Sunday, May 30, 2010

No. 1 Reason Not To Watch The FIFA World Cup

...Or at least not to listen to it.

No, it's not Bono's annoying ad for the tournament on ESPN.

No, it's not that Sepp Blatter is a corrupt bureaucrat and that one can never be sure of any result in football over the past twenty years.

It's not even about the prospect of watching France Vs. England and being truly confused as to who you want to lose more. It's about the vuvuzela -

Here's an alarming taste of things to come. Try if you can to avoid listening to the annoying buzzing in the background of this all SA Super 14 final played out in Soweto this weekend.

Now imagine that noise for a 90 minute football match (you might survive an 80 minute rugby match) and you have the most convincing argument to travelling to South and North America (Venezuala and New York to be specific) and completely ignoring that the World Cup is actually taking place.

Enjoy! Be sure to let me know when you lose the will to live.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Champions League Final in Madrid...

...But the world's media are all focused on the Villa de Madrid Fencing World Cup.

The only reason I've had any interest in the Champion's League final this year is that it's made it impossible to find accommodation in Madrid for the last three weeks. I eventually set off for Madrid this morning with only a rough plan of crashing on the floor of anybodies hotel room that would accept me. Planning ahead I brought a sleeping bag and ground mat. By chance the French team were on my flight and I attached myself like a tick and refused to go away until I'd found a bit of floor I could call my own for the evening.

So, there it is, the glamour of fencing for the Irish fencing team - a hard floor and a sleeping bag.

Looking like there is a strong field for tomorrows competition but that's hardly a surprise. At least I'm not sleeping on a park-bench - that's already a small victory.

Buenos Noches!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Down and Out... and soon to be blogging again... In Paris

This blog has suffered from severe neglect of late but perhaps no more. The French Domestic season is all but over but the international season for picks up again next weekend in Varsovie (Warsaw). I should hopefully have plenty to write about and in the mean time, I can complain about French banks...


Goddammit HSBC! Every time I try to leave they pull me back in. After having enough of their policy of arbitrarily dipping into my current account whenever they felt like it to take 'convention d'avenir' that I never signed up for, or "FRAIS TENUE DE COMPTE" , I went an opened an account with an online bank and basically stopped using the account except to make deposits and then immediately transfer them to the online account.

I cancelled my credit card with them, I cancelled my any direct debits I had with them, I carry out no actions in their branches and I thought I'd removed any opportunity for them to charge me anything... But no! Now they want to charge €2.00 a month for a security service to send a code to my mobile in order to access my account online. Looks like a just can't escape them trying to rip me off!


I imagine a time where the internet will be full of blogs written by fencers expressing how poor they are (├íla Tim Morehouse's - Flat Broke and a US Olympian, but Worth It or my own various rants against french institutions stealing my money). I'm thinking of writing my own "Trying to live, work and train in Paris on €5 a week" but I'm afraid the post would involve to much boredom and swearing as I got ever more hungry as the week went on.


Oh and by the by, if you happen to read this and enjoy occasional rants about fencing, sport, politics, France, food or whatever I feel like writing about why not click the little button that says follow up the top-right.

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