DECEMBER GRAFFITI ROUND-UP

Spotted this one last Monday when stuck in traffic en route home from Abbeycentre, on the York Road in Belfast.

It must have been done over the weekend, as I was certain I didn’t see it on my way home from Seaview two days earlier.

It’s on the grounds of John Thompson and Sons, so unfortunately, I had to make do with the camera angle you can see, with mixed results.

I’d love to get access to company grounds to get a proper angle. I’m not sure if it has been commissioned by the company or has been done by an artist. Either way, it’s brilliant.

En route to North Belfast, I spotted that the Street Art on Garfield Street, done as part of Culture Night has had a change with some pieces being painted over.

Also, spotted some new pieces beside Catalyst Arts Centre.

Hopefully, there’ll be more Street Art in Belfast and wherever I travel for me to photograph in 2013.

Enjoy

Photo Album

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF A FOOTBALL YEAR

Having done a statistical analysis of the 2011-2012 season, I thought i’d do one for my football watching in 2012, with today having been my last match attended of the year.

Here is the breakdown.

Games : 48

Goals Seen : 149

(Should have been 151, but I managed to miss two goals this year. Was late for second-half of Linfield v Portadown on 27.10.2012 and missed a goal. Missed the start of Northern Ireland v Azerbaijan on 14.11.2012 and missed a goal)

Red Cards: 10

(Doesn’t include red cards awarded in the dressing room to David Armstrong and Terry Fitzpatrick during Dungannon v Linfield on 13.10.2012)

Missed/Saved Penalties : 4

Hat-Tricks : 3

Aaron Burns (Linfield v Dungannon Swifts)
Peter Thompson (Linfield v Newry City)
Matthew Tipton (Orangefield OB v Linfield)

Teams Seen : 33

Ajax (1st time), Australia (1st time), Azerbaijan, B36 Torshavn (1st time), Ballinamallard United (1st time), Ballymena United, Carrick Rangers, Cliftonville, Coleraine, Crusaders, Donegal Celtic, Dungannon Swifts, Excelsior Rotterdam (1st time), FC Utrecht (1st time), Glenavon, Glentoran, Harland and Wolff Welders (1st time), Heart of Midlothian, Hibernian, Holland (1st time), Linfield, Lisburn Distillery, Luxembourg (1st time), Manchester United, Newry City, Northern Ireland, Norway, Orangefield OB (1st time), Portadown, Queens Park Rangers (1st time), Rosenborg, Scotland, VVV Venlo (1st time)

Stadiums Visited : 16

Amsterdam Arena (1st time), Ballymena Showgrounds, Ballyskeagh, Easter Road, Ferney Park (1st time), Gibson Park (1st time), Mourneview Park, Old Trafford, Seaview, Shamrock Park, Solitude, Stangmore Park, The Oval, Tillysburn Park (1st time), Windsor Park, Woudestein (1st time),

Competitions : 9

County Antrim Shield, Eredivise, European Cup, FA Premier League, Irish Cup, Irish League, Scottish Premier League, UEFA Cup, World Cup

Curiosities

4th February – Watched a match in a stand named after Robin Van Persie

18th February – Twins (Aaron and Andrew Burns) on opposing sides in a competitive game

GLENAVON 0-3 LINFIELD 29.12.2012

For the 48th and final time this year, I was at a football match, as Linfield took on Glenavon at Mourneview Park.

Leaving it to today to get a ticket, as I parked in a rainstorm this morning en route to buying my ticket, I couldn’t help but wonder if I was making the right decision.

I’d previously considered giving this game a miss, sandwiched in the middle of a busy festive period, but I decided to go, and it turned out to be a good decision.

Bizarrely, the game started differently, as Linfield attacked the Glenfield Road End (or, the goal to the right of your TV screen) in the first-half, instead of the second-half, as away teams usually do at Mourneview.

I quickly moved position and saw a first-half dominated by Linfield, though it was mainly possession and situations rather than actual chances.

