The second round drew to a dramatic close yesterday, but then every day seems to be dramatic at the mo. Out of the eight matches played two have ended in penalties and three in Extra Time.

First up yesterday was Argentina v Switzerland with Argentina winning 1-0, scoring in the 118th minute, two minutes away from another penalty shoot-out! So Argentina and @joyfeed are into the quarter finals and Switzerland and @realandrewgreen are sadly heading home.

Then Belgium beat USA 2-1. After 105 minutes Belgium were 2-0 up. The USA fought back, getting a goal two minutes later but that was that and the Belgians and @hbnm1985 go through to face the Argentinians. USA and @Lynbown head home. A consolation (of sorts) for USA is that their goalkeeper, Tim Howard, made World Cup history by making the most saves ever in a single game (15).

15 saves in a day

15 saves in a day

Watch out for the film The Fist and the Footloose, the Tim Howard story. It’s bound to be made (just maybe, perhaps, with a better title). here’s a sneak preview:

vin diesel

cooking on diesel

And so we have a few days off! No football til Friday!


That’s why there’s been a big gap inbetween writing this, early this morning, and publishing it, now. And I’ve just had a pint. And now I have to have my tea. I will be on the ball again tomorrow, with a blog of sorts before we kick into the quarter finals on Friday.

Enjoy the break.

147! No, not snooker. That’s the number of goals scored so far in the World Cup. The total number of goals at the end of the 2010 World Cup was only 145.

The first two goals yesterday came in France’s 2-0 win over Nigeria. So, @Zoleipar, you’re still in. @redorbrownsauce, who made such marvellous efforts with his supportive hats and shirt, has had to sadly bow out. Come on Zoe- I know you’ve done your bit with the John Barnes rap, but when will you dress appropriately? Sorry to see you go Nigeria. You fought hard and held France off until the last 11 minutes.

Germany eventually went through with a 2-1 win over underdogs Algeria. This wasn’t as straightforward as it may seem. At full time the score was 0-0. After another half hour of play Germany were 2-0 up. Algeria managed a goal in the dying moments. Hard luck Algeria and @lolers. Congratulations to @DarrenK37 who’s supporting Germany all the way with a diet of Pilsners and Weissbiers and Riesling. Someone has to.

And so France will face Germany in the quarter finals next Friday.

Congratulations to @WhyMissJones for spotting Michael McIntyre during the game.

joachim low 2

Michael McIntyre goes for the Basic Instinct look

michael McIntyre

how Joachim Low can you go?

And so on to the last two games of the second round.


ARGENTINA (@joyfeed) v SWITZERLAND (@realandrewgreen)

5pm. BBC. Arena de Sao Paulo in Sao Paulo. In the last six games between these teams Argentina have won 4 and drawn 2. Switzerland are clearly the underdogs. Their coach, Ottmar Hitzfeld, said: “We are the clear outsiders but we have nothing to lose and much to gain.”

Hitzfield is an impressive fellow, and he retires after this tournament. It’d be nice for him to go out on a high, but I fear Argentina will get this one. My prediction:

Argentina 3 Switzerland 1

Hitzfiled coaches

Hitzfield coaches

what's the matthau?

what’s the matthau?


BELGIUM (@hbnm1985) v USA (@Lynbown)

9pm. BBC. Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador. Here’s one I haven’t got a clue on. Mark Lawrenson says 1-1 and Belgium win on penalties. I’ll chicken out and go with that. Heck, it’s good drama.

Talking of good drama, the Belgian coach not only sounds like a character from Eastenders but also looks like one. Here’s Marc Wilmots as Steve Owen’s long lost brother.

marc wilmots

“Just keep hold of the Albert Hall lads!”

And that’s it for today. Oh! But who is Sybil supporting?

Today I will mostly be supporting Switzerland

Today I will mostly be supporting Switzerland


yesterday was the first day of the knockout stages. Who got knocked out and who stayed in? Lets see.

