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Adventure Divers La Manga
I know me t'interweb two point nowt and I want me chuffin' Big Fat Feed of RSS fed to me.
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World Music, with a Celtic, Bhangra theme. On Didgeridoo









(iPhonoclast version)

I've been struggling, recently, to find anyone that believes Al Qaida was behind 9/11.

This could go either way, couldn't it. Where am I going? In the unlikely event that a sentient human thing is reading this blog, at this point, that sentient matter (you) will either be thinking "That's right, Rob, finally someone in the diving world is prepared to tell the truth about 9/11 and Dubya bush, and, er the Illumaniti. And Freemasons. And so forth. Gov'mint etc.", or you'll be more inclined to think "Oh no, he's turned into a hippy. I think I can hear bongos. Do something before it grows dreadlocks and tries to infect us all."

It's OK, there's no need to get the bleach. But why am I spending my time trying to persuade people that any "World Government" that's completely incapable of calculating a Council Tax bill correctly after 14 attempts, is unlikely to have been involved in faking the moon landings 25 years before CGI?

It's because I'm living in Port Douglas.

Port, to its skunk-befuddled, stinky little friends, is an excellent place to spend time swimming around underwater in Far North Queensland, but an even better place to purchase much needed sea shells with dolphins painted on them for around 65. Or to pay a similar price for a "frontal massage". By someone that's completely unqualified for it.

Qualified by whom? That's what I say; oh sure, so you're going to tell me that nothing works until it's been verified by the state and rubber-stamped by The Man, yeah? Right, kids? Right? Well, I nearly got away with it.

Anyway, hopefully by now, enough time will have elapsed for the above video of humpbacks to have loaded. It's much worse quality than the original, for which I blame my new Adobe editing software. And The Man. Mostly The Man. But it was quite nice at the time.

Not quite nice enough for me to overcome the trauma of living in a backpackers' for three weeks, five days, six hours and 24 minutes, though. If you've never gone backpacking before, and are unsure as to whether it's really for you, the following quiz should help:

Question 1) You awake one morning to discover that one of those wispy little moustaches that, although you're not sure because you've never been allowed there, you imagine trainee gangsters in Brixton might grow when their mums let them, has appeared on your weasely little face, just below your eyes, which are too close together. Do you:

a) Shave it off immediately.

b) Sport it ironically for an evening in the hope it will improve your chances of sexy-time.

c) Accentuate it with with four conspicuous chin hairs and a hat with floppy ear bits that dangle down near your vest. You're wearing a vest.

Question 2) It's the morning-time and you see a semi-sentient human thing (called Rob, for example), sitting in a seat pouring Coco Pops into a bowl. When Rob gets up to put the milk back in the fridge do you:

a) Do nothing.

b) Question everything, man. There's no way bin Laden flew those planes.

c) Sit down in the seat for the seven and a half seconds that it's empty and invite six of your be-dreadlocked friends over to talk about the nightlife in Bristol and how 9/11 was a conspiracy by The Man because buildings don't just fall over when planes fly into them because you've never seen it happen before. Except for that one time. On 9/11. And so Rob has to pick up the Coco Pops and eat them in the seat by the speakers with the Bob Marley playing out of them.

Question 3) You're a bit drunk and need a poo. Do you:

a) Go to the communal toilets and have a poo. Then flush.

b) Go to the communal toilets and have a poo. Forget to flush.

c) Go to the communal toilets, put the seat down, and then the lid over the seat, and then have a poo. On the lid of the toilet. Yes, the lid. It's irrelevant whether you flush or not.

I'm not in the backpackers' anymore.

Rob
Dive Worldwide PNG

For an even better blog than this... Read the Battersea Blog

 
A New Low. Now on TV









(iPhonoclast version)

Given that humanity has yet to find any use for either letters or numbers, it's unlikely that this is going to be of any interest, but for those who are at work or suicidally bored, you may enjoy the zenith of my existence, although it's far more likely you'll prefer the nadir. Feel free to add comments. "Rob's face is not fat and he doesn't sound smarmy and reedy"; "Bring back Rob that we may have our televisual pleasure enlivened by him"; "It takes great courage to only find six letter words whilst all around you find seven"; that sort of thing.

