To bed now to see if I can dream up tomorrow's Charlton line-up. I've probably more chance of a cuddle to be honest! 
Thursday 27 November 2008
  Nicky Johns I heard on the grapevine and since had it confirmed that ex-Addick Nicky Johns lost his 26-year old son, Stephen, to cancer this week. Awful and terrible news and I am sure all Addicks' hearts go out to this brilliant ex-keeper and his family.

His football career ended at Maidstone United under Keith Peacock and although Nicky is a qualified UEFA 'A' standard coach, he was in a terrible car accident about 4 or 5 years ago and has been unable to physically coach. He was assistant manager at Erith Town, but recently worked for Crystal Palace's community scheme. 
  Varney to leave Temporarily anyway. To Derby on loan until January and back to his family and friends in the area. Being a bit of a saddo, I felt quite sorry for Luke after his umpteenth open-goal miss on Tuesday night, but no one would feel sorry for me here if I kept cocking my job up, and his job is sticking the ball in the back of the net and for all of his running around he simply is not up to this level of football, or has had the coaching to bring up to the grade. Go on, now watch him score goals at will at The Rams.

With Gray still a weekly doubt due to his home issues, it must be time for Dickson or McLeod to get a run, both scored in the reserves yesterday.

Apparently tonight at 5pm is the emergency loan deadline. I never knew that, I just thought you kept on signing them until you ran out of coat hooks in the dressing room! 23-year old left back Jay McEveley might come in the other direction, a player whose career has come spiraling down since his promising career at Blackburn practically ended when he broke Djibril Cisse's leg in a gruesome tackle that got wide disdain.

UPDATE 11.15am: Varney to Derby with a view to a permanent. McEveley on a 3-month loan and Deon Burton from Sheff Wed, who has a similiar recent goalscoring record to Varney but did get his first goal of the season last week. (more
  Fiiiish No not the most stupid 'song' ever sung by Charlton fans but the fish now sat outside my office. I came to this new job with a number of objectives and ambitions, and one was to boost morale and ardour amongst my new colleagues. So one minute my view was of a printer and now we have a proper 35-gallon fish tank that we bought from e-moo (a kind of Bermuda ebay). I can't tell you how popular we have become around the office!

We have a few guppies in there as 'starter fish' to get us going and to establish a bacteria bed. Wooooh, listen to me. I'll snap some photos in due course and post them up, better than that bloody cyber fish on the scoreboard. 
Wednesday 26 November 2008
  QPRhaha 2 Addicks 1 I've spent the whole morning trying to cancel my CAFC TV membership. Whose bloody idea was it to let us overseas nobodies be allowed to listen to games?

I felt rather depressed last night, I swapped a few emails with my New York cohort, and went home from work feeling very disconsolate. The league table, which I have been tending to avoid staring at, does look particularly gruesome.

I am trying to take heart from the various match accounts from Addicks at the game. In just 3 days Parky did have them more cohesive and positive and he made a couple of brave selection decisions. Saturday does become a do or die game however.

Our run of 9 games without a win and 11 games where we have conceded first is very disconcerting. On paper I've been happy with the centre-half pairing of Primus and Hudson, the latter has often put in some man of the match performances but it ain't working and whilst the full-backs under Pardew and Parkinson have been blamed, chopped and changed, it is the middle pairing that causes me the most anxiety.

The fact also is that we need to score goals and our creativity this season, and last (look at Iwelumo at Wolves) has been non-existent. Gillespie and a more consistent Bouazza hopefully will improve that but it must be time to try a couple of other strikers from the merry troop in the reserves.

Overall opinions were better though last night, and the players got some strong backing from the 700 in the subbuteo stadium, please let that continue Saturday at The Valley.

Opinions from those at Loftus Road: Drinking During the Game; Doctor Kish; All Quiet.
Reports:; Telegraph; The Times.
Parky: "Obviously it's been a traumatic weekend for the club. Everyone knows Charlton is a fantastic club and has got some tremendous people behind the scenes. At the moment it's my responsibility to get a team which can put in a performance that people can be proud of." 
Tuesday 25 November 2008
  They need us I was talking to my brother last night and he came up with an old expression that we used to use, and that is: "They need me bro." And looking around the Addick sites it seems like a lot of others are thinking the same. Whether Parky is the right man or not, he gets my 100% support as do the players and I am sure probably up to twice as many Addicks will make the journey over to Loftus Road tonight to give the team it's full backing.

