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I am absolutely enraged by a post that I have read about how Steve Bruce is a useless manager and needs to be sacked, so here I go, no holds barred.
It cannot be that every manager is useless, so let’s go back to the day Martin O’Neill walked out of Aston Villa. Who was first up, Gerard Houllier a manager who had good track record, and did well as the manager of Liverpool, his track record speaks for itself especially the 2000 – 2001 season when Liverpool won the treble, league cup, FA Cup and the UEFA cup, suffice to say this would be a fantastic appointment for a team like Aston Villa. As the season plodded along it looked increasingly like we were doomed for a relegation dogfight, some Aston Villa fans were calling for him to be sacked via the usual talk online and at Villa Park about how Gerard Houllier is useless, who remembers the banner “Had enough, Houllier out!” or when “The home fans once again verbally attacked Houllier with chants of “we want Houllier out” and “you don’t know what you’re doing”, before giving a chorus of boos at the final whistle.” I implore you to refresh your memories by reading the article to which the above quote is from.
Acsessed 16/08/17 [http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1367892/Aston-Villa-0-Wolves-1-Matt-Jarvis-gives-Gerard-Houlliers-boo-boys-ammunition.html]
Now I’m sure I will have Villa fans on my back saying well that’s only a section of fans not everybody’s opinion at the time, I do understand this. We must dissect our failures to pinpoint who is accurately to blame, and it certainly isn’t Steve Bruce or at the time Gerard Houllier.
Here is Gerard Houllier a is statistics during his time as Aston Villa manager;
At least we weren’t relegated!
So that brings us to our next “useless manager” the joker in the pack that is, Alex McLeish. I am not going to begin to defend Alex McLeish however he is just a football manager that has good seasons and bad seasons irrespective of where you have come from, he may have relegated Birmingham just before joining us but he didn’t relegate us at the end of his reign during the 2011 – 2012.
I’m not going to go into too much personal opinion on this one however look at his track record before us: Motherwell was a relegation dogfight which was his first foray into football management, Hibernian is where he gained his reputation which led him to his next job at Rangers. Whilst at Hibernian he bought his team which was newly promoted to a third-place spot and a Scottish cup final appearance.
His treble winning season at Rangers is just a small highlight of the success he achieved during his time there. Unfortunately McLeish never stood a chance at Aston Villa, as well as the comments that he was a useless manager and our poor form was down to him. McLeish didn’t do as bad as some Villa fans predicted he would do, comments such as “he got Birmingham relegated so he will get us relegated.” It’s not as though the manager before and after him did great things…
This is Alex McLeish’s stats during his time as manager of Aston Villa: interesting reading!
At least we weren’t relegated!
The next contender for Aston Villa’s next useless manager goes to “Lamberk” as he was affectionately known towards the end of his reign at Villa by some of the fans, but to you and me it was Paul Lambert. Everybody wanted Paul Lambert, everybody was happy about f##king Paul Lambert the man who worked miracles at Norwich (please let it be known that I actually wanted Paul Lambert to be the next Villa manager) a shrewd appointment some may say.
Articles and tweets seem to suggest that Aston Villa fans were very happy to have Paul Lambert as their manager.
“Paul Lambert factor lifts spirits of Aston Villa fans.”
Accessed 16/08/17 [https://www.expressandstar.com/sport/football/aston-villa/2012/06/04/paul-lambert-factor-lifts-spirits-of-aston-villa-fans/]
Paul Lambert’s statistics as Aston Villa manager during his three seasons at Villa Park.
|Aston Villa||2 June 2012||11 February 2015||115||34||26||55||29.6|
Overall stats as Villa manager
At least we weren’t relegated!
Next victim for the poison chalice that is Aston Villa was Tim Sherwood. I wanted Tim Sherwood he brought enthusiasm to Aston Villa that we haven’t seen since Martin O’Neill’s departure. He managed to get Villa playing attacking football, put his arm around Christian Benteke and got him firing again, as well as an FA Cup final, albeit ended in defeat to the hands of Arsenal. He was the next Messiah. At Villa Park everybody was happy, apparently enjoying the brand of football, and how Tim Sherwood was a great manager for us but the moment Tim went on a bad run the usual rubbish came out that Tim Sherwood is useless, he doesn’t have enough top-flight experience, we not enjoying the football he’s producing on the pitch, his tactics are poor… I don’t know about you but I’m beginning to see a recurring theme here, either Aston Villa is cursed or the shoulder of blame for our shower of sh*t performances seems to be turning “fantastic or good managers” to “poor and useless managers,” HMM, I don’t think so.
