- Teenage Fanclub – I’m More Inclined
- Harry Styles – Treat People With Happiness
- Imelda May – Just One Kiss
- Miley Cyrus ft Dua Lipa – Prisoner
- Tom Grennan – Little Bit Of Love
Steve Bruce, holding aloft the FA Cup, is the cover star of Match as Manchester United have just won the double for the first time in their history.
England are playing two friendlies this week, and Match interviews captain David Platt to get the lowdown on the England team.
Steve Chettle of Nottingham Forest is subject to a Q and A, where he reveals he loves Chinese and Italian food.
There is a pull-out of Group B as the countdown to the 1994 World Cup is in full swing. That group contained Brazil, Cameroon, Russia and Sweden.
Ryan Giggs is the subject of a double page spread, as Match goes on location with him at Selhurst Park as he films an advert for Reebok.
Giggs also appears (sort of) in an advert later in the magazine to flog his own video game.
- Royal Blood – Typhoons
- Kyle Falconer – Laura
- Foo Fighters – Waiting On A War
- Miley Cyrus ft Dua Lipa – Prisoner
- Harry Styles – Treat People With Happiness
Action between Scotland and Northern Ireland is the cover image of this edition of Shoot, which is dominated by the Home Internationals.
Bobby Moore uses his column to state that England were out to avenge bad results to Northern Ireland (a 1-0 defeat at Wembley in the 1972 Tournament) and Wales (a 1-1 draw in a World Cup Qualifier at Wembley) in the previous year. Moore also stated that he is planning to write a tribute column in the next few weeks to the recently retired Bobby Charlton.
Scotland and Northern Ireland’s chances are put under the spotlight, with Northern Ireland Player/Manager Terry Neill believing his new look team can shock England, officially a home match for Northern Ireland but moved to Goodison Park due to Civil Unrest in Belfast.
There is a crosstalk feature between Mike England of Wales and Emlyn Hughes of England, with both players believing that the competition should not be scrapped.
Alan Ball uses his column to say that his 2nd place Arsenal side are as good as 1st place Liverpool, it was just that Liverpool got more points than them.
Archie Gemmill of Derby County is interviewed, declaring Johnny Giles of Leeds United to be “The master of midfield”
Frank Clark of Newcastle United takes questions from fans, revealing that Mike Summerbee is his toughest opponent.
Republic of Ireland are in World Cup action, facing a trip to the Soviet Union, hoping to keep alive their chances of reaching the finals in West Germany.
It isn’t all international football, as Leeds United’s European Cup Winners Cup Final against AC Milan, with Leeds hoping to keep the trophy in the UK for the 4th successive year after wins for Manchester City, Chelsea and Rangers.
The magazine ends with a poster of Pat Stanton of Hibs, but wearing a Scotland kit.
- Roisin Murphy – Let’s Dance
- Pale Waves – Easy
- Miley Cyrus ft Dua Lipa – Prisoner
- Taylor Swift – Willow
- James – Colour Of You
Christian Vieri is the cover star of this edition of Football Italia having just signed for Lazio.
Vieri’s move from Atletico Madrid to Lazio gets covered in news, as does Patrick Kluivert’s move from AC Milan to Barcelona, who areunder pressure to replace Ronaldo, who left the previous year.
Three pages are dedicated to Italy’s opening Euro 2000 game, a 2-0 win over Wales at Anfield, Dino Zoff’s first as manager.
There is also international action being reviewed in terms of Italian sides in the three main European competitions, with Juventus getting off to a slow start in their European Cup group.
Also getting reviewed is the early rounds of the Coppa Italia.
Inter Milan get a five page profile, which includes interviews with Roberto Baggio and Ronaldo.
Also getting a five page profile is Fiorentina, under new manager Giovanni Trappatoni.
Oliver Bierhoff gets profiled, having moved from Udinese to AC Milan.