For all those that said the Premiership was boring, Curbs grinding out 0-0's was boring, well we've had our share of excitement and Parky, who I thought gave a good account of himself in his first press conference, deserves every ounce of our support, whether you can get over there tonight to their subbuteo stadium, or whether like me you will be willing the boys on from afar.

Come on you Reds! 
Monday 24 November 2008
  Odds From Victor Chandler:

Aidy Boothroyd 5/4
Alan Curbishley 3/1
Phil Parkinson 5/1
Lawrie Sanchez 10/1
Gus Poyet 11/1
Billy Davies 11/1
Sam Allardyce 12/1
Steve Tilson 14/1
Steve Cotterill 14/1
Joe Kinnear 16/1
David OLeary 16/1
Andy Hessanthaler 18/1
Mark Kinsella 20/1
Ian Holloway 22/1
Dennis Wise 22/1
Chris Powell 28/1
Glenn Hoddle 28/1
Iain Dowie 33/1
John Gregory 33/1

Dowie at 33's, probably the reason why you never see a poor bookie? 
  Two more loans in today It's never dull being an Addick is it? Now we find out in Parky's second day in the job that two new faces will arrive and possibly start tomorrow night at Loftus Road.

Keith Gillespie, yet to play this season for Sheffield United but a regular in the Northern Ireland side, has signed until 3rd round FA Cup day and Heidar Helguson is also set to sign after getting the hump with QPR after they insisted he stay with them until the end of the transfer deadline.

Both have potential permanent-signing material, and give a boost to Parky for his debut tomorrow. Gillespie I have always liked and at 33, is a bout of aggression and experience we have missed and his right foot it slightly more cultured than Lloyd Sam.

Helguson I assume will take the short term place of Gray, who with what is going on his life, needs to take some time out from the game. Expect Waghorn and Helguson to start tomorrow night. 
  No comment from Chappell Anyone else wondering what has happened to Derek Chappell and Steve Waggott? It was Richard Murray that was the front man to the media when Zabeel entered out lives and put us under indicative offer, and then it was Richard again who announced Pardew's departure on Saturday evening. What an earth do the other two do?

Of course we have no idea what goes on in the boardroom but I finding their lack of communication during one of the most difficult times for the club wholly unsatisfactory. Waggott did appear to lead the charge for the fans forum and CATV, credit where credit is due, but as for Derek Chappell, apart from a brief ungrammatical appearance on Charlton Life, the only time he came out and said anything was when he failed to show up for a supporters club meeting: "I'm not one for using the phrase 'no comment' as I usually have plenty to say in heading up the club," he said. How ridiculous. 
Sunday 23 November 2008
  Rally behind the shirt I'm going to leave the rumours on our next manager to ill informed journalists and dreamers, although they could do a lot worse than read New York Addick's intelligent layout of potential successors here.

In the meantime it is about getting back to supporting the shirt. It's time for the boo boys and antagonists to rally behind the team. Out of adversery comes Charlton Athletic and all that.

I'm not convinced that Parky is the answer, and then again the board may not feel that either, but it is time for everyone to take a deep breath and allow him a chance to prove himself. Some have said he was a ready made replacement, I think he is tainted by his association but then again if it was my boss that left, I'd be desperate to be given the chance to prove that I'm up for the challenge too. QPR comes quick, but Parky could well be given the next three games - Southampton (h), Blackpool (a) and Coventry (h) as well to stake his claim.

On Sky Sports tonight Parkinson talked about characters, pride and passion. Those words have been made to sound pretty empty these past few months, hopefully Parky is more action than soundbites. 
I was in a coffee shop in Hamilton on Saturday afternoon when I checked my Blackberry to see what the score was. 1-5 it read. It had been one of those weeks.

