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3,294: La Isla Bonita

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La Isla Bonita by Madonna was number one in the UK thirty years ago.

I assume that when Madonna was talking about a beautiful island, she wasn’t talking about the UK. Probably somewhere a bit warmer. According to Wikipedia, the instrumental of this song was offered to Michael Jackson first. Madonna ended up with it, and give it some lyrics and a melody. It also says that the San Pedro mentioned in the song is the San Pedro in Belize. Cool. I like Belize. Never been to San Pedro, though.

Not anywhere close to my top ten of favourite Madonna songs, but good enough, and way better than the awful version of Let It Be that it replaced at the top of the charts.

Previous posts about number ones from thirty years ago:
18/01/2017: Jack Your Body
01/02/2017: I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)
15/02/2017: Stand By Me
08/03/2017: Everything I Own
22/03/2017: Respectable
29/03/2017: Let It Be

A wee bit of artwork
Back in 2013, I did some drawings of little pixelly diamond-y fellas, all the home kits in English football, the Scottish Premier League, and Liga MX in Mexico. Finally got around to doing another one, this season’s 1. Bundesliga teams.

Other business
For obvious reasons, and just out of interest, I filled in this thingy, to see how in line with Labour I am.

The answer was, unsurprisingly: very.

A little bit annoyed that I’m 40% Conservative, though. That’s kinda gross.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Wow and Flutter by Stereolab.

On this day
Eyes, 19 April 2005

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Semi-major and semi-minor axes

Self-promotion
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Written by Craig

April 19th, 2017 at 3:22 am

3,286: Fußball in Berlin, supplementary game No. 2

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On Friday, I went to see another game. A fourth tier Regionalliga Nordost game just a little bit outside of Berlin. One of those weird things you have in big cities where a place is on the local rapid transit line, but it’s actually outside of the city boundary. I went to see SV Babelsberg 03 in the Babelsberg area of Potsdam in the state of Brandenberg.

As you may have been able to tell from these posts, I’m quite happy with myself having this little Berlin teams project. It’s a nice little idea, I think, and one I’d wish I’d done years ago. But last week, I noticed there are two teams that are really close to the border of the city, one on the eastern edge, one on the western edge. If I’d’ve noticed this before, maybe this project would’ve been the Thirteen Teams Project.

But anyway. Babelsberg is relatively simple to get to from Prenzlauer Berg in the north, but it’s a long old trek. Two overground S-Bahn trains. A bit more than an hour. I forgot my iPod.

I’d read a little bit about SV Babelsberg 03 before going. Their hardcore fans are vocally lefty, which I liked obvs. Looking at their Twitter account, I noticed that the image promoting the game said that all refugees get in for free. Excellent stuff.

It was a nice vibe there right from the start. For one thing, the street and stadium are both named after Karl Liebknecht, the security dudes were friendly, the woman selling tickets (€11 on the terrace behind the goal) was friendly, the people in the little team store were friendly, and the people selling bretzels and bier (€3) were friendly too. Friendly. Let’s type the word “friendly” again. Friendly.

There were people playing chess near the bar before the game. The PA played Real Wild Child by Iggy Pop, People are People by Depeche Mode, Rhythm is a Dancer by Snap!, and Happy Hour by the Housemartins. Someone somewhere might have been smoking weed. When wind blew plastic cups or other rubbish around the terrace, fans picked it up and put it in the bins.

The ultras of the Nordkurve stood, unsurprisingly on the northern side of the ground, not on either end. They were singing and jumping constantly. Of several flags, the biggest had blue and white stripes (Babelsberg’s colours) and brown and red stripes, the colours of St. Pauli, with whom the fans have a friendship.

I’d seen the visitors Berliner AK 07 at home earlier in The Project, the attendance was pretty low at that game for this fourth tier of football, only 111 people there. Tonight, the away section at the other end of the pitch had maybe 20 people. Out of a total attendance of 1,778.

Babelsberg won 1-0. And this was the song played over the PA when they scored. Brilliant.