It kills me to say this Villa fans, but you get what you wish for, we all wished he would be sacked and so be it, Randy Lerner gave him the axe.
He saved us from relegation that year.
We had a brief interim manager then we appointed Remi Garde; and some Villa fans seem to think he was the right manager appointed at the wrong time for us, well I beg to differ, considerably. On the touchline he was absolutely pathetic, when the chips were down, where was his man management skills? He very rarely screamed and shouted on the touchline, inspiring and urging his players to score or to win the match, there was no drive from that man, as a teacher and a manager (during my time in retail) you must be prepared to get down and dirty, leading by example, driving your team, and you can definitely say Steve Bruce does that; after spending a whole season watching Aston Villa, I would often cast my eye over to the manager in the technical area and observe Bruce screaming, shouting, praising and driving the Villa players on the pitch whether we are winning or losing; I’m not saying that I think Bruce is totally blameless but he’s nowhere near as dire as Remi Garde and that leach Eric Black.
Remi Garde’s Aston Villa statistics:
|Aston Villa||2 November 2015||29 March 2016||23||3||7||13||13.0|
Eric Black’s statistics:
|Aston Villa (caretaker)||29 March 2016||2 June 2016||7||0||1||6||0.0|
Eric Black never even wanted the job, so why take the caretaker post? He wasn’t forced, surely there was somebody around Villa Park who was hungry enough to take temporary charge, make the necessary changes in the squad, because they couldn’t do any worse than his predecessors! However he was saying yes to the rise in money adorning in his bank account after taking temporary charge, because no mug is going to do that for free, he’s the only one I actually believe was a useless, spineless person, he’s thinking about going on holiday! He never tried to give the Aston Villa fans a respectable end to the season, after he preaches about how the fans deserve more, do one I say!
“I think I’m going to need a holiday never mind applying for the job.”
He added: “No I haven’t applied for it, no.
“I’ve been asked to be caretaker and keep it going and I’m dong that until told otherwise.”
Accessed 17/08/17 [http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/how-eric-black-responded-asked-11230170]
*Just a quick footnote here to say I have kept the original spelling that is from the article to which the above quote is from.
Eric Black vows to pick the team he wants and not the one the supporters want.
“I can only pick on 37 years of football experience. That’s all I go on.
“I can’t pick it depending on what journalists say and what supporters say. That would be unprofessional of me.
“I can understand the fans frustrations and they will definitely have ideas about the team they would want to see, I’ve no doubt about that.”
So he can only pick a team based on his 37 years of football experience, so surely his 37 years of football experience should have told him that the players he was picking wasn’t doing the job for whatever reason for the other 2 managers so what makes him any different, history tells us the rest.
At least we didn’t… Oh… We did get relegated under his stewardship and is relieved of his duties due to the end of the season.
So as Aston Villa fans we rightly looked to the hierarchy of the club to blame for our horrific downfall and subsequent relegation to the sky bet championship and I have no issues with that. You would like to think that this would be the end of my rant but unfortunately it’s not, because we are still moaning and blaming managers, so I’m beginning to think we need to wake up and realise there’s no one else to blame any more, except ourselves as fans, before you slate me for this comment please allow me to explain my thinking.
So after the inevitable happened the club was eventually sold and a saviour was found, called Dr Tony Xia. This man is not only saved our club from (my own opinion) freefalling down the leagues, he not only bankrolled the Aston Villa transfer kitty but he has invested a lot of time, effort and loyalty to the club and especially to the fans, he’s everything the Villa fans have wanted from an owner and chairman for many, many years, and I am very thankful to Dr Tony Xia, it’s a pleasure to have you at our great club. With this in mind we can no longer blame the hierarchy at the club for the issues that are still ongoing on the pitch, as we have a fantastic board and owner who clearly have Aston Villa’s best interests at heart.
So Dr Tony’s first appointment is Roberto di Matteo. After spending a whole season at Villa Park last season I can safely say the majority of the Holt end were singing about how “Dr Tony went to Rome in his Ford Mondeo, bought back our manager Roberto Matteo” and “Matteo’s claret and blue Army.” I thought it was a good appointment albeit I preferred Nigel Pearson. I was quick to notice that Roberto di Matteo may have won the champions league with Chelsea but his previous managerial record wasn’t the best; I was willing to overlook this because of his supposedly excellent knowledge of the championship and the stellar job he did for our local rivals West Bromwich Albion. But guess what campers? The moment it started to turn sour on the pitch the Villa fans were doing what they do best and prematurely calling for Roberto di Matteo’s head. I will state for the record that Dr Tony did the right thing by sacking Roberto di Matteo as he certainly had no fight or drive on the touchline which in my humble opinion you need as a manager to be successful in the game. The players can be great in every training session and do exactly what you want them to do in training but when on the pitch you need to be screaming and shouting at them telling them exactly what they need to be doing; because you are employed as a man manager as well as the other aspects of the job. Unfortunately Di Matteo’s shocking tactical weakness to change the game when we were in a precarious position, or when we needed to hold on to a winning position; this was his ultimate downfall and the biggest reason why we failed in our attempt to return to the Premier league last season.