I get weeks when I just seem to disappear. Work takes over, clients take over and I wake up on a Saturday and wonder what I have done in the past 5 days and who I've seen. It all gets a bit suffocating. I was out every night last week with clients, but as always was unable to help myself and went out for a couple on Friday after watching the Christmas lights being turned on (photo) at the City Hall and then last night with some friends to an end of season cricket dinner. I'm tired but this week will be a short week with the American's forcing Thanksgiving on us. Thank you America.

Thanksgiving Day is of course Thursday, my Bermudian boss rather us have the Friday off, which is okay with me as that allows me to join 19 other Brits at an alternative Thanksgiving lunch on Thursday afternoon. One week later will be on our way to Utah for some early season skiing.... hopefully.
Saturday 22 November 2008
  Pardew leaves "My record coming to this club has been good, but it's been difficult here. When I arrived they were on the slide and I haven't been able to stop that." - ex-Charlton manager Alan Pardew

One assumes that Alan Pardew accepted his fate in the boardroom about 90 minutes ago by agreeing to leave the club by mutual consent. The board had no choice after the shocking performance today at The Valley and the curtains have come down on what initially had the great potential to be an exciting new act in the club's history but sadly instead turned into an ugly horror show. The board has made the right decision, but the next decision will be the hardest of all.

Upon the first whisper of Pardew's departure on the net I decided to go out and hit a few golf balls. Alan Pardew can go out tomorrow morning and do the same, with a clearer head than mine and a much larger wallet.

I like Pardew I really did, for all of his bull and self-aggrandizing. I, like others was chuffed to bits when he appeared like Santa Claus two Christmas' ago but it has not worked out for either party. From afar I willed him to get it right but his record since the turn of the year is simply relegation fodder. 9 wins in the last 37 games. This is a harsh reality and his tinkering, hogwash and until recently lack of ruefulness only added to the weight of support against him. Soooper, Super Al seeems like a lifetime ago.

If Dowie can get two jobs since driving out of Harvey Gardens for the last time, then Pardew will surely be working again soon but he's gone now and our attention turns to the board but my faith in them getting the right man is fragile, I hope they prove me wrong.

Phil Parkinson will do for now but he is tainted by association and should not be considered. Let the rumours begin but please not another ex-West Ham manager. 
Tuesday 18 November 2008
  Red Bullshit I was watching a bit of Major League Soccer on the box last weekend and saw New York Red Bull slide underservedly past Real Salt Lake 1-0 to win the Western Conference Final. All fine I thought as NY now go on to play Chicago Fire's conquerors Columbus Crew 2-1 in the final, or MLS Cup as it's called.

Well not really because hang on a minute New York don't even play in the Western Conference, not the last time I looked at the map anyhow, and I've just looked at the final league tables and they contrived to finish 5th out of 7 teams in the Eastern Conference losing 11 games in the progress. Now I'm all for play-off's but the American way of giving everyone a prize is frankly laughable.

I've followed the MLS for five seasons and I have tried desperately to rally behind it but these kind of decisions made by the powers that be make the professional game amateurish in the extreme, they may as well bring back shoot-outs.

With the MLS planning to expand to 18 teams by 2011, I wonder if the time is right for a single league with a proper league champion? Columbus Crew were the best team by the way, so lets hope they beat the frickin' New York Red Bulls on Saturday night to at least give the game some respectability. 
Monday 17 November 2008
  Young Wag Well, what d'you reckon? 18-year old Martyn Waghorn from Sunderland our new saviour? Good luck to the kid, he comes from good stock, although worryingly has only just returned from a knee injury. There are some useful reports of him around the net but what does this say about players such as Izale McLeod, Chris Dickson and Stuart Fleetwood? All players signed by Pardew. Anyway he's one of our's now, lets give the lad all of our support.

Meanwhile Dickson, Fortune and Racon all play for the ressies tonight against Palarse in the Combination Possibly The Longest Name for A Cup competition. 
  Line out

I didn't end up going on Saturday night but for those of you following the week's rugby via my blog, the Classic Lions defeated the Classic All Blacks 15-9 in the final in what a mate told me was a fantastic night that went on well after the game ended. The Classic Pumas beat the French by the same score in the plate beforehand.

