Friday, 5 May 2017

Chris Brown Friday!

^^ :)) the title makes sense later

The Italians, a confusing bunch, can be very warm and welcoming.

When I worked in Rome I had no shortage of work colleagues taking me back to their homes for dinner, meet the family, etc. To date I still don't think I've ever visited any of my London work colleagues at home (who are not Nigerian or Caribbean).  Did go to Andrej's daughter's birthday, but he's from Ukraine.  I'll lump him with the Nigerian/Caribbean camp.  Back to the Italians. Yes, warm, but can be racist/fascist at the flip of a switch.  As a foreigner you are never quite sure how to relate.

This all comes to mind with the recent racist incident involving Ghanaian football star, Sulley Muntari. Sulley plays for Italian side Pescara.  During a game he was persistently racially abused by a section of the opponent's fans.  He complained to the referee but got a yellow card for his troubles. Now he's received a one match ban, an accumulation of yellow cards from previous games. Why did he gIn 2017? Ridiculous is putting it lightly! Leaves a bad taste.

I remember starting work at a Mobile firm, Wind, located in the swanky district of Torre Spaccata, a couple of days before the big local derby between rivals Roma and Lazio.  Was mad excited because I followed Roma at the time, my colleagues in massive arguments about who was better, everyone gearing up to go to the game.  I asked one of them if I could get a ticket to the match.  All round silence, people staring at the floor.  One of the guys, Marco, then broke down the science, explaining the massive problem with racism in the stands towards Black fans and players, how I'd get abused, kicked and spat on if I dared to attend.  Being an Arsenal fan and used to the Highbury cheery banter, yes abusive at times, and general camaraderie I was weirded out being told all this.  The colour of my skin a big problem to these guys?

This set the tone to my six month stint in Rome.  You just started to experience shit here and there. I suffered a couple of blatant incidents during my time.  Was very amused when some random guy spat at my feet outside St Peter's Basilica, mumbling how "Your kind" is not wanted here, spoiling for a fight.  I admit, felt vulnerable at the time, being alone and all.  Another time some fascist type bumped me at a bus stop, my guy Marco almost getting into a fight with him.  Marco advised me to start taking another route to work, that these fascist guys were very active in that area.  I even ended up in an argument with one manager, Sicilian guy, Olindo, when he remarked "You work like the Blacks", apparently some old Sicilian reference to hard working people.  Told him you couldn't say shit like that in this day and age.  Our friendship cooled after that.  I loved my time in Rome but these incidents told me it's not a place to live in.  Fuck that shit

Sulley, hold your head up


Chris Brown Friday!  Lol, I made that up.  But bwai! The man can dance! fucking talented

He makes it all look so damn easy

A post shared by Tagged Models | Hills 😍 ... (@hillshavethighs) on

Milo Berosa's waistline, featuring Chris Brown's "Privacy".  pow!

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Ode to Curtis (Death becomes us)

My next door neighbour and very good friend, a father figure Mr. Curtis passed away yesterday afternoon.  At the young age of 64 years he left us too soon.  Curtis had been in hospital for the last five/six weeks, having been admitted for multiple strokes.  The prognosis wasn't terribly good but I'd expected a recovery of sorts, at least good enough for him to return home.  Feel a way now as I blog, guilt that I didn't go visit him in hospital.  My wife did go last week, something in her spirit compelling her to go and I'm very glad she did.  Apparently he lit up when he saw her, was always very fond of her and the kids.  His daughter showed me a picture just after he passed and he looked peaceful, like he was sleeping.  Death becomes us

"When Death Becomes Us. ... It, meaning Death, is a transitional period from one life to the next. It's meaning can be very “stubborn” to most, in that we often think of Death as something final or stagnant in some way. But Death is a necessary form of life"

Wise words, still can be hard to accept.  Curtis was a great very generous and hardworking guy.  He'd been dealing with strokes for the last five years, just after I moved in.  You never heard a peep from him about it, such a strong character he was.  Other than the odd occasional hospitalisation he bore it stoically, keeping busy with a few charities he presided over, trips to the Gambia, Ghana and across the Caribbeans, radio programmes he made guest appearance on (Galaxy FM).  A very prolific guy given his ailment.  He always gave me very valuable advice on everyday stuff, life in general, and for that I will miss he a lot.

Curtis. Tottenham FC won against Crystal Palace today, your guys still have a chance at the Premier League title. Curtis man! ..

Curtis, from the bottom of my heart and a weary soul I wish you bon voyage to the other side, the journey to Ancestorhood.  I know somehow, someway, somewhere you are reading this.  I will try hold my head up and do as you always advised.  I'm a very flawed character, but I hope to be like you one day, wise and have made something of this short life.

