Sunday, 31 August 2008

Top Toffees 2

The David France Collection

David France grew up in Widnes,Cheshire in a two up-two down terraced house that had one cold water tap,one electric light and one nail; to hold up the tin bath on the outhouse wall! He was a slow learner and in fact did not learn to read until the age of 14.However, once he got to grips with himself academically there was no stopping him.He eventually gained a few university degrees followed by a PhD in Chemical Engineering,specialising in hydrogen combustion.His work came to the attention of NASA who made sure of engaging his services by asking Senator Edward Kennedy no less to sponsor his Green Card.It would appear that all the money he made during his time as a rocket scientist was destined for only one purpose.Buying up almost the entire history of Everton Football Club.The collection is now in the hands of a trust to ensure it is never broken up.Some of the items are now on display in the Picton Library in Liverpool ,where I came across it, by chance while looking at JJ Audobons 'Birds of America'; another priceless artefact.Just how much time and effort David put in locating programmes from the 1880's only he knows.I suppose the fact the Everton FC invented programmes, as well as championship medals may have helped a little.But just where do you find a season ticket from 1881-1882 season, which even pre-dates the formation of the Football League is beyond me.And who bothered to keep it in the first place for posterity.David France I take my mortar board off to you;a Top Toffee and a gentleman who took the trouble to throw a party for my friends while they where in Houston,Texas for a pre-season friendly not so long ago.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Less Than Zero

It is now some 6 weeks since Lord Roby joined the rank and file of the proletariat by succumbing to the temptations of mass unemployment.It's been a very frustrating ride so far.If it were a roller coaster,it would be called CRAVASSE PARK; because it's the only ride I have ever been on that has no ups... only downs! A bizarre soul destroying game of Snakes and Snakes and even more Snakes.The1st down was being told I did not qualify for Job-Seekers Allowance because Baroness Roby earns £99.99 per week helping out part-time at the local medical centre.Apparently, this is above the Department of Work survival threshold for a family of three or more! I doubt Winston Smith could have survived on this back in 1984. Alright then hows about Income Support? Cracked it;this one ain't means tested.Sorry 2nd Down;this one is only available to the single parent families and the "sick".The third down was being offered a lifeline of possible help with my mortgage payments.3rd down....this help is only available to proles on Job Seekers or Income Support!! Next up, how about Council Tax benefit.Surely they can't expect you to pay £120 per month out of four times £99.99.Don't bank on it.The department responsible for this has so far taken over 4 months to assess my claim.So far, they have told me the Robys don't qualify because we have an income of over £500 per week and accused Lady Roby of fraud for claiming benefits while working part-time!! The irony of it.4th Down.This is now..."on appeal".But we ain't holding our breath. For someone who has worked and never claimed unemployment benefits, since leaving school in 1975, this is really hard to swallow.Where is the safety net?..Just why have I been paying my contributions all these years? I just can't wait to get a job....claiming benefits is just too much like hard work.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Hanging Around

Yesterday was GCSE results day in Quaff Castle,and a good one it was too! Lady Amy exceeded her expectations, so it was off to the local 6th Form college for enrolment day.Upon arrival it was apparent that this was not going to be a walk in the park.Throngs of Two Dogs finest had descended upon the establishment.Strangely about 80% of the arrivals were scholettes! Undercroft a plenty!This bore all the hallmarks of a potential ordeal for Lord Roby.So I exited left for a bacon sarnie and left Baroness Roby and Lady Amy to their own devices.Upon my return some 30 minutes later my family were nowhere to be found.There was nothing Lord Roby could do but stand in the reception area and wait.You don't realise how hard it is to spend 90minutes looking nonchalant in the face of severe temptation.Lord Roby lost count of the number of times he reassured the security guards of his noble intentions.Me the 14th Earl of Roby engaging teenage nyphettes surely not!!
Let just say if the day was a bottle of wine it would have to be a Semillon!!