*A review of the week's events from the World Rugby Classic website.
*A 90 minute highlights show from on and off the field will be broadcast on
Sky Sports at Christmas. 

Saturday 15 November 2008
  Blues 3 Addicks 2 "Quite simply we played a stunning game of football from 15 to 45 minutes today." - Latimer on Charlton Life

Not sure if it was me or not, but I couldn't work the audio commentary on CAFC TV today, all the other bits worked a treat. Glad it only cost me 99p! So this evening I am more disappointed with that than the team, whom from what I can ascertain put on another battling performance. The conditions sounded poor and Weaver made two crucial errors, which cost us in the 10 minutes following half time. Shame because it sounded as if we were excellent the 30 minutes before the break and then Sam, Bouazza and Holland combined to miss a sitter just before they equalised.

Hopefully tomorrow I can watch the highlights because both of our goals sounded delightful and extra credit to Gray who I understand is playing despite some awful personal issues. We didn't have the wherewithal to take advantage of Birmingham's 10-men after Quashie got his marching orders on the hour but there is no doubt that Birmingham in this division are very good opposition, especially at St Andrews and of course with that blimmin' age-old Addick adversery Kevin Phillips in their line up.

Anyone calling for Pardew's head at the moment is doing the team no favours, just one point from two tough away games doesn't tell the true story of a group of players fighting for their manager.

Addick thoughts:; Charlton Life.
Pardswallop: "We had Birmingham in a lot of trouble during the game but unfortunately a couple of mistakes have cost us dear."
Bluenose thoughts: Alex McLeish.
In the press: Sky Sports; News Shopper; The Mail; Mirror; Guardian; Telegraph.
Next: Back to an edgy Valley to play Sheffield United.
  CAFC TV Personally not impressed by CAFC TV as I can't get the commentary to work, everything else is fine and sounds like I'm missing quite a game too. Quashie just been sent off. Come on Charlton! 
Friday 14 November 2008
  Heineken smeineken The friendly confines of St Andrews. Not. I have witnessed some charming events at this lovely little ground - sorry you can put in all the shiny blue seats you want, the fat hairy neanderthals are still the same. Good luck to the boys on and off the pitch tomorrow.

So I'm all signed up for CAFC TV. Lets wait and see if it works tomorrow shall we? No new loan signings, and a few injury niggles but an unchanged line-up looks likely.

Last night I was again at the rugby, which was another hugely enjoyable night. Meeting up with another Addick and putting the world to rights whilst watching the Classic Lions beat the Classic All Blacks only added to the occasion, and at some point I obviously managed to consume vast amounts of Heineken too. The Classic Lions now play the Classic Springboks in the final Saturday, which I can't seem to get a ticket for.

One of the highlights of the evening was in one of the sponsor's tent. The company sponsored the Classic US Eagles and the team came in the tent to have a beer and say a couple of thank you's. Then one of the American players stood on a chair and proceeded to lead the team in a couple of classic rugby songs to a mixed reaction from suits. The thing was, the player leading the vocals was about as south-London as me! 
Thursday 13 November 2008
  Scrum A bit chillier last night at the Rugby Classic but as much fun nevertheless. I missed the first game because I was, er shall we call it socialising, but later watched the South African's outclass a hard working Australian team 21-0. The Springboks had pace which belied their collective ages and were led by one of the finest No. 8's the world has ever seen Bob Skinstad, who last year was taking part in the Rugby World Cup.

More tonight at the National Stadium as the Classic Lions play the Classic All Blacks for the right to meet the Springboks in the final on Saturday. Before that the Classic Pumas take on the Classic US Eagles in the plate. 
Wednesday 12 November 2008
  Ruck The rugby was excellent on Monday night, so much so that I will go along again tonight. It was ideal weather to be outside and I must stop saying this like I'm living in Sierra Leone, but once again the organisation of the event was exemplary. What amazed me though was how hard the players fought for everything, no sign of a jolly out there on the field as one of the US Eagles players could tell you today, if he can remember, after he was knocked full out by a right hook from a New Zealander. Yellow card and the sin-bin for the offending player, gotta love rugby.