Eventually, the breakthrough came from the penalty spot, from Brian McCaul, awarded after a Kris Lindsay foul on Matthew Tipton.

From where I was, it looked like Lindsay was the last man, but thankfully, it had no affect on the result.

It looks like Matthew Tipton has finally overcome his injury problems, with his best performances for Linfield coming in the last two games.

Early in the second-half, he made it 2-0 with his first goal for the club, and team-mates showing their appreciation of him by rushing to celebrate with him.

“A 2-0 lead is a dangerous lead” is a cliche often wheeled out by pundits. I’m guessing they base this on watching Linfield, whose recent visits to Mourneview have included a 2-2 draw from 2-0 up in February 2011 and a 2-1 win in October 2009 which was a lot more nervous than it should have been.

In reality, the game was over once Ciaran Martyn got sent-off for a second yellow, and Glenavon only ever looked like scoring from a set piece.

Ross Clarke made it 3-0 late on, putting the result beyond doubt.

Also to note, a clean sheet, the first since November 5th, ten games ago.

Usual phototaking arrangements at Mourneview, one good end for photos (got a good one of McCaul’s penalty) and one not so good end.

Enjoy

Photo Album

As a bonus, here’s some photos from Boxing Day. A 2-1 thrashing you could say. I blogged that I wanted that as a Christmas present.

Hopefully, i’ll get the trips to Drogheda, Rangers and Dundela, as well as Irish Cup and Setanta Cup final wins, and a ticket for Fulham v United in February as well.

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 28.12.2012

1. Busted – Thunderbirds Theme
2. Florence and the Machine – Lover to Lover
3. Mumford and Sons – The Lover Of The Light
4. Haim – Don’t Save Me
5. Amelia Lily – Shut Up

So, that’s The Friday Five for 2012.

Hope you enjoyed what I have been listening to each week. Here’s to more Friday Fives in 2013

THE SOUND OF 2012 : 1-25

So, here we go, the waiting is over ……… the best 25 songs of 2012

1. Taylor Swift – We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
2. Wonder Villains – TV
3. Coldplay ft Rihanna – Princess Of China
4. Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know
5. M83 – Midnight City
6. Emeli Sande – Next To Me
7. Ellie Goulding – Anything Could Happen
8. Little Mix – Wings
9. Bruce Springsteen – We Take Care Of Our Own
10. The Killers – Runway
11. Lenka – Everything At Once
12. Paloma Faith – Thirty Minute Love Affair
13. Two Door Cinema Club – Sleep Alone
14. Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe
15. The Shins – Simple Song
16. Keane – Silenced By The Night
17. Paul Weller – The Attic
18. Tegan and Sara – Closer
19. Ren Harvieu – Open Up Your Arms
20. Katy Perry – Wide Awake
21. Bombay Bicycle Club – Shuffle
22. Jessie Ware – Wildest Moments
23. Fun ft Janelle Monae – We Are Young
24. Little Boots – Headphones
25. Can Bonomo – Love Me Back

So, congratulations to Taylor Swift, the winner of ‘The Sound Of 2012’, and a deserving winner at that.

If you live in a cave, and the only internet access you have is this blog, here’s the winning song and the previous winners.

The Sound Of 2011

The Sound Of 2010

The Sound Of 2009

The Sound Of 2008

The Sound Of 2007

The Sound Of 2006

2012 IN PICTURES – DECEMBER (SO FAR)

The year might have been winding down to an end, but I was still out and about in my camera.

On the very first day of the month, I found myself at Ballyskeagh, a venue not known for being kind to amateur photography, and so it proved, as I got pictures as dull and uninspiring as Linfield’s performance that day.

The following Saturday, was a wee adventure to somewhere i’d never been before, Ballinamallard, for Linfield’s first (competitive) visit there.

Made a whole day of it, and managed to get some good photos from a ground which is very friendly to amateur photography.

