Semi-final – England versus Croatia

Croatia play England this morning at 6:oo am (NZ time) in the second football world cup semi-final.

The winner will play France in the final at 3:00 am on Monday morning (NZ time).

England, Croatia win world cup quarter finals

In the early hours (NZ time) England beat Sweden 2-0 in the third football world cup semi final. Hoes of something great are rising in England.

WTF is SWEENG?

England’s semi-final opponent is still to be determined, with the Russia versus Croatia game due to start soon.


Russia v Croatia 1-1 after 75 minutes of game time.

Still 1-1 at the end of normal time, so the game will go in to extra time.

Both scored goals in extra time, ending 2-2, so now a penalty shootout.

Croatia win the shootout 4-3.

Russia did very well to get this far, they were ranked 70 going into the tournament. Croatia was 20.

Semi finalists:

  • France versus Belgium (Wednesday 6:00 am NZ time)
  • England versus Croatia (Thursday 6;00 am NZ  time)

 

French outrage over Trump comments on Paris attack

President Trump has offended the French after making some typically bizarre comments in a speech to the National Rifle Association  in Dallas, Texas.

Trump is well known for making stupid and insensitive comments. This just adds to the list.

RNZ: French outrage after US President Trump mimics Paris attackers

What did Trump say exactly?

“Paris, France, has the toughest gun laws in the world…” he told the NRA.

“Nobody has guns in Paris, nobody, and we all remember more than 130 people, plus tremendous numbers of people that were horribly, horribly wounded. Did you notice that nobody ever talks about them?

“They were brutally killed by a small group of terrorists that had guns. They took their time and gunned them down one by one. Boom! Come over here. Boom! Come over here. Boom!

“But if one employee or just one patron had a gun, or if just one person in this room had been there with a gun, aimed at the opposite direction, the terrorists would have fled or been shot.”

The French foreign ministry…

…called for the victims’ memory to be respected.

“France expresses its firm disapproval of the comments by President Trump about the attacks of 13 November 2015 in Paris and asks for the memory of the victims to be respected,” the foreign ministry said.

François Hollande, who was French president at the time of the attacks…

…said Mr Trump’s remarks were “shameful”. They “said a lot about what he thinks of France and its values”, he added.

Manuel Valls, who was France’s prime minister in 2015…

…tweeted: “Indecent and incompetent. What more can I say?”

That may sum up Trump very well.

He also prompted responses from London after saying:

“I recently read a story that in London, which has unbelievably tough gun laws, a once very prestigious hospital, right in the middle, is like a warzone for horrible stabbing wounds,” he said. “Yes, that’s right, they don’t have guns, they have knives, and instead there’s blood all over the floors of this hospital. They say it’s as bad as a military warzone hospital.”

Trump stabbed the air several times with an imaginary knife and muttered: “Knives, knives, knives.

Guardian: Trump’s knife crime comments are ridiculous, says London surgeon

The suggestion by Donald Trump that guns are part of the solution to knife crime in London is ridiculous, a trauma surgeon in the capital has said. The US president told the National Rifle Association convention in Dallas on Friday that a “once very prestigious hospital” in London was like a “warzone”.

He appeared to be referring to reported comments by Martin Griffiths, a lead trauma surgeon at the Royal London hospital in Whitechapel, who likened the spate of stabbing victims coming through the doors to scenes in a military hospital.

Prof Karim Brohi, another surgeon at the hospital and the director of London’s major trauma system, said knife violence was a serious issue for London. “We are proud of the excellent trauma care we provide and of our violence reduction programmes,” he said in a statement on Saturday. “The Royal London hospital has cut the number of our young patients returning after further knife attacks from 45% to 1%.

“London hasn’t been used to that. They’re getting used to it. Pretty tough. We’re here today because we recognise a simple fact. The one thing that has always stood between the American people and the elimination of our second amendment rights has been conservatives in Congress willing to fight for those rights. We’re fighting.”

Charlie Falconer, a former justice secretary, said:

“Trump makes Londoners dislike him more, and the US dislike London more. Mutual dislike is not good as the UK leaves the EU. Trump gives the impression he couldn’t give a fig.”

Trump’s reception when he visits England in July was always expected to be far less receptive to him than the NRA or the staged ego stroking rallies he has in the US.

A fascinating game of cricket

Today’s one day match between England has taken a few swings, and is heading for an exciting finish.

England’s innings started with a rush and the Black Caps struggled. It looked like England could get close to 400, but they had a major mid order collapse, and they got to 335 with a big last over.

The Black Caps had a terrible start to their innings, with both openers going for a duck.

Williamson and Taylor slowly got things in order and progressed well, albeit falling behind the required rate. Then Williamson was unlucky to be ruled out.

