Went out for a cycle through Belfast this morning, camera in hand, just to see if there was anything worth photographing.

Headed to the area around Royal Mail where I had been in August, to see if they were still there, or if there was anything new. They were still there.

Managed to get photos of new ones beside Catalyst Arts Centre, a new piece on Great Victoria Street, a new one outside Dark Angel, new stuff around the back of The Globe, and an AEL Limassol sticker on a lampost.


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Was at Windsor Park today and witnessed a shock result. Yes ……. Linfield won a home match.

As I entered, there was a fun day event happening for younger supporters. The Citybeat DJ booth played a George Michael song. You the one, the one that goes “You gotta have faith”

I guess you do. Talking of musical mockery, I opened the Player Profile page to see this week’s subject was David Jeffrey, as it’s his 50th birthday. His favourite singer is Bruce Springsteen, known as ‘The Boss’, and song is ‘Born to Run’

I never saw David Jeffrey play for Linfield, so I can’t comment on that one.

At least he didn’t say ‘Rock DJ’ by Robbie Williams or ‘The Model’ by Kraftwerk was his favourite song.

Talking of which, i’m toying with the idea of doing a blog about the musical tastes of Linfield players. No clear leader, though Matthew Tipton (Stone Roses) and Ryan Henderson (Coldplay) are tolerable. Brian McCaul (The Wanted) is a clear leader for worst taste.

Onto the match, and it was a match Linfield deserved to win, but made it a lot more nervous than it should have been. Having seen a red card, and a missed penalty, a Portadown equaliser just seemed inevitable, so it was a welcome relief when it didn’t come.

Linfield dominated possession in the first-half and had ‘Situations’ rather than chances. The main talking point came just before half-time when Mark McAllister and Chris Ramsey were sent-off after a clash. I only saw Ramsey striking out, but after viewing footage on Final Score, it was hard to argue.

Despite that, referee Mark Courtney still had a shocker, missing a clear penalty when Peter Thompson was pushed in the penalty area. Linfield might well have missed (like Michael Carvill when we did get a penalty late in the game) but we might have scored from the resulting corner.

A corner, is where Linfield’s goal came from. Unfortunately, I missed it, as I was making my way to my seat. Though, it wasn’t the only major incident of the game, so at least I got to see two red cards and a missed penalty. Yay!

It’s great that Linfield are now able to score from set pieces (In previous seasons, the crowd didn’t even bother getting excited when Linfield had an attacking set piece), though slightly worrying as it would be nice to see a goal in open play, instead of being so reliant on set plays.

I guess you have to take a win, even if it’s more nervous than it should be. Now moved up from 8th to 7th. You never know, win next week and we might be up to the heady heights of 6th. Small steps I guess.

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THE FRIDAY FIVE – 26.10.2012

1. The Kinks – All Day And All Of The Night
2. Dappy – Good Intentions
3. Labrinth ft Emeli Sande – Beneath You’re Beautiful
4. Adele – Skyfall
5. Leona Lewis – Trouble

As per usual, it’s time for a Top Five based on the previous Saturday. Last Saturday’s theme was ‘Club Classics’ – Now, you know me, i’m a proper cheesy quaver who loves my bangin beats.

Ok, well maybe not, so I thought i’d use it as an excuse to do a Globe Top Five (I used to work there) from when I worked there.


1. Bryan Adams – Summer Of 69
2. Jamelia – Superstar
3. 50 Cent – In Da Club
4. Nelly – Hot In Herre
5. Ja Rule – Always On Time

Simple Minds are coming to Belfast in March. I haven’t done a Simple Minds Top Five yet, so this is as good as excuse as any to do so.


1. She’s A River
2. Don’t You Forget About Me
3. Promised You A Miracle
4. Cry
5. Alive And Kicking


Well, that’s it. The end of an era, and the start of a new one.

I’m going to have to change my morning routine. Every morning when I wake up, I put on Ceefax – 101, 160, 501, 390, 302 – but not any more, as Northern Ireland’s analogue transmitters were switched off.

The last ever Pages From Ceefax (a curious watch when you had to be up early in the morning) ended with this self mocking message.

This was commemorated by a joint broadcast from BBCNI and UTV, the rather excellent ‘The Magic Box’ – a look back at television in Northern Ireland in the analogue era.

It was a star studded event (well, Frank Mitchell and Uncle Andy were there) but I got an e-mail a few weeks back offering me the opportunity to apply for tickets. I was tempted, but I thought this was a TV event best viewed, well, in front of a TV screen. I’m glad I did.