The following Saturday, I did a Football/Rugby double header, as I went to a Linfield match at 3pm, then over to Ravenhill for 6pm

The Ulster match against Northampton was my annual Winter trip for a European game. I’d got the tickets in September, which turned out to be a good decision, as the game sold out well in advance.

My previous four visits saw Ulster win. Unfortunately, that run came to an end.

On Saturday, I was at Seaview for Linfield’s visit to Crusaders, and managed to get some good shots at a ground which is usually friendly to amateur photography.

So, that’s my round-up of my photo adventures in 2012 over. Here’s to more in 2013.

Lisburn Distillery v Linfield

Ballinamallard v Linfield

Linfield v Dungannon Swifts

Ulster v Northampton

Ulster v Northampton Photo Album

Crusaders v Linfield

CRUSADERS 2-2 LINFIELD 22.12.2012

Only one game on in the Irish League today due to postponements, and I was there, as Crusaders took on Linfield at Seaview.

Despite the fact that Crusaders are three places ahead on Linfield in the league, at 2-1 up against ten men with very two minutes (plus stoppages) this has to be viewed as two points dropped.

The postponements gave Linfield a chance to strike a psychological blow over their rivals ahead of a busy holiday programme, as win would have lifted us to a season high of 3rd, above Glentoran ahead of the Boxing Day meeting.

Conceding goals from soft free-kicks in the final minutes of the half, not seeing the game out was unacceptable, especially as Crusaders were down to ten men after Jordan Owens red card for the final ten minutes.

One plus point was the performance of Alan Blayney, not only making some fantastic saves, but commandingly catching the majority of crosses into the penalty area.

Usual phototaking arrangements at Seaview, where you can get yourself into a good position for amateur photography and get some good shots.

Managed to get some not bad shots, mostly in the first-half when Linfield attacked the Railway End as you’ll end up being in other supporters road when standing behind the goal at the Shore Road end.

I suppose I should sign off by wishing you all a Merry Christmas as it’s my last football blog before Santa comes down the chimney.

I suppose asking Santa for the Gibson Cup to remain at Windsor Park in 2013 is a bit much, but i’ll make some more realistic wishes.

– Linfield to win the Irish Cup and Setanta Cup

– Linfield to be drawn against Drogheda United in the Setanta Cup QFs/SFs as it would be a nice trip and not too far.

– Linfield to qualify for Europe, even if it is the UEFA Cup

– Rangers to honour their agreement to host Linfield at Ibrox. Ideally, a Saturday game in pre-season

– Linfield to play Dundela away in either Irish Cup or Pre-Season

– Linfield to thrash Glentoran on Boxing Day (in 2012, 2013, and every year for eternity)

– Manage to get a ticket for Fulham v United when i’m in London in February

That’s not too much to ask, surely?

Photo Album

2012 IN PICTURES – NOVEMBER

November began slowly, but ended with a trip to Manchester and a penalty shoot-out.

My first big photo adventure came as part of Belfast Music Week, when I got some photos of a concert in The Limelight which featured Wonder Villains.

As part of Belfast Music Week, a plaque dedicated to Terri Hooley was erected in tribute to his contribution to music in the city, so I headed out to get some photos of this.

Football wise, it was a mixed bag. My first match of the month was at Solitude. The less said about the match, the better. A mixed bag phototaking wise, it always is at Solitude.

Went to the Northern Ireland v Azerbaijan game and got one good photo and a lot of bad ones. Later in the month, I headed to Old Trafford for the match against QPR, and had mixed results, but mostly pleasing.

Got some photos of the newly erected statue of Sir Alex Ferguson, but it’s not in a great position for amateur photography.

And finally, I graced the County Antrim Shield with my presence, but it was not much help as Linfield lost to Ballymena United. Managed to get some good crowd and portrait shots of The Oval.