In the first game the Classic US Eagles gave the Classic All Blacks a hell of game, finally losing 29-15 which flattered the winners, who had 34-year old and capped 23 times, Scott Robinson in their line up. Afterwards the Classic Lions made very hard work of beating the Classic Pumas 14-5. The Lions side included Shane Byrne, Axel Foley and Barry Williams with JPR Williams assisting from the touchline in his post-rugby career of doctor.

Both the All Blacks and the Lions progress to the semis and the Eagles and Pumas will meet in the Plate on Thursday. Tonight Australia take on holders the Springboks, whilst before that France play Canada in the Plate. The finals are Saturday.

I was pretty good on Monday night getting home before midnight. I might save my drinking boots for Thursday, and take it easy tonight but we shall see. 
  CAFCTV and Fans Forum Two recent Charlton things that've been announced have pleased me. One is the launch of CAFCTV, which is supposed to be today and the other is the Fans Forum. Both issues I have overtly been banging on about for a couple of years.

The Fans Forum will consist of 6 season ticket holders, each from different areas of the ground, Charlton Athletic Disabled Supporters' Association chairman Tony Garrett and three overseas supporters.

The season ticket holders were the only six that applied, originally the club were offering three places, but the panel decided to offer all six 6-month probationary periods. The three overseas candidates are each known to me and they are fans based in Australia, Canada and Sweden. Tel in Australia is a regular Charlton Life poster though and does spend a lot of time home in Kent and expects to attend the Forum meetings, the first of which is touted for the end of this month.

For me the key thing now is how the Forum will be communicated to the broader fanbase, particularly those at home. Two of the picks are members on Charlton Life but what about the others? Are they seriously going to walk around the East and West Stands and gauge opinion? From an overseas persepctive, each of the three fans selected already have a portal to the outside world.

Tel in Australia has the Addicks Down Under forum, Lars Liljegren has Swedish Addicks and Bob developed and runs the highly active Ontario supporters chapter in Hamilton. Tony also has CADSA, in which to share opinions.

Just for the record, a someone told me they'd heard that I'd applied and wasn't selected. I didn't but I personally think all three overseas Addicks selected will do this project proud.

CAFCTV is due to be released today, the site is already active and since it was first announced it has seemingly taken an age to come to fruition. Credit to Steve Waggott and the board for structuring this arrangement with Premium TV without compromising the identity of the official website and I hope there is a lot of take-up.

Of course this kind of service is well overdue, and as some I know have already parted with cash and got nothing in return, I think we'd do well to wait until the club announces more today. 
Tuesday 11 November 2008
  Remembrance Day The 11th hour, on the 11th day of the 11th month. Bermuda takes today very seriously and the day is a national holiday with shops and businesses closed to remember those that were lost. The island lost a lot of countrymen during both world wars fighting overseas on behalf of the Brits, Americans and Canadians protecting the freedom of those home in Bermuda. The Home Guard were joined by Bermudians in Royal Naval Dockyard who kept the Atlantic supply lines open, ensuring the British and Americans received essential supplies.

At 11am today guns are fired at Fort Hamilton and Ordnance Island, St. George's, to signal the two-minute silence and a parade by veterans is held in Hamilton ending with wreaths being laid at the Cenotaph on Front Street (below).

I have some fun things planned for today and I am grateful for a day off but I know it could have been so very different if it wasn't for those that gave their lives to allow us to live ours.

"If ye break faith with us who die, we will not sleep, though poppies grow in Flander's fields."  
Monday 10 November 2008
  World Rugby Classic Tonight I'm off to watch the 2nd night of the Bermuda Rugby Classic at the National Stadium. In the 70's and early 80's Bermuda successfully invited a number of 1st class nations to play exhibition games here and some of the players liked the camaraderie and the rum cocktails so much they helped instigate a veteran's tournament that came to fruition in 1988. Players such as Willie John McBride and JPR Williams were early guests as teams from all over the world came to contest the tournament.

Wales won that first tournament in 1988 and South Africa won last year's title. By all accounts it is a load of fun and the senior players take it seriously, almost as serious in fact as their partying all over the island, with each team occupying local establishments. Canada had appeared to have taken over the Swizzle Inn at Bailey's Bay when we were there on Saturday night.