BRAZIL (@Mojorainbw) v CHILE (@dusted1969)

I predicted a 2-2 draw, that would remain 2-2 through extra time, and then Brazil would win on penalties. And I wasn’t far off. It was just 1-1 all the way and then penalties. And Brazil won 3-2!

Penalty shoot-outs aren’t the most popular of endings for die-hard football fans, but for the middling ones (such as myself) they provide great drama. It’s all there: Goals, saves, and (the most criminal act of all) just plain missing the goal (known as ‘doing a Diana’ after Diana Ross’s  miss at the opening of the 1994 World Cup).

But let’s not be too hard on her. I bet if we heard Neymar singing I’m Coming Out it wouldn’t be much cop. Though he does have the moves.

Non Direction

Non Direction

And so farewell to Chile and @dusted1969 and congratulations to @Mojorainbw and Brazil who will face the winner of the following game:


COLOMBIA (@SpiderMonkey987) v URUGUAY (@BottyB)

A clear win for Colombia and @SpiderMonkey987. Sorry Uruguay and @BottyB, but without Suarez you just lacked the… (oh, fill in your own cheap joke. I just can’t bring myself to type it).

2- 0 to Colombia with new star James Rodriguez getting both the goals. Suarez wasn’t allowed in the stadium to watch. Indeed he has been banned from watching on TV. Or opening his eyes. Or mouth. It is the harshest ban ever handed out by FIFA since Bobby Charlton was given a 6 month comb ban back in the 1960’s.

Suarez has put up a defence. in a statement to me, just given inside my own head, he said; “I didn’t bite him. I fell onto him and found a small piece of pork pie balanced on his shoulder. I thought it was unusual for a player of Chiellini’s stature to have a pork pie under his kit, but who, in the same position, would not take advantage of such a savoury treat. Of course it was the heat. There was no pork pie there. I was hallucinating. It was a simple mistake to make but now I am paying the price. Even as I speak to you now, in your own head, I am doing it with my eyes and my mouth shut, such is the severity of my punishment. People say, why don’t you say sorry? Well, what am I saying sorry for? Trying to eat a tasty pastry pie during the World Cup? Is that such a crime? This is then end of my statement to you. I hope the Tweepstake people will understand.”

Thank you Suarez for clearing that up and taking the time to speak to me in my own head.

Brazil will face Colombia in the Quarter Finals!


HOLLAND (@Braggovic) v MEXICO (@bluebox99)

5pm. ITV. Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza. Hmmm. Holland haven’t lost a game and now they have Van Persie back. And he’s supposed to be pretty, pretty good. Too close for me to call here so I’ll just have to go with the favourites:

Holland 2 Mexico 1

COSTA RICA (@jasonpettigrove)  v GREECE (@gingerdisco99)

9pm. ITV. Arena Pernambuco in Recife. This is the first ever meeting between these two teams, and the first time that Greece have ever reached the knockout stages. Costa Rica reached the last 16, only to then go out, in 1990. Costa Rica have been a surprise success of this tournament and I think that will continue:

Costa Rica 3 Greece 0

But you must know by now, my predictions are as valid as a Suarez statement.

If you know anyone who can help me reach my World Cup target of £1966 for Alzheimer’s Society please send them over in the direction of my Just Giving page. Thank you. Have a good day of football. x



An exciting day yesterday with some near shockers (and my predictions up the spout). First up:


Of course Argentina (@joyfeed) were expected to beat Iran (@Freig). And they did. But only by one goal. And even then it took them until stoppage time. And Iran should have possibly had a penalty. And it took Messi to win it for Argentina. If there is a way of winning by losing then Iran did just that. Hard luck.


Another surprise result (not that the above is a ‘surprise’ result, but you know what I mean). Germany (@DareenK73) were expected to win. Ghana (@fiona_bulter) came from behind to take the lead before Germany drew level. Klose moved closer to being the World Cup’s all-time record scorer (he’s joint all-timer at the mo; him and Ronaldo – the Brazil one not the Portugal one – on 15 goals each). Germany should go through, but all eyes will be on USA v Portugal late tonight; a USA win will put them top of the group! As this World Cup is showing us; anything can happen.