In came Latham, and he and Taylor gradually progressed to innings to keep the Black Caps in the match, and then accelerated.

A couple of hiccups, with Taylor injuring himself so he could only hobble, and then Latham holed out, but he had 71 runs, and helped Taylor to a record score of (currently) 155 not out with a game rescuing 187 run partnership.

de Grandhomme has joined Taylor and has started with a rush, currently 22 runs off 8 balls, putting the Black Caps in with a real chance now with 36runs required off 34 balls.

That was tense. Down to the last over, a six to Nicholls to seal a record run chase and a win to remain unbeaten at the Oval in Dunedin.

Taylor was the stand out performer, 181 not out.

Women’s rugby world cup final

This deserves a post of it’s own, the highlights of the women’s rugby world cup final, with the Black Ferns beating England 35-29.

All Blacks and Black Ferns

Last night in Dunedin the All Blacks had a shocking first 15 minutes with Australia scoring 3 tries, one within a minute of the kick off through an AB mistake and leading 17-0,

The All Blacks played their way back into the game and took the lead mid way through the second half. Australia snatched the lead back with a late try, but the AB responded with a superb try under pressure to win by 35-29.

It was a very good come back by Australia from their performance last week, and it was great to have an exciting game down to the wire.

Black Ferns

The Black Ferns are currently playing England in the final of the women’s world cup. England led 17-10 at half time.

England seem to be tiring and the Black Ferns have put the after burners on, to jump out to a 41-25 lead late in the second half.

A late try to England but it looks to be too late for them to come back now.

The Black Ferns have won 41-32!

An electrifying end to the match captured here:

Manchester: ‘This is the place’

Tony Walsh (Longfella’) reads out his poem ‘This is the place’ at the vigil on Albert Square for the victims of the Manchester attack.

This is the place

In the north-west of England. It’s ace, it’s the best

And the songs that we sing from the stands, from our bands

Set the whole planet shaking.

Our inventions are legends. There’s nowt we can’t make, and so we make brilliant music

We make brilliant bands

And we make things from steel

And we make things from cotton

And we make people laugh, take the mick summat rotten

And we make you at home

And we make you feel welcome and we make summat happen

And we can’t seem to help it

And if you’re looking from history, then yeah we’ve a wealth

We make goals that make souls leap from seats in the stands

But the Manchester way is to make it yourself.

And make us a record, a new number one

And make us a brew while you’re up, love, go on

And make us feel proud that you’re winning the league

And make us sing louder and make us believe that this is the place that has helped shape the world

And this is the place where a Manchester girl named Emmeline Pankhurst from the streets of Moss Side led a suffragette city with sisterhood pride

And this is the place with appliance of science, we’re on it, atomic, we struck with defiance, and in the face of a challenge, we always stand tall, Mancunians, in union, delivered it all

Such as housing and libraries and health, education and unions and co-ops and first railway stations

So we’re sorry, bear with us, we invented commuters. But we hope you forgive us, we invented computers.

And this is the place Henry Rice strolled with rolls, and we’ve rocked and we’ve rolled with our own northern soul

And so this is the place to do business then dance, where go-getters and goal-setters know they’ve a chance

And this is the place where we first played as kids. And me mum, lived and died here, she loved it, she did.

And this is the place where our folks came to work, where they struggled in puddles, they hurt in the dirt and they built us a city, they built us these towns and they coughed on the cobbles to the deafening sound to the steaming machines and the screaming of slaves, they were scheming for greatness, they dreamed to their graves.

And these hard times again, in these streets of our city, but we won’t take defeat and we don’t want your pity.

Because this is a place where we stand strong together, with a smile on our face, greater Manchester forever.

And we’ve got this place where a team with a dream can get funding and something to help with a scheme.

Because this is a place that understands your grand plans. We don’t do “no can do” we just stress “yes we can”

Forever Manchester’s a charity for people round here, you can fundraise, donate, you can be a volunteer. You can live local, give local, we can honestly say, we do charity different, that Mancunian way.

And we fund local kids, and we fund local teams. We support local dreamers to work for their dreams. We support local groups and the great work they do. So can you help us. help local people like you?

Because this is the place in our hearts, in our homes, because this is the place that’s a part of our bones.

Because Greater Manchester gives us such strength from the fact that this is the place, we should give something back.

And they left us a spirit. They left us a vibe. That Mancunian way to survive and to thrive and to work and to build, to connect, and create and Greater Manchester’s greatness is keeping it great.

And so this is the place now with kids of our own. Some are born here, some drawn here, but they all call it home.

And they’ve covered the cobbles, but they’ll never defeat, all the dreamers and schemers who still teem through these streets.

Because this is a place that has been through some hard times: oppressions, recessions, depressions, and dark times.