The Bermuda Rugby Classic is one of the year's biggest corporate events in Bermuda and I have been lucky enough to be invited every night this week. My liver won't take that, but I will keep you updated during the week of the happenings, on and off the field.

Tonight is considered the big one. Drinking wise that is, as tomorrow is a national holiday on the island. Oh, didn't I tell you? More tomorrow on that. Tonight has been renamed Friday night with no work tomorrow as New Zealand take on the USA and Argentina play the Classic Lions.

Other countries taking part this week are Canada, Australia, France and South Africa. Full schedule here
  Ambrose on his tractor? It looks like one of recent times most enigmatic Addicks is to leave by the end of today. Darren Ambrose signed by Curbs in the summer of 2005 after failing to live up to his early Ipswich potential at Newcastle, is expected to move to Ipswich on loan, with a view to a £250,000 permanent move in January.

Alan Pardew has said that Ambrose leaving will allow him to bring some new blood, but we have been here before, selling one of our more experienced and talented players without a replacement. Worries me.

Most Addicks won't be sad to see Ambrose go, although I have never doubted his commitment and he has often come out publicly saying the right things and seems an alright bloke. Trouble is invariably he has gone missing in crucial games, although he did have a nice habit of scoring important goals - 16 in 85 starts. But at the end of the day like Thomas before him, last season he should have set this poxy division alight, and he very rarely did.

His goalscoring record was never as good as it was previously, even at Newcastle and I do believe he suffered more than most from Curbs' insistance on 'utility players' and later Pards' tinkering. Maybe Jim Magilton will give him a run and get the best out of him, at least we don't have to play them again this season to find out. 
Sunday 9 November 2008
  Firework night Guy Fawkes made a comeback in my life Saturday. After giving up explaining who an earth Guy Fawkes was to people in Chicago, it came as a great surprise to see that Bermuda was hosting a firework party at Fort St Catherine Saturday night.

In Chicago they would throw a firework party at the drop of a hat, but here they are harder to come by. However we came across an article advertising the event in the newspaper and we drove to St George to get there just in time for the first flash of colours lighting up the pitch black sky.

Fort St Catherine has been at this extreme easterly point since 1614 and has been rebuilt many times, most recently in 1878. The impressive fort with it's drawbridge occupies a beautiful spot high over the ocean and the 16th hole at St George's Golf Club. A bonfire flashed away on the sandy bay and I stared at it watching sparkly shapes appear and flicker as I used to in my Mum & Dad's garden many moons ago.

I'll have to go back to Fort St Catherine to visit. The fort houses a museum, which is home to a collection of antique weapons and in the old artillery store there is a gallery of dioramas depicting Bermuda’s history. Also on display I read are replicas of the Crown Jewels. All this and a gorgeous sandy bay to stare up at it from. 
Saturday 8 November 2008
  Argyle 2 Addicks 2 "We played them off the park ..... for long periods the Greenies were forced to play like the away side." Oggy Red on Charlton Life.

Forgive me, I'd had my fill last week so today opted to get my haircut and trot around the shops. Nearly crashed the car though when I checked the score just as the results were coming in seeing us go ahead, only to let another one in at the death. Football eh?

Pardew did seem to get them to put in a much stronger performance, but another two goals allowed due to set pieces, what's that about? In fact, how many goals have we scored ourselves from open play this season? Not many for sure.

Credit to the boys for fighting back though, it showed some balls and top banana to the 521 Addicks that made the long journey in the heavy rain and finally I hope Semedo's injury is not too bad, that lad doesn't get an awful lot of luck.

Addick thoughts:; Charlton Life.
Pardswallop: "We have not stopped working on set-plays this week."
Pilgrim thoughts: Plymouth Herald.
In the press: Sky Sports; The Times; Kent Online; BBC Sport; Sporting Life; Daily Mail.
Next: Blues next Saturday at the friendly St Andrews. 
Thursday 6 November 2008
  If I was Pards If I was Pards, what would I be thinking driving to Bexley tonight to sit in front of a hundred or so fans, each I suspect mightily disgruntled. A lot of people would be filling up with dread, but I reckon Pardew actually thrives on these situations. Let's face it, many managers in the same situation would have made an excuse, but credit to Pardew for keeping the appointment.