Sorry to say that Bosnia-Hercegovina (@jaq421) are going home. Having no points, even in they win their next and last match, they cannot pass Argentina on 6 and Nigeria (@redorbrownsauce) on 4. And they have a right to feel aggrieved, having a perfectly good goal from Manchester City’s Edin Dzeko disallowed.

Iran, on 1, are still in there (they just have to beat B-H in their last game, rely on Argentina beating Nigeria, and have a greater goal difference than Nigeria, who only have the 1 goal, so it’s perfectly do-able).

Top points go to @jaq421 and Sybil for their headtastic support of Bosnia-Hercegovina:





This should have secured them the victory, but then @redordrownsauce (Nigeria) had a secret weapon. He went and fashioned his own magic headgear. And this, and this alone, secured Nigeria victory.

@redorbrownsauce's winning hat

@redorbrownsauce’s winning hat

And congratulations both of you on your lovely wall things.

The presence of Pjanic in the Bosnia-Hercegovina team led to me making a feeble late night Smiths song pun on Twitter. Just as I was heading off to sleep Twitter was bombarded with #worldcupsmithssongs. The unofficial winner is @jewkesyno4 with “The More You Ignore Me The Klose I Get” (technically Morrissey, but hey, I never even meant to set this all off. You could say I started something I couldn’t finish).

So, on to today’s matches:

BELGIUM  (@hbnm1985) v RUSSIA (@chislehurst)

5pm. BBC. Estadio Maracana, Rio de Janeiro. It’s still early days for this group. Belgium have 3 points, Russia just 1. They remain the favourites to go through from Group H, the other two teams being South Korea and Algeria, who play their second game just after this one. I haven’t got a clue, and so I am going to follow Mark Lawrenson’s prediction of a draw, but I will up the goal numbers. My prediction:

Belgium 4 Russia 4


SOUTH KOREA (@anna_borowski) v ALGERIA (@lolers)

8pm. ITV. Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre. South Korea (having drawn with Russia) have a point, and so they will be desperate to win this game. But then, on no points, so will Algeria. It’s going to be the craziest game of football yet. Or the dullest. My prediction:

South Korea 14 Algeria 9 or South Korea 1 Algeria 0


USA (@Lindaannbown) v PORTUGAL (@ali_spencer)

11pm. BBC. Arena Amazonia in Manaus. This is the big game of the evening, annoyingly on in the bedtime zone. I’ve checked with Mark Lawrenson and he agrees with me; USA will win. Portugal are relying too much on Ronaldo and he is not in a good head-space, having had his toiletries stolen by a Avon rep). My prediction:

USA 2 Portugal 0

The charity bit. I’m writing all this (well, for fun) but also to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society. My ‘goal’ is £1966. So far you have donated an amazing £905, 46% of my target. And many of you have donated more than once. You’re all fantastic, and all of you in the Tweepstake will receive a prize. If you’re not in the Tweepstake you are still welcome to donate; I can’t guarantee a prize, but I can guarantee that you will be helping someone, somewhere (and their family) who is battling this awful illness. And, if I have any prizes spare, I promise you will get one, if you ask. You can donate at my Just Giving page here.

To those who have given so generously, I don’t want to pester you anymore. You’ve done your bit way and above the call of duty of the World Cup Tweepstake. But, if you have a mo, please do spread the word. Should we get to 50% my wife, @Zoleipar, has promised to recreate the John Barnes World In Motion rap. What it will be like? Who knows! That’s the gamble.

Here’s someone else having a go (no relation of mine, by the way).

An exciting day yesterday. Germany (@DarrenK73) beat Portugal (@ali_spencer) 4-0! An emphatic win no doubt, but the highlight surely was the funny pantomime antics of football’s latest cartoon double act, Pepe and Muller. In a performance worth of Ren and Stimpy, Pepe flounced out an arm which might just have caught Muller in the neck with all the impact of a hummingbird’s feather. This hurt Muller so much he writhed on the floor like a mardy baby. Pepe was having none of it. In a perfectly executed slow-motion head touch he leaned into Muller, and (just as the very edges of their follicles collided), Muller pulled a face worthy of Robert De Niro in – well, in life.