But we keep fighting back with Greater Manchester spirit. Northern grit, Northern wit, and Greater Manchester’s lyrics.

Always remember, never forget, forever Manchester.

 

Angel roofs

I had never heard of England’s ‘angel roofs’ (the BBC uses roofs rather than rooves so I have too) until I saw this article this morning.

BBC: The hidden marvel most people miss

England’s 500-year-old angel roofs are striking – and all but unknown. Michael Rimmer’s photographs provide a rare chance to encounter their beauty up close.

Think of medieval England’s finest gems, and castles probably come to mind first. But the country has another type of treasure that few people know about: angel roofs. Built between 1395 and the English Reformation of the mid-1500s, these roofs are decorated with intricately carved wooden angels. Only 170 survive today.

Because so little of the art from England’s medieval churches survived the Reformation, that still makes these cherubim “the largest surviving body of major English medieval wood sculpture”, writes photographer and expert Michael Rimmer in his book The Angel Roofs of East Anglia: Unseen Masterpieces of the Middle Ages.

AngelRoofs

But the roofs remain seen by few; even those who visit the churches don’t always catch their details. “Distance and lighting make it hard to appreciate the detail of angel roofs with the naked eye, or even with binoculars. Were they as accessible and visible as, say, the Renaissance paintings in Italian churches, I think the best of them would be just as highly celebrated,” Rimmer writes.

AngelRoofs2

I like this sort of thing.

There are many churches and cathedrals in Europe that are amazing, but I think they are often bombastic and overdone.

I haven’t seen any in England but I’ve been to Rome and seen the Vatican and St Peters, and to Florence and to Venice and seen some amazing architecture there. But it’s easy to become jaded by too big and too much.

The last two churches I saw in Italy were the smallest and one the oldest, but I liked them more than the bigger examples.

We arrived at a church in Ravenna on a Sunday just as the morning service was ending and the choir was still singing. Being alive with people made a big difference.

The last was near there – the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe. and this was as impressive as any in it’s austerity. It dates back to 549 and has is famous for it’s early mosaics.

I have a loose connection to this part of Italy, one of my uncles is buried in a war cemetery nearby at Faenza.

The angel roofs of England remind me of earlier simpler (relatively) efforts, which I  appreciate more than the out of control attempts to outdo Christ’s ideals by a long way.

 

 

T20: New Zealand v England

The first of the World T20 semi finals is New Zealand versus England.

England won the toss and put the Black Caps in to bat.

The Black Caps started very well, getting to 89-1 at the half way mark,  but struggled to get runs in the second half of their innings  and lost wickets regularly scoring 64 for 7 wickets, so will be a bit disappointed with their total of 153 for 8.

England will fancy their chances chasing what looks like a modest total, but if the Black Caps found scoring difficult then especially if they get some wickets and apply pressure then England might find the going tough.

Commentators are saying that New Zealand are perhaps 20 runs short of a par total.

In T20 one batting performance can make the difference. Can someone step up for England? Or will the New Zealand bowlers succeed again in protecting a total that looks a bit short of what they would have wanted.

Not looking good for New Zealand. Jason Roy has got England’s innings off to a flyer scoring a quick 50 within 6 overs with his team 67-0. The tournament looks as good as over for the Black Caps.

Roy out for 78, bowled Sodhi, but he has probably won the game for England.

A couple of wickets off a couple of balls but then England coast to a comfortable victory. They bowled well in the final overs of the New Zealand innings, batted extremely well at the start of their own innings and made it look easy.

A deserved win for England and the tournament is over for New Zealand, some credit to them for their pool matches but not good enough when they got to the sudden death semis.

How low, meek chariot

One thing more puzzling than the English Rugby team selections and tactics is their adoption to a spiritual slave song as their team song (that began in 1988, an interesting story from another low time in their rugby history).

A bit of re-thinking (something the English coach and management need to do on their whole approach) on their song:

How low, meet chariot

Chorus:

Swing low, sweet chariot
Coming for to harry me home,
How low, meek chariot,
Now I am on my way home.

I looked over Twickenham and what did I see
Coming for to harry me home?
A band of Aussies coming after me,
Now I am on my way home.

Chorus

Sometimes I’m up, and sometimes I’m down,
(Coming for to harry me home)
But now my team is exit bound.
(Now I am on my way home)

Chorus

The lowest day that I can say,
(Coming for to harry me home)
When the Wallabies washed my hopes away.
(Now I am on my way home)

Chorus

If you get there before I do,
(Coming for to harry me home)
Tell all my friends I’m mourning too.
(Now I am on my way home)

Swing low, sweet chariot
Coming for to harry me home,
How low, meek chariot,
Now I am on my way home.