So yet again we have been incredibly short-sighted and claimed we have got another useless manager, he was sacked. We start the merry-go-round of blame again but only if Aston Villa fans expectations are not met; and these are incredibly lofty expectations. I can wholeheartedly justify people having high expectations, as a teacher and a previous manager in retail you must have high expectations to succeed, but there are high expectations and unrealistic expectations; and I hate to say this but some Villa fans have massive unrealistic expectations which nobody is ever going to meet. Here is the evidence to show these unrealistic expectations that are heaped on the club, the team and the manager more so since Martin O’Neill walked away from Aston Villa.
This brings us to Steve Bruce. I am a Steve Bruce fan because I would be a massive hypocrite if I was to say that I don’t or didn’t want him at Villa Park. Hopefully you can see throughout the whole of this blog that in order to make realistic and close to accurate opinions and hypotheses about managers of Aston Villa, you must look at all of the facts and accurately draw a conclusion as to who is to blame; because I am getting incredibly fed up of seeing my team not reach minimum realistic expectations. I cannot blame the team or the manager for Aston Villa not fulfilling what I believe are unrealistic and unattainable expectations.
Let’s dissect Steve Bruce: at one point Steve Bruce was the Messiah at Villa Park, and I will not have anybody tell me that he wasn’t. Because I was there week in week out and witnessed when the whole of Villa Park are singing “Claret and blue Army, Steve Bruce, “Brucey give us a wave, Brucey, Brucey give us a wave.” I am just fed up of fans getting on the back of managers when its unjustified and here’s why, yes Steve Bruce has a responsibility but so does Dr Tony Xia, the players and YES, US, the Aston Villa fans; Steve Bruce is a Manchester United, title winning defender, the man probably knows how to defend and certainly would have learnt a thing or two about how to play attacking football from the man himself Sir Alex Ferguson.
Steve Bruce’s statistics before becoming Aston Villa manager:
|Birmingham City||12 December 2001||23 November 2007||270||100||70||100||37.0|
This takes into account to successful promotions the Premier league as well as two seasons in the Premier league.
|Wigan Athletic||26 November 2007||3 June 2009||68||23||17||28||33.8|
This is his statistics when he kept Wigan in the Premier league after beating… Guess who? Aston Villa
|Sunderland||3 June 2009||30 November 2011||98||29||28||41||29.6|
Managed to keep this team in the Premier league.
|Hull City||8 June 2012||22 July 2016||201||82||44||75||40.8|
The statistics include two successful promotions to the Premier league, one poor season in the Premier league and subsequent relegation back to the championship as well as an FA Cup final.
I like Steve Bruce I think he is a good guy and his record speaks for itself. However I know there are some Villa fans out there who have stated they are not bothered about his record and he is clearly not good enough for Aston Villa. So I begin to ask the question, what and who is good enough for Aston Villa? For me the results are still poor but I am running out of people to blame. Yes the team out on the pitch need to take a proportion of the blame. Posts from some Villa fans are absolutely slating Alan Hutton, commenting how he is useless and can’t play football, they have a short memory as at the end of last season they couldn’t talk any highly of him, singing, “The Scottish Cafu, the Scottish Cafuuuuuuu, Alan Hutton, the Scottish Cafu!” What kind of effect does that have on somebody’s morale? Put yourself in their shoes, if somebody came into your workplace and did that to you then you would feel pretty low about it especially when it’s unjustified or being made the scapegoat. I’m sorry but there is no job where anyone would accept the type of abuse football fans in general hurl at their players, as I have already stated I’m a teacher and it would be totally unacceptable for somebody to come and tell me in one breath that I am an outstanding teacher and brilliant at my job, then appear at my classroom door the next day after an indifferent performance (everybody has an off day, everybody makes mistakes, because we are human, it’s part of our DNA) to then say to me I am a shocking teacher who shouldn’t be allowed to teach and clearly doesn’t know what I’m doing, that’s not possible! It’s not possible for somebody in such a short time to go from an outstanding player, teacher, bricklayer, driver, shop assistant, manager, etc to somebody who cannot adequately do their job. When it is socially acceptable to do this in any other workplace? It’s NOT, this wreaks to me of people venting their frustrations because they have lofty and unrealistic expectations of an Aston Villa player, or just somebody naïvely looking for somebody to blame for us not winning. The same has to be said about the way we turn on our managers especially when we are three games in the championship season, and already we are screaming for Bruce’s head to be placed on the guillotine. I can confidently say that three matches into a new season isn’t time to sack a manager, I have seen comments saying: “well he has had a good half of last season, a pre-season and two transfer windows to get it right, however Rome was not built in a day, Rome was not built in a year, fickle fans out there, please take the time to look at the success stories and retrospectively compare the success story you have found, to your expectations of Aston Villa football club. Because guess what? Even Alex Ferguson had bad seasons, Pep Guardiola of Manchester City had a bad season; he even said himself if this was his job at Barcelona or Bayern Munich he would have been sacked due to the lack of success.
