>The Owen-ly Way is up

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Slightly surreal day. got to say that Freddie Shepherd has backed the manager and the club here and should be congratulated. the team, man for man, is good now with just the left back position available for improvement. after watching the Man United game on Sunday, it was evident what we lacked and the board have come through here. along with the signing of Luque and the return of Nobby, its all very encouraging stuff. Looking for a UEFA spot now.

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>On the Road – Edinburgh

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Jason Manford. A name for the future. While he didn’t win the Perrier Comedy Awards, he had the audience laughing consistently as only genuinely funny people can. Reminded me of Peter Kay and there is no higher comedy honour. Manford spoke of normal life, normal tales and we laughed. Speaking of Peter Kay, we also saw Daniel Kitson from Phoenix Nights was also very funny, telling a circular story for an hour and a half. Demetri Martin was alright but Phil Kay and Howard Read were just terrible. I could go on about how bad Phil Kay was, how awkward the silences were.

I went to the shows with Alex and his friends and enjoyed the town alot. I will fly back to Devon tomorrow and it seems like an age. A lot of thoughts and decisions have been taken. After the next set of travels, I will stay somewhere for a while. A time to sit, kick the beer and study and set the second 5 year plan in motion.

Walking around alone on my last day reminded me of a conversation I had with a girl called Melissa at Uni. She talked about her ex-boyfriend and how she couln’t remember the good times as the more recent bad times blocked them out. Edinburgh suffered the same fate for a few years but it’s a pretty town, dark, rain-washed buildings, the Royal Mile with its alleys and shops, teeming with bars and young tourists. It’s been a cathartic experience for those in the know. But climbing those Pentland Hills though…..Christ.

>On the Road – Dunfermline

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I spent three days up in Dunfermline helping Dave and Johnny fix up Dave’s dad’s house for sale. We did a fair amount of painting and clearing away as well as hitting the beers a few times. Being a 27 year old boy and using a power drill for the first time is not the greatest sign for a husband but I enjoyed it. Thanks to Dave and his Dad.

>On the Road – Manchester, York, Newcastle

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After the wedding I headed through Manchester, York and Newcastle, seeing family and friends and relaxing in the towns. It strikes you as you move as little as 30 miles how different places are; the unique cultures, sporting allegiances, accents and mannerisms. The enduring histories, hardships and triumphs swim in a pride that is felt throughout. The North is truly full pf great cities.

I stayed with Si in Manchester, a great friend and top guy who’s clear, intelligent views and quiet drive in life I have always admired. Si, despite having a quality love of beer, has always been able to focus when necessary, a trait I can’t muster.

York is a pleasant town of narrow streets, river-bound cafes and the striking Cathedral. I stayed with my sister Tash and played with Imogen. She is a very loveable child. Cylde, my brother in law shares my sense of humour. Another viewing of Team America was called for.

Newcastle, the city of my birth and hometown of my Mum’s side of the family is a microcosm like no other. Few other towns in the world feel as alive as Newcastle’s quayside on the weekend. Anyone who has been there tells the same story. The guys like to drink, the girls like to drink and they all have a great time. The noise in the streets is thunderous. Auntie Hazel showed me the sights and I caught up wtith Uncle Steve for Sunday lunch. But not Grandad unfortunately.

Next up…..Scotland

>The Real Shambles

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So Jean Charles de Menezes was gunned down by the police last month on the evidence of a policeman who was unable to actually confirm that he was one of the terrorist because he couldn’t check the pictures. Why? Cos he was having a piss against a tree.

>Shambles

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Oh I didn’t prepare properly.” By looking at your career, I’ve got to wonder when you were prepared. Thanks Dave.

England got thrashed last night and watching the game, I couldn’t help but be upset with the team. They looked lazy like they didn’t want to be there. Beckham, Rooney and and the second half Coles exempt, the entire team looked bored. Owen looked out of touch, Glen Johnson shouldn’t be there, Gerrard and Lampard were not existant and Gary Bloody Neville was constantly in the wrong place and never tracked back. Maybe his England career should go the same way as his United career.

Sure we will be better against the Welsh and beat them but I want to enter the World Cup confidently, making others team question and fear how to beat us. Alas the Danes, who played vey well, over-ran our over-paid stars easily.