I will be totally honest with you, due to the current ongoing worldwide issue, which I presume you are aware of? I have not been up to that much recently. It really does limit the options of what you are able to do alongside what you personally feel comfortable and happy doing. We are all entitled to do whatever we want as long as we keep to the new required legislation. Personally I am still staying away from most public places. That is simply my own choice.
It is two-fold in that the less people you come into contact with it will reduce the chance of catching the virus yourself or passing it on to a loved one. Plus I do not really want to go to places where things are not as I would normally like them to be. You cannot really relax, you need to be on your guard and be more aware of what is around you. I appreciate this is not overly helpful to the businesses that are trying to keep going in very tough circumstances but it is how I view things at the minute.
Even the simple things in life are more complicated at the moment. If you are going shopping you need to remember your bag for life and a mask now. If you did want a pint in a pub chances are you will have to book a table in advance and then carefully select the five people to join you. At this time my desire for a pint is not greater than all the slight abnormalities I would have to except to have it. Also just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time you may end up having to self-isolate for two weeks.
I am doing everything that I am meant to do wearing a mask when required, keeping my distance from people when I am out. But for this all to work of course we are relying on everybody obeying the rules and being sensible. None of us are enjoying all the new rules in place but I do think if we all play by them, we can ultimately control the virus and equally as importantly possibly come together as local communities. It would be nice if this thing could unite us rather than divide us. At least that would be one benefit from this terrible thing. Sorry getting very John Lennon there to celebrate what would have been his eightieth birthday yesterday.
I have been staying in a lot which I have actually been quite enjoying. The other Saturday night my girlfriend and I had a Cheese and Wine evening. She had been given a big selection of cheese by a friend of hers so the original plan was that we were going to work our way through that. However she had to pop to the shops in the afternoon for something and ended up also buying a baked Camembert plus some Cheese and Onion bread. She had also made Hummus with a selection of vegetables.
I had selected a really nice Rioja to accompany our feast. I am not an expert at pairing wines. I will as a general rule always choose to have that variety with anything. The Camembert came with its own Red Onion style Chutney and we heated the flavoured bread. Needless to say it was delicious. There is really nothing not to like about any hot melted cheese on warm bread. One thing I will say is that if you are sharing a decent sized Camembert between two people with endless dough it is very filling. When you also add the Hummus and the grapes to that mix even when this is enjoyed across an hour, you will be unable to move at the end of it.
It was a very simple but extremely effective meal, although we did totally fail with the initial idea which was to use up the gift Cheese. The late edition to proceedings of the Baked Camembert, lovely though it was meant we did not end up eating any of the Cheese that we had planned to enjoy! Happily, though this does mean that we can have another Cheese and Wine night soon. We will just have to make sure that we do not add to the existing supplies next time as that is counter-productive it would seem.
I find that eating Cheese can lead to some pretty interesting dreams. This is something I am a fan of as I like a decent dream. I like to be entertained while I am sleeping. Have you found that you are either dreaming more or having weird dreams due to the lockdown? One thing I have noticed is that people I talk to or even see on television are starting to make cameo appearances in my dreams on the same night.
I appreciate this makes me sound slightly crazy but I really feel that I have dreamed things in the past that later on actually happen. It has only occurred on a few occasions. Happily they have always been good or positive things, so far at least! Just for the record I am not claiming to be the new Nostradamus. I only predict one thing about every ten years.
I am still keeping up my quite intensive exercise routine. Although I need to with the amount of food I seem to be eating. My girlfriend cooked me a fabulous roast the other week. She used one of Jamie Oliver’s recipe’s for Pork. The best thing about this meal is of course the crackling.
This is an easy thing to get wrong. We have all either broke our teeth on some or found it to be so chewy you have to give up on it. I am delighted to report that the crackling on this occasion was perfect, crispy but easy to chew and not at all tough. The whole meal was fantastic to be fair.
