Sunday January 17th, 2016

By the time The Packers game was over, it was close to 5am and yet I still read a few chapters of my book in bed before settling down to sleep.  Actually I read more than I usually read as I was a few chapters from the end of it and decided to finish it.

NOW I have to decide which classic book to read as part of my New Year resolution to read as many classic books as I can in 2016.  You’ll notice I’ve changed that resolution from my blog entry on the 6th January when I was a bit too optimistic and said “read 10 classics in 2016”.  I see now that’s unlikely to happen given that I only read in bed at night !

So now I need to pick a classic but which one ?

Yes I know this is rhetorical as it’s up to me but I like to think this is a democratic blog. As long as you all agree with me, that’ll be democratic won’t it ?


By the time I got up, the winter wonderland scene outside was a bit more wonderlandy due to some overnight snow. It wasn’t very deep and the roads were just about clear but my little Clio was blanketed and the snow on my front lawn was covered with tiny footprints from all the birds that use it as a landing and takeoff area for next door’s well stocked bird table and feeder.

That bird table gets more traffic than Heathrow and as I mentioned before, most of the birds in the area have a bit of a struggle taking off again.  There was evidence of shorter and shorter gaps between rows of footprints so I assume those were from pigeons having a long run to get airborne.

Other people get critters like foxes, hedgehogs, needy cats and wildebeest in their gardens but in posh Leeds 17, all I get are obese pigeons.


Getting up late in the day, by the time I’d finished my porridge, it was almost time for the first televised footy of the day.  I did cram in some US shows like The Blacklist and Criminal Minds and then it was NFL time.

Day of rest be blowed.  It’s all go on a Sunday !


Things hadn’t been much more exciting back in 1970.  For some reason back then January 17th was a Saturday and reading my diary entry, the highlight was watching The Val Doonican Show in the evening.  The guest star was Clodagh Rodgers who the following year was picked to sing the UK’s entry (Jack In A Box) in the 1971 Eurovision Contest.

Clodagh was a local girl, being born in nearby Ballymena, so was very popular in my part of the world. But these were the initial years of “The Troubles” and she received death threats from the IRA for being a N. Ireland girl representing the UK.

Back then Val was a TV staple for us and although I’ll admit I enjoyed his style of music, he gave me a dislike of sweaters and a distrust of rocking chairs that have lasted to this day.


Sadly Val died last July, aged 88. He holds a special place in my life and his smooth, gentle voice provided much of the soundtrack to my time at boarding school.


Back to the present and at 9:40pm it was time for the big one……The Steelers v The Broncos.  After the disappointment of The Packers losing in OT 24 hrs earlier, my NFL season’s hopes were all down to Payton Manning…..and he came through for me.

Just for me, you understand.

It’s wasn’t a great game and he didn’t play all that well but the result was what mattered and I was able to go to bed in a MUCH better frame of mind than the previous night.

And started reading Treasure Island.



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