So he’s where I look at us the Aston Villa fans. As an Aston Villa fan and a working class individual; in my profession every lesson cannot be an outstanding lesson because, that would be an unrealistic and unattainable objective, especially when taking into account the constraints and red tape in modern day teaching. Most teachers who can produce outstanding lessons and outstanding results would burn out very quickly if they had to deliver this every min. of every hour, of every day, and this is what I believe is the expectation of us Aston Villa fans. It’s okay if we have a bad day, it is okay if something doesn’t work because I am not frightened to take a risk, make a mistake or try something new; in fact it’s very much what OFSTED (who are the regulatory body for teaching in the United Kingdom) are looking for in outstanding teachers. This is where I draw my hypothesis about our performance in the last match against Redding. Villa fans worldwide including myself wanted a dramatic change after the poor performance at Cardiff, one of the expectations was a dramatic change to the team selection and tactics which Steve Bruce duly did. The only survivors from the team that lost at Cardiff were: Sam Johnson, Neil Taylor, John Terry, Onomah and Hogan. 5 out of the 11 that started at Cardiff started again at Redding so I was quite happy, and hoped that those starting would give those dropped something to think about. Now I watched the match, and it wasn’t the best match in the world but there were considerable moments where we were attacking; we just didn’t have the finishing touch. To quote a few mistakes, Andre Green decided to shoot from around the area just before the corner flag rather than putting in a good cross into the box for somebody to finish it, he’s quite young and you can forgive mistakes like that. Then we need to look at Gabby Agbonlahor who managed to lose his man, dash down the left-hand side of the pitch and put a well-placed ball in the box which fell to Connor Hourihane, who promptly buried it, which gave us a late (very late) goal; on the other hand Agbonlahor had the ball deep in the opposition’s half and instead of making a forward run or a forward pass he decides to send a long raking ball to our defender back in our half, so it’s a tale of good and bad decisions. It is also difficult to attack when the opposition work out they need to put two men on Andre Green (who is quite the winger) and no Villa player is there to try and support and give him an option to play the ball to a teammate. This is where Villa fans will comment about Bruce’s decision to take off an De Laet and put on Alan Hutton, but I couldn’t see how Alan Hutton had a bad match it just seems that he’s become a bit of an easy target. You’ll be surprised to know that seven of our players were rated 6.0 and above, one of those being Gabby Agbonlahor, so please don’t slate him because of his lack of, well, everything during our relegation season. Steve Bruce was the only manager with the balls to give Gabby the kick up the backside as well as the arm around the shoulder that he really needed; he cannot shoulder all of the blame when certain managers let him rot, as well as injuries, but enough said about him as for a lot of Villa fans the jury is still out, but don’t forget the whole of Villa Park singing his name when he scores the winner against Birmingham city last derby day.
I will leave you with this, who else is there to blame but ourselves, falling victims to our own unrealistic expectations; I’m sorry you need to have a levelheaded approach because I’ve managed to find reams and reams of posts and evidence proving my theory. I will get completely vilified for this blog but please remember this, I am Aston Villa first, and will always get behind the club and the decisions it makes, so if Steve Bruce gets sacked, I will still back Aston Villa, whether my own opinion disagrees with the decision they make. You see, you don’t choose Aston Villa Aston Villa chooses you and it chose me a long time ago. Standing in the Holt End, on the very back row, watching a late midweek kick-off in what was then called the Worthington cup, I couldn’t quite explain how just being at Villa Park made me feel accepted. It didn’t matter who you were, where you are from, everybody made you feel welcome and part of the family.
Aston Villa could have Pep Guardiola but if he went on a run of 10 bad matches we will be shouting “he doesn’t know what is doing!”
UTV, VTID and please don’t crucify, it really is just an opinion.