Monday, 18 August 2008

Working Class Hero

The Olympics always draws me in to the most unusual places.Fortunately a lot of the live stuff is late morning when there's nothing much going on anyway. So I end up being enthralled by Canoeing,Archery and Badminton etc.Sports I wouldn't normally take a blind bit of notice of.Some Olympic "sports" such as football and tennis which I would normally watch, I couldn't give a rats-ass about because they don't deserve to be there.
Boxing though has always been a must.In Davie Price,Boxing and Liverpool has a star in the making.A true salt of the earth working class hero.When he beat the No 1 contender Islam Timurziev,he ran around the ring shouting............................ 'Bastard,Bastarrd,Bastarrrd'. His post fight media event was even better."No one does that to him,arl granite jaw,I caught him wid me Sunday punch".And so he did,knocked im into the middler next week! Davie won again today.He is now guaranteed a medal.Let's hope it's a good one, without any tears.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Career Opportunities

Lord Roby has been on a sabbatical.A torrid one at that.The sabbatical has involved spending all day every day of the past 8 days trying to obtain gainful employment.It really is a full time job trying to get one.First off you have to try and determine which are the blag internet jobs and which are real.Tip.Those that appear in papers and journals are always real.They've been paid for.The rest are all likely to be blag!
On Tuesday,Lord Roby actually got an offer for a job on Ireland."We'd like to offer you the post,we just need to agree a rate.We'll be back to you in a few hours." Miriam Sharkey said.Two days later,no reply.On Thursday I rang them.They rang back an hour later to say that the client would not accept my CV!!!Stroll on! Is this code? Should the client have been shown my CV before them making me an offer? Is it just the way they operate in Ireland? Nevertheless you just have to keep your pecker up and plough on.However,when you can't cover your bills and the wolves have their tongues through your letter box things start to get scary.I'm now applying for jobs in Milan and Japan! Am I suffering from no-job neurosis? Yosser Hughes would be proud of me.I'm even thinking of applying for a job as a meter-reader.Could Lord Roby become the first minimum wage proffessional? Anyone out there know the current cost of a gross of Paracetomol? Being self employed is a breeze compared to dealing with all the tossers in the employment game,maybe I should stop bitching and go back to it.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

The Bitterest Pill

Thankfully now that Destination Kirkby has been called in by the Government it appears that Everton may now be staying put at Goodison Park if not forever but for another two years or so at least.Personally I cannot imagine Everton playing anywhere but Goodison Park and it was beyond my comprehension to go anywhere near a dump like Kirkby to watch them regardless.However,Liverpool City Councils behaviour with regard to the Goodison Park situation has been a disgrace from Day 1.Our original enquiry to occupy a sliver of Stanley Park to alleviate parking problems was widely condemned due to the fact that Stanley Park was a listed site and as such any encroachment was quite simply a complete non-starter.Move on a year or two and our bastard child puts in an application to build a new ground on said listed park.They don't want a sliver;they want half the precious park.Guess what?They get it.At this point even 'Private Eye' started to sit up and take notice and accused the City Council,the majority of whom were Dark-Side season ticket holders,of being a tad partisan. Move on a few years and Everton have the chance of a new state of the art facility in an outlying suburb at an affordable cost.What do the City Council do but object on the grounds that business will be lost.The City Council then agree to endorse a modified i.e. smaller ground and scheme.However, once the scheme is approved by local planners,the city council then renege on their earlier promise not to object and ask for the proposal to be called in!!! I guess it's all in a days work for a politician.I guess the writing was on the wall when Everton were denied planning permission to build a new exclusive housing estate on prime land owned by the club in West Derby;by guess who? You've guessed it.Liverpool City Council.Funny how the Capital of Culture 08 logo was also in the colours of our beloved neighbour.The same colours as the rags of shirts we left behind, when we vacated Analfield all those years ago.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Shot By Both Sides

Now I do like a good conspiracy theory, 9/11,the Titanic,Walking on the Moon bring them on.One of the ones I like best though, is the one involving Jeffry Archer and Jill Dando.It would appear that Ms Dando used to live not far from Angela Peppiatt and bore a remarkable resemblance to her and even driving the same BMW.But what did Jill Dando ever do to Lord Jeffrey Archer.Nothing.Sweet FA.What then did Angela do to Lord Archer; apart from being instrumental in getting Jeffrey sent down for perjury, by producing a 'missing' diary; probably nothing any other PA wouldn't do for him.And didn't Monica Coghlan also die in mysteriously tragic circumstances after pointing the finger at Jeffrey in court.Mmmm.I wonder.And what a classic line from Barry Bulsara."It couldn't have been me,I was stalking someone else at the time!" Or is he just The Great Pretender.I guess we will never know.