Pardew is a confident, articulate and media savvy man. He will be content that he knows more about what is going on than the audience, and therefore be confident that he will have the psychological advantage in this kind of situation.

I think Pards plays a lot with the psyche of others, a cognitive applitude that frankly has come back to bite him on the arse recently it seems with his players and us, the fans. The board meanwhile appear to be ingesting his defiant bravado. Worringly, to me anyway, is the silence coming from the boardroom. I think Pardew has elicited a lot of support among the senior directors these past 23 months. I suspect they admire his understanding of the finances, honesty and self-assurance, something that obviously wasn't part of the relationship with Dowie.

If I was Pards I would still count on some support in the boardroom and if we can get a couple of results, I think he reckons our shortermism will bring some belief back on the terraces. We are in a results business and there are plenty of other examples of short-termed memories from fans, Cardiff and Dave Jones last season is a great example as is Colin Calderwood at Forest, and I think if I was Pards, I would take some comfort from that.

Pards has undeniably looked and appeared very insular during recent weeks. His touchline performances are light years away from the days he was running up and down the sidelines kissing supporters. It's probably his way of dealing with our current fate. Am I too close to the players, people say that he is. Am I too hard on some and too lenient on others? Evidence shows that he is. Do I tinker too much, and do I play to transfer market too much?

One thing is for sure, Pardew is a proud man, he is proud of his record and his knowledge of the game and I think he is proud of his ability to ride out tough situations. Tonight at the Bexley Sports and Social Club, he will come face to face with a tricky situation.

However if I was Pards, why would I walk away? The financial motives aside. I think I would take responsibility, show some contrition, work doubly hard and use it to enhance my reputation, which at the present is in tatters, and that will hurt Pardew the most. Walking away never solved anything. Sir Alex Ferguson could tell you that. 
Wednesday 5 November 2008
  Ignoring you know what Forget Saturday's game ever happened. Go on, try.....

Ok, done that? Right, I had a fabulous weekend at home, nope come on it didn't happen did it? We agreed.

It was pretty much perfect. Thursday I went into town to meet a couple of good mates for lunch. Afterwards I met a very old friend for coffee, someone I hadn't seen for 5 years and it was great to catch up with her and find out how others were doing. Thursday night I was in Hornchurch, which as always resulted in some acute laughing and even more acute drinking.

A combo of hangover and jet-lag, plus a furry chicken madras tongue was not the best preparation for work, but I'm fairly versatile and work went very well Friday. I then drove down to fellow-Addick in Chislehurst, where girls axed talk of football and a nice bottle of Barolo was consumed before we headed out to Sidcup to meet with three of my oldest mates. One of whom, we worked out I'd known for 39 years. Cue hours of catching up and old stories. We ended up in a place where I reckon I'd not felt as young in years! Alarming and comical at the same time. Top night.

Then the rest of the weekend was with son, and parents. I believed it rained the whole time I was back, but it could not dampen an excellent 5 days at home, except for an hour and a half, oh damn, that's your fault! 
  Historic moment "Now, I know jack, but when I was watching the baby faced state lawmaker the other night on TV, his presence and his words even made me think that I was watching the one day future President of the United States of America." Chicago Addick, July 2004.

"And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world - our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.

To those who would tear the world down - we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security - we support you.
And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright - tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope.

For that is the true genius of America - that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow."
- Barack Obama, November 2008, the new President of America.

I stayed up late last night watching history being made. I sincerely hope Obama can change America and change the way it looks at the wider world beyond it's vast shores. Certainly Obama has provoked and galvanized the metamorphic American population. Meanwhile the world watched someone it can relate to. Welcome to the rest of the world America.

Chicago would have been an awesome place to be last night. I would have loved to have been in Grant Park (right) with 250,000 others listening to the new president's historic victory speech. The people of Chicago deserves Barack Obama and he deserves them. 
Tuesday 4 November 2008
  Yes we can! I've followed the American election for two bloody years. Those damn yankees know how to drag something out, they can make a 48 minute basketball game last 3 hours for chrissakes. However today this gripping drama, that hasn't only engulfed a nation but the world, comes to a conclusion. Sadly only those of American descent can vote, if they opened it up this clever Global Electorial College put together by The Economist, shows they would have to invent a new word for landslide! Gallup did a world poll too as did The Guardian and others here. Same whitewash.