I'm still failing to find a point to my existence, which will come as no surprise to anyone that knows me. My intense research into the matter has, however, enabled me to provide a brief translation service, should you ever find yourself in the unfortunate position of ever having to speak to a recruitment consultant or anyone at all who works in HR (you can spot them: they believe that HR is the most important department in any company. More important than the soldiers in an army, for example, or the lizards in a shop where what they do is sell lizards). Here you go:

"I'll call you back later in the week" translates as "I will never call you back".

"I'll call you back tomorrow" translates as "I will never call you back".

"I'll call you back this afternoon" translates as "I will never call you back".

"I'll call you back in five minutes" translates as "I will never call you back".

"I promise I will call you back in less than one minute, may I be flogged naked in the street and rent asunder by stampeding horses if I do not. You have my word. My word is my honour, the only thing that is important in this life and I swear upon the vengeance of the very gods themselves that I will never ever break it" translates as "I will never call you back".

They rarely call you back.

Rob
Suunto
Comments on this post:
05/03/2011

don't eat all the crisps at once

IJ
50 Reasons to Hate the French
05/03/2011

You reminded me of Ian Hislop when he has said something clever on Have I got news for You.

Rob's Mum
London and Midlands Diving Chambers
28/03/2011

Zenith.....you definetly said "tongs" not "tongues"...only 4 points should have been given. Cheating bloody scorers.

If tongs=tongues then how come yer Northern accent gets stronger the more time you spend in Oz.

JCF
London and Midlands Diving Chambers

For an even better blog than this... Read the Battersea Blog

 
Will Dive for Bourbon
I'm king of the f***ing world







The last time I included any members of my family in a group email, it was to let the universe know that I was about to watch the 2006 World Cup. All of it. In Central America. My diving services were no longer required (by Satan herself) in Nicaragua and I didn't have enough money to return home to Blighty and the inevitable ticker-tape parade that one expects after three months out of the country. And I knew that this time, England were actually going to win the World Cup. So I was going to watch it all unfold through a month-long alcoholic haze somewhere around Guatemala.

Unfortunately, in this email, which I had drunkenly sent to a somewhat eclectic selection of contacts in my address-book, including ex-girlfriends, ex-bosses, bank managers etc., I mentioned as an off-hand joke at the end, that if anyone had any ideas as to what I could do for the rest of my life, then I'd be receptive to any suggestions.

My brother did a "Reply-all" with something a bit too sensible, but I think he got away with it.

My mother composed a one sentence response to him, which was: "For God's sake, let's get him home."

Unfortunately, being new to the interweb or "information superhighway" as she was calling it at the time, and not understanding what all these new-fangled buttons do on the computer, she too hit "Reply-all" and the message went out to everyone on the original list. To this day, I have several friends who insist on bringing this episode up in spasms of laughter every time I see them. Every. Single. Time.

Like I said, it was the last time I included any members of my family in a group email.

I only mention this because I find myself in a similar situation now in Melbourne. See the metaphor, above-left. And the cricket World Cup approaches.

I'm bored of creating places for words and pictures to live on the information superhighway, so if anyone has any ideas as to what I could do for the rest of my life, then I'd be receptive to any suggestions. Cheers.

Rob
Dive Worldwide PNG
Comments on this post:
04/02/2011
Spider (giant)

Pictured left: Giant spider terrorises Melbourne.

As an addendum to the above post, in defence of my mother's internet skills, I think it's only fair to highlight that she really was new to the technology, and was at that stage of online evolution we all go through where I was receiving six or seven emails from her a day with subject lines such as:

"Warning! There's a new trojan horse VIRUS going around! Send this to everyone you know or there computer will DIE!"

