Three completely unrelated things

Wooden thing

It has become apparent today that a team composed nominally of Englishmen are statistically better than every other geographically-bounded popular ball sport team on the planet. And there was much rejoicing. Actually I’ve bloody enjoyed every second of the Indian test series, in part due to the exciting on-field action but largely due to the eager sense that Geoff Boycott is going to say something a little bit racist. It’s the verbal equivalent of Formula 1; 99% of the audience are only tuning in because they know there’s going to be a serious crash. Except obviously replace the twisted metal with jingoistic opinions delivered angrily in a frothing Yorkshire burr…

As an Englishman and longtime follower of all things English and crickety I can’t help feeling a wave of trepidation at this new-found and now official success. I grew up when Andrew Caddick was our most feared bowler and the mere mention of Glenn McGrath had most of us in cold sweats. So ingrained was I in English sporting failure that when a tree came down in a storm outside the house one night I heard the splintering timber and instinctively got up, tucked my pillow under my arm and made solemnly for the wardrobe.

Seeing the current crop slouching around the outfield and battering every opponent  standing is great, but it’s just not how it should be. Where’s the fun in watching English sporting teams if you can’t watch them to this music?

Fighty thing

It has become apparent today that people have become notionally interested in Libya once more, now that the chaotic groundwar has reached the gates of moose-faced ‘leader’ Muammar Gaddafi. The general consensus is that this is undoubtedly a positive thing, and whilst a leprous rabbit would be a preferable leader to the outgoing head of state the important question almost nobody is asking right now is “Who the hell is taking over?”

Colonel Gaddafi is thought to be hiding in an old Simpsons episode

“Jeff, weren’t you supposed to be doing the background checks on these people?…Where? V?…Look Jeff, I don’t care how inspiring Rihanna was, you’re still fired.”

Or something like that. There has been a sum total of one commentator on one news channel saying anything on the lines of “Just a sec…”, but it’s ok because if you look on Wikipedia it says that the rebels are “composed primarily of civilians, such as teachers, students, lawyers, and oil workers, and a contingent of professional soldiers that defected from the Libyan Army and joined the rebels.”

Which sounds a bit unrealistic if you ask me. Either that or they include some serious combat training at law school these days.

It’ll all be fine. Probably.

Burny thing

It has become apparent today that Richard Branson’s house has notionally burnt down. Correction, one of his houses has burnt down. Totally. As well as the obvious sympathy that you can’t help but feel, the incident leaves me with two overriding thoughts. First, celebrity fires are much cooler than normal house fires. No chip pan fire in a council flat here. No, no, this house was set on fire by lightning. From a hurricane. And no family of four making there way from the burning building; this time there were 20 people. One of them was 90, and another one was Kate Winslet. This will be a film by the end of the year, mark my words.

Second, it has become apparent today that Richard Branson may notionally be a bit of a knob. For one thing, the house which burnt down was called the Great House. Without any irony or anything. And when questioned about the unfortunate occurrence, Branson said “It’s very much the Dunkirk Spirit here. We want to rebuild the house as soon as we can.”

I’m sure the people who risked life and limb to save thousands of lives in terrible danger and against unfathomable odds would be glad that you share their noble dedication as you rebuild your luxury mansion on your massive private tropical island, Richard.