Lakenheath Old Boys

We are all former students at Lakenheath High School and other public schools in East Anglia. We were in school in the 70s and 80s and drank deeply from the well of British culture of those decades - the pints, the telly, and of course the footie!

Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

As the clock ticks down to midnight here in Blighty and I enjoy Jools Holland's annual New Year's Hootenanny on the Beebs, I thought I'd kick off our annual resolutions thread. Remember, it's all just a bit of fun - no one's really going to hold you to losing those extra pounds. In any case, here are three things I'm planning to work on in 2011:

1. Write every day. I'll be starting on my second book this year and I'd like to have a couple of chapters to show publishers by the end of the summer. I won't hold myself to page length but I want to write something every day.

2. Swim three times a week. I managed this for most of the year this year and did yoga during the weeks that the pool was shut. Looking for more of the same in 2011.

3. Buy a new DVD/VCR. I've been dealing with one that hasn't worked properly for ages now and been putting off buying another. Now's the time.

That's it. Very reasonable. Happy New Year, LOBers!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Best Sporting Moments of 2010

In advance of a thread that I'm planning on the Footie Moments of 2010, I thought you lot might enjoy this Huffington Post piece that has YouTube clips of many of the notable sporting moments of the past year.

Click through the links on this page and choose your favorite:

Put me down as one vote for Landycakes' last ditch goal against Algeria.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Even More Holiday Footie

So you think you have watched enough football this holiday period. Well, there is a full round of fixtures today for the football fanatics at LOB. Come join us and enjoy!

Movies of 2010

Onward we go with the cultural review of 2010. Movie-goers in Western New York got a big boost this past year with the grand reopening of the beloved and newly-renovated Dunkirk “Stickyplex,” which under new management has introduced a “midnight movie” series, a cappuccino bar and even (gasp) a 3-D theater. The Fredonia Opera House continued its policy of booking edgy independent films and documentaries. All in all, not a bad year for lovers of film, and I’ve still got plenty of interesting ones that I've missed so far, including “Made in Dagenham,” “Somewhere” and “Micmacs.” Here are my favorites (so far) from 2010:

1. The Kids are Alright – Lisa Cholodenko gave us a “comedy” about the modern family – with two teenagers raised by a lesbian couple tracking down their sperm donor father. Annette Bening and Mark Ruffalo should get Oscar attention this spring.

2. Winter’s Bone - A neo-noir set in the Ozarks about a crystal meth deal gone wrong, with a spectacular performance from Jennifer Lawrence as a young girl searching for her father.

3. The Millennium Trilogy – Like the Stieg Larsson books, the three Swedish films based on based on them and featuring the incredible Nooma Rapace as Lisbeth Salander provided some of the most satisfying experiences in theaters for me this year.

4. The White Ribbon – Michael Haneke’s black and white drama set in the period before World War I about a small, rural German town reeling from a series of bizarre accidents.

5. Exit to the Gift Shop – A piercingly critical look at the contemporary art world by the one and only Banksy.

6. The Secret in Their Eyes – A Buenos Aires detective ruminates on a past case in this beautifully drawn Argentinian mystery.

7. Please Give – Nicole Holefcener’s latest ensemble drama featuring Catherine Keener continued her examination of relationships between relatively successful and unsuccessful friends.

8. Another Year – Mike Leigh’s movies are like putting on a comfortable old sweater. His latest featured Jim Broadbent at his best.

9. A Prophet – A young Arabic speaking street kid gets mixed up with a Corsican gang in this gripping French prison drama.

10. The Ghost Writer – Roman Polanski displays his love of Hitchcock in this political thriller with Pierce Brosnan as Tony Blair-like former PM spilling his guts about Iraq.

Notable Others:

* Greenberg – a decent effort by Noah Baumbach to bring “mumblecore” to the multiplexes.

* The Town – Ben Affleck got a lot right in this Boston-based bank robbery caper movie.

* The Mormon Proposition – Mark Cowan’s take on the forces behind Proposition 8.


