Bits n' pieces
Just a few thoughts, strung together, some about wine.
1. City lost 6-0 to Chelsea yesterday. It was terrible. But there's a lesson to be learned: don't let success change you. City's players defended terribly, and these days in top-flight football defensive responsibilities need to be shared among all 10 outfield players. One suspects that sitting in the dizzying heights of third place caused them to think they were something special and that they didn't need to do the boring bits - like defending. So, if you do succeed to any extent, don't forget to keep on doing the stuff that got you there in the first place. Hopefully, then, if you teach yourself the lesson, you can avoid it being taught to you by catastrophe.
2. Along those lines, it's worth remembering that talent is just part of the equation of success. Lots of talented people fail; many gifted people never achieve anything. Talent is common; perserverance and application are rarer, especially among talented people.
3. I lost my allotment!! Can you beleive it? The vineyard plot I was cultivating didn't meet the required standards and I was sent a warning letter. So I went down to have a look and try to sort things out, but it was an impossible task. A couple of hours of tidying didn't make much impact, and then I forgot about it, and then I got a letter of termination. I was a bit sad, but the vineyard really was a mess, and needed some proper trellising, rather than my improvised single wire system. So some dude is going to inherit my patch. They'll have fun getting 7 year old, highly vigorous vines out of the ground. I would have loved to had the time to do a proper allotment, because I love growing stuff.
4. I have some lovely samples mounting up in my tasting queue. A range of stuff from Les Caves de Pyrene, which is one of my favourite sources of interesting wine; six wines from Brian Croser's Tapanappa; some AXA wines and Ports; and a surprisingly interesting looking case from Averys.
5. I bought some Bordeaux. A case of 2004 Chateau Brown Pessac Leognan (thanks Alex for the tip off about Albany as a source) and six bottles of Vieille Cure 2000 Fronsac from Sainsbury. [Only they delivered the 2002; I phoned up and they said they would pick it up and send the 2000 instead, but nothing has happened in two weeks.]
6. Anonymous blog comments: I allow these, because it allows people to criticize. You can learn a lot from criticism. Of course, I'd rather people felt able to be constructively critical and sign their posts. But I understand that some might find this difficult, and I'd rather have anonymous input than none at all. What I don't understand is people being remorslessly negative and mounting personal attacks. As John Gaunt says on his Talksport phone in program, 'this isn't Cuba'; you don't have to read my blog. No one is forcing you to come here. If you don't like me, or what I say (I may have insulted you by accident, or dissed one of your wines, or be one of your competitors, or you may think I have a spectacularly bad palate), then by all means read someone else's blog.