The Thursday Dialectics: On the one hand this, on the other hand that.

Dialectics thrives on the ability to handle several competing points of view all at the same time. In this ‘Poem on the Hoof’ below, we explore those tensions in a manner which lends itself well to being sung:

On the one hand this,
On the other hand that,
On the one hand chit,
On the other hand chat,
Every move you make
You see your face again,
Every way you sit
You seat yourself in pain;

On the one hand this
On the other hand that,
shadows on the wall
smearing you flat,
Things ain’t straight
things ain’t right,
there ain’t no answers
any time of night;

On the one hand this
On the other hand that,
Sitting on the fence
Is making you fat;
It’s a superhuman effort
to forget your own name,
But every time you stand up
You shift your weight in vain,

On the one hand this
On the other hand that,
Your questions wrong
Your assertions mute,
Answers don’t stick
Opinions dilute,
You agree to agree
again again again

On the one hand this
On the other hand that,
Don’t eat too much
Don’t get fat,
Don’t worry about the kids
Don’t fester away,
At the end of every night
Is another long day

On the one hand this
On the other hand that
You’d bail out your life
At the drop of a hat
It’d be so much simpler
If you stuck to your guns,
Keep your convictions
Blank those shuns,
Ignore the loudest voices
Spurn the angry frown
Insist on your choices
Throw your weight around

On the one hand this
On the other hand that.
On the one hand this
On the other hand that.

‘On the One Hand this’ can be found in our poetry anthology, There’s No Such Thing as an Englishman. It can also be heard on our Salutary Songs of Sobriety and Salvation tours.

The Tuesday Rant: write an Open Letter to a Famous Person!

The Tuesday Rant is an occasional series of irritated and indignant responses to various public figures, some famous, some infamous, others aspiring to be either one of the other.

The Open Letter format allows you for the possibility that your target might even care just a little bit about what you think about them, their practice, their pet dog or bar-room habits. Certainly enough to bother to read beyond the first couple of lines.

If you have any Open Letter you would like to share, then please feel free to add to the comments below. You never know what might happen next. More Open Letters here.

The Thursday Dialectics: convincing the unconvincable.

The Thursday Dialectics are a series of posts which aim to look at both sides of an argument in a frivolous yet serious, meaningful and meaningless, significant but throwaway kind of style.

They’re for the days when you can’t make up your mind, when the act of decision making is a step too far and anything that resembles committing yourself to a position, idea or action fills you with horror.

The Thursday Dialectics are for those of you who doubt, steadily remain unconvinced and enjoy sitting on fences. May you never fall off them!

Recent Thursday Dialectics include:

What’s the Big Deal about Sustainability?

Or, on the other hand:

Reincarnation is the way forward: new approaches to business planning.

A Wednesday Wake Up Call: Resistance is Futile

Here’s a jolt to your Wednesday midweek inertia: a ‘Poem-on-the-Hoof; taken from our publication, “There’s No Such Thing as an Englishman: Poems from an Irritated England”

Resistance is Futile is inspired by the Borg of Star Trek infamy.  The Borg would take immense amount of pleasure telling their hapless victims that ‘resistance was futile’ and that they just better buckle down and be happy with their lot. Even if it did mean colonisation, subjugation and eventual death.

It seems we hear a lot in our daily lives why things can’t happen – whether this be in a street, in a business, in a school: in all sorts of places from all sorts of people.  Hearing ‘no’ so often suggests that resistance to any kind of positive social change is pointless: and in some quarters, the Borg are alive and kicking in the most unlikeliest of places.

For me, the poem summarises the aspiration of when faced with so many ‘no-es’, so many reasons not to do things, we need to find the ‘yes’ in a situation.  If we can find the ‘yes’, we can transform ourselves, our families, our communities and the world at large.

You can read ‘Resistance is Futile’ in our poetry anthology, There’s no such Things as an Englishman’

Schadenfreude isn’t Germany’s new Centre Forward: half time report from the 2014 Brazil World Cup.

It might not be quite 73 – nil yet here in the 2014 Brazil World Cup but all the signs are shaping up for a massive upset in the knock out stages of the draw.  

You might remember how our heroic team settled some old scores in Bogota before heading south to join the glitterati, chatterati and flitterati of the world’s footballing elite. They learned early on to become a permanent surprise to their opposition – the guerilla in their midst – whilst experiencing the benefits of living the high footballing life in Rio de Janeiro and Copacabanana Beach.

