Sunday, 19 December 2010

Brian Barefield Annual Newsletter 2010.

People often ask me; “What do you do all day”: Here is the answer.

My granddaughters had given me a wonderful Christmas present. A dog. It was a Jack Russell/Doberman cross and they told me its name was shaggy. It got me into a little bit of trouble.
We do strange things with names don't we, if someone's name does not end with a Y we tend to add one, thus, Jane equals Janey, Susan equals Suzy, Mike equals Mikey etc etc. And then we do the opposite, if a name ends in Y we tend to remove it. Thus, Tracy equals Trace, Amy equals Aim, Suzy equals Sue etc etc. Now I am as guilty of this as anyone, and, when the puppy went missing one evening and I stood at the entrance to my block shouting Shag, Shag, Shag, before wandering along Frampton Road doing the same.
When the police car arrived, I thought they had come to help me look for the dog so I was quite surprised when they asked me to climb in the back of the car and took me to the police station. They were quite friendly, and once aware of the situation, they suggested I should only call the dog by its full name in the future, I agreed to do this. Oh dear, my memory is not so good and as I was leaving the police station a concerned WPC asked me what I was going home to, I replied: "I'm going home to shag the dog".
Both the RSPCA and my Community Psychiatric Nurse were very understanding about being called from their beds at 1 AM. After some discussion it was suggested that it might be a good idea if I change the name of the dog. I was reluctant to do this at first because, after all, the name was chosen by my granddaughters. After a couple days I reconciled myself to the fact that I would have to change the name if I was to avoid further trouble and so I chose a name with basically the same phonetics as the original one, and which I knew I’d remember because it had stayed in my mind since I watched a riveting documentary about illnesses contracted by canaries who worked down coal mines.
The following evening I was standing at the entrance to the block calling "Slag", "Slag", "Slag", when suddenly, a police car arrived ........

I set off for the Winter Olympics in Montréal. As it is many years since we thrilled to the skill of John Currie and Robin Cousins I packed my skates just in case the team needed a helping hand. While auditioning for the team managers I realised that the twists and leaps and particularly the triple toe loop were having an adverse affect on my back and so was obliged to turn down the offer of a place on the team.
I didn't want to waste the journey however so I asked if there were any other spaces on the team. It turned out that our representative in the men's luge had injured himself in training.
You may be familiar with the luge, it's the event where competitors step into a giant condom which they then pull up over their body and their head tucking one edge under their chin so that just the face is exposed before laying belly up on what looks like a tea tray on runners.
I was doing very well until my mind was filled with the images of previous luge events I had seen on the TV and I began giggling at the site of huge lumps of flesh hurling down the luge track wobbling like blancmanges. This momentary lapse of concentration was critical, the luge and I parted company and I slid all the way to the bottom of the track. I was uninjured however, which I guess proves that the condom really is the safest form of protection.

This wasn't a very exciting month. I spent most of it in negotiation with my GP who I am trying to persuade to get me a wheelchair so that I can take part in the 2012 Olympics. He's not too keen, he says that once I get used to the thrill of speeding around in a wheelchair I might be tempted to use it on occasions when I do not really need to and I might become dependent. No matter how much I reassure him that this will not be the case he is still very reluctant to concede on this matter. You know me; never give up, so I began researching whether it is possible to obtain a leg amputation as "cosmetic surgery".

I was due to be married for the 23rd time but changed my mind at the last moment because I could not stop Jocasta from calling the dog "Little Shit", this had caused many arguments which were so common that we had developed a sort of shorthand. She, in her mezzo soprano voice would cry "Leetel Sheet" and I would instantly response in bass baritone "Slag". When the police cars arrived .... Nuff said, I decided there was no point carrying on when we were unable to reconcile this major difference in our approach to animals.