Rest in peace


Friday, 21 April 2017

TGIF .. Rewind .. On A Lighter Note

ok .. last post was middle age ranty (dang son! you gonna be 47 in September. blood claat!).  so, on a lighter note, my man Kelechi from ArsenalFanTV on Arsene Wenger listening to him lol. Love dude :)))

"you see, when I speak the Arsenal they respond! if count the number of grey hairs on my head, I'm a man of wisdom!"

COYG! we need top four! (don't start on how top 4 is not a thing)


Pleaseeee! I need these African print threads in my fucking life! Summer baby!


As always, have a good weekend, be good. but if you can't loool. yeah, play safe


TGIF .. Black Football Managers

I've been here before right?  First off, big up to Chris Hughton for taking Brighton FC into the Premier League.  Real talk, big up the Brethren, especially for the bullshit he's had to put up with over the years, from Tottenham FC, Newcastle FC to Norwich City.

Sacked, especially when he's put in stellar work, football drills and practices that are still used in these clubs to this day!  It's almost like the moment he takes whatever club to the top flight they immediately dispense of his services.  I'm already counting how long Chris Hughton will last at Brighton come the start of next Premier League season.  Don't tell me it's not the colour of his fucking skin. Has to be, else what reasons for it?

Why am I bringing this up again? Was listening to BBC World Service this morning and caught an interview with Dwight Yorke (ex Man United superstar) about the travesty of lack of Black Managers across the 92 professional football clubs in the UK despite so many ex-players qualified with their Coaching badges, UEFA training requirements etc.  Christ! their plain experience of being involved in the game at the highest level alone ...

Yorke's gripe is that the Black potential Managers are not getting a look-in for even bloody interviews let alone management trials at clubs.  Meanwhile the same core of White Managers are getting hired, sacked, hired, sacked, on some sort of old school boys network ish.  He's being trying to break in for eight fucking years and is at loss at how to crack the glass ceiling.

Breaks my heart this stuff.  Took my Son to an FA event last week, a celebration of football, hosted by Crystal Palace FC (My Son is part of their development centre).  One of the speakers, Black official, spoke on how they should put in the hard work, potential rewards of club football, management, etc.  I scanned the crowd of boys, easily 60/70% Black kids, a cynical shudder running through me.  Do they even know about this shit I'm blogging about? Who's gonna tell them the hard truths?  My boy's damn sure getting his University education, get a career outside of football for when it's all over.  Am I right to be this cynical?

It's not a problem found only in the football realm.  Lord knows we Black Professionals deep inside feel we can't compete even though we are super qualified.  It's stark in football because you see these guys operating in the full glare of 24 hour Sports TV, you witness the progression from players to pundit to manager/coach ... for the White ones.  Travesty

What is the solution? Quotas? I hate quotas, merit always the better outcome. But if we are not going to get shit on merit then a change has to be forced.  It worked in American Basketball, Baseball and Football


Man that was a long rant. Had to get it off my chest.  So yeah TGIF.  What you up to? anything fun?  I'm home slice, chilling, play with the kids, watch the Pirate DVDs Mr. Ming dropped off the other day.  I know, I know, but I'm a cheapo bastard.  But one thing I will do is purchase the new Kendrick Lamar album.  God damn! That boy is super prolific, still marveling at how he's able to drop super conscious ish in this world of Trap Drugged out music and superficial bling.

Don Cheadle slays in this, one of my fav actors!

Bitch! be humble!

Oh yeah, copping the new J Cole too.  I love music that makes you think, crisp beats, stellar production, life stories and just plain dopeness

Been on my instrumental, trapped out soul of recent.  I call it music to study to.  Favourite DJ at the moment is Complexion.  Dude has been dropping show after show on Soundcloud for a minute.

Man Listen ..

Saturday, 15 April 2017

A day in the life of a bookie

I've done some shitty jobs in my time but boy working at Ladbrokes topped them all.  I'd kinda forgotten all about it till I came across a Guardian Long Read article, A day in the life of a bookie, by writer Harry Vale (great writtens).  I was smiling as I read, having never articulated what it was like.  I guess I had put the ordeal behind me.

