Sunday, 1 May 2016

Live Event links

By popular request, here's a quick run-down of links to BBC Live Events on the TuneIn website:

BBC Live Events
Live Event 1
Live Event 2
Live Event 3
Live Event 4
Live Event 5
Live Event 6
Live Event 7
Live Event 8
Live Event 9
Live Event 10
Live Event 11
Live Event 12
Live Event 13
Live Event 14
Live Event 15
Live Event 16

You can listen to these streams in your browser via the above links. The easiest way to listen to them on phone or tablet is to download the TuneIn app and search for "BBC Live Event".

Bookmark all sixteen channels, then just pick the one you want from the list provided by @TuneInLiveEvent.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

I'm not sad, I'm just grieving

A few days ago it hit me. Not that I didn't know it was coming, or kept particularly quiet about it. In fact, "My friend Kevin, who died two years ago next January," felt at times like a stock phrase, some unfunny catchphrase to a morbid joke. But I kept using it, because it was mine, I owned that grief and in some perverse way I was proud of the way I was coping.

But at some point this weekend it turned much more immediate. Suddenly January 17th was looming. Suddenly the loss felt more acute, the wound more raw. A veil was drawn and the reality that went before - which seemed so real at the time - now appears dull and faded compared to the biting real reality.

Why did you have to break all my heart
Couldn't you have saved a little bit of it?

The video at the top invokes strong memories of evenings spent walking around Amsterdam together with Kevin, after a few drinks, singing Rufus Wainwright songs - badly and loudly. One time as we turned onto the Zeedijk arm in arm, singing this particular song, we practically ran in to a couple of old-fashioned bewhiskered Amsterdam cops who told us to tone it down. I don't think we stopped laughing all the way home.

At the time I hadn't experienced any real loss or heartbreak. Only now do I know what the song is about.

I love to sit and watch you drink
With the reins to the world, gripping a smoke
Vaguely missing link

But having said all that, I'm pretty content most of the time. I just need a little more time to myself than usual and I'll get through this okay. So don't worry about me, I'm not sad, I'm just grieving.

Don't ever change, don't ever worry
Because I'm coming back home tomorrow
To 14th Street where I won't hurry
And where I'll learn how to save, not just borrow
And there'll be rainbows and we will finally know...

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Cricket World Cup schedule - with times

Just over three months before the start of the tournament, the starting times for the ICC Cricket World Cup have suddenly appeared. (I would say they've been announced but I just happened to stumble upon them.)

To help myself miss as little cricket as possible, I've made an overview of the dates and times of not just of this tournament, but all matches I might possibly want to watch. So now I've been able to fill in the World Cup ones - and then do the conversion to time zones in the civilised world.

It's a bit rough and ready, but I think it's useful. Don't judge me on spelling, most of it is copy/paste!

The three times are local, GMT and CET (for the final the last two are technically BST and CEST). Blue dates start while it's still the day before in Europe.

Edit: Click the pictures to embiggen.

These are the finals stages, comprised of four quarters, two semis and the final. The latter will take place just as the clocks are springing forward in Europe, so I hope I got the time right. In any case, you can only blame me for being up early, not for missing an hour of play.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Never lonely

I was reminded today of a 1984 hit by Brood & Vrienten, called "Als je wint" (When you win). The immediate trigger was a sentence in a tweet from Will Smith (the one that this week scored 142 not out to save a draw against Kent and move Hampshire closer to promotion to the County Championship Division One, of course.)

I think the song, together with the mania around and subsequent break-up of Vrienten's band Doe Maar shortly before this was published, informed me about the costs of fame on a subconscious but very profound level, so when Smith tweeted: "Never had so much love on social media!" it was like setting off a musical grenade in my mind.

I was a teenage girl at the time and I was a fan, but I never behaved like the screaming girls at their concerts (or anywhere else they went, in The Netherlands at least). I genuinely liked the music and especially the (ideas behind) the lyrics. Relationships, sex, drugs, angst, what's not to like? ;-).

I've tried my hand at a translation, trying to follow the original as closely as I could, but making a couple of adjustments and ignoring the rhyme on a few occasions. I know I could've done it more justice, given more time, but the lyrics are quite naive and that still shines through, I think!

