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Support Birmingham to host the FIFA 2018 World Cup

Got this via email and wanted to pass it on in it’s entirety, so here it is, personally I think you should just go to and vote for Birmingham to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

England is bidding to host the 21st FIFA World Cup in 2018 and Birmingham is one of 16 cities vying for the chance to be part of the official England bid.

We want everyone in Birmingham and the West Midlands to back the city’s official England 2018 World Cup Bid and pledge their support by voting for us as a host city at the official website here.

Whether you’re a die-hard footie fan – a Blue Nose, Villan or Baggies fan – or just proud to be from the city or the region register your vote now.

The last time the World Cup was hosted in England was in 1966 when we beat West Germany 4-2 in the Final, receiving the Jules Rimet trophy from the Queen and lifting it in front of the fans at Wembley Stadium. Let’s do all we can to help England host the World Cup again.

Birmingham and the West Midlands have the sporting heritage, facilities and the passion to guarantee that we would deliver an outstanding backdrop and incomparable atmosphere if we were selected as a host city for the 2018 World Cup. Winning this bid will bring hundreds of thousands of people into the region and provide a much-needed financial boost.

Help bring the World Cup 2018 to the region and show your support at the official England site by voting for Birmingham as a host city

You can also visit the new Birmingham website and also show your support at Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr.

Support your region and city; let’s bring the World Cup to Birmingham and leave a legacy to be remembered by the fans forever.

Back Birmingham, back England 2018!

Obv. you can vote for the City and Country of your preference, but of course I think Birmingham would be the best place to host the World Cup. :)

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

There it is in the title, have a great Saint Patrick’s Day!

Here’s the wonderful Ronnie Drew (sadly missed) and Shane McGowen (thankfully still with us), of the Dubliners and the Pogues respectively, on the Late Late Show with Gay Byrne, to help kick start the day…

Frankly, you don’t get much more Irish than that.

Links for this article:

A view from the Monument

Glad to see the Monument to the Great Fire of London has been re-opened after spending the last eighteen months being refurbished. And to celebrate here’s a few of the photographs I’ve taken on, from, by, and of, the Monument.

I’m keen on the Monument seeing as I’m a bit of a nostalgist and it’s just by Sun’s London offices (55 King William St.) and Customer Briefing Centre (CBC, at Regis House, 45 King William St.), with the Fine Line pub artfully arranged betwixt the two (there are plenty of other pubs nearby, it’s just almost a certainty you’ll see someone you know here after work, prior to the inevitable journey home).

A couple of years ago I went through a phase of going up the Monument almost every lunch time I was at our London offices; for a bit of exercise (it’s 311 steps up) and because I enjoyed the view, and that’s when I started to take the photos.

Serendipitously my children were learning about the Great Fire a few months after I’d become interested in the Monument, in fact I think the commemorative certificate I received when I first went up there is still on the wall at their primary school, along with the information booklet and a few pictures.

Obviously the history of the Monument is more than interesting; it was commissioned in 1669, three years after the Great Fire of London of 1666 that it commemorated. And for a great deal of the time it has been in existence it was inscribed with a variety of text blaming the Catholic community for starting the fire (getting caught up in the ascension of William III to the throne), a lie so plainly untrue that Alexander Pope famously wrote “Where London’s column pointing at the skies, Like a tall bully, lifts the head, and lies.” (Moral Essays. Epistle iii.).

William the III marks the last successful invasion and occupation of England and Wales, and is often overlooked by many, as, of course, he and his Dutch forces were ‘invited’ to invade by Parliament, but invasion and occupation it was. The bloodshed was predominately kept to Scotland and Ireland, where supporters for James the II were most prevalent; in Scotland because of his links to and descent from the Scottish throne and in Ireland because of his support of Catholicism. Anecdotally I’ve been told by elder members of the Horkan family that a number of our ancestors fought at ‘Battle of the Boyne‘ on the side of James the II, this decisive battle marked the failure of James to regain the throne of England and a crucial turning point in the struggle between Protestant and Catholic communities in Ireland.

The English Parliament, had made it illegal for anyone to be Head of State who was Catholic, in part, as being so would mean that the Head of the Church of England would be subject to the See of Rome, something that could not be tolerated, but predominately because of the mainly Protestant make up of Parliament itself. Coupled with the complex relationship to, and composition of, allies and enemies, some united by and divided by religious alignment, across Western Europe, it led to the situation that saw the invasion take place (in fact many historians see it as being little more than an extension to the fighting across Europe attempting to keep Louise the XIV in check). The law still exists that dictates the religion of the Head of State of England, even though a number of the Royal family have chosen to convert to Catholicism, losing them their place in the ‘order of precedence’ for the throne for all time (unsurprisingly this is often done just before they need to receive their last rights, just in case I suppose).

Thanks to the wonders of tagging here’s a selection of pictures from the monument taken by everyone who hosts their photographs on flickr who’ve used ‘the-monument‘ as a tag (some of these will be mine, flickr doesn’t have complex search and sort around tags yet, that would allow me to exclude my photos from this selection).

Here’s a whole host of links to Monument themed content; go knock yourselves out:

My banana yellow Yamaha V-Max

And a series of posts about motorbikes wouldn’t be complete without my own current ride, this lovely banana yellow Yamaha V-Max.

That’s right, it’s just a big ol’ engine and a pair of wheels, lol…

Horkan – Hungarian for ‘snort’

I’m not winding you up on this one, check this out from

Horkan - Hungarian for 'snort' from

I should think that a number of you will be more than a little amused.

A pint after work…

Kieron, Darren, Ian and Graham at the Fine Line.

Three pals bikes; a BSA low-rider, a Yamaha Genesis EXUP Streetfighter, and a mint Honda VFR

Keeping with this weeks motorbike theme, here’s some photos of three pals bikes that I helped them sell on ebay last year.

First up is Bob’s wonderful, but insane to ride (unless you were Bob), BSA ‘Low Rider’.

Second is Martin’s Yamaha Genesis EXUP ‘Streetfighter’ (mainly fairing removed).

Third is a friend of a friends bike, in that’s it’s Ricky’s brother Joe’s bike, an almost mint condition Honda VFR.

And yes, they all sold double quick…

Graham Helsby and his *BIG* sandwich

Here’s my mate Graham with a very large sarny…

Now that’s a *Big* sandwich…

A visit to the National Motorcycle Museum

Yep, it’s Dad boring the poor kids senseless with the absolutely wonderful National Motorcycle Museum; we live that close that we’ve been so often they’ve only just let me take them there again…

If you like Bikes, no scratch that, if you *LOVE* bikes, then it’s definitely the place for you.

And that’s right, I’ve tagged this ‘Heaven’.

My haiku

My haiku

Washed up

Love you

Back soon

Sent via text from the 6.10 am train to London whilst rushing off to work last week, I thought it was kind of cute, can’t say Donna agreed though… not particularly sure it counts as a haiku either, c’est la vie…