I was curious when reading the TV Guide on Saturday that the UTV show was scheduled to last for five minutes longer. That, was to become clear later on.

If you haven’t seen it, I seriously suggest you watch it. A link can be found here.

It began, being introduced with the classic BBC Globe Ident. Already, we’re off to a winner. I love it when the BBC does retro idents around themed events (Like when BBC 2 did 1970s Idents when introducing a season of programmes dedicated to the 1970s, fronted by Dominic Sandbrook)

From there, a comic turn, as continuity duties were handed to Julian Simmons, struggling to grasp that he was on the BBC (He has previously been on the BBC, playing himself in Give My Head Peace) and not being able to say “Simulcast” – a brilliant tribute to/gag at the expense of Ivan “Phenomenon” Little.

On a night dedicated to celebrating TV in Northern Ireland, it would have been criminal not to have Julian Simmons involved, although it was a man who has overtaken him as Northern Ireland’s most famous Continuity Announcer, Peter Dickson who introduced Eamonn Holmes in the studio.

Holmes was one of many stars we got to see in a younger day, as we were treated to a wide range of clips, in terms of subject matter, era and tone. Having looked back, and laughed at, some of life’s more light hearted moments, as well as looking back at news reports from the troubles, as well as Chris Moore talking about his expose of child abuse in the Catholic church

If you wish to see a young Eamonn Holmes, as a sports reporter for UTV (He looks like Dimitar Berbatov) – check out this excellent clip of ITV’s 1982 World Cup coverage where he interviews Sammy Mackie.

Another well known face who began his career as a sports reporter (for the BBC) was also in the audience.

The five minute time difference in the schedule was explained as BBC went off air just after 23:30, and that UTV would go off air just before 23:35.

The BBC ending was fantastic. Superbly scripted and filmed. Once the end credits finished, a quick announcement explaining the situation was read out, before cutting to the 70s Ident, before fading out to reveal a series of TVs showing past BBC Idents (and even the Ceefax home page)

Credit to Continuity Announcer Mark Simpson for an excellent read out.

That was it. Analogue BBC, and Ceefax, was no more.

UTV’s ending was rather disappointing in comparision to BBC, very matter of fact, moving on to the next programme.

It would have been brilliant if they could have used an ident or idents incorporating this logo in their final analogue moments

So, to end, here’s five (well, six really) classic Northern Ireland Youtube Clips that probably should have been mentioned on The Magic Box.



Not an exact moment, but a Julian Simmons Best Of would have been brilliant.



Technically, an RTE clip, but let’s not let that get in the way of how brilliant this clip is. It’s amazing how some parts of South Belfast have barely changed over the past 26 years.


This advert scared the life out of me when I was wee. Everytime I hear the song (even if it’s the Ugly Kid Joe or Jason Downs cover) I always think of this ad


So, Lionel Messi has spent his whole career paying tribute to Joey Cunningham.

The season I first started going to Linfield matches.

A different era back then. Linfield began the season as reigning Champions and Cup holders, before ending up languishing in 8th.



Haven’t been to East Belfast for a while, but headed there today to get some photos of a new mural which appeared on the Newtownards Road, painted by Hicks 54, done as part of the East Belfast Arts Festival.

Managed to get some shots of it. Unfortunately, the area around it is cordoned off, so I had to take long range shots of it.

Near there, there’s a pathway that leads onto Mersey Street which has song excellent art on it. Unfortunately, it’s quite narrow, so you can’t get as much back leverage as you wish to get photos.

In other words, advance apologies for the poor quality of the composition of the photos.



Since the post was published, a received a Tweet explaining why the area around the mural was cordoned off. Some good news for East Belfast

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Was at Whitla Hall last night for a concert by Ray Davies, as part of the Belfast Festival. With the gig taking place on the grounds of Queen’s University, it could be argued that it was a lesson in songwriting and musicianship.

For those who don’t know, Ray Davies was lead singer and songwriter for The Kinks, whose back catalogue made up a majority of the setlist.

It was a seated gig, which was a bit rubbish for watching and phototaking. Managed to get a few rows back and had an excellent views.

The first part of the show was acoustic, with Davies doing jokes and anecdotes before songs. In some cases, he even interrupted some songs to tell a story halfway through, before resuming the song.

There was a comic moment, when introducing a song, he recalled a meeting with Country Singer Lucinda Williams at a festival in Texas, only for someone to shout “Did you give her one?”

He performed an acoustic version of ‘Waterloo Sunset’, which was the originally planned version of the song, before a full band joined, to perform it in the way it is best known.