We’ve seen how they had to reluctantly forego a life of aimless wandering and buckle down to their first big challenge: their first run out onto the hallowed pitch of a World Cup stadium.

But it’s not all cocktails at dawn: we’ve seen the disappointment etched on their faces when their players have not been picked for the national team, and can only admire their stoicism when it comes to carrying that heavy load.

And in true World Cup style, one man’s victorious lap of the stadium is another’s collapse into the depths of despair out in the car park.  Galacticos may be superstars but they can crumble at a moments notice like any two bit player.  Schadenfreude isn’t Germany’s newest centre forward but a freelancing libero who trips up all who underestimate his innate athletic ability and causes fear and shame whenever he may roam.

But in true heroic style, our team has faced down its foes, spoken truth to power and stood up for the rights of the common people, even when it’s involved some ritual humiliation.

And now at the half time break, we’re poised for some more scintillating action from some of the world’s legendary footballers.  They’ll be asked searching questions in the second half such as, just who did poisen the hotel’s axolotls? And do you really have to be fully match fit and physically intact to play at this level? And is there really no ‘me’ in team?

Join us for the second half of the Brazilian  World Cup and follow our heroes every step of the way!  We’ll be back after this break.

Want to catch up with the action as it happened? Check out our NOP-I-Player podcasts here.

Confessions of an Ageing Football Player: Brazil 2,014 – My Team 2,015

73 – nil! Those were the days: moments of glory on the school playing field on a foggy Wednesday afternoon when the final whistle went and your school mates would gather around you, beaming their small faces at you from every conceivable direction as they congratulated you fulsomely on the 23 hat tricks you had  just completed in your team’s undeniable slaughter of the opposition.

The juniors from Mrs. Myrtle’s class were never going to stand up to the superior fire power of Mr. Thompsons 4th years and your part in their downfall was heralded as the natural climax of a long and muddy school football season.

In those days, England had won the World Cup for the first (and only?) time and the nation rejoiced rejoiced rejoiced. We became our football heroes overnight and in the course of that fateful autumn season when I moved primary schools seven times, I was able to become Roger Hunt, Nobby Stiles, Bobby Moore, Martin Peters, George Cohen, George Best and Jimmy Greaves in six short months -playing footie with mates in a school classroom, at the park, in the garage, in a potato field, down an anonymous dirt track, in the kitchen and even once on a proper football field. We all became our own heroes overnight and never looked back, plotting our own way to football fame and fortune ever since.

We have of course all gone our different ways: Roger disappeared into medical supplies, George Best into pub management and Jeff Hurst into the funerals business: but me, I stayed lean and mean, waiting for the next major football opportunity. World Cups have come and go but I feel it in my bones: Brazil 2014 may just be the one where I make my mark and relive the joy of 23 hat tricks against the juniors.

Neymar, Messi, Oxlade Chamberlain: you have all been warned. This year is my year.

Confessions of an Ageing Football Player is out now, just in time for the Qatar 2022 World Cup! You can order your copy here.

You can listen to all the episodes of the Ageing Football Player Podcast here!

BBC Radio Nottingham interview: hear all about us!
The Andy Whittaker Show

A brief introduction to Confessions of an Ageing Football Player, the Confessions series and life’s rich tapestry.

If you’d like to purchase a copy of Confessions of an Ageing Football Player in time for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, you can do so here.

Lend us your ears for our Confessions of an Ageing Football Player Podcasts!

That’s right, starting on 20 November we’ll be broadcasting every day via out Anchor Podcast episodes. You can listen to them here.

The podcasts will involve readings from the book, and will quite possibly involve some surprise guests!

If you’d like to tune in, just register your interest with us here and we’ll make sure you’re sent the necessary link:


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Out now! JIT for Qatar 2022! Confessions of an Ageing Football Player

73 – nil! Those were the days: moments of glory on the school playing field on a foggy Wednesday afternoon when the final whistle went and your school mates would gather around you, beaming their small faces at you from every conceivable direction as they congratulated you fulsomely on the 23 hat tricks you have just completed in your team’s undeniable slaughter of the opposition…

Confessions of an Ageing Footballer relives those glorious early footballing moments – but just in time for the Qatar 2022 World Cup!

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