Staying in Milan, there is a profile of Guiseppe Bergomi of Inter, one of the veteran players in Serie A.
No football to go to, or even to sit in the house and listen to. Bike has a flat tyre. Might as well go for a walk.
This time, I chose Giant’s Ring, Minnowburn and Terrace Hill Garden as a trio. I’ve done them all individually, but I might as well do all three in one go.
Especially so, since I left this off my list of walks to do whenever I was off over Christmas.
I was up early, planning on being there for Sunrise. However, my plans were thwarted by the length of time my car took to defrost. Where I live, I get the extremities of weather. Nice in the Summer, not so nice in the Winter.
Arriving around 9am, I was greeted by lots of daylight, always good for photos, and frost on the ground. That, and a heavily grassy area, was a perfect combination for photos. Now to go out and get them.
I started off at Giant’s Ring, walking along the mound (I know I could have taken a shortcut through the field) to the gate that leads to the path, following the signage for Gilchrist Bridge, which led me into Minnowburn.
Having explored Minnowburn, it was back towards the Car Park at Minnowburn. It was cold, but the temptation of a cup of tea from the mobile cafe parked there could wait.
Next for me, was Minnowburn Beeches. I’d never been that way before, so I wanted to explore that.
Previous visits meant that I knew my way about, and where the gates were and went to. This route led me to Giant’s Ring Road, but there was a gate not too far away, so I headed through it towards Terrace Hill Garden.
Even though it was cold, I was surprised to have the place to myself. The frost and the sunshine was perfect for phototaking.
When I walked up Lisnabreeny Hill last month, there were quite a few Robins. I would be frustrated in my attempts to photograph them as they flew away whenever I tried to get a photo.
There were plenty of Robins about. I was mostly frustrated in my attempts to photograph a Robin, though I did have a small amount of success.
From there, I headed back to my starting point at Giant’s Ring, but not before a brief detour at Edenderry. The frost covered hill made for some good photos.
That was, when I wasn’t having to swerve to avoid being run over by a child on a sleigh.
To balance out the bad, there was a good when I had a dog climbing over me when walking back.
The rest of my walk was uneventful, the early start meaning I covered it while avoiding the crowds, which were starting to get bigger as I left in mid morning.
I had the idea of heading to Belvoir Park Forest on the Sunday with my bike still out of action.
A combination of sleeping in, and dull weather meant I decided to give that a miss and just go walking around Belfast instead. If you can’t get any decent photos, it’s a wasted journey. I can go again later in the month, it’s not as if i’ll be spending any of the upcoming Saturdays watching football.
At some point in January, I will be planning to make my monthly visit to Blackmountain. As with all my previous visits to Blackmountain, i’ll go early in the morning as soon as possible, especially as the PSNI are blocking Divis Road (usually around lunchtime to early afternoon) due to the sizes.
January is usually a time when people are looking and booking holidays for the Summer. Usually. Remember those days?
It is usually a peak time for launching Travelogues on TV, and there was at least three of them about Cornwall courtesy of Rick Stein, Julia Bradbury and Susan Calman.
Naturally, I was looking up things to do and places to see (you’d have to fly from Dublin though) because I have nothing better to do.
Talking of Julia Bradbury, I enjoyed watching Britain’s 100 Best Walks (co-presented with Ore Obuda) on ITV on New Year’s Day. I’ve ticked off two of them (Cavehill and Arthur’s Seat).
I think it was a repeat (I obviously missed the original broadcast) as it talked about 2020 in the future tense when covering one of them and makes absolutely no reference to the current situation.
I’ve also enjoyed on TV last week, Winter Walks on BBC Four where a different person each episode goes on a walk through the countryside guiding the viewer through it. There’s more to BBC Four than Top Of The Pops repeats and music documentaries.
Next weekend, should have been the Holiday World Show. Unsurprisingly, that is not happening. Having been bitten by the walking bug now, I would have been getting brochures and booklets from those that offer those sort of trips.
