Friday, 10 June 2016

Euro 2016 Group F preview




Michael: Will Griggs on fire, nanananananan....goddamit, Jon!


Jon: My work here is done.   

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Euro 2016 Group E preview




Michael: In the spirit of the recent EU “debates”, perhaps instead of an actual debate, we could debate Group E by separately taking questions from a panel of audience members that we don’t answer?


Jon: He’s laughing now. He won’t be laughing when Iain Duncan Smith becomes the next Prime Minister.


Michael: Nooooooooooo!

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Euro 2016 Group D Preview



Michael: The transfer window is open. I’d like to transfer the current Glasgow weather to Mexico, and buy from some of the winter storms  from Trondheim in their place.


Jon: I’d just loan 5 degrees or so to Trondheim.


Michael: It’s 27C here! That’s about 20C about my comfort zone!


Jon: Not far off that here. Twenty odd degrees is good for me.


Michael: Chronic asthmatic Scot. Also, it hasn’t rained here for a fortnight. In Glasgow!


Jon: Bloody joke destroying weather.


Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Euro 2016 Group C Preview


Michael: In Group C, we find one of the heavyweights of European football, alongside a nation which had good results in the past but went into meltdown for a decade or two, a rising nation besieged by war, and an underdog who likes to bloody noses. Will the heavyweights prove their worth, or will avarice and injuries undo them? Will a country, once praised for attacking football, find their promising current generation provide new memories to go alongside those of old? Will a team find refuge in audacity, and turn a nation at war into one which fights for success on the football pitch? And will the underdogs, gone from the world stage for thirty years, pick up where they left off, with shock wins over bookies favourites, or will they find football has marched on too far in their absence?

There’s only one way to find out!

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Euro 2016: Group A Preview




Euro 2016 Previews


The Panel


Michael S. Collins –  Owner of this blog, editor of The40p. First Euros were 2004, with fond memories of the Czech Republic v Holland game, still the finest game I've ever seen live.  I bring the ITV style discussion points. 


Jon Arnold – Author of The Black Archive: Rose, former Shooty Dog Scribblist, and with a growing fiction output. A polymath’s polymath, a Liverpool fan and music lover. He casts his eye over the world game, and provides the literally parts of the discussion. 


João Diogo Reis – Long time on the Bert Kassies’s coefficient forum whose views were a blog favourite back in 2012. 



And of course...


Gavin Mills – Lives in Estonia, and is a web designer. He really, really, really likes Southampton Football Club. This information might sneak in once or twice. 

Friday, 11 March 2016

Wrestlers of Yesteryear

 With it being WrestleMania season, here are reprints of my nominations for the Rajah WWF Hall of Fame from 2011. A few write ups talking up favoured wrestlers. 

Friday, 22 January 2016

It's Never Twenty Years!



It’s never twenty years.


And yet, apparently, it is.


Its funny how time moves so quickly. After all, December 2015 gave us twelve years since Bob died, and some of the family asked how long it had been near the time, so I said “twelve years” and that was their response. “It’s never twelve years!” He seemed the most alive of all of us. Tempus fugit.


It’s also fair to be a pendant, and note that it’s actually been twenty-five years. That’s when I recall dad taking mum to the gates of St Helens in Shawlands. Of Bob himself – the most alive of all of us, you know – in his smart, dark blue jacket and black trousers. He was smiling, I remember, despite the fact it was his own personal loss. But I never counted that one, because I was far too young to remember my Uncle Tommy. And, if he was my grandfather’s brother, well, he must have been ancient to my four year olds brain! He was fifty-four, which doesn’t seem so ancient these days, but one can’t really call it my first family funeral, as I never attended it, and it was for a person I don’t recall.


That’s not the case for my great gran, though.


Sunday, 10 January 2016

Terror of the Autons/The Time Monster

previously published in Whotopia in 2009.


Terror of the Autons



You know one of the things I really like about Doctor Who? It's the little things. In episode one of Terror of the Autons, we see a Time Lord character. He appears for less than five minutes. It's the only thing I know the actor from. But he takes the part with extra gust and is great for it. Lovely little cameos like that.

Terror of the Autons is where the things we all know and love about the Pertwee start to come together. We already had UNIT and The Brigadier, but now we see the débuts of Jo Grant, Mike Yates and The Master. Truly the Pertwee era is born with this story. It is the story of The Master, who wishes to bring the Nestene back to Earth, for reasons unexplained.

Black Mirror Fortean Times review (2009)

previously published in the Fortean Times in 2009.


The Black Mirror and other Stories
An Anthology of Science Fiction from Germany and Austria
Translated by Mike Mitchell
Edited by Franz Rottensteiner

Monday, 4 January 2016

Duncan Lunan 2010 interview





In 2010, I interviewed Duncan Lunan. A lot has changed since then: both of us have gotten married for a start! Some mutual friends have left, a Sarah has arrived, and Mr Lunan has had, I'm glad to say, something of a career renaissance. The piece this was for was to be the typical article length, but, as you'll see, Duncan provided the younger (and, dare I say, somewhat untactful) interviewer with a treasure chest of memories and insights going back fifty years. With his own permission, I re-print the entire thing here.