Muller Lite

Having seen red Pepe saw red again. He had to go. It’s the rules. No head brushing in football. These professionals have heads like eggs.

So, Muller got a hat trick and Portugal, one cartoon character down, got nothing.

In other games:

Iran (@Freig) and Nigeria (@redorbrownsauce) managed a goalless draw. That’s a point each. @redorbrownsauce said on Twitter “I’m not getting carried away but Nigeria & Iran have more points than Spain, Portugal, England & Uruguay put together!” It’s an impressive point (and an impressive point each) and Group F is by no means sorted. The teams next play on Sunday when Nigeria takes on Bosnia-Hercegovina and Iran face Argentina. (I say it’s not sorted; Argentina will go through but who will get second place?)

Crikey, I’m being very serious today. I promise I’ll lighten up a bit when I get on to today’s predictions.

Last game from yesterday was Ghana (@fiona_butler) against USA (@Lindaannbown). Guess what? I predicted 2-1 to USA and it was 2-1 to USA. My first correct result! USA had been knocked out by Ghana in the last two World Cups so it was about time for a bit of revenge. The two USA goals came at the beginning and the end of the game, the second one only minutes before the end and only minutes after Ghana had equalised.

Clint Dempsey, the C&W named USA player, was booted in the nose by the Can-Canning John Boye of Ghana. There was blood. He just got on with things. Take note Muller.



BELGIUM (@hbnm1985) V ALGERIA (@lolers)

5pm. ITV. Estadio Mineirao (cap. 60,000 approx) in Belo Horizonte. The first game for these two teams in Group H (also known as ‘the group of preparation’). Chelsea player Eddie Izzard Eden Hazard is one to watch for Belgium, along with Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany. Belgium’s population is just over 11 million, Algeria’s is just under 38 million, but not all of them are good at football. My prediction:

Belgium 2 Algeria 1 (why break a winning formula?)


BRAZIL (@Mojorainbw) V MEXICO (@bluebox99)

8pm. BBC. Estadio Castelao (cap. 64,000 give or take) in Fortaleza. The second match for each of these teams and both with a win, so a win for either team tonight should see that team edging closer and closer to the knockout stages (Oh, I can’t work out the maths, but this is the game to watch tonight). Brazil were a bit lucky in their first match (favourable refereeing, the host nation blah blah blah) so they better pull their socks up! Brazil have Hulk and Mexico play in a green strip, which makes it all a bit confusing. However, Hulk has hurt himself and so may not be playing. If he is out of the game Brazil plan to play Reed Richards in his place. In goal.

Mr Fantastic to replace Hulk?

Mr Fantastic to replace Hulk?

My prediction:

Brazil 2 Mexico 2


RUSSIA (@chislehurst) V SOUTH KOREA (@anna_borowski)

11pm. BBC. Arena Pantanal (cap. 40,000 or thereabouts) in Cuiaba. Pantanal is a funny name isn’t it. It means Swamp. I think. Or bottom pants. Either way, I’m laughing at the language of Brazil, which is no way to behave. Sorry.

Do you remember Fabio Capello? He managed England in the 2010 World Cup. Now he’s managing Russia. He’s got something to prove after England’s lone win in 2010 (1-0 against Slovenia). Here he is looking like someone who’s got something to prove.

Fabio Capello

Fabio Capello

My prediction:

Russia 2 South Korea 3

Yes. I know they are random predictions, but what the hell; I’m not claiming to be Mark Lawrenson (I’m just pinching his facts).

If you have laughed at any of my inane comments or my (no doubt illegal) use of pictures please donate £1 for each laugh to Alzheimer’s Society at my Just Giving page here. At best you’ll only be donating 2 or 3 pounds. At worst, no, you cannot make a withdrawal. Please help me reach my target of £1966.