Everyone was happy. As I left the stadium, the stewards and security people stood at the gate and said tschüß to everyone. A weird thing there was that as I walked by, one of the said adios to me. Was I in Mexico long enough to start giving off Mexican vibes!?

When I went to Chicago in 2008, I was so excited about going to Wrigley Field to see the Cubs, that going to see the White Sox the next night was almost out of a sense of duty, like “well, I should go while I’m here.” But I ended up having a better time at the White Sox game. And in a way, that’s how I felt after the SV Babelsberg 03 game. It’s not part of my self-defined project, but in a way, it was the most fun. Obviously, Hertha BSC is always gonna be the most impressive because of the stadium and top tier football quality, Union Berlin is gonna be an absolute joy because of the full stadium and fans, but all things equal, this was the one I’ve enjoyed the most so far.

The Eleven Berlin Teams Project:
Hertha BSC v Eintracht Frankfurt, (25/2/17)
FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin v 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig (18/3/17)
FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf v SV Lichtenberg 47, (19/3/17)
Berliner AK 07 v FC Schönberg 95, (22/3/17)
VSG Altglienicke v FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin, (25/3/17)
Berliner FC Dynamo v Hertha BSC II, (29/3/17)
Hertha BSC II v FSV Union Fürstenwalde, (1/4/17)
Charlottenburger FC Hertha 06 v 1. FC Frankfurt, (2/4/17)
1. FC Union Berlin v Erzgebirge Aue, (5/4/17)

Remaining teams to see:
SV Lichtenberg 47
Tennis Borussia Berlin

The Eleven Berlin Teams Project Supplementary Games:
SV Empor Berlin v 1. FC Union Berlin, (23/3/17)
SV Babelsberg 03 v Berliner AK 07, (7/4/17)

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
I’d Rather Jack by the Reynolds Girls

On this day
Local stuff, 11 April 2011

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Aristotle

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Written by Craig

April 11th, 2017 at 4:58 am

Posted in Blah blah,Sports

3,285: Embedding the week

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Excellent life advice in the toilets at SV Babelsberg 03's stadium.

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The song in my head when I woke up this morning
A Sky Full of Stars by Coldplay

On this day
Torre Mexicana, 9 April 2015

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Book of Optics

Self-promotion
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Written by Craig

April 9th, 2017 at 3:46 am

Posted in Blah blah

3,284: Morning views

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Previous morning views:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Sign of The Times by Harry Styles. Great song.

On this day
NYPD doodle, 8 April 2007

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Afterimage

Self-promotion
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Written by Craig

April 8th, 2017 at 12:52 am

Posted in Blah blah,Photos

3,282: Fußball in Berlin, part 9

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I’d been looking forward to this one. Partly because it’s the first time since the first game of The Project that I’ve had a ticket in advance. And even then, The Eleven Berlin Teams Project didn’t exist in my head when I went to that Hertha BSC v Eintracht Frankfurt game. I looked for tickets on the day of the last 1. FC Union Berlin home game, and it was sold out. So I went down to the team store the next day to get a ticket for the next game. When I got there at around lunchtime, there were just 13 standing tickets left. Twelve left after I’d bought mine (€13).

1. FC Union Berlin are in the 2. Bundesliga. (Quick note about German: “1.” means first, “2.” means second, etc., and while I’m quick noting: “Union” is pronounced “un-yon”) Before the game, Union were fourth, two points behind the leaders, with the top two teams being promoted to the 1. Bundesliga. Union have never been in the top division of reunified German football. People are excited. I was excited. For more than one reason. I have no allegiance or fandom of Union, but it was the first time I would be visiting the renovated stadium. And it’s the first time since going to Lincoln City back in the late 80s that I’ve been in an actual proper standing section. I’ve stood up at several of The Project games, but this is different: to be in a standing section at a busy game in a proper stadium.

About the stadium. The last time I went to the Stadion An der Alten Försterei was maybe 2003 or 2004. Back then, it looked like this:


(Photo by Seppalot13 via Wikipedia)

The club had to renovate it, didn’t have the money to do it, so fans literally bled for their team. You get money for donating blood in Germany, so fans did that to raise money. And when it came to rebuilding the station, they did that too. They gave their time and skills to totally renovate the stadium. More about that here on this Copa90 video.