I was appointed to referee the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Portsmouth at Wembley. I was a bit worried about being able to keep up with the play so I made another request to my GP for the wheelchair, nothing doing.
As I was making my way through the stadium to my dressing room singing "the referee's a wanker" I was approached by Carlo Anceloti: "Meester Brian, Meester Brian, I have a leetel problem, Johann Terry is eenjured and there is only one person in the countree good eenough to take his place". (Between you and me I began to well up because his enunciation reminded me of Jocasta by quickly put that behind me: almost as quickly as I'd put her behind me actually).
Not wishing to let the Referees Association down I ensured that Jimmy Hill was in the stadium and prepared to referee the match before joining Carlo and the boys in the dressing room. After the match Carlo told me "You only committed 47 fouls, you did so well that no one watching the match either here or on the telly will have noticed that Johann wasn't there". (You may have noticed I'm fed up with doing the accent now). "Any time Carlo" I said as I waved goodbye to Didier and the boys in the dressing room.

Quite a relaxed month. Lots of time to play with Slag in the Park.
New people have moved into the flat above me with a baby. As I am still having difficulty in obtaining a wheelchair for training, when it is dark I borrow the pushchair they leave in the alcove beneath the stairs on my floor, and practice up and down Frampton Road and on the Heath. Have had two fingers on my right hand and one on my left amputated after they became trapped between the wheel and the mudguard. Still not much luck getting rid of a leg though. Apparently, with missing fingers, you are expected to run against the physically able athletes at major championships.

Decisions, decisions. Should I go to the Football World Cup at the beginning of the month; or the European Athletics Championships at the end? You know me, never could make decisions, so I packed football boots and my running spikes in my rucksack and set off for a month of travelling.
The trip to South Africa turned out to be something of a waste of time. Fabio assured me that he had already picked the best men for the job and that the FA had already paid David Beckham to sit pointlessly on the bench so that role was taken as well. I reminded Fabio that Wayne had not played well for Man.U. since his injury; that playing Lampard and Gerard in the midfield together has never worked; and that Jamie Carragher has a football brain the size of a pea and the pace of a lame cart horse.
After checking one more time that they wouldn't need someone to sub for Beckham if he got called away to do TV work, I left my mobile number just in case and I set of to hitch to Barcelona. I was concerned that there had been an administration error because the AAA had forgotten to send me my pass.
It looked as if that would also be a wasted journey, the AAA informing me on my arrival that everyone had turned up. I decided to hang around however and spent some time with the men's relay teams teaching them how to keep hold of the baton. I was showing Jessica Ennis how to get more leverage into her shot put and javelin throwing when I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was the manager of the Slovenian athletics team asking me if it was true that I had once had a holiday there, I said it was, he said that therefore I was qualified to represent Slovenia at the championships and as they were short of the middle distance runner would I mind stepping in. And so it was that I found myself on the starting line for the 5000 metres standing between the Nigerian who was running for Portugal and the Kenyan who was running for Norway. Unsurprisingly, after all I had not trained, I did not do very well, but I was able to help out the UK by offering advice to Mo Farah every time he lapped me.

I had a lovely surprise, a phone call from Harry Redknapp. He was sure that the reason England have played so badly throughout the World Cup, and especially in that debacle of a game against Germany, was because Fabio had resolutely ignored the advice I had given him.
Harry asked if I would mind giving him some advice. It seems he had a phone call the night before from the club chairman asking if he would like a nice Christmas present, the Dutch midfielder Van der Vaart. I thought about it for a while before telling Harry this was a signing I would be reluctant to make. "Why is that?": Harry asked: "Think about it Harry" I said, “What the heck do you think the people on the terraces are gonna sing to someone whose name ends in Vaart?" "Of course" said Harry; I hadn't thought of that".
The conversation turned to general football chat during which I asked Harry if he had thought of playing Gareth Bale in midfield rather than in defence. Harry said he would think about it. He phoned me a gain a couple of days later to tell me that because his chairman's mind was set on bringing Van der Vaart to the club he had stopped trying to convince him otherwise. We jointly lamented the fact that during the coming season the balletic, artistic football of the Spurs would be played out to a soundtrack of rude noises from the terraces.

