Archives For Manchester City FC

MCFCBlog-01

My Dad and two brothers have always been keen football fans. When we are all home for Christmas it is a tradition for us to all go and watch a match together.  It is something we used to do quite a lot when we were younger and living at home but now it takes a lot more organising.  One of the things I enjoy about Christmas is that you can inject a tiny little bit of glitz and glamour into any occasion. It was great way to spend the afternoon with my brothers especially as Manchester City won.

MCFCBlog-03

Here in the northern hemisphere the 21st December brings with it the shortest day of the year. This marks the mid-way point of the winter months; with the promise of a new year and with it the beauty of spring and the warmth of the summer.

If this is the shortest day, I wondered why the mornings did not start to get brighter. My brothers explained that this was due to the tilt in the earth’s axis and the gravitational effect of the sun on the speed at which our planet rotates. Apparently we spin faster when we are closer to the sun and slower when we are further away. This causes our clocks to appear to be slightly out of sync with the solar day and so the mornings still seem to get darker as we play catch up.

wintersolstice

Anyway enough of the science, I wanted the reason to be all mystical and magical. Perhaps with a princess or two somewhere in there and maybe a dragon who was stealing the suns powers, trust science to bring that all crashing to a full stop.

The solstice has always intrigued people over the centuries and the strong emotional feelings that it provokes have made this date an important date throughout history.  For many people over the generations the winter has marked a period when little could be done as the weather worsened, the days grew shorter.

Winter_solstice

Sunlight On Earth, During The Winter Solstice

There are many legends surrounding this time of year. The Norsemen who saw the sun as giant wheel whose rotation changed the seasons would light bonfires and gather around in the warmth to tell stories and drink sweet ale.

The ancient Romans celebrated this time year as the birth of the new year in their festival Saturnalia which ran for seven days from the 17th December. Which coincidently is my dad’s birthday! Spooky! During the festival it was common to turn convention on its head with men dressing as women, masters dressing as servants, the giving of gifts or presents and houses being decorated with greenery to celebrate the arrival of the new year.

MCFCBlog-Header-blog

Our Yule Log “Colin The Caterpillar”

The Druids who are understood to have started the tradition of the Yule log did so as they believed that each year at this time the sun stood still for 12 days.  To overcome the darkness they would select a log and set it alight to banish evil spirits and welcome in the new year with the hope that it would bring with it good fortune.

It really is amazing to see just how many of these older traditions have been incorporated into our celebration of Christmas.  This is a special time of year to so many people of different faiths and cultures from all corners of the world. This festive season I believe that whatever you celebrate, do it with love in your heart and kindness in your thoughts.

 

TwoTurtleDoves

Two Turtle Doves

 

My Dad has been a big Manchester City Football Club fan from being a small boy when he used to go to their old stadium “Maine Road” with his Grandfather. So the whole family follow “The Boys in Blue”.

Day-2-Image-0

On the ‘Second Day of Christmas’ my Mum’s gift to me and the boys was a meal at the ground ‘The Etihad Stadium’ in Manchester and seats to watch Manchester City F.C. play Liverpool FC.

Day-2-Image-2

Day-2-Image-1

It was a very important match because Liverpool were top of the English Premier League and we needed to beat them to stay in contention. Granddad, Dad, Tom, Matt and I were in good voice, although Dad told me at half time to take it easy and not to get too excited as we were 2-1 up by then. We went back inside and ate Mince Pies and had a cup of tea.

Day-2-Image-3

It was a fabulous match, we were on the edge of our seats. The final result 2-1 to Manchester City so I thought I’d tape my second day of Christmas from the ground, I had to wait for the stadium to partially empty so that you could hear me.

Day-2-Image-4

Hope you enjoy the video. I did think about changing the lyrics to: On the Second Day of Christmas my true love gave to me, two Man. City goals and a partridge in a pear tree but I’m not one to gloat “mwha ha ha”.

Piano-PhotoLarge

I entered my first competition at the Conservatoire, I know that I shouldn’t expect to place in every competition I enter but competition performance is a yardstick for me to measure my progress and like most people I like to win.

There was strong competition with second year students in the running order but I quite like pitting myself against people that are slightly above my current level.  But like Wigan FC (the bottom of the league club that won the FA Cup) you can’t go in expecting to lose can you?  I wouldn’t like to start avoiding contests where winning seems unlikely from the outset.

I had a lovely compliment from the Acting Head of Voice who hadn’t heard me sing before, I had a fabulous time performing, and it was probably my wisest move to enter a competition the week before my final end of year singing examination to help me to work out the wrinkles from my performance, which is what I’ve been working on most of the weekend.

I also appreciate the excellent feedback I got from the judge which will help me to improve and refine my skills and knowledge and that’s what I’m looking for, that and preferably coming first 😉    I feel pleased that she wrote “obvious hard work going on and some great potential”.  I also gained confidence in the areas I performed well in.

I love the excitement of a competition, everything from learning and perfecting the songs to filing my finger nails and putting flowers in my hair – another no – no apparently (did you know it’s unlucky to wear flowers in your hair on the Opera stage?  Even fake ones! ) I thought maybe it is because real ones could give someone with hay fever a problem.

That’s it!   Light bulb moment – it was wearing those flowers that did it.  ;-0

FACup2013Large

From the MCFC website “They say that victory is sweetest when you’ve known defeat…

My Dad and brothers went to the FA Cup Final on Saturday it was a big treat for my youngest brother Tom as his birthday is 31st May and obviously they were hoping for a win to celebrate on Saturday.  Sadly it wasn’t to be, my Dad chose James Milner as his City player of the match, I was told the Latics wanted it more and played a blinder so well done to Wigan.

One last note though, like the players on the day my family travelled by train, however, the journey back was fraught with problems with fans left behind after the match as the weather worsened, unable to even getting standing room on the limited trains back up North.  Come on Virgin you knew how many fans you’d taken down there during the day and that they’d all need to get home.  The fans along side local residents were left outside Wembley Central station queuing in the pouring rain, men, women and children but they all stayed good natured and considering the conditions, the only protests were to try and get the women and children under cover and out of the torrential rain.  But even these requests were turned down by the people in charge.

YP-Positive-Large

Following the launch of Youth Positive at the Etihad Stadium on the 28th February several of Manchester City’s first team showed their support for the charity by being pictured wearing YP+ tee-shirts :).

Top row Aleksander Kolarov,  Joe Hart and Pablo Zabaleta

Bottom row Vincent Kompany, Patrick Vieira and ME :).

It was great to seem them get involved and support this fantastic charity initiative Youth Positive ( YP+).

YP+ is a youth-led project designed to highlight the overwhelming positive impact of young people on society.  Young people are united in working to make Manchester (home of Manchester City and Manchester United football clubs) a more positive place.