Looking at it so closely again, I should have known why this stuck with me so much, because at the time I was a big cycling fan (you could not get me away from the TV or radio for the three weeks' duration of the Tour de France, for instance). Plus watching Jens Voigt's World Hour Record last night will have primed me to remember a song that involves cycling.

When you win

He looks ahead, blank eyes;
He doesn't think, he rides.
Although his legs may ache,
He is in a break.
They'll never catch him now,
He thinks I've won somehow!

Never alone,
Never alone.

Half-naked she walks by
The judges in a row.
Flashes her teeth at them,
They're looking at her tits.
Tears streaming down her face
She's crowned Miss Netherlands!

Never alone,
Never alone.

When you win, you have friends,
Row upon row, real friends.
When you win, never lonely.
As long as you win.

No matter how tired you are,
They're knocking on your door;
You could be half asleep,
Or in your underwear.
No party starts before
You've made it through the door!

Never alone,
Never alone.

written: Henny Vrienten
performed: Brood & Vrienten

Closing thoughts:

Perhaps I should blog about cycling songs. Anyone interested? (Except all the ones I can think of are in Dutch, that's a bit tricky. I don't know if I want to translate all of them...)

I'm always surprised how many people, at work, or at church, know me or know about me. And most of all, that this hasn't put them off.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014


'Kolpak' countries (Cotonou Agreement)

Yes I went there with the title, someone was bound to, don't moan.

Picture this...

It is September 3rd and it's late in the day on the third day of the Roses match in the County Championship. Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale side is fielding and he moves himself closer to Lancashire's South African batsman Ashwell Prince. Then an exchange of words takes place.

At first Gale was reported by the umpires for a level two offence (seriously insulting or obscene language). Because this was his second time this season, he received an automatic two-match ban. Very sad for Gale, as his county was about to win the Championship.

On the eve of Yorkshire's win over Nottinghamshire that sealed the county's first County Championship victory since 2001, they were told that Gale would not be allowed to receive the cup or be part of the official ceremony, pending further investigation.

Today it was revealed in The Telegraph that Gale is to be charged by the ECB with a level three or four charge, for using racist and abusive language. A date for the hearing has not yet been set.

The article quotes the following exchange:

Prince: "F*** off back to cover point."
Gale: "Well you can f*** off back to your own country you Kolpak f*****."

Which part of Gale's sentence is racist? On its own, the "Well you can f*** off back to your own country"-part does appear to be. If I heard this on the street, racism would be my first assumption. But it was not said on its own. In fact, the Telegraph transcript continues with "you Kolpak f*****." without allowing for a pause, not even in the form of the humble comma.

It now becomes important to understand what a Kolpak is.

In 1995, the Bosman ruling had ensured that players from any EU country could not be prevented from working in any other EU country, according to the EU's own principle of freedom of movement of workers. This put paid to rules that prevented teams from fielding more than x foreign players. However, there was no such protection for non-EU players and the German handball league (as many others) still imposed a maximum of two players per team, only now it was directed at non-EU players.

Maroš Kolpak had been playing for TSV Ostringen in the second division since 1997 and was a legal resident and worker in the country (i.e. if he had been a chef or a bank teller, this would never have happened). In 2000 his team decided that there were two other non-EU players they wanted to play more badly than they wanted Kolpak and therefore, under league rules, they could no longer employ him.

In 2003 the European Court of Justice ruled that the Association Agreement that Slovakia had with the EU (at the time, it is now a member) meant that workers and players from that country and any others with similar agreements should be considered equal to EU players.

Back to that fateful third of September:

When seen as a whole, as it should be and as it has been reported, I do not believe Gale's remark had anything to do with race. It is clear to me that his focus was Prince's Kolpak status, a ruling the effects of which the ECB itself has tried to negate ever since it was made.

I certainly do not agree with the Telegraph, which argues that "Kolpak could be construed as racism in this case because Prince is black and was brought up in Apartheid South Africa." I can't even see how they came this conclusion. (You know, like in school when you get marks for the process even when the final answer is wrong.)

I would advise Mr. Gale never to use that phrase again, though.