"Bill Gates is giving his fortune away to everyone that receives this email! Forward this email on to everyone you know! It's true: My friend told me about it and she's real smart like a lawyer or something and she sent this on and the next day she got a cheque for $3,000 dollars!"

"Ha ha! Funniest joke EVER!!!!!!!!"

"Sign this email petition to stop the Taliban mistreating womens"

and

"Ha ha! Do this IQ quiz GUARANTEED to tell you how smart you are! HA HA! Bill Gates only scored THREE!!!"

In prosecution of my mother's internet skills, I will also point out that five years later, she's still doing this.

It's just a phase. She'll grow out of it.

Rob
H2O Dive
04/02/2011
Spider vanquished by Gates or Jobs, depending upon your time frame

Pictured left: Ha ha! Fooled you! Funniest joke EVER!!!!!!!! The giant spider is not terrorising Melbourne at all. It was destroyed by a giant pencil before it got within 50 miles.

As an addendum to the above addendum, am I the only one nostalgic for the days when Bill Gates was the Evil One with all the brains and money and Steve Jobs was the knight in shining armour for the common man, rather than the other way around?

Rob
Diving Chamber Treatment Trust

For an even better blog than this... Read the Battersea Blog

 
Sipadan is Quite Good









(iPhonoclast version)

I will say this, though: Given that muck diving is all about looking at tiny things in the sand that are incredibly well camouflaged, and since this is something that becomes exponentially more difficult to do in a strong current; perhaps such dives aren't the best place for newly qualified open water divers whose general idea of buoyancy is that "this button makes you go up, yes?"

As one diver kept smashing through the sand, power-inflating their BCD and rocketing toward the surface, then dumping all their air and smashing down into the sand / whatever it was I was trying to get a shot of again, before rolling around for a bit onto their back like a particularly graceless cockroach, I had pause to internally debate the corporal / capital punishment question.

When the divemaster gave up trying to point out the tiny interesting stuff and instead vaguely pointed towards turtles (Sipadan and the nearby island are infested with turtles) and morays for the rest of the dive, I realised that the latter option was, if anything, too liberal. The dynamite fishermen we heard and felt blasting the reef to pieces during the safety stop of the first dive that day clearly agreed with me.

Anyway, that's a grey reef shark above and more pics will follow. I suggest getting to Sipadan while you can because with the combined efforts of the diver and fisherman above, in a couple of years time there'll be nothing left to look at.

Rob
Travelling Diver
Comments on this post:
11/01/2011
Some sort of nudibranch

Nudibranch of some sort.

Rob
H2O Dive
11/01/2011
Snake eel

Snake eel; tiny; best photograph I have ever taken.

Rob
e-med Arabic
11/01/2011
Porcelain Crab

Porcelain crab, also tiny.

Rob
H2O Dive
11/01/2011
Wow.

Peacock Mantis Shrimp. Reight nice, like.

Rob
H2O Dive
11/01/2011
Barracudaras

Barracudaras. Not tiny.

Rob
Diving Chamber Treatment Trust
11/01/2011
Toit

Rat with flippers.

Rob
Adventure Divers La Manga
11/01/2011
Jacques

Jacks (Cousteau).

You see what I did there? Genius.

Rob
London and Midlands Diving Chambers
11/01/2011
Frogfish

Some sort of frogfish. Yellow. Tiny.

Rob
Diving Chamber Treatment Trust
11/01/2011
Also frogfish

The same frogfish, actually in the process of turning his (or her) back on me.

He (or she) did this very slowly as it involved waddling around on his (or her or its) fins.

Rob
Blue O Two
11/01/2011
Not a leaf

Leaf Scorpionfish.

Looks like a leaf.

It isn't though; it's a fish.

Rob
London and Midlands Diving Chambers
11/01/2011
Grey Reefie

Grey Reef Shark.

