A weekend bunged up with a cold, mostly lying around, wrapped up, watching telly, and catching bits and bobs of the last weekend of the regular baseball season. I felt a warm melancholy about not being in the States. It was nice to watch some of the different stadiums that I visited in the summer, but over the weekend, they were all tense and excited, the teams’ seasons on the line. And it’s nice to think of real people who are affected by the results. I enjoyed seeing the Phillies clinch the National League East Divison, thinking of the friendly woman I met there who’s dad was a Yankees fan. I thought of my mate Mark who’ll be sad about the Mets’ failure to win the NL Wild Card, but also several people in Milwaukee who’ll be happy about them winning the Wild Card. And with the American League Central Division still undecided, I can’t help but hope that the White Sox win their one game play-off against the Twins, simply because of the friendly people I met in Chicago, and the lack of friendly people I met at the Minnesota Twins game. It still weirds me out a bit to think that I’ve been to the stadiums of all but two of the teams in the play-offs. For what it’s worth, I’d like to see the Tampa Bay Rays and Chicago Cubs get to the World Series.
One of the joys of being in Belgium is you can get BBC 1 and 2 on the telly. I don’t know if that’s a proper deal with the Belgians or whether it’s just because Belgium is close enough to receive the signal. Either way, thank you Licence Fee payers. Having a cold, and being under a duvet on the sofa was a lot better with some Match of the Day and Top Gear to watch. And I managed to watch two travel programmes. Both of them annoyed me.
The first one was Charley Boorman’s By Any Means (those of you in the UK can watch it on iPlayer). I know very little about this chap apart from he’s the son of his father and he did something with Ewan McGregor which I never saw. On the strength of this show, though, Ewan must’ve been the entertaining part of that show. I’m not sure quite how Boorman managed to make a trek through India, Nepal and China seem quite mundane, but he did. Absolutely nothing of interest going on in his or his companion’s brains. All he did was tell us guide book-ish facts and how something that the camera was pointing at was nice.
The second show was Russell Brand on the Road (iPlayer). I guess most of you who know who he is know already whether you like him or not. You might not be surprised to know that I find him a bit annoying. Well, that’s not true. I don’t see him often enough for him to be properly annoying. I look at his hair and snigger, and whenever I see him on telly on brief visits back to the UK, I can’t help but wonder why people think he’s funny. He’s not. Anyway, I figured I’d give him a chance with this show. I’m glad I did, cos it just confirmed that he’s a talentless show-off, managing to make a decent (if slightly obvious) TV show idea into a tedious hour of GCSE-level analysis and goofing around. At least there was Amazon with Bruce Parry last night (iPlayer). Now there’s a good travel show.