Unfortunately, I won’t be venturing much further than Greater Belfast for the next while.
Whenever I went through the photos, I was really pleased at how some of them turned up. Even though the conditions were perfect for shooting, it really pleased me and perked me up seeing how some of the photos turned out.
- Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – We’re Gonna Get There In The End
- Alicia Keys – Freedom
- Holly Humberstone – Vanilla
- Dea Matrona – Walk This Way
- Foo Fighters – No Son Of Mine
Andy Cole is the cover star of Manchester United’s official magazine, having been in red hot goalscoring form all season.
In news, Roy Keane’s season is over after it is revealed he has suffered a cruciate injury.
Elsewhere, Denis Irwin is now United’s penalty taker after misses by Teddy Sheringham against Tottenham and Derby.
There is an advertorial for Sega Worldwide Soccer 98 on Sega Saturn, where Teddy Sheringham plays England v Italy in what he hopes will be the World Cup Final the following year. England won 4-2. On the Sega, that is.
Also in adverts, you can buy mugs in the shape of the face of your favourite footballer.
As ever, there is a review of recent matches, including the statement 3-2 win over Juventus in the Group Stage of the European Cup.
The magazine ends with an interview with Karel Poborsky, who states that Val Kilmer is the best Batman.
Might as well start 2021 in style. Let’s face it, the first half of the year at least is going to be crap.
With time off over Christmas, i’d planned on doing three walks i’ve done regularly over the past nine months – Blackmountain, Cavehill and Cregagh Glen, as well as fully exploring a fourth trail – Belvoir Park Forest.
Cavehill was the first on the list, but the day I planned to do it, it was pissing down with rain, so I left it to a later date.
Then I went on other walks, then a few cycles, and it suddenly was saved for the last weekday off, Friday 1st January.
It was a bit tactical, as i’d checked the weather forecast and knew that this would be the best day for sunshine and daylight. It’s a bit of a waste to walk up Cavehill and not take photos.
I had hoped to be getting photos of the sunrise, but my bed was too comfy. It wasn’t helped by the fact that I was having a lovely sleep until some idiots decided to let off fireworks at midnight, and I had to reclaim what I lost.
It wasn’t a total lie-in, I managed to arrive just before 9am, there were some cars already in the Car Park.
I’m not aware if a New Year’s Day trek up Cavehill is a tradition, but I might make it one for me, we shall see in 2022. It was a lot busier than it had been on my previous visits, usually arriving at the same time, although my previous visits had been on working days.
It might be a new year, but I note that Belfast folk are still thick as shit. Seriously folks, how hard is it to walk on the left?
Don’t even start me on Joggers. Quite how 60 year old men with beer bellies decked head to to in lycra get the front to act Billy Big Balls, but sticking to the left also applies to you.
That observation on Joggers is more general than this trip. But seriously, stick to the left and give people going the other way room.
I cannot emphasise this enough, but I am not prepared to walk in front of a bus because somebody won’t give me room.
Despite missing the sunrise, there was lots of nice photo opportunities.
Most of the photos included frost and ice, justifying my decision to layer up.
It was very slippy and slidey on the way down. I had a few slides but no falls thankfully. I might phone up ITV to offer my services for Dancing On Ice.
So, that is my first walk of 2021 done, although technically, this should have been my December 2020 walk up Cavehill.
Whilst there is lockdown and nothing else (ie – no concerts or football matches) to do, I make as well make Cavehill a monthly visit, as well as Blackmountain. That will be the big two.
I’m also going to sneak in Lisnabreeny Hill, Belvoir Park Forest and Minnowburn/Giant’s Ring on a rotating basis. Travel restrictions mean i’ll have to stick to Greater Belfast.
There was a story in the media last week about Stormont issuing Travel Vouchers to people. Something that hasn’t been mentioned is that anybody who has been convicted of a breach of Coronavirus Regulations should not be in receipt of any vouchers, be it shopping or travel.
