Spotted this on Facebook earlier, and never have I identified with anything quite so much.

Memories of Mr Dalton and Mr “Mental” Mantle came flooding back straight away.

Ankle deep in claggy mud on the top field. The slap as the ball hit your cold, wet thigh, and the peach and purple pattern it immediately left behind.

Legally assaulting an opponent by belting the ball directly at them was a completely acceptable – and oft used – tactic. And when faced with the other side weaponising the Mouldmaster, it was imperative that you didn’t back down or “nesh” the challenge. Taking the hit and then carrying on sent a very powerful message. Even if you were weeping internally.

Which you were.

30-something years on, and just the sight of that ball has got my inner thigh tingling.

And not in a good way.

Sheffield Tribune

I was nodded in this direction on the advice of The Guru. And he’s done a good job (again).

It’s The Sheffield Tribune.

A disproportionate amount of my UK readers are from in or around the Sheffield area, so maybe this is of more use that you think.

Welcome to The Tribune – Sheffield’s new independent quality newspaper, delivered via email.

We publish thoughtful, in-depth stories about the region’s politics, business, culture, history and local people. Plus our free Monday Briefings keep you informed about all the Sheffield stories you need to know, plus lots of great recommendations for things to do and read.

The Tribune is a brand new venture, started in 2021 by local journalist Dan Hayes to provide a totally different kind of local journalism — one that doesn’t chase cheap clicks and doesn’t cover stories in horrible ads. Instead of pumping out dozens of stories every day, we pick a handful of topics each week and look into them properly, giving you the insight and context you need to understand what is really going on.

Yes. To compare the reading experience with the ad-filled pages of the Sheffield Star:

there’s a story in there somewhere…

…and it is chalk and cheese. And it does seem that there are some high quality stories there too. Interesting, quirky, informative stories.

Like Southern people discovering how great The North is. Who knew?

We all knew.

Anyway, if you’re interested, give it a go on that link above. There are many different paid subscriptions available, but maybe give the free stuff a go first and see how you get on.

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 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]

I… I have no words.

Thanks to the work of the Ramsey Bay Over Saturation Society and their insistence on pumping up the Lightroom sliders to unbelievable levels, we’re now all painfully aware of the #RBOSS phenomenon.

Using software to make shots look better than they actually were is fine. Of course it is. It’s when you go WAAAYYY over the top that it gets silly and ugly and then when you have the audacity to suggest on social media that “it came out of the camera like that”, well, then we’re really heading way down the road of RBOSS wankerdom.
It’s just deceitful karma-harvesting and it pisses me (and a lot of other people) off.
Quite reasonably.

I’m talking about stuff like this, this and this. It even spread to Bergen, which really doesn’t need assistance in looking good in photos.

But all of that (literally) pales into insignificance with what I saw on a Sheffield Facebook group this morning. Because… I mean… even when a sunset is spectacular, you can’t claim that it looked… that it looked… like this:

What in the ever living fishcake has happened here?

This isn’t “Tonight’s sunset over the village” as the protagonist claims. This (I think) used to be Aston on the border of Sheffield. But this isn’t a sunset. This is the actual star crashing into our planet. This is thermonuclear detonation. Billions of megatons of raw explosive power blasting out streams of plasmatic energy across the rolling hills of South Yorkshire. Every atom right across the Western sky exploding in perfect synchronicity, creating an ultra-electromagnetic shockwave that instantly kills everything in its path.

And it’s not helped by comments such as “Absolutely gorgeous!!! [several heart emojis]” or “breathtaking!”. The only breath that’s being taken here is your final one as the blast of hyper-energy – having melted your eyeballs in a nanosecond – sucks the very last molecules of oxygen from your lungs, leaving merely a smouldering pile of desiccated remnants where you once stood.

What makes it impossibly worse is that this guy sells images from his drone. It’s his business. He wants you to pay for this kind of thing. Money. Real money.

To be honest, this is beyond RBOSS. No-one could have known that the technology to over-saturate to these sort of levels even existed. We simply didn’t think it would ever be possible, but this guy has unashamedly gone multi-Sharples.

End times are upon us.