I like it when you go to a game, and your public transport route from home sees more and more people also going to the game. On my local S-Bahn platform, I saw two people which Union scarves and shirts. A few more joined the train before we got to Ostkreuz station, and changed to a different line. The platform there had regular people going home, but mostly Union fans, and when we all got out at Köpenick, the platform was packed, a solid block of people leaving the station. There were a handful of people stood around at the station entrance holding up print outs with the words SUCHE KARTE. I felt a moment of guilt that a real fan was searching for a ticket, yet I was going to the game just cos of some dumb little personal project.

The first real joy you get when you go to see Union is the walk there. After about ten minutes, you’re near the ground, and suddenly you’re walking through a forest towards a stadium that you see glimpses of through the trees.

Inside the stadium grounds, it still feels like a lower league team. There are no big plazas. It kinda feels like a temporary football-themed market has been set up. The toilets are like those building site cabins. There’s an old van, and a monument to the people who helped build the stadium with a hard hat on top and the names of those who helped around the sides.

I got a beer. €5 for half a litre, but that included a one euro deposit for the cup which had a photo design thingy on it, so, y’know: a cheap souvenir if you want to take it home. Inside the stadium, things get really interesting. On the face of it, there’s nothing particularly impressive about the stadium. It’s not La Bombonera, Olympiastadion, or Estadio Azteca, but three sides of the ground are terraces. You can stand up and watch a game of football. And you look around at the other people knowing that a decent amount of those people actually build the bloody thing.

This was like travelling back in time. The last time I stood on the terraces was nearly thirty years ago. It was genuinely a little overwhelming. I stood there, looking around, up and down, muttering to myself. Mostly “wow!” Then a good song would come on over the PA, and I’d be nodded out of my own little world and singing Gravel Pit by Wu-Tang Clan to myself.

The stadium filled up around me (attendance: 20,877). The fans held up their scarves, sang songs. The away fans, too, in the other half of the end where I was stood made a ton of noise. When the home team was announced, every player’s name was greeted with the home fans shouting “Fußball Gott!” (football god).

The game felt a bit nervy. The visitors, Erzgebirge Aue, are close to the relegation zone, so they needed a win just as much as Union. And indeed, the visitors scored a cracker in the 79th minute. And that’s how it ended. The top team in the division had already played the day before, and the teams in second and third place both drew. Union missed a chance to go top. But, y’know, they’re still only two points off the top and one point off second place with seven games to play. Here’s some video highlights.

My ninth game, and the fifth home defeat (W1 D3 L5). If my Project were a team, I’d be getting the sack soon.

Only two more teams to see in The Project. I’ve gotta wait over a week for the next one and I’ve not gone more than three days without a game in the last three weeks. I might have to see if I can nip to a game by someone else this weekend, a non-canonical, supplementary reading kinda thing.

The Eleven Berlin Teams Project:
Hertha BSC v Eintracht Frankfurt, (25/2/17)
FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin v 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig (18/3/17)
FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf v SV Lichtenberg 47, (19/3/17)
Berliner AK 07 v FC Schönberg 95, (22/3/17)
VSG Altglienicke v FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin, (25/3/17)
Berliner FC Dynamo v Hertha BSC II, (29/3/17)
Hertha BSC II v FSV Union Fürstenwalde, (1/4/17)
Charlottenburger FC Hertha 06 v 1. FC Frankfurt, (2/4/17)
1. FC Union Berlin v Erzgebirge Aue, (5/4/17)

Remaining teams to see:
SV Lichtenberg 47
Tennis Borussia Berlin

The Eleven Berlin Teams Project (supplementary game):
SV Empor Berlin v 1. FC Union Berlin, (23/3/17)

A wee bit of artwork
Here’s a cat, y’all.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Valerie by the Zutons

On this day
Me on ESPN.com, 6 April 2010

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Variable star

Self-promotion
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Written by Craig

April 6th, 2017 at 2:59 am

3,280: Yacht Rock

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I’ve not watched Yacht Rock for quite some time. Still great, though. Such a wonderful idea and execution. It’s nearly twelve years old now.

