The Diary

02 September 2008: As One Door Closes, Another One Opens - But Not In Baggieland It Would Seem.

?I?m gonna wait till the midnight hour?.? That?s what they suggested in the wonderful world of soul, back in the 60?s, and who am I to argue? Especially as that?s the dread moment when the transfer window slams shut for another few months. Yes, we do get another pop at it come the New Year ? but that?s so late in the day for us, even if we managed to persuade a whole load of world beaters to take up residence on Planet Baggies, relegation would descend upon us with a resounding ?clang? anyway.

Which means that we?ve got to get it right first time, or sink without trace. And from what I?ve seen of our most recent transfer-market activity, I don?t think we have. At the time of writing (approx midnight, when the Blessed Portal slams shut), our sole addition today seems to have been a lad who goes by the wonderful name of Donk. Ryan Donk, in fact.

He?s a defender, age 22, very tall, purchased from Dutch League outfit AZ Alkmaar; according to the club website, he?s good in the air, calm in possession ? a bog-standard Mogga prerequisite, that - and a threat from set-pieces. Apparently, when the lad first signed for AZ back in 2006, the club described him as ?one of the biggest talents in Dutch football?.

Mogga?s assessment? He has ?a good pedigree?..? (Where did our leader first see him, then? Crufts?)?? ?and is a player I?ve been watching for a few years??he was part of the Dutch Under 21 team that won the European Championship last year?.?. He?s the third in a series of Scandinavian newcomers, the other two being fellow Dutchman Zuiverloon (who is already looking quite an asset, as per his recent Bolton appearance), and Swedish newcomer Olsson, as yet untried. I wonder if the linguistic services (culinary too, perchance?) of a certain Mister Sneekes will be required at all? I?m sure he?d be delighted to be of assistance?

And one other bit of news late in ? but not concerning the transfer market, sadly, although one supporter, more than hope in expectation, I suspect, posted on the Boing site claiming ?Eidur Gudjohnsen is going from Barcelona to the Baggies." ? Spurs Reserves triumphed over ours at their place 3-2. Roman Bednar, feeling the loss of his first team place acutely, no doubt, did come up with a brace, but Albion, reduced to ten men when the lad Hancock handled on the line in the 72nd minute, thereby conceding a penalty, couldn?t get it back.

Interestingly, Spurs play all their reserve games at Orient?s place, these days. Given there?s a chemists shop going full-blast at the rear of the place most of the time, I?m sure our physio didn?t go short of the essentials while he was there. It?s open to the public, so is just the perfect place for supporters to go for all essential pre-match hypertension and/or stress medicines! In the interests of physical and mental well-being (and in any case, supporters croaking it when there?s a game on gives the place a bit of a bad name, doesn?t it?) maybe our own health authority could somehow be persuaded to follow their splendid example?

Despite it being the last day for most transfer business, I?ve had to leave the bulk of monitoring activities for today to the tender mercies of ?Im Indoors. The reason? I?m currently in the throes of putting together an end of course assessment for my OU stuff, and only finished the first part tonight. It ain?t easy, boiling down a complex topic to 600 words; just try it, and see. The second bit is somewhat more complicated, and will take yonks to put together. The deadline, which falls almost three weeks hence, might sound a long way away, but not when you?re planning to attend a family wedding this Friday, then head off into the unfathomable depths of Wild Wales for a full week!

And His Nibs has been active on the kitchen front once more, folkies. While I was en route to The Reebok on Saturday, my beloved took the trouble to put together what he was to subsequently call a ?Raspberry Surprise?. When I returned later that evening, I sampled some ? and yep, it sure was a surprise! A calorie-packed dark chocolate/honey/peanut/raspberry thingy, it was. The sort of thing Arctic explorers take with them for instant energy in freezing cold climes, in fact.

Having both experienced great difficulty breaking it up into spoon-sized mouthfuls, ?Im Indoors promptly embarked upon repair activities ? and, guess what? They actually worked, turning something with a consistency near that of reinforced concrete into quite a palatable pud! (I?m trying like hell not to let visions of heart-attacks enter my brain, because, if nothing else, my beloved?s work of culinary art is sure as hell a recipe for one!) I guess we can both call it a ?score draw?, then.

Said horror, first time round, quickly brought back unpleasant memories of school cookery lessons, and a similar confection that came out of the tin looking exactly the same. Not that I could get it to budge out of the tin, even. It took an embarrassing trip to the caretaker to come up with a hammer and chisel with which to extract the stuff, finally!

Not to be outdone by hubby?s somewhat wacky restorative skills, tomorrow, I?ll be having a shot at Cheese And Onion Flan Mark Two. And I?m going to use a British recipe this time ? so there! Where?s all these celebrity chefs when you need ?em, that?s what I want to know!

ARMAGEDDON? YES ? AS IN ?ARMAGEDDON OUTA HERE?! Well, that?s how Cardiff and Swansea constabularies will both interpret the glad tidings that those two clubs have emerged from the Coca Cola Cup hat paired against each other. Knowing only too well what the ?nutter element? of both sides can be like when suitably well-oiled and replete with testosterone, if you happen to be driving past on the westbound M4 and see a mushroom-shaped cloud rise above the landscape, forget the Russians, Bin Laden or George Bush in one of his dafter moments, even. The problem?s much closer to home!

PSST?. ANYBODY KNOW A GOOD TUMBLE DRIER REPAIR MAN? Not to mention a tree-surgeon! Ours, scheduled to attack our leylandi come the morrow, has had a bit of a whoopsy with a piece of machinery he needs to perform his arboreal duty. He can?t get it back for yonks, which means he?s had to put things back until around the third week of September. Oh dear ? more for the people whose garden abuts onto the rear of ours to moan about. So, if you?re reading this, my leetle neighbourly chums, have patience! We haven?t forgotten you, honest!

As for the errant tumble drier, we did get a recommendation, and a pretty sound one at that, but his blasted answering machine seems permanently on, and whenever we do leave a contact number ? errrr, nothing! Oh, well, back to the drawing board!

WHY HAVEN?T WE SIGNED A BLOODY FORWARD? It?s now well past football?s equivalent of ?the witching hour?, and no signings whatsoever, bar Mister Donk. In fact, The Fart reckons Radio WM have claimed that Albion have told them there won?t be any more tonight. Which means, loan signings apart, we?re stuck with what we?ve got. Last one to the cliff edge is a sissy. OK?

 - Glynis Wright

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