* Worthy directors wasting their talents on unworthy projects (e.g., The Coens with “True Grit,” Christopher Nolan with “Inception.”)

* Shutter Island – It’s been about ten years since Martin Scorcese has made a decent film; I solved the “mystery” of his latest Leo DiCaprio vehicle in about ten minutes.

As always, I’d love to see what you’ve been watching this year.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Arsenal v. Chelsea Live!

The fixtures come thick and fast during the holidays but they don't come any bigger than this one tonight. It's Arsenal v. Chelski at the Emirates, third v. fourth in the league at present and these encounters often get a bit tasty. Join me from 7pm GMT for all the action.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Boxing Day Spectacular

A full round of Boxing Day fixtures begins with a relegation London Derby between Fulham and West Ham United at Craven Cottage. The highlight of this fixture is that both managers are one or two losses away from the sack during this holiday period. Hopefully, everyone at LOB is having a less stressful holiday period than Messrs. Hughes and Grant. The Highlight of the 10 AM matches is the two matches between the Manchester clubs and the northeast clubs as United hosts Sunderland and Newcastle hosts Man Citeh. Finally, we conclude with Aston Villa vs Spurs. Come join us for a busy part of the EPL season.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas, Everybody!

1974+TOTP+Slade+Suzy Quatro+Jimmy Saville in Santa suit= Happy Christmas, LOB!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

VDS To Hang up his Boots

United officials announced today that veteran Dutch keeper Edwin Van der Saar is set to retire from footie at the end of the current season. As a result, Fergie is poised to make a move for current Dutch #1 Mark Stekelenburg. Good move or not - your thoughts, ManYoo fans?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Two Ronnies are Better than One

The BBC had a Christmas special on tonight with the sad title - "The One Ronnie." It was nice to see that Ronnie Corbett is still in the pink but here's the way I like to remember the classic double-act. Enjoy!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Whither Carlos?

The biggest questions all week have surrounded Carlos Tevez and his relationship to Roberto Mancini and Man Citeh. Well...we'll certainly get some answers tonight as Citeh host struggling Everton at Eastlands. Mancini has hinted at stripping his striker of the captaincy but he will still figure from the off tonight. If you're around this afternoon, check in with my for an electronic cuppa and chat about the match.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Music 2010

I promised the Blue Devil that I'd post on music this weekend. My list of 20 is as follows and in no particular order:

July Flame - Laura Viers
Home - Glasser
Shameless - Groove Armada Featuring Bryan Ferry
Stylo - Gorillaz
Murder Weapon - Tricky
Hammock - MillionYoung
Heaven's On Fire - The Radio Dept.
Numbers Don't Lie - The Mynabirds
Sorrow - The National
You Must Be Out Of Your Mind - The Magnetic Fields
The Ghost Who Walks - Karen Elson
One Day - Sharon Van Etten
Always - Junip
Empty Room - Arcade Fire
Bushwick Blues - Delta Spirit (my song of the year)
The Devil In Stitches - Bad Religion
Six Legged Man - Black Francis
Let's Get Out Of Here - Les Savy Fav
I Need A Dollar - Aloe Blacc

I'd be happy to burn up a cd for anyone who wants one. Let's have your picks too.

Greetings from London!

The Eagle Has Landed! I'm now set up in my parents' den with a cuppa waiting for the Premiership goodness to begin. It all starts in about an hour and half with Sunderland v. Bolton. That's followed by the usual 3pm matches, highlighted by Arsenal v. Stoke and a titanic top of the table scrap between my beloved Leeds and the evil Warnock minions at QPR. Join me for the usual LOB blather. Cheers!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy Birthday, MUR!

Happy birthday to the #1 Man United fan in Texas. May you unwrap a Champions League draw with FC Copenhagen today. Cheers!

Who Do You Want in the CL Knock-out Round?

