Foundation of Hearts Day 2019

Saturday at Tynecastle was our celebration of the incredible Foundation of Hearts and what a day it was
As part of the build up to the match I read the following and reprint it here for the benefit of those who requested it:

 

Folks, it is now almost five years since the dark days of 2014 when our home game against St Mirren was flagged up as being potentially the last match ever to be played at Tynecastle Park.

At that point the Foundation of Hearts emerged and offered fans here and around the world the opportunity to join what has gone on to become the most successful supporters’ initiative in British footballing history.

More than 10,000 Jambos, from every corner of the globe, have over these years pledged their financial support to the club and have so far raised an incredible £8.2 million for our club.

Today, on Foundation Day, we say a huge “thank you” to every single one of you.

Together we saved our club for future generations. Together we have written an outstanding chapter in this great club’s story. And together we will keep this amazing initiative moving forward on behalf of Heart of Midlothian Football Club.

Please, folks, if you’d like to join or increase your backing as we move ever closer to taking majority shareholding of our club, visit one of the pledge stations around the stadium today or the go to the FoH website, www.foundationofhearts.org

On behalf of us all here at Tynecastle Park, wherever you are in our maroon world, thank you for refusing to let our club die.

Phrases I Never Thought I’d Utter

Today, whilst listening to the radio as I often do, I found myself clicking Shazam to identify the artist on a particular song. To my astonishment the song that I quite liked was by Radiohead.
That came as a surprise because I absolutely despise the dirge they normally release but this tune was actually quite melodic. Yes it was slow, dreary, wrist slashing and depressing like most of their stuff, but this was also quite melodic.
Maybe if they did more stuff like this then I’d change my opinion.

No, on second thoughts I probably wouldn’t.

https://www.facebook.com/scott.wilson.1044

What’s In A Name?

Today I paid a visit to a company and asked for the bloke I had an appointment with. The receptionist stated “oh he’s a roaster” which I thought was a bit disrespectful but decided that I’d make up my own opinion after our meeting.
He was a lovely bloke but he WAS a roaster
He roasts coffee beans for a living and told me the secret was to bag them within one hour of roasting them. He proved his point by proffering me a fresh latte. He was right; it was magnificent.

Will the last person to leave the Capital please switch the lights off

Yesterday and today I had the misfortune of driving through Edinburgh. Don’t get me wrong, as a born and bred Edinburgh boy, I love the City, but the mess that the City of Edinburgh Council are making of the roads situation drives me to despair.
Firstly the condition of the roads. If they aren’t potholed then they’ve been badly patched and have lumps of tarmac crudely slapped into the holes meaning it’s like driving over small speed bumps.
Then there’s the roadworks. I drove down Leith Walk. There are 3 sets of temporary traffic lights within half a mile of road. Three sets within half a mile.

Do any of the facilities companies actually speak with one another, or do different Council departments deal with the roads but not with each other as there seems to be a distinct lack of joined up thinking.
And then there’s the piece de resistance, THE 20MPH LIMITS.


Who on God’s earth thought that this was a good idea?
Traffic now moves as if in a funeral cortege. Pedestrians now think they can amble across the road wherever they like as the cars are perceived to be moving so slowly. Twice I saw pedestrians having to run across the road as they misjudged the speed of cars.
I was overtaken by several vans, a Police car and umpteen cyclists, so the new limits clearly don’t apply to everyone.
This is probably the straw that’s broken the camel’s back for me and what used to be, MY CITY.
I shall consciously avoid travelling to or through Edinburgh if at all possible, and how many people will do likewise? How much of a drop in footfall will it take before retailers put pressure on the Council to scrap the latest in their long line of anti-car policies?
IMHO it all started with David Begg in the 90’s who was Transport Convenor at the City of Edinburgh Council. He dreamed up several crackpot schemes that ostracised car drivers and made journeys through our Capital city a nightmare. He was cited as a “leading authority on transportation”, and as proof that you CAN fool some of the people some of the time, he advised Tony Blair’s government on road transport issues. Oh really? So your claim to be a transport genius is based on your record of screwing up travel in Edinburgh?
He’s been followed by several other bams who thought they were the answer to the City’s travel problems including Andrew Burns and now Lesley Hinds. Each of whom brought different ideas to the table. Remember Andrew Burns’ innovative rising bollards on George Street? Genius idea Andrew, how did that work out for you then?
And now Lesley Hind’s brainchild, the 20mph limits. The rationale, fewer people die when hit by a car at 20mph. Brilliant, let’s reduce it to 10mph and then even fewer people will be injured, or wrap them in bubblewrap so if they do get hit by one of these hideous cars, then they’ll have a nice soft landing. Or maybe educate people to actually pay attention when they cross the road rather than assuming all drivers are speed freaks.
Or maybe even, and I accept that this is left field and really radical; open up all the roads to let cars drive along them instead of funnelling cars through an ever decreasing number of thoroughfares. Like it used to be, remember?
As I no longer live in Edinburgh I don’t have a vote in the May elections which is a pity because I’d vote for any party that accepted that the car is here to stay and that we don’t all embrace public transport. Even my tree hugging friends (and I do have 2) think the 20mph limit is nuts. I really hope this Council get their comeuppance for once again screwing up the streets of the City
The car is here guys, get used to it

Always someone else’s fault

Today I heard a radio advert prompting me to contact a company if “I’d ever been ill on holiday”. They’d get me “the compensation you deserve” they claim. Stuff like this makes me despair. We’ve all gone on holiday and eaten stuff we shouldn’t. We’ve all gone on holiday and drank enough to sink the Bismarck but hey, it’s not our fault. Really?
What is society coming to when it’s always someone else’s fault? What happened to common sense? Ultimately if the holiday firms get hammered by these charlatans then prices rise so we all suffer. I wonder if people actually call these companies, and if so how on earth they prove that a holidaymaker getting ill on holiday isn’t the fault of the holidaymaker?
Some lawyers will be making a nice wedge from this nonsense; I guess they don’t have trouble sleeping….

