So I learned several things from gorging on live sport over the weekend.  The eerie atmosphere must have been kind of nostalgic for West Ham fans of a certain vintage.  Although that article does highlight the central challenge for broadcasters in behind closed door events.  A risk that BT Sport has mitigated by relying on British people not knowing many German swear words.  I need to do some work to find a German team to support if this is going to have mileage because, after twenty minutes, I concluded I really didn’t care who won and that sort of takes away the fun.  And I also learned that the Schalke goalkeeper is really, really bad.  A German Manuel Almunia.


Elsewhere it seemed a bit odd that Rory McIlroy et al carried their bags not trollied them (or whatever the verb is).  The one no one had heard of had a very strange hip twist thing going on.  And recent reports of his demise must have been greatly exaggerated because the man whose job it was to take the flag out was definitely Kenny Rogers.


So, once more we look to The Donald for salvation.  Which is about as desperate as things can get.


No Yank You


The new EU Ambassador to UK, João Vale de Almeida has called the bluff of Liz Truss and her belief that agreeing a trade deal with US will put pressure on EU in the Brexit negotiations.  And he highlighted the fairly fundamental differences between the two side that we saw in the statements on Friday.  No deal is fast approaching – almost certainly accelerated by the fact that Covid-19 provides a convenient smokescreen for Brexit fundamentalists to deflect criticism of any economic impact.  So the race is on to see whether the talks will be called off before schools reopen.


Life in lockdown – week ca-nine


The constant working from home means that we are spending much more time with our dogs.  So here is a helpful guide as to what they are trying to tell you.  It turns out that Herbie constantly trotting through from other parts of the house and dropping toys at my feet is a sign of affection – and not an attempt to see me trip when I stand up and break my neck as I has assumed.  There is also confirmation from an expert veterinary that dogs really do do some things just because they can – I refer to lifting their paw and pointing their nose, obviously.  But no word on the hidden meaning of thunderous snoring in the background of meetings.  That mystery endures.


The power of the hEUman touch


It is not just our market that is struggling to compensate for the softer side of face to face negotiations.  It is affecting the aforementioned Brexit talks as well.  Whether the ability to hold the discussions in person would actually help breach the impasse I think is debateable given the width of the gap between the sides.  Indeed, given what I have had reported to me as on EU official’s input to the debate, Zoom may have prevented acts of physical violence.


Casual dining watch


In which we bring you the latest from fast food outlets and dreary chain eateries.  And on balance it is not bad news.  Bella Italia looks to be on the way out, but no great loss.  Carluccio’s looks like it will be saved by “chicken king” Ranjit Boparan – which is good news for all you polenta botherers out there.  And, speaking of chicken, The Colonel is back – which the Sun has greeted with a headline even I might have thought twice about.



So the question to ask yourself is “is it worth 14 days in solitary to sneak off to Italy for a haircut?” Answers on a postcard to the usual address.