Here’s a song to end on:


So far, the favourites are doing their job. Here’s yesterdays results:

Switzerland (@realandrewgreen) 2 Ecuador (@wasaunders) 1

France (@Zoleipar) 3 Honduras (@wristwatch42) 0

Argentina (@joyfeed) 2 Bosnia-Hercegovina (@jaq421) 1

Congratulations to the winners and commiserations to the losers, in particular @jaq421 who did her best to support her team, going so far as to inveigling the support of Sybil.


Sybil supporting Bosnia-hercegovina

And so onto previews and predictions for tonight’s matches.

GERMANY V PORTUGAL (@DarrenK73 v @ali_spencer)

5pm. ITV. Arena Fonte Nova, (cap. 52,000 approx), Salvador.

Well, there’s no getting away from it; this is one of the biggest matches so far. Will Ronaldo be fit, and will he have moisturised? My prediction:

Germany 2 Ronaldo 0


IRAN V NIGERIA (@Freig v @redorbrownsauce)

8pm. BBC. Arena da Baixade, (cap. 40,000 approx), Curitiba.

Haven’t a clue. But I love the stadium. It was built in 1914! Yes! It’s 100 years old! Ok, they’ve perked it up over the years, but even so, this is the best. As far as I’m aware it is the only stadium in the world based on a box of tissues.


Bless you!

My prediction:

Iran 1 Nigeria 1914


GHANA V USA (@fiona_butler v @lindaannbown)

11pm. BBC. Estadio das Dunas (cap. 40,000 approx) in Natal.

Don’t underestimate USA. Yes, Ghana have beaten USA at the last two World Cups, but now they have Jurgen Klinsmann as their manager, and I’ve heard of him. Landon Donovan has been left out of the squad, but don’t worry, they’ve managed to find another unheard of Country and Western star to replace him; Clint Dempsey (a man who, apparently, likes to play in a Stetson)*

Christian Atsu makes his World Cup debut for Ghana. He’s a Chelsea player (except he’s on loan to Vitesse in Holland. (That’s some proper football  information.) My prediction:

Ghana 1 USA 2

And, to get you in the mood (and as a fillip for @Freig who may be fearing the worst), here’s Iran’s very catchy official song from the 2006 World Cup:

If you enjoyed that song, or if you are enjoying my World Cup ramblings, please donate the price of a pint to Alzheimer’s Society. You can do that at my Just Giving page here. Thank you.

(* hey, what do I know? He’s played for Fulham and Tottenham!)

A quick recap and the results of yesterday’s games:

Colombia 3-0 Greece

Uruguay 1-3 Costa Rica

England 1-2 Italy

Ivory Coast 2-1 Japan

So, spot the shock result from the above! That’s right; we only lost by one goal!

Oh, ignore me, that’s just a sad joke. We played well… (when I say ‘we’, I mean England… it’s a synechdoche, or something… I didn’t play well. I didn’t even play. Who do you think I am? One of Rooney’s Looneys?)

Incidentally, that last bit, the Rooney’s Looney’s bit, I hope no one is offended by it. Mainly because I have pitched it as a film idea to George Clooney’s company. Years back I pitched Clooney a film idea called Clooney’s Looneys, about a bunch of madcap robbers who plan the ‘Heist of the Hectosecond’. I never heard back from him, and then was a little shocked when Ocean’s 11 hit the screen. Yes it was a different title, but in ever other aspect it was completely different from my pitch too. And for that reason, and only that reason, I decided not to sue.