There’s no point in having a reward culture that doesn’t actually reward people for doing the right thing.
If there are Travel Vouchers, and the R Number significantly reduces, I may be tempted to do Derry for Binevenagh or Fermanagh for Cuilcagh Mountain Park.
Again, dependent on getting the R Number down, i’ll see about a day trip to Mourne Mountains in the Summer.
Usually in August, I go to Edinburgh. If I do go, i’ll plan to visit Arthur’s Seat.
If normality returns, I may do a four/five day trip to Manchester for a match, and take in Saddleworth Moor or Peak District. I’ve been having my eye on the Leicecter match in May, but being realistic, that won’t happen. It might be towards the end of the year, for a match in 2021-2022.
I’ve got a few days in Bray booked for the end of June, for a match in Euro 2021. Even if the football doesn’t happen, I may still take up the booking (I have late cancellation) and go up Bray Head.
I also have flights to Gatwick booked for July, with a hotel booked in London (again, later cancellation). If London falls through, i’ve got Brighton as my back-up. I’ve already looked up hikes in Brighton, and Devil’s Dyke will be on the itinerary if I have a late change and go to Brighton instead.
Just over a week earlier, on Christmas Eve, I headed to Belvoir Park Forest.
I know what you’re thinking, but it seems it’s called Belvoir Park Forest. I’d always thought it was called Belvoir Forest Park.
I’d planned to make a visit and get some photos when I was off at Christmas, but I did make a visit in November when my bike was out of action. I didn’t have my camera with me but I had a nice walk about and got ideas of places to shoot.
It wasn’t too long, as I had slept in that day and I wanted to get out before it got busy. And it did get busy too that morning. What struck me most was the number of Good Dogs there were. About six of them came to me for hugs and cuddles, so I had this place marked down as somewhere to make a return visit to.
There were still some Good Dogs on my return visit, not as many, mainly due to there being not as many people about compared to my last visit, which was late morning on a Sunday, although I was still greeted by some Good Dogs just after parking my car.
I had only briefly been to Belvoir Park Forest before, just a brief visit, so it was good to finally chance to properly check it out. I feel quite embarrassed that I have largely ignored something that was so close to me for so long.
As with all my walks, up early and out early, arriving there just before 9am. I would have been there earlier, but I had to nip off to the shops before I left to get some last minute groceries when the shops were empty.
Weather reports had promised daylight and dryness. It was dry, and there was some daylight, not the spectacular balls of light I was hoping for, but enough to work with.
It did give me some nice reflections in the water to work with an experiment with.
I just walked about, curiously wondering where each path went to, until I somehow ended up on the Belvoir Estate, beside the entrance to Belvoir Park Forest, walking back in, but this time turning left around the back of the RSPB Offices.
From there, I walked and snapped until I ended up in Lagan Towpath. After that, I headed back to the Car Park after an enjoyable morning walking, but there is still a lot more for me to explore. That will be remedied in the early months of 2021.
Two days before I went up Cavehill, I went up Cregagh Glen into Lisnabreeny Hill. I did it a few times in the Summer but hadn’t been back since.
I got there around 9am. It was very muddy, foggy and frosty, making for some interesting photos.
It was very quiet on the way up but a lot busier on the way down, with people making the most of being off.
On New Year’s Eve, I woke up and looked outside, excitedly observing the snow that had fallen overnight. It turned out to be rather underwhelming.
Some of the photos I got of Belvoir Park Forest, Lisnabreeny Hill and Snow were ok. I’ve posted the better ones onto Instagram, but they didn’t merit a blog post on their own. I’ve included the photo albums if you wish to view them.
So, first walk of 2021 done, hopefully plenty more to come. I’ve already outlined my plans, but sadly it all depends on how other people behave.
Seriously, walk on the left, keep your distance, don’t ram up people’s arses in shops because it doesn’t make the queue go quicker.