Only in America could the race to decide to vote for either a change that the world can relate to, or more of the same incompetenances of the past 8 years be so close. I watch American TV and I try to be impartial but McCain's bungled approach to the economy, the Iraq war and healthcare would see him turned over for a promotion in all but the crappiest of companies.

America's standing in the world following the inept era of Bush is so severely damaged it may never recover. I don't live in the US anymore, and even if I did, I couldn't vote but if McCain and that extremist nutcase Palin get in, then the country probably deserve them, but they may as well say goodbye to any empathy and union from the rest of us.

Obama is the man for now, vastly more competent, worldy, believable and in tune with the times. And he's a Chicagoan of course. Yes we can!

Bermuda, 12.05am: John McCain concedes and Barack Obama makes history by becoming the 44th president of the United States and the first African-American. Wish I was in Chicago's Grant Park.
Sunday 2 November 2008
  Addicks 1 Barnsley 3 "The Charlton faithful are a tolerant lot but their patience finally snapped as the Addicks slipped into the relegation zone and, alarmingly, showed little appetite for the fight" - The Times

In truth I have seen many abysmal performances following Charlton over the years and they've grown me rather a thick skin, with some rose-tinted sunglasses as a nice accessory. However I can abide crap and uselessness, but what I can't abide is lack of effort in a shirt, which I personally treat an overpriced nylon replica of with some pride.

Yesterday was surreal wasn't it? And strangely I sat in the East Stand actually pleased that I was witnessing it. I know, weird aren't I? But like Wycombe under Uncle Les, it was another turning point in the club's colourful history. But unlike Wycombe when the players weren't fit to wear the shirt, strangely yesterday I had little grievance with those out on the pitch.

As I sat there next to my son, who enthusiastically excepted his handheld computer game to occupy himself at the start of the second half, it was like watching a bloody dreadful movie that I only parted money with to see because of the cast. The film was bollocks, but of course next time one of the actors appears in a film, me, silly balls, will be there again flying across the Atlantic to sit and watch them all over again.

See, you won't hear me booing, slagging the players off or walking out at half-time because as a bloke confirmed to me at the food counter just after Darren Moore scored the 3rd, I can't change my team.

What we can change is the manager. I have stuck by Pardew, and even before yesterday I was genuinely hoping that he could still turn it around. But watching him and his poor excuse of a team has finally led me to believe that he is bereft of believabe strategies, credible plans and a heartfelt desire to manage our club any longer. And frankly I am up to here with his ridiculous post and pre-match comments. The latest being that we missed the presence of Linvoy Primus, who by the way went unnoticed by a number of fellow Addicks at Clacket Lane services on Saturday night.

Sorry Pards, but time's up. You know it, we know it and the players know it. The board? Well of course they know it too, and for me a bit too quickly after the last horrible bout of indecisiveness, we are worringly in their hands again. For what it's worth I think he will get two more games.

The game. Well the whippet owners behind the goal got on my tits more than the players did. I find it hard to think the players really are as shite as they've looked for the majority of this season. Just ask Spurs fans.

I had a lump in my throat as parts of the ground sung "Charlton 'til I die" during the 2nd half. There are a lot of us who actually believe that, but for those that don't then please form a line behind Mr Pardew at the door.

Addick thoughts:; Second Division And Proud; A Red Divided; Blackheath Addicted; Kings Hill Addick; Charlton Athletic Online; Charlton North Downs; From The Hill To The Valley; Deepest Darkest; All Quiet; Doctor Kish; Drinking During the Game; New York Addick.
Pardswallop: "I'm confident, even with the squad we have now, that we won't be relegated. "I now need to stick with my best side and maybe bring in someone on loan, if finances are available."
Barnsley chop thoughts: Simon Davey.
In the press: Sky Sports; The Times; Daily Mail; Kent Online.
Next: Nice easy trip to the west country Saturday with or without Pardew.
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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