Grinding To A Halt

Link

Today was a traumatic one on the roads. Having left in plenty time for an appointment in Arbroath I met the tail end of the queue on the A71 to get to Wilkieston. I decided a 3 point turn and an alternative route was probably the best idea and duly made my way to Newbridge. Now at this time it was 9:30 so well after the “rush hour” but still the place was chocca block. Incredibly there are plans to build 3,000 new homes in East Calder so where on earth is the traffic expected to go when there’s gridlock with the current load?
I then decided to divert away from Newbridge and travel through Kirkliston. Schoolboy error as there are 2 sets of temporary lights in this village too. Another delay and onwards to the bridge passing over the bridge over the M90 and seeing traffic tailed back from Barnton almost to the Bridge. Apparently the lights at Maybury were stuck on red and this was the residual tailback. And I thought I had it bad.
Onto the Bridge itself and the 40mph restriction which appears to be in place due to the lay by on the north side being coned off. It’s difficult to see why else it’s there.
Thereafter despite Dundee being almost under water my journey north was unhindered.
Coming home however was a different kettle of fish. A mile from the Bridge the traffic was at a standstill.

FRB
Mark Martin on Forth One informed me that it was due to a Police incident. I checked Twitter and discovered that explosives had been found and there was to be a controlled explosion and that the Bridge was to be closed at 6pm. At this point it was 4:30. The news then revealed that instead of 6pm the bridge would close at 4:45pm. In 15 minutes. We slowly snaked our way south and reached the Bridge which at this point was flowing well. I exited it around 4:40 and felt like the last chopper out of Saigon.
Northbound was static and the tailbacks went well past the junction coming from Barnton. These poor souls were going to be delayed for hours.
It shows just how important a part the Bridge plays in our lives and when it’s closed there’s chaos. It also shows that our roads are really choked right now and with vehicle ownership increasing year on year how long before we all grind to a halt?
All this on the same day that the City of Edinburgh Council announce an increase in parking charges for the City centre has convinced me that I’ll be shopping online in future and ensuring that appointments with customers happen later in the day.

Still the day wasn’t a complete write off as I discovered that FIFA had suspended Sepp Blatter for 90 days. Hopefully 90 days becomes for ever and lots of it is spent in a damp cell

Wot? No rocket?

image

When I first started travelling with my job I was a fairly easy going type who would accept any nonsense from hotels. Now that I’m a seasoned traveller I have my standards. One of which is an insistance of rocket in my “tomato and rocket” salad. This evening the hotel has run out of rocket and I’m despondent. To think that some years ago I thought of rocket as iceberg lettuce without attitude, but now my dining experience is incomplete without it. Those of you that know me well will know that I’m generally a positive glass half full type but tonight I’m grumpy due to the absence of rocket from my life. Even the waitress who normally bombards me with “meal alright sir?” Is avoiding me as she can see from distance to that the mixed leaves aren’t cutting it. As someone who didn’t discover salad till I was married, I can hear my mother birling in her grave. I’ll probably need a desert to get over this trauma.

And another large glass of Tempranillo.

 

 

Slaying The Goose That Lays The Golden Egg

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 18.07.18

For the last 10 years my son and I have attended the British Speedway Grand Prix in Cardiff. It’s a fantastic weekend of speedway, friendship, drink and bonhomie. It’s not the cheapest weekend but it’s an annual event so one makes provision.
Every year it’s a race to discover the date for the next year in order to secure a hotel room at a realistic rate. This year it was different as the hoteliers seemed to get word in advance as to next years date. The net result is a hike in this years (already high) prices to extortionate rates. Now I’m all for supply and demand but it appears to me that Cardiff Hoteliers are in grave danger of slaying the goose that lays the golden egg.
Here’s an example:
This year we stayed in the Radisson Blu hotel in Cardiff centre.
The cost was £115 per night or £230 for the 2 night stay. Here’s a screenshot of the price for 2 nights next year:

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 18.15.47

Now a small increase is acceptable but a 116% hike is just greed especially with inflation at a record low rate. How can this sort of increase be justified?

As much as I love the weekend I refuse to be shafted by greedy hoteliers and I sincerely hope that this comes back to bite them on the arse

Slaying The Goose That Lays The Golden Egg

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 18.07.18

For the last 10 years my son and I have attended the British Speedway Grand Prix in Cardiff. It’s a fantastic weekend of speedway, friendship, drink and bonhomie. It’s not the cheapest weekend but it’s an annual event so one makes provision.
Every year it’s a race to discover the date for the next year in order to secure a hotel room at a realistic rate. This year it was different as the hoteliers seemed to get word in advance as to next years date. The net result is a hike in this years (already high) prices to extortionate rates. Now I’m all for supply and demand but it appears to me that Cardiff Hoteliers are in grave danger of slaying the goose that lays the golden egg.
Here’s an example:
This year we stayed in the Radisson Blu hotel in Cardiff centre.
The cost was £115 per night or £230 for the 2 night stay. Here’s a screenshot of the price for 2 nights next year:

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 17.53.27

Now a small increase is acceptable but a 116% hike is just greed

As much as I love the weekend I refuse to be shafted by greedy hoteliers and I sincerely hope that this comes back to bite them on the butt