Friday, 18 June 2010

CFZ Grows a Pointy Bit


The CFZ is going in for some of that vertical growth that economists often speak about... but this is structural.

The tent-like shroud is there while I do some roof-patching, and keeps the sun off me while I'm there, and also affords protection from showers, should any come sweeping by.

At the moment, the weather looks set fair... but that's always a dangerous thing to assume, in the UK.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

The Big Wildlife Garden scheme

A scheme to encourage gardening in a wildlife-friendly manner strikes a chord with me, as the CFZ grounds already have a fair range of wild plants such as brambles and stinging nettles.

This project, organised by Natural England (the government’s conservation advisory body) seeks to increase the diversity of plants and animals in every garden.

"Be a part of England’s newest nature reserve," their website suggests.
"The Big Wildlife Garden can help you turn your garden into an oasis for plants and animals."

Sounds a pretty good move.

There's more on this at the site.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Is it time to Ban the Vuvuzela?

ban the vuvulela - NO vuvuzelaFor many football (soccer) fans, World Cup 2010 has added a new word to their volcabulary: vuvuzela.

When literally thousands of these plastic trumpets are being blown in unison, the droning blankets all other sounds.

I've seen a few defenses of the vuvuzela, and here's a look at some of them.

It's part of the South African culture...

No, it's not. It's a fad that's been around for ten years or so. Singing and dancing is part of the RSA (Repulbic of South Africa) culture, in the same way as the Brazilians have their samba. Imitating the sound of a million angry hornets is not a widespread African tradition.

It adds richness and atmosphere...

Not at all. It makes every game sound identical, and makes every single minute the same as any other minute of the game. We end up with total uniformity of 'atmosphere' for the whole 90 minutes.

Here, we have 32 diferent nations in one tournament - and we have one single atmosphere!

It's a South African tournament, so they get to set the tone...

No; it's a world event that just happens to be staged in RSA this time around. If it were the RSA Cup Final then yes, of course they can do what they like.
And, in a similar vein:

They're the hosts, so it's their decision what they do...

Etiquette demands that hosts should respect their guests and see to their needs.

Other fans have their own noisy bad habits too...

Yes, but not across all games and not in unrelenting fashion for the whole 90 minutes. Some people find England's raucous brass band annoying, but it doesn't play all the time, and it doesn't drown out everything else. Also, that band doesn't play during games where England aren't taking part!

They damage hearing and spread germs...

'Elf & Safety is a handy stick with which to beat your opponents, but I can't quite stomach a ban on these grounds!


FIFA should never have staged the World Cup there. The ideal arrangement would be, South Africans blast away on their vuvuzelas as much as they want, and the rest of us enjoy the international festival of football in a country where diversity of celebration is tolerated and not smothered.