I'll be flying to London when the draw for the knock-out round of the Champions is made, so I thought I'd start a thread and let you lot toss it around. Here are the rules:

Group winners: Tottenham Hotspur FC, FC Schalke 04, Manchester United FC, FC Barcelona, FC Bayern München, Chelsea FC, Real Madrid CF, FC Shakhtar Donetsk

Group runners-up: FC Internazionale Milano (holders), Olympique Lyonnais, Valencia CF, FC København, AS Roma, Olympique de Marseille, AC Milan, Arsenal FC

Teams cannot play side from their own group or their own association; group winners at home in second leg. Matches 15/16/22/23 February & 8/9/15/16 March.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Still the Weirdest Christmas Song of All Time

I heard this again the other night and was reminded of those strange Bing Crosby Christmas specials from the 70s in which the old crooner tried to make himself hip by inviting in younger, edgier guests. Happy holidays!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Premiership Plus Predictions Game - Week 17

Well, well, well. It was another eventful weekend in the Premiership and plenty of shifting in the tables. Here's the latest ranking:

1. United We Stand – 26 points
2. Thomas – 25 points
3. Man Utd Rules – 24 points
4. Matthew – 18 points
5. Someone Said – 17 points
6. Gooner71 – 14 points
6. Simon Burke – 14 points
8. Blue Devil – 10 points
8. West Ham Rising – 10 points
10. AZ Kicker – 8 points
11. Blubber Boy – 5 points

United v. Arsenal Live!

The last time Arsenal played at Old Trafford, Arsene Wenger took the opportunity to mingle with the United faithful in the stands. We can only hope for a repeat performance, as the war of words between the two managers has heated up this week. It could get a bit spicy out there this evening. Don't even think of not joining me on the LOB from 3pm EST onward.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Another Frozen Premiership Weekend

The Big Freeze is still on in the UK - which is okay with me as long as they get a bloody tropic wave of air blowing through at the end of next week - and there are no early matches, so I'll be having a well-earned sleep-in. Join me from 10 am onward for all the usual Saturday morning footie banter.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Guardian's Musical Advent Calendar

The Guardian have taken a bit of a break from publishing Julian Assange's treasure trove of Hillary Clinton's most embarrassing diplomatic gaffes to compile a advent calendar full of 24 musical treats for the holidays, including legendary pop curmudgeon Robert Wyatt's favorite seasonal tunes. Check it out here:

Thursday, December 09, 2010

All Songs Considered 2010 Round-up

Ahead of our discussion of the year's best music on the LOB next week, have a listen to this week's All Songs Considered podcast from NPR. It features host Bob Boilen, former Sleater Kinney guitarist Carrie Brownstein and critics Stephen Thompson and Robin Hilton discussing their picks for the year. You can download the podcast for free from iTunes or from the ASC website here:

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Champions League - Matchday 6

Finally! We've come to the last set of matches in the group stage of the Champions League this season. There is still plenty to be settled in the matches over the next couple of evenings, but then we'll be on to the knock-out stages. Roll on March!

It only took me 5 years...

But I think i have cracked the BBC rights issues...
I can now access the Iplayer no problem :) I just watched Have I got News for You.

To do it: install a piece of software called Expat Shield. (Must have installation rights on a PC)

Install is free and easy - just dont accept the install of the toolbar. I didnt and it works fine without it.

What it does is put a small shield in your system tray. When its green you have a fake IP address from Britain. When its red you are back to being American.

I tested it a lot yesterday and its fine, I can watch anything on the Iplayer and I assume can listen to BBC Radio 5 this afternoon for the Champs League coverage. Its Spyware and virus free.
Here it is on CNet.

Note when its on you get more pop up ads (though british!) - when its off they go away.
It doesnt yet work with SKyPlayer but they are fixing that (assuming you know someone with a Sky number).

Also as far as i can tell, Match of the Day isn't on Iplayer - though it may be screened live on Iplayer - I'll find out Saturday.

Sorry i am not on a lot, i tend to hide from results Saturdays and watch a game on tape !