I digress. So… Clooney’s Looneys didn’t work out, but what of Rooney’s Looneys? Wayne Rooney (played by Daniel Craig) is imprisoned in Guantanamo. He gets together a ramshackle bunch of prisoners and forms a football team to take on the American guards (led by a cheeky and likeable torturer played by George Clooney). Rooney’s plan is to use the football match as a means of escape. All goes wrong when the Americans turn up ready to play ‘American’ Football. They are covered in padded gear, helmets etc. There then follows a 17 minute Tarantino-esque debate over the differences between ‘soccer’ and ‘football’. It looks like it is all going wrong. But no! Ha! It is you dear viewer who has got it wrong! This was Rooney’s plan all along! The rat-a-tat-tat Tarantino-talk is a cover for the escape. And the Americans, encumbered by their clumsy outfits and helmets, can’t keep up with the nimble-footed footie fools. The film ends with Rooneys looneys sitting in a bar in Havana called Smokie Mo’s smoking cheroots and laughing and laughing and laughing and laughing.

It’s a feelgood sports comedy set against a background of torture and wrongful imprisonment.

Back to the tweepstake. Quick summing up of last night: England down but not out, keep an eye on Costa Rica. (And I’d like England to do well for more than the obvious reason: @Christian_N-Orr, swept up by the power of the tweepstake, has promised an extra £5 to Alzheimer’s Society for every game England wins! He is a star! And, if you fancy helping out you can make a donation at my Just Giving page here. Just a pound or two will help me reach my goalllllll!!!)

Here are my previews and predictions for today’s games:

Switzerland (@realandrewgreen) v Ecuador (@wasaunders) ITV, 5pm kick-off. Estadio Nacional de Brasilia in Brasilia (capacity approx 68,000). Switzerland are ranked 6th in the world, Ecuador are ranked 26th, which says it all really.


France (@Zoleipar) v Honduras (@wristwatch42)BBC, 8pm Kick-off. Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre (cap. approx 48,000). I have a vested interest in this one; @Zoleipar is my wife. Sorry @wristwatch42. But still… here’s my informed opinion: France failed to win a single match in the 2010 World Cup. They are out for revenge. They will win this one to lay down a marker. Honduran cuisine makes extensive use of coconut.


Argentina (@joyfeed) v Bosnia-Hercegovina (@jaq421)

BBC, 11pm Kick-off. Estadio Maracana, Rio de Janeiro (cap. approx 75,000) The match of the night and one worth staying up for. Argentina have at last sorted out where Lionel Messi plays, and it is for Argentina. And for any Manchester City fan, this is the clash of Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko. Bosnia-Hercegovina used to be called Bosnia Herzegovina, a model famous for her catchphrase “Hello boys!”


Have a good day, enjoy the football, and to all Fathers out there, happy day.

Yesterday I went to meet my sister and family in London. They live in California, so when they get the chance to come to London they like to do a bit of sight-seeing. For the kids, you know. I met them outside St. Paul’s, planning to cross the wobbly bridge and head into Tate Modern.

Just before we crossed the bridge my niece and nephew pleaded with their Dad for an ice cream. I took them up to the van (it was a complicated order- two 99’s, one with the flake on the side). We ordered. And that’s when the police pounced. Two of them. Community Police Officers.

They stopped us buying the ice cream and told the van to move away. Who knows what the rules are? No parking? No licence to sell lollies? I don’t know.

This couldn’t stand! I asked the Community Police Officers (are they even real police?) why they wouldn’t let my sweet little niece and nephew have their ice creams. They asked if we had paid. I said no, but we had ordered. That wasn’t good enough. Like Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi they simply shouted “No ice cream for you… two!” Ok, not quite, but they wouldn’t relent.

As we walked away, my niece and nephew in tears (ok,ok, not in tears, just a little disappointed), I shouted back at them “Thank you Community Police Officers”. This is true. I wanted them to arrest me. I wanted to become the Ice Cream One. But they just ignored me.

We spotted another ice cream van 50 yards away. we ran to it before the Ice Cream Nazis got there.

Flat Stanley

April 13, 2010

You may remember Flat Eric from a few years ago.

Well, Flat Eric became a bit of a hit, was made into a soft toy, and I bought one for my niece one Christmas a long time ago. He’s still knocking around their house somewhere, having gone through the “wow! Cool ad!” stage to the bargain bin stage, and now, who knows, maybe he’s due a revival.