All the episodes are here.

Rolling Stone article from 2015 about it here.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Amazing Day by Coldplay who are seemingly the default noise in my brain.

On this day
Pink Floid, 4 April 2008

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Tidal locking

Self-promotion
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Written by Craig

April 4th, 2017 at 3:44 am

Posted in Blah blah,Music

3,278: Embedding the week

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🇪🇺🇩🇪🇪🇺🇩🇪🇪🇺

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Acrylic, gouache, watercolour, and coloured pencil on lots of paper.

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The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Ink by Coldplay

On this day
Population of towns I’ve lived in, 2 April 2009. I think I should update this some day soon.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Glaciology

Self-promotion
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Written by Craig

April 2nd, 2017 at 12:10 am

Posted in Blah blah,Photos

3,275: Fußball in Berlin, part 6

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This is the team that I’ve been looking forward to least. It’s kinda hard to approach a Berliner FC Dynamo game without preconceived ideas of what it might be like. Their fans have a, er, reputation. I’ve only ever known one Dynamo fan, he was a decent chap, but the fans in general have a reputation for being right-wing hooligans.

Looking at the team schedules, working out a plan for My Eleven Berlin Team Project, I kept on planning a schedule and leaving Dynamo until the end. At some point though, I realised I didn’t want it to take on significance. To fear the game, to leave til last, gave it more importance than the other ten games. So I went last night. My sixth of eleven. The game that tipped the scales from less than half to more than half done. Berliner FC Dynamo v. Hertha BSC II (the under-23 squad of big Hertha that play in the 1. Bundesliga), in the Regionalliga Nordost, the fourth tier of German football.

Back in the GDR days, BFC Dynamo won ten championships in a row between 1979 and 1988. They were also the preferred team of the head of the Stasi. I wonder if these two facts are related? There was a slight sense of excitement, though. I still get a bit of a thrill from seeing teams whose names remind me of the European Cup ties of the 70s and 80s. Before the Champions League came along. Indeed, I preferred the European Cup to the Champions League. I like purity in sport. I like the idea of the Olympics being scaled back to only include sports where the highest achievement is an Olympic medal (ie. goodbye football, tennis, and fucking golf), I don’t like playoffs of any sort (the best team over the course of a season should not be forced to deal with the fourth or fifth best team for the sake of entertainment and more money for the league), and I liked it when the European Cup was purely the champions of each European country playing a cup competition (even though the greatest sports day of my life was seeing Liverpool win the Champions League in 2005, after finishing fourth in the 2003-04 season, a massive 30 points behind the winners Arsenal).

The game took place at the Großes Stadion, the big stadium at the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark. Literally a three minute walk from my place. There’s an empty little room near the main stand which I always thought might be the ticket office on matchdays, but it was empty when I arrived. I asked a security guy where to buy a ticket, he replied (in English), over there, near the small stadium, behind the police car. I thanked him, he told me I was welcome and “take care.” After buying a ticket (€12), I went back, he frisked me, asked me to remove my cap to check that, and said something about being safe now. My mind raced a bit. He’d mentioned care and safety twice. Did he see that I was apprehensive or was it just that I was obviously not one of them?

It was cool to be inside the stadium. I’ve been before, to watch a Germany v. Netherlands women’s game, but my memory of that is hazy. After painting Mauerpark a lot in the past months, it was genuinely a bit of a thrill to see those floodlights from the inside of the stadium.

I got a beer (€3), wandered around. It was likely paranoia, but I felt like everyone I walked by looked at me like, “why the fuck are you here?” There were lots of shaved heads. I felt 17 again, walking past the Cheltenham Arms on Guildhall Street in Lincoln, hoping that one of the townies wouldn’t kick my head in. Shaved heads, fake tans, bomber jackets, lots of Dynamo hoodies, some guy had a knitted hat with something like the RUN DMC logo that said HOOL IGAN. Another guy had an ICF hat.