Monday, December 06, 2010

Favorite Books of 2010

It's LOB culture corner time again, friends. Every year, we culture vultures take stock of and share what we've enjoyed over the past year. Let's start with books. Every year I get closer to buying one of those Kindle/iPad style electronic readers but as of now I've still consuming books in a way that makes the trees weep. Here are my favorites from 2010:

1) Diane RavitchThe Death and Life of the Great American School System: An education insider recants her previous neo-liberal views and lays out the raw scholarship on charter schools, vouchers and accountability.
2) Stieg LarssonThe Millennium Trilogy: Larsson's three books about corruption and sexual violence in contemporary Sweden are not great literature, but they were the most satisfying and enjoyable reads I had this year.
3) Greil MarcusWhen that Rough God Goes Riding: Marcus has always had the knack, which I never had, of getting inside music when he’s writing about it. In this book about Van Morrison, he transcends the cliches of music writing in order to plumb the depths of Morrison’s art.
4) Bill FlanaganEvening’s Empire: VH1 contributor Flanagan knows the history of Baby Boomer music culture like Don Rickles knows put-downs: intimately. This epic novel sweeps through the London of the swinging Carnaby Street period to Los Angeles of the 70s sun-drenched Laurel Canyon blow parties.
5) Gabriel ThompsonWorking in the Shadows: In a book reminiscent of Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed, Thompson documents the working conditions and lives of undocumented agricultural and restaurant workers.
6) Sarah WatersThe Little Stranger: In her latest, Waters tells the story of a humble country doctor tries to deal with an aristocratic family plagued by a haunted house.
7) Sarah SilvermanThe Bedwetter: A memoir with more seriousness, candor (and humor, of course) than you might expect from Silverman.
8) Arthur PhillipsThe Song is You: Philips' novella presents the story of an advertising exec who is inspired by hearing a “flame-haired” Irish singer in a NYC dive bar.
9) Tim MooreFrench Revolutions: Irish journo has a simple but effective idea - cycle the famed Tour de France route and report on all the gory bum sores.
10) Steve Chandler and Terrence N. HillTwo Guys Read Moby-Dick: Thanks for LOB contributor AZ Kicker for passing on to me this collection of correspondence by two friends as they plow through "the great book." They even make Melville fun.

Notable Other Reads:
Pat ConroySouth of Broad: An old-fashioned novel about a group of friends in Charleston, South Carolina.
Mark Goldman - City on the Edge: Goldman, a small-businessman and Buffalo promoter spares none of the bad news in this survey of Buffalo’s fall from grace in the 20th century.
Chris HarmanZombie Capitalism: The late great Chris Harman's devastating critique of late capitalism.
Ian McEwan – Solar: In his last big book – Saturday – McEwan dealt with post-9/11 fear; in Solar, he’s on to a more existential threat: ecological doom.
David PlotzThe Good Book: Plotz has a lot of fun as he reads through the Old Testament and free associates about its meaning.

Barbara KingsolverThe Lacuna: For some reason, Kingsolver organized this rambling novel on the journal scribblings of a kid. And why did she continually refer to Trotsky as "Lev?"
Thomas PynchonInherent Vice: Pynchon's latest borrows too heavily from Robert Altman's great 1970s neo-noir "The Long Goodbye."

As always, I'd love to see what all of you have been reading this year.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Premiership Plus Predictions Game - Week 16

The winter freeze in the UK played havoc with the weekend's fixtures and consequently with our PPP table. Here's the sad news:

1. Gooner71 – 16 points
2. United We Stand – 16 points
3. Thomas – 15 points
4. Blue Devil – 14 points
5. West Ham Rising – 14 points
6. Blubber Boy – 13 points
7. Simon Burke – 12 points
8. AZ Kicker – 10 points
9. Man Utd Rules – 9 points
10. Matthew – 9 points
11. Someone Said – 6 points

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Happy Birthday, Gooner!

The Big Freeze!

Old Man Winter has played havoc with the weekend's footer action alas. Man United's visit to Blackpool has been called off due to Bloomfield Road's lack of undersoil heating and the entire SPL schedule has been abandoned! Still, take heart, lads, there are still a number of interesting matches at the usual 3pm GMT (10amEST) kick-off time, so have a lie-in and join me for the action then.