Or has Flat Stanley taken over? Flat Stanley’s been sent to me by my nephew. It’s a class project thing. He’s coloured (or colored since he lives in the USA) Flat Stanley in and he’s sent him on holiday. To me. Pity poor Flat Stanley.

He’s Stanley Lambchop, from a book by Jeff Brown. I’d never heard of it, and if you haven’t you can find out more here.

My job is to show Flat Stanley a good time and then post him back to my nephew. He’s not got long so I’ve got to get on with it. I might take him out to pool tonight.

So far he’s watched the Grand National and been to Stratford Upon Avon. He wanted to see a Shakespeare play, but I wouldn’t let him.

Yes, I know. I know what you’re thinking. So, yes, ok, I did forget to take Flat Stanley around Stratford with me and only remembered at the last minute as I waited to get the train. But, you know, he’s flat, and flimsy. I didn’t want him to fly away. Or get pecked by one of those Avon gooses.

I’ll do better. I’m under pressure. My nephew writes “I know Stanley will enjoy his vacation* with you… You are helping to make learning about Geography fun and exciting!

For those of you who missed out, here’s the film my niece and nephew made when I spent some time with them just after Christmas, Bad Guys Wear the Best Underpants. Time for a re-release. Look carefully and you’ll see my nephew peeping through the dolls house, and you’ll see him with his sister at the end. He should have sent Clint Frecklestone on his hols. That’d be a laugh.

* American talk for holidays.

Pay it Forward… sort of

February 10, 2010

There’s a film called Pay it Forward. I haven’t seen it. I like it. Here’s the trailer. It does for me.

Just the trailer makes me cry. I’ll maybe avoid the film in case of severe disappointment. Take it from me, it’s a good film.

The kindness of strangers. That crops up a lot if you Google it. It’s part of the last line in A Streetcar Named Desire. And here’s me thinking I’d thought it up. The kindness of strangers. There’s lots of kind people out there, and yesterday I was the recipient of such a kind act it made me want to cry. Want to? Oh heck. I did.

A parcel had arrived for me at my agents. I went to pick it up. And someone I don’t even know had bought me a camera. A camera! From a stranger! I was overwhelmed. And I am now as I type this.

A few weeks ago my bag was stolen. My camera was in it. I prefer taking photos to taking cameras. I have been a little lost without it. I wrote a blog post about… well, not about my camera being stolen, but I did mention it in passing. And, a very very kind person bought me a new one  and left the message “This is to thank you for many years of entertainment and to replace your stolen camera. With love from some fans.”

I expect you’re crying now.

This is such a kind and unexpected act. It might be one of those moments where everything’s great and surprising and then… well, you wake up.

Thank you.

And thank you too to all my friends, including Professor Yard and Sarah, who offered me loans of cameras until I sorted myself out. Twitter, blogging… anyone who thinks these things are somehow unreal communities needs to get out more.

What can I do in return? Well, I now have a camera bought for me by you. I am your photographer. I am declaring myself, with no guarantees of any quality control, to be the People’s Photographer. You, dear and kind readers (and also the not so kind and dear ones) let me know what you need pictures of. I will take photos for you and get them to you within one week of your demand. All you have to do is tell me what you want photographed and where to send it. Be as inventive as you like, but try to avoid geographically challenging tasks. Be creative, but avoid portraits of unobtainable people. (If, say, you want a pic of George Clooney on top of Everest, well, I just won’t do it.)

It could be fun.

Right, I’m off to learn about my lovely new camera, and in a day or so put up picture number one. feel free to offer suggestions for that too.

Here’s an old picture from my last camera, taken in America at Christmas. No relevance, it just entertains me.

Santana Row people

Oh, and I think I know who you are, and if you are who I think you are, and you live East Dulwich way, you must, at the least, let me take you and your husband for a drink. And thank you so much. It’s one of the kindest things anyone has ever done for me. Of course you could be mad, but I doubt it.

I’m a comedian and here I am getting all soppy and sincere.

Did I mention that my stolen bag also had in it a car and a house?