I missed the moon

Every month seems to bring a different moon thing these days. Sturgeon Moon, Blood Moon, Super Blood Moon, Super Blood Super Moon, Blood Blood Super Blood Strawberry Moon, Buck Moon, Flower Moon, Wolf Moon etc. usw. ens.

We never had those names when I were a lad, and I don’t care if they are the traditional American First Nation nomenclature for them, I don’t want them now either.

As it happens, we got none of this month’s Nonsense Moon down here. The weather was overcast and grey and the moon was merely a bit full when we did catch sight of it through the clouds. But thanks to the power of Facebook and the ubiquity of mobile phone cameras in the Northern Hemisphere, I don’t feel like we missed out at all. Here are some examples from groups in Sheffield, Bergen and the Isle of Man. Special moments, captured specially.

To begin: Deliciously dreamy soft focus over industrial Attercliffe:

“That’s no moon!”. Orange blob over unnamed warehouses:

They’ve #RBOSSed the moon:

Twice. Seriously, this looks like the Teletubbies sun has got the bad jaundice:

I call this one “thanks for sharing”. It could be a streetlight for all we know. Try taking the phone right out of your pocket before grabbing the shot next time:

This is better. It’s like you were actually there. But you forgot to bring your glasses:

Bergen. Norway’s most beautiful city. Home to this 1.3MP potato camera:

And then finally, my favourite. Where the ‘tog has got all the elements (the moon, the shimmering water, the fairytale castle) he or she was after, but feels that it just needs a touch of editing to bring out the best bits – then slips on the dehaze slider and in the process somehow manages to tear through the fabric of time:

Seriously, what on earth happened there?!?

Given the number of images on social media, it’s clear that this month’s full moon was something rather special. It’s also clear that a lot of mobile phone photography has a long way to go before we can reasonably say that it’s worth sharing on social media – or anywhere else.

Back to football

Twice. And neither of them with the result that I would have liked, but… that’s life, I guess.

United finally got their season underway at Watford last night, and were unlucky to lose. The performance was OK, but there were a few last minute injuries and admin things that meant that we couldn’t get our strongest – and more importantly, most balanced – side onto the field. One goal settled an ugly game, and now we move onto our second of six games in less than 19 days… Ridiculous.

And then tonight… I finally played football again. GET IN THERE!

Just over a year after Covid flattened me, it was great to get back onto the field again. And I was so touched that the guys gave me a guard of honour just before the game started…

Did they, bollocks. Lol!

But despite the result, I really enjoyed playing again, Honestly, it was something that I really didn’t know I would ever be able to get back to. But my biggest issue tonight (aside from the scoreline) was that my smartwatch kept telling me that my heart rate was getting a bit high, and trying to SMS my wife.

I’ll be switching that option off ASAP.

And I’m feeling good. Might be a bit stiff tomorrow, but good stiff.
And I’ll be ready to go again next week: hopefully with a better outcome.

Feel it, it is here

I’ve been waiting for this email. And now it has arrived:

I love a good package (who doesn’t?), and with just 4 days until the first Championship match of the new season (although 7 days until our first Championship match of the season), I was wondering if a good package was going to come my way. Well, finally, it has.

And there’s an early bird offer. Kaboom!

On the other end of the spectrum, there are the pay as you go deals: £25 per month or [gasp] £10 per game. Ten pounds!
That’s right up there with R500 per baboon. You could actually almost get an actual match ticket for that. Although the air fare might bump things up a bit.

Anyway, now that my email has arrived, I am going to sort my subscription so as not to miss out on anything exciting. And by that – incredibly – I mean Millwall at home next weekend.

Aww yiss!

Back to it (and it’s hot back home)

After a couple of really awful days, today has been… less awful. I still have no voice, and am subject to painful coughing fits, but things are slowly improving. I have more hope for tomorrow.

Back in the UK, all the news (apart from all the other news) has been about the record-breaking temperatures. It looked like Sheffield – SHEFFIELD! – might even get up towards 40C today. That’s quite literally unheard of. Clearly, something is up. And yet, the climate change deniers (you may recognise them from being anti-vax/pro-Trump/pro-Russian invasion of Ukraine on any given day of any week) have stuck their oar in again with the old:

Lol. So this is “climate change”, is it?
We used to call it “summer”.

Oh yes. I remember the summers of my youth in Sheffield, where it regularly got up to 40C and the trams had to stop running because the overhead lines were being damaged by the heat. That happened every summer. And you couldn’t escape it, because – just like Brize Norton and Luton yesterday – the runways at the airports had all melted. That’s a typical UK summer, alright! Just what we’re known for. When someone says “English summer”, it’s always melty runways and over-stretched power lines that spring immediately to mind, amirite?

Even Ireland joined the party, recording it’s hottest day in over 100 years yesterday, and then it’s hottest day in 24 hours, today.

Temperature records have been kept in Sheffield since 1882, and while a couple of hot days as a standalone can’t be used as evidence that things are heating up generally, it’s interesting to note that the record temperature has been broken today (39.4C still TBC), yesterday (36.1C) and then in 2019 (35.1C). Before that day (25th July) in 2019, the previous highest temperature was 34.3C (1990).

Now, I recognise that these records can obviously only go up, but it’s more the speed at which they are going up which is the interesting/scary part.

Here’s a graph from 2019 which shows the gradual increase in mean temperatures in Sheffield:

…together with the maximum and minimums for each year. And those are all trending upwards.
We’ve now just seen that maximum increase by more than 5 degrees in less than 3 years. I’ve added today’s new record in as a red dot, so you can see just how much of an increase it really is. Incredible.

The climate deniers – being experts, like they are in Eurasian geopolitics (last month), vaccine development (last year) and supporting the fat orange man (since 2016) – will tell you that these things aren’t significant, but there’s actually only so many times you can dismiss these increasingly occurring events as “not significant”, before you have to come to see that in sheer numbers alone, they actually are very significant.

But this is just another wake-up call to ignore.

A note: I still don’t think that the media helps the understanding and gravitas of the situation by publishing “scare stories” and hyperbole about climate change. It belittles the situation and provides plenty of ammunition to those who want us to ignore what’s going on. So please stop doing that. [laughs]

Double up

I didn’t pay the £25 to watch United’s 6 pre-season friendlies. I wasn’t sure I could watch them all anyway, and £25 seems like a lot when the opponents are Casa Pia (won 2-1), Lincoln (see below), Scunthorpe, Mansfield, Burton and Barnsley. No offence to those clubs, but I would have thought a bit more about it if there had been a Spurs or a Bordeaux or something in there.

I might still go for the season long package again though, if it hasn’t gone up too much. And that even though there won’t be a Spurs or a Bordeaux or something in there.

Anyway, if I had bought into the friendlies, I would have got more for my money today, with United playing two (two!) back to back 60 minute training games against Lincoln City.

Fotmob handled this unusual scenario quite nicely (see above), but Google got all confused and claimed that the first game had been abandoned and the second one cancelled.
That clearly wasn’t the case, and personally, I would have liked a third game to see if we could have got to 23.

Again, no disrespect to Lincoln, but these are games that we would expect to be winning, so it’s all about the intricacies and the performances, rather than the results. And the boss seemed pretty happy with those aspects, so I think it’s safe to say that we’re definitely winning the league this season*.

Bring it on*.

* T&Cs apply