On the last song, ‘All Day And All Of the Night’, the shackles came off, he disposed off his guitar, and started dancing around the stage, and the audience followed suit, as what was a seated gig now had people at the stage dancing away.

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THE FRIDAY FIVE – 19.10.2012

1. Kylie Minogue – Flower
2. Green Day – Kill The DJ
3. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Fallen Angel
4. Bombay Bicycle Club – Shuffle
5. Rebecca Ferguson – Backtrack

As with last year, I shall tweet a Top Five based on the previous week’s X-Factor theme. Last week’s theme was ‘Love and Heartbreak’, further proof, if it was needed, that they are making it up as they go along.

So, here’s five Long Songs and five Heartbreak Songs.


1. Donna Lewis – I Love You Always Forever
2. Sara Bareilles – Love Song
3. Maccabees – Love You Better
4. Jamelia – Something About You
5. Kelly Marie – Feels Like I’m In Love


1. Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse Of The Heart
2. Queen – Somebody To Love
3. Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know
4. Sophie Ellis Bextor – Heartbreak Make Me A Dancer
5. The Motors – Airport

Right now, tickets for The Killers at The Odyssey have just gone on sale. Going to try and get one. Wish me luck. To celebrate, here’s a Killers Top Five


1. Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine
2. Spaceman
3. Mr Brightside
4. Ultra Violet
5. Read My Mind

Meanwhile, going to see Ray Davies at Whitla Hall on Saturday. Ever so excited by this. To celebrate, here’s a Kinks Top Five


1. Waterloo Sunset
2. Lola
3. Living On A Thin Line
4. Days
5. You Really Got Me


Was at Stangmore Park today for a match between Dungannon Swifts and Linfield which could best be described as eventful.

It was my first visit to Stangmore Park in 18 months, and my record of attending there is mixed. Linfield’s last three wins there in the league have come when i’ve been on holiday.

I should have asked other supporters for a whipround to send me somewhere nice on holiday.

If today’s weather was ‘Four Seasons In One Day’, today’s match was ‘One Season In A Match’

The weather worked in my favour today, as for most of the game it was bright, helping me get some nice shots, as Stangmore Park is one of the more photography friendly grounds in the Irish League.

Linfield dominated the first-half and deservedly led through a David Armstrong strike. the second-half started with more Linfield pressure, but were unable to get a second.

As Dungannon got more into the game, a 90th minute equaliser was inevitable ….. and lo and behold, it came, not long after Billy Joe Burns was sent-off. Didn’t get a clear view, but it look like he had to go.

Unfortunately, there was confrontations between both teams after the final whistle, resulting in David Armstrong and Terry Fitzpatrick getting red cards, which will no doubt give the usual detractors an opportunity to do some Daily Mail style moralising about how Irish League football is worse than everything that is bad.

By my reckoning, that’s the first time Linfield have had two red cards in a game (but not finish with 9 men, hence the wording) since 1999.

One positive from today, we cut our defecit from the top of the league by a point. That, is the definition of clutching at straws.

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THE FRIDAY FIVE – 12.10.2012

1. Green Day – Kill The DJ
2. Muse – Madness
3. Paloma Faith – 30 Minute Love Affair
4. Wonder Villains – TV
5. Rolling Stones – Doom And Gloom

Last week, saw the first of the live finals of X-Factor. As with last year, I shall do a Top Five of the previous week’s theme.

Last week’s theme was ‘Songs Inspired By The Olympics And Paralympics’

Between me and you, I think they’re making it up as they go along.


1. Queen – Bicycle Race (Inspired by Bradley Wiggins)
2. Babybird – The F Word (Inspired by Jody Cundy)
3. Knaan – Wavin Flag (Inspired by Hampden Park scoreboard operators)
4. ABBA – Money Money Money (Inspired by Vangelis impending PRS cheques)
5. Stereophonics – Mr Writer (Inspired by boring journalists using London 2012 to bash football)

In other exciting news, Girls Aloud are making a comeback to mark their 10th anniversary. It’s unknown if One True Voice are planning a comeback for their 10th anniversary.

So, to commemorate, here’s a Girls Aloud Top Five


1. Biology
2. The Promise
3. Life Got Cold
4. I’ll Stand By You
5. Whole Lotta History


Drove past this yesterday, so went to get some photos this morning, a new mural/piece of Street Art in Belfast, on Wellesley Avenue in Belfast (Beside Ryan’s)

Managed to get some nice shots, especially with it being a Sunday morning meant that there were no cars blocking my path (It took three months for me to get a decent photo of the Linfield 125th anniversary mural in Sandy Row, as every time I went to take a photo, there was a car parked in front of it)


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