Fans were attaching their flags to the fences. One of them was half Union Jack, half St. George’s flag, with the England national team crest in one corner, and the words God bless Berliner Fussballclub Dynamo. The vapers in the crowd blew massive clouds of vape. I turned the wattage down on my thing so my clouds of vapour were smaller. I just wanna be unnoticed. No alpha male clouding. During the game, a bunch of them chanted stuff about being 10-times German champions. Their Germany, East Germany. But, y’know, I support a team that hasn’t won the league since 1990, so I’m not gonna say anything about celebrating one’s past glories here.

I’d already had three beers by half time. And I needed to wee. I have a shy bladder at the best of times. Indeed, I wrote a story about that for baseball Web site Notgraphs a couple of years back. It’s an awful thing to have. I have to play a specific bit of baseball action in my head to stop thinking about needing to pee. That usually distracts my brain enough to allow urine to flow. There was already a queue, though. Five urinals, three stalls. I prayed that when my turn came, I’d get a stall.

I didn’t get a stall. I stood there, with the pressure of a line of Dynamo fans behind me. I couldn’t go. I stayed there long enough for the people either side of me to have finished and been replaced, so that nobody next to me would noticed I’d phantom pissed, zipped up and left. Bladder still fit to burst. I waited until a couple of minutes into the second half before returning. No queue, four empty urinals. And I was free. I more or less skipped out of the gents, with the joy of a dog that’s just done a poo.

I got another beer and took some photos. I looked up at the second tier of the main stand. Got my phone out to take another photo (below) and while still holding the beer, tilted my hands upwards to take the picture. And what then happened was like those comedy moments where someone is asked the time, and they twist their wrist and pour drink all over themselves. Fairly sure nobody saw me doing it, thankfully, but one of my trainers was now soaked.

It was 0-0 and fairly uneventful until the 78th minute. The visitors scored. The handful of Hertha fans (I’d guess about 60 or 70) celebrated in their section. Six minutes later it was 0-2. And four minutes after that, 0-3. The attendance: 668, next door neighbour of the beast.

The Eleven Berlin Teams Project:
Hertha BSC v Eintracht Frankfurt, (25/02/17)
FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin v 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig (18/03/17)
FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf v SV Lichtenberg 47, (19/03/17)
Berliner AK 07 v FC Schönberg 95, (22/03/17)
VSG Altglienicke v FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin, (25/03/17)
Berliner FC Dynamo v Hertha BSC II, (29/03/17)

The Eleven Berlin Teams Project (supplementary game):
SV Empor Berlin v 1. FC Union Berlin, (23/03/17)

Remaining home games to see:
1. FC Union Berlin
Hertha BSC II
CFC Hertha 06
SV Lichtenberg 47
Tennis Borussia Berlin

Other business
Well, that’s it then, innit? I still hold out some hope that the UK government will come to its senses and send the EU another letter:

Dear EU,
Soz, we were being dicks.
We would like to stay.
Luv Theresa xoxo

But that’s not very likely is it? While we were giving the EU that letter, I was having lunch with my friends Johnny and Tanja. In 2000, Johnny sent me an email, we chatted, I visited Berlin, and a couple of months later I was working at his Web design company and living here in Berlin. The timing of our lunch was a coincidence, but it was heartbreakingly ironic.

They gave me a chance to get out of the UK, and I’ve been an immigrant ever since. Of course, I’m white and British, so I’m an ex-pat, it’s only brown people or people from countries that we don’t like that are immigrants. My seventeen years of being an immigrant have been wonderful. It would be wrong to say I know how a Polish or Bulgarian immigrant in the UK feels or a Mexican in the US, but the contrast is stark between the way I have been treated as an immigrant and the clear message sent by that fucking vote last June in the UK. It’s a disgrace.

One thing I’ve never forgotten, back in the last decade after Poland had joined the EU, I was back on the island and a British person mentioned that there were too many Polish people around. I said they were here for the same reason I was in Germany, and by the same rules that allowed me to live and work in Germany. And that person said, “well that’s different.” I still find it hard to believe those words came out of someone’s mouth.