The level headed fan.
No I am not found in the bookstores,
I am a forgotten piece of art.
I am the dust blown off the antique,
I am not the one framed and starred.
I am a pencil blunt and unsharpened,
I am the last bit of eraser unused,
I am the crushed paper now trash for a blot on my skin,
I am the lost word subdued.
I cannot be one of the classics or the book bejeweled,
I cannot be weighed with the wind.
The beautiful words my senses confront,
Cannot evidently coexist with me.
I am just another poet behind the crowd,
Hailing the queen
And living the dream.
I write for the love of Literature – My Queen
Serving her for the sake of love indeed.
(Currently reading the Six of Crows and I am in love with Kaz. ❤)
Please read. The fluency of her writing and powerful images her words conjure will have you wanting more. “I am a forgotten piece of art.”
Source: Queen Of Geeks
I wrote this back at the tender age of 23, be nice.
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The essence of life is……. Ingredients 200g of the plague, 50g of love, half a chalice of enchanted water, 2 scream’s of fear, leave to rise out of the pretty box labelled social stigmas and enjoy with a nice tea and a mince pie. Yum!
It is amazing how art helps to stimulate the brain; one is sitting here bored out of my mind due to a lack of teacher related plague’s that is keeping them in the school for another day and me on my bed writing this ramble about art.
Art has become so overlooked as a powerful tool to help stimulate the brain. We begin to think about art as a picture with no words but actually it is a million different scenarios, words and worlds in one beautiful colour or stroke of the brush, its amazing how being in the company of this masterpiece (in my opinion) for a mere two minutes has took me to memory’s of places I once regularly thought of, worlds I used to explore in the vastness that is our imaginations. Isn’t it a shame that we begin to loose our imaginations as we get older. I remember times of fighting under the desert sun with a sword so powerful it could sculpture the sky, reshape the moon and redefine the stars and now the only sword I have is the double blade of a Gillette fusion to shave away those years! I must admit the bonus to those awful GCSE Maths classes were the endless hours I would stare out the window and look out to the endless green fields and the hope of escape that emulated from the trees in the woods, that one day I would be brave enough to leave this prison and the excitement of escaping and becoming whatever I desired. This was a dream that was shattered by the harshness of reality when you had to become a man and plunge through those woods of adolescence.
Your once favoured pastime of staring out of the window into the never ending blue sky would become the stare of adult whose world has been shattered by the fake dreams he conjured of the world with his mystical, magic powers and the ever changing ability to be who he wants to be, do what he wants to do, only to find that the leaves are again falling from the trees, your praying for rain and the hope that another human becomes unable to go to work so you can begin to regenerate your bank balance into the positive numbers bracket.
What a depressing view of life all thanks to ones loss of their imagination and the politics of today’s society, which for the past ten years have encouraged us into higher education with the promises of richer fuller lives with endless blue sky’s and warm sandy beaches where you breathe a sigh of relief whilst you sip your enchanted water and indulge in the serenity this fake reality offers you.
This brings me back to a quote from my degree,
“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation”
What an amazing analogy of life and I do believe that it by far surpasses any interpretation of life I can muster. Looking at this quote by Shakespeare as an unqualified in life 23 year old one can finally begin to agree that life so far is an elaborate hoax, life is an illusion intended to entertain people with money and the higher force that controls our every move, we are like pawns on a chess board and the only way to evolve is to understand, appreciate, respect and fear life itself as even the religion quotes “the lord giveth and the lord taketh away”. I am not a political or religious person but one begins to contemplate the power of these forces in life and they are a force that if you don’t understand, fear and respect it you can become stuck in one of life’s endless roundabouts but fear not the rambler does offer you get out of jail free card. This is that, you can do what you want to do In life, don’t be pigeon holed into societies pretty boxes of which you apparently fit into because of your gender, race and ability, just because some one tells you, you can only achieve this tell them that you can if you really want it get it, but politics is the devils pretty box and he makes it very attractive and alluring with is mirage of blue sky’s and easy street life! Look at Art see the way soaps depict real life, its true but you have the power to make a difference and become everything you want to be, the world might be a stage but it’s a blank canvas for you to regain that mystical, magical sword we once wielded in our childhood imagination and sculpt your future and become the kings and queens of your own chess game when that pawn reaches his destiny at the opponents end of the chess board but its not the end, the truth is out there you just have to know where to begin…..regain your imagination!
