Thursday, April 26, 2007

It's youth recognition week on this blog

The Landers in Barcelona Blog is taking a stance against the traducing of our youth as a bunch of good for nothing, drug addicted, TV obsessed, YouTube gawping lazybones (sounds fun actually, where do I sign up?).

Yes we're introducing our own Youth Recognition Week. So step forward the following members of the extended Lander Clan, who each deserve a case of Vodka alcopops!
  • Ben for bravely suffering some nasty pain as he struggles around on crutches, having badly sprained his ankle on the futbol sala court. Not fun at all
  • Rebecca for writing this wonderful, funny, warm and wise post on her Blog which gets far more visits than this one.

  • My nephew William for completing the London marathon in intense heat and despite a hugely nasty injury. Double points for raising tons of money for charity. See above as he auditions for night of the living dead

  • His sister Jules for landing a teaching job at an inner London primary school. Her pupils will end up running the country

  • My nieces Rose and Rachel who are having to revise in the balmy English early summer for important school exams.

I know what you'll be doing this summer

The ultimate work life balance?

Read here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


a fantastic second half come back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 3-2 thanks to rooney's 91st minute winner

half time depression

losing 2-1 to milan. updates as justified later

Thursday, April 19, 2007

That Man Messi

Last night Leo Messi of Barcelona scored one the greatest goals of all time; if it wasn't, then it ranks first equal with the one scored by with his compatriot Diego Maradona's goal against England in the Mexico world cup of 2006.

You can see the goal here scored against Getafe, in the first leg of the Spanish Cup semi final at the Camp Nou.

Looks familiar? Some genius has run the two goals side by side and you can take your pick. They are spookily identical.

The Barcelona papers have gone berserk today about the young genius with pages of pictures.

El Mundo Deportivo inevitably goes for 'The foot of God'. La Vanguardia helpfully analyses both goals with the following numbers:

  • Messi beat five players, covering 48m in 12 seconds, taking 10 touches with his left foot and three with his right.
  • Maradona beat six players, covering 62m in 11 seconds, taking 12 touches with his left foot only. I always said he would never make it being so one footed.

The genial Messi dedicated the goal to his ailing compatriot.

PS I wasn't there, but I did get to the bar where it was showing some 20 seconds before it happened.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Top news of the day

From the BBC:

Cristiano Ronaldo has signed a new five-year contract with Premiership leaders Manchester United.

The 22-year-old Portuguese winger has ended speculation over his future after being linked with a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona.

"I am delighted. I spoke with Sir Alex Ferguson about my future and everyone knew that I wanted to stay," he said.

"I am very happy at the club and I want to win trophies and hopefully we will do that this season."

United boss Ferguson added: "It is fantastic news, it emphasises the point that Cristiano is happy here and that he is at the right club.

Much as I would have loved to see him live every fortnight here, I would have been heartbroken at the thought of him leaving United - and in any case he might well have ended up at Real Madrid.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The consequences of one man's blog

A blog can trigger a whole bunch of events. Here's one example that has affected me personally.

On the face of it, EuroTelcoblog was a blog of little consequence - the online diary of a telecoms analyst in London, James Enck with a deep penchant for the hardcore telco world of, as James himself puts it, 'metropolitan fiber assets and portable/mobile broadband.' It was however written with a great deal of style and wit, usually both as rare as hen's teeth in the telco world.

It's an area of peripheral interest to what I do but I happened to read it one day just after I moved to Barcelona and noticed a link to another blog run by a French consultant turned businessman in the city named Yannick Laclau. Anxious to make some contacts here, I emailed Yannick and arranged to meet.

Not only did we become good friends, but he has been extremely generous in both suggesting new ideas for Citywire and introducing me to other people here. Two of these also became good friends and when they sadly had to leave town, we inherited their rather beautiful and very flat in one of the nicest parts of the city - which is where this is being written from.

For James, meanwhile, his blog has had even bigger effects:
I got an email out of the blue from the fund manager who was ultimately
responsible for bringing me onboard at my future employers. He had stumbled
across the site and found it useful ... This eventually led to
some face-to-face meetings and culminated in a formal recruitment process'
He has a new job in a top investment bank. His new employer is a little more
strait laced about keeping blogs so EuroTelcoblog closes today.

So good luck in the new job, James, and thanks from all the Landers.

United 7 Roma 1

Yes it really did happen. I heard from one friend who was there, balanced by another who missed the whole lot on a plane to the US. Enjoy

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Lite, lite, lite

India Knight, usually, though not always, on the ball, is on form in the Sunday Times about the UK's 'lite' culture - cheap food, cheap clothes (pace the mad scrum at the opening of the new Primark in Oxford Street) and two-week rehab at the Priory.

The emphasis of price over value is now pretty endemic in the way Britons eat, shop and live. I'm 3/4 of the way through reading Tescopoly which details the way Tesco has been bulldozing its way through Britain's towns and cities, all in the name of price, and the damage it causes - to communities and local shops but also to the food growers at home and abroad who it bullies into providing its notion of perfect uniform supplies at ever lower costs.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

This week I have been mostly reading ...

Pies and Prejudice: In Search of the North. I've always thought Stuart Maconie to be a great DJ and this marks him out as a terrific writer.

He goes back home to explore the North from his native Lancashire to Yorkshire and the revival of the cities devastated in the grim 1980s from Manchester to Leeds and Newcastle to Liverpool. He flies the flag for a part of Britain much maligned by the metropolitan media moguls of London while avoiding being mawkish or sentimental.

As he points out the media often treats the North as being 'out there' - another country. The newspapers have nearly all closed their regional offices, sending London based reporters up when a sink estate goes up in flames. Why, he asks, does the BBC have a north of England correspondent but no south of England correspondent?

On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan. A tiny novel but every page is made to sweat. The story of a doomed couple in the confused early 1960s, played out in slow motion like an inevitable car crash. Saturday was Britain 2003 in one day. This book is Britain in 1962 in one ghastly honeymoon night.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Happy Easter from Ludlow

We're spending semana santa at our house in Ludlow. And blissful it is. It has been two years since we have been here and when you spend that amount of time away from such a special place you fear that everything will have changed for the worse.

Well there's a new car parking regime but that aside the butchers, the bakers and the food shops all remain as do most of the restaurants with a few additions.

The one that has got away is Shaun Hill's Merchant House so we did the next best thing and visited his new restaurant The Glasshouse in Worcester. Well worth the detour as M. Michelin would say - really good British food, especially my veal kidney and black pudding (or the 'murder special' as my non red meat eating daugther put it) and the highly inventive twists on treacle tarts and rhubarb fool which we had for pudding.

It remains extremely quiet as befits Britain's first slow town. You can still fire a shotgun down Mill Street at 5.05pm and not hit anyone. We eat our usual Ludlow diet of hot cross buns, pork pies, Hereford cider and Scotch eggs. The sun shines every day. We go cycling and walking and sleep like babies every night. Happy Easter from us all