This was a relatively uneventful month. With time on my hands I decided to resume the discussions with my GP about obtaining a wheelchair. For two weeks I spent every evening massaging Bovril and Daddies Sauce into my left leg from the ankle up to the knee. "Does this look like gangrene to you": I asked him. He sniffed at my outstretched leg, "Smells more like a burger to me", he replied. Oh well, back to the drawing board.
Sadly, poor Slag passed away this month. She had got into the habit of licking up any of the Bovril or the Daddies Sauce that dripped from my leg onto the floor. Unfortunately I did not notice her doing this on the one day I experimented with syrup of figs and creosote. The vet said she would have suffered no pain, she hit the door at such speed that death would have been instantaneous.

Off to the Commonwealth Games in Delhi. There must have been some sort of an administration mix up because the AAA had forgotten to send me my pass.
I had heard that after winning the World Championship last year And the European Championship this that Jessica Ennis had decided to take a rest and not compete. Even though I removed the rubber bands from my ponytail and allowed my hair to fall provocatively down across my shoulders, the hotel security guards refused to accept that I was Jessica's replacement. They were actually very rude saying I was the hairiest athlete they had seen since the East German women's team had stopped competing.
I called on the Indian Athletic Association and drew their attention to the fact that mum had been born in their country, and that despite competing for Slovenia successfully at the European Championships earlier in the year, the English team had decided it was time to start bringing through my replacement and that they did not require me at these championships. Sadly, their only vacancy was a place in the 3000 metres steeplechase, so I had to explain that the jolt caused by landing over the jumps might not be good for my back. Ironically, they did have a space for someone to represent them in the men's wheelchair events but, as I still do not have a chair, I was unable to help them with this.
I returned to the UK where I discovered that the Van der Vaart was building a reputation for himself by breezing past defenders and proving very difficult to mark. "That's not a big surprise is it?" Said Harry the next time he called me to ask whether he should stick with the 442 or have a go at 4411.

I was due to be married for the 27th time. I was quite looking forward to it but I had to call off the marriage when I saw on TV that Kate had been two timing me with some posh git called William, going as far as to become engaged to him as well. It was a shame as I had managed to persuade her father to buy me a state-of-the-art, silverplated, racing wheelchair as part of her dowry. It was with a heavy heart that I returned this because I hadn't even had time for a spin round the block in it.

Well, here we are again, it's Christmas, and for a change there is snow everywhere. This has given me the opportunity to practice once more my new-found artistry with the luge. My GP has refused to give me an open prescription for condoms so I have had to buy a wet suit for protection when I practice. (Oh well, it will come in handy at the world scuba-diving championships next year).
I drive to the top of Strawberry Hill, which is the best place round here to practice. For those of you who may not know Strawberry Hill is an incredibly steep hill on the outskirts of Richmond. Many celebrities, i.e. Jerry Hall, Mick Jagger (who are neighbours), live there and Jerry is one of the celeb’s who give me a friendly wave as I slide past the end of their drive’s on a tea tray.
That Mick Jagger is a miserable git though, he hasn't spoken to me since I posted that tweet about him and Keith Richard looking like the good and the bad Gollum in Lord of the Rings.

Well that's the end of my roundup of my fairly uneventful year, it's all come and gone so fast that I feel as if I've hardly moved from this sofa. I hope yours has been a lot more exciting and that you have as many happy experiences as I will have next year. Oh, by the way, I am planning to be married for the 30th time in March. Keep that month free in your diary. We are just waiting for Nicole to sort out her end of the paperwork.
Oh, PS. If any of you are thinking of buying me a dog this Christmas could you please make it one that does not have a Y at the end of its name.

All my love: Hugs ((((((( ))))))) and kisses XXXXXXX Brian.

SAVE THE RAINFOREST: do not print this unless you absolutely have to. If you should absolutely have to you can still SAVE THE RAINFOREST by using it to wipe your arse with after you have read it. If you do wipe your arse in it remember to hold it by the rough side, if you hold it by the shiny side it can slip. Did I tell you I had another finger amputated in November?