Its is amazing how one piece of art has provoked a whole ramble and avid readers of which there is two if you include one’s self I could write a lot more! This beautiful piece of art at the begging is rich in colours and tempts you with the fantasy of world’s left to explore and journeys completed. A whole production could be sculpted from this stimulus and provide the most ground breaking, articulated, mystical journey for all to explore and for all to draw their own adventure form. This image shows life in its entirety in my opinion, death, love, past, present, future, life this is the spirit of life that lives in all of us, unique and beautiful and mine was released by Love soppy as it may sound. This image encapsulates what I believe is my essence incorporated through my depiction of this image. It’s hard to believe that ones brain can even begin to contemplate this so early on a Monday, do we all think like this? Or do I have some cancer that prevents normality to be resumed in my highly contaminated brain? I would be nice to begin to see the lighter things in life enjoy the breeze on a sunny day admire the snow falling from your cosy, warm dimly lit living room with out constantly wondering, ok I know why it rains, why does it snow? Why do the elements not allow us to make rain balls and wet angels? And why does it always seem like a good idea to put our nicely toasted hands into the freezing white abyss to then throw it at each other, or make a fat man with a carrot or whatever item you may find for a nose…..?
That is a good question and one should begin to ponder over it with a mince pie and a good old cup of tea. I think tea is brain food and I know at least two people in my life that would agree. I leave you with this we are a nation that is obsessed with reality and we become engrossed in the world that the TV producers, directors and actors deliver to us we get so engrossed we want to become the people we idolise and crave our daily dosage of reality each week but yet fake reality is better than our own we are our own soap and x factor we just don’t need cameras to depict it, just Facebook to broadcast it.
Good night out there, whoever and whatever you are!
I really fail to see what we could possibly dwell on when tucking into the jelly encased pork treat, but we do. Many of us dwell on the fat content and how many they may have eaten. As humans we dwell on everything, from hair days (bad or good), work, home life, money, politics, the list is endless, when you find yourself swept up in life’s problems spare a thought for the time when you stared at the most beautiful, picturesque view, that opened the gates to your ocean of an imagination, re finding memories lost and crafting new memories.
The picture radiates warmth I felt only when I look at that night sky, where every star resembles mystery, intrigue, future, past-life and the spirits. How can you not fall in love with the sunset in the distance, the mountain reflected in the serenest of lakes!
We don’t need to dwell when we can look at the singing butler and smile at the thought of the rain on your cheeks and the sound of the sea sweeping the sands of time to your personal tableau! How can one resist earths natural tableau’s its beauty personified!
From walking to painting, performing arts, photography, live art, the animal kingdom, the worlds forests and jungles, the disjointedness of this blog, you can’t help immersing yourself into your a new found happy place for a second or two, don’t let that pork pie pass you by, eat it and bask in the memories conjured from this sumptuous drool worthy jelly treat!
Goodnight out there, what ever you are!
James Churchill Ellis
I stand ankle deep in the cold, crisp snow,
when a tear streams down my frostbitten cheek.
The dream of snow has now become,
where the rolling, rough hills are now overcome,
with the heavens icy white diamond dust.
Reality meets the dream serene,
where fires blaze, the ideal postcard scene.
Goodwill to all and to all goodnight, the children whisper excitedly,
as I stand in the unsullied snow,
delightedly dreaming of the solitude it brings.
My happy place, my place of escape,
snuggled underneath my oak tree pullover,
stargazing space, my warmth is found, everything will be okay.
As I stand in the cold, crisp snow,
James Churchill Ellis
Zana makes his way through the glass wash area of the Printers Devil Pub thanks to blonde haired barmaid whose magic saved his life. At the back of the glass wash area Zana found himself in a small storage room, “they mustn’t find me!” Zana’s conscious gets the better of him as the sounds of battle emanated from the bar along with the thunder of magic! Zana’s heart is pounding so hard at any moment it could burst through his chest. Zana sees a cellar hatch at the back of the room, he notices it’s locked, with a quick flick of his wrist red sparks fire from his fingertips and SMASH! The padlock is annihilated, he slowly opens the hatch doors but is immediately sucked into another realm.
Eve gradually awoke to find herself on the pub floor surrounded by broken glass, she places a tentative hand to her head and finds the source of the throbbing pain, and to her dismay discovers a warm and wet substance at her temple, and it can only be blood. Eve suddenly felt weak and fuzzy headed upon realising the open wound above her right eyebrow, she slowly stands up holding onto the bar for some stability and looks around the pub, she sees tables toppled, bookshelves knocked over, and the till drawer gaping, unfortunately all the money was gone. Eve shouted in pain “damn!” Her legs began to buckle but she quickly grabbed onto the nearest beer pump to avoid a 2nd date with the cold floor. Holding her head with one hand she began conjuring her magic powers, she flicked her wrist and hot pink sparks flew across the room, slowly repairing and fixing, bouncing and dancing around and in-between the mess, her magic quickly repaired the damage caused by the hooded men, broken glasses reversed and the shards of glass intertwined once again with each other reforming the item to its previous self.