This was at ten metres, two minutes into our first Sipadan dive. It proved to be the only time a shark came near me all week. Except for whitetip reef sharks, but they don't count because they just don't.

Rob
50 Reasons to Hate the French
11/01/2011

More jacks, Cousteau.

Oh, wait, I already did that joke.

Rob
H2O Dive
13/03/2011

Hey,

I've literally just returned from Sabah. I dove Sipidan last week and loved it. The diverse marine life blew my mind. Equally the muck diving on Mabul and Kapalai was awesome! When were you there?

Daniela Marchesi
Diving Chamber Treatment Trust
14/03/2011

Hi Daniela,

I thought I'd set my expectations reasonably high for 2011 and arrived in Sipadan on January 2nd. Since then I've been forced to spend my days running away from exploding stuff in slow motion in order to keep the euphoria at a similar level.

Good idea for a film that. Put Jason Statham in it maybe, see if he can act.

Rob
e-med Arabic

For an even better blog than this... Read the Battersea Blog

 
Singalingadingdong









(iPhonoclast version)

I've always been a person that's happy to allow people near their feet; on some occasions I've even let folk as close as three or four metres without physically attacking them with a grappling hook I keep about my person for that very purpose. Which is why I was more than happy to visit a "fish spa" in Singapore on New Year's Eve.

At a fish spa, you dip your feet into a tank of water and hundreds of tiny little fish come and eat the tiny little bits of dead skin on your tiny little feet with their tiny little teeth. It lasts for about 30 minutes. I squealed like a little girl for about 30 minutes. I don't know why I wasn't asked to leave.

The same could be said for the evening do. We went to the most expensive restaurant I've ever seen on the waterfront and ate reight posh and that. Which means I ate bits of miniature beans and watched everyone else eat obscure bits of animals. The sort of bits not even the animal would miss, probably. Who even knew geese had livers? The most important thing I learned is that a truffle is a kind of incredibly expensive mushroom. I ate one. It tasted like a mushroom. The best bit was when a waitery type came over to discuss the vegetarian options for the fifth (yes, 5th) course:

Him: You are vegetarian, yes?

Me: I am vegetarian, yes.

Him: For the fifth course we have suckling pig.

Me: I am vegetarian.

Him: Yes. Is suckling pig OK for you?

Me: Does it have meat in it, this suckling pig?

Him: Yes.

Me: I am vegetarian.

Him: Yes.

It may surprise any readers of this to learn that after that I took advantage of it being New Year's Eve by getting drunk on a rooftop. Marina made me leave before I stripped off and jumped in the pool because she's a girl and girl's have little or no understanding of hilarity. Plus she wasn't as drunk as me.

A round of drinks was $126. Today I'm celebrating my bankruptcy by flying to Borneo.

Happy New Year.

Rob
O'Three

For an even better blog than this... Read the Battersea Blog

 
SEO 101: Scuba Scuba Scuba Scuba









(iPhonoclast version)

Incredibly for someone as dull as myself, I went near some water recently, and here's the proof.

I apologise for the quality of the commentary. Australians, it seems, when confronted by this kind of thing are driven toward the most tedious of ejaculations like: "Look. A seal" and "Hello", rather than spontaneously resolving the dichotomy between general relativity and quantum mechanics, for example.

Actually, it sounds like whoever said "Hello" was a Pom(mie). Sickening.

Rob
Adventure Divers La Manga
Comments on this post:
15/12/2010
A bit of a pier and that

I'm posting this picture because I like it. You can see the top of a mast and the pier of a marina hereabouts, plus lots of coral under t'water.

The reason I like it is you can't really tell where the water ends and the above-water begins. Well, I'm a simple man. Leave me alone.

Rob
Diving Chamber Treatment Trust
15/12/2010
More bits of a pier and that

And another one. Ha! Consider the state smashed.

Rob
Blue O Two
15/12/2010

(iPhonoclast version)

This is a bit of some sort of a ray without a tail being stalked by Delirium Tremens.

