Never In Doubt, Ever!

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Manchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2

For over an hour, ten-man Bayern Munich gave Manchester City a master class in “keep-ball” and “hitting-on-the-break” football, comfortable in their 2-1 lead.

After weathering quite some Bayern pressure, City took the lead with a Sergio Aguerro penalty after he was tripped by Benati, who was sent off for his desperate challenge. Goalkeeper Neuer almost got a hand to the powerfully struck penalty.
City were then cruising toward a victory that would have lifted them from the bottom of their group to 2nd place, on goal-difference, until the 40th minute, when a low Xabi Alonso free-kick curled around the wall, inside Joe Hart’s left post. Ah, the agony.
Never mind; City would go into half-time level and come out fighting.
Well, no, they wouldn’t as, five minutes later, the conceded another goal, a header by Lewandowski, which bounced off his shoulder, over Hart’s grasping hands.
Cruel luck, yes, but Bayern had enjoyed 63% of possession of the half.

The second half was a truly frustrating sight for the home supporters, as attacks fizzled-out to nothing due to the stoic defending of their opposition, and the half was becoming a niggly stalemate. Fullbacks Clichy and Zabaleta earned themselves daft bookings.
Home fans began rolling out of the ground, shaking their heads in dismay, while their opposite numbers danced and sang towards their inevitable victory.

But City are renowned for their late comebacks and tonight was no different!
In the 85th minute, Alonso’s pass went stray and substitute Stevan Jovetic tapped the ball into the path of the on-rushing Aguero, who passed the ball into the goal, off Neuer’s left-hand post. Two-each, and City were rallying.
Into injury, a ball was sent forward for Aguerro to chase again, Jerome Boateng intercepted but only played it into the Argentinian striker’s path and he went on to beat Neuer again to complete his triple.
3-2 to City? You better believe it! A special mention must be for both Frank Lampard and James Milner, who linked-up very well together, and had a couple of chances each, but there’s no doubt who’s night this finally belonged to.
Now, bring on Roma!


How I Fell Victim of a Recruitment Scam in the UK

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Interesting . . . I just applied for a vacancy with Benchmark Advertising, whose MD was at Montana Marketing

Zainab Usman

Wednesday 19 th October was unlike most days. Apart from my excitement in anticipation of my long-awaited trip to Paris the next day, I was woken up in the morning by a phone call and an email simultaneously from two firms in Birmingham, namely Primus UK and S5 Marketing , inviting me for a job interview the next day. I got a job by Friday 21st with Primus UK Ltd and by Monday 24 th , I had quit the job because it turned out I fell victim to an elaborate recruitment scam in the UK, otherwise known as Cobra Pyramid Scam or Marketing Pyramid Scheme .

Such scams have apparently been going on for a number of years, especially in the wake of the global recession. They post deceptive jobs on recruitment websites with misleading job specifications, to lure and exploit their victims before the victims wise up and…

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CityLink, Friday

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Monday, when I began multi-drop driving, via an agency, was the biggest online shopping day of the year and, as a result, Wednesday and Thursday were the busiest days here.
Friday morning, today, looked to be fairly busy but, as I write, there are seven of us drivers sat in the canteen, waiting for something to do; one driver, Sam, came in but was stood down due to an incident yesterday.

Liz, a friend who used to work at the Ship, popped in, bored waiting for her odds and sods. Andy from the Drum is doing a similar run as yesterday.
I hope I get something closer than Bodmin and Truro today; it takes ages to get out and back, especially when getting a Pink slip from Tamar Bridge as CityLink don’t have nearly enough tags.

I have quite enjoyed it, but it is a bit stressful when you don’t know where the hell you are and lose time through zigzagging.

The Lighter

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It never fails to impress me what I find whilst taking Titchika, my Alsatian, for a walk in the woods.
Usually this consists of lost tennis balls and discarded trainers, although I did once manage to find a Volvo Peta engine, in a plastic fishbox, tied down under a tarp; there were no vehicle tracks, skid marks, or anything to distinguish how it got there at all.

Now, couple of days ago, while I waited for Titchika to come back from chasing squirrels, I happened to look down and saw some sort of shape covered in mud. I stooped down and picked it up and, after a wiping some soil from it, found it to be an old cigarette lighter.

Above: the cigarette lighter found in the woods

I put it in my pocket and took it home with me, intending to clean it up and, maybe, get it working, if it wasn’t altogether unredeemable.

Me being me, I forgot about it for a couple of days, until I put my hand in my jacket pocket, before taking Titchika for her morning walk. So, when I returned home, I got to work on cleaning it up a bit; I gently scraped off many years worth of soil and mud that had ingrained into the lighter’s body and crevices.

Whilst cleaning the lighter and as it wasn’t very far away from where I found a pouch of coins earlier this year; I began to wonder to whom the lighter once belonged: male, female, young, old, were they in the woods exercising their dog, just passing through or, perhaps, working?
Also, I wondered if the coins and lighter were owned by the same person, but I discounted that idea when I found that the lighter was gas-fuelled, not petrol, and the latest coin year was 1927.

Imaginings On A Short Train Journey

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I’m on the train from Exeter St David’s to Plymouth after spending the day within the stuffy confines of a training room.

A train at Exeter St David’s station

Whenever I travel by train to or from “Up North”, this the part of the journey I always enjoy the most: views of Exeter Cathedral, the Exe estuary, the coast and the sea, the Teign estuary, tiny villages and hamlets, Dartmoor.

I’m sure there are more scenic railway journeys in the world, a few, of which I have enjoyed or endured, but this one is different, to me, personally, as it takes me both toward and from home, whichever direction I travel.

Not only is the route beautiful but some of the places the train rattles through are beautifully and evocatively named; Starcross, Dawlish, Teignmouth, Totnes, Rattery, Wrangaton, Bittaford, Ivybridge, Laira and Mutley. Just try NOT to imagine a cunning and adventurous story, in your head, when you think of or see them!

Starcross always reminds me of Llaregub in Under Milk Wood;
Dawlish, bounded by rusty-red cliffs, gives me a mystery from the great days of steam;
Teignmouth harbour alludes to some nautical epic up there with Moby Dick;
Totnes, with its castle and Georgian buildings evokes a Medieval battle or Thomas Hardy-esque tale of endurance and hardship;
Rattery, surrounded by greenery, yields tales of deceit;
Wrangaton and Bittaford, on the old Roman road, stagecoach evoke plundering highwaymen, with their call of “Stand and deliver! Your money or your life!”;
Laira, before the coming of the railway was a busy waterway with several inlets, rife with tales of smuggling in depths of the night;
Mutley, a suburb of Plymouth, could have been and murderous place to dwell or visit.
Then, of course, there is Plymouth itself; now what couldn’t happen there?

Yes, the imagination is a wonderful thing!

Not Really Loving It (Much)

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I’m sat in a certain fastfood “restaurant” in Plymouth, drinking tea (I very rarely touch the food, never mind actually eat the stuff).

It was fairly quiet when I dropped by, half an hour ago, but now all the training establishments have disgorged a load of kids out onto the streets for fresh air and a fag (English for cigarette) and their daily fix of junk food.

They converge here directly, order their food and traipse upstairs, talking and giggling loudly and idiotically; oh, to be that sodding young again!

They’re all still quite carefree, being 17 years of age, and enjoying the prime of their lives, just as they should.
“Envy?” I hear you ask; well, just a little, perhaps.


Sleepy Hollow-esque

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I was taking Titchika, the German Shepherd dog, for a walk through the woods when I looked up and saw this view. What do you see in this?

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