Eve falls to one knee, holding her face in seething pain that stabs its way through her eyes, the blackness takes hold as she begins to crumple back to the floor “my… medication!”
Zana is screaming at the top of his lungs “ARGHHHHHH!” His eyes are tightly shut as he free falls through time and space eventually coming to a gradual stop. Zana tentatively opens one eye, and then the other and realises he has arrived in the middle a war zone. Decaying bodies surrounded him, the charred remains of the fallen was enough to evoke the burning sensation of sick climbing up his oesophagus, and Zana can’t hold it in any longer.
When Zana could had finished vomiting he was able to survey the horrific scenes in front of him. He could feel the souls departing the fallen, which sent shivers down his spine, some were heading from this realm downwards, downwards to a different battlefield, a battlefield of which there could be only one destination, the destination of eternal torment, pain and suffering that can only be found in the deepest bowels of hell. Death and pain tormented his ears as the bloodcurdling screams invaded he senses. Zana took a step back and looked upon the sky where he began to observe the twinkling of the night time stars, flickering and flashing almost like the souls of the innocent, when suddenly a sense of realisation drifted upon him revealing that this battlefield is not just déjà vu, but the moment after “Dagonia – Academy Of Sorcery” fell, and unleashed magic so powerful it destroyed everything and anything in its path.
Zana suddenly fell to his knees in disbelief as this event happened on the day he was born!
20 years ago, 01th October 1996!
To be continued…
Chapter 3 – Ghosts of the Immortal
The door to the Printers Devil bursts open, the barmaid looked up instantly in shock, and 3 hooded gentlemen entered the bar. The trio proceeded to the booth closest to the window, the tallest figure made a signal which set her to life, she quickly reached up and grabbed 3 tumblers, and reached for the Rosebank. She carefully measured the 50ml maximum measure into the pristine tumblers, 1 with ice and the other 2 were left unsullied.
The trio sat with their hoods up in deep conversation, Zana flicked his wrist and a red spark shot from his hand to his ear. One of the trio looked up as if he could sense the presence of magic. Zana quickly moved his gaze downwards to his empty glass.
Zana muttered “Such a rookie error,” but it seems he has got away with that one, a close shave. Zana could hear the conversation between the them clearly now,
The smallest of the trio states, “Lord Arwyn, the war continues but the Dyewater trust holds her back, but nevertheless she will rise, and breach the divide.”
Ertrix interjects and reveals his face, “You underestimated those Dyewater fools Arwyn!”
The tallest of the trio slams his fist on the table, “It’s Lord Arwyn to you!” The anger in his voice subsides as Lord Arwyn sips his Rosebank with ice, he continues with a whisper, “Ixdus, when the divide opens again you will return to Ceahilf Valley and alert our fraternity to aid the queen, understood?”
Ixdus spoke with a lisp, he bowed his head whilst saying “Yeth my lord…”
Lord Arwyn sharply cuts Ixdus short with “I will not accept failure! Otherwise you will lose your conjuring hand this time!”
Zana gets up to leave, as he does, he stumbles in pain, grasps his right arm but doing so his glass falls from the table but, just before it hits the ground the glass stops and levitates inches from the floor. Zana notices the three men are also motionless.
A pink bolt of magic hits Zana in the chest, he looks up to see the barmaid pointing at him, “Do you even know who these men are? I guess you don’t, otherwise you would have disappeared as soon as they walked in. Time will re commence in 30 seconds as I can’t sustain it for much longer, get in the back!”
Zana is in a state of shock, the barmaid is a witch? Before he has time to reflect on this the barmaid shouts,
“Do you have a death wish?”
Zana jumps to life, moves towards the bar hatch, his cloak swooshes and his hood drops to reveal his glowing blue eyes, if she looked closely enough she would see his soul in the blue abyss that was his eyes, Zana whispers “no.”
The tumbler smashes and a bolt of green magic lifts the barmaid of her feet as if she was being held by the neck, Lord Arwyn angrily says “What was that? Where has that lad gone?”
The barmaid forces out “He went a while ago, he left via the beer garden” the bar maid gesticulates towards the back door. Lord Arwyn quickly releases her and smiles.
“If I have to ask one more time for a top up, you shan’t be so lucky.”
The education of a student matters especially when they become the next generation of teachers.