I've done this before in this blog, but if you don't like videos of rays you should have the soles of your feet beaten with a rod of molten iron.

Rob
Blue O Two

For an even better blog than this... Read the Battersea Blog

 
Sloblock
Rebrand?  Dimwit.







The day before yesterday, I appeared as a contestant on the Australian version of Countdown.

It's called Letters and Numbers over here, despite being identical to the point where it even seems to have the reincarnation of Richard Whiteley on it, and my performance would best be described as an anagram of this. No, not hits.

Strange day. They film five episodes at once and I was the fourth contestant, so I'd had seven hours of nervous adrenaline before it was my go. My other excuse is that the clever girl what does the numbers and that was quite hot and nearly looked at me once so I could tell she fancied me. She can't spell though.

Neither, it transpires, can I.

Anyway, the bloke I matched up against was on his fifth episode and he had a little beard I didn't like. As if that wasn't enough, he decided to get all fancy in the first round with a seven letter word which, the mathematically inclined will be forced to notice, is one better than the six letter word I was rather proud of. What's wrong with these people?

I was preoccupied with fulfilling a lifetime ambition to spell out a swearword via the judicious selection of consonants and vowels when it was my turn to pick the letters. Sadly, the closest I got was accidentally spelling "gunt" with the last four letters and we had to refilm that bit and swap the n and t around for myopic viewers unable to view an uppercase G correctly.

The hirsutic didn't win another round. "Take that, beardo!", I yelled, as he scuttled away crying having gotten the conundrum wrong at the end, in much the same way that you would expect of someone that can't even manage such a basic task as checking that the nine letters they've rearranged in their head are correct before pressing a buzzer.

I got to sit in the champion's seat after that because I was a champion and it was the only appropriate place for one such as I. A champion. Championing over those around me.

Next up was another Pomme who I'd been hanging out with all day. He was a nice kid; beardless, if you will, but his major problem was that he was much better at the game than me.

Fortunately, he was extremely nervous. "I expect you're very nervous", I said, by way of calming him down, "what with it being your first time on TV, playing against a seasoned professional and vanquisher of Beardo".

We were neck and neck for a round or two. Then he won a round. "You're sitting in your seat wrong", I told him, but it didn't help because he won the next round as well.

A common practice in any household containing me, is for someone (me) to shout "You f****** t***" at the TV during Countdown when a contestant does something retarded like use one letter twice. In fact, I could hear myself shouting those words from six months in the future when the show will be aired, as I declared I had made the word "rebrand" despite there being only one "r".

I was soon 20 points behind and desperate. Inexplicably, my co-contestant (The Enemy) managed to make a couple of errors himself, so we went into the final Conundrum with me four points behind.

In times of stress I find it's always best to panic. I saw the word "migrating" in the conundrum. Clearly The Enemy would see it too, my brain squealed, and it was imperative that I press the buzzer before him. No time to check if I'd got it right.

"Migrating" doesn't have an "o" in it. The conundrum did though. Five seconds later The Enemy buzzed in with "migration". Perhaps we had a laugh about that later, what with us both being Pommes, I don't remember. I was too busy mentally self-harming over my inability to deal with stress and the fact I didn't even manage to spell out "tits" with my letter selections.

I'm fairly sure it's the worst thing that's happened in human history. I did win a dictionary, though.

Rob
H2O Dive
Comments on this post:
06/10/2010

1) Do you mean 'Pommes' as in the French word for apples, or 'pommies', the Australian word for British?

2) Shut up Jonathan?

Jonathan
50 Reasons to Hate the French
07/10/2010

1) I'd always taken "Pommie" to be the adjective of "Pomme" as in "Pommesque". However, I have no aversion to being an apple, providing it's a French one and not a Mac.

2) Probably best if I shut up.

Rob
e-med Arabic
25/10/2010

Mr. Rob,

There appears to be a marked lack of something called 'diving' in your recent amusing and hilarious life exploit/musings.