17.4 million people voted to leave the EU. Those people are guilty and they should never be allowed to forget what they did and why they did it.

And while we’re on the topic, I saw several images around the Internet of the EU flag with one star missing. That’s inaccurate. We were one of 28 countries. The stars never represent countries anyway, but even if they did, our leaving would represent 48% of a single star falling off the flag. That flag will live on longer than the fucking union jack.

On a much lighter note: here’s Peter pain au chocolat.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Loaded Mouth, the Savage Lovecast theme by the Popovers. Nice wee song, that. Can’t find it online, but you probably know it anyway. One of the people in that band died from ALS and made a series of short videos about what he went through. It’s well worth watching.

On this day
Worst band I’ve ever seen, 30 March 2016

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Hendrick Avercamp

Self-promotion
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Written by Craig

March 30th, 2017 at 2:06 am

3,274: Let It Be

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Let it Be by Ferry Aid was number one in the UK thirty years ago. Usually when I do these things, I link to the video on YouTube, but this recording is fucking awful. If you’ve never heard it, you don’t need to. If you heard it at the time, you don’t need to hear it again.

It was a charity record. One of those post-Band Aid ensemble jobs. This one was for a charity set up after the Zeebrugge ferry disaster, where 193 people died. And it was organised by a hateful newspaper that cares so much about tragedies, that two years later they’d be lying to their readers about football fans picking the pockets of the dead, urinating and beating up policeman. None of which is true. They are scum. They always will be.

Previous posts about number ones from thirty years ago:
18/01/2017: Jack Your Body
01/02/2017: I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)
15/02/2017: Stand By Me
08/03/2017: Everything I Own
22/03/2017: Respectable

Other business
This is my flag. Not that awful red white and blue piece of shit that looks like it was drawn by a kid in GCSE technical drawing lessons.

Shame on you for voting to leave the EU. Shame on you. I will never not hate you for what you have done.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Fix You by Coldplay

On this day
Mini Mundo and into Uruguay, 29 March 2008

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Dutch Golden Age painting

Self-promotion
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Written by Craig

March 28th, 2017 at 11:45 pm

Posted in Blah blah,Music

3,273: Not much doing

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Just a couple of drawings today.

Other business

Check this out. Awful, right?

And while I am talking about that human being, right now, more specifically, I’m talking about that lettering. That bloody space around the I.

WASH I NGTON

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Gimme Gimme Gimme by Narada Michael Walden. Love this song.

On this day
Wu-Tang Clan vs. E Street Band, 28 March 2009

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Regency

Self-promotion
Flip Flop Flyin’ Flip Flop Fly Ball
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Written by Craig

March 28th, 2017 at 12:14 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah

3,272: Fußball in Berlin, part 5

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There’s a cup competition in the city, it’s called the Berliner Landespokal, the Berlin Cup. The only teams in the city that don’t seem to take part are the ones in the first and second Bundesliga divisions. The competition started in August with a qualification round, with 51 games, then there’s the first round with 64 games, etc etc. This weekend were the semi-finals, and a pal and I went down to see VSG Altglienicke v. FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin. Altglienicke are in the fifth tier of German football, Viktoria in the fourth. On the way to the semi-final, Altglienicke beat Hellersdorfer FC Schwarz-Weiß of the Berlin Kreisliga B (10th tier of German football) by a score of 20-0. Eleven different scorers, including the goalie, and an own goal.

I’ve never been to the Altglienicke part of the city before. And once I was there, I can see why. It seems quite nice. Quiet. But if you were dropped there, you’d never really know you were in a capital city. It’s a part of town where you have to use two different types of public transport to get there. The buses here, though, are dreadfully modern, and have a screen displaying the names of the stops and everything.

Inside a clubhouse near the street, we bought a ticket (€8) and a beer (€2.50) and went over to the larger of two artificial turf fields where the game would be played. Plenty of people already there, the four or five rows of concrete bleachers nearly full. Before kick-off, a fella sang a song about VSG Altglienicke. Let’s go, football team! And, oh, they’re one-nil down within four minutes. They were two-nil down after ten minutes. The first half finished 0-3, and the game was essentially over. Final score: 0-4. Attendance: 528.