Working in a bookies is a unique and very challenging experience all onto itself, nothing like it.  I knew something was up when they readily gave me the part-time job, dispensing with formalities of an interview ("You seem like a bright lad").  Didn't take long for me to meet the unhinged flotsam and jetsam of inner city society.  Whether it's 25p or a £25 bet the desperation of the punters was palpable. The screams in your face was constant, accusations of taking a bet late, rigging the one-armed-bandit slot machines, general aggression.  Stressful.  Don't get me wrong, there were nice punters but the 360 turns were unnerving.  The guy who's very politely asking you for a cup of tea would be screaming in your face an hour later.  Some try to con you, swearing they gave you £20 though you have their £5 right there in your hand.  Too getting used too.

The craziest part was right before a horse race.  You'll get anything from 10 to 15 guys crowed in front of the TV monitor, watching the horses line up, listening intently to the inane commentary.  You know the race will kick off in less than two minutes, puzzled not one of them has placed a bet.  One minute to go and they all suddenly crowd the counter, placing the bets.  A mess of pennies, pound coins, brown notes, literally chucking the money at you, hands outstretched to snatch the betting slips from you. A complete scramble.  I was constantly left confused working it all out.  Luckily I had a good manager, she'd help me sort it out, seeming to know who dropped what on the table just by looking at them.  In a matter of minutes the race would be over, the bets cashed in and it starts all over again.   These guys were mostly silent, didn't really talk to each other, living completely for the thrill of the bet (and dreams of a fortune).  I cashed up hundreds of pounds (the odd thousand) in lost bets.  The house truly doesn't lose.

All sorts came in.  I once had this quaint old lady, come in with her heavy load of shopping, looked about my Mums age.  Pen at the ready she starts going over the racing post, scribbling down notes, etc. She ended up placing bets on over 30 different races, 25p here, a pound there, roughly about £20.  I was amazed at her knowledge of the races, horses, jockeys, the whole shit. The staff told me she was a legend, had won some serious quids on her spread betting.

One day I had enough.  Had a big incident were some guy threatened to stab me up.  He had been blacklisted and I didn't know it. I had taken his bet when the manager signaled he's not allowed in the shop. He wasn't having it, saying I'd wasted his time blah blah.  I smiled at him, a big mistake, and the dude went through the roof.  Tried to grab my shirt, called me all sorts of names, stormed off, threatening he'll "see you later after work".  My manager made me take an early lunch, one of the punters helpfully informing me "he's a complete nutter, you wanna be careful mate".  I resigned later that day, eff that ish, didn't come over from Nigeria to be killed by some schitzo.  I just couldn't be arsed dealing with the nonsense anymore.  I did look over my shoulder for a few weeks after the incident.  A bookies shop never looked the same again

Friday, 14 April 2017

Ah Ah! Arsenal Why Now? Wenger Get Out!

Happy Good Friday! (is that a thing?)

Used to be a joy being a Gooner.  Rub up those Spurs and Chelsea fans the wrong way, sensitive lot (bless em). Still is in a lot of ways ("Sanchez comes down on the left! Sanchez cuts in! Sanchez scores! Gooooooaaaaal!").  Unfortunately those moments are now few and far between.  Not to say I too bothered, more important thing to worry about ("haba! how are we going to pay this months mortgage! this overdraft charges eh? if this boy answers me back again I will slap him to death!").

But you know say escapism is supposed to be perfect, not a reflection of the rat race.  We need our heroes, infallible, but always comes out on top.  I want to be invincible and day dream not hang my head every Monday morning when these Spurs bottlers spot me walking into the office.

So Mr. Wenger these guys have a few words for you ...

"Because of you I get Goose bumps, all over, all over, all over"

3 - 0?  3 fucking 0? To Palace? No disrespect but Palace?  Breddrin?  Love ArsenalFanTV and this episode cracked me up.  Kelechi was on a super rant, his Igbo accent in full flow, more dense the angrier he got.

Still .. My guy, nah only football. I beg, no get heart attack o! Arsenal no be ya Papa property. Chill


I hate it when I haven't seen a movie yet but catch a review.  The hype around the movie Get Out (still haven't seen it) was so much I had to head over to Conscious community (read conspiracy theorist) to see what they were saying.  As ever Young Pharaoh and the Twin Pillars didn't fail to provide edutainment.

Pharaoh's channel is definitely worth subscribing to, if you can handle the language (wish he didn't swear as a way of talking, very cockney like).  I love his combative style, though it puts him at logger heads with his fellow conscious brethren.

I never miss an episode of Red Pill and Blue Pill dropping the knowledge, whether it be Black History, Egypt, Hip Hop, whatever, these guys are very entertaining.  Big up to Brother Rich (blackmagic363 TV) for hosting them, makes the channel all the more worth subscribing too.  Their Get Out review, though serious, has a lot of laugh out loud moments