We subscribe to this column to gain a vicarious thrill in reading of your diving exploits, gaining a momentary sense that we might actually have a life.

In the meantime, we have discovered photographic evidence of the existence of the fabled 'massive prawn' of the antipodes, as first documented by Prof. S. Lee esq. ( If only the lackey's technical capabilities extended to actually being able to attach it to this missive). Please don a diving mask and find one forthwith.

David & Seirian
H2O Dive
27/10/2010
Footnote 1: Strayan Prawns Biggerer than English Prawns from a lecture by the same name: Lee, S, 2009.

D & S,

I hereby submit my own scientific evidence that Australian prawns are at least four times as big as English prawns, as first documented by, ironically, the least fishesque half of Lee and Herring.

Rob
Adventure Divers La Manga

For an even better blog than this... Read the Battersea Blog

 
Hard Nuts
It's a noseplug.  You still have to equalise...







I did a thing, finally, it was by accident though. I went hard-hat diving.

I believe this is what happens when you combine hanging out with chamber technicians with not having The Ordnance (one of the cheapest pubs in London) five minutes walk away.

Officially I only went along to take pictures but after convincing the man who made the rig that I was a competent diver (despite being a flimsy PADI instructor), coupled with a spot of gastroenteritis on behalf of one of the intended participants, I got to cover myself in metal and step gracefully beneath the waves.

The last bit's a lie, obviously. Well, not the metal bit. There's an awful lot of that. Brass and copper on the helmet and neck attachment thing (to give it its technical name), huge lead weights around the waist and big lead boots. It's quite heavy. Really quite heavy.

I'd heard once that if you fall over, out of the water, in one of these suits you've no chance of getting back up again on your own. If I'd been stupid enough to fall over I'd probably be able to confirm that was true. If, say, I'd come back up the ladder after the dive and tried to take the last two steps in one go, tripped and swung round onto my back, to find myself very much pinned to the floor like an especially feeble cockroach, then I'd be able to confirm that rumour.

I can't, of course, which the picture's I'll be posting under this entry as and when I get them will prove.

Anyway, there's only two bits of advice I have for you if you ever give hard-hat diving a go. Firstly, don't try to prove how you're a natural at something you've never tried before by using just a tiny amount of air, because what will happen very quickly is that you start to blackout on the seabed from a carbon dioxide hit and then if you decide you ever want to get those 14 remaining stars on Super Mario Galaxy 2 or finish off the last two series of The Wire, or do whatever else it is people like to do (look at trees etc.) you'll have to turn up the airflow to the maximum and take a moment to recover forcing everyone on the surface to call you a twat and then have to apologise to Marina for calling you a twat, which means she then has to say that's OK, she knows it better than anyone.

The second bit of advice is not to attempt to deflect embrarrassment for trying to be macho with the air by trying to be macho with getting out of the water at the end by missing steps on the ladder because you'll fall over on your back and resemble an especially feeble cockroach until someone rescues you.

Awesome experience, though. Like being underwater with a goldfish bowl on your head yet dry at the same time. Or on the moon with a goldfish bowl on your head, except the moon's covered with water and you're dry at the same time and not popping. Or in your lounge with a goldfish bowl on your head except...

Rob
OonasDivers
Comments on this post:
27/07/2010
Beetle, not cockroach, thanks.

Not under any circumstances being rescued.

Rob
Diving Chamber Treatment Trust
02/08/2010
Crisps!

If this doesn't make it into a future Photostory, nothing will.

Rob
Blue O Two

For an even better blog than this... Read the Battersea Blog

 
England The Not Quite So Brave As Sir Lancelot
Brave Sir Robin Trying Not To Lose Against Algeria







England are the worst team in the history of football and are even less skilful than in the olden days of footballing yore when 9,000 men would beat each other to death in order to attempt to transfer a piece of rock from one Godforsaken Midlands village to another and no one ever scored a goal and the kit was rudimentary at best and the Nike adverts were, well, they were still very far removed from having anything at all to do with the game but Wayne Rooney looked fit.