As a successful and outstanding teacher I pride myself on my ability to forge, and maintain excellent relationships with my learners, as well as my outstanding pastoral practise. I feel that I need to finally share with the world the psychological anguish my primary teacher put me through (as there are some teachers who are still out there, using and abusing their role)
I will take you back to my primary school days in the 90’s, I had a teacher that was so feared by us children that even, fear itself was scared of her. Back in the 90’s you would be surprised to know that the blackboard was still king of the classroom, and there was only one computer in the entire school. One of the perks of moving into the juniors was not only getting a desk (and you could a poster on the inside lid) rather than tables, and saying goodbye to the assortment of trays with our names taped across them, to the fountain pen…oooh. The downside was the thought of being taught by this teacher, to which I will keep her name anonymous and refer to her as Mrs CB.
My first encounter with this particular teacher came as early as year 3. At my primary school when we moved into the juniors we were taught in classes where half of the class was one year group and the other half was another year group; for example half of year 3 and half of year 4 were in one class, and half of year 5, and half year of 6 in one class. The fear of being in a class where half of the learners were as old as up to1 year older was bad enough, and unfortunately I was bullied by a few learners from this year group and the torture wouldn’t end there either. When I moved up to year 3 there were two teachers Ms CB, and Mrs R (again I keep the names anonymous) I was so relieved when I found out I had got Mrs R because that meant I wasn’t being taught by Mrs CB, until this point I hadn’t had any run-ins with Mrs CB, PHEW. The only time we were placed with our own year group was for Maths and D&T (Design and Technology) which for us unfortunate year 3’s was taught by her.
One Maths session that I will never forget, because it effected my confidence in Maths for the rest of my life was this one. We were looking at long multiplication in this session, and we all had to take a turn answering the problem on the blackboard. Today was NOT my lucky day. So, Mrs CB called me up to the board, but before I was able to answer the question on the board (which, by the way, I had no clue how to answer or where to begin) she would ask us a question unrelated to the problem on the board or even Maths, and my question was…
“Jim tell me, what is my name?”
I answered with “Mrs CB” to which she replied with,
“No, that’s not my name Jim, what is my name?”
At this point I was looking rather red in the cheeks with embarrassment and confusion, some learners were also quietly sniggering at me. So I repeated “Mrs CB.”
She continued “that’s not my name Jim.”
By this point I was crying in front of the class, as my futile attempt to stop my emotions had failed, I was humiliated, and felt so thick, I still couldn’t understand why she was tormenting me as I had answered her question twice, but she told me I was wrong, I continued to cry as the whole class laughed at me.
Mrs CB then addressed the class “My class 3CB, tell James what my name is!”
The whole class in unison said “Ms B!”
What I didn’t know was that Mrs CB had changed her name due to her divorce coming through, and she reverted back to her maiden name which began with a B hence Ms B. To add insult to injury she still continued to make me do the long multiplication, which of course I couldn’t do. She proceeded to keep me at the blackboard blankly looking at the problem whilst sobbing. The shame of having to walk through the entire class to get back to my desk which, was located at the back of the classroom, has never gone away. This was not the first time she was to shame me in front of the whole class, I wasn’t the only one though as I had this particular teacher for 3 years. Thanks to her I hated my primary school days and developed an intense fear of Maths, not just because of that incident but because her best teaching tactic was, if you didn’t understand, she would shout at you until you either, got it or cried, which happened to me quite a lot. The teachers at secondary school often wondered why I would never ask for help or say “I don’t understand” however, it was too late by then.
The silver lining in this cloud was that her bullying inspired me to be a teacher, because I never want anyone to ever have the experience I had. I would never make a learner cry for my own entertainment.
When we left at the end of year 6 Ms B was moved from year 6 to reception, god forbid what she did to those poor children as god knows how many kids lives she ruined at least mine was later on in my school life! I know she left the school within a year or 2. I wonder if the school knew how she tautened and humiliated her students. That I will never know.
Lastly she said I wouldn’t go far in life. This is my response nearly 20 years later…
I still managed to get some GCSE’s, a job to which I was promoted to an Assistant Manager, and later a Branch Manager, I even got a few A Levels on the way, which led me to my undergraduate degree where I obtained a 2:1 with honours where in my first week I sadly lost my sister, because she was involved in a road traffic collision back in 2006 (she was 14 and I was 19). I have later gone onto Produce TV, Act on professional stages across the West Midlands, presented live TV to the UK & USA, written a book and completed a level 7 qualification (PGCE in Further Education).
Ms CB, the bullies and death, I say to you in the most professional way, “up yours,” you didn’t break me, and I achieved in life, no thanks to you and your humiliation!
The one who achieved!