The second semi-final was on Sunday, where SD Croatia Berlin v Berliner FC Dynamo ended 0-3. The final is on 25 May at Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark, which is a) really close to where I live, and b) also Dynamo’s home stadium.

The Eleven Berlin Teams Project – five down, six to go:
25/02/17: Hertha BSC
18/03/17: FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin
19/03/17: FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf
22/03/17: Berliner AK 07
25/03/17: VSG Altglienicke
1. FC Union Berlin
Berliner FC Dynamo
Hertha BSC II
CFC Hertha 06
SV Lichtenberg 47
Tennis Borussia Berlin

A wee bit of artwork

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Gloria by Laura Branigan

On this day
Personal pie charts, 27 March 2007

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Queen Victoria

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Written by Craig

March 27th, 2017 at 7:10 am

Posted in Blah blah,Sports

3,271: Embedding the week

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Post-Brexit luxury apartment. £500/week. No pets.

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I lived in that building from October 2000 until April 2003. It was really nice.

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FIST

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The lads

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Zum Steckenpferd, Neukölln.

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The song in my head when I woke up this morning
The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll by Prefab Sprout

On this day
Greys, 26 March 2015

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
The Great Game

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March 26th, 2017 at 1:09 am

Posted in Blah blah,Photos

3,270: Morning views

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Boker tov

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Bonjour

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Guten morgen

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Dzień dobry

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Buenos días

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Previous morning views:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
(Feels Like) Heaven by Fiction Factory

On this day
Observer Magazine cover illustration, 25 March 2013

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
British Empire

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March 25th, 2017 at 1:04 am

Posted in Blah blah

3,268: Fußball in Berlin, part 4

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After three games way out in the west of the city, it was nice to go to one that was closer, just six trams stops away. I went to see Berliner AK 07. The AK stands for Athletik Klub, not Avtomat Kalashnikova. They play in the fourth tier, the Regionalliga Nordost, at Poststadion in the Moabit district, about a 10 minute walk from the city’s main train station. Yesterday’s game was against FC Schönberg 95.

Let’s talk about the stadium. Postastadion was built in 1929, and the main stand is very very nice-looking indeed. It was one of four stadiums in the city used for football at the 1936 Olympics. One of the quarter finals was there. Germany 0 Norway 2. The attendance that day was 55,000. One of those people was Mr Hitler. I wonder which team he was rooting for…

(Old stadium photos from here.)

Nowadays, though, it doesn’t have such a high capacity. It’s 10,000 apparently. There’s the main stand, a few rows of un-covered seating on the other side and some terracing behind one of the goals. Where people would’ve stood higher up back in the old days, it’s just trees now.

The old entrance ticket gates are still there but don’t need to be used. Instead, I bought my ticket (€10) from a woman in a small cabin about the size of a portaloo next to the main stand. Nearby were two fellas each with a small table. One, a younger guy, selling official team stuff (t-shirts, scarfs, hats, badges), the other was an older guy selling pins. Pins seem to be a popular thing for German football fans. I bought an AK 07 pin from him. I’m hoping to get one from every team I see doing this eleven-team project. A nice souvenir set to remind me of the project. (Although, I suspect it’ll end up being ten pins, cos one of the eleven teams is Hertha BSC reserves who play in the same division as AK 07.)

I got a beer, €2.50. The food on sale included döner kebabs. Never seen that at a football game before. It was the smallest crowd I’ve been a part of so far, just 111 people. But, y’know, this is a stadium without floodlights, so kick off for a midweek game in March was understandably early. 4.30pm. The crowd though, seemed nice. A nice mix of young and old. A good feeling in the stadium.

The game ended 2-2. The home team were never in the lead: 0-1, 1-1, 1-2, 2-2. They were the better team, though. The lack of floodlights meant it was pretty dusky by the end of the game. Totally reminded me of being a kid, not wanting to stop playing when it started getting dark.