And I still have to get up at 4.30am to watch the games. Fortunately, Marina gets up and watches them too.

Things I like to do whilst watching the game:

Watch the game whilst breathing through my mouth and drooling slightly.

Swear.

Things Marina likes to do whilst watching the game:

Flick through a magazine.

Fidget.

Paint toenails (normally her own and usually ones still attached to her toes).

Make tea.

Ask me if I want tea (I don't).

Get up.

Sit down again.

Fidget.

Ask me which one is England.

Put a (there's no "you" in Qantas) Socceroos flag in front of the TV.

Quiz me with regard to the status of the gas bill.

Ask me if David Beckham's playing.

Tell me that David Beckham is handsome.

Move her legs around a bit.

Inspect her thumbnails.

Make another cup of tea.

Ask me if I want a cup of tea (I don't drink tea).

Ask me who's winning.

Check Facebook.

Tell me what people are up to on Facebook.

Ask me if I'm friends with Mat on Facebook (I am).

Tell me to stop swearing.

Fidget.

Ask me why England haven't "kicked a goal".

Ask me why David Beckham's wearing a suit.

Tell me that David Beckham is handsome.

Ask me if I'm being quiet because I'm in a mood with her.

Fidget.

Remind me to buy cheese the following afternoon.

Sigh.

Poke me with a finger and ask me if that's annoying.

Request quantification on a scale of one to ten as to how annoying it is when she pokes me with a finger.

Ask me how long's left.

Ask me why the England keeper let the ball go into his own net when his job is to stop the ball from going into his own net.

Consider purchasing shoes.

Discuss shoe purchasing options with me.

Ask me if we can afford new shoes.

Ask me why not.

Declare shoes will be purchased regardless.

Check toenails are dry.

Get up.

Sit down.

Fidget.

Fall asleep.

All of the above.

Rob
Denney Diving

For an even better blog than this... Read the Battersea Blog

 
Tanked Up: (Un)Official "Scuba Diving Magazine Which Was Formerly Known As London Diver" Of The World Cup
Dazed and Confused







Right, given that my current existence is devoted to the World Cup and that I am forced vampirically to sit up all night to watch it, this post is likely to be a bit light on all that "divey stuff".

Being somewhat stranded from the England hype over here (but slap-bang in the middle of the "we didn't deserve to lose 4-0" hype; which is true, incidentally, as 6-0 would have been a much fairer result), I was a bit surprised at the outpourings of vitriol on the Grauniad website following the 1-1, particularly as I thought we were going to lose (2-0 to be precise. Goodbye $5; I could have nearly bought a can of Coke with that).

So let me tell you this: I've watched that game twice now, once at 4.30am and the repeat the next day at 2am, and not only was I sober both times, but England weren't that bad. No, honestly, they weren't. Yes, the USA were awful, but so were Holland, Italy and France (obviously).

As for the Septics' goal, given that for the first half Steven Gerrard seemed to be playing every position on the pitch on his own, we should probably blame him for the goalkeeping error. Mind you, if I was him, I'd have refused to play and taken the ball home with me ages before that. Maybe I'd have pinched Jamie Carragher's walking stick and burst his colostomy bag on the way, just to make sure the only man further out of touch with the game than Nike ("Write Your Own Slogan"), could take no further part.

Anyway, before anyone tries to dispute this here anti-Englishness, I call my first and only witness, the Giant Scotsman (guardian of Clarabel, the Kitler from Post #54). For many years, said Giant has proclaimed that if he were granted one wish and one wish only, it would be for the single use of a time machine that he might go back to Wembley in 1966 and take the place of the Russian linesman, declaring Hurst's famous effort to have not crossed the line.

He said this after the game: "I thought England were alright".

I rest my case.

Rob
Diving Chamber Treatment Trust

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