I am still continuing to watch more films than at any time previously due to the fact I am in a lot more and need to keep myself occupied. As a result of this my girlfriend is now trying to find movies that she describes as “Neil Friendly” meaning I will be able to watch them without losing interest. The latest one of these was Ocean’s Eight. I had seen all the Ocean’s movies with George Clooney and Brad Pitt already so I had a good idea of what to expect from it. It is an all-female cast led by the brilliant Sandra Bullock who plays Clooney’s character’s sister from the other films.
It is a good film, the cast are fantastic and it is of course a heist film made in the exact style as the others. It is easy to watch and follow the plot. There are some nice random cameo appearances in it. Then near the end James Corden pops up on screen with a speaking role. The odd thing about this whole franchise of movies is that you find yourself on the criminal’s side supporting them and willing them to achieve the goal they have set themselves. Fun, straight forward entertainment plus everything is better when Helena Bonham Carter is in it.
Did you see that to mark her forty-eighth birthday Gwyneth Paltrow posed naked for a photo in her garden that she then posted on her social media? It was all very tastefully done.
It is my birthday in two months I have not decided what I will be doing for mine yet but rest assured it will not be that. Let us all be thankful that she did not post a video showing us how she makes those intimate candles she sells!
I have a small amount of shares in a small number of horses with the wonderful Owners Group. My own personal stable has increased a bit in the last week. I have added a new horse called “Rock Legend” to my portfolio. He will be trained by Dan Skelton at his stables in Warwickshire. I also have “Proclaimer” who is trained and looked after by Julie Camacho. He has had a few runs this year and has finished in the top four on every occasion. I welcome “Rock Legend” to the group with a name like that I felt that I just had to have him on board.
My other two horses are trained by the brilliant Paul Nicholls at his stables in Somerset. I have been lucky enough to visit the facilities there and they are brilliant. All the horses are so well looked after and cared for. “Force Ten” had a few races last year and will it looks hopefully go hurdling later this month. “Stage Star” is due to make his racecourse debut later this month. It will be great to finally see him in action. He is a lovely horse and he has shown a bit of potential in training.
The Owners Group are fantastic. They send weekly updates on all of my horses to me. When they are allowed they organise stable visits to see the horses and meet the trainers. I get regular videos of them in training and I get the chance to attend races as an owner, when we are allowed to in the current circumstances.
It is wonderful fun and a great insight into the horse racing industry. Plus it is always nice and exciting seeing my horses on the track and competing in races.
There is never a dull moment supporting Tottenham Hotspur. The stress of watching the games I swear takes a few years off your life. We drew with Newcastle at home in the league thanks to some poor finishing and an unbelievable last minute penalty incident. How you can be punished when you are looking in the other direction and just jumping for a ball I really do not know. The current interpretation of that rule needs to be looked at. You can see players every time they are in the penalty area just trying to kick the ball at defenders hands. It is not even subtle.
Then two days later we beat Chelsea on penalties to progress in the League Cup. That was brilliant by the way. I really enjoyed that one I am not going to lie. Two days after that we go through to the group stages of the Europa League after winning 7-2 at home with Harry Kane grabbing a hat trick. That was another top performance from a team whose schedule for games was crazy. It reminded me of when I was thirteen and playing for two age groups at school as well as my Sunday team.
Just three days after that we were away at Manchester United in the Premier League. We concede a penalty inside the first thirty seconds and I am thinking here we go again. We equalised quickly and then soon after were in the lead. They then have a player sent off and we go on to win the game 6-1. Which I still cannot quite believe even now. A great team performance achieved with two key injuries, Dele only on the bench and we still have a certain Gareth Bale to come into the mix.
I am trying not to get too excited about the next few months. But I think there is at least a little room for optimism. I am starting to warm more to Jose Mourinho. Seeing the Amazon documentary has enabled me to see his style of management and has made it easier to understand his team selections and some of the things he says to the media. We could be in for an interesting season, we will lose games, things will not always go our way but I also think that there could be some more memorable moments around the corner. At least I hope so anyway.
You can listen to me still on Saturday afternoon’s between 2pm – 4pm on Radio Ninesprings https://www.radioninesprings.co.uk/
Have fun and we will catch up again soon. Stay safe! Cheers Neil.