The Eleven Berlin Teams Project:
25/02/17: Hertha BSC
18/03/17: FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin
19/03/17: FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf
22/03/17: Berliner AK 07
1. FC Union Berlin
Berliner FC Dynamo
Hertha BSC II
CFC Hertha 06
SV Lichtenberg 47
Tennis Borussia Berlin
VSG Altglienicke

Other business
This video of correct pronunciations of car manufacturers massively gave me the giggles the other night. Here’s another, of famous actors.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke ft. T.I. and Pharrell Williams

On this day
Inauguración temporada, 23 March 2011

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Badminton

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Written by Craig

March 23rd, 2017 at 2:09 am

Posted in Blah blah,Sports

3,267: Respectable

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Respectable by Mel and Kim was number one in the UK thirty years ago. What a great song. They had that proper pop star essence, too, didn’t they?

I’ve always thought (and when I say always, I actually mean it, cos I’ve been saying this to anyone who’ll listen for nearly 30 years now), that if you change the instrumentation of Stock Aitken Waterman records to sound more like Motown or Red Bird recordings, people would adore them, and they’d get the respect they deserve. (Although, looking at Mike Stock’s Twitter these days, he seems fairly right wing, so respect only goes so far with him.)

This is definitely one of the highlights of SAW’s output. This, You Spin Me Round (Like a Record), Never Gonna Give You Up, and obvs a whole load of Kylie songs.

But, here I am, falling into the male rockist trap of praising the producer over the artist. Pop stars have producers. Rock stars work with kindred spirits. Pop star producers “do everything,” rock music producers enhance. The Stone’s albums with Jimmy Miller get rightly praised, but we don’t really take anything away from the band in that praise, and I feel we do when talking about pop music (clearly, I’m not comparing the output of the Stones and Mel & Kim, cos that wouldn’t be fair).

It’s the same with they don’t play their instruments or they don’t write the songs. Who cares? Really? I don’t need Lionel Messi to manufacture footballs or mow the pitch to enjoy his skillz.

But yes, Respectable. Brilliant record. Showing Out was ace, too.

Previous posts about number ones from thirty years ago:
18/01/2017: Jack Your Body
01/02/2017: I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)
15/02/2017: Stand By Me
08/03/2017: Everything I Own

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Manchild by Neneh Cherry

On this day
Balls, 22 March 2007

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
India ink

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Written by Craig

March 22nd, 2017 at 2:18 am

Posted in Blah blah,Music

3,266: Tower city

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Another drawing done with both hands. The main bulbs of each tower were drawn right (wrong) handed, the rest with my dominant hand.

In Brexit news…

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion

On this day
More finger painting, 21 March 2009

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Marquetry

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March 21st, 2017 at 1:27 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah

3,263: Morning views

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Guten morgen

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Good morning

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Eh up

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Guten morgen

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Goedemorgen

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Günaydın

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Guten morgen

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Previous morning views:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Body by Syd

On this day
Arthur No.5, 18 March 2006

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Shakers

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Written by Craig

March 18th, 2017 at 1:56 am

Posted in Blah blah

3,258: d i g i t a l d r a w i n g s

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A drawing made in SketchUp, a quick little story about a senior citizen, a drawing of a pop group, but first: a snowman is for life, not just for Christmas:

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
It was technically Pump Up the Jam by Technotronic, but really there was a bit of a soup that also included Fun by Coldplay, Crucified by Army of Lovers, and two Neneh Cherry songs, Buffalo Stance and Manchild.

On this day
Harmony, 13 March 2010

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Helicopter

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Written by Craig

March 13th, 2017 at 2:17 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah,Music

3,257: Embedding the week

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The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall by Coldplay

On this day
Old digital photographs, 12 March 2016

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Hummingbird

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Written by Craig

March 12th, 2017 at 2:52 am

Posted in Blah blah,Photos

3,256: Morning views

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Previous morning views:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
On the Bible by Deuce

On this day
Life cycle of gum, 11 March 2016

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Santo Daime

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Written by Craig

March 11th, 2017 at 1:11 am

Posted in Blah blah