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  • England - born to lose?

    Oh my prophetic soul. What did I say yesterday, ‘plucky losers’? 120 minutes of football and 14 penalties later, that looks to have been about right. Brave and committed as England were, they lacked the skill and ambition of Portugal, and weren’t helped by the dodgy referee and the injury to Rooney.

    It seems my adult life has been punctuated by the England football team losing on penalties in important competitions. We think it suits us, that we’re dogged and sturdy, but I think it just lets us off the hook.

  • AP on Amazon

    Good news - The Accidental Pilgrim is available on So folks in the UK and further afield can get it delivered to them without much hassle.

    Curiously, I’d been talking about it to a friend at lunchtime, and thought I’d have a quick check on the site on the off-chance. And there it was.

    If you’ve already got a copy and liked it (or even if you didn’t), it would be great if you could head over there and submit a review - it’s always good for potential buyers to see what others have made of it. I’ve submitted a synopsis and bio and stuff, but it takes a few days to come through on the page.

    In other news, I’m knee-deep in boxes and worried over England’s fate in the Euro 2004 tournament. Seems we’re destined to be plucky losers, and I fear the same might happen tonight against Portugal.

  • Happy Bloomsday

    So it’s the hundredth anniversary of a set of events that never happened. How suitably Irish.

    Dublin is en fete to celebrate the centenary of the day described in Ulysses, and amid the free breakfasts in O’Connell St, the messenger bike races and the people in straw hats and period costume, sometimes it’s not clear why we’re doing this.

    Which is fine. It was great to hear Ryan Tubridy try a quick reading from the book on breakfast radio this morning, and who cares if most people getting involved in the celebrations haven’t even read the book?

    It was a modest but touching gesture of love for Joyce to pick that day - the day he first went on a date with Nora. A hundred years on, and there are parties in the street over it. Pretty good for a book.

    I’m off to wander around in town. Of course.

  • The Wicklow 157

    Yesterday I rode in the Wicklow 200 - a huge organised ride that sends 1500 cyclists up into the mountains of Wicklow for pain and enjoyment.

    The full length 200km option is a lot like a mountain stage in the Tour de France - half a dozen tough climbs and a lot of distance. I’d not been cycling too much in the spring, and reckoned the legs weren’t up to it, so I opted for the 100km shorter and easier version. Although it didn’t quite work out like that.

  • The countdown begins

    Not sure it’s been vouchsafed to the fine readers of this blog yet, but myself and Buendia are moving back to the US, and after months of slow progress on the immigration front, it’s finally dawned us that we’re leaving in a month.

    Feels like we’ve been pushing a go-kart up a steep hill for ages. But now we’ve reached the top, and it’s just started to pick up speed on the other side. We have to jump in quick and start steering or we’ll crash.

  • Bachelor Life

    So Buendia’s back in LA for ten days, so it’s just me and cat at home. And this coincided with leaving the day job, so I really am at home all day. And it feels like a weird flashback to three years ago.

    I’ve got plenty of work to be doing - working on a report on e-Government benchmarking which is more interesting (to me, anyway) than it sounds. Plus sundry jobs for myself - updating the Accidental Pilgrim site and trying to get my iPod to play nice with my machine (that’s what you get for installing the latest upgrades).

    But there’s been more Playstation and Pot Noodle action in the last week than you could shake a student loan form at - i’m regressing.