Enjoy

Belfast Music Week

Pretty Child Backfire Photo Album

Wonder Villains Photo Album

Cliftonville v Linfield

Hooley

Northern Ireland v Azerbaijan

Northern Ireland v Azerbaijan Photo Album

Linfield v Glenavon

Manchester Sticker Art

Manchester United v Queens Park Rangers

Manchester United v Queens Park Rangers Photo Album

Ballymena United v Linfield

County Antrim Shield Final Photo Album

https://i0.wp.com/s3-ak.bebo.com/image/605749356a12986623192l.jpg

https://i2.wp.com/s3-ak.bebo.com/image/605749356a12986623229l.jpg

https://i0.wp.com/s3-ak.bebo.com/image/605749356a12986623507l.jpg

https://i2.wp.com/s3-ak.bebo.com/image/605749356a12986621976l.jpg

https://i1.wp.com/s3-ak.bebo.com/image/605749356a12986718390l.jpg

https://i1.wp.com/s3-ak.bebo.com/image/605749356a12986718325l.jpg

https://i1.wp.com/s3-ak.bebo.com/image/605749356a12986771836l.jpg

https://i1.wp.com/s3-ak.bebo.com/image/605749356a12986771197l.jpg

https://i1.wp.com/s3-ak.bebo.com/image/605749356a12986969954l.jpg

https://i0.wp.com/s3-ak.bebo.com/image/605749356a12988048377l.jpg

https://i2.wp.com/s3-ak.bebo.com/image/605749356a12988051734l.jpg

https://i0.wp.com/s3-ak.bebo.com/image/605749356a12988051765l.jpg

https://i1.wp.com/s3-ak.bebo.com/image/605749356a12988051007l.jpg

https://i1.wp.com/s3-ak.bebo.com/image/605749356a12988050062l.jpg

https://i1.wp.com/s3-ak.bebo.com/image/605749356a12988222958l.jpg

https://i1.wp.com/s3-ak.bebo.com/image/605749356a12988222902l.jpg

https://i0.wp.com/s3-ak.bebo.com/image/605749356a12988222775l.jpg

https://i1.wp.com/s3-ak.bebo.com/image/605749356a12988222560l.jpg

THE FRIDAY FIVE – 21.12.2012

If the world does end today, here’s five songs to see you through the final moments of humanity.

1. Muse – Madness
2. REM – It’s The End Of The World As We Know It
3. Matt Cardle – It’s Only Love
4. Bruno Mars – Locked Out Of Heaven
5. Alicia Keys – Girl On Fire

If the world doesn’t end today, it’s Christmas next week. So, here’s a Christmas chart for you all

FIVE CHRISTMAS SONGS

1. Robert Goulet – Jingle Bells, Batman Smells
2. Greg Lake – I Believe In Father Christmas
3. Jethro Tull – Solstice Bells
4. The Waitresses – Christmas Wrapping
5. Fountains Of Wayne – I Want An Alien For Christmas

Oh, and of course, Merry Christmas and all that

THE SOUND OF 2012 : 26-50

26. Newton Faulkner – Clouds
27. The Family Rain – Trust Me, I’m A Genius
28. Madness – My Girl II
29. Pink – Try
30. Green Day – Kill The DJ
31. Cheryl Cole – Under The Sun
32. Of Monsters And Men – Little Talks
33. Bruno Mars – Locked Out Of Heaven
34. Thea Gilmore – London
35. Fun – Some Nights
36. Kylie Minogue – Flower
37. Adele – Skyfall
38. Coldplay – Hurts Like Heaven
39. The Vaccines – I Always Knew
40. Alicia Keys – Girl On Fire
41. Paloma Faith – Never Tear Us Apart
42. Black Keys – Lonely Boy
43. Lloyd – Dedication To Me Ex
44. Elbow – First Steps
45. Blur – Under The Westway
46. Underworld – Caliban’s Dream
47. Justice – New Lands
48. Green Day – Oh Love
49. Pure Love – Riot Song
50. Labrinth ft Emeli Sane – Beneath You’re Beautiful